Author Archives: Melanie

2020 Crafty Plans: Cross Stitch

Last year I didn’t finish any of my cross stitch goals but I made a lot of progress on everything. So I moved my projects over to this year and added new ones.  Because I’m crazy and I am loving my stitching right now.

Mama’s Bukid – Cross Stitch Priority Project #1

Mama’s Bukid
12/24/2019

My goal for December was to finish 2.5 columns and I only got halfway.  So I do not think I’ll be finishing this in February as I had intended.  I am struggling hard with finishing this project.  Part of it was that December had a lot of events and family and friend time.  All of it was wonderful and time well spent but my cross stitch time was hurt.  And I am totally unmotivated with this project.  I have had to force myself to work on this.  It is really hard but it’s so close to finishing that I can’t stop, it’s just taking me longer.

Gamer Nouveau – Cross Stitch Project priority #2

My goal for 2019 was to finish 6 pages but I only got 2.5 pages done.  I will work on this one week a month until Bukid is done and then I can work on this two weeks a month.  I hope that this year I will be able to get 6 pages done. There are a ton of pages and I do want to get this done sooner rather than later. I started using a new app called Pattern Keeper and it has changed my stitchy life.  It has taken a lot of the struggles I’ve had working on full coverage pieces. I’m currently at 20% completed on this project.

And because I like big projects (or BAPs – Big A$$ Projects), the new cross stitch project – priority #3 is a HAED (Heaven And Earth Design) which is a full coverage piece also.  Here’s my current spot:

And here’s what it will grow up to be:

Each of those gridlines marks a page and I’m still only on page 2. I do not have a goal for this year other than working on it each month.

I’m also working on a smaller project: A kiss for Snowman

This is only about 6″ square but I’m not enjoying this project at all. I only work on it when I’m travelling. On my personal retreats I may take this with me to do some stitching.  Hopefully, this will be done soon and I can start a new small project.  I am currently in love with full coverage projects and I’ve got another one started but I rarely work on it.  I do have a lot of projects kitted up and I plan to start another 2 or 3 over the course of this year.  But, the 4 projects shown above are my top priority projects for now.

Happy new year!

Melanie

2020 Crafty Plans

Over the last 3-4 years I’ve added more crafts to my crafty life and I only have so much time for crafts.  Time is a fixed element.  There is only so much time and I love to do all the things. I quilt, knit, cross stitch and now I’m learning to sew and make project bags, and on and on and on.  Over the holiday break I used my gifted Christmas money to get a bobbin lacemaking kit.  I’ve got a ton of half done projects and plans for other projects but not enough time to do everything I want to do.  So rather than have goals each month of making progress on certain things I’ve decided to dedicate time to different crafts.

To summarize my crazy, I knit on my socks for 15 minutes every morning and 1-2 rows on my high priority knitting project every evening Monday thru Friday.  I cross stitch on my projects every evening Monday thru Friday. I quilt on Saturdays and I sew on Sundays.  Obviously if something comes up like an event or party or meeting, I will not be crafting. As a result, I like to avoid attending events and tend to stay home or hang out with like minded crafty people (just kidding – I still go out and see friends and family, I’m not totally crazy…. yet).

So here is a list of projects I will be working on during the craft times:

Quilting: So even though I’ve added new crafts to my life I still consider myself a Quilter with a capital Q.  And over the next year I want to learn to use my new machine (*more on that later when it arrives).  I want to learn how to service my featherweight, I’m taking a year long Judy Niemeyer class, take the monthly workshops offered by my quilt guild, take the embroidery class offered at my local sewing machine shop, do more hand work, and finish more of my WIPs.

My current WIPs:

Staycation

This is not really a WIP because the top is done. I just need to quilt it. I actually have this and possibly two other tops and a multitude of smaller projects ready to be quilted.  Those are top on my list to finish and will be done when my new machine arrives*.

Good Fortune 

Good Fortune
1/1/2020

I am currently finished with Border #3.  I’m working on the 4th and final border.

Glam Clam

I’ve been doing a row at a time at the various retreats I’ve gone to over the last 2 years and I only have about 3 rows left.

Scrappy Stars – I do not have a good picture of this because this was a mystery quilt from a few years ago and I’m currently on step 4 or something.  I believe that I’m at the point where I start putting the pieces together to make blocks. But right now, there are just a bunch of pieces…

Area One Mystery Quilt – 

This is another project I’ve been working on primarily at retreats.  I actually have two more sets of blocks done and I only have another 2 sets of blocks left before I can start piecing the blocks together. I know that doesn’t make any sense but I’m getting so close to a finish.  Here’s how the center looks which I got done after the above picture was taken.

Craftsy Mystery quilt from a long time ago by Kimberly Einmo.  I cannot remember where I am with this project but I started it at the last retreat I went to.

Area Two  Mystery quilt – I finished all the blocks that I have but apparently I do not have the finishing instructions!  So now I have a bunch of blocks that I have to figure out how to put together.  I will work on this at a retreat because I need a big design space and fellow retreat attendees’ help to decide how to move forward.

Dancing with the Stars by Linda Ballard – I pulled this out and started working on it again at the last retreat I went to and the last time I worked on this was in 2013.

Dancing With the Stars
2-Block A and Snowball

I get a lot of work done at retreats I attend throughout the year. These are formal retreats for my guild, and various retreats offered by shops but I also plan personal retreats with friends and with my family.  I generally work on one project at home and that is currently Good Fortune and when that is done I’ll work through this list in order.

This is a lot for one post so I’m putting my other crafts for other days.

Happy new year!

Melanie

Jacob’s Weasley Sweater!

Yesterday, I posted my update on my make9 list for 2019.  Here’s #8 – Jacob’s Weasley Sweater.  He’s Ravenclaw.

My goal is to have a Weasley Sweater for each of my family members and to take a family picture with us each wearing them.

Last year, I made Kayla’s Weasley Sweater. She’s Gryffindor.

This coming year, 2020, I’ll be making Ricky’s and in 2021, I will make mine.  Ricky’s will be Slytherin and mine will be Hufflepuff.  Not because we are those houses like the kids but because I wanted us to represent each of the houses.

~Always,

Melanie

2019 Recap of my Goals

I got a lot done on my #make9 projects for 2019.

1- Celtic Solstice: Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt from 2013 – Finished!

Celtic Solstice
Finished
February 2019…

2- Have yourself a quilty little Christmas by Lori Holt – Finished!

I still need to take a picture of this quilt all quilted and done.  I am sure I have a picture somewhere but I cannot find it.  So that’s something I need to get done soon.

3- Staycation by Lyn Brown – The top is done but I still need to do the rest of it.  I believe this is ready to go – meaning, I have the batting ready, the backing ready and all I have to do is baste and quilt it.  The basting is the hardest part for me.

4- Mama’s Bukid aka Farmland2 – This is not done but I made a lot of progress this year and I plan to continue with my current pace so that I’m on track to finish this coming February.

Mama’s Bukid
12/24/2019

5- Gamer by @medusadollmaker (just 6 pages) – I only got 3 pages done this year.

6- Kiss for Snowman: a dimensions kit – Not done. I really do not like working on this project so I consider it my travel project. I only work on it when I’m not at home.  Lately I’m getting a lot of work done on it as I’ve been taking it with me to the stitch in’s at our local needlepoint shop.

7- monthly socks – I continue to knit on socks but I’m not as strict as I used to be.  When I created my 2019 goals I used to knit a pair a month and my plan was to continue that through 2019.  Well, I have a lot of hand knit socks now so one can only use so many hand knit socks in Los Angeles.  I even gave away a bunch to my daughter who went away to college in Boston where she has much use for hand knit socks.  So, I always have a pair on the needles and I always work a bit every day on these.

8- Jacob’s Weasley sweater – Is done but I still need to take a picture of it.

9- Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig – Finished!

So my take on my #make9 – even though I didn’t get everything I wanted done, I made significant progress on everything I didn’t finish.  And that’s always a win.  For 2020, I plan to make up another make9 but I also want to make a list of goals like I’ve done in previous years.

Always,
Melanie

December 2019 Plans

Happy December!

This year, I want to spend time with the people that are important to me and to enjoy the holidays. I started by texting the people I rarely see to schedule time. Those are the most important because if we don’t put it on the calendar, it will not happen.

In terms of my crafty life, I do not have a lot of goals.

Goal #1 – finish Jacob’s Weasley Sweater.  I have to finish the sleeves, mattress stitch the open sides, knit the collar and weave in the ends.  My goal is to have these done by Christmas so we can get our annual Christmas picture done with him in the sweater.

Goal #2 – 2 columns on Mama’s Bukid.  I’m on track to get this finished in February as my goal is to get 2 columns done each month.  (Yes, I only have 6 columns left to do!)

That’s all my must do goals for this month. Everything else is pure enjoyment.  And over the last couple of years, the way I do goals have changed.  Before I used to have annual goals, that I would then break down to monthly goals and then weekly goals.  And every week and month I would document what my goals were, where I was with each thing and what I planned to do the following week or month. It was helpful until I started spending more time stitching and then knitting.  As I did more and more crafts I didn’t see the same kind of progress that I used to have.  Now I devote time to each craft and however much I do is how much I get done.  Unless I have a deadline for something, I do not set goals to getting things done.  I set a queue of things and I have priority projects in each craft and I work on things as I need to.

So for December, here is what I plan to work on:

Quilting – Good Fortune.  I have the inner top put together. I just need to put the borders together and then this top is done!  I am not playing with Bonnie’s Mystery Quilt this year.  I realize this past year I have a ton of mystery quilts that I have on the go and I’m a bit tired of them.  So I’m pulling her instructions each week to do at some point later on.

Sewing – I’m taking a sewing class right now and I’m working on garment sewing. I just started and will update you as I go along.

That’s it.  I’ll post more about what my thoughts on my upcoming goal and plans for 2020 later this month.

~Happy crafting!

~Melanie

I bought fabric…again!

Celtic Solstice
Finished
Sometime Early 2019…

Tomorrow is Sunday and when I posted regularly I used to count the yards of fabric stashed and deduct what I’d finished from week to week.  The point was to keep me from buying too much or at least be mindful of how much I was buying.  The problem is that I work on big quilts and they take forever to finish so … I had week after week with zero updates.  Those were good weeks.  If nothing was coming out then thank my stash goodness that nothing was coming in.  But I also have a monthly budget to support my LQS and would add fabric monthly. And I support my quilt guild and help buy stuff at their annual treasure hunt and our bi-annual quilt show.  So I stopped doing the Sunday Stash report because on those days I would add big numbers and I just felt bad about it.  Instead, I started focusing on my list of quilt projects.

Here was the list early in 2019:

  1. Celtic Solstice
  2. Have yourself a Quilty Little Christmas
  3. Staycation
  4. Civil War Diary
  5. Raining Cats and Dogs
  6. Rainbow Garden
  7. Provence (2012 BOM from my LQS)
  8. Asian (2012 BOM from my LQS)
  9. Scrappy Stars (2016 mystery from Charlotte Hawkes)
  10. 2012 Quilt Run – Area One mystery Quilt
  11. Allietare
  12. Razzle Dazzle
  13. Lucky Stars
  14. Spooky Halloween
  15. En Provence
  16. Dancing with the Stars
  17. Glam Clam

Now… 10/26/19… here’s where I’m at with that list

  1. Celtic Solstice – Finished!
  2. Have yourself a Quilty Little Christmas – Finished!
  3. Staycation – Top is done, I believe the back is ready, and I just need to quilt it.
  4. Civil War Diary – on hiatus. My computer crashed last fall and I haven’t installed EQ8 back on it.
  5. Raining Cats and Dogs – This one is being hand quilted… very slowly.. I only work on it every couple of months.
  6. Rainbow Garden – This one is wool applique and is hand work that I do during my minigroup get togethers.
  7. Provence (2012 BOM from my LQS) – Top is done, and I believe the back is ready. It’s ready to be quilted.
  8. Asian (2012 BOM from my LQS) – This is exactly the same as Provence but in a different colorway so I am going to do this another time.
  9. Scrappy Stars (2016 mystery from Charlotte Hawkes) – I am currently working on this.
  10. 2012 Quilt Run – Area One mystery Quilt – I bring this out during retreats and it’s very close to a finish.
  11. Allietare – tucked away with other projects
  12. Razzle Dazzle – in time out. I can’t remember now why. But I do not have enough fabric to finish as designed – I can’t remember if it’s because I miscut or if it was the shop that put the kit together.
  13. Lucky Stars – This was frogged a long time ago but I still have all the patterns (it is a paper piecing project) so theoretically I can work on it again.
  14. Spooky Halloween – Hand applique and I only do hand work at my minigroup meetings right now so I haven’t been able to touch this.
  15. En Provence – tucked away. I only work on 1 Bonnie Hunter quilt at a time so this will have to wait.
  16. Dancing with the Stars – I took this out at a retreat for the first time in years and started working on it.  So this is a retreat project.
  17. Glam Clam – I do one row at a time at retreats.  I think I have 3 rows left…

It looks like I only finished 2 quilts and technically that’s correct.  But I’ve got 2 more tops done that is just waiting to be quilted and I have a handful of smaller projects that were finished or waiting to be quilted.  So all in all, I think I did a good job.  I am currently working regularly on last year’s Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt – Good Fortune! and I’m almost done. I’m on the “reveal” which is a bunch of steps all in one blog post.  So I’m putting the blocks together.  The other quilt I work on regularly when I’m tired of Good Fortune! is Charlotte Hawkes mystery quilt from 2016.  I think it’s called Scrappy Stars or something like that.  I’m not almost done with that one but I am working on #11 of Step 3.  I do not think I’ll be doing Bonnie’s mystery quilt this year but I will save the instructions and do them one day.  I meet up with friends every Sunday I am available and we quilt for a few hours.  It’s helped me get close to finishing Good Fortune before the next mystery. I’m very close but I do not think I’ll get there.  I would have to be a bit monogamous to do that and I like to play around too much. 😉

Happy quilting!

~Melanie

 

I’m back.

Hi. I cannot believe how much time has gone by. A lot has happened and I can’t even begin to sum it all up. I’ve gone to a number of retreats since February. My daughter graduated and is happy as a clam in Boston.  The family went on a memorable trip to the Philippines during the summer and my son has started high school.  We are chugging along. Yesterday I celebrated my 43rd birthday and today, I decided to get off my butt and start blogging again.  I get so much done putting up my action plans and writing about what I’m doing and why.  It holds me accountable and I think about my projects more.  I’m probably not going to link up to other blogs like I’ve done in the past because I just don’t have the time.

Another huge thing that happened during my hiatus was a move across town.  It was not planned and it was an unexpected, sudden, crappy situation.  But we are doing well and we are in a great neighborhood.  It’s a little smaller than our old house so I have not unpacked all my crafty stuff.  It has helped in getting some old projects done.

In the interest of time, I’m not going to go through all my finishes over the last several months. I’ll sprinkle them in over time.  For now, I’ll talk about my crafty plans for the next few weeks.

I’m working on my Good Fortune quilt. and I’m on the Reveal putting pieces together.  There are always so many steps in the reveal.  So I’ve finished putting together these blocks

and I’m working on putting them together for a larger block.

I’m alternating this project with a Scrappy project from 2016. I’m on clue #3 step 12 or something like that.  I’ll show pics when I next work on it.

~happy quilting!

Melanie