Category Archives: Uncategorized

Frankenbatting and Secret Project #2

So I’ve been battling quilting fatigue or something.  Last year I completed 4 quilts and this year my plan was to quilt 6.  But I’ve only finished 2 and one of those was a baby quilt.  I have been on the knitting kick and my quilty life fell by the wayside.  On Sunday, I was able to get some of the mojo back and was able to finish the back of secret project #2.  I was on such a kick I decided to get the batting going and maybe get it basted and get the quilt under the needles.  That will give me something to do each evening quilty-wise.  But I reached a screeching halt.  I didn’t want to cut into a full batting so I pulled my bin of batting scraps and started piecing them together – frankenbatting style.  Well, I’m on my way to making the batting I’ve got 3 large pieces put together and I’m working on finishing it up.  But while I’ve got this bin out of the bottom of the closet, I’ve decided to work on frankenbatting and reduce the pile in my bin.

And that’s what I’m working on now.  I hope to get all the small pieces together and make a bunch of 30×30 squares which is about how much I can fit comfortably on my cutting mat.

~happy crafting!

~Melanie

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My First Sweater

My First Sweater
10/10/2017

I finally finished my kimono that I’ve been working on these last few months.  This is my first sweater/cardigan/ jacket and I’m really happy with it.  I still have to weave in the ends but I’ll do a bit at a time until it’s all done.  I think I’m about halfway through at this point.  It’s still pretty hot here in Southern California but the mornings are getting chilly and pretty soon I’ll be able to wear this.  My next sweater I’m working on is a Harry Potter sweater for Kayla.  I’m working on the back and I’m about 25 rows in.  I’ll try to take more progress pictures and post them here for you to see.

~ happy crafting

~Melanie

 

Maxwell Bag

The outer and inner parts put together
5/2017

I took a 2-day class at my LQS last May and produced an almost done Maxwell Bag.  All I needed to do was the handle and some finishing touches.  I spent some time on Sunday working on the handle.

First Step – cut the handles to size.

Second Step – enclose the soft and stable around the cord

 

Final Step – somehow get the cord into the fabric tube

I spent some time wrangling the cord in the fabric tube and finally gave up.  I’ll try to do more in the evenings.  My next bag class is on Saturday and if I do not have these handles wrapped, I’m going to see if the instructor has an easier way to do this.

~happy crafting

~melanie

Sunday plans

Yesterday was a very productive day.  I was able to do the first 5 items on my crafty to do list and interspersed other non-crafty tasks within.  Then we had a wonderful dinner catching up with friends we hadn’t seen since the beginning of summer.

Today will be a mixed day of getting ready for the upcoming week, crossing things off my crafty to do list and Game of Thrones.

Here’s today’s crafty list:

#1 – wash and fold new fabric

#2 – A Rainbow Garden – spend some time applique-ing the first set of pieces on.  Here’s a picture from my Sunday stash post earlier today.

A Rainbow Garden
Block 8 – cut the pieces and pressed the paper onto the wool fabric
8/6/17

#3 – Maxwell Bag – I wasn’t able to do this task item yesterday so it’s closer to the top of the list today.  The next steps are to cut the rope to size for the handles, cover it with soft and stable, make the fabric tube and cover the rope with the fabric tube.  I want to get these tasks done before my next bag class this coming Saturday.

The outer and inner parts put together
5/2017

#4 – Starting Point Shawl – Yesterday, I was only able to do one front row.  I’m in the section that does a lot of PTBL and KTBL (purl through the back look and knit through the back loop) and that takes a lot of concentration from me.  I only have 1 row left in this section and then I can move onto the next color which is much easier.  So today I want to do that last row and the next two rows in the new section.  I also need to take a new picture.

Starting Point Shawl
8/9/17

#5 – secret project – hand sew the binding

#6 – Raining Cats and Dogs – spend some time hand quilting this project and apparently take a new picture.  The last picture I have of this project was from last year.

#7 – Kimono – continue working on it. The plan is to do a right side and a wrong side on each sleeve every day.  I hope by the time I make it out to knit night at my LYS, I’ve got the right sleeve done and I can concentrate on the left sleeve.

#8 – Cross Stitch – work more on Mama’s Bukid.

#9 – August socks – do a couple of the 4-row repeats.  Yesterday I finished by 7th repeat so I need 5 repeats to do.  At that point, I’ll try it on and hopefully, I can start on the toes this week.

#10 – And if I have time, pull out my pajama pants and get to the next step.  To be honest, I do not think I’ll have the brain power to do this if I get to task #10.  But I notice that if it’s on my to do list, I will get to it at some point.

 

 

Saturday Musings

I’m back again!  Thanks for being so patient.  We were out of town last Friday – Monday and I’ve been playing catch up ever since.  Work is work and by Friday I finally felt like I was getting into a groove.  I hope this feeling continues.

This week’s line up is:

#1 – continue to work on my Kimono… sorry no picture as it’s just a jumbled mess of yarn at the moment.  I’m working on the right and left sleeve.  The plan is to do a right side and wrong side on each sleeve every day.

#2 – Secret Project – machine sew the binding on (the front) and start the hand sewing part (the back).

Central Park Socks
8/19/17

#3 – August Socks for the Knitting Expat New York Sock Club.  It’s called Central Park and I’m currently working on the foot.  I like a foot with about 48 rows which means for a 4-row pattern I need to do 12 sets of that repeat.  I’m currently working on the 6th row.  It was hard to take a picture of this but there it is.

Mama’s Bukid
8/8/17

#4 – Cross Stitch – work a bit on Mama’s Bukid.

Starting Point Shawl
8/9/17

#5 – Starting Point Shawl – work a bit on this one.  I like to do a front and back row a day but haven’t touched this project since our return on Monday.  I worked on this project a lot while away so when I returned set it aside to give some love to the Kimono.  I need to touch this again this weekend.

Maxwell Bag – The outer and inner parts put together
5/2017

#6 – Maxwell Bag – the next step is to cut the rope to size for the handles.

And that’s the plan for today.  We’ve got plans for this evening so I think these 5 projects will be plenty over the next few hours.

~happy crafting.

Melanie

Stash and Dash bag

On Saturday I was able to take a bag class at my LQS, Quilt Emporium, in Woodland Hills, CA.  I’m so excited because it is the first in a series of bag classes offered through a program by By Annie.  I love that they start with an easy bag and work through a series of bags that get more complicated so that you learn various techniques of bag making.  I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time and in fact, mentioned it to the ladies at my LQS.  I’m sure my request wasn’t the only one because the class was pretty full.

I forgot to take pictures early in the day but after lunch remembered so here are the pictures.

By the time I remembered to take pictures I had already quilted my inside and outside fabric to the soft and stable.  I already attached the belt.

I already made the zipper/mesh pouch.

 

And I was making the outer part of the bag.  You can’t tell but that’s a vinyl pocket.  I have heard horror stories about sewing on vinyl which is one of the reasons why I took an actual class.  Luckily our instructor had a Bernina and let me borrow her Teflon foot specifically made for sewing on vinyl.  With her instructions and the foot, it was easy peasy and I can’t wait to purchase a foot of my own and sew more bags with vinyl.

Our instructor showed us how to connect the zippers.  These zippers were from By Annie and were 30″ long.  The zipper had 2 zips attached and an extra zip in the kit.  I would have had a hell of a time trying to figure out how to attach those zippers on my own.

Here’s the bag all trimmed and ready for binding.

Yesterday, I was able to get it together and put the binding on:

 

Inside

 

Outside

~crafty mojo is coming back…

~happy crafting

~Melanie

 

I wish, I wish, I wish…

I wish I had time to do all the crafts I want to do.  Right now I seem to pick up my knitting first, and save the quilting for the weekend.  And lately, the weekend has been full of family events and activities.  And I want to sew and suddenly, today, I had the urge to pick up my old papercrafts – scrapbook, stamping, etc.

I wish I had the time to do everything I want to do. 😦

Okay. Enough ranting. Back to work.

Melanie

Time flies again!

I have to do it again, apologize for not posting in a long time.  So much time has gone by and I didn’t mean for it.  Since my last post, I spent most of June in Northern California with my extended family.  It was wonderful.  The hubby couldn’t take the time off work since he spent a few weeks in April and May in the Philippines so it was just me and the kids.  He joined us for a 4 day weekend in the middle of that time to go camping in the Shasta Mountains.  That was fun.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of pictures. Then one of my employees left putting me in a tailspin of work.  She gave the standard two weeks notice but that’s not enough time to replace a key person.  And with July being one of those really busy months I ended up just working a lot with little time to do crafty stuff so there hasn’t been much to post.

I hope that changes soon.

~Happy quilting.

Melanie

 

 

LAFS: Brigitte Scarf

I started reading Love At First Stitch (LAFS) the night it arrived.  My goal is to work through the book and I hope by the end I’ll feel more comfortable with garment sewing.  I have no plans to do more at the moment but I hope to be able to make myself dresses, skirts and tops that fit appropriately.  I have a short torso and I often have to take dresses in for alterations.

The first project is the Brigitte Scarf.  Immediately I hit a snag.  The fabric requirement was 60 inches in length.  That’s a bit under 2 yards.  I’ve got a pretty large fabric stash (as compared to myself really).  I consider it large only because I have no more room to have more.  All my bins are stuffed full and I need to use it before I can buy more. 😦  AND I can’t buy more bins because I would have no place to put it.  😦  I say this because I should be able to find something in my stash but I don’t have a lot of fabric that’s over a yard.  When I go to my LQS I generally buy one yard of something if I don’t already have a project in mind.  So, that’s my first dilemma.  I know I have fabric that’s 2+ yards but that could be anywhere in the bins.  I wanted to use fabric I loved but I didn’t want to hunt through my bins wasting valuable sewing time.  I went through a stack of fabric that I had recently washed and placed aside (remember no room in the bins) and found an older piece of fabric that seemed thicker than a yard when folded up.  I unfolded it, and it was enough!  I didn’t love the fabric.  It wasn’t one I bought.  If you remember, I was gifted quite a few yards of fabric from a lady in my mini group whose mother passed away recently.  It was one of those.  I decided to use it.  I may never use this scarf but the goal of this project is to start and learn the techniques so I can move on to the next project.  I do not want to get stuck in my sewing room with piles of bins around me looking for the right piece of fabric.

Fabric chosen for Brigitte Scarf
5/13/17

Dillema #2 – the instructions have me cut a paper pattern that is 25 1/2 inches in length.  I do not have paper that is that long.  I ended up using freezer paper that I had on hand.  Sidenote – I’ve used the same roll of freezer paper for the last 10 years! Those things go a long way!  And it worked fine!

Mistake #1 – I was supposed to cut 25 1/2 inches.  I actually cut 25 inches.  I’m pretty sure in garment making that 1/2 inch would matter but in scarf making, I didn’t think so.  However, I’m reminded that that’s why we check twice, thrice and sometimes 4 times because once cut, you can’t do anything about it but find another piece of fabric and cut again.  Since I’m making a scarf, I’m going to leave it. 🙂

Note – step #3 has us put right sides together long wise but the instructions are a little confusing.  I think it’s because I’m a quilter and had I not been a quilter but a real beginner the long instruction given would have made more sense.  In addition I think I could have skipped the step of cutting the paper pattern.  I have the tools (ruler, rotary cutter, cutting mat) to figure out how to cut the fabric without the paper pattern.  However I never know when I can skip a step or not so I will continue to do all the steps as I learn.  I love how the writing is geared towards the beginner sewist because a lot of times these kinds of books assume the reader knows things that they may not necessarily know and cause confusion and heartache.

LAFS: Brigitte Scarf

I would call this a headband than a scarf but the book is written by a UK sewist so they must call it a scarf there.  I love it and even though I don’t love the fabric so much as a scarf – I prefer brighter colors for a scarf- I think I would still wear this.

~ Happy sewing!

~Melanie

Sunday Morning Treat

Normally on a Sunday, before my hiatus from blogging, I would post about my stash – what came in and what went out – and other number things like how much I spent on crafty goodness.  Well over the last few weeks I haven’t been very good at keeping track of the numbers.

I have made a few bags and I’ve actually bought fabric.  I also spent a lot of money on yarn.  I’ve a thing for yarn right now.  But I’m not feeling the urge to go back and figure out what the numbers are and I’m not sure I want to continue to track the numbers going forward.  That’s for a different post another day.

Today, I want to talk about my Sunday Morning Treat.

My Sunday Morning Treat
4/23/2017

I know it looks like coffee and a muffin but it’s so much more than that.  Ignore the muffin because, while it’s good, the real treat is the coffee.  It just SOOOOO GOOD!  All caps good!  I love coffee and over the years I’ve experimented and tried different things to make this particular treat.  Here’s the secret to my treat.

It’s really in the process and not any one ingredient.  I do not use special coffee.  I use regular Folgers.  The hubby and I drink a lot of coffee so I don’t like to buy the fancy expensive stuff.  We’ll go through it too fast.  Sometimes, I’ll have expensive stuff around that I’ll use when we’ve got friends over.  But I’m trying to use up what I’ve got (hey minimalist wanna-be here!) so I’m actively using the stuff in my cabinet and only replacing the stuff I want to continue to use.  It’s partly how I came up with this concoction…

  1. Boil Water – 
  2. And while that’s boiling, make a shot of espresso. The old fashioned way. Over the stove.  (Thanks to my friend Beth for the espresso stove top maker!)
    1. This about the only thing I’ll actually spend money on. And if Beth sends me fancy stuff from Italy, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

    2. This thing makes 1 shot of espresso. I’ve got two of these so I can make one for me and one for the hubby if he wants.  A lot of times he doesn’t want and I get 2 shots of espresso in my coffee!  And when we’ve got people over, I have a larger one that can make 6 shots of espresso. 

  3. And while those two are doing it’s thing on the stove, I make a bit of hot chocolate.  Take a tablespoon of hot chocolate mix.  Right now I’ve got fancy stuff because someone gave it to me and I’m trying to use it up.  Add some milk (not too much – just enough to get the mix to dissolve)  and put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  You’ll want to use a big mug.
  4. At some point, the water will be boiled.  Usually, that’s finished before the espresso shot.  So, I make my coffee in my french press.  I usually use the big one because the hubby drinks way more coffee than me.  I am down to 1 cup a day.  He starts the day with 2-3 if I’m not quick enough to grab my first cup before he pours his third. 😦 But because he’s out of town, I have my one cup press that’s perfect for just me.
  5. While you let it do it’s thing, the espresso should be done, and the hot chocolate mix is ready.  Take the mug (with the hot chocolate), mix, pour the espresso into it.  Add your favorite creamer.  I like about 1/3c which is WAY too much in sugar so I’m trying to cut down….
  6. Then take the coffee and add it to the mug.  It should sit in the press about 5 minutes so if you need to wait, wait.
  7. It’s really DE-lish!  It takes a bit of time – maybe 10 minutes.  And I don’t have it every day.  Maybe twice a week.  Once over the weekend and once during the week on those days when you really need a great cup of coffee.

It’s a process, I know.  I enjoy a good process.  While it may look like a lot of stuff to wash, the espresso maker and the press just really need to be rinsed out with hot water.  And all that’s left is the mug.  And if you want everything washed, that’s what the kids are for! 🙂

~Happy crafting!

~Melanie