Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting the inspiration back

It's been three months now.  Only three months, but it seems like an eternity.  I've mostly been working and coming home and going to grief support and trying to just keep moving forward.

I've had some fairly good days and then I've had some really bad ones.  Extremely bad ones.  But I just keep moving forward.  I feel like a shark, constantly  moving because if I stop it will all crash down on me.

So in the interest of moving forward I think crafting is going to help me get through things.  I've already crocheted a few dishcloths.  I washed the fabric for an overdue baby quilt and now I need to cut out the pieces and start the applique.  I don't think the wolves cross stitch is going to make the Christmas list, but I could prove myself wrong.

Work has kept me occupied.  Thank God for my friends there.  They have given me so much support.  I am so grateful for them.

So with the goal of crafting to occupy my mind and keep my hands busy, here is a photo of the fabric for the baby quilt.

I'm not sure how they are going to work with the pattern I've chosen, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Updates later.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How do you go on when everything is turned upside down?

I'm not going to kid around.  I have been absolutely miserable since Jay passed.  I've had little to no appetite for the most part.  My doctor has me on an anti-depressant and Xanax for anxiety.  It's helped some with the crying, but I still break down.  Everyone at work has been wonderful.  They all thought I came back too soon, but financially I didn't have a choice and as it turns out emotionally it was probably the best thing for me because while he's always on my mind, keeping busy helps to keep the hurt away.  I will be starting a grief support group in a couple of weeks.  Luckily my managers are all for it and are working with my schedule to make sure I can attend.

I promised a friend a baby quilt and they are due soon.  So far I've only washed the fabric.  I've yet to press it or cut one piece of it.  I've got to get moving on that.  I think she'll understand when the baby gets there before the quilt.  I'm finding it hard to concentrate on things I used to have fun with.  The games on Facebook that we both enjoyed are now just a colossal waste of time to me.  I haven't farmed, built a city or anything like that since he was in the hospital.  Don't think I ever will again.  I learned the hard way that things can change at the drop of a hat and sitting in front of this computer plowing a made up farm just doesn't cut it any more.  Sorry to all of my Facebook friends who relied on me to gift them things they needed, I just don't have it in me any more.

The colors of the quilt I'm going to be working on are blue and brown (the colors the mothers chose)  I am doing a Hawaiian quilt as one of the mothers was born in Hawaii.  However, I'm using prints instead of solids so I'm hoping all turns out well.  It will definitely be an experience as Hawaiian quilting involves a lot of applique.

I did finish the blanket for Ashley's baby, but I didn't get a picture of it.  At least I don't think I did.  If I find it on the camera, I'll publish it, but it was a basket weave crochet pattern with a through the back loop single crochet border.  I found the pattern online.

I've also got to get back to work on the wolves cross stitch I started as it is intended to be a Christmas present.  It was something we decided on together for his sister and brother-in-law and I have to get it done.

But for now I'm going to go back to scrubbing my kitchen floor.  I'm doing it on my hands and knees with a brush and it looks like new.  More of that keeping busy thing I'm trying to do.  Prayers are helping too.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jay David Johnson

December 2, 1955 to July 26, 2011

I love you very much.

I miss you every second of every day.

I wish you were still here with me.

Jay David Johnson

On July 26, 2011 in the early morning hours, the love of my life moved on to a journey in a better place.  I wrote a very long remembrance of Jay and have moved it to its own page.  If you would like to learn about the man who made me and those he loved very happy, please feel free to read it.  I will add more pictures of him as I go and I'm sure other updates.  

He always encouraged me with my crafting and only cringed a little when I made a beeline for the yarn and fabric departments.  Now he's watching over me and I'm going to try to make him proud of me.  Not having him with me is the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life.

I miss you Papa.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wintertime Wolves Update

More work on the wolves cross stitch.  I filled in the blue section and I'm working on one of the wolves now.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Design

For some reason, today I decided to play around with my blog template.  I found this one and it's really cute.  I want something craft/quilting related and this one caught my eye.  I really like it but it still isn't quite what I was looking for so I guess I'll have to learn to create my own.  Somewhere in between continuing to clean out the 3 storage lockers (can you say my husbands ex was a hoarder - not that I can talk when it comes to crafting supplies), sorting my crafting supplies, working on the wolves cross stitch and knitting a baby blanket.  Can you say multitasking??  If anyone has any template ideas or suggestions I'm open to them, but this will be my template until I figure out something else.

While sorting through my crafting supplies I'm becoming reacquainted with a lot of things I forgot I had.  It's amazing what a person can accumulate.  I've got quilting rulers and things up the wazoo.  I've got more patterns saved than I'll ever do.  So with that in mind I've decided to work from the stash for the time being.  I may have to supplement for some projects with purchases, but for the most part it is going to come from the stash.  The first thing is the baby blanket that I'm knitting.  I have 5 skeins of the same baby/pastel color yarn that needs to be used and it is being used.  Now if only I could stay on pattern without frogging the darned thing again.  It's not that hard of a pattern and it's driving me buggy.  The problem is there are yarn overs and if I lose track of where I am it's a serious pain to frog.  Somehow last night I ended up one stitch short, but I think I found where and just did a make one to make up for it.  It's at the end of the row and there was no way I was going to frog it.

On the quilting front, I've got enough finished tops to practice machine quilting on.  But I have to finish a current project before I start on that.  Too many UFO's hanging around.

AND, it's going to be a handcrafted Christmas.  The wolves is a Christmas present.  I've got another cross stitch done for a friend who likes fishing and found another kit I purchased for her that is fishing related and needs to be done.  Fortunately it's not that big or complicated like the wolves.  I'm trying to figure out a fairly quick and easy item to duplicate for friends at work.  I was thinking about dish cloths (because goodness knows I have tons of cotton yarn) then I found a great tutorial for a patchwork lanyard and think that's the way I'm going to go.  First I'll try out the pattern for myself, but it looks great.  I'm thinking about doing some assembly line piecing for them.

Okay, back to work on something, probably the baby blanket.  Need to have it done fairly soon as the recipient will be on maternity leave very soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wintertime Wolves Cross Stitch

I've started working on the Wintertime Wolves cross stitch from Dimensions that I'm making for my sister-in-law.  It will become a Christmas gift.  Lots of half cross stitch used in this pattern.  I think doing the half stitches take longer than the full cross stitch.  Anyway, lots of blues in this one, lots of blended colors.  It's going to be very pretty when it's done.  Here's the progress to date:

Work done thus far - seems like a lot, but it's a very small part of it.

Up close, cross stitches and half cross stitches

It's probably going to take me up to Christmas to get it done with all of the other things I want to do.  But I'm going to keep plugging away at it.  It's nice to get back to counted cross stitch.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Dance!!!

I finished Lory's Warming Stripes Throw.  Love the pattern.  Even though it's only a single crochet,with the cross it makes it a very nice stitch.  It's in coffee, light blue and soft white.  Which will match the colors in her living room.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nubby Dishcloth Finish

I did another quick dishcloth.  This one is the Nubby Dish Cloth and what looks like bobbles are actually just triple crochets followed by a single.  Fast to make and easy to remember.  Also looks like it will be a great scrubber.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Quick Finish #2

Another quick dish cloth.  I was also led to this one by and is called the Daisy Dish Cloth

Daisy Dish Cloth

The next time I try it I think I'm going to use two different petal colors just for the heck of it to see how it works.  It was an interesting pattern and it's quite big when finished, a little over 9" square.  Onwards....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quick Finish

I found the pattern for the Lacy Petals Dishcloth through a link from along with a few others and finished this one in about an hour.  I really like it and will be making more as I am determined to make all of my Christmas gifts by hand this year and need to get started NOW!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jaliyah's quilt

Finally, I've finished Jaliyah's quilt.  Here it is:

Finished quilt

Jaliyah Quilt label

It was very easy to put together and quilt.  I just wish I had worked at it more diligently so it would have been done earlier, but either way it is DONE!!!  Now to ship it out and on to the next project!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Makayla's Giraffe

This was a very quick gift for a new baby girl.  It was fun to make and very, very easy.  The pattern is from Red Heart and is the Little Crochet Giraffe.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New sewing table

The vast majority of my crafting supplies (fabric, machines, tables, etc.) are in storage behind a wall of stuff that would take a long time to get to.  And it's not going to happen while there is snow on the ground.  Also, I don't really have the room I need to use for one of my sewing cabinets.

So my husband surprised me big time on Friday with this new sewing table.  I saw it online and thought it would work perfectly for the space that I have (don't have) and the machine I'm using at the moment.  (I can't wait to get my Singer out and serviced)  I absolutely love it.  The well drops so the machine bed can be level with the table and it has a measuring tape right on the edge for quick measurements.  Here's a picture and I'm off to play with it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Still quilting

I've just about got the left side of the quilting done, then it's on to the right.  I was going to take a picture, but changed my mind...maybe I'll post one later.  In the meantime, I've learned about Aurifil thread and I have to get my hands on some as it sounds absolutely wonderful.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Let the quilting begin

So today, I finally basted the quilt and started quilting.  I'm hand quilting the top and since I haven't done it in what seems like forever it took a little time to get my rhythm back.  Here's what I've done so far.  Just outline quilting the letter and inside and around the applique background.  Then it's off to the body of the quilt which should go fairly quickly because it's all straight lines.

Here's a picture.

My Ott Light is bleaching out the top of the photo and the angles a little weird, but you can see the progress thus far.  We're getting a bunch of snow right now, so I'm kind of hoping that tomorrow will be too much to get out so I can stay home and quilt.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jaliyah's quilt update

Today I'm working on finishing the quilt top.  I'm up to putting on the borders.  Here's what I have so far.

This picture actually gives a pretty good rendition of the colors even though I used a flash.  I'll be adding white borders tonight.

"J" is for Jaliyah!

I'm not the world's greatest at applique, just haven't had enough practice, but I thought this came out pretty good.  I had to track down a font that wasn't all curlicue because I just couldn't deal with  And I wanted a letter that was a little more modern.  Considering I have a Baltimore Album quilt as one of my "to-do's" I'd better start practicing more.  I did needle turn applique on this one, maybe freezer paper would have made it easier.  Anyway...moving on to the borders now. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

A little glitch

Working away on the baby quilt.  Finally found a font that I could live with for the letter J that I'm putting on the quilt.  Trace and cut out the letter, pin it to the block and quickly discover that I haven't got any thread to match the letter.

Well, I do, but it's in storage with ALL OF MY OTHER STUFF!  Sorry to shout, but it was really frustrating.  So now I've put it aside until I return to work on Tuesday when I'll pick up the thread I need.  The worst part is that I know I purchased the color I need to work on some quilt blocks for a swap and not only can I not find the thread I can't even find the bobbins for my sewing machine.  One of which would have had enough thread for me to use for the applique.

Instead of continuing to pout I pulled out the afghan I'm crocheting for my sister and worked on it a bit.

Lory's Warming Stripes Afghan in progress

I really like this stitch, it's a crossed single crochet stitch. You skip one and then go back to crochet in the one you skipped.  It gives it some interesting texture.  But being single crochet, it takes a while to get some size going.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

First quilt start of the year

My cousin became a grandmother for the first time in September (of last year).  I decided to make the baby a quilt.  Chose the pattern, purchased and prepped the fabric and haven't touched it since then.

Today I cut all of the pieces and have started piecing it together.  Not a difficult pattern, but I love it.  I'm hand piecing it, which is actually my preference and will probably hand quilt it as well.  Here's my progress thus far.

The pictures aren't that great, but this is the center portion of the quilt and I will be appliqueing the letter "J" to the center of it in a shade close to the dark pink in the roses.

This is actually the first quilt I have pieced in about four years.  Way too long.  Time to hit the fabric stash with a vengeance.  Cutting out the pieces and sewing them have reminded me of how much I love to quilt.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some finishes for January

I've actually been getting a few things started and finished.  They aren't huge items, but I like them.  First up, pigs with wings

Well actually one pig with wings and one with a white band.  I'm still thinking about giving him wings, but I'm liking him like he is right now.  Also need to get some seed beads for eyes.

Next up are two very cool dishcloth patterns that I found at neatlytangled's Etsy shop. The first one is A Practically Hyperbolic Dishcloth.  All I can say is it's 9 rounds of perfection.  It's just plain fun to make.

I used a self striping for the multi-colored on and a variegated for the blue one.  This dishcloth almost screams for bright colors but I can see it in softer ones too because of the great waves it has.

The next one is Scrubbing Ruffles and is also from neatlytangled's Etsy shop.  I didn't block this one, I just took it when it was done.  It's like a granny block that's gone all curly on the sides.

And finally for this session are these which if I remember were supposed to be sunflower colored, but I took some liberties with the petals.

I wasn't too happy with my center round because it's all lumpy, but I can fix that in later attempts.

I'm attempting to get an 11 month start on Christmas this year.  I'm hoping to do at least 2 dishcloths a month for use in gift packs at Christmas.  I think I'm seeing a lot of hyperbolics and scrubbing ruffles in my future.

I'm also working on the sofa throw for my sister.  I started over and made it longer that the original pattern.  It's rows of a crossed single crochet that alternates colors every two rows so it's going a little slow.  I've done about 10 rows and it feels like it's not getting anywhere...but I'm determined to get it finished.