Lady Buttons Heads Abroad

We have some lovely friends who live in the UK.  They came to visit recently on their Honeymoon and brought Cliff along with them. Who is Cliff? Well, Cliff is a toy stuffed Eagle and he blogs.   (I will happily share Cliff’s blog once they are aware of what is headed their way… but I want to keep it a surprise and I don’t need to tip them off with a trackback)

After spending a weekend with our friends … and Cliff, I realized that we needed to send a representative from New York State to London.

Did you know that the Official Animal of NYS is the Beaver?

Me either.

I headed to Ravelry to find a pattern for a Beaver… and I found a few, but this is the one I chose.

It didn’t take me long to make the pieces but I kept putting off sewing her together. I finally just sucked it up and did it.  I dug through my Great Grandmother’s Button Box and found these.

Three Buttons and a potential “Pin”

and her head quickly came together.

After I made her face, It seemed wrong to leave her unfinished

Friends.. meet Lady Buttons.

Isn’t she adorable?

I left Lady Buttons to her own devices too long, it appears. She got tired of waiting for me to make her scarf.

Seriously, I turned around and there she was.. making her own scarf. Quite talented, I’d say.

But evidently a hat was also necessary.. Once again, Lady Buttons took matters into her own hands.

And here she is, all dressed up for her jaunt abroad. Now I just need to get her airline ticket.

Dressed for travel.

Quilty as charged

Yes, I know the title of this post is ridiculous.  I didn’t have anything clever in my head…  so I just rolled with it.

Almost two years ago, I decided that I didn’t have enough hobbies so I started quilting.  Well, actually.. I made two quilts.  And then we moved…. and for months my sewing machine /languished, unloved.  If you are a regular reader of this blog (hey, thanks for sticking with me!) you know that I said I was going to post more non-food stuff. And then I didn’t post at all. OMG THE PRESSURE… THE BLANK PAGE… but I think I’m over it now at least for a while.  I actually launched a SECOND BLOG what omg I know. .. also I did it with WordPress Multisite so there’s a good chance I borked a few things on THIS blog.. whoops.. oh well.

We’ve settled in to our apartment and I gotta say, I love apartment living. I really do. If I never mow a lawn again it will be too soon.  Also, three inches of snow last night and all I had to do was clear a wee bit in front of my garage door.  I’m spoiled now.

The tricky part, however is being mindful of our neighbors below us.   I try to keep my noisy hobbies confined to Saturday and my new sewing machine (a Singer Simple 3232) is noisy… also, not so simple. or maybe it’s too simple which is why I can’t remember where the stitch length button is.

So, I’m making a Mickey Mouse Quilt for LB but it’s been so long that I thought I’d start with something easy. I settled on Michelle Pattern’s Patchwork Coasters because I keep seeing her make them on Instagram and they are freaking adorable.

The front

I mean come on… how cute is this?

The back

Clearly I need to work on my hand stitching. This little bugger sits on my desk at work and it’s perfection.

Coaster in action!

I got so excited about piecing like this …

This patchwork thing is a hoot

That I decided that paper piecing was going to be my next thing… holy crap I love it so much.

and of course, I had to make a mistake or two… it’s like I always sew one sleeve in backwards? Evidently I need to cut off the wrong bit when paper piecing

An unfortunate event

But well worth an occasional oops to have this nifty coaster!

It’s messy… sure and the photos are terrible.. but I don’t care… this coaster just give me joy every time I put a cup of tea down on it.

This is so funny, now typing this out, I remember digging around in my mom’s scrap bag when I was a kid and making “quilted pillows” that were really just pieced tops (which is what I thought quilting was).   I figured out all of the angles then without any tools.. funny.  I guess I’ve always like math and I used to just DO stuff without thinking about it if I could do it or not.

I guess if no one tells you that something is “too hard”, you won’t know not to try it.

Maybe that is one of the downsides of having information at our fingertips.   We are unwilling to try something if someone tells us it will be difficult.

I think that’s the end of my profound thoughts today. I’ve been working on this post since OCTOBER and I think it’s time to just hit the button already.

 

Stitchworks: My first quilt

Way back in the dark ages, I used to be a nut about sewing. When I was a kid, I used to make clothes for my Cabbage Patch Doll (does anyone remember when people went CRAZY to get those things?). I also used to take scraps from my mom’s sewing basket and piece them together in pinwheels and make them into little pillows.

I wonder where they ended up. Probably somewhere in my mom’s attic.

That was my first exploration in what I thought was quilting. Turns out I was just piecing. The quilting bit is when you sew three layers together.

I used to make and sell dog collars but since I don’t have dogs anymore, it’s kind of hard to call myself the “Sew Crazy Dog Lady”

To be honest, I hadn’t made collars in a long time anyway. My heart just wasn’t in it so I just made a few here and there for friends and for my own dogs. But I have SO. MUCH. FABRIC. that I wanted to do something with it. So I figured I’d learn how to quilt.

I could probably have figured it out on my own, but well… I had fabric from when I was going to teach myself over 15 years ago, untouched. So I guessed I’d better take a class.

A friend mentioned she had been to Pookies Fabrics in Troy and how great it was so I was excited to see they were offering a beginning quilting class making this quilt!

So I signed up.

I had a pretty good time, but I kind of feel like I got some bad advice on some things. My instructor was good but she seemed to push a lot of short cuts. Silly little things that make me crazy, like not centering the seam on the backing. She says “No one will see it” .. or “in all my years of quilting, no one every complained about it”

I guess I kind of feel like if I’m paying for a class, I’d like to know the “right” way to do things.   I did value her advice to not buy a walking foot until you sure you want to quilt on a regular basis. But, she said that she always quilts from the outside in even though the “quilting police” say you are supposed to quilt from the inside out.

I think if I had done that, as well as not trimmed my backing until I was done quilting, I would have saved myself a big ol pucker on one seam.

And yes, it mostly “quilted out” but I’d really rather do things the right way.

What I did get out of this class,however,  was a few tips in cutting and piecing and a real interest in making more. And! Pookie’s Fabrics is a pretty awesome store. I’m excited to shop there and to support a small independently owned shop. Since Alfred’s Fabrics and Flying Geese closed it’s a bit sparse around here.

Anyway, here is my quilt. The Autism fabric was kind of a fluke. LB helped me pick it out and we thought it was cool. I was going to donate the finished quilt, but there are too many mistakes in it for me to feel good about it. Even though “no one would complain”.

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My very own Tardis

I’m a bit of a Doctor Who geek.. not a huge Whovian. I mean, I can’t quote episodes or remember which Doctor is which number and I don’t really care for the original episodes.

But I do love the idea of the Doctor. And as part of Stashdown 2014, I’m making a lot of shawls so of COURSE I need a few more shawl pins.

I’m currently working on a Bacchus Shawl in blue. I got the yarn from Sheepy Time Knits in the “I Think You Call Me Sexy” colorway. The shawl isn’t done yet but I’m getting there. (I had to frog the whole darn thing and start over!)

So I was trolling etsy for shawl pins and stumbled upon this one, which I promptly bought even thought it won’t work with my shawl project, it works beautifully with my Rainbow Tortuga

image

Handmade by Michelle’s Assortment

Michelle made my pin and had it shipped to me in under two weeks. I’m really impressed with the quality of her work and am very happy with my purchase. She also has other geekery, if you are interested…. like a Mockingjay pin for Hunger Games fans, and this one of the Deathly Hallows for Harry Potter fans.

Cold Sheep

I have a small problem. I have a yarn stash that is a bit.. much. So, that’s it.. I’m going “cold sheep”.

I’m not buying any more yarn until my stash is gone.

That’s right. GONE.

This includes bits and bobs of this and that.. which means lots of scrap yarn projects. I will probably end up making some hats and mittens to donate. I have lots of left over acrylic from the HUGE afghan I recently finished.

This took me two years. It should have taken 6 months.. but I got bored.

This took me two years. It should have taken 6 months.. but I got bored.

Acrylic is nice for donations because it’s easy to take care of, tough as nails, and pretty warm considering it’s plastic.

I also have too much sock yarn and I have yarn that I bought because it was pretty and I have no idea what to do with it.

And then there is the fiber.. I have spinning fiber and only a tiny bit of ability to spin it.. so .. yeah. I’ve not decided if I want to consider it part of the Great Stashdown of 2014 or not.

I’ve inventoried a lot of it so that I could familiarize myself with what I bought and start dreaming about the projects to make with it.   If you follow me on Ravelry, you can see it here. and I’ve also tagged projects with #stashdown2014 Whatever I can’t use up or donate is going to have to go to the birds.

In a cruel twist of fate, a Lion Brand store opened up not far from my office. Of course it did.

At any rate, I will catalog my projects and progress on Ravelry but I hope to also post about them here.