Saturday, September 30, 2017

The organization begins!

Wow!  I am tired and the day is only half gone.  My back is hurting and my ankle is swollen but I am still smiling because I felt good enough to get my organization plan started.  Doesn't that sound so much nicer than "the cleaning begins!"  I managed to get my living room, only named because it is the room I live in, where I wanted to. 

I also managed to put some UFOs in their own little box and labeled so that I will know which project is in there and it will be easy to identify them.

The boxes are sitting on my couch now because I still have to clean up the sewing area.  Right now it looks like a dump.  Probably because dumped some of the things from the living room in there.  They GO into that room so it was legitimate excuse.   Really it was!  So now my sewing area looks like this.

I will be getting more boxes and such so that I can organize projects a bit more.  I have no shelving units where I can put them and if I buy anything then it can only be 3' tall because of slanted ceilings on both sides of the room.  It will take me a bit to do it, but it will get done.    I don't want to leave you with the horror picture of that sewing room, so I'll leave you with this picture instead.

I entered a trade with my friend Marsha and she sent me a jelly roll and other items.  This is one of the other items. 

I like the variety of labels on this panel.  I know I'll find a use for them.  Perhaps it will be incentive to use labels since I don't normally label my projects.  These, however, I can use.

I hope everybody has a great day.  It's time for me to take some Ibuprofen and allergy pills.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What I have been up to

I'm not going to tell you EVERYTHING that I've been up to.  A girl has to have SOME secrets right?

I've started new projects (and haven't finished any of them).  I'm trying to get my creative juices going again and they are still being stubborn.  One day I get it together enough to decide on what to work on.  In the meantime...

I have been busy freezing tomatoes that my ex has given me.  They only had 4 tomato plants but it was too much for them. 

1st batch I tried

2nd batch just done last night
I also took the 1st batch which was frozen out of the plastic container and put it in a freezer bag.  That way it won't be as bulky in the freezer.  Yes I know that if I had waited for it to cool down, I could have frozen it in the freezer bag in the first place and by laying it down flat it wouldn't have taken up hardly ANY room.  I don't think of those things until a) after it is frozen and b) I'm fighting for room in the small refrigerator freezer compartment.

Then I also made another batch of pumpkin butter.  Will make another batch over the weekend.  The recipe doesn't make very much so it's easy to make up one batch at a time.  My ex also gave me pears so I might make some pear butter.  Found a recipe that looks pretty simple.  Simple is good for me.  :)  I will put those in the freezer too.

I will have to label them so found these which should work.

The weather is starting to get cooler so I am thinking of all the flavors that I love in this season.  Pumpkin is certainly one of them.  I will use the tomatoes to make chili or spaghetti with. 

On the crafting front, I have been unstitching more than I have been stitching.  Here you can see two of my works in progress. 
On the left is The Holy Grail; on the right an Owl

The owl might not get finished.  I've already run out of one color and they didn't give DMC numbers for it so it's a "let's see if I can match the color" game.  If I can't match this color I'll just get rid of it and keep the Aida fabric for another project.  I only paid $2.50 for it on clearance so it's not bad.

I was pissed at them so I switched to crochet some pot holders.  They also aren't finished yet but they are colorful and the bright colored one should be finished today.

I have taught another woman at the office how to make them.  It took awhile to get her NOT to turn the yarn when you get to the end.  You just keep going around and around in circles.  Then eventually they will meet up (I will take a picture of that when I get that far) and then you sew/crochet the two sides together.  I know it doesn't make sense when you read this.  It is one of those things that is easier shown than explained.

I also received a couple of new quilting books for inspiration.

No patterns, just stories and pictures

 Patterns, pictures, guidance and a DVD!  WOO HOO!

I think that was all I was going to post to catch you up on.  So let me get back to work (sigh) and leave you with a picture of what was outside my work building the other day.

Everybody have a great day/evening.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Some other new things. :)

I managed to get some more new things in the mail.

My mini white (blanc) cone.  This is about half the size of the black one I got but it was the only white one Amazon had.

Then I received some redwork designs which I can turn into mug rugs for Christmas presents.  I might give them out at the office.  Not sure yet on that.  That assumes that I will get them done in time.  I need, therefore, to have some red thread.  Gee, guess I will need to get another small cone from Amazon.  They had a dark Christmas Red on a cone so I ordered that.  Amazon knew what they were doing when they gave me a store card.  LOL.

Behind that cone of white you can see a close up of the ruler that I ordered.  It's called the T-shirt Transformation Rules by June Taylor.  There is a video on YouTube on how to use it.  It is good for three sizes and you can use those corner slot to mark you corners, etc.

My 16 1/2" ruler hasn't come in yet but it will.  I needed larger sized square up/rulers/templates for t-shirt quilts.  I might make larger blocks once I get these too, who knows.  I will have to get back into quilting first.  That might happen this weekend.  I'm not sure yet.  I have been known to change my mind at the last minute.  If not I'll work more on the cross stitch.

Speaking of cross stitch, I read on one of my Facebook groups about somebody who uses their hair clips to hold the extra fabric that you aren't stitching on.  I tried it and it wasn't too bad.  I think I'll get some more, perhaps from Dollar Tree, and use them with my Mini Owl HAED.  This is what it looks like on The Holy Grail-Left.  You can also see my progress in this picture.

That's about it for this entry.  Have a great day/night!

Happy Stitching

Sunday, September 10, 2017

WOO HOO! Good mail!

Isn't it great to get stuff you want in the mail instead of bills all the time?  I ordered some things and they came in.  Of course the bills will come in soon enough since I put them on the cards.

Want to see them?  That's good because I'm going to post them anyway.  :)

First up is my new earrings.  Aren't they cute?  I'm not sure when or where I'll wear them but I couldn't resist.

 The next purchase that came in isn't THAT exciting but they are colorful. These are the little clips that I use when I put on binding on my quilts.  I've think I've seen some pictures of people using them in cross stitch also to hold threads on large projects and they park the threads.

This is another not too exciting purchase but more of a necessity.  Really I did need this.  I'm positive that I needed another ruler.  We all need more rulers.  I like this one because it is a 2 1/2" x 6".  I wanted a six inch ruler because it is easier to move around.

I have some larger templates/grid square up rulers or whatever they were called ordered but they aren't here yet.  I also received something else but can't show it quite yet since I am giving one of them to somebody.

This week I should get my cone of DMC white six strand embroidery floss.  THEN I will be taking out the white that I have stitched on The Holy Grail and restitch it so it all is the same dye lot and I know it will match.

That's about it this time.  Have a great evening everybody.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Quilts and Human Rights Exhibit

During lunch today, my friend Theresa and I went to the Pick Museum of Anthropology at NIU and looked at the Quilts and Human Rights Exhibit.

The Pick Museum of Anthropology is a teaching museum for the university.  They use special exhibitions to promote cultural awareness and solidarity in support of global social justice.  This month the topic is Quilts and Human Rights.

I'm sorry that I couldn't get the descriptions of the quilts but I couldn't use my flash and some of the pictures didn't turn out.    I hope you enjoy looking at these quilts and it makes people think.  Some (if not most) of the quilts are of a sensitive nature and I mean no offense by putting them on my blog.

This is one of my favorites

This Quilt is one of Four (I believe) that was made from blocks in remembrance of the 2008 shooting at NIU.

To remember 911

Made by Diane Johns who used to work at the Graduate School

At the time, this caused a big split in the local quilter's guild.  I hope you can read about it in the picture below.  You might have to enlarge it.  Diane has given me lots of advice on quilting and took me to my first International Quilt Show in Rosemont.  She is a marvelous quilter and it was a true shame that they didn't let her display it at the Quilt Guild show that year.  

This was done by an expert appliquer and was done as a reverse applique quilt.

A close up of the reverse applique quilt

I also liked how they mentioned how to make a quilt and showed how the sewing machines had changed over time.  What they didn't mention was that these machines and even older ones are still coveted today and in use.

They did, however, tell the process (simplified of course) of the path a quilt goes through to be made.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures.  There are more quilts than I took pictures of so I might have to go back. 

If you are in the neighborhood you might want to stop at the museum (VERY close to visitor parking).  The hours of the Pick Museum of Anthropology are:  

Tuesday - Thursday 10 a.m.  - 4 p.m.
Friday - Saturday  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Mondays. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Holiday Weekend

I had great hopes that I would get a lot of crafting done this extended holiday but alas, it wasn't meant to be.  BUT that didn't mean I wasn't busy.

I have around 300 stitches done on my Holy Grail cross stitch.  It is where I am getting into some color so that I took a picture.

It's not much done but at least it is started.  I'm doing three threads on this Aida.  I didn't think that 2 threads showed up much.  It's hard to see in the picture but the border on this is white.  I am packing up my Mini-Owl and will be taking THAT to work.  I am finding out my lighting at home isn't good enough for me to do it at home.  That will be fine though.  That gives some a cross stitch to do at work and one to do at home.  I am finding my enthusiasm for WORKING on quilts isn't there in the summer months.  I'll do more on my cross stitch in the summers and when it gets colder (or when I find a test pattern I want to do) then I'll do a quilt.  I did see, however, some table toppers that would be nice for the holidays.

My friend Sue Cottle, yes I know you'll read this Sue, mentioned I might be a hoarder.  While I don't want to confess to being one, I think I might have to.  Perhaps if I just say I am not a hoarder but a collector it will sound better.  So this next picture is for Sue.  Here is my organized stash for embroidery floss.

I actually have a couple more project boxes but this will suffice for now.  :)   The stack on the left is for individual projects.  The Holy Grail one is underneath the purple box.  The purple box holds my Critter Christmas Cross Stitch threads.  The stack on the right (oops, I'm missing one of the boxes), is my overall stash.  Each of the boxes is marked on top what DMC numbers are in that box.  That's not a's a collection....right?

Crafting isn't the only thing that I have been working on.  I've been cooking too.  This weekends new recipe was Pumpkin Butter.  It turned out great and it was made in the crockpot with minimal ingredients.

Since I only used (1) 15 oz can of pumpkin (pure/puree/solid pack) it doesn't make much at a time.   Of course since I cooked it down that also reduces how much it makes.  The red container is one cup.  I could have put it all in the container on the left but I will be taking the other two containers to work and see if a couple of people want a taste of it.  I know that I will be making more of this.  You aren't suppose to can it but it does keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks and in the freezer for 6-9 months.

Back to cooking and stitching.  I hope everybody has a safe weekend.