Since I put the first draft of the novel aside to simmer for awhile, I’ve been spending my time catching up on a few quilt projects.
I jumped on The Splendid Sampler quilt-along. The patterns for two 6-inch blocks are posted each week. At the end of the year, I will have 100 of the little buggers and one tremendously splendid quilt top!
I’m using mostly Kaffe Fasset scraps. Aren’t they beautiful? 🙂
It’s a fabulous learning experience. Each block is different, and each one seems to challenge me in a different way. The designer of today’s block says: “Try new techniques and crafts without judgement.” Excellent advice! Too often we stop ourselves from trying something new because we make a negative judgement about it…or about ourselves…without thinking it through. So what we’ve never done it before? So what it looks difficult? Why not try anyway? What’s the worst that could happen…it’s only thread and cloth, after.
I’ve also made up this little quilt for a soon-to-be-born baby girl. My god-daughter is having a baby! It’s all washed and crinkly and ready to snuggle the wee bairn. Lea – if you’re reading this, I just realized I don’t have your mailing address! Aaak! Send ASAP, lol!
30×40″…perfect for the car seat or stroller.
I think I like the back better than the front!
And then there’s this mess that I’ve been trying to force through my little machine. I started doing wavy lines and then changed my mind. I want straight lines instead. Good thing I have a skookum seam ripper!So that’s it for me. What’s up in your work room?
I have finished the rough draft of my first novel.
It’s gone past the critical eye of two critique partners, so it isn’t as rough as it would have been. In fact, some parts aren’t too bad at all.
I thought I’d feel elated. I thought a giant whoo hooo would come bursting out of me, that I’d be jumping all over the house and popping the cork on a bottle of something fizzy. Done! Done done done!
But…now that I’ve actually typed the words the end at the bottom of the last page, I feel kind of … sad. Let down, somehow. Aimless. It’s finished? Really? But I’m not ready for it to be finished yet. I want to know what happens to my characters. What will they do? Where will they go? I want to keep on living their lives.
But that’s the way of it, I suppose. Every story must end.
So what happens next? Off it goes to Beta Readers, and then I start revisions.
Revision revision revision. Edit. Rewrite. Edit some more. Maybe more Beta Readers.
Until I hit the bottom of the last page. Again.
At some point, I’ll have to give the poor novel a title.
I’ve been knitting a bit lately. Like most knitters, the urge seems to strike with the first snowfall. Most of the time I gravitate toward the quick and easy finishes…I’m a bit of a knitting junkie, I guess. When I need a fix, I need it right now!
Wash cloths fit the bill just fine.
If you need a last-minute Christmas or birthday gift, or hostess gift, or maybe even a “just because” gift, a set of knitted dish cloths is easy and quick.
Make them a bit bigger and they become lovely for the bath. I love to use these little cotton cloths on my face. They’re so soft, and yet have just enough texture to make them nice when you want to give yourself a good scrub .
I recently ran across an old gem of a pattern and thought I’d share it with you. A little Christmas present. 🙂 and it’s easy peasy, even for a beginner. (I’m looking at you, Shannon!)
Lace Edge Dish Cloth: (this cloth is knit on the diagonal. You start with a corner. Sometimes I used a 4.5 mm needle and sometimes a 5mm needle. I used unbleached cotton dish cloth yarn. You can get it just about everywhere.)
Cast on 4 stitches and knit them.
Next row: Knit 2 stitches. Yarn over (bring the yarn to the front and then knit the next stitch as usual. You just made a little hole! that’s lace!)
Knit to the end of the row. REPEAT. (do this every single row until you have 44 stitches on your needle, or more if you want a larger cloth – make sure you end with an even number of stitches on your needle.
When your cloth is as wide as you want it to be (44 stitches or more), you will start the decrease as follows:
Knit 1 stitch, K2Tog (knit 2 stitches together at the same time as though they were one single stitch – in other words, put your needle through the next two stitches instead of just one and then knit as usual), Yarn Over (to make the hole), K2Tog (knit 2 stitches together) again. Knit to end of row. REPEAT until you have 4 stitches on your needle. Knit one row. Cast off.
Merry Christmas and happy knitting in the New Year!
Combine 2.5 m of beautiful wool-blend Prince of Wales suiting and Simplicity 4097 and what do you get? The perfect fall jumper!
I’ve always wanted a jumper, something easy that I can just pull on over top of leggings and a blouse (or a full set of long johns, lol!)
It isn’t the most flattering outfit, I suppose, but I don’t care. Since when have I ever been a walking fashion statement, anyway? Three people have already complimented me on it, and one (a total stranger!) said, “you must have made that because I haven’t seen a proper jumper in years. I’m going to pull out my sewing machine and make one for me, too!” I hope she does!
This jumper pleases my little hippy heart and it’s both physically and emotionally comfortable. Since I’ve gained a bunch of that dratted weight back, I find that it’s harder than ever to find something to wear that I feel comfortable in. And not just physically, but emotionally. Because when you’re insecure about your body, being emotionally comfortable in your clothes is very important to how happy you are in your skin. Believe me when I say this is a struggle for me. My middle-aged body is…well…middle aged.
Since my goal is to someday become an accomplished sewer-of-my-own-wardrobe, I’ve been trying to challenge myself with each new project. This time it was fitting the back bodice and matching the plaid. Actually, pattern matching went so well that I forgot to take a picture of it, lol! Trust me, it’s pretty darn close to perfect. 🙂
The bodice is lined as per the pattern instructions, but they didn’t specify what to use for lining. So I used the same wool since I had enough. I also cut the bodice and the pockets on the bias. It was a bit tricky, as this cloth really stretched on the bias. But knowing that, I was extra careful which resulted in no problems at all. Yay!
I’m also learning about fitting a pattern to my own body. My shoulders and upper back are narrow and my waist is wide. In fact, my shoulders are two sizes smaller than my waist, which requires some pattern adjustments.
I cut the back bodice an entire size smaller than the front bodice, and it was still too big. It might be time to learn how to do a sway-back adjustment.
Since the bodice was already finished and lined, there wasn’t much I could do about the back. My solution? A box pleat and a vintage covered button to take in the excess across the mid-back.
Was the box pleat a professional way to fix the problem? No, and thank goodness for long hair, which covers up some bits of messiness that I’d rather you didn’t see. However, you have to admit, the button adds a bit of charm. I adore buttons. There is a button on every piece of clothing I’ve sewn so far, whether one was required or not.
Because it’s such beautiful fabric, I wanted it to be especially nicely finished on the inside. So I zigzagged every seam and then pinked them. I’m not going to show you any pictures because there are so many that are much more interesting than a bunch of pinked seams, lol!
So, are you wondering what my fabulous fall jumper cost to make? I’ll give you a hint: everything came from the thrift store. Fabric & pattern: (insert drum roll……) $3.25. Thanks to my wonderful Creative Mr.C for taking the pictures at McGuire Lake park in downtown Salmon Arm. This is what November looks like where I live now. Love it!
Do you remember the Vogue wrap dress I made last year? No? Hahaha, I don’t blame you. That dress never really worked for me. The waist sat too high, meaning I was forever tugging it down. And the bodice had these odd little tucks …NOT flattering.
So rather than keeping a dress that I was never going to wear, I decided to cut it up and make it into something else.
I cut the skirt off. Yup…hacked it right off with scissors. Then I cut the bodice apart along the seams. No seam picking for me, nope! Scissors all the way.
I got out my Moneta pattern, and took stock. The two cross-over pieces became sleeves. The ties became a collar. I had enough fabric for the bodice front, but not enough for the back, as you can see in this picture:
That’s where my quilting brain started working. The back of the bodice is done in patchwork!
This is what was left over:Voila!All that’s left is the hem and I’ll have a dress I’ll actually wear.
I’ve been wanting to try a technique that I’ve admired for awhile: a combination of machine applique and embroidery.
So today I pulled out my bins of fabric scraps and got busy. Luckily, I had a few scraps of Wrenly left over from a quilt I made last year. The Wrenly birds were perfect for fussy cutting the windows.It’s called a mug rug, which is an unlovely name for such a lovely thing. Basically, a mug rug is an over-sized coaster. Something pretty to put your coffee cup on, great for personalizing your desk at work (or at home).
This one is 6.5″ square…a good size for holding a cup.