Sunday, February 7, 2016

something's missing

I've had the feeling that something has been missing in my life, hard to put my finger on it because there's more than 1 thing missing!

Mostly, when I think of things I miss, my kids and grandkids are #1 on that list.  When Brita and Dan were kids, one of my main goals with parenting was to make sure that my kids would grow up to be fully functional adults who could take care of themselves.  That meant when Dan had a job that required ironed pants and shirts, he had to learn how to iron for himself.  And now he is really good at ironing, even though his work attire now is probably the antithesis of ironing!  So, with that frame of mind on childrearing, it shouldn't come as a surprise when they grow up and away, right?!  Doesn't mean I don't love knowing that they have happy lives far from their original home, but also doesn't mean I don't miss them sooo much!!  But that's not what this "something's missing" feeling was about.

Maybe that "something missing" has to do with the lost and founds happening to me lately?  I really strive to keep my home and belongings organized, mainly so I don't run into that problem of things going lost.  Just within the last few weeks, I've "lost" some important things:  my #37 foot for my Bernina 730, my Socks with 2 Circs knitting book and my mechanical needle threader.  I'm happy to say that the first 2 things turned up in unexpected places, and I'm still working on the 3rd one.  I know it's here somewhere!

Finally, it dawned on me that what was missing was this!  Yes, writing and sharing pictures on my Frayed Edge blog!

I have casually drifted away from regular writing, and I think that's been bothering me.  Partly, the drifting happens because of the time that it takes for me to organize my pictures and words.  I really labor over it, probably more than it needs.  I want to avoid saying the wrong thing, so sometimes just saying nothing is my preference.  Also, it bugs me when spelling and grammar are left by the wayside, so I always need to check and double check.

A lot of times an idea pops into my head that something I see or do would be fun to put on the blog, but then a moment passes and I'm on to something else.  So that's something I am going to work on.  Most of what I have intended this blog to represent is the sewing, quilting, knitting, etc., that I like to share.  Along with that comes the scenes from my everyday life, involving family, vacations, cooking, books, etc.  So all of that gets lumped together, hopefully someone reading this will find it interesting in some way or another.

We have had some beautiful sunrises lately, and the days are definitely getting longer!

Not very long ago, I wrote that we were doing some updating on the room that used to be Brita's bedroom.  I now call it my "overflow sewing room", since I use it for storing everything that won't fit in my actual sewing room.  This is also the room that has the crib for visits from the grandsons. The first picture shows the work on the floor happening, by this time the rest of the wallpaper gunk had been removed and new paint applied.  The flooring is easy to do in those long uninterrupted areas, but putzy to do around nooks and crannies.  The second picture shows things going back into the closet, hopefully in a much neater and orderly way than before!

That sorting and organizing job has yielded some interesting finds of things that I had forgotten about.  For example, these 2 Pendleton wool shirts--
 Both of which did not fit me, but were in perfect condition.  So, I wondered who might really appreciate them.  I decided they needed to go to Montana, since the style and fabric would be appreciated there, and they should be arriving on Dan's doorstep soon.  He says he knows people there that would be glad to have them, so it's a win-win!

I just had 2 recent finishes on these things:

Last fall I started working on a new concept for a custom tote bag for a friend.  I used pieces of other tote bags that I have collected with this in mind.  It has taken awhile to work out the plan, but now I am very happy I took the time to make it into something she will be proud to use.  I used the design for my own pattern, Aisle Style, which is loosely based on the measurements of a paper grocery sack.  I quilted the outer bag to Soft & Stable, also called headliner because it's used in the ceilings of vehicles.  It gives enough body to stand up on its own.  I had these nice leather handles that attach with a metal clip that is pounded together to grip the edge of the fabric.  I might have to keep collecting and make one for myself!

And someone has a birthday coming up, the big #2 celebration calls for a personalized quilty blankie for this little guy!  As so often happens with the second child, Jack gets a lot of things handed down from big brother.  So it's time to make sure he has some things with his own name loud and clear!  And I put Cuddle fabric (plushy) on the back, so it's even better for snuggles!

That's enough, probably more than enough, for now!  
I need to get ready for the Super Bowl, after all!

Monday, January 18, 2016

plenty o' projects

I just had a fabulous week with 2 special friends, having a sewing fiesta for a whole week!
I secured a condo at a resort, we moved in our "equipment" and spent all those days just doing whatever we wanted.  It was pretty cold, but we had few reasons to leave the fireside.  Except for a trip out for lunch, quilt shop visiting and restocking a couple groceries.  

Here are some of the things I worked on:

These turned into little pumpkins and were pretty fun to put together.  The curves are cut with the ruler shown below, and then the uneven ends of the curved seams are trimmed to make the correct size of block.  The directions are very good.

Mini Pumpkins by Sew Kind of Wonderful
uses the Mini Quick Curve Ruler
Available at Bear Patch Quilting Co.

I like this ruler so much that I am using it to teach a class at Bear Patch for a little tablerunner, shown in the previous post.

Here's a project that has been waiting about 2 1/2 year for my attention.  It is a set of signature blocks, about 20 of them, for my 60th birthday present from the Ham Lake Piecemakers.
I used my Electric Quilt program to design a small quilt.  This is just the beginning section, the rest is still waiting for me!

Below is another fun quilt with a fun ruler--
The X Blocks ruler.
It uses 2 1/2" strips, I picked a jelly roll of fabrics by Basic Grey for Moda.
I got all of the blocks made, and laid out as I wanted them.  Then I packed them up again for my next chance for sewing.

blocks for Timbuktu
 This is one of 3 little Sweet Pea Pods by Lazy Girl.  I learned to take apart a zipper for this, remove the slider, then put the slider back on.  That's how I got a turquoise zipper pull on that black zipper.

And a little bit of knitting happened, too!  This is the beginning of a scarf called Reyna, pattern available on Ravelry.  I'm using a new yarn (for me) that is a really nice fine merino wool from an Australian company called Cleckheaton.  I saw an advertisement for it at JoAnne's, and I went to check it out.  I turns out to be a pretty nice yarn, a little bit larger gauge than what the pattern called for, but OK for what I wanted.  It's definitely more expensive than the usual JoAnne's yarn selection, so remember your coupon!

And here's another little quilt that is all about dinosaurs for little boys.
This one is for Jack's upcoming 2nd birthday.
I realized that big brother Ian got all kinds of my quilts and snugglies, and I hadn't really made anything special for Jack.  I hope he likes it!

That wraps up the majority of my accomplishments on my sewing vacation.  I also bonded with my Bernina 820, which is a new machine for me.  And it worked great and I loved it!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Good Bye 1990's!

I think it's been a long time since I have stripped wallpaper, and that's a good thing!  And luckily, it's only a border strip and not entire walls.  This was so very pretty back in the early 90's in Brita's bedroom, but it has lost its charm!  The room is due for an update.  

Repaint and new flooring to start with.  Then window treatments and who knows what else.  There is still a twin bed in there along with a baby crib.  That's in addition to a boatload of sewing, knitting, crafting materials.  That all had to be moved out during the past few days.  Now small job.  I started out sort of sorting and organizing before packing stuff in boxes, but I'm on a deadline, so most of it just got lumped into boxes and will have to be sorted before it goes back in the room.  I'm leaving in a couple days for a little sewing getaway for a week, and Bob says he will work on the paint and floor while I am gone.  I could not pass up an offer like that!

 Thought I would share a couple fun Christmas pictures with you--we went to North Carolina and had an excellent time with kids and grandkids and friends there.  A very warm and friendly holiday celebration for all of us.  We gave the little boys each a sleeping bag, and they were immediately rolled out on the floor for play naptime!  I tried to get a selfie with Ian and Jack, but it's hard to maintain control of the camera when those little guys want to see what's going on!

Before Christmas, I made a fun new tablerunner for the Christmas display at Bear Patch--

Pattern by Tiger Lily Press, and all those curvy lines are pretty easy to sew.  I'm offering it as a class soon.  I also made the tablerunner shown below--

This one happened on a whim, because we got the new Mini Quick Curve Ruler (by Sew Kind of Wonderful) in the store, and I took one home to try out.  There was a little tablerunner pattern included with the ruler, and that orange and red popped off my shelves to make some quick blocks.  Really not so hard, and I have another pattern for pumpkins made with that ruler in the works.

In October (I think) I worked on this quilt at 2 retreats, and it's finally all together and on display at Bear Patch for a future class.  It is a pattern called Delight from Jaybird Quilts.

I finished the pair of Man Hands gloves I talked about in the previous post, along with a stocking cap.  They are both on their way to Whitefish, MT, to keep Dan from freezing this winter!

It's not very often that I get my kids together in one place, plus my mom, so I have to share our Christmas picture with you!

Back to the wallpaper!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

yes, we all make mistakes

There seems to be a misconception that I can't make a mistake!  Not too long ago, I messed up on something I was making, and what I heard from the people who knew about it was that they were relieved to find out that I could make a mistake, just like the rest of the world!

Oh, yes, I have made some doozy mistakes!  I don't document all of them, nor do I even talk about them, but believe me, they happen!
Here are just a few recent ones:

I made these 2 little love bunnies for the grandsons.  But on the way to getting the parts all sewn together, I got the head on backwards on one of them!  Not something that could be overlooked, since the ears were not facing the right direction.  So out came the seam ripper, had to turn things all inside out again, but finally got the head on straight!  And if you've ever done something like this that has to be turned through a tiny opening, you know the frustration as the stitches pull and openings expand as if by magic, making it all the harder to hand stitch the opening closed.  Squeezing that big stuffed head through a much smaller opening was something like childbirth!

Then, here's a nice quilt top to admire--
what doesn't show is that the rows were first assembled in the wrong order, so again, the ripper comes out!  It was pretty confusing, due to the mix of hexagons and triangles, and I kept trying to flip the rows end for end thinking that surely there must be some easier way to make it work, but the ripper ruled!  It is finally all together and I couldn't be happier!

And my mistakes are not limited to just sewing, either!  Actually, I probably make more mistakes in my knitting, because I tend to just decide to keep working a little farther.  Somehow I think that the mistakes will fix themselves!  Here's a cute fingerless glove that ended up fitting me so snugly that it is going to end up going to my sister, Jan, who has teeny tiny hands.  (Actually, this just brought to mind an old Saturday Night Live skit of the girl with teeny tiny hands singing a Lawrence Welk tune, but that's a whole different realm of teeny tiny hands!)  Anyway, this was supposed to be a glove set for my son, and no way is it fitting him!  And I think I had a feeling from the very beginning that even though I thought I was following directions for a man's glove size, it looked like a child size!  What was I thinking?!  So now I need to make glove #2 like this for Jan, and then start over with some new directions for man hands.

So yes, we all make mistakes!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

some more projects that are almost checked off the list

Some more project progress today!  Sadly, tomorrow I have to leave.  Happily, tomorrow I get to go home!  With a box full of done and/or partially done quilty goodness!

I made 3 strings of Christmas pennants, like the ones hanging on the windows below.  They were cut from a printed fabric panel, fused, stitched to backing, sewn to a ribbon and voila!

Here are 2 quick and easy tablerunners (sorry Amy!) in holiday fabrics, made from a pattern that includes 5 total designs, by In The Doghouse.  They aren't very big, so quick to put together.  I picked these fabrics at Bear Patch and made kits of each, so we will have them ready to display for Christmas gift ideas.  Still needing quilting and binding, but that will have to happen at home.

Here's something I didn't make, but have longed for.  Leisl, my friend, makes these bowl holders to use in the microwave.  Perfect for my morning oatmeal!

I worked on this red and white quilt yesterday, and ran off the rails last night when I started to put the rows together and got them out of order.  So I set it aside, took some stitches out this afternoon, and now it's all together in the right order!

Tonight I'm joining the movie watchers for a viewing of Julie and Julia.  
A great show for the 2nd or 3rd time!

Friday, November 13, 2015


I'm a lucky happy girl, spending time with my friends and my machine!  And I'm loving the chance to be immersed in my sewing, I have so many things to make and so little time to make it!
Here's some results--

Legendary by Elizabeth Hartman

Little cuddle bunnies an old edition of Love Patchwork and Quilting.

Delight by Jaybird Quilts.

Sweetpea Pods by Lazy Girl.
Enjoying some good meals and M&M's, too!