Thursday, October 30, 2008

November Break

My current embroidery WIP is my own design:

I'm also knitting and crocheting and working on an art journal and doing calligraphy! Needless to say, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

I've been thinking about taking an online break for some time now, and I think the time has arrived. No blogging or Flickring from now through the month of November. Thank you to everyone for your comments and encouragement! I will try to check my gmail account at least once a day, but otherwise I will try to keep my backside out of this seat as much as possible! Online Christmas shopping, alas, cannot be avoided!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Happiness is...

Seventy dollars worth of size 5 perle cotton for $20 (shipping included!) via EBay.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Birthday Crown Mystery

Last week, my baby, affectionately referred to by me as "Roo," turned five. I was determined to make a birthday crown for her, and I did. I was able to successfully attach the trim using the sewing machine, but when it came time to sew the front and back together, I experienced the one hiccup in my new found sewing success. I had contemplated blanket stitching around the edge anyway, so I decided to go ahead with it—despite the fact that the only blanket stitching I had done was on my beginning embroidery sampler.

The blanket stitching left a lot to be desired, but I knew the recipient had not inherited her mother's tendency towards perfectionism, so I overcame my misgivings about the final product and gave it to her on the afternoon of her birthday. She loved it! And she wore it that day and the next day as well. When it came time to have our family party a few days later with my parents who came from out of town, the birthday crown was no where to be found. We searched everywhere, and it still hasn't turned up! Needless to say, I am very disappointed. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to take a photo immediately after I presented Roo with the crown!

On a happier note, I have perfected the cupcake. I use a Duncan Hines yellow cake mix, which makes 24 cupcakes. (I know, I know, but I tried baking them from scratch, and they just aren't as good!) The frositng IS made from scratch using the Easy Buttercream recipe from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. Finally, I sprinkle a little decorative sugar on top in colors that will please the honoree. These cupcakes have gotten rave reviews from everyone who has tried them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Because

I bought these teacups last weekend just because I love them. Eight for $6.50. I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Making Peace with the Machine

One of the reasons I resumed this blog was that I was inspired to begin sewing. However, my first efforts were less than satisfactory, so I allowed myself to shift my focus to drawing and later to embroidery. BUT last week, I was determined to make my daughter a simple doll quilt for her birthday, and I was successful! I used the instructions for the Easy Baby Quilt in Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. My mods were to make it smaller and to use regular ties since there is no risk of a baby eating the ties. I would have preferred a different fabric for the top, but if you know a five-year old girl...

My success with the quilt led me to make a pillow out of an embroidery project I was working on for my very wise friend Michelyn's birthday. I had already done most, if not all, of the stitching (I can't remember!), but I couldn't decide if I should frame it, mount it, or what. Once I felt comfortable with the sewing machine, I decided to make a small pillow, and I was thrilled with the result. The taupe linen I used is from a size 4X shirt I bought at the thrift store for $3! (I only used a piece of a sleeve for this project!) For the back, I used a dark red and taupe gingham, and I added a dark red grosgrain ribbon for hanging. The embroidery was done with my new favorite, #5 perle cotton, in dark brown (DMC #938). I made up the design myself using a vintage owl pattern I found here.

My sewing machine success inspired me to lay out a new table runner design using the "Fabulous Fall" Moda Charm Pack I bought during our trip to NC. I love the colors! I've never done any patchwork before, and I am shooting from the hip here (no pattern), so this could be an adventure.

Update 7-22-11: Looking at those beautiful fabrics makes me sad to have to say it, but I recently gave away most all of my sewing and quilting stash to someone who will make good use of it. Sigh...