Weekly Thread – 4/13/21

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Another productive week!

Actually no…

This last week was pretty much wiped out by the covid shot #2. That second one definitely is no joke.

But I survived! (So far)

Finished Projects

Just keep stitching… just keep stitching…

Current Projects

OTD Free SAL

This project is in temporary hibernation.

OTD Bargello SAL

Part 3… only 2 days worth of stitching. Worked on it Monday and Tuesday, got my shot Wednesday and the rest of the week was wiped out.

Want to know more about the upcoming SAL? Click Here to check it out!

Queen-Size Quilt

I did nothing for this this week…..

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?!

I’ve semi-banned myself from new sewing projects.

….

But we all knew that wouldn’t last!

State Fair Competition Quilt

Challenge Fabric

So, my “local” quilting guild (local being 1.5 hour drive one-way) is doing a quilt competition for the state fair using a “challenge fabric” and I couldn’t resist!

The whole design has to be totally unique and all done by the participant which means no patterns from books or any other outside sources (of course) so I’m glad I got my quilting software… kinda.

On a tangent, I’m starting to feel like the quilting software was a waste of money at this point. It doesn’t do what I wanted/expected it to, it’s not the most user-friendly, and I find almost every time I start it up I just end up annoyed, but I’m going to make the most of it and this competition is the perfect opportunity to do so!

Anyways, the challenge fabric is… well… lets be honest, it’s kind of hideous. Maybe that’s the point. I mean, if it were amazing and beautiful and perfect all by itself it wouldn’t be a challenge to feature it in a quilt, right?

I’ve got a design that I liked, but when I add my chosen fabrics to the quilting program…

It looks horrible!!

(At least when its blown up huge on my computer screen it’s horrible… the little image I put here isn’t THAT bad I guess… as I stare at it a little longer while debating if this image should ever be shared in the light of day.)

Granted, maybe it is just my photography skills (or lack thereof) making all the fabric look awful, but what I imagined and what the computer gave me are so different I don’t know how to proceed, if at all.

Not to mention I don’t know how on earth I’m going to translate this design to a quilt. The piecework required to make this is baffling. The only way I can think of is through a mix of English paper piecing and applique…

I’ve never done EPP before.

I’ve never done applique before.

Logic says, this is not a good idea for a contest entry.

Ambition says, this is a perfect opportunity for growth!

However, I’ve only got one fat quarter of the challenge fabric and if I go ahead with an iffy design… I may not even have an entry.

I’m not expecting to win this contest by any means, I’m up against quilters with more quilting experience than I have life experience, but I also don’t want to embarrass myself either.

What to do… What to do…. Hmmm….

Conclusion

I hope to get more crafting done this week, although the week might also be taken up by trying to get my home back in order. Especially after the kids decided to play in the laundry this morning… by dragging all the dirty laundry baskets out of the garage and mixing it with the clean laundry in the living room.

Kid: “I was looking for socks!”
Mom: “Did you look in your drawers?”
Kid: “…….oh…”
Mom: *Facepalm*

As always… Thanks for reading!

Weekly Thread – 4/5/21

Another productive week!

(Yes, I’m wishing I had picked a bigger piece of Aida, but I had this scrap and figured “it’ll fit!” and ran with it.)

Finished Projects

Should “parts” count as finishes? I’ve been debating on including “parts” in the finish section, but maybe I’ll still just keep it in “current projects” since that makes sense to me.

Either way, still no actual finishes.

Going to be super triumphant when I finally get to put another project in this section!

Just keep stitching… just keep stitching…

Current Projects

OTD Free SAL

This project is in temporary hibernation.

OTD Bargello SAL

Part 2 Done!! I’m super happy that each part seems to be totally doable within a week (even for a super busy mom of 4) and the pattern is so entertaining!

This part was super fun to stitch and it’s so exciting moving onto the next part! (I’ve technically already started on part 3)

Want to know more about the upcoming SAL? Click Here to check it out!

Queen-Size Quilt

So…. I can already tell progress is going to slow, as is the nature of working on a project from the center-out. Sixteen of these semi-rounds done! Just sixteen more (smaller) semi-rounds to go and then stitch all the sections together… I’m not overwhelmed!! (maybe only a little bit…)

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?!

I’ve semi-banned myself from new sewing projects.

Two full weeks and counting… will I make it to double digits?! Hmm…. that may be a little too ambitious to think I can make it that far with only my second week no-new-project completed.

Conclusion

These posts seem to be a bit on the short side lately… to be fair, there’s not a whole lot to say about the current projects when I’m updating every week. In some regards, it almost makes it seem like I haven’t actually done as much as I thought when I sit down and write a couple lines about a project and go from “woohoo! Look how much I did!” to “oh… guess maybe that wasn’t so much…”

In reality, I’m sure other folks who make things by hand will understand the lengthy process that is making projects by hand, but to new prospective crafters? I’d hope these threads aren’t discouraging…

Don’t worry newbies! It is all worth it in the end! Yes, it takes a long time, but as I put in an older post Why Handmade =┬áHome? there’s actually a significant benefit to taking a long time to craft things.

As always… Thanks for reading!

Weekly Thread – 3/29/21

Do excuse the clutter. Yes, my “sewing room” is also the storage/overflow room and my sewing table is an ironing board. Hey, we make do with what we’ve got.

The last “thread” of March and I’m super proud of what I got done this week!

Finished Projects

Technically, nope. Finished “parts” but a whole project? Hahahahaha…

Yeah… not yet…

Current Projects

OTD Free SAL

This project is in temporary hibernation. Bargello calls me.

OTD Bargello SAL

I’ve finished this square (mostly)! I don’t have a “finish” picture yet because I…

1) ran out of floss for the final color and have roughly a penny-sized area that is still empty. (Kit buyers fear not – I allotted more floss for the kits than I reserved for myself!)

2) got so excited about moving onto the next part that I moved my hoop over before taking a picture, so… yeah. This part now has a hoop running through the middle so that’s not photogenic AND rehooping is a pain in the bum so… y’all will see the 100% finished portion soon-ish!

Does the finished square look too bland/simple? Maybe to some, but I don’t really think so. With this pattern in combination with all the others I think (hope) it will make a very nice overall design. Some busy patterns blended with some quieter patterns like this one.

Want to know more about the upcoming SAL? Click Here to check it out!

Queen-Size Quilt

I’m addicted! First time foundation piecing and it’s so much easier than I expected. Admittedly, I got a little over-confident (sloppy) near the end of this part, but it looks like it’ll still work out… I think. Won’t know for sure until it all comes together and takes its first spin through the wash, but I’m reasonably confident it should be fine.

Should be.

I did have an “oops” on the diamond section. as seen in the featured image at the top of the page, I sewed one of the purple diamond strips on upside down… and then to fix it I started ripping the wrong seam and almost completely removed the purple diamond, but it’s fixed now!

Not sure how I’ll take future pictures of this project… it’s already covering most of my bed and I don’t really have any better place to lay it out for display.

Something I’ll need to think about.

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?!

I’ve semi-banned myself from new projects. We’ll see how long that lasts (1 full week and counting… place your bets folks! lol).

Conclusion

Not entirely sure what I should “conclude” from this little ramble.

I do need to stitch more on my original SAL, since I’m still excited to see that done, plus there are only partial pages left at this point so it should be easier now.

The quilt is going well, in spite of it technically being a lower priority than the SALs, but variety is the spice of life. Or however that saying goes.

Haven’t bought a loom yet. Still very tempted, but not yet. They’re a little pricy to just pick up on a whim and I know, with my tendency to bounce from project to project, I’ll probably just weave a few things then run to another project.

I’ve actually been thinking investing an embroidery machine makes more sense for Odd Thread Designs and hence it has been (semi-secretly) on my radar since… maybe October of last year. Unfortunately, while a loom feels pricy, an embroidery machine is… yikes!

It could be a good investment, in theory, as I’ve seen many women have built successful embroidery businesses out of their homes and, given that it uses thread, it will blend in fairly seamlessly with Odd Thread Designs. But, I’m not really interested in the “popular” areas like monograms or cutesy kid shirts, so I imagine it would be harder to succeed with a less “mainstream” embroidered product. (Says the person trying to build a small business around cross stitch and sewing, why on earth would I worry about being mainstream??? *Shrug*)

So… the embroidery machine cat is out of the bag now, sort of, but it’s not yet a reality. Just contemplating the possibilities out loud.

Anyways… Thanks for reading!

This Week’s Thread – 3/22/21

I’m so easily distracted it seems like every project in the world is grabbing my attention and now I’m fixated on getting into loom weaving. Wouldn’t it be cool to make my own fabric and then embroider it??

(Everyone: “You do not have time for that!”)

Needless to say, I have to finish my current project(s) first. As if weaving grabbing my attention isn’t enough, on top of that, my quilting guild is having a little competition and… of course I want to add that to my to do’s. It would just be a little 25″x25″ quilt. No biggie, right?

All these projects while trying to keep the website going, with internet service that just… well terrible isn’t a good word for it. Woefully inadequate is more accurate. Trying to upload new patterns and my internet service is so slow that my web host keeps stopping the upload and giving me a notice of “You are probably offline.”

Pretty sure I’m not offline, but ok.

I’m officially having to use my mobile phone hotspot because, I’ve discovered, it has faster upload service than my local internet.

Finished Projects

Technically, nope.

Current Projects

OTD Free SAL

I finished part 7!!! YAY!!! Onto the Bargello Stitching for a while…

(This project is so pretty! Cant wait to finish it, but other projects need attention too.)

OTD Bargello SAL

Not the best picture in the world, but it’s what I’ve got and I’d rather not battle the internet for another 30 minutes to upload a better image.

So I’ve finally had a chance to add color to the Bargello SAL and started stitching on Part 1. So far, I’m loving the vibrant gold colors and I look forward to seeing this part completed. The gradient is a little more subtle than I anticipated, but together with all the other 15 squares filled I think it is gong to make for a very nice, modern design that has subtle details for any admirer to see upon closer inspection.

I have already made a mistake in stitching it, though. It’s subtle enough that I’m going to try to run with it.

Want to know more about the SAL? Click Here to check it out!

Queen-Size Quilt

I couldn’t resist starting on this and I’m anxious to get back to it. With this being my first time trying foundation piecing, it’s turning out better and easier than I had anticipated.

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?!

I’ve semi-banned myself from new projects. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Conclusion

The littlest ones are up from their nap so I have to run.

So much to do, so little time!! There needs to be so many more hours in a day!

Anyways… Thanks for reading!

This Week’s Thread – 3/16/21

Yes, I’m a day late. (Edit: Or at least I would have been only a day late if I had remembered to hit “post” when I finished writing!)

This past week started and ended with a bang… between daylight savings, various urgent medical appointments, and a child that just… Will. Not. Sleep…. Keeping up with the website/business/projects has been a major struggle.

Finished Projects

Nope.

Current Projects

OTD Free SAL

It is embarrassing how slow I’m going at this. I really, really, truly intended to finish this part this past week, but life got in the way… again…

OTD Bargello SAL

(Here be the crickets.)

I was so excited to get the outlines done for this and its been honestly discouraging to have to prioritize other projects and then make no progress on the projects that are first in line.

Queen-Size Quilt

Quiltworx’s Kentucky Spirits (No, I’m not affiliated with Quiltworx. I’m just an average Jane lookin’ around for a fun project and I wanted to share.)

I did manage to get fabric for this, thanks to my in-laws watching the majority of my brood! Although it didn’t help how anxious I got trying to pick fabrics. I thought I was prepared, but as soon as I stepped into the fabric store… no. I was NOT prepared.

My vague plan of “I want blues, greens, browns, and a good color pop somewhere tossed in!” was woefully inadequate in the face of near-infinite options and very specific fabric amounts required for the pattern. Not to mention the time crunch of the babysitting being very spontaneous, in the middle of lunch, and (while my husband came along to help) the ticking time bomb of my youngest child who more resembles a screaming banshee much of the time… the pressure was intense.

I needed 15 colors, but each color needed a different amount of fabric and so I needed to figure out where everything went in advance and commit to that because, with no shopping carts, there was no way I could get all the colors lined up before deciding the cuts. So I’d pick out 5, go to the cut table, pick another 4, get those cut, etc.

I got everything picked out and cut and out the door in roughly 1 hour.

I’d be lying if I proclaimed any confidence in how everything will go together.

I’m really not sure how it will work out, but we’ll find out in time.

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?! I’m busier than I like to admit and getting overwhelmed isn’t just a risk, it has 1000% happened.

Hibernating Projects

Springtime Masks

New Quilting Program

Nothing to say here. The project overwhelm is hitting hard now.

Conclusion

I have a terrible habit of biting off more than I can chew.

Anyways… Thanks for reading!

Why Handmade = Home?

So, in all my time looking for solutions to the lack of “home” feeling I’ve been struggling with over the years, there has almost always been the general recommendation of filling the home/apartment/residence with handmade goods, regardless of whether you make them yourself or not.

The handmade recommendation is often buried in a mountain of “Buy this! Buy that!” but it is so important that, even on websites aiming for sales of whatever product, it remains included.

I’ve wondered for a long time why handmade items would really make a difference. Wouldn’t having a handmade product (especially if it is from someone else) be exactly the same as just picking something off the shelf at the average big box store?

Well…. no.

Continue reading “Why Handmade = Home?”