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!

This Week’s Thread – 3/8/21

This has been a tremendously… unproductive week. Between a toddler that is into EVERYTHING and a baby rapidly following in his older brother’s footsteps… I’ve not had a chance to work much on anything really. I started last week with such great ambitions and now… maybe more humble expectations are in order?

Finished Projects

*Crickets chirping*

Ok…. Moving on…

Current Projects

New Quilting Program

I’ve not touched this program this week. Hence the same image as last week. I’ve got lots of ideas for patterns I’d like to try… just haven’t tried them yet.

OTD Free SAL

I really really struggle with the “fill” portions of this… The patterns and designs are fun and interesting, and I love going from one pattern/color to the next, but the fill… ugh. Yes, some people love it and it would not be the same without it, but it just doesn’t keep me interested and it makes it so hard to keep going.

Of course, this week I ran into additional motivation challenges. I did a large section of the navy blue with my X stitches backwards. I stitched / then \ instead of \ then /. My husband thought I was crazy (he couldn’t tell the difference and thought it looked fine), but that did not stop the frog from visiting… three days later… After I got over the desire to throw the project across the room.

Then, during my backward stitch frustration cooldown period, my toddler got into my thread box and, very meticulously, removed every color number label I had on my floss! Granted, most of the colors are distinct enough that it was not a total catastrophe, but the added frustration while I was already frustrated did not help.

Nevertheless, stitching will continue… hopefully by next week I’ll have a finish.

OTD Bargello SAL

No. Just, no. Read above. I’ve (again) not had a chance to work on this this week. My goal was to get part 7 of the Free SAL completed first and come hell or high water part 7 will be DONE.

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?!

Springtime Masks

We were very fortunate to get our first covid vaccines this weekend! (My arm now hurts like I got hit by a sledge hammer, not a tiny injection, but otherwise no complaints! Beats catching a virus! At least supposedly.)

I now have a (moderately irrational) hope that masks will not be required in the near future. Hence, why waste the fabric? Or the time? Right? Right?!??

*Gazes enviously at Texas*

Any day now……. Normalcy is coming here too… or we’ll move.

I’d like to move…

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.)

This is going to take much longer (even to just get started) than I thought… My new rulers are in the mail… got an add-a-quarter and a 6″x24″, but I’m not sure how I’m going to get a chance to meander through a craft store anytime soon and brainstorm ideas for my fabric.

Admittedly, I’m now especially reluctant just to go to a craft store at all since last time I went to a craft store (months ago) with all my kids it was… rather embarrassing.

(Story time! Skip if desired!)

A very nice older woman had let me and my kids go ahead of her in line (we were, of course, standing outside and it was fairly cold that day so I was immensely appreciative and thanked her profusely), but when someone left the store and the employee at the door just shut it and didn’t let us in… I was confused and thought maybe they miscounted the people in the store so they just needed an extra person out first?

Then another person left… then another… and I realized they were counting each and every one of my kids and myself as a “customer”, including the baby!

I felt absolutely terrible! This very nice old lady behind us could have been enjoying her shopping run all warm inside and she was stuck behind my massive road block of a family!

Originally she was the only other person there, but every time I looked back the line was getting longer and longer…

Finally they let us in and, after being forced to stand still in line for 30+ minutes my middle 2 get in the store and very excitedly attempt to scatter. They instantly are wanting to touch everything and ask if they can get this and that. So I tell my (mobile) littlest ones to hold hands with me while I ask my oldest to get a cart since my hands were more than full with a baby and the 2 middle kids.

He, of course takes a lifetime to figure out the carts were right next to us and then wanders over to the carts and just stares at them so, between feeling the disapproving/judgmental glare of the employee at the door, with another customer essentially blocked from leaving with the 6-foot distancing requirements and everyone outside watching us like a circus, I felt I had to rush over, get the cart myself, round up my littlest ones, load all 3 as fast as I can into the micro-cart, remind my oldest to hold onto the cart and not touch anything else (didn’t work), and rush further into the store… just to get the floss I needed for kits that day.

Needless to say, I’ve not returned to the craft store since.

Yes, there are technically better ways of getting the shopping done.

I could order fabric online, but then how will I stack up all my colors/patterns of fabric to make sure they get along? Not to mention the little problem of the fact that the computer/phone screen is not going to display the colors 100% true to the actual fabric…

TLDR: Shopping with 4 kids is a nightmare during covid, this whole situation is a mess… and I’m ranting a little bit.

Conclusion

Maybe I should just let the whole situation with the craft store go and just try again? It was many months ago now and the building occupancy restrictions have been eased (very slightly) so maybe it will be easier next time?

It would be so amazing to be able to just go to a store (of any kind) and not have to be afraid that we’ll be kicked out just because my almost-3-year-old gets tired of wearing a mask after 10 minutes and then my 4-year-old gets upset because “why does he get to take his off and I don’t?!”

Ranting again, sorry.

Should I maybe set myself the goal of going to get my fabric this week (or maybe next week) regardless? What do you all think?

Anyways… Thanks for reading!

…I’m going to go put some ice on my arm or something…

This Week’s Thread – 3/1/21

Thought I hit “publish” when I finished this this morning… a little late, but still ok.

Finished Projects

Fox for #4

I remembered to get fluff! (Yes, I know its technically poly-fil, but fluff is much more fun to say)

I hand stitched the body/limbs together, since the sewing machine just doesn’t handle the pre-stuffed limbs well at all, and aside from the legs being too close together, I think it turned out nicely.

Current Projects

New Quilting Program!

I’ve made some progress practicing with this program, but ran into an annoying hang-up. In order to make useable patterns for others to use, I’ve got to also learn, not one, but TWO additional programs!

If I didn’t want to add quilt patterns to Odd Thread Designs so badly, I’d probably have demanded a refund for the quilting program, given it does not actually do what I wanted it to, but since I’m determined to try to expand into this area I’ll carry on and try to be patient with this learning process.

OTD Free SAL

I keep thinking I’ve made no progress on this, but then I look at my previous image and realize that, actually, I did get a fair amount of stitching done. It’s just a very gradual process when I’m lucky to get an hour or two to work on it each night. Nevertheless, my goal is to have this part finished by the next Weekly Thread.

OTD Bargello SAL

I’ve not had a chance to work on this this week. My goal was to get part 7 of the Free SAL completed first, but I may end up reconsidering that goal. We’ll see.

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?!

It seems like I’ll be adding to this section as often as I add to the “finished project” section…

Springtime Masks

Because, sadly, an unmasked face is still viewed more or less equivalent to “indecent exposure” here… Actually I suspect I’d more easily be able to walk around topless than maskless.

I found a couple cute fabrics during my last grocery run and had to pick them up with no plan other “I guess I could make new masks for me and the kids with it?” (I spare my husband the indignity of having to wear little cartoon critters and fruits on his face.) So, yeah, masks are my current excuse for picking up random fabrics.

I’ll work on these at some point soon… probably. Needless to say, I’m not actually eager to make more masks at the moment.

I’d better leave it at that before I go on a frustration-fueled tirade.

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.)

The pattern finally arrived!!! After just over 2 weeks (which, I realize, lately is actually not terrible) my pattern is here and… Oh my gosh what have I gotten myself into?!

The instruction booklet that came with the patterns is 26 pages long and I only managed to read to page 10 before my brain melted last night.

Conclusion

What can I say? I’m glad I got the foxy done, so that’s no longer looming over my head with little time left until my littlest one’s first birthday.

Not sure if I should include all the projects I’m doing around the house in these posts as well. They aren’t all entirely “thread” or sewing related though, so probably not? I figure I should try to stay on topic for these blog posts. Then again, this is my blog so my rules… Eh, I’ll have to think about it.

Thanks for reading!

This Week’s Thread – 2/22/21

This past week went well!

Finished Projects

I have a feeling this is going to be a category that will be hard to add to every week, but I’m happy that I’m able to this week!

Quilt for Child #2

I did it! I FINALLY finished this project that’s been hanging around for ages! I’m so glad to have that project checked off my list. She was so happy to have it that she immediately ran off and made her bed with it.

Current Projects

Because my ambition is absolutely going to be the end of me.

I really need to get a banner to hang over my computer that reminds me: “You can do ANYTHING you want, but you cannot do EVERYTHING you want!”

Maybe I should make a cross stitch of that…

(Overwhelmed side of me: *screams* “NOOOO!!!!”)

OK! Back to business.

New Quilting Program!

I stumbled across a program that would allow me to design my own quilt patterns and got so excited I jumped on the investment immediately. I figured, if nothing else, I’ll be able to make patterns for myself, but my hope is to get to the point where I’ll be able to add them to the products offered by Odd Thread Designs. The catch is that there is most definitely a learning curve.

So somehow between all my other craft projects, updating my website and drawing new patterns for my monthly membership releases, looking after my 4 kids, guiding homeschool lessons, keeping the littlest ones entertained, and keeping the house in order as much as possible… I’m trying to figure out this program and make the patterns I’ve imagined, which the below image… is not what I had in mind.

Call me impatient, but the time it is taking me to learn this program is rather frustrating. The quilt design is certainly not bad, but its more basic than I’d like (see below in upcoming projects for the overambitious example of more like what I’m aiming for)

I look forward to making the announcement that quilt patterns are now a part of Odd Thread Designs, but that day is definitely (and sadly) not today.

OTD Free SAL

Not much progress has been made on this sadly. I’m finding the project very pretty to look at as I get closer to finishing. Part 7 is the last full page of stitching, so I’m very excited to see the progress speed up in the near future.

OTD Bargello SAL

It’s not much to look at yet, but the outlines for the Bargello SAL are completed! Can’t put it in the “Finished” category though, since all those squares need to be filled in. My aim is to finish “Part 7” of the Free SAL first, then I’ll resume stitching on the Bargello project.

Huck Embroidered Blanket/Bed Runner

This project is still in hibernation and might just have to remain so for the foreseeable future. Sadly, with everything else on my plate, this project will have to wait. Future posts will not Include this project until I pull it back out of hibernation.

Plush Fox

I’ve started working on my littlest’s fox!

Plush foxes made with the Stitched by Crystal pattern.

I would have finished it this last week, but I keep forgetting to grab stuffing when I go shopping (all the joys of “get your shopping done as fast as you can!!”), and as often as I can get out of the house at all lately… It might be a while before it’s done. On the plus side, I’ve still got a couple months! Or… actually… only a little over one month. I can keep track of time! Really, I can!

I also attempted to machine embroider (satin stitch) the eyes onto the fox.

Black on black! Super easy to see! NOT. (Sorry that its hard to make out the stitching

Didn’t work out as nicely as I had hoped. The eyes and nose are a little wonky instead of perfectly round, but for a first try I guess it’s not terrible.

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?!

Queen-Size Quilt

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

The pattern is stuck in the mail… still waiting to just see it…

Conclusion

So I got more done than honestly I expected to, but at the same time less than I wanted to. I had hoped to make significantly more progress on the Free SAL, but that didn’t happen this past week.

Nevertheless, here’s to a better next week!

Thanks for reading!

This Week’s Thread – 2/15/21

Here I’m hoping to stick to a posting schedule each week where I’ll ramble a bit about the current and upcoming projects I’m doing for Odd Thread Designs.

Current Projects

My current projects are probably too numerous given that I’m trying to limit the number of “active” projects I have to only 1-2 so that I’ll actually complete them. As you’ll see, there are more than that…

OTD Free SAL

This is something I probably should have finished BEFORE the SAL started… especially given the few errors I’ve found in the pattern as I go along, but apparently I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t wildly jump into projects without thinking things through 110%

OTD Bargello SAL

Learning from the error of launching the free SAL without stitching it all first, I’m trying to get the Bargello SAL at least mostly done before launching it.

By stitching it at the same time as the free SAL.

Because somewhere, somehow, that made sense.

Nevertheless, progress is being made on both cross stitch projects.

Quilt for Child #2

I’ve been working on this blanket (and getting distracted) for an awfully long time. It was meant to be a 3rd birthday present. Then a 4th birthday present. Then a Christmas present. Now just a “when it’s done” present.

As my only girl, (and the only girl granddaughter on my side of the family) she’s been showered in girly handmade blanket gifts over the years from the grandmothers, which frankly rendered my efforts to make her a quilt moot. I mean, when she’s got nearly as many blankets as my 3 boys combined, this kid is not suffering the lack of a quilt from mom.

It is my second foray into quilt-as-you-go and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not a fan of the technique. I’m sure I could finish it in a day,, maybe even just a few hours, but the incentive/drive just isn’t there.

Huck Embroidered Blanket/Bed Runner

This project is arguably the origin/catalyst of Odd Thread Designs. I started stitching it thinking I could sell it and help bring some income for my family, but the reality was that I’d not likely sell a big $$$ item on Etsy with a storefront that has never sold anything and has been abandoned/ignored since 2017. And I felt it would be ridiculous to go to a craft fair with only one item. So when I realized that I could make cross stitch patterns to sell, the lightbulb lit up and I hit the ground running.

In fact, I could probably write a whole blog post about this project and the Odd Thread Designs origin story… maybe I should. Nevertheless, like the Quilt for child #2, this project has been left on standby for a while now.

Upcoming Projects

Because… why not?!

Queen-Size Quilt

I decided I’m going to “go big or go home” with making my first quilt for my husband and myself. I’ve made quilts for all four of my children. They were almost all small (baby blankets or twin bed size), very simple and all of those quilts used only square piecework.

So on technical grounds my quilting experience is the sum total of… maybe 6 or 7 small and simple blankets (yes, some kids have received more than one quilt over the years).

So, of course, this catches my eye:

(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 was torn between this pattern and the one they call “Swordfish”, but to have some mercy on myself, this one ultimately seemed more reasonable for someone like me who has never tried to quilt curves… or even just triangles… but is wildly overambitious.

So, the pattern is on the way. Nervous anticipation is high.

Fabric selection will happen after I get a better idea of what I’m looking at (and whenever I can secure babysitting for at least some of my brood since trying to pick fabric with a screaming baby, hyperactive toddler, and two older children inevitably complaining about being bored, tired, hungry, or whining when I don’t buy them everything that catches their eye in the store… it’s just difficult. If I can avoid that headache I will.

I’ll start this project as soon as I finish the stitching for my SALs. Thanks to my husband’s significantly more calm and rational perspective, I can only do so much in a day and the SALs that I’ve already committed to need to take priority.

Plush Fox

I’ve sewn all of my kids matching plush foxes… except for my youngest. (I like foxes – maybe it wasn’t super obvious, but now you know!)

Plush foxes made with the Stitched by Crystal pattern.

Now that baby #4 is turning 1 year old in a couple months, I figure I’ve got to get the ball rolling on this project ASAP so I can give it to him for his first birthday. I’ve got all the materials so there’s no excuse there. Technically had all the materials before he was born… Just have to find the pattern again and sit down to work on it!

Conclusion

So I guess 6 projects isn’t too bad (I was imagining worse), although they are all fairly large aside from the fox.

Let’s see if this regular blogging requirement will light the fire needed to get these projects rolling through to completion rather than being stuck partially complete for months (or years).

Desert Sunset

Copyright: Odd Thread Designs
Fabric: 14 Aida
Grid Size: 163W x 72H
Design Area: 11.64″ x 5.14″ (163 x 72 stitches)
Colors: 16

Subscribe to get access to this design and all the others…

Want to know more about membership? Visit my Membership page for more information.

6″x6″ Tile Pattern Measurement Adjustments

6″x6″ Tile Pattern Measurement Adjustments (Reference Post)

Pattern Size Adjustments

(These are measurements for the pattern size, NOT the total material area required. For material area, add at least 2” on all sides or 4″ to each measured dimension.)

Aida

  • 6: 14”x14”
  • 8: 10.5”x10.5”
  • 11: 7.6”x7.6”
  • 14: 6”x6”
  • 16: 5.2”x5.2”
  • 18: 4.7”x4.7”
  • 20: 8.4″ x 8.4″ (20ct Aida is typically stitched over 2)

Linen

  • 10ct: 8.4”x8.4”
  • 16ct: 5.2”x5.2”
  • 18ct: 4.7”x4.7”

(The following Linen counts are typically stitched over 2)

  • 20ct: 8.4”x8.4”
  • 25ct: 6.7”x6.7”
  • 26ct: 6.5”x6.5”
  • 28ct: 6”x6”
  • 30ct: 5.6”x5.6”
  • 32ct: 5.2”x5.2”
  • 35ct: 4.8”x4.8”
  • 36ct: 4.7”x4.7”
  • 40ct: 4.2”x4.2”

Waste Canvas

  • 10ct: 8.4”x8.4”
  • 11: 7.6”x7.6”
  • 14: 6”x6”
  • 18: 4.7”x4.7”