Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Progress on Pint Size by Kim Diehl from the book Simple Whatnots III.  

The quilt ruler and rotary cutter combo that I'd been using since the days of the dinosaurs finally gave up the ghost on Thursday last week....right in the middle of cutting strips for Pint Size. BEB was quite disgusted at the timing, as I'd made finishing this quilt top my project of the day.  

It's a handy tool that had a lot of use over the years.  The new one I ordered is from Fiskars.  I've not used it yet, as I only took it out of the box when I got home from work yesterday morning.  There will be pics and what I think about it on the next post.

I didn't fancy any other sewing machine project, so pulled out the oldest WIP.  There's less than 20 sides to stitch down on this project.  It got bogged down on the last round when I used thicker than normal junk mail to cut out the hexies.  This project is glue basted (I swing between glue and thread basting depending on what I feel like doing at the time) and it was only after finishing basting ALL the hexies (with not spare fabric) that I realized the card was too thick to fold in half properly.  So, progress has been slow, as I get sick of working on it after battling with a few hexies.

Aurifil Makeo 80wt is my new favorite thead for hand stitching English Paper Piecing.  It's very fine and just sinks in between the hexies.  It breaks fairly easily with being a fine thread, but that's an easy fix.....be gentle!

I feel like I'm beginning to get the hang of very basic crochet skills.  This book has been an enormous help in keeping me motivated.  For a few months, I've been cranking out crochet body parts for different animals from this book.  

This is the pic from the book of the first animal.  The difficulty level of the patterns develop as the book progresses.  As a beginner, something I really liked and found helful, is the body and legs follow the same pattern for each animal.  The patterns are written and very easy to follow.  

These are the stuffed body parts for Lucy Hare (first project in the book).  I'm hoping to get it together this week.  The yarn is Mainstay from Walmart.  

It's starting to get light outside, so I think a bit more hand quilting on Cutting by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger is in order and bird watching at the feeder outside the window.  There's a male cardinal and a couple of purple finches just now....add a cup of tea to the mix and I'll be happy for quite a while!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Things are pretty much back to normal for us after the storm.  Cable was reconnected on Wednesday and it was Friday before I knew it.  Grey and I both work 3x 12 hour night shifts Friday to Sunday at hospitals in the big smoke and this is the first chance I've had to blog.  

One of the first things I did when cable was reconnected, was to go on the National Weather Service website to get some information about the storm.  It was a thunderstorm with straight winds and a tornado.  We were very fortunate to have minimal damage.  There's still a lot of clean up and repairs going on in our neighborhood.  

The cutting station.   The pieces for Half Pint are on the cutting mat to the left.  The last of the scraps are piled up on the Big Shot ready to be cut out.  Batting etc and boxes for finishing cross stitch smalls are on the bottom shelf.  

When I was looking, Grey suggested I might want two.  He's right.  There's less room here than on the kitchen bench for using the cutting mat.  The extra storage shelf will be a bonus.

All the applique for Father Christmas blocks have been ironed down.  

Swapped the Sack for a gingerbread man.

The wreath and tree fabric has little flowers.   

Swapped the book for a star.  Managed to squeak it out of the tiny last scrap of the first fabric I dyed.....over 20 years ago.

This is the color of the background fabric.

All the blocks for Kim Diehl's Half Pint have been trimmed.  The colors are a bit washed out in the pic, but you get the idea.

Back to hand quilting Cutting by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger.  Poke and stab is my favorite method with perle cotton.  I like the unevenness of the stitches with whimsical designs.

Which Witch by La-D-Da is finished.  Leaving off the borders, as I know if I keep going it will end up in the UFO pile.

The good witch and bad witch charms will go on Which Witch above the flowers.

I'm doing quality control this morning as Grey makes a new ring.

PSA for sticky scissors.  We've started using this at work (sterile processing) when cleaning adhesives off instruments.  I've ordered a bottle from Amazon.  It works really well and the orange scent is much more pleasant than Goo Gone.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

 This is a quick post to let you know I might not be online for a while.  An EF-0 tornado went through our neighborhood on Friday.  We are ok and counting our blessings that the only damage we had no serious damage.  The roads out were blocked for two days and we were without power for 3 days.  

I'll be back to blogging when we have wifi connection, as the connection without it very slow.  Plus, I'd rather blog on the computer than on the phone!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


All the pieces for the Father Christmas wall hanging are cut out.  Changed the book and sack to a star and gingerbread man.

Their faces and hands looked pasty, so they were lightly colored with Inktense pencils.  They curled up a bit when they got wet, but that shouldn't be a problem.

More stitching on Which Witch by La-D-Da.

The heel flap of the second sock of this pair is underway.  The colors are true to life (for a change lol).  By the end of the year, I should have at least four pairs finished, as the only time I knit on them is while I'm waiting for my shift to start at work. 

It was more fun to start a new body than stuff and sew all the pieces together on Lucy Hare from Kerry Lord's book Edward's Menagerie.  Before I know it, the body was finished and the head of a llama was on the way.  

This workbench followed me home from Harbor Freight last Thursday.  It's to replace the folding table from Wally World that is the current cutting table.  It came in pieces, so I gave Grey a hand by holding all the bits as he screwed them together.  There's a decent LED light on the top and the bottom shelf is going to be really handy for storage.  I'll post a pic next week of what it looks like set up in the craft grotto.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


Stitched a few lengths of thread on Which Witch? by La-D-Da last week.  There's not that much more to go and I'm quite happy stitching on it.  I do need to remember to finish her hair!  That part keeps getting overlooked.  Once the lacy section of the dress is finished, it will move along quite quickly, I think.

There was also some hand quilting on Cutting by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsiger in perle cotton.   It's neither my favorite project or The Best Thing I've Ever Made, which is fine, as not everything we make needs to be quilt show standard, does it?  

I am enjoying the hand quilting process as I listen to Dear Theo by Irving Stone and Jean Stone, narrated by Clive Chafter.  It's an edited version of the letters written by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother.  The narrator's voice took a bit of getting used to, but the content is interesting to listen to.

It was a case of Amazon to the rescue when it came to finding perle cotton.  The nearest big box stores are 40 minutes away and they're a bit hit and miss when it comes to perle cotton.  It seems to get snapped up as quickly as it goes on the shelves.  

I found a ten pack of ten 47.5 yard balls in different shades of blue on the colored bird store and I'm using six of them.  It's soft and a little bit fuzzy, so might not be the best choice for something that will be washed frequently, but will be fine to complete this project. 


This book followed me home from Michaels last year.  It's been earning it's keep ever since.  lol  All the animal bodies and legs are the same, which provides plenty of repetition, which I find extremely helpful as a newbie.  The projects become more advanced as the book progresses and all of the techniques look achievable with a bit of practice.  We shall see as I work my way through the book!  

Since then, the pile of disembodied heads and legs has grown.  There's been tension issues, weird stitches, a squirrel that turned into a wonky blanket for Bailey.   This lot was gleefully tossed in the bin yesterday, as they were practice pieces.

Snapped this pic before tossing the rejects to have a reminder of how much I've improved.  The blue body is the latest.  The yellow is the second one I crocheted.  The yarn is Walmart's brand and is pretty stout.  It needs to be for the amount of ripping that's been going on!  There's just 2 1/2 ears and a tail to make before stuffing and stitching everything together.  With any luck, there'll be a finished project to show you next week.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The first couple of Half Pint blocks are finished and sewn together.   They're 4 1/2 inches square.  The border on the bottom block isn't quite as dark as it looks in the pic.  There's half a yard of both border fabrics, so I'll keep going until I run out.  Fingers crossed there will be enough fabric to finish all the blocks.

There was a bit of an oops moment.  I sprayed both blocks with a stout starch mix, so they're rather stiff.  Glad it was only two blocks, as I'd like to hand quilt this one when it's finished.

Found this at Harbor Freight.  It's 4 1/2 inches across, so works great for medium sized quilt rulers. 

Magnus Mouse has a new shirt for spring.  He's feeling rather dapper, as it's crocheted from doubled fingering weight mercantile cotton...we won't mention to him that it's scrap yarn.

The latest ring Grey made for me.  The reddish brown is dinosaur fossil.  The sparkles are meteorite shavings.  

A different part. I love it!

Pulled out Which Witch? by La-D-Da.  It's about half way through. and another of those projects where I wonder why did I put it down.  

It's being stitched with DMC 550 on 14 count aida.  The fabric is solid fluro green Rit dye which was cram jar dyed with tea.  It really needed the color knocking down and I do like the way it looks.  I mostly prefer stitching on a plain background, to keep the stitching as the focus, but this works!

A*B*C*D by La-D-Da is finished.  This is the only pic which shows the fabric color correctly.  Dyeing this color was one of those "had a wild hare" moments where I just added kept mixing yellow, tan and brown Rit dye until I had the yellow ochre color I wanted.  Then it sat in the stash until the right project came along.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

It's been a minute since I last posted, so today is a bit of a catch up.

This was one of those times when what was in my head didn't turn out quite as I envisioned it.  It's one of Prairie Schooler's Bunnies.  It's stitched on either 16 or 18 count aida using light DMC pastel colors.  It's not quite as light as in the pic, but still not the best.   I like the colors.  They just need to be a bit darker.  

A*B*C*D by La-D-Da is being stitched on 14 count aida which I dyed just before dropping off the blogosphere.  It's a darkish yellow ochre...the colors are not showing the best...again.  But you get the idea!  There's been some progress since this pic was taken a  couple of weeks ago.  The third flower is nearly finished and the last letter I stitched was V.  The floss is DMC 820.  I'm really enjoying it, so stitching on it sparingly to stretch it out! lol

Night Flight by Prairie Schooler is finished.  The pumpkin was stitched in french knots, to tie in with Double, Double.  

My favorite sock yarn is Regia 4 ply.  This is the colorway Artist.  I prefer plain socks with busy yarn and have knit so many pairs of The Yarn Harlot's vanilla sock recipe that I could probably knit them in my sleep!  

This is the latest pair in the colorway Wasserpark.  The pattern uses a heel flap and gusset, which, while not the prettiest to look at, is definitely the most comfortable for me.

Here's another two that are started.  These are also Regia 4 ply in Variageta (left) and Restful (right).

All the variegated sock yarns (plus started socks) are kept together in a basket with needles for the ribbing.  They're all discontinued colors from Webs, which means they're heavily discounted.  Who doesn't like a good bargain?

Some of the two inch squares from Barbara Brackman's Metropolitan Fair have been sewn into nine patches.  There was a lot of swapping colors around at first.  It got to the point where I just started sewing them together.  

The nine patches are going into Pint Size from the book Simple Whatnots 3 by Kim Diehl.  There's enough leftovers to make a quilted pouch.  

This French General Panier De Fleurs taupe background will be alternated with the same fabric in a creamish beige for the sashings.

The hand quilting has been started on Cutting by Sarah Fielke and Amy Lobsinger.  The background is being stitched using perle cotton in different shades of blue.    

I need to get a wriggle on with it, as I only like having one hand quilting project at a time going and I'd like to hand quilt Half Pint.

I was stumped by how to  quilt the center of the flower.  Perle cotton French knots were chosen after a lot of pondering about different embroidery stitches. with perle cotton;  On the third knot, i snapped a needle.  Fortunately, the tip fell out of the back and I only needed to have a short wrestle with the rest of the needle using a pair of plyers to remove it.  I'll give it another go with a larger needle.

This is the ring Grey made for me recently.  I love it.

A similar one he made for himself.  He used the same materials, but the rings are two different widths, as I prefer one that's not as wide.

That's about it for now.  Have a lovely week!

Progress on Pint Size by Kim Diehl from the book Simple Whatnots III.   The quilt ruler and rotary cutter combo that I'd been using sinc...