Learn to Sew

One of my goals for the year is to learn more about sewing (as opposed to quilting). And how better to do that than having monthly projects, with deadlines. I'm a big, big believer in deadlines - or, I should say, pushing up against deadlines in a mad dash to the very.last.minute. finish line.
So, I've joined the Sew Crazy Monthly Challenge. The first Monday of each month, Amber posts a selection of projects that range in complexity from beginner - her "Learn To Sew" series - to ambitious.

I wanted to do two projects* this month, but ran out of time - see 'mad dash' and 'last minute' above. One of the sewing things that scares worries I'm not comfortable attempting on my own is zippers.
Silly, huh? I know I've done them before - my mother was a great seamstress and taught all us girls to sew, but it never really 'stuck' with me.
It took reading, rereading and re-rereading several tutorials before I was comfortable attempting it, but I got there. And lookee what I made -  
a fully-lined, zippered bag. 
I'm ridiculously pleased with this silly thing.

*I WILL get to the appliqued pillow soon. I have all the pieces to make it, and I love the design. The little girls will be in heaven with a tv-watching pillow of their very own at grandma's house. 



Family Treasure

This is one of two quilt tops that have been in my son-in-law's family for many years. John thinks they were made by his mother, possibly in the 80's. (Note to self - and other quilters: LABEL your work!)

Both tops are beautifully hand-sewn. This one was a top only; the other had batting and backing already attached.
I picked out fabric for the back and binding, then got my buddy Debbie to quilt it on her long-arm machine. (Do you know how hard it is to match modern fabric to vintage textiles?? Especially when you know there's a strong emotional connection, and you're sooooo afraid of making a bad decision? Bet I spent 2 hours picking this fabric out.)
Once it was back in my hands, I hand-stitched the binding down (at 1.5 to 2 hours per side, that's a lot of stitching.)
Now that it's all done, there's no way in hell-o that I'm trusting this to UPS or the postal service. We'll be hand-carrying it to CO when we go in February. Sure hope John likes it!


Maple Leaf

Hubby's home improvement projects continue -

Doesn't he do nice work?

Love this color; Rachel helped me pick picked it out last time she was here. I have no color sense when it comes to wall paint.



More Samples

Finished up more class samples - only 2 week after the class schedule came out, so I'm ahead of the game this time. Only 2 more to make - crocodile shawl and a felted bag.

 Rainbow Rabbit  
a really fun project
and great addition to the little girls' Easter baskets (once I make a few more . . . )

Is it a shawl? A scarf? A scarflette??
Whatever, I really like the resulting fabric - so soft and squishy. 
These aren't my colors, so I think I may have to make another one, just for me. Maybe in mink? Hmmmmmmm. 

And I finally got the rockers on my hexagon pony.  She's a bit off-balance, but I'll adjust her stuffing and fix that this week.
Love, love, love my Rockin' Penny Pony.


How I Spent My Weekend


drive to LA with a buddy, have dinner at a great place, meet up with another buddy who moved away several months ago - reunion!! -

and take a necklace making workshop at French General as part of their Art of Craft weekend.

Saturday: play with grandgirls while one daughter goes to doctor (asthmatic bronchitis), and son/DIL go to the movies (Hobbit 2 - excellent!)
Sunday: drive back to LA,
intending to take just the tapestry weaving workshop -
this will be a pincushion once all the tails are woven in and the backing sewn on -
and end up staying for the iconic shrine workshop
when there's a late morning cancellation for the sold-out class. Score!
Hand-sewn antique pearls and gold rings,
flowers dipped in wax,
old book pages - with sheep!
Surprised me that I enjoyed this workshop so much. And next year? Pretty sure I'll be signing up for the entire weekend.


Zombie Lipstick

Look what I finally finished.

This has been lying around, all done except for hand-stitching the binding down - which I enjoy doing - since September 2012. Embarrassing.

The top was a shop sample from my favorite local quilt shop, which is also where I found the perfect Eiffel Tower backing fabric.
I've been calling this the lipstick quilt from the beginning (every shade of red under the sun, just like a lipstick display). Now though, since it's going to be primarily used by hubby when we watch teevee in the evening, it needs a new, more masculine - but still colorful - name.
Which is how it came to be called 'zombie apocalypse'. Maybe we've been watching too much SyFy? (And Sleepy Hollow; love that show.)


FO The Third

Leia was kind enough to model this for me today.

I finished it yesterday and blocked it last night, using a (red) dinner plate as one Raveler suggested. Worked pretty well, too!
And just in case you're interested, the class list for January through April is up at my LYS. Lots of crochet classes coming up . . .


First for 2014

My first FO's for the year -
Pony Pony, from Heidi Bear's pattern - love her designs.  
Aren't her ears cute?? 
PP is still off her rocker (she's going to be a rocking horse. . . )  but I should have those done this week soon.

First shawl of the year is also done - 

This one is based on the Seems Like Old Times pattern, which is a redesign of a pattern first published in 1906. I love the historical aspect.
And I made it with yarn that I won in a Facebook contest, sponsored by my favorite yarn shop, back in September 2012.
Double winner!