Monday, January 30, 2012

Such a Lackluster Month!

I looked at the calendar today and asked myself, "Self - what the heck happened to January?"  I think I said that last month and the month before too!  OY!  So little progress on anything and I've been trying like the devil.  My mojo is back, but there definitely seems to be a lack of time due to all that life stuff.  So before the end of the month hits us and we're into February, I figured I'd make a post on my rather lackluster doings in the craft world the past few weeks.  Finger's crossed February will be a more productive month.

First off, stitching on AWFAA has been really bad.  I went great guns on this sampler and then peetered out on the fill in - but I've loving the colors:

I was warned about how intensive that fill in can be, but I like fill-in stitching when I feel like being mindless and not having to refer to a chart much.  Obviously, I didn't have a lot of time to be mindless this month.

But there was other stitching.  I joined Becky's challenge and promptly picked out a piece to stitch.  But I changed my mind.  I really didn't want to start something "brand" new.  My goal this year is to finish up WIPs and work on stash where things are kitted and ready to go.  The operative phrase this year is, "Do not spend money - you own a small craft shop in the basement"!!!  Anyway, last year I had started Ann Rayner and got all of this far on my one day of stitching:

Wow! Leaves you breathless by all I got done, doesn't it?  LOL  Anyway, this was on 40 count linen and I just knew that when I came to the over one stitching, I would not be a happy camper.  So I restarted it:

This time I'm working it on 32 count Cafe au Lait and liking it much better.  Excuse the wrinkle marks.  For some reason, the fabric relaxed back and now I have wrinkles!  UGH!  Anyway, while I'm sure that it's a travesty to do this sampler on a whiter and larger larger count linen, it's a welcome break from working on the 40 count fabric that AAWFAA is on (and a lot of my other starts from last year also).  So this will be my challenge piece - it's a new start for the new year.

I also finally tamed the savage beast with the knitting and got those YO's down pat and started on my daughter's scarf.  I had quite a bit of yarn left over from the Guernsey scarf and DD picked out a pattern, asked for a gray scarf and this is where I am - probably 1/3 finished - she wants a long scarf:

It goes rather quickly with repeats of eight rows.  I'm almost loving it so much, I might have to make one for myself!!

Then I've been doing some quilting.  In that attempt to get rid of WIPs both in stitching and quilting, I went back to the Farmer's Wife and was able to attach three more rows of blocks.  I really, really wanted to start working on the Cotton Club (a BOM that I started receiving last year), but I just knew that if I did that, the Farmer's Wife would just remain a pile of blocks (you can click on the picture for a close-up, but please excuse any stray threads).

I love this quilt more and more as I get each row attached.  When I got to the next row of blocks, I hit a road block and in trimming down the blocks to prepare them for the sashing, I found that one block - if I trimmed it down to the correct size, I would be sewing too far into the block and not have points!  UGH!  So that is a block that I will have to redo.  At that point, I stopped putting rows together until I could remake that block.  Then I realized that I didn't have to follow the book exactly and line my blocks up like the designers.  No, this is my quilt and I could do what I want! (why am I suddenly hearing Leslie Gore's song, "It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To" in my head?????)  Anyway, I'll leave that block until the end and put it there.  There is one other block that I have to redo because - well, it looked like a volcano at the end of putting it together - so when I'm in the piecing mood I'll make those two blocks over again.

And last but not least, I did a little bit of handwork.  Now, normally I hate handwork.  I used to do it all the time when I made dresses and costumes for my daughter, but ask me today to sew on a button or anything like that, and I run in the other direction.  I don't seem to have the patience for it (probably why I don't hand applique).  But I had a couple small kits for scissor fobs that I had received from my Guild and we're to receive another one next month, so since it's a good thing to clean out some stash, and the fact that my bazillon pairs of scissors mostly do not have fobs, I made up the couple kits that I had - a watermelon and strawberry:

And you know, I so enjoyed doing them, that I searched around for some more things to do.  Maybe there is hope for an applique quilt yet.

And I'll leave you with this picture:

Now what's so interesting about this picture you ask?  Well, it snowed yesterday.  Why was I excited?  It was coming down in huge flakes and the ground was covered!  We here in Michigan have been snow starved this year.  We'll get a little bit and then it warms up and melts, and I don't think that the ground has been covered yet this year.  In fact, it's been so unseasonably warm here that Ice Festivals and tournaments that are held on the lakes have been postponed for a month, hoping that February will be more seasonable.  So the snow is a beautiful thing to see.  Even my daughter smiled when she saw the snow.  Alas, I understand that it will be short lived.  I hear temps are rising again in a day or two!

So that's the report this time around.  Not much for 20 days of work.  But all those little bits of progress will eventually end up in a finish, right? I've managed to find a couple new things to add to the craft room (yes, one or two more sewing machines among other things), and some vintage things from my grandmother that I discovered in a box in addition to some things I had as a child.  It's always a delight to find those things especially when they are from family.

Hope that everyone has a great week!

40 comments:

Suburban Stitcher said...

wow! love that scarf!!! what is the name of the pattern? your farmers wife is beautiful.

barbara said...

That scarf is gorgeous, as is everything else. Love the sampler in your first photo!!

Bertie said...

Yes the months fly by when you're having fun! Beautiful scarf, lovely color!
Oh those blocks are gorgeous! love the sashing, really complements it!
Beautiful scenery, we had a dusting last night, same here no winter yet:))
Have a lovely day:)

Loraine said...

Oh what a great post, Deb! Just seeing that Farmer's Wife quilt is so amazing, I know I want to work on that this year! So sorry about redoing blocks. I'm sure that is not something you want to do at this point. Knowing me, I'd just fudge it in there, and pretend it wasn't suppose to have points. LOL.
Love the knitting too. I must learn how to do that this year! Your sampler is beautiful also!
We have had the same strange winter. A big flake snowstorm last week, but not much snow to speak of this year, and the temps have been wonderful. I totally have loved this winter! It's felt like Spring for 2 months. :)
Hope you have a great week, and get back to all your lovely projects.
Hugs dear friend!

Laurie in Iowa said...

I love how your Farmers Wife quilt top is coming together. Good for you for working on WIPs instead of starting something new.

Glenna said...

I like all your WIPs, but especially the scarf and quilt. I'm in the WIP mode mostly, too. Happy end of snow starvation (I consider us lucky to be snow-starved, so you can have ours.)

Mouse said...

well if that's not much ..lol love the blocks for your quilt they look gorgeous together and a wee bit of creativity why not :)
love the scissor fobs too :)
scarf looks very warm just right for your snow :)apparently the mouse house is supposed to be getting some soon ??? love mouse xxxxx

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Looks to me like you've accomplished quite a lot! Love the Farmers Block quilt and the scarf for DD is lovely.

The snow was gorgeous yesterday, wasn't it?

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

I think you did rather well for January. I love your projects. The scarf is just lovely and your farmer's wife's quilt is looking beautiful. I really love the fabrics you are using.

Siobhán said...

Nice progress on your stitching and quilting, Deb! I love that FWQ! Your scarf looks great, too. LOVE the scissor fobs--very nice! I'm with you on wondering how it is that the month went so quickly. I'm still back in August, preparing for autumnal stitching. Eek.

Cari said...

Great stitching and quilting pics my friend. I've slowed down on AAWFAA but it's a great one to stitch on when I'm with a group of gals. I try to do the outline at home, and fill in with the gals.

Hugs

LiahonaGirl said...

I'd say your January was quite productive. So many great projects underway. And you're a "finisher" so I'm sure we'll see some finishes in the months to come. I haven't given in to the Farmer's Wife quilt craze, but it's sure tempting! Great job.
Nancy

Giovanna said...

Lots to admire here... I really like that scarf, and the stitching and quilting WIPs are all gorgeous - I'd say you've got quite a lot done in January :-)

Nancy M said...

Whether you have much progress or not, it's nice to hear what you have been up to. I was just saying to my husband that this winter has really killed the ski/toboggan resorts this year. And here we were supposed to have record setting snow???? Maybe we would have if it would have snowed and not rained.

Lois said...

I feel like January has flown in. It's been a much milder winter here too and I think that has something to do with it. You may be thinking you don't have much to share but, let me tell you, I loved reading about everything and seeing the pics! The quilt is coming together so nicely, all that filling in will be worth it and I love the scarf!

Me and My Stitches said...

Looks like progress to me! All of your projects are wonderful, but you know that I'm partial to the Farmer's Wife quilt!

Margaret said...

I think everyone is snow starved. Which is fine by me. lol! I hope it stays that way!

Love your AAWFAA. I don't know about you, but I have a major block when it comes to working on this piece. And what's that piece that you restarted on 32ct linen? Did you say? It's pretty, whatever it is! Looooove your Farmer's Wife blocks coming together! I say leave that rogue block till the end for sure! Great job on the DD's scarf too! And the fobs are so cute! I think you've gotten a lot done this month!

doris said...

Like some others have said, your works are all wonderful, but that scarf and quilt take the cake. Very, very pretty. I always feel the need for more stitching/knitting/finishing time! Will we ever be satisfied?

samplerlover said...

Hi Deb, you did get a lot done this month. Great progress on AAWFAA. It looks lovely as does your Ann Rayner start. That is one that I want to do one day. You know me and sheep lol.

OMG on your FWB's. It is looking amazing and I really love your scissor fobs. DD's scarf is looking really lovely. It is worth all of the problems that you had with it. = Sandra.

Nancy said...

That scarf is gorgeous and so is the quilt top! All of your stitches are coming along!

Teresa S. said...

Thank heaven you hadn't stitched far on Ann Rayner before restarting! You will be much happier now.
Love the scissor fobs-so cute!

valerie said...

Any progress is some progress! I understand how you feel though. I think I only managed 100 stitches in the last 8 days. I'm kind of going a little nuts. I've sewn on buttons and charms at a molasses pace. I hate mending and sewing on buttons and charms. I still have a few more to add and I'll finally have a finish. We wont mention the pile of actual clothing mending I have to do.

Great progress and I am in love with your scarf! It's terrific!

Melissa said...

Talk about getting your mojo back! What a fun post! Everything is wonderful. AAWFAA is on my short list of projects to start this year. Not to mention Ann Raynor. I'm stitching Frances Eden on good old 32ct antique white, I'm hoping the whiter linen will make those bright colors pop. I'm betting Ann is going to be bright and happy on the cafe au lait.

I've been trying to focus on WIP too because I have one or two or fifty! But I refuse yo deny myself a new start if I hear the Siren's song!

Christine said...

I think you've achieved quite a lot.
I love the knitted scarf

Katrina said...

All pretty projects!!!! I love AAWFAA :-). One of these days...

I totally understand the stitching from the sewing room idea. I need to do that too. But then there is a market this month... I am going to try and be good and only buy the things I think I will stitch right away.

Jackie said...

Not at all lackluster! I love your posts and it looks like you've been plenty busy this week. You should see my January progress (not much of anything)! January always seems to be spent recovering from the holidays, organization, and other things. Your FW looks wonderful! I'm glad you've started it back up again.

Catherine said...

You've certainly been busy! Love that scarf ~ great color!

Carol said...

I think you have a lot to show for your month, Deb!! Really--more than I did. I had to resort to digging through my drawer of 'unfinished finishes' to have anything to show other than a couple of small finishes :)

Your scarf is amazing as is your quilt and sampler... What a multi-talented stitcher you are :)

Nicole said...

All your projects are beautiful Deb! It's always a treat when you post! Can't believe these crazy temps. We have had such a warm winter this year too!

Sherry :o) said...

finally some snow, is what I said this weekend! Farmer's Wife is awesome, the scarf...beautiful. I have problems with straight knitting. Your strawberry looks good - it's one of my fav scissor fobs. I didn't do the watermelon but it sure is cute. I think it's a pineapple next. I don't think I signed up for that one either. I have a sweet-thing for strawberries (no pun intended) :0)
See you in a couple weeks!

Susan said...

It certainly looks like a lot of progress to me! It's all beautiful.

Joy said...

You have been one busy gal. Love that scarf! I think we all have a store some where in our homes.

woolwoman said...

I just sorta chuckled when I kept reading and reading all the things you got done in 20 days - My gosh woman - what more do you expect to accomplish???? LOL - Your farmers wife is absolutely stunning - I don't blame you for stating right up front it's your "party" - YGG - and I think it is great you restarted Ann on something more comfortable for you to stitch. I wanted to start AWFAA for a while but the lust passed - I still love that one. I love the scarf you started for DD - you are doing a super job on it. This time of year is when I really love to knit but you can imagine how our so called winter has been here in NE FL when you've had no winter to speak of in Mich. - we've had hardly any cold weather and are back in the 70's again for the next week. I think we've had one freeze this whole winter. Oh well at least it's good on the electric bills. Have a fantastic February Deb ! hugs Mel

merumo said...

You are enjoying everything what I wish i could do the same now! Stitching, knitting, quilting and a lot more :))) It's always wonderful to see what you are up to!

Mary said...

Great new start, and the quilt is just stunning! Can't wait to see it finished!

Happy stitching:)

Quiltingranny said...

Quilt is just fantabulous. Stop by my blog for a chance to win some cute giveaway items:
http://quiltingranny.blogspot.com/2012/02/we-are-not-moving-giveaway.html

Karoline said...

Hmm, it looks like you got a fair bit done to me. Everything is looking lovely.

Brigitte said...

As I see it you were very productive - some stitching, some knitting, some quilting, a very creative trio.
Farmer's Wife's Quilt looks absolutely gorgeous. I know my time will come for this wonderful quilt when I'll retire in 2013. I can't hardly wait, lol.

Mindi said...

I know exactly what you're talking about with lack of time, considering I'm about 2 weeks behind on blog reading. I love the colors in AWFAA, and mindless fill-in stitching is great for watching TV.

Love the scarf you're working on for DD. I've tried to knit before, but without much success. I think I'll just stick to cross stitch!

Suzanne said...

With school starting, I don't know where my day goes anymore. Time just seems to fly and I have so little time for anything.

I think I have a small needlework shop going at my place as well. That's why I am also only stitching from my stash and only buying what I really need to finish pieces.

Nice start to Ann and a beautiful scarf.