Super Secret Santa Sewing Update #4

I’m happy to report that my Christmas crafting 2010 was mostly on time. I delivered the table runner on time but didn’t have a good pattern in mind for the fiber I purchased so I made a gift certificate and presented it with the fiber. I also finished socks for Jason on Christmas Day. I didn’t wrap them but I did let him try them on so I knew how much further to knit. He only wanted another inch or two added so I have yarn leftover to make Boo a matching pair of socks or two.


Super Secret Santa Sewing 2010 #3

Well, planning will only get me so far. During nap time today I was able to knock out most of the male cardinal block. When Boo woke up he needed much comforting because I was running a sewing machine when he woke up so I didn’t hear him immediately. I don’t really know how long he was in his crib awake and unhappy. Once settled, I recalled that Grandma L. is able to put him in a highchair while she cooks and he seems content. I wondered if I pulled him next to me in his chair while I sewed if he would find it interesting. I discovered that he is only interested in watching me sew if he can have his own bits of fabric.

Luckily for both of us I accidentally sewed and cut the wrong pieces so I had some extras that I could give him. I sewed them into a small block when Jason got home and turned Boo loose. He toddled around with it like it was treasure. Then I was able to finish the first block. While looking it at I realized that I originally wanted it set on point but designed it square.

We had family dinner tonight, so when we returned home I started work on the female cardinal. I wisely cut all the background squares Thursday when I was cutting the pieces for male block. I changed the color scheme again, the picture doesn’t do the female justice, she’s got a little purpley-pink tuft on her head and the tail doesn’t look that dark. I went to work cutting and then piecing. I am so chuffed with the results, most of my points line up, the ones that don’t sort of look like tail feathers and perhaps it was on purpose. The blocks look as good if not better than they did in my head, which is saying something. I’m not the best with color and I’ve never designed a pieced pattern before. I looked at a lot of different pieced cardinals and then combined what I thought were the best features into my own. The only thing that I wish I had remembered was that I wanted the birds to be mirror images of each other rather than duplicates. I should have flipped the female on paper instead of thinking that I would remember. You’ll notice they are both facing to the left, not one left and one right, I’m not redoing it. What Granny doesn’t know won’t hurt her.

Now I have to rework the center blocks in my head because I designed everything in my head on point with triangles. Luckily for me I only have squares now, much easier, I hope. I also have a knitting project to do as well. I had planned a cowl, but tonight she asked for a Calorimetry like mine. I assume I can pick different colors. I’ll do that first and then the cowl if there’s time.


Attack of the Deadlines

Yes, you read that correctly deadlines, there’s an s on the end of that word. I have things to do and I’m running out of time. There is a nasty cold going around this fall that people are saying takes up to three weeks to fully recover and I have it, one down two to go. A week ago Friday I started to feel poorly and it went downhill from there. I was so sick last week I didn’t even feel like knitting or surfing my favorite knitting/crocheting/yarn site or much doing of anything. I’m starting to feel a bit better, but my nose is sometimes draining on to my throat causing me to clear my throat constantly and sometimes I have time to grab a tissue before it drains. Throw in driving to the vet once on Sat, once on Sun and again today and all I can say is I’m behind before I even thought about getting ahead.

    Here’s the list:

  1. Sweater-was supposed to be finished on Saturday, would have been if not for the illness, current status: one sleeve down, one to go and then the bottom edge
  2. Podcast-I had time on my hands to get the first episode recorded, but who wants to hear me while I’m sick, I’m hoping to release the first episode Dec. 1, a full episode, not just an intro. I’d like a promo out by tomorrow but I’m not holding my breath for that one
  3. Jesse Tree ornaments-I have a handful cut out, but I need to sew them together and create a tree of some sort by Wednesday, I also have to put the advent boxes together and hang them so Boo and I can open them.
  4. Super Secret Santa #1-I purchased fabric before I fell ill, but haven’t cut any of it
  5. Super Secret Santa #2-I have yarn, I have a pattern but I need to finish my sweater
  6. Super Secret Santa #3-fiber just arrived today in the mail for me to spin then I have to knit it
  7. Super-Super Secret Project #1-I am fairly certain I don’t have time for this one, it’ll get done, just probably not in time for the Christmas

Are you behind? Are you ahead? What’s your secret?


Super Secret Santa Sewing 2010 #2

Progress, of sorts, was made today. I was able to finish the basic shapes in Inkscape and then cut paper templates using SCAL and my Cricut. Originally I had thought I would put all the fabric through the Chricut, but when I looked back at the pieces of fabric I chose they are not large enough for any error with the layout. The Cricut is wasteful at times because it needs extra to cut through. I’ve packed up my drawing, my fabric and am seeking color matching advice tomorrow. I kinda like how it looks, but I’m not sure how pleasing to the eye it actually is. Here are the pics.


Super Secret Santa Sewing 2010 #1

Every year for Christmas, my husband’s family pops names into a bowl and each of us selects one person to give a Christmas gift to. We are encouraged to make it if possible. This year I have Granny again. I last had her in 2006, where I cross-stitched a stocking that took me a few years to actually complete. In my defense, I started the project too late and had a very busy next year.

As the following is super secret, please, for the love of everything good, don’t tell a soul. It’s why I’m putting it here, to keep it under wraps.

I have been contemplating this year’s present since we drew names. I have finally settled on a couple of things, the largest being a Northern Cardinal table runner. I have hunted high and low for the perfect pattern and not finding it I created one with Inkscape with the goal of cutting all the pieces with my Cricut. I couldn’t get things lined up just right so last night I sat down with paper, pen, and a ruler to draw. I’ve taken measurements of my drawing, made copies to color and am ready to head back to the computer for more drawing. I’m pleased with the results so today my goal is to size all the pieces with a seam allowance and get it back into Inkscape for cutting. There are entirely too many pieces to cut by hand. By next weekend I hope to report that pieces have been cut and I have started sewing them together. There will be a male cardinal at one end and a female at the other. I will use neutral border colors and center mounting squares so that Granny can use it any time of year. I haven’t decided on the quilting yet, but there’s plenty of time.

The second part of my gift is a handspun, knitted cowl (neckwarmer). I didn’t purchase enough fiber, so I’ve ordered more to be dyed but it won’t ship until the 19th. I was able to spin 50 yards in an evening, so my hope is that I can spin the rest (150 yds) the week it arrives and then knit. Merino-tencel is a difficuly blend for a newish spinner. I’ve received lovely advice that I think I’ll follow when I get the rest of the fiber-spin over the fold.

The last part of my gift came about as a a compromise on an earlier idea. I thought to make a fabric wallhanging of her family tree, but I do not have access to an embroidery machine for lettering. It would take me too long to hand letter as my handwriting leaves much to be desired and too expensive to have the work done by the companies in the area that specialize in those kind of things. I found a neat poster that maybe she will enjoy filling in and then we’ll mount it somehow and hang it when she’s used her beautiful handwriting to complete it.

Stay tuned for pictures and updates.


2009 Final Christmas update

The placemats are finished and residing in their new home. Alas, I have no pictures to show for my work as I sent them along without photographing them. Hopefully, a picture or two will be taken while under a plate or cup and I will be able to show them. They were not perfect by any stretch, the binding was much better, in some respects, as I neared completion of the project. Now to begin work for this Christmas.


Christmas 2009 sewing project update #4

I was able to complete 5 more placemats for Julie. Even though one picture shows 6, only 5 were delivered because I found a small 2 inch section that needed to be sewn again. I’ve ripped that section and repinned. I discovered that I needed to pull out new pins and trash the old ones. A craftier would have kept them and made some new thing out of them, but they were too dull to keep using on fabric. Now I’m on to the winter/summer placemats-one pinned, nine to go.


Christmas 2009 sewing project update #2

Well, the best laid plans . . . Here it is December and I’m still working on my super secret family Christmas Elf gift. I had hoped to be done before Boo arrived, but at least I’m not late, yet. This is post number 2 because in July I posted a bit about what I was working on, of course I danced around what it the project actually is and I’m still dancing. Until the gifts are presented I’ll not be sharing too much, only what I think can safely be viewed without giving too much away.

Should you happen upon a password protected post for the 2009 Christmas season and you feel I am not making the gift for you, please leave a comment here with a valid email address. Your email address will not be published. It will only be used so that I am able to send the password your way, unless of course you are the recipient of this gift. The password will be the same for all top-secret posts this season.


Christmas in July?

For the last several years, I have participated in Proefrock family Christmas with varying degrees success for completing on-time gifts. The first Christmas, 2006, my main gift for Granny was a bit late, she received it in Feb. or March of 2008. To make up for it, I quickly knitted a hat on one of my circle looms and filled it with goodies so she had at least something to open and keeep. Christmas of 2007 I was on-time with knitted socks and some other goodies for Dad. Christmas of 2008, well, it wasn’t as late as the first gift, but it was not on time. Jeff had to wait until Jan. or Feb. 2009 until I could get all the fish sewn together and to him in blanket form. He was able to open the gift, but I snatched it right back to continue working. If I hadn’t spent so much time coordinating the fish in rows and columns, I would have dumped the box of fish on him and let him figure out what it was. Please follow the Christmas tag or category to read more about those adventures.

I arrive at this year, 2009. Because I Christmas projectam horrible at thinking up a gift and executing it with finesse, I asked if we could draw names early. Everyone agreed, we drew so early that I knew who I was gifting to before anyone opened their 2008 presents. I went to visit my family in NY shortly after Christmas 2008 and came up with a brilliant idea for my secret Christmas Elf project. I purchased many supplies in NY as there were good deals in after-Christmas sales and my mom let me raid her fabrics for small scraps of various coordinating and contrasting fabrics. I have vacillated several times, wondering is this the best project for the person, is it too much work, is it a good idea, will the person like it. I have no concrete answers as I don’t want to let too many in on the project. I have decided is to start it, finish a stage at a time and reevaluate each time. I have been working on it over the last several months and while I’m not finished, I have made some progress. Here is a lovely photo of my leftover main fabrics and tools. I have completed the first stage so I’m celebrating Christmas in July. I like it so far. Hopefully it won’t look like Little One put the project together. I’m wading deep into sewing/quilting. While I can sew, I haven’t done as much quilting as I would like. I have lots of books and theory. Merry Christmas?