Quilting & Sewing

It takes a village right?

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It’s still not even remotely fall-ish here which is really starting to bug me! It was 100 degrees all weekend. Ew! I refuse to drink a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte when it’s over 75 degrees. But I have been making some homemade ones because Ashleigh has this theory that if we dress like it’s autumn, eat seasonal treats and get cozy, the weather will HAVE to agree and turn autumn-y.

I appreciated all your emails and kind thoughts about my hand/arm stuff. I’ve been trying acupuncture which is so fascinating to me. I’ve gone five times so far and here are my thoughts:

I lack the ability to sit still. Truly. I am *always* doing things. Knitting. Playing video games. Cross stitching. Reading. Social Media. Just constantly DOING. And that hour where I have to sit still is HARD. Like the first time I went, I was nervously watching the clock and stressing out about my to do list. Then my friend Kelly had the brilliant idea to listen to an audiobook. That definitely helped, I asked my acupuncturist if that was ok and she said absolutely and now I have an hour of The Silkworm time. I’m not 100% able to relax fully but now I’m not feeling terrible about it, I look forward to listening to bits of the story. Last time I made it a full 37 minutes before I opened my eyes and looked at the clock. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I LOVE the narrator of this series, I listened to The Cuckoo’s Calling last fall and adored it. (Those are Amazon Affiliate links- meaning if you click them and buy those, I get a tiny percentage that I use to buy more books! But I obviously only suggest things I genuinely love!) I know they are JKR but go into the books just expecting a FANTASTIC mystery/crime and NOT Harry Potter and you’ll love them. I am finding mixed relief from acupuncture. I knit yesterday for the first time in two weeks and was only able to finish one row of my Great Divide Shawl. I have a dr’s appointment in October that some days I look forward to and other days I dread if I’m being honest.

It’s really bothering me that I can’t knit. And if I’m still being honest, this summer was hard. I had to cut back on all the things I love and I just felt sort of lost. I didn’t realize how much of my happiness, self identity and confidence comes from the act of creating. I was really starting to feel sad about it and then I decided to find an alternative solution:

What if I asked for help? 

I had bought two skeins of Socks That Rock with the intent of having a Halloween Great Divide, I emailed Michele and asked if she could knit me one and she agreed! She’s doing a gorgeous job on it!

And then! I’ve *always* wanted a crocheted afghan and my friend Bonnie made a beautiful one for one of her friends. I sent her almost my entire Plucky stash and suddenly…AFGHAN!

I had a pile of quilts I couldn’t hand sew the binding on and I’m awful at machine binding…some cupcakes and rosemary potatoes later, Saremy machine bound my quilts for me. I *love* knowing that even if I’m not making things, I’m at least going to be surrounded by hand made stuff.

Someone on instagram sent me a private message asking how I could claim a quilt that someone else designed, someone else quilted and another person bound as my own. This message kind of threw me for a loop. It’s definitely something to think about but I’m not dwelling on it. I feel like I have two choices: let my stash of collected yarn and fabric just sit & torment me or send it to friends and trade/buy/whatever in exchange for help finishing projects or creating projects I know I can’t physically do. So thanks to CrinkleLove for quilting my Thanksgiving Donut Quilt and Eileen Quilts for quilting my Halloween Donuts, Halloween Squares and Hashtag Quilt and Saremy binding them for me I ACTUALLY HAVE THINGS TO SHARE WITH YOU! I’m looking forward to blogging about each one individually because they are all super fun. AND I HAVE COZY QUILTS TO BE COZY WITH! Because COZY.

I started actually taking Sunday’s completely off. I have breakfast with my family at our favorite soda shop in Yuba City and then I come home and soak my arm. Last Sunday I cut out the first block in Moda’s Modern Building Blocks. This project comes in two formats: a kit with moda bella solids (check google or your local quilt shop!) and a project fan card. I bought the fan card option off etsy (the shop is now sold out and asked me not to link directly to them) and I *love* it but it appears to be backordered online everywhere at the time I’m writing this.

It’s this great sampler and the pattern cards are just the measurements for the blocks. I love it because it’s so sweet and inspiring. Every sampler I make will always remind me of doing The Farmer’s Wife Quilt with Angela and I wish that TFWQ book was set up this way! For me, it’s so much easier to see a block diagram labeled with letters and then below those letters with the corresponding measurements. I sort of “hacked” my pattern, I put washi tape on it and hole punched the outer cover (this shows the entire quilt) so I could keep it all together on a ribbon. I kept being afraid I’d lose the outer wrapper with the quilt diagram on it! I had a perfect matching washi tape in my stash from one of my Project Life kits which made me ridiculously happy.

So today I listened to some music and cut out another Donut Quilt. This one is sort of fantasy book inspired?! And then I made my first Modern Building Block! It’s a mix of quilting cotton, linen and silk. So much texture. I have no doubt this quilt will take me the better part of a year to work on and I’m sewing mostly from stash. I have a Big Life Event happening at the moment that I want to shout about from the rooftops but I’m afraid to jinx it so I’m not saying anything which is SO HARD but hopefully in 30ish days I’ll be able to share something great with you. If it doesn’t work out, forget I mentioned anything. Seriously. ;) If it does work out, this quilt is going to be extra special. I *love* long term projects because when you finish them and look back you see memories in them. Like “oh I was listening to this album and sewing this block when X happened.” or “I got this fabric from (insert friend) during November and made a block instantly”.

I took some photos last week of my current WIP cross stitch. It’s pretty much the most autumn-y sweet thing ever. I just need to make sure it’s ok to post them, I’m shooting for Wednesday :):):)

Have a good Monday!

Whoa Nelly.

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I’m so incredibly envious of all the folks I see mentioning that fall is coming! Cool weather! Leaves are turning!

It’s not even remotely like it here. The only thing that I’ve noticed is it getting a little bit darker earlier on our evening walks.

So I’m pretending that it’s happening here k?

I cut out a new quilt yesterday! I haven’t sewn since I made my mod blocks quilt in May. That’s crazy right?! I had almost a full day off from work yesterday and I decided to just put on some favorite music (lately I’m obsessed with old Death Cab Cutie) and just cut it out. I have two that I want to make, one sort of Autumn/Thanksgiving-ish and one Mystical/Fantasy-ish. I only got one cut out yesterday but I’m ok with it! I used a Moda Grunge that I haven’t tried before, it’s sort of a cream with darker cream splotches. I can’t seem to find it online but I’ll keep checking. I have no idea when I’ll be able to sew it together but it was fun to cut it all out!

On a whim the second week of August I went by my local yarn store and picked up two DK weight yarns. I thought I’d try my hand at a Great Divide Shawl! I got a skein of Juniper Moon Findley DK in Buckwheat & Sweet Georgia Superwash DK in I think…Cayenne? Don’t hold me to that, I’ve misplaced the tag. I cast on using size 9’s (pattern calls for 8’s) and just got obsessed with it! It’s a *very* fun and addictive pattern. I could definitely see myself making multiples of these. I’m knitting it a little looser and English style. I haven’t decided my border color yet- I have a skein of Tosh DK in Dahlia which just might be one of my new favorite colors. It’s the prettiest wine-y plum. And then I have a skein of The Verdant Gryphon Traveller in Maijishan Grottoes. Which is also gorgeous but I’d originally planned on knitting a hat from it. Tough choice! I got some new stitch markers for my birthday that I stuck on my shawl Pecan Pie from Sweet & Savory Trinkets & S’more + PB&J From Sucre Sucre Miniatures!

I haven’t been knitting as much as I’d like. At all. If it was up to me, I’d be have that shawl, some fingerless gloves and a new pair of socks done. My hand has been bothering me on and off all spring and has gotten much worse this summer. I’ve visited a few doctors about it and I’m not 100% in agreement with them so I’m trying acupuncture for the first time this week! I’m equal parts nervous and excited to try it. I’m giving it a shot until October when I have an appointment for a second opinion then I’ll see an neurologist for an EMG. It’s so incredibly frustrating to be surrounded by amazing yarn, great projects and not be able to work on stuff! But when I do take the time to knit, I enjoy every single second of it. Cute stitch markers, super nice yarn and a great pattern. It’s a special treat to be able to work on it here and there.

I’ve been reading a TON. I think because I used to knit in the evenings, now I’m reading more! I’ve really gotten into the BookRiot blog & podcast! If you haven’t checked it out and you love to read, you should. I also found The Readables BookTube Channel and she’s so adorable. I’ve started reading comics and I was so excited to see that Chico has a great comic book store, BaT Comics!  (Next to a pie shop and one block over from the bookstore. See you later money & waistline ;)) The owner is super nice and really knowledgeable. I’ve been collecting a few series and have totally become obsessed with Manga this summer as well. In some ways not being able to sew and knit as much has inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things! Positive thinking right? Chop surprised me with a strange stuffed boar this spring, who I’ve referred to as Boarish Yeltsin, I decided he needed his own instagram account so I could share all my book-ish things. I love sharing what I’ve been finding at my local library- I got these on Saturday:

Our library has started using Axis360 and I’ve been REALLY liking it. Lots of brand new eBooks, you should definitely see if your library offers it! I’m currently reading Unbreakable and I kept thinking “is this Supernatural?” This morning I checked out GoodReads and read some reviews, yep. Supernatural! I’m not far enough along to say if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Before this summer I was a monogamous reader, just one book at a time. But now I have an eBook (for reading in bed at night), an audiobook (for listening to while I work) and a paper book (daytime reading) going at all times. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the characters in each story or get plot lines mixed up but so far it hasn’t been a problem. I get really excited when I get to switch between them as well.

I’ve been cross stitching a ton lately. Like, nonstop. And I’ve been enjoying it so much. If you’ve been reading my blog you might recall that I’m not the most confident of cross stitchers so my goal this summer has been to practice, practice, practice. Which has been a little tricky since my hand hurts and I’m sure it’s contributing to the problem. But this is my job! I look forward to my mornings with coffee, my project and a book (or music!). I’ve made 3 bookmarks for myself, I stitched two of our new mini patterns AND we decided to use my personal project (remember- our patterns are stitched by ladies other than Ashleigh & I to test them) for the cover sample for The Mysterious Halloween Town. I feel fancy! ;) My stitching is not perfect but it’s definitely getting better! I started stitching our new Autumn Harvest Festival pattern on a super pretty hand dyed aida and I really am enjoying it, it’s so soft and dreamy. Also, we’ve added two permanent promo codes if you are interested: PARTYTIME which is $2 off 3 or more mini patterns and 15% off 5 or more patterns in a single transaction with PUMPKIN the 15% off one can add up super fast and if you buy some of the bigger patterns, it ends up being close to getting a pattern free which is always nice!

I hope you had a good summer :) My summer blogging hiatus is over and I’ll be back to posting more often :):)

Favorite Projects & Books of Summer (so far!)

Here is what I love about summer:

  • extra daylight
  • iced drinks 24/7
  • sunsets
  • ice cream
  • napping

Here is what I don’t love about summer:

  • fire season
  • heat
  • feeling sweaty
  • heat. have I mentioned heat?

I made this insane goal that before the temperatures get cool (which is like…November) I want to have a little wardrobe of new knit goods to wear.

I want:

  • a hat
  • a cowl
  • a shawl
  • a pair of fingerless gloves.

I’ve accomplished one! I finished the cowl this weekend, I made Zuzu’s Petals from Madelinetosh DK Twist in Modern Fair Isle. I thought the pattern was fun and well written and I know I chose yarn that doesn’t do the pattern justice (I’m forever picking yarn that doesn’t show off lace…eek!), I’m looking forward to wearing it!

I started knitting the fingerless gloves. I’m using zombie ViXen by Susan Claudino and it’s been REALLY fun! Have you ever looked through her patterns? She is so good at knitting creatures, she gives them freaking eyebrows. That detail kills me! I forgot how great cables are to knit. The yarn is from Spun Right Round and it’s called Combat Boots & Babydoll Dresses. Totally 90’s and I *love* it. It’s kind of a pale oat-y color with tiny flecks of orange, aqua and mauve.

I have no idea what I’ll do for a hat or a shawl. I really love Moonraker, it’s super unique and looks like it would be a really fun knit!

One of my favorite projects from this summer so far is my Quilt to Read Under. The pattern is ModBlocks by Johanna Masko. I had literally ONE weekend to make a quilt. My sewing time is super limited so when I have time, I want to make the most of it and get something great accomplished. I *love* Joanna’s patterns. They are direct and to the point. Really clever. Easy to understand. Sometimes I just want to read the directions and end up with a great quilt with zero math or thinking on my part. It drives me nuts when I buy a quilt pattern and it has a ridiculous amount of waste and strange cutting instructions.

I picked a bundle of colors that I normally wouldn’t go with but this year I’m crushing on lilac REALLY hard. Patchwork is always a very special thing to me, I like to take my time picking fabric to tell a story. I really wanted a new little lap quilt to take on a road trip to Modoc County we went on and I knew I wanted it whimsical and a tiny bit edgy. It has some silk. Some chambray. Linen. Double cotton gauze. Some old favorites and some new. I wanted the size to be small but the fabric to have a big impact. And maybe have a little fairy tale sweetness without being too saccharine. I love this quilt. FIERCELY.

I named it a Quilt to Read Under because I like dragging it to my chair and having it in my lap while reading. And this summer is alllllllllll about reading.

Here are my very favorite books I’ve read this summer. You should read them. Seriously. They are all very different and very good!

  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before- Jenny Han It was quirky and sweet!
  • Sinner by Maggie Steifvater I’m a huge fan girl of Maggie Steifvater and I went into this knowing that it wasn’t meant to be part of the Shiver series but more of a stand alone and wowowowow. With each book she writes, she just gets better and better.
  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson I was so confused for the first 1/2 of this book trying to put the name to the character. Who was the prince and who was the assassin. Just when I thought I figured it out…nope. This was a fast read for me, one afternoon! I just was super into it! And it’s an excellent cliff hanger.
  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen I went into this book knowing nothing about it, only that I wanted to read a fantasy with a strong female lead. This is one of those books where you watch the character go from UGH to YAY. I love good character development.
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr This book. If you read just ONE book this summer, make it this one. Truly. What a beautiful and haunting story. It took me about two weeks to read this simply because it’s lushly written, I didn’t WANT to stop reading it but it’s such a HARD subject (WW2) that I’d find myself having to pause to catch my breath. It’s incredibly paced as well. Marie’s story is going to stay with me for a long time.

We have about A MILLION new patterns in the shop. Truly. So many people asked about my scissor fob that Ashleigh made me last summer that we did the pattern for it. And The Mysterious Halloween Town club is now two clues in and I LOVE IT! Once Upon a Time is growing and it’s insane! It feels like just yesterday we were stitching January’s block! My birthday is next month and we always pick our favorite things for our birthday month, mine I think will surprise people and I super hope everyone likes it! And speaking of birthday months! It’s Ashleigh’s birthday today! We always have a BIG promo code on her birthday- this year it’s 26% off your entire purchase with promo code BIRTHDAY

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It expires on Monday, July 28th at noon PST. Also, Picture This Plus has a huge fabric sale on July 25th so it’s a good opportunity to stock up on patterns + supplies!

:):)

 

Follow Your Arrow & Cross Stitching

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Hi!

Happy Tuesday!

This weekend I finished my Follow Your Arrow Shawl.

And I have so many feelings!!! (I’m waving my hands around like a maniac- be thankful you can’t see that.)

Ok, first off. What an incredibly enjoyable knit. I literally didn’t want it to end. So, so, so much fun! I dragged this shawl with me everywhere. I’m currently wearing it as a lap blanket while I write this.

Second off. I can’t figure out how to wear it! Ha! Typically I wear triangular shawls with the point forward, like a kerchief. This is a different shape and when I wear it that way, it looks as if I’m wearing a bib. Not the best look.  I tried to wear it traditionally, with the narrow ends around my shoulders and I look as if I’m pretended to be a super hero. Oh dear! I also ADORED knitting with these colors but wearing them…oh boy. I don’t know if I can wear that much hot pink near my face without looking like a clown! ;)

It honestly doesn’t matter though because I adored knitting it. And it matches my compound bow. Once I figure out how to comfortably wear it, I’ll take more photos & do a big blog post with details.

I started working on cross stitching a new pattern that we are planning to release this spring and it’s cuuuuute! For some reason it reminds me of a cross between The Great Gatsby & Downton Abbey. I made a new little Hoop Travel Bag to carry it around in. Porkchop bought me a fat quarter bundle of Catnap for Christmas, I keep trying to sew stuff with it but it’s very rare for me to own an entire line of fabric at once so I sort of want to use it all in one quilt but finally I decided CAT BAG!!!!

Last week Ashleigh & I received the sweetest surprise from Rachelle of The Cottage Needle! She had Sugarloaf, The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s official mascot, turning into a knitting needle gauge and a thread minder! EEK!!! Adorable right?! I am so into cute notions and this is like a little dream come true! I asked her if she could order more and she can if you like him too!

On Friday Porkchop is taking me to Stitches West, I’m pretty excited, I’ve never been before. I’m hoping to find a skein or two of some yarn to turn into special socks. Is anyone else going?!

Forgive me but….

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It’s beginning to look a heck of a lot like Christmas around here.

I know, I know. I can hear you saying “But Amanda! Thanksgiving is TOMORROW! Don’t be one of “those” people”!

Well…I’ve been living & breathing Christmas cross stitch patterns since August and we KNOW August is too early to share things of red & green nature.

Christmas is very low on my favorite holidays list. Halloween would be first (does that surprise you?), Valentine’s Day second and Christmas falling around number 30. I don’t even know 30 holidays off the top of my head, but Christmas is that low on the list. Sooooo if I’m feeling festive, I have to jump into it ok?

Here are Christmas-y things that I’m excited about:

Gingerbread Lane! AHHH! Part two! Part TWO! Gingerbread men having snowball fights! The most tacky house on the block with a giant glowing Noel sign!

The 12 Days of Christmas launches this week. I stitched the sample and o m g is it CUTE! It’s very warm and traditional but with Ashleigh’s kawaii spin on it.

We will be having an after Thanksgiving sale! All weekend long! Make sure you “like” us on facebook so you can get the promo code.

I absolutely positively will not be mall shopping this weekend. I plan on stay very cozy at home & online shopping. My plans this weekend involve the Dr. Who special (don’t tell me anything!), knitting Christmas socks, reading and keeping an eye on the shop.

Christmas socks!

Ok so I have one done, I’m using Poste Stripe, Humbug AZ. After seeing The Knit Girllls mention Fish Lips Kiss Heel, I thought I’d try it.

And it is FUN! It’s $1 for the PDF which I have mixed feelings about. I truly believe that people should be paid for their work and this PDF is HUGE. Like, this should be $5-7. She made freaking video tutorials and tells you from start to finish how to make awesome fitting socks. And, when I had a question she emailed me back right away. If you want to try a new heel or knitting socks, this is definitely a good pattern. I had to watch the videos a few times, it’s not hard- I’m just kind of slow at learning new things. And it fits great! I just hate seeing people work hard and not get paid what they are worth!

AND THEN!

I found this girl’s ravelry page. Be prepared to drool over absolutely gorgeous sock photos. Seriously. How does she make yarn and socks glow? I’m not sure but I’m a huge fan. I took the plunge and bought my first skein of Socks That Rock Mediumweight in a color called “Holiday Inn”. I know Michele and Ashley have made cute stuff with it and I really like their projects and then seeing Gail’s photos just threw me over the edge. Seriously. I was so excited to see my skein looked EXACTLY how it did online, this rarely happens to me! It’s the most beautiful blues, into ice colors into rich reds. It’s intense. My plan is to make a pair of monkey socks because my pair is looking rough because I wear them ALL the time. More than I should admit to wearing per week probably. ;)

I’ve been on a bag sewing kick, I found this etsy shop, JAM PACKED full of kawaii Christmas fabric so I bought a few fat quarters. Can we talk about how much I love online shops that will cut fat quarters? I don’t need a ton of fabric and rarely can justify buy bigger cuts so fat quarters = best. I made myself a scrappy drawstring pouch, it has boxed corners on the bottom so it’ll stand up, with a traditional block called “Christmas Pine” (I found it in EQ7), it’s 7 inches finished and then I just used up some scraps to make it bigger.

That gingerbread fabric? Um yeah. I begged Ashleigh to design some gingerbread man fabric for me to match gingerbread lane. I’m so in love!!!! But she got a Christmas project bag too, so don’t think I force her to do my bidding always ;)! It’s hard to tell but I used Sulky Holoshimmer thread to top stitch both bags, they have glitter linen in them. My featherweight will sew with metallic thread like a champ! High 5!

One more thing, that Christmas quilt in the background? It’s by Audrie and it’s my most favorite thing EVER EVER EVER.

Ok, I have to go to Chico today and I need to wash my hair. Let’s talk about long hair in the winter: it turns out you have to blow dry it so you don’t freeze. ;) Girl problems right?

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! :):)

SewOn NorCal Retreat

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Where do I begin with SewOn Northern California?

Do I talk about how I stayed up absurdly late on a ridiculous sugar high from eating oreos for the first time in months? Or about how I drank wine out of a glass with an owl on it and eating fancy cheese with girls from Napa? Or how about how my butt didn’t leave that couch all weekend? Or that when I did leave the couch, I got to ride around in Dorrie’s super cute Mini Cooper with her cute daughter and we bought fabric?

There is something super satisfying about staying in a huge house with a bunch of ladies with whom you have a common interest. The common interest in this case is sewing but guess who decided they didn’t want to sew? This girl. I found the most cozy couch ever and sat and knit alllllllll weekend. And it was glorious. The room was in the trees and we had amazing thunder and lightning storms with windows open, I just sat under my quilt and worked on my socks. And drank tea. And wine. I told Porkchop that our future house has to have big windows with deep windowsills and I want a leather couch. Because it was just so cozy!!!!

I became friends with this amazing girl named Tamiko who doesn’t know it yet but I’m going to become her best friend. You know when you meet someone and you just really like them? I just really like her! I got to spend time with Tracey who was my roommate, she baked us this super yummy clean zucchini bread and she sewed a super cute table topper for her friend Kelly. And I got to watch Lorelei make a patchwork weekender, every time she’d come upstairs (sewing machines were downstairs) with part of the bag completed we’d cheer because seriously: patchwork weekenders deserve a cheering squad. Adrianne was there, I’d met her before and I was so excited to see her again that I sort of cried and did a little dance all at once, she made a maple leaf quilt that weekend and I truly feel like I need to make a king sized one for our bed and have Lindsay quilt maple leaves on it for me. I have no idea if I even have enough cream fabrics for it but I think this winter I’m going to sort through my stash and get started. It was so fun because you can just watch everyone inspiring each other, everyone’s projects were just SO good. One girl was making a medallion quilt, another a swoon, some were binding…it was just neat to be surrounded by so much talented quilt-y goodness.

I definitely liked meeting new people and seeing old friends. I only remembered I had my camera and snapped the above photos just before the battery died (lame!) so I don’t have any photos of actual PEOPLE. Worst right?

I wanted to steal both Tamiko’s maple leaf quilt and that owl wine glass, I’m kind of regretting not leaving with both. ;)

Finished in 2013: MapleO’s

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If I were a cereal designer, I’d create something maple flavored that only comes out once a year and is like, the Pumpkin Spice Latte of cereals. MapleO’s! There would be photos with artfully applied filters on instagram proclaiming “IT’S MAPLE O DAY!!!!” “OMG! LAST BOX OF MAPLE O’S!” #mapleoomg

But I’m not a cereal designer, I’m just a girl who daydreams about things like that. Please file this under: dream jobs.

One of my September sewing goals was to finish my Single Girl quilt that I started last fall. I used all scraps with the exception of creams- I had some in my stash, Chop bought me a few and friends gave me some. I finally found my pattern, remade my templates (I foundation pieced the arcs) and made 1/2 a block.

And wasn’t feeling inspired.

So I rummaged through my scraps and would sew for 35-40 minutes each morning and built this little quilt top. It has lots of special fabrics and blocks within blocks. The big maples measure 21-22 inches, the little maples measure an inch and a half square, the geese & ribbons measure an inch. Thangles mini pack! Get one! Seriously! They make tiny piecing a breeze.

I’m going to carry this quilt with me everywhere, it’s so soft and cozy. Very special. I love these kind of projects, when you start with something in mind and it just grows into something much better. The piecing just felt very organic, it’s precise and straight in some spots, very improv and using the most of odd cuts of fabric in others. It’s a quilt to read and knit under. It’s one of my favorite sizes: 52×58 inches. Quilter’s Dream Orient Batting, Velveteen backing and for a million reasons I opted to machine sew the binding on using this tutorial. I’m not even remotely good at machine binding and my walking foot was giving me fits but I thought glue basting was FUN! I might have to take it off and redo it on a different machine, it’s pretty sloppy!

In hindsight, I totally wish I’d had Lindsay quilt it. I bought four yards of velveteen last winter to back a quilt with and it wasn’t until last week that I realized I only received two. So that was a lesson learned, always measure your fabric when it arrives. I didn’t have enough overage to be able to send it to her and I didn’t have the budget for more velveteen. Total bummer. It would have been so cute with little maple leaves on it!

I sort of imagine my inner Mori Girl walking in the woods with this quilt, looking to find the perfect spot for a nap and some reading. ;) Oh speaking of reading, this came out this week!!!! I’m going to re-read the first one on vacation, then start this one. My friend Eva called it perfect fall reading and it’s so spot on!

:):)

Evening Maples

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We went hunting tonight and I stuck some quilt blocks I’ve been working on lately into my pack. Just in case.

Just in case I find a rusty gate.

And Chop picks up a bunch of oak leaves.

And it’s not a million degrees outside.

I like to be prepared for these sort of things. ;)

Noodlehead’s Super Tote

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I’m not quite sure how I managed to complete one September goal so quickly but I’m not going to question it!

I made a Noodlehead Super Tote yesterday with Ashleigh!

We went to JoAnn’s in the morning, she had to pick out a lining for her bag and I wanted some elastic. We both found these super cute microfiber handles for $5.99 a pair…and then they rang up as $2! I think they are phasing out their bag making supplies at my local shop because they had practically nothing left and everything was on clearance! Woowoo! I love using Clover leather handles on handmade bags but I can’t always find them locally and I wanted to work on this bag with Ash!

Together we cut and sewed and watched The Suburban Stitcher podcast (that accent! that sweetness!). And drank absurdly giant RT44 iced teas. I stopped eating sugar (real & artificial) a few months ago and a mango diet green tea was an amazing treat! So good!

Let’s talk about this pattern k?

  • Super clear directions, illustrations and prints beautifully. That last one is important to me, if it’s a pdf and the pattern has you line up pieces and tape them together, nothing is more frustrating than something that doesn’t line up. Printing & taping the few pieces in this pattern is a breeze.
  • Clever design! As I was making the pleats I kept saying “oh, I LOVE this. LOVE.” The pleats allow the top of the bag that sits under your arm to have a slim profile but the bottom remains big so you can cram it full of stuff.
  • Sturdy construction!
  • Anna offered to help! This is HUGE. While I didn’t think I’d need help, I *love* when a designer goes the extra mile and stands by their pattern. Ashleigh & I do this with our patterns and seeing Anna have such a good approach to being available for help with her patterns made my day.

Here are a few of my personal changes and they reflect what I personally like in a handbag!

  • I used Pellon fusible fleece as my interfacing and I used it on the lining ONLY. Why? Because the body of my bag is a sturdy 100% wool tweed. It didn’t need anything but adding the fleece to the lining gives it a little bit more shape.
  • I lined all my pockets rather than just facing them.
  • I didn’t add the extra gusset pieces for the same reason, thick wool is thick!
  • I used commercial handles instead of making my own.
  • I did my zipper and pulls slightly differently because I made this on my featherweight with a jacket separating zipper.

Fabrics I used:

  • 100% Wool Tweed I had in my stash!
  • Fort Firefly for the outer pocket and the top of the recessed zipper!
  • Juliana Horner from JoAnn’s for the lining, I’m not sure why but this reminds me of my grandmother in a very good way.
  • A random orange lace printed fabric also from JoAnn’s for the pocket.
  • Pellon fusible fleece
  • JoAnn’s microfiber straps & a Dritz magnetic snap

Can we talk about Fort Firefly for a second? O M G. Ashleigh and I both love Teagan White. She has such an amazing style, some things are so painfully sweet, like this fabric, then she has this completely heart-wrenching macabre side that kills me. Seriously. She’s amazing. But the fabric is organic cotton, therefore, expensive. I have mixed feelings about organic cotton, sometimes it’s incredible, other times it’s quite thin and practically sheer. So we picked out the above fabrics, bought a yard of each and then split the yards in half. I love sharing fabric. ANYWAYS. When I opened the box I almost died, this cotton feels AMAZING! dreamy! perfect! It’s absolutely worth the price and the print quality is also phenom! So so so so happy! We spent the day daydreaming of dresses made from these prints too. I couldn’t bear to cut any more than I already did, that’s saying something. I’m not a fabric hoarder at all but this stuff feels like it should be something special.

One thing I personally am rotten at is knowing the size of things. I just struggle with envisioning numbers. Is it Nordstrom where their purses online have a little key that says “fits water bottle, magazine, etc”, I can’t remember, BUT I LOVE THAT. SO! Here we go!

What does a Super Tote fit?

  • An iPad in a case!
  • A knitting bag with a sock (um, also a tutorial by Anna, it’s her open wide pouch that I made giant! Did you know I like Anna? Yeah, Lizzy too a ton!)
  • A wallet! 
  • A cat pouch crammed with girl essentials, a present from my bff.
  • Part of a Single Girl Quilt top.
  • My camera (not pictured because…you know! I’m using it!)

That is pretty super. Sadly, the pattern doesn’t come with a cape. Or a super hero power. But you’ll feel pretty pleased with yourself when you finish so that’s kind of like a super power, the power to conquer sewing a new cute bag!

Anyways, I had fun and I wholeheartedly suggest this pattern! Now to find my Single Girl pattern so I can finish this top…I was hoping if I pulled it out and took some photos on it, I’d be extra motivated to finish it. ;) success!

Worsted Weight Socks

This weekend I finished my Worsted Weight Socks and omg. I’m already wanting to cast on a second pair. Seriously. These are so squishy and fun and cozy and amazing to knit up. You can find my ravelry notes here and I was inspired by Susan’s blog post & Virgina’s instagram photo.

While digging through my yarn basket this weekend I came across another skein of worsted weight yarn that Rose (Cakewalk Yarns on Etsy) dyed for me last winter. I’d planned on some sort of hat but now…SOCKS! It was funny, I flipped the yarn over and it’s also a skein of Sudden Valley! That’s what I absolutely *adore* about hand dyed yarn, the same colorway can be completely different. My socks have sort of a purple.gray base but my skein is more white! Her shop is closed but I’m crossing my fingers she’ll go back to dyeing because her skeins are totally amazing.

I got my Dyak Craft Heavy Metal Needles last week, I’m so excited to cast on. The cord is so long and the join is dreamy feeling. I can’t decide if I’ll knit a pair of socks for Chop or if I’ll cast on with a new skein of Numma Numma that’s supposed to arrive today. Chop decided he wanted to enter a salsa contest at work…but he doesn’t even cook! LOL! So I made a giant jar of salsa, sadly we didn’t win but I think he felt bad so I “won” a skein of yarn & a little bottle of a new Soak Wash scent! haha! BEST! He’s the most amazing guy.

Yesterday we went to Target and omg. Holy Halloween. It’s amazing. It’s not quite as good as the year they had Domo as the official mascot, but that year was epic and hard to beat. I wanted to buy the Pumpkin Spice & white chocolate candy corn M&Ms so bad but I decided on candy corn flavored coffee instead and WOWOWOWOWOW. My house this morning smells like a candy factory in the very best way ever.

I also made use of some JoAnn’s coupons which is always fun. I have a few sewing goals this month:

  • Esme top in flannel! I found a really pretty flannel there that is quite soft. I’ve already made an Esme dress and a top but they are too big now. I think I’m going to make a muslin of the size 14 and go from there! I just think a cozy flannel blouse with wooden buttons would be amazing this fall.
  • I’d love to finish my little four block single girl quilt. I can’t for the life of me find my copy of the pattern though. So this week I either need to find the pattern or get a new one. I found my quilt progress and fell back in love with it. Plus I’d love to quilt some circles. And be cozy hand sewing the binding on in the evenings.
  • I want to make a Noodlehead Super Tote for knitting SO BAD. Ashleigh & I are obsessed with Teagan White,  like crazy fierce, so we are splitting a yard of a few of her new fabrics. I’m pretty sure the fabric I got for the lining won’t match (Juliana Horner flowers!) but I’m not sure I care, I just like it! a LOT! This bag is so neat! The side pleats and elastic pockets are such pretty details.
  • I’m going on a quilting retreat the end of this month and I couldn’t for the life of me decide what to bring to work on…then I saw this pattern: Suburbs! So I’m going to make a Halloween Suburb quilt. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. While at JoAnn’s I saw all their fox themed Thanksgiving/Fall fabric and I almost died. I need a Thanksgiving quilt at some point in my life.

:):):)