Friday, October 19, 2012

Christmas Ornaments

Aren't these cute??? I found them over at Stoney Creek.

I really like these! I am fighting the urge to order them RIGHT NOW so maybe, MAYBE I can get them done before Christmas. Ugh! I already added another project to the jar which I technically haven't even started.

I'm just going to be thankful for what I have and resist temptation.

But maybe lust after them for a little bit longer!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Procrastination At Its Finest

Right. So there is a reason why I have 60+ projects just waiting to be completed. Well, a couple of reasons. 
First, here in the Pacific Northwest when the weather is awesome, you go outside and spend as much time as possible outside. We have had a gorgeous Fall and I spent a lot of time working on my garden. But now the rain is starting to creep back into our lives so there will be lots more sewing. 

Second, when I'm working on a huge project (like the map) I get bored and if I make a little mistake that requires me to take out a huge portion (fine, it was a big mistake) of what I have already completed then I get discouraged and any other project out there looks a whole lot more interesting. Like this project!

So my friend, Angela, is pretty awesome. She has a little girl a few years older than mine and she has gifted me time and again with hand-me-downs. It's fantastic! Lately my daughter has taken to jumping off of....well, everything. Which means a lot of skid knees. And ripped jeans. And I hate waste. HATE IT. So, she ripped open her jeans last week and was pretty upset about it until I told her I would make a patch in whatever shape and color she wanted. She chose a yellow heart and I obliged. 

My goal here was to whip this out in like 30 minutes doing a pretty blanket stitch using my sewing machine. It didn't turn out so well since the jeans aren't big enough to slip around the machine, so I had to handstitch the border which took about 30 minutes. So, it probably took me an hour. And that's an hour I could have spent on the map, but.....this was more fun! I'll get back to it. 

So, here in pictures, is what I did. Questions? Post a comment and let's talk about it!
The jeans in all their ripped g

Steam-A-Seam 2. Seriously, the easiest stuff to use. 
Used a cookie cutter as my template
Tracing the heart on the Steam-A-Seam
You can barely see it but I also traced the heart onto a piece of thin plastic to use in the future
Cutting. Those are my "nice" scissors. For sewing purposes only!
The patch
Making sure it covers the hole
Ironing that bad boy on
Ironed and ready to go
I hand-sewed it on the edges to give a little bit more strength
All done!

You can't tell but I also got the denim patches you can buy in the sewing section at the super market and put that on the inside for more strength and durability.

Well, I get to do this again pretty soon. Another pair of jeans was ripped this morning and a blue elephant was requested.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A bit of a delay

Right. So I had family in town last week and did not pick up a needle. We went all over the place here in Seattle and I was too tired at night to post anything. A bright note, I went to one of my mom's favorite quilt stores, Carriage Country Quilts, and walked away with NOTHING. Well, almost nothing. I got some great ideas for some curtains for my kitchen. Side note: I change the curtains in my kitchen about every two months. Just do. I love it. What's even more amazing is she and I were in there for more than an hour without  either one of us picking anything up. It did help that we both didn't have a wallet. We think it was a sign.

Anyway, I'm trying to catch up on some sewing (as well as cleaning around the house and planting fall vegetables/bulbs out front) and I will post again this week.

Plus I have to fix this:

In the midst of a huge temper tantrum, a certain three-year-old ripped an 18" hole at the top. Thankfully it was on a seam but I'm still not pleased. So that has to get done; although, I don't think this said three-year-old will be getting the tent back any time soon.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Non-Christmas part 1

Right now I am in the midst of potty training. I'm exhausted and I've only been at this for two days. So my drive/want/need/inspiration to write again has been lacking. Oh well, let's get to it, shall we?

In the last post I showed off all of the Christmas projects I have on my sewing table. Some have yet to be started, some are partially done and really some only need a few stitches and they are finished. It's sad, really. It's like I can't complete some things. Looking at my Christmas and non-Christmas projects I probably have many many more non-Christmas projects but in my mind it just seems like a lot less since so many of the non-Christmas projects haven't even been started.

One of my favorite cross stitch websites is Stoney Creek and many of the cross stitch kits I have came from here. They do a "Pattern of the Month" where you can get a free pattern once a month and you just pay for shipping. They usually have a couple of them going on at any given time but I really liked this one and have been working on it since this past January.
I really should have ironed the aida before I took the pictures but the deed is done. I was doing one a month but then 75% of my family came and visited me this summer (which was awesome) and it just kind of fell by the wayside. As you can see I am up to August but I'll be honest, I have no idea what I am going to do with them once I am done. I could mount them and then change them out each month from a little frame. I could make them into little ornaments and hang them from a knob but I think my house is knob free. I'll think of something. They're cute. That's all that matters.

Next I have some bigger cross stitch kits that I have purchased over the last few years. I really need to stop buying them. They are beautiful and I love them but more often than not they are just so big or intricate or I have no idea where I am going to put them that about half way through I get discouraged. I do have plans for these four, the map I am working on, but I'm not holding my breath that they will be picked first, you know?

I like these flowers; they will look nice in my living room.

I had this picture in my room growing up as a child. I thought it would be nice for the kids. I might also give it away. Depends on when I make it.

This is my mom's favorite picture of the Blessed Virgin. Here they call it Mother and Child but it appears to be modeled after Roberto Ferruzzi's "Madonna of the Streets."

That's pretty much it for the counted cross stitch projects I have going. The next post will discuss the quilting and sewing gems I have stashed away in my project laundry basket. My brain has suddenly decided to stop working so I'm going to call it quits while I am ahead.

Happy Sewing!

oops! I forgot to show where I am on the map project. That was also kind of getting me down this week. I was off by a few stitches and so I had to rip out about a 2 x 2 inch chunk of it. I hate having to do that but since I am constrained by a border I can't be sewing all nimbly bimbly. Here it is:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Christmas and Non-Christmas

As I continue to finish this map , I took pictures of all of the sewing projects I have. And yes, I do see the irony in using my precious non-children time to photograph instead of sew (and then to blog about it). Anyway, I thought of all the ways I could categorize these unfinished projects: Kid Stuff, Clothes, Wall Hangings, Toys, Gifts. But looking through it all I realized there are only two real categories: Christmas and Non-Christmas. So here's a little look through all of the Christmas items I have on deck.

Here are some ornaments I have started. I think there are about a dozen (maybe more). I have completed maybe two and need to back stitch (outline) the other four. I even have the aida ready to go for more ornaments.

Here's some close-ups. You can really tell what a difference makes when the back stitching is complete. The house looks kind of impressionistic but Santa looks nice and crisp.

So these bad boys need to be finished and then I have to figure out how to make them into ornaments.

As I look at a lot of the cross stitching that needs to be completed I realize that I really don't like back stitching. I try to convince myself that it looks kind of cool but I know that if I take the time to back stitch the finished project always looks so much better. Case in point: this stocking. It's done. All I need to do is back stitch the stupid thing (then send it to my Mom to make it into a stocking!).

Moving on....

This is probably one of the first things I ever cross stitched. The pattern is easily from the 70's (even though I am not). I don't even have the pattern anymore. I know it was in a book of various Christmas projects and I'm sad I can't find it because it had this really pretty face of Santa that looks great as a pillow. I know this because my mom did just that probably in the 70's. This being so dated I thought I might trash it but my sister suggested I cut them up and make door hangers out of them. So that's the plan with these. Anybody else have a suggestion? It's supposed to be a pillow if anyone cares.

Ok, the Christmas projects are many. But I am going to use my nap time wisely and carry forth with this post. Here we have two more cross stitch projects that just need to be finished. On top you see Santa. He's cute, right? My mom actually did that guy (she's a great cross stitcher) but she gave him to me to back stitch 'cause she really doesn't relish back stitching anymore than I do. On a side note she does have a little habit of starting cross stitch projects and then sending them to me to finish because the work is too small and she claims she can't see it as well as she used to. It works out though because I send her projects (she lives about 1500 miles from me) to finish like the Christmas stocking. Anyway, that was a big digression but super interesting, right? Right. My mom's awesome. So Santa. He needs to be back stitched. Below him is a Christmas sampler which is all done I just have to figure out what to do with it. I was thinking a pillow but if anyone has another idea let me know.

Look I found more ornaments:

Finally, yes-finally, here's the last of the Christmas stuff. On the bottom there is an angel and that is supposed to be an Advent calendar. I need to sew on some buttons and back it. The idea is to hang a different ornament from the buttons each day during Advent. There are camels, shepherds, sheep, Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. Small problem: I can't find them all. My small children have found them, played with them and then hid them in various parts of the house. I find them and think to myself,"I'm going to put them in this super safe spot and when I have them all I can finish that Advent calendar." Right. Well, I think I have like 5 super secret spots that are so super secret I can't remember where they are. Sometimes I think I am my own worse enemy.

On top of the Advent Calendar is a wall hanging. I'm going to cut off the bottom part and make that into a pillow (I really like pillows!) and then back the rest of it and throw it up on the wall. Finally, on top of that are some log cabin Christmas ornaments that I put together a few years ago. Again, they just need to be finished. I was thinking of giving them away as presents or maybe just put them on my tree. Who knows?

Well that is the sewing portion of Christmas crafts that are in the jar.

Here's where I am on the map:

I'm being kind of smart and back stitching as I go.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Hi there!

So what's this blog about? Well, it's a couple of things but to explain it I have to give you a little background about myself.

My name is Kate and I'm a married stay-at-home-mom (like 98% of all other bloggers out there it seems!). Before marriage and children there was sewing. I've been sewing in one shape or another since before the age of 10. My first and greatest love is counted cross stitch. I've made countless cross stitch projects: from Christmas ornaments and stockings, to samplers I made in my teens that still hang in my mom's kitchen, to landscape scenes. I love it. I always have a cross stitch project going, usually more than one, and many more on deck.

About seven years ago I lived across the street from a quilt shop. I lived about 30 minutes from work and didn't know anybody in this small town so I thought I would take a beginners quilting class. We made a table runner. Did I mention I didn't own a sewing machine at the time? I didn't? Well, I made the runner by hand. Thankfully my parents bought me a sewing machine the following Christmas and I've never looked back. I've made quilts for children, wall hangings, quilts for dollies and queen sized quilts.

In the last year or so I've tried my hand at other sewing crafts such as this and this They both came out really well, in my humble opinion. Here's how they looked when I was done:

I also knit and crochet but other than scarves and lap blankets I've never gotten into either one of those sewing arts.

So why all the background info? Well, over the years I've accumulated many things-quilt kits, cross stitch kits, and patterns that will all be done "someday." Plus many, many, MANY, projects that have been started and never completed. Now with Pinterest there are SO many other ideas that are just begging me to complete as well. That table runner I made in the quilting class, I never finished it!

So my mom was visiting this past June and we were going through all of the projects and I was telling her I was feeling overwhelmed with what to do next. She suggested, in her infinte wisdom, that I assign every project a number and then draw a number and that's the project I do next. I thought I would chronicle this journey in blog form-because my mom, sister and the three other random people on the internet might enjoy reading about this. There's no real deadline a la Julie and Julia, but ideally I would like to complete a project a month (hahahahahahaha!).

On top of all of the sewing projects there are quite a few crafting projects I have my heart set on doing. Most of these involve painting small pieces of furniture, like shelves and whatnot, to the insane idea of repainting and re-tiling my kitchen table (more on that later).

In addition to these many projects I have planned I have a family and home to care for and a giant garden that has to be maintained or we will quickly be overrun with blackberry bushes and trailing buttercups. I shudder to think what would happen if we gave up on it for more than a few weeks: we'd probably machete our way out. But I digress......

Right now I am in the midst of an ancient looking map of the world counted cross stitch. My goal is to work on that while I get this blog up and running and in the next few posts give some general information about what I will be working on for the foreseeable future. Here's where I am on that front:

You can find it here, if you are interested in working on it yourself.

For now I have listed all of projects and put them in a jar to be picked from but I think I need a bigger jar - if only to get my hand in and not just pick from the top. Once I finish this map, I'll let the lottery decide my next assignment!