Thursday, October 19, 2017

I'm Not a Fan of Fussy Cutting

Now that I've gotten more comfortable installing zippers, it's the fabric giving me fits. The piece of yardage I used for this bag was on the freebie table at our quilting group, deemed "not suitable for charity quilts." (On the same day that I picked up the fabric I used in my last bag.)  It was pretty, so it came home with me and I decided to make a project bag or two while I try to figure out why classical artwork isn't suitable for charity quilts. 


I wanted a bag that showcased one image without having chopped off bits of the others along the edges. That was easier said than done and involved too much fabric waste to make me happy. I'm not a fan of fussy cutting when it involves taking a hunk of the center of the fabric, but to get the ladies I wanted, I had no choice...


What would you do with this hunk of fabric? I could see using it as a quilt back, or maybe someone using it to make a skirt. Or apron? Whatever it is, it's going to require either a big stretch of uncut fabric or some seriously wasteful fussy cutting.


The other side of the bag has a different image. In my head, I wanted it to be bigger, but that wouldn't have looked right. Now I'm thinking of two different ways I could have worked with this fabric...happily I have two yards of the stuff so, even if I'm being wasteful, it'll go a long ways.

This post is linked to Bag It! and Crazy Mom Quilts

{Thrift Shop Temptations} Old Stereos

It wasn't a great week for thrifting -- except for the birthday boy who wanted to read Jurassic Park and had five different paperback editions to choose from, along with a copy of The Lost World. Sometimes gently used is better than new, especially when it means you can have it in your hands right away. 

The store that's had all of the great needlework stuff is rearranging everything. I can't tell if the new section is smaller, or if I'm just bugged that it's different. The other store's craft section was almost completely empty, like they'd cleared out everything that wasn't selling. 

But if you're in the market for an old record player, this was the right week. 


I'm guessing the three of them came in together. I don't know what my fascination  with these old things is, but to make room for one I'd have to part with a treadle machine and that's not going to happen. 


They're probably more fun to look at than to own, right? And it's not like I'd ever be able to settle on the perfect one to bring home with me, which would eliminate all of the future possibilities.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

{Books and Yarn} I'm So Tired of Socks

We all saw this coming, right?  After however many pairs of socks I've finished so far in 2017 I'm at the  point where I just don't want to do another inch of ribbing, or turn another heel. So I'm playing with bookmarks. 


That doesn't make much sense, since I'm working with the exact same needles and the same weight yarn. But - for the moment at least - this is more fun. I'll stick with it until the novelty fades.

At that estate sale in January, the one that had all of the buttons and zippers, I got a sandwich bag of sock yarn leftovers for a quarter. I thought I'd use it to try some Frankensocks, but since I have no idea what the fiber content is or how the yarns will play together, I don't feel at all guilty about using some of it up this way. (There's also the leftover yarn from all of this year's pairs of socks. I've got plenty of options to play with later.)

I've also got a stack of library books I can't wait to read. The boys are taking another class at the library, which means I've got a lot of time there to get myself into trouble.




Death Overdue by Allison Brook

Being promoted to head of programs and evens at the library where she books is a big deal for librarian Carrie Singleton. It means she needs to change her wardrobe, and that she can afford to move into her own place. Too bad one of her co-workers is furious that Carrie got the promotion and tries to sabotage her at every turn. Even worse, the speaker at her first major event drops dead before he can even make his presentation. The murder mystery in this one is overshadowed by Carrie's new life, which includes lots of shopping and eating out. It's upbeat and a great choice for a reader who wants to escape to a nicely haunted library for a few hours.




The Dead Inside and We Can't be Friends by Cyndy Etler

I read these two books back to back and they left me tied in emotional knots. The first book, The Dead Inside, tells the story of Cyndy's sixteen month stay at Straight Inc.  I sort of dimly knew that places like it existed. but I had no idea... When she was a young teen, Cyndy ran away from her abusive home. Her mother responded by signing her into a cult-like inpatient drug treatment facility, even though she had only briefly experimented with beer and pot. After more than a year of physical and mental abuse, she's pronounced "straight" and sent back to her old high school, terrified that just hearing the wrong "druggie music" or speaking to her "druggie friends" will send her into a downward spiral that will leave her dead on the streets. We Can't be Friends tells how Cyndy overcame the brainwashing and started to live a normal life again. Remember how when we were growing up, Go Ask Alice was supposed to scare us away from drugs? Cyndy Etler's books will leave you scared of the treatment facilities. I'd much rather my teens read The Dead Inside and We Can't be Friends, especially the author's notes at the end of the second book. I highly recommend them both, but they aren't "feel good" reads. They'll leave you upset.

Disclosure -- I was provided with an advance review copies by the publishers. All opinions are my own.   

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gridding Fabric and Sorting Floss is Not the Fun Part

I didn't want to start a new cross stitch project until I finished the lighthouse. One abandoned project is better than two or three abandoned projects, right?

Then I had the lighthouse finished and nothing else ready to work on and spent three or four days avoiding the task of sorting floss and gridding the fabric. Nowt that the boring part is done, I'm enjoying myself.


The fabric is 18-count, which is harder on my eyes. But the needle is thinner and that's making the stitching easier, once I figure out where to jab through the fabric. My stitches are getting neater, too.

This is one of those little Dimensions Gold kits. I have absolutely no memory of buying it, but it was up in the sewing room and has clearance stickers from Craft Warehouse. And it's definitely something I'd pick out if I was shopping today. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Second Panel

I got the second panel for my project bag done last night. 


The corners don't match. In some spots, they're wildly off...but I'm willing to live with that since I'm making it for myself and after the events of the past couple of weeks I'll be much happier to have it finished and ready to use than to have it sitting in a drawer forever waiting for me to get it right.

Although I do wish my machine was cooperating and I could free motion a really dense stipple pattern that would hide the mistakes...

This post is linked to Design Wall Monday

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