Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tusal Ort report and what I have been stitching February 2015

Here is my Orts jar for the February New Moon it's rapidly filling up with threads which is a nice thing to see and I am so glad I joined TUSAL(Totally Useless Stitch Along) again this year.
Feb 18 2015

Here is where some of those threads came from
Greenman #1
The stitching on my first Greenman hand embroidery piece is completed and I am happy with the results.
Some of the Herringbone variation stitches from this months Joyful Embellishments group I like this stitch and had fun changing the size
The pistil stitch above the herringbone needs more practice but my knots are beginning to form nicely.
I made some of the blocks for the quilt class I am taking, class didn't meet on the 13th and won't meet on 20th so I am working on the log cabin blocks from the class I missed on the 6th.

I have a big pile of fabric orts too this month. I had some trouble controlling the rotary cutter and I made a few to get a straight edge. Ugh!
Here is Greenman #2 just off my light box I think I am going to crayon tint before I begin to stitch.
Greenman #2
These Celtic Knot pieces are on the bottom and top corner of the greenman #2 piece which I have on
a eighteen inch piece of fabric whether it will stay in one piece when I am done is anyones guess.
Currently on the light box are a few Goddess pieces I have been planning to put together for some the small Goddess with the spirals is traced and waiting to be stitched after I cut it off the fabric.
I like the simple lines for hand embroidery.

One last look at my Orts jar which may need to be replaced soon with all the stitching I have planned, uncertain what an Orts jar is and curiuos to what TUSAL stands for check out the information here at daffycats blog
and join the fun it it may just be the thing you need to get you stitching again.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

This and that, bits and bobs

Happy Valentine's Day

Yesterday I would have said signs of an early Spring are showing up here in Florida with the first blooms on my rhododendron opened
but this morning its 28 degrees and spring feels way too far away to think about. On the up side we have had several days full of sunshine.

After my physical this week with a new doctor I am back monitoring my blood pressure daily for a few weeks with an increase in the dosage of one of my medications.

This week while taking things easy I have been doing some stitching on my Greenman piece
I added a few more embroidery stitches to the crazy quilt block using the stitches from the Joyful Embellishments group, this month we are doing variations with the herringbone stitch
Last week my new sewing machine was delivered while I was writing another post, and this week I finally had time to sit down, wind the bobbin, thread it and made many practice stitches and not once did the bobbin jam. I like the feel of the machine while I sew and as long as it does a straight stitch without the bobbin jamming I am happy.
I missed class on the 6th so I will have to make the log cabin blocks at home for the next class, there wasn't a class yesterday so I have time to catch up and this will give me a chance to see if this machine will behave.

I stopped over at Yards n Yarn shop yesterday to pick up some number 10 crochet cotton to make a few little bags from the pattern book below
royal blue and copper
I have put in the first pattern row so far with the size of the hook one small bag may take months to complete.
I am using a size 6 steel hook, which surprisingly isn't too difficult to crochet with I think the color of the thread is making it easier to see the stitches or perhaps its the metallic threads.

A few weeks ago while buying a few patterns at Joann's I bought a copy of The Day of the Dead coloring book I have wanted to use for hand embroidery patterns
I like the simple lines of the drawings in coloring books which makes it easy to trace the picture onto fabric using a light box.
I made one of these a few years ago and it stitched up beautifully, I really love the bright color of sugar skulls.

Have a Happy Weekend

Monday, February 9, 2015

A day at the Beach

Every once in a while I need a trip to the beach to rejuvenate myself, the day was clear and sunny, windy and cool but the beach was just beautiful.
I think he was posing for this
This photo and the one following in are a flock of gulls after some woman ran through them to disturb them, the poor things were all huddled together.
This gull is thinking just walk around me cause I am not moving again
a second story view 
I just love this arch in the photo below.
The sky was so blue and clear after weeks of gray cloudy skies the trip to the beach was much needed therapy.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hari-kuyo, take a moment to thank your pins and needles today

Hari-Kuyo is a requiem service for needles held throughout Japan held on either February 8 or December 8, depending on the region. The ceremony of laying needles to rest harkens back to at least the fourth century. Today the services are attended not only by tailors and kimono makers but also by people who sew at home.

Hari-Kuyo is a 400-year-old Japanese festival held in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Broken pins and needles are thanked for their work and laid to rest in a bed of soft jelly or tofu cakes. Stitchers pray for the repose of their needles, improvement of their sewing skills and safety from injury while sewing.
Some people believe the tools have souls, and they are treated with care and respect. We rely on countless helpful tools which are the result of ingenuity and craftsmanship. Perhaps celebrating pins and needles and the service they provide reminds us of the many small things we should be thankful for.

Another aspect of Hari-Kuyo is the letting go of personal burdens. In Japan and everywhere there are concerns and complaints that stitchers don’t share with others. They are said to share these with their needles, passing the burdens onto them, so that when the needles are put to rest they take the cares, worries, and sadness with them. Who among us has not found respite in our stitching? 
Why not take a moment or two today and thank you needles for the service they provided you this year.
An online booklet can be found here:

and a sweet little presentation can be found here:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What a week

I can not wait for this week to end, ugh! did you ever have one of those days where things just didn't go as planned only to find the entire week would be just as bad?  Well this is one of those weeks, the only good thing about this week is its nearly over.

On the up side I am feeling much better after that nasty bug infected the household I only have some lingering sleepiness.

I finally put the two nine patch variation blocks together for my quilt class tomorrow and not without struggles which were mostly sewing machine related.  The bobbin jamming continued on a few days ago after a few rough starts I put one block together and put the other aside until today.  I browsed around the internet for solutions to the bobbin jams, lots of info unfortunately none of it positive. 

Well the blocks are pieced

Apparently just about every person who purchased the Singer Sew Mate machine has had the same problem with the bobbin jamming, and after reading pages of reviews my conclusion is this machine is a lost cause, I only wish there were as many reviews when I bought the machine in 2012.  I even thought it my fault because I really haven't used it much. I originally bought the sewing machine because I was planning to take the beginning quilt class back in 2012 with a friend, I would lend her my old portable and I would use the new machine. Other things kept my friend from taking the class so I only used the machine for a few little projects with no problems.

As I sit here I am patiently waiting for the UPS driver to deliver my new sewing machine, not a Singer

I did make the change from this block set, I didn't like how the dark pieces looked for this block.
So here is the block with the changes, much better if you ask me, I am getting very familiar with the seam ripper thanks to the bobbin problems and changes I keep making.
So far I prefer Hand piecing.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Stitiching the Greenman and a new Celtic theme quilt on the horizon

Stitching on the GreenMan hand embroidery piece is coming along now that I am feeling better I can start putting in the stitches.
I found my next quilt project staring up at me from the pages of a magazine I was browsing through when I was sick, I love green/pink combination and Celtic themes so I thought yeah and why not make it in green and yellow too.
 The 27" monitor is all plugged in and working fine and I can see all those little details I was missing when looking at photos and such.  On my to do list EYE EXAM this week.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A new month, more blocks, a snag and going bigger

A few more blocks are completed for the Sampler quilt we are making in the beginning quilt class I'm attending.
While the finished blocks are the same when I piece by hand, the cutting and piecing methods we are using makes quick work putting these together.  However, every now and then I hit a snag and get reacquainted with my seam ripper as evident in the photo below.
I even did the measure twice and cut once, but my seams went wonky, then my bobbin decided after sewing the first five blocks above to start jamming, sigh, luckily it didn't take an hour of fiddling and making test lines to get it working again. I was so disgusted I wanted to pack up and go home. The one good thing is I don't like the fabric choices I used for this particular set so I can re make a new set.  The person next to me had problems with her machine at the start of class she had trouble last week with her other machine so this gave the instructor plenty of room to sales pitch the wonderfully expensive sewing machines offered at the shop.  I see it this way, if I was sure I would keep quilt making with a sewing machine, did more sewing in general and if I were 25 years younger I would consider buying a sewing machine for thousands of dollars, but at 59 I am practical I can buy a used car, jet ski or book a week away at a spa resort for the price of a sewing machine.  Then yesterday while reading email Joann's was having a 25% off sale on sewing machines with free shipping.Yes I was tempted but I resisted.

Last weekend I did buy a new 27 inch monitor for my computer at a great price (under $200.00) from New Egg.
I've wanted to go bigger for quite some time so when my son was buying some new components for his computer he alerted me to the sale and 5 days later it was at my door.