Sunday, September 30, 2012

Corduroy Patchwork Bag

When we were down the shore in August we were in this cute little boutiquey shop that sold all kinds of handmade goodies. There was a handbag there that my sister admired. She didn't want to drop the dough on it (her shopping list now includes diapers and formula, which don't come cheap) so she said, and I quote word for word here, "I'm just going to let Bethany make it for me." Reread that. She's going to let me make it. Ummmm....ok. My other sister is going to let me make her a leather bag once I educate myself and assess my sewing machine for leather-working capabilities.

I took my time with this one. As I finished a part of it I walked away and came back to it. I tend to marathon-sew, which lends itself to tiredness and frustration (and mistakes). It took me four evenings to make this, but only because I was figuring things out as I went. If I made it again it would take two evenings, max. Wanna see it?

The version she saw was made of a burlap type of fabric, but way too tightly woven to be burlap. I could find nothing similar, but there aren't many fabrics that are more fall/winter than corduroy. So I went with a fine-wale corduroy that felt almost as light as quilting cotton.

I varied the direction of the wales to give it some textural interest...or something. I took my time and was super precise with the patchwork bits so that all the squares were even and neat. I didn't want there to be a bunch of seams on the bottom, but I also wasn't in the mood to do an inset bottom, so I sewed a few strips of gray to the bottom, and did the squished triangle method of creating a flat bottom. Wow, I just used the word 'bottom' four times in one sentence.

I made a sample corner on some scraps to make sure my measurements were correct. I tend to overthink and then "correct" something that was just right. It came out just the way I wanted it to. There's a piece of plastic in the bottom (I use plastic canvas cut to size) to keep everything from sagging.

The version she saw in the shop didn't have the black band around the top, but I like the contrast it gives. I also didn't want there to be stress on a bunch of seams if it was patchwork all the way up with the drawstring running over them. I've never sewn a strap tab onto the side of a bag like this, so that was a first. A very fiddly first since I did them a step or two later than I normally would have.

There's not a spot on the fabric up there, even though it looks like it. Just needed to put that out there. I found a great gray fabric for the lining at Joann's--not really a solid, but not a print. Just enough something to it to give it a little oomph. The inside has the usual--slip pockets on one side, and zip pockets on the other. It may be my finest zip pocket ever.

I was also going to do a zipper closure but once the drawstring was cinched I didn't know if one would be interfering with the other. So I went with a mag snap. Sometimes they aren't desirable (though oh-so-simple), especially if a bag is kind of shallow. This bag was perfect for it.

There are a gazillion and seven tutorials (give or take) on how to insert magnetic snaps, and the packages usually come with directions. When I do mine I fuse a small square of fleece to the wrong side of the lining where the snap will go. Once inserted, I don't spread the prongs in different directions. I squeeze them towards each other over the back of the snap. To get an extra bit of pinch I use pliers and protect the snap surface with a fleece scrap. I then place another square of fleece over the back of the snap, and sloooooowly stitch a square around the snap (see just above), and then trim any excess. To my mind this makes it a bit more secure. I once had a snap come out of a bag I had made for someone (talk about horrified!) and started doing them this way. I haven't had any issues since (and maybe I wouldn't have anyway), but at the very least the weight of the bag isn't directly on the snap but on the stitching.

It's funny--I put this off and put this off...and put this off. I was nervous about replicating something, even though it's basically a boxy patchwork bag with a flat bottom and some hardware. I certainly didn't want to rip a bunch of stitches out of anything--have you ever tried to rip stitches out of corduroy? Not even a little fun. But I couldn't be more pleased with this. While it's interfaced and sturdy, it's not stiff and structured. The fabric is soft and warm looking, and while it is a pretty basic bag, the hardware steps it up a little bit.

Want to see the original that caught her eye? My version is a little taller, but all in all I don't think I did too bad.

What do you think??? Pure honesty is A-OK and preferable to the alternative, which will give me a false sense of awesomeness :)

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


You folks leave me so many wonderful comments. When I'm all "Waaahhh" about something you're all "There, there." When I'm all "Guys, I think this is a major fail" you're all "No! I love it!" A well-timed, well-worded comment truly brings a smile to my face. And then there are the comments that don't get published (yeah, I exercise control over that). But in the interest of total honesty I thought I'd share a few with you, just so you can see what I get to ponder behind the scenes. You're welcome :)

Wow! Two hours of surfing and you found nothing better than the post where I ask for prayers and/or money? Clearly you're doing something wrong...

Four hours? Wow. Ask the guy up there for help and you can cut your browsing inefficiency in half.

Nothing much to this comment. Until you read their webpage. I do have an annoying co-worker this might work on, bwahahahahaha.

Awww, genuinely fastidious. Of course.

Really? Fastidious used twice? Eyes on your own papers, people!

 I always watch out for brussels, too. As in the sprouts. Blech.

You hear those crickets chirping too, right?

Just keepin' it real, yo.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Preppy Pleated Bag of Ugh

Ahoy ahoy! Did you know that 'ahoy' was the recommended way to answer the telephone when it was first invented? Saw it first on The Simpsons, saw it again on The Big Bang Theory,  so you know it's spot-on accurate. Anyway, I decided to make myself a bag for the winter. I have one that I've used for a few years now (and still receive compliments on), but it's more fall-inspired and I wanted something new. I butted in front of my sister on the to-do list figuring that if I left myself until last it'd never get done, but if I put her last I sure wouldn't let her down. I should have not done that, as I think karma was wagging its little finger at me going "Tsk, tsk, selfish selfish!"

Honestly? I don't know when I've ever had so much trouble making a bag before, especially a bag I've made more times than I can count. It was kind of embarrassing. It's almost as though it did not want to be brought into existence, and was fighting tooth and nail to stay folded in its plastic bin instead of being cut and stitched. Shall we review the issues? Let's!

Before I even touch on the stitch issues, let me just say that I sat to sew and was out of brown thread. This is maybe the third project I have not had thread for. I've apparently reversed my former ways--instead of having seven of a weird color for no apparent reason I am down to a bobbin's worth of some. What is that? I'm just going to revert to my old ways and buy too much thread. It's better than speeding off to the shop in a tizzy and starting a project already annoyed. OK, onward.

First, the bag was supposed to be plaid. I agonized for about an hour over the brushed cotton that I thought would be just right--not too flannel shirty, not too...flannel shirty. That was pretty much the only requirement. I found one that was brown, cream, and just enough pink to have some color to it without it being dominant. The bag ended up being decidedly NOT plaid as the fabric was woven crooked. At first I thought it was because I had a headache when I was cutting out the pieces, but nope, crooked fabric. I tried to make it work, because I'm overly optimistic about my skills to make crooked things look straight, but nah. So it ended up being houndstooth. Which I still insist on calling herringbone.

I had just the right amount of this and the brown in my stash to make this bag. Those side elastic-top pockets? Had to redo those about three times. What I thought was a notch in the pattern piece wasn't, it was just a nick in the paper. Then I measured from the incorrect notch. Then I measured incorrectly again. It was at that point I started truly cursing the bag. It was really bad. I should be ashamed of the things I said. I didn't have enough to cut the piping fabric on the bias, so that didn't want to cooperate either. It was only twice that part had to be done. At this point I think I uttered "If you don't start following directions you will never be seen. Never." I think it laughed at me.

Thank heavens for the lining. The inside of the bag is so me, and such a fun surprise when you unzip the top. The zipper pocket was sewn to the wrong side initially--glad I didn't cut the slit where the zipper goes. If I had done that, I seriously would have trashed the whole thing from frustration. Who, me have a temper? No way. But the inside is so worth it.

This is a huge bag, but I tend to cram so much stuff into mine that it'll be nice to not walk around with something completely overstuffed with junk. The outside pockets will be great for phone and keys, and the inside pockets for whatever else. The outside of the bag is actually kind of plain:

It's a great example of why I shouldn't sew when I have a bit of a migraine. I would normally not  have chosen a small-scale print like this for such a large bag (I am quite pleased with the contrasting handles though). I have been online and in the shops much more than could possibly be healthy, and I have not seen a single fabric that stands out and says "Oh yes, I AM the one." Oddly, though I say this bag looks bland, my bag last winter was bland too. It was one of those brown shearling bags with what looks like wool poking out of the seams. This one needed SOMEthing extra, so I found this pin in my stash of stuff, and it gives it just enough color now to break things up.

I left it hanging in the dining room so I could see it with fresh eyes in the morning. It looks much better with a pop of color. I was thinking a red crochet rosette would look good, but then thought it might look too fallish. I'm not fully in the mindset of warm wooly-looking tweed-like fabrics so I think I will appreciate this much more when the weather turns cold.

With all the frustration it ended up being worth it, but I need to put it away and forget about it until I'm ready to use it. It's like I have handbag cabin fever. I'll love it. But after it gets away from me for a few minutes. I wonder if that's why when I make a bag for me it has to be a quickie...maybe I'll get so tired of it before it's done I won't want to use it... Hmmm..... something to ponder.

On the other hand--I have figured out exactly what I'm doing for my sissie's bag--corduroy patchwork and grommets. I hope the stitchery gods take pity on me and make it easy breezy. Everyone cross their fingers!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mostly Sunny, A Little Breezy at Times

After a busy weekend, some nephew(s) hang-time, some intense sewing frustration (next post, folks :) and a wee bit of shopping, the best place to be was on the porch, alternating between crocheting and reading, sipping on some tea. And enjoying the view.

More like this, please. See you tomorrow, gang!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

An Appeal

This post is a bit difficult for me to write, as it goes against the grain of my blog and my psyche a bit to put something personal on here that isn't a passing comment of temporary unwellness or down in the dumpishness.

My close friend's husband has been sick for the past three-plus months with an illness that is yet to be diagnosed. There have been numerous emergency room visits, doctor's office appointments, and visits to specialists. Johns-Hopkins has not even been able to give them an answer. He has lost a ton of weight, and is unable to work. He is self-employed, so they are dealing with a big loss of income right now. Though they have insurance coverage through her work, limits can be reached and all those co-pays add up to ridiculous. Next week they are heading to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for more bloodwork, scans, punctures, taps, and whatever other things they make people endure for the sake of "some tests."

I don't know what's worse about the whole situation: the financial worry, dealing with a serious illness, or not even knowing what that illness is. Their kids have been amazing through the whole ordeal thus far. They truly are one of the best families I know--they are just honest, loving, all-around good people, plain and simple. As I watch what I feel is the decline of morals in our society, they are people that you look at and think "I wish I knew more people like them." At least I do.

Why am I telling you this? Because for the next few months you're going to see a widget at the top of my sidebar for donations for Brian Schaffer (and I just wanted you all to know it's legit and not a spammy kind of thing). And also that if you fancy yourself a philanthropist (or know any actual rich folks who like to dole out money for worthy causes) you can click on the widget and be taken to the fundraising page. It shows an amount in the widget, but you can change that--that wouldn't be the amount you are donating. I don't even know why they programmed that in there. Every little bit can help, as it all adds up to a big bit (just like those co-pays). I know it's weird to ask people you don't know to donate money to someone else they don't know, but it never hurts to try. If you can spare a few bucks I (and they) would be infinitely grateful. If you can't perhaps you could say a prayer or think a few good thoughts? It certainly couldn't hurt to have more positive energy floating around the universe, right?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Twelve of One, a Dozen of Another

In just one week (even with work and sewing thrown in) I've managed to get a nice healthy start on my granny-square afghan. Last weekend I had gone out and bought my colors--

...and planned out what I wanted to do. The original idea was for a full-on seventies' inspired blanket, in goldenrod yellow, marigold orange, avocado green, cocoa brown, and almond. These aren't colors I normally work with outside of seasonal crafting for fall bits, and I was very worried I would get completely sick and tired of it and end up wasting time, money and effort. I wanted it to still be a bit retro, but also a bit cleaner-looking, and not something that would make people say "How many greats did the grandmother who made that have in her name?" So I consulted with my in-house design team (Mumsy and Alicia) to see what they thought about these colors softened by extra white ( So that's what I'm going with.

Each square has a round of each color, with two rounds of white (I just checked the label and the color is Aran--not really an off-white, not a cream, more like an oatmeal, I suppose). Every other square is a solid color center, surrounded by white. It's not so in-your-face seventies, but that's ok. That part is in the details, while the overall look is more muted and sedate. Here's what I have so far:

I was going to do an eight by eight layout, but it would be a wee bit small, so I added an extra two. Once I get the border on it should be just right. My plan for the border is to do a stripe of each color, but looking at the photo above I'm wondering if a plain white would be better. I suppose I'll get a bit more done and then I'll be able to tell for sure. Or I'll ask you folks and you can tell me for sure :)

When I told my mother my original plan and she saw the colors, her face expressed her thoughts. And those thoughts, based on her expression, were along the lines of "I think that seafood I ate was dodgy" or "What's that terrible smell?" But now she loves it, because of the white. It certainly makes the colors pop a bit, to have such a contrast instead just blending together in riot of crazy-ugly.

I'm using a join-as-you-go method. I was thinking of sewing each square together, and then I made someone slap some sense into me. Then I thought I'd slip-stitch them together, but that would add a bulkyish seam. The JAYG is working out beautifully. The only thing is that it takes a bit more planning than waiting to lay out your squares, but planning probably isn't the worst thing ever (if I really meant that I'd have made a quick sketch of color placement to make it easier on myself. OK, it's not that I don't mean's that I didn't think of it until just now). I had pinned at tutorial on joining yarn invisibly, but when I tried to access it last weekend it seemed to be a dead link. Twenty squares later I checked one more time (I was going to delete it otherwise) and it was back! I'm bugged because you can see my join in the early pieces and not in the latter, but oh well. Hopefully that's not the detail that people focus on in the end.

I'm weaving in my ends as I go on this one and I am quite thrilled. At first I wasn't going to, but changed my mind and I'm glad for it. It took two whole nights to get them all in. It would be a ridiculous amount at the end, instead of a few minutes after each block to hide them. You would think that would have been a lesson learned quickly after the rainbow ripple, but not this girl!

After taking these pictures I sat down and cranked out the 24th square. Just so I could honestly give this post that title.

The light changes so quickly now it's crazy. The sun was coming in picture-perfect when I started, and set to  deprive me of its light by the third round. I do love when it gets dark early (so cozy!) but the need for light for good photos bothers me slightly. Then I have some hot chocolate and get over it. I pride myself on my ability to move on :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A "Whoosh!" Weekend

I'm all for converting the work week to two days and the weekend to five days. Then the good times could roll double the current amount. Especially weekends like this one. I feel like so very much happened but really it was kind of ordinary.

Friday night I was sitting on the porch with my mother, when she commented on the "pretty sky." I ran for my camera, took a shot, looked down to adjust the settings, and when I looked up--gone. The sun had lowered just enough in about three seconds to make the sky look ordinary again. But for a brief moment it looked like this:

Saturday morning I was checking my email when I saw one entitled "September is National Sewing Month!" It was a Joann's ad, and I needed a good bit of what was on sale (plus I had a twenty percent off everything coupon) so off I went. After what seemed like endless hours pondering and matching and thinking I went to the cutting table. When I was finished the girl behind me (I categorize everyone as a girl, even when they are unmistakably in adult form) asked if I made handbags. I could feel my face going "Yes, how could you know that? GASP! Maybe she's read my blog! Wouldn't that be funny? That's probably not it..." But my mouth went "Yeesssss" in this suspicion-laden way (at least that's how it sounded to me). And then we chatted for a few about how she makes bags as well, but hers are felted wool (which I've always been too scared to try but the results are pretty nifty looking). I had ONE business card on me (serendipitous, I say!) and so we traded. I got home and looked up her shop and her blog. I've never met a kindredly-spirited person before (I usually meet people who have to patch something or whose kid has Home Ec and needs flannel and couldn't care less about sewing, etc.) so it was kind of neat. Her mom (I think it was her mom) had asked me during one of my back-and-forths around the store "Where do you keep your burlap?" I told her "Oh, I don't work here...but the burlap is right over there..." Maybe I shouldn't go there so often. Not only do I load my cart so I look like a worker restocking bolts, but I actually could be that employee, I know it all so well.

Saturday afternoon/evening/night I plucked my Christmas fabrics off the shelf and made Christmas stockings (please don't throw heavy things in my direction--I know it's not even fall yet!). My plan is to have these (and a few other Christmassy bits) in my shop, priced affordably, by October. I also spent some time working on my granny square afghan (pics to come). Then I threw in some cleaning and organizing of my sewing nook, and now I feel quite motivated to put Lola to work. I'm hoping to churn out a few bags this week. One of them is for me so that should be the kick in the pants I need.

And then today was a bit ceremonious.

A certain little squirmer had some water poured on his head :)

How adorable is that little hat that came with his outfit? He was terribly miserable in it, but oh so cute!!! It was giant on his noggin, as they sent a size larger than what my sister ordered and it was too late to exchange it. He was so well-behaved during the ceremony. Until he realized he was probably starving to death. Or tired. Because as soon as the BIL gave him his bottle he got droopy-eyed:

He kept making faces at us that seemed to say "Guys. Come on. I look ridiculous. Get this off." I knew how he felt. I had to wear clothes I'd normally wear to work and I couldn't wait to get back into my jeans. These looked kind of comfy, though:

If I ever reach the end of my to-do list, which keeps growing and growing and growing, I might feel inspired to make a quilt that looks like this:

Honestly, though, I'll probably pin a few pictures of quilts that other people have made with a stained glass effect and call it a day. 

Quite a full weekend, mostly ho-hum, but quite satisfying as well. Kind of perfect, actually. I'd like a do-over. But I'd like to get up earlier during the do-over so I could enjoy more of it. Back soon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Yeah, that says 'pumpykins' up there. That "word" snuck into my head somewhere and has been beastly to get out. So I'm sharing it with you. I hope it annoys you as much as it does me. Well...not really...that would be mean. But misery loves company so I hope you'll join me :)

OK, onward....the weather finally took a bit of a chill pill and it has been--dare I say--lovely outside? There is a hint of fall in the air, and as soon as I sense that tiny wisp of autumn it may as well be Halloween because I'm done with summer and heat and humidity. I felt like making something quick and crafty and fallish this weekend, so I decided I would make some yo-yo pumpkins. I had thought of them a few weeks ago, but making the stems on such things always boggles me a bit. When I went searching for a how-to, I saw that someone had already made exactly what I wanted. Instead of reinventing the wheel (I almost wrote 'reinventing the horse' - where did THAT come from?) I just followed this tutorial, in case you're interested in making your own.

After an afternoon spent with tea, fabric and twine, I had half a dozen different sized pumpkins ready to go:

I made these from a small stack of fat quarters and some hand-quilting thread (it's very strong). And twine. And fiberfill. It's practically a no-sew project, but the sewing required is super easy giant gathering stitches. I found that doubling up my thread and gathering as I went made the thread less likely to snap. It took me a few cursing incidents to get my act together.

For the larger ones I used four pieces of twine to make eight wedges. My twine was very thick, so if you can find thinner stuff I would go with that. For the smaller ones I used three pieces for six wedges--

Using the twine to make the stem gives it a quite realistic look. My hands are nice and exfoliated, too, from working with the rough stuff.

And since the twine knots and the stem sit right over the yo-yo gathering hole I didn't feel the need to be super neat and precise about closing the hole off. The little ones are my favorite.

The best part, though, is the devil-may-care freedom you can employ in your stuffing technique. One of my least favorite tasks is stuffing a pillow. I have such a time getting the lumpy-bumpies under control for a smooth finish. With this they didn't need to be stuffed firmly so it went pretty quick.

I cut the biggest circle I could out of a fat quarter, and that gave me a pumpkin about 8 inches big. I didn't have a full yard of fall fabric on hand to try a huge one, but it would probably be quite cute. I practically live at the fabric store, so I won't be out of opportunities to give it a shot. For now I like seeing them on the windowsill when I come downstairs in the morning, chilling in the sunbeams, waiting for the fall decorations to go up.

Don't you just looooooove this time of year?!?!?!?!?!?! Have you been doing any seasonal making yet?

Linking here:
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Doodle Pumpkins

I've finished my blocks for my hexie project, but put it away for the time being. It can be quite murderous to the finger tips as well as the knuckles--I tend to marathon sew and my hands would actually be a little sore after a session. I love doing hand-work of any kind in the cooler months, so I plan on picking this back up in the near future. I just needed a change of pace, too. When I walked up to Lola to sew the other night, I was honestly surprised she didn't start screaming "Stranger danger! Stranger danger!" It's been THAT long since I've spent any time with her.

Since the fabric I ordered for a new handbag hasn't arrived yet, I decided to dig into some of the fall projects I've had tucked away in my brain. First up was a table runner. I guess it's actually a windowsill runner since it's going in the big bay window in the kitchen, but they've got the same job no matter where they are. Several weeks ago my mother and I were in Joann's where they had the fall/Halloween (and Christmas!!) fabrics out. They had a really pretty, very simple fall fabric tucked in amidst the oranges and blacks and browns that dominated the aisle:

It's called 'Doodle Pumpkins' and is so very perfect in its color and simplicity.

I yanked it off the shelf immediately, and my mother said "Why don't you wait? It might be on sale." I always have coupons so I don't pay attention to sales all the time, plus I just knew I would never see this fabric there again (and I haven't since). I decided it was just too pretty to hack up for patchwork so I made what I call a cheater quilt, but which I've come to learn is a whole cloth quilt.

This is an awful picture that makes it look crooked, but I assure you it's the straightest quilted project I've ever made. I must have needed more coffee when I was taking this photo. I kept the quilting simple with a crosshatch diamond pattern. The thread matches really well so the fabric is what you see as opposed to the quilting.

I had a bit of a thread emergency with this one, if such a thing exists where one is not being deprived of life by a spool of string. I decided to start this on a whim, so having a thread that matches (and enough of that thread) never crossed my mind. I had a perfect match but the amount was questionable. I decided I definitely had enough and didn't need to run out for more, so I started. Of course I didn't have enough, so I ran into the other room and frantically asked "Do I have enough time to get to Joann's before it closes?" to which Alicia responded "Only if you stop talking and leave." I zoomed up and back and finished the quilting that night. Of course I lingered and shopped because it takes what? Two seconds to locate your thread number? Yesterday in a more local craft store I saw they had the exact color I needed, but I couldn't chance wasted time on a limited thread selection when I was on a quilting mission.

For the back I used some green I had in my stash (that shows the quilting really well) and for the binding I used a wine-colored solid that matches the front but not the back but it's not reversible so who cares?

I'm pretty pleased with the binding--it's one thing I meticulously focus on as I'd love to get a near-perfect finish each time. I'm still not there, but I get closer each time.

So that's one thing off the list. I'm so very ready for fall--after what seems an eternity the windows are open, I can comfortably wear jeans, and I plan on spending the afternoon outside with a new book and some crochet. 

A retro-colored granny square blanket will be in the works soon. I couldn't get it out of my brain so I figured I should just buy the stuff since once I get an idea I don't let go.

Now if the temperatures and humidity would stay down my happy level could keep increasing. I'm ready for jeans and sweaters and boots and hot chocolate and crunchy leaves and the smell of bonfires. Bring it on :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hexie Progress

Running concurrent with my new-found addiction to HGTV is an apparent inclination to having holes poked in my fingertips. Paper-piecing has turned out to be the perfect type of project for plopping on my arse with a cup of tea and the remote control. Ever since we returned from vacation I have felt very little motivation to fire up my sewing machine (I'm hoping that changes this week). I have (literally!) piles of projects waiting for me to cut and stitch but there's something about the post-vacation exhaustion and return to normal followed by a long holiday weekend that just does not lend itself to unnecessary work.

HOWever, I do feel I've made some nice headway on my hexie project. I didn't lift a needle when we were seaside, but I set to when we got home. Just over a week ago I had a pile of twenty hexie flowers. I've now got the actual makings of something. This required the cutting and piecing of so many diamonds and triangles for my decided-upon layout. I've now got two rows finished with one more to go (plus the stitching together of the rows and the finishing of the edges. Which I haven't figured out yet).

So here's what I've got so far (apologies for the pics--it was so rainy and gloomy all day so there was no chance at decent shots)--

All of those "tails" you see sticking out will be concealed in the final piece as I plan on having a full white border around it. I was thinking of adding some patchwork border action but I'm not sure if it'll be too much visually or make the runner too big. Measuring where this is going to go would be helpful but I haven't done it because that would make sense.

I don't know if I could take doing an entire quilt this way, but I certainly do applaud those who have the tenacity to get through it. I am enjoying the fabric and shape play, but my penchant is for easy quilting projects and this one, while not inherently difficult, is quite time-consuming.

My stitching is better in some places than others, but only up close. I also haven't removed any papers yet, and I'm thinking there will be a wee bit of give once I do that will make those stitches a little more relaxed. Whipstitching sure is some sturdy sewing--I've sewed a few pieces together incorrectly and had a beastly time getting them apart, so at least I won't be worrying too much about this piece falling apart.

My fingers have been itching to start work on another crochet blanket of some sort, but I have no idea the pattern or the colors. I've been thinking of a totally retro granny square blanket in brown, orange, olive, and marigold--something totally Brady Bunch/That 70's Show. But it's so far from my "soul" colors I'm worried I'll get completely sick and tired of it a few squares in. But I'm always working in brights and candy colors that it wouldn't hurt to step out of my comfort zone. What to do, what to do...I hope all my decisions are this difficult.


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