Tuesday, January 16

Girls weekend!

This past weekend was my annual sojourn to Vegas to hang out with some very wonderful girlfriends.   We shopped, we gambled, we ate, we laughed, we cried, and maybe had a bit of fun.

The two stops I always appreciate are Stitcher's Paradise - an absolutely fantastic LNS with a huge, awesome fabric room, and a back room chocked full of older and overstocked patterns and Quiltique, a really nice quilt shop.   I could probably live without going to Quiltique, but I'm always excited to go.   I haven't really found a quilt shop I like here, yet (sadly, my quilt shop in Chapel Hill closed last year).

I didn't purchase a terribly huge amount, and I'm happy to say almost everything was purchased with an actual plan ;)

Cross Stitch:

I purchased a bunch of tiny cuts for biscornus and other little projects I'd like to work on:

I (try to) do a biscornu for every year and stuff it with the previous year's ORTs as a keepsake.   I am a bit backlogged, in part because I try to find something I like.  Luckily!  I have plans to get 2016 and 2017's biscornus done, and I've already started on what I'd like to use for 2018.   I ended up picking up three Biscornu kits from Sweetheart tree to front load my biscornu needs :)

I'll actually be doing the Blackwork one for 2017's.

I purchased fabric for Mirabilia's Zenia, a piece I will stitch on this year (for the Year of WIPs, I was short a WIP, and decided to bite the bullet because I luff her :) )

And I also purchased Royal Games II (and the beads).   I will be stitching each one as a full card and hanging them in the game room (since I won't be reno-ing that room until later this year, it's no rush; I'm thinking of starting them in 2019).  Because of my FB break, I had totally missed that this one was being published!   I absolutely ADORE the Queen of Diamonds.

I also bought a bunch of DMC.   I realize I could've gotten them for cheaper from a local craft store, but I only needed a few to fill in a few holes where I didn't quite have everything for a project or two (a skein here, a skein there :) )

And here's what I got from Quiltique:

If you ever go with me into a fabric shop, you will quickly discover that I have an utter weakness for precuts, especially jelly rolls.   Welp, this jelly-roll was half-off, and it's in my beloved monochromatic grays, so I had to have it.   I'm thinking of a wild and crazy colored backing after I make it.   And I'm going to cut some of these strips in half so that I get a strippier looking quilt.   I think it'll be fun (in years if I ever get around to it ;) )

I grabbed a couple of fat quarters; the evergreen looking one is for my Hearts-Across-America wall hanging, I'll use it for California.   I like it a lot better than one I picked up earlier (I was never sure I really wanted that one, this one felt right).  And that gray.  Because I like it ;)

I bought these fabrics (FQs) because I just thought they were beautiful.  I plan on making a topper for my Lane chest (next to the bed).   I bought a couple of yards of the backing fabric (way more than needed) because I love it, so pretty!

 I also bought a yardish of fabric to back a spring themed table runner for the dining room table.  I'm so determined to end the year with less (unused) fabric than I started with.

So that was my fun for the trip.   A few things purchased, nothing over the top, and I'm pleased with everything.

Friday, January 12

I almost forgot - I'm famous, y'all!

OK, famous might be the wrong word, but a bit ago, Audible had a Facebook post (before I crawled into a non-fb hole; I creep out now and again, but not often) asking what people had done while listening to audiobooks. 

I've been an Audible subscriber since 2006 (I love them), and I bought audiobooks on good ol' fashioned tapes and CDs before that, so I've done a lot. 

I used to listen at work, so I've done confocal microscopy, rodent surgeries, immunohistochemistry, rack washing, cage washing... 

I've listened to them on long driving trips, during daily commutes (bus and car). 

I've listened to them while doing chores, dishes, cooking, cleaning, vacuuming, cleaning out the car, washing the dog, walking the dog, using a treadmill or elliptical. 

I've listened to them while working on any variety of projects: putting in new flooring, painting, plumbing, stenciling, building the murphy bed, building the bar, putting together Ikea furniture, gardening.

I've definitely listened to them while crafting:  cross stitching, sewing, quilting, making costumes, painting, crocheting and knitting.

Heck, I've even listened to audiobooks while gaming if I've already done the play-through of a story mode or if I've played the game before and I'm just enjoying the action.

So since Audible asked, I answered.   I had to pick one thing, so I picked the most obvious (cross stitch), and I just went through my finished tab and picked what I thought was the most photogenic.   They contacted me to ask what I was listening to (I hadn't mentioned what I was listening to, heck, I can't remember because I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks), and I just picked Curse of Chalion because it's my favorite audiobook and I listen to it every year (or more!).

So now I'm on their website, along with a lot of other people who do some really awesome and interesting things, and I think it's just neat.  They have a "Done while Listening" page for anyone curious as to what they collected, and I'm just happy to have been chosen to be there (as a long time audible subscriber, lover, and promoter).

Wednesday, January 10

My Christmas table runner

I posted the gifts I had created for the inlawseseses a while ago,   While I was working on them, I took scraps and turned the scraps into a table runner for me.

I'm quite happy with how it ultimately turned out.  Now I'll have a table runner for the next holiday season!

Tuesday, January 9


Probably a little ridiculous to keep posting these, buuut, I probably don't care what people think about it. ;)

I made another set of microwave bowl holders, only this time they're for me!  I was so excited that I took pictures before I even cleaned up the chalk lines, haha.

Monday, January 8

Tiles quilt top is done!

So I stayed up wayyyyyy too late on Saturday finishing up the quilt top.  I thought it was about 2 hours earlier than it was when I looked at the time and realized that maybe, just maybe, I should have gone to bed a couple of hours ago... oops.

But I got it done!   The only downside was that I thought I had already purchasing backing material for it, but I had not.  I do have binding for it, so I placed an order on ye olde craftsy (where I bought the kit) for a few yards for backing.   I like this kit/material colorway, so instead of driving to the quilt store (not so close to home), I went with the "send it to my front door" option.   Likely, it'll arrive while I'm out of town, but that's OK, I'll be ready for it when I return (if so).

Excuse the bad lighting, it was nearly 2am ;)

I really like the taupes and greys, they work well for my mostly-grey living room and should provide sufficient camouflage for the ever-present Mona hairs.

Sunday, January 7

January WIPocalypse Intro

Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Hi, I'm Suz, I'm a lab animal science professional (that's right - my circus, my monkeys - all of it/them, though I prefer rats) located on the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard, but I'm originally from CA or TX (depending on how you look at it).  I've been stitching for more than 25 years, and took a multi year break when I moved here.  Now I just never have any time to do all the things I'd like to do.

Right now I'm mostly stitching/quilting, but I also have a house I work on quite a bit, a dog I adore, a pretty awesome partner, and a lot of political activism stuff going on.   My other big hobby (non-crafting) is board gaming, so you'll see a few board gaming review posts after I go to big conventions (Jan/Sept).  I haven't been gaming as much as I used to, because I moved to a new area with a lot less gamers (boohoo).  I also read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy.   I'm a pretty rounded geek ;)   I'm on Facebook rarely now, but I like to Instagram a fair amount (@suzemo)

My WIPocalypse line up and posts only take actual current (as of Jan 1) WIPs into consideration.  Nothing started during 2018 will count.   I'm going to mix things up this year by adding in some non-stitching works, and adding in some projects that involve already-completed works that I'd like to finish all together.

I'm actually proud that I didn't end 2017 with any new WIPs, though I did add some to the list that are projects/sewing.

Here they are, cross stitch listed from oldest to youngest with a bit of info about relevant (ie: I hope/want/plan to stitch on them) pieces with bold = high priority, italics = extremely low priority:
  1. Fantasy Sampler - this is my oldest WIP, and I'd like to finish this off, actually.  I made a fair amount of progress in 2016, but when I got to the bottom I realize I hadn't finished off the border, so I switched to something more fun.  It should be fairly easy to finish off (as far as TW can be considered "easy").   I wanted to work on it in 2017, but Freshwater Pearls started screaming - and I do use the screaming rotation.
  2. Enchanter - I have no plans to work on this one, honestly.  It's pretty much last on my "TW WIP" list.
  3. Freshwater Pearls - this puppy got a whole lotta love in 2017, and I don't see why 2018 can't see her off.
  4. Celestial Dragon - I've been feeling the itch to get back to this one, we'll see how it goes.  I doubt it will go at all, though.
  5. Fortunate Traveler - again, not high on the list; but higher than poor Enchanter.
  6. Chinese Dragon - we'll see how I feel about this one, it's on aida (eek)
  7. BoInk - I'd really like to make progress on this, but again, we'll see.   I've not made a whole lot of progress in a while, and honestly, these blocks seem really slow for  me.
  8. Deco Spirits - ? maybe?  I love this piece, and working on it is easy, but I have "slots" for my WIPs and as soon as I finish this one, a new Mira will take its spot.  Since I'm more (currently) driven to reduce WIPS, that kind of takes the allure away.
  9. Epic RR - I think I've finally figured out what I would like to do for my band, I could conceivably knock this one out in a couple of weeks.
    This RR went completely sideways for me, and I had to change plans, which slowed me down so this is high on the list.
  10. Desert Sunsets - this will be finished in January, come hell or high water;  I'll be seeing a friend I want to give the patterns to, and I'm seeing her in Mid-Jan.
  11. Hearts Across America - this is an addition I made even though there's nothing truly WIP-py about it.   I have three hearts finished (California, Arizona, Texas) for three of the four states I've lived in.  I need to do North Carolina, and then I plan on finishing them into mini-wall hangings that hang off of each other.  If I move again, I can always add on another heart - I have all of the patterns to make them.  Anyway, I'd like to get this out of the mental "to do" list at the very minimum.
  12. Blooming 9patch Quilt - this is a higher priority than Allietare; I want my Miller bag back.
  13. Allietere Mystery Quilt (Bonnie Hunter from 2015) - only a priority in that I'd like to try another Quilt mystery and I'm not allowing myself to do that until this is done, BUT I did pick up a couple of quilt kits and I'd like to move them out of the way, too.
As always, the goal is to get down to less than 6 WIPs (cross stitching). I don't do as much sewing, so I'd like to keep it to one sewing project at a time, but we'll see how that works out (all contingent on me finishing up the active quilt-WIPs I've got)

I have a few non-WIPocalypse things planned for this year, but not many.  I still need to make a 2016 biscornu (have pattern!) for my 2016 orts, and of course now I need a 2017 one as well.   I should just get these knocked out and out of my way.

I have numerous other things already kitted, and I have a number of adopted projects if I manage to actually get down to my personally allotted 6 WIP slot plan.  I can always dream.   I've even updated my rotation plan in the sidebar, so it looks like I'm ready to go!  Of course, I need to reconcile my desire to get something done in a couple of weeks with the Darkening of Tristram event going on this month with Diablo3, my lack of self control can be amazing for that ;)

Friday, January 5

Just because I'm doing things...

I've been working on my throw/lap quilt every night.   I'm starting to getting a bit tired of it, but I wanted it to get done before the next absurd cold snap next week.

Although really, I've set a deadline that I'd like to get it done before I play the Darkening of Tristram event on D3, and I'd like to do that now. ;)

Wednesday Night:
I finished the first of three parts/strips for each block, and then I was deciding on the pieces for the next strip (these blocks are essentially three asymmetric strips, the first of 4 fabrics, the second is 2 and the last is 3).  I'm trying to keep any of the blocks from having the same two fabrics in them.   I think I will succeed with all but one block (I hadn't tried to do that yet, so it's not like I couldn't have, but I'm not ripping the seams to redo it, I think it's fine).

Thursday Night:
I had two of the three strips sewn together.  I sewed the two pieces and then the two strips.  This was my successful(!) attempt to get the last three fabrics on there so that I had no two fabrics the same in the final set (with the rest of the block).   There will be 20 blocks total in this quilt, so it took a bit of space to make sure I could see everything.

Bonus shot of my Janome 405.  My grandmother bought it for me as an intro machine back in 2003 or so, when I expressed interest in sewing.  We were at the repair/sales shop picking up her machine (getting a tune up) and when she asked the repair guy what machine he would suggest, he mentioned this one.  And damn if it hasn't been a workhorse.    I would like to get another machine with a longer throat sometime, but I'll never give this one up.  The crazy stuff I've sewn (a lot of it VERY heavy duty) through has amazed me, and this little guy has only had/needed one tune up the entire time I've had it.  I just keep her oiled and she's happy.

I think I'll finish sewing the blocks tonight, whether I sew them together is another story;  knowing me, I'll stay up too late to get it done.  I have plenty of audiobook to go through, so at least I'll keep myself entertained.