Yarn Along – To Replace, or Let it Go?

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So, remember I showed you this last week, and I gushed about how happy I was about all of the jeweltoned, bright colors?

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I’ve come to my senses, and accepted the fact that it looks like Sesame Street just vomited up an avenue. So, it’s getting ripped, and I’ll probably make a pair of socks out of it, because I do still love the yarn, I just don’t want to wear it around my neck. So much for tricking my mother into swapping the Earth Shawl for this.

After all of that – because I did knit all the way to the stripe section before I decided that it looked like rainbow barf – I cast on a sure thing. Here is the beginning Wickerwork in this Summer’s issue of Twist Collective, by Gudrun Johnson,  in Miss Bab’s Yowza:

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It’s starts off with a provisional cast on, which evolves into a hem. So much work, but I really like this finished edge:

And, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m going on another Gudron Johnson adventure, her first Mystery KAL:

Another mystery!!  After reading her forums, I decided to go with this laceweight I have in my stash.  Based on everyone’s questions, and her answers (she has been very active in the forums, commenting on people’s yarn choices, answering questions, etc. – I think it’s a really good sign for a good Mystery KAL!), I think it’ll work.  If not, I’ll just rip out the first clue and start again in my skein of Wollmeise, which I was going to use as the contrast color to my above failed Cameo, but I’ll be happy to use it alone in this project.

The shawl is knit in three parts, and she recommends either using one color or three colors.

So, as I’ve clearly let the Sesame Street regurg go, what is my title talking about?  Well, I need some advice.  Here is my dilmena.  I invested in a set of Knitter’s Pride interchangeable circular needles, sizes 4-11.  I knit a project with the fours and loved them.  Then, when I was twisting my needle off of the cable, my needle snapped.  Drat!  So, I ordered a replacement set from Webs.  I took the set out of the packaging, assumed they were fine, and put them in the case.  But, they were not fine – it turns out the screws inside the tip are stripped, and they won’t screw on the cable.  Fine, I’ll call Webs, they have great customer service, no problem.  In the meantime, I’ll cast on on a five.  So, I set up my five’s for Sesame barf, and wouldn’t you know it – I sat on the needles, and totally broke the tip.  So, now I have to get replacement tips for the 5.

Or do it?  Maybe these needles just aren’t worth all of the trouble.  While I love the join (where as I hate the join on the Hiya Hiya set that I have), and I loved the 4’s, I didn’t love the 5’s so much – I thought the tip was really blunt.  And, there’s the issue of the breakage.  I didn’t sit on the needle in some crazy position – the wood is just really soft, and it snapped like a twig.  Is it worth replacing?  Maybe I should just let this set go, and maybe get a set of Addi’s for my birthday.  But I do really like the join . . .

Any thoughts?  All advice welcome!

Hope everyone’s knitting is going smoother than mine!

On the other hand, my reading is back on the right track.  I mentioned last post that I was probably going to start this book:
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And, indeed I did.  I’m really enjoying it, but I think I’d be enjoying it more if I remembered the first book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.  I remember the first book well enough – a basic outline of the story, the characters he meets on the way, the revelations he has, the ending.  But, I don’t remember all of the minute. finer details – so while I see that Queenie sees things much differently than Harold, I feel like I need to go back to the first book to get the full effect.  But, I like it, and it feels to good to be in the middle of something, not slogging through the beginning of something I know I’ll never finish.

Thanks for stopping by, and let me know what you think about the Knitter’s Pride Needles!

Just a Stitch Journal

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been struggling with a process v. product dilemna. On one hand, I really enjoy hand embroidery, and the process of crazy quilting. On the other hand, I have no use for hand embroidered/crazy quilted finished objects. As a solution, I thought, well, I’ll combine it, sort of, with another hobby, bookbinding and journal making, and make journal covers. But, really, what am I going to do with a bunch of crazy quilted journal covers? Open an Etsy shop and compete with people who’ve been doing this kind of handwork for years, and have a much superior product? Give a lot of journals as holiday gifts? And then next year, everyone gets a crazy quilted pillow?

These thoughts, a tedious circle of ultimate goals, and products and finished objects, and perhaps time wasting, left me a little deflated. And by circle, what I mean was I was having conversations with myself that went like this, “This is so relaxing. But what am I going to do with it? Who cares what you’re going to do with it if you like doing it? I care what I’m going to do with it, because I don’t want schmatas hanging on my wall. What am I going to do with all of this fabric? Where will all these stitches go?” So, I put my crazy quilt down, picked up my knitting, and moved on. But, still I stewed. I really enjoy hand embroidery. Needle up, needle down. I hate to sound overly 7th grade English student, but it’s like playing the violin – pulling a bow across strings, stretching my fingers, making something pretty. Or perhaps, it’s like being on a boat, a steady rocking. Or maybe, it’s more like a swing, back and forth, rewarded with flight. Ok, enough with the metaphors. All I’m trying to say is that it’s comforting, relaxing, soothing, and peaceful, all the while being satisfying and exhilarating just to make something for pretty’s sake alone..

And then, I had a lightbulb moment. Pretty for pretty’s sake!  When, in the past, have I pursued something without any regard to the end product? Painting portraits, making art, arting in my art journal . . . hey, I thought, instead of making journal covers, how about the stitchery is the journal? The stitchery is the art in the journal, and the journal is all about the process.

So, I began researching what people do with the embroidery samplers they make. They must put them in a book or something, right? Other people must have this process v. product dilemna, too, right?  Not so much it seems.  This answer left me particularly discouraged.  I found tons of people who make fabric journals of course – similar to art journals, with fabric, lace, painting, plaster, etc., but those journals don’t really work for me because embroidered pages have to be bound after the fact, or I wouldn’t be able to put the fabric in a hoop.  I only found one person who was binding her  sampler embroidery into a fiber book. That’s not to say there aren’t others, but she was the only one I found with a tutorial.  And, back when she posted her tutorial, she was exchanging pages with others in her stitching circle, so there must be others, but I couldn’t find them.  So, following the little tutorial she made for this fiber book,  I set to work making my own.

I started with a 21 x 18 piece of craftstore canvas.  If you were interested in doing this, you could go smaller – I just wanted to have a nice margin so I could get my fabric in the hoop when I was working on the tops and bottoms of the pages.  I folded the canvas in the center, and marked my pages a 1/2 inch from the center line.  I then used a Million Little Stitches page size, 3.5 x 5.75, because it seems like as good a size as any.  This was really hard to photograph, but if you can see – the red dotted lines are the outlined page, and the solid, blue lines are lines for the buttonhole stitch, which is worked around the finished folio, and then used to sew the pages together, kind of like grafted knitting.  This buttonhole stitch method of sewing the pages together worries me – I think I would have liked something like a long stitch, or a coptic binding, but the way she does it allows you to know that the two folio pages are going to lay side by side in the book, and if I want to embroider straight across the fold line for a two page “spread” I could do that.  So, while I think the book would be sturdier if sewn into the binding, I’m going with her way, because her book does look great.

Here, you can see my measurements a little better. I used Frixion pens, which disappear with heat. It doesn’t take much heat to make the lines disappear – just a light touch from the tip of a hot iron will do the trick.   After I mapped out four folios, I erased the measurements, and any mismarks.  You could easily cut a bigger piece of canvas, and map out more pages, but I went with four because it seemed like a manageable size to be on my lap, and taking in and out of the hoop.

Once my book was laid out, I started stitching based on this Facebook Group’s stitch a day “challenge,” Joyful Embelishments.  I went with this prompt group as opposed to TAST, which I had mentioned before, because this group is going on now, in real time, and I thought that would be more motivating, inspiring, and butt kicking.  I thought I might catch up – but then I thought, probably not, no biggie.

So, here is my first page!  I was so proud until . . . how could I misspell stitch?  How?  I knit, I sew, I quilt, I embroidery – how how how could I spell stitch wrong?  The mistake has since been fixed.  I squeezed that darn “t” in there.  But, it’s not about the product, so it doesn’t matter that it’s not perfect.  It’s just my stitch journal.

And what are these little sheep doing here? Are they crazy quilt seam treatments? Is everyone making sheep in Joyful Embelishnments?  No, but again – it’s just my stitch journal, so I can do anything I want. And, since the prompt had French Knots, and I felt like making more knots – I made some sheep. Because sheep are always good.

And primrose? Again, not a seam treatment, but I was reading Red Brolly, and she did a tutorial on pinwheels, and I decided, hey, I want to make pinwheels.

So, I made pinwheels. Because I know longer care what the product is – it’s all about the process. It’s just my stitch journal.

And, to make it feel even more journaly, I’m thinking of adding some text, maybe a quote from the movie I was watching while stitching, The Fault in Our Stars, although kids with cancer may not be the vibe I’m going for, we’ll see.

It doesn’t matter, it’s just my stitch journal.

Something Lovely for the Weekend

Remember this nest?
birdsnest3The eggs have hatched, and we have a little Cardinal family outside our porch window.  A hungry Cardinal family.
hungrybaby2Luckily, Daddy Cardinal arrived with dinner:
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daddybirdfeeding2Once the feeding was done, Daddy Bird took off.  It was up to Momma to bring dessert.
mommabirdShe is totally giving me the eye.
The evil eye.
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Daddy may be pretty, but Momma is fierce.
mommabird3As it should be.

Don’t mess with Momma.

Have a great weekend!

Yarn Along – A New Project

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A mystery complete, a project done.  You know what that means!  Time to cast on a new project.  Ok, it could mean that I pick up a project that’s languishing in the “to do” pile, or the hibernating pile, but nope, today it means, I started a new, easy, relaxing knit.  Voila – I give you Cameo!
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cameoYou may recognize the yarn as the jewely-toned beautiful skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, Farmhouse, that I bought at Maryland Sheep & Wool at the beginning of the month.  Here, let’s take a closer look:

farmhouse2Just the happy colors I’m in the mood for after the basement full of poop disaster this weekend!  In this photo, you can really see the nice twist to the yarn – it’s really squishy, and I love it.

You may be saying to yourself, hmmm, that shawl looks very similar to Color Affection, and didn’t you already knit Color Affection?  Well, yes I did.  But, Cameo is slightly different.  First, I’m doing one of the solid colors in a multi.  The multi will then transition to the striped section, and finally will end with a solid for the lace section.  So, it’s different – slightly.  This pattern also has picots every fourth row.  So, yeah, different.  Lace and Picots, totally different.

But, I do have a devious plan in the works.  I know my mother covets my Color Affection.  I’m thinking that if I finish this, and present her with both Earth and this at the same time, and tell her to pick, there’s a good chance she’ll be seduced by the colors in this one (as opposed to grey which is not really her color), and I’ll get to keep Earth.  That’s fair, right?

I definitely hear a Greek chorus singing, “Right!”

On the reading front, I read another book on Crazy Quilting, but I’m off from work today, and I really want to sink into a really really good book.    I think I’m going to buy this one, since I loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry:

Apparently, it’s not exactly a sequel or a prequel, but a story that takes place at the same time as the first book, running parallel in time I guess.  I’ll report back next week because I hit the “Buy with One Click” as I was snatching the link.

And, back to knitting for a moment (because I can always go back to knitting for more than a moment), you know I’ve been on the Mystery Knit bandwagon, and I‘ve offered up my tips and advice for picking one, so I thought I’d throw this one out there for anyone who thinks they might be up for a good mystery – the Shetland Trader MKAL.  Now, it is Gudrun Johnson’s first MKAL, but I have faith in her as a designer that she’s going to pull it off.  I already have yarn for her current pattern Wickerwork in this month’s Twist Collective, and I don’t think there’s a pattern that she’s designed that I don’t love or at least respect.  So, I have it in my queue, I just haven’t totally committed yet.  Mostly because the only yarddage I have in my stash that would work for this is kind of earmarked for something else, but since I’m buying yarn for Water, that starts in July, I don’t know if I want to buy yarn for two projects when I kind of have it in my stash.  I know you get it.

Thanks for stopping by!

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No Clean, Well Lighted Place Here


It’s 6:00 am, and I’m standing outside my office, waiting for it to open.  No, I’m not on trial, and no, I didn’t get a sudden case of overachieveritis.  Joe needed to be in work early so even though I knew my office wouldn’t be open yet, I volunteered to take the ridiculously early train with him.  Man, I am an a+ wife this week.  I really didn’t think I’d have a problem finding a Hemingwayesque clean, well-lighted place to have a cup of coffee and a muffin to kill the 15 minutes before my office opened.   Philadelphia is a major metropolis.  New York may be the city that never sleeps, but I didn’t think Philadelphia was the city that doesn’t want to wake up.

The only thing open at 5:30 in the morning in Philadelphia? Dunkin Donuts.  I think cops get a bad wrap about Dunkin Donuts — it’s not their choice, it’s their only option.  Not even Starbucks.  And, I googled Starbucks before we left the  house.  Big fat liars, those Starbucks guys, claiming they’re open at 5:00 a.m.  And major teases too.  I went to three Starbucks, all of whom purported to be open at 5:00 a.m. , and yes, indeed, they had employees at the counter, staring straight at me through the glass as I yanked on the obviously locked door.  I could almost hear their off key “ha ha’s,” as they twiddled their thumbs behind the register.

Life this week has been one big ha ha on me, I think .   Our kitchen rehab was finally finished, and what happened?  Our sewer backed up, filling our basement with poop.  And, when did Roto-Rooter show up, when they were supposed to be at our house at 5:30 p.m.?  Midway through the series finale of Madmen.  So, first, I watched Joan get dumped, and then I watched the camera that the Roto Rooter man snaked through our sewer pipe like a colonscopy, to see our clog.   While he flushed out our pipe with glee,  for he was one happy sewer guy,  I had to wait until nearly midnight to find out Don Draper’s fate, and to learn that I had been watching an extended Coke commercial every Sunday night of my life for nearly 8 years.  Ha ha on me, again.  I don’t even like Coke, I like Pepsi.

But, our basement is now clean, and it’s certainly not a horrible thing to be at work two and a half hours early.   And Peggy and Stan did get together, so that was something.

So, I don’t have any links for you this early Tuesday morning.  It’s not that there aren’t “things I’m loving today,”  — just because my basement filled up with poop doesn’t mean it sucked the heart out of me, but I just wasn’t on the internet this weekend.   Yureeka!  That’s what I’ll do now! Pinterest, feedly, Facebook, you are open!  Unlike Starbucks, you do not have a glass door with a lock on it.  I still have an hour and a half before I have to go to court – there’s always the internet.  It’s always open.

Knitting on the Porch, No. 4, A Mystery Revealed

On Thursday, I promised before and after photos of my new kitchen – eh, I thought I would get to it.  I didn’t.  In any event, it’s not really really going to be finished until this Friday anyway because of some glitches we had in construction, but I’ll talk about that more later when I do finally post the kitchen reveal.

And, speaking of glitches – sheesh! I had a heck of a time filming Knitting on the Porch today.  First, I filmed the whole thing and then realized that I was sitting in such a way that I had a mighty big gaping view of my thigh.  Uch.  Then, I thought I had moved the camera higher, and I guess I hadn’t, because there was my big ol’ thigh again.  Uch.  And then, I started again, and my neighbor started running the lawn mower.  But, it’s done.  And, you can see my energy level drop by the end.  And, when you’re filming and refilming, it’s hard to remember what you said, what’s in a keeper copy, what’s waste.  But, it’s done, and uploaded, and here it is:

And, in the video, I talk about:

Fiddleknits Designs Earth MKAL
Her next MKAL, Water
The Ravelry group for KALS
This new project I started, Cameo.
Crafty’s Crazy Quilting Class
The Etsy store where I got my fabric, AnnDanCes
This colorway of Socks That Rock.

And, I believe that’s it.

And, I would be off to bed, but we have a busted drain in the basement that’s spewing all kinds of crap, literally, and a plumber is allegedly on his way.  He’ll probably get here right when Mad Men’s about to start, and then I’ll have to watch MadMen tomorrow, which will make tomorrow suck because I’ll have to avoid all of the Internet postmortum.  Blargh.  That’s all I can say.

  Crazy Quilt Progress

I could be working on my giant Sophie’s – both of them.

I could cast on some of my Maryland Sheep & Wool yarn.

Or, I could even finish something I already have on needles.

And, if I did one of those things, one of those sensible things, I would either have or be on my way to having something that I will love, or at the very least, use, at the end.

But, nope, I’m not spending my time doing anything sensible like that. Instead, I’m having a grand old time hand stitching, and beading, and producing something that in the end, I have no idea what I’m going to do with.

Here’s my before, and almost after – I say almost, because I still have to attempt my silk ribbon embroidery.  I’ve saved that for last.
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Oh, and did I mention, I’m making a mess too!

Look how much is going on! I can’t even tell you how much fun I’m having.

I dove headfirst into my feather stitch, combined with a fern stitch to complete the curlyques, topped off with french knots, and detached lazy daisy leaves. I didn’t even bother to try it out on a sampler first – just plunged right into the block. No fear! Those vintage buttons are hiding a little hole – nice! I found those leaf charms in my stash – now they’re good for something, right? And, that big pin in the middle is probably not going to stay – it’s pretty bulky. But, you never know. I think this is going to be a wall hanging, when I combine it into a four patch, so the bulk really won’t matter anyway. I added some beads to my chain stitch (next time I’ll try to make my chain stitch a bit more even, and probably use a smaller bead, but sometimes you just have to go with what you have), and I still have a bunch of beads to go before I call it done.

Of course, had a practiced my stithes first, they’d be neater. But, as you can see from the photo of my craft table, I’m not all that concerned about neat, and it’s all a big experiment anyway. I just wanted to get right into it, not dilly around with a sampler. Did I just say dilly? Next thing you know, I’ll be saying dally, too, and my word aesthetic will be as off as my creative endeavors.

Once I finish up with the silk embroidery and more beads, I’ll move on to the second block.  Already, the project has totally diverged from my vision.  I originally separated my fancy fabrics by color to come up with a sophisticated palette – cool colors, mostly blues and the like.  I thought I would stitch in the same color palette, creating a more elegant look.  But, I just loved my colorful threads so much, they landed on my fabric canvas, and sophistication went right out the window.  But if the purpose is the process, and the process is about fun, then it’s all good.  Maybe next time I’ll worry about the finished product a little more.  Or not.  We’ll see.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around why I like this project so much.  When I took Rebecca Ringquist’s class on embroidery at Creativebug, I was intrigued with her embroidering on vintage fabric, and on top of already existing embroidery.  What I didn’t like, strangely enough, was the texture of her work, her incorporation of so many different kinds of thread, especially the thicker wools and sock yarn.  Crazy quilting on fancy fabric is similar to what she does, but not as modern, but also not as messy – that texture – the oversized stitches, the bunched up canvas, the stitching on top of stitching – to me translates as mess.  (ok, ok, disregard what I said about mess above – there are areas where messy does not appeal to me).   I do like the fact that I’m stitching, totally freeform, on a colorful, patchwork canvas.  I like that there’s no map, that when I insert my needle into the fabric I can choose to go right or left, bloom into a flower, or turn into a leaf.   While the sampler I’ve been working on is pretty, and has been great practice, I don’t think I like following a printed embroidery pattern.   Or at least, I like this free for all better.

So that’s all the crazy quilting for today.  Tomorrow, I’ll show you the before and after of our kitchen remodel, and give you a few tips about hiring a contractor (learn from my mistakes, padawan).

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If You Yarn Along Long Enough . . .

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. . . you end up with a finished project!!!

Sometimes they don’t turn out so good.

And sometimes they do.

This one definitely did!

I give you my finished Earth KAL Shawl designed by Fiddleknits Designs.

Ta da!  The project took four and a teensy bit of a fifth skein of Quince & Co’s Tern, which is a yummy wool/silk blend.

And, in a moment of daughterly love and goodness, and even though I had already gotten her a Mother’s Day gift because the shawl wasn’t quite finished it yet, I promised it to my mother.  And, she has already picked out her winter outfits with which it will look fab.

And I am a truly horrible person, because I am filled with a tinge of regret (small, really  small, I’m not that horrible) that I’m not keeping it for myself.  Sigh.  I tell myself that maybe I’ll make another one, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

Oh well.  I’m sure I’ll visit with it, and when I see her wearing it, it will make me smile.

As far as what I’m reading goes, I’m spending my time studying up on Crazy Quilting, as I mentioned in the last post, and I’ve been reading this book:

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The book is a little hard to follow In digital format, as there’s a lot of flipping back and forth.  The finished hexagons are in the front of the book, with each stitch, bead, detail labeled and catalogued so that you can recreate the block.  The instructions for each stitch, though, are in the back of the book.  I’m a big fan of my Kindle/iPad Kindle reader, but this is one case I’d like a floppy paperback.  But, I’m working my way through it, following along with the diagrams and all and all, I think I’m learning a lot.

So that’s all for this week! Thanks for stopping by!

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Not Quite Ten on Tuesday

Can you believe it? I can’t scrounge up ten links this Tuesday. Rather than flaling around the internet this week, I’ve really been immersed in embroidery and crazy quilting, studying up, and gathering resources. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m obsessed; I’d describe my current state as focused. But, with that said, of course I did a bit of hopping from here to there, and here are my little internet lilypads for the week:

1. This Compilation of a 31 Day Challenge. One topic (times a gazillion, as everyone picked a different topic), 31 Days, go learn.
2.  This website, in case you didn’t get enough learning.  Especially 3.  this post, which moved me today as I rode the train into work.  Make a place to sit down.  Sit down.  Be quiet.  Yes.
4.  Whales!  For when you’ve had enough learning, and just want something cute cute cute.
5.  This portrait, from beginning to end.  I love her stuff.

Five, that’s all I’ve got for you.  Unless you want to see some more crazy quilts, because that’s another story.

Coming tomorrow – Yarning Along, and the reveal of the finished Earth Shawl.  It is beautiful!!! (If I do say so myself, that is).

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Call Me Crazy Quilter

As you may remember, I’ve been working on this Rebecca Rinquist sampler:
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Pretty, right? The buttonhole stitch is finally sticking!

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And, I’ve added the chain stitch, and the detached chain stitch/lazy daisy to my repetoire.

Great!

Now what?

Well, I am always a sucker for a sale, so when Crafty’s put all of it’s classes on sale last week (and it’s still going on – I’m not a Craftsy affiliate, just a fan – and the sale goes through midnight tonight), I decided to check this one out –

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This class seems like it would be a crazy choice for me.  Crazy quilts are not my aesthetic at all.  While I do love all things vintagey in theory, that love translates practically into modern design with a dash of nostalgia.  For instance, I have no problem pairing the modern furniture in my living room with antique picture frames, nostalgic memorablia, and retro cameras.  But, I’m not a lacey, beady, ribbony kind of girl.

On the other hand, what doesn’t quite fit with my aesthetic, completely runs paralell to what I’m doing craftwise.  I love quilting, and especially foundation pieicing, and I’m really enjoing my hand sewing/embroidery.  Crazy quilting combines these things, along with other textiles I’ve used in the past – like beads and charm embelishments, and the process of creating, designing and stitching a crazy quilt appeals to me.

So that begs the question – is it worthwhile to pursue something that appeals to my process side, but not at all to my product side?  For me, the answer is yes, for once I master the process, I can turn it into my own product.  While for now, I am making a wall hanging (or maybe a pillow) as a I follow along with the class, I have ideas about making journal covers – and I think this crazy quilt look will work for me in that medium.  Who wouldn’t want  a beautifully quilted and embelished journal cover – a pretty place to store memories, thoughts and dreams?  Hopefully, everyone will want one  -because if this works out, everyone’s getting them for the holidays!

In any event, I started the class, and I was really inspired.  Again, by the process.  I’m not all that inspired to have a crazy quilt on my wall, but eh, maybe it’ll be a gift.  I have taken many many Craftsy classes – yes, I am a craft class addict.  Some are better than others.   This class, with Allie Allers, has to be one of the best.  Much like Sarah Fielke’s class, Big Tehcniques from Small Scraps, which is also awesome and also covers a gazillion skills related to applique, this class covers so many techniques and skills it will make your head spin.  Not only does Allie cover four different techniques for piecing a crazy block,  she also teaches I think fourteen basic embroidery stitches, and how to combine them.  And, just when I thought class was over, she moved into beaded embroidery, and then ribbon embroidery.  Done?  Not yet, there’s still a whole lesson in finishing and displaying your quilt.  Piecing, embroidery, beaded embroidery, ribbon embroidery and finishing, all in one class.  I have to say, by the end of the class, I was exhausted.  And, then, I watched it again.  I took advantage of Crafty’s 30 second repeat button, and stitched along with Allie – not only while I pieced my blocks, but while I learned the embroidery stitches.  And, today at lunch, I’m going to pick up some beading supplies, so I can rewatch those sections, and stitch along with her.

And speaking of picking up supplies, since crazy quilting has never been on my radar before, all I had in my fabric stash was quilting cotton.  Well, I had to do something about that.  I found this store on Etsy, AnnDanCes and bought her listing for Fancy Scraps.    Buying fabric like this is a crapshoot.  Generally, the photo is generic – a representation of what you’re going to get.  So, you just have to cross your fingers, read some reviews of the seller, and hope for the best.  And, my – was I pleased!  The shipping was super fast – I ordered the box on Wednesday, and it arrived, from Texas, on Saturday.  And, when I opened it, I was literally gleeful – I think I even clapped my hands and exclaimed – goody!

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I dumped the box out on my table, and sorted the fancy scraps into color piles. Not a crazy quilt thing to do, I guess, but a Wendy thing to do, and I made the first two blocks from the class.

This one is flip and sew foundation piecing:

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And this one is the same method, but the pieces are curved –

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Very proud of myself!!

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And these two blocks are perfect examples of how jam packed this class is – I learned how to flip and sew (which unlike paper piecing, involves tracing your pattern onto muslin, and using the diagram as a guide, rather than sewing on the backside of paper), stablizing these fancy fabrics, how to care for these fabrics so you don’t crush them, and curved piecing. If I had just stopped at these two blocks, I would have gotten my $19.99 worth. But, the next two blocks take things even further. The third block is freezer paper applique, and the last block is improvisational piecing. I’m telling you, each block could be a stand alone class.

Anyway, after piecing my two blocks, I did have to try some stitching. I set up a sampler, and practiced some stitches – herringbone, stem stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisy flowers, and using a no fear attitude, I started stitching on the first block:

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And the totally fun thing about crazy quilting – I really have no idea what I’m going to do next.  Each block is unique.  If there are any crazy quilting “rules,” I don’t know what they are – so the only thing limiting me is how fast I can learn my stitches.   And, to help with that, and for additional inspiration,  Allie Aller’s book, Crazy Quilting, is included as a free download with the class.  Crazy right!  The hardback version of the book on Amazon is more than the class itself – bargain!!!

So, if you have any interest in this fun project, check out the class – you’ll definitely get your money’s worth, no question.  And, I’ll be back later in the week with how my blocks are progressing.

You may have noticed there is no Knitting on the Porch today.  I took the weekend off for Mother’s Day, so I’ll be back with a video blog next Monday.

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day!

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