If you build it...

It's a miracle, I finished something! I'm notoriously slow in finishing projects (ask Fred about last year's Christmas present) but I decided that this year's winter wear would be different. Admittedly, I think it's because I pined for cooler weather all summer, and working on a scarf was my only consolance. Nonetheless, ta-da!

Scarf and Mittens

The scarf is the Isobel pattern from Cider Moon. It's my first lace, and thankfully it's simple and knits up quickly. And I don't actually know what the yarn is! I'm always grabbing yarn from somewhere or another, and not paying much attention to detail. I think this was a recent buy from Misty Hollow, my sister's favorite yarn and craft store in Potsdam, NY. It's lovely, though. Sometimes variegated yarn knits out in stripes, and that's all well and good, but I love the flecks and short snippets of color in this one.


And the mittens, indeed, are my first self-created pattern! I will post the pattern in the coming days. But this is a huge step for me. I've gone so far as to crochet mittens and hats before, as they just go in circles and are easy enough to tear out and fix when you mess up. But I felt brave to tackle mittens, knitting them in the round. Truly, they're a little bigger than they need to be. Maybe I'll go felt them some and get them down to size. I'm enjoying the nubby white yarn, and I like them for their simplicity.

That's all for now! Some day I'll finish hand quilting Audrey's quilt, and yes, I said hand quilting. Till then, or whatever comes in between, peace, and have a good night!


Back to School

Well, I'm definitely not back to school, for the first time in 20 years! But the fall also brings the start of orchestra seasons, the choir year, horn lessons, and now my show as well. I imagine I'll always feel the start of the New Year in September. Fall is a fantastic thing to celebrate anyway. But it's a bit of a shame that I get busy as soon as the weather turns cooler. I'm so tempted to wrap myself up in my quilting and knitting instead!


Nonetheless, I have been able to squeeze in some projecting between things, so I'll share a bit. This had been a pillow, or rather, two bargain bin fabrics haphazardly thrown together and stuffed. Boring, unoriginal, it hadn't found the love it deserved. The back is a tan velvet, and the top is light blue, something I would say resembles a dupioni silk. There's a lot of potential there, so when I found this delightful project I knew it had to be. It just needs a few more rounds of the white before I put it back together and re-stuff it. Now if only I could reupholster the couch it's supposed to sit on, we'd be in great shape!


Next, let me tell you about my first adventure with fabric.com. I'm skeptical of ordering things online. What if the colors aren't what they appear on my monitor? What if the weight and texture aren't what I was hoping for? And no, I'm not really patient enough to order swatches. I'm barely patient enough to make muslins! On top of that, I'm skeptical of fabric stores in general. I'm so often disappointed by the quality and selection that I find at standard fabric stores. So pardon my sounding like an advertisement, but I ordered 5 things from fabric.com, all at great prices, and I'm so impressed! This is one of Anna Maria Horner's. It shall be the lapel detailing on this lovely jacket. And thank you BurdaStyle. I love free patterns. I'm new to the concept of free patterns, and I'm such a fan. Free patterns, a great fabric selection with decent prices, cooler weather, and I'm a happy girl. If only I had time to work on it all! I'll keep you posted as things progress. Happy Fall!




Let me start by saying that my first and last embroidery attempt was probably more years ago than my first and last successful quilting attempt. And that isn't to say my first embroidery attempt was successful. I think I spent more time using my embroidery thread to make friendship bracelets!


So this foray into embroidery hasn't been a highly refined project. However, there is one benefit that has come from my embroidery greenness. I don't know if I'm doing it well or not! Well, that's not entirely true. Rather, I'm enamored with every little design I come up with and stitch onto the quilt, as it's all still brand new to me. It's nice to not be overly judgmental about something I made! So if you have any inclination to start up a new hobby or project, I highly recommend it. You'll be so pleased with anything you come up with, and that's such a happy thing.


And furthermore, thank goodness for the internet. I love that I can crawl around online and find stitching dictionaries and directions to make this all possible. I picked a bunch of different stitches and effects, and what you see is a sample of my sampler.


And here's a note to my sister: I've added details to 10 pieces so far. It's a scavenger hunt! I'll let you know the final count, and you get to report back when you find them all. Love you!


Audrey's Quilt

Lisa and Audrey

Like I mentioned, I've been busy working on a quilt for these two lovely ladies. It's been a long time since my last successful quilt, which was actually my first successful quilt. I was maybe 10 years old, and it was a small baby-sized nine patch. Thank goodness I've become a lot more patient since. I could barely finish it back then! Well, it's still hard for me to finish a project, as witnessed by the various single knitted gloves and mittens tucked in my knitting basket. I get so excited about the next project that I can't bring myself to start and finish a mate to the first. But nonetheless, the top of the quilt is pieced!


With some great instructions for the Crazy Nine Patch, and a bit more inspiration, this was a snap. I did add borders, but you can't really see them in this shot. And now I find myself both full of ideas, and at a complete loss! I plan to add some appliques and embroider here and there, both to bring out designs in the fabric and to personalize it for Audrey. Nothing too huge, but I really like the idea of adding tiny hidden details throughout the quilt top. But as for the quilting, I'm stumped. That first nine patch was probably a stitch-in-the-ditch-er. I think all failed quilting attempts since then were going to be tied, probably again for lack of patience. But now I don't have a repertoire of quilting designs to pull from! I'll wait for inspiration to hit, and until then I'll busy myself with the embroidery. I just hope to finish this before my niece grows out of the color pink!


But how sweet are these fabrics? I think the white one with the little pink flowers is so precious. Of course, not a single project can go by without Baxter's assistance and approval.


My other project for the day was to take head shots of my handsome boyfriend. Fred has a fancy-pants solo gig in about a month, and needs something for publicity. I'm so excited for him. This is the beginning of our first year out of school, and freelancing is a scary proposition. We've both been relatively successful in different ways, but a solo engagement is really fantastic. Anyway, I'm not a photographer by any means, but we got some fun shots. So for your viewing pleasure, Fred Sienkiewicz.

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And of course, one of Sam and Batty prowling around on the porch while we were trying to shoot. Happy Labor Day, and I hope you can enjoy some good company and good weather this weekend!