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Friday, 3 August 2018

wee #9

Not every UFO completed can be a huge accomplishment. Sometimes it's the smallest project that just eats at you. Every time you walk by it, sitting there waiting to be completed...it's almost like they can speak to you! "Finish me!" "Why are you ignoring me?"



I'm the first to admit that it's ridiculous that it took months to get around to hemming these jeans. Guilty. As I say though, the smallest projects are sometimes the biggest hurdles. 


So, they're done. Since it's an item of clothing, they qualify as fibre. Which means finishing this hemming job qualifies as #9 of #18in2018. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


What matters is that they're done. They are wearable and there's one less item in the To Be Done pile!  


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

a summer finish

With a deadline of April 2019, I surged ahead to finish this piece anyway. 

Many of you may be aware of the project undertaken in New Brunswick, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of L'├ęglise historique de Barachois which will be celebrated in 2019. They are looking for 200 hooked cushions to line the pews of the church. The timing is also tied in with the World Acadian Congress in 2019, with celebrations happening in summer 2019.  The 2019 WAC theme is « la Mer Rouge qui nous rassemble » ( "The Red Sea, which unites us").

I love New Brunswick and have visited this unique, beautiful church in the past for a rug hooking exhibit. It will be an amazing display of hooked cushions from, literally, around the world. If you want more information or would like to see some of the completed pieces, visit the group's Facebook pageThere are specific dimensions provided for the cushions to fit the space, so it's important to register with the organizers and get the details. 

You'll see that I took the Congress theme and used it for inspiration. Once hooked, I began the process of making my piece into a cushion. 


Here's the finished project....



Across the top it says "la mer rouge" and across the bottom, "the red sea". The strait between NB and PEI is referred to as the red sea because the red dirt eroding into the waters sometimes lends it a reddish tinge. You'll see that I've exaggerated that! One of the wools i used was even named "PEI Dirt". Nice to find a use for those wools that never seem to get used. 


This was a lot of fun to work on, and I'm excited to deliver it in person this August! I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the other finished cushions. They still need more cushion donations, so if you're a hooker go to that Facebook page and sign up! You have until next April to complete and deliver a cushion, and to be a part of this amazing rug hooked endeavour!

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Happy Canada D'eh!!

No finished projects to report. It's too dang hot to do anything in my "making" room. Of course, that's my excuse that really only covers the last couple of days (ahem) but I'm rolling with it. Actually there is a project almost finished, so maybe a report will be forthcoming soon.

In the mean time.... I interrupt this dead silence with a brief hurrah for one of my greatest loves: Canada!

Sure, we've had our bad times, we've had our screw ups. Many of them. And we won't forget about them. However, today is about embracing all of Canada, all of our people and saying "you're awesome, every last one of you". 

What I especially love, is every nook and corner of this country. Here's a few to share. Have a great day, everyone!















Saturday, 2 June 2018

Why I donate my work

Today I saw a post on a Facebook makers' group about a fundraiser for a family that has experienced a recent tragedy in a nearby town. I don't know the family, or the fundraiser organizers, but I instantly knew that I would contribute a piece for their silent auction or raffle. 

Then I sat down at my frame to hook this afternoon, for the first time in a long time, and realized that the piece I'm working on is also a donation. But a very different one. This one will be one of many donated to an organization to mark a special anniversary. I have no ties to the organization, and it's not in my town or even my province. 

That got me to thinking about why I like to donate my work, and reasons for doing so. I thought I'd share those thoughts. 

1. If 10, twenty or a hundred people donate an item that can be auctioned or raffled, just think of the potential! Yet for each individual, it's not too much to ask. 

2. Sometimes you don't have the financial capacity to provide a cash donation, but you might have a finished piece in stock that you can offer, or the materials in-hand to make a custom item. 

3. It warms your heart to know that you've done something to help someone you don't even know. 

4. The recipient, whether it be the organization or person for whom the group has fundraised, or just the lucky winner of the auction or raffle, may be introduced to a new fibre art that they've not seen before. They may fall in love! They may find themselves hooked! Or at the very least, they will hopefully enjoy the piece for some time to come. 

5. It gives the fundraisers something to put on display, or use as an image for getting the word out about their project. 

6. You might inspire other artists and makers to donate their work as well. 

7. Custom making a piece gives you the joy of thinking about the cause with every stitch made or hoop pulled. You can put a bit of love into everything you do. 

8. You give back to your community, no matter how large, and by doing so, encourage others to do so too. 

We never know when we might be the ones to need help. Tragedy strikes every day, and it's heartbreaking to see and hear what some people have to endure. If I can take one tiny part of their grief away, then I've done my part. 

In the case of an organization marking a special occasion, well isn't it nice to give a nod to a great event even if it's not directly part of your own world? It's certainly an opportunity to get to know new people and expand your horizons. 

No pics today as the rug on my frame is still in progress. I'll be sure to share it with you when it's done! 

Monday, 14 May 2018

Mistakes, I've made a few

You haven't heard from me in a while, my apologies. Life's been busy, but who's isn't? I have been slowly working away on a few fibre projects. Seemingly with no finish line in sight.... until today.

I knit a cowl. Twice. Still not right. Long painful story. It'll be done but not for this post, as planned. 

Still, I persisted with another project. I'm counting this as part of my #18in2018 because the 50s replica fabrics were purchased in the 90s. I loved them at the time, but had no plan for how they'd be used. When I was looking through my stash for projects suitable for #18in2018, I recognized that these fabrics really needed to be used up and a nice summer quilt would be the perfect plan for them. 

So I found a pattern online that I could use as inspiration, and that would be flexible with the many fat quarters I had. I pressed, and I cut. Then I figured out how I could use those fat quarters in some semblance of order. 

I think I started in January or February. Not bad for a quilt turnaround. Not bad for me, that is. 





You may have seen some of these in progress shots. 





Quilting finished today, and photographed on the deck. This quilt will be a snuggly addition to the cottage for cool summer nights. 


By no means is it perfect, there are a lot of mistakes. I'm okay at piecing, but really sub-par at quilting on my machine. But I'm a lover of "done". That's what this is.... done! 



Thursday, 12 April 2018

Quick. Simple. Fun.

I have a really fun craft to do for a homemade gift, or just to have fun with the kids in your life!! I always try to make gifts, or have a token homemade addition to a bought gift, so I'm always looking for new ideas. 

And maybe this isn't a new idea. But we certainly had fun doing it. 


All you need: craft paint, painter's tape, canvas of any size, scissors, sponge brush(es) or cotton balls.

Decide whether you want to tape off a number (4 for the 4 year old!), a letter or several (initials) or a whole name. This is the painstaking part of the project. Take your time to get this looking right. Curves are difficult but do-able. 


Make sure to really go along the edges with your fingertip repeatedly. You want a really good seal so that paint won't go under. 

Then have fun with the paint. You can use sponge brushes or cotton balls or something similar. The key is not to get too much paint on your instrument, as you don't want leakage. Don't use water with the paint either.

In this case, we found out what the birthday boy's favourite colours were, and that gave us our palette. My daughter painted one, and I the other. They are a bit different, but still work together. We just smooshed with cotton balls, but you could do stripes or any kind of pattern as well. 


Tada!




Wednesday, 7 March 2018

The shortest UFO

Is that correct to say? The "shortest" UFO? In other words, this has been a UFO for less time than the others. Which is more correct, but awkward as heck. 


I hooked this elephant for the Smidge, and left the background for her to choose. As a result, it's quite busy and loud with colour. So much for the background taking a backseat to let the main image shine! No, not for this girl.




My upholstering skills are lacking, so I don't look too closely at the edges. No, I said not to look at them. Geez. 

Alas, it is done and Smidge is happily enjoying her new stool in her room. Though it's not being used where and how I thought it might be, that's totally up to her. 



What number am I at? Lots to do before completing #18in2018, that much I do know! Onwards....

Thursday, 1 March 2018

So...

Or should I say, sew...

March is upon us and I'm as surprised as anyone. I haven't completed anymore UFOs, but one is almost complete. More news on that later. Meanwhile, I've been sewing up a storm. Yes, I started a new project. But in my defense, it's using up fabric purchased in the 90s so it's not a bad thing. 


I'm making a scrappy summer quilt with a whack of 50s replica prints. It's going to be busy, busy busy! But I'm liking it. At this point, 70 9" blocks are completed. 


They've been laid out, and they're being sewn into rows. Soon the quilt top will be complete, and then the horrid task of quilting it. 


Hopefully I'll soon have a finished project to report... of one type or another! Happy March everyone!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Time to Bloom

January isn't normally the time to bloom, at least in this area! Though considering it was above zero on the weekend, that's practically blooming weather compared to what it had been a week or so before. I've made progress on several projects lately. Yes, that means I have many on the go at once. Plus my daughter's science fair project is taking up half my space. Hopefully that will be finished soon!

I do love cross-stitching but haven't done any for years. Though a small project, this took a while because even with reading glasses, I could not see the dang holes! So ya, I've been feeling pretty old trying to stitch this. 

Did I share this "before" pic?




This wee project completion counts as #5 of #18in2018. I've always wanted to cross-stitch this design, and now I finally have. Bonus: MIL's mother's day gift is made. 

I have to admit I didn't use many of the called-for threads, but hobbled together what I thought could work with what I had around. The Watercolours thread was actually too thick for the linen count, but I still used it because I'm stubborn. After stitching it, I made it into a doorknob pillow. Don't ask me why, but I do love a little doorknob pillow. I braided some of the Watercolours thread for the handle, and used a scrap of quilting fabric for the back, and ta-da!


 As I say, a wee project, but done nonetheless. Methinks it will be a while before I have anything else completed, so I'll drop by with an in-progress report in a while. 



Wednesday, 17 January 2018

#4 is a Wrap

Well, it could be used as a wrap...but it's a quilt! Done! Started about two years ago (my oh my how time flies) and abandoned during the quilting phase. I mentioned it in May 2016 when I was laying out the blocks for the top. 


Because of its size, I was thinking I had to hand quilt it, and had started. Barely. Almost two years later, I knew the possibility of it being hand quilted entirely and ever getting finished, was not good. So in the spirit of #18in2018, I decided to see if I could manhandle this sucker through my piddly little machine. So that's what I did. 


It's not great, but it's usable. Quilting is not my forte, by any stretch of the imagination. I wouldn't want anyone to look at it too closely. It's a Trip Around the World pattern, with SITD (stitch in the ditch) quilting. But you know what? It's done, and it's already been used. And my daughter is happy!!! 




And my daughter being happy that she finally has her new quilt on her bed, well that makes this journey of doing #18in2018 all the more worthwhile. #4 completed by January 16th, people!! That's what I'm talking about! 






Sunday, 7 January 2018

1, 2, 3.... Go!

Reporting in with progress on the #18in2018 challenge. I have completed three UFOs so far, admittedly easy ones. I thought it would be good to give myself a boost of confidence by starting with a few that wouldn't take too long. Yup, that's the official word. Really I wanted to do the projects I was most interested in doing, and liked the idea of almost-instant reward. I'll admit it. Regardless, three finishes. 

I have before and after pics on my phone. But my phone is acting up.... don't get me started. So I have "after" pics here, taken with my camera. You'll just have to trust me. 

You did see the pile of tshirts, so this one can't be argued. Here's the finished (sort of) crocheted rag rug. Before I go further, let me assure you that these tshirts were all past their prime: stains or small holes or otherwise unwearable. Couldn't be donated. I saved them for a while, cut them up (there are instructions available online) and crocheted away. I only say it's "sort of" finished because it wasn't really enough material to make a full rug. When I have more available, I can add to this though so I'm calling it finished for now. The pile of tshirts is gone, and that's what counts. Beautiful it is not. Fun and functional, it is. 


Next up were two rugs that were finished being hooked long ago, but had never been whipped (the edges unfinished). Now they are. And now I'm shaking my head at how ridiculous it is that it took years (years!) for me to get around to it. Admittedly, I am far more fond of whipping rug edges now that I was years ago, so that's why this happened. One has already been put up, and the other is ready for its premiere next Christmas (ahem). 



I've even started #4. Though it might not be the 4th finish, as I'm planning on changing gears tomorrow. We'll see what's next to be reported. I'll try to get the before pics in order for the next batch. 

So that's it, folks. #3in2018 completed so far. Not bad for January 7th. 
And how are you doing with finishing some UFOs in 2018?