Friday, November 22, 2013

I'm on a roll!

I finished the little witch hat over the previous weekend, so here it is:

This is from the Just Cross Stitch September/October 2011 issue. It's supposed to have a little string of beads and a specialty button hanging of the end, but I didn't have either, so I'm probably just going to leave it as is.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


When astronauts stay on the International Space Station, they usually have a little down time for personal projects. Probably the most famous use of that personal time was Commander Chris Hadfield's cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity". But Astronaut Karen Nyberg's use of some of her personal time is something I can identify with a bit more - she's sewing in space!

In the video below she describes some of the challenges of sewing in space:

And as she mentioned in the video, she's working with the International Quilt Festival (headquartered, like the NASA Astronauts, in Houston) and is calling on quilters to contribute a quilt block for a project for next year's festival. You can find out more here (PDF)! I'm planning to contribute a block myself... I have lots of astronomical fabrics to choose from too.

Besides quilting and love of space, one other thing that I have in common with Karen Nyberg is that we're Texas Longhorns! I got my Bachelor's in Astronomy in 1994 from (and still work at) the University of Texas at Austin and she got her Master's and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UT in 1996 and 1998 respectively.

Karen and two other crew members will be coming home from the ISS today. Safe travels!

Monday, November 4, 2013

I have actually been doing some stitching!

This was a Mill Hill kit that I picked up when my LNS closed last year. In hindsight, I shouldn't have backed it with a dark felt since now you can't see the antennae, but I'm happy with it.

I've started on another old Halloween design that has been in my "to do" basket even though we're now past the holiday itself. But it's a small project so maybe I'll have it finished before the urge to work on Christmas stuff takes over. :)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dabbling in old projects

I have been going through my storage bins of old quilt projects to try to finish them up and make some space in my too-small-for-all-these-hobbies apartment. I had a few small blocks from a sampler quilt I started ages ago while I was first learning and then stalled on so instead of finishing the original project, I decided to just do things with the pieces I already had. The first thing I did was sew the log cabin blocks that I did by paper piecing into a miniature quilt, which you can see in its almost finished state here. A few weeks ago I did the machine sewing for the binding, but it is still waiting for the hand stitching to finish it up.

Of the remaining pieces, I had five blocks of an Ohio star design that I was trying to figure out what to do with when I thought that ornaments might be a good idea - especially since I have way too much fiber-fill around too. So I tossed the block that had some wonky alignment and made two ornaments out of the other four, a photo of which you see above. The colors are dark red and green, so they are good for Christmas, but I have them hanging on a peg board in my living room right now anyway.

The other thing I did was to finally frame this old lighthouse cross stitch that I finished stitching ages ago (see previous mention here) but has been sitting in my "to be framed" pile ever since. One down... a gazillion more to go. For now it's on one of my bookshelves, but it may end up on the wall eventually.

That's it for this weekend. I might be able to get a little more done over the long weekend coming up for the 4th of July, but as always, we'll see!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My quilting story

I was looking back through my old posts for some reason and I realized that I have never posted any quilting things here other than a small kit that came on a UK stitching magazine.

There isn't really much of a "story" here, but I figured I should post a little about how I got in to quilting since I've written so much about how I got in to cross stitch and embroidery. I think I've always liked quilts, but I actually got interested in making them in 1994-95 while I was working at Hobby Lobby. I was working in fabrics and needlework, so of course I occasionally got quilters at the counter. They were easy to spot, they would come up with 10 bolts of fabric and only want a quarter or a half a yard from each (finding pre-cut fat quarters at craft stores wasn't as common back then). And we had to stock notions, books, etc. and during that process I saw a book from the "American School of Needlework" collection called Decorator Quilts in a Hurry that had a really cool celestial-themed fabric and design on the cover quilt. So I bought that book to make the quilt on the cover (which, to this dates, I still haven't done).

Right about this time, the first of my friends from college to have kids found out they were pregnant with twin girls (who graduated from high school yesterday - I cannot accept that!) so I figured that making them some baby quilts would be a good way to get into quilting. I picked up another book called Stitch it, Snip it & Flip it that had a neat quick trick for making, among other patterns, star shapes. So, the first two quilts I ended up making were the two for them. I don't have the scans handy, but I'll eventually post some pictures.

I also bought yet another ASN book Quilting for People Who Don't Have Time to Quilt (I ended up with a bunch of those books because of the sales and employee discounts!), which was - and still is - a good description for me! The blue rail fence you see up top, as well as the brown shades one on my Flickr set, come from that book.

Of course I got in to reading and posting on quilting newsgroups, lists, etc. around this time too, since I can't have any hobby or interest after c. 1991 that didn't involve looking it up on the internet (and eventually the WWW). I eventually joined the Austin Area Quilt Guild, although after a few years it got harder and harder for me to make it to the meetings so I eventually decided not to renew my membership. I did get a chance to work at one of their shows while I was a member, which was a blast. I have some photos from that show, but since it was back in the old film days, I'll have to scan them. You can see photos from the 2006 show here though.

I've done a variety of small projects that you can see a few photos of on my quilting Flickr set (link below). I'll eventually go through and write a bit more about some of the project individually. There really isn't a whole lot to them, but as usual, I like this blog to be my personal journal of my projects, so the write-ups might not be all that interesting to other people. :)

You can see all of the pictures of my projects that I've posted so far up on my Quilting Flickr set. And you can see photos from the 2006 AAQG show here.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

OMG, I actually finished some stitching

Yes, I finally finished the project that I showed in the post from last August! Needless to say, I haven't been doing a lot of stitching lately. Some of it is that my spare time was occupied with some of my other (way too many) hobbies, and some was that I moved some lights around and discovered the new arrangements weren't great for stitching (so I moved one of the lamps back to a better position). I might be getting back in to the mood to do some more, although I have that age-old problem of new things I want to start even though I have a bunch of other works in progress! I think I'm going to do a cute monarch butterfly Mill Hill kit I picked up when my LNS closed last year and then tackle some stuff in my "to do" basket.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Gosh, I can't believe my last update here was in August, and it wasn't even a stitching update! The project in my last stitching update post is still on my lapstand waiting to be completed - I only did a few stitches on it over my holiday break from work. (Which is really pathetic given that there isn't a whole lot left to do on it!)

So, it probably should surprise no one that one of my hopes for 2013 is to get more stitching and finishing done. I think I say that every year. :)