Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Coffee Quaker - update #2 (and goals!)

After finishing the crystal lantern, I pulled out Coffee Quaker and gave it some love. Or some like, anyway. I have to say, I'm not really enjoying this project and I'm not sure why. A few of the threads are giving me serious tangling issues - so much that I've even tried thread heaven, which I hate - but nothing is making a difference. I swear, some dyes must be "sticky" in some way that causes thread to catch on itself much more than normal...

Maybe I'm just not used to the 32ct fabric right now, after working so intensely on the 40ct? This looks massive and clunky to me. Ironically, the recommended fabric is 40ct, haha. Whoops.

Or maybe it's the lettering. I generally don't like stitching anything with text on it. Plus this was kind of an impulse purchase and start due to all the hype about this design. I mean, I totally agree with the sentiment and I've enjoyed stitching Quaker style designs recently, so this should be perfect for me! I can't understand why I'm not enjoying it.

Oh well... I'll keep plugging away, though. Aiming for one small motif a day as a mini goal, which seems quite reasonable. :3


And let's start up goals again in June. :D

- finish Coffee Quaker
- NO stash shopping
- sort/photograph/post fabrics for sale (yes, I'll post them here first!)
- choose pattern & start exchange project :3

That should be good for now...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Light 1 - Update #4 - finished! (and more fabric!)

Ta-daaaa! Nice and wrinkly with hoop marks, but here it is. :)

It looks ridiculously good in real life, though this image is a pretty good representation of the true colors, thanks to my trusty scanner! At first I was a bit unsure about the heavy backstitching, but now that it's done, it looks amazing.


Mindful stitching update!

And as for the fabric problem... well, that's still in progress. First, I pulled out the charts I had already chosen fabric for and actually paired them up, so I won't accidentally use the fabric for something else without realizing it...

I think I need to start stitching faster...

Well, that's a great start and it's exciting to see the variety and to start looking forward to all the fun projects I'll have in the future. There's still a lot more to sort through and make decisions on, though...

not pictured: several more piles *facepalm*

So clearly there's enough fabric here for the rest of forever. Seeing it all in one place is honestly pretty embarrassing, especially since it doesn't seem like too much when it's all packed into the storage tub. I mean, it's just one tub, how bad can it be? Sigh. Really bad.

When the fabric stash is so big that it's exhausting just to sort it all out, and it takes days to go through and make decisions about what to do with them... yeah. That's excessive, to the point of being gross. This really hammers home the fact that I DO NOT NEED MORE FABRIC. Unless a pattern calls for a specific fabric and I honestly don't have anything suitable, I can't waste more money, time, or energy on this stuff.

And by anything suitable, I mean things like "must be stitched on xx count to fit on the included pattern template pieces" or "replacing kit aida with solid colored linen" - NOT nonsense like "well this would look pretty if I had this exact fabric from this exact dyer." Protip, Rahenna: you have enough of a variety to choose from and no matter what you pick, it will look good. So deal with it.

Maybe next time I'll have finished the purge and can show what didn't make the cut!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Light 1 - Update #3 (and fabric addiction!)

I keep forgetting to post, but I'm not forgetting to stitch! I've completed almost all of the cross stitching on the lantern and I've started backstitching at the bottom. Unfortunately, the hoop isn't quite big enough for me to finish the top, so I'll do all the backstitching I can reach, then move the hoop and finish up as quickly as possible so the stitches at the bottom don't get too squished!

I was a bit worried about the backstitching - as you can see, some of the black is thicker than the rest. The pattern calls for either one or two strands of DMC to create the effect, but my thick thread is just one strand! Fortunately I found some very thin sewing threads tucked away in the bottom of the sewing basket, so I'm using those for the thin black and white highlights. I'm really pleased with how the different thicknesses of threads look on this pattern. :)


mindful stitching thoughts!

I bet you thought I forgot about this, didn't you? :p

I was putting away yet another piece of fabric and realized that my fabric stash is completely out of hand. My fabric is stored in one of those underbed storage containers - it has to be like 20 x 45 inches in size and about 6 inches deep. And it's FULL. I mean, I could fit more fabric in there without a problem, but let's be real... it's full.

There's over 25 yards of hand dyed Belfast in here. Twenty-five!! No one needs that much! And that's not even counting the plain fabrics, of which I have (comparatively) little. Looking back on my list of finishes, I'd say I get through about two yards of fabric in a good year - and that's assuming I pull all of the fabric from my stash, which isn't always the case.

Which means I have about 15-20 years worth of fabric in here. Argggggggh.

Okay, breathe. There is hope. I know there's some stuff in here I won't use, like 28ct evenweaves and weird colors I impulse bought because they were on clearance. And there's definitely duplicates - not exact ones, but I'm pretty sure I have about 395793579235 blue fabrics. I know I need to go through these and be honest with myself about what I won't use (even if it's gorgeous) and let them go.

But the most important step is to stop bringing fabric in! I tend to make a large Crafty Kitten order every year around my birthday, but I need to pass this year. Actually, a lot of this craziness happened because the exchange rate has been really favorable in the past few years and I thought it was a good opportunity to stock up. Someone slap me.

Also, no, you can't start hoarding 40ct linen just because you like it. USE WHAT YOU HAVE.

I think my next update will include pics of what I purged from my stash. :p

Monday, May 15, 2017

Light 1 - Update #2

Long time no post! But I have a lot of progress to share on Light 1 by Alisa Okneas. I managed to get a picture that's pretty true to the actual colors for once. Go me! :)

I'm absolutely in love with the beautiful colors in this piece! It's even better in person.

The only tricky part so far has been dealing with blended colors on 40 count fabric. I've been doing the bottom leg in one color and the top leg in the other, which seems to work pretty well. I did have to make a few modifications, since a couple of the blends use white, and the second color looked really overpowering when crossed over the white (I've been consistently putting white on the bottom). So just a few little changes to lighten up a couple of the blended colors. Looks great, though!

I'm pretty sure backstitching this will be a nightmare - there's soooo much! - but I'm going to enjoy this part for now. Haha. :p

Monday, May 08, 2017

a finish and a start!

First up, my finish of the Beautiful Sea Quaker SAL by Ship's Manor! The image is cut off a bit because I decided to scan this after my phone camera took a horrible picture. This scan is much more accurate to the true colors of the threads and fabric.

I really enjoyed this project despite the problem with the kit being short the border thread and I'm looking forward to the seasonal SAL that Ship's Manor is putting together right now. :3

I discovered a designer named Алисы Окнеас (Alisa Okneas) after someone made a post on Facebook showing off a finish of one of the mushroom designs shown below. Someone else posted a link to a Russian stitching site called My Bobbin, and I immediately snagged the eight designs shown below! They're all PDF charts so no worries about shipping, plus they take Paypal. :)

The site's all in Russian but if you're using Chrome, just right click and choose "translate" and the machine translation is good enough to do a bit of shopping! The only tricky bit is that you check out without paying, then you have to wait a few minutes for an email requesting payment. Follow the link in the email and check out with Paypal, and you'll get another email with download links. It's really simple, there's just a few steps to the process.

And of course, I had to start one of my new pretties right away. This is the second design in the top row, Фонарик 1 (Light 1). I'm stitching on 40ct linen because I'm crazy. And also because this will allow me to fit two of these designs on a fat eighth. I'm getting kind of addicted to tiny fabric...

And oops, I just realized that I completely ignored all of my goals last month. I'm not especially interested in setting new ones for this month either! I just want to enjoy my stitching without feeling pressured to do anything specific, so I'll make May a goal-free month. :p