Saturday, March 30, 2013

Week in pictures

I've not been very diligent in posting the activities of the week, in large part because I seemed to be overtaken with a case of the "ehs". While you'll see I did quite a bit of playing, for a lot of the week, I just wasn't feeling it. That may have something to do with my sleep cycle; I'm still waking up in the middle of the night for half an hour or more. It's just enough to throw me off.

On to pictures.

First, a non-picture (just wanted to make sure you were paying attention). The fabric shown in this post is now cut, sewn, recut and sewn again into a cute baby quilt top. I've no uncluttered space in the studio to lay it out for a picture, though I took one of where it currently lays sprawled over the traveling case for the sewing machine (there are three long seams that need to be ironed, and I have to press the whole thing before layering it, so why fold it nicely...right?). If the picture I just took makes it from the phone to my inbox before the rest of the post is done, I'll add it.

As I said, just tossed over the case...
Here we are. The colors are a bit goofy - the natural daylight lamp is on, but the light you see coming from the left is the floor lamp with an incandescent bulb and a beige shade...take it that all the colors are brighter. The fabric is all rainy day themed - multicolor raindrops, a cute umbrella print, storm clouds.

The pattern is the same as this quilt, although the quilt is smaller and (oddly) the individual blocks a little bigger. Kara's quilt was made from an antique kit, where all the blocks were already cut for you and had to be sewn to each other one by one.

The author of this current pattern tried to have you do the same thing, but she reckoned without my inborn laziness. There is a way to cut strips, pair them, sew them together and then recut them that shaves hours off of the assembly time. You do need to do some purposeful unsewing at strategic points, but all in all, this was much easier to put together than the other.

Who said grocery shopping can't be fun? Even online grocery shopping has its perks. My order this week included an impulse buy - a dozen red velvet mini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They taste just as good as they look. Bless the person who invented cream cheese frosting.

A hot cup of coffee, a cupcake and a good book was the activity of choice for most of the week. I've finished or read most of the following:

That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis
Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life, Margaret Peterson Kim
A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny
Still Life, Louise Penny

While sewing and when in need of a mental break, I've also managed to work my way through two seasons of Game of Thrones. Nothing like watching people hack one another to death to relax you.

This afternoon I finally got around to a mini craft I've had the supplies for since January. The directions were part of the e-mail magazine for owners of my machine - projects that are, of course, designed to encourage you to run out and purchase all sorts of add on doo-dads.

Pretty pink, cream and brown ribbon. The
 cover is more raspberry than red. Really, I  need
to start using the "real" camera for pictures.
In spite of not having the specific presser foot called for in the instructions, I managed just fine.

Simple as pie. Cut two, 15" lengths of one inch wide grosgrain ribbon. Using invisible thread and a narrow zigzag stitch, sew them together side by side. Fold two inches to the back on either end. Fold one end up five inches (so the sewn down raw edges are inside) and sew the long edges together.  Add elastic just a smidge shorter than whatever you want the pen holder to go around.

In my case, I want it around the cover of my journalling Bible, to hold the really fine markers I use to jot in it (obviously not the Pilot pen that is in the holder for illustration).

All in all, everything worked very well. Invisible thread is usually the dickens to work with. Aside from the fact it's difficult to see, it also tends to be wiry and slick, sliding off the spool, not wanting to go where it is supposed to go. But I reduced the machine speed, loaded it up (even in the bobbin) and started sewing. I didn't notice any difficulties (thank heaven for an automatic needle threader, though). The wrinkling on the finished pen holder is entirely due to my lack of desire to set up the iron to press it when I was done.

This is the last of that project. The reading plan I'm using this year has you read both testaments and a psalm every day. The pages of this book are very thin; I'd grown tired of the time it took to flip around. Certainly a three-ribbon bookmark was in order.

You can see the three ribbons (and the original satin ribbon bookmark from the Bible itself) in the picture above. When I was buying the ribbon, I ran across these really cute ribbon flower things. They are self-stick; we will see how long that lasts before I have to take a needle and thread to tack it down.

It's been a crafty, relaxing, but sleepless kind of week. I'm handling the media at church tomorrow, so I need to see if I can get a decent night's sleep tonight. I'm running off The Hobbit right now - it's a bit of a trio of yumminess with Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch all in one movie. A grilled cheese and some carrots for dinner, then some more reading before bed.

A pretty decent week off.

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