Recently I went to draw up some pattern pieces and messed them up badly, I put it down to the fact I had been awake for 15 hours and my brain was too tired to concentrate. It got me thinking of when is the best time to craft?
I’m a morning person so find that I can be up well before the sun drawing up embroidery designs or cutting fabric. Even as I’m getting ready for work sometimes I find myself picking up my embroidery to do a stitch or two or grabbing a crochet hook for a few stitches. Maybe sneak in a row of knitting if it’s there. In the mornings my brain is switched on suddenly complicated patterns just click, I keep count better, I can concentrate. Early to mid morning is my peak time. If I’m at the sewing machine I like to be at it first thing.
After work I find I’m tired and like to do things which involve sitting in front of the tv more rather than setting up the sewing machine. I always have plans to set up the sewing machine after work and it just never happens. I still need to craft as I can’t keep still so this is when I like to do things like crochet or knit or stuff toys. These are things you can do on auto pilot (remember I do very basic knitting and crochet which doesn’t involve a lot of concentration) This time of day I find is also a good time to plan stuff except sometimes I find myself more planning than actually doing.
I can sew in the afternoon and the evenings but I have to really concentrate and not have anything else going on around me. I can easily hand sew at this time or do embroidery. I’m one to have a number of projects on the go at one time. No way will I ever be a one project person. Having the various projects going means I can always pick up something and work on it no matter what time of day, what concentration level I’ve got.
Over the last week or so I joined a closed Facebook group with fellow embroidery machine users.
They set a little challenge of “stitch up one of the inbuilt designs on your machine” I thought yep I’ve never stitched an image before but I can do that. The one I chose was this little bear design (Hoop ST Design 12) I will be honest the bobbin tension was wrong I realised this after I started that I should’ve set the bobbin dial on 2. I changed it half way but she has come out more white than she should be. I also don’t think I hooped the fabric tight enough. She is still cute.
I decided to try out a few more designs. These are all done using the ST hoop. The duck (Design 17) was the second one I stitched up. I hooped the fabric better and my tension was set correctly. The bunny (Design 13) I used pink threads and purple instead of the blues as I don’t have those colours. He is the biggest image I’ve stitched. I had a few broken threads on this one and had to re-thread the machine a couple of times but I think I’d forgotten to put the spool cap on the thread so that may have been the reason. The lady bug (Design 14) I didn’t have red so she became a pink bug instead. I keep thinking the movie Greece and the ‘Pink Ladies’ The numbers and letters are from the lettering section. I did them in Gothic font on large.
These took me a couple of hours to do. Some took as long as nearly 30 mins to stitch up others took only 5. It has given me confidence to play around with my machine. My next step will be to import a design into the machine. I’m wanting to use the embroidery side of the machine more this year to make Christmas gifts. This little challenge gave me a no stress chance to play with the machine without the pressure of I’ve got to get these Christmas gifts done now. I got to see what colour threads I had and what I need to buy. I got to play around with substituting colours on designs. It was a good challenge.
I finished this a while ago for a swap for some one who likes bunnies. This was so cute I almost didn’t want to give it away. This stitchery I found in Mollie Makes magazine. It was designed for the front of a bag but I instantly knew I wanted it for this mug rug. I love the idea of a bunny trying to disguise himself in the forest as a stag, like no-one will realise he is really a bunny as he has antlers. What I didn’t know at the time was the creature was actually a Jackalope. After googling Jackalopes I discovered they are mythically creatures from America. Anyway I just thought this one looked cute.
I used the same fabric on the front and the back of this mug rug. I like simple. I free motion quilted this. I did some echo quilting around stitchery and just had fun filling in all the little areas of the mug rug. What I did learn from this is that my chair isn’t high enough so my shoulders aren’t relaxed as I was sewing and with free motion you need to relax your shoulders.
I had no idea until someone pointed this out but if you turn the back of it side ways it looks like a hippo. This is pure accident. I love hippos so the inner animal lover in me must’ve come out in this quilting. I think it also gives this a different look so your mug rug could be reversible.
A while back I read “The Shop on Blossom Street” and was looking to read more in the craft fiction genre so when a friend sent me the book A Life In Stitches to read I thought super its craft fiction. I can read it at the bedside to pass the time. I was totally wrong this book is actually the memoir of Rachel Herron so who the heck is Rachel I was thinking? As I read the book I discovered this amazing writer and blogger who had a passion for knitting. She also happens to write craft fiction.
This book I found hard to put down. It made me laugh, it made me cry (really hard to wipe your nose when you’re wearing a hospital face mask) I’m not going to be the crazy craft person who claims to be able relate to everything about Rachel and what she wrote about but there were some parts that of the book I found myself nodding or thinking yep I know the feeling. I also had an even stronger urge to learn to knit socks and a jumper which is something I’d wanted to learn for a while but even more so reading the book.
I ordered 2 of Rachel’s craft fiction books. I loved her non fictional writing so I will see if I like her fiction. Until the postman arrives with my goodies I was motivated to download the second book in the Blossom Street series to my kindle.
I really do love knitting pictorial dishcloths. I finished Buttercup yesterday. This is another DigKnitty Designs pattern. Knitting pictorial dishcloths are so simple as you have limited stitches to count and your either only doing a knit stitch or a purl stitch. When I first attempted this dishcloth I was following the pattern and when I came to one row to me it looked strange, the instructions didn’t make sense in regards to the amount K’s and P’s stitches but I kept up with it. I knitted a couple of rows buts kept looking at it thinking there are bumps on one side where there shouldn’t be. I realised I’d found an error in the pattern. I hear knitters often say that patterns have errors but I’ve never followed enough knitting patterns to ever come across one. I sent DigKnitty a Facebook message and they responded with an apology for the typo and the correct row details. I frogged the dishcloth entirely and starting again from stitch one. It came together in no time at all.
Its craft box time!! This months is sew wonderful its “Sewing Space Essentials”
In the box this month we got
- Mini sewing kit
- 3 patterns by TigerLily Patterns – Sewing Machine Mat and Pin Cushion, Ironing Board Cover, Machine and Overlocker Cover
- Hoop Art pattern by Molly and Mama
- Fabric Box tutorial
- Hoop Organiser tutorial by Sew Clean Tomorrow
- Fat Quarter pack of Spotty Pastels
- Iron On Interfacing
- Rainbow Wonder Clips
- Embroidery Hoop
- Heart Wooden Buttons
- Bias Tape Maker
- Heart Pins
I already have one idea from this box but it will have to wait a few months before I do it and can actually show it. The cover patterns are very much needed as my machine/s are in need of covers. Its one of those things you say I’ll make one day… The sewing notions will come in handy. You can never have enough Wonder Clips, pins or buttons.
In recent times you may of noticed I’ve been a little absent from here. I had a family member take ill and life has been work, hospital, sleep repeat. I haven’t been on my sewing machine in over 5 weeks and I’m behind on my gifts for the year but that’s ok I will catch up on things. It has been pretty stressful but my crafting in one form or another got me through it. I’m the kind of person who ensures they have their knitting in their bag as they call for an ambulance. I can’t keep still and in hospitals you spend a lot of time sitting around waiting.
I did a lot of knitting. I tried making a scarf but the yarn was poor quality and kept splitting I think I got it from an op shop and it was old. In the end I binned the scarf as I had to keep tying off the ends where it split. I had more knots than rows. I picked up the Art of Knitting series as it had free yarn and needles with it and played around with the colours. I had fun doing that. In the end I pulled the piece apart and used the yarn to make another beanie. I completed it at the bedside, all I have to do now is weave in the ends and seam it up. I’m pretty happy with it as its the first time I’ve done triple stripes. I then started another beanie which got half completed. I wanted things I could do mindlessly and my favourite beanie pattern certainly fits the criteria. I don’t even have to look at my needles.
A lovely friend gave me a book which I read within a week. I also read all my craft mags that I get in the mail each month. It made me realise out of the craft mags I get which ones I really enjoy and which I just read cause I subscribe. I think there may be some which after my current subscription runs I out I don’t renew. Some mags I find I get more ideas from than others.
The times I was at home I did do a bit of retail therapy and ordered some patterns. I have some of my Christmas gifts sorted now I just have to get in and stitch them. I did get some hand sewing done and knitted a dishcloth but mostly when I was home I was mentally zapped that I couldn’t craft.
I’m hoping life will get back to normal now. Craft is calling me…