Finished Object and WIP-it Wednesday...

...I finished the stealth commission quilt and delivered it yesterday! 

So what have I been working on since March?  This is "The Hawaiian Shirt Off Your Back":

The Hawaiian Shirt Off Your Back quilt

and the label:

The Hawaiian Shirt Off Your Back quilt label

Specs:
Started 3/14/2015;
Finished 9/27/2015
Machine pieced and quilted

The quilt was commission by my boss' wife. She provided 10 of her husband's Hawaiian shirts to use as the fabric and requested a lap-sized quilt. Because the shirts didn't have a lot of color, I supplemented them with Hawaiian yardage. Both the borders and the binding are batiks. The backing fabric is a cotton surfboard fabric from Dean Miller.

And stealth project #2...I had a lot of fabric left from the shirts and didn't want to waste it. My boss has a small dog that he calls "little dog". So I made a doggie pillow out of the same shirt fabrics. This is "...And Your Little Dog, Too":


...And Your Little Dog, Too, a quilted dog pillow

and the reverse:


...And Your Little Dog, Too (back), a quilted dog pillow

and the label:

...And Your LIttle Dog, Too quilt label

Specs:
Started 8/8/15;
Completed 9/20/15

It is a two-sided quilted pillow cover with a zipper. The blocks are leftover Hawaiian shirt fabric used in the commissioned quilt. I used the same green batik fabric for the border and used the Dean Miller surfboard fabric for the inside. I made a custom, removable pillow insert.

I am very happy with how they turned out and my client seems happy. Yay!

Now I had to look at the WIPs that have been on hold for the last month and prioritize what to finish before December.

WIP Roll Call:

Worked on:
  • Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on row 45 of 62.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Calypso handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  4. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  5. No-Noro Hat for Halos of Hope (knitting)
  6. Sail (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Last Eye Candy Friday for September...

...we're rapidly running out of month!

We still have some canna lilies blooming:

Canna lily, open

and the purple salvia is hanging on:


Salvia

Eye candy from the garden is getting sparse, so you also get this morning' sunrise:

Sunrise 9/25/2015

Up this weekend: My main goal is to finish the hand stitching on the commission quilt. I've been working on it every night this week. Progress is very slow.

Honestly, until this is done, I'm not going to work on anything else, including housework. The only thing that will get done is laundry and that's because the washer and dryer are in my studio.

I'm looking forward to finishing this puppy!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...picture-less post because I either can't show you what I'm working on or the photo would look essentially the same s the last one I posted for the project.

My crafting life is currently full of loose threads that need to be buried. I worked on them for 2.5 hours last night and I still have a thousand threads to go. Yes, I'm exaggerating, but if you saw what it looks like, you'd think it was a thousand, too.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's going to take a while to get there!

WIP Roll Call:

Worked on:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on row 42 of 62. It helps that this is my Monday Craft Coffee project, so it gets some play every week.
  2. Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    Burying the threads for the quilted squares. Still need to hand-stitch the binding, make the label, and attach it.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. No-Noro Hat for Halos of Hope (knitting)
  5. Sail (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.
Spin-In:
  • I made gingerbread cookies to take to Spin-In. What was really funny was that my friend Loretta also made ginger cookies for Spin In. My were crisp and hers were soft and frosted. They were both delicious!
  • Loretta did very well with her first spinning lesson. She spun the Corriedale that I brought as practice fiber. I also gave her the pretty dyed Falkland I bought as a later birthday present. I pointed out that f she didn't like spinning,  she can always use the birthday fiber for weaving.
Stealth project #2:
  • I tried hand-stitching the label on...and I hated it. I carefully unstitched it and sewed it on using the sewing machine. Given the way it will be used (to be revealed later), machine stitching was the right way to go.
Commission Quilt:
  • Finished the machine stitching. Hooray! This included attaching the binding to the front. My shoulder was killing me my the time I finished, but that part is done!
  • Working on burying the threads fro the machine quilting. There are lots of them!
  • I won't hand-stitch the binding until I'm done burying the threads. I've already pressed it and folded it over to the back. Currently it's held in place with quilt binding clips (the metal ones).
Other than laundry and grocery shopping, that was my weekend!
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Eye Candy Friday...

...and they say it's going to be another hot weekend. This means that I'm going to melt while I'm quilting...oh, yay.

There are still things blooming in the back yard, which will probably die with the weekend's heat.

Canna lily:

Canna Lily

Agastache "Black Adder":

Agastache "Black Adder"

Asclepias "Silky Mix"

More Asclepias Silky Mix

and Angelonia angustifolia.

Angelonia angustifolia 2

I love this last flower because at certain angles you can see through the flower:


Angelonia window

Up this weekend: Spin In tomorrow! I haven't spun anything since Tour de Fleece in July!

I'm taking my friend Loretta and we're going to teach her how to spin. I have some nice white Corriedale for her to start with and then a nice dyed Falkland. I'm going to lend her one of my spindles so she doesn't have to buy one. If she likes spinning, she can invest in a spindle of her own.

Other than that, the major thing to work on is the commission quilt. I need to finish machine quilting the squares and sew on the binding. Then it's all hand-stitching from there. Keep your fingers crossed that I can finish the machine stitching this weekend!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and I finally took a photo of the latest cross stitch project.

This is Sail, a design by Shepherd's Bush with buttons by Just Another Button Company:

Sail cross stitch, as of 9/16/2015

When I bought this in 2004, the shop kitted the design with the buttons and the fabric. I was happy that I could purchase the fabric with it as it can be difficult to get this type of fabric locally. Now that I'm working on it, I am not happy with the fabric color they chose. It's too close to one of the colors in the beach ball and in the lighthouse.  I'm going to leave it for now, but if I really hate it in the lighthouse, I'll pick a darker blue from my DMC stash.

WIP Roll Call:

Worked on:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on row 38 of 62; need to tink back about 40 stitches to fix a beading error
  2. Sail (cross stitch)
    Working on the letter A
  3. Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    Quilting the centers of the squares, approx. 85% done
  4. Stealth project #2 (quilting)
    Need to hand-stitch the label and it's done!
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. No-Noro Hat for Halos of Hope (knitting)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-Of-The-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.
  • The vacuum monster came out on Saturday and I finally got the leaves, debris, and furry dust bunnies removed. The cats, of course, disappeared as soon as they saw the vacuum. It took a while to convince them I was done!
  • I spent most of the weekend on the commission quilt. I'm nearly done quilting the squares. I had to stop a few times to let the sewing machine cool down. It wasn't a hot weekend, but using the machine that many hours in a day was a bit much for it (and my shoulders!).
  • Once I finish quilting the squares, I need to apply the binding. The final part is to bury a million threads, hand-stitch the binding to the back, and attach the label. Whew!
  • I finished the machine sewing for Stealth Project #2. I made a label for it and just need to hand-stitch it in place.
  • I need to remind myself to take the sewing machine in for a tune-up when I've finished the commission quilt. The poor machine really needs it.
  • I worked a bit on the Sail cross stitch project. Honestly, by the time I finished quilting for the day, I didn't have much energy for cross stitch.
  • Last week's heat wave killed a couple of our new plants. Boo!  The Husband rotated them  out of the courtyard and replaced them with some others that he had on hand.
  • My goal is to finish the commission quilt by the end of the month. I think it's doable...we'll see!

Well, Hello Eye Candy Friday...

...I totally spaced on WIP-it Wednesday. I blame it on the heat.

We've been melting all week. Reading and watching TV is about all I could handle when I got home from work. It's a bit cooler today, so I might be able to work on something.

I received some lovely roses from my mother and was hoping to take photos of it for Eye Candy Friday. With the heat, the roses croaked early, so no photos.

This morning's sunrise was gorgeous:

Sunrise 9/11/2015

Up this weekend: I'm concentrating on the commission quilt. I must get closer to done!

I need to pull the vacuum monster out. The cats and the Husband have been dragging in leaves and other debris from the garden...unintentionally, I'm sure. :) Fortunately, we don't have a lot of carpeting in the house, so it shouldn't take long.

That's it. It's short, but then so was the week!
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F.O. Tuesday and the weekend report...

...it was a good birthday weekend even if it didn't go quite as planned.

First, the Finished Object.. This is Summer 9 Patch, a pillow kit from Pine Mountain Designs:

Summer 9 Patch, completed

Specs:
Started 8/14/15;
Finished 9/7/15;
Pillow kit by Pine Mountain Designs

I bought this kit in 2006. I wasn't fond of the pink and green pillow then and I'm still not. However, it is done and it was a nice diversion from the commission piece.


The weekend report:
  • I spent a good deal of the weekend on the commission quilt. I quilted the border and am pretty happy with how that turned out. After dithering for a bit, I decided that the squares needed something, so I started quilting them, following the motifs in each square. This is adding a great deal of time to the piece, but in the long run it will be worth it.
  • The stealth piece is nearly done. I have a couple of seams to finish and that's it.
  • It was really too hot to quilt all weekend, but I took a lot of breaks.
  • We planned on taking the ferry to San Francisco on Sunday to have my birthday lunch with the Daughter. When we made our plans, I didn't know that BART was going to shut down the transbay tube all weekend. Many who would normally take BART to the City decided to take the ferry. We tried for the 1:10 ferry (with lots of other people) and didn't make it. The line was incredibly long on the Oakland end, which meant that it would be equally long, or longer, on the San Francisco end. We opted for lunch in Jack London Square instead. The most important part was to spend time with the Daughter, so I was happy.  :)
  • After I finished the stitching on the Summer 9 Patch pillow, I started another project that's been in the stash since 2004. It's Sail by Shepherd's Bush and should go pretty quickly. Maybe I'll get a picture of it for WIP-it Wednesday.

Eye Candy Friday, birthday-style...

...today is my birthday and I'm just about over my angst about my age now.

The Husband started celebrating my birthday early by cooking dinner last night. And not just any dinner...the man barbecued tri tip, lightly smoked with oak wood that my mother sent from home, and made some piquinto beans.

Our family moved to Santa Maria when I was in elementary school; my mom, sister, and two brothers still live there. There is nothing like Santa Maria barbecue and the tri tip is the best. The thing that makes it so great is the oak wood. There is nothing like the flavor of meat cooked over oak. That flavor is hard to duplicate in a propane barbecue, but using oak wood chips does a decent job. The Husband did a great job!

The other thing he did for my birthday was buy new plants for the garden. He carefully chose varieties that we didn't already have. Here are some of the new things he chose.

Santa Cruz Sunset begonia boliviensis:

Santa Cruz Sunset begonia

Torenia Hybrid:

Torenia Hybrid

Fuchsia Emu Bush:

Fuchsia Emu Bush

Sweet Kate tradescantia:

Tradescantia Sweet Kate

and Midnight Candy zaluzianskya:

Midnight Candy
There are several more, but they don;t have flowers on them yet. I can;t wait to see what they look like!

Up this weekend: We're meeting the Daughter to have lunch and those are the only concrete plans we have.

Traditionally, I don't go anywhere on my birthday because it falls close to Labor Day and the entire world is out and about. Every place that I'd like to go will be packed and the traffic will not be fun. Not the way I want to celebrate my birthday!

With the extra day, I'm going to see how close to done I can get on the Commission quilt. I know I can finish stealth commission project #2 because there is not much left.  But I really need to make a decisions about the border quilting and any additional quilting to do.  If I still haven't decided what to do about quilting in the blocks, I can at least bind the quilt and get that part done. The very last thing that will go on both pieces are the labels. Both pieces are named, I just need to write out the labels and sew them on.

Regardless of what I can accomplish, it will be nice to have three days off!
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August 2015 recap...

...in which no spinning occurred and my reading lagged again. I can't complain too much about the reading. I finished 3 Outlander books, which are huge.

Finished:
  • 8/2 Sheep Scissor Companion (cross stitch)
  • 8/16 Sweet Summer (cross stitch)
  • Books:
    1. Rebel Queen, Michelle Moran
    2. Magic Shifts, Ilona Andrews
    3. The Veil, Chloe Neill
    4. Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon
    5. Voyager, Diana Gabaldon
    6. Drums of Autumn, Diana Gabaldon
Started:
  1. 8/1 Sheep Scissor Companion (cross stitch)
  2. 8/2 Sweet Summer (cross stitch)
  3. 8/14 Summer 9-Patch (cross stitch)
  4. 8/15 No-Noro Hat for Halos of Hope (knitting) [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  • Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Stealth Commission project (quilting)
  • Stealth Commission project #2 (quilting) 
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...with a preview of the commission quilt.




OK, it's a small preview. :)  I can't give too much away!

WIP Roll Call:

Worked on:

  1. Summer 9-Patch (cross stitch)
    Completed 2 of 9 squares; 4 other squares in process
  2. Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    Need to quilt the green border and bind it. I need to decide whether to add some quilting to the center of the blocks. Not sure yet...
  3. Stealth project #2 (quilting)
    One last thing to finish!
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  4. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  5. No-Noro Hat for Halos of Hope (knitting)
    Started 8/15/15. Ribbing completed and design started.
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...Happy September!

It's my birthday month and I'm a little ambivalent about it this year. It's a big birthday for me and it's making me feel really old. I guess I'm making up for all of the other big birthdays when I didn't really care what my age was.
  • I didn't do as much work on Commission project #1 because I got sucked into project #2.
  • I replaced the light border of Commission project #1. I finished the stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. I am running a couple of tests on scrap fabric to see if my border quilting idea is going to work. 
  • I made great progress on Stealth commission project #2. I decided on the finishing and just did it. I still have a little left to do, but it's very close!
  • I finished the laundry, but the vacuum monster had to wait.
  • We wasted a bunch of time trying to get our new HD cable box to work. We finally decided that the box was the problem. The Husband got a replacement box from Comcast and it worked right out of the gate.
  • I did not finish the current cross stitch piece...not even close. 
I guess I need to do a recap post RSN (real soon now).
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a photo of my new toy. A year or so ago, my Mom mentioned that she had an old Singer sewing machine. She said it wasn't very bi...