Comfort food.

I’m not going to dwell on world events today, suffice it to say that 2020 is not how any of us expected. I’m a cheerful introvert at the best of times, but I’ve been feeling quite withdrawn from everything over the last few months. I stopped writing here, I stopped posting on social media, and I nearly stopped knitting.

The only crafty pursuit I’ve been up to at all is sock knitting, and I’ve not even picked it up on some days. I do have a bit to catch up on with you here, as it’s been two entire months, but for weeks it has been socks and socks only. Here goes nothing, the last two months:

I finished my mini Happy Christmas Tree Quilt. This guy and the full sized one are sitting around here now, all quilted, binding attached — sometime I’ll get around to sewing the binding down on both of them.

Vanilla socks — “Electric Feel” by A Homespun House

Don’t look now, but this was another patterned sock finish! The pattern is Rhinebeck Roomies by the Crazy Sock Lady. I used Skein Yarn in the Early Morning Mist colorway.

Vanilla Socks — “Where does the good go?” by StressKnits

Joshua turned 15 in the midst of all of the quiet stay-at-home time, but we had a nice day. He had a mask wearing walk with a friend, we hung out and listened to records while I baked his cake (see below), and we just had a generally lovely day.

Ok, friends. This is hands down the best strawberry cake I’ve ever had. The recipe is pretty amazing. We enjoyed cake for breakfast for a couple of days after this and I’m not even a little sorry.

Yep, your eyes do not decieve you! Another patterned sock, another design by the Crazy Sock Lady! This is Heel Toe Do Si Do in Peachy Keen by The Cozy Knitter.

I cast on this cuff, started a pattern, messed it up, and started another pair of socks. Now that I’m almost done with those, I think I’ll come back to these. I actually think I might switch gears and knit this pair vanilla and cast on another pair of Rainbow Connection socks in something else for my pattern fix. This yarn is “Whale Belly” by A Homespun House.

Last but not least, the aforementioned other pair of socks. These have been surprisingly enjoyeable. This another pair of what I deem workhorse socks, turns out they’re awfully nice when you’re at the house all the time. This is yarn is ONline Supersocke 4-fach Neon Color in color 1721. This is some deep stash, so it’s nice to finally knit it up.

That gets us up-to-date. Thankfully, I’m feeling the funk fade a bit over the last few days. I’ve got a secret project for Astra for Christmas that I want to start and I’ve got 3!! quilts to finish (4 if you count the tree skirt). Other than that, I’m not minding the sock train one bit. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again — I’ll always come back to socks, my very own crafty comfort food.

I hope you are safe and well.


Happy making!

I don’t really do patterned socks.

Honestly. I did the math and less than 5% of my finished socks have been patterned. I even currently have a patterned sock on the needles that I’m mostly making no progress on. I cast on patterned socks from time to time, and I often frog them.

Recently, I was watching the Crazy Sock Lady podscast when she revealed a new pattern: the Rainbow Connection Socks. I always like the look of Kay’s designs, but rarely give in because, well, you know. But these socks just intrigued me and I couldn’t get them out of my head. So, I did what I soemtimes regret doing – I cast them on.

The pattern uses a main color and mini skeins or self-striping yarn for the contrast. I had received these minis in “little box of hygge” from A Homespun House in March and they just called to me. The main yarn is a merino/cashmere/nylon from Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Snow-kissed Mountains colorway. I got started and the next day…

I was so in love. I just couldn’t stop and so two more days…

I was in full swing by Friday. On Saturday, I momentarily came to my senses and put some work into finishing my Norah Quilt top. Come Sunday though, I finished up the toe before we were done slaying orcs in D&D.

I am telling you, I could not have enjoyed knitting this pair of socks any more. The pattern and the yarn were just a perfect match and it was highly enjoyable. I’m already looking around for some other pairings to knit more. I’m looking at you rainbow sock leftovers…


Happy making!

Like a variety show.

I’ve honestly been a bit all over the place. Something about being at home all the time has me flitting from project ot project, craft to craft. I am managing to finish some and have only started a few, so I suppose I’m keeping some level of balance.

After finishing up my Happy Christmas quilt top, I was in a bit of a mood for something quick and easy. Enter Fat Quarter Pile Up:

This was a fun little quilt pattern is by Knot & Thread Design and I used a fat quarter bundle that was curated by one of my fave’s Maker Valley. I barely had to think about this one and it came together in a little under 4 hours. It finishes at a really generous 57″ by 70″ and uses 12 fat quarters with extremely little waste. I’m goign to use some random stash yardage for the backing and call this one a day.

After this lighting fast start and finish, I made the mistake decision to list out all of my current WIPs. It’s not a short list, so I was looking to cross some things off. My Magical Girl socks were an easy target as they were close-ish to done. I also pulled out my little matchbox quilt since it only needed to be quilted and bound. I tried out hand quilting and really love the texture it delivered.

Once that little guy was hanging up in my sewing room, I started looking around at what else to work on and I landed on my applique. I’ve had quite the hand sewing mojo lately so I went with it.

Blocks 5-8 of my Granny’s Garden Quilt are now done. I also traced all the shapes out for the rest of the quilt, but that’s not very exciting to look at. Once those were done, I turned my hand to sewing the binding on my Arithmetic Quilt.

I started this quilt way back over my birthday weekend last summer. I don’t know what takes me so long to finish quilts, but I finally got around to binding this one. It’s so big and fresh and bright! I love it.

The pattern is by Jeni Baker and I used all fabrics from the Daisy Chain collection by Annabel Wrigley. I sent this one off to be quilted by Nicole of Kwilt It! – she did an excellent job and I already have two more pieces with her to be quilted. This quilt finished at 74″ x 80″ – I made twin size with 4″ squares. I highly recommend this pattern! A super fun finish.

Other than that, I made a mask for my weekly grocery trip — I used the Missouir Star Quilt Company tutorial, it was incredibly easy!

I’m still plugging away at my second pair of Christmas socks this year. I’m hoping to finish these soon — and by soon, I’m hoping for today — they’ve been on the needles for quite a while.

Looking now, that may be a tall order for today, I’m only just started the decreases! Well, we’ll see I suppose. Finally, I started a new quilt. I’ll talk more about this one soon — it certainly deserves it’s own post. Suffice it to day, my Norah Quilt has begun.

That’s been pretty much it around here. I’ve been working, playing with makeup, watching movies with the kids, and making up a storm. All in all, we are well and I hope you are too.


Happy making!

Measure twice, cut once.

Well, I finally did it. I cut in the heel of a sock at the wrong spot.

If you take a very close look at last the first sock, I cut in the heel between the speckled stripe and the purple stripe. Fast forward to me late one evening, working on the second sock — cut in the heel and cruise on. Until…

Oh, what’s that? Is that the speckle and purples stripes, nestled right there together? Ah yes. I cut the heel in a stripe too late. I pulled the heel out and debated what to do. I had a brilliant idea to just graft the stithces back together so I tried that.

It just didn’t look right. I worked it and worked it and it just wasn’t turning out. So I finally did what I’d really known I’d have to have to do all along. I ripped all the way back and rejoined the yarn.

And so that is how I knit about half of the second sock twice. They’re worth it though, because these are some awfully sweet stripes.

This is Gynx Yarns in the Magical Girl colorway. She doesn’t dye anymore so I’m pretty pleased to have a pair of socks in some of her yarn.

Don’t they just make your teeth hurt? I love this yarn, ithe colors are absolutely perfect for the first breath of spring that is creeping into Maryalnd. They were worth it to get right, but it’s a good reminder to really check what you’re doing before you snip that yarn!


Happy making!

A lost blog post?

I wrote this post back on February 29, right before I left for Denver. I appartenly never hit publish, but I hate to lose all this chatter, so here you go!

At this time last week, I had three (knitting) works in progress. Today, I have six. Things just… happened this week. And no, I am in no way thinking about casting on something else. At all.

First things first, the three wips. One is my Sizzle Pop; surprise! I haven’t gotten much done on it. Last week I had just cast on and knit the cuff of a new pair of patterned socks. They’re chugging along, if a bit slowly. I’m enjoying the texture and rhythm though, so I’m not bothered.

And the third is my oldest WIP, which is surprising since it’s a hat. I usually knit hats pretty quickly, but, well, I’ve been distracted. The hat is adorable though and that’s why it’s earned a trip to Denver today. I’m heading out on a work trip and I think it will be my plane knitting in hopes of some serious progress. The hat is Skiff by Jared Flood, I’m knitting it up in Quince & Co. Lark in the Petal colorway.

Something just came over me last weekend and I wanted a bit of floof in my life. I waffled for a quite a while and finally cast on a cowl with a bit of mohair. I’m not too far, but this is Calan Mai by Voolenvine. I couldn’t resist the reference to one of my favorite book series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. I’m knitting it up in yarn from A Homespun House, the mohair is Winter’s Kiss and the other strand is Snowy Woods.

With all the patterning, brioching, and cabling I was doing, I thought it high time that I cast on a pair of vanilla socks. Taking the first cake that caught my eye out of all my caked up sock yarn, I pulled out this old old old skein of Prim from Hey Lady Hey, a now retired yarn dyer.

I’m to the heel flap of the sock but the beady eyed among you may notice that’s a pretty short leg for me. I’m having a hard time pushing through this one and I think I know why. For years now, I have exclusively knit socks on 80/20 merino/nylon yarn. That and stellina yarn have been pretty much it. I shunned 75/25 a long time ago. I had thought maybe I was past that feeling but here we are. I think it just doesn’t do it for me. I do knit 75/25 into other things just fine, but for socks? No, thank you.

I decided to pull out an 80/20 skein to compare. So plump and round! It’s crazy that it makes that much difference but it feels so much better. I’m willing to admit that may be all in my head, but knit what you want, right?

The yarn I cast on is a pretty little self-striping number called Magical Girl, by Gynx Yarns – another retired dyer. These are also going to Denver, gotta have something easy and mindless on a work trip.

So that’s it, all my works in progress. Most are pretty far from the finished object stage, but for some reason I’m already thinking about a few new projects. One is another hat, which is not getting started until Skiff. The other is a brioche and lace shawl that I don’t know if I will have enough willpower to resist after this trip.

I waffle between wanting to clear off all of my needles and wanting to cast on a million things so it’s easy to pick up and just work on anything. Clearly we’re in the cast on a million things phase at the moment. I’m feeling lately like wips are opportunities. I’ve got stockinette socks, patterned socks, cables, brioche, and floof and I dig it.


Happy making!

Once you get through the ribbing.

I’ve often felt that once I get through the ribbing of a sock, it’s practically done. The rest it just seems to fly by. I don’t hate ribbing, but I don’t really love it so it is always nice to get through it on anything. I’ve recently realized that brioche feels a whole like ribbing: yarn forward, yarn back and all that jazz.

So, once I finished Marley, I looked around at my WIPs and realized I had created a little slice of ribbing hell. My first order of business was to finish up my other brioche project, Gully.

This is a pattern by Jared Flood, knit in Brooklyn Tweed Vale in the Cobbler colorway. I love the finished object, but knitting laceweight brioche flat is a bit of a slog. The texture of the yarn is a dream for the squishy brioche though so it was definitely worth it.

Once I finished the cowl, I was really down to it on ribbing. Two second socks to start and a massive hat brim to finish. I set myself a goal to finish all the ribbing on one big Sunday rib-a-thon.

It took me a hot minute, but I got it done. From there, it’s always so easy to pick up the socks and knit on them throughout the week. I woke up last Saturday and assesed my sock situation.

With last weekend being a long one for us here in the states, I set myself a new goal of finishing both pairs over that weekend. I’m not really sure how but I finished them both that day!

I just love love love this pair. I knew after seeing this yarn that I’d have to knit it up, being the avid rainbow lover that I am. Add to that the Beatles reference in the name and I was a goner. This is All Together Now, from Gauge Dye Works.

The other pair are knit out of Patons Kroy in the Mexicala Stripes colorway. I don’t love the pattern but they’re a bright and cheerful pair of socks. I knit these to have another pair of hardwearing utility socks and that’s just what they are.

Once I finished those socks, I realized I was in danger of getting to the end of February without finishing a Christmas project. I thought that if I started a pair of socks, I could likely finish them over the next couple of weeks. And so I cast on another pair of socks last Sunday, intending to at least get through the ribbing.

By the time I went to bed that night, I had knit most of the darned sock already. This sweet yarn is from A Homespun House, in the Whobilation colorway. Not wanting to burn out, I decided to cast on a new large project. I spent a great deal of time playing in my stash, scrolling throuh Ravelry and Instagram.

I finally decided on a pattern I’ve had in my libary for quite a while and with some help from Kevin, chose a yarn pairing that is a bit out of my usual comfort zone.

I started Sizzle Pop, a shawl pattern by Lesley Anne Robinson. I know, I know, it’s brioche. I just can’t seem to stop myself. I’m using Mood Ring by Hey Sister Yarn Co. for the background (grey) and Tough Titty by Stitch Together Studio for th emain color (pink).

I am really enjoying this one, but it does require quite a bit of focus and pattern reading. So that pushed me back into the arms of the Christmas socks and before I knew it, I found myself kitchenering up the second sock last night.

Who knew I had this much sock mojo left? Finishing three pairs of socks in a week had me looking at my stash yet again this morning. One thing that bugs me is all the caked up yarn I’ve got hanging around from projects that stalled out for various reasons. I’d like to get it all knit up, but that’s a big undertaking. So I pulled out a subset: sock yarn:

That’s 10 skeins of sock yarn that were caked up for various projects (mostly not socks) and then abandoned for some reason or another. I’m going to make these my next 10 pairs of socks, excluding Christmas socks. I already got started, casting on the cuff of the first pair:

The yarn is from Skein, in the Early Morning Mist colorway. I originally cast this on for a Spindrift shawl over Christmas a few years ago. I never picked it up again and frogged it last year during my WIP Wipeout. The catch with this pair of socks is that I’m (gasp!) using a pattern. The whole thing will essentially be ribbed. Who am I?

I might need to go cast on something garter just for a bit of sanity, but who knows. Maybe I don’t dislike ribbing as much as I thought.


Happy making!

Happy, uh, Christmas?

It is the new year and that means new projects, new ideas, and the same old me. Turning over the calendar always gets ideas sparking for me. Part of that is the general sense of new and fresh that surrounds the start of a new year. The other part is returning from our holiday trip. I don’t typically knit much and it’s usually socks, so the last few years I’ve been dying to start something new and big once I get home.

This year, I had my mind on holiday projects. Every year, I want to make something a bit Christmas-y but by the time my mind heads that way, it’s December and I default to socks. Now, don’t get me wrong, this has resulted in some awfully pretty pairs of Christmas socks. Did I mention I finished my latest pair?

This is CindyLou by Junkyarn. I love these. My dad called me CindyLou when I was little and this color just gives me the warm fuzzies. I cast these on as a bit of a holiday knit and finished them up this week. Anyway, pretty, speckly socks aside, I’d like to make more holiday makes. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to do much serious holiday crafting in December, so why not spread the love around?

That’s right, this year, I’m making Christmas all year long! Christmas knitting, Christmas sewing, Christmas quilting, maybe even some general Christmas crafting?!? I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, so I was able to hit up some holiday sales and bump up my Christmas stash in general. I’ve amassed some fabric and yarn for this endeavor:

On the list is a quilt, a tree skirt, socks, a holiday sweater (I’m looking at you, Julgran), mini quilts, scrappy little items, and maybe even a holiday outfit! I’m going to try to finish one Christmas item per month. Slow and steady with time to make other things throughout the year.

In classic style, I just couldn’t wait to get started. My first official start of 2020 is a Christmas quilt! Who cares if it’s January? I’m hoping to knock out this big old beast early so it can get quilted and finished. I’ve started the Happy Christmas Quilt by Holly Lesué of Maker Valley. I had a kit for it from Maker Valley and so I thought I’d get started cutting it out last night. It took no time!

Since that was so fast, I thought I’d go ahead and do a wee bit of sewing. You know, just to start. Before I knew it, I had all the green HSTs sewn and the presents and star done!

Sorry for the horrid lighting, but I was pretty excited at midnight last night. I can’t wait to get some more done on this fun quilt. I think this is a pretty good start to a year of Christmas making.

I just love the thought of pulling out handmade holiday items year after year, but they have to get made sometime. 2020 is the year for me: a whole year of Christmas.


Happy {holiday} making!

The final score: WIP Wipeout 2019

Way back in June, I took a long hard look at all of my works in progress. I pulled them all out, posted them on the blog, and challenged myself to finish them off by the end of the year. Well, friends, the end of the year is here. How’d I do?

Completely, totally, all finished:

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Jelly Roll Twist Quilt

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Dresden Mini #1

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Layer Cake Pop Quilt

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Lumen

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Quilted Notions Pouch

Overdyed Mathilde

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Dresden Mini #2

4-Patch Hearts Mini Quilt

Rose City Rollers

Ugly Christmas Sweater Socks

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No Frills Sweater

Circular Sock Machine Socks #2

Circular Sock Machine Socks #3

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Divi Divi Shawlette – after a coffee incident on a plane, this baby got frogged

Kinda finished:  (Off my mental list, but something still needs to be done with them in the physical world, i.e. these need to be frogged)

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Dammejaka Lopa – The verdict is in, we’re going to frog this one. It’s way too big for me and I even sent it to a knitty friend and it wasn’t right for her either. I don’t know if I’ll knit the same thing with the same colors, but I do need to reclaim the yarn.

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Circular Sock Machine Socks #4 – The orange/yellow/black/green tube is very, very wonky. Not sure what happened, but I’m going to try to reclaim the yarn.

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Swirl Dress – This version is just going to have to be scrapped. I’m going to toile the bodice but haven’t. I had thought I could salvage this version, but I don’t think that will work. The fabric can be used for something else, but probably not just to redo this dress.

Axed projects – yep, I still didn’t frog this yarn. One day, probably.

Unfinished, not touched, not no how, not no way:

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Julgran – To be quite honest, I have not been taking great care of myself and the result of that is a definite lack of enthusiasm for knitting a fitted sweater.

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Beauty School Top – ditto to the Julgran. The yarn is frogged and ready to go, but I haven’t cast it back on for the same reason.


Ok, so all in total, thats 14 out of 20 finished. If I were in school, I’d be passing, but barely. Add in the “not frogged” items and that get’s me up to a respectable 18 of 20. Not too shabby. I also started 16 new projects and finished 9 of them. That makes my net progress for the second half of the year 27/36 = 75%. Not too shabby.

I listened to a podcast recently about embracing your WIPs as creative opportunities. One thing I learned over the course of this challenge is that starting something new can be daunting. I don’t love the mental clutter of having tons of stuff hanging around, but it’s also fun to be able to pick among things to work on. As they say, balance is key.

With that, we’ll wrap up the year. Happy New Year’s Eve to you all!  I can’t wait to see what creativity blossoms in 2020.


Happy making!

In which gifts were given.

Well, here we are at the end of the year. Once again, I have gone a bit dark on the internet (this year was a bit of a blackout, to be honest) and just busying myself like a wee elf with gift making.

This year was all about the socks. I gifted a personal high 5 pairs of socks this year! I righteously finished the first pair back in May and tucked them away for my [not quite yet at that point] sister-in-law, Madelyn.

The main, stripy yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply in Wood Pigeon and the contrast is the same yarn in the Poppy Seed colorway. These were my first ever circular sock machine socks. Back in 2018, I traded someone yarn for circular sock machine services. I cut my tubes up and knit in heels, toes, and cuffs and voila! socks!

I other circular sock machine news, I made Kevin’s mom and my other sister-in-law each a pair. Kevin’s mom, Jackie’s are knit in Miss Babs Northumbria Fingering – a lovely 100% BFL base – in Zombie Prom. Kevin gifted the yarn to me years ago so I love the idea of making socks for his mom out of it.

Crystal’s socks are knit out of Into the Whirled Bukavu Sock, a longwool/nylon blend. They should be nice and hard wearing and I love the short color repeat rainbow effect. The colorway is Timey Wimey Wibbly Wobbly.

My brother Noah’s socks are in Patons Kroy FX in Clover. These socks are so stinkin’ squishy that I want a pair for myself. In general, I knit most gift socks (all three pairs above) the same stitch count and all as mine, I just adjust for foot length. My brothers both have pretty narrow feet and all so I go down a bit. These are knit at 52 stitches on a 2.5 mm needle, where I typically knit mine at 56.

Last, but certainly not least on the sock train, are my brother Judge’s socks. A few years ago, I stumble across some old yarn that used to be spun with possum fur. Knowing that Judge would get a kick out of the thought, I went on the hunt for this yarn. I finally found it on Ravelry destash and snapped up two balls. This is Naturally Waikiwi Prints, a New Zealnad made yarn with an interesting blend: 55% NZ Merino, 20% Nylon, 15% Alpaca, 10% Possum. The colorway is aptly called Greens.

Let’s count the socks in the picture above. How many do you see? If you said four, you’d be right. That’s right my friends, this pair of socks was knit twice. I cast these on in August, and finished in October. I kept telling myself that things were fine, that it would block out. Of course it didn’t. The socks I had knit were completely different sizes. I think the first sock got stress knit at a stranglehold gauge. Once I came to terms with this result, I frogged them and washed the yarn. The second try was much more successful and now my brother’s feet are warmed by possum socks. In case you’re curious, yes he thought this was hilarious.

The last, and I do mean very last, gift I made this year was a quilt for my mom. I finished sewing the binding the night before we left for our holiday trip. So late that I didn’t even get a picture of the thing. That turned out ok, mom agreed to help with the picture.

This is the Fat Quarter Flowers Quilt, a free pattern from the fat quarter shop. I used all Art Gallery prints and solids, the fabric is just so fine and crisp, it makes a lovely quilt.  The back is a gorgeous navy print with feathers all over. I think she likes it.

That was the extent of my holiday crafting this year. I’ve got big plans for holiday making next year in the non-gift department, but it’s always fun to gift a bit of cozy to my loves.


Happy making!

 

Whatever I feel like.

What happened to August? It felt like a whirlwind and here we are, a whole week into September. The kids are back in school and I’m back to cooking in a way that makes me feel good. Something has switched with me this week and I’ve felt motivated to make. Let’s catch up.

I finally finished my Christmas socks! The yarn is Lattes and Lllamas BFL sock in Ugly Christmas Sweater. That’s one off the #wipwipeout list.

I decided to try needle turn applique on soem clambshells. I’m using the tutorial from over on the Sunny Day Supply blog. I still need practice, but they’re super cute.

I finihsed a quilt top! I cut it out and sewed up the rows over my birthday weekend and then finished sewing the rows together a couple of weeks later. I really liek this quilt top, the pattern is great. It’s Arthmetic by Jeni Baker, I did the 4″ square version.

Pretty much as soon as the Arthmetic top was done, I started sewing up some rainbow strips for a bargello quilt. It’s still in the sewing strips together phase at this point.

I did wind up casting on another pair of socks, but these are a gift so I won’t say much.

I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in the sewing room and the stash shelves were starting to look pretty rough. That’s the before…

And this is the after! It’s pretty nice, if you ask me.

As I mentioned, the kids started back to school this week. This was at 6:30 right before Joshua walked off to his first day of high school. Astra was up early for breakfast with us, but her first day of fifth grade was hours away at this point.

Something made me want to pick up my No Frills and knit a row or two and now I’ve been obsessed. I’ve only got a couple of inchs to go till the ribbing now!

And last, but certainly not least, I have started an Everest of a project. This is the first block of my Granny’s Garden quilt, a fully appliqued monster of a quilt. I’m excited but this is definitley a long term project. I’ll have to ellaborate in another post, but let’s just say it took me about 18 hours to cut the thing out. Yeah.

Well, there you go. Not very much making for six-ish weeks but I’m trying to have peace with that. I do what I feel like doing and that’s ok. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don’t have some quota to meet every year.

Making feels a bit all over the place at the moment, but I’ve really been just picking up whatever feels fun at the moment. At any rate, I’ve got some enjoyable projects going on right now, and I’m digging it.


Happy making!