Saturday, March 04, 2017

Love is love is love

I've been running around like the proverbial poultry sans noggin, trying to keep up with the slings and arrows of life with mixed success.

In short, one of the cars died and I'm playing taxi more than usual. It's exhausting.

I did get this done, though, and it was well-received by the eldest child. I feel pretty good about finishing before she actually went to college and I hope it keeps her warm for many, many years. Now it's her little sister's turn and I've only got a few blocks done. I'm hoping that one doesn't take fifteen years, but I don't think it will. I have a pretty good finishing strategy now that mainly involves actually working on it.

Love is love is love...

I couldn't have said it better.

Next up is a short story I'm working on about a boy and his first crush. My plan is to offer it for a buck or two and send the proceeds to PFLAG because I don't have much to give, but I have art to share. It's being tweaked and edited and I have to figure out how to get it to you, but it's nearly done.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


After Orlando, I was what you might call "shaken." Even though I'm in a suburban mom place right now, it wasn't all that long ago that it could have been me. There are a number of young people I love and care about whom it also could have been either now or in a few years. I quit blogging for a bit because I couldn't even. This kind of thing makes me want to hug my children and turn my fear and anger into acts of kindness.

And then the rest of 2016 happened

It wasn't all bad. The Cubs' World Series win was a bright and shining light in an otherwise very hard year and those of you who know me have heard me wax poetic about it with misty eyes and a big grin. I may do so again when spring training starts up again. 

I want to get back on the blog train again (toot! toot!) and I might not be able to do so every week like I had been, but I have a lot to make and a lot to say and... a lot to say about making. For a goodly portion of it, I'm going to crib steal collaborate with my best bestie, Bekah. There's a reason we get along, you see, and we're on the same page regarding a great many things. 

So, this is me clearing my throat and letting you know I'm here. 

Alright, 2017, let's do this.

Friday, July 01, 2016

FO: Jumper for Joy

Hello, blog.
I miss you.

Right now, I'm avoiding homework to show you this jumper I made for little Bu, which I made while I was avoiding homework.

Man, I get so much done when I'm avoiding homework.

This is McCall's M6983, but instead of doing a facing for the top, I went for a lining.

And there it is. The lining is a copy of the outer dress, making it almost reversible, but not quite. I had to really think about the construction, but I'm really pleased with the lining and think it'll wear better than just facing.

She picked out the polyester gingham to for the lining and I happened to have a pink zipper in exactly the right size. The pockets are faced in gingham, too. 
I'm very proud of this zipper. It zips all the way to the top and looks very tidy. 

It's machine sewn to the seam allowance, but hand finished. 

Remember the time I matched plaids? I managed to match this one up pretty tidily all around. The back seam matches up nicely and the yoke matches up nicely to the skirt. 

Heck yeah, skills!

(I didn't bother matching the lining, which is fine. No one will see it.)


She's pretty happy with it, too. I have another one planned in a heavier fabric which I hope is not too heavy and I want to do some cute little shirts for her, too, but haven't got a pattern for one yet. She's grown out of the shirt patterns I have. Next time I'm not doing homework, I'll probably be looking for kids' shirt patterns.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

What was June for Again?

Making garments is the answer and I'll be making several little things for Miss Bu this month. I've just finished washing and drying the fabric for a couple little jumpers and some shirts. Baby girl is growing and needs new clothes.

That's a lot of potential sewing right there (not counting the other two pieces of fabric not pictured because my undies are hanging up just to the right as well) and these are some darn ambitious goals, but I thrive on ambitious goals. Even if I fall a bit short of my intentions, I can still manage something awesome. DaVinci Disorder*, FTW. And, in addition to this, I'm planning on doing a shirt for the Outfit-a-long and, at some point later in the year, I want to do up a Suffragette costume.

This is the pattern I'm using for the Outfit-a-Long and I'm strongly considering the V-neck short sleeve for its versatility, though I really like the slash-front 3/4 sleeved one, too. Nothing saying I can't make both, but for the purposes of the OAL, the V-neck is the way to go. I'm considering a couple different yarns to use for the knitted portion of these adventures, namely Alisha Goes Around: Walk of Snipes in a gorgeous blue that would be awesome as a lightweight cardigan of some kind. I've also got some Quince & Co.: Finch that I really want to try and that would look really great as a cowl. I'm leaning cardigan in the blue, but I think I might have to go pet my yarn and find a pattern I like. I'm going to do Vitamin D eventually, but I think that's going to be an intentional project during the Hyperborean (basically winter) months.

Anyhow, between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, I've been busy and have been neglecting the ol' blog, but lots of knitting and other crafting is still going on in the background. In addition to the usual stuff, I'm working on an alternate teaching certification program and doing my best to help both kids be as awesome as they can be (which is pretty darned awesome). The former involves regular, concentrated work, the latter, well, gifted kids are a particular challenge. We just got the little one's IQ score back and the psychologist who showed us the number was nearly speechless. It was a really big number.

See? I'm knitting!
All that aside, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things and to start posting regularly again. I miss blogging and I miss how it was helping me focus on my crafting life. I'm pretty regular on Instagram as DelphinianJess, so if you miss me here, I'll be over there with a fair amount of regularity.

*Not a real disorder

Thursday, May 12, 2016

FO: Cloth Napkin Hem Repair

 We use cloth napkins at our house because it reduces waste and I don't have to keep buying them. Some of them are starting to get a little worn as you saw from the last FO post and I've been putting off repairing them, but since they're just squares, the repairs are pretty straightforward.

The one on the top had been frayed on the edges, so I trimmed it up and added a new hem.The one on the bottom is what it originally looked like. The repaired napkin is a little smaller than the original, but that's no big deal.
Here's a closeup of the new hem on top of the old hem and not a bad little job of mitering the corner, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

FO: Darning on a cloth napkin

Not a bad bit of mending, if I do say so myself. The hems might need a little mending later on, but the holes darned up very nicely. I used a single strand of plain cotton embroidery floss in a plain ol' woven darn. 

The back doesn't look too shabby, either, and it should hold up in the wash alright.

It's not very obvious at arm's length, which is a sign of a darn good mend. (Eh? Eh? See what I did there?)

FO: Starstepper Fitbit bracelet

 My Fitbit bracelet broke this morning, so I needed a replacement. I grabbed a scrap of fabric and some wide grosgrain ribbon, stitched them together, and turned the whole thing right side out. There's a slit in the side so I can take the sensor out to charge and one little pearly button. Embroidery keeps the sensor from shifting around. It's simple, comfy, and functional.

Me Made May: Stuff Around the House

I've been absent a couple of weeks, as you may have noticed, and for little other reason than because I'm having a bit of trouble getting my act together. The blocks I started when I left off are still sitting on my ironing board, waiting to be assembled. There's nothing for it but to start again as best as I can and see if I can't get back into the swing of things. I've also started an online teaching certification program, which has been taking a good chunk of my time and attention, but it's worth it.

So, officially, Me Made May is a challenge to wear the things you've made every day in May. I am, in fact, wearing a shirt that I'll talk about another week. Here at Lace Maze, I'm totally using it as an excuse to catch up with some of the things I started at the beginning of the year.

This week, I want to show you some of the household things  that get a lot of use around here. To the left is an action shot of Mr. Rippley, my coffee friend. Everyone loves a cuddle on, under, or near this one, and it was totally worth the time and effort. I chose the colors to match the couch and we picked the couch to match the art, which all seems to have worked out very well.

An older, funkier afghan was done up in scraps of Red Heart and lives on the rocking chair. It gets less use, not being on the couch most of the time, but it does lend a bit of homey cheerfulness to the living room.

We also have a large assortment of pot holders, washrags, and towels for kitchen use, as well as a fancypants cozy for my French press. There's a lot of crochet, but there's some knitting, weaving, and quilting in there, too. About half of what you see here was made by someone dear to me, which delights me to no end. There's more than what's pictured here because a lot of it is in the wash. Again, these get daily use and a lot are stained, worn, and/or faded from use-- which is not a bad thing! I'm not going to save these for a special occasion. Washing my dishes or scrubbing my counter is sufficiently special.

There are a few similar items in the bathroom, including a linen hand towel that I love, and one of my goals is to work up some more delicate towels and washcloths in finer cottons and linens. In fact, I've got a collection of such yarns for that purpose. The linen hand towel has gone dingy and has developed holes, but I still love it.

Some may eschew knitting/crochet/etc. for the home, but I like making things that everyone can share and I like seeing handmade things all around the house. It feels more like home when the house is dressed in things we made.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Piecing April: Quarter Square Triangles

So, our dryer broke. We have a clothesline, which is great! And I really enjoy hanging laundry up on the line because I get to be in the sunshine and feel productive at the same time. I like folding and putting away laundry somewhat less than I enjoy hanging it, but it's not a terrible thing. Unfortunately, because Husband is generally the one who takes care of the majority of the laundry duties and those have now fallen to me, that means a serious cut into my blogging and crafting time so that I can make sure everyone has clean shirts.

I did make time for a couple of blocks last week and worked on using the quarter square triangle. Like the HST, you do have to be aware of bias distortion and a walking foot would be very, very useful for avoiding it (alas, I still haven't one). Unlike the HST, the bias is on the right angle and not on the hypotenuse. Confused? Here's a diagram:

I hope that clears up the geometry a bit. This means that the triangles will be right triangles like the HST, but that they will also behave a little differently when you're sewing them.

This week, I did some Ohio Stars:

I'm hoping to do some Isosceles triangles this week, if I don't get buried under the laundry again.

Wish me luck.