Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Just a quick post; Shagufta Fyms


Just a quick post.

I found the most wonderful videos on You Tube by a woman named Shagufta Fyms.

Her work is so beautiful and her videos are so easy to follow.

I'll probably be spending the rest of my embroidery career working through her videos.

Maybe you already know her work, but I had to share just in case.

Talk to you more later.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bet you heard me squeal...

A very long time ago, I used to hand piece and hand quilt.

My life changed and I got so busy that I quit.

I gave away most of my stash.

Except for my favorites.

I forgot what I kept.

I knew I had some fabric in my almost inaccessible closet under my stairs. I didn't remember that I kept most of my blue batiks. I also kept some light blue flannel pieces and large pieces that would make great quilt backs.

Meet the fabrics for my Ravioli quilt. It'll now look like blue, ocean bubbles. I feel as though I went shopping and spent a million dollars.

I ran right out to my neighborhood quilt store and treated myself to this:
YLI Machine Quilting, 100% cotton in Danube Blues.

I ordered a package of new needles for my sewing machine and some bobbins.

Today, I just may be one of the happiest people on the island. In case you can't tell, blues make me incredibly happy. Did this overcast day ever turn bright and shiny.

Did you ever find anything you stored in your space that surprised you and made you happy?

Hoping you're enjoying your weekend, too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Our sky at 5:45p

A kaleidoscope of light.

Thinking of Lizzy and everyone in challenging weather.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Today's embroidery lessons, which turn out not to be embroidery lessons at all:
  • I love things to be imperfect. Not a big deal unless you know that I've been a perfectionist my whole life.
  • A tiny needle with 1-strand of 6-strand embroidery thread (floss?) makes me happy.
  • Just doing things without overthinking them is really fun.
  • I've always been a journey person, but I still used to have an idea where I was heading. Wandering around a project where I have absolutely no idea what comes next is a riot. It's kind of how I plan on living my life after May 2nd. I'm walking away from a salaried position just as I did when we moved from California. I think I may work at Longs Pharmacy, or maybe Jack in the Box.
I hope you are having a great day today.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


I was doodling something on my embroidery project that I imagined when I woke up in the night.

What I imagined was more like a spider web.
The thing that tickled me was that two stitches from the end, I realized I was making overlapping squares.

I'm glad I didn't realize that earlier because I probably would have tried to straighten up the squares. The crookedness is something I love. I would have not enjoyed it nearly as much if the doodle had turned out to look like a stamp.

I'm having a most amazing, fun day. I hope you are, too.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Midnight or more accurately, 2:43 a.m.

Not a good sleeping night, but it's OK. Bill the Cat from Bloom County kept me company.
It's cold tonight. (Read 65F.)

Dear Husband made me laugh by putting socks on Bill. Actually, he had him covered up, too, but I wanted you to see the socks.

No stitching tonight.

Susan, thanks for mentioning the heart shape. I hadn't noticed. The "ravioli" look funny stuffed. I'll stuff the trial run ravioli this evening and show you one.

Liz, I don't know how I'd ever live in really cold weather. I lived my whole life in California before we moved here. I always found out just how little I knew about cold weather when I traveled for business. I ran into snow in New Jersey one trip. I never thought I was going to find my rental car in the hotel parking lot. I still don't know how I got the rental car stopped to turn it in.

I guess I'll go watch Hell's Kitchen. A guilty pleasure when I can't sleep.

I hope you're having a great week.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Playing with shading.

I quit the fourth time I dropped my teeny, tiny, almost-impossible-to-see needle. Between the needle and the single strand of the six strand embroidery thread, stopping until there was daylight seemed like a good idea.

I'm off to cut a few 100 4-inch squares for the back of the raviolis.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Back to taking pics in the middle of the night again, but you can get an idea what I've been doing.

And even more fun. Tonight I:

  • Figured out how to wind the bobbin on my new "old" sewing machine.
  • I got the thread down to the needle.
  • The needle threader on my sewing machine actually worked, which is a very good thing since I couldn't even see the hole in the needle.
  • I played with the tension a little bit and actually sewed a test ravioli for my ravioli quilt.
 Although it doesn't look like it, it's perfectly square and the stitching isn't bad, either.

Now I'm trying to figure out if I want to make another 300+ of them.

I hope you're having a great weekend.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Asking when you know -your- answer

Finally, a better pic. My project finally saw a little daylight.

The variegated thread looks better in person. I cut the threads so they went from darker to lighter shades.

It was a challenging day. I couldn't stop stitching after I started. The soothing rhythm helped my busy brain slow down. I concentrated on breathing slowly and deeply. My eyes relished the colors. Time stood still. I was able to stay in the moment and not think ahead or behind.

So I kept going. Nothing fancy. Just stitches that let me keep moving.

And I love the way it looks. Probably because of the way it helped me feel.

Now on to asking a question that you already know your answer.

When I asked what you did with your "leftover" threads, I already knew my personal answer.

I threw them out.

Wasteful? Yes. Not thinking about it? Priceless.

I think I was looking for permission to toss them. It made me laugh when it dawned on me that at 63 I can essentially do anything I want to do without feeling guilty. (Within the boundaries of my personal code, of course.)

So I tossed them and smiled.

I hope you're having a morning (evening) (night).

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lace Sampler Patterns

Thank you for your kind words about my lace sampler. The thread was Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace. Jaggerspun Zephyr is the same thread for a less expensive price. Helen's Lace is hand-dyed.

Both are 50% Merino and 50% Tussah silk. I used size US 2 needles.

There are 6 panels of 15 different patterns. There was a total of 91 different lace patterns in the sampler. They all came from Susanna Lewis's Knitting Lace.

Here are a few of the patterns in panel one:
I loved the project so much. It was one of those projects where I loved the finished product, but wished the project could go on forever.

If you do like lace knitting, I highly recommend the book. The patterns were gleaned from a 19th century lace sampler in the Brooklyn Museum.

If you like, I'll occasionally post additional patterns from the sampler. Just ask.

Fun to do. Putting colors next to each other.

Question. How do you avoid this? I'm about to throw it out, but it seems so wasteful.

Actually, my threads weren't this piled up until I threw them together, but they were not neat.

Lessons learned today:
  • I love color. 
  • I'm getting threads all over everywhere.
  • The ingrained habit of washing hands my before working on a project pertains to embroidery even more than some other art.
I was having a discussion offline about enjoying the journey instead of working to get to the destination. I'm very much a journey person. I enjoy ending up with a finished product, but I always feel a little sad when I complete a project.

This stands as one of my favorite projects:
It's a lace sampler based on the book Knitting Lace by Susanna Lewis.

This remains one of my favorite books of all time.

I'm heading off to bed since tomorrow is a work day. I am going to work at home tomorrow, so it'll be fun and relaxing...and I'll sneak a few stitches here and there.

Aloha, and I'm wishing you a wonderful rest of your week.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I wanted a little raised center for the flower. I learned a few things:

  • It's very hard to rip out teeny, tiny beads once they're firmly attached.
  • Tweezers would be a handy thing to have near you when you're picking out tiny threads after you snip teeny, tiny beads loose.
  • It's fun to just play with the thread since you might accidentally figure out a way to make what you wanted without thinking about it too much.
I also noticed this week that working 10 hour days 9 days in a row does not make it easy to spend time doing anything but staring into space.

It was hard for me to work on the project, but I really felt better after I got started. The soothing rhythm of stitching is so soothing. And even though it's not much, it felt good to accomplish something I could touch. Much better than mindlessly playing computer games.

I hope you're having a great week.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Now I understand why they call them French Knots.

I was being very, very careful and decided I'd redo one of the knots. Wonders of wonders, it was a knot and didn't want to come out. I guess sometimes scissors can be our best friend.

Wish the colors were better in my pics. By the time I get to work on my project it's dark. Flash doesn't seem to work either. The background of my project is such a lovely blue. One of these days I'll get to take a picture in the sunlight.

I also noticed that big hoops are great for some things, but really make a project non-mobile.

I hope you're enjoying things this week.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

1 Year of Stitches - Day 3

I saw a Hibiscus plant today that was so beautiful. It was orange and yellow with splashes of red.

A package I've been waiting for appeared today. It contained this:


It was literally taking me 40 minutes to thread my needle. This worked on the first try in a matter of seconds. It was the best $15 I've spent in a long time.

Taking so long to thread needles before this arrived helped me feel good about myself. I relaxed and kept at it until I was successful. My Dear Husband tried to help, but he couldn't hold on to the tiny needle I was using with his big fingers. We laughed.

He enjoyed the needle threader tonight as much as I did. It was magic.

Joy can be found in the most unexpected ways.

I hope you're having a great week.

Monday, January 2, 2017

1 Year of Stitches - Day 2

This was going to be a wave. It gradually turned into a question mark made of a wave.

Today was one big question mark.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

1 Year in Stitches - Day One

The first five stitches:

Not much different than the blank fabric:


A bit of frustration. Not about the project. About the camera and transferring files. That and it's dark and I can't get a pick that really shows the color.

Tomorrow I'll take a pic in the sunshine.

Tonight I'll keep remembering, "Now."