Sunday, February 27, 2011

Needlework on the go ...

One of the main things that I am doing while here in Panama, is learning more about needlework and the many wonderful fibers and stitches. I have joined the ANG (American Needlework Guild) as well as a couple of stitching Yahoo groups.

One of the UFO's that I currently have almost completed is a series of Halloween letters that make up into blocks of varying sizes spelling "Happy Halloween". These blocks are currently at the finisher who is making them in to the blocks with an attaching hook at varying places so that I can make a mobile out of them. I have to dig through my various photos to find photos of the canvases. These were small enough that I could carry them on the long bus rides that occur as a PC volunteer - we can't drive. It makes for fast work and good conversation with others who are riding. Many of the women are very interested and want to know where I bought the threads. They absolutely love them and often, have never been exposed to the different ones that we have access to.

Once I finished the stitching of these blocks I joined another group that gave me the same size blocks, but this time spelling Christmas. They, for some reason, are going slower. I am only onto the "I" in Christmas and just received the last "S" kit. So I had better get to work. You know how some things just don't tickle your fancy? Well, this is one project that I just can't peak my interest. But it will get done!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Help, I need ...

Help, I need to fins a different calendar, one that is just a calendar, without all the over-writing pop-ups. So back to the drawing board!

Just another ho-hum evening in the land of plenty.

The first of many UFO's ...

Last night I finished the first of many UFO's that I have in my "sewing cupboard". This tablecloth was started as I needed something to brighten the kitchen. Had plans for more accessories but alas, not to be. At least I finished the tablecloth. This was cut and sewn from a picture - no pattern - with lots of "rip it, rip it, rip it!" But as I kept the final sewn measurements, even though there are some still in need of adjustment, I think that I can recreate it at will.

It looks great in the kitchen and I love the yellow and the blue together. Here in Panama, however, I couldn't find good coordinating fabrics. So my quilting friends came to the rescue and raided their stashes for me. Next time, I will buy all the fabrics together rather than just the focal one with hopes of matching it.

In my new kitchen when we move back to the US and buy a house, I hope to have a Dutch colored kitchen with Dutch Delft accessories and tiles in the backsplash. To this effort, I have been collecting Dutch Delft patterns - any out there that their owners would like to share? I also have another UFO in needlework of an old Dutch masters painting that I discovered tucked away in a shop here in the Highlands. It is dull and dreary but I think would off-set the brightness of white and blue with a bit of yellow thrown in. Plans yes, but reality, we shall see ... a long ways off yet as we live in a motorhome when in the US and I can tell you, my kitchen is not blue and white with yellow accents! hmmmm could that be another project?

Getting started ...

Getting started with a new blog must have a reason. Mine is multifaceted: I joined an awesome Yahoo sewing machine group and a quilting group; i love to sew/quilt, needlework, knit, and bead. I am a jack-of all trades. Thus I want a blog that can encompass all of these, not so much for others, but as a means to compile, keep memories, and share my endeavors.

Starting something new such as this blog, brings up many new questions, questions that don't always rise to the surface immediately. Thus the phrase, "work in progress" is very apt.

Do I go back and try to put up past projects? Do I make separate pages for each separate entity? Do I even have pictures, and if not, do I even mention those entities that can't be verified? And so they go ...

Instead of pondering, I will jump right in with 2 feet and 2 busy hands.

What started all of this?

I am a Peace Corps volunteer and, with other American volunteers in my community, am teaching basic sewing and quilting lasses to the local women. We are hoping for a sustainable project by teaching not only the craft of quilting but also basic business sense and methods, that will allow the women to add to their income. We are also encouraging "social conscience" by doing group donation projects. Of course, with this endeavor, one must sew and/or quilt the anticpated class project beforehand as a demonstration and model. So here I was, doing all of this on a basic Brother sewing machine that I absolutely loved, until it came to machine quilting anything bigger than a table runner. Then it was a long string of curses. My dear DH offered me a new (if not too expensive) sewing machine that would allow me to quilt larger projects without the blue air surrounding me and the machine.

This led to an internet search and ultimately a new Janome 6600P machine. Through a local contact here in-country I learned of a quilting Yahoo group and a Janome Yahoo group. Joining both has opened up a whole new world for me and quite a few of the members have blogs of their own, far more sophisticated than mine. Both groups are not open, but easily joined. [Links found to the side.]

In the meantime, I had also found, and joined, a needlework Yahoo group. This has proven to be a great help in my learning curve for needlework. Through this group, fortunately or unfortunately, I have discovered many more projects and now have embarked on a huge one that will no doubt take up much of my stitching time over the next few months.

As with any craft/interest that one is involved with, one has many UFO's (unfinished projects). And I think this is where I will start ...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Can you really blog a creative endeavor?

Starting a blog that is specifically related to a creative endeavor is somewhat tricky … how to keep it close and true to subject and yet interesting enough for anyone who should want to or even stumble onto the site. At the encouragement of my many new friends online and here in the community, I am going to start a systematic method (I hope) of keeping my endeavors catalogued. Many a thing I have made, only to gift it and not even have a picture of it as a reminder. Memories fade over time and the ideas associated with that particular endeavor are lost for good.

Well, at least I have made a start ...