Traveling Episode #94

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We’re home from our travels and we want to share some of our adventures with you! Check out this newest episode! Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review for us on iTunes!

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Check out our good friend Stephanie Socha’s new podcast, Make and Decorate!

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TGIFF: My Circa Quilt

This past week and I was able to sit down and wrap up another quilt! My Circa quilt was started in May of 2015. I used a Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorial on their YouTube channel called the Double Sliced Layer Cake. It was a really simple pattern and made for a really dynamic top.

The Circa layer cake has a really vintage feel to it with the muted colors and the pops of red. So I chose to frame this top with off-white and black to give it a clean finish.

I’m super excited about this quilt because it’s MINE! The first one I’ve made just for me. It’s what I would look like if I was a quilt!

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I used an Aurifil red thread* to quilt the top in a geometric pattern of boxes. It’s a very tightly quilted top so when washed, it scrunches up really nicely.

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I matched the red in the quilt with a red backing framed again by black. Right before I started binding, I did run a quick black straight stitch throughout the border to tack it down.

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Now it’s been washed and dried and has the cozy, cuddly look. I still have some threads to bury (as is evidence in the above photo). This quilting pattern took A LOT of thread so there was a lot of stopping and starting. I need to get out my Sench needles to finish up that last step for this beauty.

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Mid-Year Check Up Episode #93

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We’re back with episode 93! Today we sat down and did a mid-year check in with the words we each chose for ourselves the year.

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My mom picked challenge and is working on challenging herself to find balance between all her crafty activities and to push herself beyond her comfort zone.

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I picked progress to encourage myself just to take small steps and not focus so much on the end result.

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TGIFF: The Marvel Quilt

It’s official, my friends. Jake’s Marvel quilt is done! I had been working on this project for 3 years and my son had lately been asking kindly when it would be finished. He wanted a quilt he could use while he could still fit under it.

I’ve been about 85% of the way done for a few weeks with only the last bits of quilting to be done. I started the quilting a little off centered (totally meant to do that….) and I did a simple straight line in a the shape of a square to quilt it down. I used my walking foot and just kept it simple. Due to the off-centering of my square (that I MEANT to do….), I had to improvise as I came around to that last bit of quilting.

But I ran into a few problems that I just couldn’t see my way through.

Then my friend came over for a quilting date and she really helped me solve the issues I was having with the project. She helped me find solutions that got me out of the corner I had backed myself into. I helped me get excited as the light at the end of the tunnel suddenly became brighter.

So I used the motivation from my friend’s visit to get the work done. I squared it up, trimmed the excess, and proceeded to make the binding from the left over backing fabric. I figured this WOW, POW, WOOZE fabric would tie it all together nicely.

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Click here to visit Amazon* for your own Mary Ellen’s Best Press.

Then I sat down and attached it. All the quilting was done in red thread so I continued to use it on the binding. I figured if I messed up anything, it wouldn’t stand out so much when the thread is all the same color.

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Normally I hand bind but it’s been hellishly hot and having that much fabric draped over me was uncomfortable enough so I decided to bind with my machine instead. It worked out fine and got the job done fast.

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As quickly as the dream had come to me for this block, suddenly I was done! I don’t know what was holding me back for so long because once I got it in me to finish, it just rolled around and was done!

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So the problem I had was with the backing. My solid blue fabric was was just NOT big enough and after many trips to the store to buy more fabric and MORE FABRIC every time I ran out of something, I did not want to go back! So using what I had, I made panels on the sides to frame the blue backing. But that made the backing too BIG! It was a battle I was losing.

The decision then was to trim it down to a single panel on one side and leave it. But as I started to quilt, I realized a bottom square was starting to unravel. I couldn’t leave it and quilting it wouldn’t be enough to hold it together so I decided to take it out and replace it with another block that was holding together much better. But that decision made a mess of the bottom row and caused it to shift. Now my backing wasn’t lining up and trimming it would mean losing some of the borders…..GAH!!!!

It was my friend’s eye that helped me. She suggested I just take that same “word” fabric (WOW,  POW, WOOZE) and add a strip to the bottom at the back so that it lined up. And it worked perfectly!

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What can I say! My son loves his quilt! He’s already slept with it a few nights and he’s excited for it to soften up with use.

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And I can proudly say that I officially made him a quilt long before he out grew it! YAY!!

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Catching Up Episode #92

Time to catch up with us here at Hobbies Up To Here! The annual Katie-Needs-A-Month-Off event has come and gone. We’re now buckling up for a crafty summer together and a regular recording schedule (we hope)!

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The Beatles quilt, Blackbird, has officially been accepted into the OC Fair 2018! We hope you get the chance to see it in person if you are in town!

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Kitting Up!

Have you ever excitedly grabbed a new cross stitch chart, then quickly pulled out your (or so you thought!) extensive stash of fabric, floss and needles only to find that you were missing key elements that you needed to start your project right at that moment?

Argh!  Join the club!

Because I’ve had this happen one too many times, I’ve committed to kitting up my projects ahead of time.  What’s “kitting” you ask?  Wellll lemme tell you!  It works!  It’s saved me many a tear and tantrum lol!

Here’s how I go about kitting a project:  As soon as I get a new chart, I go to the aforementioned stash, and start shopping.  Hopefully, I have stitching fabric that will work well, and one that I enjoy stitching on, that also is a color compliment to the chart design.  What’s the point of buying fabric if I don’t use it, right?  Next, I grab my DMC floss, and begin to search for the chart’s list of colors, checking them off one by one.  Then (and here’s my favorite part!) I go to my hand and over dyed floss, and see of I can substitute them for any DMC I’m missing, or switch out the DMC I’ve pulled for more custom dyed colors.  I’ve also taken the time to print out conversion charts from Stitches ‘n Things for Weeks Dye Works, Classic Colorworks Threads and Gentle Art Sampler Threads to make things easier for me.

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New haul! Now to start organizing and kitting them up!

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Shopping for floss in my stash! Some of these skeins are over thirty years old lol!

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Ahhhhhhh all the gorgeousmus stitching fabric options in my “collection”!

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I made some project envelopes after following instructions from Vonna Pfeifer’s YouYube tutorial. Everything is present and accounted for, and in a safe place! I can start stitching on any one of these projects any time I want. 🙂

When I’m done with that part of the process, I make a list of anything I’m missing.  Whether I shop online, or run to Joanne for DMC or my local needlework shop We, Of The Needle for speciality items, it’s my goal to have EVERYTHING in place and in a project envelope for when I can sit down and stitch.  No more frustration!

I hope this helps!

Happy Stitching!

Dori 🙂

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When To Ditch A Project

It’s never easy to admit when a craft is no longer working for you.

What? You say that’s NEVER happened to you? Lies!

Every crafter has had that moment when a project or a style or a craft no longer brings you joy and you need to make a decision about what to do. Should you power through and finish? Well, most of us would because that’s what we do! We finish!

(or we quietly stuff it away in a cupboard and forget about it until years later when we decide to declutter and find the abandoned project buried deep within the recesses of a dark drawer….but that’s a whole other blog post…)

But there is another path we can choose…

This week I had to make the decision about my newest cross stitch project. It was a kit passed on to me from my mom. She received it from a friend that didn’t stitch and wanted to find a good, crafty home for it to go to. So my mom adopted it but soon realized it wasn’t her style so she kindly passed it on to me so that I could sink my teeth into cross stitching with a simple project.

But not long after starting did the real struggle begin. My stitches looked clumpy and I couldn’t clearly see where my next stitch was supposed to go. The fabric I was stitching onto was separating funny and my thread snapped when I had to remove a few stitches.

Now I’ve stitched in the past so I’m not completely newbie at this so I was starting to get frustrated. My memory of stitching was not this daunting! I’d never had my floss snap! And my stitches had never started out fine and then begin to turn straight. I had to undo stitch after stitch to try to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Then I saw my mom and explain my situation. And she just looked and me as say “Then don’t do it.”

WHAT?! Stop a project and not push through!?! INSANE!

But she’s right. Crafting shouldn’t be a chore. It should be fun and satisfying with a little side of challenging. And not SO challenging that you want to pull your hair out!

I did I what she suggested. I pulled my project out of the hoop (because let’s be real, I can always use a good hoop) and ditched this cross stitch project. I’m going to move on to bigger and better things that bring me joy!

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Multi-Craftual Episode #91

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Hello all our craft friends. Welcome to Hobbies Up To Here! My mom and I got the chance to sit down and chat about some crafts we’ve got our EYES on. Yup! Things we’d like to do in the future, things we wished we were trying out as we speak but we’re holding back due to a million little reasons (mostly because we already do so much).

Don’t forget to pop over to our YouTube channel (link below) and check out our first FlossTube video!

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Adventures In 3D Sewing: The Paris Purse

There are soooo many wonderful bag and purse patterns available today. While at the Orange Quilt Bee a couple of years ago, I saw one I just had to have, and instantly had someone in mind to gift it to.

My daughter Jennifer’s birthday was coming up, and I didn’t want to give her the normal card with a check as a gift. This Susan Rooney Patterns Versatile Wave Interchangeable Purse by Ruthann Stilwell pattern was perfect!


I also wanted to look for fabric that was reflective of her, and if I could, something that would bring to mind a memory that she and I shared exclusively. She and I spent two weeks in Paris a few years ago, so that’s where my mind went. Now to find a fabric that reflected that!

Luckily, I had no problem in that regard. What I really liked about this pattern, was that it was actually two bags in one; a quilted faux leather clutch alone, or add the reversible outer shell, and it became a shoulder bag.

I did a simple straight line quilting pattern on the faux leather.  Easy peasy!

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I added pockets to the lining of the purse with the faux leather.  I looove that print fabric!

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This is a view of the finished “clutch” part of the purse.  I could have stopped there, but nope! Onto the outer, reversible shell!

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Here’s the finished purse. I love the scalloped edge! The button helps to attach the shell, and adds interest.  The straps are detachable, so the clutch can be used independently.
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This final photograph shows all three views;  the clutch, the reversible shell with the neutral fabric showing, and then that lovely Paris fabric!  And yes, that’s a photo of Jennifer and me when she was itsybitsy!
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This was a fun project to make. It had been a long time since I’d inserted a zipper;  sewing with faux leather was a new experience, as well as adding the hardware;  I’m glad I tackled it. Jennifer was tickled with her custom birthday gift! Yay!

Enjoy your crafty day!

Hugs,
Dori

Sharing Our Favorites Episode #90

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We’re still in celebration mode! It’s our 3rd anniversary and we’re partyin’ like we don’t have to get up the next day! And this episode is a list of some of our current favorite podcasts, YouTube channels, and books.

Here is a list of our favorite things right now. Check them out and share with us YOUR favorites!

Sewing: Podcasts
Sewing Out Loud – Mallory and Zede
Love To Sew – Helen and Caroline
Sewing: Books
Fit For Real People – Pati Palmer

Quilting: Podcasts
Off Kilter Quilt – Francis O’Roake Dowell
My Creative Corner 3 – Vicki Holloway
Lazy Daisy Quilts – Daisy Fredricks
Quilting: Books
It’s Okay If You Sit On My Quilt Book – Mary Ellen Hopkins
Quilting Made Vintage – Jera Brandvig
Christa Watson Quilting Books – Christa Watson
Quilting: YouTube Channels
Midnight Quilting Show – Angela Walters
Missouri Star Quilt Co – Jenny Doan
Fat Quarter Shop – Kimberly Jolly
The Quilt Codex – Zarkadia

Knitting: Podcasts
Craftish – Vickie Howell
Curious Handmade – Helen Stewart
Knitting: Books
Stitch ‘n Bitch – Debbie Stoller
Cables Untangles – Melissa Leapman
New Knits On The Block – Vickie Howell
Knitting: YouTube
Legacy Knitz – Chelsea and Sue
A Makers Pilgrimage – Aidan

Stitching: YouTube
Twisted Stitcher – Vonna Pfeiffer
FlossTube
Stitching: Podcast
Fiber Talk – Gary Par and Christine Williams

Katie’s Random Sh*t: Books
Love Her Wild – Atticus
Katie’s Random Sh*t: YouTube
GlamlifeGuru – Tati Westbrook
Rachhloves – Rachel Cooper
BeautyBroadcast – Emily Noel
Katie’s Random Sh*t: Podcasts
LeVar Burton Reads – LeVar Burton
Lore – Aaron Mahnke
Tales – Vanessa Richardson
Haunted Places – Greg Polcyn