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!


Beginning Embroidery Floss Tips

I’ve recently picked up my embroidery projects again and I’m loving the simplicity of stitching while I watch TV at the end of the day with my husband. I’ve got my big zenbroidery project that I’ve been playing with again which meant I needed to pick up a few new colors of floss to round out my collection that I’m using.

That got me to thinking about the way I’m organizing my stash. Originally I had my floss collection all wrapped around some plastic Darice bobbins and tucked away in a clear box that was falling apart and looking pretty shabby. I mean, to be honest, it was the same box I used as a teenager to make friendship bracelets.

With my new floss in hand, I sat down to declutter and organized my collection. I’m a huge believer in using the plastic Darice floss bobbins* because I find that these are more sturdy than the cardboard ones.

I also don’t write my floss ID number on the bobbin. Instead, I cut the number off the floss and wind it with the thread.

It makes for simple identification of each color and also makes organizing super simple.

I added those hearts when I was younger and I’m thinking of sticking to it. It adds a little pizzaz to each bobbin.

I have an adopted set of floss from a friend and those are wrapped on cardboard bobbins and a pen and/or pencil was used to mark the colors. Those, I’m finding, are fading and can be hard to read. A good example of why I choose to mark and store my floss the way I do.

By some luck, my husband had some clear plastic cases in his new tool kit that he wasn’t going to use. They are meant for nails and screws. I took one look and realized they would be the perfect fit for my floss stash. And they are smaller so I can take them away with me and carry them in my purse rather than hauling along the big ol’ plastic cases.

Ah! There is something so satisfying when I see all those well wrapped and organized colors lined up. Very comforting.

Well, hobbyists, if you are a beginning embroiderer, these might be some worthy tips to consider. Now if you search on Pinterest, there are LOADS of other tips so use your fingers and do some Googling to find the methods that work best for you!

And if you want to see more on my reorganization of craft room and all my supplies, check out my Youtube video on my recent decluttering! Don’t forget to subscribe that you don’t miss any new videos!

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Interview With My Dad Episode #79

Can you believe it? We finally have a guest!
My dad joins us to chat about Frankie!

Yes, this was how they sat together.

Too cute!

One of Dori’s little stitching projects. So adorable!

My brain!

This is my AVID wall in my room. It’s slowly coming together!

And my husband is proudly sporting a new look this fall. He is wearing his handmade Friendship Quilt! Only took me 2 years to finish this bad boy (the quilt, not the husband)!

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TGIFF: The Music Quilt Is Done!

I did it!  Whoo hoo!  The Music Quilt is finished and ready to be a birthday present for my youngest!

I began with a layer cake called “All Amped Up” that I got from Missouri Quilt Company. The pattern I used was from MQC’s YouTube video Double Slice Layer Cake Quilt Tutorial.  This was so much fun, I’ve ordered the same layer cake to make this quilt for my hubby!

The rows almost finished and up on my design wall. Yay!

I love the backing fabric! 
When it came time to actually quilt, I froze a bit.  This was my first time, and I was intimidated.  The hubs came to the rescue, both by inspiring me, and mapping out a simple diagonal straight stitch pattern that I could do with some confidence.  He even marked the whole thing!   

Fighting the bulk of the quilt was my greatest challenge, but I got it done in one day.  Here’s the final result and it’s label! 

I originally chose a different fabric for the binding, but found it easier to trim the backing and wrap it around to the front.  Katie found a tutorial about this process to help me along called Quilt Binding Without Binding.

Check out our side bar for all the great sites we link up with weekly. Today this post is linked to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF at Quilt Matters, A Quilter Passion, and over at Richard and Tanya Quilts.

Thanks for all of your support and love my friends!  Have a wonderful weekend!


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A Binding Mistake


After making huge progress on my son’s quilt Wednesday, I was still very much in the mood to keep working on it. Usually, it goes in spurts but right now I’m on a roll so I decided to take advantage of it and start the binding.

I have to confess, it’s been so long since the last time I finished a quilt that I had to refresh my memory on how to actually make and attach the binding. So I searched You Tube and found this great video. Short, sweet, and simple. And, it totally brought back all that I remembered from before.

Feeling confident about this next step, I got to cutting the strips of yellow material for the binding. I gave it a generous 2 1/2 inch width with the assumption that I’ll make a mistake in the cutting or sewing.


Ahhhh, fresh strips! After cutting them up I went straight to the machine to start piecing them together. I was feeling confident! This was going to be a breeze.

My goal was to string them together in one go so that I wasn’t lining up, lifting the foot, sewing, cutting, setting it aside then starting over. I wanted a fluid string of binding to keep it neat and simple. It turned out to be rather easy to go from one end of a strip to another and seemed to make things easier to remember what direction to sew in by looking at the one just before it. So far, things were going well! At least, that’s what I thought…


Here we go…

Or maybe not. Ugh…


Something isn’t right here.

In my confidence I didn’t attach the right sides together but I didn’t figure that out till I got all done with every strip. Even while I was holding it, things seemed fine. The wrong sides were together and the right sides came together as one long yellow strip. WOOHOO! I was feeling so giddy that I had whipped the binding together in a flash that I didn’t pay attention to the fact that the seams would be on the WRONG SIDE!!! Booo!!!


It wasn’t until I started to trim the excess off so I could press the seams down that I noticed something was amiss. Then it hit, the seams were on the outside. This was NOT going to work. Like a balloon losing air fast, I deflated and pulled out my seam ripper. At this point the husband was in the room and watching me grumble curse words at the binding while I rip, rip, RIPPED my way through.

He suggested that I put off the seam ripping for a bit to watch an episode of Doctor Who and clear my head. I agreed. If I stuck with it I may find myself not wanting to pick it back up and I’m so close to being done that I’d rather step away when I can and then come back when my  mind is clearer.

If I have my way and get the free time this weekend, I’d LOVE to have this quilt done by Sunday. For now, it’s still a work in progress.

The Process Pledge

Crafty Corner: After

This past weekend was gorgeous. The sun was out and the sky was clear. It honestly felt like summer had come early. My son and I even got a little sun kissed from being outside while he rode his bike.

While my son rode his bike back and forth along the hot pavement, I took some me-time to work on my crafty corner. Yeah, that old thing was still a mess even though I had made some small improvements by moving out the wire shelves. But that was it. I had actually done very little.

But the day was warm and the neighbors were working on the clutter in their garage. Their energy must have been contagious because I quickly began to work on my room and soon I had all my stamping and papercraft buckets lined along the wall and my sewing table had been mostly cleared. With this little change the room opened up and seemed a little more manageable.

Then I went to work on the sewing table and the corner where I hold all my material. I cleared away the things that didn’t belong on my machine table and picked up some scraps and trash. Soon it was starting to look more usable and not just a storage corner for all things crafty.

While I was working, I found some small strips of material cut for a project I had long forgotten. They were from a Moda pack I had pulled apart for a disaster of a project for my son’s teachers last year.

Well now, aren’t these colors great together? I thought so too. After the table was de-cluttered, I sat down with some blue thread and quickly stitched the strips together. Once I was done, I put them to the side and wondered what else I could sew together while I sat here.

That’s when I saw the remaining Lollipop Moda stack sitting there unused. These were meant to be mug rugs but that project went nowhere and I officially stopped sewing because of the frustration over those guys not coming together.

So I grabbed two and sewed them together.

Just like that, I was quietly grabbing two squares at a time without much thought to the combinations or any pattern and I was sewing little pairs of fabric.

What will I do with this? No clue. But I felt like I was taking back a little of what I had lost. A sense of forward motion, some creativity, and that feeling of togetherness. Maybe of completion? Not sure yet but there is something positive about taking things that are just sitting around and putting them together and working toward a final destination.

I did a few pairs and then was called outside to witness a “Bike Parade”. My son and his friends were all set up with chairs for the audience and players were chosen to ride for the crowd in a procession fit for a king. They were giggling and being silly, wearing cookie costumes and wildly yelling as they rode by.

It was a good weekend.

I Have To Do WHAT!??!

Life is not perfect. Nothing is seamless, spotless or perfectly pressed.

And as with life, quilting is also not perfect.

Or so I’m learning.

I am a beginner. I’ve never taken a class and all my skills are hard learned at home, on my own. It ain’t easy but I have a passion for putting together fabrics and making things.

There is nothing like finishing a quilt that lifts my spirit and makes me feel accomplished. Well, maybe making a fabulous dinner party happen where everyone RAVES over how lovely it was and how good the food was. And that I didn’t burn the house down.

But, as much as I love to quilt, it has it’s downside.

I’ll be honest with ya here and just share a few things I *hate* about quilting.

The dreaded rotary cutter

The cutting. Oi…I can’t cut straight worth snot. Things always have a curve or always start out fine and end up a little bit smaller or bigger at the other end. Sigh, it annoys me GREATLY that nothing I cut comes out perfectly. I’m always having to adjust during sewing to to make up for my lack of straight cutting.

My mom taught me how to tears strips with the fabric’s grain so that you don’t have to cut it. That works sometimes but every once in awhile you get a material that doesn’t want to tear properly. Ugh. So you’ll be working on something that has multiple fabrics and just one wants to go wonky on ya.

So that’s my first gripe.

My second issue is binding. Seriously now, why must my binding never come out the same way? I’m either right on with the binding on the back and my front side is crooked or messy OR my front side is looking great and then I turn it over to find a mess.

Stupid binding…

Uh oh....binding

And don’t get my started on hand stitching the binding. I did my son’s bear’s quilt that way and it was ghastly. So I started to machine the binding and it’s still not great but good enough.

Obviously I have LOADS to learn…

These things never seem to go smoothly and are the top reasons why it takes me so long to finish a quilt. I’ll get to the cutting and get frustrated. I’ll put it aside and move onto another project, one I’ve already cut and sweat through or one of the pre-cut sets I love because the cutting is done for me.

And the binding is probably the hardest because there are so many steps to get through and I just get tired of it because I know when I go to attach it, something will go wrong and I’ll put it down to be finished later.

Yes, I know. I can see that I’m practically whining about two essential parts of making a quilt from beginning to end. Totally see what I’m doing there.

But every negative has a positive so for these two dislikes, I have some extremely positive loves. Like picking the material, piecing it together.

Sewing on my good ol’ machine and listening to it whirl. Pressing my seams and then turning it over to see my hard work paying off.

MITERED CORNERS! Probably my dorkiest love of quilting. Seriously, I’d marry a mitered corner if it was possible, I love them so much. Somehow, even with my binding problems, my mitered corners come out freakin’ fan-damn-tastic and I love it.

Let’s Begin At The Beginning

1986 or 1987

This is not my quilt. Nor is that little being me.

This is my mother’s quilt. And that is my sister about age 3.

I remember this quilt. I remember the cutting and the pinning.

The large cardboard mat that was laid out on the floor that we would use in our make-believe games.

I remember my mom cutting her hand. Right in the webbing of her thumb.


This is still not my quilt. And it’s still not me.

This is still my mother’s quilt. And this little human is my son.

In 25 years the colors have worn off and the quilt is well loved in many areas.

But the memories and the comfort it provides still linger.

This is not my quilt, it’s my dream. My mother’s legacy.

I may not be a great quilter but I’m just beginning.

I may not sew the straightest seams or cut in perfect lines. But I’m working on it.

With each simple pattern and design I complete, the better I become.

Give me a chance. Watch me sew.