Too Much to Choose From

I guess it’s time to get my head out of the clouds of Wai’ale’ale and back to real life! Which at this point in time revolves around my on-going job hunting (a SUPER slow process) and working at the Bobbin’s Nest online store. These things actually keep me fairly busy, but I can’t keep myself from scheming about lots of other things as well.

One of those things is cooking. I’m always looking for new things to learn, and lately cooking has come to the forefront. I can follow a recipe pretty well, but I don’t know how to throw things together and am terrible at looking at the stuff in the fridge and coming up with something to do with it. I feel that if I were better about that then I wouldn’t have to do so much meal planning and shopping-list-making in order to get dinners to work out all the time. And I really dislike the meal planning.

I just finished reading The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn. I really enjoyed this book and learned a lot of just basic non-recipe kinds of stuff. It certainly has helpful stuff about how to cook a piece of meat without having to have a specific recipe on how to do it. I’m hoping it helps!

I also can’t seem to stop my brain from planning knitting and sewing projects. Case in point – while I already have a knitting project on the needles and a lace sweater project waiting in the wings, as well as a new sewing project (more on that soon), I’m seriously thinking about two (well, or six, depending on how you count them) other sewing projects.

Ikea Flower Fabric with Bolt for backing

I’m still working on getting rid of some things from my stash. I’ve done some calculations involving some fabrics I got at IKEA three years ago, and some bolts of average solids that I got super cheap nearly as long ago.

Ikea Flower Fabric with bolt for backing

The scale of these fabrics is huge. Those are whole bolts lying on top of them. I’ve calculated if I use the solids on the bolts for backings, I can make 2 quilts out of the huge flowers, each about 55″ x 70″. And I can make three quilts out of the smaller flower print, each about 55″ x 65″. Because of the scale of the prints, they aren’t going to work very well to piece together to make something actually twin-sized or bigger in width.

At any rate, that’s a lot of quilts! I need to buy 9 yards of batting off the bolt to make them all. I’m not sure that I’m up for that much quilting. I would probably do something minimal — straight lines to mimic the green lines (stems?) in the fabric. Nothing fancy at all. Maybe I’ll start with the two quilts from the big flower and see if I can get that done.

The plan would be to give all of these away when they are finished. I really don’t need more quilts hanging around here at the moment. Not really. So, we’ll see if I get started on that. I’m very motivated to move some things out of my stash, and this would help a lot with some fabrics that I really don’t know what else to do with.

The other thing I have in mind is a dress.

Lisette pattern with possible fabrics

This is a little crazy, because I really don’t have any need to wear a dress these days. But I wore the first version of this dress, which I made a few months back, when we went to dinner for our anniversary in Hawaii, and I was struck again with how much I love this pattern.

Lisette Passport Dress

And now that it’s been altered to fit and everything, it should be super easy to put together, right? And the thought of doing it in two fabrics — the blue cotton shirting I bought in Hanoi for the top and the yellow Momo Wonderland fabric for the bottom — is really calling to me.

I honestly don’t think the dress should take that long. If I could find a couple of days to devote to it, I think I could get it done. It’s just finding the time. And I hate starting projects and then not being able to get back to them.

Stay tuned, and I’ll show you how the progress on my gigantic shawl is going!

Pineapple Teaser

My friends, we had a FABULOUS time in Kauai. We hiked, we ate, we snorkeled, we ate, we browsed, we ate, I knit (but just a little), we ate.

While I’m parsing through all the photos from the trip, I wanted to go ahead and post something for you to whet your appetite, so to speak.

Handmade Fabric Pineapples

I have never seen fabric pineapples like these before. They were being sold in a gallery in Koloa called The Koa Store. They look like a bunch of little prairie points assembled together.

This one caught my eye — it’s made from one of my favorite Fresh Cut fabrics from Heather Bailey!

Handmade Fabric Pineapple

And there were life-size versions as well that I nearly missed!

Lifesize Handmade Pineapple

I did have permission to photograph these from the woman working there. Aren’t they stunning? Click on the photos to go over to Flickr where you can see super enlarged versions.

Coming up…stunning scenery, fun details, gorgeous color, and shop tours!!

Quick Doorstop from Liberty Home Sewing

Back in December, I received a copy of the Liberty Book of Home Sewing.

One of the first projects I had my eye on to make was the cute little doorstop.

Liberty Sewing Doorstop

We have our windows open a lot in the summer since we don’t have air conditioning, and the door to the spare bedroom/office/sewing room is forever slamming shut in a highly unpleasant way. I thought this would be perfect!

Liberty Sewing Doorstop

It’s only a little bit fiddly, and comes together really quickly. This fabric is something I’ve had in my stash for ages. It never seems to work for any project I have in mind, but it finally worked out perfectly for this one! I think it’s maybe from Alexander Henry?

I considered filling this with BBs so it would REALLY hold the door, but I was honestly afraid that the seams would rip out. BBs are really dense. REALLY dense. So, I went with rice and hoped it would be heavy enough. If it’s not, I have enough fabric to make another one. Surely two will hold the door open, right?

Liberty Sewing Doorstop

And I just love the adorable little handle on the top. A great touch!

Still Ringing in the New Year

While I’ve been catching you up on projects I was working on as far back as November, a variety of things have been afoot at our house.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, the awesome shop (Bobbin’s Nest Studio) where I have been working for the past two years is closing its brick-and-mortar doors and going strictly online. The owner, the employees, and the customers are all really sad that we are closing, but sometimes difficult business decisions have to be made!

I’m going to miss not seeing my wonderful coworkers all the time, but we’ll have to make some efforts to get together with each other periodically. I’ll be continuing to help the owner with the online store, but that won’t even require me to see her in person all that much.

The last day of the brick and mortar store in Santa Clara, CA, will be next Tuesday, Jan. 31. We are clearancing out all the stuff that we aren’t currently carrying in our online store, so if you live in the area, you might make some effort to come by and look for a bargain!

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to clear out my project cue. I had a few requests from my family that I took care of (a seat cushion for my mother, a label for my sister’s quilt, and a pair of fingerless gloves for my sister), which I knocked out fairly quickly.

And I’ve been working on the second quilt from my stash that I wanted to do. Part of my use it or lose it plan. I finished that just the other day and hope to have a tiny bit of sunshine tomorrow so I can get some pictures.

Another part of my use it or lose it New Year’s approach to my stash of stuff was to make curtains for the living room. I have a number of HUGE pieces of fabric from IKEA that I have had for 5 years and need to be put to some use. This piece was big enough and the right colors for curtains for our living room.

New Curtains!

The fabric is fairly thin, but there are some of those ugly vertical blinds (provided by the landlord) on the window as well, so now we can open the blinds and get some light in without having people see in. It also helps minimize the early morning glare by filtering the light. My husband and I are both really enjoying them already!

New Curtains!

And there is likely to be a big employment shake-up around here, both for me and my husband, both in good ways. Maybe very good ways. So, between being super busy at the store this month and the new job stuff going on, it’s been very busy in a less crafty way. But I’m trying to clear out that backlog of projects in case there is a big shake-up! I’ll definitely keep you posted!

On Pins & Needles

Little Pins & Needles Books

I have a little zipper pouch that I put my hand sewing bits in to carry around with me, and for the longest time I’ve been needing somewhere to put the couple of needles I’m currently using and a few pins. Instead of just cutting a square of felt, I thought I’d make myself the cute little book from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts.

Little Pins & Needles Books

But it seemed a shame to make just one, so all my crafty friends now have one as well!

FYI – I used the cheapo polyester craft felt I had lying around, not nice wool felt, which I’m sure would have worked better. But I was eager to just do this with what I had on hand!

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