Thursday, April 29, 2010

15 Minutes a Day!

Who knew - It works!  So the plan:  Check out your projects that you want to finish, but tend to put off.  Break it down into chunks that can reasonably done in 15 minutes.  I wrote my chunks down on paper, it helps.  I'm thinking 3 x 5 cards would work good with room for checking off.  I plan to do that next (I have a lot of projects to perfect this plan on).  So last week I 'announced' I would be working on Lindsey's quilt and Slade's sweater. 

The progress:

Lindsey's quilt:  All the blocks are quilted and the first border is 'Stitch in the Ditch' quilted.  I've started on the outer borders and have one side completed, but I can't do one full side a day as originally thought.  When I went to quilt them, the chalk marking that I finished last fall had worn off enough to need to be remarked.  So, I decided, since I had done so much free motion on the inner blocks, I could free motion quilt around the leaves and grapes.  It's good but it takes more time so I can only do about 1/2 a side per day.  That puts the quilting to be finished around the end of next week.  So far so good!

Slade's sweater:  I hit a block wall.  I stitched the shoulders together as planned.  Cast on the neckline and knitted a ribbing, that I thought was looking great - then after about an inch, I bound off.  I put it over my head to see how it felt and I couldn't get it on!  Yikes.  So I need a looser ribbing and a stretchy bind off.  I saved a video podcast from "Let's Knit Together"  on "Binding off toe-up socks" that gave stretchy bind off instructions for socks so I think I'll have to review that and try again on this neck.  I told my husband, who everyone affectionately calls Pop, that it was going back in the box, I'm done!  And Pop said that's not allowed in the 15 minute/day plan.  Sooo, back to the drawing board and I'll just give it another 15 minutes, or '2'.  Where's my 3 x 5 card ...

I've been able, in between all this to work on a sweater I had recently started.  It's so cute!  It' called "Miley Tee" from c2knits.  I'm making it in a Celery colored 100% cotton by Universal Yarns that I got at our local yarn shop, The Yarn Shoppe.  I'm knitting it after I do my other 15 minutes a day projects. 

Oh, and another sewing project - A friend and I are  making 2 cute little dresses for two friends's girls.  Size 3 and 4. Briana has been taking Fashion and Sewing in High School for a couple of years so she and I are putting her knowledge to use this afternoon and making up Simplicity #2427 with some variations.  Hopefully I'll have pictures to put up in next week's blog.

So, remember, 15 Minutes a Day, you can do anything in 15 minutes a day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Finished is Better than Perfect!

So that's my new saying - Finished is Better than Perfect! I've been putting off finishing a few projects because I'm a bit insecure about how they'll look when finished. Hearing on my favorite podcasts that this is the year for them to finish - I am announcing to myself, my family and cyberspace that by December 31, I will have finished my UFO's. Ok, so now that that's said, I am going through my box (es) of UFO's (un finished objects) and deciding what is worth finishing. Some are so dated, I am considering my work and trying of things as a class I took and I have samples. Like my Crazy Patchwork 'Quilt as you go' Vest from the late 90's. I think it was dated to begin with but I learned to do Crazy Quilting and thoroughly enjoyed playing with it. So there's one box taken care of.

15 Minutes a Day:

Lindsey's quilt: I love the fabric that she chose for this quilt, I loved designing and putting it together. I was determined to machine quilt this quilt. There is where the postponing came. So now I've set it up, and am giving it 15 minutes a day. I can quilt a block in 15 minutes, so with 8 blocks to go, I can be done in 8 days with that part. Then I'll try to do one side of the border a day, so that adds 4 more days. Now, theoretically I can be done quilting by May 2. Next will be making and applying the binding, which I can devote 1 afternoon to. Next is the part I like. The sitting in the evening doing the hand sewing finish to the binding. So by breaking this project up in pieces, I can comfortably and pleasantly finish this quilt within a month. So that's another box! I'll keep you posted on the progress - hopefully weekly. So this is where I'll be for a few minutes every day:

Crocheted Sweater for Slade: Ok, so last fall I started this Crocheted Mock Cable Sweater from the book Fiber Gathering. I loved the picture and wanted to make it for one of my sons. Slade's the winner (the patient winner). I made the front and the fit was way off, and I had to pull it all out. Then I tried to make the largest size (yes my guage was right) and it was still too short in the arms and too too wide in the neck. So, loving the look of the stitch itself, I started again with my own idea. Now I'm stuck on the sleeves. I've given it a lot of guilty thought, and finally decided it's okay to vary the stitch on the sleeves. I do love the look of the stitch, but I don't like doing the stitch. My wrists start to hurt after a short time of it so I want to make plain sleeves. So now that's my other '15 minutes a day' project. The plan: It'll take 15 minutes to connect the front to the back. I think I'll knit the ribbing on the neck then and I think that will take me 2 sessions, maybe I'll be in the groove and just do it in one. Okay, then the sleeves. I need to plan out the decreases and length - one more 15 min. - then start. I'm thinking I can do the 2 sleeves in a week and put them on. Seeming up the sides, doing the cuffs, adding bottom ribbing should be another 4 or 5 days. That means this will be finished by 3 weeks. It seems the quilt and the sweater should be done about the same time. Looks like a gift day is coming up!