I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Out and About ~ Hobby Lobby

Hi! Where should we go this week? Yes, let's check out the new Hobby Lobby craft store!

In our ongoing effort to, as my friend L says, ''broaden our horizons'', we decided that this week's road trip would be to the new Hobby Lobby store. I was very excited to hear that Hobby Lobby was coming to our part of the world. However it is NOT close, an hour each way (plus we got lost) and even though I overrode L's GPS to take us on the fast and empty parkways that GPS does not use. L was driving and was a little frazzled, though you'd never know it, she always stays so cool.

All these signs, unreadable at 55 mph!

The Hobby Lobby is in a new strip mall carved out of a pretty maple and sycamore forest, far far away, in the middle of nowhere. It just opened so her car's GPS, usually impressively infallible, could not figure out how to get us home!

But the store itself: brand new, very pretty! No prices on anything yet though. First thing you notice, walking in on a sunny day is how dark the store is.

Very high ceilings with stock packed to the rafters makes it seem very dark and unwelcoming. I lightened these pics so you could see the store interior, but it was dark like above.

It was busy so it was hard to take pictures sometimes. My main mission was to look for yarn since I can now knit again, Mo having grown up enough not to go bonkers at the very thought of a ball of yarn.

Lovely yarn selection, no prices marked or easily found. Most of their yarns are at least part acrylic and I'm a bit of a yarn snob. That said, it seems acrylic has come a long way since my aunt knitted nasty crunchy sweaters for us, years ago.

They seem to specialize in baby yarns.  Um, no.

I found this lovely cloud-soft grey yarn for a sweater for Mo.

The rainbow is the arms and turtleneck, here. Mason Dixon colorway, original designer on Ravelry here: Pattern?

They had a similar grey alpaca/ acrylic blend and normally I'd choose an alpaca, even a blend, over 100% acrylic, but the acrylic was much nicer and so soft for Mo, easy wash too.

I did get one skein of the alpaca/ acrylic in ivory because I always buy  natural or off white yarns for my huge collection, lol. It could be finger-less mittens or part of my someday striped/ textured offwhite throw of many yarns.

And I got a tryout skein of this beautiful bamboo-silk blend for a possible summer sweater. Bamboo often ''halos'', forms a fuzzy surface sheen, so I only got the one skein for now. Inspiration sweater
or this

Mel had suggested this cotton yarn for a summer sweater, if the bamboo-silk is a fail. But I thought the colors were too sugary bright for me.

There were also fabulous chenille[?] blanket yarns and giant pompoms, for another day. Sometimes I don't think as fast as I should while shopping, too bad. Look at the size of these poms! Wow. Love.

Up to that point HL seemed like a beautiful big Michael's [and, you know, we have two Michael's 15 minutes or less away], with especially nice beads and findings, but as I emerged from the yarn department, I found the fabrics! Not huge but nice selection, different things, including calicoes and homespuns.

Again nothing was priced! If I'd had any clue of the bargain of the fabric prices I'd have bought a lot more.

I got this taupe polka dot that I love, a whole yard!

And this cute horseshoes calico. It was part of a Western cowboys/ ranch themed group, but if you look closely at later 1800's quilts, red calico with tiny horseshoes was very popular and a distinctive motif. Great to add some whimsy to my "Civil War repro'' prints stash.

I always pick up a few fat quarter souvenirs.

The blue will be used, just a tiny bit!---on a Bitty leaf,

...the others with go in my ''cute moderns'' stack. Love lady bugs!  And spools. The FQs were marked, at an excellent 1.99 price.

I would have bought more fabric, especially homespuns, for my future project of Cheri Payne's prim Christmas quilt, but as mentioned I had no idea of the prices and also the woman cutting was the slowest worker I have ever seen. She was pleasant but she moved like a slo-mo video, nerve wracking! She cut like she was afraid she'd make a mistake. Snip. Stop. Chat a bit. Snip. Stop, etc. Took 10? minutes to cut two pieces for me. I finally did the folding, I couldn't stand it. Can't imagine how she'll cope on a busy Saturday.
Also in the fabric section, HL stocks beautiful $$$ trims. I wanted to get the beaded fringe for a project I'm doing for a friend, but at about 15.oo a yard I couldn't experiment and she wasn't answering texts. Too bad, because I'm pretty sure we won't go back.

Other notes: Prices for decorative items were high if even marked. A tin pail, distressed duck egg blue, stenciled Farmers Market [for dried flowers or Indian corn etc; or mums?] was 30.00! Like this  but a different shape . [I do like it!] A cast metal garden mermaid, maybe 12" high, was I think, 40.oo-ish. Things that would be 6.99 at Home Goods.
Store was clean. Checkout ladies were nice. Parking ample. If it was closer, I'd shop at Hobby Lobby all the time, as they do have sales and online coupons/ phone app coupons. [I forgot to use mine, too bad].

Standing in line I fell in love with this woman's gathering of faux roadside weeds. I loved it for early Fall, so delicate and yet realistic.

So...does it sound like a fun store? How far would you drive for a good craft store?



gone to the beach.....

"You left me home alone again, Mommy.
It's not like I even need another sweater,
you know. I need belly rubs and ice cream!"

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Bitty Quilt ~ Update

Hello, everyone. Another weekend has arrived, the last weekend in August. Summer days and weeks have flown by.

As you know, my small hand work project this summer is Bitty's Quilt, a Minick and Simpson design.

The fun of Bitty is choosing blue fabrics for the simple and charming, almost childlike designs. Then simple needleturn applique.

Below is a detail from an early to mid nineteenth century quilt discussed on FB. I had copied and enlarged this section, trying to discern what the blue fabric might be. [The rest of the quilt is red and green].  It reminds me so strongly of Bitty, I wanted to share it. [Not sure if that's ok, but it's just s small bit of the quilt?] So these are Bitty's design roots.

Here is Bitty taped on the big window for me to trace the design.

I don't own a lightbox and probably the pattern is too big for a lightbox anyway. Hence the old style window method.

Edit: the following is somewhat incorrect, see next paragraph after this.****.

Minick and Simpson's pattern looks very professional and slick but typical to so many quilt patterns, there are a lot of issues with the pattern. The schematic drawing does not match the photo and the pattern pieces to not match the schematic either. Unfortunately they are *smaller* so I got caught out using my indelible fine line marker. Usually the appliques cover these lines. But not this time. The pattern bears only a slight resemblance to the drawing on the graph which I had traced onto the ground fabric as a placement guide. This was crucial because all the appliques must be sewed before the bias stripping/ stems.

****To be fair, on further inspection it seems some of the fitting issues have to do with my poor tracing skills and are NOT the fault of the pattern. That said, the applique pieces are all ever so slightly slimmer and  therefore do not cover placement lines. Also the little birds' wings aren't always exactly the same and the Flower Urn side has pieces reversed.

pattern photo

On FB, someone mentioned using WASHABLE fine tip Crayola markers to mark quilt lines or appliques. A wonderful help, I sure hope they're as washable as promised.

My other problem with the patterns is the leaves as patterned are not cute and chubby like those on the photograph. I may redo the ones I have done so far. Or add a few fat little leaves to fill in the dead space made by the too slim leaves? Second half leaves will be corrected.

Mo and I have been sewing in the afternoons,

plus Bitty has been to the beach a few times. The tiny bits are not so compatible with last week's very windy days, but it's small and fun, and I just do a few  careful leaves at a time.

It doesn't look like much but half of the appliques are done.

Here it is with the plaid bias stem/ swag laid out to give a better feeling of how it may look.

I love the lollipop flowers!

And for some reason I think--I imagine!--that the bird is Bitty herself. I may change Bitty's wing. I love that fabric but it's a bit blah used here?

My friend Sue [of the yo-yo rosettes]is also making Bitty but she has had a fun summer doing lots of camping and travelling, and not much Bitty making! At the tracing stage here.

And this is from her library's window~ a naughty pug? More on that in a minute!

My other summer applique project is the Patek Silent Night stars quilt. I need some rainy days to make some pieced stars that go behind the border snow scene. Not much rain here in the summer so that project lies neglected with all the other machine sewing on my lists. Instead in rare moments I've been doing other kinds of sewing, a table runner for a gift, quilted drink thermos carriers, but not much happening there either. In the summer I'm outdoors, not sitting in my tiny  sewing room without a view.


In other news:

Mo is usually a good boy now that he is 3 1/2 but today he ate his bed. I think he was a little upset that I went out on errands, pugs like routine and his routine is afternoons with mom on the deck. First he threw all the sofa pillows, cushions, quilts on the floor! Then later he vigorously chomped two giant holes in his fave bed...and I caught him eating the stuffing! Can't be good for his tummy, can it?


And last item: at the grocery I wanted fresh home grown summer tomatoes to make a platter of sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with basil and balsamic vinegar, for the weekend.
And the local store had NO fresh tomatoes. C'mon, it's August! Hothouse only? That's just not right.

Have  a good weekend!



gone to the beach...