Friday, August 31, 2007


We are going out tonight with our neighbors to celebrate DH's safe arrival in Canada. They are Sikh, and they have been going to the temple while he has been gone, praying for his safe return. He is back, and somebody's God certainly pulled through for us, so now it's our turn to say thank-you. They offer a free-to-all vegetarian meal every Friday at the temple, so we'll go, eat, give thanks, and get a more rounded education on Sikhism. Should be interesting; I've always had a thing for Indian culture, and I love me a good excuse to put on a salwaar kameez and sparkly jewelry.

We are attending a "welcome back" party held by DH's family tomorrow, about an hour and a half out of Ottawa. We meet at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving like clockwork, see the same family members, eat the same food, at the same house. I think it will be a little trippy to visit their house in the summer, with ne'er a turkey in sight. These family gatherings have been much less painful for me since I took up knitting. His family is all... well, mostly wonderful... but I am allergic to crowds of people and making idle, polite chit-chat. I pull up a corner chair, pull out my needles, and everyone forgets about me until it's time to leave. It's magic.
I expect to get a lot done on the Plain Wintery Blue Socks tomorrow.

Easily Satisfied

I am satisfied with small things today.

I finished The Scarf That Never Ends, and have enlisted DH to help with the photo shoot today.


This tail of yarn that is left over? It is a small thing indeed, and very satisfying to finish with that kind of grace.

scarf end

I have cast on a lovely pair of blue and grey socks... very placid, very simple. They will keep my toes warm in the depths of winter. I am loving this soft, luscious yarn and the sedate, soft wintery colours. (This is Austermann Step yarn.)


I am satisfied with having my husband in the house. I am pleased with how well things are going between me and his daughters, with the careful acknowledgment that this happy fairy time will end with the commencement of school, and busy schedules, and rising stress levels, and things will change- maybe a little, maybe a lot. But for now? I am satisfied.

I am satisfied that my time is my own for three whole days.

I am satisfied that I am allowed to wear civilian clothes to work today... a long braid, a girlie top and capri jeans, sparkly jewelry. Sandals. Perhaps too summery for the chill in the air that the sun cannot chase away, but dammit, it's still August and I will celebrate summer with everything I've got.


And so will our flowers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nothing Like A Little Voodoo

I'm officially getting panicky. It's four days since the "itchy fingers" post. I have a ball of yarn the size of a modest hazelnut left on the Fan and Feather scarf. And nothing else on the needles.

God help me, I've become addicted this quickly. In November, I didn't know a DPN from a circular, a knit from a purl. All I knew is that I hated knitting. I'd tried it and it was too hard. Crochet was much simpler... one hook, one string. I was all about the quick results.

Then, at a book signing, Her Nibs the Yarn Harlot herself suddenly made me ashamed of my non-knitter status. I think she was a little surprised I even had the temerity to step through the doors of Yarn Forward considering the avid mob with so many pointy sticks at their disposal. She greeted Lisa and I warmly and made us feel totally welcome, but I swear she made this little voodoo finger gesture under the table as she charmed us utterly. I dreamed of knitting socks for days afterwards.

Her work is now complete. Here I am, 9 months post-Harlot, jonesing for some new knitting. Getting right irate because I didn't have the time to begin anything new, looking with soft fondness at the yarn on the table beside the couch. (That's another sign, I suppose. I am now considering yarn to be an interior decorating accent. And I made DH switch our traditional sides of the couch with me so I could have the better lighting.)

The rabbit hole is so soft and cozy and welcoming. I don't want to stop falling.

Enough typing. Supper dishes are cleaned, the house is quiet, and I have a well-lit couch and a basket full of pretties to attend to.

PS... See you at the bottom of the rabbit hole, Velda. Nice yarn, by the way.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Itchy Fingers

I've got 'em.

After finishing the monkeys, I don't have another pair of socks on the needles, and it's getting to me. Although I swatched for the Rocky Mountain Dusk toe-ups, getting them started is a bit of a learning curve (they'll be my first pair of toe-ups) and I want mindless knitting. I think I'll cast on another pair of plain old top downs, just to have something to carry around in my purse.
For now, I'm working on this.


Just a plain dress scarf, Fan and Feather pattern, in Apple Pie (English Garden.) It's beautiful and surely the most monotonous thing I've ever attempted. Fortunately the end is in sight; perhaps another six inches of knitting will finish this ball, and when the ball is done, so is the scarf.


Without my sewing machine, I've been doing some hand-quilting on the duvet cover, the two blocks that are appliqué and that I couldn't stitch-in-the-ditch anyhow. I took about two hours to do three-quarters of a single block, and quite honestly, it looks like ass. Okay, it looks fine from the right side, but the only reason I can get away with it is that no-one will see the wrong side since it will be in the middle of the duvet cover sandwich. Hand quilting is obviously an art I have not mastered, and have no intention to master. Major pain in the butt. My fingers are sore... I couldn't wear a thimble as I had to preserve the (highly suspect) accuracy of my fingers.

As this cold, rainy August draws on (what is up with that???!), I begin fondling my loverly soft alpaca a little more and dreaming of the need for a winter scarf. I think I'll do a plain (but not simple) two-colour brioche stitch scarf, switching colours as I consume each ball. I've never done brioche but I've read it's the perfect scarf stitch, the deep ribs and spaces serving as wonderful thermal insulation. I think I'll try to figure out this stitch and cast on for my scarf. *lol* And here I was just complaining about the unceasing monotony of the Fan and Feather scarf.

I received the first month's package of fabrics for Storybook Farm from Hamel's Fabrics in Chilliwack. I am loving them... not only were they quick and friendly, but they're thoughtful, too... every tiny shard of fabric is neatly labelled with its purpose. This is such a good thing. Now all I need is another few meters of Steam-a-Seam (not to mention several more days of FREE TIME) to make my favourite block, Room to Breeze.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Little Off The Rails

What a busy weekend it's been! Yes, I know it's Monday, but I'm still technically week-ending... I took an extra day off of work to properly greet my husband.
Saturday's activities can be found over on Velda's blog. We did a little fiber-arts store crawl. I picked up the backing and snap-strips for my duvet cover at the Quilter's Choice, and I indulged Velda's not-so-secret desire to become a knitter at Wool-Tyme, where a fabulous ball of purple variegated mohair and some needles happened to jump into my hands, then into hers.

We went for Thai soup afterwards, and I gave Velda her first knitting lesson. It didn't take very long for things to go a little off the rails. In retrospect, it's perfectly obvious that this is what happens when you give a life-long cross-stitcher a pair of knitting needles.

As DH is now back, the crafting has temporarily been put on hold while we get ourselves sorted out. However, I did finish the Monkeys. I love 'em. You think Mom would notice if I just kinda kept them?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

One Word Answers

Taken from Velda.

1. Where is your cellphone? - truck
2. Relationship? - wonderful
3. Your Hair? - long
4. Work? - unchallenging
5. Your sister? - distant
6. Your favorite thing? - music
7. Your dream last night? - startling
8. Your favorite drink? - greentea
9. Your dream car? - current
10. The room you’re in? - den
11. Your shoes? - practical
12. Your fears? - faced
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? - programmer
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? - cat
15. What are you not good at? - tact
16. Muffin? - bran
17. One of your wish list items? - space
18. Where you grew up? - West
19. Last thing you did? - talked
20. What are you wearing? - skirt
21. What aren’t you wearing? - bra
22. Your pet? - cat
23. Your computer? - kickin'
24. Your life? - owned
25. Your mood? - ebullient
26. Missing? - husband
27. What are you thinking about right now? - Saturday
28. Your car? - truck
29. Your kitchen? - granite
30. Your summer? - impatient
31. Your favorite color? - orange
32. Last time you laughed? - today
33. Last time you cried? - sporadically
34. School? - always
35. Love? - forever

Thanks, V. That was fun and challenging!

NOTES: I know, I know. "Greentea" isn't one word... but simply putting "tea" doesn't quite convey the flavour, and "green" might confuse the heck out of everyone. And by "space", I don't mean the vaccuum-filled, starry kind. I mean the wide-open kind.

PS. Don't be listening to that Kate gal. I am in no way responsible for her wild yarn cravings! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Concerted Efforts

You may recall some time ago I was debating about adding some vivid colour to SD1's room. Check it out...

The Very Green Room

Makes SD2's room look sleepy and sedate. I can just hear her indignation that her sister's room got The Grand Treatment and her room just got painted. *shrugs* I am open to inspiration for her room, too... it just hasn't hit me yet. I settled for "done in time" over "perfect but late".

Sedate Blue

(The two rooms are not the same shade of blue, though it's fairly close.)

I'm on a time-line here. Or at least, I was... now that the rooms are done the pressure's off. I get hubby back this weekend, and then the SD's come home to roost sometime between then and the beginning of school. Although it would have been logistically possible to paint the rooms with them in residence, I'm really, really big on keeping the peace in the house. I'm pretty sure jamming two pre-teen girls in the same room after years of separation would result in fights and bickering... hell, everything else does, so why would this be an exception? (can you tell that I am in the mourning stage for my soon-to-be-lost solitude?)

I've begun the toe decreases on the last Monkey and have swatched for the next pair. Check it out.

Purple Swatch

(KnitPicks Memories in Rocky Mountain Dusk)

Since I have to learn something new with each pair, these shall be toe-up socks. I don't know exactly which pattern yet; inspiration will strike.

After a concerted effort over the last few days, I put another 8 or so hours into quilting the duvet cover (Project 3.) No pics 'cause it looks pretty much the same, just a few less basting pins. It's a bitch, no doubt about it... jamming the better part of a king-sized quilt, thin though it may be, under the arm of the sewing machine doesn't leave much freedom of movement for the quilt, or myself. I end up swaddled in it... always appreciated when it's 30 degrees with what seems like 200% humidity. I am dropping by my favourite quilt shop in Kingston on my way to pick up DH this weekend... I'll choose a backing and get a length of snap closures so that this duvet cover will be keeping us warm this winter. Better late then never! :)

The sewing machine is in for a tune-up now so the hand-work takes the stage for the next two weeks.

Can you believe that I walked into both
a quilt shop and the best yarn store in Ottawa today at lunch and bought... nothing??! I'm still feeling guilty about that little Kauni incident, I suppose.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Woolly Goodness

If there's anything better then Yarn Porn Friday, it's Yarn Porn Monday, right? My mailbox had two parcels full of woolly goodness today, and it's my mission to share it with you.


First off. Remember my confessed indiscretion last week? The one(s) that didn't have anything to do with 10 Projects? Yeah. Here it is.

Kauni Yarn

Do you recognize this? Do you know what I'll be doing with it?

Perhaps this helps...

Kauni yarn closer

I am not usually a project lemming, but I am captivated by the effortless colourful beauty of the Kauni cardigan (opens a PDF pattern file.) I am powerless before its call.

Now, before you think that I was wildly extravagant and ordered this straight from Denmark, there is a Canadian supplier who is carrying it for a limited time... perhaps until the Kauni kraze kools down a little. God help me, I know this cardigan is way beyond me... but I'll get there. It's inspiration and impetus to try new techniques, right?

Also in the mail was inexpensive yarn fun from KnitPicks, and some new needles. Check this stuff out.


more alpaca

I have a scarf in mind for the alpaca... I made one for my husband this spring and ended up wearing it around the house 'cause I loved the way it felt. I'm thinking either an Irish Hiking Scarf or the Harlot's own One Row scarf.

And these? They'll end up as socks.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'll bend over. You know what to do.

Yesterday was a very flavourful day. Lisa and I went to the Carp Garlic Festival and Farmer's Market first thing in the morning... it's just as well DH isn't around 'cause I sampled more raw garlic than is socially acceptable. Who knew there was that many varieties? I feel kind of ripped off, now that I know that the stuff sold in the stores isn't the best. I think I'll have to plant my own this September because the fresh stuff is amazing.

We detoured on the way home to Nicastro's, an Italian grocery store on Merivale. Amazing. I have never seen that many varieties of olive oil, even in Greece. It's not just Italian stuff, either... they have a great selection of Greek delicacies including some of the harder-to-find cheeses, and a great sour cherry juice concentrate that I OD'd on in Slovenia in June. Sweet to know there's a local spot for the good stuff. I am loving that store.

This morning I spent in contemplation of the meaning of life. No kidding. I'm taking a philosophy course. I've spent the last 30-some odd years trying to figure out what it's all about, and now I have to suddenly lock it in and write three pages on what has had me puzzled for all that time. I took this course 'cause I thought it would be an easy credit... and although it's been really interesting, it has been anything but easy. I've gone some very strange places in my mind over the last month.

When my head was about to explode, I took myself up to the sewing room and worked on the duvet cover. I finished the quilting of the borders and sashing, and got two blocks quilted... nothing fancy, just a little stitch-in-the-ditch. I figured a serviceable and plain quilting job beat the hell out of a fancy job that never got done. And I do very much need this duvet cover in action... none of our old linens match our bedroom since I painted.

Stitching completed so far

I figured I'd also take the opportunity to introduce you to Project Six of the 10. I'll bend over right now so you can kick me on the butt. I'm sure you'll want to. I am so close to finishing her. I believe all I have left to do is some more faux-suede fringing on her dress in the lower left. Don't ask me why she's been so close to being done for so long, especially when I love her so much.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Flying in Slow Motion

This is my last weekend of bachelorette-hood, and I am determined to make the best of it. I have a container of non-fat chocolate gelato in the freezer, a bottle of raspberry vodka keeping it company, the whole first season of "Dead Like Me" from the video store, and I am declaring a moratorium on lawn/garden care for the entire weekend.

Yes, the grass certainly is too long. I don't argue the point. However, I want it to look neatly trimmed when hubby first sees it... so I procrastinate with a purpose.

I will sew and knit until my wrists give out. I'm hoping to get the Monkeys off my back this weekend; I have more sock yarn coming from KnitPicks next week and I want to cast on right away.

I am trying to pass time as quickly as possible... I cannot believe how the last week has seemed to be as long as the six months before it was. This week coming up? I expect it will seem a long, painful eternity until I see my baby (back in Canada for the first time since mid-February) sometime Saturday night.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Irrational Fear

Last night I met another intrepid group of knitters through the "Ottawa Knitting Meet-Up" group. We had a lovely, low-key night... comparing projects, flipping through the latest knitting magazines, and going wherever the conversation lead.

It eventually came out that the majority of us had a (possibly irrational) fear of charts. Our hostess, perhaps more of a visual learner then the rest of us, couldn't understand... "You just follow the pattern!" she said. Maybe it
is that easy. Maybe I'm just really bad at following directions. Maybe I haven't given it a fair chance yet. However, there's just something about charts that sends a cold finger down my spine.

Perhaps it's something to do with this.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
(photo deliberately mangled to preserve copyright)

How about that? Does it not make you a little nauseous, too, or are you made of much sterner stuff than I?

That little lovely is the Raj Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. I fell in love with the juicy recycled sari silk, and was beguiled by the description that says the shawl is for "advanced beginner or intermediate" lace knitters. Advanced beginner? What am I, if not that?

Apparently, not advanced enough. I took one look at the 7... count 'em, 7 charts that this pattern uses, and quietly slipped the pattern under the sofa. Perhaps by the time we move or redecorate, I'll be ready to look this pattern in the eyes and not flinch.

In the meantime, I have some lovely, lovely recycled sari-silk yarn to pet and hold and call my friend. I don't think it feels cheated out of its destiny to become a shawl... it's already something more than it ever was supposed to be. We should all be so lucky.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Regaining Lost Ground

I have gotten a little creative with the rules for 10 Projects. The exceptions, they have happened. And most likely, will continue to happen. :) (Does that make you feel better about the weekend, Velda?)

I worked on Storybook Farm last night for a couple of hours, and finally packed it away in disgust. I bought the fabric piecemeal from local quilt stores, and wasn't always able to get fabric that fit the theme and mood perfectly. As mentioned a few days back, I spent months looking for the appropriate colours of green for the damned grass and hills in "Outstanding In His Field." I thought I had them right, but when I cut up the fabric and placed the pieces where they were meant to go, I realized I didn't. It doesn't look right... the green on the left hill is too vibrant, the bushes too blue, the grass just not quite right.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There's a couple of ways of dealing with this. The method I tried before, stuffing the project in a drawer and hoping things would sort themselves out... yeah, well, that didn't work so well. The thought of hitting every yarn store in town for more fat quarters filled my heart with despair. So I did something I am getting rather skilled at... I tapped the arcane powers of the Internet and Google, found myself a Canadian company that carried the fabric kits, and then waved my magic Visa wand in the air. See? Some problems are easier to solve than others.

Another nicety is that it will come in Block-of-the-Month format. Every month a bundle of happy *matching Hoffman batiks* (how cool is that!) will pop into my mailbox for me to turn into pretty pictures of rural farm goodness. I am relieved that I was finally pushed over the edge to this, 'cause that whole fabric thing was ticking me off. There is a chance that the two blocks I've already completed will find themselves not matching the new fabric, but there are worse things than having two extra delightful farm friends for gifts or decor.

Also in the category of "Things You Just Want To Throw Out The Window" was my happy little sock. I spent all day Saturday laughing and chatting and knitting. I completed the heel, turned it, and was just picking up the gusset stitches when I realized that I did the heel on the wrong side. With a plain sock, there really is no right or wrong; but when you're working lace, there sure is. I could have carried on, just starting the lace pattern X number of stitches in, but the attention I would have had to pay and the horror of trying to start in the middle of a K2Tog convinced me it would be faster to let 'er rip. And I did. Today at lunch I sat outside in the sunshine and regained most of the lost ground; I'll be back on track after tomorrow's Knit Night. (Unless, of course, I get talking instead of paying attention and arse it up in a new and unique fashion. Don't hold your breath.)

I know I referenced "exceptions" at the beginning of the post. You may be wondering about that, since I obviously needed the appropriate fabric to finish Storybook Farm... by the rules, that's okay. There *was* an exception. You just don't know about it yet. :) (You'll see pictures, though, 'cause I'll need to show it... them, off.)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Among Friends

Knitting, for me, has largely been a solitary pursuit. My girlfriend Lisa and I meet on occasion and compare notes, but as she is as multi-disciplinary as I am, if not more, knitting just isn't on the top of her list right now. I read magazines and knitblogs and knit in the solitude of my lunch-breaks and during late-night TV. Not very interactive.

That pattern broke hard today. The Ottawa Knitting Guild had a Knit-Out today at the Agricultural Museum. Although I'd never gone to a meeting as I have classes most Monday nights, that wasn't going to stop me from pulling up a lawn chair and getting cozy. And I'm glad I did.

Wendy was the official greeting committee, and the event planner.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Though we'd never met before, I knew right away by her infectious laughter and smile that I was very much welcome. I milled around for the entire afternoon, meeting amazing people, like Paula, Leanne, Sarah, and many others. What a wonderful crowd.

Do you know how much of a high that was, to take my private little hobby out in public and interact with others? To talk about DPN's and mystery stoles and Koigu and not have people look at you like you've got a screw loose? To discuss knit blogs with others who are just as obsessed as you are? For once, I was speaking the same language as everyone else... we were all in the know.

I got outed today for an unconventional use of a piece of sporting equipment. Last time I was on KnitPicks, I saw this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I immediately thought I could make one of those, then realized I pretty much already had one:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
A rock-climber's chalk bag. As I couldn't see myself climbing again any time soon, I gave it a good wash to remove the chalk and pressed it into service. It worked like a charm, although me thinking that no-one would realize what it was went to hell with the second person I saw... of course, a climber who knits, or a knitter who climbs and knew my humble little bag exactly for what it is. Oh well! It works, and it works well, and it's recycling, right? :) (And it matches my pretty purple needle cables.)

I learned a lot today. I tried cabling for the first time.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I made my first cabling mistake today, too; no doubt the first of many. (I think it really bothered the lady who taught me that I wouldn't rip everything back to fix the mistake. Usually, me with the OCD soul would totally agree, but seeing as how it was a practice swatch, and even the mistake taught me something, I figured it was good enough.)

I learned that while I pick up the stitches on the heel of a pair of socks the right way, it was also the hardest possible way; similar to knitting with my non-dominant hand just to try it out. I learned the principles of the magic loop sock method and wished I had waited another few days to place my latest KnitPicks needle order, as I ordered all 24" needles and magic loop required somewhat longer cables.

I learned that knitters are all pretty cool people, and that we're not strangers at all. We're just friends that haven't met yet.

Before you go, take a look at my monster herb garden. I have never managed to grow herbs like this before... I can't eat them fast enough and find myself tucking fresh herbs into everything just 'cause I can.

I know. It's hard to deal with, isn't it? :)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thanks for sharing a perfect summer day with me.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Random Friday

Perhaps this should be subtitled, "What Sue's Obsessed With Today." Or, "Pop-Culture Notes from The Culturally Illiterate."
  • Maroon 5. Caught the video for "Makes Me Wonder" while flipping around the TV last week... talk about an earworm. I went to their site later on and discovered this song, which is just as catchy. Okay, I agree, it's a trashy and incomprehensible video... close your eyes if you must. But, Adam Levine? Yum.

  • Mariska Hargitay. I've been watching SVU for years, but never realized how stunningly beautiful she is until a magazine cover caught my eye at the grocery store. I knew the face but couldn't figure out where from... I actually backtracked in the store to take another look at the magazine cover. I suppose when your mother is Jayne Mansfield, the genetic cards are stacked in your favour. She's my current ideal of feminine beauty... and I suppose the iron that she brings to the screen as Olivia Benson appeals to me, too.
On the crafting front. I bring you the long-promised picture of the dresser reno-to-be... admire with me how lovely the relatively matte brown looks against the sage bedroom. At least, so much better than the emerald green.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And lastly... Tammy, this one's for you. Thanks for the verbal kick on the butt! Sometimes, it's what a girl needs.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Completely Helpless

I have currently chosen five projects out of ten. This means there are as many projects to choose as I have already chosen. This means that there's a wide, wide world of crafty goodness that has yet to be chosen... and the possibility exists that one of those projects was just conceived of today, right?

Those with the soul of a lawyer will be crying out that I have just violated the spirit, if not the letter, of 10 Projects when I had a little online falling-down here. In my defence, I am knitting the Monkeys and plan to knit Millicent on the lovely, pointy and relatively inexpensive circular needles that Knitpicks has... I was just concerned about gauge, that's all, when I ordered some more needles from them. Millicent's a thicker sock with thicker yarn, you know, and I needed other sizes. I cannot be held responsible if a few balls of this and a little bit of this fell in the basket! I was completely helpless!

*peeking up coyly to see if you're buying the faux act of contrition I'm trying to pull*

No, eh?

Didn't think so.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Down On The Farm

After last week's somewhat frenetic activity, you'll note that I've calmed down a bit. It doesn't mean I have any less to do; far from it. I'll blame it on the heat... although I truly love the 35 degree days we've been having pretty consistently this week, all I really want to do when I get home is nap with Little Miss (our endearment for our fur-baby, the personable Mina.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So all I've really got accomplished since last we chatted was a little more Monkeying around... I'm about half-way to the heel on the last Koigu Monkey sock. I won't take another picture, though... just scroll down and have a gander at the finished one, and imagine it a little less complete... :)

I will, however, take this opportunity to introduce Number Five... another quilting project. Storybook Farm is an exquisite art wall-quilt by the ever-talented McKenna Ryan. A country girl at heart, and finding myself seriously displaced from Western Canada (which I call home), this quilt gives me a window on the world I love. Here's what I've done so far:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I am loving this project, with the exception of choosing fabric. When the projects are first released, they often have the fabric bundled with them... however, I jumped on this bandwagon long after the kits sold out and have had to try to kit each motif, square by square, trying to preserve the same tonalities throughout. Major PITA factor. You don't know how many fat quarters of green batik I have bought, trying to get the grass right for the scarecrow block. It's quite discouraging and the main reason why this has been stalled for so long.

Aside from that, I like the new techniques I've learned here... working with Steam-A-Seam, appliqué pressing mats, and a free license to play with free-motion machine embroidery.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket