I am feeling pretty joyful. I completed the knitted afghan that I started over forty years go. This quilt helped me develop confidence in ability to figure out the different patterns. When I started it I only knit the basics; knit then purl making innumerable scarves. I learned in Brownies how to knit from Mrs. Parmalee and then I didn’t have anyone in my life that knit. Ten years later Mrs. Harriet Jones and my Mom became friends and I watched her knit. Because of my interest she gave me scrap yarn, knitting needles and a sampler pattern for afghans. I started this afghan with those supplies and added the black yarn and years of working on these 48 blocks. It is a queen size afghan and was a gift to my brother. Mark received it today in the mail. It was fun putting it in a Space bag and sucking all the air out so I could send it in a small package.
I also, completed the basting on the veteran’s quilt and tomorrow will start the quilting process. This means a search for all the supplies required to put it on the machine. My studio is still in disarray from a water emergency over the summer and a lot of my gear is in a storage facility. So this means a trip over there to search for thread and other equipment. My sewing machines are here in the house just a matter of locating everything that was put in other locations so the floors could be redone; Fun, fun to be had this upcoming week.
I am almost complete on the DMC Give Thanks cross stitch obtained from the DMC site, http://www.dmc-usa.com/Inspiration/Projects/Cotton-Floss-Cross-Stitching/Give-Thanks-Sampler.aspx but haven’t decided how I want to finish the piece; in a frame or pillow. I will cogitate on that in the next few days. I have to complete the turkey, the right side corn stalks and backstitch the cornstalks. I love the contagiousness of these completions.
Progress on Give Thanks Cross Stitch
To add to all my enjoyment, we had a snowfall in middle Georgia that stayed on the ground, I think we had maybe two inches. Here is a photo after midday of our house.
Snowfall in Middle Georgia!
Until next week, stay warm and safe.
Per usual, life has hiccups. Despite these I continue to work toward completion. Work progresses on three projects. I have completed nearly three quarters of the basting on our veteran’s quilt. The challenge here was that some of the blocks were not sewn correctly. I have been repairing them in addition to completing the basting. I want to honor the women that worked on this quilt with us but cannot let the errors stay as it affects the integrity of the quilt. The challenge is to find a creative way to incorporate these blocks into the whole as it is also our thoughts and prayers for the veteran recipient that are incorporated in the blocks that make up this quilt. It is our thoughts as well as our contribution that brings meaning to our work.
While I sat in the hospital last , I used up all of the floss for a cross stitch project. It always amazes me to see a picture take shape in this medium. It reminds me of pixels as I set every stitch into the fabric. I need more skeins of floss to complete and hope the cross stitching part will be completed before next week. This leaves the next task; deciding how to finish it.
The biggest task is finishing the afghan which I have a third of the rows stitched it together. I worked on this in the hospital as well and most of the stitching was done there waiting for DH to be released. I find working with my hands a great way to deal with stress.
My focus on completions has definitely provided focus and I find myself scheduling time each day to do a little on each project. Despite not finishing any one thing, with each little step forward I feel a sense of accomplishment. It is a great feeling.
Here is Maggie, she keeps me company as I work around the house and ensures I take regular walks. Can you see her pleading with me? Until next time.
The commitment to completions this year has propelled me into action this week. I know, only the first week but change only happens if you start. I tell myself that continuously. Despite some strong challenges, DH ill and a water line rupture due to the polar vortex extreme weather, I have been successful at working toward completions this past week.
The first is our neighborhood group veteran’s quilt, I completed the border and made the backing using a leftover quilt block and backing fabric. Next to complete on this is the quilt sandwich. My task for the next week as I typically hand baste the sandwich together before quilting. I am pleased with this progress.
Veteran’s Quilt Back
Another project I worked on is an afghan I started when I was 17. Harriet, an older family friend reignited my interest in knitting by giving me her leftover yarn stash, needles and a sampler afghan pattern. Over the last forty years I have worked on it a little at a time and finished the last block in September. This project has given me confidence to try new things and the internet has only made this more of an actuality. After teaching myself how to crochet by taking a Craftsy course, http://www.craftsy.com, I completed all the crochet borders this week and worked on placing the squares into a pleasing order. I figured out today it is a queen size project and DH’s illness forced me to wait until today to do that portion. I use an I-pad, taking pictures and moving the squares around until I obtained a pleasing arrangement. Next up is putting all the blocks together, a challenge because the gauge was not consistent over the last forty years, (you think!) and finally sending it off to the recipient.
The other task I started this week is taking a Craftsy class (www.craftsy.com), I have numerous classes that I have enrolled in but have not completed. So this week I restarted the Brioche Knitting Class with Nancy Marchant (http://briochestitch.com/brioche/). I am currently stuck on the Italian cast on but know I will eventually figure it out. Here is my single color sample. I would like to complete one class a month. Knitting is portable and doesn’t require a lot of stuff so that is the reason I re-started this class.
Sewing, knitting , most needlework are my rewards; I enjoy the challenges presented in accomplishing these projects. They have a meditative quality that quiets my mind, soothes the anxieties of the day and satisfies the need to successfully control something, anything in a chaotic world.
The genesis of this blog was a comment from a friend suggesting that I have stories to share with my children and grandchildren. I never thought about what I should or would pass on to them and that comment has been spinning around in my thoughts since then. Sew Hope Needles will share the stories about the projects I create and the people for whom I create. And as this is the start of a New Year, I decided to start here and share the goals for this year. My word for 2014, if a single word can express my goal for a year, is “Completion.”
Completing projects, whether it be organizing my house, or finishing needlework of some kind are what I will be committed to this year and I will share some of them with you. The primary project for this upcoming week is a project started with a group of women from our local chapter of the American Sewing Guild (ASG). We are using a Bonnie Hunter quilt pattern Virginia Bound from her book, Scraps and Shirttails. We made the blocks from the scraps of six years worth of community service projects. I enjoy putting this pattern together because it demonstrates that when mixing various innocuous, bland and possibly downright ugly fabrics we make spectacular whole quilts just like life, as when you work together with others, the sum of our strengths make our projects better. I will complete the quilt sandwich and machine quilt it and another from our group will put the binding on it.