Multi-craftedness

I find myself lately with a lot of spare time.  This is mostly because of my job situation change – I’ve gone from working 1 full time and 1 part time job to working 1 full time job (that really has part time hours, and is in my house anyway, so I don’t have to travel.)  I also have 3 day weekends most of the time, the result of not teaching on Fridays (because in my experience, Friday lesson people cancel all the time.)  I love having all this free time – I am so much less stressed, and definitely a nicer person!  (Part of the niceness may be the result of not having to get up super early 1-2 days a week, resulting in a constant sort of jet lagged state, since I have never been able to adjust to early waking.)  What am I doing with my free time?  Well, I’m not knitting more, because honestly my hands would fall off, but I have been giving a great deal of thought to my other crafty interests.

I do have them, you know – it’s just I love knitting so much, and before I didn’t have time for any other crafts.  But now?  I finally get to try new things!  To that end, I have a sewing machine!

It’s a Viking/Husqvarna 219.  It’s in basically new condition, minus the manual (which is on the way) and the needle clamp screw (which I have ordered through my local sewing shop, and should be in soon.)   I actually bought this machine new, years and years ago when I lived in Indiana.  I think I sewed one thing with it, and then it sat in the original box for about 8 years until this week.  I no longer remember how to use it, so I will be taking the introductory class at my sewing shop (which is also the local viking dealer, glad we have one!)  In the meantime, I got this book awhile back, on recommendations from this blog.

SEW: Sewing Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp.  It’s excellent for a near beginner – it really takes you through every step, and the patterns are really cute!  All the “learn to sew” books I had before were so old fashioned that they drove me nuts, but this is excellent.  Of course, I can only practice measuring and cutting things right now, and familiarize myself with the machine and how to wind bobbins etc, but I can already tell it’s going to be good.

I’ve also been stalking my local bookstore (and Amazon) for inspirational books, and I love these:

My mom used to quilt, and I love patchwork.  I also love the adorable plushie patterns that I see lately, and would love to make some!  And of course I always need skirts (and have a hard time finding skirts that I like in stores!)

My other current crafty interest is a renewed interest in embroidery and cross stitch.  I have done both since my freshman year in college, but lately I haven’t done much.  I pulled some of my WIPs out of the closet this week, and was happy to find that I have several nearly completed pieces!

This is called “Deco Spirits,” and has 4 panels representing the 4 elements.  I’ve finished 3 panels and have started on the last one.  I’m hoping to try DIY framing on this, as my framer isn’t here anymore and I don’t trust many people with needlework.

Here are my other nearly completed pieces:

Click to make them bigger.  The first is by Mirabilia “The Petal fairy” and is done except for beading.  The 2nd is a mandala garden by Chatelaine from France.  It needs beading and some metallic stitching.  It’s also really enormous, I don’t know if you can tell – I can’t believe I put it away for 2 years with only this little bit to do!  The last is by Monsterbubbles.  The tree needs to be filled in, and I think there is some backstitching.  I may give this one to my Mom, I think she would like the quote.

Actually, one of the hard things about this type of craft has been trying to find non cutesy, religious,  or country patterns.  Even now, with all types of stitching showing a resurgance, designs that suit my style are rare.  I don’t do a lot of embroidery, and while I can find designs that are more modern there they are rather simple.  I’m thinking of trying my hand at some designing for myself.  I do like the european style samplers that seem popular now, and some of the reproduction antique ones.  Since I own a Victorian home, they seem to fit.

I also ordered this series and fabric:

I love Day of the Dead images, and there’s a cute little skeleton dog (and a picture of a skele-cat!)  These are new from Praire Moon designs.

Whew… that’s a lot of stuff.  What other crafts do you participate in (or dream about!)

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30 thoughts on “Multi-craftedness

  1. I’ve been making lots and lots of PJ pants for my kids out of good quilters’ flannel. It gets so cold up here (WI) this time of year that the flimsy long PJs from Target just don’t cut it. I would love to sew some garments for myself (I even have that skirt book you pictured above), but sewing clothes that fit and look nice and tailored, even simple things, is harder than it looks. For me, anyway. So for now I sew for my kids (because sloppy pants are always cute on toddlers) and sometimes I do bags and even quilts.

    I love that blue medallion piece of yours. Gorgeous!

  2. Free time? Seriously? You LUCKY LUCKY girl! Hmmm… I’ve often been accused of trying to do so many crafts that I actually stress and tire myself out. Jewelry, knitting, sewing, baking, random home crafts, and I’d love to learn to crochet so I could make darling little brimmed beanies for my girl. PHEW! (oh yeah, and I’d REALLY LOVE to get a fancy camera, take classes, and start doing photography)

  3. Your other stitching is gorgeous! I love my sewing machine – you’ll really enjoy yours. Another great quilting book that was recently recommended by Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts is The Modern Quilt Workshop by Bill Kerr.

  4. karijo09 says:

    I love the cross stitch! Where did you find it? I’d love to order one for myself!

    p.s. I’ve been reading for a little bit but just enjoy your pictures :)

  5. I am excited that you are going to learn sewing. I learned about 10 years ago and am learning to knit now. I have been knitting about 8 months and am officially addicted. I have sewn myself so many clothes that I am thinking about taking a break from sewing for awhile and just concentrating on knitting. I wish I had to only work part time, but I work full time. I despise getting up early in the mornings, but only 11 more years to retirement.

  6. I hear what you mean about finding non- religious, non- cutesy embroidery projects- that just KILLED my cross stitching. Well, until you linked the Prairie Moon patterns. I love those.

  7. Welcome to my world, I just started knitting this year but I’ve been sewing for more than 20 so maybe we can inspire each other. Good luck and there’s a wealth of information available and tons of really excellent sewing blogs.

  8. celticcaston says:

    Love your Mirabilia! I completed one of the christmas victorian ladies, I don’t remember the name of it but I gave it to my mum. I used to be a hard core x stitcher before I came upon knitting, I find it hard having several different crafts going at once because i”m always thinking about the one i’m not working on.

  9. Jennifer says:

    You are so talented! I am constantly amazed at what you are working on and finishing. Are you really that fast? Lightening speed!!!

  10. I love the fairy design and the Day of the Dead images. I enjoy varied crafts also, and bounce from quilting to jewelry design. For some strange reason, I make jewelry in the spring and summer months, and I sew and quilt during autumn and winter.

  11. I love the petal fairy! One question, how do you safely remove the creases from the fabric when they’ve been stored folded for so long? I have a print on fabric that has some creases from storage and I have been afraid to try to get them out.

    I’m excited to see what you’ll make with the sewing machine. I’ve really wanted one, but I don’t have the time or a place to put one for now. I’d love to be able to sew my own curtains (one of the things I remember my mom making from childhood).

  12. Jenny says:

    I am looking into weaving. My hands hurt me too if I knit too much. (I would love to knit ALL the time) I figure with weaving I still get to play with yarn. I sew every once it a while but I just don’t love fabric the way I love yarn.

  13. congrats on the additional craftiness! if you don’t already own the contemporary quilts book let me know. i’d be willing to destash my copy for $12 including shipping.

  14. that’s fantastic! I have a sewing machine that I only use for hemming pants, mainly because I don’t feel really comfortable with how to use it- I could rally use one of those introductory classes, too. And I LOVE embroidery- I use dot do a lot more of it before I got so into knitting. But I did recently pick up a Japanese embroidery book, so I might be getting down to more embroidery soon!

  15. Over the last year I have turned my focus to sewing over knitting. While I still love knitting – it’s a great craft/hobby to add to the skill set. The Sew What book is great, too! I made a wonderful skirt using that book.

  16. Natalie B says:

    Oh my, I knit (of course) and quilt. On my wish list is crewel and sewing my own clothing; also, weaving and spinning. Lordy, where to stop, right?! I do find I don’t seem to get far beyond the knitting and quilting. I just have so many projects on the go, that I can’t yet justify starting a new craft form. I do believe that everything happens in its own good time, so I don’t stress! By the way, your cross stitch and embroidery is beautiful! If you ever come to Victoria, BC you’ll need to stop by the Button and Needlework Boutique (http://www.buttonedup.com/)

  17. chandilear says:

    Love it! I’m so glad to hear you do other crafts!

    I totally agree… I can’t knit all the time or my hands just hurt far too much!

    So I do other crafts. Some of my favorites are:

    -mosaics: I love shabby shic mosaics with white grout… I do tables, birdhouses, piggy banks, coasters, trashcans, you name it.
    -sewing: I also love sewing… especially skirts and quilts!!
    -polymer clay: I ADORE working with clay, even “regular” clay but I don’t have a kiln and all that so just stick with polymer clay. So many options!!

    ETC ETC. There are a gazillion others, like scrapbooking, cardmaking, basket weaving, painting, drawing, etc, but I’ll hush up. Thanks for this post!

  18. Angie says:

    I dream about making a quilt someday. That one on the cover of the book you showed is really beautiful. If it weren’t for knitting I guess I would sew more. I like some embroidery, but I’m not very good at it. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Yeah, I’m pretty much in love with that quilt:)

  19. Carole says:

    Wow! Free time! I have a full time job and three kids (read two full times jobs) so there is no such thing as free time. If I did I would be baking, sewing, gardening, needlepointing, and cooking. You lucky, lucky girl! This is why it takes me twice as long to knit a sweater as you! I love your knitting projects. They are inspirational. I have been knitting for over 40 years (my mom taught me when I was 5) but just don’t have the time to knit as much as I fantasize about. I enjoy your blog very much.

  20. Though I’m out of work right now, I seem to have more interests than time! In addition to knitting, I like to write, do a little scrapbooking of vacation photos with my mother, a bit of genealogy, and also try to read. But if I could live forever, I’d go back to gardening, painting, and drawing, and take up photography. And there is a crewel kit of Victorian houses I started in 1992…

  21. I am really glad to hear that your career move is working out for you. Love hearing about your other interests too! I love my two Viking/Husqvarna sewing machines – there are so many great specialty presser feet and they basically work for every machine.

    Totally agree on the “non cutesy, religious or country” patterns – this is what always made me shy away from needlework. I was talking to my GYN about needlework (as she knits and does needlepoint) and she said there are sites online where you can send in a copy of any artwork you want printed on the canvas and they will do it for you. They may even have a list of artwork you can already choose from. I haven’t googled for it, but I thought I’d mention it. But designing your own sounds great too!

  22. Oh, forgot to say – two other sewing books you may want to try are the two Built by Wendy books. There is one for wovens and one for knits. Both include patterns with the book. I haven’t made any myself, but many people (particularly with your slender build) have really liked the patterns. Check patternreview.com for reviews of the Built by Wendy patterns if you’re curious.

  23. I dabble in embroidery, and I sew, but I haven’t made much time for either craft lately, as knitting has been my most serious hobby.

    I love those Day of the Dead patterns!

  24. Congrats on the free time. I have just started sewing myself and I am working on myfirst block quilt I also love to needlepoint and embroider, but have a really hard time finding styles I like too – where did you find all of those beautiful prints?

  25. Anonymous says:

    I also am just starting to sew. I noticed that you have that the Sew What Skirts book. That was a really good choice! I have sewed 4 skirts from that book (pretty much all I can sew now) and everyone is so impressed when I tell them that I made them myself. For me, it is all about the fabric-and that book lets you have the gratification of sewing things with fabric that you love (and also that you can compliment knitted pieces with!) without having to be a seamstress! It is a wonderful book, I have really enjoyed working with it, and I am excited to see the gorgeous skirts that you come up with!

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