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!)