Daffy's Stitchy Friends

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Mystery Quilt Week Three

I finished up with the second clue right after Bonnie posted the third clue of our On Ringo Lake mystery quilt. I'm so pleased I've been keeping up!


Here are the first two clues all finished up. Aren't the colors scrumptious? I think the best thing about finding Bonnie Hunter's blog was learning to look at fabrics by the true color not the print. Best of all, I learned it early on in my quilting journey so I don't have to unlearn anything! 


As soon as I finished up clue two I got clue three all cut out. Cutting went quicker this time, I'm learning to trust this arm again!


Just a few more of clue three, left side to finish. Then we do this same block going the other direction. I do hope the ghost doesn't freak anybody out. There's plenty of wee mushrooms, bunnies, birdies and flowers to soothe.

Sewing is going a little slower as physical therapy on my broken arm is cutting into my free time.  The exercises are boring and painful. But hey! I can wash my hair with both hands again, yippee! 


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Monday, December 4, 2017

Mystery Quilt Week Two

It's the second week of the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt! This week we have a clue that not only can be a tricky block to make correctly...we have to make a lot of them!

With my broken arm still healing, cutting remains a challenge. I have no stamina. Three full days into this clue (plus some) and I am still cutting my pieces!

Flying Geese

I have all the peach/melon fabrics cut and I'm starting on the neutrals. The colors are so lovely. I did grab a few scrap fabrics and sewed a test block to make sure what method I wanted to use. Since I am so slow this year, I think I will do the tried-and-true line-drawing-on-squares rather than try the folded corners ruler. I did buy the ruler but will save learning it for another time.


I'm terribly pleased with the finished first clue. They are just so wonderful! The aqua/turquoise goes so well with the peach/melon. This is going to be a beautiful quilt.

You can join in too! All the instructions are free on Bonnie's blog but it's only free until about February, then you would have to purchase. You can download the all the clues each week and save them, even if you don't have time now to start it.

I'm linking up to Mystery Sunday Link Up, part 2.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Lights Reindeer

Before the miracle invention of pre-lit trees we had to first untangle strings of lights and keep them untangled as we wrapped them around the tree. Then we had to re-wrap when there were unlit areas. If you had old-fashioned lights the entire strand would be dark if one lamp was burnt out. Hopefully, you checked the strand before you strung it on the tree! I remember having loads of fun as a child finding the lamp making the mischief! 

This year finds our funny reindeer untangling her lights. It's a good thing none of the lamps are burnt out! 

My Christmas gift to you, my beloved readers. Read below how you can receive a free copy of the pattern.



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Please email me to receive a copy of the design at daffy-cat AT hotmail DOT com. Tell me the name of the design you are requesting. This one is Lights Reindeer.

Respect my copyright and do not upload my designs to any website or share with other people. Yes, they are free but I still retain copyright.

My designs are published as PDF. You must have the free Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view/print my patterns ~ or a similar PDF viewer.

As always you can click the cat in my sidebar to see my other designs. They are always available for the asking.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Friday, December 1, 2017

I Can Sew!

I can! I can sew just fine! I have no stamina, but with lots of breaks to rest my very tired arm, I can iron, cut and sew!

I had great news at the doctor's visit on Tuesday, my x-rays showed the bone was healing very nicely and I was instructed to go about sling-free and to move my arm as much as possible. I am free! Well, almost! I can't lift my arm very high and I have little strength but I start physical therapy next week to help with that. I spent the last three days happily pottering about in my studio.


I got all my strip sets sewn and cut. 


Before I knew it I had the first clue all finished! The second clue came out this morning and can start cutting those pretty peachy fabrics and sew flying geese. Lots and lots of flying geese.


The weather has been mild enough for me to leave the back door open and let Molly pretend to be an indoor/outdoor dog. She mercilessly teases the four little neighbor dogs and you can see some of them lined up at the fence,  begging for her attention.

"Sorry, Mom. I can't help it if those little yappy dogs bark like mad every time I run laps!"

Dash has been out of town all week for work and Molly has been quite worried. She will be so happy this evening when he returns! I still can't play fetch correctly, my aim has disappeared! Molly cheerfully fetches whatever object she's brought me to throw even though it went wonky. Probably good practise and exercise for me, as my hobbies are. All this cutting and sewing and moving...I think I can already move a little easier even though I'm pretty sore!

I am off to start more cutting and sewing. Flying geese, here I come!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mystery Quilt Week One

When I broke my arm, I was in the big middle of cleaning and organizing my studio in preparation for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt On Ringo Lake. It's taken me every bit of effort to get the studio finished (mostly) and my fabrics purchased. Being one armed isn't for sissies!


I took a photo from every corner of my studio. The main thing I did was move one bookcase to stand beside it's brother and put the sewing cabinets back-to-back so Fern and Jake could be out at the same time. I only wish I had company...we could sew together!


Ironing is slow going! I'm glad to have the Oliso so I don't have to lift so much! The ironing motion is very close to one of the exercises I need to do so I'm doing that and looking very silly! I do most of my cutting on the end of the ironing station. Power Cutting, you don't need much room!


Not much ever changes at the stitchy desk where the computer lives.


I must close the door to get a ruler or my mini ironing board. Or the dog gate if Molly is being obnoxious! She loves to herd the spray starch!


Here are most of my Mystery Quilt fabrics. Mostly fat quarters and a bit of yardage. A lot of the neutrals are still on the shelf when this photo was taken.


I still have to iron most of the chocolate and all the aqua before I can move on to more cutting and then sewing. 


I do have all the neutrals ironed and the strips cut for the first clue. I have a broken arm and it takes forever to do stuff! But I am doing it! I don't even know if I can sew yet...I guess I will find out!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Long Haul

The New Moon is today...have you polished your ORT jars? My broken arm doesn't allow me to do much but I have been able to put a few stitches in. Look! Two whole ORTs!


I'm five weeks in now with this arm. Slow going, but I'm in it for the long haul, right? Speaking of long hauls, the last time les moutons came out to play was 2009, started in 2007.


I can't say I've enjoyed stitching the last few bits here but at least I can stitch if I set my mind to it. I can't make an upsweep with my arm to pull the thread through but a few tugs on the thread brings it up. Long haul. Sigh!

I can't wait to use my arm again!

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Now it is YOUR turn...we want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your November TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sidelined

It's the New Moon, time for the Totally Useless Stitch A Long! Unfortunately, I have no ORTs at all. Zip.
Zilch.

Remember last New Moon, I was kinda griping about wasting time and such? I decided the biggest thing keeping me from crafting was the state of my house. I simply cannot feel "free to be me" if I have other obligations that need doing first. 

Objective One. Get the house cleaned up! Bright and early October 2nd I waded in, one room at a time. Everything got cleaned. Once I had the house clean, I started on my sewing studio. I had gotten about half way with the studio last week, when I had to take a break to go help my dad.

You see, my mom suffers from Lewy Body Dementia and cannot be left alone at all. Dad had some errands that needed running so my daughter and I went to spend the day visiting and watching out for mom. It was uneventful. Mom just slept. Jess and I sat at the kitchen table chatting. 

Then the bed alarm went off and I jumped up in a rush! Dad had warned us mom keeps ending up on the floor. Somehow, I tripped on air (there was nothing there) and face planted myself. Jess wrangled mom while I tried to sort myself out. We finally ended up calling my dad to come home so Jess could take me to the hospital. 

I broke my right (dominant) arm just below the shoulder. No cast, no surgery,  just a sling and pain pills while it heals. I also skinned both knees, both elbows and must have really wrenched my big toe because it’s black and blue.




I am in quite a lot of pain, grouchy and moody. My dog doesn’t understand I can’t play fetch. I feel like a toddler getting my meat cut up and eating clumsy with my left hand. In fact, this post was clumsily tapped out with my left hand, with many painful shift key applications by my right hand. My studio is in shambles and I can't do anything about it.

Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt is kicking off soon, something I was looking forward to all year, and I might not be healed enough to do it.

Enough whinging! I will have to get by with vicarious crafting! Go blog people! It's all I have!

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Now it is YOUR turn...we want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your October TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Friday, September 29, 2017

Don't Miss!

My dad got Thai food for us for lunch one day when I was visiting. He really wanted me to try this dish. I'm glad I didn't miss trying it because now it's my favorite thing to eat. I did find a Thai place here in town that makes it but at $14 a pop, it's a little too steep to eat very often! What to do when you are addicted to extra spicy garlic black pepper beef? Try making it yourself:


It turned out good but not perfect. I will keep trying! Being "not perfect" did not keep me from devouring every bit of this (minus what Dash ate) over two days. 

I wanted to share some crafty things I hope you didn't miss from our fellow bloggers in the last month...

Carol found instructions to make a darling wreath and it is awesome! Don't miss seeing the entire post on her blog at The Polka Dot Chicken


Heather has been working with felt. I am over the moon with her start of these 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments. I am dying to get these patterns and make them myself! Don't miss seeing the entire post on her blog at It's Geek to Me.


Honeybee blew my mind with her shaped ornaments! Goodbye boring circles and rectangles! Don't miss seeing how she does these on her blog at The Copper Fox.


Kevin's been making incredible tote bags out of animal feed bags! His cracked corn one turned out particularly cute. What a great way to reuse something that would just be thrown away. Don't miss how to make one yourself on his blog Kevin the Quilter.


Oh, so many wonderful things I want to do! My fellow bloggers are amazingly creative people. I might make this a periodical theme, sharing the fun things that catch my heart. You might find a great new project and a new blog to follow and I won't forget where to go when I want to try! 

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Time Flies

It's already time for the Totally Useless Stitch A Long? It's the New Moon so I guess so! I have added a few ORTs to my jar but with all the "free" time I have now, I feel it isn't very much.


Yes, The Finery of Nature came out to play. The black fabric is so hard on my eyes it's slow going. If this had been worked on light colored fabric it would have been finished long ago!


Design ~ Pumpkin Flower Sampler
Designer ~ Bent Creek
Fabric ~ 28 count unknown evenweave
Fiber ~ called for Gentle Arts & DMC

I did finish the Bent Creek a couple weeks ago. The camera wouldn't capture the colors except in this odd angle photo. I don't like the "sampler" stitches that go between the letters in these BC sampler designs so I leave them out. Is that weird? It just looks cluttered and crowded with them to me. I have no thoughts on a finish-finish for this one.



 I have been trying to come up with a schedule for myself since becoming a Lady of Leisure but have been unable to set one. I keep losing track of the days! I am a little out of sorts as yet, getting used to not having to wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning, not having to be anywhere by a certain time...the entire unstructured chaos of it has me in limbo and I can get nothing done! Where is my order? I need to find it soon! 


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Now it is YOUR turn...we want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your September TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fall Y'all?

Autumn must be just around the corner. How do I know? Look:


The leaves of my Pear tree are turning! We had a couple of chilly nights (bizarre August weather this year) that must have given my tree signals. Just gorgeous colors!


I'm also in the mood for Autumn stitching and started this cutie Bent Creek pumpkin. It's astonishing, I'm even using overdyed threads on this one! I still love my DMC most though!


I finished the Blackbird Designs pinpillow, it just needs Finish-Finishing and that will probably happen soon. I like any excuse to use the Singer 404!

The tragedy in Texas is unbelievable. My prayers for all involved are heartfelt. I remember what Mr. Rogers said when you see terrible things happen, "Look for the helpers." and my word, what incredible helpers there are out there. Blessings, blessings to you!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox


Monday, August 21, 2017

ORTs Eclipsed

Woo! We made it through another Lunar Cycle and the New Moon is here again. Time to show off those ORTs for the Totally Useless Stitch A Long! My mojo is turned on full strength and I have loads of ORTs to share!


That is the most full that jar has been in ages. I have ORTs to spare!


I also have some trimmings in my wooden leaf bowl from making pinpillows.


But all my ORTs were eclipsed by today's event in the USA. A total solar eclipse passed through, although I live in the about 87% of totality area. I got to watch as it got darker and darker. It's rather creepy and I can see why ancient cultures were totally freaked out by the event! 


I made the Frosted Flakes box into a view using directions online. It worked Grrrreat! But, I found the paper on the ground and hole punched in an index card trick much easier, plus I could take pictures!



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Now it is YOUR turn...we want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your August TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox


Friday, August 18, 2017

A New Beginning

I am starting a new chapter in my life...for health and sanity reasons I have quit my job to become a Lady of Leisure. After a crazy couple of weeks of getting a replacement "me" trained, it is done! My coworkers got me a cake and they all chipped in and sent me off with a hefty Joann's gift card!  I cried, but already a huge burden is off my shoulders. Here is to a happier, if poorer me! Cheers!


This morning, I took Miss Molly out in the backyard to give her fur a good brush out. She had to run away to bark at a father pushing his kiddo in a stroller across the street. They stopped and waved and then stayed and watched as Molly got brushed and waved again as we went back inside. I must remember to dress nicer and wear a bra next time we go outside if the neighbors are going stop to watch!


Here is my new start, another Blackbird Designs pin pillow. This has been nice to stitch so far. I really enjoy the dense motifs stuffed into the small area. I'm stitching with my usual DMC, loving the tweeded colors! If you look close, you can see two different colored threads in my needle. Very pretty!


Now, I am off to stitch and maybe even clean house a little. I do hope no one stops by...I am still braless! And enjoying every minute of it!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Favorite Kitten

This design was serious fun! I couldn't even be bothered to stop and blog about starting it before I had it stitched and finished. Too much fun!


Design ~ My Favorite Kitten
Designer ~ Primitivebettys
Fabric ~ 32 count Belfast Linen, Daffycat Dyed
Fiber ~ DMC
Finish ~ Pinkeep

I had a few comments and questions about the Tweet Heart finish so I decided to address those in a similar finish blog post. First off, someone said something like, "You make it sound so easy!" which I worried meant, "This is easy for you to make but "I" could never do this." I want to make it clear this IS easy to make. YOU can do this! So I found a pattern I've had sitting and waiting and made a start, taking photos as I went along...


I have my design stitched. I don't really enjoy stitching on Belfast (it wrinkles like mad) but I wanted its rustic weave for this project. I cut out some iron-on interfacing to cover the back.


I choose a backing fabric and put the interfacing on it as well. Once you have it ironed on don't fiddle with it until it is cooled down. Let that glue set!


I take my pattern and hang it up in the window. 


I put my Kitten over the paper face down so I can draw on the interfacing. The tricky part is centering! Once you think you have it where it goes, tape it up and check it over carefully! Once you're sure, trace over the lines and don't forget to mark the opening you are to leave un-sewed!


I use a Frixion pen. This ink erases with heat. The line I have drawn is my seam line, the line I will sew directly on. If my pattern called for me to sew inside the line, I would draw a second line.


Now, I pin my backing fabric to my stitched piece. Careful! Make sure the pretty sides touch each other! 


Now, I sew on the line, careful to backstitch at the start and stop. What if you don't have a sewing machine? 1. You can hand sew, use tiny, secure stitches. 2. You can have a friend sew it on their machine. 3. You can invest in a machine of your own. Check Craigslist or Facebook marketplace for an inexpensive machine in working order. I am fond of vintage Singers as they are easy to find parts for.


Once my seam was sewn, I ran the hot iron over it to "disappear" the ink. See how the ears are still there? Just a touch of the iron erases the color.


Now, I can trim close to the seam and clip any curves so it will lay nice inside.


The hardest part ~ turning! Careful not to tear out your stitching. Be gentle. Poke. Pull. Squeeze.


I use a turning tool to help poke out ears and tails. A chopstick works great! Careful not to poke through the seam. I run the tool along every seam, pinching from the outside to make sure it gets pushed completely open.


 

Goodness, Belfast creases and crumples.


I iron the piece flat, smoothing out the seam inside with my tool. Open it all up neatly.


Using the turning opening fill your pinkeep with your favorite stuffing. I like ground walnut shells., just pour them in with a funnel. Someone wanted to know why I use them? Because they are heavy and they smell lovely. They give a good weight to your pillow. If your pillow gets damp they won't get sticky like rice or small peas/beans would. I also add a good pinch of dried lavender buds for additional scent.


You can buy the ground walnut shells at the pet shop, sold as bird or small animal litter.. I got about a five pound bag, if I remember correctly. It fit inside this cereal storage container. I have had this same package for several years. Once I had it as full as I could stuff it I used a ladder stitch to close the seam, using sewing thread. Learn this stitch! It is a nice invisible way to close seams. 



 Then I stitched a decorative cross stitch on the seam itself, using a DMC that I tea-dyed. I deliberately made it uneven to give it a rustic, prim feel. After my kitten was done, I used a hot iron to smooth the seam and to remove creases in the Belfast from all the pinching during sewing.





I think my kitten turned out really sweet! Don't forget, he isn't too pretty to stick pins in! Use your smalls and love them. Collecting dust isn't as much fun as being loved and used.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox