Ladies' Morning

Yesterday morning I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat with the Bag Ladies. We went through my always-growing stash of embroidery floss deciding what was already available, what was needed, and what could be substituted.

When one does as much embroidery as I do, it's easy to collect skeins of floss until a new room needs to be added onto the house. You knitters and crocheters can probably relate, even if the quilter in you is better at using scraps than I am. I went through the colors listed on the patterns to see what was already available in my stash. When I didn't have the correct color, I checked the DMC color chart to see if I had anything I could substitute. Where I made substitutions I created a little color key for myself so that I could keep everything straight. (These are things one must do when one is feeble-minded.)

If I didn't have the right color, I put it on a list to purchase, and I'll do that tomorrow. As I was getting everything organized, I decided it might be helpful if I showed you how I organize my floss when I'm gearing up for a new project. The skeins in use are wrapped on a plastic floss bobbins and then placed on a metal ring to keep them together.

The floss bobbins are available at JoAnn. The come in cardboard and plastic. I happen to prefer the plastic ones since they are sturdier and they can be used again and again. The packages come with a metal ring, but you can also find those at any office supply store. 

When I need multiple skeins of a certain color, I use a safety pin to keep the skeins together...again, it's just to keep them from flying all over. Also, they help me keep tabs on what I have and what I need. 

It annoys the heck out of me when I buy a new skein of a color already in my stash. I feel the same way about bottles of herbs and spices. Have you ever noticed that you can never find the spice you're looking for...even when you're sure you already have one...until you buy another. Then, it practically jumps out of the cabinet at you next time you open the door. (Please tell me this happens to you too.)

Safety pins are such a handy tool. For this project, I have all the ladies pinned together. We don't want anyone wandering off, now do we?

Recently someone who's joining in the stitch-along inquired about when she would be contacted to purchase the pattern. If you emailed me that you are joining in, Chickadee Hollow Designs will be contacting you this week to arrange for your 10% discount. If you did not email me and you want to join in, click on that link above and tell her Cat Patches sent you. That way, you can collect on the 10% discount. The stitch-along starts January 1st, and so now would be a good time to be getting your kit ready to go. 2017 is closer than it seems. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, click right here to read all about it.

Cat Patches

If you're new to embroidery, this is a great one to start with because the patterns come with the design already stamped and colored on the fabric. All you need to do is stitch. Besides...it makes a very cute quilt. Just sayin'...

And if that doesn't entice you, just know that we'll be having a linky party on the last day of each month. You don't even have to finish your block to link up. Everyone who links up will be eligible to win a monthly prize of one of these needle threaders from Puffin & Company. There will be a different one each month.

Cute, huh? So, plan to join in for all twelve months, or just for one, but don't miss out! It's going to be fun! And, hey, if you've been good this year, it's an idea to whisper into Santa's ear.

There was some housework to do yesterday, and that took up a good portion of the day. When I broke free of the ball and chain, I got to work on the Happy Village. When I leave this at the end of the day, I cover it with rulers so that I don't get any design assistance from you know who. Sorry about that reflection in the image below. You're seeing the overhead light in my sewing room.

It occurred to me yesterday that the best way to approach this is to work it in quadrants. Looking at the whole thing at once is a little overwhelming and distracting, and so I focused on the Southeast quadrant yesterday. I looked for any place I could reasonably add a window, a door, or some steps, and I considered different shapes for each. This is what I ended up with:

As I look at this picture, I see a few things I might change, but that was enough for one sitting. Today I might make some adjustments, and either way, I'll get started on the Southwest quadrant.

When I finished with that, I practiced a little more on the free motion pumpkins and vines. Since I have the shape of the pumpkins, I didn't bother switching thread colors. Think of these as pumpkins not yet ripe. This time, I added in a few squiggles and swirls that I hadn't used the day before. I like that little addition, and it helps fill in empty spaces where a vine might be too much.

Here's the rest of what I did before I needed to stop for the day.

I'll continue filling in this practice piece, but I think I'm just about confident enough to commit it to the the Pumpkin Patch table topper.

Today is a CSA pick-up day, but aside from that, it's NBS (nothing but sewing).

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Thank you for the update on the Bag Ladies. The pumpkin and trendrils are looking good.

gpc said...

You are impressing the heck out of me on all fronts. The embroidery is amazing and adorable, the organizational ideas could have saved me years of grief, the Happy Village is going to be fantastic, and the pumpkins are perfect in my view. You are barely human these days. Thank goodness that at least, like me, you end up with duplicate spices. I have a cupboard of shame that no amount of effort seems to prevent.

WoolenSails said...

I love the idea of colored designs to stitch, that would be fun. Usually I just use my art markers and color in things when I want some color.


Lyndsey said...

Thanks for the update on the bag ladies. I use the thread bobbins and they certainly help keep everything organised. I prefer the plastic ones but the card ones do a reasonable job in their absence. I often end up with duplicate threads and spices. It really is most frustrating. Love the pumpkins and tendrils

claudia said...

The bag ladies are adorable! I love them! And yes, I do the same thing as you, look and look all over for he thing that I need and when I have figured I need to buy it, when I get home I find the one I thought I had to buy! I have several items that I do that with! I am so glad that I added your blog to my list of Internet BFF's! I am really enjoying what you share!

quiltzyx said...

Well, I think I may just jump onto the bag lady bandwagon. I will have to get floss & needles & those organizers...oh and a hoop too. What size would be good? Wish me luck!
The village is starting to look like houses and shops now. HOORAY!
I like the like spiraling squiggles too. :)

Wendy Tuma said...

I've never heard of thread bobbins; you have just changed my life. I get really tired of the tangled mess of thread I have. And yes, I get irritated when I buy thread I already have, as well as spices. I went on a roll with red pepper flakes once, kept thinking we were out of it, and ended up with four jars! I should start gifting my extra spices! :-) Wendy at piecefulthoughts@gmail.com

Susan said...

I confess that I too will look for a spice in my cupboard, taking everything out because I know it is in there, but can't find it until I go and buy another one. The same with floss, even though I have them all organized by number.

I prefer the plastic bobbins too as I can put a label with the color and number on them and change it if necessary. With the cardboard ones, once you write on it I can only use it for that color since I write it on both sides of the bobbins since they so often flip over and then I have to be bothered turning them over just to make sure I have the right one. I will use the cardboard ones for extra floss from kits that don't give the brand & Color# of floss. Those I keep in a separate box and use for practice or non-important things.

Susan said...

I forgot to mention that my supermarket carries green pumpkins and they are ripe.

Janarama said...

I use the plastic bobbin holders for my floss and also the large ring for the colors I'm using for a particular project. To keep all of my floss organized, I keep all of my floss (wound on the plastic bobbins) in a few (several) floss bobbin organizers which can be found at Joann's and Michaels. The organizers I purchased also included the plastic bobbins.

You are the only blogger I follow (and I follow a lot) that does so many different techniques when making quilts and they all turn out looking great! Your work never disappoints.

As far as the spices go, you are not alone. My spice cupboard has a few duplicates.

Brown Family said...

The Bag Ladies are calling my name. I did not realize they were already stamped and colored. Does she charge a onetime fee for all of the blocks ore each month? I assume if she is giving a %10 discount, I have to buy them all at one time.

Kate said...

The Bag Ladies are going to be fun to watch come together. Love your pumpkin quilting motif, it's going to be such a great accent to that table topper.