drat

Oh sure, I planned out all my spring and summer (and probably fall and winter, if I’m honest) knitting, and Quince and Co releases a collection of patterns for their linen yarn. I love linen. I especially like the little apron-like top. It’s fun and different, and I have a thing for linen and aprons.

apron

In fact,  I have a pinafore from Rough Linen and I love it so much. I wear it all weekend no matter what I’m doing-yard work, cooking, cleaning. It’s the best thing ever. I have the natural linen color, but I think I might save up for a black one too. And then I’ll wear it everywhere, and pretend it’s a tunic top and not an apron at all.

pinafore

I also love this linen dress (found via Miss Moss). I might need to make myself something similar. I could wear a dress like that every day and be happy about it.

jane-sew-006

Next time I’ll have a post about something I actually made, instead of talking about things I want to make.

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a project

I’ve been doing so many things, so I’m going to have to do a whole bunch of catching up. I thought I’d start small, with one of my favorite things that I’ve made lately, although I didn’t actually make it by myself.

Years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a stack of quilt tops that had been handed down to her. She didn’t know exactly who in her family made them, but they came from Arkansas and West Virginia and were made in the 30’s and 40’s. I don’t know if they were made by the same person, or several different people. The fabrics are pretty amazing, but the workmanship is not the best.

quilt2

I started on this particular quilt top ages ago. I started to hand quilt it, but it wasn’t anything close to being flat, so I gave up on that idea, and it has just been languishing. I pulled it out again and decided to just tie it, and not worry about all the puckering and bunching.

quilt1

I kind of tied the crap out of it, but I absolutely love it. The fabrics are so fun to look at, and there are lots that I wish I had larger pieces of for my stash. I backed it with a 30’s inspired rose print and bound it with another stripe-y 30’s-like print, and I think they are just perfect with the colorful top.

quilt5

The maker of the quilt top may not have been the most skilled seamstress, but the whole thing is hand stitched, and I think she had a great eye for color. I hope she would be happy with what I did, and be pleased that it is being used and loved.

quilt4

There’s a certain melancholy to an unfinished project, isn’t there? I think about all my half-finished things laying around, and wonder if years from now someone will find something I’ve started and value it enough to finish. Or maybe I should just get it together and finish what I start.

quilt7

quilt6

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new year

Happy New Year! 2013 is starting much like 2012 did, and I find myself once again job hunting. I am beginning to feel like this life is a bit too much like Groundhog Day, so I hope I get it right this time, and don’t have to keep repeating everything.

I don’t have any grand resolutions to reveal, just a few areas I want to focus on this year. Besides finding the perfect job, I mean.

Books on the Nightstand usually has a yearly reading challenge, and this year Ann has initiated Project Short Story. I don’t think I’ve read many short stories since high school, with the exception of maybe O. Henry and some of the shorter Sherlock Holmes stories, so I love this idea. I am going to try and read a few short stories each week (as well as participating in the monthly reads they’ll be discussing), and I’ll note them here, just to keep track for myself. There are lots of online resources, so I’ll add links whenever possible. I don’t have any plans for specific genres or an exact number goal, but I do hope that it will help me read more this year than I did in 2012.

Today I think I’ll pick a story from this book, which I found years ago in a used book shop:

Winter's Tales

I love the bookplate and the note about “conserving essential materials” during the war. I also love this photo of Karen Blixen:

karen blixen

I think I need a pet owl and a head scarf, it’s a very elegant look, don’t you think?

Now that I once again have some free time, I’ve also decided to focus on one big project each week. I have so many things I want to do, that I often find myself paralyzed with indecision and end up getting nothing done. This week’s project is a slipcover for the wing chair in my living room. Giving myself the week means that I can break it down into manageable chunks each day, and will still have time for other things too, like reading short stories, knitting, and cooking and cleaning and errands, and job hunting too, of course.

My other area of focus is going to be training little Pixel to be a good dog. He’s getting better at walking on a leash, and can sit and shake when there are snacks involved. He is very enthusiastic about giving high-fives, and will kind of, sort of stay for brief moments, but he doesn’t come when called when he’s outside, and I want to change that quickly. He’s slipped out our gate a couple times, and has a grand time running away, while giving me a heart attack. Our street is sometimes busy and the speed limit is 45mph, so it’s not a safe place for a little dog to be. I’ve since made it as secure as possible with a little chicken wire and zip ties. I still get nervous when he’s out there, though, so some obedience training will be a priority starting this week. Also, he is just so super cute:

pixel

What about you? Do you make grand resolutions or goals? Or maybe a list of things you want to accomplish? Have you ever made a resolution and really stuck with it for a whole year?

Short stories for this week:

Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta by Kate Braverman

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tiny and cute

I have important things to do, but I took a little time here and there over the past few days to make a tiny pink bunny. Because sometimes you just need to do something pointless like that. 

image from www.flickr.com

I can't take much credit for the cuteness, I used a pattern and kit from The Old Pincushion, purchased over a year ago. She has lots of very cute patterns (and the supplies) for various little creatures, I can wholeheartedly recommend her shop.

And now I'm patting myself on the back for actually finishing a project, even though it is quite tiny. 

image from www.flickr.com

Most of the sewing was done by hand. I am not particularly talented with this, or with making small things. It's not something I will probably do very often, but the challenge of it is fun once in a while. 

image from www.flickr.com

I'm quite tempted by the tiny elephant pattern. Perhaps I should order it now, so I can make it next year.

image from www.flickr.com

Do you like hand sewing and making tiny things? 

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failure

Sometimes things just don't work out how I imagine them in my head. Flush from the success of my window patchwork and my corner office, I thought I'd teach myself how to do paper piecing. It was all going pretty well, and then I got to the second-to-last piece.

Paper piecing

Back to the drawing board. It seems that each piece can only have one seam, and I tried to do two. If any paper piecing experts are reading this, is that the case? I'm off to do a little more research. I just thought it would be good to share the failures along with the successes to keep me honest. 

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