Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Take a Stitch Tuesday 134 Fern Stitch and 135 Beaded Fern Stitch

The Fern samples are done with wool (orange), 3 strands of DMC floss (variegated green), thin mystery thread (green), #5 perle (yellow), and thick Italian thread (blue).

I used the same green mystery thread and some yellow craft beads for the beaded version of this stitch.

Sharon B at Pintangle is not currently posting additional TAST stitches, but if you are interested in learning new stitches, check out the previously posted stitches on her TAST page here.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Morning Star Count - 19 Vertical Lines

I have managed to stitch the hexagons together into lines.  Next, I’ll put the lines together to make one big piece.  Check back next week to see how far I get.

Linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Scrappy Cats

When I was going through fabric for another project, I came across this Kitty panel.  I remember I bought it when I was on a quilt guild bus shopping trip.  Our guild took a bus shopping trip every year, so I don’t remember which year.  I’m guessing it was at least 15 years ago.  I thought it was cute, but had no plan on what I would do with it.

I also have a lot of cat prints, most of them smaller pieces – fat quarters or half yard pieces.  I started out by cutting the panel blocks apart and putting a two inch cat fabric border around each one.

I added more borders to join the smaller pieces up, and after a day and a half came up with this. It looks a little wonky because I have it hung with clothes pins to the curtains.

It’s a good size for a couch quilt or I might add some borders to make it the size of a twin bed.  This is all I'm doing with it for now. 

How do you organize your fabric stash?  It seems like every time I need fabric, I end up pulling it all out, making a big mess that has to be reorganized to put away.  Sometimes I organize by size – fat quarters together, one yard size pieces together, larger pieces together, etc.  Sometimes, I group them by color or pattern regardless of size. No matter how I organize, it seems like I always have a big mess when I go to look for what I want.  Any ideas for organizing in a small space? I need help.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Two Finished Bags

I finished two of the three fabric bags I started. (front and back of each)

I probably would have finished the third one, except for the fact that when I tried to press it, the too hot iron melted the fabric.  I think I can replace that little pink square, but not today.

Friday, June 26, 2015

How to Behave in the Subway

I recently saw these two signs in the subway in Sapporo. Even those of us who are illiterate can still understand the meanings.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Work In Progress Wednesday - Moving My Way East

I’m stitching my way east, across the northern part of the map.  I’ve finished Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming since the last time I posted, for a total of 18 completed states.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 Smalls Stitch-A-Long - Blackwork Cushion

This month I’ve made a blackwork cushion, backed with black velvet.  It is stitched with one strand of DMC black cotton floss on 28 count linen.


Linking up with Heather of Stitching Lotus, the hostess of the stitch-a-long.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Take a Stitch Tuesday - #125 Beaded Herringbone

My samples of the Beaded Herringbone are done with two strands of cotton floss and #11 seed beads (green) and #5 perle cotton and larger beads (blue).

Sharon B at Pintangle is not currently posting additional TAST stitches, but if you are interested in learning new stitches, check out the previously posted stitches on her TAST page here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Morning Star Count - Apron Layout

My new hexagon project is an apron.  I can hear it already – you want to say that I don’t cook!  All the more reason to have this apron!  It’ll just be for looks and I won’t want to get it dirty.

I laid out the 210 hexagons I had already made, but I was short a few.  I quickly basted a few more.  After moving and changing things around for most of the day, this is what I think I’ll go with.

I plan to make a tie and attach it to the top. I’ll need to make 50 or 60 more hexagons to back the edges, but that can come later.  For now, I’ve started stitching the greens together.

Linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts and Anthea at Hibiscus Stitching.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The English Speaking Tea Party

I have a weekly adult English class that I just love.  They are so enthusiastic about everything.  A couple of weeks ago I introduced a lesson about party planning.  The vocabulary included RSVP, venue, and party favors.  We discussed what you need to know to plan a party: why have it, when to have it, where to have it, who and how many to invite, and entertainment, among other things. 

After all that, I suggested we host an English speaking tea party and they thought it would be fun.  They chose a date and time and decided who to invite. They made and decorated the paper invitations, seriously considering what information the invitation needed, including things like whether to spell out or abbreviate Saturday. One person wrote the information of the chalk board during the discussion and when everyone agreed on the information, the invitation making began.

We decided to play a few games for the entertainment.  I taught four games to them one week and they decided who would teach each one, using Rock, Paper, Scissors.  The next two weeks they practiced teaching and playing the games, in addition to making the “props” needed. I did not give them the directions or rules written out because I wanted them to understand the games, then process them into their own words, rather than to read off or memorize my words.

The first was a get acquainted name game. Basically, the first person says her name and a food she likes that begins with the first letter of her name, for example, my name is Pamela and I like peaches.  The second person does the same for her own name, then repeats the previous person’s name and food. Each subsequent person does that for all the previous people, so the last person says everyone’s names and foods.  In order to make our guests feel comfortable, we decided to make name tags at the party and to make little cards with initials and food, just in case our guests couldn’t think of a food in English or remember the other people's names.  I knew all of the people, but they didn't all know each other before the tea party.

The next game is called Occupations.  They made cards ahead of time with the names of different occupations.  One person pulled a card, keeping it to herself.  The rest of the people took turns asking yes/no questions, such as is your job dangerous, do you wear a uniform, does your job require a university degree.  The others try to guess the person’s occupation.

The third game is a counting game called Fizz Buzz.  The group counts off, trying to get to 50.  Instead of five or multiples of five, the person on that number must say Fizz.  Instead of seven (including 17, 27, etc.) or multiples of seven, the person on that number must say Buzz.  If a mistake is made, the group starts over with one.  It’s harder than it sounds!

The fourth game is also a yes/no question game.  A card with the name of an animal is pinned to each person’s back.  All at the same time, people are trying to figure out what their animals are by asking the other people yes/no questions, such as do I have a long tail, do I have four legs, do I breathe fire. They were very creative in using the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals.

We made little fabric pouches with tea bags inside to give as party favors.  I stitched the casing for the ribbon with my sewing machine and they stitched the bag and put the ribbon in the casing.  They could have done all of the stitching, but this is an English class not a sewing class.  I could have stitched the whole bag, but I wanted them to feel some ownership in the little gifts they were giving. 

In addition to the name tags, they also made a Welcome sign for the door.

So, yesterday was the party day.  I meant to take pictures of the wonderful food the students brought and a few pictures of the game playing but I forgot!  Someone else remembered to take a group picture with a timer before everyone left.

Everyone was wonderful using their English skills. They claimed to be nervous, but I couldn’t tell.  The explanations were perfect and everyone else understood. The food was delicious. The games were a lot of fun.  I think everyone had a good time.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ted's Birthday Month

If you’ve been reading long, you know that Ted and I celebrate the whole month, not just the day, for our birthdays.  June is Ted’s month and I always think he gets less birthday than I do.  For one thing, June only has 30 days, while December (my birthday month) has 31 days. 

The job he has in Japan takes a lot of his time in June.  The summer is short in Hokkaido, so outdoor students have to pack a lot of camping, climbing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, etc. into a short amount of time, which means every weekend and some of the weekdays. This week he is away at an outdoor educators conference, followed by a two day hike up to the highest onsen in Japan.  I saw him and one of his students off to the airport by bus.

We have had a few birthday meals together.  We ate at Ren Ren Ren Chinese Restaurant last week.

Happy Birthday, Ted!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Blackwork Heart

 Here is my finished blackwork heart.  I might make it into a little sachet.  Two of the stitch group members thought they might make theirs into coasters.  We just haven’t decided yet.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Birds

Have you seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds?  I felt like I was in the Hokkaido version of The Birds.  I was walking home from the garden and I decided to take a short cut through the trees by the university.  Two giant jungle crows started making a ruckus and attacking me!  Luckily, I had the watering bucket with me, so I started running while swinging the bucket around.  It was a very scary experience.  When I got home, I told Ted about it.  He said they probably have a nest and maybe some babies.  I haven’t walked through that area again, but I did lean out the window and saw them in this pine tree, which is level with our third floor window.  The pictures aren’t great, but I do think they have a little baby in that nest.

While leaning out the window to see the birds, I noticed this little Bug Boy chasing something. Boys here (and maybe boys everywhere) are really fascinated with bugs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Work In Progress Wednesday - The Great Northwest

I’ve been working on the upper left corner of the map and have completed the state of Oregon.

I hope to have more to show next week!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Take A Stitch Tuesday - # 124 Closed Herringbone

I’ve tried out the Closed Herringbone with #8 perle cotton (blue), metallic (pink), two strands of cotton floss (green), and crewel wool (orange).


Sharon B at Pintangle is not currently posting new TAST stitches, but if you are interested in learning stitches, check out the previously posted stitches on her TAST page here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Morning Star Count - 210 Colorful Hexagons

This might be enough, or I might need to cut some more fabric, depending on if I have enough of the colors I need. 

We’ll see.  I want to start laying them out this week.

Linking up with Life Under Quilts.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Stitching Group's New Project

We’re starting a new project!  They’ve been interested in Blackwork so I found this free beginner chart on the NAN website. It’s small and should be a quick stitch.  If they like it, maybe we will try something bigger. 

Here is another of the finished stumpwork pieces.  Isn't it pretty?