November 2020 Stats, Something new and Something old

With a little over a week off work at the end of November, I was able to get into my sewing room (and my mom's) and get quite a bit accomplished. I had progress across stitching, crochet, and quilting. 

Let's start with the stitching and with the "something new." My mom and I decided to try our hand at fabric dyeing after watching a fair amount of flosstube (youtube videos about cross-stitch) and jumped in with some aluminum tins and three different RIT dyes. It was much easier than we expected to mix the dye, prep the fabric and get it into the oven. Once it came out, we rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and I think we got most of the dye out! We laid them all out across the kitchen table to dry and I kept walking by to sneak a peek because they were so pretty. I grabbed a bunch of scraps or older fabric from my stash so I had lots to dye. My mom cut apart some Monaco that she'd picked up and cut it into a few pieces to dye. We used the tutorial from Priscilla and Chelsea - Stitching with the Houswives

In the oven

Aqua dye was the most vibrant - my fabric included some aida and some linen and all took the dye very nicely. 

Denim Blue resulted in a really lovely dusty blue color, much like my favorite jeans. The piece of fabric in the bottom right was a light tan to start and I think the others were white or cream.

The black dye was powdered (I had it for a long time in my stash of craft items) and I threw a piece into it that had some stains (the large piece), so I knew I wouldn't want to use it anywhere they'd show. When the fabric was still wet, it looked more like a slate color, but once it dried some of the color almost separated and it wound up with these really cool specks of red, blue, and yellow throughout. 

Closeup of the black dye

I can't wait to select patterns that I can stitch on these pieces - it sure was fun and I think we may wind up going down a dyeing rabbit hole - my mom said the next day that she'd like to do some yellow, and I'd like to do some green...I think the biggest challenge is that we'll run out of fabric to dye! 

Our dyeing was one part of our overnight sewing mini-retreat that we've been doing since early in Covid - it has been really nice to have the dedicated sewing time together. This time, I worked on a few projects - the first was making an ornament that my mom gave me a few years ago as a gift - I enjoyed making this little reindeer who will find a good spot on my tree this year. 

Next up was trying a new pattern - I used some cork that I bought at a local shop to make this Zippety Bag - it seemed like a crazy pattern, but in the end, it all made sense and really went together quite easily. After I made this one, I made a few more for Christmas gifts. The fun part is that when you unzip them, they lay out flat. 


I also continued to make progress on my son's quilt - I finished up 12 more scrap blocks (one in the picture was made before) and now have only two left to make, and then I can start cutting them up to add them to the background blues. I just love how these blocks look on the design wall. Aren't the rainbow colors so pretty? 

Last up, when I just couldn't make myself sew any more scrap blocks was an old kit - my something old - I purchased this one at least 11 years ago, as it came in before I started tracking my stash in 2010. In many ways, I am glad I waited to start on this one, as I would have struggled with it that long ago - and now it went together quite nicely. I got the main part of the quilt put together but still need to add some applique, so I will share a sneak peek of it with you now - it's called Simply Snowmen and will make a nice small lap or large wall hanging quilt. 

Sneak peek of Simply Snowmen

I also did a lot of crochet this month - it seemed to be the one thing I could concentrate on in the midst of the election chaos - and I was able to get one side of a sweater finished - this will be a tank sweater and I am thrilled to have the first half of it done! I purchased the yarn a couple years ago and was a little scared to start, but it really went quite easily and hooked up quickly. I will get started on the other half soon - my goal is to finish it before next summer. 

In stitching, I had one secret finish that I will share after Christmas, and also finished up my October and November blocks for my Stitchingly Months of the Year SAL - as you can see, I cut it really close to the bottom of the fabric, so this one likely won't wind up in a frame. I can't believe there's only one more month of 2020 and one more block to stitch. I am really glad that I've kept up with it throughout the year. 

October celebrates Halloween and November celebrates Diwali

I also spent an afternoon working on fully finishing some of my cross-stitch, but don't have anything to show for it - I wound up doing a lot of prep work so that next time I am motivated, I can work through a bunch assembly line style. I did learn however that I really need to work on improving my bows...or finding some cute buttons or embellishments to hide the part I don't do well! 

Whew, that was a lot more to share than I thought it would be when I started - thanks for sticking in - the official reports follow: 

Stash Report - with Donna at Quilt Paint Create

Fabric added this month: 0 yards
Fabric used this month: 7 1/8 yards (thanks to baby quilt, snowman kit, and FFO prep)
Fabric added year to date: 11 5/8 yards
Fabric used year to date: 77 3/8 yards

Net fabric used: 58 5/8 yards - I'd like to add a little more to this total in December so I can break the 60 yard mark. 

Crafting time Report - with Kate at Life in Pieces

Days with at least 15 minutes of stitching time - 30/30 = 100% - the third month this year, yeah! 

Exercise Report

Weeks with at least 90 minutes of exercise - 3/4 = 75%

Hope you all had a nice end to your November, and for those in the US, hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and had a chance to talk with or Zoom with your family if you weren't able to see them. We had a really fun family Zoom that brought together some family members we hadn't seen in years and it was nice to reconnect (although I will admit I prefer the work Zoom meetings where everyone knows when to mute 😄). Hope that you're finding plenty of time to make progress on your own crafts and other activities to keep you busy. 


Kate said…
You had a really good month! The rainbow quilt for your son is looking good. Your monthly cross stitch block project looks good too. Do you have an alternate finishing step if you can't frame it? Yeah for 100% on the stitching time for November. You definitely made the time work for you. Hope your holiday plans are going well. Stay healthy!
What a wonderfully filled month you had crafting, Jennifer! That reindeer ornament is adorable. Well done on the fabric dyeing! Happy December!
Carol said…
I'm always amazed at the sheer number and variety of craftiness that you achieve while working full time and raising children, Jennifer! Wow! I wish I had half your energy! And I love the fact that your mom joins you... You fabric dyeing night was obviously a success--beautiful colors. And your rainbow quilt is coming along nicely, too! The Zippity Bag isn't like anything I've ever seen--how was it working with the cork?

Glad you had a nice, if unusual, Thanksgiving! I'm sure hoping two of my sons can make it home for Christmas. I haven't seen my youngest in a year now :(

Enjoy your weekend and the countdown to Christmas! ♥