Burke House Crafts


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I’m in!

Recently, I made the decision to go back to school and get my degree. A little over 10 years ago, I was going to school and working full-time and burnout inevitably happened. It was rough, especially since I was paying for school by myself. Not completing my studies wasn’t a choice I made; my wallet made it for me.

I always knew I’d return, and I think that having my daughter helped give me the courage to live my life and be free of certain ideals that were placed upon me from estranged family members. I want her to see that whatever happens in life, you can always bounce back, you can always take action in regards to something. I called a local community college, but got no answer, and decided I didn’t want to go that route again since it was a different community college where I first floundered. I didn’t want that “lost in the sauce” feeling. So I called another university and started the process. It was important for me to call and not text or email or leave a message. I wanted for someone to sort of hold me to the commitment of enrollment. Getting in seemed to be the biggest hurdle, but the people at the registrar office are amazing. Yes, it’s their job to enroll me in school, but they carried the tone that let me know they earnestly wanted to help me.

So, I’m in! I start online classes towards the end of October. In the last post, I mentioned having lost my old laptop to a dead processor, but this week I headed to Best Buy and picked up a new one. Nothing too fancy, but good enough for classes and one that will last me for a bit.

I’m thinking of creating a blog just for school stuff. I might want to write about my experience this time around with a better measure of fortitude, with a husband and baby…..we’ll see. Any thoughts?

Fresh air, fresh perspective

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Sometimes, when you get restless, you have to get out. Today, I decided to get S ready and we headed out to Forbidden Drive for a walk. She was such a peanut (and still is!) that we didn’t get a stroller because she couldn’t fit in it. I mean, we had to use her stuffed toys to prop her up in the cart whenever we went shopping. She finally got bigger and we got a jogging stroller, which gives us a lot more options for places to walk/jog/run.

It did a world of good for my mood since it was feeling like every bit of a Monday. Now, I can keep at it on some secret projects and on #blanketfort2014.

Side note: I’m posting this using the WordPress app, which isn’t bad, but my laptop processor just up and died. It was 3.5 years and I had a good run with it, but I need a new laptop since I’m GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! I’m quite excited, but a laptop is needed since I’m taking online classes. M and I are budgeting for a new one, but any help towards it would be more than you know. I took a few classes 10 years ago, but got burned out since I was working and putting myself through school. Returning to school to get my Bachelor’s Degree means a lot to me. Click here to help out!

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Autumn is coming…

I’m surrounded by various works in progress, but if I stick to my finishing plan, I could be swimming in sweaters come September October. The number of pairs of socks that are waiting to be knit are filling up my knitting basket on the side of the couch. That’s nothing to say of the bag filled with crochet squares, the drawer filled with yarn, and the yarn/fiber/fabric bin in the closet. Oh, and I started cutting fabric scraps into 2.5″ squares to be pieced together and turned into another quilt. BLANKET FORT 2014!

This is a #tbt pullover, nothing fancy, just some stripes. It’s Fibre Company Road To China Light in Aquamarine, Citrine, Malachite, Peridot, Smoky Quartz, and Garnet. I think I intended for it to have saddle shoulders. I’d know for sure if I kept my notes with the sweater. Always keep the patterns & notes with the garment. Keeping them in a book in a separate place only works if you don’t have a stack of notebooks and you’re not sure which one has the numbers you need.

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Another project I’m anxious to finish now is Larch. Chelsea of Figs & Things just finished hers and it’s serving as a huge push for me to finish mine. I’ve divided for the armholes and am currently knitting the fronts at the same time. Fingers crossed that I don’t chicken out and end up with a vest.


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Hexie Quilt is Finished!

Jennifer:

THIS IS AMAZING! I smell a new project coming on.

Originally posted on Measured & Slow:

Ta da! The hexie quilt is finally done!

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The final tally was about 1500 hexagons, 4 spools of thread, and a million hours of sewing, but it was so worth it! It’s a mix of different fabrics from different companies, but there’s a whole lot of Michael Miller and Robert Kaufman in there. I’m really happy with the overall pattern (which was only half me; Mike and Aliya picked out the arrangement of the hexies), but I also love looking at the individual fabrics. As you can see, I used a lot of Just My Type.

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I hand stitched the hexies together, and then quilted them with a decorative loop stitch. I wanted to reinforce the hand stitching so it would hold up to every day use, and the loops add a nice texture. I was asked to make it into a duvet cover instead of a traditional quilt, so…

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Doing it my way

I finished the biscornu a couple of weeks ago, so I laid out my quilt after my craft compass swung from cross stitch to quilting. I pieced the top by machine, but I’m doing the quilting by hand. I wanted to have this finished before S came, but that last trimester kicked my butt and my brain shut down.

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Progress halted on this because I got intimidated by the task of quilting, and doing it without the backing puckering anywhere. Our living room isn’t tiny, but I could have used a little more room and a huge table or some other hard & flat surface to pin the layers together. I got it as smooth as I could on a futon with my rotary mat underneath it. I pinned carefully and went in small sections, but there was still puckering when I started from the middle with my quilting.

I started from the middle because that’s what I read when it came to hand quilting. Following that method lets you smooth the quilt layers (top, batting, backing) from the center in an outward direction and minimizes the chances of puckering and bubbles in the backing. That’d be nice if I had the proper area to pin the thing in the first place. Some places will do this for you, or let you utilize their space, but I wasnt going to pay for it. It can get pricey, and for my first quilt I wanted to be involved in each step and learn. I know now that starting with a corner would’ve worked way better for me, but I thought that would be “doing it wrong”.

There are certain things in life that have hard rules, but I should have known better to remember that when it comes to crafts, you have to do what works for you. In knitting, crochet, spinning, sewing, etc., there are so many different ways to achieve the same results in most instances. It’s all up to the style & learning ability of the crafter themselves.

I have grey and pink Gutermann thread (4507 and 2346, respectively), but I only used the grey on a few squares in the middle so far. I was initially following the rectangles that make up each square, but I didn’t get do anything that can’t be (carefully) picked out. I’ll think of a new design, begin from the corner, and maybe I’ll have a new quilt before it gets cold enough to use it!

(Side note: Because I can never keep one craft on my mind, I also pulled the yarn I had set aside for a blanket for S, and have been brainstorming about a new color scheme and another shape for the motifs. No idle hands here.)


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I might have a new obsession

A little while ago, I noticed that my tomato pincushion was just not cutting it. It held my needles just fine, but it couldn’t hold many needles. When stitching up projects that call for many colors, and for them to be used often, it helps to have some pre-threaded and waiting for you to use them. My little sad tomato was under-performing more and more.

I made a biscornu!

Cross Echoes Biscornu Pattern

Typically, they should fit into the palm of your hand. However, I wanted it to be bigger than the old tomato. At 5″ wide, I can have multiple needles for multiple projects ready to go. I don’t have to worry about it rolling underneath a table, chair, or sofa. Since S is beginning to move a lot more and at a quicker pace, I need to make sure that no needles go missing.

I’m already planning the next one, and now that my new cushion is finished, I can get back to working on my Once Upon A Time sampler! We’re already up to June and I only have January finished, so I’ve got some work to do.

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