Oops, I did it again

Two more victims – the last one only lasted a couple of hours. Total number of the new DMC needles shredded is now 5 (four #28 and one #26).

They always break at the very top as you can see below. Also, as I noted after enlarging the picture, they seem to have very rough eyes – no wonder my thread broke frequently. Not quite what I expect when I order stuff by such a well-known brand.

The good news is that I finished DWXS6 a couple of days ago. Still, no time to wash it yet because I was busy with my ‘book of ideas’ and other stuff (cross stitching a Christmas surprise, collecting inspiration, starting a full inventory of my craft supplies). Today I rearranged my book shelves and took out all of my VHS cassettes. Now I need to decide which ones to keep and what to do with the rest. Sigh.

Swag bag

When I returned from my weekly visit to Mum’s a couple of days ago I brought back a swag bag full of goodies.

From Mum I got

  • a travel steam iron (which comes in handy for small projects)
  • a beauty glove (which I’m planning to use as a dry felting base – hope it works)
  • assorted gift ribbons
  • a bag with different cotton yarns (Why do I always seem to attract pink?)

From an unknown donor, a small bowl of useful things left in the staircase for whomever might want them, including

  • a plastic bag of buttons (already sorted and cleaned)
  • a latch hook
  • a crochet hook (5 mm)
  • three circular needles, 5 and 6 mm (80 cm/32″) and 3 mm (40 cm/16″)
  • a set of dpns (5 mm) plus two leftover dpns (3.5 mm)
  • some beige sockyarn and some gray acrylic yarn

Especially the needles are a welcome addition to my collection as I was lacking the 5 mm ones.

Pleading guilty

of looting and damaging a work of art or two 😉

Kiel Week is over and the huge playground Spiellinie on the slopes of Krusenkoppel is closed. So this morning I armed myself with some bags and a pair of scissors to go treasure hunting. I waited about half an hour in the queue, and after paying donating a small sum I got a little piece of paper stating the things I was entitled to plunder. Sadly, the hand made paper had all been used up in making rayfish, but five of the blue jellyfish went into my first bag. Then I gave the giant sea snake a shave and snipped a couple of strips from the seaweed. – After washing and ironing I’ll make the strips into new works of art.

Below are some pictures from my visit yesterday (Sunday) – this year’s motto was Wasser, Wind und Wellenwesen (water, wind and wave beings). The activities for the children include painting, weaving, paper making and building sculptures from mud and straw, they can listen to storytellers and become mud people in the mud bath, hammer boards to wooden castles or pirate ships, among lots more.

Storing Things

Last weekend, I’ve tried my best in getting things organized a little bit more at The UFO Garage & Fabric Depot as well as at The Boudoir which are sharing the same space. I’ve still got some cardboard boxes left, but it’s looking much better now. (Sorry for the poor quality of the shots, I had to take the pictures using artificial light.)

The new plastic bins on the left, already filled with goodies

My fabrics are stored in a drawer cabinet, three big plastic storage bins and lots of smaller containers. I’m keeping my scraps sorted by size in recycled food containers (potato salad, chocolates, ice cream, egg salad – to name but a few). Oh, and a rectangular bowl used by photographers for exposing their films has become a home for the bigger scraps.

The cabinet – half a cubic meter of fabrics inside

One of the drawers – yes, they’re are all filled to the rim

(and yes, that’s a Dalek)

The Treasures Of The Boudoir

Hi! Dave the Muse here again.

As my assistant was busy putting things from cardboard boxes into plastic bins (not very successfully, I have to say) I thought I might write a little post about what is stored in all those boxes.

I’m getting very excited about all that stuff. There a loads of great things like ribbons and lace of all kind – old and new, handmade and by machine, narrow and wide. Glass and plastic beads, big and small. Various craft supplies. Samples of decorator’s fabrics, delicate sheers with glitter prints and rough burlap. Buttons and more buttons. Fancy knitting yarns and sock wool. Sequins, small semi-precious stones. Pieces of cheap jewelry, earrings. Embroidery floss, perle cotton. Found objects.

Box after box opens, spilling new stuff onto the carpet, making my head dizzy with ideas.

Hey, what about introducing some of the stuff to you while we’re waiting for my assistant to finish? I’ll pop over to The Boudoir again and try to get my hands on some of the treasures for a little series. (Edit: Sorry, never had a chance.)

See you,


A Luxury Problem

All neat and tidy now

Recently I gathered all my embroidery floss together from each and every corner of The Boudoir. And because I had to 😉 order the threads for a new project I put two more organizing boxes on top as well as some cardboard bobbins. I’ve now finished winding up all of the new and used floss and the leftover pieces and put them into the boxes.

But I’m left with a little luxury problem, so to speak. A couple of years ago I was given the embroidery floss from my mother’s late aunt. Mostly in different shades of pink, plus some greys and yellows. She had obviously bought it for a project she never made. There were also a couple of skeins I had bought which in the end I replaced by some other colours in the project they were meant for. Luckily, they match the inherited ones quite well. I’ve got quite a collection of unused skeins now.

But what to do with them? This is enough material for a good size project, I will probably still have some of them left after that. Furthermore, pink isn’t one of my favorite colours. This calls for a special project.

So, what to stitch? Flowers come to mind when thinking of pink. Nope. Not this time. Something geometrical or a modern art piece, perhaps.

I think I need an expert – Dave the Muse. He always has a solution.

The Fabric Depot

A couple of project bags

My blog is known as The UFO Garage & Fabric Depot. Let’s talk about the latter. (Edit: my former blog)

Of course, every decent UFO Garage must have a fabric depot aka The Stash. Mine is a cabinet of drawers which holds about two thirds of the fabrics plus a couple of big plastic bins and some plastic bags for the remaining third. The cabinet measures 1.20 x 1.20 x .35 meters. That’s half a cubic meter of fabrics, plus another quarter in the bins and bags. Not enough to open a shop but clearly quite decent for a single person.

Today I went through one row of drawers in my cabinet because I was looking for a special fabric. I found it eventually, but I also found the stuff nightmares are made of. No, not tons of ugly fabrics, although I asked myself occasionally why I had bought this special fabric way back when. The sheer amount of fabrics was what caused the nightmares. And this was only twenty percent of the cabinet’s contents.

Oh dear. I think I need a plan.

After finishing my UFOs and WIPs which are mostly hand sewing projects, I’m going to switch to machine sewing. This is a decision I already made a while ago as my eyesight isn’t improving with age. And I noticed my hand stitches aren’t as tiny and even anymore as they used to be. But this will also mean I’ll have to say goodbye to a lot of patterns I’ve got on my list. And – maybe – in the end I’ll have to sell some of my stuff because I can’t keep the whole lot. More nightmares to come.

OK, but first finish the UFOs, then nightmares.

No More Excuses

Finally found some blue yarn for my rainbow blanket. Not the exact colour I was looking for, it’s merely a grayish blue rather than the cornflower blue I wanted and it contains 20 % wool, but it’s the right gauge. Two balls at 250 grams each, a bargain from the local supermarket. The purple yarn is from my stash, three balls, 600 grams total.


On Friday I was looking for some fabrics for a cut and sew project I wanted to do. Didn’t find what I wanted, but one of my project bags had caught my attention.

I don’t remember where these fabrics came from. Must have bought them on a market. This is not my usual choice of fabrics, I think I bought the collection for the strips. I also used this projects to gain some experience in machine piecing.

The collection contained four 5″ strips of a fabric called Artifacts designed by John Flynn for Benartex and a couple of swatches in earth tones (plus one each in squeeky green and sulphur yellow, respectively).

Artifacts strips

When it comes to cutting fabric I have this little problem. I’m always hesitant to start because I think there might be a better use for those fabrics. This was especially the case with the Artifacts strips. Should I maybe use single motifs for an ‘archaeology’ project? Where to cut? I decided to be brave, took a deep breath and just cut squares. I got nine out of each strip – 36 in all, 12 x 12 cms.

fabric swatches

Then I chose these ten fabrics. Using only the top five and without calculating the amount of fabric needed, I began to cut strips 4 x 12 cms for the sashing. I didn’t want to use the reddish fabric at first but had to because I didn’t have enough of the other ones. After I had done the sewing and pressing on the blocks I cut some more strips 4 x 14 cms for more sashing. Sew, press, done.

Artifacts top

If I’m continuing to produce patchwork tops at this speed, I may have a slight chance of getting rid of my stash in, say, 10 years.

(Despite some editing the pictures do not show the true colours on my screen. Maybe they do on yours.)

Houston, we’ve got a problem

I knew when I was going to re-organize the UFO Garage (aka The Boudoir), I would maybe find some surprises. Well, in fact I was certain I would. But my expectations were exceeded by far. With all the stuff taken out (and some even returned), the rest of my place looks devastated. How did all this stuff fit into one room? Bigger on the inside?

It seems I’ve got something of everything. Which of course is not true. But the worst thing is that every little thing I take into my hands is giving me (or my muse) ideas.

To my surprise I found another project I had completely forgotten about. Cut batik squares for another ‘Cross’ piece. Ready to be basted. (Note to self: look for paper templates – they must be somewhere, too.)

There were loads of already cut little squares and rectangles in different sizes, made from the tiny scraps that were leftovers from my other projects – nothing gets wasted around here. I’ll have to make some templates first and then take them with me to do a little basting in my lunch breaks. Which I started already yesterday.

Wherever there was a little space left, I stuffed something there. Which means I’ve got no idea where everything is. I think I’ll have to separate my stuff into three big piles: textiles and patchwork, crafty stuff, and art supplies. Which will then be placed together so I can find what I’m looking for. This is a totally new concept to me. 😉 (Note to self: go on trip to the local IKEA as well as the DIY’s for some storage containers – no more plastic bags piling up.)

Hard times ahead, friends.

Has anyone of you had a problem like this to fix? And did you succeed?