Moments of happy...
1. Mismatched buttons on a finished knit. Bulle. Quince & Co. lark yarn in the Peak's Ferry colorway. For Emma. I had a feeling when I first saw the pattern on Ravelry that she would want one. She chose the red and the fit. She wanted it loose, so I stretched it a bit during blocking. When it came to choosing the buttons, I introduced her to the idea of fabric-covered buttons, and she was all over that. She looked through my fabric stash and found two different Michael Miller prints that she liked. "Can I have two different fabrics on the two different buttons?" Of course! That's why you make it yourself...to make it your own! She has always loved strawberries, and she has always loved roses. Very "her". I have a feeling I'll be making her another one next year.
Ravelry notes here.
2. Free motion quilting. (WARNING: Unless you quilt or own a Brother , this "happy" is not going to appeal to you. At all.) I bought a Brother PC-8500 embroidery/sewing machine one year (2001?) at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. It has been a really great machine, but when I decided to be brave and try to learn how to free motion quilt (FMQ), I ran into a brick wall. There were no instructions in the Operation Manual. I scoured the internet looking for help and found nothing. Finally I stumbled onto a few forum posts in which many PC-8500 owners lamented the fact that is was impossible to free motion quilt with this machine. Quilting tutorials tell you that in order to FMQ you must drop the feed dogs on your machine, adjust the machine's tension, etc., etc... Those steps will not work on this machine. (Told you this wasn't going to appeal to everyone.)
I called Sew Contempo in Houston, Texas and was told that there was only one woman in the store who knew how to FMQ on my machine. She was the store's "Brother Lady". I met her at the shop later that week, and she kindly sat me down in front of another Brother machine, and off we went. It worked!
On the off chance that some poor soul needing fmq-ing help should ever stumble upon this little blog, here is the information that I received.
You are going to need a couple of Brother attachments. First is the Adapter for Low Shank Attachments, shown in the two pictures below. (This and the small screw came with my machine.) This is the same piece that is used for attaching the Walking Foot.
Second is the SA129 Free Motion Quilting Foot. (I had to order this through my quilting shop. The large screw came with my machine.)
Step 1: Remove the Presser Foot Holder from your machine. Once you have removed it, you will see this:
Step 2: Attach the Adapter for Low Shank Attachments to the presser bar and screw it on with the smaller screw.
Step 3: Attach the SA129 Free Motion Quilting Foot with the larger screw.
Step 4: Set your Stitch Length to 4.0 mm.
Step 5: Set your Stitch Design to Straight (Mid).
Do NOT adjust the machine's tension. (Yes, I know this makes no logical sense, especially if you have ever FMQ-ed on another machine, but it really does work. Leave it to me to buy the quirky sewing machine on the market.)
Ready, set, go! I keep my speed at "medium". I find I get the best control of the stitches at that speed.
I need more practice, but YAY!!! I'm ready to tackle a new project for spring! (It only took me years and years to finally give this a try.)
3. Flowers for the table. I couldn't pass them up when I walked past them at the grocery store. I remember looking at home listings before we moved here and noticing that EVERYONE had houseplants EVERYWHERE in the pictures of their homes. Like A LOT of houseplants. It makes so much sense now. I haven't seen green since November! I'm going to try to keep flowers in the house this spring. Instant happy.
4. Sunshine, snow, and The Avett Brothers. Oh, the sun is so warm these days! Deliciously warm! I went outside to see the neighbor's black lab who had stopped by our driveway to say 'hello', and then I didn't want to go back inside. The sun, the snow, the warmth. And John was in the garage working on a house project with I Heart Radio tuned to his Avett Brothers station. I grabbed a chair, sat back, closed my eyes, and felt the pure spring warmth of 38 degrees. Beautiful. Then the song January Wedding came on, and Seth Avett sang, "True love is not the kind of thing you should turn down. Don't ever turn it down." That's when I felt the tears stinging in my eyes. John asked me, "Is this a Moment of Happy?" And I said, "Oh, yes. It is."
"The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."