Dreams Within Dreams & A Crochet Scrap Afghan

Not terribly original, but one of my New Year's Resolutions for the year is to eliminate my yarn stash.  After 25+ years of knitting, I have a few, ahem, "extras" taking up psychic room in my brain.  The stash isn't yet a SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy), but there are certainly enough plastic storage bins of wool in the barn to humble a shepherd . . .

Oh, but parting is such sweet, agonizing and vaguely creepy sorrow.  I have visions for these colors, visions for this particular Shetland wool, I have a PLAN for that silk aran tweed, and of course those six skeins of fuchsia are meant to be a part of THIS sweater pattern!  And on and on and on -- my knitting needles and crochet hooks were choking on the possibilities, some of which felt quite real.  Kind of like Inception, but with yarn.

As crochet is such a yarn hog, I'm stitching up a crochet scrap afghan inspired by this blanket here.  I am using the finer-gauge yarns in the stash on my knitting machine, so I've focused on the DK weight and heavier yarns for the center flowers.  I had 10 skeins of a gorgeous (but of course discontinued) Jaeger wool for the background, and then added two skeins of Cascade in Chocolate Brown to complete the 49 hexagons.

Here's a little preview:

Reverse Applique Skirt

I love Alabama Chanin's reverse applique process -- but I don't always want to use cotton jersey, which is her favorite material.  The other challenge?  How to machine embroider the applique so that it wasn't all sewn by hand.  Hm.

Here's an experiment from a few weeks ago . . . There are three layers to the applique: the underlayer of the hot pink pattern, then another layer of a purple fabric, and finally -- the center dark purple medallion.  Once I completed the applique on the machine I sewed it onto a tulle overlayer for a cotton poof skirt for Z.

Not thrilled with the bumpiness on the edges, so I wouldn't put this on tulle again -- the fabric is just too fragile for something of this heft . . .  Fun, though!

Rookie Moves & The 5D Embroidery Program

Over the past few months I've been learning the Husqvarna 5D Embroidery Design software package.  It's incredibly user-friendly and POWERFUL, wow, but there are a lot of technical features to learn.  My first independent design project was a medallion . . . something small, of course.  Ha.   There were far too many stitches in my initial design -- clearly I am an embroidery digitizing rookie!  But then I loaded up a few bobbins and gave it a try . . .  Here's the initial stitch-out: 

Together with the fabrics below, am thinking these would make a gorgeous quilt?
Then I tried a modified version of the medallion on a few other surfaces.  Here it is stitched on to a machine knit sampler.  (I added the purple running stitches afterwards by hand.)
I love the one below stitched on linen.  I think the pale pink works wonders against the moss green:

 And finally, the studio rack of happy medallion experiments: