Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Two Finishes and a Couple of Questions

 The temperatures have been more reasonable since my last post. We've still had to run the AC late in the day. I must look pretty odd sewing down binding by hand, a 60" s 75" quilt in my lap and the fan on the floor blowing directly on me! 

I completed the baby quilt first. I'll share a detail shot because I don't really think the intended recipients ever visit here but I don't want to take a chance on spoiling the surprise in case they do. James had the opportunity to do some outline quilting in the central panel. That was done with a matte finish lavender thread. To make the flying geese that surround the panel stand out he used a variegated trilobal polyester around them. 

It looks great on the black!

In the beginning the second quilt was going to be a gift or donation. Very soon however, I decided I would be keeping it for myself. Some of my favorite Halloween prints went into the blocks that make up the body of the quilt top. 

In the detail shot above there are patches from fabric I've had since the beginning of my quilt making career and a couple of the latest prints I've collected. Here's the whole quilt: 

It hasn't been through the washer and dryer yet but the novelty prints already pop more than they did before quilting. Because the witches in the quilt are some of my more favorite images I'm calling this one BeWitched. 

I very often feel much like this particular witch, more than slightly grumpy.

And now for the questions. Do you read this blog on your desk or laptop computer or do you use your phone or other smaller device? Would it be a benefit to you if I were to make the text larger? Do I need to make the pictures larger too? Your input via comments [or email: sewingmagpie(at)gmail(dot)com] is appreciated. 😊

Thursday, August 6, 2020

What A Relief

We've been having true summer heat lately. I used to tolerate it much better than I seem to do now. Plus we now have a neighbor who apparently likes to cook outdoors. That has made the air quality too poor for me to open the windows to relieve the heat in the house. We've had to run our portable air conditioner earlier and longer than in previous years. Husband is looking into more efficient ways to cool our home. It's also been a while since we've had any appreciable precipitation. But this morning we woke up to rain and cooler temperatures. Hurray! On top of that, I felt better physically today than I have in days. There'd be no better opportunity to put bindings on quilts so that's what I did today. 😁

The red and white quilt in the middle of the stack did not get its' binding today but the other two did. Here's a detail shot of the quilting on the quilt at the bottom of the stack. 
I tried to get a shot of the quilting on the Halloween quilt too but I'm afraid it's pretty hard to discern. That's a Disappearing 9 Patch quilt. I had James quilt the "sashing" so the novelty prints would stand out. It will be interesting to see how it looks after it's been laundered. 
As you can see, I figured out how to get pictures to load again. Turns out all I needed to do was clear my computer's cache. Next up will be to figure out how to get the pictures where I want them in the blog post more easily. 😒


Sunday, August 2, 2020

First Stitch Along of August

It hardly seems possible that July has come and gone so quickly and that it's time for another check in for our stitch along group. I've done more embroidery on my visual journal stitch wrap. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to load the pictures I've taken. Which makes this post pretty useless really.

I'll keep trying to figure out how to get my pictures out of my phone and onto this blog. In the meantime, here are the links to the other stitchers in the group. Hopefully they've been able to show their work, which is always fabulous. Maybe in another three weeks I'll have figured out how to get Blogger to show my work.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Bee, Myself and I in July

This post celebrates a finish for probably my oldest UFO. 😀

I'm pretty sure it was within a year after our move to Washington that I took a class with a fellow guild member. She called it Crazy Log Cabins. She demonstrated the process and we made a few blocks during class time. It was simple enough so that we could continue on our own. Well, our three children were still in elementary school back then and my sewing "room" was on a wall of our bedroom. There wasn't a lot of time or energy for making more blocks until several years later.

I don't remember when I made the rest of the blocks for this small quilt or when I finally decided what to do about borders and finishing. There may be notes in one of my old sketchbooks but I doubt I could find them without spending a lot of time looking. 

Suffice to say that close to 25 years have elapsed between the beginning of this quilt and it's completion. Ta daa!

The finished quilt measures roughly 48" wide by 60" long. I've thought several times about donating this or even giving it to a grandchild but I've decided I'm keeping it for myself. Thus, Bee, Myself and I (which you can read about over on Carla's blog, Granny Maud's Girl). 😊

It's so cheerful it may not even be restricted to couch duty only in the springtime!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Pastiche (7/2020)

There's been quite a bit of work going on here in The Magpie's Nest of late. We're getting summer heat now though, so I may be slacking off for a while. I didn't show the work as it happened because of other, scheduled, posts.

When I finished the top for Sunset Stars I moved right into building another lap quilt. I'd asked for Chinese Coins blocks from my local quilt guild members the last time it was my turn for a friendship block request. There seemed to be two distinct types of blocks in the abundance I received. Half were darker, muted colors while the other half were brighter and tended toward whimsical. After sorting through them I started building columns with the darker Chinese Coins. Originally I was going to insert an occasional Shoofly block from my extensive collection among the Coins but very quickly I realized that wouldn't be necessary to achieve the length I was after. Instead I chose to make alternate columns that incorporated a few Shoofly blocks.

For visual interest and also to get the width I wanted I searched for larger blocks to use in the middle column of the quilt top. There weren't any 12" blocks in the Parts Dept. that would work but I did find 6" Bear Paw units that became 14" blocks.

And then there were a couple of 10" blocks in the right colors that I framed up to 14 inches.

I think it turned out to be quite a handsome quilt top. Before quilting it measures 51" wide by 61" long. I struggled to find a name or title for it, if only for my own reference. I think I must have come across the word 'pastiche' on someone else's blog (Quitldivajulie perhaps?). When it came to mind I looked it up and sure enough, it's perfect for this and all the other scrap quilts I tend to make that offer up no specific name for themselves. So I'm going to use it for any future quilt out of the Parts Dept. along with the date the top was completed - unless the quilt tells me otherwise of course! 😉