Sunday, September 15, 2019

Scrap Happy in September

Regular readers will be aware that I have supported Covered in Love in the past with contributions to block drives and even a quilt or two. I meant to contribute to the summer block drive of stars but it didn't happen. Thus it makes me very happy to have made four blocks for the current drive, a split 9 Patch design that utilizes scrap patches.

I made these in two sets of two on separate days. I have to tell you, it doesn't do me any good to try to sew after about 5 p.m. most days. I must have made the final block two times over one evening because I kept turning the half-square triangle patch the wrong way or sewed the wrong patch in the wrong place. It looks like such a simple block but there are SO many ways to screw it up! Still, it was a fun way (most of the time) to put my scraps to good use. Because that's what Scrap Happy Day is all about you know. πŸ˜‰

I finally put the bindings on two very scrappy quilts I built earlier in the year too. I called this first one Syncopated Strings. It was inspired by Sarah's scrap busting efforts over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

75.5" high x 58.5" wide
Just random strips of varying widths but all 8.5" long to make the columns. I didn't buy the border or binding fabric for this one, they were already in my stash, but I did purchase yardage for the back.

Confetti used up old yardage from my stash for the back as well as the front. It began as a Disappearing 9 Patch made entirely out of scrap patches. I had fun fussy cutting old prints to feature in the corners of the original 9 patch blocks.

Here's the end product:
70" high x 57" wide

And here's a portion of the back:

That white corner is a patch I add with the binding for labelling the quilt.

Scrap Happy Day is hosted by Kate and Gun on the 15th of each month. To see what they've been working on and what others have done just click on the links below. πŸ˜‹

KateGun, TittiHelΓ©neEva, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Other Baby Quilt

I have two baby quilts in process at the moment. You've just seen the newest one in the last post. While I wait for some fabric I've ordered for that one I've turned my attention back to the first one. You've probably been shown a block or two in the distant past. I began this quilt to use up a couple of prints I've had in my stash for too long.

I started making these stars without a specific destination for the end product. Then I learned of the pregnancy of a niece and decided to dedicate this quilt for her eventual baby. 

When we learned the baby would be male it seemed even more appropriate. 😊But then summer struck and my unplanned hiatus from patchwork began. I also ran out of that white with black print I was using as background for the stars. Of course I couldn't find any more of that print. The closest I could come was the one I used to make the remainder of the 36 blocks.

I had a layout in mind when I first conceived this project but when I looked at my notes the other day - with a headache - they made no sense to me. I've had a couple of pretty good days since then though, and this is what's on my design wall now:

That's a Buzz Lightyear block that's not a star up near the top.
Other, smaller, images from that print are included in the four patch centers of a few of the stars.

I'm wondering whether I can improve on block placement for color balance at this point. It's tempting to just sew it together the way it is but if improvements can be made I want to know now, not later!

When these blocks are sewn with their sashes the flimsy will measure about 58" x 48" (height x width). I have a large scale print to use for borders so it will grow to closer to a 60" square. And the backing fabric is part of that order I'm waiting for. πŸ˜‰Niece knows not to expect this quilt until Christmas, at which point her new baby will be about five months old. Pretty good timing if I do say so myself!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Getting Back Into Patchwork

We've had a couple of cooler mornings lately. Not cool, per se, but cooler. That has helped to bring my unplanned hiatus from patchwork to a conclusion. I don't believe I've ever been quite so anxious for fall and winter to arrive. That seems to be the case with each passing year as a matter of fact. Hmm.

Also helping to bring the patchwork hiatus to an end was a request for a baby quilt from my daughter for a friend of hers. This will be a departure from the quilts I've made most recently in that I'm trying for a more "modern" look. Large patches, gray background - as opposed to busy scrappiness. After browsing pattern potentials I decided to go with simple 10" pinwheels set side by side.

I'll only need 20 blocks for a 40 x 50" quilt and I'm halfway there already. Mostly I'm using prints from my stash that we think will be appropriate for the family. I do have some fabric on order from though.

And I shopped locally for some current prints. Any opportunity, right? πŸ˜‰

During the piecing hiatus I managed to get bindings on a couple of quilts that I will share on Scrap Happy Day (15 Sept.). Because they are scrappy busy!

And then they will be donated through my local guild for children in the foster care system. 😊

Sunday, September 1, 2019

First SAL of September

Seeing as how it's the very first day of the month I'd say it's a safe bet there will be another Stitch Along posting in September.  πŸ˜‰We check in every three weeks to share our progress on whatever needlework we have underway. That would make it the 22nd according to my calculations. But don't trust me, I have a screaming headache at the moment. 

As I prophesied in my last post, I don't have anything to share this time around. There's been absolutely no progress on the embroidery projects I have designated for this SAL. What I would like to share, however, are a couple of opportunities that may be of interest to the other members of the group. They are both offered by the San Fransisco School of Needlework and Design. One is a challenge to use your favorite needlework techniques to make a piece inspired by your thoughts on healing, art, and reflection. You can read the full prospectus here. The second is an invitation to make a section for what they hope will be the World's Longest Band Sampler. The information about that project can be found on this page of their website.

But also be sure to check out what everyone else in this SAL has been working on!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, 
Cindy, Helen, LindaHeidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, 
Deborah, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny,Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

And hopefully I'll have some stitching to share the next time we meet. 😊

Friday, August 30, 2019

Bee, Myself and I in August

Between the heat and the headaches there hasn't been much going on here in The Magpie's Nest. I've done some needlepoint, which is what I do for myself lately. And that's the whole point of Bee, Myself and I. Instead of working on a gift or something that will eventually be donated somewhere B,M&I gives us an opportunity(or an excuse!) to spend time of a project we want to do for ourselves. For me that's been needlepoint.

I've finished up Jack in his party hat.

Well, except for the background. I've got a couple of skeins of Nancy's hand dyed floss on hand, I just have to figure out where I want to start. You can't tell by looking, even in person, but I used a DMC floss that's supposed to shimmer for the dots at the top of his hat. Maybe if the light hits 'em just right it'll show up.

I've also done quite a bit on my sugar skull cat:

The green parts of the eyes and other details are all that's left to do on this. And then the background of course. πŸ˜‰

I've been reading and working on a jigsaw puzzle instead of stitching the last couple of days. Not sure I'll have something fresh to show for our Stitch Along post on Sunday.

There was some excitement here in The Magpie's Nest yesterday. It was time to do a thorough cleaning on Pippen's home.

Sorry, that's the best picture I could get!

When I separated the wired upper from the plastic bottom of the cage he slipped out and flew to the windowsill. He's not a strong flyer since he doesn't have much opportunity to practice. Still, there are a lot of places for him to hide or even get hurt in the studio. I quickly closed the hallway and bathroom doors so at least he wouldn't escape this one room. I kept an eye on him while I finished up cleaning the cage and put everything back the way it needed to be, leaving the cage door wide open so he could return easily.

Canaries are not trainable like parakeets or cockatiels. In the world of pet birds they're the cats rather than dogs. To encourage him to return to his cage I found a dowel I'd used for hanging small quilts and tried to get him to use it as a perch with the idea that I could ferry him back home without getting too close. It looked like it was going to work until I moved too quickly or something and he spooked. At least he was closer to the goal so I thought I'd leave the room and see if he could find his own way home.

When I returned I couldn't find him anywhere. I looked high and low, making sure he wasn't in trouble in the more dangerous places. No bird. I still don't have a clue where he was hiding. I left the room again, breathing deep to calm my nerves.The next time I returned to the studio I spotted him perched on my scrap basket on the floor. He's very nearly the same color as that basket! This time I grabbed a lightweight piece of fabric and threw it over him, wrapping him lightly in it so I could carry him over to his cage. Whew! That's the first time this bird has gotten away from me. Mr. Bingley got out a couple of times while he was with me. He was easier to find though, being that lovely bright yellow. 😊