Saturday, September 15, 2018

Scrap Happy in September

It's time to share what we've been doing with our scraps, hosted by Kate and Gun. It began with fabric scraps but others have since joined in, showing how they've put scraps from other media to use. As a general rule I tend to work more with what could be considered scraps than I do yardage so this is right up my alley!

The end of August and beginning of September were very difficult weeks for me in terms of my health. It was handy to have scrap patches already cut so I could sew mindlessly when I felt equal to sewing at all. It wasn't long before I ran out of blocks I could assemble without a lot of mental effort however.

There may have been a couple of 6" Hole in the Barn Door blocks in addition to these eight inch stars and nine inch blocks. I must have put them away before I thought to take pictures.

There have been days when I couldn't even think well enough to pull together scrap blocks from the existing piles of pre-cut patches. So one day I spent some time cutting yardage for backgrounds. That allowed me to create this fleet of 6" Ships:

One tiny 3" Shoo-fly made it into the mix too. I don't usually work that small. 

All of these blocks just go into my Parts Department until I have the motivation to build something with them. Now that the weather is cooler (so I'm not inclined to open the windows and let toxins in with the breeze) and we've had some real rain (to clean the air) I hope to be more productive again. I still have to tell you about the Squirrel Projects I've begun. In the meantime, have a gander at what the others in this group have been doing... πŸ˜‰

Sunday, September 9, 2018

SAL in September

Let's see if I remember how to do this...

I'm still using the auxiliary keyboard for my laptop, which makes things a bit more challenging. That has contributed to my radio silence of late but is not solely responsible. In spite of the cooler weather (for the most part) I've still had another whole week of zombie-ness. Zombieism? I'd like to say that better days are ahead of me but we all know by now that I can never actually say that with any degree of confidence. {sigh}

However, I am delighted to report that I've done some stitching. I've probably filled in another goose or two on the needlepoint case since our last check-in but more significantly...

I picked up the block-of-the-month embroideries where I left off and have completed the next in the series!

Given the theme for this block I chose to use more pastel tones of floss. When I'd finished with the butterfly I decided the tulip was too pale. I went back in and whipped the pale back stitches with a stronger pink.

My husband claims he's never seen a candy cane tulip but I've seen some that put me in mind of peppermint candies so it stays as is. πŸ˜‰ I have the next block traced off and ready to stitch, and then there's another block after that to trace off. I've lost complete track of how many more there are in the series.

This has become a great group of folks who enjoy needlework of various types. We check in with each other every three weeks, and that helps each of us to stay on track with our individual projects. I haven't been up to visiting anyone for the last couple of check-ins. I hope to remedy that this time around.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Bee, Myself and I in August

There hasn't been much activity on my current Bee, Myself and I project. This is something I'm making for my own pleasure, not for someone else's benefit. The Botanical Blur top and Pink Lemonade jelly roll flimsy have been quilted together. I've made binding but haven't put it on the quilt yet.

The binding is made from the same batik I used to extend the jelly roll flimsy for long arm quilting. James kept the quilting simple so as not to compete with the busy prints on the botanical side of the quilt. He was able to use a variegated thread my sister bought for me years ago. It's satisfying to be able to put things to good use that I've had around for a long time.

The question I've been pondering is what to tackle next. There are a couple of Squirrel Projects I haven't shared with you yet but now is not the time. The last time I ventured into my local quilt shop I came away with a couple of new Halloween prints. I've also picked up some online recently. 'Tis the season afterall, or almost anyway. Of course, for some of us it's always the season. πŸ˜‰

I've had this large panel possibly since last autumn.

These ladies have now joined her:

I'm not up to getting the measurements of these panels for you at the moment. Suffice to say, they could all end up in one quilt top. That's the direction I'm leaning at the moment anyway. If I could just get my brain working again...

We've been blessed with cooler temps and cleaner air the last few days. Unfortunately, while the air quality monitor may say our air quality is good, apparently the air in our backyard is not. I went out this morning to deadhead the roses and bring in a couple of blooms for the studio space. That was enough to knock me off my pins, in spite of the mask I wore with two carbon filters inside. And I felt so good before I went outside! {sigh} One of these days I will be feeling well enough long enough to come around to see what everyone else has been up to. At least I hope so.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Oh Baby!

Because of the wildfires burning all around this region I've been monitoring the NW Clean Air web site pretty closely of late. Smoke particulates are one of the many triggers for my sensitivities and subsequent reactions. The day of my last post the particulate count for our community hovered around 35, in the 'Good' range. Since then it skyrocketed to 165, making our air quality unhealthy even for healthy people. Areas north of us were worse, venturing into the
'Hazardous' zone. Poor British Columbia has had some 600 active wildfires. I'm happy to report that the longed-for change in air flow and air quality seems to be underway. The air isn't safe for me yet but it's much cooler and more humid than it has been. Hallelujah! 

It's been too hot to have the iron on. I haven't had the clarity of mind to be able to do much anyway. There has been significant progress on one front however. One of our nieces had her first baby six months or so ago. I whipped up a receiving blanket at the time but promised a real quilt. I have a cute-cute-cute! panel print from long ago I thought would be ideal for this baby. I've had it out a few times, trying to do something with it, but nothing ever developed. I pulled it out again for this baby... and still couldn't come up with a design or a plan I was happy with. Then I remembered a fabric swap our guild did back in the day.

We were a much smaller group back then but there were enough of us for each person to be assigned (randomly, as I recall) a letter of the alphabet. The challenge was to find a print that would represent that letter visually. We cut and swapped 6" squares so everyone had a complete alphabet after the swap. I was too busy with my own children back then to do anything with the patches but I hung onto them, as you do. When the panel print wasn't working out I got out the alphabet squares. It didn't take long to realize I could put them in a Disappearing 9 Patch pattern without even having to trim them down. And I had enough of an alphabet print to be the alternate patches! 

A few of the original patches weren't safe for me to use (not 100% cotton), and there were a few others I thought I had better prints to use for that letter. I didn't think to take pictures of the nine patch blocks before I quartered them. Well, I did, but I didn't do it. I made an effort to keep directional prints all going the same way but of course failed. Fortunately it didn't matter with allover prints. 😊

I used the green juvenile print you see in the lower left corner of the block above as filler. The alphabet patches wouldn't stretch to a full square quilt on their own. At first I tried keeping all those filler patches at the beginning and the end of the alphabet but it just didn't look good. In the end I used them between blocks to allow images to read properly or when I just needed that pop of color.

The final layout.
I've sewn the quarters together, just finger-pressing those seams. When it cools down sufficiently I will give all the blocks a good press and then finish assembling the quilt top. Right now it would finish at 48" square. I'll probably add a border to bring it up to at least sixty inches in both directions. Not quite sure what that will be yet. 

Just for grins, here's the list of images for each letter:

A= alligators
B= birds
C= cat
D= dog
E= elephant
F= frogs
G= gingerbread men
H= hearts
I=ice cream
J= jack o'lanterns
K= kites
L= lizard
M= monkeys
N= notes (musical notes)
O= owls
Q= quilt (of course)
R= rocking horses
S= snowmen
T= trains
U= umbrellas
V= valentine
W= watermelons
X = X (I actually had an alphabet panel with a letter X in the right size!)
Y= yellow daisies
Z= zebras

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Stitching Along in August

It's been three weeks since our last stitch along check in. I don't have much progress to show. The air quality around here has taken its' toll on my system, leaving me in a zombie-like state much of the time. We've been fortunate that the last couple of days brought marine air coming from the coast. I can't imagine (don't want to) what it would be like to be living even closer to any of the wildfires burning to the north, east, and south of us. 

I've added some more "geese" to the small needlepoint case I showed last time. I only had one column done then, now there are three:

Each goose is stitched with a different shade from Nancy's dye pot. It will be interesting to see whether I have to repeat any of the colors before I get to the sides. I might choose to in any case.

I probably won't get around to see what everyone else is working on but you won't be disappointed if you do, I assure you. 😊 And maybe when we check in again on 9 September I'll have had more good days than bad.
Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, JessConstanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Tony, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie