Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Scrap Happy in January

Today is the day Kate and Gun host a blog hop for anyone who has made something new out of scraps. It began with quilters using fabric scraps but has since blossomed to include others who work in other media. I'll try to remember to include the links to all the blogs at the end of this post. πŸ˜€

I'm happy to report my elbow is feeling better these days. But of course, that means I have to be very careful not to overdo - which has been a distinct danger of late. Very few things motivate me the way a call for blocks or quilts does. I made a pair of foundation pieced half-log-cabin blocks for Covered in Love entirely out of scrap strips. Apparently I didn't get photos of them however. What really got my motor running was learning about WE CARE, a group in California who make quilts and pillowcases for middle and high school students. The quilts are presented in pillowcases tied with a bow as I understand it. As you can imagine, the recent wildfires in that state have increased the need for contributions. That made me mentally review the techniques I enjoy, and that sent me to my scraps and remnants. The Disappearing 9 Patch process is my current favorite for a quick quilt and it's perfect for using up scraps. Or so I hope! 

I've been cutting 5" squares from scraps since last summer when I made my first D9P quilts. The first thing I did after reading about WE CARE's effort was to pull them out and make as many 9 Patch blocks as I could.


For those who may be unaware, this process involves making traditional 9 Patch blocks and then quartering them. The quarters are then arranged according to the maker's desire. I'm hoping that the mix of colors and prints will create a pleasing whole in the end. I'm also hoping for a gender neutral quilt.


I've made and quartered ten blocks so far. My plan is to make 22 blocks so I'll have plenty of quartered units to mix up and end up with a good size quilt. Kathy Biggi, the coordinator of WE CARE, is asking for quilts at least 42" x 54." And pillowcases! They are getting commitments for quilts but don't have enough pillowcases to keep up with their standards for presentation. So I'll make a couple of pillowcases when the time comes too. It's almost easier to make two or more than just one. I'm going to set up a new page on this blog with the information I have for WE CARE. They don't have a web site and the need will continue on for some time. 

I try to keep scrap blocks ready to sew between seams. I've managed to sew up a few of those as well.

 

As promised, here are the links for others who may have something to show made out of scraps:

KateGun, TittiHelΓ©neEvaNanette, Lynn, Lynda,Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, 
Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren, Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, 
Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen and Connie 

Happy scrapping!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

First SAL of 2019

I'm late to the party this time around. Kept meaning to write a post ahead of time but it never happened. Fortunately, I'm in one of the last time zones on the globe. That makes me right on time!

You may recall that I'd completed the set of embroidered blocks I was working on last year for this Stitch Along. I also completed the third piggy bank needlepoint case (did I show that to you?). Which left me with virtually a blank slate for the SAL in the new year. There's going to be a fourth piggy bank case but I've had to wait for floss to arrive before I can begin that. (We have four granddaughters; I'm making a case for each one of them.)


I have a couple of dish towels I've stamped for embroidery and started stitching but for the SAL I've decided to start one of the kits I picked up when they were on clearance. There's the Shy Fairy:


And the Winter Fairy:


As you can probably see, they were designed by the same person for DMC. The fabric and floss and even a needle are included. I've prepped the Winter Fairy as she's the most involved and might require the discipline of our tri-weekly check-ins to keep me on task. πŸ˜‰Haven't yet threaded up the needle or taken any stitches though.

We have a couple of new participants in this SAL, in which everyone works on their own project. I haven't had a chance yet to have a look at their blogs but welcome to Renee and Jenny. I look forward to seeing what you and everyone else have been working on!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,
Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, 
MeganCatherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Easing Into the New Year

I have a hard time shifting gears. Which is why I prefer to keep working on a single major project until it's reached a stage of completion. I find the holidays very disruptive (and I don't even get to go the parties and events that accompany them!). As a result I've learned to make copious notes about the projects I'm working on so that if I do get interrupted it will be easier to get back on track when opportunity finally does present itself. Mostly this works for me. Except when I forget to make those notes!

On this occasion it's not so much that I neglected to make notes - except that I did. Still, they're not crucial. It's pretty obvious what I was doing and where I was headed. What happened this time is that part of the project has disappeared.

This all began in the fall of 2017 when the local community college thespians needed a quilt-in-process for the play they were mounting. I provided them with a small flimsy, a string of blocks sewn together, and some loose blocks. The only documentation I can find about the inception of this project is this blog post. I knew better than to expect a prompt return of the quilt parts when the play was over. I also knew that there was a good chance we'd never seen the pieces again. Still, I hoped to get everything back again because I wanted to make that quilt!

Amongst all the gift exchanges during the holiday season the box of quilt parts was finally returned to us. The flimsy, individual blocks... but not the loose row of blocks. I didn't realize that until I put the pieces back up on the design wall and it just didn't look right, no matter how I arranged or rearranged the elements. Finally I found the November 2017 blog post and verified that the row of blocks was missing.

This is what I had:



This is what I have (with a slight downward shift of the original flimsy):


So, what now? I can probably maintain the color palette but since I was using up scraps and remnants I don't have more of most of those prints. I think this is going to have to be a smaller quilt than I originally intended. I bet I was going for something on the order of 60" x 72." Now I'll settle for 48" x 60." Obviously I'll have to make at least one more block, an Ohio Star. I may very well end up making others, or framing up more 8" sawtooth stars, as I'm not as happy with this as I'd like to be. I have to release the vision of what this could have been too. At least it gives me a way to ease back into the work that makes me feel like I have a purpose in this world. 😊

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Goodbye 2018

No, I'm not doing a recap of all my creative endeavors for 2018! I'm neither that organized nor that ambitious. Just wanted to get in one last post before the new year is upon us. I'm also learning my way around a MacBook. Not a brand new machine but one that will hopefully prove dependable and more comfortable to use than the PC I've been using. Already I'm missing certain keys that were on the previous laptop. I'm sure we've all learned by now that nothing is perfect. 

While there has been very little in the way of sewing or stitching going on, what with Christmas and all, I have managed to get the binding on two lap quilts and get one of them all sewn down. This one I'm calling In the Pink.


It's a version of Scrappy Trips I made in an effort to use up remnants of various pink prints (duh!). It's about 45" x 60" before being laundered. The plan is to donate it to a patient in Hospice care. I was inspired by Kat's efforts to give quilts to patients at the end of their lives in her part of the world. Rather than (or maybe in addition to) making and mailing blocks to her for the quilts she and her friends assemble I thought maybe I could find a way to do something similar in my own neck of the woods. There's a second lap quilt ready to be bound; once I have them both ready we'll see about delivering them.

This quilt gave me an opportunity to try out one of the new labels I ordered from the Dutch Label Shop.  I saw a promotional offer (expired now) over on Confessions of a Fabric Addict and took advantage of it. The possibilities for label designs are nearly endless. I chose to offset the text on my labels thinking I might be able to sew them in as I put the binding on the quilt. That plan didn't work out quite the way I envisioned but I made it work.


 I haven't yet given much thought to what I might strive for or undertake in the coming year. Mostly I expect to just keep on keeping on. 😊

Here's to a new year full of every good thing!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Last SAL of 2018

It seems to me the last three weeks have passed both slowly and quickly. I wondered how I would fill three weeks after the last Stitch Along check-in and then suddenly it's time to show you what I've accomplished! It's more than I expected to report, that's for sure.

First of all I decided to personalize an apron for one of the granddaughters by embroidering on the bib of an apron I purchased. She's currently into elephants, so when I saw this design I had to use it. 😊


Miss Elephant's apron is trimmed with a row of cross stitches in the original design; I chose to do a bit of feather stitching instead. The apron is a pinafore style with ruffles on the shoulder straps and along the hem. Very cute.


When that was finished I finally picked up the last block in the block of the month series I've been slowly working on and stitched it up.


I'm happier with the tiny ladybug on this flower than the one I did earlier in the series.


Pulling all those blocks together into a quilt top will be a project for next year. πŸ˜‰

Inbetween Christmas shopping (online), decorating, and gift wrapping I've managed to complete the second piggy bank coin purse and make good progress on a third one!


I have to confess that all the stitching you see on the third case has been done in the last two days. If I continue at this pace I'll have that third pig done in no time!

This Stitch Along has been a great excuse for playing with the handwork techniques and materials I enjoy the most. If you'd like a similar prod just leave on note on Avis' blog. She's first in line on the list of the others who are part of this group:


Unless I miss my guess we'll be checking in again on the 13th of January. For the time being, let me wish you happy holidays, whichever ones you choose to celebrate.