Friday, September 30, 2016

A Little More Red

I've been working diligently on my liberated medallion this week. Next Monday, the third of October, is the big reveal day. After being stalled on it during August I'm excited to be making so much progress. I really think I'll be ready on time! (Not quilted and bound, you understand, but the flimsy complete.) You may remember that I began with a pair of baskets filled with roses. I've managed to work in a few more roses...

And a couple of leaves in honor of the season. :- )

Between sewing together the bits and pieces of the medallion project I've been assembling more scrap blocks featuring red. There are these four bear paw units:

And this assortment of blocks:

The blocks are a bit shadowed because I had to pin the medallion up out of the way in order to photograph them.

I hope to get the final border on my medallion today and then link up with the other scrappy bloggers over at So Scrappy tomorrow morning. It's going to be a busy weekend!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Stitching Along in the Travelling Sketchbook

For the SAL check-in this time I want to share what I've added to the sketchbook the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook is sending around the world.

The sketchbook was assembled by Anne in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to samples of her artwork it contains a variety of paper types so each recipient has her choice of foundation to work on.

Not all of us use pen, ink, or watercolors to create art however. My contribution is a pair of fabric sketches that I've embellished with embroidery, sequins, beads, and charms.

In my view these pages could either represent two sides of the world or night and day.

The blue page is the one I've most recently completed. A paillette for the moon and some sequin stars...

I stitched over implied trees with a bit of rayon floss and put an owl in the branches.

At the bottom of the page I created some embroidered seaweed for the muddy river bottom.

The completed page:

And just to refresh your memory, here's the yellow page:

Mostly seed stitching, a few beads, a bit of couched yarn and a snippet of rick-rack. If you want to follow the journey of the sketchbook you can visit the sketchbook's blog, here.

The members of this Stitch Along also live all over the world. By this time they may all have their posts up, showing what they've been working on in the last three weeks but if not you can always check back later. It will be well worth your time. :- )
  1. Avis
  2. Claire,
  3.  Gun
  4. Carole
  5. Wendy
  6. LucyAnn
  7. Kate
  8. Jess
  9. Constanze
  10. Debbierose
  11. Christina
  12. Kathy
  13. Susan.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Seeing Red

But in a good way! I've made a few more blocks out of red scraps for the last September check-in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. One more postage stamp star:

The one at the top is the new one.

I've also cut patches for more red and white bear paws but have only assembled one new one so far.

The polka dot is the new paw.

I polished off my pile of scrappy shoo-fly blocks too:

There's been minimal progress on my liberated medallion. I'm hoping, with other projects out of the way now, that I'll be able to get that completed before the October 1 deadline. I just need my body to cooperate!

I'll be linking up with the others participating in the RSC over at SoScrappy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Who Said Quilters Were Patient?

I think most readers of this blog know otherwise!

No doubt you remember those Patience Corner blocks I was supposed to be sewing between seams as I worked on my liberated medallion. 

I cut patches for a total of 35 blocks to be set 5 x 7, for a twin size quilt top.

A little bit of progress has been made on the medallion, but not as much as I've made with the Patience Corner blocks!

All 35 blocks have been assembled. One border of my Macabre Medallion is almost complete. The others are still speculative parts and pieces. I have resolved to put these blocks out of sight until I've completed my liberated medallion top. I can make postage stamp stars and bear paw units as needed between seams from this point forward. And maybe a few more scrappy shoo-fly blocks. Time to get a move on!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Patience in My Corner

My brain has been working better this week (hurray! finally! whooppee!!!) so I've been trying to create the final borders for my Gwennie Inspired Liberated Medallion.

I tell you what, it's a good thing I had all those patches cut for Patience Corner blocks to sew between seams. I tried to do some intuitive piecing for the bottom border of my medallion but just didn't like the results. Kept myself awake half of one night trying to find better options for utilizing a particular print. I've done more reverse sewing than anything else this week- or so it feels. Consequently I've made much more progress on the Patience Corner blocks than anticipated.

This is the stack of strips and patches for 35 Patience Corner blocks.

This is a sampling of the 24 blocks I've assembled so far.

I wonder if the remaining eleven blocks will be enough to see me through to completion of my liberated medallion? Doubtful. I may have to start cutting up red prints for more bear paws!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Not So Scrappy Saturday

I haven't checked in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in quite a while. I made a couple of mostly purple stars in August but had a hard time coming up with true scraps in the palette for that month. It's looking like the red and gold palette for September is pretty skimpy in my scrap stash too. It must be time to make some new scraps!

When I went looking for a strip for my Diary Quilt to mark the passing of Hugh O'Brian ("The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" among other acting gigs and philanthropic work) I found two red prints that were pretty small. I've spent the day cutting them up and making an assortment of blocks.

I've continued to make the 6" shoo-fly blocks out of scrap patches, just not always in the RSC colors. There haven't been very many ships in the last several weeks either so it was fun to be able to make this one.

I've always admired two color quilts, and a red and white one has been on my bucket list for years. I've never been able to settle on a block pattern however. There are so many good options! After browsing on the internet this morning I decided to start making bear paw units.

These units will finish at six inches.
It will be interesting to see whether I can keep making red and white paws or whether other colors will start to creep in. This seems to be the time of year when I shift from whatever block I've been making in conjunction with the RSC to a different one. ;- )

On another front, I've cut white with black squares and pink strips for 35 Patience Corner blocks to be assembled between seams or whenever I need to just sit and sew.

To see what others are doing with their scraps click on over to So Scrappy's blog. There's quite a variety to be seen!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Day in My Life

Monday was a holiday here in the States so there was no mail delivery (among other things). I was waiting anxiously for the order I'd placed with to arrive to see whether any of the prints I'd ordered would work to fulfill the "something fishy" design challenge for the liberated quilt along. Couldn't really settle to anything in the studio but I got a lot of laundry and a few other household tasks done. Tuesday I woke up feeling really great. Our mail doesn't come until afternoon so Son and I ran some errands. I stayed in the car and read while he went into the shops. I still felt pretty good when we returned home. That isn't always the case. Exhaust fumes or other toxic air coming into the car is enough to take me down. I keep the air conditioning on all the time in my car to help filter the air. Winter is challenging because I have to use the defrost setting instead and it brings in more of that toxic air. But back to Tuesday...

The package from eQuilter was delivered and, joy of joys! one of the prints I ordered will be ideal for my Macabre Medallion. :D However, along with the package from eQuilter there were a couple of catalogs in the mail. I'd been feeling so good I recklessly, thoughtlessly, paged through one of the catalogs. Mistake! It took a little bit for me to realize that I was no longer feeling well. By the time I poured out half a cup of frozen blueberries to mitigate the effects of the exposure I was really not feeling well. I ate them too late for them to be as effective as they might have been. The evening hours were spent fuming at my shortsightedness, muttering about the sensitivities of my body, and generally being miserable.

Normally I can sleep off the worst of the reactions to toxins. I knew I wouldn't feel my best the next morning but I had hope that I'd at least be able to function. Not this time. It may have been triggered by the toxins or it may have been coincidental, but I woke up with a migraine that only got worse as the morning wore on. I was forced to lay down in my darkened bedroom after applying every possible remedy at my disposal. I don't know how long I was down but eventually I got up again and went into the studio.

Over the past few days I'd done some journaling about current and potential projects. My pile of scrap patches that I use as leaders and enders had diminished to almost nothing and I wasn't in the mood to cut more scrap patches. The last thought I'd had was to cut 4.5" squares and 2.5" strips for 12" Patience Corner blocks. They're assembled in quarters and don't require much thought. So when I started to feel at least human again yesterday I pulled out my white with black prints and cut squares. I was pleased that the cutting went smoothly. There are times when I can't cut a straight line with a rotary cutter in spite of the ruler to guide it! At the end of the day I had enough squares for 30 blocks.

I debated whether to make the strips out of a rainbow assortment of colors or stick to one color family. In the end I decided to take this opportunity to reduce my collection of pink prints. Now I'm wondering whether I'll have enough to do as many blocks as I have planned! I have a lot of pinks but many of them won't provide the high contrast I want. Oh darn, I might have to buy even more new fabric. ;- )

That migraine subsided over the course of the day but I went to bed with a headache nevertheless. After an exposure I very often have a bad night. I'm restless and have bad dreams. That didn't happen this time, and this morning I got up feeling well again. Woohoo! I feel like I might actually be able to get to work on the liberated medallion. And now I have these Patience Corner blocks to use as leaders and enders. Win-win!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Liberated QAL - A Day Late

But I figured I could check in anyway. :- )

After touring some of the blogs of other participants I finally got inspired to work on my own liberated medallion quilt project. The prompt for July was "log cabins." I chose to build up my medallion Courthouse Steps style. At first I only added one strip to each side of the medallion...

But then in the beginning of August I decided it needed a bit more before I added anything in response to the "stars" prompt.

And then my body got the upper hand and nothing more happened until the very end of August. At that point I decided one more set of "steps" was in order:

As Gayle said, there are so many options when it comes to star blocks! I think all the possibilities overwhelmed me in my weakened state. I don't have any star prints that would work with this color palette. Sort of shot myself in the foot in that respect. I liked her solution: make stars every which way and see what works in the end. So I've fussy cut a few images and some scraps to make this:

Sorry it's a little blurry. Better pictures later!

I have two 4.5" liberated or maverick stars and one 6" sawtooth star so far. The larger owl and raven blocks may or may not become stars. I'm not sure I want that upper border to get that big. At least one of the little maverick stars will go down the side, and I plan to make more of those to fill up the side borders at least part way.

We've received the prompt to do "something fishy" for the final round of our liberated medallions. Didn't see that one coming! I have an idea percolating; we'll see whether it comes into being or not. I suspect that will be confined to the bottom border. This is shaping up to be a good size for a couch or nap quilt which is just what I wanted.

To see what the others have done with their liberated medallions go check out the link party at Humble Quilts.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Diary Quilt and Selfish Stitching

The Princess is in the closet and the Macabre Medallion has been on the design wall in her place. I've added a bit more to the MM but still haven't settled on how to incorporate stars. It will be interesting to find out what the next prompt is and whether I can use it with stars for a border, thus fulfilling both challenges. ;- )

In the meantime, it's time to check in with my version of Quilty 365, my Diary Quilt. I can no longer get the whole thing on the design wall for a photo shoot so I'll only show the most recent rows/columns:

I'm at day 290 in this year-long adventure. Rather than the circles others are appliqueing for each day I'm cutting 2.5" x 6.5" strips representative of my daily experiences. In the end there will be 13 rows or columns of strips. I have ten complete and have just begun number eleven.

I believe I began this mid-November last year so it will be the middle of November this year when I'll stop adding new strips and sew these columns together. There's a link party over at Quilty Folk today for those of us still slogging along.

It's also time to check in with my selfish stitching efforts. I haven't touched any needlepoint since my SAL post in the middle of August. Instead I've been embellishing a bit of intuitive piecing I did some time ago (probably more than two years ago in fact!). I don't think I have a picture of the piecing alone. This is what it looks like now:

It all started with some random scraps that I just sewed together as they came to hand. Very soon I was seeing the little house image so I purposefully used the yellow batik to create a frame for the house. Then I decided to set it on a strip of land at the edge of a body of water. I've seed stitched most of the background areas with either cotton or rayon floss. The fluffy yarn is couched down with an occasional delica bead. The rick rack is hand sewn in place. This is one of a pair of 4" x 6" creations. The other is next in line for embellishing.

On Sunday (4 September) I'll be linking up with these ladies who are cheering each other on with their individual needlework projects: Kathy, Susan, Kate, Avis, Claire, DebbieRose, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Christina, and Constanze. If you'd like to join us every three weeks just leave a comment when you visit Avis. :- )