Sunday, April 23, 2017

Another April SAL

Our Stitch Along schedule has given us two check-in opportunities this month! It seems I'm done with embroidery for the time being. My handwork of choice lately has been needlepoint.

I showed you the beginning of this coin purse earlier in the  month.

I've made quite a bit of progress since then!

The idea was to use up the leftover floss from previous Stitch and Zip kits. Somewhere around here there's a sizable knot of black floss that I thought I'd use for this project. Do you think I can find it? Of course not. It's not in my embroidery basket or the tote with my stash of other embroidery threads. It doesn't seem to be in any of the logical places I would expect to find it in. I think I'm reduced to looking in the illogical places. I've made a start on the background anyway but the floss I began with was substandard. I had to go back over my stitches to get better coverage of the white canvas and even then it's peeking through more than I'd like. I hope I can unearth that knot of floss pretty soon so the rest of the background area will be more fun to stitch!

I also succumbed to the enticement of a new project, another coin or card case. Who could resist this face?

I'm not a fan of gray so I'm toying with the idea of a purple in the gray areas of the background.

I think it'll work just as well with the turquoise, aqua, and lime green as the gray - maybe better!

There's quite a group of us in this stitch along now, from Europe to Australia. You can see the wonderful array of work by clicking on their names below. I have a hard time, sometimes, getting around to see them all but I assure you it's worth the effort!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Finish and a Stumblingblock

I have completed the binding on my F2F2 quilt (Footsquare Freestyle round two).

The blocks were made by quilters around the world - thank you ladies! This is a regulation twin size quilt, 65" x 88."  I had James quilt it in an allover leaf design. I love it!

He was able to use a variegated thread my sister bought for me some years ago. The allover leaf is one of my favorites of his quilting patterns. It was an easy decision to use that design given the leaves in the batik sashing and border. :- )

Meanwhile, I've swapped out one of the short sashing strips between my batik friendship blocks.


Do you see the difference? In the second column from the left, about halfway down. The first strip was too dark. I'm happier with this other print. However, I discovered I didn't have as much yardage as I needed for the long vertical sashing strips. I went out to look for more and found an acceptable print in the yellow I was planning to use. But when I got home, affected by the fumes from the outing, I suddenly wasn't sure about my original plan. I still want to make this a strippy quilt (vertical columns separated by single fabric strips - much like the F2F2 quilt) but I'm no longer as confident of the yellow I was planning to use. The good people at eQuilter had a turquoise batik in their clearance department that looked like it might be a good fit with this project. So until my order arrives this quilt has been put on hold. I'm making up the rest of the purple, green, and caramel scrappy trip blocks that will go into the comfort quilt for Covered in Love. It's an ideal project for this period of time while my brain is not fully functional.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Totally Scrappy

Today is both Scrap Happy Day hosted by Kate and Gun and the weekly link party for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge hosted by Angela. I only have these three blocks officially for the RSC so far:

I'm not even sure the sawtooth star with the birds in the middle counts! The challenge this month (and it's really a challenge!) is to use our multi-color scraps, those that aren't predominantly one color or another. I'm surprised at how few of those scraps I have and how difficult I'm finding it to figure out how to use them in a block. I have plenty of prints that would qualify, they just haven't been used to the point where I have scraps yet. This year may not be a very productive one for me in terms of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. It would appear I need to make some quilts to create more scraps!

For Scrap Happy Day each month I've been making what I consider to be Truly Scrappy scrappy trip blocks. This is to reduce the number of 3" strips in my stash. It's being very effective. I made these three blocks for April:

And then added them to the other blocks I've made.

Technically I have enough blocks already for a comfort quilt top. However, the bright white spots bother me. And the strips I haven't used yet are in bright, clear colors as opposed to these darker, grayer prints. So I've cut more strips and will continue making blocks until I can create a top I'm happy with. Probably I'll end up with two: one in brighter colors and the other more subdued. Whatever works! :- )

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Friends in Batik

I've learned that I'm going to have to pace myself when it comes to getting all those bindings sewn down (see previous post). After the marathon sessions with the wedding quilt (pictures to come later) my wrist and hands weren't very happy. I also wanted something other than the purple, green, and gold scrappy trip blocks to work on so I dug out my cheerful batik friendship blocks. These blocks were made for me by members of my local quilt guild back in 2014-15. This is the way I laid them out the first time I put them on the design wall.

My original thinking was to make stacked string blocks to tie them together. Then I considered alternate blocks. I couldn't find a block that would easily move the colors across the quilt that I was willing to make in that quantity. So the blocks were put away for a while.

When I got them out the next time I rearranged them into five columns with the blocks directly over each other.

With 2" sashes between the blocks and about 3" between the columns I could turn these into a personal size quilt which, after all, is what this was meant to be! I have a wonderful batik in pink and orange and yellow that might make a good border too. There was still the matter of sashing the blocks however. That was going to involve a lot of auditioning of colors and prints. Other projects took precedence, as they will, and the blocks were put away once again.

To keep myself from hand stitching another binding I got the friendship blocks out and began the auditioning process.

Two days later I think I have what I want. Or the best I can do with what's available. The trick will be to get them sewn into place before I need the design wall for something else!

Friday, April 7, 2017


I had an exceptionally good day yesterday. I pruned two quilts, made binding for three, and applied binding to four out of the five that were in the queue.

I already had binding made for this one:

This is the one I made out of a selection of favorite batiks and hand dyed fabrics. I'm calling it Precious Gems. It will finish at about 60" x 76."

I had to make binding for my Macabre Medallion and F2F2 quilts. I used a solid black on my F2F2 quilt.

This one is slightly larger than Precious Gems, about 66" x 88."

The wedding quilt and Macabre Medallion required a trip to my Local Quilt Shop. I found a leaf print for the wedding quilt:

That lighter print makes a nice contrast to the dark border print. Up in the left corner you can see a bit of the backing print. This one is 60" x 80."

I thought I was going to use a black tone on tone for the Macabre Medallion. Instead I found the perfect faded plum!

This is quilt about the same size as the others. Can you see the spiderweb James quilted into it for me?

Obviously the first one I'm going to focus on getting stitched down will be the wedding quilt. I mentioned five quilts; the fifth one has been pruned but I couldn't find anything in my stash that worked for binding. Back to the LQS! In another rare turn of events, I'm planning to keep three of these five quilts for my own use and enjoyment. There's a first time for everything!

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and others celebrating their accomplishments this week. :- )

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Batik Trips

After putting so much mental effort into the wedding quilt I wanted something easy and relatively mindless to work on next. Last year I learned about Covered in Love during the annual Hands2Help quilt drive. I only sent one quilt to them but have wanted to do more ever since. So I went through my stash and found some batiks that would work together in Scrappy Trip blocks.

Some quilters get hooked on log cabin blocks because of the ease of construction and variety of designs that can be achieved with them. Those are the very reasons I keep making scrappy trip blocks!

I tend to use the trip-around-the-world setting most often, at least when I'm making the blocks and putting them up on the design wall. ;- ) 

When I have more blocks made I'll try other setting options. I don't have quite enough of any one of these batiks for all 20 blocks so it will be a challenge to distribute prints evenly or at least in a pleasing arrangement. I confess to going out today to try to find more greens and golds to blend in with what I've already used. I wasn't as successful as I'd have liked but I think I have enough to be getting on with now. And James has just brought in the wedding quilt, ready to be bound. That will be a job for tomorrow (or maybe the next day!). 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Stitch Along in April

Late last month I was busy finishing up the Moonlight Love embroidery that I thought was going to be part of our niece's wedding quilt. As it turned out, the embroidery was too dark to include in the quilt so I get to hang onto it and enjoy it in our home. :- )

Even in a rush it was fun to do. Then I was busy building the quilt top so not a lot of stitching took place. In the last few days I've started to almost replicate one of the needlepoint coin purses I've made in the past.

I bought a blank canvas purse one time when I also purchased a kit. At the time I didn't have a clue what I would do with it. Such a quantity of leftover floss had accumulated from all the kits that I knew I wanted a design that would at least make a dent - never mind all the other floss I have in my stash! These hearts are simple and straightforward. They and the border can be counted out the same way counted cross stitch designs are done. It's a bit more demanding mentally than just stitching by color but once I get the hearts in place I'll have the background to fill in mindlessly. ;- )

There's quite a gang of us in this stitch along now, all over the world. Many are doing cross stitch projects (some quite ambitious) but there's a variety of needlework being done. If you'd like the motivation that a deadline provides contact Avis, our group's administrator. Oh, and welcome to Mary Margaret and Timothy, our newest members!