Monday, July 30, 2018

Bee, Myself & I in July

Last month I showed you the beginning of a new quilt I'm making for my own pleasure - which is the essence of the Bee, Myself & I challenge. I'm making a version of the free Rainbow Blur pattern offered by Free Spirit Fabrics. I'm using featuring botanical prints from the Kaffe Fasset Collection.

After making another 22 four-patch blocks in the correct size the top is complete:

It will measure about 60" x 75" when it's eventually a quilt.  Before that can happen I had to come up with a back. There wasn't enough yardage of anything in my stash that would have been appropriate. I haven't felt like shopping this month either. However...

Back in January of 2013 I made my first flimsy using the Jelly Roll Race or 1600" Quilt process.

I love the colors and prints in the batiks but wasn't overly impressed with the end results. So this has been living in the closet on a hanger ever since. I thought the day might come when I'd be courageous enough to cut it up and rearrange the parts for a more interesting design. It hasn't happened in over five years. I've also trotted it out once in a while to audition it as a quilt back. It was never right for that purpose either... until now. 😊

The colors are great with the Kaffe prints. All it needed was a bit more width and length to accommodate long arm quilting.

James, my quilter-son, is busy performing in three separate Shakespeare plays into the middle of August so there won't be any quilting taking place until the end of that season. I'll have to find something else to work on for next month's end-of-the-month post!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Stitching Along in July

It's been three weeks since our last SAL check in. I managed to complete the 'kindness' block in the block of the month series I've been working on.

The next two blocks in the series have been traced onto fabric but that's as far as I've gone with either of them.

Just this week it finally dawned on me that I could do another version of this needlepoint case for some mindless stitching.

I decided to make it all flying geese units, leaving out the pinwheel. This gives me an ideal place to use one strand of Nancy's hand dyed floss per "goose." I'll have a wonderful sampler of the various shades and colors I've collected from her when it's done.

Unfortunately, when I put in the first couple of geese I didn't realize I had the case upside down! I'm sure it will all work out in the end but that shows you how frail my thinking processes have been lately. πŸ˜‰

There's a whole flock of us working on our individual needlework projects in this stitch along. We're welcoming Deborah to the group this time around so be sure to drop by and say hello to her. 😊 We have members all around the globe so if you don't see a relevant post the first time you visit you might want to try again another time. Our next check in will be 19 August.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

F2F3 Update

July has been my month to receive blocks in my chosen color palette made by the other participants in the Footsquare Freestyle block swap. I've had blocks from South Dakota and two sets from France so far. The most recent blocks to arrive have come from Esther in The Netherlands Kate in Australia. Every single block is a delight. 😊

These are the blocks Esther made:

And these are the ones from Kate:

Those are "pied geese" according to Kate. πŸ˜‰ I applaud her courage in attempting that pickle dish. 

I made one more block for myself yesterday. I think I was influenced by the sailboat print Lynn used in the blocks she made for me.

I found this pattern for a tall ship in a magazine I've held onto from the early 1990's. I've been wanting to try it for all these years. Now I only have one more block to make for myself. Meanwhile, here's a shot of all the blocks that have been delivered to me so far:

There are only three more sets of three to come and then I can start playing around with how to arrange them!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Let's See If This Works...

We haven't made the trip to the Tech Dr. yet. I have a work-around in place for the time being. We'll see how long it lasts.

We had a couple of lovely, cool days this past week. It was absolutely delightful. There was even a tiny bit of moisture that cleared the air. Now we're looking at a heat wave similar to what the rest of the nation has endured/is enduring. And there are wildfires burning to the east and south of us. Probably in the north as well, I don't know for sure. It's the particulates in the smoke that do me in at times like this. Well, in addition to the heat.

I have my Botanical Blur top assembled but the final seams still need to be pressed. Hopefully I'll be able to find another cool morning in which to get that done. In the meantime, I've been looking for things I can do without needing the iron so much. Parts Dept. to the rescue!

I have an embarrassment of blocks I could do something with in the Parts Department. I chose to pull out the postage stamp stars I'd made in conjunction with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge the last couple of years. The ones I hadn't used elsewhere anyway. An actual rainbow quilt does not seem to be in my future. This time it was the pink and purple stars that made it to the design wall. There were enough for three columns of six blocks each. With sashing and alternate columns I could easily make a quilt top that would finish at 48" x 60." The next question was what those alternate columns could be.

My first thought was the multitude of Shoo fly or Hole in the Barn Door blocks I've made out of scraps. But I felt I wanted to keep to a pretty controlled color palette this time around. I have used, and enjoy, Karla Alexander's stack, cut, and shuffle method for making crazy patch and string blocks. Crazy blocks don't require a lot of pressing inbetween steps. My only frustration with this process is that the same prints repeat with more frequency than I care for. My solution was to make six different stacks of six assorted prints each and then mix them up as thoroughly as I could manage. Here's a sample of three of the blocks.

That gave me 36 blocks; I needed 40. (They will finish at six inches each.)

This is when my Shoo fly and Barn Door blocks came into play. There were a couple in the collection that I'd feared I would have a hard time using - ever. As it turned out, this was the place for them!

I've sewn the columns together but have yet to press those seams so I can finish assembling the top. Hopefully there will be a time for that soon. 😊

Monday, July 16, 2018

Please Stand By

The keyboard of my laptop is acting up, giving me more letters than I want and no letters when I want them. A trip to the Tech Dr. is in order. i have no way of knowing how long i will be incommunicado.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Scrap Happy in July

Two years ago Kate and Gun made a commitment to do something with their fabric scraps and show the results on their respective blogs. The 15th of every month became ScrapHappy day. I'm not sure when I joined in but slowly the numbers have been growing. We even have folks using the scraps of their paper crafts, electronic and jewelry projects now!

Sewing up my scraps into patchwork blocks is just about the most relaxing activity I can do. As I make these random blocks they go into my Parts Department for future use. I make at least a couple of scrappy blocks every week. These days I'm making mostly 6" Hole in the Barn Door blocks or 8" postage stamp stars.

That 3" Shoofly block is an anomaly. Every once in a while ya gotta break the mold. πŸ˜‰ These are the 4" postage stamp blocks that go in the center of the stars:

Last month I started using my 1.5" (raw) strips to make 6" blocks I'm referring to as Sticks.

They may or may not end up in this Rail Fence configuration when they finally go into a quilt.

I've also started making these 4" (finished) units for an eventual Demented quilt. That one will be way down the road. It may end up being just a central medallion instead of a whole quilt too.

When the spirit moves me I go through my Parts Department to create a new quilt. This is the most recent effort:

I just finished putting on the binding and laundered it before I pass it along. I forgot to measure it while I had it hanging up but it should be about 48" x 60."

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Friday, July 13, 2018

Jackpot in the Mailbox!

It's been a tough week. So all the goodies I found in our mailbox yesterday was a definite pick-me-up. πŸ’–

First there were the blocks from Claire for the current Footsquare Freestyle block swap.

On the top left is Checkmate, the one below is is called Jayhawks, and the one on the right is Folded Corners. They are all wonderful. As much as I enjoy the blocks I also enjoy the cards that are sent along with them. This is the one from Claire who keeps chickens:

Claire lives in France. So does Lynn, who sent me these blocks for F2F3.

I'm delighted to have one of the hedgehogs she's been making from Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest. I'm pretty impressed with the banded star too. Lynn included scraps from the prints she used and some buttons that will be fun to incorporate in something someday. Fabulous card and envelope!

In addition to the two packages from France there was my monthly shipment of hand dyed floss from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. Another half dozen gorgeous colors!

There's still time for you to get in on Nancy's Christmas in July give aways. You could win a luscious bundle of floss to stitch with - or simply fondle, as I often do. πŸ˜‰

Sunday, July 8, 2018

SAL in July

I haven't put a single stitch in the block of the month embroidery I've been doing for the last few months. For a minute there I thought I might get caught up. That's obviously not going to happen now, not this month anyway.

Still waiting to have the stems and leaves stitched.
 The 'kindness' block was for May if I'm not mistaken. June is 'gentleness.' I don't even have that traced onto fabric yet. The design for July will be released in the next couple of days. Oh well, who wants to be right on top of things? Where would be the fun in that? πŸ˜‰

What I have been working on is the Frank Lloyd Wright design needlepoint case from long, long ago. When last you saw it, it looked like this:

I've been toting it around in my bag, occasionally working on it when I've had to wait in the car. Lately I haven't had much brain power so I pulled it out and have been using it to pass the time while waiting for headaches, etc. to abate. It now looks like this:

All that's left are a couple of narrow bands of dark gray and part of the final band of light gray.

There's a tiny panic in the back of my mind about what I'll stitch when this is finished. What if I'm not ready to pick up the embroidery yet? I only have blank canvases to stitch, nothing preprinted. When I get the way I am at the moment I can't make color or design decisions. Ack! What I would really like is to figure out a way to use some of Nancy's wonderful hand dyed floss to fill in that blank canvas. You know, just pick up a color, thread the needle, and stitch. No marking of the canvas, no counting threads in order to get started. I've had a couple of ideas for that in the past, I'm just not confident enough to begin. By the way, Nancy is holding her annual Christmas in July give away right now. You can pop over to her blog, sign up to follow her if you haven't already, and put your name in the hat for several different prizes. She's willing and able to ship overseas so don't let that stop you. I reduce my chances of winning anything by telling you this but I really would like you to have a chance to experience her floss. 😊

I give you fair warning that I'll probably not make it around to see the progress everyone else is making on their various needlework projects, nor respond to comments. I assure you however, that it will be well worth your while to take the tour if you have an interest in anything worked with needle and thread.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Blue and White and a Tiny Bit of Yellow

I hope my readers in the US had a safe and happy Independence Day. For that matter, I hope our Canadian friends had a good Canada Day on the first of July! We have folks in the neighborhood now who are, apparently, very into setting off fireworks. Not only have I had a nervous dog in my lap for two days straight, when I tried to coax her to go outside to do her business I was almost knocked over by the smoke in the air. Needless to say, I'm suffering the usual effects. πŸ˜’ We're not out of the woods yet either. The law may say fireworks only on the Fourth but inevitably there will be those who feel the need to use up any leftovers in the days afterward. {sigh}

On a much happier note, I've received the first set of blocks for my turn in the F2F3 (Footsquare Freestyle round 3) block swap. These are from Kathy in South Dakota:

They are crisp and gorgeous! I asked for blocks in blues on white. This is my inspiration photo:

Kathy hit the nail on the head!

I've only made one block for myself so far.

This is a variation of a block our local guild did for a lottery draw a few months back. I took the 12" pattern and reduced it to four 6" units. Now I just have to choose two more blocks to make. 😊

While I have your attention let me show you - as best I can through a dirty kitchen window - the bouquet of roses that are blooming at the top of one of my rose bushes.

You might be able to see the lavender blooming underneath and behind the roses. Makes me smile every time I look out the window. At least, until they fade and the petals fall off!