Wednesday, October 24, 2018

SAL Follow Up

I've put the finishing stitches in the flying geese needlepoint case! (See previous post.) I chose to take the easy way out and use just one color along both edges.

Now I have to figure out what to pick up next... 😊 Our next stitch along check in will be on 11 November.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

SAL in October

I almost forgot! I knew that our every-three-week check in would be today. I've even been working on a current project the last couple of days. But then I got distracted by a book I'm reading and all thoughts of the Stitch Along disappeared from my consciousness. Ain't that the way?

As regular visitors are aware, I've been vacillating between embroidery and needlepoint projects inbetween the quilt making I do. This time around it's been needlepoint in my hands, specifically this small case that started out with a blank face.

I'm not sure this is the most recent photo of the work in progress. Seems to me I've shown it to you at a later stage. Oh well, this is the photo I found for 'before.' And here is where it's at now:

Since I'm having to restrict my quilt making activities (see previous post) this project has come in handy. Holding the case in my left hand doesn't seem to upset the elbow of that arm unduly. Consequently I've made quite a bit of progress! All that's left are the compensating stitches that will have to go in along the edges.

That's tedious work. I'll be stitching through at least two layers of canvas - four in the corners - as well as trying to cover the mesh as much as possible right up against the zipper fabric. I use a size 18 tapestry needle for the bulk of the stitching. I'll switch to a 20 or 22 for what's left. All of these colors are samples of the hand dyed embroidery floss available through the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. I use a full six strands on this 14 count needlepoint canvas. There's a give away going on over at the Shoppe, you should hop over and put your name in the hat!

I may very well be the last in the group to get my post up. Participants are scattered all over the world in varying time zones. In fact, Clare in New Zealand has just joined us. Welcome Clare! If you haven't already been to see what everyone else is working on I encourage you to do so. 😊

Friday, October 19, 2018

Turkey Tracks and Quilter's Elbow

I recently showed my newest Turkey Tracks blocks...

That brought the number in my collection up to 42. Originally I thought I would set the blocks the traditional way, with narrow sashing and cornerstones. Then Kate left a comment on that post that got me to thinking. She suggested a single fabric in a strong color, leaving out the cornerstones. I didn't have a clue what I could use that would tie all the blocks together so I put them on the wall to see what there was.

My first reaction was that a straight grid setting would just be boring.  I also considered a strippy set with columns of the Turkey Tracks blocks alternated with possibly a colorful, large scale print. That would leave enough blocks leftover for another small quilt.

Then I went for broke and tried a diagonal setting.

This picture does not include all the blocks, nor are the colors distributed evenly, but this setting made my heart sing. 😊 Plus I can set the blocks side by side, just the way I prefer (no sashing or cornerstones at all!). I'll use more white-on-white for the setting triangles, then maybe a colorful border or frame and border.

I've had to take the blocks down for the time being. The next time I feel really well I'll put them up again and try for a pleasing distribution of the colors and prints. I've only done a few diagonal set quilts in the past but it shouldn't be too challenging. The worst part may be cutting the large triangles and then any border strips. This is where Quilter's Elbow comes into the story. It's a sharply painful condition in my left elbow. The doctor diagnosed it as Golfer's Elbow. I've only ever played Putt Putt golf, and the last time I did that has to be more than 35 years ago. So I've renamed the condition Quilter's Elbow. I suspect I injured that arm when I fell a few months ago but didn't notice the injury because other body parts hurt worse. Then I exacerbated the injury by continuing to use that hand and arm for rotary cutting and such. Now I'm trying to give the elbow a chance to heal. Sure makes for slow progress on my creative endeavors!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Scrap Happy in October

It's time for our monthly report on what we've done with scrap materials! This effort is hosted by Kate at Tall Tales From Chiconia and Gun at rutigt in Sweden. Not everyone works with fabrics, and not everyone posts every month but everyone's blog is certainly worth a visit! 

I've only made a few blocks to add to my Parts Department...

One "Lego" block (12") and three 6" Ships to begin with. Then I sewed up a couple more families of flying geese for my Remixed Geese project, an 8" postage stamp star, and my regular 6" Shoo-fly and Hole in the Barn Doors.

In the middle, down at the bottom, you can see an example of why I enjoy the Hole in the Barn Door pattern so much. I just love putting fussy-cut images in those holes!

Here are the links to the others who are trying to use up their scraps. Welcome to Connie who is joining us for the first time!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Squirrel Update

I've been industriously working away on blocks for this month's recipient in the Footsquare Freestyle block swap. I can't show you those blocks yet - come to think of it, have I shown any of the blocks I've made this time around? We're not supposed to show what we've made until we know the recipient has received her blocks in order to maintain the surprise value. I suspect between one thing and another I've just clean forgotten to share. In any event, you can see all the blocks everyone has made so far by checking out the 2018/2019 F2F gallery page here. 😊

Now about those squirrels: I thought I would use the Hourglass blocks and the families of flying geese I introduced in this post as leaders and enders. The flying geese work well in that capacity as long as I don't get carried away and sew them all up at once. The Hourglasses have turned out to be a little problematic however. I'm using the old fashioned method for making the blocks wherein you cut big squares and quarter them on the diagonals. It's the method I learned first and am most comfortable with. It allows me the freedom I want for mixing prints. However, I've had to take a couple of sub-units apart and resew them because I sewed down the wrong side of the triangles when I lost track of what I was doing. These are the Hourglasses I've made most recently:

I haven't a clue how many I have so far. Suffice to say there aren't nearly enough for a whole quilt yet.

There are only a handful of geese to share too.

One of these days when my head is working properly I'll try to figure out how many sets of four geese and how many mere pairs I need to make my version of the Remixed Geese quilt.

I've also sewn up a couple more of the Turkey Track blocks I was making last year (also known as Cross and Crown).

Now I have 42 blocks, which is enough for a decent size quilt. Unfortunately, it practically requires sashing and I haven't quite wrapped my mind around that step yet. The biggest stumbling block is what to do about cornerstones, if any. Now that I think about it, I may just leave them out! That would at least speed up the piecing process. Hmm...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Parts Dept. Strikes Again

On Sunday I was inspired to see if I could pull together a quilt for Hospice from my Parts Department. Specifically, I wanted to see if I could make another masculine style quilt. I knew there were some Churn Dash or Wrench blocks that might fit the bill so I started by getting out the bag of miscellaneous blocks that will finish at ten inches each. I knew I'd need 30 blocks total, and these got me almost halfway there.

Next I got out the bag of 7.5" blocks. I figured I could frame them up to ten inches and use them as alternate blocks to flesh out the quilt top. There were just enough Churn Dashes already made up in appropriate prints and colors. I even found some yardage I thought would work for those framing strips.

Unfortunately, when I had most of the smaller blocks built up to size and started laying them out according to plan I didn't like the results I was getting. It just didn't click. I think the framing strips were too narrow to pull off the vision I had in mind. I continued moving things around until eventually I stumbled onto this:

I was much happier with this arrangement; it felt right. It didn't take all that long to sew the blocks into rows and then the rows into this flimsy either. It's only 5 x 6 blocks, for a top that will finish 50" x 60." A narrow binding should finish it off nicely.

All I have to do now is come up with a back and some batting!