Sunday, June 30, 2019

SAL and Bee, Myself and I

We have two Stitch Along days this month and this second one lands at the same time I'd be reporting on my Bee, Myself and I projects. So you get a two-fer in this blog post! 

I finally started the second gingerbread house in the series by Joy McDonald. There's a good bit more to do on it though.

When I traced it off I only traced the major lines, not all the details. I wanted to leave room for spontaneous embellishment. And now all of a sudden - or so it seems to me! - the third house has been released. At least I'll have it to hand when I'm finally ready for it. 😊

That's my official SAL project. Each participant is working on her own project so there's quite the variety among the stitchers. To see what everyone else is working on and the progress they've made you can click on their names below. If you'd like the accountability of checking in every three weeks you can leave a comment on Avis' blog.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, LindaHeidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny,Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

Meanwhile, for my Bee, Myself & I project, also known as selfish sewing, I'm putting stitches in one needlepoint canvas and taking them out of another. This Jack in a Party Hat is a small hand painted canvas so I'm trying not to work it up too quickly.

It may be hard for you to tell what's been stitched and what hasn't. The hat is nearly complete, the eyes and mouth are done, so about all that's left is Jack's head. And whatever I decide to do for the background. 

There's not much left to remove from the background of the horses canvas.

There may be more needlework done over the next couple of months as the temperatures are heating up around here. Hand work doesn't require the use of an iron. πŸ˜‰

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Starry Saturday

It's taking me longer than I anticipated to get back into the patchwork I'd been doing when I hurt my shoulder. No sooner was my shoulder beginning to feel nearly normal again when I hurt another body part. πŸ˜–Can you believe it?! I have no one to blame but myself. Or maybe the weeds I was trying to pull from the flower bed. 

I'd deadheaded the flowers and pulled down the bindweed climbing up the hedge along the back property line. That went so well I decided to see what I could do with the weeds that had taken hold under and around the flowers. The ground was hard and dry even though we'd had some rain (cleaning the air and making it possible for me to even be outside to begin with). If I'd been smart (ha) I'd have gone in for my trowel. Instead I tried to pull a broadleaf weed from the ground by twisting it's leaves together and exerting all my weight against it. Everything was fine, progressing slowly, until suddenly all the leaves broke free of the rootball. I went sailing across the yard to land on my backside in a move straight out of a cartoon. In the air I was trying to figure out how to break my fall to avoid breaking any bones. I managed to miss my tailbone at least. And nothing is broken, thank goodness. My back sure hurts though. Has been all week. So once again productivity has been limited. {sigh}

Before my trip through the air I managed to get some flying geese made for my Remixed Geese quilt.

Since then I've started making 10" Wrench blocks to eventually be a quilt for a young man aging out of the foster care system. 

And today I resurrected a project I'd barely begun before I hurt my shoulder. These stars will become a quilt for a new baby in the family. 

Of course it will not be ready when he makes his grand entrance. They're giving me an opportunity to use up some whimsical prints I've had for too long though.

I've also got sleeves to put on two quilts for an upcoming show locally. Not looking forward to that process as it will involve standing longer than my back will be happy about. Fortunately the turn-in date is still a couple of weeks away so maybe I can let my back heal more before I tackle that job. Right now I'm concentrating on not staying in one position too long. Piecing these blocks is good for that! 

I want to apologize to my faithful readers who visit my blog and leave supportive comments. I've been out of commission too often lately to respond or even visit your blogs. Hopefully the day is not too far off when I'll be able to make up for lost time. πŸ’œ

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Scrap Happy in June

It's that time again when Kate and Gun invite us to share something (or things) that we've made from scrap materials, whatever our medium may be. I'm always using my fabric scraps to create quilt blocks of one sort or another. I try to keep a short stack of patches ready to sew together between the seams of whatever major project I may be working on. As my shoulder began to feel better I worked out of the basket of 2" wide scrap strips I keep handy. I make 12" (finished) Lego blocks by piecing the short strips together end to end and then assembling those rows into blocks.

There's another partial block in the works too. These accumulate in my Parts Dept. until I have enough to build a quilt.

I've also been keeping 1.5" scrap strips and sewing them together into 6" (finished) blocks I call my Sticks blocks.

The Shoofly blocks have been my go-to piecing between seams for a long time. I was able to put together a few Ships recently too.

One of these days I'll actually do something with my Ships and Shooflies! Heaven knows there are enough of them here in The Magpie's Nest. The shoulder continues to improve so maybe there will be one or more new quilts created soon. 😊In the meantime, for lots of scrappy inspiration you can visit these blogs. Even if they don't have a scrappy project to share there will be something of interest for you to see.

KateGun, TittiHelΓ©neEvaNanette, Lynn, Lynda,

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Stitching Along in June

It's been three weeks since our Stitch Along group has posted their progress. That's the schedule for this group, every three weeks. We work on our own projects too, not the same one, so there's quite a variety of needlework to be seen. I tend to swing between embroidery and needlepoint. My current needlepoint projects have been designated for Bee, Myself and I posts at the end of each month. You can see what I've been doing on that front in this post. For the SAL I'm sticking to embroidery, at least for the time being. πŸ˜‰

I still haven't started embroidering the second gingerbread house from Joy McDonald. To be honest, since I've been able to get back to piecing (finally!) my interest in embroidery has waned. One of the benefits of this SAL is that it gives us a deadline to work for. The pressure of this deadline motivated me to finish up the tea towel I've been working on.

Those who are paying attention will note that in my last post (about the quilt top I just created) I said I'm not generally one for pink and blue color schemes. So you can call me out for this essentially pink and blue tea towel. In my defense, I stitched this up with someone else in mind. On the off chance she might swing by here I'll not say more except that it will eventually be a gift.

This is a very simple design. I want to do more with those leaves and with the body of the butterflies but I just haven't been able to figure out what to do. If I satin stitch those butterfly bodies I'm afraid they will stand out visually given that everything else is just outline stitched. I welcome suggestions although I may just leave it alone.

I've also put some more stitches in this pillow cover from Sublime Stitching.

Most of the stars are now stitched, more of the lighter green leaves, and the orange decoration inside the large heart in the center.

This will probably go to the granddaughters when it's finally finished so I want it to be colorful and fun.

To see what the others have been stitching click on their names below. If you'd like this kind of motivation to get your needlework projects going again (or finished) just let Avis know via her blog. πŸ˜€Our next check in will be at the end of this month, on June 30th. Maybe I'll double up and show my needlepoint progress then!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, 
LindaHeidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Clare, 
Mary Margaret, ReneeJenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

Friday, June 7, 2019

F2F3 Revisited

You may remember that I used a handful of my blue and white F2F3 (Footsquare Freestyle round 3) blocks in this child's quilt:

I've recently finished sewing the binding down on that one but haven't taken it's picture yet. However, as I was stitching the binding I thought about the remaining F2F3 blocks. When it was finished I dug them out and put them on the design wall just to see what was left to work with.

I played around with all 20 blocks for a while, then removed four that didn't seem to carry the story I saw developing. That left me with these:

I don't normally like to do sashing but when I accidentally laid a yellow tone on tone print over these blocks I really like the way it looked. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough of that yellow to both sash and border the planned quilt top. Nor could I find a potential border print with that yellow in it. I even went to my local quilt shop to look! Instead I came home with a light, fresh pink (with touches of orange and purple in it) for the sashing and a blue digital print for the border.

The blue border has that pink in it as well as touches of purple. Now, I'm not one for pink and blue typically but this really makes me happy. I just wish I had a better picture of it for you.

Now I'm thinking I'll make the back for this, which will finish at about 60" square, by starting with the four leftover blocks. Or maybe I'll build a whole other quilt with them, who knows? πŸ˜‰

I'm so happy with this I'm Whooping it up and linking with others over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. :-)

Monday, June 3, 2019

First Flimsy of 2019!

In January, shortly after I'd injured my shoulder but before I realized how serious the injury was, I'd sewn a bunch of scrap strips into rough blocks. The intention was to create a quilt for the Hands2Help quilt drive this year. 

And then I had to set everything aside to allow my shoulder to heal. 

I've not been completely inactive but I haven't been able to build a quilt top for a good six months. Lately my shoulder has been feeling almost normal again. Hurray! I figured the easiest, safest thing to do would be to get out those string blocks and piece them into columns. 

They all turned out too long in the beginning so there was some reverse sewing involved before I had a flimsy the size and shape I wanted. The most stressful part of this assembly job was tacking those long columns up on the design wall so I could judge for color and print balance. I really have to stretch to reach the top of my design wall, even without a compromised shoulder joint. Eventually I got all the columns to the same approximate length. I wanted a whole cloth border to finish it off visually and to keep all of those seam ends from coming apart when it was mounted on the long arm.

About 60" wide x 80" long
I feel like I lucked out when I found the black print in my stash. It has other colors in it but is dark enough to corral the colors and prints in the strings. Of course, getting those borders on wasn't without a hitch. I cut 2.5" wide strips and began piecing them together end-to-end for length. Then, without thinking, I went to the ironing board and started pressing them in half as if I were making a binding! Rather than undo all that work I went back to the yardage and cut new strips. There was just enough left to get all the way around the top. I doubt there's enough of the false-start binding to use when the time comes but that would be really helpful. I typically cut my binding strips only two and a quarter inches wide though, so I'll have to deal with that issue too. First up is to create a back for this top. A big ole piece of yardage would be the simplest way to go obviously. It would also be the easiest on my shoulder. I know I don't have anything like that on hand however, and there's still old yardage waiting to be used up somehow. That's a problem for another day. Right now I'm just going to bask in the glow of having finally completed another quilt top! 😁