Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Bee, Myself & I in July

Bee, Myself & I is intended for projects we do for our own pleasure, not for a gift or to a deadline. Mine have taken the form of needlework of one sort or another and have been kind of sporadic of late. With the completion of the plaid Wrenches quilt top (see previous post) I seem to be in the mood for hand work again. Not a lot has been accomplished on either of my needlepoint canvases however. I only removed a short stack of the background on the horses canvas. Not enough to bother taking a picture for you. I've only put in a few stitches in the Pumpkin Head canvas too, just enough to fill in the rest of the background around the bats on Jack's hat.

That leaves the white spots at the tip of the hat and most of Jack's head. It will be tedious to fill in those spots on the tip as I'll want to run my needle under the black stitches between the dots on the backside. I was having difficulty seeing the color changes on Jacks' face so I gave that up for the time being. The edges of his hat will pose a challenge too. I'll want it to be as symmetrical as possible, which may involve putting in some single stitches of color once I get the background established. So instead of plowing ahead with this canvas when the time was right I chose to begin yet another canvas. πŸ˜‰

Not that I could get very far. I mounted Jack on the only frame I had available. Because it's another small image I originally thought I would just stitch this next canvas in hand. After having put in the first stitches I decided to get another set of bars, currently on order.

I haven't pulled all the colors for this one yet either. It was easy to begin with the black spider web design on this sugar skull cat.

Now I'm anxious for the bars to arrive so I can do more of the black stitches! I doubt I will be following the color placements exactly. I'm not a fan of metallic threads for one thing. I don't even like metallic highlights on my quilting cottons. Just a personal peculiarity. I'll be stitching this, like Jack and the horses, with cotton floss. They are all 18 count canvases.

I'm in good shape for our next Stitch Along check-in too. I fully expect to have that pillowcase I stitched shut finished by then. 😊

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Plaid Wrenches

Not to be confused with wenches wearing plaid.

All other projects fell by the wayside this week as I felt compelled to work on the plaid wrench block quilt top. In my last post I teased you with a shot of part of one of the scrappy alternate columns. (I knew I couldn't do a completely controlled, organized quilt!) Here's the whole layout:

This one is going to be an official twin size quilt though. It should finish at about 63" x 87." Here's a shot from the side so you can see what's hidden by my cutting table.

That's the best I can do in these tight quarters.

I didn't entirely use up my brown plaids but I also didn't have enough left of anything appropriate for the whole cloth border I wanted to put on. That's where friends with stashes come in handy. 😊My friend C~ has more brown in her stash than I and was able to provide yardage sufficient for not only the 2.5" (finished) border all the way around but also enough to make the binding that will eventually complete this quilt.

It's a nice dark chocolate brown. In this case I'm happy the binding will disappear visually.

I don't have a back for this yet, nor batting, so it may be a while before I can show it as a finished product. Still, it's pretty handsome, isn't it? 😁Just what I had in mind for a young man on the threshold of his adult life.

There are still some plaids to return to my inventory but I feel I've made a respectable dent at least. Now I can turn my attention back to the more colorful baby/toddler quilt I also have in the works. And maybe get some stitching done for the upcoming Bee, Myself and I post!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

(Reverse) Stitching Along in July

I have been embroiled in making checkerboard sections for the alternate columns of my current quilt project, the plaid Wrench blocks.

Which meant I hadn't done any embroidery since our last SAL check-in. I couldn't generate any enthusiasm for either of the two projects I have on the go either. With the clock ticking away I decided to pull out an orphan pillowcase stamped for embroidery that I'd purchased earlier this year.

I have some new floss colors from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe too. There's nothing like a new project to get the juices flowing again. 😁

Those are actually two different shades of green in spite of how it may appear.

Unfortunately, every stitch I put in went through both layers of the pillowcase, front and back. {sigh}

So I've taken those stitches out and called it quits for the time being. Some things are just not meant to be. 😐

We each work on our own projects in this SAL, and share our progress - or lack thereof - every three weeks. The knowledge of upcoming check-in days is a great way to keep on top of projects you want to complete. Maybe I'll have something more to show on 11 August. Let's hope so! If you'd like to participate just leave a comment on Avis' blog. There's a variety of needlework techniques in play so you're bound to find something interesting on the tour.

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

Monday, July 15, 2019

Scrap Happy in July

Scrap Happy Day is hosted by Kate and Gun on the 15th of each month. Gun's in Sweden, Kate's in Australia, and the rest of us are somewhere inbetween. πŸ˜‰This began as a way to show how we've used our quilt making scraps but has expanded to include other makers and other materials. There's a whole world of possibilities out there!

I thought I'd only have a few blocks to share this time around. These will be added to my Parts Department to be incorporated into one or more quilts in the future.

I assemble these blocks between sewing the seams of other projects. It's an ongoing leader/ender project.

We've had some pretty poor air quality lately. When it's hard to think due to toxic exposures sometimes I will put together a postage stamp block or two using the 1.5" squares I've cut from scraps. In addition to the stars above I have another baker's dozen postage stamp units waiting to be turned into stars (or something else I suppose, but most likely stars). They will also go into the Parts Dept. for future use.

Then it dawned on me that one of the quilts I'm working on at the moment is technically a scrap project. These 10" Wrench blocks were made from larger pieces of yardage I've had forever (although the background fabric is new yardage).

The quilt plan I've devised calls for sashing these into columns of seven blocks each. There will be four of those columns. They will be separated by three columns of six inch blocks and the whole thing will eventually be surrounded by a whole-cloth border. That may have to be purchased, we'll see. In the meantime, of the options I considered for those alternate columns I finally decided to use up more of the plaids from the Wrench blocks by cutting them up into 2.5" squares for checkerboard columns.

I don't know why this picture turned out so dark! 
I've thrown in some brown squares I found in my scrap boxes. I've also made a few of the Shoo-fly blocks I typically make from scraps. 😊

I know I've used up at least two plaids with this project, maybe more. I'm doing much better than I thought!

Here's the link list for others who may have done wonderful things with their scrap materials: 😊
 Kate  Gun, TittiHelΓ©neEva, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Happy Houses

My local quilt guild has a monthly block lottery in which I usually participate. Last month the call was for any size house block, any style or technique, but the house needed to be lime green and the sky black on white or white on black. I love the combination of lime green and black and white. I also love house blocks. I made three. 😁

One of the things I enjoy most is putting images in the doors and windows.

And of course I wouldn't resist adding a touch of Halloween. πŸ˜‰

There weren't a lot of other blocks turned in this time but I won the lot!

There are a couple of truly improv houses, which I love. And check out the duplex!

Someone else was thinking along the same lines I do:

Apparently some of her spools of thread got away from her!

These will be a fun start to a new quilt for a child in foster care or a hospital setting. πŸ’•

Meanwhile, I've entered two quilts in another guild's annual show and will probably put them both in the county fair a few weeks from now. I've officially declared this one a wall hanging. (I thought for a long time it would be a child's quilt.) Six of my F2F3 blocks helped to carry out the theme. It was a fun quilt to build.

Let Your Dreams Set Sail
After being on exhibit it will be donated to Hospice of the Northwest for their annual fundraising auction. Sine we live relatively near the coast I'm hoping some of the folks who live in the expensive houses oceanside will bid on this to have in their home.

This one is going to one of my granddaughters for her September birthday.

August Nights
I'd really like to get a more official portrait of the finished product before then.

Scrap Happy Day is coming up on the 15th. I may not have a lot to share but there will be a few scrappy blocks at the very least. 😊See you then!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Celebrating My Freedom to Pursue Happiness

I don't have any pictures of patriotic quilts to share on this Independence Day. I've probably got some somewhere but I'm too lazy to dig for them. For that matter, we don't do a lot of decorating for holidays other than Halloween/Day of the Dead, primarily because we just leave most of those up year round. We decorate around them at Christmas. πŸ˜‰

However, I cherish the freedoms and prosperity we can enjoy in this country.

Today I'm celebrating the freedom I've had lately to assemble lots of blocks. (That would be freedom from toxins and hormonal fluctuations.) I've made a second batch of the plaid ten inch Wrench blocks for an eventual twin size quilt.

This could well be one of the most controlled quilts I've ever made. By that I mean I'm using the same prints over and over rather than a broad mix of prints and colors. Each plaid will be used at least four times. There will be a slight variation in the background prints but only because I didn't have enough of the one I began with. I was able to find another print from the same manufacturer, same line though, so the differences won't be noticeable from a distance. They should add some visual interest for the recipient at least.

I've been able to intersperse these muted colors with the bright stars of the baby quilt I'm also building.

I'm going to have to introduce another background print in this quilt too. I'd rather keep it consistent but haven't been able to find more of that specific white with black print. It will be a fun challenge to figure out how to make another background print fit in. 😊