Monday, September 30, 2019

Bee, Myself & I in September

What happened to September?!! August seemed to last f-o-r-e-v-e-r. September has come and gone in a blink, or so it seems to me. Oh well, best to keep moving or October will also be gone before I know it. πŸ˜‰

Bee, Myself & I is a forum for some selfish stitching. Something we want to do or make just to please ourselves. When I wasn't working on either of the two baby quilts I have underway I was doing some embroidery. I purchased these pre-stamped towels from Mary Corbet, through her website, a couple of months ago.

I also bought the ebook for guidance. I'm glad I did too. It saved me from having to make decisions when my brain wasn't equal to the task. I made my own color choices however. Some DMC, some of Nancy's hand dyed flosses.

I chose to begin with the smallest design, which kind of gets lost in a lower corner of the large white towel. I may have to trace the design off again on the opposite corner, and maybe come up with some kind of connecting border. That's if I get really ambitious!

I was familiar with most of the stitches used in executing the design. I did take the opportunity to learn how to begin threads without a knot though. I suspect I'll still have to think hard to pull it off in other situations.

I put Colonial knots in the centers of the daisies, and used a DMC variegated thread for the petals. The large flower petals are done with fishbone stitch. The center is filled with satin stitch and two rows of buttonhole, alternating direction. I used fly stitch to fill the leaves.

This little project was so satisfying it's got my mind working on ideas for other embroidery projects. Or I may just begin one of the other towels, with more stitching to do on them!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Spacing Out

I've got the borders on the baby quilt I'm calling Space Cadets.

I decided to frame the assembled blocks with a two inch inner border to give some breathing room to the large planet print stripe. That made the overall quilt top just that much bigger. I'd purchased the wide planet stripe print according to the intended length of the quilt but had to add compensating strips to each end.

I was pleased to be able to include a touch of the orange in the planet stripe.

The narrow stripes on the outer edge of the quilt top will disappear beneath the binding, although I may be able to keep the orange showing there too. Keeping to the theme, I have a white on navy galaxy print to back this quilt top. It's not as soft as I'd like for a baby quilt but since this is likely to be a play quilt as much as anything else it'll do.

There's been progress on the pinwheel baby quilt too. I only had a few blocks made when I introduced the project in this post. Since then I've made all the rest of the pinwheels and only need to get them sewn together now.

One of the "white" blocks I'd made had to be removed to achieve a more comfortable balance between the light and dark pinwheels. I'm planning to frame this with a narrow border of the gray.

I've been spaced out since I ventured into our local Hobby Lobby yesterday. I thought the store's air quality was acceptable at the outset but the longer I was in there the more I felt the effects of the toxins in the environment. It was worst at the checkout stand. The sweet young lady on duty was wearing something that was particularly bad for me. I don't know what it was and didn't bother to enquire. How do you do that delicately anyway? "I'm sorry, what deodorant/perfume/hair products are you wearing? Do you use those wickedly scented laundry products (I could name names but won't) to clean your clothes?" I did make some comment about how quickly I was losing ground and she very politely stepped back away from me as well as she could. The mask I wear helps to convey the seriousness of my affliction I think.

In any event, it was a treat to browse their shelves of art and craft supplies. I got what I went in for and more besides. πŸ˜‰ I have a new jigsaw puzzle to put together and a new companion to travel with me in my Chevy Bolt EV.

I had a skeleton Beanie Baby as a traveling companion in my previous car. This little guy, hanging in the back seat passenger window, has the added advantage of helping us to identify our vehicle in a parking lot full of SUV's. Any more the only colors you see around town are white, black, various shades of gray, and red. Both my son and I have gone to the wrong red SUV after coming out of stores since we acquired the Bolt!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Stitching Along in September (Again)

When I received the reminder email about our upcoming Stitch Along check-in I realized the only stitching I'd done since the last time was on my secret project. I could probably share it here but I don't want to take a chance. So then I mulled over what I'd stitched that I could share. As it turned out, since my return to quilt making there hadn't been any.

I decided to pick up the Sublime Stitching pillow cover to get a little more done on it. After all, this SAL is meant to help us get our projects finished and that one has been stalled for some time. Guess what? I couldn't find it. Anywhere. I'll bet you can relate. I put it away so neatly and safely it completely disappeared from the studio. Or at least that's how it appeared. I did eventually locate it, right where I looked the first time. I just hadn't remembered putting it in the cute little bag it was in!

I believe the last time you saw this project it looked like this:

Now it looks like this!

Those scallops below the foxes kept saying "buttonhole stitches" to me so I gave in to the prompting.

With French knot centers. I tacked down most of the cross stitches with a tiny horizontal stitch. Officially that turns them into some other kind of stitch but I'm too lazy to look it up.

I added some detail to the acorn caps with a few plies and straight stitches too.

A person could really get carried away adding details to this piece. Probably won't be me, but it's a possibility. πŸ˜‰

We check in every three weeks in this SAL. Here's the list of the others who are participating. We all work on our own projects so there's a variety of needlework to be seen. If you'd like some motivation to get your projects moving along just leave Avis a comment. Enjoy!

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Baby Steps

While I've been waiting for new prints to arrive for more pinwheels for Baby Quilt #2 I've sewn together the blocks and sashing for Baby Quilt #1.

At this point it measures about 48" across and 60" high. I want it wider but not necessarily longer. To that end I picked up this wide border stripe at my local quilt shop.

I'm not sure yet how wide I'll cut those stripes but I doubt all that orange will show. More like this probably:

I was delighted to find all the colors of the blocks and sashing in this stripe. 😊

I've also made a back for the plaid Wrenches quilt top. Had to piece together two different prints totaling five yards.

And I've sewn some of the scraps from that project into 6" blocks. It may become a doll or teddy bear quilt.

There's still a fair amount of one or two of those plaids. Perhaps one of them could become the back for such a small quilt. We shall see!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Scrap Happy in September

Regular readers will be aware that I have supported Covered in Love in the past with contributions to block drives and even a quilt or two. I meant to contribute to the summer block drive of stars but it didn't happen. Thus it makes me very happy to have made four blocks for the current drive, a split 9 Patch design that utilizes scrap patches.

I made these in two sets of two on separate days. I have to tell you, it doesn't do me any good to try to sew after about 5 p.m. most days. I must have made the final block two times over one evening because I kept turning the half-square triangle patch the wrong way or sewed the wrong patch in the wrong place. It looks like such a simple block but there are SO many ways to screw it up! Still, it was a fun way (most of the time) to put my scraps to good use. Because that's what Scrap Happy Day is all about you know. πŸ˜‰

I finally put the bindings on two very scrappy quilts I built earlier in the year too. I called this first one Syncopated Strings. It was inspired by Sarah's scrap busting efforts over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

75.5" high x 58.5" wide
Just random strips of varying widths but all 8.5" long to make the columns. I didn't buy the border or binding fabric for this one, they were already in my stash, but I did purchase yardage for the back.

Confetti used up old yardage from my stash for the back as well as the front. It began as a Disappearing 9 Patch made entirely out of scrap patches. I had fun fussy cutting old prints to feature in the corners of the original 9 patch blocks.

Here's the end product:
70" high x 57" wide

And here's a portion of the back:

That white corner is a patch I add with the binding for labelling the quilt.

Scrap Happy Day is hosted by Kate and Gun on the 15th of each month. To see what they've been working on and what others have done just click on the links below. πŸ˜‹

KateGun, TittiHelΓ©neEva, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Other Baby Quilt

I have two baby quilts in process at the moment. You've just seen the newest one in the last post. While I wait for some fabric I've ordered for that one I've turned my attention back to the first one. You've probably been shown a block or two in the distant past. I began this quilt to use up a couple of prints I've had in my stash for too long.

I started making these stars without a specific destination for the end product. Then I learned of the pregnancy of a niece and decided to dedicate this quilt for her eventual baby. 

When we learned the baby would be male it seemed even more appropriate. 😊But then summer struck and my unplanned hiatus from patchwork began. I also ran out of that white with black print I was using as background for the stars. Of course I couldn't find any more of that print. The closest I could come was the one I used to make the remainder of the 36 blocks.

I had a layout in mind when I first conceived this project but when I looked at my notes the other day - with a headache - they made no sense to me. I've had a couple of pretty good days since then though, and this is what's on my design wall now:

That's a Buzz Lightyear block that's not a star up near the top.
Other, smaller, images from that print are included in the four patch centers of a few of the stars.

I'm wondering whether I can improve on block placement for color balance at this point. It's tempting to just sew it together the way it is but if improvements can be made I want to know now, not later!

When these blocks are sewn with their sashes the flimsy will measure about 58" x 48" (height x width). I have a large scale print to use for borders so it will grow to closer to a 60" square. And the backing fabric is part of that order I'm waiting for. πŸ˜‰Niece knows not to expect this quilt until Christmas, at which point her new baby will be about five months old. Pretty good timing if I do say so myself!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Getting Back Into Patchwork

We've had a couple of cooler mornings lately. Not cool, per se, but cooler. That has helped to bring my unplanned hiatus from patchwork to a conclusion. I don't believe I've ever been quite so anxious for fall and winter to arrive. That seems to be the case with each passing year as a matter of fact. Hmm.

Also helping to bring the patchwork hiatus to an end was a request for a baby quilt from my daughter for a friend of hers. This will be a departure from the quilts I've made most recently in that I'm trying for a more "modern" look. Large patches, gray background - as opposed to busy scrappiness. After browsing pattern potentials I decided to go with simple 10" pinwheels set side by side.

I'll only need 20 blocks for a 40 x 50" quilt and I'm halfway there already. Mostly I'm using prints from my stash that we think will be appropriate for the family. I do have some fabric on order from though.

And I shopped locally for some current prints. Any opportunity, right? πŸ˜‰

During the piecing hiatus I managed to get bindings on a couple of quilts that I will share on Scrap Happy Day (15 Sept.). Because they are scrappy busy!

And then they will be donated through my local guild for children in the foster care system. 😊

Sunday, September 1, 2019

First SAL of September

Seeing as how it's the very first day of the month I'd say it's a safe bet there will be another Stitch Along posting in September.  πŸ˜‰We check in every three weeks to share our progress on whatever needlework we have underway. That would make it the 22nd according to my calculations. But don't trust me, I have a screaming headache at the moment. 

As I prophesied in my last post, I don't have anything to share this time around. There's been absolutely no progress on the embroidery projects I have designated for this SAL. What I would like to share, however, are a couple of opportunities that may be of interest to the other members of the group. They are both offered by the San Fransisco School of Needlework and Design. One is a challenge to use your favorite needlework techniques to make a piece inspired by your thoughts on healing, art, and reflection. You can read the full prospectus here. The second is an invitation to make a section for what they hope will be the World's Longest Band Sampler. The information about that project can be found on this page of their website.

But also be sure to check out what everyone else in this SAL has been working on!

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

And hopefully I'll have some stitching to share the next time we meet. 😊