Sunday, February 16, 2020

Stitching Along in February

If it weren't for this SAL I probably wouldn't have done any stitching since our last check in three weeks ago. I've been busy piecing lately. This Stitch Along is great for getting one back on track. Everyone works on their own projects. I started on a pre-stamped dish towel from Mary Corbet last month. I believe this is where it was then:

I thought I'd done the large leaves as well. Must have stitched those after I took the picture! In any event, this is what it looks like now:

And a close up shot:

Again, I apologize for the shadow. Still trying to get the hang of the camera in the phone. I miss the bulk and weight of my old digital camera.

This time I used stacked fly stitches to create the flower petals. (I used the fishbone stitch for the petals of the orange flower.) I also used them for what I'm calling the fern branches. The flower has French knots inside of a couple of concentric circles of stem stitches. It reminds me of a purple coneflower in the way the French knots stand up above the surface of the towel. Of course I'm using Nancy Turner's hand dyed flosses for this embroidery. πŸ˜‰

You'll find a variety of needlework projects and techniques among the members of this group. If you'd like to have the accountability this SAL provides just let Avis know. We're a friendly, supportive bunch of people and we'd love to have you join us. 😊Welcome back Jenny!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, 
Heidi, Jackie, Sunny,Hayley, Megan, Deborah, MaryMargaret, Renee, 
Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, ConnieAJ, Jenny

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Scrap Happy in February - Fabric and Yarn!

I've been puttering in my scraps, making the odd block.

8" stars and 6" Shoofly and star

I've sewn up a couple of 12" Lego blocks too:

While I was putting Ship blocks into my latest Parts Dept. quilt I was also making more 6" Ships.

For the time being these blocks will just go into the Parts Department. Actually, I'm kind of itching to make another quilt out of the Parts Department. 😊

Last Scrap Happy Day Bekki shared some hearts she had knitted out of yarn scraps. My sister is a knitter so I sent her a link to Bekki's blog post. Look what Sis sent me for Valentine's Day!

The purple heart is particularly soft. Must be a cashmere wool or something. I'm tempted to keep it at hand just to fondle in odd moments. The variegated yarns make for fun hearts.

You can see the reverse side of the yellow heart in the first photo.

Sis took the opportunity to experiment with different techniques for creating heart shapes as well as some stitch varieties. The big pink heart features a different stitch type on either side.

Sorry about the shadow. Knitters probably know what they're looking at. πŸ˜‰

Kate and Gun are the hostesses for this monthly scrap round up. It began with quilters using up their fabric scraps but has expanded to include other makers using other scrap materials.To see what they've been up to just click on their names below. And if you have scrap materials you've turned into something useful or fun let Kate know so she can add your name to the list!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A Tiny Sketchbook

Those who have been visiting The Magpie's Nest for years may remember that I've participated in The Sketchbook Project a couple of times. I don't draw, but fill my sketchbooks with fabric, stitches, and words. Once the sketchbooks are filled up (whether or not they are full) they get sent back to the Brooklyn Art Library to become part of their permanent collection. Some of the sketchbooks have gone on tour around the country. The Tiny Sketchbook Project was introduced to facilitate taking sketchbooks over the pond to Europe a couple of years ago. I was very tempted to try one of the little sketchbooks but life kept it from happening. I was delighted when they offered a second round. πŸ˜€

Themes are suggested but artists are free to go wherever their muse takes them. I decided to write a Tall Tale in the form of an abcdery. Like this:

At this point my book was barely half full. So, I composed another abcdery.

I just realized I left out Q! That was meant to be 'Quality.' Phooey.

There you have it. 😁Now to get it in the mail. (Deadlines are wonderful things.)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Flimsy Finish

I hadn't realized it's been almost a week since my last post. No wonder I couldn't remember what my last post was about! I'm still trying to make peace with my new phone/camera, which is another factor in the delay. Progress is being made but it's frustrating. I'm not technologically inclined. That which is meant to be intuitive either isn't for me or is so obvious that I overlook it.

So, when last we met I was in the process of building a quilt out of my Parts Department.

I found another remnant to use for the sashing down the sides. There was even enough to make sashes between the Shoofly blocks I used down either side. First one side...

And then the other:

I had to audition several prints to find something to use for the outer border. I never expected it would be a stripe!

Mitering the corners wasn't going to happen although I did briefly consider cornerstone blocks. The border strips are only 3.5" wide so I discarded that idea. At this stage the top measures about 58" x 75," plenty big enough for a youngster to snuggle under.

From the side, so you can see more of the whole.

I made an effort to keep this from becoming a directional quilt with a definite right-side-up or down. Mostly I succeeded. The back has a couple of directional prints pieced into it however. I think I used six different prints to get a back large enough for long arm quilting. I didn't think to take any pictures though, sorry. The front of this eventual-quilt was more fun to piece than the back, I have to say.

I have other projects I need to catch you up on. Hopefully this process will get easier or more comfortable for me soon. 😏

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bee, Myself & I in January

Bee, Myself & I was begun for the purpose of making time to work on something we want to do without the pressure of a deadline or pleasing anyone else's aesthetics. In recent months that has been needlepoint or embroidery for me. I still have needlepoint canvases that would fit the bill but this time around I decided to just keep working on the Parts Department Quilt I started for Scrap Happy Day. When last you saw it, it looked like this:

About 36" wide and 32" high. I decided to maintain the width while I added to the height. In the end I suspect this will be donated as a quilt for a child in Foster Care so the finished dimensions are flexible.

I found some strips that had been cut off the back of a previous quilt in preparation for binding application. There looked to be enough to use it for sashing to separate the horizontal rows I figured I'd be making. As it turned out, I was right!

I debated over whether to repeat the 6" Ship blocks above and below the sashing. The 8" stars looked better. I used scrap strips to space them evenly across the width. Another strip of sashing, and then the Ships again. First one end...

And then the other:

Now it's about 69" long/high. Unfortunately, it has also gained width due to my lack of attention. It's grown at least half an inch because I didn't cut the sashing strips to fit the width of the previous row of blocks. Oh well. This time I'm not going to stress over it. The next step will be to add a strip of sashing down each side. It will have to be a different print though as I've run out of that light blue-gray. After that I think I'm going to try to use some of my scrappy 6" Shoofly blocks down the sides. Then a whole cloth border of something to finish it off. At least, that's the plan. Of course, we all know what often happens to the best laid plans. πŸ˜‰

Sunday, January 26, 2020

SAL Again

Our stitch along group checks in every three weeks. Occasionally that means we get two check in posts in one month. Like this month!

I was able to share a finish last time so it was time for me to start a new project. Or pick up a UFO to work on/finish. I chose to begin another of the set of three pre-stamped dish towels I ordered last year from Mary Corbet. Sort of starting a new project and working on an Unfinished Object at the same time! The first towel just had the one sprig of flowers stamped in a corner. I added a second sprig in the opposite corner.

This next towel has a bit more of a design. It's the middle one. The third towel has a larger, more complex design still. I'm saving it for later. πŸ˜‰

This photographs was taken with the towel laying my my ironing board with it's brand new cover peeking out at the top. I'm making progress learning the camera functions on my phone but the colors I used for the flowers are much darker in the picture than they are in real life.

I'm using some of the hand dyed floss I've acquired from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. The small flowers are lazy daisy stitches in a variegated red. The petals of the larger blossom were made with fishbone stitches. The orange is much brighter than in the photograph. More like the skin of an orange. All the flower centers are satin stitched.

I've also completed the fourth page of my Year in Stitches sampler - although the four pages have been two years in the making.

When I began this effort I wasn't sure what I would do with the individual samplers. Each square is six inches overall. The first "page" was part of a long piece of muslin so I had to cut it free. My thinking now is that I will make another textile book. I may include some other small embroideries I've done or maybe a crazy patch block or two.

To see what the other stitchers have been working on click on their names below. Everyone works on their own project, and there's a range of needlework techniques so you're bound to see something fun and interesting. πŸ˜€

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, 
Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny,Hayley, Megan, Deborah, MaryMargaret, 
Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Two Christmas Quilts

I'm still trying to learn how to get the best pictures with the camera feature of my new phone. I've turned off the flash. Things are still looking pretty yellow. Of course, in this case it could be due to the light print I used in the blocks. It's a sand color, with a yellow undertone.

This will finish at about 64" wide and 80" high.
The blue border is more of the holly print that was the central patch in the individual blocks. I felt there needed to be a bit of blue to frame the nativity panel too so I made a flat piping of the other blue print I used in the blocks.

I've even made a back for this top already. πŸ˜€ It's another holly print but in traditional green and red on black. Another print that's been in my stash for years. I did not think to take a picture of it.

The other quilt for Christmas is the one that began with this panel:

I added the candy cane stripe and the red print to the original panel. I decided this one was going to have a horizontal format. All the blocks I make will go on either side of this central panel. I had to establish the height I wanted so I would know how many blocks would be needed for each side. That took a couple of days to get sorted. In the end I found a large-ish scale print that just made me smile when I held it up to the bottom of the panel.

Puppies in presents! 

So now this center section looks like this:

I have these stars so far:

I'm trying to use up my old yuletide prints (and a few new purchases). Turning some of the yardage into Swiss cheese by fussy cutting makes it easier to cut what's left over into scrap patches. πŸ˜‰ I need a few more stars, and then I think I'm going to choose another block to fill out the width I'm shooting for. They will continue the red on white color scheme though.