Sunday, May 31, 2020

More Stitching in May

It's been three weeks since our last stitch along check in and I still haven't touched the dish towel I'd been working on earlier in the year. I've just lost interest in it for the time being.

 But I have been working on this needlepoint case my friend asked me to stitch up for her. πŸ˜€ I believe this is how it looked the last time you saw it.

With most of the background filled in it was down to the details.

I don't especially enjoy a lot of color changes or starting and ending new threads frequently. This SAL is a very useful tool for motivating me to accomplish the challenging or less-than-fun parts of my projects. πŸ˜‰

I'm a little concerned there isn't enough of one of the colors in the smaller flowers. This was purchased in a thrift shop so there's no telling if it was complete at the time. Nor do I have a photograph of how the design is supposed to look. These screen printed canvases are rarely printed straight so I'm having to make up parts of it as I go along. Nevertheless, it's coming along nicely.

Everyone in this group is stitching on a project of their own choosing so there's a variety of needlework to be seen. We'll check in again in three weeks when it will be the summer solstice! We'll be halfway through this unusual year. Let's hope the worst is behind us by then. 🌈

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, 
Jackie, Sunny, HayleyMegan, Deborah, MaryMargaret, Renee, Carmela, 
Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, LauraCathie, Linda, Sherrie, Helen

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sort of Selfish Sewing

Since completing a series of quilts destined for other folks it seems that most of my sewing of late has been speculative. I've wanted/needed to deal with the scraps those quilts generated and was inspired to make some log cabin style blocks. So these starts that you may have seen in my last post... 

Became these:

They will finish at six inches each unless I decide, down the road, to make them bigger. 

After I'd made that set I started another batch of log cabin/courthouse steps style blocks.

These will finish at eight inches each - unless I decide to build them up to twelve inches. πŸ˜‰

Making these blocks has fulfilled the goal of using up scraps and satisfying my need for fairly mindless sewing, thus also fulfilling the objective for Bee, Myself and I selfish sewing. Except that all of these blocks will probably eventually end up in a quilt I give away in the end. Oh well, you can't win them all!

On a little more selfish note, about 18 months ago I started making Turkey Track blocks out of some of my more favorite prints with the intention of making a quilt for myself. Depending on how I decide to lay them out I either have enough or more than enough. The typical layout for these blocks does not appeal to me but so far I haven't been able to pin down anything I like better or am willing to attempt. I got them out the other day and tried once again to figure out what to do with them.

I did not succeed in creating a definite plan but I did find yardage I didn't have when I was making the blocks that might work for setting and/or borders.

So, progress by baby steps. 😊

To learn more about Bee, Myself and I you can click on the badge in the sidebar. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

If At First You Don't Suceed

I've been putting the finishing touches on several quilts of late. I think you've seen nearly all of them. I haven't been particularly motivated to begin anything new up 'til now either. Even though I'm stuck at home most of the time anyway the pandemic seems to have taken its' toll on me like everyone else. Happily, it feels like at least some degree of patchwork mojo has returned.

I'd run out of the parts for the scrappy blocks I generally sew between seams or when I need to jump start the process again. I do have a basket of 2" (raw) scrap strips that I sew end-to-end to make the rows for Lego blocks though. I sewed up a few of those to make the blocks you saw in the previous post for Scrap Happy Day. A comment Kate made on that post prompted me to dig out other completed Lego blocks to see how many there were altogether. Seventeen. More than enough for some applications, not quite enough for others. My first inclination was to see what I could do with just four of them. I decided to use them as the starting point for another medallion style quilt top.

The little Ship blocks add such wonderful life to a composition; they were the first thing that came to mind to surround the Lego blocks. And Shoofly blocks for cornerstones. It's okay, but I was pretty sure I could do better.

There was some internal debate over whether to put sashing between the Lego blocks and the ships. I opted to leave it out at this stage. Adding sashing would alter the math. For the time being I want to keep it simple. The shoofly blocks were the biggest problem in my eyes. They're too big relative to the more delicate ships. So I tried out another block pattern.

My thinking with these was that I could use them to sort of frame the medallion.

Nope. Still too big and visually heavy. They steal the attention from the ships. Time for a complete change of pace.

I happened to read Cathy's post about clearing off her cutting mat Sunday evening. I have a growing pile of scraps that need to be cut into useable patches but I wasn't that inspired. Instead, I gave some thought to what I already have cut and ready to use and decided to do a bit of organizing. I have a box that is comprised of a stack of three trays in which I keep different lengths of 1.5" strips. They've just been tossed in there willy nilly according to length. I've gone through and sorted them into color families within their separate lengths.

The idea was to make some log cabin style blocks, 6" finished, to maybe use between Shoofly or other blocks eventually.

This is what I have so far. Two inch squares framed up to four inches (finished). Another round of one inch strips will bring them up to six inches, the same size as most of the scrap blocks I make. They could go even bigger of course, but I doubt they will. (Now watch me make a liar out of myself!) I'm hoping these will lead to cutting up the scraps in that pile I mentioned so I have more to work with, which will hopefully lead to something else. As for the medallion I started... Only time will tell what will happen to that. πŸ˜‰

Friday, May 15, 2020

Scrap Happy in May

Like so many other creatives during these unusual times it's been a struggle for me to accomplish much of anything lately. Which is weird because I'm normally in a sort of stay-at-home order anyway due to my chemical sensitivities. Misery loves company perhaps? In any case, I don't have as much to share for this Scrap Happy Day as I'd like. Just more blocks for the Parts Department.

Two Lego blocks at the top will finish at 12," six Hole in the Barn Door blocks that will be 6" finished, and one of my 6" Sticks blocks.

I do like fussy cutting whenever I can. πŸ˜‰

I especially like the idea of the recipient of the eventual quilt finding these little surprises as they live with the quilt.

The little needlebook cover I showed in my last post would also qualify for Scrap Happy Day as it began with a scrap of batting and strips that were too narrow for me to cut regular patches from.

Most of the threads I'm embroidering with are new to me however. There's quite a variety of scrap materials being put to good use around the world. Kate and Gun host this particular showcase every month on the 15th. Maybe you'll find some inspiration as you make the tour!

KateGun, TittiHelΓ©neEva, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Stitching Along on Mother's Day

The second Sunday in May is Mother's Day here in the United States. It just so happens it's also been three weeks since our last stitch along check in. Hardly seems possible! In this SAL everyone works on their own project over a wide range of needlework techniques and styles. We have a rather large group now, pretty much around the world. 😊

I have to say that I haven't touched the dish towel I'd been reporting on for the last few check-ins.

Instead I've been doing some stitching in conjunction with a group on Facebook started up by Tilly Rose, the author of Stitched Memories. Some of it has been simple samples of basic stitches. But I've also started the cover for a new needle book using her techniques. This involves foundation piecing - by hand - and raw edges. Both are a stretch for me.

She recommends stitching on wool, but she has ready access to woven wool fabrics. I used a scrap of cotton batting. It's not ideal. The thicker perle cottons tend to pull the batting through to the surface. You see, this has also been an exercise in using threads I've collected but rarely used.

I'm eyeballing all my stitches, no marking. This is no easy feat for a Perfectionist!

Had to get my skull and crossbones in. πŸ˜‰ Very soon this will be trimmed to size, lined, and felt pages stitched in place.

I've also made this little stitching helper, Flora Belle Bunny:

She was another project led by Tilly, originally meant to be a pincushion. I can't bear to stick pins or needles into animals so I turned my bunny into a stitcher's pocket. Mine is also a lop-ear bunny whereas most of the others had stand-up ears. She's made out of a mystery fabric someone gave me some time ago. It turned out to be perfect for this project as it was lovely to embroider on.

We're welcoming back Helen to the group this time around. To see what everyone has been working on just click on their names below. Enjoy the eye candy!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, 
Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley,Megan, Deborah, 
MaryMargaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, 
Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura,Cathie, Linda, Sherrie, Helen

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Happy Birthday Paula!

Back in February the quilt world lost a kind and giving spirit, Paula Budinger. Today would have been her 79th birthday. Cyber friends of hers have organized a posthumus birthday party in the form of a virtual quilt show and blog hop in her honor. I'm delighted to be participating. 😊

I got to know Paula through the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. We were both actively using our scraps per the monthly color cues for a few years. Paula continued on after I slacked off. As with most things, one quilter inspired another. It was Paula's little boat blocks that got me started making my 6" Ships.

Paula collected vintage doll quilts and sometimes shared what she knew about them on her blog. Mostly her blog posts were about the blocks she was making in conjunction with the RSC or little quilts she might be putting together to donate to Project Linus and others. In her honor I've assembled some postage stamp stars I made for the RSC into this child's quilt:

I've also made a couple of small quilts that will be donated through the Hands2Help quilt drive this year. I believe Paula also participated in H2H. This first one will be going to the Little Lambs Foundation.

The binding is in place but still needs to be sewn down.

This one will be donated to a child in Foster Care.

Janice has organized this quilt show and blog hop. "Door prizes" (birthday presents? πŸ˜‰) have also been donated! For each comment you leave on any of the participating blogs between now and 15 May your name will be entered in a drawing for one of the prizes. Unfortunately, overseas commenters will only qualify for gift certificates or pattern prizes due to the cost of postage.

Here's the list of blogs posting today:

These bloggers will be posting on Thursday, 7 May:

And these ladies will post on Friday, 8 May:

These are the gifts that have been donated:
Lorna, Sew Fresh Quilts, $50 gift certificate for her pattern shop.
Yvonne Quilting Jetgirl, 2 PDF patterns of choice.
Bernie Needle and Foot, $25 certificate for her shop.
A fat quarter bundle from Figo Fabrics
A set of quilty gift cards from Initial Thought by DMF  Note cards set 1
A pattern of choice from Karen, Sugar Free Quilts
A $30 gift certificate for Doris, Cactus Queen Quilt Co
A PDF pattern of choice from Joanne,
$25 gift certificate courtesy of Janice to Fat Quarter Shop

Paula was a very special lady, a nurse before she retired and one who continued to seek out ways to help others ever after. I'm sure she is dearly missed. Her good works are not forgotten.