Monday, June 29, 2020

Bee, Myself & I in June

I don't know if I've shared this project here previously. I've shown bits in a Facebook group but that doesn't mean it's been here as well. πŸ˜‰

This is going to be a stitch wrap, a long piece of various textiles sewn together and embellished in whatever way the spirit moves me. Eventually the strip of textile art will be wrapped around a spool or bobbin of some kind. I haven't worked that part out yet. Some folks hand sew their scraps of fabric onto a base of muslin or batting. I chose to machine piece a few choice scraps together first, then use embroidery to secure them to a muslin strip. My strip is about 3.5" high by the width of the muslin.

Depending on how this progresses I may add more muslin so I can add more scraps and embroidery.

One of my goals was to feature at least a couple of the William Morris prints I was given at Christmas.

It's also a place where I can practice and play around with embroidery threads and stitches. To begin with I put the start date on one end, just freehand. The blanket stitch rainbow was also done freestyle. The rainbow and the paw prints are my nod to the covid pandemic.

I used fly stitches to secure the Wm. Morris charm square to the foundation. The two colors of pistil stitches on the extreme left came from one length of hand dyed floss. The daisies were stitched with a variegated silk thread from Treenway Silks.

For the time being my strawberry thief is simply outlined with a gold color cotton floss.

I've done a bit of mandala stitching recently too.

More fly stitches, some chain stitches, an attempt at herringbone, and a star in the middle. It's about 2.5" across. No purpose, just play. 😊 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Scrappy Mystery Quilt Progress

I've kept up really well with Joy's mystery quilt project - at least, up until this week. I was perking right along until something toxic smacked me upside the head. It's gotten so I often don't detect toxic fumes anymore until it's too late. Oh well. I'm pleased to say I'm beginning to feel more like myself again finally. And I've caught up so that I'm ready for the last step, to be revealed on Monday.

We began with twelve 9 Patch blocks made from 2.5" squares. Then we sewed up rows of more 2.5" squares and added background triangles to half of them.

We framed up the 9 Patch blocks with background strips and then sewed the rows of scrappy squares all around.

(I had a photo to insert here but can't seem to make it happen.)

Today I played around with the resultant blocks until I felt I had duplicate patches pretty evenly distributed and sewed them together to make this flimsy:

My background fabric is the palest of yellows in case you were wondering. This is only about 42" x 56" at this stage. I had thought about making more blocks but may simply add a border treatment and leave it lap quilt size. 

It has taken me two days to compose this post. Can't say that I'm pleased with the changes Blogger has forced on us but I suppose I will adjust over time. In theory these changes are meant to make blog posts more compatible with smart phone usage. Since I don't compose my posts on my phone this has only served to make my life more difficult. Inserting photos for this post was a real struggle. If it keeps up this way I may finally quit blogging. What's a quilting or needlework blog without pictures? And while I'm ranting, not all of us function well with hieroglyphs as opposed to words. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Stitching Along in June

It's already been three weeks since our last SAL check in date. I always feel bad on those occasions when I'm unable, for one reason or another, to go see what all the others have been working on. Such was the case for our last check in. I'll bet there have been finishes and/or new starts since then. Hopefully I'll be able to make the rounds this time.

I finally brought the dish towel I'd been working on to an end. There really wasn't that much left to do, which is probably why I left it alone for so long. All I had to do was complete the vines with stem stitches and put in a few French knots for flower centers. Well, and draw in some missing lines from the transfer sheet.

And the whole width of the towel:

Just to refresh your memory, this is one of a set of three pre-stamped towels from Mary Corbet's website. Each towel has one design on it but they increase in complexity or detail. This is the image that was on this towel:

Then I reproduced it in the opposite corner but stitched it in a different set of threads.

Now it's time for a new project! I started the second towel in the series at some point. Right now, however, I'm working on a slow stitch/embroidered stitch wrap inspired by the work of Tilly Rose and Anne Brooke. This is sort of a practice piece. Eventually I want to use some of the vintage linens I've inherited to make a family history wrap. My main goal with this one was to utilize a couple of pieces of William Morris prints I've been given at Christmas and just to get a handle on the process.

I machine stitched most of the foundation pieces together but it's the embroidery (and some nearly invisible hand sewing) that secures the colorful bits to the muslin lining. I really like to have that second layer to give me a place to knot my threads.

This will be partly a visual diary as well as a practice piece, thus the date at one end. I've done a blanket stitch rainbow too, to commemorate the covid pandemic.

And here's one of the William Morris charm squares:

I used fly stitches to secure it in place. I'd show you more but the photos don't seem to be available at the moment. I would blame Blogger but I think it's my computer at fault this time. Anyway, there will be more for you to see when we check in again in three weeks. This project seems to have taken over my needlework time. πŸ˜‰ 

Here are the links to the others who have been busy stitching since last time. Enjoy!


Thursday, June 18, 2020

It's Official

I've been on the planet for 65 years now. This is the first milestone that really has any meaning for me. Thirty made no impression, nor 35, nor 40, nor 50. Even 60 was sort of ho hum. Granted, the last 15 years have been overshadowed by hormone fluctuations and chemical sensitivities. I'm grateful to be feeling as well as I do at the moment!

It would be really cool to have done a retrospective of the quilts I've made over the last 20 years or so. I'm neither that organized nor that ambitious. You'll have to be content with what I'm currently working on, which is Joy McDonald's scrappy mystery quilt project. We started with just twelve 9 Patch blocks made of 2.5" scrappy squares. That was easier to accomplish than I expected. We're now up to step four. She's moving us right along but none of the steps have been overwhelming, at least for me. This project has been the right thing at the right time in my world.

I didn't use this for Scrap Happy Day because I'd purchased new yardage for the background. I usually shy away from mystery quilts because I want to see what I'm making before I embark on it. Along those same lines, I wanted a consistent background for this whatever-it's-going-to-be and I didn't have anything in my stash I was willing to sacrifice (or that I felt I had enough of). The photo above shows where I am now in the process, with leftovers in the box. I may be making more blocks or another version of this quilt down the road. πŸ˜‰

I don't think I've ever shown the end result of a quilt I was building earlier this year. It's appropriate to share it with you now because the center panel was gifted to me several years ago.

"If Eve had fabric she would have made a quilt."
Block Party Studio panel

The color changed slightly after laundering.

Overall the effect isn't too bad. James quilted feathers on the flying geese with a golden thread.

This fits beautifully on top of the other quilts on my twin size bed. It's also great for snuggling under on the couch in front of the television. 😊

Monday, June 15, 2020

Scrap Happy in June

It's that time again, when Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden invite us to show the things we've made out of scrap materials, whatever they may be. My scraps are leftovers from my quilt making endeavors 99% of the time. This time is no different. πŸ˜‰

I've assembled four more Lego blocks that will finish at 12" each. These are composed of rows of 2" scrap strips sewn end-to-end.

I've also sewn up some scrappy Courthouse Steps and one 6" Ship.

I was going to natter on about the Baskets quilt I've been working on (see previous posts). I had to do some creative piecing to complete the border. But Blogger won't let me add any more pictures for some reason. I know they're trying to make blogspot blogs more compatible to mobile devices but they're not doing those of us who write the blogs any favors. Hopefully they'll get the bugs worked out before we no longer have the choice to revert back to the old format. In the meantime, here are the other bloggers who usually participate in Scrap Happy Day:

KateGun, TittiHelΓ©neEva, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, 
Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanMoira, SandraLindaChrisNancy
AlysKerryClaireJeanJoanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, 
Bekki, PaulineSue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

Friday, June 12, 2020


I was happily sewing along yesterday, as I will show you in a moment, when I reached over my glass of water and accidentally tipped it over. I didn't lose the whole glass of water but enough of it to create a small lake that spread under my sewing machine. That was annoying but I kept my calm and went for a towel. When I'd finished drying the table I noticed the display screen on my sewing machine was not displaying anything. The light over the presser foot was still on but nothing else responded to commands. I trust you can imagine how my heart fell to the floor.

I turned off the sewing machine and checked underneath. There was still a little bit of water there so I quickly dried it up and turned the machine back on. Again, light but no other response. Panic began to set in.

It's not like we don't have other sewing machines in this house. A few of them are vintage, a couple are newer than my Pfaff Tiptronic 2040. I still like my Tiptronic the best. I would trade in my newer, larger Pfaff for another 2040 in a heartbeat. In order to finish the step that got interrupted I swapped my 2040 for James' Pfaff Ambition and let my machine dry out overnight. Oh the joy and relief when I turned it on this morning and everything seemed to be working just fine! Of course, now I have no excuse not to pick up where I left off last evening. πŸ˜‰

In my previous post I showed you what I was thinking of doing with some orphan basket blocks from my Parts Department. Kate's comment caused me to take everything down and start over. Not that what I had wouldn't have worked, but I felt Kate's suggestion deserved a fair trial. Instead of having the four 'odd' basket blocks facing this way...

I turned them in the opposite direction.

It didn't really do anything for me. But it did inspire me to try yet another layout with just the assorted basket blocks.

This time I decided to fill in the gaps with a few of my scrappy 6" Hole in the Barn Door (Churn Dash) blocks. I framed them up with more of the white background to make them the same size as the 8" baskets. That gave me four rows of 8" blocks and the middle row of 10" baskets. Next was to figure out what to do for sashing. I rummaged through my stash but didn't turn up anything I thought would work. Then I shopped online and still didn't find anything I felt confident of. Dug back into the stash one more time and came up with some yardage I must have missed the first time. I remember buying it on clearance, not knowing how or when I would use it. Apparently now is the time!

It was in the middle of sewing the sashes between the blocks of the last row when I tipped over the glass of water. I'll need to add compensating strips to either end of the middle row of baskets and then commit to a height for the horizontal sashing strips.

Once that has been done I'll make a determination about borders. There should be enough of the blue and yellow print to go all the way around, I'm just not sure how wide they might be at this point.

On another front, Joy over at Days Filled With Joy has instigated a mystery quilt project that utilizes scraps. I usually avoid mystery projects but this one just happened to suit my needs at the moment and doesn't sound overwhelming. The first step has been good for sewing between seams as I work on the basket quilt too.  😊

Monday, June 8, 2020

A New Quilt?

I feel like a butterfly, flitting from one project to another lately. Haven't been able to stick to any one thing. Normally a project idea will take hold of me and I can't stop working on it until I either get stuck or complete the top.

I'm not sure what sparked the idea this morning but I decided to have a look at the 8" basket blocks I have in the Parts Department. This is what I found:

I didn't realize four of them were different from the others. That naturally led me to think of a medallion setting with those four in the center. But why stop there? What about vertical columns?

Maybe. I did figure out that six baskets and two inch sashes would give me a 58" row or column. That's a good size for either a child's quilt or a lap quilt for an adult. Especially if I add one or more borders.

So, how to flesh it out? After a further rummage I found some ten inch basket blocks. There were only five though, and I don't feel like making any more at the moment. I'm trying to reduce the Parts Dept. inventory, not increase it! Five 10" blocks and sashing could also make a 58" row or column though. And there are plenty of 8" stars to fill in the gaps. Like this:

Obviously I don't have sashing in place yet. I don't have a clue what I might use either. Part of me wants to go scrappy, another part wants to use up yardage. The challenge will be to find one print that works all the way through the top. The first step might be to do the math and figure out how much yardage I'd need... 😊

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Hands2Help 2020 Finale

It's time for the giant link party where everyone can show the quilts they've made for this year's Hands2Help quilt drive. The link list began on Sunday. As I write this there are 86 blog posts linked to Sarah's main post! She shares quilts made by those who do not have blogs too. Talk about eye candy!!!

I've shown these quilts previously, as tops and then probably before they were laundered. They are fresh out of the dryer now. πŸ˜€

I made two that will be going to the Little Lambs Foundation as soon as I can get someone to go to the post office for me. This Teddy Bear's Picnic is about 35" square, made with 15" single trip-around-the-world blocks.

I didn't realize the sun was shining so brightly on that upper corner of the quilt when the picture was taken. For what it's worth, here it is before it was laundered:

Spring in the Garden is about 42" square.

I also completed this quilt out of the Parts Department that will go to our local foster care organization. It's about 57" wide by 72" long.

And this is one reason I wash my quilts before I send them out into the world:

One of the white prints picked up some color in spite of the color catchers I put in the load. This has happened before. I might try washing it again to see if the color will come out. I think it has at least once in the past. But there are other quilts with white-on-white prints in them that have been washed repeatedly and the tint remains. I suspect those WoW prints are treated differently during the manufacturing process somehow. Everything that comes into my house gets treated the same way so I know it's not me. πŸ˜‰ I just don't want the recipient to have an unhappy surprise the first time they wash and dry the quilt.

If you ever need some inspiration for a quilt project the link party is a great resource. Many of the quilts made are scrappy but not all if that's not your style. The best part is that every single quilt is destined to provide beauty and comfort to someone who can use it. πŸ’–