Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Bee, Myself & I in September

 It's time again for a bit of selfish sewing - something just for the fun of it, not to a deadline or to fulfill any commitment. 😊

A week or so ago Lori over at Humble Quilts introduced a little quilt along she's calling 50 Shades of Brown. I don't think I've ever had 50 shades of brown but I thought it might be fun to see if I could use up some of my brown scraps. The first step was to make 17 little four patch blocks, each to finish at two inches square.

Lori really likes primitive and antique quilts and prints that speak of the pioneer era. I have a small collection of those type of prints but not enough for this specific project so my quilt is going to look somewhat different from hers (and her followers). She added a couple of patches of the cotton candy pink of that era and a couple of what I think of as cadet blue. I've used very light tans and ecru instead.

The second step was to cut 18 brown squares, 2.5" each, to distribute between the 4Patches.

I played around with placement and ended up with this flimsy:

The next step will be a border of some sort. Lori says the inspiration quilt features four different directional prints. Not sure I can do that all in brown but we'll see! 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Honest to Pete!

I've been working on my final block for Edith's turn in the Footsquare Freestyle block swap, organized by the efficient Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia. I've sewn every other seam to the wrong piece or turned the pieces the wrong way around. Sheesh. Some days there's no winning for losing. πŸ˜’

On another front, I've made two more Tall Ships. I had trouble with one of those too actually. This just has not been the week for piecing.

Looks like they're sailing downhill! You can see I've been sewing some flying geese units too, with the intention of having them replicate waves.

I still have to figure out how to handle those blank spots - assuming I stick with this type of layout.

Right now I think it's time to turn my attention elsewhere. Some hand work, maybe, instead of the electric needle and hot iron. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

After the Rain

 We finally had some rain overnight. It has cleared the air of wildfire smoke to the extent that we have progressed from the Unhealthy category yesterday (Very Unhealthy the day before that) back into the Good category. My body seems to need more time to recover however. Of course, even when the air is safe for most folks it's not safe for me. 

To commemorate this week of smokey air in my Time Flies diary quilt I made these geese:

I've been keeping to a light value for the background patches - until now. It would appear I bought that variable gray/brown print 15 years ago just so I'd have it for this set of geese. It's a quarter yard cut that hadn't been touched since it was laundered and put in the stash. At the time I was making house blocks and probably thought I'd be able to use this print for landscaping or a roof top or something. I don't buy quarter yards anymore. Fat quarters, yes, but most often half yard or maybe third yard cuts if I don't anticipate needing a great deal of that color or print.  

Scrap Happy Day inspired me to pull out some of my smaller scrappy Ship blocks to see how they might play with the Tall Ship blocks I'd made.

There are definite possibilities here! As soon as I get some energy back I'll have to see what else I can do with them. πŸ˜‰

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Scrap Happy in September

 We've had a little bit of rain! Hurray! Hopefully there will be more over the next day or two. I doubt it will make the air quality safe for me but it will make it safer. My roses will be happier too.

It has been hard to generate the energy to do much of anything with the amount of smoke in the air. Before the air got so bad I pieced up another little quilt top to turn into a quilt for a cat in our local animal shelter. I started with some scrappy Hourglass blocks I'd made some time ago that finish at 3 inches square.

Then I found scraps of an old floral stripe and used it for borders.

Those colors aren't quite true. I've got a large scale print of cats cut for the back. Just have to dig out a batting scrap to finish this off. 😁(You can see the first two quilts I made in this post.)

I've pieced up a few new scrap blocks for the Parts Department...

And used scraps to make two 12" Tall Ship blocks.

Now I'm trying to figure out a way to combine the Tall Ships with some of my 6" ship blocks for a donation quilt. Probably I'll want to make another Tall Ship or two as well! 

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). We have two new members this month, Del and Nanette – Welcome, ladies!

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

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Stitching Through the Smoke - September SAL

 We don't have any wildfires near us at the moment - thank Goodness - but we have been privileged to be blanketed by the smoke from the fires south of us in Oregon and California. I have never seen higher numbers for our air quality index. Officially we are in the Very Unhealthy category as I write this. Needless to say, I'm staying strictly indoors with all the windows closed tight. And praying for rain to come as soon as possible. In spite of our precautions we're feeling the effects of the heavy smoke cover: headaches, lethargy, itchy eyes and throats, a general feeling of malaise. Two of us are predisposed to asthma. I've had a constricted feeling in my chest off and on. The light outside (and inside, actually) is eerie. Like fog, but brown with an orange cast instead of the gray we're accustomed to. At least the blanket has kept the sun from warming us up to uncomfortably high temperatures like we had recently. If it's not one thing it's another! 

I've been playing with tiny bits of fabric and a variety of size 12 perle cotton threads on my stitch wrap. I think you saw this bit in our last SAL check in although I added a few more straight stitches around the word 'HOT!'. 

This is the next section, with some kantha stitching. 

I added some embroidery to the strip of tea-dyed cotton batting most recently.

I've also added another section or panel since the last SAL check in...

Which is where most of the work has been done this time around.   

It's not done yet but I'm not sure just what else will happen to it. I used a few clear seed beads to secure the lace to the wool felt on the left in the picture. Not that you can see them! That's a button with a hand painted bird on it in the upper right corner. Technically the bird is sitting on a twig painted on the button and I tried to place it such that the twig could be coming off the branch I've outlined with backstitches. In addition to the back stitches I've used feather stitches, blanket stitches, French knots, and straight stitches. Fly stitches secure the 'Hope' label in place.

Avis is the organizer for this Stitch Along. Participants span the globe so our posts go up at different times of the day every three weeks. There's a variety of needlework to be seen, all of it inspiring. 😊




Wednesday, September 9, 2020

A Little Quilt and A Bigger Quilt

 I can finally share the baby quilt in which I used some of the lime and black flying geese. 😁

James outlined the major elements of the panel in a thread that disappears in most places. Then he used that wonderful lime thread for the scrollwork.

 There are dragons in the two upper corners...

And a wizard in each of the bottom corners.

The end product measured about 36 inches by 46 inches. 

The bigger quilt is one I made for myself. Over time I made 10" Wrench blocks out of the last of some of my more favorite prints. Consequently I refer to it as my Final Wrenches quilt. 

James stipple quilted the background areas of this one so the individual blocks would stand out.

I used a rainbow stripe for the binding. 

This one measures about 60 x 80 inches. It' currently on my bed, making me very happy. 😊

Friday, September 4, 2020

Pondering Geese

So, a while back I made a bunch of these black and lime flying geese units without any specific reason or purpose in mind. A rare occurrence for me. 

Since then I've used a small quantity of these geese in the baby quilt I've yet to show you but still had not developed a plan for the remaining geese. I put them on the design wall the other day and played with potential blocks and layouts.

At the top of the photo above we have Dutchman's Puzzle blocks. Below them, on the left, is a block my reference book calls Mosaic. Next to that are four Return of the Swallows blocks set slap up against each other. 

I also tried some overall layouts like the pattern for Remixed Geese.

Didn't like it. Too busy. I returned to the two options I liked best...

The Dutchman's Puzzle blocks would require sashing. I think a black-on-white print might serve the purpose but, being the lazy quilter I am, I prefer not to mess with sashing if I can get away without it.

Which leaves the Return of the Swallows layout.  I think the consistency of the unit placements helps to make it seem less busy. I believe I still have enough geese for a decent size flimsy. I would be hard pressed to make more as I used up those black prints and those batiks out of my stash. If the eventual quilt top needs to be larger I'll have to resort to borders or something. πŸ˜‰Since we live in an area where we are visited by migrating swans I may end up calling this quilt The Return of the Swans!