Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Not-Wasteful Wednesday

 Being of a frugal Scottish background, I can't bear to throw away fabric scraps. I have various receptacles around the cutting table and sewing machine where they live until I'm moved to do something with them. Such has been the case over the last 24 hours. 

The smallest triangles I consider useable are 1.875" on their perpendicular sides. They accumulate in a snack size baggie and then are paired up and stored in a five inch square box. It came to my attention that both the baggie and the box were full to overflowing. 

I've been industriously sewing pairs and then Broken Dishes blocks. 

I like to leave the dog ears in place as I also like to press final seams open to help the blocks lay flatter. The dog ears give my fingers something to hang onto.

I could easily make Pinwheel blocks or some others probably. I just really like Broken Dishes (in patchwork, not on the kitchen floor). Before I called a halt today I'd completed 51 little blocks. You can see that there are still HST's to be dealt with in the box. But at least there's room for some new triangles!  

Maybe I'll do something with these for the next Scrap Happy Day (15 November). But don't hold your breath! In an ironic twist, Cathy over at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting talks in her post today about what she does with her waste triangles. πŸ˜€

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Still Stitching in October (SAL #2)

 Every so often we fit two stitch along posts in a month. This is just such a month. 😊

Last time I mentioned that I might pick up my pumpkin head needlepoint canvas and see if I could complete it for the upcoming holiday. Almost, but not quite.

There's still time, and not much left to do so I might still make it, just not for this posting. When I picked it up again it looked like this:

So, good progress. I started with one skein of a hand dyed floss. As I approached the top and bottom edges I realized I wasn't going to have enough of that particular dye lot. I chose to use a darker shade of purple (from the same dyer), thinking it would look like shadowing. Not quite sure that's the case but it is what it is. I've been blending the two dye lots in my needle, using more of the darker shade as I got closer to the perimeter. When it's finished this will measure 5" x 7." When that's accomplished my plan is to simply pop it into an appropriate frame. 

If you aren't a regular visitor here you might want to scroll down to the previous post. I've begun embroidering a soft book for our newest granddaughter. Hopefully a relatively quick project. πŸ˜‰The rest of the stitchers in the group will, no doubt, have fun things to share. You can click on the links below to see what they've been working on.




Wednesday, October 21, 2020


I was humming right along on my Return of the Swans quilt top. Got all the blocks sewn into a flimsy:

There were enough flying geese units for an additional half row along the bottom, making it 60" wide x 78" long. I bought another lime green batik to use for borders so this could be an official twin size quilt. That's when the distractions occurred. First it was a couple of days of a near-migraine, some of it caused by toxins encountered when I went shopping. So this quilt top is still waiting for its' borders. 

The other distraction is much happier. 😁Our newest granddaughter was born after her mother waited an extra week and had to be induced. Son sent a newborn photo and we've had a video call already, which thoroughly warmed this grandmother's heart. And then I started right in on an unplanned gift for the new addition. I've been watching Anne Brooke make her Sew4thesoulbook on YouTube but hadn't been motivated to join in. Suddenly after the baby was born I decided to make a little soft book for her using Anne's bookmaking technique.

Three layers of scrap batting about 4" high and 8.5" wide. I cut a pale yellow quilting cotton to cover the batting and pulled size 8 perle cottons to stitch simple shapes. The three layers were stitched down the center on the sewing machine but I intend to do everything else by hand.

The plan is to echo the shape on each page as much as I can but restrict the colors to one per page. I'll probably use at least a couple of shades of each color to add interest though. I started with the circle and the triangle in the photo above. The next two pages will be a square and an octagon. I meant for the octagon to be a hexagon but got carried away making my template. πŸ˜‰

I wanted purple perle cotton for the octagon but didn't have any in my stash. The thread I started to use in it's place wasn't working out well so I took it out, as you may be able to tell. Since then I've ordered  new thread from an online vendor. The last two pages will feature a heart in red and some kind of inscription from me. I have no idea what I'll do for the cover yet. 

This is what I've stitched so far. Some chain stitches, some blanket stitches, a mess of Colonial knots, straight stitches to create the little triangles, and some outline stitching. I want texture as well as color. 

I wish my blanket stitch circle was a little rounder but I'm not taking anything out. I figure a perfect circle is a rare thing and the sooner she learns that the better off she'll be. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Scrap Happy in October

 The 50 Shades of Brown quilt along project was inspirational. Ever since I finished my version of the project it's been on my mind to try it in other colors. First up was blue. I had a stack of 1.5" squares on hand, about all I had to do was find the 2.5" patches I needed to go between them (which wasn't hard!).

I didn't feel the need to add flying geese units this time around. 

I'm thinking this one will become another mat for my dog's bowls. With the 2" borders the dimensions of the original project are just about perfect for that purpose. 

All I need to do now is find something to use on the back. I have plenty of batting scraps available to go in between. πŸ˜‰

I've been steadily sewing short lengths of 2" strips together as leaders and enders for scrappy Lego blocks. Turns out I had enough to make three 12" blocks this month!

That gives me a current total of 24 blocks. I could either make more strips and blocks (although that scrap basket is getting pretty low) or figure out a way to combine the Lego blocks I have with other blocks from the Parts Department. I feel the need to make a twin size quilt if I can, to donate for victims of the wildfires the western states in the US have had this year. 

Here are the links for everyone who joins Scrap Happy Day from time to time (they may not post every time but their blogs are still worth looking at). 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

50 Shades of Brown QAL

 Lori over at Humble Quilts has given out the final step in this little quilt along. Before she shared directions for the last step she mentioned that the quilt that inspired this quilt along features four different directional prints in the border. I didn't expect that to mean the borders would be whole cloth! Funny how we each have our own interpretation of things. Nor did I expect such a small quilt in the end. Her version finishes at 14" x 18." You can see it here.

Mine looked like this at the last stage:

I auditioned leftover prints for borders...

But still wanted to make a slightly larger quilt. I also had a hankering to make some flying geese for this project. (I really seem to be stuck on geese at the moment.) So I did this:

That upper 4 Patch block seemed a bit heavy. I tried a few variations... 

And finally ended up with this, borders included. 

I'm really pleased with the way this turned out. Makes me want to do another scrappy, liberated quilt! I've layered it up and handed it over to James for quilting. It will probably take him longer to load it and decide what to do than to actually do the quilting as this is only 20" x 26." 😁

Sunday, October 4, 2020

First October SAL - Happy Dancing!

Warning: this is a picture heavy post!

I haven't shared progress on this needlepoint case my friend asked me to stitch for her in quite some time. After I'd done the easy stitching, the large sections of a single color, I got stalled. The last time you saw it, it probably looked like this:

I've been feeling better the last couple of days, able to face the detail stitching that needed to be done. This began life as a kit. I don't think all the colors were included by the time my friend found it in a thrift shop, nor did I have a photograph of the finished project to go by. So once the background was in it required more mental effort than I had to give it. 

I'm delighted to report that I've finally completed the stitching and the case now looks like this.

Yup, still happy dancing a couple of days after the stitching was finished. 😁

I've also added some to my visual journal scroll since our last check in three weeks ago. It's now about 57" long (3.5" high).

Here are a series of close-up shots beginning at the left side. (You may be able to get the images even bigger by double clicking on them.)

In addition to the rain cloud (my hope for rain to wash away the smoke from the wildfires) I put some detail stitches on a few other sections.

I may get out one of my Halloween canvases (needlepoint) to work on for the next stitch along check-in. That will be right before Halloween, on 25 October. I may also cover the completion of this scroll in a Bee, Myself & I post at the end of October. In the meantime, here are the links to the other members of this SAL so you can see what they've been up to lately. 😊