Friday, February 26, 2021

Tags Three and Four

When the #52tags project began I wasn't sure I wanted to participate fully. I made my first "tags" on my Winter Scroll, up until about the sixth tag. After that I started making ATC versions of the prompts. 

The prompt for the third tag was scrappy. Anne had been given a bunch of narrow strips that she folded in half lengthwise and then stitched down onto her foundation along the fold line, nestling each new strip right up against the previous one. That resulted in a lovely fluffy texture but also created more dimension than I wanted on my scroll or on my ATC. So on my scroll I just dug out tiny fabric scraps (of which I have plenty!) and stitched them to the foundation with scraps of leftover threads.

I actually like it better than my ATC version. I used essentially the same technique the second time around but my stitching is all hidden. At the time I wanted the scraps to be loose flaps more than quilted in place.

The prompt for the fourth tag was fly stitch. Anne plans to make one stitch the focus of one tag each month. Here's what I did with the fly stitch on my scroll:

And this is the ATC version:

This time I followed Anne's lead a bit more closely around the button. 

The prompts appear on YouTube on Fridays. I was caught up until this morning. Now I'm two tags behind again - I still have to make last week's tag featuring French knots, pistil stitch, and bullion stitches. I'm not worried about the French knots or pistil stitches, but I'm not looking forward to the bullion stitches. I've never done them before but they have a bad rep. The newest prompt is to use bits and pieces (of fabric and lace) and something you've received as a gift or found. That will be fun! 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Tags One and Two

I have made the decision to bow out of the tri-weekly SAL. Partly to take some pressure off myself, partly so I can set aside the #12pages book project I've been featuring in those posts with a clear conscience. It's time to do the cover for that book and I haven't a clue how I want to proceed. I've also become distracted by a new project. Don't tell me you're surprised because I know it's not true. 😁

I don't recall whether I've mentioned this new project here or not, and I'm too lazy to go back through my posts to find out. Suffice to say that Anne Brooke, the creator of the #12pagesofChristmas book project has created a new endeavor for 2021. She's calling it #52tagshannemade (the 'hannemade' designation ties it to her specifically). She presents a slow stitch prompt each week and those who are playing along then do a bit of stitching in response. Most folks are attaching the stitchery to some form of shipping tag per Anne's example. One tag per week, 52 weeks in the year, and you end up with 52 tags. I did my first "tags" on my Winter Scroll stitch wrap. Anne started us off with an all-white prompt as a nod to the new year. The next prompt was to make a heart in a contrasting color to the background. I mashed the two prompts together on my scroll. I went so far as to put a bit of my own dried lavender from the summer under my heart patch.

I stitched a couple more "tags" on my scroll before deciding to make a change. I could see that the scroll was soon going to be very cumbersome to work on so I switched to an artist trading card format. That gave me about the same amount of space Anne is using on her tags but I'll find a tin or something in which to keep my cards instead of threading them on a binder ring. To have a complete set of ATC's at the end of the year however, I needed to make the first tags over again. Of course they don't look much like the originals! 

My do-over for the all white prompt turned out this way:

A tag on a tag, completely unplanned. There's some shiny white tulle under the tag shape, and two different white fabrics make up the foundation of the ATC. I'm still using cotton batting under the fabric. I've got to do something to make a dent in my pile of scrap batting and I like the substance the batting gives to these little pieces. At the moment I'm using a double-sided tape to stick a piece of card stock to the backs of these ATC's so I can annotate them. 

The replacement heart tag began with a scrap of wool in the shape of a heart. 

Not sure I improved on it with my stitches and French knots but this is all about experimentation and practice for me. The charm is a reminder to that effect. 😉

I have more tags to share with you and a couple to catch up on still. At least this will give me something to blog about! 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Snow and Stitching

The topic of the week around this Magpie's Nest has been the weather. We had our share of the winter storm before it ravaged the rest of the country. Fortunately we only had snow, no power outages or ice (at our house). I think it was Monday morning when the top of our evergreen hedge was the same color as the sky.

The rose bush in the barrel was thoroughly tucked in with a blanket of snow. There were two brave little violas blooming in the barrel before the snow came. Not sure we'll ever see them again. I was surprised that they had shown their faces in the first place! 

At this point the snow on the railing of the deck measured about six inches deep. 

It got deeper, then toppled over under its' own weight. It was fascinating to watch the melting pattern over the next couple of days. I monitored the progression from inside and did some needlework. The amazing thing is that in spite of temperatures above freezing we still have snow on the ground in sheltered places. 

Before the snow came I finished up this little heart ornament. 

Basically I just stitched over the pattern that was already on the fabric. Then I seed stitched the background. 

This is what I did on the back:

A few lazy daisies and straight stitches, then some feather stitching. 

While it was snowing I stitched up a blue heart. I cut a piece of wool for the focal point of the front, then fly stitched it to the cotton ground. I used a variegated Perle cotton to seed stitch the area left visible. I really like the difference between the texture of the wool and the stitched cotton. There's a scrap of batting behind each half of the hearts which makes them even more tactile. Not puffy exactly, but soft and squishy - like a quilt, oddly enough. 😉

I try to use a lighter print for the backs of these hearts so I can sign and date them more easily. This time the back could be taken for the front. 

I couldn't figure out what to do for what seemed like a long time and then I sort of got carried away! These little hearts are fun and satisfying to make. They're proving to be a great way to avoid doing other things that are more intimidating or less pleasant. 😁

Monday, February 15, 2021

Scrap Happy in February

 First of all, let me thank my friends who have left such encouraging comments on my last post. You are kind and wise, each one of you. 

I didn't think I would have anything for Scrap Happy Day this time around but I do! It's the scrappy mystery quilt I made last year. This was the flimsy stage:

It has since been quilted but fell to the bottom of the pile for binding. Eventually I sewed some leftover strips of multi-color binding together. Three different prints made nearly the perfect length I needed! 

The backing fabric was given to me to use specifically for donation quilts. As usual, James did an excellent job of the quilting. 😊

All that remains is to launder this little gem. 

In it's current state it measures about 46" wide and 60" high. Given all the juvenile prints in it I will probably try to get it into the hands of a child in the foster care system. 💙

Kate (in Australia) and Gun (in Sweden) are the hostesses for this link party. Here are links to some other folks who regularly participate in Scrap Happy Day. They may not have a scrappy post this time around but their blogs are still worth a visit! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

SAL Follow-up

 Let me explain a bit about my ambivalence about blogging. There are several factors in play at the moment, all coloring my perception negatively. I appreciate the encouragement I've received and will probably carry on, although not as consistently as in the past in all likelihood. 

The Perfectionist in me wants to do whatever I do the Right way. That means a consistent posting schedule with upbeat content. Which, when I stop to think about it, is ridiculous if not impossible. I am a human being after all, not a machine. And I have health issues that get in the way altogether too frequently. Most of the time I can accept that and try to work around it but sometimes it does get overwhelming. It's that health issue that prevents me from keeping up with the other bloggers I've come to know and enjoy. I feel guilty about that, compounding the problem. 

I'm not technologically inclined, and lately I've had to deal with two, now three, different laptop computers. Two entirely different operating systems. Aggravating at the best of times. Hopefully we are well on the way to stabilizing that situation, thus making it easier for me to be more active online. (Not that it has stopped me from shopping online!) 

Finally, I seem to have lost my patchwork/quilt making mojo. This might be a temporary aberration; I certainly hope so. A shift in the focus of this blog probably won't affect anyone adversely. It's not like I have a huge following. It just feels like I'm cheating the people who may come looking for quilting content and that doesn't feel good. 

So, there you have it. Having laid my cards on the table, I intend to stop apologizing and move forward. I hope you'll come with me in spite of my weaknesses. 😊 And, just in case I don't get back before Valentine's Day, let me leave you with a little love token I've just completed. 


And back: 

Just scraps of fabric and batting decorated with intuitive stitching, blanket stitched together. I'm finding these a very pleasant way to escape for a few hours at a time. 😉

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Stitching Along in February

Three weeks have passed since our last SAL check in, and two weeks since my last post. Not a great record, but that's what life does sometimes. I haven't been doing very much stitching but because I knew this check in was coming up I did get the final page made for my #12pagesofChristmas book project. Deadlines can be so useful! 

The prompt for the last page was a bit of bling. I don't know why I had such a hard time with this. I have all kinds of beads and sequins. Finally I chose a 3" square of an old Hoffman print, green and violet with metallic gold in the design and worked off of that.

Edited: I've been able to load the photos at this point. Now I can't access my pictures. It may be time to quit blogging afterall. Suffice to say, I had a bit of green organza ribbon with gold accents along the edges that I'd twisted into a rosebud shape. I wrapped it in a strip of narrow metallic gold ribbon and stitched it to the square of fabric. Then I used seed beads - gold - to secure tiny gold star sequins to the page. I'd say the page looked a little like a celebration in the end. 

The next step is to make a cover. Anne added little tags to the back sides of her pages. I'm not sure whether I'll do that or not. She also had a piece of an antique quilt she used for her cover. I'll have to make something from scratch. I was worried my book wouldn't fit in the tin I'd designated for it but it looks like it will be fine, even with a cover. 

In the meantime, if you're on Instagram you can see some of my needlework @sewingmagpie. And here are the links to the other bloggers who have been stitching along!