Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Another Baby Quilt

It's time to start building a quilt for the baby girl Niece #2 is expecting to deliver in July. Oddly, I have not been in the mood to do any fabric shopping. So the challenge is to make something cute, or at least not ugly, from what I have available in my stash. Since her first child is a very active little boy I chose to go full-on girly for this quilt. Pink, purple, dolls and dresses, florals, whatever I could find that would work together. I also decided to make a crazy quilt this time, utilizing the stack, cut, and shuffle method.

The hard part is finding prints in my collection that are still big enough to accommodate the large squares this method requires. I'm starting with 11" squares to end up with blocks that will finish at 8.5" (9"raw). The first set I made had seven prints in the stack. I made six cuts. That was a bit much to get the rotary cutter through. For next stack I only layered up five prints and made four cuts. That resulted in more waste when I trimmed the blocks to size but not enough for me to get in a tizzy over. It's more important to me to get the greater variety of patch sizes and prints this approach creates. 

 This is where I am so far. Originally I was going to make 42 blocks. Now I'm thinking 30 will be enough. That will allow for a border treatment that may help to contain and calm the busyness in the center of the quilt. Might have to purchase yardage for that! 😊

Saturday, April 24, 2021

It's Creative Decision Making Time

Those who have been with me for a long time will know that I enjoy the simplicity of Stitch & Zip needlepoint kits. Fourteen count needlepoint canvas that has already been made up into a variety of cases. I get to do the fun part, and when I've finished all I have to do is zip the case shut and give it some steam (under a pressing cloth). 😁

Coin purses and scissor cases above, cosmetic bag size purses below (about 5" x 7").

I go for the designs that don't have a lot of detail generally. I've also created my own designs to stitch. The following examples happen to be coin purses.

Having recently completed this cosmetic-size bag of my own design...

I needed something new to keep my hands busy when my brain wasn't fully engaged. I found a couple of the coin purse kits on sale recently and bought them. I'll probably stitch one of them as proscribed by the kit contents and design but the other one had to have the colors changed in my opinion. 😉

It's not quite finished, but it won't take long to polish it off. So then the question is, what next? 

I have the other kit I just bought of course, but I also have one of the larger cases that had a blank face. My intention was to use some of the luscious autumn-hued hand dyed flosses I'd collected to stitch a pattern of leaves. I even outlined the leaves in pencil and then went over those lines with a basting stitch of sorts to make the outlines even easier to see.

The problem is, now I don't want to have to expend the mental energy that would be required to produce leaves I'd be happy with. It has been a joy to simply choose a color and stitch "flying geese" and arrows lately. What to do, what to do?

Monday, April 19, 2021

Catching Up on the #52tags Project

 I've been keeping up with Anne Brooke's #52tagshannemade project pretty well so far this year. I find I have to sit with each new prompt for a few days before I'm ready to start stitching. We left off with tags nine and ten, in this post I'll show you what I've done for weeks eleven through fourteen.  😊

The key word for the eleventh week was "rings." Anne asked us to find washers or some other type of ring to cover with blanket stitches. I used some plastic curtain rings I had in my stash from long ago.

And variegated threads. I love variegated threads! The big ring was done with a Perle cotton, the others with cotton floss. I did cheat just a tiny bit and add the shisha mirror at the bottom that was made overseas.

Interestingly, she followed that up with straightforward blanket stitches. She encouraged us to play, explore what could be done with the stitch. Circles, single scattered stitches or elongated legs, that sort of thing.

I wasn't in an experimental mood apparently. I found this piece of plaid wool and used it to direct my stitching. I'm also finding that the 2.5" x 3.5" ATC format that I'm using doesn't allow for a lot of room to play. The tags are usually done in a matter of hours though!

Week thirteen was to be many layers of yellow or gold in celebration of the return of spring sunshine. 

I managed eight layers of various textiles. I'm learning I don't like covering up prints I've just put down!

It took some time to figure out what I would do for week fourteen. The prompt was "a place, a pocket, and a treasure." Hmm, what place, and what treasure? The treasure could dictate the place or vice versa. The pocket was the least of my worries. 

Anne used the beach she loves to visit in the summertime and a shell from one of her family trips there. I had to cast my mind way back ("Sherman, let's use the WayBack machine." Does anyone else remember those segments from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons on TV?) I went back to my teen years and our family cottage on the lake. And I went for the interior, not the outdoors as might have been expected. Knotty pine cupboards and a green linoleum countertop in the kitchen for the body of the ATC and our favorite recipe for quick chocolate cookies in the pocket.

The cookies are made in a saucepan on the stovetop and then dropped by the spoonful onto waxed paper to cool. I used a bit of tulle for the wax paper and French knots for the cookies.

We would make a batch of these cookies before going out to swim or sail on the lake. By the time we got back they were ready to eat. Perfect summer food!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Scrap Happy in April

 I'm probably one of the last to get my Scrap Happy Day post up, but that's the way it goes around here.

I had a request for potholders a couple of weeks ago. That request was fulfilled from my Parts Department and the potholders sent off without being photographed. They would have been ideal for Scrap Happy Day. I mentioned this to someone else and they said they would enjoy a pair of potholders too. Voila! A new Scrap Happy Day project! This time however, I made six. Two were begun with scrappy log cabin style blocks I found in my Parts Department. The other four were built from scratch - and scraps. 😁

Scrap Happy Day is open to anyone who repurposes leftovers of any kind (except maybe food!) into something new and different. My projects will nearly always be textile in nature but there are some in this group who play in other media and find inventive ways to put their scraps to good use. We have a couple of new participants this month, be sure to visit Edith and Preeti! And welcome ladies!

KateGun, Eva, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, NancyDawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith

Monday, April 12, 2021

Parts Dept. to the Rescue

We have two nieces who were expecting babies this year. One child has already arrived, the other is due in a couple of months. I hadn't done a thing in preparation to welcome these new arrivals when the first baby came into the world at the end of March.  Fortunately, things timed out well for me in terms of my health, etc. I pulled a piece out of my fabric stash that I thought was a panel print. It turned out to be a wide border of these darling sheep along one selvedge edge with clouds floating in a blue sky for the remainder of the width of fabric.

I cut the fabric into as many 8.5" squares as I could, then went to my Parts Department to see what I could use for alternate blocks. The postage stamp stars were the best fit. There weren't quite enough of the cloud squares to fill out the 5 x 6 grid I'd created so I had to find something else to fill in the empty spots.

This print was whimsical but spoke too loudly. (The colors looked better together in person than they do in the photograph.) After another rummage through the stacks of green in my collection I found a stylized leaf print that seemed to work. 

It's a quieter print, more in keeping with the clouds. The next step was to add borders of some sort. I considered piano keys in an assortment of blues and greens but didn't have the energy to follow through on that plan. In the end I decided on a one inch frame of the small leaf print and a three inch (finished) final border of larger acanthus-type leaves. 

I even had enough of that blue print to cut the strips according to the direction of the print!

The next trick will be to find sufficient yardage or appropriate colors and prints to build a back. This is not a large quilt, roughly 48" x 56" when finished, but my supply of larger pieces of fabric has been dwindling and not replenished. You never know what will turn up though!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Nibbling Away at the Parts Department

 A couple of months ago, as you may or may not remember, I pulled a bunch of my 6" scrappy Barn Door blocks out of the Parts Dept. and began to build a quilt out out them. I managed to get 88 blocks sewn into rows using donated fabric for sashing. 

But once the rows were assembled I could go no further. Last week I finally felt like tackling the job of inserting more sashing between the rows to complete the top. 

It turned out to be sort of an odd size to my way of thinking, 62" s 84." Not quite the right dimensions for a twin bed. It also seemed to be crying out for a solid or tonal dark blue border. That would have made it closer to a twin size too. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything in my stash that would work. Nor was I up for fabric shopping. Our guild's stash didn't appear to have anything appropriate either. So it is what it is. When the paisley I used for the sashing was donated I also received sufficient yardage of a quiet print that worked really well for the back. All it needs now is to be quilted! 

Since my last post I've also made a pair of potholders out of the Parts Department. I was in such a hurry to send them on their way that I forgot to take pictures. I was able to use eight 4" (finished) crumb blocks for the fronts, four for each potholder, and 8" orphan blocks for the backs. They used up some scrap batting too. 😊 Now I'm going to have to start something else to have ready for Scrap Happy Day on the 15th!