Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Elizabeth vs. Darcy, Jane vs. William

 As much as I've longed for the end of August - because of the heat - I find it hard to believe it's actually here! The heat seems to have also robbed me of the ability to remember to take pictures of the small needlework projects I've made when it was too hot to have the iron going. They would be termed slow stitch in modern parlance but to me they're just small pieces of intuitive embroidery. They were fun to do and turned out well overall. (I'm still working on valuing process over end result.) We've had better air quality this summer, for which I'm grateful. No wildfires close enough to affect us I assume. The heat may have kept neighbors from outdoor cooking too, which is helpful.

Anyway, some time ago I purchased a bundle of Jane Austen at Home fat quarters as much out of curiosity as anything else. I thought I might be able to combine those prints with some William Morris reproduction prints I've acquired. It's been on my mind for a while. Finally I brought them all out to see what I could do. I made a few flying geese out of the larger scale prints and fussy-cut focal patches for the variable or sawtooth stars I so enjoy making. I may not have made the best choice for background for the stars (it's a bit busy) but from a distance I think it works.

The star in the middle of the photo above is the only bit of William Morris that's made it into the project so far. I'm not sure I'll be able to convince Jane and William to get along together. I've drawn from other prints in my stash to add variety. The colors in the Austen prints are not the sort of thing I've collected. 

 Not that color representation here is accurate. 

This is where I'm at currently. It's only 32" wide and 40" long. After much searching I've found another deep red I think will work as a frame around this medallion. What happens after that remains to be seen. I'm happy to have this be a small quilt, lap size, but it needs to be larger than this!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Scrap Happy Follow-up

 After Scrap Happy Day last week (see previous post) I ordered a panel print from in hopes that the individual panels would fit between the 8" color blocks. In spite of the distance between us I am always amazed at how quickly orders from Thousandsofbolts (and one nut!) arrive. 

These darling dinosaurs looked the most promising on the web site. I lost the color framing around the dinosaurs but otherwise they fit nicely. 

I also dropped a couple of my color blocks in the more pastel shades and made more 16 patch blocks in colors found in the dinosaur print.

What you see here will finish at 40" wide by 48" long. Seems a good size for a new baby. 😊 I'll just let the binding act as a frame. I found sufficient yardage in my stash (after an extensive search) to make a back. It's a simple lavender tone-on-tone scroll print. Now it's on to James for quilting!

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Scrap Happy in August

 I have more than one project I could share with you for Scrap Happy Day this month! For now I'm just going to share one. 😉

I needed some rather mindless sewing to do recently so I went through my 2.5" scrap squares and pulled out 16 per color family to create blocks that will finish at 8" each.

I had a few of this sort of thing already in the Parts Department. But then I learned of the birth of a new great niece. Color blocks are always good for babies!

The question is, what to use between them? I have scrappy stars that might work (they're the same size as these 16 patch blocks). I could also frame up some 6" blocks to fill in the blank spaces. No decision has been made at this point. I have been trying to include some of the more whimsical or juvenile prints from my scrap box to make these blocks to add interest and surprises in the end product. 

In the meantime, the scrappy Ships quilt from last month's Scrap Happy Day has almost completed its' maiden voyage. I'll have to share that with you in a couple of days. 😊 

To see what others have been doing with their scrappy materials just click on the links below. And thanks to Kate and Gun for hosting this monthly link party!

KateGun, Eva, Lynda, Susan Birthe, Turid, Cathy,  

Tracy, Jill,  Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, 

Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen, 

Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera, 

Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear, Viv

Preeti, Edith, Debbierose, Carol

Saturday, August 6, 2022

#JustBecause Book

How has it been a whole week since my last post?! Time really does fly when you're having fun. Or at least when you're engrossed in a good book. 😉

 I've been working a bit at a time on a fabric book for some time now. During the last week it became a finished product. I began with some rough cut pieces of yarn-dyed plaids I won in one of the Disabled Artists Foundation auctions. About the same time I was learning about art journals from YouTube videos. I also came across Susan Taylor Brown's videos and began tuning in to her live streams. She encourages us to make art "just because." This sounded like an ideal antidote for my perfectionist tendencies. I decided to have a go at turning those pieces of cotton fabric into pages and a cover for a book. Most significantly, I was determined to do it without straightening any edges or making everything the same size and shape!

I began with some slow stitching on single pieces of the fabric bundle. 

I played around with layers of textiles. I created a couple of pockets, and then made a pair of tiny tags to live in them.

Even a feather from one of my canaries got stitched down!

 There are beads and buttons strewn throughout.

A lot of the laces also came from dAFi (Disabled Artists Foundation, Inc.) auctions.

 But of course there are treasures from my own hoard included, like labels from men's neckties and quilter's cotton prints.

 Assembling the pages into signatures and then assembling the book as a whole was the scariest part. I hadn't thought out the process in the beginning and that complicated matters a bit. I'm happy with the end results though. 😊

The front cover.

The back of the book.

And that's the end of the story!