Monday, October 30, 2023

Inspired by Halloween

I have finished a slow work in progress in time for Halloween and the Days of the Dead. I'm really pleased to have it finished and on display. It's hard to photograph because it's long and narrow, but here's the whole thing:

It's three inches wide and about 27 inches long (or tall). Here's a series of detail shots, working from the top to the bottom:

A spider charm and fly stitches above and feather stitching and some seed stitches below.

The skeleton is printed on ribbon. The cat is a charm, as is the ghost below.

I do enjoy feather stitching. And the fly stitches look like bats on the wing to me. 😁 

The undertaker print is from a Tim Holtz fabric.

There's a surprise hidden underneath that bit of wide lace. πŸ˜‰

I went over the major lines of the spider web with 12 wt Sulky thread to give it a bit more definition. There's more seed stitching in the background. 

You can't really tell in the photograph, but I put a tiny roll of batting underneath the skeletal hand to make it stand out a bit from the surface. 

The poison print is another from a Tim Holtz fabric. Not sure which line the scorpion came from.

I have another slow stitch Halloween project in the works but it's far from finished at this point. Maybe next year! πŸŽƒ

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Scrap Happy in October

 I feel like I should have something seasonal to share for Scrap Happy Day but, I don't. Instead I have another quilt top created from the Parts Department. Frankly, my sewing mojo has been pretty weak of late. Parts Department to the rescue! 

I pulled these 48 postage stamp stars out to see what I could do with them. 

I spent some time arranging and rearranging to try to get an even distribution of colors and such. I knew I didn't want to mash them all together the way they are on the design wall in this picture, although that was an option. While there are tiny pieces of whimsical or juvenile prints in the stars this seemed more like an adult's quilt in the making. Choosing a single color to use as sashing was a challenge. Then I remembered a paisley print I'd been given specifically to be used in donation quilts. Oddly enough, even though it looked like a busy print, it worked!

The paisley has a dark blue background, and the other colors in the print can be found in quite a few of the stars.

Most of the stars have 16 patch centers. Three of them have these Broken Dishes in the middle of the star. They were created from half-square triangles that finish at one inch. I don't think I'll be doing much of that in the future. There are an awful lot of seams in the center of that block. James will probably end up quilting around the center, but it does make for a bulkier block than even the 16 patch centers. 

I "pre-sashed" the blocks by adding a 2" strip (finished) to one side and the bottom of each block. That brought the blocks up from 8" to ten inches each. Once I had the blocks sewn into rows and the rows sewn to each other all I had to do was add a 2" strip to the top and one side of the flimsy for a finished quilt top. 

It could use another, wider, border but I'm going to stop it here and finish it with a dark binding, probably dark blue. It will be about 50" wide and 60" long when it's completed. To me that seems a good size for the destination I have in mind for this quilt. 

Scrap Happy Day is a blog hop hosted by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden. They are at the top of the link list below. The idea is to make something new out of recycled materials or the scraps left over from a previous project and then share your creation on the 15th of each month. If you'd like to join in leave a comment on either Kate's or Gun's blog. 😊

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Stitchin' Through Stress

I've had some new-to-me items come into my space recently. I try to only acquire second hand textiles that can be laundered and made safe for me. Sadly, there are laundry products out there that are designed to hold onto the chemicals that create fragrance. One such item seems to have come into my hands, a vintage hankie. Even after going through the wash cycle I could tell it still wasn't safe. I soaked it in warm water with a heavy dose of baking soda, then rinsed it in vinegar. I put it outside in the sun to dry. Frankly, I haven't had the courage to get close enough to it since then to see how safe it may or may not be. Hopefully I'll be able to use and enjoy it one day. Not as a hankie, but for a project I have in mind. 

In an effort to cope with the effects of the toxic materials I started another strip or scroll. Something to keep my hands busy while my brain was unable to function. I began with a 2.5" x 44" strip of a white-on-white print. On top of that I've been laying scrap pieces from assorted fabrics and securing them with simple embroidery stitches. 

This first section was some piecing that didn't work in the junk journal quilt I made a little while ago. The yellow next to it is a bit of damask. The purple strip is actually prefabricated bias tape.

After the damask I put down a piece of red and white ticking stripe, then a scrap from a man's silk tie. The ticking has since been covered with a couple of yo-yo's (aka Suffolk Puffs) and they are surrounded by chain stitches. My thread of choice is size 12 perle cotton usually. I've also been using a slightly lighter weight cotton thread and stranded floss on occasion. You can't tell, but I used a silk floss for the "petals" of the stylized flower on the silk tie. The blanket stitches were done with perle cotton.

This section was cut from a sample of fabric from India. I have no idea what the fiber content may be. It doesn't feel natural, that's for sure. 

These are the last two pieces I'm planning to put on this particular scroll. The plaid is a flannel and the floral might be a linen. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to embellish these two pieces. Probably more vine effect and leaves on the floral. 

This is only half of the width of the strip covered. My plan is to fold the remainder of the strip back on itself to cover the back of the work. So it will be shorter than other scrolls I've made. But it will also have a clean back on it where the others are still rather a mess. πŸ˜‰ I have no idea what may become of it after that.