Thursday, March 25, 2021

Two More Birds


I have finished two more of these sweet Happy Birds. I'm determined to finish this project - they are so much fun to stitch.

Last weekend I prepped the kits for the next three birds - I'll start stitching one of them today. Lately hand stitching is my main accomplishment. And that's just fine!

This little cutie is so worth it! Sadie had her 1st birthday this week. What fun it was! I wouldn't have missed her party for the world! I don't share many photos of her on my blog or on Facebook because she deserves her privacy...but a birthday is worth sharing!

Stay safe!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

More Hexagons! And a New-to-me Product.


I was browsing on Facebook a week or so ago and came across this book, Tiny Treasures by Kathy Schmitz. Of course, I had to order it. The book has 72 patterns for 1 inch embroidered hexagons. What fun!

This is the project I want to make. The book came in the mail very quickly, so I got started right away.

The author says you can use embroidery floss, but she used number 12 perle cotton. I have loads of #12 perle cotton in a wide variety of colors. Bingo! I using a neutral grunge from my stash. The little triangles will be this green from my stash.

Along with the book, the author offers these papers for sale. Yes, I ordered these, too. I had never heard of them before. These papers are fusible on one side (yay!) and you can leave them in forever (double yay!)...

Years ago I developed a water soluble hexagon paper. It was not fusible though. And it was expensive to produce. So I was intrigued by this product and anxious to try it. So far, it's wonderful - I'll give a complete review later.

The back of the package shows that you can get this product in lots of different shapes.

For the little triangle pieces in between, I cut a few hexagon papers into 6 pieces.

I traced 4 more patterns on my Grunge to work on this week. Lots of fun! And these tiny pieces don't take long to embroider. 

I did very little machine sewing this week. But in the evenings, I work on these embroidered hexies, or my cross stitch, or my Happy Birds. It's so nice to have hand work at the ready! 

This morning I did a bit more ditch quilting on my Marshal/Blessings quilt. I'm realizing that I may not be able to do all the free motion quilting that I want to do with this project. Even the ditch quilting is hard for me to manhandle with my weak shoulders. I think I will continue the ditch quilting, a bit at a time, over the entire quilt and then maybe I'll switch over to big stitch quilting by hand. At the rate I'm going, the ditch quilting will take a couple of months more since I only work on this on the weekends.

Stay safe!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Completed the Circle of Houses and Pi


I finished the circle of houses over the weekend. I also sewed them in pairs, as instructed. And now I'm ready to the April instructions.

I also began the quilting of Marshal. I've started in the center - just a start, but I'm glad this is has been started.

And what's this???? Counted cross stitch???? I haven't done much of this in years. And quilting will always be my number one, but I was drawn to this pattern. "The night forest wakes as the needles dance." Such a beautiful saying. I had ordered this kit (with the blue linen) back in 2019 when we were living at the lake. I started it and decided it was too small and too tedious. I got it back out yesterday and worked on it a bit. Yes, it's tedious and TINY, but if I just do a bit at a time, I think I can do it. In case you're wondering, it's 32 ct linen. I'm going over two threads of the linens.  I'll share progress photos every once in a while.

Yesterday was Pi Day! We are a family of math nerds, so I had to do my part. I made a chocolate 'Pi' and pizza 'pi'.

It's supposed to be a rainy week here, with heavy, dangerous storms predicted mid week. So Sadie and I will definitely go for a walk today while we have the chance.

Stay safe!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Marshal: A Quilt with Scars

I finished basting my Jen Kingwell's Marshal. I've actually finished the basting over a week ago, but am just now posting about it. This quilt definitely has a story behind it. I used Tula Pink fabrics in mine along with assorted grays.

The quilt pattern called for it to look like the above. But this arrangement wasn't speaking to me.

I had my mastectomy in November, 2018. Marshal came out as a block of the month pattern in Quiltmania magazine in January, 2019. I thought this would be a great hand piecing and applique project during my recovery. My arms and shoulders were not ready for machine sewing for a few months. But I could sit and stitch these pieces as I felt like it. This became my recovery project. 

Later in the year I saw the finished pattern and had a letdown. It just wasn't ME. I ended up showing to a group of friends and they helped me figure out this arrangement. So then I had to figure out how to stitch it together.

I ended up appliqueing a big section to a large square of the background fabric. The I sewed on the borders. BUT! BUT! BUT! But....

The quilt top didn't lay flat. Uh oh. BIG uh oh. I had too much extra fabric in the background areas. At this point we were living at the lake. I don't have a big floor area there to spread it out and no design wall. I thought about taking the borders off and starting over, but I really didn't want to do that. But I did the best I could and ended up making some tucks in areas and stitched them by machine - sort of like darts. The busy background worked well for this - you don't see them. 

But once we moved into this new home a year ago and I pulled it back out, it still wasn't flat. UGH! And this is why I didn't send it out to be quilted. I knew it would need some extra attention.

So when I started basting it, I was careful to have a long ruler at hand, squaring it up as I went. All was going well until I got the the end. Lots of extra background. So I squared up the border at that end and then dealt with the big puff in the background. A bit of tucking and pinning. A bit of rearranging. But with the quilt mostly basted, I couldn't easily take it to the sewing machine to make the dart. So I simply hand stitch the loooong, curvy tuck in place. And now the quilt is FLAT and SQUARE!

You have to look VERY closely to see the darts and tucks. But you probably won't find them.

Can you see a long tuck?

There is a long tuck just below the word 'BLESSINGS'. Can you see it? I will say that using this background fabric was the real blessing! The tucks do not stand out! 

I found it serendipitous that this was my breast cancer journey quilt. I have SO many scars now. But they don't stand out. And you don't see them. I know they are there, just like on this quilt.

I'm planning some heavy duty custom quilting based on a class I took virtually from Claudia Pfeil. It will take a LONG time. But I'm in no rush. Maybe I will name the quilt, 'Blessings.'

Stay safe!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

More Houses, A New Quilt Start, and a Headboard.


There are 4 different tiny houses in this quilt. I have finished all of 3 types and am working on the 4th group. 6 more to go! Excuse my finger in the photo.

I also started (just barely) a new little quilt. I was able to get a free doll bed Saturday. We have a wonderful 'Buy Nothing' Facebook page here in Auburn. Do you have one in your city? Might want to check! Anyway, this cute little doll bed for Sadie will stay at our home and of course, it needs a little quilt.

I searched through my Pinterest pages and found this, by Maria Shell:

My little quilt only needs to be 19" x 19". I'm trying my best to do improv piecing. My brain is definitely a engineer's brain - so improv is out of my comfort zone. But sometimes it's good to step out a bit, don't you think?

And now for the headboard. Can you see how stained it was before? This happened in the last move. I watched a sweaty moving guy tuck this under his sweaty armpit. Ugh. Should have covered it first. Live and learn. I wasn't happy with the color any longer so it really didn't matter.

Cooper helped me cut the fabric. He is LOADS of help - haha!

And here we go. I had planned to do the button tufting, but ended up liking it better without. 

I have the Winter Blues quilt top folded at the foot of the bed. I'm still not done with this room. I've ordered more pillows and I have artwork to figure out. But lots of progress.

Our 2nd Covid vaccines went well. Hubby felt rough for a day, but I've been fine. 

Stay safe!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Questions About My New Design Wall

I received some questions about my new design wall. Here's a close up shot so you can see how the tiles fit together. Someone asked if they have a grid - well, the beveled edge on the square tiles does form a grid to line up blocks. I really like having a grid. 

Here it is again, in action. You can see the grid here, too.

I will say will have to pin things up. I found that even on my old flannel covered board, I often had to pin blocks with lots of seams - they were a bit heavy to stay up. So I don't mind pinning. 

The site to order them is FeltRight.

They have tile of lots of shapes, colors, and sizes. I went very simple with a silver color and each tile is about 12" square (11 7/8' to be exact). 

I purchased 56 tiles and I didn't put them all up. I may eventually add another row at the top. They stick to the wall with little adhesive squares (included). The instructions say that removing them from the wall without damage to the wall is easy.

Below are some examples from there site of just a few of MANY options. You can even design your own design wall if you like.

They call their felt tiles the "modern pinboard."  I do love the look. I can see putting a cute design in a child's room for a creative bulletin board. 

I hope this helps!

By the way...I lucked out on Everwood. Daughter 2 has a subscription to HBO Max and we have been able to use it to see Everywood again. Yay!

Covid Vaccine #2 is tomorrow!

Stay safe!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Bring Me Flowers - DONE!


I finished Jen Kingwell's Bring Me Flowers. I LOVE this quilt! It was one of my favorite quilts ever to make. So many different flower blocks, all sewn by hand. I enjoyed every second of the 2 years or so it took to make it. 

Have you noticed I like to make intricate, involved, tedious quilts? They are my FAVORITE! 

Yes, it's already hanging in our home. I couldn't wait to get it up on the wall! It says SPRING to me. And Spring is almost here, thank goodness.

Can you see that little piece of blue tape to the left of the quilt? We are in the midst of our 11 month punch list for our home - WOW! We've been here almost a year. We have people coming here and there to make small repairs and touch up paint. We are impressed by their prompt actions. If blue tape is low on a wall, Sadie pulls it off - haha! I've had to move a few pieces...and that's just fine with me. 

What am I reading and watching?

We recently finished streaming The Americans  (Prime Video)- SO GOOD. 
We also enjoyed Vexed on Netflix.
And we were enjoying Everwood, until we had to start paying for it. Looking for a free source.
I also like HGTV's Ty Breaker, and Welcome Home on Discovery +.

I did finish Jane Eyre. I then read Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (pen name for JK Rowling). I plan to read more of this series, but now I'm on to another classic, Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen). I'm mostly listening to books when I sew, but if Hubby is not on a walk with me, I listen then too. I'm loving listening to books!

Stay safe!!!