Monday, January 16, 2017

From this to this!

  I showed this set of strips last week.....unsewn.   I should say that I used 27 different floral fabrics to build the strata from dark to light.  I only used one width of fabric cut.  Although some fabrics were FQ and I did have to sew a couple of cuts together to get close to the full width.    I made random sub-cuts in widths from 2 1/2'' , 2'', and  1 1/2''.    So from this.................................. THIS!  All the strips were sewn over the weekend.  I warned that the width would shrink, and it did.  It is now 30'' wide by 42''long.      That is just the nature of this bargello style design ----  small pieces and lots of seams.  Plus it is always a surprise when you see the blend of the fabrics.  No matter how much you think you have it planned and arranged, it is always a little surprising to see it come together.    This one has a floating feel to it.  And an impression of a garden blooming on a hillside.   I will let it live and breath a little until I decide on the border color.

    While I was pressing the florals, I was reading thru my Projects list that hangs on the cabinet.  Since mid-December, I have made good progress.  I love marking thru items and putting up big fat check marks!   A couple of things are finished, and only one project listed is left that needs to be worked on.    So design time is slated for later this week.  I need some mindless sewing for this afternoon....string piecing it is.   Happy stitching.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Stitching on the 13th


    Nothing unlucky here about the 13th......okay, just a few stitches to unsew, but sewing is a good thing.   And sunshine abounds and circles look good in the sunshine.

   This quilt will be like the "Rest of the Story" to follow the Therapy Quilt.  For now it has no borders and will rest on a hanger until I decide on a finish.  I have an idea or two but nothing solid......just impressions that flash through my mind when I look at it.
  I am sure I will run across something that will inspire me to finish it up.  

  Surprise, surprise......I found a set of strips--florals, you see--- organized and partially sewn together.  I remember beginning the process of selection and arranging in the early part of last year.
   I finished the rows, pressed and made some cuts.  Random cuts of 1 1/2'', 2''. 2 1/2'' are now hanging on the design wall and ready to join.  A lot of columns to join and it will shrink in width quite a bit.  That's okay as I did not find any notes to self with ideas on it.  I will make it up as I go.

   One more thing before I go to start dinner.   A winter blue set of scraps turned into a small pieced table runner. The pattern is from Connie at Freemotion by the River .   I altered it a bit and left off the border.....I ran out of fabric.   But it will be a good one to finish up and donate to the guild for next year's auction.
   Enjoy the weekend and stitch on.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

More of those circles

   A quick glance at my project list and plans for the month shows I have been moving right along.  This list was begun in mid-December and just carried over to January.  The last 2 things for the month concern  the rest of the circles and 9 patch blocks.

  The remaining circles went up onto the design wall and I shifted and played around with the lay out for a day or so.    You have to let things simmer sometimes to be sure of what you want.  It helped that I came down with a stomach virus and couldn't do much of anything, too :)

   This photo shows that I have a couple of sections joined.....note the layout used.  I resorted to my original staggered layout for a couple of reasons.  I have 3 sizes of circles because of the size of scraps I used.  The mixed sizes--big, small and in-between-- looked a little "off" to me when laid out in regular rows.   I had a lot of "half circles" already made for the ends and I did not want to waste them.  And finally, less precise matching was less stressful for me.  Or that's my story and I am sticking to it.   I have a few more rows of circles to join, and then a decision on borders.

  In the midst of sewing rows and sections of circles  together, 9 patch blocks marched on.   My stack of strip units have turned into great little 9 patch blocks and total about 80 to date.   This will be up next to decide on finally layout and such. sourdough flopped and the starter died.  The 2 loaves I made were awful and Sir Old Man put them in the back yard for the deer/birds/wildlife.   The starter requires a lot of  patience and maintenance to get going.   I resorted to my favorite recipe for herb bread and made a nice loaf.

To share......
   If you are interested in making a few or a lot of blocks for the Women of the Bible quilt/sew alongs that are going on  check out this source.   Quilter's Garden quilt show is sharing blocks on their website and the info will be available for only 2 weeks.  So download while you can, and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date with the blocks and info.  Thanks to Cheryl at Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting blog for sharing this.


  And this is my positive note for the week.  A friend who recently lost her husband shared this on FB.  It seems someone else understands my obsession with those red birds, aka cardinals.
They are reassuring signs of hope for me and always seem to pop up when I get low.  Just like the notes and comments from old and new followers, a few words lift my spirits when I seem to be struggling with the frustrations of the situation.    Thank you all.
  It has warmed up here for a few days after sleet, freezing rain and snow of last weekend.  I intend to bask in its glow for a little while today, before I finish up those circles.  Happy stitching.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Let's be Legendary

   Deshaun Watson said in the last huddle, "Let's be legendary."   And they were......Clemson National Champions!  Congrats, guys.  Go tigers.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Simple mats

    First, let me say, that each of you are a great part of my blog life.  What a wonderful band of cheerleading quilters you are.  I was very touched by all the comments on the Therapy Quilt post.    I get overwhelmed with the past year.   I get tired easily.   and I get cranky when my fingers don't work right and my vision gets fuzzy.  I know some of you  carry your own health problems each day.    So thank you for reaching out to me.

   Today was a finish up day for simple stuff that I started.   I used 2 pieces of the panel fabric for small place mats for the kitchen island.   I added scraps of fabric that blended with the design.  Straight lines for quilting to finish them off.

    And the longer section I turned into a small wall hanging for the kitchen too.  I used some floral fabrics to mix with a "coffee creamer" colored scrap.  The binding was odds and ends in the binding box.  Simple but it fills the blank space on the side wall for now.
  I was getting tired by this time and it shows in the wobbly binding....I will wash it and no one will know.  Please keep my secret:)

  The sourdough adventure has taken another twist, as in throw out the first bowl full that was foamy but not rising.  A good bit of reading/research and it was decided that I did not have yeast fermenting, but some stinky bacteria that was not what I wanted.  Barbara at CatPatches pointed me in the direction of an article by a microbiologist that clicked in my mind.

  So yesterday I began a new batch of starter with whole wheat flour and pineapple juice.  Today it is foamy and bubbly......I hope from yeast.  Once again.....I am just stubborn enough to stick to it for one more try :)  Besides if it snows this weekend, bread baking would be perfect.
Happy stitching.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Therapy Quilt

  The Therapy Quilt is so named because I had to learn to sew again this year.  I took for granted the dexterity, the fine motor skills it requires for each block to be made, for a quilt to be assembled, for a quilt to quilted , and for a quilt to be bound.

  I was in the middle of making circles for the Quilty 365 challenge at Quiltyfolk blog, when my world crashed down around me.  So in  August when I returned home,  I began OT/PT as an outpatient.  My desire/dream/goal was to sew again.  I tried and had a lot of disappointment.  I kept at it with the attitude that I did not have to be perfect, banish the quilt police, just sew.   And so the idea of the Therapy Quilt came to me.

   I pulled out my box of circles and found ones that I wanted to use first.....Birds, Blooms, and Bits from Friends.  That was the way I defined the selections in my head.  If  I was going to reclaim my passion, it was up to me to figure out how to sew again.  Even my excellent therapist could not help me there.

   By trying each day to piece two circles together, and then to join them into a 4 unit section, etc, I began to see my fine motor skills improve.  Not each intersection matched,  and some are only close enough.  Before I would have ripped forever, today I move on.
   I graduated from OT/PT in November.  Able to walk again, to write again, I can accomplish many daily tasks, but still with numbness in my hands and feet and legs.  Such is life.

   The Therapy Quilt got pinned finally and was ready to quilt.  I had attempted free motion quilting on a couple of small projects and thought  I was up to this size.  There's not a lot of open space between those wiggly lines and some meandering would just have to do.   It was a challenge and I was not exactly thrilled or happy with  the first section or so.  
Yet by the time---2 days later-- that I finished the center portion, I was feeling better about it all.    I moved on to the border  after practicing the leafy vine by drawing a few dozen pages in pencil.   And a few days before Christmas, it was almost done.    My confidence back, I went on and quilted my bow ties quilt and got it finished first.

   From Pat at AmityQuilter blog, came the circle in the bottom right corner.    The Charlie Harper cardinals are from Wanda at Exuberant Color.  She's a treasure and I look to her as an inspirational mentor.

The Therapy Quilt is 42'' by 50''.  The  small circle squares are 4 1/2''.

   So here's to starting a new year off with hope....hope for healing, hope for recovery, and hope for future and the quilting I love.

Linking to Quilty 365.

Happy stitching.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Old things, new things

 Old Things:
 A pinning session to prepare the pineapple top for quilting.  As I pin I tend to contemplate the quilting design.  Usually I am inspired and figure out what to quilt, but not this time.  So I haven't made a start to this one.
  The water color banner was pinned too, so I will quilt it up first.

 The wild geese are just hanging in strips on the design wall.  I lost my drive to see them fly.  But they do need to get sewn at least into a top.

  The Therapy Quilt of circles is waiting on binding....I will cut that today.

New things:
  Sir Old Man was heading out  to the Big Box store and I hitched a ride so he could stop at the quilt shop.  My excuse was that I needed a  new pair of machingers---gloves for quilting.  My old pair has holes in two fingers and are bad!

  A few fat quarters became the second excuse......just because they were purple!  And all fabrics were on sale, I just had not shared that tidbit of information with him.

  Marietta always a stack of flat fold fabrics too.  This older fabric with coffee theme panels caught my eye.   A perfect size  for small wall hanging and a few snack mats.   Buy now, and make for gifts through the year😉.

   The new adventure is under cover.   I got pulled in by the thought of
the aroma of fresh baking sourdough bread.

  It is Catpatches fault.   Barbara has been sharing her adventures and breads she is working on.  Then she shared details of starting some sourdough starter for a virtual bake at the facebook group..

    My starter has died and could not be brought back to life.  So I figured it was a good time to try again.    The first few days were touchy and nothings seemed to be happening.  I decided to hang on and then got the bright idea to put the bowl onto a cutting board instead of sitting on the cool granite countertop.  That helped a lot.  This is now day 4  and I have bubbles and it has begun to increase in size.  Today I will discard half and feed it....mix and let sit.    Hoping to get the yeasty aroma soon.  Baking begins next week, and I want to have plenty to share with the neighbors that have been so good to us especially this year.    I also plan to save an freeze some of the starter via method that Judy at Patchwork Times shared.
Pat Sloan Block 2 collage   And the last new thing is one to share......The Solstice Sew Along with Pat Sloan.   She is offering a new pattern each week--12'' block-- and the goal is 25 blocks in 6 months.  Make all of them or make the ones you like, just be sure to download and save the patterns.  They are very good.   There is a linky too and it is good to see all the color combinations being used.

 And that wraps up my year of 2016.
  My word was Enjoy.....and it should have been persevere. Next year I will move forward, being stronger and the best me I can.

Wishing all a Happy New Year and health for each one.
Happy stitching.  
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