Friday, June 15, 2012

Another start

  Day 56 and  yesterday, for the first time in 8 weeks, I was allowed to raise and move  my arm away from my body with assistance!  That is a huge for me.  After PT,   I have a whole new set of exercises  to do and a few to help with the back and leg problems.  I have been able to do some  stitching by keeping the arm supported and using fingers mainly.....but now I can actually allow the arm to stretch out, still with support.  But movement is wonderful, and I was so ready.  So I celebrated last night with a new start.

     Another braid.....I have been playing around with this in my mind for a while, so I listened to Dana's suggestion ( Thank you for encouraging me!) and played with fabric strips and scraps during the last couple of weeks.  Last night I sewed a run to see how it worked.    I used all floral fabrics---told you I had a big stash---to construct a simple braid beginning with a medium light fabric to a very dark fabric.  I plan on joining the runs without a separator strip, so that the individual runs merge and blend together.
    Next to questions  I get about making about water color quilts, questions about making a braid come in second.   The technique is simple, and  the sewing is easy.  There will be some waste when the edges are cut and joined, but I would rather have the small waste than work with bias edges on this.

  Once the strips/scraps are laid out to achieve the blending of dark to light, they are stacked up in the order to be sewn.   I begin with a 2" square and add 2" strips to each side.    To the first side I add a strip that is 4" long, and then the second strip  of 6 "  is added to the other side.    Just keep adding the strips in order---first to one side and then the other---to get the length you want.  

   The next most common question is about blending the fabrics.  It takes time and patience to figure this out.  And a lot of variety of fabrics with different values in them.   This close up photo shows the blending from light on the left to the darker fabrics.  In a close up you can see the different prints, and how the background value goes from light or white to a little darker tan to a dark black.  The prints tend to merge and blend where they are joined.  Squint at it and see what I mean.
     Some day I may try this technique with just scraps and  put everything in....I have seen some wonderful scrap quilts made this way.  But this one will be done as a color wash with blending.   Hard to give up what I love so much.  Happy stitching.


  1. This is going to be so pretty, and I am so glad you are seeing real progress. Happy sewing!

  2. I have never seen a braid done with 2 different lengths of pieces. That makes sense now that I see it. I'm with you, why not do colorwash/watercolor? I even lay newly purchased fabric out in a value run.

  3. This is very pretty - great start to a new day.

  4. So glad to hear you are progressing with the arm movement... you're gonna get better, you are!

    Love the color wash braid... gonna be gorgeous!

  5. That braid quilt is going to be wonderfully beautiful. I love all the florals you use in your quilts.

    I'm so glad you are able to move your arm now. Baby steps get bigger each day!

  6. Yea, you climbed over the wall, great news, just take care of the wing, I'm not sure you're ready to fly yet. That braid is going to beautiful, I can't wait to see this finish.

  7. Good news on the movement front!

    That braid looks amazing - another technique that I must try at some point.

  8. Hallelujah! I recall having a cast taken off my arm many years ago. It felt so good to wash my hand and hold it under running water that it was nearly orgasmic. I imagine moving your arm was a similar experience.

    The braid looks lovely.

  9. I have changed the more anonymous comments allowed. Send an email instead!

  10. I guess I have been slacking off ,I had no idea you hurt your arm! I can imagine trying to make things with it in a cast, what happened?
    I love the braid pattern , I have seen quite a few made up and have had plans to make one myself ,just not sure what type of fabric I want to use.
    Hope you heal quickly !!

  11. Beautiful bands and I am so glad your shoulder is getting better!


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