Saturday, May 30, 2020

Divide and Conquer

  It was last year when I purchased several pre-printed panels.   I made a small wall hanging as a daily reminder to me to have a grateful heart.    It resides on the pantry door and I see it often during the day.









  A couple of months later I put together another small wall hanging to use as a gift.   I used an accent color to frame the main part,  and added butterflies for an accent.
  That left a larger section to divide up or use together.  I knew I wanted to add a narrow frame around the next batch and blend with the 2'' squares of floral fabrics.








    The larger section got cut up after all.  I wanted to frame the two main portions for an added pop of color.  I had just a small bit of this purple for the 1'' border.    I love how it makes the purple in the printed sections stand out.
   I played around with  very irregular/asymmetrical blended sections.  I tried to keep the darkest to the corners so as not to detract from the center.   It worked to create the depth I was hoping for to give a more artsy feel.
  Garden of Praise is a wall hanging that is 33'' by 36''.



Today all were finished!  With the sun out  and no rain drops to spoil the photo taking process, we ventured out to the deck.    I wanted to have a photo comparison of the finished projects.

   
    Those large pre-printed panels can be intimidating.  They have inherently uneven blocks or sections, or the printing may be crooked.  You need coordinating fabrics to blend with the printed sections, and so on.   
   So this series for me became a Divide and Conquer idea.  Even though I used the same watercolor technique to enlarge each portion I cut out---the divide part--I conquered the designs by altering the type of layout.



   The two on the left are symmetrical  with the blended portion moving around the top one, and in the lower one just accented in opposing corners. 

  The two on the right are the ones just finished.  The larger one I discussed all ready.  The small one...is just that a small left over that just didn't fit into the other ones.  I couldn't let it go to waste, so using the leftover bits from the larger one, I made a small table top mat as a Blessing! 





      I still have the insanity during the pandemic quilt to quilt.  My hands and wrists need a few days to rest and recover before I tackle that.

   And one last look at the 4 in the series of divide and conquer.
  Happy stitching. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Catching up

  Time to catch up.....I know it has been a month since I posted and several emails from readers reminded me to wake up. 
 
  We had a very nice Spring and Sir Old man worked tirelessly in the yard completing projects from my list for him.  We had 2 truck loads of mulch spread over the beds to give them a refresh.  the crew also planted a couple of new trees we got for Earth Day from the power company and Clemson. 
  Sir Old Man finally added the birdhouse he built for the Bluebirds.  And can you believe it is already occupied!  It has been fun to watch them darting in and out or sunning on the roof.  he is inspired now to build another one for the front yard. 
   We spent one Saturday morning adding some edging plants to the back bed.  It was one trip/venture I made away from home....to the garden center nearby to select some herbs and ground covers for the back.  And yea, we ran into a quilting buddy.  Waving to Yvonne!

 
 
   I was working on the insanity during the pandemic quilt last time  I posted.  It is assembled and ready to quilt.  Thanks to Sir Old Man learning to pin a quilt!  Without his help I would not have gotten both of these ready to quilt. 
  The top one is  another wall hanging build around some more pre-printed panel parts.   Small sections  of watercolor florals frame the parts I put together.  Fusing onto interfacing and simple stitching, I can handle right now. 
  Note to self....you are now out of both batting and interfacing.  Need to order both.

 Both of these are smaller so I am hoping I can manage the quilting. 

  We have had over 7 inches of rain in the last week.....stormy days and such.  All add to the aches in the hands and wrists.  So for simple stitching time.....personal therapy session.... I have been doing some scrap  and crumb piecing. 


   I have a small basket of bits and pieces by the machine.  It is easy to grab a pair and build a section like the center part here.  I needed a leader/ender project while stitching the fused floral units for the wall hanging. 
  I decided to use the light print with and rosy vine on it for a constant thru out.  I have quite a bit of the light, which I am sure I was saving for something that will never happen, and this seemed a good time to use it!
   Beyond freely stitching and a light press for now, there is no real plan.  I have about a dozen together , so many more to grow.    I will square them up to a common size on a less painful day. 

    Our world is beginning to open up a bit.  Sir Old Man has been doing all the shopping, and keeping me home.  I am allowed to ride along when he gets gas or goes to the dairy.  There are times you need to see that the world still exists.  I went to the podiatrist last week but had to wait in the car until they could slip me into a room and then right back out.  I was notified that another of my doctors retired......I am assigned to a new one for next month.  Oh, joy....lol. 


   So while I chose to not blame anyone for what has happened, I do recognize the take aways  during this time. 
   Never forget how much freedom means. 
   Never freely give up your rights to be free. 
  Forever and always be thankful that we are free, and live in a wonderful country that lets us be free.     Free to love others, free to be ourselves, free to walk among the world.
   And today we remember those who died for our right to be free.   And once again I share a favorite wall hanging entitled Remembrance. 
  Happy Memorial Day.
  Happy stitching.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Lost track of the day/week

  Before I get emails checking on me, I thought I needed to stick my head up and do a post!  Days have run together as there is nothing to set forth a routine any more.  Regular household chores of cooking and laundry, time reading, and sitting outside in the sun, doing jig-saw puzzle fill in the hours between small bouts of sewing and making masks to fill requests.  I am now out of what little elastic I found hidden in the closet. 



  Sewing.....I did some big quilt wrangling and wrestling to get the wonky courthouse steps quilted!  What a chore this one was.  Or it could be the wrist and hand pain just made it seem that way.  Anyway, it is done and ready for a wash. 
 My blocks are 8''  and the quilt finished up at about 64'' by 80''. 
   I began the blocks in the fall of last year, and just used whatever was in the string and scrap bins.  Collectively, everything comes together so well.....as long as you are 3 feet away!  Lol. 







   The tutorial is from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville....she called them crooked courthouse steps.  








  I am now sewing rows together on the "keeping my sanity during the pandemic" sting quilt.  This is a much smaller project!  The blocks I am working with here are 4 ''.  I intended these to create a wall hanging, so we will see what happens as I progress. 

  We have had big storms, lots of rain, cool days, and now warmer spring days of sunshine.  I have had a teleconference doctor visit, a physical visit for the eye doctor, cancelled appointments, and not a single trip to the store.  How life changed in a few days and now lasting over 7 weeks of stay at home, I think.


    The one thing I truly miss.....the one thing I really need.....a hair cut!  I am so hoping that the salon will open up soon.  I can order a lot online, but haircuts are not offered that way.  I have threatened to just shave my head and be done with it all, but Sir Old Man told the hairdresser and she gave me a lecture and a half. 
     And as soon as this quilt is washed and dried, A short nap will be needed. 
Happy stitching.  Stay safe and well. 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Morning Glories!

  Finished small wall hanging that I called Morning Glories.  I am not sure that there are turquoise morning glories but that is what I was reminded of here. 

 The design began as slightly abstract with dark on the side and a band of dark across.  The more I looked at it, I could see a fence post with broken post.  That lead me to adding some applique using these bold flowers in gold and turquoise. 











 Note the applique is fused fabric , cut out and tucked close to each other to create illusion of a vine climbing the post.  All edges are machine stitched with a small zig-zag stitch.

   So morning glories climbing a broken post seems a natural.  I ended up with a light binding...which is not what I wanted, but now it is done. 
  Hung on the office door it offers up a bright spot of Spring in our troubled world. 
    I think I am on my 21st day of house-bound habitation.  Not completely stir-crazy yet, but approaching outer limits of sanity!  After finishing laundry this morning, I am heading for the porch out back to enjoy some sun and fresh air.  Stay safe and stay well.
Happy stitching.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Finding some sanity

  I try to avoid the fear and panic from the pandemic.  I limit the articles I read and such.  Yet, still that swirling vortex of calamity creeps in the cracks of my mind.  I realized that the normal routine of life has changed, been altered by circumstances I can not control in the least. 


  So beyond the usual household chores and meals....Sir Old Man is home more, so I cook more....I need to create something routine and daily.   I have been sewing about an hour a day usually, and this week I came upon an idea that has some meaning to me.  Before I got sick in 2016, we were making a circle block a day, which I turned into my therapy quilt.  Actually I made two because I could not handle the large size of just one.
  My idea was to make a small block each day as a means of self expression and work out any frustrations I was feeling.  I had a bin with a few string blocks already made.  Perfect beginning.




  Small string blocks using up floral strings and bits!  Simple and easy on the hands for me to do.  By making 4 or 5 day, which doesn't take long, I have a nice stack of these now.  My block size is 4'' and most of the fabrics are florals and tonals with a few other prints thrown in. 









    I looked thru saved images on Pinterest for layout ideas and decided this one depicts the state of our new normal.
    Everything seems out of focus, and not quite centered.  Life is smooth and then takes a quick turn.  New demands, adjustments.  Altered priorities.  I am sewing any insanity and frustration of the day into small blocks.  When they get put together and tamed, sanity will return!
  Or at least that is what I am telling myself.

  I have the Blended 4 patch under the needle for the weekend......sew on!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

More of---- life is different

   I said our world was different last week, and this week I experienced it.  My consult evaluation with the rheumatologist was this week.  The office had confirmed the appointment and I had planned to go.  By Monday, I was hesitating.....so when the office wanted to switch to a phone appointment, I agreed.  Then early Tuesday morning, they switched to a video appointment.  That meant setting up the old laptop with a camera capability, which had never been used.  (My desk top  does not have one.)   It took a bit of fritzing about but we got there. 
  It was a bit strange having a doctor examine your hands and wrists via internet and discuss options.  But this may be the future for a while.  It was decided that any medications were not an option for me.  The meds offered are too toxic and would probably only worsen my other problems.  So, much as I expected.  I will learn to live with this rarer form of osteoarthritis. 

   So some limited sewing since last week. 
   I worked on the wall hanging and got it quilted.  I am searching the stash  for binding, but not liking what I find.  I will dive deeper and see if I can do better. 
   Stay safe and sew on.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

National Quilting Day/Weekend


  

I decided to celebrate virtually.....the pollen count has soared in this area with warmer temps....so not hanging quilts outside.  Instead I am just showing a few of my favorites.  Enjoy your weekend ......sew on!


 The World is a Garden.....of course it is!













         











  Charming Bricks wall hanging.







Plume Crazy....given to a friend for comfort.



  Mountain Reflections.

Happy stitching!
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