Oldest UFO

This project has been in a drawer for over twenty years, it’s a cross stitch on linen. Note the date of the magazine, 1995. I recently bought a new pattern for a sampler called ‘Pet All the Dogs’ from Teresa Kogut . I saw it on Jo’s Country Junction a few weeks ago, and decided that since I finished the Bright and Shiny wreath, I would like another hand sewing project. I got the pattern and started looking through the piles of DMC floss for the colors used in this project. That’s when I came across the UFO. I pulled it out and everything was ready to sew, there was the pattern and all the right DMC skeins even two needles. I worked on it for about an hour. I think I’ll work on in a bit more before starting the sampler.

I did have a bit of fun finding and ordering all the threads for the sampler though. I thought that I would use the Weeks dyed threads that are called for in the pattern. I like the way the space dyed threads work up in a project. I used a lot of Cosmo variegated threads in my Crabapple Garden Sampler quilt. You can see it in the lettering, the brown is all the same skien. The greens are too. It saves a little time by not having to switch thread colors and gives a little more interest.

I was a little surprised about the price of the Weeks floss, especially after seeing a price tag on the white Anchor skein from the UFO bag – .39 cents. The Cosmo floss isn’t cheap either, but its not hand dyed expensive. The store I bought the Anchor floss at, Flowertime, was a garden center-craft store chain. I worked there in the late 1980’s. I was into cross stitch back then, before quilting. Anyway, I ended up at the Fat Quarter Shop and ordered the called for threads, and linen fabric. I remember cross stitch as being a relatively inexpensive craft, but as with most things crafty the prices have risen. Between the Floss, pattern and linen cloth, this new pattern/kit is going to top 70.00, wow.

Be Kind

Project Fatigue

I am working on a few things right now, sort of in the middle of all of them. The newness and excitement has worn off, and the “work” stage has begun. This is the stage before the doldrum stage, which is the” if I have to do this one more time” part. There is still enthusiasm, but not the same as that of when the end of the project is in sight.

For me it goes like this:

  1. Oh! Pretty, let me think about that.
  2. Excited about new project
  3. Design and planning stage or Purchase
  4. Reading through the pattern
  5. Creativity flowing
  6. Discovering alternate ways to achieve better results
  7. Cutting and assembling blocks
  8. Work Stage – assembly line
  9. Doldrums – resisting putting it away for a bit (UFO land)
  10. Resist temptation to start something new, or not
  11. The end is in sight
  12. Excited to sew/see the finished top
  13. Load on frame to quilt and start at 1 again.

I’m at number 8 now with Alaska/Sewards Folly. I am making 20 of this color way.

So many pieces and steps times 20, after this I am looking forward to a bit of variety, as the blocks left are made in quantities of four or less.

Yesterday I finished the BOM blocks for Halloween Figs and Botanica. Got a little break from the above. Botanica is a large quilt, 102″ square, and the Halloween Figs is a bit smaller at around 65″ square. I like that they are very different from each other, and that I have a month to finish the blocks. Which can make the above list of Quilty feelings a bit more manageable. Or condensed into a few days.

Looking at my last post, I have accomplished a few things on my list, well, most of them. A good start to the week.

Be Kind

Not much sewing on

There wasn’t much time spent in the studio this past week. I spent a few days away from home on a much needed retreat. I brought the yarn and needles to start the first clue of the Stillness MKAL with me, but it stayed in the bag.

I have plenty to do this week though.

  1. Halloween figs sampler block #1
  2. Botanica Block
  3. Load new quilt on frame
  4. Make more Alaska blocks
  5. Work on shawl clue #1 (new clue Thursday)
  6. Mail out quilt
  7. Make more masks for friends

Hmm, seven items and seven days. I started figuring out the Halloween Fig block last Wednesday. I am trying to avoid making the blocks the way they do in the pattern. I want to use my rulers and avoid (what I feel is) the inaccurate way they show how to make them. I have an aversion to making HST’s by layering two squares and sewing 1/4 inch from a diagonal line and then cutting on said line. They just always come out wonky for me. I’m an Easy Angle devotee. There are a few other block assembly issues I have with this BOM, but its just me being picky. It seems to be a well written pattern in any case.

I have to finish last months Botanica clue, before moving on to this months. I ran out of one of the fabrics last month, I contacted the coordinator and she sent me another piece with my block fabric this month.

I did do a little sewing yesterday, I made two masks for friends, and one for me and one for my DH. The friends had seen my squirrel fabric masks and each wanted one. Then I realized that my DH only had one mask, made from his favorite NFL team fabric, and I didn’t feel it was appropriate to wear out to dinner. Also I made one to match my washi dress, which I wore to the dinner.

Be Kind

Some finishes

Some things are getting done around here. I’m at a point where I have three, no four things in the works that are going to be done soon.

The Turkish delight quilt is quilted, needs squaring up and binding. I’m trying to decide on a name for this quilt, the kit name is Gloriana’s dream, or something like that. It reminds me of Turkish or middle eastern tiles with the colors and the block shapes. I thought the name Arabesque might work too, but for some reason the Narnia story popped into my head and Turkish delight. Maybe its the rose colors, TD has rosewater and lemon juice in it and it is a dark pink gel-thing.

The baby quilt is quilted. This was a custom order, so I had to wait for the name and birthdate to embroider on it before quilting. I made the top in January, then the whole SIP thing started, the baby was born in April and the customer didn’t see the recipient until last week to get the info. So now it’s a rush job, it’s small, and all it needed was quilting and binding. I’m hoping to finish it today and get it in the mail tomorrow.

I am still stitching on the Shiny and Bright wreath. Only the metallic threads left. I usually stitch in bed before going to sleep, its relaxing as I stitch and listen to my book. However, my DH says that its too noisy. The thread makes a growling sound as I pull it through the fabric. I can’t really hear it though as I have ear buds in, so it doesn’t bother me. After a few minutes of complaining, he manages to fall asleep though. This is the same guy who sleeps through midnight dog barking sessions and crying children.

Alaska is chugging along too. I have 60 blocks made, out of 121, yay for halfway. I have been cutting the pieces in the AM and then sewing them together in the PM. I may need to order a bit more of the tan fabric I have, I initially doubled the amounts that the pattern called for, but then I changed the colors of some blocks. I thought it might be enough, but just in case, I’m going to get two more yards.

Next week the MKAL I signed up for starts. It’s a mystery shawl patten called Stillness, from Curious Handmade. A clue a week for a 5 weeks, a lot of knitting, about 1200 yards. I had two skeins that I liked in my stash (secretly I like all the skeins though) and I bought the navy blue one from a local dyer, Serendipidye Yarns. The pattern calls for a light a medium and a dark color. I really should be working on my Nieve sweater, but it is resting, in a basket, waiting for sleeves.

Thats all I got.

Be Kind

Baking Alaska

This past weekend I started the Alaska quilt. I got 32 blocks made, out of 121, a good start. I am wishing for an Accuquilt die for these shapes though. I have the Laundry Basket templates that go with the pattern, so there is less measuring, just strips and then pieces. So much bias though, lots of triangular pieces, now that I think of it, they are all triangles of some kind or another.

I spent a few hours last week with EQ8, making this quilt into a large, 100″x100″ bed size. I changed the coloring of a few blocks to get my version. I have to be a little careful when I use the LBQ pattern as a reference though. It has 13 different colorations of two blocks, my version has 18 different colorations. Most differences are left and right versions, or opposite/mirror images. There is a lot of checking and rechecking of color placement. I am thinking of renaming this quilt “Sewards Folly”, Secretary of State, William H Seward was instrumental in purchasing Alaska from Russia in 1867. Everyone thought it was a waste, but then gold was discovered and later oil, the rest is history. One day I hope to make it up there, it’s on my list.

Fun fact: After an all-night negotiating session, the treaty was signed at 4am on March 30th, 1867. The agreed price was $7.2 million, equivalent to around $120 million today, which works out at about two cents an acre.

I am also working on my current long arm quilt “Turkish Delight”, I picked a simple panto called kaleidoscope from Karlee Porter designs. This quilt is a long twin size, 80 x 108, which translates into lots of rows. While the Q24 is working through this, I stitch on my Shiny and Bright embroidery piece. I am done with most of the cotton floss parts and have moved on to the metallic threads. I got a skein of the Cosmo brand gold, and it is a little less fiddly than the DMC metallic threads. Short lengths are the key here, it shreds after a while, too much friction. I am sewing through two layers, which doesn’t help the thread last. The two layers does make it look nicer, somehow a richer hand to the fabric, plus less thread ends shadowing.

I am awaiting my first installment of the Halloween Figs BOM, it shipped out last week. This is going to be my BOM for 2020.

It’s got some interesting blocks and it is wall hanging size. I just have my Baltimore Halloween quilt that I hang every October, so this will get into the rotation for 2021.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for https://smallquiltsanddollquilts.blogspot.com/2020/06/design-wall-monday-june-15-2020.html

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Stitching

I have been working on a behind the scenes project that I can’t show until September.  It is a challenge, and I would like to blog about it, so I can remember all the good points and work arounds I figured out while making it.  Maybe I’ll make a draft and keep adding to it until September.

I have also been working on the Bright and Shiny wreath embroidery.  It has become my relaxing project.  Although the metallic thread is a pain to work with, I need to figure out a better way to work with it.  Shorter lengths seem to help, but I am really questioning the use of two strands.  One strand is a bit easier, less tangling and twisting, but I have already done a bunch with two.  I could rip those out, but maybe a combo of the two would look okay too.436564B2-930A-455A-8A1C-E5DF073ECEC2

The fabric that I ordered came in last Friday, for the Alaska quilt. Blue and white shades of batik, twice the amount called for in the pattern.  I am adding two more rounds to this quilt to make it grow from 72″ square to 100″ square.  I am working it out in EQ8, and it looks pretty good, the picture below right is sort of like what I want to do.  I’m itching to start cutting this out and doing some mindless sewing/piecing.

Earlier today I finished the quilting on the Christmas pines quilt I have been working on. There were nine rows of pantographs that took 80 minutes a row.  I wish there was a calculator that could look at a Pantos and tell you how long it will take to stitch out.  It couldn’t be that hard, my embroidery machine does it.  It’ll tell you how long the total piece will take to stitch at what ever speed you choose.  Plus how long for each color stop.    I have to find the binding fabric, I put it somewhere so as not to lose it, yeah, that didn’t work.BD48142C-506C-4E59-8CDA-4E803CFB0A69

Trying to decide what to put on the frame next, do I want another end-to-end Pantograph, or do I want to break out the new rulers I got earlier this year.  Or I just bought a huge whole cloth design from Karlee Porter, which might be a learning opportunity.

Be Kind.

 

Handwork

This is my second post using the “new” WordPress editor. My first one was very frustrating and I accidentally erased it before I finished it. It seems to me that they changed where everything is and renamed it. Thanks, but no thanks.

I was working on the Country Christmas quilt on the long arm yesterday and needed something to occupy my hands and mind. There is only so much pet rescue saga one can play while the computer is quilting. The pantograph I am using takes a loooong time to do one row, about eighty minutes. It’s not very complicated, bells, holly and ribbons, but the curved lines really slow things down.

Wasatch Sliver Bells E2E

The previous day I had found my kit that I made up for the Crabapple Hill embroidery piece called ‘Shiny and Bright’. I opened it up and started stitching. I was really enjoying stitching by hand, until I realized I no longer had a callous on my needle pushing finger. Found a thimble and was back at it.

Lately, I have been watching a few other bloggers making the Sue Spargo ‘Toned Down Circle’ sampler. There are ninety little wool circles, each sewn differently, with decorative stitches and pretty threads. This is an Instagram stitch along, with a new circle everyday. https://www.suespargo.com/store-detail.php?ID=7494 The URL paste function is different, used to be that I could re-name it, now its ugly, sigh. Anyway it is inspiring to me.

I received the next block for the Botanica quilt BOM, it is two blocks, one part is adding on to the center block, and the other part is a sort of border for the center. It’s medallion style, I think I have picture of it.

Botanica Park

YAY! I did it. It’s the little things in life, LOL. Anyway, the center block has the four borders with the flying geese, I may make them today.

I am linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese today for Put your Foot Down. Here’s the (ugly) link https://fortheloveofgeese.com/2020/05/28/put-your-foot-down-53/

Unity

I finished the Unity Quilt top yesterday.  I was going to add another side border to square it up, but I think it is done.

Plus, I have used up most of the French General scraps.  The larger pieces will be incorporated into my stash drawers, and neutral bin.  The smaller pieces will be cut into 2 ½ inch squares for the squares bin.  The large tan piece will be for binding, I am hoping there is enough for the Estrella quilt too.1E84EBED-7F8B-41DF-ADE7-B4DF494CCAFD

These two photos show how big the pile of FG fabrics was before and after Estrella, there was a jelly roll and some extra yardage that I needed for Estrella that aren’t shown below. I’m pleased with the dent that this has made in my stash.

This French General collection started with this quilt below, Generally French.  Made in 2016.  I forget where I got the idea from, maybe a kit I saw.

My design wall is blank today.  As a “reward” for finishing the Unity top, I made some more masks for my MIL and DD.  My daughter has to wear them all day at work, as she is a dog groomer.  You can just imagine the amount of dust, dander, and hair in the air.  She also wear ear plugs to save her hearing, the blowers are loud and constantly on.  Talk about job hazards.  Anyway, I dug into a deep stash drawer and found this pretty print.  I think after 20 years of marination it is about time this got used up.   It’s still pretty too.

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This past week I also worked on the Dutch garden quilt, the blue and yellow one.  I had to order more fabric for it, as I ran out of the dark blue background one I was using.  It was on sale at BluPrint, so I bought enough to finish it and for a backing.  I’ll have to wait until that is delivered, the mail is a bit slow.  Reminds me of the old days, before Amazon Prime, Fed EX, Priority Mail, etc.  “Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery” was a common postscript.  Carefully filling out order forms in block print, enclosing a check or money order (ha, that was another fun step).  Mailing out the order and then waiting for delivery, simpler times, less hurry.

Linking up with Judy, at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday today.  Judy is working on a lovely hand stitched block sampler, lilac flowers in a basket.

Use it Up

This weeks project is my interpretation of a quilt that I saw on Pinterest.  It is sort of a one large block quilt, with added detail to it.  I have a pile of fabric left over from a quilt kit, the line is Dutch Garden II, blues and yellows.  I felt it was a good way to use it up and make myself a fun project.  It has become a puzzle of sorts, as I go through each section of blocks.  I am trying to make it controlled scrappy, so each block is similar in shading.  My version of the pattern is all squares and half square triangles, I think I could have done flying geese in some parts though.  I am going to make some square in a square blocks for the next border.  I think it needs to be a little larger, it’s square, not really a good size for a throw.  Kinda not baby quilt style either. 0FC38C82-970B-49F5-957D-BD321BBF506E

I got a phone call yesterday that made me very happy.  The Bernina dealer called and said he had fixed my machine YAY!  There was something wrong with the bobbin sensor, it was still under warranty, so he replaced it, gave my machine a computer update and a thorough cleaning.  I drove right over and picked it up.  The funny thing was that “normally” I would wait until the next morning, as the traffic would have been at a stand still at 3:30pm.  I breezed over in about twenty minutes.  I had an appointment with the shop, so it was just me and the sales lady.  I bought some fabric too.

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese it’s the one year anniversary of Put your Foot Down .  I think if you do something for 52 weeks it’s officially a habit.

 

 

Donations

I have been working behind the scenes, a bit, on the quilts for the Hands 2 Help quilt donation drive.  This year I have five, last year I made six, seems like I have more time this year, but I have been making the Unity quilt, so that takes up a bunch of sewing time too.  I can honestly say that these quilts are all made from my in house stash.  Even made a few franken-battings and pieced backings. Yesterday I quilted the last two, the binding will go on today, and I am hoping that I can get them out to the post office early this week.  I ordered a batch of stamps and tyvek envelopes, thinking I could get everything packed up at home and then make a quick trip to the post office.  Our town has a small office branch, the sales desk area is quite small, so the less time I spend there, the better.

These three quilts are for the Little Lambs program.  I wanted to keep them bright and cheery, but also hard wearing, able to go through many washings and dryings.  The sizes are within those requested by the organizers.  I used up most of a layer cake and a whole pile of solid scraps and charms.  The purple one is a pattern from Jo at Jo’s Country Junction called Brick house.

These two are going to Quilty Hugs.  Last year, a very good friend of ours went through chemo for throat cancer.  I made him a special quilt with this comic book themed fabric and his favorite football teams logo fabric on the back.  The scraps are made into one of these quilts. The second quilt is made from the same scraps as those above, but I used an idea/pattern that a guest blogger, Kate, posted about at Confessions of a Fabric Addict .  It’s called Charming Bingo block, a split nine patch derivative.

 

The quilting was all computerized pantographs, hearts, bubbles, loops, rainbows and stars.

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Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict  today for the Parade of Hands2Help quilts.