393

I have a fondness for palindromes, be they numbers, words or patterns. I think patterns are called something else though, tessellations. Todays is the 393rd post, the last day of the shortest month. I should have posted on 2/22/22, but I was doing something else.

I have a bunch of works in progress, and a few FFO’s to show. The cross stitched Pansies have a frame and mat, I used a shadowbox frame from Michaels for it, with a circular cut mat from CustomMatCA an Etsy shop that will cut a mat to your specifications. I wanted a 7 and a 1/4 inch circle centered in a 9 ½ inch square, and that’s what I got. You may remember that I stitched this piece on a slightly small piece of Aida, which was rectangular. I wanted to frame it as a square, so the round mat hides the edges that don’t wrap around the backing. I used acid free double sided sticky tape to stitch the stitchery and adhere it to the backing. At some point the glue will probably give out, and I will have to redo it, but finished is finished and I think it looks good.

The Cecropia moth stitchery is also framed, I especially like how the gray wood frame compliments the colors. My only lament is the white linen I used, and how the white colored thread is lost to the eye.

I have been stitching on my LongDog Sampler “Pilgrims Promise” exclusively, yep, it is keeping my attention. I have to admit that I did pre-buy a chart that will be released at the upcoming Nashville Stitchery Market. It’s called “Love Reigns”, and it is by Teresa Kogut, but I doubt that I will start it when I get it. I do want to start a small piece soon, that will be a gift for a friends birthday. I have to get the threads for it though, the pattern calls for Gloriana silks, which are a bit on the costly side, 6.50 a skein, and there are 7 colors. I’m thinking DMC would be a good alternative, and I have a few extra hanging around here. Once I kit it up, I may alternate it with stitching on the Pilgrim. I am enjoying stitching with one color, and the motifs are interesting, fun to see the dots develop into patterns, leaves, and animals.

I finished the Heart quilt, I just need to iron it a bit. I thought the ironing fairies might do it for me if I left it on the bed, but it seems only the wrinkle fairies have danced on it. I also got all the cut off triangles sewn together with a border around them. I may add another round of blocks, as this top is too big for a doll quilt and too small for a baby quilt. Notice the “fancy” mitered border corners :).

I started on two pillow shams to match a quilt I made a few years ago. I used Hoffman 1895 batiks to make it and didn’t have enough scraps to make the eight blocks I need for the shams. I contacted Batiks Etc. and Sew What Fabrics and sent them a few scraps of the colors I used. Robin was able to match them and I got a yard of each to use. I am thankful that Hoffman is pretty consistent with their dye lots, and for the excellent customer service at Batiks Etc. The completed paper foundations are piling up and I’ll be getting these together soon.

On the frame, I am slowly working my way through the Christmas figs quilt, one block at a time. I’m not sure what I want to do in the sashings yet. I am hoping it’ll come to me soon.

Be Kind.

Tiles and Quilts

Yesterday I visited a ceramic tile and tableware store, Heath Ceramics, in San Francisco. They make custom tiles for decorative use, not for only bathrooms and kitchens. They have patterns on display as 18″ square blocks, very design wall like. These two caught my eye.

These tiles look just like the 112 triangles I have from my current quilt top that I’m working on. The Marcus fabrics Aunt Grace heart quilt, a free pattern from them, has 56 hearts made with the cut off corners technique. I’m thinking that I can use the ones from the lower edges to make a scrappy quilt.

I started the heart quilt last week as a way to use up the box (see ☝️) of 1930’s repro fabrics I have ‘collected’. These started life with the Farmers Wife’s quilt, went on to a few scrappy squares and scrappy diamonds quilts, and finally to the Simple Pleasures BOM quilt.

I fear it’s a never ending bottomless box though.

Be Kind.

Ribbons and Pansies

I completed the four blocks for the January installment of A ribbon Runs through it. By the fourth one, I was able to sew it together quickly, and without any ripping. The fabric packs ship mid-month, so I’m good to go for the next installment of my other BOM, Reunion.

I finally got the Spider and the Fly quilt finished. It has been on my longarm for(ever) a long time. Not for lack of trying to finish it, but because my system is not working as it should. I got my longarm back from its repair/tune-up on January 18th, it was gone for three weeks. They replaced the missing check spring, and didn’t find anything else wrong with it. It is working well now. It’s the q-matic system that is spazzing. It will quilt for a few inches and then the machine will stop stitching, but still moves with the robotics. There is some disconnect there, I have checked all the connections and updated all the drivers and reset everything that could be reset. Still, same issues. While limping through finishing the last ten inches of the last row of pantograph on the S&F quilt, I wrote down all the steps I went through to get the machine to work. It is a two page list, single spaced. I have sent this in to the techs at Bernina, with my dealers help, and I hope that they can come up with a solution for me. I think it has to do with the control board in the control box. Or that the computer, which is four years old, needs a memory upgrade.

I am loading up my Christmas figs sampler in the meanwhile, as I can do some free hand and ruler work on it and enjoy using my machine again. This morning I laid the wool batting over the frame so it can relax a bit, this is a bagged, precut piece of Hobbs Heirloom. I want to keep this quilt for myself, as I really like it and spent a year making it, well, not 365 days, but 12 months of a BOM kit. I still like the fabrics and the colors. Joann Figarella has come out with a Christmas Figs ll, which is just as pretty and coordinates well with the first version. I am almost done with all my scraps, I probably have enough left over for one more lap quilt. I also have a bunch of the Halloween figs scraps, but most of those I used in the Spider and the Fly quilt. Might be one more small quilts worth there too. First, I’ll put a binding on the S&F quilt though.

The Pansies are almost done, I didn’t make my end of the month goal of finishing them, but I am getting closer. The leaves are made up of many different greens, I think I have one more bud to make and three more leaves. I am trying to come up with a creative way to frame or finish this piece. My “frugality” caused me to use a smaller than desirable piece of Aida, and the lower right side has only about an inch of selvedge. I was thinking of using a circular or oval mat, or frame, if I can find one. I just may end up making a small pillow.

Be Kind.

A Ribbon Runs Through it

This week I am working on the four blocks for the January installment of “A Ribbon Runs Through It”. These blocks finish at 12 inches square, and each one, although it the same uses colors/prints, they are in a different mix. This pattern comes with a block layout sheet or (BLS) as the maker calls it. It is very helpful when laying out all the block pieces and getting them in the right place. From start to finish, each block is taking me about two and a half hours to cut and piece together. It’s a bit fiddly at first, but after the second one, I think I’m developing a rhythm. I set up a small folding table next to my machine with a wool ironing pad and my iron. It saves me a little time on the up and downs of pressing the units. If you haven’t invested in a felted wool pad, you are missing out.

Stitching on the Vintage Pansies is progressing too, I would like to be done by the end of the month, we’ll see. I realized today that I am missing a skein of DMC, might have to go to the store soon. I am thinking of knitting more and more, and I have a half done shawl, but I just want to cross stitch right now. The Longdog patten for The Pilgrims Progress is also calling to me. This is large piece, 305 x 367 stitches, about 16″ x 19″, it is one color. It’s a long term project, no hurry to finish. I will be using a scroll frame, so it will be possible to have a smaller piece going at the same time.

Off to Sew.

Be Kind.

This and That 2.0

This week has been productive, I got a few things started and finished. Got the “comfort and joy” piece made into a little pillow, the pompoms were a bit of a pain. I finished stitching the Cecropia moth, I am looking for just the right frame. I am leaning towards a golden one, but may just go with black. Hoping to find a ready made one that will fit, which necessitates a trip to the frame shop (ie Michaels). In hindsight, I wish that I had used a square piece of linen, as it would have been easier to frame. Sometimes frugality can be a hindrance to crafting/finishes.

I started stitching the Vintage Pansy piece, I am using Aida cloth and one strand of DMC. I had a little problem, there are colors on the chart that call for two different strands to be used together, as a blender. Since I am only using one strand, I compromised by using one thread for the left slant of the the cross and the other for the right slant.

I sewed up 16 blocks for the Reunion BOM, four from December(top) and twelve for January(lower). I made a slight error cutting the directional fabric, two blocks aren’t complete. I know where I can get more of this fabric, so its not a real problem, plus this fabric is used else where in the quilt, so I may be able to switch the already cut triangles with a larger piece in the coming months. Sort of a robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario.

This weekend I would like to start the “A Ribbon Runs though it” BOM. I got the fabric and pattern pack in the mail a few days ago. I opened it and looked at all the colors and prints, got overwhelmed and put it aside. This is a quilt that I will be happy to do in small bites.

Reading blogs this morning, and saw one with a bunch of photos from the Road to California Quilt Show. I wish I could have gone, its been a long time since I attended, maybe 2016? I am signed up to attend Empty Spools at the end of March. I’m still a bit apprehensive about being around that many people indoors. They are requiring all attendee’s to have three vaccines on board, and all the usual precautions. I’m taking a class with Susan Carlson called “Fabric Collage Menagerie”, I am still trying to decide on my subject/animal. Interestingly, Sarah Maxwell is going to be there for that session, teaching the Reunion Quilt (same as above), as it is her pattern. I few other teachers that will be there are Gloria Loughman, Sue Brenner, Pricilla Bianchi, Velda Newman, and Krista Moser. The last day of the seminar, attendees are allowed to tour the other classrooms. It is so inspirational to me to see all the work each class has done, and to meet these quilt designers/makers.

Be Kind.

Solo quilt a long

Last month I decided to join a quilt a long with Christa Watson using her pattern Blooming Wallflowers. I bought the PDF and looked through my stash for a large enough piece of background fabric. I came across the scraps and remaining fabrics from the El Camino BOM I did in 2014. There was enough of the blue for the background and lots of scraps for the “flowers”. This past week Christa posted a video about cutting and the Quilt-a-Long started. I got my pieces cut in two sessions and then sewed the triangles in a square together in two more sessions. I got excited about finishing the top and did so yesterday. I like how it turned out, and coincidentally, my colors match the ones that Christa has in her sample version. This quilt pattern is unique in that the size of the blocks, not the number of them, determine the size of the quilt. All three sizes given in the pattern use the same number of blocks. The quilt a long is a weekly one, going on through February, so still plenty of time to join and share.

I have been stitching X’s a lot too, I am almost finished with the moth piece. I am going to start the Pansy bouquet next. Funny thing, I ordered the flosses from 123 Stitch a few weeks ago and when they came in I decided to put them away in a bag, so I wouldn’t misplace them. As I was putting them into the box that has all my cross stitch in it, a bag of floss fell out. Wouldn’t you know it was the bag of floss I had already picked for this project? I think I am going to start a journal of cross stitch projects, no more double orders. I got this cute little book a while ago, although its not sewing themed, I think it’ll work.

My Longarm is still at the repair shop, I may just call on Monday, and check on its status. I keep finding all these great looking pantographs to do, and beautiful ones to keep in mind for future quilts. I am even thinking of putting the Misses Miller quilt on the frame first up. That BOM sampler quilt has been finished for a while, I think I am going to do some hand guided and some computerized quilting on it. Looking back, I finished the top on January 20, 2020, ha, where does the time go?

I’m toying with the idea of a paper pieced quilt, similar to this one “Catena” by Timna Tarr. She made this one in 2011, and the pattern appears in Quilters Newsletter Dec/Jan 2013 issue. I may do batiks, with a white (ish) background, or thirties prints, or green and red like the original. I saw this quilt recently on Gladi Porsche Quilts she is using Asian prints for her version. I have a drawer full of indigo prints that might work, but they might be too similar with not enough contrast. It is a “simmering” quilt idea. I think I am going to pull out the Simple Days quilt and see what needs to be done with it. Then I have two months of the Reunion quilt to do, and the first block of “A Ribbon Runs Through It” BOM should be arriving next week. Lots of fun in store!

Be Kind.

Acquisition-ing

I had some errands to do yesterday, and there were construction workers blocking my driveway. I decided that I would go out and stay out, as my first appointment was at 10:15 and my last at 3:00pm. I needed to go pick up the new Serger foot I had ordered and I was going to look for a little fabric. I got to the store and found a cute print, I think its “Gastlies”, its got fish of all kinds and a cat (catfish?) on a neutral background. I got some thread for the Cotton Couture quilts too. It was sort of a lack luster shopping trip and I kinda knew it would be. The owner of the shop has been downsizing since before the pandemic, and talking about retirement. He has also been focusing on machine sales and repair more than fabric and notions. The shop used to take up two stories with classrooms upstairs and four large areas for fabric/notions – the rest of the floor space was machines. The store is in a former bank building, so there is lots of open space. Yesterdays visit was to a shop that had further reduced fabric bolt shelves, lots of machines, and a pared down selection of notions. I have been shopping at this store for about 25 years, followed it through a move, a change in ownership (one co-owner left) and now this downsizing. Believe me, I know the competition is fierce from Michaels, Joanns et al, and on-line shopping, its really tough to have an independent shop. It makes me sad to remember the lively community that used to gather and how there was always someone to talk quilting to, or just hang out with and pet the fabrics. I think that’s what I miss the most, and I wanted to find that feeling yesterday. I was sitting in the parking lot with two and a half hours till my next appointment, when I thought of a different shop, and wondered if it was open. Google maps, yes! open and only seven miles away. I used to shop at The Granary about 15 years ago, it was close to the place I took my daughter for school tutoring. I would drop her off and go shop while she did her session. There were a few people in the shop, and I was greeted when I came in, so nice and welcoming. Fresh fabrics, bright lighting, patterns and samples and that community feeling. I ended up with a few half yards, a pattern and a quilt kit, plus I signed up for their email list and rewards card. The quilt kit I got is for a Julie Paschkis Quilt, called “Snowy”. I couldn’t resist, funny how I finally used up most of my Paschkis fabrics and now I have more. I think it is really pretty and I hadn’t seen it before. Wintery scenes with saturated colors, Polar bears, penguins and white foxes. There is a matching pillow, as seen on bottom right.

Snowy 81″ X 81″

I sewed together the blocks for the second Cotton Couture quilt top yesterday. I want to figure out some kind of borders, the pattern has them on top and bottom only with finished size being 60″ X 70″. I need to think on it a bit.

It’s another rainy day here, so I think I’ll stay in and sew.

Be Kind.

No Rules

I caved yesterday, no spelunking here, caved in on not buying more cross stitch supplies/projects. I had this PDF chart, Vintage Pansies by 2X2 Stitch Art that I bought in November last year. I want to start a new project after I finish the Moth. I don’t want to do anther sampler right now, so the pansies won out. I didn’t have all the flosses, there are 44 different colors in this one. A trip to 123 Stitch solved that, and I saw another chart and floss which jumped into my cart. They make it easy to order flosses, just enter all the numbers in the box, separated by commas, and press enter. They all magically pop into your cart where you can double check them. The other chart I got is Live and Let Live by Long Dog Samplers, I like this one for its composition and colors. I probably should have checked the DMC flosses I had before ordering the kit, but there are only 12, so how many could/do I have?

The Moth stitchery is coming along, I am almost finished with the lower left wing. I keep making mistakes and ripping though. My new tablet, (Christmas gift 🙂 is helping me keep track, I am trying out Pattern Keeper. I really like that I can take a photo of the chart and import it into the app and use it. I can also use pattern PDFs, and it will separate colors and count stitches too. The photo import part will only allow marking or highlighting stitches done, but it’s really helpful. I especially like that I can enlarge the pattern with a touch and with the nifty pen my tablet has, mark individual stitches. Its funny, I never thought I would like a tablet, my laptop is so light and does all the “things” I need it to do. This tablet has changed my view, and the way I stitch for the better.

I worked a bit on the Cotton Couture quilts, I am getting the four corners put together. I like the way my stash fabrics look together with the ones from the Cotton Couture collection. Maybe these tops will be together for the return of the Longarm.

This being the first Monday of 2022, I am itching to start doing something, the holidays are done, and it’s time to start anew. I want to make an Optometrist appointment (yay! new glasses) and an appointment to get my rugs picked up for cleaning. It would be nice if the tile guys showed up today to finish tiling my bathroom too. That project has been going on for too long, I am ready to be done, its like having an UFO that you can’t finish, but you see it every day.

Time’s a-wastin’ !

Be Kind.

First steps

I took a long trip yesterday, to Sacramento. There was a break in the weather, two days with no rain, and I thought the traffic would be lighter due to the holiday week. I also scheduled a lunch with a friend who is in the capital area visiting relatives this week. In the back of my car was my Q24 longarm machine, it was time to take it to the Bernina certified repair man. He came out to my car to bring it in, as he did, he talked to me to find out what was going on with it. It was nice to see that he was interested in the machine and seeing what was wrong with it. Right off he found three things that needed fixing, and that were most likely related to the issues I was going through. Oddly he said that the check spring was missing out of the upper thread assembly. Where did it go? I think I would have noticed it laying about on my quilt top. My machine has about 17 million stitches on it, the recommended amount is 22 million for the first service. It will get that service a bit early, which is okay with me. Now to wait out the two to three weeks for the fixing. I miss it already, it’s kinda sad to walk by the frame and not see it there.

This past week I got a bit of sewing done on the Cotton Couture quilt top. I fixed the error and got all the sections together. When I bought this quilt kit, I also bought some extra fabric from the same line (on sale) thinking I would make two. I started cutting the second one Wednesday, and got a few units sewn together. I found a few fabrics from my stash that go well with the panels and left over scraps from the kit.

I want to wrap up my year of sewing with a list or two and maybe a list of UFO’s that have been on the shelf for a while.

Number of Quilts finished this year : 39

Number of Quilt tops finished this year: 9 (not quilted yet)

Cross stitch pieces FFO: 10 – Floral Circle, Cat head, Pet all the dogs, Strawberry fields, Changed World, Newcastle Bouquet, Irish Saying, Set her Sails, Comfort and Joy, and Red Birds

Knitting: 3 hats, 2 Cowls, 1 Shawl

2022 BOM’s joined: A Ribbon Runs Through It and Reunion

List of UFO’s to finish in the next 365 days:

  • Simple things 1930’s embroidery/appliqué
  • Teal, black and white maze quilt
  • Love Entwined Quilt – appliqué
  • 365 Batik block quilt 270 blocks to go
  • Dragon quilt finish quilting embellishing etc (oldest circa late 1900’s)
  • Holiday Snow Village 2021 BOM
  • Needing quilting/binding Berties year, Growing up odd, Misses Miller, Christmas Figs, Halloween Figs, Botanica Park, Washboard, Red and white quilt, Paper pieced ice quilt, Autumn leaves, Quick curve quilt.

See you next year!

Be Kind.

Another Week

Another week has passed, along with it, our sunny December weather. We have rain in the forecast for at least the next eight days. All very conducive to staying in and sewing, baking and puzzling. My sons are coming back home for the holidays, with my new daughter in-law, and an SO. A full house so to speak. Today will be a day of tidying up, shopping (food) a bit, and staying warm and dry.

I have been sewing the blocks for the quilt kit I got a few months ago, its called Cotton Couture. Once I got all the individual blocks sewn, I put together nine parts. I may get those together today, and then its just a few borders. Looking at the picture, I am noticing a turned section, I’ll fix it before going on.

Cross stitch corner has a resident moth, a Cecropia moth, I am working on the wing. This is on a scrap of 40 count linen I had. I think it looks better on the rust colored linen, like the photo, but this off-white is okay. Shopping for colored linen on-line makes me think twice about buying it. There is so much variation in color from dye lot to dye lot, and the names confuse me too. Some of them sound like a Starbucks drink order, vintage mocha light brown. Others look like a color catcher sheet, or a drop cloth from under the dye pot. The splotchy look isn’t my favorite, I figure in about 25 years all the pieces will looked aged and splotchy on their own why start out that way? Then there is the fact that one has no real control over the splotches, I wanna know where my design is going to be on the cloth. I start thinking “what if I get a splotch under an element of the design, like a flower?” then I think about not liking said splotch, and ripping out stitching.

The frame kit came for the Irish saying piece, and I got it all done in time for gift-ing. I like this saying, and I hope the recipients do too. Still have to finish “Comfort and Joy”, I got these cute pompoms for the edging too. I just can’t decide if I want to make a pillow or a plaque, or ???

Last hat gift is knitted too. I was knitting a striped one for this person, but when I finished it, I didn’t like it. The horizontal stranding makes it too tight, and it seems like one of those hats that tries to pop off your head at inopportune times. Yesterday I whipped up this solid one, YAY! for bulky yarn.

I’m contemplating joining a KAL for January-March 2022, the Self Care Sweater KAL from Bare Naked Woods. They have a pattern called Birches, a double breasted cardigan, with texture and drape.

I know I have some yarn around here that would be suitable, lol. Then I do have a few sweater projects kitted up, that need to be done as well. It seems like most bloggers and floss tube people are looking to use more stash for 2022. I’m thinking that I should have some kind of goal too, I can’t see myself doing a No-Buy year. I was thinking maybe I could work on a reward system, make something from stash, or complete a UFO and then get to buy something.

Be Kind.