Monday, January 15, 2018

Scrap Happy in January

I wasn't sure I would have anything to share for this first Scrap Happy Day of the new year. I've already shown you the first of the string blocks I made for the current block drive for Covered in Love. 

I made another set of four since then:

Do you think there's a noticeable difference in the number of strips and strings I have laying about? Yeah, I didn't think so. 😉 Regular readers know better than that. It seems no matter how many scraps you use, there are still more than you began with somehow.

To make matters worse, when I pruned these blocks to the required size (10.5") there were some trimmings big enough to cut into tiny triangles. I have a ruler called the Scrap Saver from That Patchwork Place that makes it easier to cut half-square triangles from odd pieces of fabric. So of course I had to cut as many 1⅞" triangles as I could from the leftovers. I'm compulsive that way. It would be so much easier to just toss them in the trash but I couldn't do it. I ended up with 101 half-square triangles from the first six string blocks and another 31 from the more recent batch of four blocks.

As you can see, I haven't pressed the most recent triangles yet.

I was happy to find this 4½"  tin in which to store the pressed units until I figure out what to do with them. There are several options swirling about in my head. Whatever they end up in will be a truly scrappy product! To see more scrap projects in the works hop on over to Tall Tales from Chiconia. Kate co-hosts a gathering of scrappy endeavors with Gun every month on the 15th. She has the complete list of participants on her blog. Be careful - you might get inspired to do something with your own scraps!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wallowing in Color

The floss I hoped to get for Christmas was finally delivered the other day. 😁 Because there was so much in the shipment I've had to let it off-gas longer than my usual shipments of a measly six skeins. Not only did I get the 1,000 yard package I wanted for Christmas, I won a free floss club shipment in Nancy's 12 Days of Give-aways. That's over 50 skeins of floss in one box! I've played with them enough to have mixed the current floss club shipment in with the others to the point where I don't know which is which anymore.

I do enjoy trying to arrange them according to color families...

There always seems to be a wide variety of greens coming out of Nancy's dye pot.

I was especially pleased to add more reds to my collection. There's one card in this bunch that has 27 yards on it of an especially wonderful red. Color me happy!

I've been adding to my Year in Stitches sampler every other day or so. Needless to say, as soon as I could safely use some of this new floss I did so. The last time you saw this sampler I think it looked like this:

Now it looks like this:

The spiral square in the lower left has been stitched with the leftover bits of color I've used elsewhere. Same goes for the little circles at the other side of that bottom row. The big daisies or chrysanthemums above that were fleshed out with a bit of the newest floss. I'm going to have to set up a new page soon.

I declared this sampler as my selfish stitching for Bee, Myself and I last month. I think I'm going to go in a different direction now. I'll keep working on this sampler but for my selfish stitching I think I'm going to set up a new project. It's still in the planning stages at this point so you'll have to check back to see whether it comes into being or not. 😉

And if you're still with me, and a regular reader/commenter, let me offer my apologies for not responding to your latest comments. This is just a difficult time of year for me I guess. I'm lucky to be doing any stitching or piecing, much less dealing with the written word.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Scrappy New Year

Are we really one week into the New Year already???!! Time sure got away from me since my SAL post! Partly that's due to the down time necessary to recover from chemical reactions. Needlework has taken place but I want to save that reveal for the next SAL. Like most everyone else I've been considering goals and options for my studio time this year. Nothing big has come of it yet. For now I'm just happy to have the studio cleaned up enough from Christmas to cut and sew in relative comfort. That's not to say that it's any better organized than it was before the holidays. 😉

I found the ideal project to ease back into quilt making activities in the new block drive for Covered in Love. Kat is asking for scrappy 10.5" string blocks, pieced on a fabric foundation. One thing that has been niggling at me in the back of my brain are the truly old prints still in my stash. I pulled one out today that is labeled from 1992 for crying out loud! These are not scraps like I would use for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge but larger pieces, almost yardage. (I rarely bought anything bigger than half a yard back in my early quilting career.) I decided to focus on those prints that have been languishing for years, figuring that I wouldn't miss them since I hadn't found a way to use them in all the time I've kept them. They became the fodder for my foundation squares. Here's one example:

I pieced the strips to the wrong side of the foundation fabric to diminish any shadowing through of the colors from the foundation. The first four blocks were made with precision cut strips. I typically cut 1.5," 2," 2.5," and 3" strips when I'm demolishing a piece of fabric. I cut other shapes too but right now we're just talking about strips.

While the strips were precision cut, I placed the various widths randomly on the foundations. After these four I turned to the box where I toss my random strips. These are the off-cuts of the backs of quilts or the trimmings at the end of a cutting session. Some in that box could be precision cut or even cut into squares or triangles but I didn't want to take the time. A lot of them are one width at one end  and then taper down to something less than 1.5" at the other end. I made two blocks with strips from that box...

And then went on to make four more!

I could keep on making these without any fear of running out of strips. There's no way I'm going to even try to empty the box however. I'll probably make a few more blocks and maybe by then I'll be ready to tackle one of the UFO's or block collections that are waiting to be turned into quilts or, who knows, even a brand new project!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Final SAL for 2017

After pillowcases and sampler stitching I finally felt able to return to my travel trailer series for The Sketchbook Project. The last time you saw it I believe it looked like this:

Then one day I had a brainstorm and did this:

I straightened up the window but ran afoul with the "logs" a bit. To use a British expression, I was pretty chuffed with the way the door turned out!

Next up was curtains in the window.

I used a star stitch (I don't remember what the official name of the stitch is at the moment) for the valance. The extra wide log was driving me nuts so I took out that one line of split stitches and replaced them. The logs are still wonky but I don't find it quite so offensive. It sort of goes with the lumpy wheel.

I just laid four long straight stitches, wove around the center a few times, and then couched each midpoint with a single stitch. I was shooting for the look of a wooden spoke wheel. It'll do. Here's my caravan riff on a cabin in the Old West:

In the original drawing there was a propane tank on the trailer's tongue. It felt like a stroke of genius when I had the idea to turn that into a storage barrel. 😉

I have at least two more trailers I'd like to attempt to complete the collection. The books are due in Brooklyn at the end of March so I should be able to pull it off.

It's a busy time of year for everyone but others in this stitch along may also have progress to share. We each work on our own needlework projects, and there's quite a variety. You can take the tour while you await the bells ringing or the fireworks going off or the ball dropping to welcome 2018. 😊

Thursday, December 28, 2017

December's Bee, Myself & I

At the end of November I shared that I've decided to do some more embroidery as my selfish sewing. Specifically, I've joined a Facebook group called A Year in Stitches. That's doing a good job of encouraging me to pick up the sampler to try out a new stitch or keep my skills sharp. And it has the added benefit of a bit of selfish stitching every day or every couple of days!

Last month my sampler looked like this:

Now it looks like this:

Well, there are a few stitches that have been added since this picture was taken but you get the idea. I finished framing the numeral one, started another square of daisies, fleshed out the garden above with more flowers and foliage, and embellished the paisley with some pistil stitches.

Here's a close-up of the flower garden. In my mind the purple flowers in the lower right corner are violets. I didn't realize the top of the square had been cut off when I took the picture. Sorry about that. I may eventually add a spider in, or dangling from, the web.

Not only does this sampler give me a place to practice my embroidery skills, it gives me an excuse to play with the hand dyed flosses I've been acquiring. Hubby did not take the hint I gave him about a special bundle of floss I was hoping to receive for Christmas. Lots of other lovely gifts, but I had to order that for myself after the fact. With any kind of luck it will be here for some New Year's Day stitching!

There was one unexpected gift on Christmas morning:

A pretty dusting of snow!

We do get snow occasionally around here, but to have it arrive in such a timely way was a surprise.

There will be another Stitch Along check-in on the last day of the year. I'm happy to report there has been some progress on the latest caravan. I hope you'll stop by to see what I've done on that front. 😊