Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Skirt For GranddaughterStitches

While GanddaughterStitches was here this summer, I proposed making something for her to wear.  She said she'd like to have a skirt, so we "went shopping" in my stash.  And she chose a fabric which has many different colors in striations, one of my favorite fabrics.

I made a simple gathered skirt, and she loved it.



Then, after she left to go back home, I thought I'd take the fabric leftovers to make something to go with her skirt.  In town I found a shirt with our town's name on it. 



 I didn't have a lot of fabric left over, but I had enough to add a little ruffle to the t-shirt sleeves.  I hemmed the edges with a little decorative stitch.  It's fun to use those stitches once in a while!



Because the fabric is extremely variegated, the two sleeve ruffles ended up being different.



But that's ok.  As DaughterStitches would say, "It is what it is."





And here is GranddaughterStitches with her complete ensemble.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Back To "Work"

I told you about breaking my arm/wrist previously here.

I'm happy to report that I've been improving a lot.  I now have a removable splint, which gives me more freedom to do things.  I've been going to physical therapy, and doing stretching exercises at home.  I still have a way to go till I have full mobility and strength, but I'm getting there.

I'll show you the before and after x-rays.


This is the original x-ray.  My arm is lying palm down on the table, and there's really not supposed to be a curve in the forearm like that!




This is the latest x-ray, after the second surgery.  Yes, sometimes once is not enough!  I can now call myself bionic, as I have a metal plate in my arm!  They told me it's not big enough to bother the airport metal detectors.



With all this improvement, I'm now able to sew on my machine.    A few things are difficult, such as changing the foot, because that's usually done with the left hand on my machine.  And my left hand doesn't bend like it's supposed to!  I'm really happy to be back sewing.  I tried a little crocheting, but that didn't work, as I needed to bend my left wrist too much and it was making it hurt. And today I tried some hand appliqué.  I thought I could do that because all my left hand has to do is hold the fabric, right?  Well, it does more than that, apparently.  I took four stitches, which were rather awkward to do, and they looked terrible.  So no, I'm not embroidering yet.

But soon.  I hope.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Are We Crazy, Or Not?

People often say that we quilters are crazy because we buy fabric, then cut it into pieces, and sew the pieces back together again.  Well, maybe I am crazier than usual, because in this case I cut up the fabric, sewed the pieces together, and then I cut up those pieces yet again!

A long time ago, I started working on a hand sewing project. Can't believe it was two years ago!  (2015--check it out here!)

I appliquéd approximately one gazillion (I counted!) circles onto squares of fabric.  Many different fabrics and four different sizes.



Then I needed to cut most of the squares into quarters.  After that I rearranged them all and sewed them back into squares.  On some of the large squares I sewed a small square on as one of the quarters.  (As shown below)  Did that make sense?!? 



This is a great big stack of 130 squares.



It was fun rearranging the squares to sew them together.  I dumped the pieces in a large tote bag, stirred them up, and then just reached in and grabbed one!

Interior of bag.
More interior of bag.



 I pressed the seams so they nested very nicely together when I sewed the second seam.








Now all of the squares have been reassembled, and are ready to be sewn together.  But I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to square up all of the blocks so they will go together easier.

The pattern has a specific layout.  I plan to follow that arrangement guideline when putting the squares up on my design wall.  But then I will step back and study the arrangement to make sure I don't have too many of one color all grouped together.

I'm not at my design wall right now, but I wanted to see what it will look like.  So I laid out a six-by-six grid on the bed.  And I'm pleased!  I really like how colorful and scrappy it is.  Exactly what I wanted!

As you can see, some of the squares are left with one whole circle appliquéd down, not cut into quarters.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Scrubby Notebook

I have found the exact kind of notebook for which I've been wishing!  It is called  Scrubby Notebook and I ordered it from good ol' Amazon.  Mine is 8" x 10," and it also comes in a smaller size.



There are about twenty pages in the notebook, and they are all a shiny plastic material, so the markings can just be rubbed off!  It's like a little portable dry erase board!  Did I mention that I love this!?!




 It comes with a black erasable marker and a large rubber band, which holds the pen securely in the spiral when the book is closed for storage. These pen markings don't rub off onto the side of my hand when I'm using them.



I also ordered a pack of the pens in different colors.



The pens all have an eraser on the end.  It is a fiber piece, and seems a little like old fashioned carpet pads.




There are instructions for cleaning off markings that have been left there for a long time (basically use rubbing alcohol).  I taped this page inside the back cover so it will always be with the notebook.  I know myself well enough to anticipate losing something like this!


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Uh-Oh

I had a little mishap a couple of weeks ago which has really cut into my sewing time.  Yup.  A broken arm.  I slipped and fell at home, and landed on my arm.

This is not fun.  And it hurts.  I don't recommend it.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A New Baby In The Family

My NieceStitches and her hubby are going to have a baby!  She is due this July, and knows that it is going to be a boy.  I don't know if they have a name picked out yet.  Need to check on that.

There was a baby shower for her recently back in Iowa, in NieceStitches's home town.  I really wish I could have been there.  But I couldn't, so I made her a small wall hanging for the nursery.

(Apologies for poor photo quality.)

The back of the invitation had the following Bible verse on it:

For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart.  
1 Samuel 1:27

As soon as I saw that verse, I knew I had to use it in a gift for her.
So I embroidered it on the wall hanging, and appliquéd on a couple of little blue baby foot prints.


I wish them lots of joy with their new son.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Asilomar 2017

Last week I was at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, for another Empty Spools quilting class.  This year I took a class from Pearl Pereira.  Pearl teaches hand appliqué.  She's a very good teacher and I learned a lot from her.  She has worked a long time to perfect her skills, and to find ways to complete her very intricate appliqué designs.  For those of you familiar with hand appliqué, she uses a double freezer paper template and starch to prepare her pieces.

The quilt below is the one we were starting to work on.  More specifically, the basket in the middle.  (And quite frankly, if I get that middle part finished I will be over-the-moon happy!)

There are 50 different flowers in the quilt, one for each state, and each flower appears twice in the quilt.




Here is my basket completed.  (I had to take a picture and send home to MisterStitches, so he could see that I really was working hard!)



Here is one of the times that we were all gathered around Pearl's table, as she showed us a technique.  She is demonstrating how to add a tiny sepal to a flower bud with a small Clover iron.



One of the nice things about this class was that we didn't have to bring our sewing machines, which simplified things a little bit.  And it's a good thing, too, as I wouldn't have had room on my table for a sewing machine!  I had to sort through lots of different fabrics that I'd brought to find just the right piece for my flowers.

My work table.  What a mess!


Not everyone in the class was working on the same thing.  Some were doing an underwater scene.  Tiny, intricate little crab legs!



And look at the detail of the boot and bootlace!



Another underwater scene.



Here I am at lunch with my two table mates:  Rita and Chellie.



And here are the flowers I got completed.    First is the forget-me-not of Alaska.  I've always loved forget-me-nots, and used to have a lot of them growing in my back yard.

These flowers have been formed around the freezer paper templates, then the templates removed, and the various pieces of the "puzzle" are lightly glued together to hold them in place.  Here I have them ironed to some freezer paper to keep them intact.




The California poppy is one of the flowers that I like to feature in quilts.  I just love seeing them in the spring.  It's like seeing the first robin!

BTW, those little flags on the ends of the leaves are supposed to be there.  They will get tucked under when I sew them to the base fabric.



Alabama's flower is the camelia.  These leaves don't have flags because they have rounded ends, not pointed ones.



The Pua Aloalo of Hawaii was a little tricky to do because of that long skinny stamen!  All of these flowers look a little "bare" because they will have enhancing hand embroidery added later.