Thursday, January 28, 2021

Hand stitching

 While I keep at the stitching each day a little; I don't seem to blog as much. Partly that is due to dropping my darn laptop.  I need to have it repaired again as the charger won't connect properly. Darn it; is so inconvenient. 

So for the quilting:   I have been working on the snowflake wall hanging again. I have all the wool applique on. It was so frustrating: I had all the pieces cut out and then some disappeared after I cleaned up one day. But I made replacements. 

Now I just need to finish the stitching for accent and then quilt it.

Here is a close up of what is completed thus far.

Then I thought I would do some Valentine embroidery. I can't decide which I like better or whether to frame them or make them into little heart shaped pillows.  They are about 3 by 4 inches. 

Lastly I did some patchwork for a background of wool applique.  I think I am going to do my own round robin for spring. 

Winter is in full swing.  We have had several storms, but only a few inches have fallen each time. It really doesn't matter as all my days are snow days to be at home.  But it is beautiful none the less and so pretty when the sunshine makes it sparkle.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Hand stitching and quilting presents

I have been hand stitching slowly by the tv.   We have totally been loving the Downton Abbey series.  Where was I when they were on?  The humor just makes me laugh, and the issues are real. 

Anyway, here is some cross stitch on 16 count Aida that I painted with a combination of acrylic and textile medium in 2 colors.   It is  fairly small. And I even attempted a metallic thead in the middle. 

Perspective for size 

Here is the pattern I found online. 

And here it is up close.  I really like how it is turning out. 

Another couple of projects are for my daughter who had her birthday this week. 
I had a panel from Adornit that was free when they first started. (plus shipping and handling)
But it was a bright colorful panel.  I cut it into sections and reassembled it into a long pillow.

Lots of quilting to accentuate the tiny drawn lines and pom pom fringe added the the perimeter.

She like it. 

We went out again to our favorite restaurant; only the 3rd time in the past year. 

And for my scrap quilt, I have mad an abundance of 3 inch 9 patches and half square triangles. 

All in all lots of stitching done. But also more teaching this week. It is the end of the semester this week. 

PS missing in action due to computer issues. Sorry.  

Saturday, January 9, 2021

 What a week it has been!

The news has sucked me into a black hole. As the certification of the electoral votes started on Wednesday, I was watching on TV while sewing.  I was shocked by the enfolding events. The overtaking of the Capitol Police and ensuing invasion of the building was something to behold. 

Instantaneous news is something I rarely have had the opportunity to watch over the years.  I usually listen to the radio as I drive around to and from work or on errands or I like to read the online papers afterward. Of course, I was made to watch the NASA blast offs and travels to space as a kid. And we have watched various funeral ceremonies for prestigious people such as presidents or Lady Diana. As a teacher, I always had my classroom to watch over.  But normally, I did not see news until the evenings. Even on 9/11, I did not observe the first tower fall until lunch hour. 

As I listened to the politicians convene to carry out their business, 

 My first reaction was in  awe as to  how the congressman and women proceeded with carefully worded scripts to the process of certification. I assume that this is universal to all parts of their business and the formalities of creating legislation. The rhetoric is very formal and quoted sections of  the Constitution. This is so different to the media blurbs and informal speeches we see. 

Secondly, I was truly saddened by the invasions by individuals and the destruction and deaths that occurred as a result.  And I was surprised at the newscasters and their ongoing verbiage. It seemed to add more chaos to the images. 

This is not my icon, but it certainly represents my sewing area of late. 

And I have spent several days, reorganizing my sewing area. It has sadly been in a state of  MESS. And while I am stagnant at the moment for the next step.  I can say that freeing myself of my Scraps has been so helpful.  My car's back seat is halfway full of bags of items I am sending to donate. I don't really use scraps. So the overflowing bags were more hindrance than help. 

I enjoy having less around me.  Now to get the last bits into organization.

I have been sewing and have dozens of new 9 patches and half square triangles to complete more blocks for my scrap quilt.  In my cleaning I have also decided to free the other 9 patches that had poor seam allowances done so long ago.  Better to start from scratch.   But here is the assortment of the newly created ones. 

And I have almost all of my border paper piecing completed.  Which means I haven't even started the curve blocks. So I need to get moving. 

I have attempted some winter/snow post Christmas decorating. And I have admired the new fangled tier trays for decorating.  ( Like I need more ideas for stitching, right.?)  

My creation thus far is to paint aida canvas with acrylic paint mixed with textile medium. 

Here is one site I consulted that shows how to do a solid gray color.

I also consulted:  She does so many wonderful counted cross things as well as quilts.   I love her varied backgrounds that she does for her cross stitch. It adds such interest to the pieces. 

So I created some swirly blues as my background for some sparkly snowflakes.  The first photo shows how I first placed the aida cloth on the shiny side of freezer paper. This prevents anything underneath from getting painted.  You can't just paint the fabric as it will flake off over time. The textile medium allows it to absorb into the fibers themselves. They were quite wet and I peeled it off the paper. And then I blotted with paper towel as I was liberal with my paint in applying the 2 shades of blue. The two pieces of canvas dried by evening.

And lastly I ironed the front and back with steam. Don't know if it was needed or will set the paint but did want to make sure it is flat. 

 So now I will stitch some geometric designs of snowflakes.  White for sure,  but maybe some metallic thread mixed in. I have found several designs on Pinterest. 


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

New year: new projects

I have been focusing more on what I want to accomplish so far for this year. 


1)  I hope to work on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for the new year.  This is mostly to finish the one I started in 2017.  But I will have to find something for pink this month, because I only want crayola brights. 


2)  Quilt my star challenge for Bea et Cecile's international challenge for last year.  I dearly love the quilt, but I want my quilting to be great for entering a competition. I worked so hard on the piecing. 

It is currently layered and quilted around all the lattice and borders. I just need a little more practice with quilting with rulers. 

3) Complete the scrap quilt:  currently I have 14 of the 25  blocks made.  

Recent projects started:  

Baby quilt for my nurse who stayed with us to work this fall. I just need to make birch trees for a background. 

Finish this winter miniquilt:

Corrine et Cecile Patchwork challenge:  This year the design element needed is curves.  And I have taken a deep dive for myself to attempt a New York Beauty.  

These are the border units I have made to begin the quilt in the past couple of days. My color choices are blacks, browns, small shirtings as backgrounds, reds, and golds.  I am so thrilled for this and know it is more of a duller older pallet, but that is my house and I plan to put it on a wall. 

Lastly, this is the quilt top that I need to get done for my daughter's birthday on January 19.  It is at the quilter, but I did not get the backing and batting until Christmas. 

And for a beautiful snow scene out the back of my house:
We have had 2 snowstorms in the past several days.  So pretty and oh, so peaceful. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

End of year 2020:

 Well, we can all say 2020 was like nothing we had ever known. Covid has wrecked havoc with our world. For me, having both my daughter and mother succumb to its charms has made for an interesting time. Mom resides in Canada and has recovered thankfully. But I am unable to cross the border to see her.  As for my daughter, she is still recovering with breathing treatments and a pharmacy full of supplements. Unfortunately, she has not been able to work and began a medical leave which ended up with her being let go. She is still unable to work. But her light at the end of the tunnel is to return to school to finish her degree. Hooray!

It has been a blessed year with several BIG milestones. First, I retired from working full time at school. Over 40 years in schools in various positions, WOW.  ( And after Covid teaching, I was more than ready to be done.)  Then my husband and I celebrated 40 years of marriage. While we only celebrated together, it was special none the less. I am blessed to have a wonderful partner. And lastly I reached that milestone age for Social Security. While the brain is still learning, and parts are still working fine, the face in the mirror has definitely aged.

 But all in all, a year to remember in so many ways.

I have not completed as many projects as I would have liked this year despite having more time to quilt. 

Here are my highlights:

Big quilts:

Sparking Hearts: a donation quilt

Frolic: Bonnie Hunter's mystery: for my son and his wife. 

Little quilts: 

Grandniece quilt   ( Reese) 

Valentines UFO

Goosey Blues:  Lots of paper piecing 

Jensen's 4 K quilt 

Lots and lots of pillows,  a return to cross stitch and embroidery for bowl fillers, and lots of progress on old projects.  

Overall, a year older, and a year "wiser".  But the clock keeps ticking and we proceed the best we can with what we have.  Here's to the accomplishments of  the old year and a toast to a fresh new year.