Monday, July 27, 2015

Deck Time

Many are sweltering in the summer heat but we were fortunate to visit our cabin for a few days where temperatures have been in the mid-70's with an abundance of sun shine.  We are using this time to catch up on a few projects.

 My husband, Dale, has a deadline with the publisher of a wood carving magazine to submit a step-by-step article for carving an old cowboy.  Dale begins with a block of wood and I photograph each step.  When it's complete we add the narrative and ship it off for a future issue of Wood Carving Illustrated.

I don't just sit around waiting to take photos, I'm busy with applique on another large block for "Cat's Away", the BOM from Material Obsession.  Just 2 more of these large blocks and it will be time to sew it together.  I have 2 projects nagging at me - Cat's Away and Enchantment, the quilt that has been put away and ignored more times that I want to count.  My goal is to have both off to the quilter by Labor Day weekend which is a short 35 days from now.

August and the deck - a perfect combination to meet those goals.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Did I Meet My Goal?

I'm certain you have been losing sleep wondering if I met my goal of completing my Enchantment wall hanging (ha ha).  The answer is ........ sort  of.  I thought it was finished but when I hung it up on the design wall there was a blank spot that was crying out for "something".  Oh, I just couldn't start on "something" so I left it home as we packed to visit our cabin for the 4th of July celebrations.

I brought 4 sunburst blocks from the Cats Away BOM to work on.  These include the center block that is pieced but needs 8 tulips appliqued and embellished, 1 sunburst that has applique completed and needs embellishment, and 2 sunbursts that are still in the bags they were mailed in.  My plan is to piece the 2 in the bags and get the wool cut before we leave in 1 week for another wood carving retreat.  That will give me more than enough applique and embellishment to take as a road project.

But first, here is a poor quality photo of today's project.  It is raining outside our cabin today, the lighting is dim, and the lightest fabric I found for a background was the reverse side of a placemat!

I have to wear a medical ID bracelet and most of them are really ugly or too expensive.  After all, I have to save money for thread and fabric!  I found a source that will engrave the ID tag with the important information and then I can add my own beads.  I am not a jewelry maker and have no idea what I'm doing but I took apart some old necklaces, added some beads purchased at the Gem Fair and now I have 4 bracelets.  

Truth is I would rather be stitching but it was a productive break.

p.s.  Don't worry about me.  It's more of an aggravation than a serious illness.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Setting Goals

I find it's sometimes helpful to set goals for my stitching as it keeps me focused on a project that is lagging behind.  Such is my Enchantment wall hanging.  I started this project a year ago and have been setting it aside time and again, picking up something different.  A few weeks ago I realized that I had to set a date for completion or just throw it away.  

After considering both options, and believe me, the garbage can beckoned,  a goal was made to have it finished by June 14th.  I didn't make it.

We left town on the 14th for a road trip to Iowa for my husband to teach wood carving.  Enchantment was too big a project to take as it's not only the wall hanging, but all my threads too.  Instead, I prepared a Roseville Album block as my "traveling project".  


We are back home and escaped the 100 degree temperatures by driving to our cabin.  Today, it's back to Enchantment, with another goal of 1 week to finish.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How Long Does It Take?

That's the question that is often asked about making a quilt and it baffles me.  What does it matter?  To me, it isn't the amount of time spent or if I will even finish everything in my lifetime.  What matters is the enjoyment that comes from creating something beautiful.

For years I have had a ready answer to this ridiculous question which is - 10 minutes.  When I see the confused look on their faces I explain - 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, eventually you have a finished project.

All that to explain, or excuse, why I'm probably not going to reach my goal of finishing my Enchantment wallhanging before I leave town on Sunday.  But, I've been spending a lot of time on it and making progress.  

In my garden, the bees seem to favor the plants with purple blooms, zooming from one flower to the next.  This section of Enchantment had a grouping of purple berries and what better way to highlight them than to cover each one with a Bullion Bumble Bee - say that fast 3 times.  The bees and bullion outline were stitched with Silken Pearl #5.

A simple Fly Stitch and Buttonhole outline in Pearl Cotton #8 finish the small leaves.

I think that this is my favorite flower.  When teaching, I'm often asked how I know what stitch and thread to use.  The truth is I don't plan ahead.  There were some blue seed beads in my sewing bucket that I thought would complement the blue wool petals so I started out to mimic seeds in the flower center by stitching on the beads.  Then, I added a piece of Painter's Single Loop trim around the flower center which adds some nice dimension.

Tiny Fly Stitches outline the blue petals with a larger Fly Stitch down the center of each petal in Pearl Cotton #8.

The outside petals were outlined in Pearl Cotton #8 in Crested Chain Stitch.
 

The pink berries are embellished with a Whipped Spider Web topped off with Daisy (detached chain) to create a nice little bloom, and outlined with Back Stitch.  The small leaves are covered with Herringbone Stitch, couched at the thread intersections.  All of these stitches were made with Pearl Cotton #8.

Back to drizzles and bullions now.......

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I Am Determined

 The center of both flowers were done the same with Fly Stitch and Detached Chain (Daisy) Stitch.  Above I outlined the center with various stitches of Pistil Stitch and then outlined the pink with the reliable Bullion Stitch.  The outside flower edge is Whipped Back Stitch.

This flower center was outlined with Cast-On Stitch and seed beads were added with Coral Stitch around inner petals.  The red petals were outlined with Bullion Stitch.

Today will be dedicated to more berries and leaves.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

More - Flower and Leaves on Enchantment

For any of you who are interested in making the Enchantment wall hanging, I want to remind you that this is a Sue Cody of Dragonfly Studio's pattern available through Material Obsessions quilt shop in Australia.

I've been working on this project so long that it's now driving me crazy.  I have a "probably unreasonable" goal of finishing it in the next 2 weeks.  Unfortunately, the housework and cooking keep interrupting me.

 I only used Silken Pearl #5 in the flower for Colonial Knots in the center surrounding by Cast-On, Pistil Stitch on dark petals with Bullion Knot outline and the red petals are outlined with Chain Stitch which was then Back Stitched.
Painter's Pearl Cotton #8 Feathered Chain down the center of each leaf and Coral Stitch outline, Painter's Shimmer Floss Straight Stitch in the center of each Chain.

I'm determined to finish up another flower and more leaves today.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's My Birthday

That's right.  Today is my birthday but I was able to get out of bed, feed & dress myself and add some stitches to Enchantment.  I'm officially a senior citizen but that's OK.




These 3 leaves are grouped together around a flower so I wanted them to be similar in color.  I chose Painter's single loop trip to edge the outside leaf edge and stitched it on using Painter's Metallic Braid in a coral stitch.

Sea Grass color Crush Crush in Back Stitch and Fly Stitch and a variegated Pearl Cotton #8 in Bullions, Trellis Stitch and Woven Spider Web.

I really, really want to get this finished and have set a deadline for 3 weeks.  Next, is a flower to give me a break from many more leaves.

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