After a few weeks of hiatus, I finally spent some time on this project again this past weekend.
I was feeling bad about Flying Around – sort of uninterested and not getting anything done. What I needed was some time to work on it. This is not a sew and think about something else. This is a thinking project. Every seam I sew requires thought. These types of projects require time and no interruptions.
I got into the groove and made some good progress. I added a purple Friendship Circle, which you can see adds a lot to the piece. It isn’t sewn yet, so we will see some better photos later.
I also sewed some sections together, which makes it look more like a quilt.
I worked on Flying Around over the weekend, as mentioned. In addition, I made the orange strip donation blocks as leaders and enders.
These are harder to make. Not in terms of technical skills, but in terms of fabric. I don’t have as many orange scraps as I have other scraps. I went through the unsorted scrap pile on my cutting table and came up with a few strips and chunks that will help with the effort. I may have to abandon the strip idea and go straight to more of a chunk/improv look.
As I make these blocks, I am amazed at how much I love the fabrics in my orange scrap bin. As I said, I don’t have a lot of orange scraps, but most of those I do have speak to me. perhaps I chose well when buying orange fabrics?
Sewing at Gerre’s house was great. In addition to progress on the gift bags, the Lobster and another Flapper apron, I also made a minute amount of progress on the 4-Zip Organizer.
My next step was to quilt it. Quilting is always a step that stalls me on a project. this was such a small amount of quilting that it shouldn’t have been a problem. It wasn’t a problem this time and I did the quilting at Gerre’s while chatting. It doesn’t look that different now – just quilted. I have to trim the quilted piece to its correct size, but that part is done.
I wanted to work on this project over the weekend, but I was absorbed by Flying Around. Also, DH and I went out to the movies. Still, I am thrilled that I have made some progress.
Amazing, I know! I finished the stitching on the Lobster. It wasn’t really very much and I am kind of embarrassed that it took me so long. I thought it was much more, which kind of validates what I learned in Lorraine Torrence’s class a long time ago: Make visual decisions visually. This isn’t exactly a visual decision as choosing one fabric over another would be. It is a visual decision in that if I had looked at this piece carefully, I would have seen how little I had left to stitch.
I’m not done yet. I want to hand embroider the feelers on the lobster’s head. I have to finish it. I don’t think I will quilt it. I think that there is a enough stitching. I do have to finish it in some way. Framing seems the best, but I don’t have a spare wall to hang it. I am still thinking about what to do.
Wrapping gifts in paper is one of my least favorite activities. Gift wrapping is tolerable when I use gift bags, but still not a favorite activity. I envy the people who wrap gifts as an art form and wish I had a friend who would take over that role for me.
Last year I had a whole bunch of stocking stuffers to wrap with very little time to do it. It was torture. I did it and my mom entertained me while I worked, but it was still torture.
Since I buy stocking stuffers all year long, I decided I would wrap them as I bought them. It is going ok.
I bought some socks as a gift earlier this year and I am finally making progress on wrapping these gifts. It took me forever, but I did it. I did the work at Sew Day with Gerre and it didn’t even seem like I was making gift bags. Gift bags can be tedious and these were a bit fiddly, but chatting while I sewed made it ok.
The other day I went and sewed with Gerre. A number of small projects and small elements on larger projects, have been bugging me. I brought a number of those things with me and made good progress.
One project was the Flapper Apron I promised to make for my mom. This is a real garment sewing project, so I had to lay out the tissue and prepare to cut.
One of the things I like about this pattern is that you can lay the fabric out, folded on the bias, lay the pattern pieces out and cut them all from 1 yard of fabric. If you want a reversible apron, you need two yards. Still that is a lot of bang for your fabric buck.
Gerre and I tried a lot of different things to get the paint tubes on the fabric to line up straight on the fabric. We couldn’t figure it out. We decided that since it was an apron, it would probably be ok to not cut it on the bias. If have more fabric if I need to remake it. I am doing it this way so the motifs are oriented properly.
Sadly, there was no information on the pattern focusing directional fabric. The directions are complete, but brief.
Folding the fabric lengthwise parallel with the selvedge posed some challenges. One challenge is that the whole piece is on the straight of the grain. I figured that, since it is an apron, it will probably be fine. I did put the tie on the bias to enhance tying. The motifs will not be straight, but I think that will be fine.
The larger problem is that the folded fabric is not wide enough for the whole pattern. I plan to add some small pieces on, matching as best I can.
I finished the two Cell Phone Wallets I was making. They came out pretty well and I am pleased to be able to cross them off my list.
The only thing I am not happy with are the rings. They work well, but they aren’t very nice looking. The good thing about them is that they stay in place. Some rectangular ones I have used never stay put.
Despite my determination, I wasn’t 100% sold on the pattern I mentioned. I went back to the box of patterns, blocks, etc and looked through the rest of it to make sure I didn’t find a pattern or idea I liked better.
I found a few that I thought were more interesting or had some promise.
My top contender for the moment is a block I found in a Japanese magazine. Because I do not read Japanese and I ripped out the page at some point, I don’t know which magazine or issue.
As you can see from above, the block breaks down into Flying Geese and Peaky & Spikes as well as some strange pentagon shape.
The page showed a number of different blocks both in outline format and in black and white, but with fabrics. The example shows four blocks together as well.
The four blocks together is what caught my attention as I looked through the box. The black and white fabric image makes it look like there is a circle going on.
One of the trends I saw in the box was a lot of blocks with curves or either implied curves.
I drew up the block in EQ8 and made a quilt from the drawing, so you can get an idea of what my version of the quilt will look like.
I don’t know if I get the full effect from the drawing of the circles, but I see it a little bit.
I used the colors from below to create the quilt example (left). I think I have more colors and fabrics, so the example is not reflective of what the quilt will look like.
I also found an inspiration page from a home magazine that I ripped out at some point. With a couple of exceptions it mimics the colors in the fat quarter pack I bought and plan to use in this project. I intended to add some turquoise, but may also add a mustard-like color as the inspiration suggests.
A long time ago one of my quilts won a ribbon at the Marin Needlearts Guild show. That is probably the best prize I have ever gotten. I feel like that prize came from a real quilt show and the quilt did deserve to win.
Still winning at the San Mateo County Fair is pretty great, too. I did win at the Fair. I entered 3 items: two quilts and a pillow. I did not expect the quilts to win, because the ‘made by one/pro quilted’ category is really impacted. I did expect to win with the pillow based on SIL2’s analysis of the best categories to enter to get a prize.
First, the Aqua-Red Sampler Quilt got First place. As you know, I made these blocks in one of my sampler quilt classes. I am pretty pleased that this won. The two color scheme has an impact. Also, Colleen did spectacular quilting and the quilting shows. Definitely click on the image so you can see the detail of the quilting. I am really happy that the judges were able to appreciate this quilt. I think it looks a little modern, but I didn’t dare enter it in that category.
Second, despite reports to the contrary Under the Sea did win a prize. It won Third Place, which is fine. I am pleased that it won at all, because it was so much work and took so many years to finish. I could have gone on stitching, but this category gave me a deadline and finishing this piece got one more hand project off my list.
Finally, Metroscape won. WOW! This was a huge surprise. I did enter it into the Modern category in hopes of giving it a better chance, but I really didn’t expect anything. There it was hanging with a Second Place ribbon on it.
I enter quilts because I make them and want people to see them. I didn’t, as I said, expect to win. I don’t know what prizes I will get, but I know I will get a prize for each winner.
Two more Cell Phone Wallets have been on my list for a long time. I got a new tunic 8 months or a year ago and I haven’t worn it as much as I want,because I didn’t have a pocket.
I have a number of projects going, but I am having a hard time focusing, because there are a few little projects cluttering up my mind. I decided to try and knock those off my list. Since I only had a little time to sew over the weekend, I decided to start with the Cell Phone Wallets.
Shockingly, this was much easier than I anticipated. Why I think these little totes are so difficult is another mystery. The pieces were already cut so I had to do a little sewing. I did the sewing. Now I have do a little interfacing, then I will be ready to assemble them. they should be ready to wear this week.
I haven’t started this yet, but I plan to. It started out as a yearning for a fabric bundle I saw. I am not allowing myself to buy fabric, for the most part, unless I have a project.
The other week Stash Fabrics was having a sale on Art Gallery fabrics. I love Art Gallery. I know many people don’t because of the tight weave, but I do. I saw a bundle I wanted. I tried to resist, I really did, but bought it in the end. The fabrics came on Thursday and I was a little disappointed to find that they were not as bright as they appeared on the website. It isn’t a problem as I need a few more fabrics and will add in some turquoises and some brighter blues.
Since I needed to find a project, I looked through a big box of patterns I have ripped out of magazines. I found one that would work and that I liked. A Maze of Little Gems (Yes, I will change the name!) is the pattern that I picked. Nancy McNally has it on her website/blog as Playground of Triangles. N. B.: I am glad it isn’t going to get lost in the Quilting Company debacle. The pattern is fat quarter friendly and uses a lot of the HSTs, which will work well for the fabric I have. I added in a AGF solid in Ash as the background. Yes, I am still on the grey background kick.
I have to finish Flying Around before I start something else. I also have a number of small projects I want to work on or finish.