Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Another Blanket Stitch Variation

Isn't blanket stitch a great stitch? This time I used it as bunting:

It took a bit of trial and error, but I got there in the end! Surprisingly, it seemed to work best with four stitches up to the point, a catch stitch at the tip, and just two stitches back down.

As you can see, colourful bunting was a must on this motif:

This is one of my favourites so far. Bunting is always fun, and I love the lines of the elephant, too. Plus, I think the cardinals are becoming the spirit animals of the project, the way they keep showing up.

I'll leave you with a final detail, before it's on to the next! Don't forget to check out all the other links at WIP Wednesday, too.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Slow Stitching Sunday

While every day is a slow stitching day around here, no matter what I am making, today I am organized enough to link up with Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy's Quilts.

My ongoing hand stitchery project is Best Friends Forever, a block of the month from Australian designer Rosalie Quinlan. There are eight months in total, and each month has four different stitchery motifs. I am halfway! Today I will be putting in the final stitches on the first motif of Month 5:

The linen fabric is white, actually, and has been an ongoing challenge to photograph! Right now my plan is to get one motif finished and posted by every Wednesday. Check in with me then for the final reveal!

I'm hoping to get a start on the next motif as well today:

I have been choosing my own colours and stitches for this project, and I have done all the birds as Northern Cardinals, with their distinctive red and black colouring. Here's a finished motif from Month 1 as an example:

The female cardinal is tan, with the same black marking and coral beak. Cardinals mate for life, so I thought they were a good fit for this project.

I'd better get to work. See you Wednesday!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Moving the Chains

It is now well over a year since I last posted on this project, which is my variation of Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trips Around the World. After I finished Edward's quilt this project became more insistent, so I have been working on it again, on and off. In American football they say "moving the chains," because if you keep moving steadily down the field, 10 yards at a time, eventually you will score a touchdown.

I think this is going to be a whole summer of "moving the chains" as far as my projects go. No exciting plays, just steady work. For example, this Scrappy Trips project is not great for blogging. With its two colour scheme, all the blocks look pretty darn similar:

Although this second block shows the danger of text-based fabrics in the upper left corner, where "hello" has become "hell," lol.

I also will have quite a few offcuts left over:

Each strip set yields seven or eight 2.5" slices, and only six are needed for each 12" finished block. With 12 blocks finished, I already have enough leftovers for more than 3 blocks, and I am debating what to do with them:
  • I could add another row to my quilt, which is currently planned to be 5 x 5 rows, or 60" square. My planned layout requires an odd number of blocks though, so it would have to go up to 5 x 7 rows, or 60" x 84", which is quite a bit bigger and a whole different quilt, really.
  • I could put them on the back, but it wouldn't match up well with my quilting plan.
  • Pillow covers. Maybe more pillow covers than I really need.
I'll have to see how it goes. In the meantime, I'm also still trimming hsts for my redesigned double star blocks, sewing a few hourglasses for the Hourglass Ticker in the right sidebar, piecing Texas Stars, cutting and appliqueing baskets, and doing a whole range of stitchery projects. I have a vague plan to finish one BFF block every Wednesday until that project is done. That will take me through to November!!

So, lots to do. :D

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BFF Month 4.2 Stitching

Yesterday I was finally able to put the last few stitches into the second motif from Month 4 of Rosalie Quinlan's Best Friends Forever. It's been a frustrating time since my last post because I spent most of last week flat on my back after a stretch intended to make my back better made it much, much worse. I should know by now! No machine sewing to show, but at least I was able to do this hand stitching.

I tried a different stitch combination on the leafy border this time. Here's a (very dark) photo of the work in progress:

It looks like the middle of the night, doesn't it? Actually it's the reflection of the blue sky through my north facing window. This project has been a real trial to photograph...

But anyway, you can see that the pattern had the same rounded leaves that so far I've been backstitching. I did still backstitch the leaves in the centre for variety. For the leafy border I used a light green twisted chain stitch for the middle of the leaves, and a darker green regular chain stitch around it to preserve the feeling of the "line." It took a few tries to get right, but I'm very happy with it!

And, since it worked so well, I tried the same technique on the tulips at the sides:

I'm pretty sure I'll be doing this again.

I'm halfway through the next motif as well, but I'm keen to get back to my sewing machine now that my back is feeling better. And I'm finally getting organized on this project too. I'll try to post that one next!
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