Friday, January 30, 2015

My Country House

3/4 scale -- 13.5" centre block

The new 2015 Block of the Month at The Quilt Show is Lynette Anderson's "My Country House." You can click here to see the whole quilt.

When the quilt was first revealed in late 2014 I was very tempted, but I decided that I already had enough similar projects on the go. Did I really need another? On December 31 I decided that I did. If I reduced it to 3/4 scale, it would make a nice wallhanging. BUT, I decided that I was not going to spend more than one week per month on it, so I would still have time for everything else.

That plan has failed completely, as you can see.

Regular readers know that I always like to give my projects a local flavour. A very typical 19th century brick building here in Southern Ontario is either red bricks with yellow bricks in the corners, or yellow bricks with red bricks in the corners. The library up in Uxbridge is a good example:

Most of the old farmhouses are mainly red with yellow corners, but for design purposes I thought red edges would read better. I made a template for the bricks with 1/4 inch graph paper:

I marked the bricks with erasable pencil:

My plan was to quickly work up the sides with some long legged blanket stitch to represent the bricks. But the fabrics were just too heavy to make neat blanket stitches. Plus the 1/2 inch "legs" were too long. So I have been satin stitching the bricks. For three days already.

I made a similar template with the graph paper for the white gingerbread across the eaves, but I guess I didn't take a picture. The gingerbread is stitched first with blanket stitch half pinwheels, and then I went back and put a Colonial knot at the end of each "spoke."

I know there is a loose thread there, which is driving me nuts. I will see if I can tighten it up without doing it over again.

I lost eight days to flu this month, so I have only spent about five days so far on this project. But there is a lot still to go -- windows and door, chimneys, trees, sheep, funny blue chicken, and the postage stamp border!

But -- don't laugh too hard -- I really believe I can catch up over the next few months!

(Actually, I think I can work ahead, because the piecing is all pretty straightforward. Time will tell!)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Last BFF Stitchery

Best Friends Forever, Month 8 motif

Woo hoo!! Insert happy dance here:

...if you sexy, then flaunt it!

23.5 of the Best Friends Forever stitcheries are done, but only 22 will go in the quilt. I might make a mini or two out of the leftovers, but, not any time soon!

Next up, the English paper pieced setting, then some applique for the finishing touches. Maybe another year!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Approach

When I started blogging just over three years ago, I had a lot to say about stitching, and the creative process in general. It irritates me no end when people say that they are not creative, when really, everyone is creative. Creativity is just the courage to try new combinations of things we already know, and a whole lot of practice and persistence.

Best Friends Forever, Month 8 motif

I also believe that there is a lot of benefit in a cross-disciplinary approach, and that no matter how committed you are to one craft, you will improve your skill by trying something different.

So, covertly or overtly, that's what I've been trying to demonstrate with this blog, and it will continue to be my practice. Going forward, though, my plan is to talk about it less, and to just let the work stand on its own. I'm hoping that the reader experience will be more like the serene swan floating across the water, and less about all the frantic paddling going on underneath!

Best Friends Forever, Month 6 motif

There's no doubt that writing less will be a challenge, but I am thinking of it like a meditation practice -- if you are always thinking about how to meditate and analyzing what you're doing, then you're not doing it.

So that's the plan, and we'll see how it goes. I am still always happy to answer questions and discuss details in the comments. But for now, let's just enjoy the view!

Fresh, shiny new thread

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