Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Not Done After All

In my last post I mentioned that I was thinking of making a few more blocks for Rosalie Quinlan's Best Friends Forever stitchery quilt. On Friday, that's what I decided to do!


The decision to make the project bigger is a bit of a celebration for me. In March and April I've been dealing with a personal health scare, and it looked like my time might be cut short. But, on Friday I learned that while the doctor still can't diagnose the problem, it probably isn't the worst case scenario. I had a very clear feeling that the road was stretching out ahead of me again!

Since time was back on my side, it seemed right to finish off the remaining BFF stitcheries. Interestingly, my BFF thread palette was still intact:


I like to pre-cut my embroidery floss and set it up on a cardboard thread organizer like this. I make a set for every project, so everything stays together. When the project is finished, I cut the cardboard apart like this...


...and sort the floss back into my thread stash. I use plastic bags (one bag per colour) on rings to store thread, which works really well for me. I can keep both cut threads like this and new skeins all together in the same bag.

Actually, I've been using the same threads for Little Wooly Baskets:


Most of the BFF thread has been perfect for my wool colours too. Maybe I'm developing a style?

That's a slight digression, but my point is that I never sorted the thread back into my stash, so I guess I was never really done with the project. I now plan to make 31 of the 32 designs, which will give me a good sized throw quilt, probably in the vicinity of 60" x 80" (150 x 200 cm).

And the long break has given me fresh inspiration too. Last time I looked at this motif I couldn't think of what to do with it at all. Maybe the big bird should be teal blue, so the cardinal stands out? This time one choice led to another in a very natural way.


I used to avoid using too much of the tiny chain stitch, because it is slower. This time it didn't seem like a problem, and I used it all over. Last time I was also worried about the swirls over the birds heads. I didn't want a big feather on the head of my cardinal! This time I said to myself, "I'll just blend it out with the light blue, and that will be fine." And it is fine! And once it is part of a big lap quilt, no one will ever think about it again.

So, a little perspective is a helpful thing. :D  25 done, 6 to go.

16 comments:

  1. OMG, I just "heard" the double entendre in the title. Now that sounds tacky. Trust me, that's not how I meant it!

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  2. Embrace the double entendre! Sounds great to me.

    The filing system for your embroidery floss is absolutely inspired. Great control of the threads while working on the "projet du jour", and a system for retrieval (when you actually do file it back into the system) that makes sense. Great idea.

    60" x 80" is a good size. Loving every one of your blocks and looking forward to all 31.

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    1. BTW, good to hear that your health "issue" got a favourable diagnosis. Wishing you the best as to work to resolve the problem.

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    2. Tacky but hopefully true, anyway.

      Thank you! I asked a bunch of embroiderers how they store thread, and this seems to be the best way for me. Easy, inexpensive, and completely scalable.

      It is fun to be working on BFF again, and I must say they look pretty nice all together!

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  3. so good to have the good news re the health scare now look after yourself. A lovely project you have here and not many to go before completed

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  4. It's a great thread solution. I have a few of those cards and I've never thought of cutting them up. Seems so obvious. I'm so sorry you've been dealing with such momentous matters and so pleased the news is not as you feared. Your chain stitch is lovely and I like your pale blue swirls. Well done you - and thanks for this uplifting and thoughtful post.

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    1. Thank you, Jillian! I appreciate the encouragement. :D

      It's funny -- last time I looked at this motif, I really disliked it. Now I think it is one of my favourites!

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  5. What a great method you have for storing your thread AND getting it back into your stash. Cutting up the the cards is a GENIUS move! Isn't it interesting and wonderful how sometimes just the right inspiration just flows from your soul to your finger tips? Good to hear that your health scare wasn't the worst of the worst and that your doctors will figure out the problem. I like that you are making a few more BFF blocks. May not done yet continue to represent what is going on in our studios and not what might be happening with our health. Hugs!--Terry

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    1. Thank you, Terry, and you are quite right -- getting into that flow of inspiration is the whole deal. I think it is the reason we do what we do. And for me, thinking less and feeling more is always the first step. :D

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  6. I am so glad to hear that the issue is not the worst case scenario you thought it might be, hopefully though they figure out what the problem is. Great way to sort your thread while working on a project. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful stitcheries!

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  7. First off, I'm so glad to hear that your health situation is not as bleak as first thought. That's great news and secondly, your newest block is super cute. I like the look of the tiny chain stitch. It gives the outline a thicker and more defined line.

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  8. Good Health News is the Best!! Your method of caring for threads is wonderful; I'd feel ashamed for you to see how I am currently housing mine for my FLoral Bouquet. EEk. And what a perfect chain stitch you have. Beautiful, you!

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  9. LOL, thank you, Jocelyn! Let me tell you, with so many projects on the go, organization is crucial. But even if I only had one, keeping things clean and organized helps me be more creative. Clutter slows me down!

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  10. Yes! The best news is your health. I'm glad it is not the worst case; hopefully it will be much better than that. Thanks for sharing how you organize your embroidery floss. This would help me a lot. Must remember to use it next time.

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  11. Very sorry you have been dealing with a scare, and very glad that the news is better now. I love how you do your embroidery floss - it's functional but also I find it very pretty: if I did that I'd probably not want to use it, just sit and admire!

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  12. I'm going to use your thread organizing idea! THANKS for the inspiration!

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Happy stitching!

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