Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BFF Month 3.3 Stitching

Before I pack it away, here's the third motif from Month 3 of Best Friends Forever, all finished.

I experimented with a couched lattice in the centre of the motif. This was my first try at a lattice, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out. I'll be using it again in other projects!

The fourth motif is almost finished too, but I'm going to stick to my new plan and pack it away while I work on L'Herbier. I hope that knowing this one is so close to the finish will motivate me to keep on track with L'Herbier. Something else to look forward to!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bad Behaviour and a New Approach

Well, I'm back. I've had more than my fill of doctor's waiting rooms, and I have no intention of going back any time soon!

I have not been able to do a lot of sewing, but I've definitely had lots of time to think! Back at the beginning of the year you may recall that I had bold plans to shelve all my old UFOs and start anew with a clean slate. After just four months it's clear that was a complete failure. All my UFOs have crept back onto the to do list.

Plus, I started one...

...two... projects over the break! And, I've noticed that I compensate for not sewing by buying more fabric, but I better not go into detail about that, lol. Both the new projects are foundation paper pieced. The maple leaves are batiks that have been waiting for their moment for a long time, and the winter star is new fabric, the Jack Frost 10" square collection from Keepsake Quilting. Beware -- most of these fabrics are home dec weight, and not the best for detailed piecing!

Anyway, I've forgiven myself for the new starts. It's been a stressful time, so a temporary distraction was helpful.

But I also still think I need fewer current projects. I've decided to cut them down to five categories and choose just one from each:
  1. Machine Pieced
  2. Hand Applique
  3. Stitchery/Embroidery
  4. English Paper Piecing
  5. Cross Stitch
I've realized that I am much more productive when I have fewer decisions to make. So, I made lists of all started or ready-to-start projects in each area and used a random number generator to choose which ones to work on now. I was worried that I wouldn't like the results, but actually I love them. Each time the random number came up, I felt a big sense of relief when I checked it against the list. I think any result would have been a relief -- sometimes it's just helpful to make a decision. 

So, the first round of projects will be:

  1. It's Warm Inside -- a log cabin lap quilt to be made with this cute snowglobes flannel fabric I bought from Connecting Threads last fall. A brand new project!
  2. Trick or Treat Baskets, designed by Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs, in their book When the Cold Wind Blows. I saw this quilt recently on Supergoof's blog (it's the second basket quilt in that post), and I had to add it to the list. I've seen others working on it too. I like the Supergoof's pink and white blocks, and I bought a little of Connecting Threads' new Hampton Hues collection to add to fabrics from my stash. Another brand new project! And a big one...
  3. L'Herbier -- Two of the 16 embroidered blocks are done. I'm hoping this will move along easily, now that all the kinks are worked out.
  4. Texas Star -- There were only two choices in the category, this one or the setting for BFF. I guess BFF will be on hold for a while!
  5. A Kiss for Snowman -- I had an absolute craving for cross stitch over the break, and this is the project I've been working on. I did not choose a random number on this, I'm determined to get it done soon!
It will be interesting to see how this new approach works out. Two winter projects, just as summer is starting! Right now I'm feeling pretty motivated, so, fingers crossed!
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