Monday, January 25, 2021

Design Wall Monday-Greenpiece Applique

 It's Design Wall Monday--see more beautiful work on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

I've spent most of my stitching time on the wool applique for the Greenpiece BOM.  My goal is to have all the tree leaves stitched by next Monday's end of month. 

I have just over 20 leaves completely stitched, and a start on the little yellow ginkgo leaf at the base of the tree there. So far I am pretty pleased with how it is going stitching by quadrant.

A closer look at the mostly completed right side of the tree.  I like that applique is portable and I have been stitching in various rooms.  Mini likes it when I stitch in bed...


 ..but not when I move my legs from her dead sleeping weight!  What a look, right?

We've had more weather events, including some actual rain.  Luckily the roofer came to fix the bare spots from the windstorm before heavier rain fell.  Our daughter Erica pulled off the freeway to capture a rare event:


A lot of other folks did the same as she did!  More rain is expected this week--we really need it for our dry, dry state.  In other news, it seems Gov. Newsom will be lifting the stay-at-home orders today, we have heard...my parents have been ready for haircuts for weeks!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Good Progress in the Wind

While the windstorm raged for three days in SoCal, I cut and sewed.  Our power never went out, but our girls both suffered more than 24 hours of lost power.  Both had just done big grocery shopping trips the day before the winds, unfortunately.  They will file claims for that loss with SCE.  I was able to work doing telemedicine, watching the winds and pieces of our 30 year old old roof fly around. A corner of the upper story's roof was completely denuded--even the roofing felt tore off. We had planned to replace the roof this year and that's definitely happening soon. Our BBQ grill cover also took a beating in the wind. 

It looks like it was attacked by weasels or dogs!  Fortunately it is easily replaced and the BBQ didn't flip over or anything.  I watched the storm news while finishing off the wooden stocking cross-stitch.  It turned out cute.

Bindings were also attached to the Perkiomen Valley Block baby quilt (no pic yet) and the Barefoot in the Park Christmas quilt that has been lounging around in the sewing room over two months since the quilter brought it back.

Scrappy backing there on the left, and matching binding to the border fabric.  This is a big quilt, an odd size, 75" wide and extra long at 96 inches.  I'm running out of storage room for finished quilts!

Today in between patients I got the last batch of Greenpiece applique patterns ironed to the wools and cut them out. 

Cut, cut, cut.  I immediately set to laying them out on the tree/grass background.

I used all but a few of the leaves to make the tree nice and full.  Originally I planned to glue baste the leaves but worried they might fall off while I hand embroidered them to the background.

Some large basting stitches with two strands of embroidery thread I think will work better.  The plan is to have all the leaves appliqued by the end of the month.  I think working in quadrants and taking out the basting stitches as I go will be better than moving around to the same color leaves.  I may find my brilliant idea to baste not so smart...we'll see!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Design Wall Monday--Star of the Show

 It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. 

The situation of finished tops piled up on the corner of the cutting table having become untenable, I set about working on the smaller tops.  Star of the Show, a baby quilt from a British quilt magazine, Quilt Now, which I made last year, I intend to give to our daughter's friend.  


 I made a simple stripe backing out of the leftover fabrics, and decided to use the maker's "signature wavy diagonal lines".

Although the Silver Kona I used looks very yellow in this pic, I used a neutral gray thread and my walking foot to do the lines, just wiggling back and forth as I went.  Fun to quilt!  


 I was very pleased with the finished quilting, which took hardly any time at all.  I no longer use basting pins or spray baste since Dora Cary of Orange Dot Quilts came to our guild and showed how she layers, smooths and loosely folds the quilt sandwich, then sets it aside to rest for a short period before quilting.  It is such a time saver!  I do put one safety pin in each corner and recheck the layers periodically as I quilt. 

Having already made the binding, it went on immediately. 


The Silver Kona I again used for the binding. That green fabric is a hand-dyed Ricky Tims fabric I bought many years ago at one of his seminars--my sister and I had a great adventure going to Indiana for that.


The colors are a little truer in this daytime pic of the backing before quilting.  I'll get a label on it and give the quilt it's first bath before gifting.  Baby is due late this month, I believe. 

I quilted the Perkiomen Valley baby quilt the same way, but it still needs a binding.  This wavy diagonal quilting was so fun and easy!

I think it looks great with the straight lines of the blocks.  It has been over two years since our Ventura Modern Quilt Guild started making Perkiomen blocks and quilts for victims of the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mud/Flood disasters.  Recently there was a story about a cat that went missing in the disaster in Montecito and was recently found alive and well as a rescue cat!  Amazing and happy story!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching-Jan 17

 It's Slow Sunday Stitching--see more posts on Kathy's Quilts blog.

I'm cross stitching on an inexpensive wooden craft kit I picked up at Joann's some time ago. 

I finished a similar wooden ornament deer scene before  Christmas and gave it to my sister.  These are fun little projects.  The needle-nose pliers provide good help to pull the needle after running through stitches on the back. Since this photo I've finished the ground, stars and tree ornaments.

We've been rearranging furniture in the guest room since we gave away the bedroom set of my MIL's to a friend in need.  The quilt is from Judy's Mystery quiltalong some years ago on Patchwork Times, when she used to quilt a lot.  I've since switched it out with the Jewels in the Curio quilt which has been gracing the stair railing since I finished the binding some months ago.

I sent this to David's Quilting and love the Alex pattern with open curvy quilting. It is just big enough for the Full size guest bed, here it is laid out on our CalKing.

I caught the sliver moonset at sunset the other night.  It has been very hot with little humidity, which makes for spectacular sunsets but is always worrying in dry, dry, and windy southern California.  Fire danger is HUGE, there was a fire a couple of days ago in the County, but far from us. Fingers crossed they won't shut off our power in the middle of telemedicine work next week! Today we also remember the Northridge Earthquake of 1994 that knocked out power for millions in SoCal for days and caused much damage ( we lost power in our county for most of the day). Our kids were small then and our older daughter in the top bunk was so used to the bed being jostled by her little sister below, that she never even woke up :)

Monday, January 11, 2021

Design Wall Monday--More Greenpiece

 It's Design Wall Monday.  See more design walls at Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog

The Greenpiece BOM continues to occupy my sewing room time.  I got the grass and tree appliques made and stitched down to the center block background. 

Photo from the bed of my sewing machine table.   The large pieces were not too difficult to get stitched down.  Are they perfect?

No they are not!  But not too bad for someone who does little machine applique.  Next job was tracing the leaf shapes onto freezer paper and cutting the wool pieces. 

The instructions call for 55-60 leaves to be cut.  I substituted a hand-drawn ginkgo leaf shape for a few of the leaves--it's my favorite tree.  My hand got tired cutting out all these small leaves.  I'll do the rest in another batch.

The wool colors are so yummy.  I saved the scraps of wool from cutting out this batch of leaves, adding to the baggies of previously saved scraps from the completed blocks. I hope to be stitching these onto the tree later this week between telemed  work. 

Mail this week included a couple of big boxes that contained a Christmas Bonus gift I ordered from Arrow Cabinets.  I love putting furniture together, especially an easy job like this was, inserting the chair base wheels and attaching the seat back to the chair seat.

They were having a great sale, but all the fun patterns were sold out, so I settled for this neutral.  It really is a better choice for my chaotic open sewing room!  the seat opens to reveal storage.  I liked the secretarial base shape better than the regular chair legs on some of the other options.  
 
I'm setting up a new Bullet Journal and reassessing my WIPS and UFOs, of which there are many...but I couldn't resist buying a new pattern and pulling fat quarters...

There's another baby quilt to make for a daughter's friend--how could I not?  And all from stash, so it's practically free.  Rationalization is a sign of a creative mind, isn't it?



Saturday, January 2, 2021

NYE, Holiday's End

Happy New Year! Our New Year's Eve included a trip to the beach.  I like to take a sunset photo on the last day of the year.  Grant and I wandered up and down the boardwalk above the beach, with lots of other socially-distancing and masked walkers, skaters, bicycle riders, and dog-walkers.  There were lots and lots of surfers, far out from the low tide, stretching from Surfers Point to the Pier.

Someone had made sculptures on the concrete breakwater.  There were more on the sand up and down the beach. 

We got a sunset selfie while waiting for the light show. I took many many photos but felt the quintessential shot with the surfer who walked into the frame was the best :)

Our NYE was a quiet one at home--we watched a couple of episodes of The Crown, listened to fireworks going off all over the neighborhood at midnight, and were more than ready to say goodbye to this tumultuous year, tucking away the good highlights for remembrance!  

I spent New Year's Day taking down the seasonal decor, with help from Grant.  It seemed to take all day to get it packed up, even though I had put out fewer items this year!  The living room looks dark without the lighted tree.  

Jingle Kitty and vintage Mouse and brush tree went back in the box with Santa and the cross-stitched gifts.

A trip to JoAnn's today for some fusible web was necessary to move on with the Greenpiece project, having made notes of all the steps left for the center applique and borders. While at JoAnn's I remembered I had not shown the finish of a little embroidery kit I had purchased there some time ago for a few bucks.  

It was a good project to work on between telemed patients in December.  As you can see, it came with the embroidery floss and, curiously, a very sharp and long needle, which I soon switched out for a tapestry needle after stabbing myself a few times.  

I added a few more snowflakes than the pattern called for :).  I needed to use needle-nose pliers by the time the finishing 3 strand cross-stitches were added, as the wooden piece of course was not flexible enough to allow me to grasp the needle and pull easily with my fingers.  I dug into my husband's tool chest for a pair, but vowed to buy"cute" ones for my own use.  I found some at JoAnn's today, a small pair in the jewelry fixings aisle, half off with my coupon :)


The ornament went to my sister as a Christmas gift.  It was beyond my calculating skills, but I really wondered how many stitches that 28x28 stitch piece actually took.  The outside holes have two stitches in each hole, but the inner holes have four stitches in each.  That is a lot of pushes of the needle!  I also have this simpler wooden ornament to stitch, which I had bought with the deer one: 

So cute!  One more day off before returning to work.  I plan to spend it sewing on Greenpiece applique.