Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sometimes you've just gotta let it go

 So I got out a very old project last week to assess it, thinking I might take it to retreat week after next and try to finish it.  I started this in a class with Betty Alderman.  It must be ten years ago, but try as I might I could not find pictures from when this was a new project. 

Anyway, I was doing some fun stitching around the appliquéd pieces rather than satin stitch everywhere.  (I had taken a class with Jane Sassaman not long before and was inspired by the way she uses the decorative stitches on her appliqués)

But, back then I was also teaching classes, and this probably got pushed down the list again and
again.  It had been tacked up on the wall of the sewing room so I wouldn't forget it.  But then I tacked a piece of batting over it to use as a design surface, and it did get forgotten.  I noticed it a few times and thought "I have no idea what I'll do with it if I do finish it".  So there it hung
  When I took it down last week, it looked like one of the flowers was loose.  So I took it to the ironing board and hit it with the iron for the 10 count I always do for fusibles.  When I picked up the iron, imagine my horror to find the background fabric was discolored- scorched looking.
(circled area)  With nothing to lose, I ironed another spot- same thing happened.  Well, shit. 

  So I laid it on the floor under the cutting table for a few days, pondering.  I ironed over the whole thing and left dark ares, thinking it might look tea-dyed.  I don't know if it was starched way back then, or if the fact that it had hung in a room with halogen lights had affected the fabric, or even if it was the adhesive from the interfacing I had used to stabilize the piece.  I found a piece of the fabric in my scrap therapy bins and tried to discolor it, but it didn't work. 

 So I got to thinking about how long it had hung there, and if I had really loved this project wouldn't I have finished it? ( I have older UFOs in all honesty- hangs head in shame)  And I asked myself if I really want to put any more of my time into it?  The answer was no.  So I threw it away.  I was kind of proud of myself for that.

The projects I am actively working on look like this right now.

I got the pattern for this one from the Country Treasures booth at the quilt show last October.   I don't have the pattern at the moment, so I'll put a link to that next time.  I'm using scrap therapy squares.  It uses 2.5 inch squares, which is not one of the sizes cut for ST.  However, as Joan said-a 5 inch square makes a convenient storage device for them.

And this is one of the kits I pulled out last week- the pattern is called panel panache.  As I said before, it sure is pink!

You can see the border fabrics peeking from the left side of the picture, along with a piece of the binding fabric from the picnic quilt.  I save extra lengths of binding and eventually I have enough to bind a quilt.  I promise not to use it on this one. 

So, things might or might not be settling down.  I think many of us are getting a bit overloaded on the anger that has been flying around the past few months.  It's been ugly.  It has affected people's health.  But we can't just relax and hope for the best.  There are so many ways to get involved.  A columnist I follow named Dana Milbank, wrote a great article filled with the names of organizations you can join or support.  Go have a look.  We have to work together.  I'm happy to have found a couple of groups in my area.

I am grateful for:
Days I can turn the alarm off and get back into bed.
Jonathan takes my hand and pulls me in to sit or play with him when I go visit.
Getting to the good part.
A nice long chat with Lucas yesterday.
the Resistance.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Finished objects

I got this one finished a couple of days after my last post.  I gave it the name "Picnic in the Garden".  I hope it will bring comfort to whoever it ends up with.

I'm fairly pleased with how the floral quilting came out. All I marked was the stems and the circles where flowers would be.  I've been using the bohin chalk pencil , which rubs right off!
 This is a mug rug I made for a swap.  It's on its way to her, so I hope she gets it before she reads this. 

I also finished the last ball I had prepared for beading.  I loved this fabric, but wasn't thrilled with the way it was coming out at first.  Sometimes the fact that the silver heads of the pins seem like the most prominent part of the embellishment annoys me. 

But I kept going, adding more and more as I went and ended up liking how it looks.  You really have to see them in person when the light can hit all the assorted sparkly bits. 

This weekend I'll start gathering stuff for the annual retreat at Silver Lake!!!

I tried in vain to find some good news regarding environmental issues, but can't find any.  I fear it will only get worse. If you are angry about that, let your representatives, local and federal, know.  Do it often.  Every time there's a vote, look to see how your representative voted, and let him or her know how you feel about it.  Better yet, contact them before the vote.  It might take some work to stay informed, but we have to let them know before it's too late.

I am grateful for:
A tolerant husband
Browsing old pictures, and enjoying the memories.
12 more days!
I won with customer service this week.
BBCA showing Star Trek Voyager.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

UFO update

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, my online guild is doing a UFO challenge this year.  So, at the end of January, I'm showing the progress I made on the two pieces I pulled out to work on when their numbers were called.

 #3 was assembled blocks that I needed to add borders to so it would be a better size for the guest room bed.  Accomplished!  Now it goes back on the list as a top ready for quilting.

#20 was a top ready for quilting.  I pondered how to quilt it, and finally made a plan, so I layered it- it had enough of the border fabric folded up with it for backing and binding!
I started quilting it, but time with the grandchildren takes priority and I didn't quite finish.  I'll probably finish it since I'm so close.

Here's a detail of the quilting so far.  The green spots will get a viney floral spray with curlicues/ spirals as a filler if needed.  The border will probably just be a loopy thing I've heard called lele quilting because it looks like a cursive lower case L and E combined. (It's in between the wormy bits here)

So, this month's numbers are 7 and 24. 

Ever hopeful it's something I can finish quickly, Martha goes to list and discovers both of these are kits (Fabric in a bag with the pattern) from long ago.

 #7 is part of a calendar quilt series of kits I signed up for way back when.  Not sure why- kits are never made using Martha fabrics, but I guess the samples in the store really appealed to me.  It's a snap quilt- you make a background quilt and just snap a new center on for each occasion.

The kits are all in a bag and at first I thought I'd just grab a random one.  But if I get it finished this month, I can use this one in March.    What about the background quilt, you ask?  That was the first kit, and I actually did some work on that, so it has its own number on the list.

#24 uses a pattern called Panel Panache  (click on the smaller picture, the one they have as the main one is hideous and I'd never have bought the pattern for that!- actually the sample the shop owner had was even better!)
I was using the one pansy fabric as my focus, so it's pink and purple.  I'm sure that's why I never made it.  But it makes up into a nice size for donation.  So I'm hoping to get the top pieced this month.

The other day I wanted to do something quick and easy to accomplish in a short time.  So I got out the "curious creatures" book I used a while back, and made a larger creature. 
I'm still not sure what he's for, but I may bring him with me on retreat at the end of the month to hold my phone charger.  Or maybe he should be my keyring, so I can stop locking myself out of my car!

I've been reviewing the things on this list for things I can do to feel like I am doing something!  This whole situation has me feeling powerless.   But learning a few facts about causes I care about is something I can do.  Dropping an email to my congressman or state representatives is something I can do.  If you want things to change, do what you can!

I am grateful for:
Triple A, and a warm place to wait.
When Jonathan sits with me and cuddles.
The DVR and DVDs
 I think I have my data usage issues under control at last. (I hope!)
Fresh brownies, warm and gooey!