Friday, February 17, 2012

hexagon update.....

The last of the basting stitches and little hexagonal papers went into the wastebasket this afternoon. I could have finished with this piece of business sooner....but, got done. Now I need to take a bit of think time. Sometimes, after a spell of thinking, I'll come up with a plan for what to do with a quilt top...what to make for its back and how to quilt the thing. Sometimes a quilt top will tell me what it wants me to do with it. When the plan comes together I'll proceed. Until then I'll get going on another project. I'd like to design or make something with a limited color pallet....since lately everything that I've done seems to be painted with a very scrappy brush. And since I have no photos of work or work in progress to show's a photo of one of my dog-babies. Her name is Mopsy Blue-eye. She's fierce, funny, and weighs six pounds.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1,995 hexagons.......

It was great take-a-long project and a wonderful exercise in English paper piecing. Little hexagons became part of my life. First cutting out paper templates, then covering each with a bit of fabric and hand basting fabric to paper, then whip stitching each piece to its was a challenge and it was fun (most of the time)....but....with all 1,995 1.5" paper pieced hexagons stitched together side by side by side, I found that the most tedious bit of business still had to be done. Before any batting, backing or stitching turn this top into a quilt....I have to pick out all of the basting stitches and pull off each paper hexagon. Yes, all 1,995 of them. So here I am, covered with bits of thread and filling my waste basket with hexagonal bits of paper. The dogs all look bored. Starting a project is so much darned fun that I almost always forget just what it takes to get to the finish. I know that I'll love the quilt. And I guess that's all that matters in the end.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

too many thimbles.....?

Question: can one have too many thimbles? Well, for me, owning a thimble...or you see in the photo, makes me secure. It's like this.....No matter what....when I decide to do some stitching I need to know that I'll always find a thimble that fits. My collection (which includes several others that weren't rounded up in time for the group photo) must protect my needle pushing middle finger under all circumstances. And....each one is slightly different from the rest. They may be advertised as all being a size small, medium or whatever...but believe me, the thimble industry seems to have missed entirely the concept of standardized sizing. There's also the little problem of finger size. We all have days when water retention or a gain of an extra pound or two caused our fingers to suddenly plump up. And what about when that mysterious condition....which I call early-morning-skinny-finger-syndrome....has turned our fingers to mere shadows of their former selves? Try to get a proper thimble fit then. So....I keep a whole stable of thimbles....just in case. One never knows.......

Thursday, February 2, 2012

just call it progress.....

I buried myself in a mess of sewing this morning. What is it about putting together a quilt that, no matter how tidy the work space looks when you start, you can bet that it'll be a complete jumble by the time you're finished. I've been working....and this is my mess.
Since the pillow project is now done (and in exile on the floor) I thought I'd rummage through my stack of waiting-to-be-finished pieces. I found a small lap quilt that seemed to want to see the light of day again. I'd forgotten when I put the poor thing together. It must have been during one of my experimental phases. Each one of the pieces was first sewn to an identical piece of light interfacing which was then slit and then the whole thing was turned inside out and pressed. Every "block" has a finished edge and, if I hadn't given in to my lazy side, would have been hand stitched together. My shortcut was to butt the edges together and attach them by machine using a zig-zag stitch. I actually think that all the zigs and zags add something to the piece. A bit of texture, or something. Anyway...I took it to my sewing space, pulled out a whole bunch of 5" squares of fabric that I had cut one day when I had nothing better to do...and pieced them into strips. The strips will become rows and the rows, a quilt back. And yes, in case you're wondering, I'm going to machine quilt the little beast.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

two pillows and a purple love-seat....

I finally finished the quilting, binding and sewing of my string-pieced and patched pillow covers. Don't know if I can really count them as two finishes for they are almost identical. I've been thinking of them as one project so I guess I'll count them in the same way. Unimportant technicality. The important thing is that I stuffed them full of pillow today and placed them where they'll live, at least for the time being, on the purple love-seat in the family room. The dogs weren't ready for this turn of events. The love-seat is a favorite hang-out. And in the mind of Archie, our slightly-off-center chihuahua
... pillows, blankets or whatever else that land in a space he's claimed as his own....must be thrown off, kicked off, nudged off or otherwise cleared out. Immediately! Unfamiliar as he is with the two intruders, for the time being he is proceeding with caution. By tomorrow afternoon he will have figured it all out and the pillows will have been evicted and in exile on the floor. I don't take that kind of thing personally. Once I'm done with a project I let go of it emotionally. And since it no longer belongs to me I figure I can just let it fend for itself.