Unfortunately despite my desires to catch things back up over here, things have continued as they had before I left for the Holidays. I think I’m going to have to abandon the idea of catching up on last year. Not sure just yet. But rest assured that I have been indulging in as many crafterday activities as I can muster at the moment.
It’s an all too important part of stress management to be skipped entirely. The need to make & create is too strong to be ignored entirely 😉
We’ve been having rogue Girl’s Nights while the usual hostess is away. Rogue also means the meals are NOT vegetarian (we’re REAL rebels). Last week’s instalment turned in Quiltie Fun Time chez moi and ended up spilling over to a Sunday Crafterday.
Much silliness. Lots of music and pleeeeenty of quilting (well, piecing as it were). Here’s what I got done:
Yes, that’s about a half a million 1.5 inch square pieces for some patchy postage stamp blocks. I REALLY went overboard with the rotary wheel and ruler once I realised that each block will use 64 of the little squares.
This inspired us for something really fantastically great. Ugh. I kind of really want to put things in motion to get it going, but should finish off some existing ongoing projects first.
I’m excited for the next Rogue Girl’s Night at the next venue.
Yikes. Sorry kids. I didn’t mean to be gone for so long. Things have been quite busy at work. Not so busy that there hasn’t been any crafting. Just busy enough that spending more time in front of a computer isn’t terribly appealing when I get home from work. That and I feel like I have to finish spinning the cotton sliver before moving onto another fibre. For future reference 4oz. is a HECK of a lot of cotton to spin up. But I’m definitely getting better at it. Much less swearing and breakage is happening.
But lately the hexagon quilt has been revived in a big way. And apparently the hex is really quite contagious.
I’ve had quite the stack of fat quarters waiting to become hexes and finally got down to adding them all in. Add in some fabulous Liberty hexagons and the hex is back on folks! I have one last “small” section to add on to the “big” piece and I’ve reached the width I was aiming for. It’s very exciting to see the progress. Though it’s going to have to go on the back burner for a bit while I finish some other secretish projects.
I’m also faced with a bit of a quilting mental block going with my box bag. At a recent group patchwork day, we all selected fabrics to combine with some sent from one of the homegirls in semi-permanent absentia abroad (the Matryoshka dolls and the colourful apples as seen below).
I have to say I had a REALLY hard time selecting these fabrics. Once Janina brought out the irrepressibly fantastic rainbow fabric (exclusive for Fabricville) I got started. Every once in a while I would get up. Look at all the fabrics and make some selections. Stare for a while. Get frustrated and then sit down and baste more hexagons. I added the red/pink polka dots after I got home and those fantastic rainbow stars a week later. The stars are from my mom’s 80’s fabric stash that Mr. Peabody recently brought back with him. They’re SO Rainbow Brite, I love them!
Now I’m not sure how I want to piece my fabric. I was originally thinking strips. But that was before getting the fabrics together. Now I’m thinking diagonal strips would be better. But I’m not entirely sure anymore. And the fabric has been hanging out on this chair in my living room for a few weeks now I feel like I should do something with it. I should just jump in and do it already. I’m not sure what I’ve been waiting for.
This past weekend, I got together with some friends and had an embroidery themed crafterday. It’s the earliest I’ve been up on a Saturday in many many months. And I may have over packed. Especially as we trekked out to West Montreal. I went a bit nuts buying veggies at the grocery store. But those pre-cut trays were just too sad!
So after some high test tea, delicious pastries, cheeses and digging into the mountain of veggies, we started in on the embroidery. I’ve managed to accumulate quite a bit of embroidery materials without having done any since customising my back pack free hand in grade 8. In addition to the many books and patterns, I somehow have a pretty decent stash of embroidery floss and fabrics for embroidering.
I ended up picking a pattern from my Aunt Martha’s Hot Iron Transfers, The Mystic Mermaid 3984. Aunt Martha still print some of their designs from the 40’s/50’s/60’s and I just LOVE these mermaids. For some reason I’m a big mermaid fan.
The fabric I have is mostly freebies, leftovers and charity shop finds. For this piece, I picked some leftover muslin from when I finally hemmed my Ikea curtains. It’s fairly open weave so easy to stitch I guess.
Since I’ve never officially embroidered anything (other than some bad cross stitch when I was a kid that never got finished), I was a bit intimidated with where to start. I opted to make some small decisions with stitch choice and colour on some of the smaller details so there wouldn’t have to be too much backing up and re-stitching. I started with the bubbles.
Moved to the fishes and mermaid scales. This is where I decided to do some statin stitch practice on the fins.
Then I decided to try a big part: the hair. For most of the embroidery, I used 2 plies of floss, but I wanted a bold outline of the hair, so went with 3 plies in a stem stitch. I did the big outline first, carefully. Then did the detail lines with 1 ply also in stem stitch. I’m really very proud of how it turned out.
Another fun detail was the mermaid’s tail. I found this fishbone stitch in my stitch bible and gave it a try. Some how my stitches were more horizontal than they should have been. And the transfer was too light in this section so I kind of made up the outline on the fly so it’s not as nice as I’d like. But I’m happy with the effect.
The very last part that I worked on were these fish hooks. They were fun. Because of the scale, I worked them all with 1 ply of floss with various stitches. Though I think that fuschia one is a bit wild for the rest of the calm colours in the rest of it.
This project has made me all embroidery crazy. I’ve already got a bunch more planned. Even some cross stitch. But what should I do with all those small leftover pieces of floss? It seems such a waste just to toss a perfectly good length of it. I’m conceiving of some kind of ziploc system or something. Now I wish I saved all those little jewelry/spare button/teeny ziplocs a person gets in life. I might have some kicking around somewhere.