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August 2018

Stitching Up A Storm



Making a bit more progress on my 'Field & Forest' quilt.  I haven't had a lot of time to work on this and have just been passing through the studio and stitching up one or two blocks at a sitting.  Sometimes when waiting for the tea kettle to boil.  Sometimes to recover from mopping the floor.  Then a soft chair becomes an oasis and my quilt project a happy little respite. 


I am also finding it immensely satisfying to be able to use up a bunch of scraps, odds and ends and left-over jelly-roll strips.  The colors seem to go together in a weird sort of way.  The green ties everything together, I think.  Once I removed the blue blocks the colors worked better.  Funny, because it started out as a summer themed quilt (with the cool blues and greens), but then was transformed into "fall".  I will have to do something else with the blue blocks now.  


These seams are just begging for some feather-stitching and fancy embellishment though, don't ya think? 


Still Stitching . . .


Here's an update on my 'Field & Forest' lap quilt.  I'm still experimenting with the colors and layout.  A few of the blocks are already sewn together, with other "floating sections" laid out on my homemade flannel design wall cobbled together in 2006.

Anyway, my design wall is great for small projects like this.  I may rearrange everything a few more times before I'm done. I've got another stack of embroidered squares waiting in the wings to trim and sew into blocks.  We have clouds and possible rain--a good day for stitching!

Blue Butterfly


With all the smoke and fire and heat here in the west, cool hues and shades of blues are appealing now--bringing a bit of calm.  This is the only sighting of the elusive blue butterfly I've seen these days.  Keeping watch . . . 

Summer Stitiching




In between a flurry of travel and other summer activities, I'm contentedly stitching these small embroidered blocks with the Field & Forest pattern set.  It's been great digging into my stash of fabric scraps again in the spirit of 'Use What You Have, since I don't really have a grand plan for this project. 

In fact, it's all very random at this point.  But while I'm concentrating on keeping my chain-stitches evenly spaced, and trying not to stab my finger with the needle, I am envisioning a colorful quilt, a sort of lap throw, of embroidered blocks connected by strip-borders constructed Log Cabin style.  Well, more or less.  Keeping in mind, that none of my blocks are the same size and they are not square.  The result being more abstract than a traditional precise pieced quilt block.  Also my fabric strips are a bit random, as I'm just pulling "left-overs" together. 

So, no telling what's going to happen here.  We shall have to wait and see where this leads.  It could be wonderful. It might be tragic.  But I guess that's what makes this little experiment so exciting!

Field & Forest

Queen_anns_laceEvery summer, mother nature provides us with an ever-changing meadow nearby. It's always a surprise.  Last year it was mostly field daisies.  Before that, teasel and tall grass. This year it's dandelions mingled with Queen Ann's Lace.  To some, only weeds.  But to others, wildflowers!  Certainly miracles.  Rain or shine it takes care of itself.  Gentle breezes make it dance.  Bees and butterflies come and go.  Ladybugs lurk.   Nothing more is needed.  It's free for the taking: a little calm within a chaotic world.  A gift.

Wildflowers_1295It's always interesting to see what 'volunteers' arrive each summer.  Mostly from seeds carried on the wind or dropped by birds and other small critters that have made homes in here.  Lavender and lilies share a stage together, harmonious counterpoints, though their performance is brief.  At the height of the season, and even beyond it, bright colors fade into muted mossy tones and I take joy in every blossom, seed and leaf.  It's always a little sad when the show is over. 

However, I can still preserve a few snippets for remembrance with needle and thread. 

Embroidery_pattern_7300 And, best of all, I can share it with you!  I've made a revised version of a vintage pattern I call, Perennial Garden Quilt #7300.  The original (above) has twenty-four 8" x 8" block motifs connected with lattice strips.  It's a striking quilt on it's own with lots of pattern and variety, and a wonderful companion if you are looking for a big lap-stitching project to while away the hours. 


However, I wanted to make a smaller quilt, like a lap throw, with smaller 5" blocks, so basically I pulled out and resized some of the motifs for this purpose.  Just over forty in all.  Plenty enough variety for my purposes and plenty to share as a "new" pattern I will call:  Field & Forest  #6589


So, that done, I started my project with the dragonfly motif.  These harmless critters come in an array of amazing colors; reds, gold, orange, purple, as well as blues and greens--so anything goes.  Not wanting to get overly technical, colors are just randomly placed.  I'm using a pale silver for the wings which is quite nice.  A plain linen background really makes the colors pop.  I will also be combining blocks with bold background colors too. Dragonfly_embroideryYes, I know...my stitching is a bit loose and messy, but that's the effect I'm going for, so no worries.  Still have a ways to go on this one.  Then ladybugs next.