Thursday, August 30, 2018

What a Mess!

I think I might have mentioned that I've got some vacation travel coming up here pretty soon. And yesterday, amidst all the planning to make things run smoothly while I'm away, I looked up at my sewing table and discovered a bit of unruly chaos going on there.

In one corner, I have a pile of completed and in-progress FLOCK blocks. The stack of blocks at the top are all done - the blocks are done anyway - they are waiting to become a project. The stack (shown in part) to the right need their applique shapes secured and sewn, and the stack (shown in part) on the left are yet to be started. Most of them anyway.

Smack in the middle of my work table: this stack of partially cut fat quarters and scraps. I unearthed this 'ancient' fat quarter pack whilst tidying up my stash a while back. These aren't my color or style, but they ARE perfect for someone I know! This one is going to be a Christmas gift - and it might even make it for this coming Christmas!

I've been working on this runner project a little at a time (and during some away time at my sister's camp last weekend). The pattern is available online from AQS. It's Debbie Wendt's Journey to Fall Paducah.

The pattern is free, there are 36 blocks to download. I'm not sure how long the pattern will be available, so grab it now, block-by-block, if you're interested.

However, I'm only making four blocks for a table runner, I'm changing up the corners because I detest paper piecing, and the corners from the pattern really work with the big quilt, not so much the table runner. Also I'm switching out the black background for scrappy light colors to coordinate with that aforementioned fat quarter group parked in the middle of the work table.

I think there are a few other projects under this top project layer. I'm afraid to look, so we'll just leave that be. I can only handle so much chaos at once. And you simply don't want to see what my office desk looks like!

Speaking of chaos, I think I showed you my hand stitching/TV project last time. The daisy cross stitch pattern is from a recent cross stitch periodical. To be perfectly honest, I'll be glad when this one's done. It's pretty but the stitches involve lots of REALLY similar but different whites and greens, with a lot of annoying counted space in between each stitch. I've done a lot of backwards stitching on this one when I discover that my counting skills have temporarily lapsed. I've also done a lot of nobody-will-ever-notice-if-I-just-substitute-this-thread-for-it's-neighboring-nearly-identical-color-thread' fudges.

Ugh! What was I thinking when I picked this one up?

(Below: last time; below that: now.)

I'm anxious to get back to my excessively-fussy-but-satisfyingly-predictable blackwork biscornu - I've discovered that you simply can't have enough of those!

Have a wonderful long weekend! Be safe! And find some time to stitch!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Finish, Finish, Start!

With some travel/vacation time coming up in September, I've been nose-to-the-grindstone attempting to get a little bit ahead on the next few patterns and designs for The FLOCK. Pretty secret - but VERY cool - stuff coming. In the meantime, I've been taking advantage of quiet sewing time to finish up a few things.

. . .like that contemporary, neon-threaded biscornu I have been working on recently.

I took advantage of some evening sewing time to sew the two blackwork squares together, stuffed with wool batting scraps.

It's different! And fun!  . . . I like!

Couple weeks ago, I showed some projects I was finishing up during a little personal sewing retreat.

This cross stitch image of Mount Vernon was just about done, at that point. Now, it's a couple steps further along.

Layered and quilted. The binding it attached and just needs to be secured to the back by hand.

I added two small sleeves on the back for hanging. I'm not sure where this will go, but I'd like to put a small wooden dowel through the finished sleeves, then hang it from a single nail in the middle of the piece.

As long as I was making such good progress finishing things, I decided to treat myself to a new cross stitch project. This one is an image of a single daisy from a recent cross stitch periodical.

Who knew that there were so many different variations of white? I have stitched maybe 4 or 5 different whites so far. They all look pretty close to me!

As the summer winds down, I hope you are finding some time to let your heart sing with something pretty to stitch!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Moutain Air

This past weekend, Dave and I toodled our way to Blue Mountain Lake and the Minnowbrook Conference Center. This is a mountain retreat house, formerly an Adirondack Great Camp, owned by Syracuse University, my alma mater.

Each year, over the first weekend in August, Minnowbrook hosts an alumni event featuring a guest speaker, excellent networking and conversation, great food and accommodations, and a wonderful back-to-nature atmosphere.

This year, the lake was quiet to start the weekend. 

Pretty flowers in a hanging pot.

 Finding yourself up the river without a paddle? . . . I know where the paddles are!

 Free time means stitching time, in a shady spot on the dock.

The weather in the mountains can be unpredictable. Seemingly out of nowhere, a line of storms interrupted our Saturday afternoon free time. I opted to stay under cover by the lake and watched the rain create spiky shapes in the formerly placid water. Dave opted to take a hike.

Yep, he got wet. REALLY wet!

By Sunday morning, Blue Mountain Lake was back to a glass-like, serene surface.

Many thanks to the event organizers, and to our speaker, Shiu Kai Chin, Professor of Electrical Engineering at SU, who spoke about Cyper Security (giving new meaning to those numerous passwords we all struggle to keep organized?) during our 'educational' sessions.

Believe it or not, the topic and the interactive conversations were timely, thought-provoking, and fascinating!

Summer is flying by. Make the time to stitch and think in a quiet peaceful spot.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Nothin' Much

This week, I've been pretty busy behind the scenes with patterns and paperwork. Trying to get a little ahead while it's quiet. 

I was hoping to get back to those projects I started last week during the sewing weekend at my friend's camp. Even though things are happening, there really is 'nothin' much' going on in the studio, so this post will be short and sweet.

I actually did make some really good progress on the pillows. (Yes, there are now THREE in progress!)

One for each niece who will be visiting in October, and one for a the cover photo on a bonus pattern I'm preparing to go along with the next shipment of The FLOCK.

I'm done with the piecing, now, I'm quilting the tops.

These guys should be all done in a couple days. The pattern will take a few more days to finalize, then it'll be on to the next project.

I spent a little time on the front porch chill-axing with some stitching this past weekend.

This contemporary-ish blackwork piece from a pattern by Threaded Sheep will become another biscornu, my latest stitchy obsession. 

This one will be quite different from the others I've been making. It's quite non-traditional, especially with those neon threads! We'll see if it 'works!'

When the pillows are done, I hope to get back to those projects I started last weekend. If not, they'll keep. With more of the summer behind us than ahead of us, I'm planning to enjoy what's left of the warm temperatures, short-sleeved shirts, and flip-flops. The cooler, longer stitchy days of autumn will be upon us soon enough.

I intend to savor every minute of summer while lasts. I hope that's your plan, too!

Enjoy, and  . . .

Happy Stitching!