Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer Slow Stitching

It seems like I have spent quite a bit of time sewing over the past couple of weeks but I don't have very much to show for it! I am overwhelmed with projects right now and love every one of them so much that I can't make myself focus on just one!  I always go a little overboard during SBOW season but this year I have completely lost my mind.

I haven't really done much with the wool SBOW. I've prepped a few blocks but I plan to change out many of the applique motifs and so I need to draw patterns and pull wools that will work for them so that one is on the back burner for now. I have prepped the first four freebie blocks and have stitched the first two:

I am enjoying stitching all of the pennies and have been working with my already vast collection of threads rather than ordering the recommended colors and am finding I can match them pretty well. 

I was able to attend one day of a local retreat and started prepping Clara's Stars.  I was able to get all of my background yardage cut into 5" squares and to start playing with the week one fabrics.  I have always thread-basted my English paper piecing but decided I needed to go with a quick prep method if I was ever going to get any of these sewn, so I tried both starch and glue. I liked the starch method when I started with it but found that it was really easy to get the paper wet and then you had to be really careful not to lose the shape when you pressed the seam allowance. Not a bad way to go, though. But then I tired the glue method and I was completely hooked! I am not a fan of working with glue but it goes so quickly and holds so well!  I might regret it when it comes time to remove the papers but it sure speeds up the prep process!  I haven't gotten very far but have a few stars sewn and completed one triangle. 

I find EPP very addictive - it is hard to resist working on this project!  But then there is the album quilt - we started the third block for that one and we have a deadline - or perhaps target is a better word. We decided to knock out one of the basket blocks next as there are several in the quilt. I have made a fairly strong start on my block (note that quite a bit of the pieces below are only basted but most of the basket is finished. I am tweaking the pattern a bit, skipping the big knife that is supposed to be next to the pineapple and replacing the mystery item that was next to the pineapple with a pear (it looks somewhat like an apple in the original quilt, but looks like a part of the male anatomy in the drawn pattern).  I also did my basket in brown rather than the traditional Baltimore album red.

Looking at this picture I think my pear is too pale...perhaps I should switch to something a little more green. There's a lot of green in the pattern, though, so I really wanted to go more gold. I will have to give that one some thought.

Although I already have more than enough projects in the works, I am completely obsessed with all of the Panama Pyramids I am seeing posted on Facebook.  I am really trying not to be sucked in - to leave it at the one block - but they are so tempting!  And then I saw that Cindy Blackberg released a stamp for them.  I have been wanting to do a hand piecing project with stamps for a long time so I had to order them!

I stamped my first block - clearly I need a little practice!  What an awesome way to prep hand piecing, though!  There's a little more cutting involved since you can't get them right next to each other but I started sewing them last night and love the precision of the seam allowance and the strong sewing lines. They are great to work with!

Last, but definitely not least - I got a new toy for my birthday this year!  I have been looking at longarms for a very long time as I have always hated not being able to make my own quilts from start to finish.  I've tried quilting on a domestic machine but I usually make large quilts and clearly don't have the talent to make it work. I spent quite a bit of time noodling over which one to go with and finally landed on a Gammill. The thing is HUGE!  It occupies a big part of the basement just outside my office.  

I have a very long way to go in learning how to use this beast but am just about ready to put a "real" quilt on it.  Luckily I never got around to mailing the last two I finished to Missouri Star.  I'm very excited about doing them myself!

Oh - I almost forgot!  This week is the Friday Night Sew In!  I have quite a few things lined up....perhaps even some machine work. Read more about FNSI and sign up to join in the fun on the Sugarlane Designs blog here.


Susie Hoover said...

WOW! You've been VERY busy!!! Love Clara's stars and your album quilt block! I think you may be right that the pear is a little light. Maybe you can find a little golder gold for it!! Surely you have something like that in your stash!!!???!!! *wink*

PS Thanks for the reminder about FNSI!

Darlene said...

Love your wooly blocks.

Jo said...

Looks very interesting.
Hope you do well quilting your own

Wendy B said...

love our work....can you send me your email address so I can send your gift for FNSI? Looking forward to stitching with you tonight. sugary hugs xox
Wendy :o)