Friday, September 18, 2020

Fractured Finished (2)

In my last post, I wrote about working on a quilt I called Fractured. Well, IT IS FINISHED! As I'm writing this, it is in the washing machine. I finished hand stitching the binding last night. First, let me show you all the "help" I had while stitching that binding. 

What is it about quilts that cats like SO much? Every time I took a break from working on it, I had to shoo a cat off of it!

I took the quilt (minus the binding) outside to take a photo, so here is the "finished" quilt.
I fretted about the quilting (even though I knew it wouldn't show too much), and decided upon script--making it a diary entry of sorts. It tells a short story of the quilt and these times. I explain in the quilting that the three Xs in the quilt represent loss for me--Nate (my husband), my Dad, and my stepmother. I lost Dad in 2018, Helen (my stepmother) about two months later, Nate was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2018, he died in June of 2019. I remember thinking (at the end of each year) that the next year would HAVE to be better. Then, a global pandemic hit! I felt broken, but kept in mind that a fracture can mend--it takes time, but it WILL mend. 

Here are a couple of closeups of the quilting. You can read it if you look closely. 

When I wrote about the pandemic, I thought it would be pertinent for me to include some statistics about the virus. The quilting contains COVID statistics--globally, United States, Indiana, and Dubois County--on the day the quilt was quilted. 

It scares me a little bit to put this out there, but SURELY 2021 will be better! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Working on "Fractured" (1)

I've been busy working on my "Fractured" quilt--making block after block. As Kathy suggested when she commented on this blog post, "Make lots and lots and then make some more." Well, I have done that. In the last week or so, I have made approximately 75 blocks. I haven't yet decided what size I'm going to make the piece, but I wanted to have a variety of blocks from which to choose. I MAY end up using all of them (and maybe more) in this quilt--or not. I'm sure I'll find a use for any leftover blocks I might have. I'm leaning towards tall and skinny (but not TOO skinny). Right now, I'm playing with the pieces on my design wall. This particular wall isn't wide enough for me to put up all the horizontal or vertical blocks, but this gives me a good idea of what it will look like. The blank spots in this picture are blocks I'm currently working on.

My upstairs studio is jam packed with bright scrappy strips of fabric. I'm really drawn to the chaotic combination of colors. Maybe because I feel the chaos in my own life with this pandemic and all. 

I have also finished a couple of little wool projects--a little scissors keeper and a needle case.

This is the outside of the folded case.
This is the inside of the case with it open.
I think I'll make good use of both of these. I have a wool pin cushion yet to make. Hopefully, it won't take me too long to get to that.

I had a nice porch visit with a friend of mine from Louisville. Part of the time, when Nate was in the hospital, I stayed with her and her husband. Since her visit was close to my birthday, she  brought me a journal she made. Isn't it beautiful? I think I'll use it to keep notes and ideas from my Textile Artists Stitch Club workshops.

I will update you, again, when "Fractured" is further along. Now, back to work!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Some Much Needed Sister Time

My birthday was last week, and my sister made the trip to my house from Tennessee. We have both been very careful with COVID protocols and both are in agreement that being with family is essential for our mental health. She made my favorite foods--her chicken salad and a big German Chocolate cake. We ate on those all week. They were both DELICIOUS!

We took a little drive to our hometown (Orleans, IN) to visit some of the places we knew as children. It is funny; the town sure seemed much bigger back then. We placed flowers at the cemetery and drove by the home in which we grew up. We made a few trips up and down the familiar streets to see how things had changed since we lived there. We really enjoyed reminiscing about the "good ole days."

After we had covered Orleans, we drove to Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, IN. We didn't want to stop to eat anywhere in public, so we brought a picnic lunch. We had such a good time.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day--hard to believe the temperature was so mild for mid-August. 

Later in the week, we made some new masks. I just LOVE them (well, as much as you can "love" a mask). My friend, Debby Cresanto, sent the fabric to me. She said when she saw it, she had to send it to me (because she knows I love bright colors and all things flamingo). I tweeked a pattern to provide a bit more room around the nose, so I don't feel quite so restricted. I used some flat nose "wires" I had ordered along with some "soft elastic" which feels really good on my ears. (Debby sent the soft elastic too.) I made a pineapple and flamingo mask for each of us.

We had a really nice week. I have found a little "family time" can certainly give me a nice pick-me-up. I need that every now and then. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

In the Meadow--Wool Table Runner

Last week I finished up some things I had started LONG ago. I found three wool projects--all in different stages of completion. I still liked all of them and decided it would be worth my time to finish them.

This is the first one I finished. I think it is really cute and will be gifted to someone special this Christmas.

This is a Backyard Friends pattern called #292-In the Meadow. I really enjoyed the hand stitching, and the added plus is that I could work on it with two cats in my lap! LOL!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Dryer-Sheet Quilt

I have been working on my "dryer-sheet" quilt this week. Used dryer sheets are the foundation for the blocks. The dryer sheets are thin enough that they won't have to be removed once the blocks are finished.

I have completed several blocks and am ready to put the blocks together. I have put the blocks up on my design wall and have to decide how to put them together. Here are a few of the arrangements I'm considering.

This one is VERY busy and would take A LOT of blocks. There is something about it I like, though. I think it is the diamond shapes and the secondary design of the X.
This one is also VERY busy and would take A LOT of blocks, too; but I like it. It could be really interesting if the same color family was used to make the middle zig-zag portion of the block. It would make the zig-zag more prominent and more organized.
This version would use sashing strips and small stripped squares. It gives your eye a place to rest. It would take A LOT of blocks across the rows (horizontally) since the block is SO narrow. I'm not sure I would like lots of blocks across the row and fewer blocks vertically. I'll just have to see.
For this setting, it would take three blocks across for the size I want to make. (I just didn't have room to put that many up on my portable design wall.) I think this one looks a bit more "modern" than the other settings. It also uses the sashing with the added small stripped squares.

What do you think? Which one do you like? What should I name this quilt--High and Dry, Scrappy Diamonds, String Diamonds? I'm sure you all can think up a name much more clever than my ideas. You'll have to check back to see which one I decided to make. I'll put up a picture when the top is finished.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

2020 Stitched Art

I have found that hand stitching brings me a kind of peace I can't find doing anything else. It is like meditation for me. I am currently taking on-line classes through the Textile Artist website. I belong to what they call a "Stitch Club." I pay a monthly fee and get three classes a month led by VERY prestigious fiber artists. This week's class was led by Cas Holmes, whose work I have loved for a LONG time. She showed us how she uses momigami (kneaded paper) in her work. The "assignment" for the week was to do a small landscape using momigami, fabric, and stitch.

I'm not really a "landscape" kind of girl, so I went my own direction. (I know that will surprise those of you who know me. LOL!)  I had been wanting to do a piece to represent how 2020 has affected me and had been thinking about it for a long time. I decided to make my piece using momigami. I started by printing off this pic I had manipulated on my computer.
I used this paper (printed out from my printer) as my paper for momigami. I distressed and worked it with olive oil and used it as the foundation of the piece. I pinned it to a background of recycled linen from a pair of pants I had purchased long ago and, then, pinned the fabric mask to the piece along with some other pieces of fabric.

From there, I added more fabric and stitch to embellish and finish the piece. The glasses, eyes, and ears along with the middle background colors are the exposed paper.
Here are a couple of detail pictures.

I can't say how much I enjoyed working on this piece.