Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 WIP Challenge

I decided to try to the up for a challenge WIP challenge this year. Only I'm tweaking it a bit and only starting out with six projects. If I complete these six by June 21st I will then add six more to the stack, once those six are completed, I'll see what three projects look promising for end of year finishes. I always start challenges and SALs with so much hope. This year I'm being realistic. I have pictures of my first three WIP, the weather has been much too dreary here to take pictures of the other three. So I wanted to post this now before I changed my mind and when I post again I will have the most current pictures of all six projects, and maybe have my full fifteen projects decided upon. This is Jane Atkinson by the Scarlet Letter. According to my records this piece was last photographed on February 23, 2009. I love Jane, truly, madly, deeply and would love to finish her early this year. Not sure that will happen, that over 1 verse is a killer. I'm stitching Jane on 36ct Flax linen and using good old DMC. The colors are much brighter than what you see in the picture which is part of Jane's charm.
Above you see Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie. I had hoped to finish this project before the end of this year but as you can see that ain't happening. I know I have stitched more on this block but can't seem to find a picture. This photo was snapped on July 28, 2010. I'm stitching Black'd Skie on 40ct Vintage Pear and using the Pure Palette Silks. They are awesome to stitch with.

And Long Dog's Sonne Spotte Rounds out my top three. I'm using a mix of GAST and DMC and stitching on 36ct creme brulee I believe. This picture was taken on April 15, 2009.
The other three projects that will be seeing lots of action the first part of 2011 are Handwork's Frances Eden, Scarlet Letter's Emma Lerch and Long Dog's Moulin Rouge.
I'm looking forward to this WIP challenge and hope I can keep up my mojo and get these projects completed by June. Unless something unforseen happens I can see this as a very reasonable goal.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Not Fa La La La La La La

But La D Da Da Da or Tah Da De Da De Da:

In the Garden
La D Da
40ct lambswool(I think)
DMC floss

Why yes Virginia there is a finish before Christmas. BELIEVE! This morning while watching LOTR: The Two Towers I put the last stitch into the border. It was nice to actually wrap something up before Christmas. Yeah, pun intended, because I'm a dork like that.

No other news to speak of other than I scored this nifty bowl thrifting last week. Right now it's buried under books and DVDs while we attempt one more time to move the TV armoire but even as emptied out as it is it still won't budge. We are afraid to remove the tv from the top because we will never get it back up there because it's almost as heavy as the aforementioned armoire.
The tree is leaning against the living room as I have stated that I will not put up the tree until the living room is rearranged because I've determined that every single thing wrong in my life is directly related to the poor positioning of the tv armoire. My world would be all rainbows and unicorns if only we could move that armoire.
I did mention previously that I am in the throes of perimenopausal insanity? Oh yes, the crazy is coming round full force these days. It's amazing what small thing determines the quality of my life.
Now back to working on Rachael Holmes and the hope to have her completed before the ball drops in Times Square.
Coming soon:
My 2011 WIP Challenge List
My 2011 Crazy January Challenge List

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dispatch From the Land of Unfinished Projects

How's everybody doing? Getting ready for your holiday, Christmas, Festivus, etc. celebrations? Things here have been busy. I was recently inspired by this post:

Pleasant View Schoolhouse: Getting Started on a Scrap Quilt

And determined that maybe I let myself get too sucked into the perfection of quilting. If my seams don't match up I'm not worthy enough to quilt. If my layout sucks, I shouldn't have wasted my time. I had it in my head that any sewing or quilting I did must be perfect or I was doing nothing but wasting my time and money. So I read Anna's post and decided that some random scrap piecing was in order. I had been agonising for a while over the layout and colors for my oldest son's quilt. He likes green, he's loud and a true wild child. Over the last year or two I had been gathering the random green fat quarter, a bit of green yardage and then pulled some yellows and blues and an orange or two from the stash because all green seemed a little sad to me. I thought my wild child needed a kick of color outside of green. I took my time, tried to be as exact in my cutting as possible, at least as accurate as someone linearly like myself can hope to be.

I then sat around for a week or two trying to figure out how to match up squares and rows and what fabrics worked and what didn't and then banged my head on the table and screamed to the empty house, "It's a flippin' scrap quilt, don't think, sew, don't think, sew". And that's exactly what I did.

(if only my yard were ever as green as this quilt)

I took this picture this morning in the yard, a cloudy overcast 6:48a.m. shot, and I do believe some neighbors were peaking out their blinds wondering what the heck I was doing. I'm the weird, quirky, odd neighbor and I'm okay with that.

Here's another picture. I randomly sewed two squares together, then stacked them up in a pile, then I determined how many pairs of squares I'd need per row for a twin sized quilt, the number was 14 and then I started just sewing my pairs together. Once or twice I stopped and changed up a square or two but I didn't really think too hard about it. The top was going to be what it was going to be and I didn't want to plan it. I wanted a joyful, happy, scrappy mess--this means that no matter how I laid out the colors it would be a success, as long as it had the happy gene, the smile factor.

Last night when the spousal unit arrived home from a long day at work he saw the quilt top on the back of the couch and a huge smile spread across his face, "If the oldest son doesn't want it, I do". That right there is success.

This is the top stretched out on DS#1's bed, OMG, that room is a dark and scary place. But the top fits the bed and will be perfect when I add a border. I had been worried and so had the oldest son that this quilt had a girlie feel to it. I kept saying groovy, not girlie, GROOVY I tell ya.

The two fabrics above are the ones he finds most offensive, particularly the one on the bottom. I had yardage of that, whoops! The top fabric, yeah I knew it was girlie. I get it, but it sure made me happy to cut it up into those four inch squares. It's the one fabric that is me in the quilt, so I left it. We have named this quilt, The Girlie Man.

Next up is a quilt for the middle son which will be a mix of old jeans, plaid shorts, some cut up button down striped shirts, maybe some osnaburg fabric and a few blue prints thrown in. I plan to make it similar to this quilt:

Pleasant View Schoolhouse: Another Scrap Quilt: Someone Stop Me!

I like the 3x6 retangles a lot. It may end up being a hot mess trying to use denim but I'm going to try. Worse case scenario, I'll need to swap out the denim for some dark blue solid fabric.

Then a scrappy quilt with blue as the dominate color for DS #3.

If you have been wanting to try piecing but decided it's above your skill level or too fussy, or too hard, I beg you to just jump in and let go. The quilt doesn't have to be fancy, use stashed fabrics, try to do it right but don't fret if seams don't match up exactly or if there's a bit of puckering. I loved this project so much. I took my time cutting, I pinned it to death just before sewing, and I still got puckering, I still didn't sew perfectly straight but I tried, I tried so hard and that's all that matters. My biggest obsession was trying to keep matching fabrics from popping up next to each other. It was impossible, to let go of that control, to just jump in and sew strips of squares together and see what turned up where, it was fun and liberating.

This quilt couldn't be more basic:

4 inch squares

14 to a row

21 or 23 rows of squares

That's it.

From the Cross Stitch Pile:

Progress on La D Da's In the Garden. This is taking forever! I'm finally down to a bit of filling in and the border. Maybe I'll have this finished by the weekend.