Yeah. It happened again. I guess just don’t know how to use my blog now, with an entirely different schedule and slightly unclear focus. It’s becoming clearer, day by day, and my future now looks entirely different than it did a few months ago. But where does my blog fit in, and where does blog reading and writing fit into the world at large? It seems like such a lesser-used medium now than it was just a tiny little while ago! Crazy technology making everything move so quickly!
So, I’ll just go on as if I hadn’t been gone, and hopefully I’ll figure it out. For the time being, I’m going to try to post weekly, just the once. Seems like an appropriate schedule for both you and me now.
It being Olympic time, I set myself some Olympic-worthy (yeah, ok, I suppose those hammer throw people would probably object to that) challenges for these two weeks: make good progress on a cardigan I’d been knitting, finish my Merry Medallion, and finish my Huge Honking Churn Dash quilt (above).
My BeeEurope 2015 peeps made these churn dashes for me and LOOKIT HOW DAMN PRETTY! For me, it’s the ultimate, perfect, heavenly combination of modern and traditional, exactly how I like it.
(To make your very own Huge Honking Churn Dash Quilt, use my tutorial!)
A little WIP-sharing today, in the hopes that if I tell you about it, I’ll stick with it. I’ve got half-projects EVERYWHERE right now. I know that’s a common problem with us crafters, but like, seriously. EVERYWHERE. I should take one of those “honest” photos of what my sewing table actually looks like – except you can’t see the table, let alone get any sewing done on it. Project piles everywhere.
(I’m thinking I need a thing with a couple of drawers, like on wheels, where I can store my current WIPs. I’m a little worried that’s just where WIPs would go to die – or at least become UFOs, but if I only allow the things I’m currently working on into the drawers? I dunno, but there has to be a better use for a sewing table than just holding piles, right?!)
Anyway, so yeah. I started another dang project. I’ve got two trips coming up, and although there’s no chance even in the pits of hell that I’d be able to get this done for the first (exactly one week from today), I know it’ll be useful for the second (at the end of May).
This is The Daily Duffle pattern, by Sassafras Lane. I have bears on the outside, along with the woodgrain, and the blue lace fabric as my lining. I only had a half-meter of the bears, and I was determined to get as much of this project out of stash as possible. So I’m using the Cotton + Steel peaches and Lizzy House constellations to make up the round sides. A few mods I already have planned: skipping the long strap, ’cause I always end up detaching them from store-boughten bags, so really, why would I go to the trouble of making one?! Because of that, I’ll possibly make the short handles a bit longer, so I can tuck the duffle under my arm if I need to. I’m using Bosal In-R-Foam, which I’ve never used before, instead of a fusible fleece and the Vilene G700 woven interfacing that I’ve gushed about before (’cause I’m THAT person now, that one that gushes about interfacing. Sigh.). I’m not sure if that’s going to be enough, since I’ve never used the foam before, so I’ll have to wing that as I go.
I starting cutting and interfacing last night, so there’s still a ways to go. Full report back with project details when I’ve finished!
Remember when I told you about Bee Adventurous, the new round robin-style quilting bee I’m in? Well, the work I showed you then was Round 1, when we all made our own pieces to pass on.
Round 2 was just a touch trickier. Who knew adding something to someone’s beautiful handmade work was going to be so damn difficult??! Ok, so maybe I should’ve seen that coming.
I knew that my contribution to Rebecca’s (@greenandbell on IG, a friend whose work I admire more than I can say) quilt was going to include low volume flying geese – I could see that almost immediately. Her segment was made of intricate, colorful squares, and my gut said it wanted angles and couldn’t have anything too colorful next to her section or it would drown it out. I sewed a bunch of low volume, low contrast flying geese and was crazy about them. And then got stuck.
I originally placed a couple of stars between the geese and it was pretty, but it had no cohesion with Rebecca’s piece. I also went back to the original assignment, as it were, and looked at Rebecca’s Pinterest inspiration board for her project. I decided the stars were stepping too far away from her style. Working your style into someone else’s isn’t easy – it’s a balance, taking care not to simply mimic their style, instead finding a way to blend the two seamlessly.
It took me a few days of sweat and tears, but I decided to replace the stars with five circles, English Paper Pieced in quarters, in color blocks. The color and shot cottons I used would tie into Rebecca’s work without competing with it. I had also previously felt that in order to be truly representative of me, there really should be some hand-stitching involved in my contribution, so landing on an EPP solution put out a couple of fires with one cup of water. As soon as I imagined the circles in place, I knew it was the right choice and I got stitching.
I’m really happy with what I made for Rebecca, and I hope she is too! It’s a little bit me, a little bit her. And it made me step outside the box and see my sewing a little differently which, for me, was the whole point of this bee!
(Rebecca’s work up top, mine below it. This photo was kindly provided by the bee member now in possession of this project, Ruth (@birchandbirdsong on IG), because my turn with it was plagued by dark and rainy days. Other than this photo, pardon the unpolished WIP-nature of the shots in this post. This is what it really looks like as I work. :) )
Next up, Clare’s project, which you can see the start of on her blog. It’s been added to by Rebecca since then, and I’m totally unsure about this one. We’re already a month into this round and I only really have an inkling of an idea of how to proceed! So yeah, wish me luck, eh?
So, a little while ago, we at the embroidery blog &Stitches made the decision to put an end to the blog (though the archives are still there for browsing!). I’m so happy I got to make those friends, they’re an amazing group of stitchy peeps. And although ending the site is sad, it’s great that we’re all a little too busy now to keep up with everything, you know?
But. We had this fun stitch-along idea and we didn’t want to abandon it, so as a group of stitchy-minded pals, we’ve adapted it to a blog hop format. The idea is to creatively stitch just one square inch, inspired by prompts that we’re sharing every couple of weeks. Check out the schedule (and download a template) here, and join in for as much or as little as you like!
Carina shared the first prompt, which you can see me working above, so head backwards to her blog and catch that one there. For my turn, I want you to:
Stitch five lines.
That’s it. Just five lines. Could be parallel, could be intersecting. Could make a shape, could be in five different colors or stitches, could leave negative space in the square or fill it all up. Go wild and use your imagination! Here’s my five lines:
Backstitch and stem stitch, and I seem to be going for a bit of an 80s-neon vibe with my sampler. Very Debbie Gibson, “Electric Youth”. My thread palette is this one from Sublime Stitching, which was shared with me by Carina, a million years ago, and has just been waiting for the right project. Such sugary goodness in those colors!
If you’re stitching along, use the tag #andstitchesalong on Twitter and IG to share your project, and get your next prompt from Nicole on April 4th!
So, this crazy thing happened last week, dudes. A new issue of the digital quilting magazine Make Modern came out … and MY PROJECT IS ON THE COVER. #holycrap!
Make Modern is a really fun magazine, always full of lovely, bright, modern projects. In this project for Issue 10, I combined fairly simple EPP with a touch of basic embroidery to create a project that really wows. My wall hanging is called “When The Stars Go Blue” (after this beautiful Ryan Adams’ song) and is inspired by the moment when the sky is neither day nor night, and you can just see the stars emerging. That’s my favorite time of day, it makes me feel so deeply happy and sad at the same time.
I hope you’ll go check out the issue – and my project, if you’re interested in hand-stitching! Thanks so much to Make Modern for choosing my project for the cover – it’s ridiculously exciting to see it there!