Friday, February 20, 2015

Making

Even in the midst of busy times, I'm still pecking away at crafty things! I'm not a super-achiever, by any means, but I'm learning that even a few minutes a day can lend progress to all my little crafty
irons I have in my fire. Here are a couple of recent finishes, and one project I'm working on this month.


My first finish for 2015 was this patchwork heart from Lovely Little Handmades that I started two years ago and loved at the time - and said I would finish at the time. I was going to make it into a pillow cover, but decided to make a table topper instead. And I hate it! LOL I finished the back with a plaid fabric that I had in my stash, and tried to give an "interpretation" to my quilting on the front. I was going for an arrow look through the heart, like Cupid's arrow, but I just winged it and didn't get everything arranged like I had it in my mind. And the colors and fabrics are not much my style anymore. I will use them for things for others, but I'm not fond of this color scheme myself. So this one will be chalked up to "don't work on it if you don't like it." Lesson learned. Maybe another color scheme would work, and just plain quilting. I don't know. I just know I don't like how this one turned out.


My next finish is one that I love, though! It's a table runner I began several years ago, before we moved from North Vancouver. The fabric is Nostalgia by April Cornell. At the beginning of the year, All People Quilt magazine offered a 2015 UFO Challenge for finishing your WIPs (Works In Progress) or UFOs (UnFinished Objects). Each line on the worksheet has a number 1-12, and each month, All People Quilt will choose a number. That number will correspond to the WIP you work on finishing that month. This table runner was my assignment for January.


When the month started, the table runner was basted into a quilt sandwich with top, batting, and backing. All I needed to do was quilt and bind it. This runner was begun early on in my quilting journey, so I found that the backing was too small and would draw up as I quilted it and wouldn't fit under the top. So I found another backing piece. It wasn't wide enough or long enough, but it was one of my bigger pieces that I felt would work with the top, so I pieced it with some leftovers from the top.


Then, even though I really want to learn free-motion-quilting, I haven't done it yet, so I had to do straight-line quilting with my walking foot. Except I tried something I'd seen someone do on Instagram: I quilted with a wavy line that is one of the stitches on my machine. And I love it! I chose to make my binding from the backing of my very first quilt, a blue and tan floral. I really enjoy binding my projects for two reasons: (1) I find the handwork of binding to be relaxing, and (2) binding is the last step of the process and the project is done!


This month's WIP for me is a cross-stitch project I began while we were in South Africa. I always think I can get a cross-stitch done a lot faster than I can. Which is why I have several of them in the WIP stage! ;) My favourite cross-stitch magazine is Cross Country Stitching (which is sadly no longer being issued), and this project is Keeping Room from the February 2008 issue. 

I'm working on it in the evenings. I don't know if I'll be able to finish it by the end of the month or not, but I'm giving it my best try. It will at least have more done than if I hadn't put it on my WIP sheet!

What kind of crafty things are you working on right now? I'd love to hear about them!

5 comments:

  1. They are all lovely, Susan! I think the patchwork heart table topper looks just fine! I think the only thing I would change is just to add one more diagonal line (or possibly two) of stitching in the opposite corner of the topper (lower right in the picture). But I am often too much about symmetry, so that will have to be your own call. (If you're like me, you're just happy to be done with it and don't want to touch it again.) But it is pretty and you did a nice job on it. Maybe it would sell in your Etsy shop?

    The table runner is gorgeous and I love the cross-stitch, too. I didn't realize that Cross Country Stitching had ceased publication. I have stacks of back issues and was just thinking today that I would like to do another of their designs. I love them! Yours is coming along nicely!

    Maybe later today I can post a few of my own WIPs!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Mrs. T!!! I think on that heart topper, I am at the point I just want it over with! ;) I thought of trying to sell it, but the binding isn't the best job I've ever done, either, and the backing is just some old fabric I had lying around - so I wouldn't feel like I was offering quality workmanship if I put it in my shop.

      I have quite a few back issues of Cross Country stitching too, and I love to look back through them to find things to make. I have a few mags of other publishers, but CCS is my favourite.

      I saw your UFO post this morning, and all your projects look like they're coming right along!

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  2. Nice work, especially the table runner! I had never seen that idea with the wavy lines but I like it.

    I like the piecing of the heart on top and like those colors, though generally I like pastel rather than bright colors. I agree with Mrs. T about a couple more diagonal lines to balance it out, but I tend to be too symmetrical, too. I understand about just wanting to be done with a project, especially one you didn't enjoy so much, anyway.

    I had a stitching project going before Christmas (crewel this time rather than x stitch), but it is always so hard for me to pick something back up after I've laid it aside. Once I do, though, I'm usually motivated to keep going. This one was complicated by running out of some of the yarn, and I have looked at several craft stores and online and can't find even the same type of yarn, much less the same colors. The section where I ran out is waves, and I have some of the other blues from other sections of the waves, so I will probably just use those to fill in. It is an old, old kit, so I don't think the manufacturer would have any extra - I don't know if they'd answer an inquiry like that anyway.

    I need to get back into stitching in the evenings - I have a couple of jigsaw puzzle apps on my iPad mini and keep getting sidetracked with those. :-) They're fun and I can do them while we watch TV or talk, and I think it is good brain exercise, but there's nothing to show for it like there is after stitching.

    I am having a harder time seeing to stitch, so that's demotivating. I have to use reading glasses plus one of those magnifiers that hang around your neck, and it is still a strain some times.

    I have been making cards for the family, though, and that's been fun.

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    1. I keep looking at the picture of that patchwork heart, and my brain keeps sewing three more lines on that bottom corner! I'm probably going to have to fix it, or it'll bug me forever!

      I hope you can find some way to keep working on your crewel embroidery. I've never tried that at all. When I was a girl, it didn't appeal to me, and it was the popular thing then. My aunt made one for my mom and I thought it was ugly! LOL Now it's more appealing, but I like x-sttich more.

      I do love stitching in the evenings. I get super sidetracked with blogs and Instagram, and like you said, there's nothing to show for either of those after an evening. I enjoy looking back each evening to see what I've accomplished with either sewing or x-sttich. I like x-stitch for evening sewing because I can do it anywhere in the house, and can watch tv or talk with Wes while I'm doing it. I'll be glad for the longer days of summer, though, because we don't have good enough light in the house in the winter, and it's hard to see. I already wear bifocals!

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  3. Hi Susan, Well...I was going to tell you that more lines in the bottom right would help it look like it wasn't just stopped w/o finishing it....but other commenters have said that, and I see you are considering it now, too. :) I actually love the heart...those colors are bright like I like. And the table runner is very nice! What a clever idea about the wavy sewing!!! I'm going to see if I have that type on my machine, too. It's perfect as something to look fancy with not a long of work like free motion!

    I have stacks of those Cross Country mags, too....they were my favorite. Loving your x-stitch. I've thought recently about getting out mine and starting something to work on when I don't feel up to sitting in front of my machine, but just haven't.

    My free time has been spent working on Lori Holt's Row Along. I've finished the last Tulips row and will start sewing all the rows together. I'm loving it and can't wait to have it done. So tonight I was perusing FQS for some backing fabric. I think I found some on their sale/clearance pages that might work.

    Next I'll start on the Snow Time quilt i gave Sarah for Christmas. That looks pretty easy....not a lot of little pieces.

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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