Sunday, July 28, 2013

Projects and Classes

This past week really few by!  I spent Monday to Wednesday in classes taught by Susan of Foxview Needlepoint.

Monday saw myself and ten friends learning new needlepoint stitches for this American goldfinch.  Each canvas was hand-drawn by Susan.  It might take a while, but the stitches are not overly complex and the subject is something I enjoy.  This is how much I managed to complete during the class period:

Tuesday morning, ten of us (a different mix of ladies) learned the technique of rug hooking.  Most of the students chose a sheep design, two others worked pumpkins.  I brought my own kit that I found at one of the local quilt shops, a Christmas stocking ornament.  I managed to finish the hooking Tuesday afternoon at the guild meeting.

Wednesday there was a lecture on choosing colors for our needlework designs.  Nothing to really photograph for this class.  But I did get more of the Goldfinch done.  I also thought to get a picture of my canvas with the sample picture.

Somehow through all this I managed to get a second coat of paint on the Peach's exterior.  I also got the trim sections and bay window primed with gesso, and got one coat of paint on the bay window's top.

Currently Goldfinch looks like this.

I decided to change the eye section, so the two white stitches that were there are now gone.  I also decided I don't care for the more open weave on the cattail, so that's all coming out and I'll stitch it again with a tighter weave once I get a replacement skein of the correct pearl cotton.  But I did finish up 1 out of 7 total skeins for the background color!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bolts and Quarters

Happy Sunday, folks!  I'm still not feeling as great as I felt prior to Joe's untimely death.  Truthfully it's been a rough couple of weeks.  But I'm hanging as tough as I can.

I wanted mindless projects this week.  Things I could do whilst listening to the television.  So I made 24 more bolts for the quilt shop.  By the by, I've decided to call the shop "The Patchwork Peach."  Anyways, some of these fabrics came from another "scrap bin" that I'd totally forgotten about... to the tune of I discovered it in the workroom closet.  The other fabrics were given to me by two ladies in Guild.

I've started figuring out what types of fabric I'm still looking for.  It's mainly tiny holiday prints, specifically Easter, St. Patrick's Day, and Thanksgiving.  I've got a few for Valentine's Day and several for Halloween, Independence Day, and Christmas.  It would really be cool to find some for Hanukkah!  I'm also looking for prints that would be found in the "kids" section.  A few more micro ginghams and small homespun prints would also be nice.  Half the fun of making these bolts is the hunt for the fabrics!

I thought it would be fun to show all 262 miniature bolts in one photo.  Making bolts is only partially mindless, since I like to name my fabrics.

The really mindless project was folding  and gluing min fat quarters.  I doubled the amount in this bin.  I've still got a few thousand to go before I can really get started making my bundles.  But I did make it through the last part of "Waking the Dead," series 5, and all three series of "Wallander" while I worked.

I have to go back to concentrating tomorrow.  I'm taking a needlework class from 9-4pm Monday.  Then rug hooking workshop on Tuesday and attending a seminar on using colors in needlework on Wednesday!  By Thursday I'll be ready for mindlessness again.  

See you next week!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Working on the Quilt Shop

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I've gotten most of the interior primed and ready for painting.  Not sure what color I'll choose, but it will probably be something neutral.

I also spent a bit of time cleaning in the workroom.  No, I don't have photos.  It's just too cluttered yo see any improvement.  However I did find some minis that I plan on using in the quilt shop.  These are all gifts from friends and family over the years.

Here's a closer view of the bunny doll and turkey decoration.  I might figure out how to make more of these.  Might.  It depends on my mood.

Also I took a picture of some furniture Aunt Pat me for the shop.

I think the table on the left will look nice with some sort of table covering and some samples and/or fat quarter bundles on it.  The cabinet needs some work, but may end up with a runner draped over one of the doors.  They are both going to stay in the attic room.  The two smaller tables will be put where ever they'll fit on the lower floors.

That's pretty much all for this week.  I've been reading some neat books on needlework I found at the library, which is taking up lots of time.

See you all next weekend!

Monday, July 8, 2013

All of the Things!

I started out moving structures around the house in the attempt at making room for a new printer when we finally get one.  The building for the quilt shop was moved upstairs, which is nice since it's currently sitting where I want it to live.
  Artie "helped."

Then I finalized my sketches for the shelving I need to construct to hold the fabric bolts.  

 I also worked on bolts for my quilt shop and cut fat quarters... lots of fat quarters.  Here are the bolts: 

Then I started making birthday gifts for my mini friends in St. Louis:

- One friend has a HUGE dollhouse that has a wonderful sewing room.  I thought some mini fat quarter bundles would be a nice addition.

- Another friend has been painting miniature watercolor landscapes for a couple of years.  I thought she might like to start her own mini artist's studio.  The portfolio is made of card and covered with a piece of real-life wallpaper that had a neat texture.  The darker "leather" is a football texture scrapbook paper.  I modified the handle from the original by wrapping waxed linen with the scrap-booking paper.  The directions are in Dolls' House Details by Kath Dalmeny.  Same for the watercolor paper with proper deckle edges.

- A third friend had missed two years' worth of birthdays and Christmases, as she was on a mission trip.  She'd been working on a mini quilt shop, so I thought some more fabric and some fat quarter bundles would be a nice addition.  She got three bolts and three bundles, plus one each for each of her last three birthdays and two Christmases.

- I designed a special piece of stitching for Aunt Pat's birthday, but I'll talk more about it further down.  It didn't get finished until Saturday.

Tuesday I woke up late to the news that a friend of ours, Joe, had passed away suddenly on Saturday and his funeral was to be Wednesday night.  That sort of derailed my train of thought for a bit.  FH came home early Tuesday and we cried for a bit.  Joe was 31 years old and it's still unclear as to why he died.  The coroner hasn't released a final report.

After going out for comfort food Tuesday I wandered over to my favorite quilt shop and spied a brilliant blue fat eighth that reminded me of Joe.  he favorite color was blue and this fabric was in the specific shade of his favorite shirt.  It begged to become a bolt of fabric in my quilt shop, so I bought it... and 15 other fat eighths that were neat.  After we got home, I made these:

As I tried to sleep that night I decided we should wear some blue to the funeral, so on Wednesday I made these pins.  They are forget-me-not flower yo-yos, made from the same blue fabric as the miniature bolt.  FH  wore the singleton on his suit jacket and I wore the group of three as a brooch on my shrug.

Then I didn't do much for the rest of Wednesday into Thursday.  Friday we drove south to see friends and I slept for most of the day.

Saturday I finished the last of the stitching on this birthday gift for Aunt Pat.  Originally I was going to turn them into cushions (1.25" square), but there isn't much room in the scene for cushions.

However she needs wall art, so whilst she's in Tuscon, AZ for the N.A.M.E. convention, she's in the market for gilded frames of the correct size.  Aunt Pat gets to visit The Mini Time Machine Museum while she's there.  I'm jealous!  I told her to watch out for witches named Tessie whilst she was there.  I'm afraid if they met there would be more work for me to do for Pat and for Casey to do for Tessie!

Anyways, the design is modified from a piece of embroidery I found in 18th Century Embroidery Techniques by Gail Marsh.  During the 18th century it was popular to work designs completely in chain stitch, usually on muslin garments.  In 1759 (according to Ms. Marsh) the tambour method of embroidery was introduced in Europe.  The differences are mostly visible on the back of the work, but tambour allows for turning curves and corners better.

Aunt Pat's current roombox is set in 1755, so I used plain old chain stitch for the piece.  I chose the colors to coordinate with the doll, who is dressed in pale peach silk.  The foundation fabric is fine cotton lawn, basted onto muslin.  I will probably be the one to frame them once she gets her frames bought.  That will be on another trip south.

We got home late Sunday night.  Then I had to deal with all the unpacking, laundry sorting, oil changing, grocery buying, etc that gets done after a trip.  Happily our neighbor had invited us for dinner tonight, so there wasn't a need to do any cooking.

That's all for now.  I'm working on the quilt shop this week.  We'll see how far I get with any of that.

Running Behind

I'm late again this week for a couple of reasons.  I'll be back later this evening to actually post with pictures, etc.  See you then.