Sunday, July 30, 2017

July has come and gone

Along with the rest of 'the gang,' it's been another uneventful period of time.  The spring passed in the wink of an eye, with the transitions from winter-to-spring and spring-into-summer blurred beyond all recognition.

Wet.  It was very wet; but cool for the most part, which is fine by me.  Wet and cool  -  YEA!

Then of course, summer bullied its way onto the scene and steamed up the works but good.  Heat and humidity, bugs and humidity, humidity and humidity.  Who needs it?  If I wanted to live in the tropics I would have donned a mosquito net suit and headed south south south a long time ago.  Between the part time hours and gardening hours, which are fewer because of the darned heat (...a-n-d humidity - you saw that coming didn't you), time spent getting interview clothes together, and the time I've been giving to appliqueing and crazy quilting, I haven't been using my new, heavy duty long arm machine much.  When I have taken the time, it's been interesting - and quite humbling.

At any rate, acquiring proficiency quilting on the long arm has had quite a learning curve.  It doesn't handle or feel the same as sitting at a domestic and performing FMQ.  With fall only a campfire and a few million fallen leaves away, I need to give myself permission to play again.

Humidity has a dreadful effect of pull on the quilts - even with the lovely Teflon mat that came with the set up, so I tend to stay away from any sort of quilting .  It's mounted on a tall table which makes it stationary, so I still FMQ in the truest sense of the technique, but in a larger harp area (so I should have no real issues when thread-painting Vincent).  And, quilting larger quilts will be much easier, too.  For all of my smaller, less complicated quilts, I will use my lovely old Bernina.

Lately, I have been balancing my needle time between three projects - the CQ "Peacock," the ethereal broderie Perse floral pseudo-mandala, and the haunting, daunting Dutchman.

Last night I sat with the mandala for hours, trying to stitch my way out of a leafy corner.  Sadly (yes, I meant "sadly"), I made quite a bit of progress, but only ended up creating more of a problem for myself.  The progress is fun to look back on and see the growth of my applique acumen, but frustrating in that there are several areas of white background I am going to have to tackle, and I am not as sure of my fine needle skills as I would like to be.  But I guess we all have to learn the new things we want to do sometime, right?

So, my practice piece, my broderie Perse-floral applique mandala is moving along.  There are decisions to make all along the way, and now that I am getting to a happy place with it, I will begin to post photos of it as I go.  In the meanwhile, why don't you let me know what you have going on.

Happy quiltmaking!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

What's up? What's new?

Wow, six months or more since I posted last; looks as though time has gotten away from me.  It's not that there hasn't been anything to say, it's just, well... dropping one activity to work on another, and not feel guilty about walking away from that first 'whatever,' keeps me from doing anything some days.

I have had to put Vincent aside for a while bec-a-a-a-a-a-use we adopted two new rescue cats, the last one in February, and wherever I go and whatever I do in the house, my little shadow follows.  His feral way of life has had to be worked around and altered, and his sad state of being (digestively speaking) has taken a lot of effort and cash to even out a little.  But that's a whole other story, so I'll get back to what we're all here for.
Odin (my tiny shadow) explores everything and eventually unleashes havoc somehow or another.  To keep him away from Vincent, and those thousands of tiny pieces, I have stayed away from the area and bits that would entice him.  My time and energy has been focused on the Crazy Quilt project called "Peacock," and one other portable project that had been rummaging around in my head for quite a while. The second quilt is a wall hanging that is a pseudo-broderie perse piece.  [see photo]  The applique portion is moving along, and I find I need to finish dyeing the background before I can lay out and stitch down the next set of pieces.

Stay tuned, I will post more photos sooner (or later).