Sunday, July 08, 2018

Looking back and looking forward...

Six years ago, something new and amazing came into my life. This blog. There was definitely a learning curve... inserting links, joining link-ups, staging pics for posts. After not too long, blogging was a integral part of my craft. I'd think my way through projects in a post. I'd be writing posts while I sewed.

And then there are the friends. Ladies all over the world whom I've never met that have shared so much with me. Not just praise for my creations and fixes for my quilting troubles, but their lives from afar.



It's been a good while since I wrote a post... almost a year in fact. I've flipped over to the quick and easy platform of Instagram, though I did put up a valiant fight. I don't have to ponder my posts quite so much, but I've missed my friends. You know who you are!
So I'm back.... at least for the moment. I've been creating. Mind you, I'm not so prolific as I once was.  So if you're an Insta-follower, you're likely to have some deja vu going on. I'll do my best to mix in some fresh stuff for you too!
This past March, Himself, DT, and the extended fam jam traveled to Hawaii. Himself gifted me a Hawaiian quilting workshop. It doesn't get much more traditional than this, but I'm liking it!
I've been really into hand-stitching lately. I know. Try not to fall over. But DT have gotten to the stage where they play fairly independently. Not so independently that I can go inside and sew happily for hours at a time. It's more likely that I can cram in some EPP or a little sashiko before the next "Mammaaaaaa!!!!!"
And it's portable! I sit and stitch as the helicopter parents swoop.

Speaking of DT, they've moved to big kid beds. WTF. And those lovely wee crib quilts I made served them well in toddler beds, but they look pretty shrimpy on their new beds.
So I've been picking away at some new ones for them. I figure that I might have them done by the time we extend those beds to the length of twin beds! For GT, it's the Release the Kraken quilt that I posted about way, way back. It's come a long way!
And for BT, it's a hybrid of Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest and Delightful Desert. Here's my most recent block finish, wee Freya Fawn. Isn't she a sweetheart?

See you soon!

J

Thursday, August 17, 2017

TGIFF - Strong

Welcome to TGIFF @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge! If you're new to the blog, I hope you'll take a few minutes to tour around and leave a comment or two. I read every one! If you're not so new to the blog, you might have noticed a wee blip last week where I was hosting TGIFF. Nope. I'll chalk it up to computer error! I just wanted to reassure you that you're not reading double!

Shockingly, I pulled off another finish for this week.... and not just a pile of pincushions. Something a little larger this go round!
Regular readers will know how strongly I feel about extra love being sewn in to handmade items. It's why, when the shit hits the fan, I tend to get sewing. I can't change the situation, but I can give someone a warm, soft place to curl up under or lay their head on. This week's finish? Well, it's to remind a friend of their strength. Pure, unadulterated strength. Strength that has gotten them through 100% of their crappiest days to date.

I had so little in the way of a plan for this pillow. I just started sewing low volume scraplings together. I mean, low volume works in everyone's decor, right? Once the scrap blobs got big enough, I cut them into 5 inch squares and slapped 'em on the design wall.
Once I was happy with the distribution, I sewed them up. The recipient had told me her favourite colour was red, so I did my best to get those wee red polka dot scraps well distributed.
Then on to the quilting. I know, I know. What is that hideous lavender doing there? I use cast off FQs as pillow innards. Don't judge me. And I know I've been FMQ spiraling a lot lately.... like on this pillow. But I like it. So there.
I know what you've been wondering since the beginning of this post. HOW DID SHE DO THOSE LETTERS? Heat and Bond Ultra, of course.
And my new little friend, a Cricut Explore Air 2 (which I purchased a mere two weeks before the hype for the Cricut Maker started. Let's not speak of it.)
I haven't made much so far. I'm sort of overwhelmed by the possibilities. But this seemed like a great place to start. I used the design software to write the work and spent three days choosing the right font. Okay, maybe it wasn't three days. But it was a long time!
 I got a little worried when I saw this... the frayed edge and the cutting blade didn't get along so well.
But my trusty dental pick got that letter off smoothly and I was able to trim and re-cut the small area that had gone cattywampus.
The letters came off the sticky mat with ease. Sometimes the Heat and Bond paper was left behind, but that was no big deal. I was taking it off anyway!
 And presto. Ironed in place.
 Those swirls look fab on that low volume scrappiness... if I do say so myself.
I wanted to get just a little more red into the pillow top, so I outlined the red Cotton+Steel XOXO letters with a heavy red stitch. Given enough time, I think I might have liked to hand stitch around it with perle cotton. Try to contain your shock. I also did three horizontal and three vertical lines of stitching... representing the recipients three kiddos.
Oddly, my stash is short on reds. Dena @ No Frickin Blog yet is horrified. Gasping for air even. But it's true. But red was needed here, so I used a chunk of a cute Lewis & Irene fox print that's been curled up in my stash for some time and a piece of Kona Cardinal for the other side of the envelope closure. With such a scrappy front, two fabrics on the back won't hurt anyone!

  And there it is. Strong. Hopefully it gives a little comfort and strength to it's new owner.
Now it's your turn. Link up those fabulous finishes here and don't forget to tour the other blogs and spread the comment love! Please include a link and/or button for Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday! so your visitors know what this TGIFF thing is all about!



Hope you'll come back soon! I've got more pincushions to show off and some back to school clothes in the works!

J