Monday, 5 March 2018

Simple Folk, Grasshopper, Mug Rugs, Wonky Stars...

Here was the lay out for my first Simple Folks block
 Block two was a pair of swans.
 Block three is this whimsical flower arrangement.
 My friend Anna and I were talking about applique prep and I said I used heat resistant Mylar and do a running stitch to gather up the edge.  I took these pictures with the Mylar removed to explain how I do it.  I cut a larger seam allowance and then do a running circle outside my pencil mark from tracing the circle.  Then I draw up the stitches around the Mylar and do a quick press.  I then use a paintbrush to apply the starch around the edge and iron it again.  Pop out the template and repeat the process.  I usually have several circles in play so the piece can cool down before I pop out the Mylar to save my finger tips.
 If I have only a few leaves I'll use freezer paper and run the basting stitch around the curve and place my fingernails against the paper to ease up the sides without curling the freezer paper before ironing and starching.
 For inner curves I clip and use a wooden tool to hold the fabric in place before adding starch and ironing but clip the curves a few times.
 Bottom gathered top eased in.
 About an inch or so before I start the basting.
 For this shape no stitches just use the wood tool to save my fingertips.

 Clip the notch of the heart with two basting lines for the curves.
 Nice smooth curves.
 Clip the notch and use the running thread to ease the bulk of the fabric.
 Gentile curve no stitches, a notch and more gentle curves again.
 I'll trim that corner on the fabric and ease in the bulk.
 Swans stitched, those eyes were tiny and challenging but they are done.
 A closer look.

 Nice round circle.
 Pointy skinny heart.
 Love this fabric for the white swan.
 And this for the black swan.
  Pieced blocks for the Grasshopper prepped for hand stitching.
 I may mix and match my prints once I sew my half triangle squares.
 Different scale of dots.
 I'm in love with grunge.
 Some mug rugs I'm working on.
 The pattern was in a magazine but I decided to add the second flower.
 I also decided to flip the image.
 My first stitched block.  Not sure if I'll do the turquoise corners.  Will stitch block three and then decide.
Got the last set of blocks from Illinois.  They took 6 weeks to arrive, I think they walked here.

 I love the stamps!

 They are both so wonderful.  Another thing to add to my list to do.  There are running a second wonky stars exchange but I decided not to do it as of right now...

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Wow! What a week and it isn't over yet!

Saturday night I could hear the precipitation hitting my windows and when I looked out I could see the swirling movement of sleet and snow coming almost sideways in the cul du sac outside my door.  I went out and found very slippery conditions on the boardwalk.  Pebbly texture to the snow and ice. 
 The crocuses were just starting to come up and already the snow/sleet mix was starting to melt.
 These English Daisies, or what I like to call pincushion daisies were amazing to look at and photograph with their domes of ice covering them.
 The brickwork was clear but the boardwalk was tricky to walk along but I persisted so I could get some interesting pictures.
 Check out the rhododendrons covered in ice and the icicles forming on the leaves.
 Check out the ice on these leaves.
 Crows huddling on snowy icy trees.
 The daffodils really got weighed down by the sleet.
 These early full blossoms are all bent over.  But maybe after the ice melts they'll recover.
 These crocuses managed to stand up the the weather.
 Almost every tree along the quay had some ice in unusual locations on their trunks and branches.
 The courtyard view, love the reflection in the pond.
 The daisies two days later, a bit worse for wear but coping.
 Only one or two of the daffodils didn't make it back up straight.
 Ice still on the trunks as its been around or below freezing the past few days.
 I finished off my project.  It's a block book for my Simple Folk BOM.  It finished at 15"
 Inside cover is another block and notice the green handle of my Karen Kay Buckley scissors in the leaf pocket.  I decided to face the leaf to make the pocket.  I figure I can put a few of the thread bobbins for my applique along with my scissors when I'm going to a sit and stitch.
 This is the one for the Grasshopper BOM it finished at 9".
 Inside another block from a leftover lollipop flower and some vine leaves.  The two polka dot leaves are also pockets that the scissors or thread bobbins can sit inside when I'm working on a block.
 The inside covers on both large and small have the green and the exterior is turquoise on both.
 I added a ribbon to hold the green scissors.  The smaller book has no ribbon as it will be a resting spot for the scissors not a carrying pocket.
 I'm pleased to have these done as step one for Grasshopper starts on February 28th and step two for Simple Folk arrives the same day. I got these done on the 20th!
 February 22nd the snow is almost gone and the sun was shining.
 Love this delicate single snowdrop.
 Yellow crocuses,
 and purple in the sunshine.
 The winter flowering viburnum looks lovely against the blue skies.
 The moon coming out for a daytime visit.
 February 23 we had more snow.
 Dusted with snow.
 Changes the look of those blooms against the blue sky, here it's grey skies.
 I went out about 8 a.m. and the boardwalk was clear, now just after 9 there is a dusting of very fine snow.
 The crocuses are sheltered a bit by the ornamental grasses.
 The Palm trees are quite resilient to the changing weather.  No wonder we're called the Banana Belt of Canada.
 Not sure what these little troopers are I'll have to ask my friend Rita, she's the plant specialists.
 This crow was busy digging in the dirt under the roses.
 I think he's eating some Rose Hips, good source of Vitamin C!
 A few friends watching down.
 Snowy view, a good day to stay in and sew.
 On Thursday I went to a quilt group and we worked on Christmas projects.  I decided to add to my tree blocks I swapped but make some smaller ones  These are around 4" x 6" or so.
 The larger ones are maybe 7 or 8" x 9".  I make mine more wonky than the group did.
 By Thursday evening I had made 14 to add to my forest.
 So on Friday morning I took pictures with some of the 8" x 10" blocks.  I'm going to have irregular rows as you'd see in the forest.  I have a lot more to make for the effect I want, but I like where I'm heading.
As it was so snowy on Friday I decided to make some more wonky stars for a side swap.  Here is my attempt at low volume backgrounds.
Not as successful as I'd like but I like the little star in the corner.
Love this one.
I think this is also fairly successful.
The little ones are only 3" finished.
I don't usually starch my fabrics but as these are so small I decided to open the final seam.  I got a product called Flatter and let me tell you I'm sold on it.  I opened the seam, and spritzed a bit along the seam and they flattened out beautifully!
Sue Spargo apparently uses it to baste her tiny teeny 1/4" hexagons!  I'm not sure on the technique but you know that factory crease on the bolts?  Spray a bit on it and voila it's gone! Check out their site at  Oh and by the way it's a Canadian company!
These tiny stars take as much or longer to make as the big ones!
I went down and checked my mail box at 7 p,m, and the snow was still coming down but very fine flakes.  Not the big heavy ones we usually see.
The lobby view with ambient lighting taken thru the window.  So pretty.
This and the next picture were taken just after 7.
Looking towards the main street.
Same view at just after 1 a.m.

as I was heading to bed, you can see more snow accumulating on the higher branches
These were the same views this morning just after 8 a.m.!
Time for a walk!
Check out those palm trees and the sky!
Umm...where are the purple crocuses?
Looking at the courtyard which was in shadow.
Walking along the boardwalk was heavy going, the snow was coming up over my runners.  Don't have snow boots!
Love the twisty willow all covered with snow.
The daffodils are almost completely covered with snow except the taller ones.
I wanted to get the snow covered mountains but it looks like clouds or fog is blocking the view.
Quite the dump of snow overnight.
Blue skies on my walk back home.
The main street is pretty mucky, our resident manager is using a snow blower to clear the sidewalks in front of our condo and the cul du sac as a good neighbour.
From the tip of my centre finger to where my thumb is just over five inches.  I'd say there was close to 5", hard to take a selfie of you had with a 35 mm SLR camera.
Of course a lobby view.  Looks like another day of sewing coming up for me!