Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Stitching Whimsy continues!

I found the TAST Facebook group that is run by Sharon Boggons. She announces a new stitch to learn and practice every Tuesday on her Pintangle blog.

I've been blogging my progress:
Stitching Whimsy
Stitching Whimsy update

And it's time for another update!
Stitch #7 - Feather stitch - purple
Stitch #8 - Stem stitch - yellow, then orange
Stitch #9 - Cretan stitch - red
Stitch #10 - Couching stitch - Hot pink
Stitch #11 - Chevron stitch - varigated torquoise
Stitch #12 - Sheaf stitch - magenta
Stitch #13 - Buttonhole wheel - pink on purple wool circle
Stitch #14 - Arrowhead - various colors around Buttonhole wheel stitch.

This week is Stitch 15 - Rice stitch.  Maybe I can get it stitched on my piece before the next one is announced on Tuesday!!
💗💕 My Stitching Whimsy Continues!!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Adding another project to 2018

On our way home from Mountain Quiltfest '18,  my friend Judy Stokes brought my attention to a new quilting challenge online. 
 The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY is offering a free BoM (Block of the Month).  Each month features a different artist who will draw inspiration from the museum's current exhibit.
I am following along in The National Quilt Museum's BOM Facebook group.  The excitement from members in this group is contagious!

There will be 12 blocks with April being the first.  The featured artist is Mathew Boudreaux Mister Domestic. This is my first time to his website.  When I have time, I'll have to do more browsing there.

Mister Domestic chose EPP (English Paper Piecing) for his block construction. The current exhibit at The National Quilt Museum is New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Bowtie.
Judy Stokes has a quilt in the exhibit, it would be awesome to visit the museum while this exhibit is still up! I borrowed this image from the Possum Town Guild blog:. Well, darn it. I was wrong about Juy's quilt. It's not in the exhibit. But it's a Bonnie Hunter Leaders and Enders Spool Quilt. It has been entered in The Mountain Quiltfest '15 and received 3rd place.  And in the Quiltart Calendar in 2016. 

Ok! I'm just going to jump right into my block.  We had a choice of two versions.  Version 1 is 5" bowties arranged in a 4-patch. It contains about 20 pieces. The second version is more complicated with a 5" bowtie in the middle of a dozen 2.5" bowties.  This version contains 65 pieces.
Yes, I chose version 2 😆.
First step was to make sure my printer was giving me the correct size.  Using my phone didn't do the trick. The 1" test square was almost 1/8th inch too small!
Then, printed it straight from the computer and it was nearly perfect 😄.
Next step for me was cutting out all 65 paper pieces.
I cut them so that I could see part of the black line:
But found out that was slightly too big. The block measures just over the 2.5" it's supposed to be:
So I'll trim the black line off the rest of the paper pieces as I go. The next block measured perfect. Now 10 more to go plus a bigger one for the center.
Back with basting stitches

I use the basting method to secure the fabric rather than stitching through the paper or gluing the edges.  That way, when it's time to remove the paper, I simply pop the paper out and leave the basting stitches in!  There's no real reason to remove the basting stitches!! Plus, I believe those stitches keep the seam allowances flat.

Oh yes. One more thing. I'm going with Scrappy on this project.  Almost the "whatever I pull out of the bag" method.  The National Quilter's Museum BOM is basically a mystery quilt.  I have no idea what the next block will be or the technique that will be used.  This pushes me out of my comfort zone but I've committed to using each artists chosen method.  The April block would have been easier as hand piecing instead of EPP, and when it's all done and quilted, no one will be able to tell which method was used.  The whole point of the project is to use/try different methods, so I'll stick with the artists' choices 😄 as best as I can 😉.  Twelve months, twelve blocks, twelve different methods!! 
K, but first gotta get block #1 completed. I'll be back with progress pics! 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Stitching whimsy update

Just a couple of posts back, Stitching Whimsy, I started telling you about the embroidery challenge (TAST) I'm participating in this year.
The challenge offers a new stitch every week to try.  The hostess Sharon Boggon announces the stitch with a link to a tutorial on her website
Presently, we are on stitch 12.

Above I have weeks 1 - 6
1.  Running stitch - light pink Perle cotton
2. Buttonhole stitch - green Perle cotton
3. Fly Stitch - 2 strands burgundy, 2 stands pink
4. Detached chain (Lazy Daisy)- 2 strands turquoise
5. Herringbone Stitch - 2 strands varigated yellow/orange
6. Chain stitch - 1 strand green

 7. Feather - 2 stands purple

8. Stem stitch - 1 stand yellow, 1 stand orange

9. Cretan - 2 strands red

10. Couching - dark pink Perle cotton stitched down with 2 strands matching dark pink
11.  Chevron stitch - 2 strands varigated turquoise

I am behind one week.  Stitch 12 is the Sheaf stitch.  I have a couple of days to catch up before #13 is announced!
I've been having so much fun stitching. This challenge is perfect for me.  I'm taking an organized free flow approach.  It seems to be working for me so far 😄.

I also have to share with you.  My Sweetling came home from school this Friday Thursday and out of the blue announced she wanted to make a patch.  I was uncertain what she had in mind. 
She showed me a YouTube video of How to embroider a patch.  We gathered supplies. She drew a design on the fabric and started stitching! Just HOURS later, her 2.5" patch is almost complete! All that's left is trimming and stitching the outside border! It's really good for a first, I'm a proud mama 😁!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Another Mountain Quiltfest week!

This is the second year that I've attended Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, TN.  A few of the Possum Town Quilters from Columbus, MS have been coming for many more years and have invited me along.  I'm thrilled to say the invite has been extended and I plan to come for many years to come!!

I didn't take as many pictures as I did last year, so this will be a quick blog update.

First, since the above picture will be what shows when sharing a link, I wanted to tell you about the projects i worked on during the quiltfest off hours.
I have drafted three patterns for a hand piecing class I will be teaching at the Mississippi Quilt Association's (MQA) June Gathering.  The picture above is an elongated hexagon.  After seeing quilts made with this shape in Pinterest, I searched online for a pattern but couldn't find anything readily available. So I drafted my own shape that measures approximately 5" x 3".  I chose to use my scrap pile, however it can certainly be made with any color scheme and color arrangements.
Next, I wanted to offer several levels of difficulty in my class. Starting with a simple 4-patch to stitching on the bias and Y seams.  And so I drafted a heart and a star, both are mug rug size.
With all that hand stitching going on, my hand muscles were becoming strained and getting sore.  I needed to find something to relieve the stress on my muscles so I could continue stitching!
The ladies at the TJ Lane Thimble Lady booth, Marci and Tammy, were wonderful with helping me find exactly what I needed!
Now hand piecing is a breeze!
I find it difficult to stop stitching at the end of the day. 🤣

Of course, I browsed lots of vendor booths at Mountain Quiltfest and found a few things to put on my wish list 😄.
Little boxes made out of yardsticks

Stamps for hand piecing.

I attended a few classes and programs.
My favorite were the presentations by "Yvonne Hollenbeck, top award-winning cowgirl poet in 
America and Jean Prescott, Song-bird of the Prairie" as described in the Mountain Quiltfest Event Program Guide.
Along with poems and songs, Yvonne gives a small truck show of quilts in her collection, made by her grandmother, her mother and herself. The oldest quilt in her collection is dated from the 1870s.

These two were my favorites. A postage stamp scrap quilt and a blue and white 9-patch named Jacob's Chain.  Both were hand pieced and hand quilted.

I took a stain glass technique class...
And "Stipple no more, background quilting" class.  This was a lecture class more than hands on.  The samples in the following pictures were made by the instructor.

The Possum Town Quilters of Columbus, MS participated in the Guild Challenge.
 Hmm, I'm missing pictures of the other six quilts!
Here I am with my Whimsy's Wish.

It's been an amazing week with wonderful women.  A week of being surrounded with awesome talent and inspiration from every direction!
 And once again, God sent angels on Earth to cross my path and give me messages., I have to tell you one of those moments...
A lady named Kathleen sat at the table in front of me in one of the classes I attended. She warmly greeted me as we stood in line for class supplies, "hello, Naomi."
I've recently met a lot of quilters as a result of giving a presentation about my Cotton Adventures (The FieldsThe CombineThe Gin, and Bitten by the Cotton Bug)  at the MQA Spring Gathering last month.  I figured she was among those I'd recently met, so I casually returned her greeting.
She tells me, "you may not know me. I'm a member of MQA."
I mentioned that I felt I possibly recognised her from Facebook too. 
She says, "yes. Facebook, MQA, and I follow your blog."
😮!!! Wow! Someone I haven't had to beg to read my blog!! I was certain I knew all three people that follow me, and my mom is one of them! 😝
So we strike up conversation during class, telling little stories about ourselves.  By the end of the 3 hour class, she fesses, "Naomi, I gotta tell you... about 2 years ago, there was a quilt show in Iuka.  My guild set up a quilt and we were encouraging the show attendees to take a few stitches..."
I remembered exactly what she was saying.  The memory was like a movie playing in my head.
And she continues, "this Possum Town group comes in.  And you sat down. Made yourself comfortable and started stitching!"
LOL, the movie continued to play in my head.  I made the ladies with me wait while I put a few stitches into the quilt.
 Kathleen goes on, "You stitched a heart with your initials."
Omgosh! she even remembers what I stitched!
  And then she says, "THAT'S actually the first time we met!"
...just 5 minutes of stitching,
 ...a moment in time...
..among a hundred-plus people passing through, .
.. Just being me...
I made an impression... I am memorable!
I can't find words to describe that revelation... 
It's humbling (as in I don't deserve the applause) and uplifting at the same time!!
Kathleen, if you're reading this update. Thank you for the incredible gift you gave me! 💕 You are an angel on Earth 😊.

Of course, the week sped by too quickly. It's sad when the fun has to end.  But I missed my Heartbeat and home. Happily, upon returning home, the cherry on top was that I didn't miss my little garden blooming!  I admit, my gardening skills are minimal. Results like these please me very much!!  
 It's good to be home again 🤗.

See you next year Mountain Quiltfest '19!!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stitching whimsy...

This year I am participating in a stitching challenge!! TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) is a Facebook group with a focus on hand embroidery.  It offers inspiration through a simple challenge -  members are given a new stitch every Tuesday to learn and practice.  The creative talent in this group is amazing!
Here's my stitching so far with week 1 Running Stitch and week 2 Buttonhole stitch.

I found premade fabric yo-yos at an estate sale last year. I've always had a fondness for yo-yos.  Traditional yo-yo quilts feel like fresh country home and lace to me.
Depending on size of quilt and size of yo-yos, a quilt can require 1,000 to 2,000 pieces that then need to be sewn together.  Anybody that knows me knows I love hand work and can sit sewing for hours... And yet after 10 or 15 yo-yos I'm ready to move onto another project.  Making a full sized traditional yo-yo quilt from start to finish is not in my (near) future! (Let's not completely rule it out 🤣.)

Anyway, back to TAST! The idea is to experiment with stitches.  I haven't embroidered much in years....
..omgosh my thoughts wander... My mom taught me a few embroidery stitches when I was very young.  She put a simple design on the back of undies and let me practice my stitches.  Haha, I have no idea why we chose undies for my project but I was thrilled!  I know it was a whimsical design, perfect for a little girl, but it's a single flower that I remember most. Maybe it was a daisy. I gave a lot a of attention to the flower center.  I purposely built up the stitches so that there was a bump. Lol, I remember this most because when all the stitching was done and I finally wore the undies, that flower center bump gave me a bruise! Hahaha 🤣 so silly.

Ok, really back to TAST!  It's a year long challenge to experiment with the suggested stitch.  For more info go to the hostess Sharon Boggon's web page TAST - Pintangle.
Most attractive to me is there are no rules. No parameters. No deadlines, it's the participant's choice to do it or not.  No particular list of materials. Participants vary from beginners to very advanced.  I consider myself an advanced beginner.  So for me, this becomes an exercise in using my own creative flow.  I get to blend quilting and embroidery 😄.

It's quite exciting!  I don't have a clue what the end product is going to look like.  I have no clue what the next stitch will be or how/where I'll be inspired to put it, or even if I'll get to fit all 52 suggested stitches into this quilt!!
I'm going for expressing my item Whimsy Hita's style. And I'm thrilled to pieces then my Sweetling looks at my progress so far, gives a nod of approval and says, "it looks like you!"