Stitching and More Stitching

Aside from doing laundry and some housework, I spent the whole day quilting yesterday. I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, however, because I ended up taking out a whole section of one of the blocks. Hopefully, I'll be more productive today, and since I have a day at home today, color me quilty.

Two more blocks are done now, for a total of 4 out of 12. I just did some back and forth in the fence background there, and some loopy things (these are technical terms) in the pickets. Then I did a little whirligig thing in the sun there. Or maybe it's the moon, I don't know. Then I outlined around the cat.

This next block is the one I ended up redoing. Originally, I had some flame design that was completely wrong. When I was finished, I hated it, and I knew that would be the only thing I would see for the rest of my life if I didn't fix it. So I took out the whole thing and started again with this snowflake motif. I like it much better now.

It's hard to see in this image, but I did a sort of square spiral in the green checkerboard fabric below, and then I outlined the cat. 

Today I'll be spending some time putting a grid in the next row of vertical sashing, and then I'll get started on the second vertical row of blocks. It's moving along.

This morning I did my usual embroidery session, and I noticed I'd neglected to color one of the candies on the gingerbread house. Not to worry.

Crayons to the rescue. The center is colored with "carnation pink" and then it's outlined with "wild strawberry". I love the names of crayon colors.

It's okay that it's outside the lines. You can see that all of the outlining is outside the lines. It doesn't matter. Once it's been stitched, it looks just right. And here's how far I've come with this. The bottom left corner is finished now. 

For a while, I've had a yen to make a wall hanging from a couple of images taken in the Sonoran Desert. And I'll just say right here that I think the Sonoran Desert is the most beautiful desert in America. This next image was taken in Organ Pipe National Monument, not far from Tucson, Arizona.

And the next one was taken from Saguaro National Park West, in Tucson. I love the browns in the landscape in the lower part of the image.

So my quilt idea is to superimpose the mountains from the lower image over the sky from the upper image.

Recently, I had an email conversation with Vicki Welsh about whether she could custom dye some fabric to replicate the sky above. Vicki suggested that I'd have better luck piecing the sky, and she made some suggestions about choices from among her gradient fabrics. I chose four different ones that seemed to have all the colors I was seeking. They arrived the other day, and they are so beautiful.

While I've been thinking about this for a long time, I haven't yet taken any steps to turn my quilt idea into an actual quilt, but I'm one step closer now. I don't know when I'll actually get started on this project, but before year's end, I think.

Also today, I started working on the next block for Lisa's Retirement Quilt. (I'm waiting for Lisa to come up with a more colorful name for her quilt.) The next block is Sonya the lunch lady's block. Here it is reworked to the size I need. I first scan these, and then set my size restrictions. Then, I crop the image to the size I want. (I'm not sure why I ended up with those bands of red on either side, but they are irrelevant. I cropped those out.

Today, I made a sort of "beta" image and removed Sonya's handwriting from the bottom of the block so that I could isolate the food pyramid. I left the edges of the circle so that I could cut it for applique. Then, I printed it onto fabric. Ta-Da!

So that turned out pretty well. I've been sweating how to reproduce that food pyramid, which is perfect for Sonya, the lunch lady. Now, I'll trace Sonya's signature and message back onto the white fabric below, and then applique the circle onto some sort of vegetable or fruit fabric...or something...I know I have something appropriate. When that's all done, I'll hand embroider Sonya's signature onto the block, and it will be finished. 

These blocks are challenging me in a good way. It's kind of fun to try to reproduce them as closely as possible, and to still keep the hand of the block designer alive in the design.

With all of that finished, I'm ready to get on with my day of quilting. Hopefully, I'll get more done today than I did yesterday. It's all good, however. A day spent quilting is a good day, no matter what.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

I LOVE the snowflake motifs in the Santa Cat block!!! It's almost like they are floating down...down...down~!
You are being SUCH a tease with those beautiful hand dyes. Makes my mouth water. I think those 2 photos will be great merged into one quilt.

WoolenSails said...

I wish I could keep track of so many projects and get them done, you have so many wonderful things in process and beautiful work. Today I got another idea but this one is small, so I might just finish it;)


gpc said...

The snowflakes are perfect on the Santa Cat! I love your coloring quilt, am amazed by the retirement blocks, and am in awe of the idea of transforming photo memories into quilts. You rock, missy!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

So in love with the kitty with the eye patch.....so cute.

Diane Wild said...

The kitties are adorable..of course. The mountains and sky in AZ are breathtaking. I think those fabrics will capture the essence perfectly. Beautiful fabric. Sew on.

Debbie -- Sheltered Stitches said...

Thanks for posting your embroidery pics.. it really makes my head spin with ideas for the Witches that Fly project! www.crabapplehillstudio.com/when-witches-fly.html

Kate said...

The snowflake quilting is perfect. Looking forward to your next art quilts. Those photos are beautiful, great inspirations.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Snowflakes are so much better than flames on a Santa - really. I think the gingerbread houses are just stinkin' cute!