Stitching By Hand

Since last we spoke, it's been pretty much all hand-stitching here at the Three Cats Ranch. Yesterday morning I finished stitching the "moon star" on Mumm's the Word.

The center isn't completely finished, but it's as far as I'll get for this go-round. When I picked this up two weeks ago, I'd finished all that is surrounded in hot pink. This time, I finished what's surrounded with green.

All that's left of the quilt center now are the house and the cat at the bottom. It's hooped up for next time, but this is as far as I'll take it for now.

Today I started on the next Bag Lady. Meet Charlotte. Today I got started at the top of her lovely outfit.

If you're stitching along with the Bag Ladies of the Fat Quarter Club, please feel free to choose whichever lady you like. I'm doing mine in order, and Charlotte just happens to be number two in the series. Also, the linky party is live right now. 

Cat Patches

I'll leave it up until Friday at midnight and then announce the winner of this month's needle threader on Saturday. You don't have to finish your bag lady to link up...just link up and show us your progress. But, hey, you don't have to be stitching along to enjoy all the bag ladies. Check it out! The party is going on right here.

The only machine stitching I did yesterday was to stitch in some lines on the Saguaro cactus project for Project Quilting. Recall that the theme for this challenge is "Tune in to Texture." I'm making a feeble attempt to create a Saguaro cactus from this image.

Variegated green thread was used to stitch in the deepest recessed lines on the cactus skin, and I went back and forth several times in an attempt to create depth. Also I stitched one line of brown where the thorns will be.

Once I have the thorns stitched in, I'll apply the quilt back, and then stitch the green lines one more time, just to hold the backing in place.

For the thorns, I'm using two strands of these two metallic threads.

They are very poor quality, and so they are a bear to work with. It's necessary to keep the lengths short because they can't stand up to much repetitive pulling through the fabric. Yesterday afternoon, I was able to get one row of thorns stitched.

This morning, I stitched in two more rows. It isn't pictured here, but I'm a few thorns into the next row to the left now. 

This being February, it's time to choose a goal for

As I mentioned in an earlier post, all the quilts I had sandwiched for quilting are finished now. Mistakenly, I said I didn't have any tops finished either. That's not entirely true because I forgot that Wind in the Whiskers is ready to be sandwiched, top-stitched and quilted. The problem is that I prefer spray basting, which has to be done with my plywood/sawhorse table set up in the garage. It's a bit of a chore to set it all up, and so I want to be able to do several quilts at once.

With that in mind, I'll be working on flimsies for the next couple of months. This month's goal for OMG is to sew together the eight blocks I've completed for Wheel Estate. (Only six blocks are pictured, but eight are finished.) You might recall this was my project for last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

The original pattern had only eight different blocks, and when I made all eight of them, I kind of lost interest in the project. As it turns out, eight blocks will be perfect because there is a big blank wall in our new camper (to be picked up this weekend) where the full complement of eight blocks will fit nicely. I've decided to go ahead and finish it up, making a wall hanging for the new camper. 

But just to keep myself moving forward, I'm also going to try to get the flimsy sewn together for the Bee Loving quilt. This is the image of the designer's finished quilt. So far, I just have a bunch of blocks to sew together, and I haven't decided on a setting yet.

Today I'm getting my hair cut, and then making a trip to the grocery store. I'm hoping to have enough time to finish stitching all the cactus thorns this afternoon, and then I can get on with finishing that off. We are only allotted one week on the challenge quilts, and so there's no time to waste.

The wind is howling this morning, and we're expecting more snow and freezing rain by tomorrow. Yikes. During January, we already had the most snow in 37 years. It was so bad last month that we had to borrow snow plows from Seattle. It all got so bad that our governor and Portland's mayor declared a state of emergency. And if this forecast is correct....here we go again. Boy, oh boy.

17 comments from clever and witty friends:

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I think you got all of Illinois' snow this year. Only some traces of snow in 2017 so far. I'm used to the ground being covered, several inches deep, for the whole month of January.

WoolenSails said...

Wonderful stitching and a nice way to spend a cold day.


Quilting Babcia said...

Your cactus thorns are great, despite the issues with the metallic thread it's perfect for the spines. You folks are having a western New York winter and until a few days ago we had been having a winter more typical of western Oregon. But it has snowed every day for the last five days so I guess we're back to 'normal' whatever that happens to be.

Debbie said...

I like the cactus thorns....it all looks good. The camper wall hanging will be just perfect.

crazy quilter said...

So sorry about all the snow and cold weather you have been having and are expecting. I do think it looks pretty but that is as far as I will go since I don't want to or have to know how to navigate in that. We had an unseasonable warm day today in North Texas, in the upper 70's way to warm for this early in the year. Your big stitch quilting looks great, I hope you are enjoying the process. I find it to be quite relaxing . So exciting about the new camper, and your camper quilt will be perfect. I have the pattern after seeing yours but have not even started , but I did buy some cute fabrics with it in mind. Maybe I can get to it this spring. Stay warm and pets the sweet kitties for me.

Brown Family said...

You got a lot of Mumm's the word finished. The cactus is coming right along. I like the thorns! How fun to have a camper quilt for the camper! I remember one year when the Dallas area had to borrow snow plows from Lubbock! Then they bought some and have not had to use them again!

When I called Chickadee today, they said they would look into it and get it on its way to me. At lease these work up fairly quickly so I should be able to finish this month. I know we do not have to finish in a month, but I hate to feel like I am behind. After
Ernestine dried, I can not see the stains, but the Pellon had bubbled up and she will not press out flat.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You always have lots of fun things going on - like that. We haven't had as much snow as usual, but lots of ice and very cold. There is a break in systems tomorrow so using it to get some errands and grocery shopping done - then back to hibernating.

Patty D from NC said...

Very cute blocks. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and good luck with your project.

Wendy Tuma said...

You got some really fun variety going on with your quilts. I'm enjoying the process on the cactus quilt, and I think you've really nailed the thorns! We had a small layering of snow (about 4-5 inches) which is now mostly gone from all the unseasonably warm weather we've been having. I think our two states have played a switcheroo! Tuck in and enjoy your stitching!

SJSM said...

Love the Mum'm the word progress! When you started the cactus quilt I thought you would use crayons. You found a way to get the paint sticks to work well. So I'm learning a new process from you. :)

Debbie Huber said...

(I might be clever, but probably not witty.) So I love your bright quilt with its big stitches. As I just found your blog, I didn't see its history. I am curious as to how you came up with the arrangement and colors. I think the framing is perfect for it. As for me, I tend to more muted colors for myself, but am branching out for my daughter and daughter in law and have developed a whole new stash for things for them.


Teresa in Music City said...

Always such a fun mix of activity going on at the Ranch!

Karen's Korner said...

Your hand stitching is so even. Plenty happening at your place and stay warm. I have the opposite here - the hottest January on record.

Auntiepatch said...

Love the cactus!

Kate said...

You are moving along on all your projects. The bag ladies are such fun. The cactus is coming along beautifully. Adding in the thorns makes a big difference. Hope you've been able to stay warm and dry.

quiltzyx said...

Mum's the Word is coming along and looking mighty fine with its big stitch quilting.
Love the way the thorns are turning out too - lots of texture for sure!!

Are you going to do 2 rows/columns by 4 blocks for the camper quilt? I think of you now, whenever I see those kind of camper/trailers!

Sarah Goer said...

I love your inspiration and implementation of the Tuned in to Texture theme. And your Wheel Estate project is adorable!