Getting Ready to Stitch

As I mentioned yesterday, we had grocery shopping to do. We first stopped off to get our beloved Egg McMuffins. With our dually truck it's sometimes difficult to negotiate sharp turns in a drive through lane, and so we generally go inside for this. This is true especially when we're traveling and only trying a particular drive-through for the first time. 

So we drive up to the local McDonald's and there is a sign in the window that says...and I'm quoting the fonts here:


"Great!" we say. So we don our masks and walk to the door where we find a sign that says:

Dining Room Closed.

Okay...well that was 20 seconds of my life I can't get back. I only mention this in case someone at McDonald's is reading and gets the notion to take down their stupid sign. But, you know, all's well that ends well, and no one died. We were able to get through the drive-through and we enjoyed our Egg McMuffins in our private dining car...literally, a car...or a truck, if you want to get all argumentative. We had to wait for our OJ to be delivered to the car, and while we waited, I snapped this picture of a blooming thing outside the restaurant.

When we'd eaten our breakfast, we got all our grocery shopping done for the next week or so, and we were able to return to the RV as happy campers. 

My goal for yesterday was to get my "inchies" ready for stitching when the stitch-along starts on February 1st. My friend Deb printed the pattern and instructions for me. I'm going to do something completely different from what Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill Studios is doing. She's doing a "stretched canvas" sort of thing to finish hers off. I have in mind to make this a scrappy upcycling project. You might remember the idea I had for using up all those felt squares I purchased in order to patch my wool hat last month.

I only needed one square for the patch job, but I purchased what was available on Amazon in order to avoid a trip to our local JoAnn (shudder). When the hat was patched...

I looked at the stack of felt squares and got an idea for using them to back my inchies, and then sew them into a quilt. To make it pretty, I'm thinking I might use some kind of fancy ribbon as a sashing. This is all still jelling in my gelatinous brain, but this is how I envision it right now. At home, I have a rotary cutter with a pinking blade. I'll use that to cut the inchies to a small motif, and then tack them to the felt square somehow...maybe with a little cross-stitch at each corner.

So, yesterday I got busy tracing the motifs. There is one for each day of the month of February, which happens to be International Embroidery Month. I brought along my lightbox for this sole purpose.

Also, I brought along about a half yard of scrap fabric for my background. I used a small ruler, mainly for making sure I had the motif straight on the 5 x 5 piece I'd cut. I'm just kind of eyeballing it to center. They'll all be cut rather close to the outer edge of the stitching.

This year's project was to be colored with colored pencils. I'm doing mine with crayon. Here's my thinking about this: the colored pencils actually give a better result, but it's a much more involved process to use colored pencils on fabric. You can watch Meg's video about how it's done right here. When I was packing things up in anticipation of this project, I considered bringing all that stuff along, but then decided to go with the easier box of 64 Crayola Crayons. They'll work just fine for this project, and so that's what I'm using.

When the tracing and coloring was finished, I used a piece of scrap stabilizer and pressed it to the back.

And because this is a complete scrap project at my end, I'm working with small pieces of stablizer cut from other projects. Again, this will work fine since it will be trimmed close to the stitching. And the whole project fits hand in glove since I need the iron to heat-set the crayon. I can iron on the stabilizer and heat set the crayon in one fell swoop.

And there we go. Day 1 is finished. Only 26 more to go, plus two larger ones to finish off the month.

It took several hours, but all the inchies are ready for stitching now.

And since I didn't know what colors of floss I'd need while I was packing, I brought all my floss bobbins along. I'll just wing it, choosing my floss colors as we stitch through the month.

The only other thing we did yesterday was to pay a visit to the Amazon locker nearby to pick up this pattern from Aunt Martha's. This is only the second Aunt Martha's pattern I'll be making. The Wine Country quilt was the other. These are good traveling projects, and I worked on stitching the Wine Country blocks on a previous trip.

The one I picked up yesterday contains heat transfer embroidery motifs of all 50 state birds.

A quilting friend posted about this pattern on Facebook. She picked up her pattern, which happened to be around 50 years old, on a free table at her guild. (At least, that's what I think happened.) Anyway...she showed some of the transfers, and I said, "Hey! I need that!" to no one in particular. So I did a search online and found this pattern. Cool, that it's still available after so many years. And also cool that if I ever get around to actually stitching it, I don't have to trace the motifs. They'll iron onto my fabric slicker than hot snot on a doorknob. (Like that? I had a friend many years ago who used the idiom, and it stuck with me.)

Okay, so the only thing on today's agenda is to drive north a few miles and see if we can score a bag of avocados. Our next week's menu is depending on finding delicious avocados. Actually, the avocados will be a bonus. The menu goes either way. If we don't take too long doing that, I'm really hoping I'll have some time to set up the sewing machine and do some sewing.


Barbara said...

Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up. ~ Allen Klein

Katie said...

Wondering if maybe McD's intended to have the dining room open, but too many sick employees to do so? Stuff here seems to be closing randomly, early, and hours shortened for that sort of trouble. Good thing they were at least open, and since my hubby works for the company that provides their eggs, thank you for adding to his retirement fund! The little inchie stitcheries look cute and you always make it look easy. I'll be watching, but not stitching along. And the state birds had me grinning from ear to ear! I have a quilt, attributed to my great grandma (though no one is sure) using very similar patterns. The states are all written out, so a bit different, but in a ribbon. She chose to use paint for some of the lines and embroidery for others. It is hand-quilted, but loved. I used it on my bed in college and did take care of it, but not pristine either. My mom is a quilter, too, so I'm not sure why she allowed it, but I was excited to use it. Today it hides in a closet, though it did get featured in a guild quilt show a few years back! I'm sure the embroidery will go fast for you and you'll have it done in no time - once its number comes up on the dance card, of course.

SJSM said...

Your explanation for your set up for the inchies is easy to follow. The crabapple hull one is much more involved. I see that as one reason to do your own thing.

Happy stitching!

Kate said...

Looking forward to watching your stitching project evolve. Enjoy your slow stitching time this weekend.

piecefulwendy said...

That's a great idea for the felt squares - will be fun to see that take shape. One of the women in our quilt group made a quilt from those state birds motifs. It's a pretty one!

Lyndsey said...

Your inchies should look great on the felt squares and will be completely different anyone else's project. I like the 50 state bird patterns. It's got me wondering if there are patterns of the birds from around the UK. I'm sure there must be. A snuggle quilt with bird embroideries would be a great present for my bird obsessed husband.