Monday, July 31, 2023

A HOT July Recap!

Another busy month not as focused as planned.  It was sooo brutally hot this month that it was often hard to feel motivated to work on things!  At the same time, staying in under the air conditioning was also good for when I was able to try to put in some time on some projects.  So here are all the scatter shot doings from the soon to be past month:


At the beginning of the month, the hope was to use the inspiration of "UFO Day" to do some work on UFOs.  The grand plans to work on multiple ones devolved into just catching up on two.  The good news was that one of them was a finish!

Back in October, I had done the "All Carolinas Shop Hop" with my MIL for the second year in a row while we visited her in North Carolina.  The Hop issues a magazine that has projects in it utilizing fabrics designed for the Hop.  One of the patterns in last year's magazine was the By Annie "Piecekeeper" bag which is also offered as a free pattern on the By Annie website.  

Prior to us traveling to NC,  I had purchased the magazine along with some of the HOP fabrics.  I didn't want to take a chance that they might be sold out by the time we would be shopping towards the end of the Shop Hop period. 

During the Hop, I was lucky enough to find one of the prior year tone-on-tone prints that coordinated well with the current year Hop prints I had chosen to use.  In the course of making our shop rounds, I also picked up all the additional finishing supplies to make the bag up.  I had started on the cutting and made some applique additions to the focus print while at my MIL's but once we got back home, I went into "holiday projects mode" so never got around to finishing the bag up. 

Fortunately for me, Annie Unrein announced a sew along in July to make the "Piecekeeper" bag and I took that as a sign that the Quilt Muses wanted me to "get 'er done" and so I did!

Front and back of the bag

Mine finished a little different than patterned as I used a portion of a border print from the Hop fabric line for the bottom part of the front of the bag.  The section of the print I used is taller in height than the strip of fabric called for in the pattern.  Annie talked about making adjustments to the design at the end of the sew along video but unfortunately, I didn't see that until after I had already cut all the parts for the bag per the pattern instructions!   I'm happy with it though and am now debating between two zipper charms to add to it.  

When I had received the Shop Hop fabrics, I also picked out two of the prints to use to finally try making the "A Tisket, A Tasket: 2 Fat Quarter Basket" pattern by Me And My Sister Designs.  Since I finished the Piecekeeper bag, I decided to get that done too!  

This was actually pretty quick and fun to make up! 

In other UFO news, I finally put my Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll blocks up on the design wall.

The wall is now full and on the corner of the sewing table is the additional row of the blocks bordered with the red and white HSTs and the bottom row of string pieced setting triangles that also have to be added to the layout.  I thought I'd get the whole top assembled this month but rather than starting to sew the blocks together, I wanted to work on the pieced outer borders so I could lay them out as well.

The borders are made up of the pink and green pieced strip set units that were made in the first part of the mystery and now need brown triangles attached to their ends.  As you can see from the pieced strips on the left, there is still a whole lot more that need triangles attached!  After that I have to sew the strips together to make up the outer borders.  

Okay, looks like this WISP* is going to continue to cook for a lot longer!  The good news was I had already had the quilting of RRCB on my "To Do" list for August so I will stick with advancing toward that plan by continuing to work on the top construction next month (aka starting tomorrow).

*WISP = Work In Slow Progress

Continuing the Cross Stitch Journey

The hot weather and A/C combo made me far more interested in working on Cross Stitch --- well that and frequent doses of Flosstubes, LOL!  I did make some progress on the two projects that were in progress at the end of June:  

"Home of the Free" started for "Stitch June"

One page done on "Open Your Heart" and starting on the next one.

Working on the Evenweave fabric for the little patriotic stitch is still very slow going.  It's easier to stitch when I have to do "fill in" work and harder when establishing a new line of stitching.  "Open Your Heart" is relatively easy to stitch overall but counting correctly for the color changes does keep me on my toes.  As a result, the Frog Prince has visited a few times (rip it, rip it)!

The founders of my community garden are a very artsy bunch and are always looking for classes we can offer for free to our members and the general public.  This year they got a grant to do art/craft classes and I was asked if I had anything I might want to do.  Previously I had led a class on EPP that went well despite my limited knowledge of EPP at the time.  

In thinking of a class to do, I am always constrained by the need to offer something that can be completely made by hand.  Then I saw this free pattern and loved the idea of being able to offer something in the cross stitch vein that was related to something we actually grow in our garden:

I will be using an easier Aida base fabric than patterned.

At this point I'm still working on my samples and sourcing supplies to make up kits for it.  I'm hoping to offer this in August although I'm a little crunched for time at this point.  Thankfully we could hold this in our gazebo which would provide a cool shady spot to stitch should the weather continue as it has.

So that's it for July!  As usual, I'll be hoping for a little more focus (and a lot less heat) for August!

Sunday, July 2, 2023

World UFO Day

Before I get to outlining the rest of my plans for this month, I have to acknowledge what today is:

For the rest of the world, this is a day to indulge in your inner "Fox Mulder" from the X-Files.  According to Wikipedia, the reason it falls on today is July 2 is the date of the supposed UFO crash in Roswell in 1947.    

However, as a quilter, you KNOW what that really means to me:

It's time to make some plans for working on some of the quilty UFOs sitting around my work space!  

I haven't done much with the projects on my UFO list this year for the numbers picked by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine for their monthly UFO Challenge.  So for me, today is a day to make some plans to try to correct that this month!  

It would be nice to get some of these moving and maybe even get some finished and out into the universe by year's end!