Monday, August 14, 2017

Scrap Happy in August

I've sort of been stash busting this year by cutting 3" strips to make truly scrappy Scrappy Trip blocks for Scrap Happy Day hosted by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden. This month I made four blocks.

Twenty of these 15" blocks make a nice comfort quilt. With a little stretching I can get a twin size quilt top. I actually have more blocks than I need at this point but I've been having trouble coming up with a setting I'm happy with. I thought the more blocks I had to choose from the easier it would be.

Not so much.

I can't seem to live with complete randomness right now. I have to have some element of organization. To that end I decided to try creating rows that feature a central diagonal line from one color family.

With 2.5" sashes between five rows and a narrow border I'll have a twin size quilt top. And I might be able to use up more of my stash!

Some of the rows work better than others. I may yet try ramming them together and putting on a wider border. (There's always a need for larger quilts for the teens in foster care. Otherwise I would just make a couple of smaller quilts.) I'm not in the best place to make these design decisions at this point. The weather has cooled down a bit and I believe the air is cleaner but I'm still gun-shy about having the windows open and I have too big a headache to think clearly.

I invite you to hop over to Kate's blog for the complete list of those participating in these monthly efforts to put our scraps to good use. There's bound to be something inspiring. :- )

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Heckedy Peg on Vacation

We had more haze than smoke around here this past week. It was still smoky haze though. That meant poor air quality, which meant I didn't get a lot done during the week. At least not until yesterday. But let's start at the beginning...

I think I was influenced by the orange tint to the haze when I picked the next caravan to embroider. I had a pretty good idea of who I wanted to make it for though.

I began with the drawing of the vintage Shasta trailer. I had to lay low for a couple of days after I'd outlined it and put in the first details. That also gave me time to decide to ignore the line of the lightning bolt.

I've used feather stitches for the brambles, split stitch for the bristles of the broom, and stem stitch for the handle of the broomstick and the planking of the door. Most of the wheel is done in buttonhole stitches.

I made the handle on the door with two french knots and then short loop of wrapped floss. 

I free-styled the cobweb. Haven't decided yet whether to try to put in a spider. That window is only an inch wide and .75" high.

I need to add the trailer hitch and some shadowing under the caravan. Not sure there will be much more than that to do! Fortunately I've got ideas forming for another of the caravans. :- )

The wind is picking up even as I write this. That means the air should begin to clear out. The temperatures are predicted to be more normal in the coming week too. We might even get some rain tomorrow. That will help a lot. Here's to better days ahead!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

SAL - First August Check-in

Miraculously, we seem to be the beneficiaries of our more normal on-shore air currents now. The temperature outside has dropped and the humidity has gone up. That makes life much more comfortable around here!

Most of the needlework I've done since our last stitch along check-in has been on a project that will be a gift. I don't want to spoil the surprise so it won't appear here until it's been given. You're going to have to be content with the little bit I've done elsewhere. ;- )

Likely you remember the little fox needlepoint case I finished up recently. I've started another of the same design but in different colors. Well, different color placement anyway.

The last one had a purple background, this one will have a purple fox. I haven't decided what color I'll use for the background yet. It won't be gray!

I've wanted to get another caravan embroidery started but got sort of hung up on that front. Some of the images in the coloring book I ordered had to be reduced in size to fit the format of The Sketchbook Project's sketchbook. I won't be using all of them by any means but I wanted to be able to pick and choose amongst my more favorite shapes.

The August shipment of Nancy's limited edition floss club was delivered the other day.

That helped motivate me to trace off a couple of the trailers.

I only traced off the most significant design lines so I can customize the trailers to my heart's content. The pencil showed up well enough on this yellow background but is harder to see on the orange.

In fact, I may have to darken the lines for my own benefit before I begin stitching!

There's quite a group of us in this SAL now.  We check in every three weeks to keep us on task with our various needlework endeavors. If you'd like to join us just drop Avis an email or leave a comment on her blog. We're welcoming two new members this month, Heidi and Connie!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Heat and Smoke

The cool, damp Pacific Northwest has been suffering from an unusual heat wave this week. We are not accustomed, in this area, to temperatures over 80 (F). We may reach 80 at the peak of summer - which we are in - but anything above that is record breaking. We broke records this week. We've also been the recipients of the smoke from wildfires burning to the north of us in British Columbia, Canada. Needless to say, I've had a tough week. Even the dog didn't want to go outside yesterday. I don't think it was the heat that bothered her, it was the smoke in the air. We don't have cloud cover right now, we have haze. Thank goodness for the portable air conditioning unit my husband purchased last year (or was it the year before?). We've needed it to clean the air as much as for cooling. It looks like we might be in for another full week of this kind of weather too. Yikes. No rain in sight. I've been out to water my flowers (with my mask on of course) but we may have to invest in some soaker hose to keep the hedges on two sides of the house from drying out.

David Austin rose "Charlotte"
When it gets this warm I'm reluctant to use the iron, and I use the iron frequently when I piece quilt blocks. Consequently I have a pile of piecing on the ironing board, waiting to be pressed.

The RSC color for August was announced as light neutrals. I quickly pieced up three 4.5" postage stamp units and a 16 patch block (8" finished). On the board we also have a couple of 6" scrappy Barn Door blocks and a pile of HST's for bear paw units. Earlier in the week I pulled out this work in progress...

... and I'm thinking I'll use the bear paws in a border treatment. I may repeat the flying geese too, we'll see. I started this project last year in August and haven't been inspired to work on it since I put it away last fall. I've been referring to this as Camping Princess in my mind but now I'm thinking I should call it August Nights! 

I plan to link up with the other RSC bloggers Saturday morning. My apologies to those of you who have come to visit, been so kind to leave a comment, and have not heard back from me. Blame it on my weakened endocrine system.

Friday, July 28, 2017

It's My Own Fault

Today's headache I mean. No sooner did I recover from the last one (brought on by another hour in the vet clinic with Luna. She's finally beginning to act more like her old self, thank goodness.) than I braved the sale at my local quilt shop in order to get some more appropriate fabric for backgrounds for my embroidery project.

Of course I couldn't resist a couple of other pieces, just because. ;- ) Turns out I already have some of the light orange batik, fourth down from the top. Guess I really like that print and color!

It's been deliciously cool in the mornings this week. I ventured out one day to find the first bloom on one of my new David Austin rose bushes.

This is the Queen of Sweden. Judging from the spots on the leaves some bug is also enjoying my new plant.

Here it is the next day, before I brought it into the house. There's at least one other bud on this bush. I found two buds on the Charlotte rose bush. They will bloom yellow. Looking forward to that!

I've been pondering which caravan to embroider next, and what theme to give it. That's partly why I went out for fabric. I thought a broader choice of backgrounds might help move things along. Most of what's in my stash is too busy or too loud to stay in the background. In the meantime I sewed up some more blue scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Managed to get in a few other scrappy blocks as well.

So in spite of the headaches and recovery periods this week I've been relatively productive. You couldn't tell by the number of blue scraps and remnants laying around. I'll link up with the other Rainbow bloggers on Saturday. We should be getting a new color prompt soon now that I think about it!