finished binding the challenge block for the quilt guild retreat this coming weekend:
As I expected, to very early mornings on Thursday and Friday, working the phone banks for fundraising at the local public radio station, and a football game Saturday afternoon, pretty much wiped out my weekend stitching. Basically, all the time for stitching was Sunday when I:
finished binding the challenge block for the quilt guild retreat this coming weekend:
and got three-quarters of the way through the background on my October Bead Journal Project:
In the past week, I have completed five 4.5" square crazy blocks for swapping at the guild retreat:
the October Crazy Quilt Journal block:
and the Take a Stitch Tuesday Stitch # 134 (Fern stitch):
I have read through lesson two in Pillowpalooza and am preparing the homework assignment for that class for posting this weekend.
I also started the color filling on "Bride" in the Roll Your Own mandala series:
the beading on my October Bead Journal Project:
and the quilting on my guild retreat challenge block:
I am a little more sleep deprived than usual, given the need to be up and ready for the washing machine repairman on Monday (a blocked drain filter) and the house cleaner today. And it won't get any better in the next few days as we have the early shifts on both Thursday and Friday at the local public radio telephone banks (need to be there at 6 AM! AAACK), and there is Legacy Weekend at the University with a football game viewed from the President's Box on Saturday (which means Saturday will be both adrenalin filled/ stressed out and off limits for stitching most of the day). So, even though this coming weekend is International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, it looks like I will only have Sunday for unimpeded stitchery.
I think I am going to give up on trying to catch up. Trying is just adding more stress to the mix, and stress makes me avoid stitchery in favor of just about ANYTHING else!.
The "Green Thumb Challenge" for quilt guild required the following:
Otherwise, any size, any shape, any color, etc.
I think the templates, the four-patch and the black-and-white are obvious. The string is two kinds of cording --- a shiny red cord around the flower, the flower center and the "bud" on the right, and a black perle cotton as a stem. The button is a layered button - a red button layered with a sparkly jewelry finding in the flower center.
What went wrong? Well,
So this is my attempt.
I hate it, actually --- so many things went wrong with it and it really doesn't look like I had pictured in my feeble brain when I decided to take this one but... what can one expect form a person who doesn't have a green thumb in real life, right? Well, it's done and if the guild meeting isn't canceled Thursday night due to weather (we are ins a Snow Emergency Level Three right now which means no-one on the roads, period, or you can be arrested! Not that we can FIND out roads right now...), it will be submitted.
Like in 2012, I'm not that happy with my completion rate for 2013. Finishes were (not necessarily in order of finish):
Eight pieces were framed for fair submittals in 2013 (five first place ribbons, 2 second place ribbons, one third place ribbon and one honorable mention - not framed) and three more framed in December: one for a gift and two for 2014 fair submittal (IF I am in town for the fair that is --- there is a road trip in the offing for around submittal time and depending on husband's plans, we might not even be back in time for the fair itself).
As for accountability, in addition to my weekly wrap-ups (all including the words 2013- Reconnect to My Stitchery), I participated in the WIPocalypse 2012 Project and the International Hermit & Stitch Weekends, all three of not only which required regular accounting for my works-in-progress but encouraged me to work on pieces otherwise not calling me to the needle!
I am still a full-fledged member of the local quilt guild (and their webmaster as well!) and I actually did some quilting this year! And I was the "detail angel" for the 2013 Bead Journal Project blog (an assignment which is no longer required with the BJP going on FaceBook for 2014)!
Long-standing UFOs from precious years weren't even taken out, let alone stitched on:
to say nothing of that ancient crewel-work pillow (I'm sure the moths have done in the wool by now), all the top work on six or seven needlepoint pieces that all predate 1992, and a slew of piece-worked tops from quilting classes in Saudi... And then there is my Round Robin piece from 2006 --- I still need to finish that off. (if the preceding words look familiar, they are almost verbatim my report from 2012!)
There are two years of BJP, one of Crazy Quilt Journal Project, and all the previous years of Janet Perry needlepoint exercises that need finish-finishing... I have made a small dent in the pile but it is by no means miniscule!
Started but unfinished needlework in 2013:
Waiting in the wings ( for which I have all the written material but haven't even started to think about) are:
I have two BJP years (2010 and 2013) and one Crazy Quilt Jorunal project (2013) to finish-finish. In addition, in 2014, there will be the Take a Stitch Tuesday stitches (which will likely be a monthly rather than a weekly deadline in 2014), the 2014 series of Crazy Quit Journal blocks (I have ordered inspiration fabrics) and the 2014 Bead Journal Project pieces (I have ordered inspiration fabrics) on my schedule. Coming up mid-January is a finishing stitchinar (Called "Finish It! The Skinny on Embroidery Finishing") being offered by Jen Funk Weber, for which I have registered (anything to encourage me to finish my stitchery!) Also, I have a book on order which is the basis for a Mary Corbett SAL later in the year and I'm sure that other things will pop up in my radar as the year passes.
I want to do a few more Christmas ornaments (this year, I used two trees to display my stitched ornaments because there were too many for the one, but there aren't enough to fill two so I need 50 or so more!), so I need to go through my set-aside patterns that I didn't stitch this year as well as back issues of the JCS Christmas Ornament issue.
In addition to my regular weekly progress reports (theme TBA) on my blog, there will be specific WIPocalypse postings on the full moon of every month, postings for the International Hermit and Stitch Weekends (third weekend of every month), and special postings for TAST 2013 (as assigned), CQJP 2013 (monthly), and BJP 2013 (monthly). Blogging will be keeping me as busy as stitching, I fear!
2014 looks to be another busy year. Here's hoping it's productive!
International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, December 2013 and 2013 - Reconnect to My Stitchery, Week Fifty-One
For IHSW, I worked on three WIPS.
I had the body and two top wings and part of the bottom wing beaded on my December BJP butterfly before the weekend. Over the weekend, I managed to get the third wing done and started on the fourth:
Early in the week, I couched red cording around the appliqued flower and sewed on the buttons in the heart of the flower --- cording (passing as "string") and buttons being two of the requirements of the "Green Thumb Challenge" for January's quilt guild meeting. Over the weekend, I couched black perle cotton (more string) as the stem of the flower:
I also completed the ladybug in "Ladybug & Daisy" - now on to the blackwork (once that blasted December butterfly is completed, that is):
Also completed this week were four variations of a stitch in TAST: Stitch #94, the Reversed Buttonhole Bar.
I have found my inspiration fabric for the 2014 Bead Journal Project --- and ordered it (it was on sale, although the coordinating fabrics were not! Phooey! Oh well...). Still mulling over a format for the 2014 Crazy Quilt Journal Project...
I really don't know how much stitching will happen this coming week, what with the holiday and all... Being neglected is "Roll Your Own" mandalas (which is now fully kitted out and I only need to start), and two online classes from Janet Perry... It's embarrassing how many OTHER pieces I have in my pile of unstarted projects, some kitted up, some not, that are calling to me. And to think the year is almost over!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Lazy again this week. At least as regards stitchery. (OK, I admit it, I'm in another stitching slump and motivation isn't my strong point this time of year)
There was a lot of time decorating trees... Two with hand-stitched ornaments:
and one with multi-colored glass (and faux glass) balls):
The tree is a re-purposed fiber-optic tree originally meant for outside, which we adapted in 2008 when the cost of a real tree began to seem just idiotic and we weren't going to buy one of those artificial trees that tries so hard, and fails, to look real. If it's going to be artificial, let it be obvious!
Husband was also busy decorating outside, once his back order of industrial grade LED lights arrived... The front yard, with one artificial and one real (the closest to the house) tree:
and the dock in the back garden, from top:
And of course, as you can make out from the above photos, we had our first "major" snow of the season (7 inches, give or take --- the most in three years of winters!). It isn't much in the scale of things nationwide but it was enough to cause the quilt guild to cancel their Christmas brunch on Saturday (and that means I have a nicely gift-wrapped biscornu pin cushion with no where to go! But it also meant I had more time to stitch, supposedly)
I did put in a little beading on my Bead Journal Project December butterfly:
Of course, I started running low on the red (this running low on one color is beginning to be a nasty habit --- next beading pieces are going to have to be smaller and use less beads!) so I had to improvise with buttons and gold beads...
I also started on the quilt guild challenge for January 2014, called "Green Thumb". It came with a requirement to use a specific floral shape, a four-patch, black-and-white somewhere, string (see the red cording --- I'm couching it around the floral piece), a button (not shown here) and any other embellishemnt. It was a coward's way out to go with black, white and red, but I am limited in my stash to only a few black fabrics and one came with built-in red polka dots; I came up with this:
It looks awfully plain, now that I see it on the photo, but I hope it will get a little more blinged out as I proceed...
Not quite what I had in my mind originally but there is no point in getting truly different when this will be a first time for me and I'm a total novice at this kind of challenge. We shall see if this even gets finished before the January meeting when it is due.
If all goes well, I'll get my gifts for our Girls' Night Out exchange wrapped today (the exchange, weather permitting, is tomorrow night) and a card made for husband's birthday (ALSO tomorrow). No idea what the Christmas plans are yeat --- husband and brother-in-law are always last minute on that --- so there may also be an emergency trip into town for dinner supplies. A busy week ahead, I fear!
After finishing the September BJP and the October Crazy Quilt Journal blocks early in the week, I spent a day gathering together projects to take to the quilt guild retreat and then the weekend working on them and a little bit more.
Retreat was entitled "Bling It On!" and was held at Our Lady of the Pines, a retreat center run by the Sisters of Mercy in Fremont Ohio. There were forty guild members there, elbow to elbow in one of the center's meeting rooms, which you might think would not be conducive to quilting but there were a lot of pieces started and finished in this weekend, as well as two demonstrations and (for some, not for me) shopping trips to nearby quilt shops. No television and very few bars for the phone or the tablet made for a time with no interruptions, while the beautiful grounds (some 65 acres of gardens) gave one respite from sewing when needed. And luckily, the weather held!
I cleared the decks of a one project and got a couple more started. The completed project was my 2012 Color Palette/Crazy Quilt Journal/Bead Journal Project wall hanging:
It needs a hanging sleeve and a label but, otherwise, it's off my to-do list! Woo Hoo!
Really, all if needed was batting, backing and binding as I had already pieced the top, but after some consideration, I bailed on the binding idea and simply did an envelope backing like I did for my 2011 BJP wall hanging back in January of this year!
One of the favors at lunch the first day was a kit for a very small grandmother's flower garden flower. I stitched mine together:
and after looking it over, realized it matched perfectly with a blue fabric I had brought with me as possible sashing and backing for another planned quilt. So, I decided to use the flower and some blue and chocolate fabrics to make a cover for my 2010 BJP squares, and turn the lot into a book. I hand appliqued the flower to the blue and layered it with batting and chocolate fabric to create the cover.
I need to stitch the 12 beaded pieces to a "spine" that I can stitch to the cover and I will have something that I can display those blocks in, once it has been truly "embellished". This is truly just a work in progress right now --- I have to search out the online reference I had discovered for making a book... and then I will get back to work on it. Meanwhile, it's on the back burner.
The other project I worked on was that "Unstarted Project" that was proposed at one of my first quilt guild meetings - a Chinese Coins lap quilt. I had already stitched a strip set at Quilt Work Day September 14, from which I cut three 5.5" strips before I left. When I got to the retreat, I cut some 1" blue strips to edge each strip and some 5.5" chocolate to act as sashing. When sewing the first blue strip to the pieced strips, I found that one had been mis-cut which meant I had to shorten the pieced strips by 6 ". This necessitated a design change, with top and bottom borders, which I had not planned on doing. Still, by the time retreat was over, I had four pieced strips ready to assemble for the top:
Oh, and my "Bling it On!" challenge block? It won "best use of embellishments" at retreat!
One other accomplishment (for me) this weekend: I managed to drive over an hour to a place I had never been before (*and* back) and NOT get lost! For me, who hates to drive and who can get lost in a closet, that is a minor miracle!
After arriving home Sunday afternoon, I fed three demanding cats who claimed to be starving to death, unpacked my car, and immediately fell asleep catching up on email. Later that night, I took out "Puppy Dog" and put in some time on the second page of the chart:
Now, it's laundry time, the fridge needs cleaning out an the beds need changing out, and I have to kit out the October BJP. Luckily, I won some Halloween-themed fat quarters at retreat so one of them is bound to work for my October butterfly...
All of my stitchery done this week was done this weekend, which also happened to be International Hermit and Stitch Weekend for September. In addition to tackling the week's TAST assignment on Friday
and visiting the Needlework Show on Saturday , I made a concentrated effort to work on "Bling it On":
which is now ready for beads, and on the August BJP butterfly:
which now has an outline in place.
No completions but I am getting closer...
Born in New Jersey, I grew up in Southeastern Ohio. Attended university at Bowling Green State University (B.Sci in biological science, 1964), University of Southern California (M. Sci in biological science, 1967) and University of Florida (Ph. D in zoology, 1971).
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