June Stitching

June Stitching

June was the first month that the creative tension lingered most of the month and I am left feeling that it needs a bit more stitching. Will I stitch more? I don’t know – I am having a bit of an internal debate with myself about that.

My process has been to stitch one piece each month and when the month was over to begin a new month, however, I think this piece needs a bit more to feel complete.

But when I look back at the month, I see my garden: Yarrow, lavender, Impatiens, Foxglove, Verbena, Wiegela’s, and even some black Poppy seeds. And, lots and lots of growing!! It is a work in progress, and perhaps this stitching feeling “unfinished” is the best reflection of my garden. But, as I said – the internal debate rages on and I will let you know if I decide to add anything to the piece.

What I do love about the piece is how dramatically different it is from previous months with many new stitches and techniques. However, the reality is that sometimes new things requires more practice before you are proficient at them. I am certain that I will be revisiting some of these stitches again to perfect them.

I have also been contemplating the next quarter which will bring this year of stitching to a close and I have had some interesting conversations with Mary about some things in the Slow Stitch book (which if you do not have, you should! It is a fantastic starting point to stitching) and there is so much inspiration contained within the pages! It seems with needle and thread, the possibilities are endless!

There you have my June stitching. One thing I do know – I am at the point that I need a bigger embroidery hoop! Any stitchers out there have any recommendations?

 

 

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Sewing Contemplations and Questions

Sewing Contemplations and Questions

I have read through my Alabama Chanin book three times now and I think I am ready to give a tee-shirt a whirl. I think my first “go” will be from a couple of Steve’s old shirts. I hope to stop at Jo-Ann’s this weekend to get some craft thread and get started.

Beyond that, I have this pile of clothing which all no longer fits. I have been pondering how to “re-sew” all of it into wearable items. However, the thought of ripping out all these seams and removing all the neck binding and pockets is a bit daunting. Really? That is lots of ripping!

This leads me to wonder if there is an easier way to do this, but if there is I cannot figure it out. So, my question to any sewists out there – is there an easy way? They are all too big in the shoulders and the bodies of the garments. However, perhaps if they fit better in the shoulder, the garment would not look so large? I am not certain at all and my garment alteration skills are limited to hemming pants and skirts!

It is days like this that I wish my Nana was still here, because she would certainly have a plethora of ideas on how to accomplish this!

Figuring out a solution would certainly give a boost to my summer wardrobe!

May Stitches

May Stitches

May stitching brings the completion of five months of my daily stitching routine and to say that this has changed my life is an understatement! It has become the best part of my day, the thing I look most forward to, and I am still amazed at how this has sparked my creativity.

And, I really love that I can look at each day’s stitching and remember the inspiration.

The collage:

And, May complete – pale, lighter, awakening. All the good things that May brings!

June is off to an interesting start as well. I felt I was getting too comfortable in working circularly from the center out, so I am changing things up to a more linear approach this month. I love how uncomfortable it feels right now. That is a sure sign of good things!

Once I was a Quilter

Once I was a Quilter

I have been watching with great interest some hand stitching in my Instagram feed, particularly from David of Southern Cross Fibre and Vicki knitorious. They are each hand stitching on different projects that are equally beautiful. Vicki’s Alabama Chanin inspired stitching is incredibly gorgeous and I am very intrigued by this method of slow stitching. David, however, has taken to a field that I have some experience with, although I did not do any hand piecing as he is doing, and his results are absolutely stunning.

Why does this all interest me so much? Well, early in the 1990’s I was an avid quilter. Okay, maybe not avid, perhaps it is better to say that I was a member of a Quilting Group of avid quilters who had been quilting together for years before they invited me (the novice) to join them. The group met weekly throughout the year, working on one large quilt that they would enter into the Tulip Time Quilt Show. The most challenging quilt that I worked on with them was this hand appliqued flower quilt. Each block was hand appliqued and then the blocks were machine assembled. However, the best part, for me, happened once the quilt was carefully stitched into the quilting frame. Then the quilting could begin! Those were quite simply the best times, with all of us sitting around the quilt, carefully stitching the fabric in front of us. The key was to never be able to tell where one quilter’s stitches began and another ended. I look at this quilt today and to my eye there is no difference in any of the quilting at all. And if these stitches could talk, what stories they could tell about the joys, the heartaches, the struggles, and the lives of the quilters. This quilt took a good number of months to complete with the end goal being to sell it and start the process all over again. My then husband surprised me and bought it at the quilt show, which might have been one of the nicest things he ever did. The quilt won a ribbon at the quilt show, but it holds far greater meaning for me in the memories of all the stitches it contains, worked by the women I grew to love dearly. It is a vivid reminder of all we shared together.

PicMonkey CollageI just loved sitting around the quilt with those ladies, stitching and talking every week but, all too soon my house was filled with children and getting to quilting became a challenge, especially with a spouse who traveled most of the time. Sadly, I soon became far too busy to quilt and working on a large quilt at home was not very “child friendly”. I did continue quilting for a couple of years at home in the evenings when the kids were tucked away in bed and I managed to make several miniature quilts, some of which even won some awards as well!

I love the basket quilt, pictured above, that hangs over the back of a tiny,  hand-made wooden chair with the well-loved Raggedy Ann of my youth.

But, my favorite is this Autumn Leaves quilt that I made (and subsequently had framed to hang on my wall.)

I think often of those ladies that I quilted with and learned from, and while many of them are no longer here; the things I learned from them have not left me.

There are days that I really miss quilting, but then I am reminded of the lack of space we have, and, more importantly – my lack of time. It is nice though, that the slow stitch movement is shining light on the forgotten art of hand quilting and sewing. And, I hope they are never forgotten!

Make it Monday, Tuesday Edition

Make it Monday, Tuesday Edition

Our regularly scheduled Ten on Tuesday is on hiatus this week while our illustrious leader, Carole, is off on vacation this week.

However, since yesterday was a holiday, you get the Tuesday Edition of Make it Monday!

Last week, I finished the warp from before Christmas. I ended up with just under 50 inches of cloth. What to do with such an odd length – too short for a scarf. However, after being inspired by this gorgeous cowl, I thought I could incorporate some of those techniques into a small table scarf that will be perfect for Friday night Happy Hour!

 

I am happy to report that I have gotten over my fear of cutting my woven cloth! I trust that my setting of the fabric will prevent anything from instantly unraveling. I had some left over yarn from weaving that I will use to stitch decoratively down the center panel and around the edges.

This project will be perfect for catching up on the most recent episode of Downton Abbey!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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