Friday, November 06, 2020

New in November

 Life in the Making.  What d'you think, Gentle Readers?  

Yes, I'm still making art work, but very slowly and sporadically in this COVID Autumn -- so I thought I'd change from "Thoughts from a Textile Artist" to something that would reflect that 

  1. There's life in the old gal yet;
  2. Where there's life there's art; and
  3. Life is also what you make in and of it.
And I've been making steadily since my last post.  I do have a bit of artwork under the needle, but I'm not ready to show you that really, it's more of the utilitarian again this post.  Although I suspect your patience for just about everything is wearing thin these days (!) please be patient and I will, before long, share the art piece.  I promise.

Two pieces mentioned in that last post have stalled.  "Easy Breezy" remains at two quilted and sashed rows, and the CQA's "Row-by-Row" is idle.  I cut out hexies in card stock and found enough squares to do the project...and there it sits.  It's not where my hand-stitch heart is right now.

Postage Stamp Quilt
Summer 2020
55" x 55" - before quilting 
Instead, I've sandwiched my small postage stamp top, and have begun to hand-quilt it. That would go more quickly if Miss Pookie-cat wouldn't insist on sitting on my lap while I do so!  You see, I quilt in my lap, without a hoop, using #12 perle cotton.  When the cat sits on my lap, she also covers the section I'm quilting -- and purrs so lovingly that I'm hard-pressed to remove her!  Thus...slowly as she goes, but it is moving along!

I've continued to work with rows...and rows...making up a small top out of sliced charm squares and 2 1/2" neutral squares, into something known either as "Interweave" or "Broken Bricks", depending on where you find the pattern:

The idea is that you turn those 5" charms into 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles, stagger the rows, stitch 'em up -- et voila!  With 23 rows of 7 units each, you can make a 42" x 46" top (before borders).  The photo shows 9 rows; I've now finished a total of 18 and trust I have enough units for another 5 rows to make 23.  I'll also find fabric in my "inheritance" for a not-too-wide border, and I'll probably hand-quilt this one too.  It will then be given away, as will the Postage Stamp quilt.  They're colourful, fun to do, soothing to quilt and -- most importantly -- are using up my stash!

In addition to rows, I've been making stacks.  Stacks of pieced units, that is, for the last part of Bonnie Hunter's "Frolic!" Mystery Quilt from 2019.  (Note: I participated in the Mystery at the time, so got the pattern for free.  It's now only available for purchase.)

A stack of blocks (centre) with
a stack of corner pieces (top left)
 and a stack of setting triangles (top right).

A stack of sashing

This huge quilt is set on point.  I have no idea how I'll manage it -- but inch by inch, row by row...I'll take my time and it will be finished eventually!

Bonnie's just introduced a new mystery: "Grassy Creek".  Will I participate ?  Well...I have all that "inherited" fabric...yards and yards of cottons and colours that just might work, even if they're mainly solids, not prints.  That would give it a very different look...So, in my ongoing quest to keep as much of my fabric, fibre and floss out of the landfill...the answer is a resounding "probably"!  Why?  I don't do paper piecing (except of the English variety, and precious little of that) and I don't do templates!  So if there are any hints of those in the clues as they unfold -- I'm outta here!  😉  I'll watch, and hope for the best!

"Wait!" you might be asking.  "Weren't you working on enlarging another quilt for your daughter's up-coming 40th birthday?"

Well yes...I was.  💃💃💃 -- that's me doing the Happy Dance, because I dropped the finished top and backing off at the studio of Sylvia-the-long-armer this week.  She's working on it as I type, because I need to have it back in time to bind it and pass it on to my daughter at the end of this month.  The top finished at 85 1/2" x 106" (enlarged from 50" x 60") and turned out quite well, if I do say so myself!

My daught will be coming to town to connect with me as we both have pieces in the 2nd Annual "Under $100 Art Market" in Lacombe on November 26 and 27 -- in conjunction with the City's "Light Up the Night" weekend.  I want to send her home to Edmonton with her quilt (for her January 2021 birthday) and Christmas gifts for her and her brother.

As for the Art Market, COVID protocols will be in place, and we're hopeful notwithstanding masking and traffic control, we'll have some good sales, and both of us are involved in volunteering in set-up, on cash, and take-down.  This year instead of matted minis, I'll be selling my small framed work -- pieces like these...

Between the Woods & Frozen Lake
 5" x 7" x 1" deep, framed

December Dusk
5" x 7" x 1" deep, framed

Mug Shots - 6" x 6"
wrapped around stretched canvas;
wired for hanging
There are 4 in all...

Mennwhile, my days have taken on a rhythm that moves between knitting, quilting and hand-stitch, with a focus now on Christmas gifts -- and those are mainly knit.  I've completed three pair of socks for the season, and am working on two more...

Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Sock 
Designer: Glenna C.
Yarn: OnLine Supersocke 6-fache/6-ply
Colourway: "Arizona Color"

Pattern: Diagon Ally (sic)
Designer: Lori Wagner
Yarn: Araucania Huasco Heathers - fingering
Colour: #201 - Valparaiso

The Diagon Ally socks are much farther along than shown -- I'm working down the foot of the first now, and just haven't taken any photos!  And yes, the third pair of baby socks have been knit and delivered to the Great-auntie-to-be, my friend C., for Baby due in early December...

Pattern: Baby Socks from River City Yarns
Yarn: unidentified cotton fingering from stash!
Size: 6-12 months

The cotton was firm to knit with but softened up beautifully when I washed the socks.  Baby should be all set now, with a pair for 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12 month feet.

As far as stitching goes, my cross-stitch picture,  "Man Cave"  is almost finished.  There's only one more motif and it will be ready for the outlining -- of which there's considerable.  This is for my neighbour John; his wife Edna will be getting a Bonjour Hi cowl...Cast on...with a couple of rows in, which is a start!  I'm comforted by the fact that, being the third one of these I've made, I've learned how quickly this goes up onces I get going on it.  And because John and Edna live next door, it doesn't have to go into the mail...

And so it goes, my it goes.  We're due for snow and blowing snow tomorrow and Sunday.  I'll be here in my cozy wee house, quilting, knitting and stitching, watching The Quilt Show and BritBox...How about you?

I leave you with a link to this post on Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, and wishes for a peaceful, safe weekend.  Take well...and remember, your life is in the making.  😊


Gwyned Trefethen said...

Thanks for the fond memories when I used to participate in mystery quilts. I am in awe of all you create for family and friends. Those baby socks are adorable.

elle said...

Luved your intro! Yay to life! Glad you are keeping busy and it looks like warm as you quilt. Thats a huge quilt for your daughter!

Bethany G said...

Hi Marg...

I agree with Gwyned - and I too am in awe of all you create to pass as gifts to others. I am going to do Grassy Creek this next year with Quiltville's Bonnie and am excited to use up some of MY stash... I am slowly using it as shared fabric with students in my workshops, charging them a tiny bit more, and providing the fabrics. Helps all of us!

Feeling blessed that the US has a new President and VP. Today was a beautiful day and I am happy!

Holly McLean said...

I find traditional quilting comforting to do and love giving them. I’m finishing the binding right now for my niece born today, Anastasia 9lbs, 10 ounces.
My days seem to have the same sort of rhythm as yours do, a little machine such, some hand stitch, some art work, some knitting.
I like your small art pieces.