So for those who don’t know, I periodically make videos where I talk about the things I’m working on or the things that I’ve finished. I share these videos with a group of ladies (mostly from the US, though we’ve had people in Australia and still have people who post intermittently from South Africa and England) at Talk to Me Tuesday. A lot of us are quilters and some do crochet or knitting or various other crafts and it’s a nice way to share things – even if it is a bit unnerving putting my face (and perpetual “but, um, anyway”) out into the world. This has been a really off year for me for posting and it’s been around 2 months between videos (usually I manage closer to one a month, maybe every other week), but here’s my newest, in which I show a couple finishes (not yet posted here!) and a couple things that I’m working on.
The Comfort Quilt pattern can be found in Amy Ellis‘s book Modern Heritage Quilts
So I haven’t felt like making a post about any of my recent finishes – three so far this year! – or about any of the bee blocks I’ve been sewing up or anything of the things I’ve been working on, so I thought I’d post this video instead.
I periodically do Talk to Me Tuesday videos with a group of ladies around the world (but mostly in the US), which are basically us talking to each other about the crafty things we’ve been working on. You can find us here if you’re interested! Anyway, this is my most recent video.
In other life news: I have a mystery elbow injury and spent a bunch of time at an elbow specialist’s office today learning that my elbow dysfunction – I can’t extend my left elbow all the way without extreme pain and even with all that pain I still can’t extend it all the way – does not function like any other elbow issue the doctor has seen and there are no apparent visible issues in any of the tests done so far. I have some elbow exercises to do for a while and then it’ll be back to see if there’s any change. Exciting stuff. On the plus side: it doesn’t affect my ability to do basically anything I love… like say sewing.
I film videos about what crafts I’m working on about once a month or so to share with friends in the Talk to Me Tuesday community. Usually I’m on camera showing things, but this week I filmed a lot about my Plume quilt, with all the focus on the quilting.
In the video I talk about the quilting that isn’t finished and trying to figure out how to finish it. I’ve decided to do straight line quilting every half inch, so I’ve got the inside part of the borders done and tomorrow will get the outside part of the borders quilted. After that it’ll be trimming and binding.
I need to make new plans for the binding. It was supposed to be the same brown fabric as the flanges, but I hadn’t been able to find the binding fabric anywhere. I went looking today again after filming this video and I found some of it… and it’s only about 8.5-inches by width of fabric. Definitely not enough to bind the whole quilt. I was prepared to swear I had at least a half yard of that brown fabric, but I must have…. used it for something. I can’t think of what or why I would have done it, but it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Frustrating. I have very, very little Plume fabric in my stash, so I have to decide now if I want to just use a solid brown (if I can find a match!) or if I want to use some other Tula Pink fabric in my stash or…. I don’t know. Something else entirely? Brown feels like the right finish, like a frame around the project. Why on earth would I have used my binding fabric for something else?!
My first Talk to Me Tuesday video of the year! I spent most of my time talking about the various projects on my Finish Along Quarter 1 list, but also showed a few more blocks for my Gypsy Wife quilt and some new blocks for an eventual Granny Square quilt. It’s a bit of a ramble.
This is a video I recorded on Tuesday earlier this week when I received a package in the mail from Mara of Secretly Stitching! I’m trying to get decent pictures of what she sent to me, but so far my attempts to photograph the pouch haven’t turned out very well.
Here is the fabric, threads, and chocolate:
I may have eaten some of the chocolate since…
I don’t think I ever showed pictures of what I sent to Mara when she won a giveaway from me, but I think I must not have taken any – I can’t find any in my files. Anyway, I think I probably showed the strawberry pouches in plenty of TTMT videos in the past.
Here are some photos of the things I sent out in that dumpling pouch swap:
…since I posted last. And now I’m just going to post a video, because I’m too tired to write up something longer. I do have things to show, but I need to take pictures, so I keep putting it off!
I should have posted this here yesterday, since it’s my most recent Talk to Me Tuesday video (which was recorded last Friday), but here it is on a Wednesday. The video kind of answers why I’ve been away so long, but in short: my Grandma was hospitalized last month and passed away, so I was out of the province a few times and generally haven’t felt very crafty. My Grandma was a very crafty woman and in this video I show four of the quilts in my house that she made for my sister and I. Not shown are the multitude of embroidered pieces (we’ve both got several) and the crochet (somewhere I have a pretty amazing table cloth) and the oil painting and all the other crafty things my Grandma did. A lot of these things she got into because she was a member of an Embroidery Guild, which challenged its members constantly to try new things, and so she tried it all: hardanger, black work, red work, ribbon embroidery, silk embroidery, crewel embroidery, chicken scratch, Brazilian embroidery… If I can figure out a good way to photograph them, one day I’ll write a post with pictures of all or anyway some of these things I have from her.
So I chose a really easy goal in September, which means I think I should pick something a little more complex this month! And I’m really hoping I’ll get it done because if I do, then my Christmas gift for my mom will be entirely taken care of. I talked about this a bit back in the winter when I was working on piecing the top, but I played pretty coy with it because I kept hoping I’d get it finished really quickly, and I wanted to be like “Woo look what I made!” without beating the whole thing to death before hand like I usually do. But the last photo I took was in February, so clearly that getting it finished quickly thing didn’t pan out. In fact, let’s look at my January ALYOF goal:
And then I went on to talk about how I wanted to give this to my mom for her birthday (early in February) but that they probably wouldn’t come to visit until late that month. Hahahahaha. February.
Okay, well, continuing to play coy with the look of the entire quilt, this is my goal for October: to get the Confetti Go Lucky quilt basted and quilted and bound. Soon would be good (because I want to get two charity quilts done this month too, if possible).
And finally, another Talk to Me Tuesday video. I’ll get around to writing about these cushion covers one day soon… (the light’s just gone really early, so I keep putting off photo taking till after dinner, but by then it’s too late).
So I’ve been working on cushion covers lately. Quite a while ago, like months ago, I’d cut out all the pieces for a 16″ quilt block that exactly matched one I’d sent away for the Stash Bee and then it sat around for a long, long time without me doing anything with it. And then I got bit by the free motion quilting bug because I was working on that baby quilt I just posted about the other day and I started watching Craftsy videos about free motion quilting – I’ve got several, two with Leah Day, one with Elizabeth Dackson, one with Angela Walters, and one I haven’t watched with… Wendy Butler Berns – and that got me wanting to do some more practise. But I hate just using random fat quarters (and I hate wasting my “good” fabric for it, but I don’t have all that much ugly fabric any more either) so I made up that quilt block and turned it into a quilted cushion. Which is the one on the right, here:
Once I get it washed up, I’ll write a proper post about it with some decent pictures, but for now it’ll do. Part of the process with that one involved my (weak) attempts to FMQ smooth curves, and that got me watching another Craftsy class, that one Jacquie Gering’s class about quilting with a walking foot. (I’m feeling lazy: I’m not sure I spelled her name right and I can’t recall the exact name of the class, but it seems like too much work to look it up!) And so there’s a little bit of walking foot quilting in that finished pillow, and then a little more on the pillow-in-progress on the left. It’s so very sweet and pretty, isn’t it? That’s so not my usual wheelhouse and I’m not at all certain what I’ll wind up doing with it, but there it is.
I’ve been thinking for the last little while about what my “style” is as a quilter (or as an artist if you want to take it in that route – I’m talking less about the mechanics of it and more about the look of the finished things I make) and I don’t really think I’ve got one. My brain sort of flits around from this to that and I like to try a little of everything, but I don’t think anyone would ever, in a random line-up of stuff, be able to point to the thing I made and feel certain it was mine. I think that’s true of a lot of quilters I know, that we haven’t really found our niche in a way, but then some people you really do recognize straight away. I suppose it just takes time to find that place that belongs to you and the flitting around is just part of the process.
And a belated Talk to Me Tuesday. The later half of this video is directed at the other video makers/posters at the Livejournal TTMT community who posted videos in September.
A belated Talk to Me Tuesday video. There are a few Gypsy Wife blocks on display, a bit of talk about my Citrus Swap package (which I posted about here), and then a whole lot of chit chat about my most recent attempts at Free Motion Quilting. There is, per usual, some pretty shoddy edits – the program I use doesn’t have an “Undo” button, so if you mess something up, you can either live with it or you can close the program without saving – thus losing all the “good” edits – and start over again. So, you know… I live with the bad cuts.
The Craftsy class I mentioned was Start Free Motion Quilting with Elizabeth Dackson (not an affiliate link). It’s an interesting class and taught in a rather different style than a lot of classes I’ve seen. She sort of jumps right into quilting and then stops periodically to offer information about various different things. For instance, you don’t find out about her basting method until the fourth lesson. It bothered me a little to begin with because I felt like I’d have to watch the entire class to get some of the tips and hints I might have needed nearer the beginning of the class, but in the end I appreciated it because it broke up what could otherwise have been a couple lessons of Too Much Information At Once and then a long line of “Here’s how to stitch this design, now watch me stitch it for 20 minutes.” I think she’s a very good teacher, she speaks a bit too quickly (particularly in the intro where I felt like she was reading a pre-written blurb, but was speeding through it), but she’s very calm and precise. I appreciated that she gave information about the other ways that different quilters do things, for instance, spray basting vs pin basting or hands on top the quilt quilting vs clenching the quilt in your fists quilting. The one thing that did bother me about the class is that she only ever showed us her quilting methods on practise sandwiches – there are three provided projects, but other than showing us where the different quilting designs appear on the projects, you don’t actually see the projects being quilted. There’s often a world of difference between quilting a practise sandwich and quilting a finished quilt top, so I would have appreciated seeing her stitching, say, the tiny stippling in the pillow rather than just the larger stippling on the practise sandwich.