Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Stitches

Rather than write about a specific project or technique, I thought I would share a few snippets from some of my current projects. For good or for bad, I do tend to be one who often has multiple simultaneous projects. (This is something that is true in my work life as well as my stitching life. I will leave it to my readers to determine the merits of this characteristic.)
Here in Utah, our northern quilt shops have their annual "Shop Hop" in early June. This is always a fun event that is based around a given theme. This year's theme was "Travel Through Time," and each shop was assigned a given time period around which the owners and staff would decorate their respective shops and design a quilt pattern. My daughter and I decided to take a road trip day to visit the shops and check out some local food along the way. Our first stop was Corn Wagon Quilts in Springville, Utah. I love the historic building where this shop is located, and they also always do a great job with their shop hop assignment. To get to the point of this post, my daughter found a display quilt that she really liked. Although the shop was out of the fabric (it turned out to be a fabric line from last year), we were able to buy the book that included the pattern. Fortunately, we were able to locate the needed fabric online, and I've gone to work getting the quilt done. Here is a look at one of the blocks from this "Floating Square" quilt. I will wait to share a larger picture when it is finished. In case you are wondering, I'm liking how it is coming together.
Moving on now to a project that has been in the works for a few years. This is actually a project that I have been looking forward to working on and getting completed. I had a lot of fun picking out the different fabrics to include in this somewhat scrappy looking quilt. The challenge has been just getting it done. A few weeks ago I was making some pretty impressive progress, but I seem to be losing steam again. My challenges have been twofold (I think): 1) the blocks require several stages of measuring and cutting as you go and 2) I need sufficient space for laying out the completed blocks so that I can get a sense of which fabrics I have been using the most as well as which combinations I want to put together. I've started and stopped this project about three times now, but it's on a list of 2016 quilting resolutions that I am being held accountable to complete. Here is one of the blocks. Like the previous project, I will keep you guessing until the entire project is complete.

Lest you think that all I do is start projects, here is a project that I actually finished this week. It's probably no big surprise that it is a sheep. In addition to my machine-pieced projects, I like having a handwork project close by for when I am traveling or watching TV. Yes, I'm one of those who can't just sit and not do anything while watching TV.
One of the fun things about this wool appliqué project was using different decorative embroidery stitches to embellish the individual pieces. Here's a close up featuring a row of stars and a modified herringbone stitch. I also created some blades of grass on the green hillside.
This photo lets you see some of the different textures in the threads I was using as well as some different stitches. The gold on the branch is an overdyed thread. If you look closely, you can see the variegated tones in it. 
I hope that you are finding the time to enjoy a few summer stitching projects of your own. I am looking forward to spending some of the hottest summer afternoons in my cool basement sewing room. 
For fun, I thought I would find a verse that addresses summer. Here is a simple verse from Psalm 74 that is a reminder of God's sovereignty. In the midst of times that can feel troublesome and uncertain, I find security and peace resting in His sovereignty.
You have established all the boundaries of the earth; 
You have made summer and winter. Psalm 74:17