Sunday 28 July 2019

Sewing too, too slowly

In fact I am pretty much grinding to a halt.  In addition to the usual summer holiday lull I am contending with a big pile of work for the end of this week, an impending trip away, chickenpox (which in the worst case scenario may spread and scupper aforementioned trip) and this:
In case you are wondering, this is Mr Sew Slowly using the dining room (aka my temporary sewing space) to store landing nets and weigh-slings and in the process completely curtail all access to table and sewing machine.  No sewing today, then.

Instead, I thought I'd do a quick round-up post, largely for my own benefit: to make myself feel like I'm doing something useful.

If I could reach the machine I might be starting work on the AHIQ flower-y challenge, which I'm going to write up in a bit and post over on the AHIQ blog.  I'm not expecting to get far with this before September, but it's nice to know where I'm starting, at least.

As it is, I'll try to squeeze in a bit of quilting instead.  The Shipping Forecast has been in the hoop for a while now, but I've been lacking motivation.  I need to pull my socks up.
I think it's fair to say posts here will be sporadic for the next few weeks (what's new, I hear you say), but hopefully I will at least be able to share some progress on this one - I'm still hoping to reduce the overall quilting backlog this year.

Friday 19 July 2019

Sugar and Spice: done for now

I'm not sure I like the name 'Sugar and Spice', since I'm not especially keen on the nursery rhyme it brings to mind, but it seems to have stuck,  Maybe I'll come up with something better in the fullness of time.  For now, though, I'm done with this one.

Funnily, having been pretty downcast about this when I started piecing, I really like it a lot now. Mr Sew Slowly said, as he often does "they're not your usual colours".  I am coming to recognise that I seldom start with my favourite colours but that what sparks my interest and brings me (eventually) the most satisfaction is starting somewhere that feels a bit uncomfortable and getting to that point where I feel like I've cracked it.  I learn more this way too.

Having said which, I do love a nice bird fabric and this has ended up with more than its share.  This wasn't deliberate - I mostly pick things for variety in colour and pattern but nonetheless I have managed to squeeze feathers, magpies, parrots and elegant little waders into one quilt.

This goes into the quilting pile (note to self to get on with quilting - haven't done any for a couple of weeks and that's no way to make progress) and I shall start to contemplate making something flowery.  

Monday 15 July 2019

Not far to go

Today the good news is that I found my last strip of brown fabric.  It's not huge, (those tiles are 13" square, to give you an idea) but then I don't need much.  I could probably have coped without it, by using more of the black fabric, but it's good to have my options open.
I made this chunk, which I think is the bottom right-hand corner. 
I'm not tidying up the edges until I'm sure of what I'm doing...which might be something like this.
I need to get the position of the top cross just right.  If it's too low or too close to the central one it seems to make the whole thing feel a bit squat, though I am finding that the foreshortening that comes with taking photos on the floor makes it hard to demonstrate that with a picture.  Anyway, I know where I think it belongs so it's just a question of working backwards from that point to fill in the gaps.

Nearly there, I think.

Monday 8 July 2019

Today I took photos

Well, I have managed to keep sewing but if I want to keep up with the blogging I will have to do a better job of taking photos. I sat down on Saturday, all ready to post what I had done on Friday only to discover the pictures I was sure I had taken did not exist.  Bother! 

I have done better today, when I got this chunk sorted out.
 This is what it looks like as part of the bigger picture, so to speak.  
I am running very, very low of most fabrics now, but have a little pile of crosses done so I'm pretty sure I can get to the finish line. I will probably have to resort to lots of tiny crosses to fill in my gaps, rather than a few bigger ones, so it will be more work, but I don't mind that too much.  I've given up looking for the extra brown bit.

One a completely different note, I thought I'd share this picture of a Banded Demoiselle.  We have loads of these damselflies in the garden and never tire of admiring them, but they seldom stay still.  This poor chap had died, but I was grateful to be able to get up so close. 

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Checking in, catching up

Normal life has resumed and I am going to try hard not to take another three weeks to get back to blogging and blog reading.  That seems to have been  my pattern in the last year, pause...still pausing...slow, slow, slow return to normal.  This time I am back at the sewing, so I am now knuckling down to the blog-related end of things.

Here are a couple of quick update photos.  The first is how things looked when I first got my bits out of the box and laid them out
 and this is a smaller area, but all these bits are now sewn together.
I'm still doing a lot of shuffling around, mostly figuring out where I want the bigger crosses to sit in relation to each other.  Once I have the feel for that I am using smaller ones from my pile of ready-mades to fill in the gaps.  

It definitely feels like I am in the swing of it now and I am much happier.  In fact I am coming to like this slightly odd mix of colours a lot.  My only minor frustration is that I know I have one more strip of the tan/brown fabric somewhere: I came across it, realised it would be needed, put it somewhere safe, but not, unfortunately, somewhere obvious.  So I am spending a fair amount of time in unproductive searching. In the meantime I have switched to other fabrics, since every last inch of the original fabric has gone.  

In quieter moments I am also considering the next AHIQ challenge, which is up and running, for anyone who wants to join in.