This is block eleven of my original "Contentment" applique anniversary quilt project. The block is 10-inches square and represents our shared love of music.
Steve plays guitar and sings, and I play piano, clarinet, and sing. I decided not to try and represent all those things separately in one applique block...at least not this time, LOL!
Only three more surround blocks to go on the "Contentment" quilt. One is prepped, so I hope to stitch it this weekend.
I am also working on the 40 applique blocks in Sue Garman's "Afternoon Delight" quilt as we all continue to pray for her continued strength in fighting cancer.
This is block #31 and my favorite so far! I loved the challenge of all the little...what are they, tentacles? Whatever they are, they are a great design motif and fun to stitch. The blocks are 7-1/4-inch trimmed.
I did not find these little doo-dads hard to hand-applique, but I will admit that cutting out the freezer paper template was a little challenging.
My paper-cutting scissors are not very good. I am very picky and careful about my fabric-cutting scissors, but I must admit that my only criteria for paper-cutting scissors is just that they not be my fabric-cutting scissors!
As much freezer paper as I cut out, I will designate a pair...any of you paper crafters out there have a particular brand that you like? Serrated- or straight-edged?
This is block #29. It was really fun picking out all my favorite reproduction fabrics for all these blocks. I am using a different repro neutral fabric for each of the 40 applique blocks.
This kind of applique with repro fabrics is fun for me. None of these "Afternoon Delight" patterns make me worry about shading and perspective the way that my LITTLE TREASURES patterns do.
Now that I live in a log home with wood floors in the middle of the woods, the reproduction fabric color palette better matches my decor. I've never been too worried about that, as I have a pretty eclectic style. But it has made me more open to using them! I have always been attracted to them and think they are beautiful...that is dangerous because every time I have a favorite ANYTHING, manufacturers stop making it (I will rant on THAT subject another day!).
There are a lot of double nine patch blocks that need to be made to set all these applique blocks. They will be scrappy, which is always fun. I am going to a retreat at the end of September, and I am planning to pound out most of those while I am there, basking in the company of other quilters.
It looked like a snow storm around my room the day I traced all the applique patterns on freezer paper and cut them out.
When I cut out the freezer paper patterns, I store them in a sheet pocket protector with the pattern sheet until I use them.
The freezer paper adheres to fabric multiple times, so I store the pieces with the pattern after that first use in case I ever come back and make that block again. That saves a lot of time!
I store all the pattern sheet pocket protectors in hanging file folders in filing cabinets. I tried the notebook thing and it just didn't work for me - too floppy!
I was trying to do too much applique prep in our bedroom...now I am re-thinking that decision and moving more of it downstairs to the new quilt cave. I am finding little snippets of fabric stuck to everything and everyone in the house. I need all that mess in a more contained area.
I will still draw upstairs, in addition to glue basting on my light box upstairs. And it seems that most of my hand stitching is done upstairs, along with tracing patterns on freezer paper. My quilt book library is also upstairs. Those are things I can do while watching stuff on the stove/oven or doing laundry. The laundry was in the basement in the Michigan house, and I had no qualms about announcing that I was going down to do laundry...then totally ignore the clothes and play with he fabric, LOL!
I also just need to spend more time downstairs. I've got to get over all the feelings of it being new and not yet cozy like my old Michigan space. If I just spend some time down there it will quickly seem like an old friend. That is where my main sewing machine is located.
I have also started to tackle organizing Dad's shop, which is on the other end of the large, long basement from my new quilt cave. I am trying to incorporate all the tools we moved with what was already there, and sort out tools that need to be housed in other areas on the property (tractor shed, barn, garage, etc.). Dad and I spent a lot of time in that shop...it has the most ghosts, but also the most great memories, I think. I have been avoiding it, but now I have been doing some stuff in there. I am making progress!
My Michigan house was small enough that being in the basement didn't seem like being locked away from the world when I was down there. In this house, I am very removed when down in the walk out basement.
But that could be a good thing!
I am looking for a better bag or container to carry my current hand-stitching project with me when I leave the house. It needs to be big enough to carry 10-12 spools of silk thread, scissors, thimble, etc. along with my Beam 'N Read light and some blocks, but not too big.
When I go to the car place to get the oil changed, those guys always look a little worried that I am starting a sewing bee there, LOL! I would like it to have compartments, hopefully a see-through one for the thread.
Right now I use either a ladies travel toiletry bag or this beautiful handmade Shaker oval box with a handle. Neither one is quite "it." Any suggestions?