Monday, May 02, 2016

Back to my Stitching Roots

As I drove out to drop off my second roll of Konstructor Camera test film this morning, I thought back to how long it has been since my first roll, and how long ago I made my original post to this blog, and how long ago I made my most recent post... and I realized how much time has flown by.  Although I've had a decent amount of time taken up with school field trips, a cold running through our house, a last minute vacation, and some major house organization/spring cleaning, I've found some balance in project completion during some of our rainy evenings.

Two of the largest hurdles I overcame were a long-standing scrapbooking project as well as a long-standing sewing project.

Scrapbboking: I have finally finished gluing and assembling the hard-copy scrapbook for 2003

My photos sat in boxes for years, then I slowly picked at designing layouts and left those sit in another box for years waiting to be glued.  These were the Final 4 Pages waiting to be glued as of March 2016.

What is next: My digital albums for 2004 - 2008 are completed and printed.  My 2009 and 2010 albums just need a few details and proofreading done, then those will be ready for printing.  While I continue with my neverending dream of being "caught up" with scrapbooking digitally, I will begin the companion albums of ephemera starting with 2004.
The stuff is laid out, and in theory these books should go faster as the event details are already printed in the digital albums and I'm just making a few pages per year.  However... I'm feeling mildly  burnt out on scrapbooking at the moment.  I've left 2004 set out on my project table, however, as a reminder than I need to dig in and pull this stuff out of the mud in which it has been stuck for 12 years.

Sewing:  Back in 2006, my husband had to have a second knee surgery and spent his recovery in the easily accessible family room. While he spent a month on that level of the house, I decided to redecorate our bedroom as a surprise for him when he triumphantly returned to being able to take the stairs with ease.  The main focal point of that redecoration was a wall hanging I'd made to hang over our bed.  I had stitched and quilted the entire hanging, however I was running out of time and rather than make him wait to return to a proper bed, I pinned the binding onto the back of the quilt so that I could hang it for show.  The plan had been to take it down and stitch the binding properly the following week.
We moved out of that house in 2012, which is when I finally took the wall hanging down.  I vowed to not hang it in our new house until I'd properly stitched the binding and added a sleeve.  Last fall one of my neighbors decided to start up a crafting club, so I dug the wall hanging out of my U.F.O. box and brought it with me as my first Craft Club project.  On March 25th, 2016, while my husband was out of town, my wall hanging made a triumphant return to the wall (properly sewn and hung this time!) as a surprise for him to come home to.

What is next:  I bought several patterns and panels to play with from a fantastic fabric store on Kauai, and have since gone to work on a few of them.  I've finished the sashiko stitching, piecing, and quilting on one and am currently stitching the binding.  Photo will follow in another post.  I've finished the applique and sashiko of another pattern:
I did the turtle and wave applique by machine by attaching it first with double sided fusible interfacing and then stitching around the edges.  It is effective, and helpful given that my wrists were constantly hurting at the time I decided to undertake this project, however I'm not as fond of the outcome of that style of applique compared to hand stitching.  After I completed the applique, and when my hands felt better, I completed the sashiko by hand and then appliqued the circle onto the background fabric using a more traditional "cut the circle out of wax paper and fold the fabric over it and stitch by hand" method.

About halfway through the circle, I remembered another machine applique technique I've used before, where I sewed the pieces onto fusible interfacing right-sides together, then cut the interfacing and turned the piece right-side out (sticky side of the interfacing down)  This effectively turns the 1/4" seam allowance for you and makes it possible to iron the pieces down to the foundation to be either hand stitched or machine stitched around the edges.  I have several other applique patterns that I'm debating about trying this method with.

In the long term, I have another larger project idea simmering on my back burner which involves taking one of my inherited quilt patterns from my grandmother and creating a quilt with each state bird represented in embroidery.  The smaller projects, however, give me a sense of accomplishment and are allowing me to regain my old sewing chops while I begin to consider the math of how large of a quilt I would end up with, and to study some quilt-as-you-go options.

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