Friday, July 16, 2021

Mostly Quilting

It's been 11 days since I posted. Not sure why I haven't felt motivated to write a post. Maybe it's because it's summer. Real life has recommenced with more people vaccinated. I've been keeping up with activities - daily devotions, ukulele, line dancing, housework here and there, and sewing.

Actually, as I was searching for an old piece of embroidery that I thought to finish, I came across too many jumbled messes of sewing-related stuff. Started projects set aside for more favorable projects. Though I've never thought of myself as a UFO collector, I have a fair share of items that have me wondering, "What will my kids do, and think, when they find this stuff after I'm gone?!" My excesses are a bit embarrassing. You know. Materials and supplies bought to make items... that never got made. The "stuff" has me feeling disappointed in myself, and a new resolve to rectify that, even a little bit at a time. 

For example, I found this box full of hexagon English paper piecing papers, and cut hexagon fabrics, along with charm packs, pieced triangles, and other random fabric pieces. I've vowed to get it sorted, and figure out a way to use it.

Some of the pieces will go into this which has reappeared on my design wall. Blocks have hand-appliquéd circles for our Central Florida MQG Chip and Charm Challenge. None of the blocks have been squared-up. I'm mulling over how many more I need to make, and how to arrange them. I have a long way to go on this one.

Since making the Mini QCR Runner (last blog post), I've been making another "Urban Abacus" quilt, a pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful. Did you notice I said "another" Urban Abacus quilt? I gave away the first Urban Abacus quilt I made in 2014. It couldn't be with a sweeter Iowa family. 

But, I'm teaching the Urban Ababus project twice in August! So, here I go again. 

Last Saturday I completed the top; Sunday afternoon I pieced a backing with leftover fabrics from the front, and pin-basted the sandwich with Quilter's Dream Cotton Request.

This week has been about quilting, starting with ruler work. I'm quilting on my Bernina 770QE.

Each abacus was curved ruler quilted first, followed by straight line quilting using a 6" Fine Line Ruler by Accents in Design.

This video is five times the normal speed.

Lastly, I added free motion quilted circles.

This video is at four times the normal speed.

Last Friday I received my complimentary copy of Curated Quilts - "Stripes" issue #16 - that includes my 14" X 14" Dance Around quilt in the Mini Challenge section on page 78. This is the fourth time I've been fortunate enough to have a quilt selected for challenge publication, and the good feeling about it never gets old. I'm honored to be included with so many super-talented quilt designers. 

As I've been quilting, lots more book-listening happens, so I'm having a catch-up today on my last three reads that brings my year-long total to 40 books.

Book Recommendations
Though the title The Sewing Machine, by Natalie Fergie is certainly attractive to a sewist, the story didn't measure up to my expectations. It's about a young woman who helps build Singer sewing machines in a factory where wages and conditions were less than ideal. Attempts to unionize the company failed, and women made sacrifices, working had to earn a living by sewing for others.

Have you thought about being able to sew only while near a window? When the sun is still up? The story spans several generations that caused me to feel a bit of confusion about who I was learning about, what year it was, and what circumstances the characters were in. Though the story concludes with the present generation - a male descendant (though not really a descendant by blood) learning to sew on an old Singer used by an ancestor - I found the genealogy and relationships a little difficult to follow.

Also during listening, I was reminded that sewists layer different thread colors on their bobbins, a common practice on old sewing machines. Do you do that? I sure don't. But is there a reason not to? Because we can afford to buy more bobbins, perhaps? Linda's score: 3.6/5.0

 By reading Eight Hundred Grapes, by Laura Dave, I learned that it takes approximately 800 grapes to make a bottle of wine.

You might guess that this story takes place in wine country: Sonoma. The main character is 30-something Georgia, who is on the cusp of marrying a British man. When she sees him with another woman who's a famous actress, with a young girl in tow, she runs back home. There she learns about more secrets - her parents  are divided, her brothers are at odds over a woman, and the most startling news, that the family vineyard, "The Last Straw" is being sold. 

This is another book that looks into family situations and attempts to offer insight, understanding, and resolution for each character. Linda's score: 3.8/5.0

The It Girls by Karen Harper is about sisters Elinor and Lucile Sutherland, brought up on Jersey (a British island off the northwest coast of France - I looked it up), who dream about what their futures could be. Each of them wants to have "it." The "something" that makes a person special. Nellie wants to write; Lucy wants to design clothing. The girls are different, yet each experiences an unhappy marriage, liaisons, and tragic circumstances (the Great War; and a trip on the Titanic) that help them grow into the "it" girls they become. But at what cost? Famous people such as Winston Churchill, Zeigfield, Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin pop up in the story.

In the end, each aging sister is led back to what's most important - family and love. Linda's score: 3.6/5.0

So are you reading FlourishingPalms blog posts via Follow It? (142 of you are.) Is Google's Feedburner gone now? Linda

13 comments:

  1. I wonder when the feelings for the finding of long lost projects goes from excitement to dread? I do like the look of those hexies- I have a similar little stash of glued ones waiting for a project inspiration! The Urban Abacus quilt is coming along beautifully.
    You are well ahead of me in your reading list numbers for 2021, but I've listened to a couple of great ones recently. Katherine Firkin is an Australian author who you may enjoy but may be difficult to find. Have you read the Rosalie Ham sequel to The Dressmaker? I enjoyed that immensely recently. And The Rose Code, but I think you've listened to that one! Happy sewing and listening.

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  2. I could sit and watch you quilt for hours...it is just mesmerizing. But seems when I try, I just get frustrated. I know it just takes practice, patience, persistence - but I find myself perplexed. Enjoyed your post. I have been reading two authors mostly this year - Lousie Pretty's series on Gamache and Rhys Bowen's Spymistress. I like to read the Gamache mysteries, and listen to the Spymistress series on audible. I did recently finish the Book of Lost Names which was a good read about a overwhelming sad time in our history.

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  3. I know just what you mean about the "stuff". My stuff is so varied- from fabric to paper to beads to paint to you name it! It proliferates. It's hard to tame the sewing room sometimes. The Urban Abacus is a nice pattern and your quilting is excellent. I'll check out your book titles. I do enjoy recorded books.

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  4. I have driven around Jersey. Long time ago

    It is always shocking to go through sewing stuff. My house is "frozen in time" since 2013 when I started taking care of my parents. Things just got completely crazy, like an earth quake. So, I know where the piles are, and it is frightening to look at. I am still taking care of daddy. I shared with my daughter, yesterday, about my anxiety living in the big old house. Now is not a time to down size and move, it would be disruptive to daddy, and I do not have time.
    I admire your courage to go through your things. Keep doing that, with your kiddos in mind. That is the perfect mindset.
    Keep going Linda❤️🦋🦋💎

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  5. I love seeing your creations! I’ve done a little FMQ but not the greatest so far. I’ve not tried ruler work. What are you wearing on your hands when quilting and where do you buy them?. I do find it’s hard to move the fabric with just my hands.

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    1. Hello Cindy P! Oh how I want to reply to you... but your Google profile is set to "noreply commenter" so I can't answer you privately. And chances are you will not return to this page to see that I'm answering you. (No reply commenters make me feel so frustrated!) Nonetheless, I will tell you that I'm wearing Marcia Baraldi quilting gloves (though I call them "mitts.") I love having my fingertips free to rethread a needle or wind a bobbin without having to take them off. Marcia is from Brazil, and I used to be able to buy these from Dragonfly Quiltworks on Etsy. Now I don't know where they're sold. I hope you can Google to find them. (Please let me know IF you read this! Also, I can help guide you to change your Google profile so Bloggers can respond to you!)

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  6. Congrats on your most recent published quilt and those cheerful projects in process, Linda!! About that jumbled mess you found, best of luck on working your way through it all.

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  7. I know exactly what you mean about finding things when you have a clean up. In my case it was new carpet put down in my sewing space ( yes, I know, very silly as I wanted lino or vinyl but was out voted) something to do with resale...anyhow I am having trouble finding where little things were put. I did come across a large quilt top which is made of 16 large blocks. I am going to unpick the joining up of the blocks and QAYG them. They measure about 16" square. It will be a 21st birthday gift for a grand daughter.
    I love watching your machine quilting, but I have a problem with dense quilting on a bed quilt. Fine on a wall hanging.Congrats on your quilt being featured in the mag. :)

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  8. I had a good clean out of stuff when I moved a few years ago !! love your abacus quilt - I'm pretty sure I have a fabric bundle put aside to do this quilt too. Oh and by the way, I'm sure I received your email this morning from Google rather than Follow It which I thought was strange !! looking forward to more quilting videos :) :)

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  9. Hi Linda! Yes, I'm reading via follow.it, and it's working out fine. I love the little applique circle blocks!

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  10. Oh boy do I ever need to clean out my cabinets. It's scary to think what all I might find. I go in spurts of purging and letting go of things but find it especially hard to let go of fabric. I've even been contemplating making super simple block quilts in an effort to use the fabric. All this makes me wonder what will be let for my kids to deal with too. ugg. Love how your circles are coming along. I say the more the merrier so keep going.

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  11. We cleaned out the "guest" room (haha--the closet is full of fabric) to make room for guests, and I had to move a dresser, a nightstand and several bins of fabric holding stuff like what you describe. I do have to do some serious cleaning out, but am really more interested in watching those fun videos of your quilting. I assume those buckled straps on your hands strap on velcro or other "sticky" material, to allow you to move the quilt more easily? It's fun watching you quilt; thanks for those videos!

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  12. That ruler again and those colours of Florida! Another beautiful and beautifully crafted quilt. Thank you for sharing your quilt and your quilting process. As inspiring as always.
    You had an 11 day gap between writing blog posts, can you tell I've fallen way behind in reading blog posts? :-D

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