Tuesday, May 31, 2022

More Doin's Than I Thought!

As I've continued to add long columns hand-stitching to my Kantha quilt, I haven't thought I was accomplishing much. I've stitched 27 of the approximately 175 columns I'll need to stitch to complete this! Since each column takes about an hour to stitch, I'll be at this for much of the summer. 

Though I've felt in a lull, when I work on "little things" in between, progress begins to be made.

First, I completed the keyboard cover for our son's electric keyboard. I'd taken measurements when I was visiting in Austin a couple weeks ago, so I raided my solids stash to come up with the "dusty blue" he requested. I wish I had a styled shot of the cover snugged over the keyboard (elastic along the bottom), to show you how it works. But you'll have to accept my description that it's put together with a top, a layer of flannel, a backing, and walking foot quilting.

This is the top part that lays across the keyboard. Using 12-weight thread, I hand-embroidered the letter "H" which is a nice decorative accent, right? If you can keep a secret, I'll tell you that it covers a spot where I accidentally nicked the fabric with small scissors. Yep, smack in the center of the cover. Mumm's the word, okay?

I zig-zagged a 21"-long "buttonhole" near the top, which is where the music stand will protrude, and added a"flap" that can be laid over the stand to keep it covered too. Though the exterior of the flap is plain, I snuck in some print by lining it with a musical fat quarter. 

When the cover is put on the keyboard, I hope to hear, "It fits!"

I made two sleep masks following a free tutorial: Adult Sleep Eye Mask. The inside (lining) part is soft white flannel. I've already found it helpful to put it on when I wake too-early in the morning (like 3:30 or 4:00 am) just as the sky is lighten-ing. With the mask on, I'm sensing "dark" and have been able to fall back asleep until 6:00 - 6:30 am.

I'm an avid follower of Jo Avery @joaverystitch and Anorina @sameliasmum. Jo made and shared Freehand Rainbow Appliqué that she created during a recent Making Zen Online Retreat, a series of virtual lessons from the UK. I wasn't able to participate because we were traveling.

Then Anorina shared a pillow she made... then another... Anorina's first pillow, her "Rainbow Cushion" made my heart pound! Gosh, I have to give it a try too!

These are my cut squares and rough appliqué shapes.

I'm hand appliquéing my third block now. And oh boy, it's as fun as Anorina said it was. I love this improv style of hand-appliqué! And I'm so happy I picked up that spool of 80-weight Aurifil when it was offered (free) at our Central Florida MQG meeting. I love 80-weight Aurifil for handwork, and must get more colors. 

Quilting Guild of The Villages (more than 1,170 members) of which I'm a member in the Big Cypress Chapter, is having its biennial quilt show in January 2023. Members may enter two quilts, and enter a challenge quilt.

This year's "Showcase" celebrates 30 years of QGOTV, so the challenge is to make a 24" square quilt with "30" in it. That's it! No other rules. Fabrics are maker's choice.

With masking tape I marked-off a 24" square on my design wall, and have begun improv-piecing from my neutrals scrap bin. The triangles are part of the QGOTV logo. For the first time in ages, I have an IDEA from which I'm working! Yay. 

Book Recommendation
I listened to so many good books during the month of May! This latest one, The Younger Wife, by Sally Hepworth, is a 2022 release that doesn't disappoint. Sally Hepworth is a great writer.

Sisters Tully and Rachel are shocked when their 63 year-old dad, Stephen, announces that he's marrying Heather, an interior designer who's younger than both of them. He's also still married to their mum! She's recently been put into a nursing home with dementia. So as the sisters are trying to work out why Heather would marry their dad - is she a gold-digger? - Tully deals with her two young sons (the author does such a good job describing the boy's antics, liking pooping on the Persian rug!), failing finances, and her own aberrant behavior; and beautiful Rachel is living with a huge secret from her past while baking and eating her way through life; it comes to light that Steven may not be the man they believe he is. They begin to wonder if mum's ravings about Stephen may have a spark of truth. 

Of course I would love this book - Sally Hepworth! Australia! - but who wouldn't when it's also narrated by the talented Barrie Kreinik. I adore the way she accents and inflects voices. Perfectly.

Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

Given that I've listened to a number of excellent books so far this year, I though it might be nice to do a little recap. These are the top nine of 29 books I've listened to. They've received scores ranging from 4.6 (Apples Never Fall) to 4.1 (The Maid). Hope you like them too!
  1. Apples Never Fall, Liane Moriarty
  2. Once Upon a Wardrobe, Patti Callahan
  3. The Girl in the Mirror, Rose Carlyle
  4. Mr. Nobody, Catherine Steadman
  5. Keeping Lucy, T. Greenwood
  6. The Firekeeper's Daughter, Angeline Boulley
  7. The Fixer Upper, Mary Kay Andrews
  8. The Younger Wife, Sally Hepworth
  9. The Maid, Nita Prose
Are you still playing the New York Times Wordle? I've been at it for 125 days now. Though I won't tell you about my dismal failures at guessing the word, I will mention my SEVEN two-guess wins!

The one this morning is the best reason for using a different first guess each day. I can't tell you why the word "molar" came into my head, but I'm glad I followed my instinct. 

Are you still playing? Linda


Deb said...

It is so nice and encouraging to read your blog posts. The keyboard cover is great and will be put to good use. Nice to have a challenge with so few rules.

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Oh my gosh, I absolutely love the colours you've chosen for your rainbow project. I'm so pleased to read that you're enjoying the lovely slow needle-turn applique process as much as I did. I kept my blocks along with the bits & pieces in a little basket and when I had a bit of time spare, I'd enjoy a few sneaky stitches.

I used to wordle daily, but then one day I decided to clear the history on my phone browser as it was glitchy and sadly realised that I'd deleted by wordle history too. I think I only ever got 1 two-guess win. I was generally a 4/5 guess average.

Susan said...

I’ve been admiring Anorina’s arched appliqué pieces too. Yours are lovely! I’d like to give them a try too. I’m glad you enjoyed the Sally Hepworth book. Personally I was rather disappointed in it. I found the characters unbelievable and some of the plot points odd…especially the fact that the wife of an esteemed and seemingly well-off doctor could apply for a pension! Not in Australia at least! Yes, I’m still playing Wordle, only having missed one word since February.

Nancy said...

H marks the spot- your secret is safe with us! I'm sure your cover will be very useful and welcomed. I love those improv rainbows. I did take the Zen stitching free sampler and it was most enjoyable. I'll have to post my eyeballs made as part of the lessons! How big are your rainbow blocks? I still enjoy Wordle, though not every day. Bayou sure stumped me- did you get that one?

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Your improv applique is so fun and playful. A nice mix of colors and prints. I just used the same fabric from your eyemasks in an eye spy I'm working on. We share some of the same stash. Enjoy relaxing and listening to books as you work on the Kantha hand stitching. It's going to create such beautiful texture even if it takes forever.

Nancy said...

I loved The Younger Wife. I’m reading What Happened to the Bennetts now and liking it as much. I have been doing WORdLE and also Phoodle which is all words connected to food and much harder for me. Todays word was a tough one but proud to say I got it in 3. I killed my streak while on vacation in a much different time zone. HA!

Mary said...

Don't you love it when you have just the right fabric, like that musical fat quarter? And yes, still hooked on Wordle here :)

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Now that's an interesting challenge, look forward to seeing more! And loving your progress on your Kantha quilt, it must be so freeing and relaxing to stitch in an almost improvisational manor.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Nice "H" embroidery work! Your rainbow blocks are making my heart speed up!?! I appreciate seeing what books you recommend as I listen to a LOT of audiobooks while quilting.


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