I have spent 2 months trying to “clear the backlog” of projects so I could get my pet mosaic “back up on the design wall”. Back story in case you are new — My sister-in-law, Carolyn (aka – One Block Wonder Woman ) flew in from California in May, and she and I went to a retreat hosted by Cheryl Lynch ( Cheryl’s blog ) . We signed up in JUNE 2015 for the May 2016 retreat. The project was a Pet Mosaic; finishing around 54″ x 54″. (What a great retreat by the way, in the Pocono Mountains, on a lake, with wonderful food and great instruction and inspiration.) (After you read my post, go check out Carolyn’s post about her project –Creating a dog from scratch can be Ruff . If this type of project interests you, Cheryl Lynch is a GREAT teacher.
Flash forward to July and Carolyn’s project is finished! Quilted and bound, and making the circuit to quilt guild meetings, hanging at her local quilt show next month etc.
Meanwhile….mine has been languishing in a plastic bin on the shelf….waiting……waiting….waiting….so patiently (unlike the real live pet)….
When I packed up to leave the retreat, this is how far I had gotten – two sections “stitched together”, and two more ready to stitch, plus 2 transition rows.
Well, now that my many projects from the spring & summer are complete – I had a clear design wall and Mittens the cat is back up on my wall at home. Since my last post 9 days ago, I have been working at a turtle pace on this project. I keep telling myself I am moving forward. Carolyn worked on hers from Memorial Day until the end of July, so I am pacing myself! (She reports dreaming about her project….)
August 17, 2016
So, here we are back on the wall at home, and I have joined the blocks for the first 9 rows. We are working in 9×9 sections for stitching, and much bigger area for design purpose. I’ve been thankful for the extra grey and black fabric that Carolyn mailed to me; which helps give more variety and texture. (did you notice all those pins on the right side…..convenience factor…they are all used….no wonder Cheryl said 500 pins on the supply list!) Even though I am working on a felt board, with the air conditioner, and the ceiling fan, I want my pieces “secure”.
August 18, 2016
These are 2 ” squares, and in order to make the shape transitions, I am doing some minor “piecing” within the 2″ square. Sometimes I make a piece 2-3-4-5 times before I feel like I have caught the shape. And of course, I have to remember what will happen when the seam allowance comes into play.
I am headed towards his eye and am trying to capture the shape and the changes of color in his eye, along with the light sparkle.
August 20, 2016
So, you can see, I am using lots of methods to keep track of where I am. On the board I used row marking pins, then slips of paper to mark the columns and rows; and then I went with blue painters tape to define my field, numbering along the side and bottom. The photo I am working with is on the right in this picture, and I have blocked off (with post-it notes) everything except my area of focus. That helps. I was only going to work down 11 rows in this section, but I really needed to capture the shape of his eye, so I moved my tape down and will continue that area. And you can see those blocks that are just “hanging around” on the side of the board near the photo…well those are my “OOPS…not quite what I intended” pieces. Who knows, I may find a way for them to fit elsewhere.
I feel pretty good about how Mittens the Cat is progressing in this project. Below is what he really looks like….hanging out. In this picture the lighting isn’t great and he looks like he has a brown cast; but he is grey, black and white. It is his pink nose that I love. And those little tufts at the top of his ears! He has such great markings, and I am hoping once I move on to the right side of the project, that they will start to show better in the fabric placement.
So, this will be a long process; and I am going to work at it as much as I am able. I have my little interruptions – quilt bees, quilt show meetings; more quilt bees, more quilt guild meetings; etc. I am not going to rush it. I have been “standing back and looking” and find pieces I want to change, so I do.
I wanted to share with you the fun stuff I made for one of the grandchildren’s birthdays in August. She wanted a “HORSE” birthday party…and Grandma got commissioned to use her Brother Scan’N’Cut machine again….. I cut out 2 different sized silhouettes that my daughter used for various purposes on the day of the party.
Then I cut out some BOWS for the “pin the bow on the pony” game.
And finally – I decided I would make her a “custom” card to fit the theme. (I am a novice card maker, so be kind!)
The fence and the grass were built into the machine designs, the horse head I found on-line and imported.
I invested last spring in “birthday stamps” so I used them on the inside….and I added the horse & grass inside too. I still need to work on placement and “order” as I do these things, but I had fun making the card. It is a learning process too. (I have been watching video’s from Dawn’s Stamping Thoughts .net , and have determined that the card making hobby is “very extensive” and I have a lot to learn about the tools, punches, stamps, etc…..)
I’m not sure that I will do a lot of “stamping” and “card making” , but the little bit I have done I have enjoyed, and my ScanNCut machine makes it fun! I have to report that I finally learned about the “pressure” setting after destroying one mat this spring. I have purchased a new mat and when I did this cutting, I had no problem. At a recent quilt show, I talked to the Brother dealer who was doing demo’s on the machine, and she gave me a worksheet that had listings of settings for different materials. That was very helpful too. I do need to get a bit more variety of papers, as PINK was a requested color and I used it all up this spring with the BARBIE stuff I cut for a 6 year old’s party. I invested in envelopes (50 pack); so now I need to focus on cards that are the “right” size for the envelopes I have. Last spring at the card making class I went to, we saw a demo on how to make our own, but I didn’t “LEARN” well enough……. I will keep watching the video’s and try to learn a bit more. It is dangerous now for me to go into Michael’s Craft Store or Hobby Lobby or A.C. Moore. Good thing there is not one in town!
Hope your sewing & crafting adventures are bringing you joy!