Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stitching, stitching

Yesterday was a very busy day for me.  Mostly working on things for the Menomonie Quilt Festival which you can check out here if you want to.  I prepared and submitted 3 grant requests and I'm a bit nervous about them. Despite over 40 years working in the human services field, I've never written a grant proposal and now I've done it.  I only hope I made a good enough case and we get at least one of the 3 grants.  My husband read them over and said if he was in charge, I'd get the grants--but then he's my husband and I've trained him pretty well over the past 45 years to say the right things!  So wish me luck.  I think I'll hear from 2 of them in September and one of them won't decide until Oct.

Other than that, I had to electronically as well as physically make a trip to the printers to have written materials ready to go to quilt shows beginning in September.  And of course, a few household chores, primarily the weekly laundry.  Don and I have developed a pretty good system for 2 retired folks--I do the washing and drying and he folds and puts away.  Works for us!

While he was folding, I was able to spend several hours in the sewing room working on my McKenna Ryan piece.  I did the outline stitching on all the fused pieces. Had a little trouble with the tension and finally decided that instead of stitching and picking out, I should make up a practice piece. Duh!  Sometimes I wonder . . .  Anyway, I managed to get it figured out that with the invisible thread, I needed to use a much lower tension number than I do when I have cotton thread in the top.

I also was able to get all the quilting done on the grasses, sand dune, water, bear, and sun, and I began stitching fluffy little clouds, or as Bob Ross would have said, "happy little clouds," in the sky. (I miss Bob Ross's show.)  I'll finish them today and then I'll have to do something with the borders.  Always difficult for me to decide on how to quilt the borders.

I took this pic of the tree that's in the piece.  These leaf pieces are the ones I explained seemed to be reversed when I was fusing them, only to realize when I was finished with them that I was using the tracing guide instead of the placement guide.  However, I think they look tree-like despite being kind of thrown on there, helter skelter.  I think I'll call this an example of taking liberty with the designer's plan and creating my own distinct work of art.  Instead of calling it a stupid mistake. LOL

In the evening, I worked on the 19th Bee-utiful block and have it nearly finished.  Again, I'm taking some liberty with this block.  Instead of making a pinwheel barn quilt with satin stitch as the designer did, I'm going to use red and yellow french knots to make a more floral design in the pinwheel triangles.  I may do some background coloring in the pinwheel triangles as well.  Well, I'll try it and see how it looks and then decide.  I also want to add some grasses and flowers on the left side of the barn--where the vertical lines are.  I think that would be a little more balanced with the corn on the right side. 

After this one, I only have the 20th block to make up and I'm also going to embroider a label for the back. I found this quotation from Victor Hugo, "Life is the Flower for Which Love is the Honey."  I think it's appropriate for this quilt which is all about bees and honey.

Today, I have more work to do on the Festival. Don asked if I'd notified all the area quilting groups about the Festival and I haven't. But the lightbulb went on as we talked and I found a website with contacts for WI quilt guilds. I'll be emailing them a notice to share with their groups if they would, please. And then I want to get that McKenna Ryan piece finished and ready for hand stitching the binding.  I believe I'll have it finished in time for guild meeting on the 6th.

So, off I go.

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