SEW I SEE!

quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

Booking It Through Summer

Where I live in southern Alabama, summer isn’t one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” affairs.  No, our summers tend to arrive early– usually before I’m anywhere near prepared– take a look around, decide they like the place, and settle in for month upon steamy month, often lingering (stubbornly impervious to polite hints that they’ve overstayed their welcome) until October finally comes along to boot them out. 

To be honest, I sometimes wish I could go to sleep in June and wake up in late September, just to escape the heat and humidity.  Sure, I’d be missing out on a large percentage of my life, but it’d only be the summer part, so is it really that much of a loss? 😉

Since human summertime hibernation isn’t yet a possibility, the next best thing is to pretend it’s already autumn (maybe read something spookily Octoberish and play some “autumn ambiance” videos on YouTube), and distract yourself with an engrossing project or two.

My doily is coming along nicely.  I don’t usually bother with progress photos for doilies, but here’s one of “Florence” (pattern design by Grace Fearon).  I’m loving the cool greens and blues in the variegated thread.  It’s amazing what a difference that variegated thread makes!  It adds another level of interest, just watching those colors change from round to round.

I haven’t loaded the “Hunter String Stars” quilt onto the frame yet, but I’ve found a sheet I think I’ll use for the backing, and those last seams are all pressed.

Instead of getting the quilt on the frame, I’ve started another piecing project.  This one is foundation paper piecing (FPP), which I’ve only done once before.  There were either two or four (can’t recall) very simple foundation paper-pieced units in the pumpkin-themed quilt I made last year (or whenever it was).

The pattern for this new project is also relatively simple for FPP, but it’s still not something I could just pick up and do without a second thought.  I needed to refresh my memory of how to do it, so I watched a few short videos.  I’m still no expert (and I don’t think I’ll be doing more complicated FPP projects often, if ever), but I’m managing, and the results are more or less “correct”.  Close enough, at any rate!

The pattern is the “Tall Tales” quilt block, by Kate Basti.  It was free when I originally found it (and saved it for future use), though I’m not sure if it still is… I found it for sale for just a dollar in the designer’s Etsy shop– along with a $5 set of three companion FPP patterns that match the original quilt block in height, so they can be mixed and matched.  (I think I’m just sticking with the original block for now, but adding in the other patterns could be fun, too.)

I printed out a bunch of the patterns, then cut them up so they’re ready to go– but that was before I’d stopped to figure out how big of a quilt I’d be making, and I think I’m going to be needing quite a few more. 

Actually, I’ve decided to make two quilts from this pattern, though they may be different sizes.  One is for me and the other will be a gift for a young relative.  (No names until it’s been given! 😉 The plan is to have it ready by Christmas, but we’ll see how that goes!) 

So far, whenever I select a fabric that’s in sufficient supply, I’m cutting enough to make two blocks– one per quilt.  It takes longer to piece two than to piece one, but I figure that this way I’m saving myself a great deal of time in the “kitting up” process.  Every time I press out creases, choose coordinating scraps, make cuts, etc., it takes time.  This way, I end with materials for two kits in not much more time than it would take to make a single kit. 

It’s still taking a lot of time!  If it’s going too slowly, I may eventually stop piecing the ones for me and just set those kits aside for another time, to be sure the gift will be ready in time.  Christmas feels like a long, long time away, but we all know how those weeks and months zip past when we’re not looking!

Here’s a progress shot of my design wall.  I’ve put all the blocks up there for now, duplicates included, just to get a feel for how a larger number of the blocks will look, but soon I’ll start separating them and setting my half aside, to make more room.  Also, I haven’t incorporated all the background colors into these blocks.  I’ll be adding in some other pastels, soon. 

As I said before, my piecing’s not perfect, but I think it’ll make a cute quilt when it’s done, and it’s fun to see each “book” come together.  Choosing the covers is the best part! 

– – – – – – –

For the “slice of life” portion of this blog post, I don’t have any great new photos or gifs of the dogs, but how about some food?

We usually try to have a little traditional Midsommar food around the correct week each summer (and invite Mom and Dad over, when possible), but this year was different, of course.  With COVID-19 and other things going on, it just didn’t happen, so we decided to have a mini late Midsummer, instead.  Last weekend, Donald made a huge batch of Swedish meatballs. 

I think we decided there were maybe 150 or so meatballs, all told.  It sounds like a lot, but we didn’t eat them all at once.  😄 We ate them for a couple of meals (along with boiled new potatoes, gravy, little sausages / smoked pork chops, etc.), Donald took “meatball sandwiches” for lunch a few days, and we put most of them into the freezer for future easy meals. 

A belated happy Midsummer!  May Midsommar 2021 find us all in better circumstances!

Welcome!

I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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