Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mostly Backyard Birds

The struggle is real.  Winter seems to be kicking me on my ass at the moment... resulting in negative effects on my sewing activities.  It's not that I've been sick... or lost my mojo or anything... it's more of an energy thing.  I want to... it just never seems to happen.

I am also frustrated with my computer (and sewing machine but that's another story) at the moment.  I have always done the same thing with my photos and it has worked just fine.  A couple months ago it just stopped working, and wouldn't upload my photos to where-ever they go to... to let me include them in blog posts.  So I've worked out a "work around" but it's not ideal, and just pisses me off.  These little backwards steps are not conducive to getting stuff done!  And my hope to get back into blogging this year has taken a massive hit.  Yada yada... back to the sewing.

I managed to get last months YELLOW Backyards Birds block completed,

and the black free motion stitching around the previous months GREEN block done too.

Woohoo... I have now finished the May block which is loosely part of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge featuring PINK this month.

This is such a fun and carefree sort of project.  Nothing is too precious or precise... and I'm enjoying creating both the backgrounds and applique elements from scraps.  There are always MORE scraps! 

As the finished block pile grows - I did wonder what I was going to do with them.  The pattern features quilts with narrow frames around the blocks, with sashing between blocks.  I thought about doing this, but to be honest, couldn't decide which way to go colourwise with the sashing.  I wouldn't want to do more low volume in this setting, but I also don't want to choose one colour to focus on.  After putting this line of thinking aside because it became too hard, I solved my own problem after looking at a different quilt and decided to do a completely different setting with alternate log cabin blocks, using low volume on the light side, and mixed scrappyness on the dark side.  By rotating the blocks I get a zigzag sort of effect which surrounds the applique blocks.  I am always so happy when I find a resolution to a quilty problem.  Now I just need to implement it and hope it looks as awesome in real life as which I imagine in my head.

After picking up my Month Two Tilda BOM magazine, I put it into the too hard basket because there were lots of techniques that I haven't done before.  As the month progressed, I figured I had better do SOMETHING otherwise nothing would get done and this would end up another unfinished WIP.  So I looked at the instructions again and found some small pieced blocks that I could work on while I gathered the gumption to start those unfamiliar things... still a little way to the finish line but every small step is another step closer to being finished.

I have three sewing machines... a Janome, a Brother and a Bernina.  This Janome I bought for the specific purpose of using on my Handi Quilter Frame.  That idea didn't quite work out - and I haven't used it for anything else.  Being a straight stitch only machine means it should be excellent for piecing and maybe even quilting with a walking foot.  So, I knuckled down and bought the necessary feet to try this out.  Today I picked up the walking foot - so I just need to decide what quilt I am going to try it out on... and baste it!  I have never had much luck with walking foot quilting... so I am hoping for great things.

Walking foot installed and ready to go!

There is just something about this machine that freaks me out... all those little knobs and fiddley bits.  I think as a modern machine user I am probably a bit spoilt.  I find this machine cumbersome and clunky... but I'm going to give it a good go.

Lastly, I attended a local quilt show and bought this awesome fabric!  Sometimes you just see something that has your colours and style and this was it for me.  Not that I know what I'm going to do with it yet... but I'm sure I'll find something.


  1. I love the sketchy look of the free motion black line applique on those bird blocks. And I know the feeling of those winter blues. Time for more handstitching projects inside by the fire.

  2. I'm with Charlotte, I like the black line stitching. I hope you get your zest back soon.

  3. Your birdie blocks are great Suz! You are way too hard on yourself! And as for straight line quilting, don't forget to make a practice sandwich in case you need to alter your tension. Good luck!

  4. I was ready to give up on blogging and/or Blogger due to so many problems with posting photos but then suddenly, there they were in "on my phone". I'm not sure why the cloud was suddenly accessible. Keep poking around and maybe something else will change to make it easier.

  5. How frustrating the whole computer / blogging thing...keep at it though as I do enjoy reading what you are up to! Your idea with the birds sounds great - I look forward to seeing your progress with that one. Eating an elephant one bite at a time is a good approach to your Tilda BOM...and knowing you, you'll adapt it to make it work for you! Have you tried chocolate to get your winter energy levels up a bit...??!!