Thursday, September 20, 2012

Miss Cleo's personality

A little here and a little there, slowly the stitching continues as we attend various functions at the Escapees RV rally here in Sedalia, Missouri. It is amazing what can be accomplished in so little time.

As I continued with Miss Cleo's face, she continued to look like an alien ... whoa, I hope that is not her end personality.  You know, those huge bulgy eyes with a focal middle black iris area that so often frequented the sic-fi movies. What a shame that would be. The first of the three sections were completed - broken byzantine with 4 threads of Splendor.

I am learning how to use a laying tool but still can't get those darn threads to lay flat and untwisted at times. There must be a trick that I am not catching onto. My new tool:

Then the second of the three stages is completed - turn your canvas 90degrees and do the same broken byzantine. Then the third of three - fill spaces with a scotch block. All done with 4 threads of the same Splendor. Looking less and less like an alien but those eyes are still pretty focal. So next the eye outline and the mouth and nose. Wow, a true cat, not an alien as I thought.

Is that a smirk that I see? Is she making fun of me, when I have worked so hard to give her a personality before I continue on with her body?  Is it a "I told you so!" Aaah I get it, playful and full of mischief. I like that. She will lead me forth on a journey of discovery, enjoyment and relaxation. Ah what a time we will have, Missy Cleo and I ...

Oh yes, I promised no photo of me stitching but as my husband read my entry he got a gleam in his eye. He fumbled around a bit as I stitched and then called me. Ok, so I broke my promise, here it is, pj's and all, courtesy of my DH.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Miss Cleo

A milestone, the first of many, with my newly christened "Miss Cleo", Cleopatra's Cat, in that I finally finished all the outlining. Everything matched up. Wahoo!

I eagerly sought time to begin the actual filling in of the blanks. The instructions called for section A as the beginning block. This was the tip of her tail - very pretty when done too.
... lines of silver Kreinik first (you really can't see this), then satin stitching using a variegated floss, and finally a dark blue with colored highlights Kreinik in the cross stitches between the satin stitches and over the silver.

But oh she was so lacking in personality, in feeling, in, oh I don't know. Somehow she just wasn't there. So I asked myself, "What can I do to make her more alive?" Ah ha, how about giving her some eyes and at least a partial face. So I hunted through the instruction booklet and, wow, she didn't get her eyes and face until almost the end of the project. No way, she is getting them now. So I started in - first one, then the next. Yes they are talking to me. She has something there for sure, and it is starting to come out. Next I started on the face. Oh oh, this makes her look a little like something out of an alien-type movie. (using Splendor and a "broken Byzantine stitch" in 3 stages)

Still the eyes egg me on, as if to say "keep looking Shirley, there is more here than what is surfacing." So I will do just that! Keep tuned for her personality to show and a synopsis of the stitching.

I am learning how to use a laying tool with this project. IT is quite difficult to hold the canvas in the stretcher bars and still have a free hand for the laying tool while stitching with the other. I have the perfect solution - I sit in the Laz-y-boy and hold the bars with my knees. It is actually quite comfortable. There will NOT be a photo of that, I can assure you. LOL

Saturday, September 8, 2012

An uninterrupted afternoon

My DH went on a hike this afternoon, leaving me to an afternoon of uninterrupted sewing machine usage. I had planned on sandwiching his nap pie quilt but with all the suggestions to use a spray adhesive to prevent movement and stretching of the fleece, I now have to wait until I can get into a store that would have that. At the moment my options are Wally World and WalMart - nada.

So I dug out a project started in Colombia of which I only had the first month done Craftsy BOM class. Each month has two new quilt squares and the way to piece them, both traditionally and in a new manner. I had completed exactly January's 2.

The squares completed today account for 1/12th of all the squares - 2 for February. Scanning through the various ones left to do I can see that they get harder and harder as time goes on, all interesting.

I made some decisions about the end product. I am going to use the squares to learn how to FMQ - in fact, I might even have to follow a blog or two to do it. We shall see. Also there are the Craftsy classes that I could take and FMQ along with everyone else.

Cleo's Cat is coming along slowly. DH's nappie is still sitting forlornly on the chesterfield as I haul out another bag to put to put it in until I get the spray. Tomorrow Tulsa so hopefully there will be  store or two there to be able to go to.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Wild Wacky Wonderful Woman

Danny hikes. Danny cycles. I cycle but not nearly as far nor as long. Simply too hot for me. So I have spent the last couple of days working on projects interspersed with housework, cooking, and ....

I completed my Wild Wacky Wonderful Woman wall hanger this afternoon. I had to add an outside border fabric as the wild stuff I had was too overpowering. Found this ecru faintly mottled fabric in another project that needs to be finished. It even has faint purple mottling in it that is more prominent because of the binding.What a thrill to hang her up. No wall space to put it in but I found that a couple of quilting pins through the stitch in the ditch and I could attach it to the valance over the window. Looks awesome and vitalizes me when I look at her.

I don't often keep my work, in fact, they are usually started as a gift in mind. My WWWWoman was just that. Started in 2002 as a Christmas gift, never finished, gift not needed, I love her, she is mine!

Now on to the original UFO Challenge project - Stairway to Dreams. It still sits on the chesterfield looking forlorn and dejected. Never mind, you will come out of the bag tonight and be aired for a tomorrow start.

I have also finished up my special project that can't be shown yet as it is a gift for a dear friend. It goes to the finishers next week. Received notice that my Enchanted Sleigh is finished as well. Now to get it mailed to me so that I can finally see it. The shop people are raving about it and how it looks. I can hardly wait. Will have it sent to the park where we are going to the Rally so will have it by the beginning of Monday week.

As for Cleo's Cat, nothing new to report.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cleo's Cat Update

Mr. Rippitt has come to visit on more than one occasion as I get started on Cleo's Cat. I finally had to enlarge the pattern so that I could see where I was making my mistakes. All in all, I used up one whole skein of the dark navy with the mistake but am now going great guns as I sit in the evenings. It is a lot of fun and will be fabulous when finished - I just know it. It is bigger than I had in my mind but all the better. When finished it will sit in the front of the RV by the TV.
I am thinking that I will have to make a Mr. Rippit to come and sit by my chair so that I don't have to invite him any more. I have a quilting pattern that could be adapted to needlework, but only after Cleo is finished.

A replacement skein is on order.


Sometime ago I joined a Yahoo! group called Stashbusters. I wanted to join their UFO group but discovered that I couldn't amount for my stash - most of it is in storage in Nacogdoches and all I have with me are the UFOs that I had decided to finish while on the road. I can add up the yardage with those but it certainly won't be indicative of the reality of my stash. So I change focus -

I signed up to finish a UFO on bother group instead. I have decided that I will finish Danny's nappie quilt for him. He has mentioned it a couple of times. So I pull it out and the aargh, black fleece that he chose for the backing. At least I won't have to use any batting in it.  This is how it looked when I pulled it out of the stash cupboard.
 This is how it looks full out.
"Stairway to Dreams"

I signed up, uploaded the required photos, pulled out the equipment from the basement, set up the machine, gathered the supplies and ... found another UFO that I decided to finish first.

These are the front and back panels for a tote to carry my various supplies for quilting classes that I had made let summer while waiting for my Peace Corps assignment to start. I will need the bag the middle of the month at a RV rally that I am almost positive they will have at least one quilting class at. I had received the squares in a stash exchange that I had participated in while in Panama. So I re-measured, planned, cut, sewed, lined, and finished the bag in a marathon sewing day yesterday while my DH was out exploring various hiking trails. The finished product, lined with a deep pocket to hold rulers in:

I tried to be somewhat liberated with this but found that even when I tried I was rigid and regimented. I have to work on that concept harder and more persistently. 

And then I came across another UFO in the closet. This is for a small wall hanger for the kitchen area of the RV and I just had to finish it. (I wonder if all these finishes will count for the UFO Challenge?)
 This is what I started with: a cross stitched worked in floss and Kreinik blending filament to give it a shiny appearance. The wild print was originally planned for the border but I am thinking it will overpower the motif. So I am planning on making only a 1/2" border and then finding an off-white piece for the rest of the border. I will back and bind with the purple. As of tonight, I am ready to bind it, but that will have to wait until tomorrow as a headache is brewing.

As for my original idea, well, it still sits beside the machine on the chesterfield, looking forlorn and dejected as it waits in line. "Next, I promise." I say but it has a hard time believing me. ha ha