Thursday, July 26, 2018

Organizing the Hand Work Bag

I know it's usually Adhoc. Improv. time of the month, but life has been hectic with a capitol H. We watched our granddaughter for a couple days, there's been family come into town to swoon over the new niece, we have a couple older uncles who are in failing health, a visiting sibling has been needing some hand holding, someone skipped out on their church cleaning duties, and all the other bits and bobs that make life such a fascinating experience to deal with as well.
Off On a Tangent prep
Improv. has been shuttled to the back burner for now. It's just that simple. Tho I did take it out and give the current progress a quick perusal and a promise of more love in the future. It seems that for the time being, I've been grabbing hand work or settling in for some hand quilting 'therapy' time. I've been craving that quiet time. Wrapping it around me and taking deep breaths. And you know what? Slowing down with something, anything! almost always makes for a few peaceful and serene moments, even in the midst of a 'storm'.
Patchwork Triangles border prep
Now my husband tells me that we need to take a quick jaunt down to Oregon to visit some other family member who time seems to be running out. Ahh... the joys of being part of a large family--on both of our parts! So many highs and lows. Instead of the grab and go method I've been making do with in regards to the hand work, I decided today to put off the packing/getting ready to go and better organize my hand work bag. Not sure how many days we'll be gone so we are literally talking about sanity here...
Melon Patch spears getting absolutely nothing done to them...
Right? Okay, don't answer that! For the most part it was just a matter of making sure ALL the parts and pieces were safely tucked into ziploc bags, organized per project and arranged nicely inside the traveling bag. Did I pack the appropriate color of thread? Check! Extra needles? Check! Snips & scissors? Check! Small ziploc for throw-away end pieces of thread? Check! Pin cushion with little applique pins? Check!
Dried Flowers moving right along....
One of my latest 'squirrel's found its way into the bag as well. Such a surprise. I've been calling this one 'Dried Flowers' just because it has such a dull but sweet, washed out sort of look. The circles are all pieces that have been cut out from behind other applique through the years and now I just stacked them up together. Very little trimming as I love the rustic look. My thinking is they will make very nice looking flowers if I can figure out how to add on another something that will have a pieced and/or perhaps even appliqued stem and leaf section. Decisions, decisions....
Dried Flowers fabric stacks and possible additions to quilt
Maybe I'll add the leftover basket blocks too? Whatever. The layout is still a ways off!  It's been a deliciously 'quiet' project to stitch on and one I have been soaking up! Something has been niggling in the back of my brain though when I have been working on these blocks. Maybe it's too quiet? Perhaps it might prefer a little spark of color? And so today I caved {just like I did when I bought those berry strudels yesterday} and dug around for some salmon/orange colored fabrics to add one more smaller circle on top. Hhmmm... We might be on to something here!
A little progress with the spiky blocks...
I also finished cutting out the spikes for these primitive looking New York Beauty blocks--all going to be sewn on with applique stitching. When I get the 'spikes' sewn on, then I will free cut some gold arcs to cover up the stitching at the edge of the quarter circle. These cream pieces are all cut-offs from an old project that I just couldn't bear to throw away and I've been making up this current block as I go along. Love the colors but am a little antsy about how they will look when they're done. Might need to trim the spikes to different widths to incorporate a little more imperfection.
Fabric Swatches 'cuz we always need more fabric...
And because I was definitely lollygagging and putting off that getting-ready-to-leave-town business, I went ahead and looked through all my current stacks of fabric resting on the counters or hiding away and marinating in little totes. Ouch! There are 12 stacks of fabric in total!! Wowsers, that's a lot for me. Some have been simmering for almost two years and so really, they need to have decisions made, be moving forward, or be dumped back into the stash totes pronto. No time for that today, but I did get little swatches of need-to-match {or blend} fabric ready for the chance/opportunity of wandering into an out of town quilt store. Wouldn't that be fun? Love, love doing that and my husband is a sweetheart to stop if we ever have a spare moment.

Now I'd better go finish up the laundry and check on the ripe peaches that need to be cut up and frozen before leaving town. I'm pretty sure nobody else will take care of them while we're gone! Thankfully there's not a lot of them as someone {not naming any names}, has been making peach smoothies lately.... Oh my, was I looking forward to a quiet weekend! Oh well. I'm sure we'll get one soon enough whether we plan it or not...


  1. I love that you packed for sanity FIRST!! You are such a smart woman! Hope you have a nice trip. :)

  2. yes always pack for your sanity! we are going out of town to visit this weekend and even thought I won't have much time for it I will pack a tiny bit for when at the motel overnight even if it is just for 30 minutes to unwind. It really can be calming as we quilters know -- I read that quilters handle stress better - maybe because we love to keep our fingers busy?

  3. You've got your priorities right. Haha. Pack that handwork first. You have so many pretty things to work on! Travel safe.

  4. I totally enjoy hearing about your thoughts concerning your quilting...lovely!

  5. Love that you're packing handwork first with laundry getting done afterwards. Large families are a blessing and a curse as I've discovered with my husband's side of the family. Safe travels, my friend, and stitch on!

  6. remember to pack cool outfits, Oregon has been very hot 90 to 100, after 9pm its cooling down and we are having fires, Safe travels and we do have great quilt shops, if you run out of things or forget things.

  7. Oh I know what you mean bout handwork. Maybe because when I first fell in love with quilt I had a big urge to make a quilt by hand. But you know when you start out that quilt top can't be made fast enough. I am so happy to have enough skills that I can finally just sit and stitch and enjoy. It's like a bit of heaven when I can sit and hear the tic tock of my pendulum clock and forget about all the craziness in the world.

  8. Loved seeing the fabric stacks! I do that instead of packing and organizing too LOL!
    Hand stitching does equal sanity 100%!

  9. Hand stitching will save the world...can you imagine how more crazy it would be if we didn’t have it.....take care of yourself as you care for others, and although you are bouncing around with lots of people in your life....the alternative is not worth considering!! Hooray for slow and gentle and creative time with a needle.

  10. Hope your trip goes smoothly and you can enjoy some sewing sanity time.

  11. I'm loving that quilt in your hoop riht now, Audrey.
    Good luck with everything and yes, take care of yourself. That's a command. :-)

  12. I'm glad to see you have your priorities straight, though that amount of handwork would take me a year! I hope your trip allows you some peaceful sewing time and a couple of sneaky stops at quilt shops too.

  13. So many interesting projects. Love the Dried Flowers as well as your take on NY Beauties. It's important to have all our supplies when traveling. I'm glad your husband stops at quilt stores, too.
    Our lives would be so much more narrow without our extended families. It helps ground us in reality to experience others' joys and sorrows. I'm glad you're able to visit.

  14. When you get back, it would be amazing to see your 12 stacks of 'potential' quilt goodness! I am always inspired by your choice of color.

  15. You mentioned having to go DOWN to Oregon to see the family, but I could not find what state you are in, other than CHAOS! Like all us other quilt makers! So, where you at, girl? Just state is fine. Or Near the Northern Border of... sorry, just call me Charlie Brown's dog!

    1. Sorry, can't find your email to respond directly! I live in Washington state, on the Eastern side of the mountains. We're about an hour from the Canadian border!

  16. Safe travels! Glad to have a handwork bag to bring along.

  17. Have a nice trip, hope you manage to get a little shopping in too. I look forward to seeing how your 'dried flowers' quilt progresses, love the idea of popping in some of those extra salmon colours!

  18. Lots of fun projects to take. I like that you are using up your circles. What a great idea. I usually just end up cutting them down into squares like I have been doing for my current 9 patch odyssey. Hope you find everyone well when you visit.

  19. Yes to peach smoothies! Cherries just ended in the Cowichian Valley, but peaches are right behind yours. I live having a bag organized to take along in many adventures.


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