I want this to be a spectacular 7th anniversary celebration and giveaway for all of you that read my blog each week :) I have a stack of goodies for a giveaway planned for this week... then life stepped in and my week got uber busy!
An unplanned trip to Asheville and some unexpected other stuff... well we will do the official celebration next weekend if y'all don't mind!!!
I have made significant stitching progress this week between all the busyness though!!! It really helps me manage stress QUITE effectively I find :D
So I have been getting up early and stitching in the mornings each day. I am linking this progress with other slow stitchers of all kinds at Kathy's Quilts Linky Party HERE! Come check out what all the slow stitching gang are up to and add your link if you blog about slow stitching of ANY kind! We have cross stitchers, knitters, all kinds of hand stitching goes on and sooo much inspiration to be had from all over the globe too! As for me... I am a recent transplant to a small town in far southwestern North Carolina USA :D I LOVE LOVE LOVE living here!
As does my honey of 7 plus years and our pup Daisy Mae of almost 7 years :D Here she is above enjoying the sunshine on our driveway !
Here is where my week started with this quilt last Sunday... laying out stencils... gathering a marking pen I could see on my fabrics that would also work with the stencils and making my plan ....
Another basic and invaluable tool I use besides a regular thimble (took me AGES to learn to wear one but my fingers and finger nails love me for it! lol) is making a fashioned thimble from white electrical tape from a hardware store!
Black gums up and leaves residue... they come in lots of colors too ... I have found white leaves NO residue and no gumming up either! So I make a thimble for my thumb from that and it HELPS SOOOO MUCH!!!
Here is a look from the halfway point back to the beginning mid week....
I rolled on Friday I think.... marking only about 1/6 of the quilt where I planned to quilt at a time as it is humid out and we keep our windows open a LOT here... the weather is GLORIOUS!!! But that can make all those marks disappear as humidity is a water like thing. So be careful if you are in a rainy spot of the world and use the spritz away marking pens. Mark only what you think you will get to in 2 or 3 days is my recommendation.
So finally rolled soo I was looking at this this morning!!!
I could have stitched in the ditch with a regular hand quilting weight thread too... but I decided this was just what this quilt needed to me :D Hope my honey likes this design decision when he wakes... otherwise I will take out this bit and stitch in the ditch for stabilization in an invisible way once washed.... I have done the ditch stitching on the black thin border using black thread on either side of that black line and it disappears when you look at it.
Next up is a setting triangle motif and swirls and hearts in this cool YLI blue variegated thread! My bestie Connie sent me the stencils from her collection above and below as well as the wavy lines in the outermost border ... the rest are from my own stencil stash I have grown over my quilting career!
I mentioned earlier that we had to go to Asheville unexpectedly this week... Rick needed to visit the VA after he had called them about something so to Asheville we went on short notice... so I grabbed a project I have had lurking in the background but haven't worked on in ages!!!
Lucky for me this is wool batting that wants to be puffy and not retain a crease from the hoop I use... my hoop is a heavy plastic hoop that is 17" across... I LOVE IT... you can purchase one like it affordably at Joann's online if you are interested... it is large but when I use it I just turn it and work on one side at a time :D
My bloggy friend Karen wanted me to share photos of a project I am languishing on... my wholecloth!
While it was nice to give my hands a rest... they are eager and happy to be back to hand quilting... Hand quilting is therapeutic in a way I can't explain for me... I LOVE IT more than any other hand craft I have done before... I listen to music or watch learning videos on youtube or Craftsy... I splurged and got Craftsy Unlimited 2 months ago right after moving in here and LOVE LOVE LOVE all I can learn whilst stitching away ... sometimes I do more watching... sometimes I have to rewind as I have gotten caught up in my stitching progress! lol It is all good because you can rewatch all you want and LEARN soo many cool things... if you are interested in giving Craftsy Unlimited a try go to my friend Karen's blog here and click on her Craftsy link and then click on Craftsy Unlimited... I think they may have a free trial but I can't see any of those things right now... TOTALLY WORTH the monthly or yearly fee though!
In closing... the first photo I shared of the rose comes from this bush...
Then out the kitchen window we watch these flowers as they take root and are starting to bloom again from being planted a couple weekends ago....
We have about 50 strawberry plants about ready to start bringing us mature strawberries, we have grape vines with baby grapes, more rose bushes, peach and apple trees, and blueberry bushes in abundance... so exciting to take ride abouts and walk abouts on our land and see the abundance of goodness we will soon be enjoying by hand!!!
OOOh... another thing I learned from a Craftsy Unlimited class by Debbie Caffrey (Cut to It - Designs for Smarter Cutting) and designed myself from that instruction and encouragement were these pillow sham fronts....
I plan to machine quilt them from a walking foot class by Jacquie Gering I also watched on Craftsy Unlimited this weekend! We will see when and how that turns out :D