On too much, too little

It is approaching noon on a Thursday morning, and I have been vacillating about whether to keep my weekly blog-writing date. I could just sit here and admire this view of our garden which has turned green after the recent rains…

The point is that I am working on five projects at once, and this became too much. So, yesterday I decided to concentrate on one of the pieces and stitched it to the point where I could bind it. I have used this trick before when I am feeling overwhelmed by a work that doesn’t want to gel.

Fragmented Flower, a work in progress (70 x 53 cm)

Now I am going to use my second trick, which is to allow it to lie fallow for a while, until I know what to do next. I suspect that the answer may be to add more close stitching (oh no, she cried). Meanwhile, I have four other projects to keep me busy while I ponder about the next step!

A while ago I confessed to keeping all the short threads that are generated during my stitching adventures (https://marissthequilter.wordpress.com/2019/08/15/more-on-scraps/). I used these threads to create the solid parts of the flower. First I made thread fabric by sandwiching the bits between two layers of washaway and then machine stitching a grid over the layer to stabilise the threads into a woven mat. Then I cut out the shapes for the flower, and used a template for the circle in the centre and then cut the crescents freehand. I hand appliqued the shapes onto the backing cloth and from there it seemed right to fill in the blanks with kantha stitching.

Next step was to delve into the treasure trove of fabrics that my generous friend Laura Bruno Lilly sent to me, across the oceans from the United States. I boldly cut out an embossed gold flower and some leaves from a piece of reproduction fabric. This beautiful gold foliage was carefully appliqued onto the flower. The fourth step was to start shadow quilting around the flower. Deciding on the fabric for the binding took a while and I am not entirely happy with the choice I made.

And that’s the story behind one of the five projects. Don’t worry, I am not going to tell you about the other four! But, to end off, here’s an account of some machine sewing I did this week.

On her blog Night Quilter, Kitty Wiblin posted photographs of a delightful skinny fabric bin she had made and wrote of how she uses a range of these bins to store small fabric scraps of different colours. It’s a very clever idea, to colour coordinate one’s tiny scraps. Then she generously provided a clear and detailed tutorial on how to make the fabric bin. Here’s a photograh of the skinny bin I made for fun and for a break from hand stitching. It is 9 inches (23 cm) tall. (I must say I do feel a little sorry for that duck that looks as if it has a crick in its neck from having to look upwards!)

The link for the post is https://nightquilter.com/2020/01/24/fabric-skinny-bin-tutorial/

17 thoughts on “On too much, too little

  1. Love the fragmented flower – it just pops out and begs to be touched! All those saved threads being woven into something new is such a lovely idea. Charming skinny bin too. That curious duck craning and straining to be part of the action, is hilarious!


  2. I **knew** you’d do something spectacular with that frustrating-to-me fabric scrap!
    I’m with you & Zippy above…sometimes it’s best to walk away from a project for awhile, tho more easily said than done.


  3. I love the thread fabric you’ve used in this piece! It looks amazing, and it’s great that you’re able to put those those cut scraps to use. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how those other four projects come together!


  4. Incredible attention to detail, Mariss. So great to get “behind and into ” the quilting process- how much goes into it when all most people see is just
    the finished product.


  5. 5 projects at once? I can understand the temptation to just set everything down, relax and look at your lovely garden! Fragmented flower is amazing! That Laura Bruno Lilly is very generous! How wonderful she sent you delightful fabrics!


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