Patchplay

The pieced top for Parker’s coverlet is done …

It is 42 x 62 inches, pin-basted to an inner layer of double-weave gauze and a simple backing of white muslin.

I’m lap quilting it with a single strand of white DMC …

Basting it really, until the running stitches can be teased out to make way for new stitching during Nana “naps” with P.

And here I pause to imagine how a moon or some stars might make their way onto that patch of indigo blue … and so much more beyond that …

Addendum

In response to Dee’s comment, here’s a P selfie of an outfit that definitely sparked the gleam …

Iron-y

I gave this piece, continued from here, a very light pressing, not wanting to smash the stitching …

There’s a back story, of course …

I’ve been using Rowenta irons for over 20 years, ever since being introduced to one at a B&B when I needed to iron a cotton Laura Ashley dress that hadn’t traveled well. I was smitten by its weightiness and by the scorching heat it generated.

Unfortunately, I have a habit of knocking irons off the board, thereby bouncing them on the concrete floor, which tends to scramble whatever electronic impulses are necessary to make the darn things work. After the most recent drop, I went to Target and grabbed the first Rowenta I saw off the shelf. Alas, I did not read the box labeling, which touted a new feature: no temperature control button. Rather, the damn thing promised to automatically adjust to whatever fiber I was pressing. I call BS on that.

So I went back to Target, bought the cheapest iron I could find (a Sunbeam) and have been happily ironing away ever since. And yes, I did scorch one piece of cotton cloth by using the linen setting … but hey, I like to live dangerously.

All that by way of saying I eased back on the throttle with this cloth, using a wool setting so I wouldn’t overdo it.

Deb Lacativa’s so-called Dirty Threads served me well, as always. Shades of grey for the initial wording …

“what if words are like shadows … like dreams that fade away with barely a trace left behind … leaving thoughts in their wake … ”

Followed by sea blues and greens …

“… and a new understanding of how we might go … in the words of Old Man Crow: we dream of a world where live is the answer, when the question is how do you get through the day?”

And finally, sky blues and violets …

“Stitched by Nana (Liz Ackert) for Griffin in 2019”

with an asemic bit that can only be read on the back …

“keep on dreaming, keep on believing you can make dreams come true.”

With thanks to Hazel at Handstories for telling me about the book Pockets by Jennifer Armstrong, which put the idea of a hidden phrase in my head (while I await receipt of my own used copy, ordered from abebooks.com for $3.99 with free shipping).

And with thanks to Griffin for loving this cloth into being. Soon enough ’twill become a pillow for his bed.

P.S. This project has gotten my rusty stitch lettering back up to speed. Now I’m looking forward to revising this bit of patchplay.

– On deadline

Patch #344 For Kindred Spirits

I love reading Deb Sposa’s Artisun blog and was delighted beyond words by this post:
As a result, I tried making my own teabag mini-quilt. And thinking the deadline was December 14, I got it done yesterday. Of course, now I see the deadline is actually December 22, but with the holiday mail rush, it’s probably a good thing I’m getting it out early.
So, for the record (so I can remember it), here’s the completed piece, front …

and back …

It was a true learning sampler, created by finding a trio of scallop shells that would fit inside a used tea bag …

inserting them and then spritzing the bag with water so I could mold it onto the shells with a brush …

Then lightly stroking Inktense pencil over each shell …

and using the resulting design to guide my stitches.
At first I was afraid the tea bag would tear, so I spaced my stitches far apart …

Seen from the back, it looks like I used a running stitch and a detached back stitch …

I soon realized the tea bag was stronger than I expected, so I made the stitches closer on the second shell …

using more tension to get more defined ridges with stacked running stitch …

Then I went all out on the final shell …

successfully piling on tons of split back stitches …

The “batting” was a bit of cotton flannel that I tea-dyed. To create a hanger, I wrapped the end of the flannel over a bit of beachcombed twig from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If you look closely you can see one of the barbs …

The bottom edge I worried with a pin, succeeding in getting a look like tangled flotsam …

Then I made a memory patch of teabag over flannel stitched in the same variegated floss as the mini-quilt. I know the tea bag will tear and fall away eventually. Indeed, it already has started to let go …

which seems a proper metaphor.