I love doing the handwork part in quilting. It relaxes me like none other. Often times, its the last step on a quilting project. Yesterday, I finished another one of the PayItForward projects I am doing this year. I've said that I am not going to show the finished work here because its part of my soul work. I wonder sometimes what the difference is between works of spirit and soul work. It seems to me that works of spirit are those things I do that are made for the enjoyment of others, and my soul work is what I do to heal or enhance myself.
This last PIF project took me out of my comfort because the online pattern (follow link to it) didn't say what size the finished work would be, and the print was so darned small on it when I made a copy. Because of my learning style, the pattern was hard for me to understand with all the folds and stitching. I actually asked for help in the final few steps. It turned out remarkably cute, and I might even make it again using a larger amount of fabric now that I know the process. What is seen in this pic is the final machine stitching to make a casing so a ribbon could go into it. The ribbon is pulled like a drawstring. Its really quite enchanting. To get an idea of the size, cup and hold your hands apart so the fingers do not touch. If you follow the link above for it, you will get a better sense of how it looks finished.
The next thing I made was another B&W 6" block for my sampler quilt. The scrap of red fabric was just enough to make the four rectangles on it, and I was able to use the black/daisy for the center so the theme carries onward. My local quilting friend and I are getting together Wednesday to share what we've made and learned along the way. She's given me a lot of scraps and I do want to use as many of them as will work. The smaller squares call for tinier pieces, yet it can be a challenge to make them work.
As evening wore on, I finished another 12" Dresden Plate Christmas block by doing the center circle. This piece is entirely hand quilted and will be an extra tucked into my next 12" Christmas Block Swap. Most of the women in that group make sampler-type table runners with three different style blocks adding sashing and borders. Some of those become gifts and some are used as fundraisers in various other groups they belong to. The charm of these table runners is that each block is made by a different quilter from around the world. The block itself is more a practice piece for me and if I were doing many of them to fit on a quilt, I would need to look at colors, values and placement a bit more.
There are four quilts on my to-do list that need to be finished and go out the door as gifts for Solstice this year. This one goes to my Niece Sheri and is called "Illusions". What is left on it is hand sewing the binding. I got maybe 3/4 of one side done last night before tossing it over the ironing board. Whew! Its still pretty hot here to have a quilt over my lap at night!
The way the weather has been this year, it feels like the end of September and that made me think I was behind on completing work that is needed for them. Cali is in a 3-year drought and people are calling for us to conserve our water. They say the new green is brown. Unfortunately, weeds love to take over the land and come up abundantly without needing much water. Over the years, I've turned more to xeriscaping the yard for water conservation as much as possible, and that is another story for another time.