Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sightings of UFOs less frequent

Please join me as I welcome Nan Baker, from Purrfect Spots blog and pattern design, as my guest blogger today. Nan is talented in many areas of fiber arts and is apparently on a UFO cleanup extravaganza! Come see how she's doing!

"Don't you just love it when you finish a UFO – (Unfinished
Object)? Well I am in the process of doing just that as I am working on 2 quilt
designs and just needed to step back for a day or two. Being a little frazzled,
I decided it was time to clean the C.A.T. House –

that stands for Creative Arts & Textiles now although it
used to be where the kitties lived until they got their own condo! But that's
another story….

Well, in clearing the cutting table, folding fabrics, putting
books up, and straightening shelves, I stumbled upon several UFOs. They were
neatly folded and tucked away for safe keeping. That's no good. I worked hard
on those. What are they doing on the shelf? I decided their shelf life was over
and quickly got to work.

Now these UFOs are not my designs – they are what I call my
"Fun Stitching"! I can just get lost in someone else's pattern and not try to create all the time. It gives my brain a rest and I usually keep one of these going all the time for a
breather, so to speak. I can just chill!

Now these particular items were from my embroidery, cross stitch
and needlepoint days! Ok – I've got to stop here and just let it be known. I LOVE
HANDWORK! I also love sewing on the sewing machine as well and the many hours I
have spent on my old reliable Singer is like spending quality time with a very
good friend. The whirr of the motor, the turn of the wheel – it just feels right
and when you have been away too long it feels so good to get reacquainted! I
know you stitchers know exactly what I am talking about!

But then there is HANDWORK. There is just something about
feeling those threads in your fabric creating beautiful and intricate designs plus
painting pictures with floss. You can sit curled up in your comfortable chair
(with a kitty sleeping near by) and have a "purrfect" little world
all to yourself – thanks to fabric, needle, thread & scissors (plus
glasses). For me it is the one place that I am "in control" of my
life. But as the years have gone by I discovered that embroidery, cross stitch,
needlepoint, knitting and crocheting are not the only forms of handwork for me.
I discovered Hand Quilting! Never
thought I would and said many times – no way would I quilt by hand. Lesson
learned – never say never! Everytime I see small squares I want to sew them
together and just keep going. Here is one of my hand quilts (I've given the
others away).

But I digress.

So to return to the UFOs - I guess at one point I thought I
was going to get them framed so put them aside until I could do that. However
now that quilting has entered the picture there are endless possibilities for
these projects. They were just waiting for me to discover the right finish for
them! The first project completed was a traditional British wool embroidery kit
from Phillipa Turnbull of The Crewel Work Company. It is called
"Elizabethan Snails" (You know I have to have some form of wildlife).
I won't tell you how many years it took me to stitch the 2 snails (I mean they
are snails and not big) but it took awhile! Anyway, I thought a lovely forestry
fabric was just the right thing for a lovely woodland pillow. You can just
imagine these snails on the forest floor. Don't you agree?

I then turned to my needlepoint piece. Yes it is a Dalmatian
dog. I do love "spots". It is from the Ansley
Needlepoint Collection. Isn't he great? I added the red
strips to the sides and used polka dots for the back.

And last but not least there is the cross stitch piece.
Isn't this fun? It is by Dimples Designs and it is called The Mushroom
Tabernacle Choir. I did the Christmas version which features the red and green
floss and
beads. I found an earthy fabric that matches the mushrooms
and used strips on the side and back.

It is such a good feeling to finish projects and be able to
display them in your house rather than have them on a shelf or tucked away in a
drawer. And the best part of all, I have been able to combine all my favorite
forms of stitching together so to speak. It just doesn't get much better than
that! Would love to hear your thoughts or see your projects!

Thank you Beth for letting me share my thoughts and projects
on your blog!

Nan Baker – PURRFECT SPOTS – http://www.purrfectspots.blogspot.com/
The Quilt Pattern Magazine – Marketing – http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com
Thank you, Nan! I love the idea of having another designer's project going as "fun stitching" at all times. We all need to get away from our own ideas now and then, especially when they aren't working out as planned. Not that that ever happens to me of course. But there are just so many fun patterns out there I want to try; I must make time to do so.


Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

WONDERFULLY done! Finish is the best feeling.

Quilts for Sale said...

Love what you've done with your UFO's, Nan.

Great guest spot, Beth!

meg said...

It all looks great; I especially like the 'shrooms. Wonderful post!

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