This week has been moving along slowly for me. I have hypoglycemia and every once in a while my blood sugar tanks. When it does I am wiped out for a few days. For the most part if I do eat the right foods and don’t eat the wrong foods and my levels stay copacetic (a word my father loves to use!) Ok, last weekend I was not so careful. A couple of m&m’s, a 1/2 of a cookie here or there. white rice instead of brown and I am paying the price for these transgressions! The problem is that 3 out of 4 times, such a small stray from my “healthy” diet doesn’t cause any problems, which makes temptation hard to resist. Every once in a while it throws everything out of balance. Anyway, this makes for a ‘low and slow’ week, as my husband and I have come to call it. No energy to do much of anything. No ability to focus or concentrate.
Just to illustrate my point, here is a picture of the tub of butter that I personally selected at the grocery store this afternoon. Please note that there is butter smeared on the outside, the little plastic seal is loose and protruding from the lid. This is exactly how my husband found it in the fridge tonight. He asked me if I had used this yet, or was it new? “New”, I replied. “Just bought it earlier this afternoon”. He just smiled. No need to comment further. He knows me too well. This is how the tub was when I bought it and how it was when I put it away. Never did I even notice this mess. Yep, low and slow.
Of course, it doesn’t take much energy to sit at a sewing machine between naps and reading my book on the couch. Surprisingly I got a number of things accomplished. Not with any great efficiency and certainly not without error. I made great use of my seam ripper over the past few days. Remember, low blood sugar = low brain function (at least for me anyways!!) I was working on the sashing, corner and setting triangles for the Christmas Lattice Quilt that I blogged about here. I just could not believe how many times I sewed the triangles in upside down. Really? Upside down? Then I would have to look at it for a minute or two to determine exactly what I had done wrong. Jeez! The fabric I am using for the sashing is a white on white holiday print. Again, upside down, or wrong side facing out. I was covered in tiny threads, picking out one seam after another. Finally I set that aside. It was making me more than a little crazy.
I needed a new project to work on (well, ‘needed’ might be a bit strong.) Never having made a disappearing nine patch, I decided to give that a try. If you are unfamiliar with this block, there are a million tutorials out there for it. Basically you just create a nine patch block (3 rows of 3 squares each.) Then I cut the block down the center and across the center, creating four equal pieces. These smaller blocks are rearranged in whatever layout is pleasing to the eye and sewn back together. I was shopping a week or so ago and came across some cute retro looking holiday fabric in Jo-Ann’s. Without any plan in mind, I cut my squares, fussy cutting the Santa fabric and the candy cane fabric as much as possible so I could use those as a focal point. I used a deeper red fabric for each of the center squares as I wanted to have smaller squares with a darker value than the rest of the squares. Here is the resulting 36 x 36″ quilt top.
Now that this little guy is sewn together, I have absolutely no plan as to what I will do with it! It is too large for a table topper and too small for a quilt. I didn’t really take into account what I wanted to do with this project when I was cutting up the squares. (Remember, I was operating with significantly lower than normal brain function!) The size of Santa determined the size of that block and the rest of it just sort of happened. Any ideas?? I am thinking of adding a fairly large red border (maybe five inches wide all the way around?) and then just backing it with the same red. Then sewing the back to the front, envelope style – no binding needed. I could use it as a small table cloth if I don’t use any batting in the center. Maybe that would be fun?
Another project that I worked on was a small art quilt. My inspiration for this project came from a piece that I saw on Pinterest (of course, where else?) I followed the link back to the original site, www.onthetrailcreations.com. The artist at this site designs and sells patterns and kits for quilted cards that are really pretty. I wanted to make a small (7 x 9 inch) art quilt. It was really the first time that I sketched something out and just cut little pieces to applique. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. I did an autumn theme with a bird that is reminiscent of the nuthatches that frequent my feeders in the winter months.
Here is my version:
For the most part I used raw edge applique. For the gold strip running through the center I used a decorative, blanket stitch. The branch that the little guy is sitting on was sketched with thread. (I have been practicing a bit of thread sketching lately and really enjoy it.) The leaves were cut from a scrap of fabric I found with leaves printed on it. I bound the quilt with the same fabric. You will notice the lower right corner of the binding looks all saggy and weird. What can I say? Not my best work right there. 😉
I am really happy with the bird and the branch he is resting on though. Such a cute little guy. I used a french knot for his eye. I applied fusible stabilizer on the back of the base fabric before doing any of the stitching or fusing the applique pieces on. The stabilizer makes a world of difference. Without it the fabric will often pull and bunch when densely stitching something (like the branch).
All in all, a fun week in the sewing room. My friend and I are going to a quilting retreat sponsored by a neighboring quilt guild in the town of Downieville this weekend. I have been stacking up everything I need to bring. I have fabric ready for two different projects and most of the supplies gathered. Hoping for better energy and a higher level of functioning by then!!
Linking to my usual sites: Freemotion by the River, WIP Wednesday, Lorna at Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, and of course, Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts!! Take a minute to check out some of these sites. I have links to all of them at the top of my page under Link Ups.