Sewing as Relaxation

The past two days I really needed to do some mindless sewing.  Sometimes you just want to de-stress and don’t want a complicated pattern.

Lucky for me, my scrap basket runneth over.

scrap basketI pulled out my spiderweb pieces and went to work.  I just sewed scrap strips onto triangles until I ran out of triangles.

spiderweb pieces Each block contains 8 triangles so I now have enough triangles to make 2 more blocks!

Have you seen these articles floating around online about the benefits of knitting and quilting and other crafts on your mental health?  This one is from Yahoo and this one is from The Washington Post.  I always have problems explaining to people why I love quilting so much and after reading these articles I realize there must be some therapeutic meditative benefits that I get from it.  Well, that and a beautiful, warm quilt!

The Moose

Morley Moose

I’m just about finished with my Morley J. Moose wall-hanging which was designed by Barbara J. Jones.  I bought the pattern last fall in St. Louis.  I just need to finish appliqueing a few things and then of course, quilt him.

So here’s how he was made:

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First, I had to trace the back of the pattern which gives us the reverse for all the fusible backing pieces.

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Then, I traced the pattern onto some lightweight stabilizer.  This stabilizer is where he is actually made.  All the little pieces of fabric are appliqued onto this stabilizer.

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I traced and then cut out (in reverse) all the little pieces on a fusible web and ironed them onto different pieces of fabric.

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I cut those pieces of fabric out and laid them onto my stabilizer Morley.  I didn’t stick them down until I was sure I liked the look.

* A note on the fusible web that I was using.  This stuff is called Appli-Kay Wonder.  I really wanted to love this stuff.  They sold it to me when I bought the pattern and it wasn’t cheap.  I thought it would be the miracle answer to my applique nightmares.  You iron it on one side, peel the paper off the other side and stick it down.  It’s re-positional until you iron the other side.  First off, I had to look up the directions because they weren’t included in the roll.  The online directions said use a medium setting on your iron but I had to crank it up to high to get things to stick and then I had problems after that of things coming unstuck.  The weight of it was about the same as other double stick fusible interfacing.  It didn’t leave a sticky mess on my needle which I liked.  Over all, it was just OK, not the miracle product I had hoped.

Morley moose

Anyway, so when I had things positioned and ironed down, I used a machine zig-zag stitch on all the seams.

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Then I made the background – which I didn’t like.  I went back to the fabric store and bought similar colors but in more pastel hues.

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I found a striped fabric and cut it in wavy strips.  I laid everything out on the new and improved background to see where to put everything.  Morley wasn’t sticky on the back so I had to pin.  The directions said to sew with several sheets of tissue paper on the back.  I understand that helps keep things from puckering but I could not juggle the moose and the tissue in my sewing machine.  I just went slowly and used a stitch on my machine that looks like hand applique.  Then I added the framing strips and trees.  Like I said, I’m not quite done yet but I think he’s cute.

Morley Moose

Mystery Block #2

The weather has become Spring-like and beautiful here and I’ve come out of my house like a mole from it’s dark tunnel.  Everyone is smiling and staring up at the sun like we’re seeing an old forgotten friend.  Needless to say, I’m not getting much sewing done.  Yesterday, I just sat out on the porch with my kitty and soaked up the warm sun!  Sometimes you gotta do that.

Last night I got the instructions for the next block of the mystery quilt and I ran home and started cutting fabric.  It was like that scene from “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie gets the code from the radio show and tries to figure out the secret message – except I wasn’t in the bathroom.

Mystery block #2

Here it is!

 

I like this block but I’m not sure if it “goes” with the first block.  I might have to re-make the first block.  Maybe when we get farther into this project, it’ll all make sense.

I’ve also been working on my Morley J. Moose.  I traced him last fall after I got the pattern but then I got busy with other things.

Morley moose

He is such a groovy Moose!  So, I have this part done but I’m having trouble with the background.  I tried to follow the directions for the color scheme of the background strips but I feel like it’s just too colorful and busy.

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I like the whole striped background part but I think I may try a more subdued color scheme.  When I figure that out, I’ll share this whole project.  Right now, I think I’ll go outside and think about what colors to use while I enjoy the sunshine!