Small Projects

IMG_20140303_215346_812Sometimes, I get really bogged down and tired of the big projects on my list. As much as I like quilting, there is only so long I can sit on the uncomfortable mess that is the downstairs futon and stitch. Eventually, my spine and tailbone start to protest or the quilt makes me overheat, and I have to move on to doing something else. But when all of your projects are Big Projects – costume heads, historic costuming, giant quilts, etc. – it can be hard to motivate yourself to work on something else. Sometimes you just need a small little something to keep your hands busy, and satisfy your urge to create.

That’s why the labels for the Employee of the Month cozies are so perfect. They can take about an hour,IMG_20140226_204444_402 depending on the intricacy of the design, but they move along fairly quickly, and before you know it….voila! You’ve got a finished product. I’ve managed to knock out a couple of them recently. Dave was March’s pick. He likes to drive the tractor around site, so that was an obvious choice for his label image. Anjela is our resident butterfly expert, so hers was easy to figure out when April came along. Becky, who ran our Ecosystem Farm until this year, received a customized mug cozy as a going-away present (the design is the logo for her new business, Prickly Pear Produce). Tricia, our main site interpreter, is also leaving the foundation soon, so Casey and I got to work on a cozy for her. Casey’s still working on the knitting – using wool yarn from our Hog Island Sheep – but I’ve gone ahead and finished the tag.

IMG_20140418_112452_001I’ve also got a skirt on my “small projects” table, though it’s a little bigger than most of the other small projects I’ve been working on. I decided I needed to work on some everyday items for myself, as well as start working through some of my stash. I didn’t pre-wash the fabric, so my fingertips take on a slightly blue tint after working on it a while, but I’m hoping it will be fine after the first laundering. That’s why you wash your fabrics first, ladies and gents.

IMG_20140422_133755_655Today’s small project is a little quilted coaster for Anjela’s birthday on Friday. I used some scrap linen from the foundation’s fabric bin. It was too small for pretty much anything other than a little ornamental pincushion or the like, so I don’t think it will be missed. I sketched some flowers in a circle and embroidered it with an outline/loose stem stitch and a daisy stitch. The inner layer is some scrap wool felt I had sitting around in the house, and the backing is a piece of purple broadcloth from my scrap stash. I IMG_20140425_094952_494went back and forth for a little while, trying to decide whether to use a patterned fabric for the backing, but none of them went well with the color of thread I used on the flowers on the front. When it was all done, the flowers look more blue than they did when I was embroidering them, but I think they work fine with the solid purple backing and the purple “A” I stitched in the middle of the coaster.

After finishing this little project, I’m realizing I’ve missed doing embroidery. I’ve been quilting and sewing clothes and costumes for a while and have completely neglected that aspect of crafting. I think I need to make a small traveling embroidery project to work on next weekend, while we’re up in Pennsylvania for Fairie Fest.

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