Cityscape

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In an effort to actually finish one of the languishing WIPs in my closet, yesterday I pulled out a wall hanging I started quite a while ago and ordered myself to complete it.

The inspiration was a picture of a painted door that I came across on Pinterest, and followed to this  Flickr account.  I don’t have a lot of my own creativity, so you’ll see that mine is very similar to the inspiration, but in cloth rather than paint.

painted door circles

Picture from Flickr: Ahrabella Heabe Lewis

I finished the majority of this quilt more than a year ago, but then got stuck on the finishing details.  After doing black-on-black embroidery for each window, I bogged down.  I wasn’t certain how I wanted to do the rest, didn’t want to screw it up, and just generally dithered until it got buried beneath other projects. This time I was determined to just get it accomplished and not worry about wrecking it with my not so smooth finishing skills.

I started with free motion stitching around the trees.

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I went around each one twice to make it more “sketchy” so that my wobbles would look purposeful rather than inept.

It was quickly apparent that the bobbin color mattered.  I did this tree twice, first with a light bobbin thread and after ripping it out, with a darker thread.

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I couldn’t bring myself to load a multitude of bobbins with the many thread colors that I needed, but I did use four different bobbins in the end to make the shade fit the top threads better.

My friend Paige very generously gave me a bag full of Gutermann 100 meter spools a while back which included a lot of greens and teals which were perfect for most of the trees.

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The city buildings and the clouds were next.  The straight edges of the Kona cotton fabric have frayed quite a lot with all the folding and unfolding over the course of this project, so I’ll have to clip and clean up.  The batik parts held up much better.

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I quilted the details without the backing on; I usually do this with wall hangings.  It looks tidier on the back that way when it is done.  I did wait to do the edge stitching on the hills until the backing was added so that it would be anchored in place.

This is what the messy back of the batting side looked like before the backing was added.  Is it weird that I really like it?

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I didn’t want the frame that binding would create, so I just sewed the backing on right-sides-together and then turned it right side out.  I’m mulling whether to add edge stitching – I usually do to further stabilize everything, but I like the really unobtrusive edge this has now without any.

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The finished cityscape reminds me of both Israel and Italy, the first two places my husband and I lived when we met and then were first married.  The trees make me think of the Italian cypresses, and the blocky city buildings and dry hills say Israel to me.  The blue sky works for either!

My sister was also a fan of the door design and had me help her make a wall quilt of her own at the same time I was making mine, but – as always – she put her own twist into hers.

cityscape zombies

That poor city doesn’t know what is about to befall it.

 

 

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Stitch by stitch

A bit of progress, in-between setting the lawn on fire with firework sparks and trips back and forth between my mom’s and IKEA to furnish her new condo’s extra spaces.

A few more geese blocks added:Flying geese in progress

And more running stitch circles:

Circles pillow cover

But mostly it has been making sure that the kids weren’t setting themselves on fire.  I hope everyone had a safe and sane 4th!

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Grandma helped decide which one should blow up next.

Kids with fireworks

They seemed to think hiding behind a swim board would keep them safe.

J with giant sparklers

We all agree that giant sparklers sounded like a good idea, but we like the traditional ones better.

Running in circles

There is something so soothing about the running stitch.  I am not very even at it, and there is occasionally some finger stabbing when I get a little too relaxed about it, but I’m already planning the next project after this one.

Running stitch circles image

Not sure what this will be – maybe a pillow cover?

Sunny circles

It is turning into a gorgeous spring around here, which led to pulling out some warm colors of cotton floss:

Sunny circles - floss

Some bright buttons:

Sunny circles - buttons

And some yellow fabric:

Sunny circles fabric

I got out the stitch dictionary and started circling:

Sunny circles in progress

And kept it up for a couple evenings:

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And a mini-mini-wall hanging is ready to brighten up a corner of our house somewhere.

Sunny circles finished

(So very far from an original idea.  Inspired by a Pinterest picture I came across, right down to the three columns of fabric.  I’m going with the “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” excuse.)

Look! A squirrel!

I have two finished tops to quilt, at least three tops in progress, a half knit blanket, a half knit scarf, a purse back pack to sew for my mom, and four or so wall hangings that need various amounts of work done to finish them.

So I started a new project.

Sunny circles in progress

I did at least finish sewing together the half square triangle quilt top before I started picking out sunny colors of embroidery floss and buttons.

HST quilt top