If you're a blogger, you probably recognize the scenario. You're working along on several projects, life gets busy for a few weeks and when you finally start thinking about writing a post, nothing seems like *enough* after your longer-than-expected absence. You keep putting it off until you have something good to share and the longer you put it off, the bigger the task grows in your imagination.
Or maybe that's just me. Ha.
So where was I?
The peonies. And before I continue, may I ask, how do you pronounce 'peony'? We had a big discussion about this at my quilt group when I pulled out one of my blocks, referenced its name and everyone did a double-take. I'm guessing my version, pee-O-nee, is a New England variation (having grown up there) while my Ohioan friends seem to favor PEE-a-nee. (Not to be confused by our elderly neighbor in upstate New York when we were first married. She'd often refer to her PIE-nees which baffled us because she didn't have a pine tree anywhere on her property. Finally I asked, 'What's a PIE-nee?' and she paused, looked at me in that 'what a poor, ignorant young thing' way and pointed to her pee-O-nee.) I did just look up the Merriam-Webster pronunciation and although they seem to side with Ohio (hmmm), the comments are interesting, with someone surprised that an Antiques Roadshow expert on Chinese pottery used pee-O-nee. But I digress.
If you recall (and if you don't, who could blame you?), I was auditioning solid backgrounds for these blocks when I did that comparison of soft whites. My first block (above, center) used Moda Bella Snow, which I deemed too yellowish, and my second (above, left) used RJR's Cotton Supreme French Vanilla, which looked like a nice soft white against my white flannel design wall. But something bothered me about the blocks, in their assembly. While I like appliquéing onto these solids, they are a little bit heavier than the base cloth of printed fabrics. I didn't really like handstitching them together where a print piece met a solid. A little ripple resulted along the seam which was difficult to press out. (I know, Princess and the Pea...-O-nee?)
*Sigh* You know, I'm a print girl at heart. I dug around, found this subtle pindot and made a test block. While it looks slightly yellowish in the top photo, it actually falls somewhere between the two solids. I'd like this to be a wall piece, so I taped it up on one of my many Dover White walls and bingo, just what I was looking for.
So now that that's settled, I've cut out a bunch of blocks and am chipping away at these when I have a few minutes here and there. The block is unexpectedly complicated, more of an enhanced peony, with those extra 5 points that need to be appliquéed to the background before the block can be pieced together. This necessitates marking the background pieces on the backside, with a window template, for handpiecing, and then flipping them over onto a light box and marking them on the front side for appliqué. Block by block, they're tedious to prep, but doing a few at a time is more efficient.
As you can see here, I have a couple ready to piece together with a few more in the appliqué queue. Because I'm juggling several projects, for now, this is a 'sewing room' hand project, reserved for anytime I have a few available minutes during the day. I always leave a needle threaded for quick pick-up.
While I dart among my ongoing projects, there are new things percolating. Everything seems to be handwork at this time ~ bad planning! ~ but my calendar looks pretty open until the holidays so I have high hopes for steady progress. Head down, nose to the grindstone!
I'd like to mention that between posts, I've been adding photos to my new-ish Instagram account. I know that some of you had sent requests in the last year or so to follow my first account, for which I unthinkingly used my blog name although I had intended all along to keep it private, more for family use. Sorry for the confusion. There's a small link in my sidebar, as well, for the newer account, which I'm sure you'll find more interesting. Quilts, flowers, seasonal shots ~ pretty pictures! ~ vs. my husband at a church carnival. See what I mean?