Rare Pleasure

You'd think by now I would have learned to be more careful with my image searches. :) The picture above is of a rare print by Hiroshige of a Japanese courtesan of 1826 (click on it to read the particulars). My search for 'rare pleasure' generated all kinds of hits - vintage song labels of that title, devices of questionable usage, prize winning horses, rare paintings ... talk about a Brownian walk through reality! :)

Today was a lovely opportunity for me to enjoy being away from home. My manicurist called yesterday to tell me that the salon where I go for grooming was open and I went off today, posthaste, to enjoy same. Waxed facial skin, manicured nails ... such indulgence. :) I even stopped in at an eatery and had a yummy slice of Chicken BBQ pizza for lunch. Been at least three months since I ate sitting in a restaurant! Simple pleasures but precious. :)

I've been sewing for the past few days, working on a squirrel project ... I glue basted some paper leaf shapes a month or so ago using bright fabrics and I decided to make them into a mini quilt. First I pulled all the 'low volume' scraps out of my basket to piece a background:

Sewing crumbs

I start with strips and sew small pieces onto them ... going along with more-or-less random joining until I have a big pile of 'twosies' - two fabrics pieced together into assorted sized units. This takes a bit of time (at least if you have the number of scraps I did:) and needs its own fuel:

Chocolate fuel

Then I joined my twosies into 'foursies' ... sometimes I go on from there but for this purpose, I stopped and trimmed the bits into 3.5" square units:

Crumb blocks

I managed to create 76 squares. Using 72 of them for an eight by nine block background left me a little room for free choice (of those 76, 15 had green prints in them which I figured to use as part of the background for my leaves).

Then I got all excited and appliqued the first line of leaves - using glue stick basting to hold the leaves on with no wiggles and a narrow zigzag stitch with invisible (monopoly thread) stitching.

Sprout stalk

Whole sprout

That green slate behind the fabric is a very nice antique 'blackboard' with magnetic steel behind it. Both my kids had one (curtesy of their paternal grandparents) and so I still have my son's as my new sewing room was his childhood bedroom. :)

I have removed about half the paper forms from my first leaf/flower petal stalk ... I _thought_ I'd be able to get the papers out with just a cut slit in the background behind each leaf ... but that did not work. I actually have to trim away to create a 1/4" (more or less) seam allowance in order to get to the leaf seam and unglue it. :)

I am thinking to put three stalks on my piece, of unequal height. I made 42 leaves ... so lots of room for improv placement.

This project makes me happy! I don't know for sure just how I will quilt it, yet ... the fun of that is saved for the future. :)

We are having mild (mid70s) temperatures, high humidity and intermittent thunderstorms here ... I brought my blue cups succulents indoors and will bring the others in, too, once the rain lets up (started pouring just as I got home from Catonsville earlier today). I hope they will get enough light in the windows I chose for them! At least they won't drown. :)

:) Linda




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