Sunday, July 28, 2019

Inspired by A Bird Shat On My Head

This month I started using a vertical mouse because my mouse hand was hurting horribly. Before resorting to changing the mouse, I rested my hand for a few weeks because I was terrified I would never be able to use my right hand again. I realised from my forced rest that I use the mouse a lot. Photo editing, Illustrator, Candy Crush... I've never been able to use a touchpad because I lack the ability to use it. I hate to say this but I think like an old person. When hubs suggested a vertical mouse, my brain immediately shut down because I couldn't imagine how to use one. How tall is it? That was my number one question but thankfully I kept it to myself. But I gave it a try anyway. We bought 2 - the first one was really bad and gave me more problems. The second one was better and I've managed to learn to use it. The first time I used a vertical mouse it felt weird because my muscles did not understand what my brain wanted them to do. After a week or so, it became quite natural.  My hand feels a lot better now but the ring finger which I damaged knitting the Skywalker Shawl is still screwed. I've been exercising my fingers following some youtube videos. Each day my fingers feel better so I'm hopeful.

During my rest period, I was able to hand sew, cut fabric and use the sewing machine with my bad hand. It seems different muscles are required for using the mouse. So I've been quite occupied with projects to use my scraps. Do you think I'm on a fool's mission? Let's be honest - I'm never going to be able to use up my scraps because new scraps are created every day.

This is a piece of applique quilt I worked on in July. I was inspired to make it after watching an episode of The Return of Superman. It's a Korean reality TV show focused on celebrity fathers taking care of their kids. In this episode, (9:57)  a bird pooped on Bentley Hammington's head. I laughed until I cried because I remembered the day A Bird Shat On My Head in May 2010. There is nothing funny about bird poop on your head, I can tell you that. But it's hilarious when it happens to other people.

I made a mistake with this quilt because I did not plan it. I'm lazy so I tend to wing it. The mistake was I fused the bird to the background fabric before I sewed quilting lines. This means I have to sew the lines around the bird. Can you imagine all the thread ends I had to deal with?

The composition for the quilt is very simple - horizontal lines. Three pieces of scrap fabric joined together creating 3 horizontal sections - clouds, air and ground. The vertical lines were kept to a minimal for the buildings.

I like to have a mix of machine lines and hand sewn embroidery. The bird was very hard to sew on because of the fusible web. I mostly used running stitch for the body, fly stitch for the tail and blanket stitch for the wing. Oh, check out the poop. I had the perfect thread for it and the stitch I used was colonial knot. I adhered to a rule of odd numbers - 5 buildings and 5 pieces of poop. The number 5 is a coincidence and not due to any superstitions.

The final part of the binding was hand sewn as well with Sashiko thread. I wished I had a lighter green thread because I wanted the stitches to show.

The finished size is not big - around 10" by 11". The size was dictated by the size of the scrap I used. Overall the applique quilt turned out more or less how I wanted. I tend to go loud so I was pleased that I managed to restrain myself.

I finally used up the fabric for the backing. I really don't mind buying more of this polka dot though. It's a very nice thin fabric great for interlining as well as backing. It's not suitable for a quilt you intend to use heavily because it's too thin. For the purpose of hanging on a wall, I've added pockets for a chopstick.

I think that I need to go bigger if I want to use up more scraps. What do you guys do with your scraps? Throw them in a drawer and forget about them?
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