Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Blustery Day

I completed as much as I'm going to do for the March segment of the Sweet Land of Liberty QAL.  That top panel was brutal as far as needle-turn applique goes (very tiny letters).   I'm saving some of the other elements till next month.  I need to make some progress on a couple of other projects.

This is as much progress as I made last month.
Like this one, the AD HOC Improv challenge.  

This is where I am today.  I'm auditioning parts and strips.  I've added the prairie points and think I will add more.  I found an odd length of crochet trim and pinned it at the bottom.  It kind of repeats the points from the prairie points and it's really pretty.  I found a doily with roses at the edge and like it in the center of the rose panel.  It needs to be washed so it will be white.  We'll see . . .   I want to put a pink border on the top and right with the rosey border on the left and bottom.

Work in progress definitely!

We had a very blustery day today with rain, wind, and delightful clouds.  My idea of bliss.

Enjoy your day,

My quilts couldn't be more dissimilar, could they?

Monday, March 5, 2018

Working on Sweet Land of liberty section

I made four more stars and neglected to notice on the pattern that 3 of them go on the right of the top border and the other one goes on the left.  I only observed them when they were sewn all together and already attached to the panel and border.  I decided it looked great - too lazy to unpick and fix it.

When it came time to sew on my border I realized I would be sewing two homespuns side by side.  I haven't worked very much with homespuns but I know with their lower thread count they can sag or stretch.  This section will get a lot of handling because I'm going to needleturn the basket, words, and vines.  So I decided to sew a little reinforcement into the seam as I connected them (below).

And then I sewed a narrow strip of cotton fabric to the top of the border to help it hold it's shape.  I'll take it off when finish the quilt top.  I'm going to leave it on because it will be hanging on my design wall and I figure it will help then too.  I wish I had used a narrower strip because as I'm basting my applique pieces on I have stitched into part of this strip.  I'll have to be careful as I applique the pieces down.

I made the flying geese units and sewed them on the other end of the border so each side of this denim colored check is stabilized.

The method I'm using for applique on this quilt probably has a name but I don't know what it is.  I make a pattern out of freezer paper.  I iron it on my chosen fabric.  Then I cut it out allowing a 1/4" seam all around.  I pin it to the quilt and baste all around the edges of the pattern.  I remove the freezer paper and it's ready to be sewn by hand.

I've got the vines and the basket all basted on and now it's time to applique.  I'm always surprised by how long it takes to do things.  Assembling the stars, flying geese units, borders, and applique pieces took me all morning.  Am I just really slow?

Looking forward to some applique time.
Hope you're able to get some sewing in today.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sweet Land of liberty link up

This is a picture of my progress on the February SAL for Sweet Land of Liberty by Cheri Payne.  I cut the tops of the stars off in this picture unfortunately.  I looked at the picture of the original quilt and Cheri had placed five stars together on the bottom row with all the same background.  I liked the look so I made these the same way.  It is such a surprise to me that I made them all the exact same way but none of them are the same size.  It's a good thing this quilt is very forgiving.

I also made a little progress on the Ad Hoc Challenge.  Yesterday's post shows all the pieces in what I call the post-it notes stage.  I've been able to sew some of the rows together so it doesn't look so messy.  I put some tiny prairie points in the seam between the large block and the one below.  I also added a small rectangle of the roses fabric and will add another smaller one as I stitch along.

I'm thinking about calling this the "Colleen" quilt.  That is my mother's name.  This quilt seems to be calling for all the things that my mother liked and taught me.  She would approve of the clean lines and orderliness . I'll have to include some lace, some bows, and perhaps even a scallop or two.

Those blue strips stand out too much.  I wonder what I'll do to help them along.

It's all a process,

I am linking with Lori of

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

My initial Improv progress?

Don't like that pinky/red stripe.  It's an attention magnet.

Yeah, I know, it doesn't look like much.  The photograph makes the colors look washed out.  But, there are 75 snowball blocks that will be 3" finished so I'm making progress.  I put these up on a yellow sheet hanging in front of my sewing closet to get an idea of color and block placement.  They look like post-it notes, don't they?  At this point I'm wondering where it will go from here.  It can only get better.

As of now I'm not thrilled with the big splash of roses against the smattering of borders.  But, it's a work in progress and I've got some ideas bubbling that should help bring it all together.

The theme this time around is "Playing with Scale".  I haven't decided if the snowball blocks or the roses are going to play the major role in this little quilt.

I got the initial idea from this book of Kaffe Fassett quilts.  I just needed a starting point.

I really liked the idea of using multiple rows of snowball blocks for a border.  So that is what I'm working at.

Interestingly, this is a quilt using scale.

I've also been reading The Fabric makes the Quilt by Robert Horton.

She has some great tips for using fabric to it's best advantage.  She talks about the creativity of using your right brain and gives examples for both right and left.  I think I'm more left brained when it comes to quilting but this Improv challenge is giving me the freedom to do what I want.  (I still like straight compared to wonky.)

It's just so interesting looking at the creative challenge through someone else's eyes.  I think that's why I like this Ad Hoc Impro Quilters Challenge, it makes me see things through a different lens.

Roberta Horton goes on to say; "Some quilters don't bother to look at their quilt until it's finished because they are following a formula: find a pattern, select the fabric, cut, and sew."

And then she talks about another group that takes chances, makes changes as they sew, and comes up with something uniquely their own.

I done it both ways. The first way is easiest, uses less time, and is safe but the 2nd way is much more fulfilling.  Trying something new takes a little courage.  Doing something different or unusual might bring criticism but, can also bring confidence.

Have you ever made a quilt that was beautiful in your creative mind but didn't turn out so well?  What did you learn that you won't do again, what have you learned to appreciate about that quilt?  Were you able to identify the problem?  Did you try to take it apart and fix it?  Did you give it away?  I've done all of the above. 

The pictures in Roberta Horton's book are of quilts using African and Asian fabrics.  Even if you're not attracted to the African theme, there is some excellent information. I'm really enjoying this book.

Thanks for stopping by,
I'm linking up with Ad Hoc Improv Quilters

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Improv decisions

I've been thinking about the new Ad Hoc Improv Challenge for the first half of the year.  It is to "play with the idea of scale".  That has taken some pondering time.  Do I want to have a difference in size of blocks or a difference in scale of print, or color gradation. . .

I went to my stash and came up with the above fabrics.  These are shot cottons from Amy Butler that I bought 8 years ago and they never really went with anything.

I have tried using them in the Roseville quilt as leaves above or a bird body below but I never really loved them.

More leaves

A green bird body.

The fabric above is my absolute least favorite.  It color is called Banana but it just looks muddy.  And, of course, I have extra of this particular fabric - sigh.

What to do with these fabrics??  I found a small floral piece that has most of the colors in it.  I wanted it square so I cut some sides out of the blue which is the background color of the floral.

Then I got busy cutting 3 1/2 " squares.  An idea comes to mind - yippee~   I decided that there were some colors in the mix that just couldn't stay so I removed one of the blues, the goldenrod, the brown, and the orange.

And I was left with this stack.  I added the magenta that is the same shade as the darkest color in the flowers.

And I'm off to some "improv" happy place for a little while.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Roseville Quilt Progress

Top panel on it's side. Right border just finished.

I just finished the "Birds of Paradise" panel on the right for the Roseville Album Quilt by Kim McLean.  It was a delight to work on.  That pink wing right in the middle no longer shouts out "Look at me" like it did before I put more bright colors to work.  The orange eggs in the nest are much prettier in person.  I had to do the cat twice because the first one (yellow) just didn't play well with the rest in that area.

I just noticed I haven't put the doorknob on the door of the left panel.

Here is a composite of the 3 blocks and all four panels that I have finished.  It makes for a pretty bright design wall, I'll tell you!

I need to leave Roseville for a while and concentrate on the quilt above.  It's been on the frames since December and despite the neglect, I'm almost 1/2 done.  It's a pleasure to stitch something so pretty and the wool batting makes the needle glide almost effortlessly.

I am linking up to Small Quilts and Doll Quilts DESIGN WALL MONDAY, go check them out.

We're expecting a big storm tomorrow and Monday.  (We've got 5 1/2 " so far - 7:15 am)
I'm so excited !
(Who knew I'd make a quilt with four cats on it?  I'm not even a cat person)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Feather stitch challenged

The next block for the Sweet Land of Liberty SAL at Humble Quilts  requires some embroidery.  I do pretty well with embroidery until I come to the feather stitch.  I was having a lot of trouble with my thread (above) and forgetting to alternate the stitch from side to side.

Even after getting out this fabulous book by Carole Samples.  It actually has every stitch ever invented, well, I think it has every stitch.  It's amazing!

So I found the feather stitch page with all it's variations (I think it actually takes up more than one page) and began practicing in my mind.  I wished I had someone to walk me through it.

I know it's not a difficult stitch but for some reason it doesn't compute from paper to cloth for me.  I'm pretty agile in stitchery,  I've sewed clothes since I was 12 years old. I've learned  tatting, crocheting, embroidery, needlepoint, crewel embroidery, I've even tried Romanian Point Lace but for some reason this feather stitch has me baffled.  Oh, and I know how to knit I'm just not very good, the whole dropped, twisted, and split stitches thing. . .

I can't do decoupage either.  I'm a klutz!!! 

Anyway, I persevered and was able to follow a blue washable ink line to make things turn out, at least it was acceptable to me.


And VOILA, the eagle block is done.