Friday, March 24, 2017

Sewing but not showing

I am excited to participate in the Doll Quilt Swap sponsored by Lori over at Humble Quilts.  I've wanted to participate in this swap ever since she started hosting it about 3 yrs. ago but I have been too busy, already committed to finishing other projects, or had company and just had to be satisfied with admiring  the work and excitement of everyone else involved - sigh.

This year I'm caught up with my commitments, my company left last Tuesday, and I was able to finish a little quilt top this week.  It's only 18" square so it won't take very long to quilt.  It needs to be in the mail by May 1st so I've got a whole month to get it quilted.  Wish I could show it to you so you could give me some suggestions.  Right now, I'm at a loss. . .

sneak peak

It's pretty cute.  These are the fabrics I used;

I have a number of pieces of fabric that would make fabulous borders but time after time the quilt kept calling for the border it got.

These little quilts can be quite demanding, you know!

We got a new railing on our front porch this week.  I think it dresses up the house a little, gives it a little curb appeal.  I'm very pleased.

The spring flowers are blooming; making everything look beautiful and smell so good.

Gotta love those little violets.  

Our poor poor turtles are really "the worse for wear" this spring.  We've had them about 7 yrs. and for some reason this last winter was terribly hard on them.  This is the biggest of the two "Atlas" and they both have developed a really bad case of leprosy.

The smaller of the two "Mariposa" can be lifted up and put into the trash.  But this big hefty guy,

is too heavy to move in spite of missing  some parts.   Makes me wonder why they did so well for so long and then this year they both decided to fall apart.  The only difference I can come up with is that we had an unusually wet winter.

My quilt club met last night and while I didn't take any pictures I still wanted to share some online pictures of the quilts that Lorraine talked about and demonstrated the technique for.

The Scrap Vortex QAL by Crazy Mom Quilts.

She still has all the instructions up on her blog, see link above.

Doesn't it look like fun?

Kathy of Kathy' Quilts  made one and has it posted on her blog.  She put letters in hers with the message SCRAP VORTEX.  One of the ladies at my meeting last night suggested that you could put your grandchild's name in the mix is you were making the quilt for them.  Fun idea!

I saved this picture from Lee Ann at Nifty Quilts. 

I love this quilt and would like to make one.
Along with all the other thousands of quilts I want to make................

The ideas for scrap quilts are endless aren't they?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Blockheads Week 1

It's one of those times when I need you to view this as you are galloping by on a horse.

This block is rather deceptive.  It looks fairly easy until the construction begins.  The part that was hard was matching up all those points and corners.  ( I probably should re-do the one on the left.) While I was making this little block (6") I thought I'd use this one to learn on and then make another one.

Once I finished the block, I said; "Good enough!"

(I should  have fussy-cut the blackbirds in the middle)
Always second guessing myself. . . . . . .

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Just lots of pictures

(Check out the GIVEAWAY in the March 4th post - here)

Charm quilt from 2007

 I'm finishing up some old UFOs and turning them into tops.  The only problem with this goal is that I am trying to reduce the tops in storage by quilting them and I just keep making more tops.  This hand pieced charm quilt has been hanging around for a lot of years.  It just needed a border.  I came up with a lot of ideas;
1. Applique border  (would take too long, I just want to get this done)
2. Pieced border with yo yos  (darling border from Simply Friends by Kim Diehl & Jo Morton)
3. Multiple borders  (can't decide)
4.The above border which reminds me of a circus for some reason.

It is about 85" square.

The Whimsey Quilt

 This little quilt was fun to make.  It was much brighter fabric than I normally use.

The thing about this little quilt top is that it is my sister's.  She bought the fabric and asked me to cut it out for her birthday one year.

Then many years later she hired a professional organizer to come in and help her get rid of stuff - I ended up with the quilt parts.  So (after storing it for a few more years to age it like cheese) I used it as my leader and ender project (kinda) and finished it up last week.  And then I gave it to her along with the backing so she can go get it quilted.  Guilt free for me!

I've been continuing to work on the hand quilting for my Peppermint Quilt.  I have been working on this since November.  I'm 3/4 done.  (Just keep swimming quilting----)

 I'm enjoying the process because I love the quilt so much.  It's so pretty in real life.  But, I'm anxious to work on other things too.

We had a gorgeous snow storm last week.  It really covered the mountains with a blanket.

My DH pruned the apricot tree and brought in a few of the trimmings.  We put them in water and watched the buds expand and then burst in bloom.  This is taken just before they opened up.

We'll leave the lights on for you

I finished piecing my winter quilt.  A pattern called "Sleigh Bells" by Jan Patek.  It kind of hard to get a good picture because it is so long.  It calls for wide side borders and narrow top and bottom borders.

Not the right border fabric

I think I want to use black for the border but I haven't found the right piece yet.  I wish I could get some of those black background florals by Brannock & Patek or Blackbird Designs from yesteryear.
I'll just have to keep looking.

I got out another UFO today that just needs the pieced border.  I'm in the process of cutting out the pieces for it now.  Then I will have yet another top to put in my closet (Under the Big Top) but at least it won't be weighing on my shoulders to get it finished.  And it won't be hanging around in pieces for someone else to deal with someday.

When I was apologizing for potentially leaving behind so many tops upon my demise, my younger daughter said; "Don't worry about it,  We'll just tie them and use them."

That sounds good to me.

Connecting to Slow Stiching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts
Check out the GIVEAWAY in the March 4th post!!!  (Link at the beginning of this post)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

January + snow = quilting

1st photo

I have put some of the blocks together on the design wall to see how "Sleigh Bells" looks.  I see some things that look great and some things I want to change. I pinned the red floral house block over a pink house that just didn't work.  I'm still deciding if the red floral works.

2nd photo

I decided that I want the deer block up higher so I'm going to take out the row with the angel (1st photo of design wall) and put it under the deer block.

I finished the little block with the kids in snow suits.  I remember those snow suits.  We used to stuff our full skirts (with full slips underneath) inside those snow pants to walk to school.  Do you remember those full slips from the 50's?  They were so much fun to wear and play dress-ups using the elastic waist as a headband around your head and letting the full fabric drape down behind your shoulders like really long hair.  Tell me that I'm not the only one that used to do that?

I'm working on the fourth large block (above and below).  I'm hoping to get it done today.  I've got the trees and the night sky done.  I just need to baste the house and swiftly (ha!) stitch it down.

I haven't had a chance to work on the Peppermint Quilt very much.  There are only so many hours in the day to divide between all my projects.  But I did finish the crosshatching for the basket above

This is a picture of the two blocks I have finished.  There are only four blocks so I'm halfway.

I made another 'Rising Sun' block, left.  I'm hand piecing so this is a project with which to relax.  (I didn't want to end my sentence with a preposition.)  Those Jr. High English teachers just stay with you, don't they?  I'm thinking about adding black to some of the blocks.  But then, it wouldn't be true to the original painting.  The block on the left is much nicer in real life.  The photo makes the small sheep print look very dull.

My granddaughter had a wax museum program at school.  The children wrote reports, made posters, and dressed up like the person they had chosen.


There was a button taped to the floor and if you pressed it then each child would tell you who they were and a quick piece of information about them.

We got to see Abraham Lincoln, Pocahontas, Jackie Robinson, Kid President. . . lots and lots of historical persons of interests.

 Look!  We even got to see Frida Kahlo!!!

Have you seen the new program 6 Moda designers are presenting?  Go check in out here.  It's called BLOCKHEADS and its a 48 week BOW.  The blocks will be 6" finished and each designer, in rotation, will present a block each week.

I ordered this;
called "Hope's Journey" by Betsy Chutchian to make the blocks for this block of the week program.  I'll use some of my reproduction scraps too.  I think it's going to be a fun and fairly undemanding in the time department.  (Don't you love those greens?)

If you stayed with me down to this point - I thank you for enduring.

Hope you have a great day and can sneak some stitching into it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

It's all about the snow

I have been working hard on the snowy quilt top.  I wanted so badly to finish it in January but alas, it isn't to be.  I did make a big dent in the number of pieces that are left to applique.  I don't want to stop because I'm afraid it will go to the dark side (UFO pile).

It has been a snowy month both inside and outside.  We have received about 25" of snow this month in various parts of the valley (which I am very grateful for) and I have been working on snowmen.  Above is the next large block for "Sleigh Bells" by Jan Patek.  Have I mentioned that there are no sleigh bells or sleighs of any kind on this quilt?  I need to come up with another name.  This was a fun block to do.  Notice the blue moon.

I also finished the three snowman baskets.  I decided to sew on buttons instead of doing small circles of black applique.  It was easier and it gives the quilt top a little texture.

The antlers on the deer didn't seem to show up very well on the previous block (above) so I did a back stick around them (below) with a lighter color of floss to help them stand out.  I like it better now.  Yes, my deer is still leaping off the ground next to the startled cat (also not touching ground)

I also was able to applique the 3rd angel.  I know this is supposed to be folk art and I really do like the style or I wouldn't be going to this much work.  My quandary is . . . why do the deer, snowman, and cat get eyes while the angels remain sightless?  Inquiring minds want to know.

I managed to get two of the 10 or so houses done today.  I was hoping for a better showing and I've got 3 more hours till bed so I might get more done.  It always surprises me how long it takes to cut things out.  I spent hours just picking out fabric and cutting it for the houses this afternoon.  But, the decisions are made so now all I have to do it stitch.  The window on the left still needs some embroidery.

One of the reasons I didn't get more done is because my daughter has asked me to cross stitch a few designs to make Christmas stockings for her four children.  I finished the cute little skating mouse in two weeks.  I soaked it, and hand washed it but the fabric still has a lot of sizing in it so it didn't press up very well.  Does anyone have a secret for softening the cloth ?

The next design is a little boy mouse building a snowman - back to the snow again.

My husband and I love to do puzzles and this is one of my favorites based on a painting by Tom Newson.  This year we were seldom at the puzzle table at the same time but my great husband finished everything but the quilt and then walked away letting me build the quilt by myself.  It took great restraint and I appreciated it.

Every year I look at the constuction of the blocks in this quilt and the colors used, it just makes me happy.  Last week it occurred to me that I had some red, green, and blue fabric from about 15 years ago that would look very striking in a replica quilt.  I bought the fabric with a churn dash idea in my mind that I lost interest in long ago.

So I looked through my books to find out what the name of this block is.  It's called "Rising Sun".  I looked through other books for a pattern and then searched online, all in vain.  So I drew out the block on some graph paper sizing it to 12" finished.  Cut up the graph paper and made templates out of plastic sheets.  I traced around the templates and then added 1/4" around each as I cut them out.

I'm not much of a curved piecer because I haven't had much practice so I hand sewed this block  together.  I think it turned out great.  I've got another block cut out but I'm making houses tonight so it will have to wait.

I did get another large block hand quilted on my "Peppermint Quilt" (no picture) but it has definitely taken a back seat to the cross stitching.

So, I've been busy but no finish to show for it yet (unless I count the skater but she still needs to be made into a stocking).

Off to the constuction zone. . .


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Anxious to stitch

I've been struck with some enthusiasm for a quilt I started a year ago.  I hate to stop stitching even to fix dinner because I'm afraid I'll loose it (the enthusiasm I mean - my husband would say I lost it a long time ago concerning quilting -ha!)

This is a picture of my progress.

I am working to complete Sleigh Bells by Jan Patek

I finished the church (with the leaning steeple) and one angel late last year.  I got started on this deer block but didn't finish it till Christmas time.  I didn't notice till I had finished all the applique that the deer and cat are floating.  Oh Well. . . 

I made one of the snowman baskets last week. 

And I'm busy trying to get the other two done right away. I've learned to do back basting but found it difficult with this dark blue backing on the block.  So I traced the leaves out of freezer paper, ironed the templates onto the fabric, and cut scant 1/4" around it.  Then I pinned them in place and basted around the freezer paper.

This shows all the leaves basted into place.

And here are the leaves all stitched down.

Here are the two snowman baskets together.  I haven't sewn the faces on yet.  The carrot noses won't be difficult to applique but I'm not sure if I'm going to applique the eyes and mouth or buy buttons.

We've had some pretty cold days lately.  Notice how the frost has covered the weeping birch branches.

I am tempted to join the Rainbow scrap challenge this year.  It might be fun to make simple blocks in rainbow colors, using up scraps, having no deadline, just sewing for pleasure.

Lori at Humble Quilts said she'll be doing another small quilt swap this spring.  I don't want to miss out on this again.  I better get busy on a little quilt.

I made apple pie today to use up the apples that had frozen in the shed.  The house smells so cinnamony.  Can't wait till it cools and we can cut into it!!!!


I will be linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.