Sunday, December 31, 2017

I'm more about the making than the having.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  The reason I quilt is to fulfill my need to create (thus the name of my blog).

My current obsession, I love this pattern.

 I see patterns in magazines (like the cover of the most recent American Patchwork and Quilts), or pictures on blogs or quilts in museums and I get inspired.  I picture the quilt in my mind with different colors or slight alterations and it becomes the focus of my quilty thoughts for days, sometimes months, and often years.  I look for a similar pattern or buy the original, or make up one on my own.  The fabric hunt begins whether in my stash, my LQS, or online.

Lately I've been compelled to use the fabrics that I have carefully been aging in my sewing closet.

I do buy some fabric, I always need neutrals.  And I keep track of the new lines from my favorite designers (Barbara Brackman needs to come out of designing retirement)  Occasionally I find myself in the "tempted zone" and eventually go one step further to the "succumbing zone".   I have a lot to say about shopping for fabric but I'll save that for another post.

I bought enough of the sashing fabric so I could do something like this.

This post is about making quilts.  I've found out a lot about myself doing the mystery quilt again this year (this is the 4th one I've made).  What I've discovered is that I'm a block girl.  I don't enjoy making the same part endlessly.  I enjoy making a block and putting it up on my design wall to admire.  It's such a feeling of accomplishment to see that completed block and leave spaces for the next ones to come.  I'm definitely a block girl.  Thank goodness, as of today and Clue #8, we are at the block stage.

So, I have the idea, gather the fabric, cut it out (my least favorite part), and begin sewing,  I have an abundance of enthusiasm at the beginning but it comes and goes during the process of making the quilt.  I am always working toward the end product - that original vision in my head.

I am so intrigued by this Indigo quilt from the 3 Sisters show.

After weeks (or years sometimes) of concentrated effort I'm done.  It's gorgeous, it's so many things all in one.  It's satisfying, it's gratifying, and it's going to make me or someone really happy to use it.

 And then, if I'm going to keep it, I put it up on the shelf of a closet and make a mad dash into my sewing room to begin again.

In other words, "I'm more about the making than the having".


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays here at home.

This has been a busy month, the good kind of busy, not the stressful stuff.

It took me a long time to get around to decorating.  I usually start right after Thanksgiving but I think it was the 4th before the tree went up and then I spent all week just putting ornaments on. (No, the tree is not that big - I just kept getting interrupted.)

Our sweet little tree with my Peppermint Quilt on the wall behind

I've been hand quilting in the mornings.  You can't finish a quilt if you never work on it.  (You can quote me on that!)   I know it's going to take a couple of months to finish this particular quilt so you'll probably see pictures of it on my blog for a while.  AND, they will pretty much look the same but thank you in advance for indulging me.

I'm hand quilting it quite heavily with parallel lines in the blocks that alternate direction from block to block, and all around the flying geese.

I'm absolutely in love with this fabric from the Pat Nichols II Collection so it's a pleasure to quilt.  I'm just enjoying the process - no hurry here.

I have boxes of pictures etc. that I'm determined to go through and organize.  I was cleaning out an old notebook last week that I had divided into different sections for daily life.  One section was immunizations so I took all those records and passed them along to my youngest son.  There were awards and quilting patterns and "to do" lists and on and on and on.  

One thing I found was a record I was keeping  from 2003 of my fabric purchases.  I had the date, the store, how much I bought, and the fabric line and designers name.  Two things stood out to me;
1.  Just how often I went to a quilt store.  The quilt stores in my area were making a haul!!!
2.  I am currently working on 2 quilts with some of those very fabrics I bought almost 15 yrs. ago.

I am quilting the Pat Nichols quilt that I call "Puttin' on the Chintz" (pictures above).  And, I am hand piecing rising sun blocks from the Good Shepherds line from Salt Box Farm by Deb Strain.  It just seems so funny that I would finally be using these fabrics at the same time.  But, the good news is that I liked them then. . . and I still like them, a lot.

My holiday disaster this year came in the form of blonde fruitcake.  I invited two of my grandchildren to come and help me bake.  They were excited to see all the nuts, raisins, dates, and colorful fruit.  It was great fun.  After the 3 loaves had baked for quite a while, and didn't seem to look right, I went back and reviewed the recipe.

I had neglected to put in the baking soda!!!

So we have fruitcake that is glued together with sugar and flour.  Yum!

I cut a few slices and then cut them into squares.  I put them in some oatmeal cookie dough and baked them (remembering the leavening).  They turned out pretty good.  I think that's what I'll do with the rest of the fruitcake.  My husband is such a good sport.  He ate the smallest loaf any way.  

New this year is a treetop angel by Willowtree.  She's a beauty.

Thanks for checkin' in,

PS I finished clue #4 this afternoon.  Tomorrow I get to make a shark sleeping bag.

Friday, December 1, 2017

It's December 1st

I made a tie for my brother today.  I used some scraps from a quilt (seen below) that I made a couple of years ago using his son's (who has passed away) shirts.

I still have a lot of fabric left over.  I didn't use very much making the tie.

I think it turned out kind of classy.

I used more scraps on the small end of the tie.  So far I've made them a quilt (60" X 60") a doll quilt out of the extra blocks, and now a tie. There is still  a bunch of material left over.  I think I'd like to make a tree skirt - hmmmmm?

I finished all 50 nine patches last Friday for Clue #1 of the Bonnie Hunter's new mystery.  I wanted to make OR at least cut out the 200 flying geese units for Clue #2 today.  But, I knew I better spend my time making Christmas presents.  Making the tie took me the better part of the day although I did stop for a leisurely lunch.  Starting from scratch instead of following a pattern always takes longer than I think it is going to.

I wonder if I'll get to the mystery tomorrow or if the next homemade Christmas gift will win out.

Making things is my favorite part of the season.  What's your favorite part?


Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Civil War finish and my garden Gnome

My garden Gnome holding up my finished top

I finished my version of a Civil War sampler commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Blog in 2011.  I call it "Succession to Emancipation" because it starts out with the seven sisters block representing the seven states that originally succeeded from the Union and Emancipation because I have little ladies all around the quilt with different skin colors representing freedom for all races.

I did many more blocks and even bought the book here that has more block patterns but this is the way the quilt top  ended up.  And now it is #19 in the 'Big Top' closet downstairs.  Although I'm in the process of putting a quilt on the frames and there is one in the hoop so there are actually only 17 quilt tops waiting in the closet.  17 sounds so much better than 19, don't you think?

Bonnie Hunter's Mystery QAL is starting next Friday.  It is so fun to participate in these QALs.  It is called On Ringo Lake and requires aqua, coral, chocolate brown, and neutrals.  I don't have enough of either aqua or coral  and prefer using something I already have.  I do have some fabric that I  collected to make a watermelon quilt.  I think I could substitute the green for the aqua and the red for the coral - using black instead of brown.

I would call it On Ringo Lake Eating Watermelon - ha!

I'm still thinking about it.

I am continuing to big stitch the baby quilt.  This project is taking longer than I expected.  I work on it almost every day and thought it would be done before Thanksgiving.  Sigh. . . 

My hands are so dry.  The skin on my thumb cracked last night.  It's from quilting and doing dishes (I've been cooking up a bunch ahead in preparation for next Thursday).  The turkey, stuffing and broth for gravy are all in the freezer to be thawed next week and then heated through.  I bought a roaster oven.  I've been married 44 yrs. and had never used one.  It is really slick.  I think it will get a lot of use when I'm planning big dinners because it is an extra oven.  It even cooks pies (so it says).

Just thought you might enjoy seeing my real live garden Gnome.  He is planting tulip bulbs.

It's actually DH getting the yard ready for winter.

We got snow yesterday.  You can see a little of it in the first picture with the quilt top.  It was a great day to stay indoors and sew - thus the finished top.

I'm linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thanks for checkin' in,

Friday, November 10, 2017

as of today in South Jordan Utah

The gold berries really pop out but they mimic a gold tree that is a few blocks away.

You know, it seems like I have a needle in my hand every day but when it comes time to show my progress it is pitifully slow.

I finished the block above for the Roseville Album Quilt.  I've been stitching a block a month and even a panel a month sometimes.  This block took me 2 months to finish.  It must have been late summer.  It always catches me unawares. . .

This looks very wrinkled but it show the true colors of the piece.  I'll press it when I'm done.

I didn't finish my cross stitch project by  Halloween but I'm still plugging away at it.  It's just so relaxing in the evenings.  And it's a project that no longer has a deadline so I can work leisurely.  I changed the pattern of orange in the pumpkin.  Here is a picture of the pattern cover so you can compare.

I also changed some of the leaf colors.  I am planning on making the house a deep blue shade instead of the mustard and chartreuse of the original.

I'm in the process of making a baby quilt.  It's from a kit I bought in Wisconsin in 2014.  I remember it being a lot cuter. . .

I'm big stitching in red with outlines around the figures and just a X in the neutral spaces.  It is crib size.  The backing is the same red as the border and it will have prairie points around the outside.

Sunflower backing

  I finished up the "Yellowstone" quilt  (see here) and gave it to my grandson yesterday.  His birthday is today and he is 11 yrs. old.  It will make a great camp blanket.

I'm putting the binding on the charm quilt (above and below) that's been waiting for months.  I used some 6 1/2" strips that I had in a drawer so that the binding would be varied like the center of the quilt.  I'll get another picture when it's all done that will show it better.

My husband and I wound some grape vines around a frame that he made to form a tree.  I want to flock it and add some white lights for outside decorating.  I found some snow at Michaels and sprayed a little on the front.  But, it's the kind of snow you spray through a stencil on the window, not flocking snow.  I'm at a loss as to where I can buy a can of flocking spray.  Lowes and Home Depot don't have any.  I can buy some online but I'd like to support my local stores so the search is on.

An amusing thing happened the other day.  I have these dala horses from Sweden that my brother sent home when he was on his mission in the 70's.  I keep them high on a dividing wall between my living room and dining area.  They never get direct sunlight.

I was sitting on the couch in the living room and noticed this shadow up on the chandelier.  How curious.

What had happened is that the light shining from my backdoor on to my kitchen counter top was reflecting up on the horses

You can see the two shafts of light from my very reflective counter top forming shadows on the ceiling of the other room.

This happened once before but it was the reflection off of my son's truck windshield through the open garage door .  The light went through the window in the garage then through my round window at the corner of the entry forming a shadow on the opposite wall.  (Were you able to follow that?)  I think these horses are enchanted somehow~

Sometimes it can be discouraging to see what others have accomplished and I'm still working on the same projects.  And then, a friend of mine was looking at my blog for the first time and exclaimed, "Do you quilt every day?"

I'd like to.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

3 Marigolds

I finished quilting this little quilt.

It's easier to see the stitching in this picture.  It took longer than I wanted it too because of the quilt repair project from my previous post.  But it's done now.  I'm not sure why I decided to do regular hand stitching because it is just a wall hanging.  But, it did turn out nicely so I'm not sorry I took the time.

I quilted a number on each pot.

And three little flowers in the space between words.  I've decided to give it away to a sweet little lady in Wisconsin for Christmas.  I can't wait for her to see it.

The fall colors continue to dazzle.  These are the trees I see from my kitchen window.

And, I'm a lover of clouds  so here are a few pictures of the display yesterday.  So fascinating!

I'm  linking to the AdHoc Improve Challenge.  Go and see what other quilting innovators have done.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So pleased to be done!!!

The 1940's wool quilt repair project is done done done.  It is such a heavy quilt with a top made out of old wool coats and corduroy pants and the original wool batting.  Whoa!

I originally started this undertaking here around the middle of August.  I actually got the quilt in July but it has taken me forever to decide what to do with it.  I rinsed it 3 times in cold water in the bathtub, let it drain over night, and then spread it out on a sheet over the grass in the back yard.  The red fabric bled terribly but it didn't bleed onto the adjoining fabric - just the original backing.

The dot in the middle is lint on my camera lens.
 I put on a new back keeping the old one and the original batting.  Then I had to quilt it together.  I used rather big stitches and they aren't very uniform but I have to tell you. . . . . . . . quilting through 4 layers of wool (the maker often didn't stitch in the ditch and I followed her original quilting lines) is a hand wrenching experience.

This quilt belongs to my DIL's father.  He made the label for it above.  Click to enlarge.  When my SIL saw the label she said that this quilt went from being a ratty cast off to becoming an heirloom.  I'm pleased to be part of that process.

This holey and weakened area needed a lot of attention.

There were a number of moth holes all over the top of the quilt.  I used matching tulle and tacked it over the holes so there wouldn't be any more fraying.

The white in the upper right is paint not a hole.  You can faintly see the patch job here.

I got better at it as I went along.  Perhaps I should replace the first few patches but I'm not going to.  Done is done.

NOW, I can get to the projects I had planned before this one came along.  I can't say it too strongly, "I am so pleased to be done!!!"

Walnut in front of Maple so you can't see how dazzling it is.

We are having a gorgeous fall.  We went to see the fall colors in Sardine canyon a few weeks ago and that was especially nice.  But, the trees around my house rival anything the canyon can produce.

Cutleaf Weeping Birch

This is another angle that shows the Locust in front and the pretty Maple behind.

Usually the Locust turns yellow and drops it's leaves before anything else starts changing so it's an exceptional fall - one that hasn't happened before.

I hope you're having a stitchy day!

Wheel Quilt completed

I completed my Wheels quilt.  It's hard to see because it is hanging in my hall and the lighting is very poor.  But, it looks terrific. ...