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.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Sweet Land of Liberty February Block

I've been working on the Sweet Land of Liberty blocks for February today.  I finished the angel block just now.  I sewed the flying geese and attached them to the top after I took this picture.

I originally cut out a white wing but the background was too light for it to show up and the block needed more color so I chose gold.  It looks more like a cape wildly flying in the wind than angel wings but it's done and done.  I had to piece the backing to have a big enough piece.  You can see the seam line if you look carefully just under the feet and across to the hand. 

I made the box for the lettering look like a scroll.  I could never really figure out how to make the one that is included in the pattern.  Sometimes instructions just don't gel with me and this letter box pattern with minimal instructions was one of them. 

I'm having a hard time getting excited about the Olympics.  I usually can't wait and the Winter Olympics are my favorite.  I think it's because winter never really came this year.  We had one really good snow storm and a smattering of rain but it's been in the 50's for weeks.  I think Mother Nature let me down this. year.

I know, you're all saying, "We'd gladly give you some of our snow."

I really wish you could!!!

I just finished Jane Austen's Persuasion

  I've seen the movie numerous times, the BBC version.   Click on the BBC link for the video trailer, Most Faithful to the Book and Most...