Saturday, June 16, 2018

Across continents

  With all the problems Blogger has given us in hindering our comments reaching inboxes of email,  I wondered if our blogging days were numbered.  I am really rebelling and not willing to even pretend to go along with the new "so called rules".   Other than to state this time only.....I don't make money from this blog, I don't collect email addresses to sell or share, I don't use cookies.  You are free to comment on my posts, and I am free to respond, or delete them if I feel they are spam, or etc. 
  With that said, I love my blog time, and reading of others lives and activities.  I have made some very special and sweet friends during my years here.  They have held me up, held my hand, sent me cards and gifts.  Just become part of my life. 

 On my blog I share my know me as the "one who does water color quilts".  LOL....yeah, that is me.   The one who still buys floral fabrics, the one others send floral fabric to.  So I lavish my talent and learning on my blog.  I have tutorials, and details, lots of information to help, to lead, to guide.  I have taught on line, as well as locally, and shared every tidbit I have gleaned from the experiences.  I expend energy just passing on what I know or have learned.  It satisfies my soul.

  Today was one of those "off" days for me---health wise.  Things are rarely easy for me now since I deal daily with much pain, and peripheral neuropathy.  Energy drain gets thrown in and often I deal with "brain fog".   You get the general drift.  So little things mean a lot to me.  I look for those small things that are miracles to me now.   

   So a little while ago, I had a wonderful surprise.   I felt I received a  gift, a validation freely given that lifted me up.   In my email was a note from Evie.   I can't remember when Evie first asked questions about the watercolor quilts, but I remember giving her info and directing her to Whims for fabrics.    

  Well, her note was short and included a photo of her first watercolor project recently completed.    You see, Evie took the challenge up and did this on her own.  She learned by doing on her Vienna!

  Evie ordered fabric from Whims and turned this project into her own special creation.  I love her hummingbird applique.  She claims it is not perfect....who is....but loves it. 
  She challenged herself by adding the inset (red) border, and solved the special problems that arises from it.  And she put some shadows in the outer border.  I so love the effect.   I think she did an outstanding job on it and hope to see more from her. 


 Across the ocean on another continent, I touched someone to try.  That fills me with happiness and lifts my spirits.  It makes me get back up and fight another day.   
  Sending hugs from South Carolina to Evie in Vienna!  Thanks, you made my day.
Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Of knots and strings

Spider web by Duane Walker
  Once again I got inspired to do something with my over abundant strings.    This quilt was made by Daune Walker  who was our featured speaker at guild this month.  It has a very vintage feel, in part due to the black and white prints, I think.   It has been ages since I did a spiderweb quilt, so I wanted to test her technique.

  I did a quick search on Pinterest for spider web blocks and quilts.  At  Quilterscache  I found the style block she a different size.    And at Quiltville,  I found Bonnie's technique for the block, again in a different size.    The difference in the two versions, other than the size, is how the blocks are joined. 

  My test block parts.....I used a 12'' foundation paper for the web units.   First, I am not a fan of piecing on paper, but it really is necessary for this to keep things from warping and stretching.   Secondly, the paper triangle becomes your pattern for trimming up. 
 What I really hated was joining the two halves to form the block.  Note:  The paper was removed before joining, which made it worse.  So much movement on those bias edges. 
    So this size on tissue weight paper is not for me.  I would be lucky to finish up enough to make a table runner. 

  The next test will be a smaller size and use newsprint paper from a doodle pad.  And I am going to join them together a la Bonnie's method to form the "star" shape in the block. 

  In the meantime------

 Things are growing on the design wall.  I began putting blocks together into 4 patch units.  My garlic knot blocks are 6 1/2'',   And I love the variety.  I still have a small basket of them to sew together and another 30 or so ready to be joined in 4 patch units. 

  Summer heat is here all at once.  The featherweight is set up and I have plenty to sew on.  By the way....has anyone seen this table for the featherweight?     It is so tempting, if I could figure out a spot to set it up.  It would be nice to have a flat surface.    Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Summer arrived

  Well, summer arrived after so much rain.  The heat moved in this week.  I have been loafing and working on small projects.   I survived both doctor's appointments and tests.  Good news as I have improved enough for the cardio vascular surgeon to say "See you in a year!"  That is great news for me not to fret over every 6 months.    Small just takes forever.


   I wanted a lighter weight bag for summer.  In fact, I wanted a roomier one that I did not have to fight to stuff things into:)  Enter the idea for a zippered tote.  I found the tutorial on  the blog at Sewcanshe.   And I loved the handles she used---she linked to tutorial on creating them. 
   I had a panel print that screamed spring/summer.  Just meant for me as it is a Monet inspired watercolor print.  And I loved the colors.
  Of course, I ran out of fabric for the!  I introduced a design element by piecing two fabrics.   I just used straight lines for quilting and added a long inside pocket for my keys and phone.  Size is 12'' by 15''. 

   And another basket......smaller to hold leader and ender pairs.  Plus I wanted to try a different ending.  I found an idea for a loop that tucks the end works better than the knot. 

   This basket is slightly warped.  I realized I was pulling on the rope to straighten it as I was attaching it.  Don't do that as it will draw the basket in and not have a pretty shape.  So once I realized what I was doing, I  relaxed and just kept sewing.  The end result is okay, only a bit off kilter. 


   I have lots more sets of garlic knot blocks to stitch up.  So now, I have a handy place to toss them as I trim scraps and strips and make up sets. 

   I haven't tackled any quilting in a month.  I have one small quilt pinned, but have lacked the motivation.  Next week is free of appointments and commitments, so I am hoping to move me in that direction. 

Happy stitching. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Another bowl....just thread

    I remembered a package of corded piping that I had from a yard sale years ago.  I thought it might work for a "naked bowl".....just thread and piping cord.   Also this is a round one....much harder to get a good start on than an oval.  Or maybe I am just a bit uncoordinated.    The piping cord is smaller than the clothesline used on the previous bowl.  This is probably 1/4''.  The package did not have the size noted. 
 I started with a light blue thread but found it difficult to see where I was stitching with so little contrast.  I switched out to a darker color.  It is actually a turquoise blue.


  Since this project was just an experiment, I wanted to try to make the handle like I had seen on Pinterest.  I was getting to the end of the 15 yards in the package and wasn't sure about the size or spacing.  So I decided to get creative and do a single handle.  More of a grab handle than a pick it up handle. worked and wasn't really hard.

   The knot for finishing is just that......a plain knot left to fuzz up.  I did some extra stitching just above the knot to anchor it.   I need to develop a better ending  technique.  Guess that means I need more cording and practice. 

  I plan on using this one in the great room for when I work on the Featherweight.  It is a nice generous size about 7'' across and about 4 1/2'' high.   Since there was no fabric used to wrap around the cording, the project went together quickly.  I would say about 1 1/2 hours start to finish.  Just round and round.

   We are soggy here....rain and more.  At least it is not the heat some are having.  The tropical storm is expected to brush by us and bring lots more.  I will have to wade thru the parking lot tomorrow for my doctor's appointment, I guess.  We have already had over 4 '' rain this past week.  Now you see why I made another bowl:)

 Blogger is on the fritz right now.....comments are not going to our inbox for replies.  So I may not reply to comments.  If you have questions for now, use my email link for answers.  Thanks.  Happy stitching.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Summer Light

  A new wall hanging, door banner, or table runner.......this is for a donation to my guild's silent auction for the annual quilt show.  I debated on omitting the border.........but opted for making it  bigger for use as a banner.  I used straight line stitching  for the quilting. 

   The border is a very deep mottled green.  And I thought it needed a pop of color  to set it off. 

 The accent strip is a flange.  It is a 1''  strip that is folded in half.  The raw edges align with the edge of the pieced center.  I stitch it in place first with a long stitch.  Then the border is attached as usual.   That leaves the accent flange loose.  It is nice to create dimension.
  For the color of the is a buttery tan.  I like the way it brings out the yellow tones in the piece.

  And as I finish up each project, I have more scraps to deal with.  The extra binding from the banner was cut to make garlic knot block.  Guess I will just make these until I am full!

  The garlic knot blocks were begging to be played with too this weekend.   I joined 4 of them together to hang on the design wall.  I decided that the pieced knots will all go in one direction and create the "neutral knot" in the background.
   I have about 40 blocks made and another 15 or so clipped together to be sewn.  I treat myself to stitching a block together when I only have a short amount of time to sew.  Just for fun:)

  The string star is being pinned today, so it can go under the needle soon.  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rope bowl

 Sometimes a project has several factors that brings it to life.  In this instance I needed something to sit on my thread cabinet  to corral pins and scissors and such.   Everything I tried just slid off and I was quite concerned I would scratch its beautiful surface without a mat or something.   Secondly, the scrap strips were exploding out the drawers again.

 That's when I got inspired to make a large coiled rope bowl  for holding all those necessary items.   It has been several years since I played with the rope bowls, so I went to Pinterest to gain ideas.   Plenty of tutorials and such there, so I won't even think about doing one.
   Then I sent Sir Old Man to the hardware store for me.  I need clothesline rope.  He has learned it is better to just do as I request.  I am sure he thought I was forgetting that I have a new dryer that works great. 

    I pulled out the strip drawer and decided to cut the 2'' strips to 1''.  More twisting required but it looks neater with a narrower strip.  I can see I need to give the top edges a hair cut now! 
   Anyway, I covered lots of rope, probably 30 feet, and used lots of clips to hold things in place.   Then I filled a bobbin to match to taupe Isacord thread I planned to use.  It took me a couple of sessions to get everything zig-zagged together. 
  Bowl is about 10'' across and about 4'' high.  With the mechanic dish of pins to weight it down,  it does not slide around.  Success! 

  This is a fun project, and could just inspire me to make a few more.
Happy stitching.

Friday, May 18, 2018

From roses to coasters

   A week of rain brought the blooms out.  This is one...just one...cluster of blooms on the small heirloom rose shrub by the back porch.  There are probably 200 buds/blooms on it right now.  Very lightly scented and just perfect to enjoy inside. 

   With all the rain, I have not gotten a lot done....rain equals pain.  So I have worked in spurts and short bits to get anything accomplished. 

  Sir Old Man took me to quilt guild this week.  We had a great program by Joyce Walton and her quilting journey.  She does some traditional work, and is exploring painting art quilts too.  I was inspired by her "made fabric" borders.  Leftovers sewn into blocks similar to crumb piecing. 

  It brings to mind the cobblestone blocks that Wanda at Exuberant Color shared.     
    I used the cobblestone blocks for the background  in a favorite wall hanging, Heads Up.  I think I still have a box of leftovers from this project.   I need to look for them :)


    Update for the string star......decision made.  I cut the backing this morning.  It will not get larger after all.

   I had a few leftover blocks that did not make it into the star top.  And I sure did not want more leftover parts.  I elected to turn them into small coasters!  Much more usable that leftover blocks. These finished up at 4''.   

   Now to get the floral log cabin pinned....happy stitching.

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