Monday, March 2, 2015

March's beginnings......

  This is the beginning of the new Let's Book It project that I shared a hint about.
  The book is an older one....Awash with Color by Judy Turner.  On the left you can see my foundation pieces that I cut for the string piecing.   I am using some very old, very thin men's shirting fabric I was "gifted" with a while back.  I figured there was no reason to let it go to waste.  

  Taking a break from the feather quilting, I used some string piecing as a little therapy. I am using a 6 1/2" foundation---perfect size because I have that ruler.  I am not being strict about the fabric strings, and you will probably see a few that "read" as more solid than floral.  I just need to clear out a ton of these pieces.  My pieces range from real strings to 1 1/2", and maybe a few wider ones thrown in.
    What I am paying attention to is the value.  That means a dark assortment, and a light assortment.  The light assortment has a range to it....from very light to a light medium value.   The dark group must read darker  when viewed through the value viewer or ruby beholder.

And once again, I am not following all the directions for construction.  The technique taught in the book is a "quilt as you go" technique where you actually piece the strips onto batting and backing.  When you join the blocks they are already "quilted" from the piecing.  Of course that means you need to as a binding strip when assembling to cover the seams on back.  I have done this once, hated it, and won't do it again.  I will stick to the traditional assembly for this.
     So with just 6 blocks completed, you can get an idea of what will develop.  This could be done with batiks, or different color and greens would be so soothing.

   I have 2 more rows of those feathers to do.....I am past the long center rows, so it will move along faster now.  They were a little struggle, and I know where the "goofs" are....but once it is done and washed you will probably never find them!  I really appreciated a short video that the Impera Magna shared by Angela Walters.  She shared her 3 things that quilters should do to enjoy the quilting process more.   I love the part where she said "Comparison is the thief of joy."   And I might add, so is fear.  That's the word this comparing and no fear.....just get it quilted.  Happy stitching.   

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dancing Wings and the end of the month

   A quick glance at this quilt tossed over the chair this morning, and I realized the "wings" seemed to be dancing.....twisting, turning, and spinning around.  That settled the name.....Dancing Wings.

  Colorful wings in blue, pink, rose, purple, turquoise, and yellow  are made with strings of fabric blended by value. Here is the post where I discussed the blending.

   The triangular wings are different sizes,too.  The purple one is my favorite one......or maybe the  turquoise?
   I finished off a couple of mini-bolts to complete this one.  A darker green backing, the lighter green for the border and the pink binding.  Ah, a little breathing room in the stash closet.

   From stings to dancing wings, this was fun project that evolved on its own.  I think it will satisfy Chad's request and Amber's motif plans.

Finishes for the month of February......

   A candle mat for Valentine's Day.

   Table runner in blue and white in the Disappearing Hourglass pattern.

Quilting and binding for a Habitat for  Humanity quilt.

And finally....progress on the English Garden quilt.  Another row of feathers done on this quilt started in January.    It is my current Let's Book It Project.   A few more sessions with Hot Legs and I think I will get it done next month.

   Which means, I need another Let's Book It plan.  Read about the Let's Book It project, hop over here to visit Sharon at Vroomans Quilts.    She is our enabler/motivator to pull those books of ideas off the shelf and make something great.
  This is my choice.....a string quilt.....but more on that next month.  The sun is shing here and I need to enjoy it while I can.  Happy stitching.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday finds #6

From  Kaufman Fabrics
    A free PDF is available for this sling bag in 2 sizes.  It has an adjustable strap---shoulder or over the head---that will leave the hands free for fondling fabrics!  A cute bag for spring/summer whether made of denim, twill, or our favorite cottons.  

As Blogger has announced that  they will no longer allow certain sexually explicit content after March 23...have I been reading the wrong blogs?  Anyway,  I am throwing this one in.   Proceed with caution, and use your

Great way to recycle jeans.  The bigger the jeans, the bigger the bag.  The comment  on this pin was that the bigger the jeans, the bigger the bag!
See others here.   No tutorial, just I sad use your imagination!   With the waistband and pockets, this would be great for a workshop tote.  (Wonder how big this guy was.)   Just add handles by top stitching in place.   Looks like the lining was merely inserted and top stitched too.  Square off the bottom and call it a day.

As always, please visit the original post to pin rather than pinning from here.   
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New forecast

     I got a text message at 7:30 am from my brother....."Got snow?"  I had to laugh....yep, we got enough to close schools.  Translated to the folks who really have snow--big, deep snow---that is about 1-2 inches here.  For my sun-drenched, snow starved brother that was enough to wish he could fly up for the day.   I told him to wait until Thursday, the real snow arrives then....or so the "forecasters" (and I use that term very loosely in this area) have predicted.  The photo shows all that is left after  our "minor event".
    Still, I elected not to venture out.....I sent Sir Old Man to the Fresh Market  for the Tuesday specials.....with a list!  I have learned not to trust him in the market without one.  Instead of getting all bundled up, I turned on Hot Legs and got to work.  

   I finished up the quilting on the baby quilt of butterfly wings. I used a basic stipple, a few hearts, added antennas to the butterflies, and threw in a few feathers.  I know I overdid it....but I was on a roll.   I need to square it all up and add the binding.  Then make a a name to suggest?  I am blank right now for one.

    While I was zooming right along, I started quilting on the English Garden quilt.   This one is going to take several sittings to get the feathery things done.  One pass done, and about 7 more to do......

    Forecast for the end of the month.....2 done, 1 in the works, new project cut and waiting, and another planned.   Personally, I like my forecast better than the one on the radio!  Happy stitching.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A little thawing please

  After 4 days of temperatures not reaching the 32 degree mark, I was ready for some "warmer" temps!  It was too cold to even stick your nose outside and so the result is a little cabin fever here.
  I managed to stay busy.....taxes are done, and helped  Sir Old Man with the final paper work for his Dad, which has gone surprisingly smooth.  I also spent a long day re-vamping supply lists, and handouts for a watercolor workshop I will be doing.  

   Quilting and binding on a Habitat for Humanity quilt is done!    I mentioned this earlier I know, and it had been hanging around way too long.  It was still too cold for me to do a real photo I grabbed a couple of photos as quick as I could.  This is a very scrappy rail fence block that creates a woven design.  I only did the quilting and binding on it.

 One reason I put it off was the backing......really, it is an ugly fabric.  And to top it off, the yardage I was given was 4 inches too short.   This  meant I had to creatively piece it running across the quilt on its side rather than top to bottom.  LOL.....someone may get sea sick looking at the back of this one.

    Then I spent a day basting the butterfly wings baby quilt  and the English Garden quilt.  It was a sunny day to spent in the sun room with clamps and pins.   Our breakfast table is out there and a nice size for pinning smaller quilts.    You might notice the border here.  I nixed my original idea of a picket fence.  I did a small section and realized it was too busy and over whelmed the butterflies.  So I used the old faithful  simple border.

    It was more of a struggle with the English Garden quilt, as it is almost full size.  I had to shift it and re-clamp 4 times to get it completed....but I wasn't going any where and it was sunny out there.   It is ready to go under the needle now.
   Did I mention that I am already tired of the gray days and cold temps?   I think I have that seasonal disorder....I need bright sunlight on a more regular basis.  Guess I need one of those special lamps.   But then, come summer I will whine about the heat.......:)D
   Tomorrow is a grocery run......freezer is getting bare after a full week of lunches and dinners.  And I will finish cutting fabrics for a future project, a repeat of a favorite.  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Of wings and strings

  We visited with a young couple, who are expecting their first child,  over the weekend.  My intention was to make a pinwheel quilt for the their little angel who is expected in 2 months.  Then Amber started talking butterflies, and Chad chimed in with  his "I'm expecting something great" comment.  Oh, boy!

  I looked thru patterns and books and found a unique setting using log cabin blocks to make butterflies.  Only it required about 6 various block types to create the illusion of butterflies......way more than I wanted to tackle.  I checked Pinterest and then my computer files that had been saved.   There I found inspiration.  Butterfly wings composed of strings.  The original file was a modern version with uneven size "wings " of mixed pattern strips.  Of course, I needed to blend the fabrics, and decided to use several color ways for the butterflies.

   I cut squares of light background fabric at 6 1/2".   I matched up pairs of these squares and then I cut off one corner---to reduce bulk.  Each pair of squares was chopped differently so that there would be variation in sizes, just to provide some interest.

   Then I pulled strips in the desired color and began the blending.  Some sets were blended by value from light to dark in the corner, and others were done in reverse shading.   Once I was happy with the arrangement, I began to sew.

    Sewn, and now to trim and square up to 6 1/2" square.  And I have a pair of wings!   Now repeat......

    A few sets up on the design wall will give you an idea of where I am heading. I will get the wings assembled and decide on the border.  

  I sewed while the sleet was pinging on the windows.  It continued most of the night and was followed by freezing drizzle.  We awoke to  a sleet coated yard and roofs with trees dressed in crystal ice.  Beautiful to see but a danger to be outside.  A hard freeze is expected tonight, so everything will be slick and dangerous tomorrow also.  As long as we have power, I have stings to sew.    Happy stitching.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

2 patch + 4 patch

   I am not starting this project right away....but thought I would share my sleuthing on this.
  This pin is all over Pinterest....with no info or original source.  It is bright and colorful, yet the photo is sort of misleading.  It's a zig-zag pattern, but exactly what block was used?   I had to figure out the pattern.
  So the detective in me emerged and I  began to use my special  quilt block vision........
2+4=6.......that is what I needed!    A six patch unit to turn into a rail fence variation.

Rail Fence variation using EQ7

  Next I went to EQ and drew out the Rail Fence variation.  Then I set the blocks into a quilt.....yep, that was it. Instead of 3 strips to form the rails, 2 of those "rails" were composed of 6 squares.   It is very easy to put together 6 squares from 2 patches.

   By using 2 1/2" squares and  a plain strip the block will be 6 1/2" unfinished.    If you prefer 2" squares and a plain strip, the block will be  5" unfinished.

The overall setting is just like a traditional rail fence with easy block alternating---on its side and then straight, and repeat.

    I pulled out my box of 2 patch and 4 patch pieces to do a test.  I keep a stack of squares by my machine to use as leaders/enders, so I have a bit of inventory with which to work.   This will be a scrappy version.  I think it might be interesting done in color ways for the, green, red, purple.....maybe as a future project.  
   Anyway, mystery solved for the pattern.  The Quilting Queen did it in the studio with a rotary cutter!  I can put away my detective garb and get back to stitching.   I have a baby quilt to design and get busy on.....glad to have a project with the winter storm forecast of snow and ice.....yuck!  But wait till you see the blocks......butterfly and strings are in my forecast!
Happy stitching.  
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