Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Now on the design wall

  The design wall was empty, and I can't stand that blank space staring at me.  So I put up a few of the rail fence blocks I have been building.   Once again the floral strips are being used.  Four of the 2'' strips make up these units.  At least one dark, a couple of mediums prints, and one light  used to create a blended effect.  Then they just zig zag across and down.   Once I sort and pin each batch, the sewing is mindless and perfect to do while watching a movie.

  The sorting, purging and such is still continuing a little each day.  I have emptied 6 different leftover project boxes that just got put back on the shelf.  So a benefit is I am creating space, as well as finding useful leftovers.  Of course, I probably won't have any problem filling it back up.

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 And then I saw this on FB from Mary Jo's----a mecca of a fabric store in Gaffney.   That's me.  I have promised, tried, avowed this very thing.  And then I laughed at myself and went shopping for one more piece of fabric.
  I haven't tackled the fabric stash closet yet......tomorrow maybe.  Ha!
Enjoy your day....happy stitching.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Discoveries

  I will be spending lots of time sorting, purging, shifting everything in the sewing room.  It all has to be moved out for some foundation repairs to be done to the house next month.  The thought of the disruption and such that go with it is enough.  Then they said the back room.....my sewing room....ugh.  No one, and I mean no one, knows how much "STUFF" is tucked away there.



    It is amazing what can be discovered in the depths of the sewing room!  Items forgotten and never remembered, items lost/misplaced, hand offs meant for completion.....and so on.  I started on the 2 book shelves and these 4 items were my discoveries of the day:   A stack of small layered raw edge applique blocks.....enough for a small quilt.   Embroidered hankie that will turn into a mug rug for gifting.   Magazine tear out with perfect instructions for making HSTs from strips.  Handbag pattern....the X Bag.
  These I set aside as small things I want to indulge in, as time presents itself or I need stress relief!   I also set aside a huge stack of books that I culled from the shelves......Sir Old Man's cousin gets first dibs on them.


   So here I am sorting and purging and the mail comes........a small package from JHittle of notions that I ordered!  Not pictured are the small snips and machine oil for use with the Featherweight.  The rotary cutter blades are generic and 10 to a pack.  Luckily the notions are small and won't be such a problem to move as the rest of the stuff.  A bigger problem is where to relocate for a week......probably in the garage for most of it, and the machines in the guest bedroom.  
  But today, I think I will piece strips on the FW as I catch a movie.....just to not think on it all.
Happy stitching.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Watercolor and workshop

  I didn't get a post done to share the watercolor experimental piece.  Last month I shared the collection of units made with 2'' floral squares.  I ended up with 12 of them.  The fused blocks started at 14'', and when the seams were sewn  ended up as 10 1/2''.







    I played with various layouts but kept returning to this style with the light areas spreading in a diagonal across the top.  In the end I decided to sash them together.  If you have visited before, you are aware that it is not a favorite technique of mine.    Yet, I thought it was needed for this top.  I used various very light florals as the sashings....to define the block units and blend where the light areas moved from one block to another.
  Then a band of 2'' strips were added around the outer side.  I am thinking it needs one more round of dark floral fabrics.  For now it is on the design wall.





 
 
Tuesday was a great workshop.  All eight were fairly new to the concept of blending fabrics and value.  A couple were very much worried about using different colors.....until I kept tossing in colors they hadn't thought to choose.  Anyway,  a few of the projects in process.  My photos aren't great but you can see how they began.

       







         
   I had them begin designing after sorting the values of squares.  Light areas were decided on and then the darker areas--usually at the bottom were laid out.    I made the rounds as they worked, pointing at areas that needed some tweaking.  And
always pushing the value viewer, and smoothing hard lines.

  The one fabric lacking.....light values!  We flipped a lot of squares over to get light enough values.   No surprise there, so before another workshop, I need to scope out more light values.





 

   At the end of 4 hours, everyone had a fused piece to take home and sew.   I asked for finished photos to share here, so I am expecting some really good results.

  Sir Old Man was useful as always...beyond lugging and toting the supplies, He helped iron some final pieces!  I could not teach without him.

   I ended the day with a short nap, and long shower.  Pure bliss.

Happy stitching.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fortune cookie says.......


   My fortune cookie contained a very specific message for me last week.  It was a kick in the pants actually.  Here I was feeling bad----sinus infection, weak, and feverish----feasting on Hot and Sour Soup and the message came.

Is anything more finger pointing than that?  Who has been peeking in my head?    There are no coincidences in life....things happen for a reason even if you miss the point.  Believe me I got the point on this one.  Let nothing stop you, no matter where you are.   Just keep getting back up.  

  The tree crew returned to grind up two stumps and check that we were happy with their efforts.  A resounding yes.....even though we have tons of things left to do.  They gave the featured Black Pine a good shaping and trimming.  It now looks like a sculpted tree rather than a huge bushy thing.
    The tree specialist said the severe pruning would  or could cause a shock to the trees and shrubs.  They might be slower growing this season.  He words were to the effect they needed to re-group and rest a while.  Once again......another person's words were directed right at me.  I get quite frustrated/upset/annoyed even when I need more rest than usual.   So this double whammy to me needs to be remembered.


     Enjoy family time this weekend.  Happy Easter......happy stitching.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hang in on the fence!

  
     Isn't this cute!  I saw this on Facebook at Quiltville Open Studio.  Apologies to Hannah, I think,  who posted it for stealing her photo.....you can't pin from FB.  What a pain.  She hung her quilt block sign on a fence portion that hides the trash can!  I so love this.  Since I have a woodworker around I think I could get him to work on something like this....big grin! 



   I have been resting/recouping/ etc. from the second round of antibiotics.  It was not an infected tooth but a sinus infection that jumped up and grabbed me.  The dental work did cause some facial swelling/tissue damage that provided a perfect environment for the sinuses to flare.  Perfect season for it too....the pollen is everywhere and turns us all that yellow-green.


  In the meantime, the tree crew came by twice  and removed 2 trees and trimmed up lots of overgrown trees and shrubs.  I managed to pull a few weeds and trim up a small rose bush one morning.  I just needed to get my hands dirty.  
   
    I have made little progress for the month's plans.......other than sashing the watercolor blocks.  I hope to get it pressed tomorrow at least.  And maybe get the 9  patch pinned for quilting this weekend.  

  Just back from doing a trunk show for the Busy Bees in Fountain Inn....a large fun group.  I have been saving up energy for this.  It was a great time and big thanks to Sir Old Man and Tony Fig for helping out with the quilts.   The workshop is next week and it is full.  So I am really looking forward to it.  
Happy stitching.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

New month, more plans

   I am glad March is behind me.....my face/jaw is back to normal size, and antibiotics will be finished up today.  Time to look ahead and make new plans.

 I did well getting thru the plans for the month, all done with no new starts.
  Quilts are stacked for the guild program and handouts and packets ready for the workshop.

   March had a finish.....
Lavender Scents, the floral bargello.  This is a small size lap quilt, 38'' by 50''.


  Watercolor blocks.....12 completed.  I plan on getting them joined with sashing for a small top.










   And a final assembly to a top for the 9 patch blocks.  I also cut and made the binding for this quilt.  I will be using  2 fabrics to make a flange  binding.  This quilt top is 59'' by 63'', so it will be the quilt project of the month.....lol.




  I am keeping plans on the light side for April......

  • Pin and quilt the 9 patch.
  • Add sashing and join the watercolor blocks.
  • Continue leader/ender 4 patch units.
  • Guild program for Busy Bees Guild.
  • Workshop for Busy Bee group.
And some yard work needs to be done.....right now I am pulling weeds in the front bed after the tree crew removed two trees and a few over grown shrubs. They will return next week to finish in the back.
Knock on wood....I return to the dentist for the crown in 3 weeks.

Today is April Fools for most people.....but it is Happy Birthday to our daughter. 
Happy stitching.




Monday, March 27, 2017

Bargello questions

    Emails and questions about the bargello quilts I have done came in over the weekend.  Everyone asked for the pattern.....I can only give you the book for the technique, you must plan for yourself.
    I refer to them as bargello, but truthfully my projects are more of a "bargello-style".   The most recent one, Lavender Scents, is done  in the matched bargello technique, but the previous ones employed the technique Eleanor Burns teaches in Quilt Trip Quilts.    Find the book on her site, or Amazon, or if you are lucky in a used book shop.  I did!



    Her technique uses a dropped square so that you do not match every seam.  I have done several Trip Around the World quilts this way.    You still end up with the staggered effect of a traditional TAW quilt.


 And like the commercials say...."But wait there is more."
 


Toward the back of the book  in the gallery of quilts are luscious  quarter trip quilts.  They inspired me to experiment with blending some fabrics for a waterfall background.
  Evening Serenade is from 2010, and is the same technique, only it is  a quarter of a TAW.  This is Eleanor's quick trip!  This was so successful I went on to make a few and even one for a wedding gift.

 So here's a collage of bargello and bargello-style quilts.


  Top, left is the wedding gift quilt....quick quarter trip.
  Top, right.....Catching the Light from 2015, florals, quick quarter trip.
  Bottom, left.....Lavender Scents.....matched bargello in florals.
  Bottom center.....Just Go with the Flow....blended, quick quarter trip.
  Bottom, right.....Shenandoah Colors.....from 2009, king size, quick quarter trip.

  It's fun to look back and compare similar quilts and styles.
What have I learned -----

  •  My natural inclination is from left to right :)
  • Deciding on the color way is the first step, and the hardest.  
  • Be sure to make a color card chart like the book says!
  • The narrowest sub-cuts I like are 1 1/4''.  The narrower the strips are cut, the faster the pattern drops when sewn back together.
  • My favorite border is the mix leftovers on Go with the Flow.
  •  I love the  technique of Eleanor Burns.....faster and less matching, and less chance for me to make a big mess.   

    After the dental adventure last week, I now seem to have developed an infection with swollen face, sore teeth, etc.  Sir Old man tracked our dentist down---he was at Comi-Con---and got antibiotic ordered in.  Hopefully, that will work and clear me up by the end of the week.   Dr. Scott called at 8 am this morning to check on me....I have to give him daily reports this week.  Such is my life :)
Happy stitching.

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