Wednesday, February 14, 2018


  Nothing says Valentine's Day like Valentine wall hanging is called Red Hots.  It is from 2013 but gets pulled out every year to enjoy.  My original post is here.   Here is the new link to the pattern layout.   (Note:  The time to download and save a pattern is when you see if.  Later it may be gone)  There is a scaled down version now for a pillow too.  Design is by Jane Spolar.    I simplified the design for mine. 
    So red hot, heart felt wishes for a great Valentine's Day.  Or maybe some sunshine, chocolate and hot coffee.  Either way, enjoy your day.
Happy stitching.

Friday, February 9, 2018

More box blocks and lamp base

  I use several swing arm lamps for extra lighting when sewing and also quilting on the Tiara---aka Hot Legs.  A week or so ago, the one over my machine would not stand up and kept falling over.  I thought the spring has  But no, the base support was cracked and could not hold the lamp upright.  Sir Old Man to the rescue---once again.    Scrap wood, glue, drill, sand....etc, and I had a new strong base support for the lamp by the sewing machine.   

 Since he had it figured out now, it was easy to make a couple more bases for the swing arm lamps over the Tiara.    These are the type that are screwed to the edge of the table and the base drops into the support. 
   No more sewing and stitching in shadow land!  And the wood is so much prettier than black plastic! 

   I haven't done a lot of sewing this week......mainly just more of the same.  By that I mean more Boxed Square blocks.    I have cut thru my boxes of cut strips for these 90 floral blocks.    Gulp!  I think I noticed one duplicate floral fabric.
  Anyway, these blocks will be 4 1/2'' this would be 40'' by 45'' if sewn now.    So I need to decide if I want to duplicate fabric and go larger,  or hunt in the closet for more uncut fabrics,  or stay smaller in size and add borders.  We won't include the option of stash enhancement/shopping trip.  Not for floral 

   Seeing the photo.....I am leaning towards larger.....I really like this floral mix a lot.  I will ponder this question as I assemble some Crossroads blocks I had forgotten as well as stitch a few garlic knot blocks too.  Heavy rain predicted for the weekend, so it will be a good one for stitching.  Happy stitching.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Florals and scraps

  I started making Boxed Squares  from Mary Quilts last side-tracked to finish up the bed runners, and finally got back to them.  Now they are filling up the design wall.    I haven't decided how big I want to go. 

  The blocks I am making are small...5'' unfinshed.  My strips are 2'' rather than 2 1/2''---because that is what I have a lot of!   So right now this would sew up to about 31'' by 36''. 
  Yes, more, I need to cut more parts.    I am using floral strips for this one, and just playing light again dark, usually.  There are a few thrown in that can go either way.  Be warned....making these are fun and addictive.  Like  potato chips....just one more!

So since I was cutting for the Boxed Squares, I looked at my "intend to make list".   I had pulled out a page from an old Quiltmaker magazine.  One of Bonnie Hunter's Scrap columns.....Garlic Knots.    The block is also known as Arrowhead.

  I am cutting scraps as I go and stacking them on a deli tray for sorting/pairing.  I put together 2  blocks for samples to make sure I was  cutting enough pieces.    The  neutral backgrounds are going to be mixed probably in the blocks and that is fine with me. 
  I am changing up my piecing a bit from Bonnie.  I am assembling the block as 4 patch units.  It works better for me for some reason. 
Keep stitching:)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New snack mats

   While I was making the watercolor place mats, I put together a couple of snack mats.    A mug rug is not big enough for the island in the kitchen, and place mats are slightly too large.....snack mats are just right for here!


   The size is about 9'' by 12''.  Perfect for a small plate and drink.  I used leftover binding strips to finish these off.    Since these will get a lot of wear and be washed over and over, I use a zig-zag stitch to finish the binding on the front.

    I watch Bonnie on Quilt-cam while finishing up all my bindings and started on some of the Boxes  Squared blocks that I had cut.   She shared her new pressing mat made from Alpaca fur.  Interesting......not sure I need one, but I am tempted.   Maybe I will check it out a bit more. 
Happy stitching.  

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Country Garden bed runner

  Done!   The Country Garden bed runner was finished off with a mottled purple binding.  Since the blocks and floral fabrics used were on the lighter side of the spectrum, it seemed to work.

  This runner is a good study in contrasts.  some of the combinations are very high contrast of light and dark, and others are less so with both fabrics tending to the light. 

 The Country Garden  is a mix of every sort of bloom, and leaves run the gamut from green to blue-green to a taupe-lavender.  It's my garden and I made it a fun one.   I see sunshine in the light backgrounds  and blooming roses and daffodils.   If you study it closely you might find the weeds I never got to pull :)

   Quite a contrast between the can see why I had a challenge getting them to work nicely together in one quilt. 

     The blocks are 16 patch made with 2 '' strips.  I used 3 blocks across and 10 blocks for the length.  The post for the Shade Garden is here.

  The tale of two gardens comes to  an end.   I have two runners for bed or switch out with the season or mood.  It just will depend on the story I want to tell. 
Happy stitching. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Shade Garden

  Things got away from me this week and I forgot to finish up this post.
     In November, I began playing with 16 patch blocks.   I was having fun with floral fabrics and contrasts of more solid/tonal fabrics.   The 16 patch block is quite addictive and I just kept making sombinations. 
   Along the way, I realized that I had two distinct moods to the blocks I was creating.  I referred to them as "shade garden" and "country garden'' blocks.  I had a hard time merging them into one quilt.  So they became 2 different projects. 

   I decided I wanted to make a bed runner for different seasons.  This is the first, "Shade Garden". 
    The floral fabrics are like spots of sunlight that peek thru the shaded garden.  This version has  the accent/contrast on the darker side for this runner.

  The block size is 6'' when using 2'' strips.  The runner is 18'' wide.....and 66'' long. 
  Photo on the right shows the different combos of fabrics that I used. 


    Simple swirl quilting all over and one of the abundant florals in my collection for the binding. 

   The Country Garden version is ready to bind and will be finished soon:)  Then I can do a better comparison.
Happy stitching. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Watercolor place mats and values

  The place mats generated a lot of emails and comments.  I put together this collage that includes:

  •  the work in progress,
  •  the finished place mat and 
  • a couple of guides for layout of the values.   
I am hoping you can click on the photo and open it in a separate window to print for reference.    Remember this is a guide for achieving a blend, not an absolute.  Every fabric combination will give different results.  The look will be different with the same fabrics depending on how each one is cut and how you place them.  

  Basically I used about 5 values of floral fabrics.  The very lightest fabrics create the focal point of light.   Next lighter value  has an obvious print on a light background.  
Then the medium value prints  on tan, cream, light green or pale yellow background.  Darker medium values that tend to be darker overall and usually have little background showing come next.  The darkest values have dark backgrounds and dark prints.  

     So if you wish to try this technique on a small project, head to the stash and cut some squares.  Prints ---floral, paisley, swirly fabrics work great and are the easiest to blend.  Here's a post on selecting fabrics.    And a post on value    You don't need a lot of any one or two squares are fine.  But you will need variety...the more choices the better.  

For full details on using the gridded interfacing see the tutorial  Design a Watercolor page under the banner.  

 And for added inspiration visit Wanda at Exuberant Color for excellent details on how she sorts values, and works her magic in colorwash with batik fabrics.  

I will pull some fabrics and hopefully have more insight to share next time.  So let me know if you have more questions. 
Happy stitching.  
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