Saturday, August 11, 2018

Coming in September

   Benita from Creative Space blog and Victoriana Quilt Designs is setting up a meet and greet page on her newly created blog.  She wanted a way for new bloggers --and old-- to introduce ourselves and find things that interest us.  
  I will be participating beginning September 4th with a blog post.  If you are interested in sharing your blog and joining the meet and greet, please contact her to join in.  
Happy stitching.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Looking for floral fabrics?

   I had emails asking about my floral fabric collection/stash.   I have been collecting a long, long time, so many fabrics I have are not available.  While floral prints are not the rage, there are some available.  I am going to steal a few photos of fabrics to give you an idea.

From Connecting Threads:

  While this collection looks promising, really there are only 3 or 4 fabrics that I could collect for a water color quilt project. 

1.  A good swirl with light background.
2. Large floral with some  greenish background .   This        should work.
 3 and 4 are the same print.  Both have a light background.  The green one will be a good one to bridge from a medium value area to light.  The creamy one will be a good light value with little contrast. 

If you click on the link to the website you can view the rest of the collection.  Remember I avoid anything that is dotted or looks dotted from a distance, and I avoid red backgrounds  and tonals too. 

Botanical Blooms collection looked good at first glance....until I clicked on a larger view.  Too many dots and tonals.  I did see one print, but no yardage available for it. 

From the

Botanical Society Medium Allover by Fabri-Quilt Discount Cotton Quilting Fabric by the Yard
This is a wonderful print from Fabri-Quilt.  Large and small flowers with background that will blend well.  I think I need to order more of this as I use it a lot.  And it is only $4.99!

May 22, 2018 - Fabric-4183.jpg
  An old fashioned style print that is a good dark.....dark background with small colorful blooms works well in everything.   Maybe an older Cranston print, but it still works.   There are several others here, and I love the good prices :)
   As I run across good fabrics, I will try to share the links.   Thanks for the questions. 

  No sewing this week....baking, and other stuff, but tomorrow looks clear.  Could be just me and the machine.  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My glass is half full aka The Distant View

   A finish finally on the floral log cabin quilt.  Big sigh.   I was beginning to think it would be a couple more months to pull this one off.   Yet, my wrist felt better after  a week of rest and I finished up adding the binding.
  I began working and planning this quilt in March.....this post.... has the block recipe/cutting and measurements that I used.
Then in this post in April I was beginning the layout and talked about second guessing myself in the fabric choices.

  Along the way, I did work on another quilt or two, and one had to get quilted.

   Fast forward to August and here we are!   She is done...quilted and bound.
Floral log half cabin blocks are set on point.  By paying attention to  the placement of the values of the fabric, the last round in the log cabin becomes the "trellis" that we are viewing the garden through.

      Placing the lightest value fabric at the top creates that dimensional effect of the garden in the distance.

    The setting triangles are a deep green with a faint tonal print.  I like the way it sets off the blocks and makes things pop.
While I quilted swirls thru the blocks, I stitched feathers in the setting triangles that make the border.

   To carry the florals to the edge, I debated on a floral binding.  Instead I decided on a flange binding using the floral as the faux piping.  I love how it turned out.

  I had printed up a label a few weeks ago, calling this  A Distant View.
You can see the binding flange here.

  Anyway, as I was sewing on the binding, my mind wandered.  I thought about  the trick this block creates and fools the eye to think we are viewing the distance.  And it came to me that altering our position or stance creates a different view.

Insight:   We can look backward, or forward.  Hindsight gives us wisdom sometimes.  Looking forward gives us options, choices we can make.

  So I decided this quilt should have a nickname.  And noted it on the label.  My glass is half choice as I move forward.   The last 2 years have drained my glass, yet I will not let it keep me down.  My life, my choice.

   The Crepe Myrtles in the back are almost finished with their glorious blooms.  One low hanging branch  over the deck needs to be trimmed back, but before we do that, a photo or two.

    My Glass is Half Full aka A Distant View is 55'' by 66'' .  Machine pieced and quilted with swirls and feathers.  Binding is a 2 fabric  flange binding.  I have used this several times before as it is easy for me since I only machine stitch now.  Tutorial can be found at Missouri Star Quilts.

  I'm going to relax a day or two and just enjoy this finish.  Then I will jump in and pin to quilt the garlic knots top.   Enjoy your week, and stitch on.

Happy stitching.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Artisan Bread day ends the month

    Once again I overdid it and pushed my joints/wrist/hand beyond a good and sensible level.  I wanted to claim I finished the floral log cabin quilt  this month.   I really worked over  the weekend on the border feathers, and got it done.  Got the binding cut and ready to sew.  Then yesterday I knew I had over done it. 
   So sewing was put on hold yesterday and today and the wrist support was donned.  With the pouring rain (yay!), it made sense to just make some bread.  I found a very simple, no kneading, recipe for crusty artisan bread.  The video made it look easy and tasty. 
   It was simple to assemble, a little stir, and cover.  Eight hours later it filled my bowl. was quite tasty for such a simple effort.  Chewy and a good crust smeared with butter.....yum!
  I did not cook it covered in a dutch oven, but rather made two smaller boules baked on parchment lined pan.  Sir Old man just sprayed/misted with water half way thru the baking. 
   Next time I want to add fresh chopped rosemary with sea salt on the top.

So my month did not end as I envisioned.  Instead July went like this........

  • Garlic Knots top assembled and detail photo of the border.
  •  Cutting and sorting began for the new 2018 leader/ender challenge, Jewel Box Star.
  • Spider Web string blocks were made, and joined into a top.  Border is in the works.
  • Quilted the floral Log Cabin photo yet.

August plans---can you believe it is August already?  Two days of rest and the inflammation is better.....I will be good and rest the wrist the remainder of  this week.  So August plans are simple.  
  •   Finish the log cabin quilt....trim, square and bind.
  •   Finish the spider web string top.....border to be added.
  •   Pin the garlic knots quilt.
  •   Don't forget the coiled baskets for Christmas gifts.

 And I will read and enjoy the rain  for now.  Happy stitching. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Stabilized by a border

    On my list for the week was to join the string blocks for the Spider Web, and to add the first border to stabilize the top.
  I cut a 3 1/2'' strip of the various black and white prints for that first border.  I just wanted to mix them up like I did for the "star" parts.

  Once the rows were joined I measured--twice--both top and bottom to check the width.  37''---right as it should be.  That was easy, so I cut the correct measurement for top and bottom and got them attached.  I held my breath as I stitched.....strings are notorious for growing  every minute they are free.

  Then I measured sides.....sure enough one side was expanding as I looked at it.  That side was gaining weight faster than I can eat chocolate.  It was 3/4'' larger on the second measurement.  So I took the average of both sides and cut the borders at  57''.   Quick to the machine and tame those bias edges.  Deep sigh of relief when all came out evenly.
    For some people bias may behave nicely, and just lie there all sleepy and relaxed, but I have never had such good fortune land on my sewing table.  So I generally have to work harder to get even sides/borders etc. when working with bias.

   Now, I can finish up the stringy piano keys style border.  One tip here that I learned the hard way when making coin strips.
  Work in short sections of about 12'' - 15''.   Trim and even up the sides, top and bottom of strip section.  Then move on to joining the sections together for the needed length.  This tip will keep your border straighter instead of curving or listing to one side like a drunken sailor!
    I have enough sections for 3 sides, just a few more to stitch.

      But first, I need to match up some more leader/enders!   I almost emptied  what I had prepared, just 4 triangles left to stitch together.     The blue bin was full of  parts to sew as L/E while making the border and joining the blocks of the Spider Web. 

So I will add to the list to press the 4 patches and HSTs, and match up some more.

  Here is one quarter section for the Jewel Box Star that is the new L/E.  I couldn't resist trying at least one section to see how it would look.   Should be a surprise!

Happy stitching. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

One more to go

 I still can't count.  I thought I made enough  I am 4 short or enough for 1 full block. 

  This is 11 blocks and it will be large enough.  I am adding a black and white strip for an inner border and then string border  of leftovers for an outer border. 

  I found I got a more accurate block by removing at least part of the paper before joining the 4 sections into a block.  Mainly I removed the ends and the portion behind the black and white kite piece.  The purchased foundation tears nicely and comes off easily.....but there is still the mess of it all.  The price you pay for using the papers, I guess. 

  My plan for the week to end the month is to make one more block, and get the rows joined as I stitch together the leftover border.

  On the quilting front....machine cleaned and progress is being made.  Only 1 side left to quilt for the border on the the floral log cabin.   So I will end the month with this one quilted.  Binding to follow. 



Saturday, July 21, 2018

Spider web on my wall

   I began to assemble the blocks for the string spider web project.     This is where it began with large triangle sections with a center kite shape piece--the black and white print, and strings on the sides.    It is hard to get the full picture of how it will come together from this, so hang on. 

   I elected to go easy on myself and ordered pre-cut foundation papers from Missouri Star.  A big life saver for me.  The sections are large....13'' on the long side.   Four of the triangle units are joined to create the center "star" and the web appears as the blocks are joined. 

  What a difference on the design wall to see things come together!  So far I have 5 blocks on the wall.  And the webs are beginning to appear.  One thing I am seeing are the ends....tiny points are going to disappear when I sew the blocks together.  So that's a tip....don't go too small on the ends of the string section. 

   I am going for 12 at this point,  but I think 15 will be the end.  With borders it would be a twin size and probably very heavy with all those seams. 

  For some variety, I am quilting a little each day on the log cabin floral quilt.  The center sections are done in swirls and I am adding feathers and loops in the border.  I thought I would use a green thread for the border.....but it matched so well I couldn't see where I was stitching.  A switch to a medium gray was a sight saver on this one.  All was going well until.....I ran out of bobbin.  That means a good cleaning is due as well. 

  So I will be tearing papers and cleaning Hot Legs for my weekend workings. 
Happy stitching. 
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