Monday, March 30, 2015

Where my feet may fall

  Ah, Spring!  Time of warmer temperatures, trees leafed out, and flowers in bloom, and garden tours.  When the garden club offered tours of home gardens, we often went.  The variety of styles and settings were a delight and enjoyable  afternoon.

   Formal gardens offer  paths that pass by lush plantings  in rows and borders.  Generally, they will direct your walk to a focal point.  It may be a gazebo, a fountain, or just a bench under a large tree.  Informal gardens are more relaxed, allowing you to wander and freely pick your direction.  Their sense of order are often contained in island beds around a clump of shrubs, or a tree.

   I loved both.  I would find myself stepping off the path, bending under a tree branch to see a hidden clump of iris in bloom.  Or maybe I would spot a nesting bird under a bush.   Passing by a fountain, I would lightly touch the droplets of water on the surface, or just admire the mist that was formed by the spray.
    I would catch sight a cottage garden bed and stop to enjoy the array of finery.   Tightly planted clumps of perennials that have intermingled over time and give a method to the madness  are  the absolute favorite of mine.   No fear in this style of garden, as anything goes.    Maybe you can catch a glimpse of  each style in this recent project, called Where my Feet May Fall.


       I found this project, English Garden,  in a book by the Palouse Patchers.  I selected it for a Let's Book It project. And for once....I almost followed the pattern....lol.  I only changed the size of strips to 2" for my version.
 Here's the post where I began.  
A post as it became a top.....click here.
On to how I created the blended border....click here.
And finally the quilting.....click here.  




    I was initially attracted by the watercolor border.  All those 2" squares just jumped up and called to me.  Luckily I had a ready stash on hand, so there were plenty from which to chose.   I refer to the "blocks" in the center of the quilt as atypical log cabins.  After piecing the 4 dozen of them that were required, I got the hang of their construction.  I loved the open space of the background area, as it begged me to fill it with feathers.  Although I admit, I was glad to  see them come to an end.....I was feathered out.





  Early morning light while the dew is still covering  the garden greenery provides a perfect time to visit this garden quilt.  The shadows of light and dark in the border mimic the shadows you find at this time of day.






 

  If you ask how many different floral fabrics I used for the border, my answer would be.....wicked grin and a wink.....I can't count that high!  I must say I just about depleted all the squares I had cut and stashed.  Time to replenish the trays.







 The backing fabric is a black and white print of butterflies.

    Where My Feet May Fall  is 64" by 84".  Labeled, bound, and done!











Let's Book It project.....actually selected and cut in December 2014.  Sewing began in January. ...okay, I take a few months to get these big ones done.   Without the motivation of Let's Book It, I might never have taken this journey into the garden.  Thanks to Sharon at Vrooman's quilts for enabling me!

Linking to Let's Book It.
Check out what other's booked this month!

Happy stitching.....see you next month!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday finds March 27

A mixed bag today.  Can you tell I am having fun as I look at things around the world?  With an eye open for inspiration, I found these  on Pinterest this week.

Quilt blocks made from vintage embroidery
From Hen House
   I love vintage linens, especially those with embroidered designs.  Sadly, they often have damaged areas, or are badly stained from time.  Hen House recycled the pretty part and created a mixed bag of blocks from her strip stash.  And she has an amazing stack of fabrics  from which to select.    She turned the blocks into a lovely quilt.  I would be inspired to create mug rugs, table runners, or small gift bags from some of these.











Blue Roses Shabby Chic Floral Fabric Easy Pre-Cut Quilt Blocks Top Fussy cutter Quilt Kits sells kits that are pre-cut.  This pin caught my eye as a good block for using large prints  or other focal fabric.   It's simple, and could be done in a scrap version, or maybe planned color scheme of batiks even.  Either way, it is a good block to add to future plan.







 
Podunk Pretties: Podunk Posy quilt block tutorial (lots of pics)
From Podunk Pretties
  Just in time for spring sewing.....you can pick up these blossoms and the tutorial at Podunk Pretties blog.      Lots of photos included with the instructions.    Her future plans are to use these blocks in a border.  The quilt will be just beautiful!







How to Make a Quilt Sleeve
From Christa Quilts






    Once that quilt is finished, you just might need a hanging sleeve to finish it off.  Christa Quilts offers a good tutorial on just that....along with a couple of options.  








  As always, please visit these linked sites and pin from there for future reference.

 I see a bit of  almost sun today, so I am out to take photos of a finish!  Of course, the rain moves in again tonight, but no complaints as we always need the wet stuff.    Enjoy your weekend, and happy stitching.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Doll quilt from Our Circle of Friends

   Christmas has started early......I felt like I needed to decorate a tree after opening a large box full of doll quilts!


  The group is called Our Circle of Friends.....formerly known as the HGTV Message Board, which closed,  and vanished like the wind.  These gals are so committed to quilting and each other that they simply moved their group and set up a new forum.  You can visit them here.   They have a variety of on-going projects, and things to participate in.  Recently, some of the members went on a retreat in Florida, where they managed to include a "Doll Quilt Challenge"  in their activities.  

   Here are two of their creations that I think might reflect a few of  the other things on their agenda over the weekend.   Notice the tropical fabric....a theme fabric for the challenge.
Colorful and fun!

There's the challenge fabric in blue, too.

  A pair of whole cloth doll quilts.....hand quilted and a delight to see.  A dainty print was used for the binding.  Just precious!

  And the one on the right has a label that explains this doll quilt was made in memory of McPatches, who died recently.  Mary Ann, aka McPatches, was a dearly loved group member and had been an ardent Mrs. Claus for a few years.  She made boxes of quilts for this project.  I thought this was so sweet.

You just never know what those crazy quilting gals will do!  Thanks to all who had fun and participated in the challenge.

And one more quilt.....from Claire, who is a member of this group.  Her doll quilt arrived a few weeks ago, and I was waiting to lead off the doll quilt season with it.  Thanks, Claire, Mrs. Claus from NH!
  Quilt show is over....time to get to sewing.  Happy stitching.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Finds #8

A lesson from Bonnie on fabric selection for scrap quilts   From Quiltville....Bonnie Hunter shares her tips on selecting fabrics for her scrap blocks.   I thought she gave a good set of guidelines on using multi-color prints in her post.  Be sure to check it out.








project 

   Another way to recycle jeans.....make a sewing machine cover.  I ran across this here.    I thought this would be great to make a cover for the Featherweight machine.  No instructions, but it appears that extra fabric was sewn to the waist band to make the top portion.....now to check the old jeans in the closet!






Free Patterns   gnome is cute!


    While I do not do paper piecing, this one was just too cute not to share.  Sonja has an album with several free patterns available.....check it out here. 





  I was inspired to turn this into an applique for a mug rug.









Zentangle Quilt Tutorial
 Cassie sent me this pin.....she knows I love doodles and zentangles.    The Zany Quilter has a good tutorial on creating this "art quilt" that looks like a zentangle.   Thanks, Cassie!

 Wow....that's enough for this week.
  As always, be sure to visit each site thru the links....please pin from the original source, and not from here.  Enjoy and happy stitching.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New tool from the workshop



    After I shared the tip about using a magazine in place of a clapper last week, I got an email from Nicki.   She gave a challenge to Sir Old Man to make a "clapper" in the workshop.   Actually she shared a link to show how someone made their own clapper and then said she was sure Sir Old Man could fashion one for me.






  That was enough to  send him to the workshop!  One piece of oak scrap +
one large table saw + router + sanding = one clapper.
  Nice and square, smooth and easy to grip. Note the routed edge for ease of  handling....exactly right.



So how did it work?
Perfect!  It is long enough to cover the sting piecing blocks.   And they are nice and flat.
  So thanks to Nicki for the challenge, and to Sir Old Man for the new tool!







Update....Applause for the wood worker:
   In case you have a wood worker in your home...... Here is a link to instructions to make a tailor's clapper. 



More string blocks added.

The binding is sewn for the garden quilt.  I just need to stitch on a sleeve and add the label.....and wait for a dry day for a photo shoot.
I love progress!

Happy stitching.










Monday, March 16, 2015

Free Motion quilting---butterfly wings

     I mentioned the free motion quilting when I shared this table runner.  I got a question about it from Fran.  She asked how I moved from one area to another on this one.

   Originally, I did a post last August when I began practicing this stitch.  Click her for that post.

  Since this is not an original design I did not do a tutorial.  The design is from LuAnn Kessi's sketchbook.   Go to her blog to check out the sketchbook.....it is filled with design ideas for free motion.   I refer to it a lot....and I have lovingly stolen/swiped/copied many of her motifs.

My prior explanation....


  Individual plumes are stitched and then outlined to form that wing look.  Note----you end up back where you started stitching.  Generally 3 plumes, then outline to form the wing shape.  But sometimes you only have enough room for 2 plumes, and that is fine.

  The head of my plumes are about 1/2" to 3/4"...compare to the size of the bobbin.  I did have to remind myself to remember to change/alternate direction that the plume tilted.  
   So, grab your drawing pad, make a few plumes until you get the hang of this one.   Practice is all it takes.  Thanks, Fran.....great question.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

On my return

   Finally, I feel like I have turned the corner and returned to the land of the living and sewing.  We have a new heat pump, and the sun came out this afternoon.  Life is just full of blessings!
 
   I hit the sewing room for a bit this morning and tackled the finishes for a couple of small projects that had been pushed aside.  
    This table runner needed the binding.  It has been sitting since December I know.  I love the blues, as they are nice and soothing.  
   I know I found the pattern on Pinterest, but it may have came from a magazine originally.




Machine appliqued stems and leaves.  I practiced the butterfly wings quilting on this one.  It gives great texture.





   
  A sling bag  needed a strap--a la the link from a couple of weeks ago from Pinterest.  I used decorator weight fabric scraps from old decor projects.  I had the "D" rings, but not the slider ring to make the strap adjustable......so I just did a very long strap for across the body style.
    I also adjusted the size of the large bag by 2" overall.  The small size was too small and the large just seemed so big.  I think that makes it a Mama Bear sling bag!

   I think I will drop in for a visit to the workshop and see what mischief Sir Old Man is up to.   And if there is even time, I will work on some binding for the garden quilt.   Happy stitching. 
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