Thursday, February 16, 2017

Soft package

  I have forgotten to share a photo of my win from Connie at Freemotion by the River.  Fabrics, lots of batik fabrics...... lots of beautiful batik fabrics came in the mail last week, and a surprise pattern.  Connie enclosed her Hopscotch pattern, which will be a great scrap busting project.    Let me give an endorsement for her patterns.....beautiful with good photos, and lots of details.  So be sure to drop by and pay her a visit to check the pattern tab out as well as her tutorials.

  I finished off Connie's Christmas Pinwheels ---in blue --- last week.  Guess I am a little late for the season, but it will probably go into the gift stack for next year.  I had several things to bind, and some string blocks to work on.  Since the internet was out, an afternoon was free to me.

    I wanted some company as I stitched......I watched several episodes on our recorded list.    Enter my latest heroine.....  Miss Fisher of Miss Fisher  Murder Mysteries.  This is an Australian production, and I am hooked on it.  Found on our local PBS stations on the weekend.
    Phryne Fisher  is a gutsy flapper with a heart of gold to match her gun.    Her outfits are amazing to see and she carries them off well.  Great characters and  a period story line make me happy.  Of course, Dr. Blake runs a close second, but that's another story.  
  Happy stitching.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Been out of the loop

   I'm still here....just have been out of the loop due to internet connections.  Or actually the lack of a connection.  I have screamed/threatened/thrown fits and then just gave up trying to be on line.    We have had  a mess for almost 6 weeks but now they say we are good to go.  Fingers crossed/ rabbit's foot out and holding our breath to see what will happen.   If we get taken out again, I think I will move to a very far distant shore.  I can't handle such a mess.

   I have been sewing and keeping up with my plans for the month.  They were of a light load, since I knew it was tax time---very taxing time.   I kept my list simple.

 The on going, big project was to be the 9 Patch.   Notice a change.....I switched from an on-point layout to a straight alternating block layout.
   I will make a full confession here.....the on point layout was driving me crazy and messing with my visual mind.   Since the health issues of last year, I have noticed a problem with spacial thinking and visualizing things in my head.   I am hoping it improves, but have made the decision to give myself less stress and take the easier road.
   Permission grated......So change in layout, and I am going large on this one.  I was thinking of making two quilts with different layouts....nope.  Just one and no applique.  This one will be simple and plain, and  a reminder of those traditional ones I love.  So far I have about 8 strips sewn together and just pinned to the design wall.  I need a pressing session before I begin to join the rows.

  The rest of the circles from the Quilty 365 project are bordered and pinned.  A few extra circles were used to decorate the pieced backing.
So now it is ready for some quilting.  Hopefully, better photos next time I show this :)

   Saying Happy Valentine's Day.   This is my Valentine's candle mat from a few years ago.   The pattern  for the heart was pinned from Riley Blake.  Here is the post.
Update.....this link is broken or has been removed.  That's why I say to pin and download to save.
  Best plan of attack is to pull out paper and pencil.  Draw a large heart  (Mine is about 9" across at the widest point).  Just like the FMQ pattern....continue the swirl into the heart shape at the point of cleavage at the top.  The cut out portion becomes the swirl placed at the base.

  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Watercolor question

Shadows Fall
    One of the watercolor emails, asked for a pattern to make the wall hanging called Shadows Fall.   The wall hanging has a "self-border" that is designed at the same time as the center.    The border value is reversed from the center....dark value border on light area, and light value border against the dark sections.  Then along the bottom, it all blends to give the effect that the center is spilling out.

Value placement guide

   No pattern but I did find something that may help.  I know I shared this before, but I don't remember when and was unable to locate the post.  This photo can be save and then printed to use as a reference for value placement.  In this layout the border is 2 squares wide, where as Shadows Fall is larger and has a border of 3 squares.

   Like I said yesterday, start small to learn the technique and to train your eye for value.

Thanks for the questions.....happy stitching.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Put value into your quilts

  The email basket has been full the last few days with questions about the watercolor and color wash quilts.  I have been asked for patterns, and instructions, and for how-to-dos.
    First, I do not have patterns for the water color quilts, or wall hangings.  Each one is unique, and I couldn't reproduce it if I tried.   Each 2'' square is different and will be used or placed differently in different quilts.   The fabrics often dictate the design that emerges.  I work from impressions of things I see, from photographs that I have saved, and from sketches.

  Second, for instructions please see here......Tutorial to Design a watercolor.  It is a page at the top of the blog.  I have links to several posts of questions.  I work through fabric selection---so important---and then on to a tutorial to design.   I talk about the technique of using fusible interfacing, of how I blend the fabrics, how to use the value viewer, or Ruby Beholder.  The entire page is a how-to-do this thing I do :)

  There are books, and photos, and other blogs to research and study, but the best way to learn is TO DO.    I learn best by doing something.  As much as I love to read, if I want to be proficient at something, I must try it for myself.    So I suggest, if you want to do a watercolor quilt/wall hanging, first try to improve your skills at using value by putting some value into your quilts.

   Here's a simple example from last year.  The block is the Bow Tie block.  Block size is 6 '' here.  I used all floral fabrics for the bow ties, and the background fabrics were mixed from white, ivory and tan, to grey, light blue, and light greens.    The lightest value blocks were grouped in the central area.  The layout progressed to medium value to darkest in the corners.
   That simple arrangement fools the eye and gives a color wash effect to the overall quilt.  Of course, I threw in a zinger by twisting a couple of blocks and making a circle too :)

   Pretty much the same thing for the orange peels.   Once all the blocks were made, I divided them into 3 stacks....light blocks, medium, and darkest ones.   Then guess what came next?
   I arranged the lightest blocks first on a diagonal through the center.  Then the medium value blocks blended into the darkest ones, which I placed on the edges and in 3 corners.    A traditional pattern with a colorwash effect......all because I paid attention to the value.

    One last example from my Year of Floral Quilts.  I should say, I am still in my year of florals......I may need to rename it to the decade of florals.  Oh, well.
  The barn raising layout is off set and then extends into the border on one side.  Note the dark center, and then the lighter ring......Value!

  All time favorite pattern for so many quilters is the log cabin block.  This is a log cabin variation, the half log cabin. This past post gives the details.  

  The small photo shows the value arrangement that I used in each block.
  So pick a favorite or traditional pattern add value into your fabric/color selection.  Cut fabrics, make the blocks.  Sort blocks into light, medium, dark values based on the overall effect of the fabrics used.  Play with layout to show case the blocks based on their value.  Stand back and be surprised.

  Maybe I can inspire you to try putting some value into your quilts.  It is more that just contrast.  It is light and dark, sunshine and shadow.  It is spark and movement, and energy and drama.  A small project is the perfect way to experiment, test your self, and to train your eye.  Please try :)
Happy stitching.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Next up is the 9 patch

   Every where I look I keep seeing 9 patch quilts today.  So I take that as a big push/nudge from my quilting muse :)  And so, the 9 patch is next up.

  This photo is how I began thinking I would do the layout.  I was thinking of adding appliques in the plain squares or along the side.

    So I began sewing a few groups of 3 together and threw them up on the design wall.  Oops... I put them up in a straight set......easier than a diagonal setting.    So maybe I will do it this way.


   Then Bonnie Hunter shared this vintage 9 patch she found while antiquing.    It is on point setting.    Her photo that I snitched....please don't shoot me.  The link will take you to her post.

   All this to say, I am so confused!  I went to my Pinterest board for 9 patch quilts.   I thought I would easily, and completely, be sure which layout I wanted.  HA!    I have close to 90 blocks stacked up, so I may just make one quilt, and make more blocks for another.    I probably should stick with my first idea....that is usually best.

  In the mail.....a couple of days ago, Sir Old Man brought in the mail delivery which included a large red, swishy package!    One glance at the return address and I was smiling.  I had no idea what was inside, but a favorite blogger....namely Sharon at Vroomans Quilts.....was the culprit.
 A few goodies came my way....her guild's cookbook---which is already in service in my kitchen, a pair of floral (squeal:)  fat quarters, and a calendar from the Barn Quilt Trail in her area.  Love all things quilting.  And love special treats!  Thank you, Sharon.

   We are settling in for a colder weekend.....I think that's a good time to bake some bread between 9 patches.  Happy stitching.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Some Plans for February

  I finished off my first month with a lot of scratched off items.  For sure there were several things from last year that totaled up the finish category.   I love using check marks and lines through items......a symbol of done!

     So a new sheet was printed off  and I  began to fill in the projects in the "Active Projects" section.  I listed:

  1. 9 patch
  2. Rainbow Scrap Challenge
  3. Bargello
  4. Rest of the Circles
  5. Batik blocks
  6. String blocks
Oh, no....more projects than I like to have in the sewing room.  Then I reconsidered.....three of them are leader/ender projects that will carry on for a while.  That leaves the 9 patch, bargello, and the rest of the circles to finish up.    That sounds a lot more doable for me.

  Then to plans for the month.....
  • quilt 2 table runners
  •  layout and assemble the 9 patch blocks;  
  • Border the rest of the circles and piece the backing;
  •  make the on-going blocks batiks, strings, and rainbow blocks.
  And there are the basic plans....a good variety and broken into small sections.  Some days I can only find an hour or so to sew, so having some small on going things  satisfies me.  When I am ready to tackle more, I have quilts to assemble, or prep, or add those dreaded borders or bindings to.    This works for me.  

   One thing to share that came across my view........Sew Some Love linkup.  Jo, a follower shared this with me.    Kat is doing a weekly link up to share our charity projects.  She says that anything we are doing out of the goodness of our hearts for someone can be shown and shared.  She also has  begun a local love project called Covered in Love.  She has a wonderful story of  how we can help.  And there is a monthly Block Drive for these you can find the pattern.   
  I know the effort it takes to create and present such a project, so I wanted to be sure and spread the word and get her some help.  I think I can fit in a few blocks for the month:)
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January was full!

   And I have a couple of finishes!  A small one first.....the watercolor banner or table runner.  I had intended to add some applique and then changed my mind.  Adrift is plain and simple.
  I began both of these last year. is the post  as they were completed as tops.

    Pineapple Profusion got bound.  I actually began the blocks in September and is that post.  So after a white it was just time to get it done.
   The finish size is 48'' by 62''....nice throw size.    I used 2'' floral strips for the construction and the pattern is from  It's  the Pineapple Blossom  pattern.

    The center section is quilted with swirls all over, and the plain outer border is done in endless feathers.

The Therapy Quilt was a finish early this is that post.   I feel like this is cheating to call it a 2017 was 90% done and just needed border quilting and binding.

   The second half of the Quilty 365 circles were joined into a top and now just need borders and quilting.  I have to admit, just looking at these 2--- quilt and top---just make me smile.  Each circle represents a day in my life.  Some are precious memories, and some represent loved ones.   The Therapy Quilt is loaded with pain and struggle, determination and stubbornness.   Each day here is a miracle, and that is why I smile.

  The rest of the month was filled with lots of bits and pieces of things I started.....the coffee cup wall hanging for the kitchen, string blocks, soul searching block in purple (for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge),  a bargello top,  batik squares in a block,  mug rugs, table runner, and more 9 patch blocks.

   Some days I made only one block, other days I went on over load and made dozens.  It all depended on my energy level.    Reviewing all of this makes me feel I really did accomplish things!   And I got to scratch a lot off my list.....which means I need to get a February plan in place.    Here's to keeping the list full......happy stitching.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...