Wednesday, December 30, 2015

For 2016---- Enjoy! word for 2016.  Enjoy what you are making, enjoy the process, and enjoy the finish.
   I am giving myself permission to begin a project, and if I am not enjoying it..... Stop, give it away, or toss it.   Recognize that some things may not be worth the effort and not everything turns out as you envision.  Accept it and find something you do enjoy.

   2016......what's ahead.

  • There are a couple of quilts waiting to be quilted.  I enjoy that.   A string donation quilt, and Birds in the Air need backing  before I get them quilted on Hot Legs.

  •  The  Orange Peels needs to be bordered......I decided to forgo the original border idea as it was competing with the design.  I will just keep it simple.  
  • Continue making circles for the Quilty 365.  I am throwing in half circles to allow for a staggered layout.  The plus is being able to use smaller scraps for those half circles!
    Dust Off Those Books
  • Enjoy the Let's Book It project.  While I have not picked patterns yet, I will continue with this on going challenge.  I will be looking for a few smaller project ideas after the mega marathon from last year of floral quilts.  I do have one small project set aside that will probably get started in January.
  • Friday Finds.......will continue in some manner for next year.  I have had emails asking if I was stopping since I only did one post in December.  I was surprised how many readers liked the "hunt" for quilts and tips.  

January will bring changes to here.    For readers of blogs, you will need to have a google account for following. The plus is that followers  can use the reader feature for blogs they do follow.   For bloggers, we may see a drop in followers as those followers without google accounts will be dropped.  I have yet to figure out how to have my posts show regularly  on Facebook, so those following on FB will need to do the google thing.  
   I know many use Feedly and  Bloglovin', and those readers will not be effected......just realize they are mirror sites and you do not get regular traffic from them.  That does not bother me, as I get no profit from my blog.  
   Confused, yet?   Me, too.  Just know, that blogger likes to kick up a fuss in the new year, just to keep us in line!  But us ''die-hards'' are tough and we won't let them stop us.  Just to be prepared, I am going to put in new blades for the rotary case I need to defend my territory.   Quilt on!

Update:  My posts may be missing from your dashboard that event you will need to re-follow this blog----that blogger/google thing is causing problems I fear.    I have found several blogs that disappeared from my list and had to be added again.   

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 quilts

  It was the year of floral themed quilts....big and small projects.   Even though I felt like I slowed down, it appears to have been a busy, and successful year of projects.

   I experimented with traditional designs using floral fabrics----in hopes of reducing my stash.  But we all know that the more you use, the more scraps you make.  So that meant some smaller projects, too.  

    Watercolor wall hangings , butterfly wings quilt made of string pieces, a table runner, sewing machine cover,  a few table top quilt projects, and don't forget the mug rugs!   It is these small projects that bring instant gratification to keep me going when I get bogged down with a large project.    
   There were also a couple of scrap quilts from the scrap bin thrown in and 2 of these were donation quilts.  

   Looking back I see that the Let's Book It  challenge at Vrooman's Quilts----thank you, Sharon-----was the biggest motivating factor for this year.  Each month we were encouraged to start a project from our accumulated wish list of projects.....from books, magazines, or on line source.   Each one of the large quilts were inspired by this challenge.  I am so glad I joined in, even if it took a few months to complete them.  It was worth the effort!  So I am glad to say it will continue again next year.   I hope you will consider joining in and making a few things from your someday wish list.  

  My favorite quilt from 2015?    I can easily name it.....Plume Crazy.  (Here's the link to its story. )
  I began it as a scrap project for the Let's Book It in the summer.   I was taking my time and having fun with it.  Then I got the idea for adding plume shapes to the border.   A few days into the border,  I heard from a friend that she had uterine cancer.....and she was scared to death.  Immediately,  I knew this quilt would be her comfort quilt.  
  I cut plumes, sewed,  and prayed.  Plume Crazy went to the hospital with her, and covered her well through recovery at home.  I received hugs, and thanks, and a card.   And on Christmas Eve, another card came expressing how much the quilt meant to her.  She said she made a donation in honor of it to the Woman's Cancer Fund.  It was absolutely the best gift to know that a quilt given would inspire another gift to help others.   There's nothing better than that.

     And the year would not be complete without a mention of Sir Old Man's was a big year in the workshop.  Revived park benches, a small wood walk for the back garden, restored 18th century cabinet for quilt storage, wood clappers, a small chest, and that big, beautiful, wonderful cherry bed!  It was a most successful year.   He gave me a hint for the next project......a small cabinet to go by the sewing machine!  Giggles, and grin from me......he is adapting a design found in a magazine.  Sounds like  Let's Book It project  has even touched the woodworking shop.   See how our influence spreads?
    I need to spend a little time on next year's plans.  Till next time....happy stitching.  

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Favorites from 2015

Meadow Mist is having a linky party for 2015 posts.  So I pulled out a few favorites to share.

A humble scrap quilt gains the honors as most viewed post.   It was what I called the 2 patch + 4 patch pattern that is a version of the rail fence.

 See the post here.

The post with the most helpful comments was about the plumes for a border.   I received wonderful input and this ended up being a favorite quilt.

The post is here.

Favorite photo of the year. ...Summer Potpourri shimmering in the sunlight. The post is here.     A log cabin quilt made using the quarter log cabin block.

 My favorite tip for the year.....use a clapper to achieve flat seams!  The post is here.  

Linking to Meadow Mist Designs.
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Last minute sewing

   One last minute item to make after a quick trip to the J store.......a pillow case of Star Wars fabric for the newest fan!   I heard it was an exciting day for Remy when he saw the movie, so now he can dream of light sabers.  

  And a few circles for the week for Quilty 365......I think I missed a day or two.  But who is counting?   I am aiming for 300 to make a nice size throw.  While going through fabrics, I kept finding small pieces that were not wide enough for a circle.   What to do when I wanted to include it?  A light bulb went off when I played around with a layout.

  A staggered layout  means I need a half circle at the top and bottom of those rows.  Or a plain half circle is perfect to use for the smaller pieces I want to include.  Or I may stagger them across the rows.....that remains to be seen.

Anyway, this week I made:

   a red etched flower, chocolate for those critical days, scissors and thread for my passion, a luscious paisley, serene lavender and purple,  a bit of old world lace print,  and a memory of my Dad.

  Dad was a the shirt print of fish is for him.  Family vacations were often to a fishing camp with the beach nearby.  I remember hunting for seashells on Sanibel Island, and another time waking up one morning to find a small shark in the kitchen floor!   I also remember how mad Mother was about that one!  I don't know what happened to the shark.....I grabbed my flip flops and went to the beach where it was safe.

   And now it is time to pick up the sewing room and wrap the last gift before I can enter the kitchen tomorrow and begin the prepping.  Sir Old Man will be the house boy for the clean's too dangerous to allow him to stir or cook!  That's okay, I get to be boss and make a mess.  
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and happy stitching.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A quick covered design wall

   The orange peels are assembled.....but the border idea was not working, so I won't even show it.  Instead, please notice the  new "cover" for the design wall!

   I ordered 90'' wide white flannel to pin over the old flannel.  It was dirty / dusty and needed to go.  But, as it was stapled down, I chose the easy route to cover it.  Using t-pins, we tucked the extra length under and pinned it to the edges.  A quick recover that can easily be removed and washed.    A very good thing!

  One more re-cycle idea.  I wanted a  box to keep my Quilty 365 circles in.  It needed to be small and have a lid.   I noticed an unused recipe box in the back of the cabinet earlier this week.  I did not really like the I pasted over it.  I had some handmade paper with leaves and such embedded into it that I thought I would try.   I just used tacky glue....modge podge probably would have done a nicer job.  This works for now and I have a safe place to store those finished circles.

 Packages are wrapped, cookies to bake.....and a couple more cards to write.  It's almost time for a nap.  Happy stitching.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Making cicles

  This was my week in circles........ I was mellow on the blue days.  I loved finding these two blue tonal prints....and having just enough to make a circle.
And of course, there needs to be a cardinal in this mix.

    But where did that red one come from?  It was Thursday.  By 4 pm I was seeing red and spitting nails as my Mom used to say.   It was a klutz day---and my toe still hurts--- and dealing with insurance changes, and then big changes to a gathering I had been looking forward to.  

   I went to the sewing room to "self-express" because my fuming was not helping me.  I saw this red and thought it would be a good reminder of the day.  Instead of  a neat/pretty buttonhole stitch, I used an awkward feather applique stitch on the machine.  

   The log cabin is paying homage to Sir Old Man, who sharpens my scissors, and washes up dishes after a baking marathon.   His  early years where spent in Alaska, so when I spotted this bit of fabric I wanted to honor that time for him.

    I am loving this Quilty 365 because it is a good excuse to prowl thru the stash.   There are small chunks of fabric saved from long ago that I have discovered and plan to include.   I pick out the fabric everyday.....and pin to a background.  Then every couple of days I stitch things down.
   Also, I am cutting out the backing fabric behind each circle applique.  Carefully!  It reduces the extra weight and bulk.

   I did the same thing on the orange peels quilt.  It is time consuming but the end result is so much better.  Anyway, I have three sets of rows joined and 2 more to go.

  Audrey at Quilty Folk is hosting the Quilty365......but she is sans computer right now!  I will link when she gets things back together.   If you are thinking about doing the circle thing, click on over and read about it.
Red Glitter Elf Made Me Do It Box Sign

P.S.  I heard that Mr. Dinks is hanging from the lamp today.
Happy stitching.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Finds.....December

MarveLes Art Studios: sir frosty collage kits available~!:
From MarveLes Art Studio
This is the first year I have not done a lot of  seasonal decor type sewing/quilting.  But....if there was a pattern I want to put on my list it is this one.  Sir Frosty covered in flowers among the birch trees!  I think he is such a cutie.  You can find pattern, kits and great photos of her marvelous designs  here at MarveLes Art Studio. 
    I have always liked the collage technique and did things years ago using it, but never really thought about refining it the way she did.   Do you see the wheels turning in my brain as you read this?  Great inspirations come from all places.

Welcome to - 5" Charm Packs, Patterns, Books:
   I don't generally buy pre-cuts as I prefer fat Quarters.  So if you want to "charm cut" some FQ  you might use this.    I ran across this chart and thought it was slick to have on hand. It is from Minnesota Charms.

  I also started a new board on Pinterest that is just for charts and formulas.  Now if I can get them all corralled into one spot.......

VROOMANS QUILTS: Let's Book It - November 2015: From Vrooman's Quilts......I really loved Sharon's Let's Book It project for last month.  The basket shape is very untypical  and I like the elongated size.   The design is from the book, If Quilts Could Talk.
   Once again,  the wheels began to turn in my head.  More inspiration!!!   A doable small project that will hopefully come together in the new year.

pinwheel15 Decembers QM Bitty Blocks: Pinwheels  A good reference tutorial
 for Bitty block pinwheels......from Quiltmaker.   
Of course, it works for large blocks....just change the size.  I love that she even shared her mistake at the end.    I need to make a big stack of these for use in borders.  Note to self:  Add to your list!

Red Glitter Elf Made Me Do It Box Sign
  As always, please visit the original source for details, pinning, and saving.

And that's a wrap for 2015 for Friday Finds.  I will continue to hunt 'em down and save for sharing.  So there is no telling what will pop up next year.  I have enjoyed putting these posts together---a little time consuming but fun.  It is usually a surprise to hear about what people like in the Finds.  Happy stitching.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

That crazy elf!

Red Glitter Elf Made Me Do It Box Sign   I saw this sign last night when we went to dinner and it made me giggle.  Right now my elf---Mr. Dinks--- is visiting Florida and will fly up just in time  to surprise Remy.   My brother is having fun finding vantage points for the elf to nap.   The adults enjoy the wonder in a child's eyes when he spies that crazy figure perched on the cabinet door, or handing on to the door knob.

  A quick finish between assembling the orange peels.  This is snack mat size ----about 12'' by 12''.    I shared another applique earlier in Friday Finds.     I snatched this one there and enlarged it a bit.  It is still smaller than I time I will enlarge it some more.   Pieces were fused and machine stitched.  I  cut into some of that new fabric....on the border. Luscious!

  I have reached the row assembly stage on the orange peels......and have an idea for a border.  So I know this one won't get finished this year.  And the floral exploration will carry on next year too, it seems.   Big grin, what else would you expect?
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mindless sewing makes a top

  Two afternoons of just mindless stitching pairs of strips from the bin created a top....perfect for a donation quilt.  Most were 2 1/2'' with a few 2'' strips thrown in somehow.   The good news is  I reduced the bin
by half and also used up left over 1 1/2'' strips.

  I ended up with a lot of short sections that I cut into
2 1/2'' bands to inset into the mix.  No border planned for this one.....just a mix of scraps for binding.  When I get to quilting,  a medium stipple/meander will do the trick.    Oh....see the edge of the bench in the photo?

  It is another restoration project by Sir Old Man.  This is the bench that was on the front porch---quite grey and weathered.    He took it all apart, repainted and stained the slats.   He also added in one more slat to the area where the back curves into the seat.....much better now!  So wonderful to have a bench for the deck and porch.....thank you!

  I have baking to do, and orange peels to assemble.  What a combination!
Happy stitching.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Getting the Yang of it?

  I mentioned the Quilty 365 Circle journey last week....see the link on the sidebar.  And I have been making a circle a day, working from my scrap bin so far.  Actually, there is a lot of good stuff in there!  Even can get boring and there is a long road for the year.

  Yesterday's block is at the top.  The bottom block is today's....split into a yin/yang type plume  :)    I wasn't sure that it would work, but it did.

  Contrasting paisley type prints  seemed like a good combo to try this one on.

   To create the yang plume.....I drew the circle and then divided it with the gentle curve to make a plume shape.
  Then I cut the paper piece out and used it to make a stiffer pattern piece out of my extra paint swatch cards!

 Tip:  Those paint cards  are easy to cut, not too thick, and free!  Grab a handful the next time you are at the ''big box'' store to use for applique templates.

  Using the paint card template I drew 2 onto heat and bond light fusible.  Before applying to the fabric back, I cut out the center portion of the fusible about 1/4'' from the drawn line.   Then I fused these to the fabric backs, cut out on the line and fused to the background square.    I slightly over-lapped the inner curve thru the circle.    Then I finished it off with the buttonhole stitch.  

  I really like the effect of this one!  And I will probably do more of this shape, just to keep it interesting.

  I think this year long journey is going to provide a different kind of inspiration.....experimenting with focus, shape, threads, color and contrast.  Hope you will click over and join in soon!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention all the ORANGE  covering the roads around here...flags flying and stickers of tiger paws on so many cars!   Congratulations to the Clemson Tigers for their ACC win last night.  A year of no losses---so amazing.  I know my nephews are dancing with glee :)

Happy stitching.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Scraps.........Express yourself

Grab button for This will be an early Friday Find on Wednesday.  Lol, if that didn't confuse you, read on.

  I debated for a couple of days before starting this one...... Quilty 365.  Details are at Quilty Folk and the link up.   It really began in October, so I am a couple of months behind. real rules, just pick a fabric of the day to suggest your mood, events, weather, or because you like it.
   I am laying the blame on Amity Quilter for pointing this year long challenge out.   The 23 circles she showed in the link up are just beautiful.....and I love that she is mixing up her background squares and doing extra special cuts.    Be sure to stop by and see what I mean.

  I have day one on the left done.  On the right, my circle sits on today's gray design because it is still raining.  I need to get it cut before I start dinner.  And yes, that is interfacing behind the fabric and circle.  I am kind of hooked and addicted to this applique technique after all the orange peels.

   On the back of each square I am marking the date...12/1, 12/2, etc in pencil.  I thought it would be interesting to see how months, and such affect my fabric choices.  And if at all possible, at least for now,  the fabric picks are coming from the leftover scrap box.  Eventually, I know that  I will give in and have to cut a chunk off a special piece I have stashed away.  Part of the need to express myself.

   Speaking of scraps...... I have been staring at this box of leftover strips for way too long.  Finally, I committed to use them up or they hit the trash can.  So a coin quilt is in the making.  Mindless sewing during the month of rush and preparing for the holiday is just what I need.
  I am sewing pairs and then sub-cutting at 6 1/2'' from the strip sets.  Once I have enough sets, I will start to mix things up and create those long bands of coins.

   The house has been cleaned, and the tree is up.  A bit of gift shopping is done.  And just enough time to sew up that circle.  I hope you will check out that link and consider this challenge.  Happy stitching.
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