Tuesday, May 21, 2019

On my own

    I am on my own for a week or so.  It actually feels strange.  Up at 5:30 am to see Sir Old Man off, I napped a lot during the day.

  Sir Old Man landed safely last night.  This is out the window at 11 pm.  Snow, big mountains, still daylight......where is he?






  He had the opportunity to join a mission group from church.  Well, actually, I saw the notice and nagged until he went to the information meeting.    LOL.....it was meant to be. 
 






   This should give it away.   He is in Fairbanks, Alaska.  The team will be doing maintenance and repair of the buildings, and such at Camp Li- Wa. 
   For him, it is full circle as the Camp is now affiliated with the mission at Victory Camp.  His parents served as missionaries in Alaska--he was 6 weeks old when they moved up---- and helped clear the land and build the first buildings at Victory Camp. 





      So I get to "retreat" here at home....on my own.  I caught Bonnie's quilt cam over the weekend and thought the tulip blocks were so cute.  I like the idea of a small wall hanging or table runner, so I am working on a few to see how it goes.  I am not organized enough to use these as a leader/ender......too many small units to get mixed up.  I will say that if I wanted a quilt of them, I would be making larger blocks.  These are 6 1/2'' unfinished.   I think Pat Sloan showed the same pattern in a larger size recently.  Larger is easier on my fingers. 




  Weather finally cleared....and turned into summer.  I mean 90 degrees in May?   But it stopped raining and we had a couple of nicer days.  So I took a couple shots of the Jewel Box Star outside. 








   I have a couple of movies lined up on Prime, the Featherweight to get set up, meals in the freezer or a salad,  and I will be ready to stitch thru the week. 
Happy stitching. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Jewel Box Star

   The binding is finally on the Jewel Box Star.   This one began in  July 2018,  as the annual leader and ender project from Bonnie Hunter.  

   I used all floral fabrics for the block pattern.  I had to plan that out before I really began.  Since then I have been working on the units and sections between other things, until I had a small size top. 

  I really don't need another large bed quilt, so a smaller throw size was made.





 I knew I wanted a nice applique border on this to carry the flower theme out to the border.  The center would be busy enough and a "quieter" border sounded good. 

   I added applique vines and flowers to opposing corners of the top.   I wasn't really thinking about the quilting when I decided to do that.  I just liked the visual effect.






   The center of the quilt was quilted with a medium meander stitch.  For the  solid border I wanted quilting that would show texture and stand out.  I debated on several ideas, but found the perfect solution in my quilting motif notebook.  It's called leaf meander and worked just right. 

   I used a flange binding here too.  I repeated the inner border fabric for the flange, and used all floral prints for the visible part of the binding.  I think I stitched 5 different ones together for this. 






  While the open areas of the border were easy to fill in with the leaves, around the applique took a bit of time and patience.  The inner section around the applique was densely quilted with pebbling and small stippling, and the outer areas with the leaf motif. 




 
   Another great fabric for the back.  Also purchased from the QuiltedTwins website.  It was listed as a tan but had a distinct greenish tint....I thought it was more a pale sage with a tonal print design of swirls and blooms. 

















 
   And this leader/ender project is done. 


   Happy stitching. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A bright idea


NEW SUNBEAM FLEXIBLE NECK LED DESK LAMP ADJUSTABLE LIGHT ENERGY STAR BLACK    We stopped into the Dollar Tree yesterday while out to pick up a few items.  I remember seeing Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville post a while back about these small lamps she found there.   Our store was loaded with them, so I thought it might be good to use by the Featherweight.  Sir Old Man was quite skeptical.  I picked up one anyway:)   Let's just say he changed his mind and wants to pick up one for the workshop.  It is really bright light for $1,,,,and should help the eye strain.    
    I finished up the leaf quilting motif  and plan on making binding today.   Happy stitching.  

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Update! With a miracle thrown in....

   What a roller coaster ride the past few days have been.  My brother has had several more consults, exams, biopsy scheduled, and so on.  Nothing definitive, but general consensus was only biopsy will tell for sure....and it could be musculature.   Then yesterday he got up and said he felt normal.....less pain, and swelling down....what?

  He returned to his first doctor, and they talked about all the consults, and compared all to how he felt then.  Bottom line, he canceled the biopsy and is talking one week of steroids to see if all the swelling disappears.  He promises to be cautious and rush to the ER or doctor if any change happens. 
  We are optimistic and relieved to not have to rush to Florida, and so grateful for healing hands of mercy from above.  A timely miracle, I think, that brings me to my knees.  And very thankful for all the prayers and concern offered. 

  My creative self feels full and lifted....so I am sharing an older project called Awakening I.  This is my form of self expression.  Over on Linda's blog, Art in Search, she shared a wonderful post on reflections. 
Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

I finally picked a motif.

   For the past few days I have done little....very little in the quilting department.
   
   I managed a short couple of sessions at Hot Legs to quilt on the border of the Jewel Box Star.  I was trying to find a motif for fmq that would carry on the garden/floral theme.  I had a couple in mind, but for some reason  could not settle on one.  So I pulled out my FMQ motif  notebook, flipped it open and .....
there it was...exactly what I needed. 
The Leaf Meander motif is from Handi-Quilter. 






  It is one of their minute motif sessions.  I had printed out the lesson sheet and practiced drawing it a few times on my scribble pad.  When I am satisfied with the practice, I go to my motif notebook and do a page of drawing.
I also make any notes on source, or changes I want to do, or how I see using the design, like border or fill in.  It then becomes a future reference for designs for me to pick to use. 








    I changed up this one from an overall design to a trailing design perfect for a border.  I also do not do an outline stitch around each leaf, but rather use the outline to fill space or travel back to where I want to go. 






     The leaves can be fat and long, or short, or skinny.  I can do them in clumps or singles, twisting in different directions, with pointy ends or not.  As long as the impression is a trail of leaves, it works for me.  Plus this one fills in quickly and is not completely dense. 
   I am about half way around and I am very happy with the overall look.  So I am starting my month with an almost done quilt! 






   My mind has been a jumble of concern for my brother.  The biopsy was delayed and put off until Wednesday.  That gave us a time to catch out breathe, but it also gave him time to think about things.   He was ready to back out completely yesterday,  not a good thing really.  They suspect inflammation of the artery in the temporal lobe of the brain and that is scary.  There is treatment...no cure...but it can be lived with.  So until he gets thru this, I am living anxiously.  I am trying to be calm and trusting,  yet I am aware how short my fuse is right now. 
  Short sessions at the machine seem to help.  Thank you all for the notes and prayers for us.  Happy stitching. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

More FMQ


    I am working on the Jewel Box Star quilt.    This photo is from February when I was playing around with adding applique to the border.  

   The center has been quilted with a simple meander/stipple.  Now to the more intense outlining of the applique.

  Before I began I reviewed the points I picked up from Helen Godden video.

  • Since the applique stem and flowers are all connected, just start at one point and follow it all the way around until you have outlined it all.
  •   Second, if you have to stop, stop at a natural turn/point rather than in the middle of a long line or curve.  (Easier said than done in reality, but I tried to do that!)
  •  When beginning after a stop, get the needle moving before you move your hands/quilt.  This makes the stitching smoother, and without jerks in the line. 
  • Remember to breathe. 


  Before I  share this adventure in photos, the quilt police are banished.  No perfection here.  This is reality at its best.   It has been a while since I tried this style FMQ.

  Once I did the outline stitching, I decided to try some pebbling and dense stitching in the areas between the stems and inner border.  I love the effect but this is tough for my old eyes.   So I decided to mix it up a bit.  The next area was smaller stippling.







The outline stitching was good here.  The area was larger, and the closer stippling closely resembles the pebbling.  So why not?













 
   After a couple of hours, the intense concentration has sapped me.   And....I need to figure out what I will do around the rest of the border.  Maybe swirl flower will be a good choice. 






   On a personal note, my bother has a serious health issue arise yesterday.  He is having more test, scans, and doctors to see today.  I ask for healing prayers.  Thank you.
Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Simple quilting

  Just a quiet week here.  So I am getting a start on some simple FMQ.  I had the leader and ender project already pinned.   I debated back and forth on how I wanted to quilt this one. 
  The center is all done in floral fabrics...meaning not much will show once quilted.  That really influenced me to just use a smaller stipple, and ignoring the darker triangles that create the star.  Of course, you can't see much from this photo, and when finished it won't really show either I suspect.
 




  Even a peek on the back doesn't show much.  I really, really liked this fabric I picked up from Quilted Twins.  They called it tan, but it is more a pale sage color with a faded floral/swirl motif. 
  It was one of the extra wide backings that I ordered a couple of months ago. 
 



  And now I have a duo of watercolor tops for wall hangings.  Some days just playing with the squares calms me, and takes me away to a better place in my mind. 

  The peeling hands are still there, but seem to be calming down.  Soon I hope. 
  And the pollen season is beginning to wind down...thank goodness. 
Happy stitching. 
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