Saturday, September 14, 2019

Shades of Summer

  We took a quick trip to NC this week to have a day visit with Sir Old Man's cousin.  A wonderful visit and lunch and some slightly cooler temps there.  Di and I talked quilts and machines, and the guys talked.....who know what they talked about.  It was fun. 

   That day motivated me to come back and  finish my last quilt.  It only needed the binding and label attached.   Label was simple and printed on June Taylor fusible fabric.  Leftover floral fabric added for the frame and turned under before stitching to the back.   Before you ask.....yes, even labels are now machine stitched.  The neuropathy in my fingers is not better and holding a needle for more than a stitch or two is a thing of the past.  So I sometimes do this for the label.  Or else I use a corner folded triangle that is stitched on with the binding. 

  A closer view of the block and some quilting I used.  The block is the one I call the lattice block.  You can also see the leaf motif I quilted along with the wavy line I stitched thru the diagonal trellis piece.   To tell the truth.....the wavy line is great, looks great, and was easy to stitch.  Unless you are looking closely at the leaf motif, you can't really discern it.  So to anyone wanting to quilt one like this with busy prints, wavy lines are good:)

   I wanted some good outside photos of this one.....but it was to blooming hot.  The air was like a hot blanket, so carrying a quilt around was not much of an option.  I settled for a quick one of it tucked into a tree branch, and then folded and thrown over the chair on the porch.

   Inside the tile floor was a cool and inviting spot for a photo. The dimensional effect shows well when the quilt is spread flat.  I just love the overall garden effect. 

  A scrappy binding for the finish and pulls everything together. 

  Shades of Summer finishes up summer of 2019.
Finished size is 60'' by 70''. 

   Weather forecast is for more seasonal temps this next week after 17 days of no rain and mainly highs in the 90s.  A welcome relief and I am looking forward to being outside more. 
  We need to take a quick trip next week to Foam and Fabric  to see about some items for Sir Old Man's latest project....a bench  with upholstered seat.  I have to wander/walk/stroll past lots of cotton bolts to get to that section.  Sounds like a rewarding trip to me :)
Happy stitching. 

Friday, September 6, 2019

My FMQ motif book

Hot here.  Hot temps.   Hot winds.   No hurricane this far inland but I still keep an eye on the events.  Prayers for our coastline and Charleston right now.

  No time like the present to face the latest top ready to quilt.  It is the lattice quilt.  But I was sort of at a loss as to how to quilt it and be happy with it.
  Challenges I saw were  the busy floral prints....nothing much would show,  there isn't something to's the overall effect, and lastly I don't like heavy dense quilt patterns on large makes them too stiff for me.
  I debated on wavy lines flowing thru the diagonals, and almost started on them yesterday.  Then I saw a leaf motif this morning and remembered the meandering leaf vine I used before.

   I went to my FMQ motif book.  No, it isn't really a scrabble game....just the board from an old game.  We bought the "recycled book" a few years ago at a gift market.  The gal used old game boards for the covers of the books, and the inside pages are also recycled paper---nice weight business or office discarded letterhead papers.  Some have printing on them and others are colored, but who cares.

  I use it as a place to record/store/transfer/ and practice free motion motifs.  Here is a leaf cluster I printed off and then taped into the book.  Then I practiced it a bit by drawing on the next page.  This one is going to take more practice to get the hang of it.

  But anyway, I looked back and found the trailing leaf vine motif I remembered.  It works great to quilt on the diagonal thru the lattice blocks. On this quilt I am making the leaves a bit larger and spaced farther apart than I have on other quilts.   

   Ok, well, it looks good in person, even if it doesn't show up too well here.  It is nice to stitch across the diagonal....working from edge to edge like that  allows me to easily stop for a break.  And the bulk of the quilt doesn't end up in my lap but off to the side.

  I jumped the gun a little bit for fall....I pulled out several table runners, and wall hangings.  I am so ready for cooler days that I want to urge the weather to agree with me.  For now they are stacked on the guest bed, waiting for a tumble in the dryer to fluff them before hanging.  That is my weekend plan......along with this quilting.
Happy stitching.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September begins....

Image may contain: plant, sky, cloud, tree, outdoor and natureI am starting the month with 2 finishes from August.    Oops, not quite  true.  Ok, I am starting at zero and here are two finishes from August.  I am blaming my fuzzy head to the nice weather.

    It has been a beautiful few days.  We rode up to the Mountains on Thursday and went to the apple orchard.  Justus Orchard is a great spot for that.  I love seeing the new trees loaded with apples.  And the car smelled so good on the drive back.  My labor tomorrow will be making a batch of apple bread.

 This small quilt is the  Crossroads pattern  from Connie at Freemotion by the River.  It is a simple and fun project.  I use 2'' strips in many projects.  And any leftover strips are often cut down to 3 1/2'' by 2'' pieces  and set aside.   That is how I had the variety for this project.
  I cut the larger squares at 3 1/2'' and dove into the 3 1/2'' pile to put this one together.

    I had enough of the light blue backing to piece for this.  I used a light cream thread for quilting.  Quilting motif is  a meander swirl with a hook.   Here's the diagram.

free quilting diagrams for the surfers point quilt

  The motif is from Quilting is my Therapy....but the link is broken which means I can't give you a direct link to it.  My quilting is similar...not exactly like it, but it was my inspiration.   Size is 36'' by 54''.   Binding scrappy style with 4 different fabrics used.

    This one was pulled out of the closet...or the lost top vault!  I do not even remember when I pieced it.  Some wonky stars blocks were mixed together with odd spacing.  My squares are 3'' finished, and almost all of them fall into the dark value category.  I think that is why it has or was hidden away.  Just a mixed up hodge podge of fabrics. 

  Simple meandering/stippling for the quilting .  I used a teal color Aurifil as it seemed to blend rather than stand out.   Except on the stars.....I only quilted them in the center square.  I just did a gentle curve around the center square and a curl in the center using light cream Aurifil thread. 

   Here's an edge in the corner....binding is not scrappy here.  Although it may appear to be, it is one fabric with colored stripes alternating between purple and teal.  Seemed to just fit the need.  It was a fabric that was hard to use and had been around way too long. 

   And that's the ending to August.
   I have the lattice block quilt pinned now and waiting to be quilted.  I haven't had an inspiration for the quilting motif on it yet.  So I will go back thru my motif journal and see what hits me. 
  Happy stitching. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Tails and Bindings

  Yes, yes, I am still here......just been very quiet and struggling with the pain and heat.  Over the weekend, I pulled out tops, batting, and backing fabric for three things.  The two smaller ones have been hanging around for a while and will be donated.

   I uncovered Hot Legs, my Tiara mid-arm.  What a machine!  It has been sitting for at least two months and fired up and stitched just perfectly.    I only had to barely touch the tension when I changed thread cones. 

  Gentle swirls with tails for the quilting on this one.  The pattern is Crossroads from Connie at Freemotion by the River.   Love this pattern, which I have made before.  Note the binding....all ready to attach and wound up on an empty spool. 

  Lots of squares and a few random placed wonky stars here.  I used a medium stipple to quilt, except for the little swirl in the star centers.  I have tons of tails to bury on this one.  I know I am out of practice because I kept getting myself stuck in a corner around the stars.  So I had to break thread and find a new position....oh, well.  I found my self-threading needles that I use to hide tails. 

  The last top is pinned and ready to go.  It is the lattice blocks.  I am just not quite sure how I will quilt it.  I will have to pull out my sketch book of FMQ motifs and see what will work best. 
  In the meantime, I have tails to hide, and more binding to stitch together.  Both of these, well, all three really will have scrappy mixed bindings.  Might as well get them all sewn and ready for finishing. 
  We are expecting rains this weekend and some cooler temps for next week.  It has been stifling around this part of the world for the last month.  Wet air that smothers you like a heavy blanket.   Hoping we can slip up to the Apple Farm in NC and grab some early apples next week......I have a taste for some apple bread. 
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sewing on the lattice

    We sure enjoyed the cooler days last week.    Heat has returned but it is not severe.   Plus we have had very intermittent internet and phone this week.   Finally a repairman showed yesterday who couldn't fix it,  and didn't know what to do with our problem. He thought maybe they could get a guy out next week....huh? And that  lead to a strong verbal demand by me---while Sir Old Man melted into the floor--- but a second guy called and showed within the hour!   The fix was easy when he got to the main box.   So we are back up and running with service.   I hate  being the squeaky wheel sometimes, but you have to stand your ground.   

 On to the sewing room.....
   I finished up the lattice blocks from all the large 5'' squares I had cut.  I fiddled with them on the design wall, and realized the more I moved them the worse it was.  LOL....isn't that the way it goes.  So I decided to just put them up as I completed the sewing and trimming.  As long as neighboring blocks were not alike, it stayed where it landed. 
   I webbed together the top 4 rows and sewed them together.  Time to press.

  I still have 8 or so rows to  go on the design wall.  I will probably divide it into 2 sections so it is easier to handle. 

  In between sessions, I pulled out my floral string is overly full with all the extra pieces from this last project.  I will be making some small string blocks next. 

   Our neighbor has been making deliveries to our front porch he is sharing his garden goodness!  I make him apple bread in the fall and he brings me tomatoes and cucumbers!  Fair enough I say.  I plan on making another Tomato Pie tonight for dinner  from his bounty.   The link is to an adapted Paula Deen recipe.  I only altered the crust and made a quick one with Bisquick and half n' half. 
  And now to the ironing station....I have seams to press.
Happy stitching. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Comments from "no-reply"

 This is a rant! 
 I have been inundated this week with comments that are no-reply commenters.  Please tell me why you would ask a question and leave no way for the person to reply to you.  It is like leaving a phone message without your return number. 

   I started to copy and paste the comments here in hopes the person would see them, but why cause more distress.  If you are in doubt about your profile, check to see if your email is linked.  Linked does not mean it is openly displayed, but it allows the blogger to reply to you.  Nothing is shown on the blog.

  Instead, I thought about why I began to blog and what I wanted to accomplish here.  It is to promote quilting in general, to share my experience and knowledge, and have a record of the quilts I make. is my list of general replies to some very common questions.   Take your pick  :)

#1.   I do not sell patterns.  Thank you for the interest and kind remarks.  My quilts are made as self-expression.  Many of them have a story behind them.  I suggest you use the search feature on the side bar to look for posts about the quilt you expressed interest in.  Or use the "Labels" feature to look for posts in general.

#2.   I no longer teach classes, instead I share all I know here on my blog.  Like I stated before, use the search feature to look for information on the topic you are interested in.  The Labels feature could also be helpful.  It may take some time, but it is free!

#3.   Each watercolor quilt is unique.  Duplicating them is impossible.  But the technique is learn-able.  I have a page at the top of the blog "Tutorial for designing...." .  Here you will find many links to exact posts full of the details you want.  You are free to print out the full tutorial to use on your own.   Under the Patterns tab at the top of the blog, there are 2 design guides for value for 2 watercolor projects.  I suggest you start there. 

#4.    I have no idea how much yardage is required for this quilt.  Scrap quilts are just that....made from scraps from other projects.   In this one, I added background fabric and border fabric as well as binding.  In general a queen quilt might take about 8 yards of fabric......if the blocks are scraps, who know???? And don't forget the backing.

#5.    A fabric stash is built over years.....not with a single shopping trip.   I bought what I could afford along the way.  For building a floral stash, I bought many fat quarters because you can get a lot of 2'' squares out of a 1/4 yard cut.  But yardage of  at least one to two yards is needed for borders and featured parts. 

#6.  I have no idea.  Buy a book,  or check out Pinterest for information.

  And I will call it a day on this!   Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lattice blocks and link

   I have 2 bins of fabrics to sort thru still, but not yet!    There are about 30 more blocks already cut and ready to sew.
   I wanted to make sure I liked the batik blocks mixed in with the floral fabrics.   I began filling the design wall.
 Yes, I like the combos.   And I have something to gaze upon instead of a blank wall.

Once I have a few more blocks sewn and up on the wall, then I will worry about shifting things and the layout.  I'm not sure if I will let things fall where they may, or lump colors or values.  Time will tell, I guess.

  I had a couple of emails about the pattern.  The original pattern I tore out of McCall's Quilting in 2007, called Trading Patches.
   Anyway, I did some hunting on line and finally found an archive
  It is not the original article but a resized throw.  The details are the same.

I started  with a 5'' square, slice on the diagonal and add a 1 1/2'' strip to those diagonal cuts.  Block is squared up to 5''.
I mix up the matching when paining the lattice strip to the square of fabric.  Meaning some dark squares get medium to dark strips added, and others get light ones.  The same for the lighter squares.

  I also ran across another variation while searching.  But I did not save the link.....the 5'' squares were cut on the diagonal as this pattern.   But, different halves of the square were sewn to either side of the lattice strip.  A little busier variation but the same technique.

  A new subdivision is going in nearby.  The old golf course was sold and the developers are blasting....blasting with dynamite thru granite.  I don't know why they want  or need to dig so deep, but our nerves are on edge with the vibrations and shaking.  Yesterday, we thought it was an earthquake.   Hate the growth and such out here.  We thought we moved far enough out of town.  Guess not.
  I'll be found in the sewing room avoiding the heat and noise.....happy stitching.
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