Thursday, August 30, 2012

Here's the answer

   Several questions were asked about how I would cheat to sew the color wash together.  So maybe cheat is not the best description, but  it is quick and easy.  I learned to quilt back in the old days of "templates" for everything, including triangles and squares!  Today our methods are termed "speed techniques", like quick flying geese using special rulers, thangles for all sizes of half square triangles, and for me gridded interfacing for the water color quilts.  It's a "cheat" on the old techniques, but works so well.
   The prospect of sewing  408   2 1/2" squares together was daunting.  No, a better word would be overwhelming.  I have a short attention span.  I flit around.  I get bored so easily.   I knew that after sewing  a half dozen rows I would begin to feel boxed in and frustration would cover me up.  So after PT  I stopped by the store and purchased  a couple of packages of regular fusible interfacing.....the very inexpensive type that happened to be on sale.  No lines on this and only 15 inches wide.  A little math.....6 x2 1/2" =  15.... Perfect, works for me.   One strip cut to the correct width would be exactly what I needed for 6 rows.

      I have a gridded cover on my ironing board that proved to be a huge help to keep the squares lined up and even as  I placed them on the interfacing.  This interfacing is the lightest weight and just serves to hold all the pieces into a sew able---straight seam---mass.

   I transferred the squares by at a time, to keep from getting confused.  (Even if I was to sew each pair, I would need to correctly stack and mark each row to keep them in order.)   Three rows laid down and then I fused them, carefully keeping the iron away from the exposed fusible.  Repeat for all rows.....done and ready to sew.
  Total time for arranging and fusing---1 1/2 hours.
 I know I could have been sewing during that time instead....but now I just sew.  First, I will join the 4 sections then  I sew all the verticals, clip the intersections, and then sew the horizontal rows.  No worry with matching the seams at intersections....they will match using this method.   No stopping to press until the seams are all sewn.
  So that is where I am....ready to stitch away.   Ready to enjoy the long weekend, the end of summer---but not the humidity, and ready for a few finishes.  Happy stitching.


   I got an eye opener this morning right off.   Check out Bonnie's Day 10 Show and Share.    And she is right....this  quilt just makes me smile.  Thanks, Bonnie.

Second...questions about marking photos came up again.  I use Picasa download.  I have also heard about  and  for marking your photos.  Both of these are online.  

And I found an wonderful apple applique pattern  at Bejeweled quilts.   Thanks, Barb, for sharing this.  It will go with my pumpkin block for a fall banner.

Happy stitching.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Have you been scraped?

    Has your blog been scraped?  Not scraps, but scraped by the Wicked Witch and the Winged Monkeys? Or maybe by some other unsavory sites on the net.
   As bloggers we put time and effort into our posts.  We take photos---or in my case, try to take decent photos---and create tutorials to share what we love with others.  We log our efforts at home and share our travels, review our favorite books and quilt shops.  We give quilt show tours.  All because we love fabric and quilts and sharing.  And yet, their are some bad guys out there, lurking and leering at what we do.   They are "scraping" content from blogs--including photos--- to post on their sites to increase traffic on their site.
     I was reading a post at Happy Cottage Quilter  (be sure to follow her links) and found  a quick mention of this.    Then I clicked over for more information to betweennapsontheporch .  She has a long article on how to stop the scrapers from stealing your blog posts and photos.  It is worth the time to read, even if you don't worry about this stuff.
     The bottom line.....I found some of my blog content has been scraped and is on some very ugly sites.  I may not get it removed, but I have taken steps to prevent ---at least to discourage---the winged monkeys.  Most of us are now at least marking our photos, in hopes of preventing others from taking credit.   And just for good measure, I am calling in a favor from my old friend......Thanks, Shannon, for sharing a Clint photo.
Happy stitching....and be safe out there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's the Great Pumpkin...

   We have a Block of the Month  at guild each month.  Enter one for a chance to win all.   This month Sandy gave out a pattern for an applique pumpkin.  Just fusing with the applique stitching to be done by the winner.  This one will be my entry for guild.

But what about one for me......I  love the fall tones and could use a more updated seasonal wall hanging.  I am not into the witches and goblins theme.  .I wanted leaves with my pumpkin, so I looked on EQ7 and found the exact image!   I played around with the shape a bit on this one, just for fun.  A couple more  blocks and I can make that wall hanging work.
   Here's  a peek at the final---I think---layout of the color wash.  It grew some more over the last couple of days.  I just had to keep shifting squares around to fit everything in.  It is now 24 rows high by 17 rows wide.  So I will be putting in time on getting it put together.  I think I will cheat a little on assembling the squares.  You know I like quick and easy.  
  Off to final PT....grinning and happy.
Happy stitching.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Through My Wall

    Time to get some quilting done.....more practice doing the Jester's Hat from this month's challenge.  I had several emails and questions about this one.  So this shot is  a real close up...the motifs are not that huge.  The width of the light fabric band is only 5 1/2", so the swirls are not much larger than a quarter.  Some areas are closer quilted than others.....I do not strive for perfection.  If  I get lost or boxed into a corner, I stop, break thread and start again.  Or add a little meandering in there to get out ---if I can.  And lastly, I listen to music when I do free motion quilting.  It helps keep my rhythm steady.   Breathe and best tip!

      When I got finished with the quilting and trimmed it all up, I realized I had a wonderful inspiration fabric on the back.  It's a fabric I bought on clearance, and had more orange in it than I like.   I  figured I would use it on the back of something---a busy print hides stitch flaws!   But isolate the motifs in it and what a gold mine of designs.  I grabbed by FMQ sketchbook and drew a few off.  I need to just save a hunk of the fabric too for inspirations.

   And the project.....the floral blended braid, Through My Wall.  It was planned and pieced during this summer after I "hit the wall" with my broken shoulder.   Thank you, Dana, for telling me to get busy piecing.  It was a very nice way to get me to stop whining.  I thought it was appropriate to  quilt it first after so much progress with PT.
  Insight:   If you step into a hole, and break your shoulder, expect it to take 130 days before you can free motion quilt  with no pain!  Lesson learned.
  Happy stitching.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Colorwash is growing

  This thing is addictive to me.  Even if I only have 15 to 20 minutes, I am in there studying and re-arranging squares.   So this is a quick shot of where I left off yesterday.  Look back at a few days ago to see how this one has grown.
   I raised the red area a bit by adding a dark teal area at the bottom left.   The upper corner on the left is in purple and now for the blues to come in from the right.  The right side needs more blending but you get the idea of where I am putting the colors.  Right now the size is 16 rows by 21 rows....or when  sewn it would be about 32" by 44".
     Growing....Jen sent me this shot of Remy heading off to his first day of school---K-3.  I can't believe how much he has grown.  I think they feed him fertilizer.  And a question.....don't they wear shoes to school in Florida?  ;)  I just had to share.
     PT report....yes!  Greatly improved and Katie was amazed at the range I have.  By the end of my session she had me raising my arm to----ready for this---180 degrees!!!!   Such a small thing as raising your arm---like to hang up clothes or put away dishes---is not to be taken lightly or for granted.  It has taken me over 4 months to accomplish this little feat.
    It  is baking day to the kitchen.
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thinking Christmas and flying geese

   For the guild quilt show, I am demoing how to do the one seam flying geese block.   I learned this technique last year and did a journal quilt with the units.
    I recently ran across a You tube video with another variation of this.  Suzanne MeNeill does a 5 minute block that is really the same thing.   So I am not going to repeat her great tutorial, and  I did use one of her projects.  (Her book  on this is due out this to get one!)
    First she showed a pinwheel  those curves!   They are just stitched down---no curved seams to sew.   I used scraps that were already pieced and leftover from an earlier project, instead of the strips she used.   I have 4 more blocks that I can put together.....why that's at least half a quilt size!   I may just cut some strips and make a few more to get a whole top.
    What is really great about this----any size you want to do----the math is easy.  I found this at
Connecting Threads -----scroll down to Method 4 for the one seam flying geese.

   On to the small project.....I call it ....
 10 days to Christmas.  Growing up, I knew that when my birthday arrived on the 14th of December,  there were only 10 more days to Christmas.  And there are 10 little pockets on this tree.....that could be filled with small gifts (for me, by me) or hold Christmas cards.  There is also a larger pocket at the base  that was added after quilting the main project.  The binding finishes it off and joins the two sections.  Of course you can leave off the pocket.
   This would be very cute done with more trees....maybe  3 of different  heights, or adding  a tall skinny house between 2 trees. Or a row of pinwheels, design it!
   I used 4 inch squares for this one  and the overall length is 32" and I made it about 10" wide.  It took about 1 hour to cut, sew, press,  stitch on the star and then pin for quilting.   So I do mean this is quick and easy.
   OK, so now I am beginning to think's still summer, and I am jumping to December.  Maybe I should do this in fall tones, too....that sounds more reasonable.
  Happy stitching.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Color wash attempt 2

    Saturday morning.....ah, promised time to work on the color wash kit.  Except when I walked into the sewing room, 60 % of the squares that had been on the design wall were on the floor!  I knew I had forgotten something last night.....I even walked back there to make sure I had unplugged the iron.  What I forgot to do was turn off the overhead fan!  No matter really......just start over.
   Lynne asked me to share a little bit of the process I use...or how my mind works with  this.  I had cut extra squares from my stash to add to the kit......using a lot of tonal fabrics, very large scale print fabrics, some paisleys  and  very few floral type fabrics that I use for the watercolor quilts.  The smaller multi-color floral fabrics blend great, but this project will feature pockets and larger areas of color.  You can see Wanda's quilts at Exuberant Color  to get the idea.
   Since attempt 1 is now Gone With the's the sequel, or at least the  new beginning.  The photos are a help....because here I can see a straight line of the yellow and orange in the center that I do not like. I will get that smoothed out.   In general, color wash is like water color---they do not photograph well for close up.  They really need to be viewed at a distance.
   I still tend to work on a diagonal line for my basic layout.....similar value squares will touch in the corners instead of being side by side.  I began in the center with the lightest squares.  I want red to the left and bottom, and that puts the greens in the lower right corner.

  So I was working along, very deep in the zone, and     Sir Old Man walked in.  Before I could say a word,  he quickly walked out.   About 10 minutes later, he reappeared and announced, "Your lunch is ready."   Now, I must say that this is a first.....that he actually recognized that I was in the zone.....and fixed lunch anyway!  Today he gets a big gold star!

    I stopped here after getting the red area laid out.
I am not quite happy with the transition of the red area.  I believe I want to bring it up a bit higher into the center area and concentrate it more.  It is too spread out.  
   And I also realize that I began too high on the design wall and need to lower the rows.....there is no way I am getting up on a ladder for this.  By lowering the rows, I can change the red areas placement and fix the yellow orange area too.  So hang around to see the third attempt to make this one  work.  All in all, a very good design time day.  
    Note to self:  You need to broaden your fabric selection, and purchase more greens and truer reds!  Now is a good time to evaluate your fabric collection/stash.   Sounds like a reason/excuse to buy more fabric to me!  Happy stitching.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

FMQ in August

    August is is half gone and I haven't done the month's challenge yet.  So today was it.  I began with a little pencil practice on the print out of Wendy's tutorial.  The Jester's Hat is similar to the swirls I love, yet different enough to need some muscle memory.
   At the top you can see my first attempt in pencil....oops, that is not right and I am out of paper.  Ahhh....the next try looks so much better.  And then I slipped in the little pointed plume in a couple of  hats, and then to fabric.

   I took no chance that I would have a false start.....I marked the first 3 or 4 motifs on the fabric with pencil.   That was a big help to get me going in the right direction.  I found I had a tendency to "revert" to my usual swirl and not stick with this motif.  So I really had to concentrate on the design.  I did a 12 inch square for this practice....and used the sponges for guiding instead of gloves.
  Wendy, you did a great tutorial and shared a very neat motif with us.  Thank you.  Check out her blog at Ivory Spring. 

    I will put in more pencil time and add this to my new sketchbook for quilting patterns.  LuAnn at May Your Bobbin Always Be Full  has been sharing photos of her quilting sketchbook.  I have a big book of print outs of motifs and the FMQ challenges, but my pencil practice is scattered all over multiple pads and journal books.  I picked this plain page---harder to find---small journal a while back.  So it is now where I will practice and draw off things I try and see.  This page is a sketch I did from one of her posts about plumes on a spine and plumes on curves.
   I am linking to August FMQ at Sew Cal Gal.
 Happy stitching.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sew time and fun time

     My mission was to put together samples and a small project to use for the demo I volunteered to do at our guild quilt show in October.  It sounds like a long way off, but with the way time slips away from me--- or life interferes--- I wanted to have the samples put together.
   I spent about an hour getting fabrics pulled and some of them  cut into strips, then remembered a box of leftovers from another project that could work.  So another  hour sorting through those.  I mean ---why cut big pieces when I can use scraps?
    Ready to start......Then I realized I couldn't find the notes I made about the technique.  So back to the computer to find the you tube video, make my notes,  get it in my head.  Oops, might as well check email....answer those, and print out the insurance mess that came.  Back to the sewing room.  Guess you got the idea....I did not get as much done as I had planned.  So here's a sneak peek......
   The small project is ready to quilt, one block is put together in another arrangement, and a few small units for another block are done.  Enough work for today....I will show it when I get the quilting done.   Think Christmas for the small project....

    On to the fun....color and squares!!!
   If you purchased a kit from Wanda at Exuberant Color, be prepared for a challenge!  And keep the camera is the best tool for me when  evaluating what I am doing.  Right off, I see lots of pieces I need to move.  It is daunting when all that color is staring you down.  Nothing is set in stone--or stitched--until the end.  If  I am not happy with it, pull the squares off, take a break, and try again.   But with a little bit of tweaking, I think I am going to like this.
   A great day in the sewing room.....I'm tired but happy.  Glad I stopped before I over did it.
Happy stitching.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Garden and color

   There's is a slight coolness in the air in the mornings.  Does that mean fall is coming?   And in the garden I found this again.....the writing spider and her web.  She's is huge, and I avoid getting too close, but I love seeing the intricate zig zag of the web.  The rest of the garden is well past its prime.  It is time to cut back and tidy things up.
   After PT this week, I had to pick a small ball to use for therapy, so I stopped at our old-fashioned five and dime store.  When we first moved to this area,  Wilson's was the only place to get craft items, and they were known for their ribbon selection and assortment of odd items.  On a whim I checked there for turkey lacers......and struck gold!   They were the type with curved loops already.    I came home to make a few more stilettos for the guild boutique.
   I am still cutting squares to add to those from Wanda at Exuberant Color . Her stash of fabric is so huge and she was wonderful to kit up some of it for purchase.  I'm glad I got mine as I think she sold out all she put together.  Anyway, both of my trays are full, so  I do think it is time to begin putting them onto the design wall.  I am not sure what will come out of this.  It is all about color.....lots of color.
  I am off to have some fun.  Enjoy your stitching time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A couple of winners

    Random generator picked the number....7.   That's Cheree of  Morning Latte !!  Congratulations.....this  seem just right  because she loves fall, so I know the fabrics will be great for her.  And then I hit the random generator again....16.   Just for fun,  I am sending a gift/care tag assortment to   Quilting Babcia .  She's a new blogger, who does beautiful quilting.  Drop by for a visit.
    Be sure to view the slideshow.....that was a trial to figure out!  Sorry if you got multiple emails with it, I kept changing things and deleting it until I was happy with the result.   I will be moving it permanently to the Mrs. Claus page soon.
   My thought for today is "let your light shine" all that you do.  Happy stitching.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Toy Project and Mrs. Claus

   Enjoy this slideshow of the toy makers from the Greenville Woodworkers Guild,  some of the donated animals and dolls, and of course the doll quilts.  You can probably figure out my favorites by the multiple views.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A heart stealer

 I have to say this little guy just stole my heart......Sir Old Man set him at the Featherweight with a quilt under the needle while we were taking photos.  Little pink nose, and ears with a long pink cute.   I think he wants to help Mrs. Claus and the Elves.
  Stay tuned....more photos to come!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

500th Post

  Last night I  realized  that I was at my 500th post.   Milestone, don't you think?   I never really thought I would still be at this.  But I am, I love it, and I thank you all for reading and blogging along with me.  So, for all my followers,  here's a giveaway to celebrate.
    I am sending off  2 fat quarters--fall tones, one stiletto, an assortment of gift/care tags from PodBeLu, and Deana's adding a lavender sachet and discount for any purchase at PodBeLu on Etsy.  
    You must be a follower and be sure your email is linked so I can contact you.  Comment to enter....I will leave this open until Monday night, August 13, and announce the winner on Tuesday.

   I finally got the 3 quilts took my 2 days to accomplish.  Still working on my stamina.  I hope to try quilting one with the walking foot and doing wavy lines this week.  I realize I am not up to FMQ a large one yet.  Soon.....I hope.

  Today I am playing with squares from Exuberant Color.   I purchased one of Wanda's bright colorwash packs---bottom squares in the photo, and I am adding to it from my stash.  Amazingly, I only had 3 of the fabrics that she had in the pack.  So I have lots of squares to cut for this one.  And then the fun play time can begin when I get to the design wall.
  Enjoy the weekend and happy stitching.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Catching up

    First, a big thank you to Faye, Mrs. Claus in MI, for sending 2 doll quilts for the Get Your Mrs. Claus On.  She is a member of the HGTV Message Board and wanted these included in the project this year.  So, Faye, thank you----I don't have your email for a personal note, so I hope this is okay.   I love the cheerful colors and know they will make  little girls  very happy.  Thank you, Mrs. Claus!

  It's time to vote on the Pets on Quilts's the post at Lilypad Quilting  with the details on the voting.   To view all the entrants go to this post to see them all.    There are about 150 entries, and Padsworth will be vote counting for a few days!  Take the time to view and vote for your favorites in their category.  Voting goes on thru Sunday.    And Lucy's nose photo is #21----just saying ;D

   Day 111----can you believe it?  I have survived and seeing much progress now.  I can lift the left arm up about 120 degrees.    That is just above my shoulder.  I am working hard to get to 150 degrees before Kati--the shoulder specialist therapist and doctor---returns in 10 days.   I want her to know that old ladies, who whine and cry and give her a hard time,  are really not that bad and do appreciate her patience and efforts.

    And today,  I am pinning.  I have 3 tops to get ready for quilting.   I am sure Deana will be sharing the bricks---or Kleenex box quilt as she calls it---with the furkins.  And that's fine with me.
Hope I have enough pins......
Happy stitching.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Foto Finish--water

  Topic is water this week for the Foto Finish.....well, it has been so hot, so humid  that I am dreaming of the coolness of some refreshing water.

The frozen kind!  This is a shot of the pondless waterfall out back in January of  2010.  The spray from the falls froze over the rocks creating very interesting bubbles and clusters.  And right about now, I would sure enjoy that kind of temperature.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Crafting mode and gold!

    I wanted a the gal gave Bonnie Hunter---click here for the tutorial..  So following the advice of   the Impera Magna , I headed to Bed Bath and Beyond for turkey lacers.
  Sir Old Man had the honor of figuring out how to get the nice loop on the end.  I think he did a very fine job for me.  Then the fun began....playing with beads and glue.  While watching the Olympics last night, I put together different combos that I liked.
   And today I actually used one.  I like that the point is not too pointed---so I don't stab myself.  Remember this gal can be a big klutz!   It proved to be quite helpful feeding the pieces thru for stitching, and later holding down a few tiny pieces for fusing.  I didn't burn /scorch/ overheat my fingers today!

  And what was I fusing?  Cardinals of course.
The stiletto worked great for pulling up the thread for the appliqueing, and for holding down those tiny points that did not quite fuse tightly.  Both are small tasks I usually use my small scissors I can save them for the proper job.
    So in between  the gymnastic events on live feed today ----I finally got it to work!!--- I did all the stitching on the cardinals.  I think this one is quite handsome and he should also be wearing a gold medal!  Yea, Go USA!  I was very proud and happy for the Fab Five and Gabby and Ally.
  I'm donating the extra stilettos to my guild's boutique for sale at the fall show.  I have extra beads, and plan on making a few more when I pick up the lacers......just to share.  Soon.
Happy stitching.    

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pets on quilts

   I don't have grandkids.    I do have grandkitties and grandpups, or as my daughter calls them, the Furkins.  Each with a distinctive personality.
   I have been waiting  to share this one.  Logan, the big fur ball, snoozes on a quilt that is covering  Lucy, the hole digger.  Actually, there is an edge of another quilt under Logan's belly.   Nothing like hogging all the cover, is there?

   Lucy finally came up for air here and got that quilt all to herself.
   Thanks, Deana, for sharing this moment with us.  I'm linking to Pets on Quilts  show.  There is sure to be a lot of cuteness shown.  Hop over and visit the entries.    
Enjoy!    Happy stitching.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...