Sunday, March 31, 2013

March New FOs????

Uh-oh.....trouble here.  My  NewFOs turned into finishes this month.   I wonder if the enabler  Barbara at Cat Patches  will let me play this month.   (A newFO is a new project to help you build your UFO stash.)   I think she may  put me in the corner as an overly compulsive, too organized, no fun in that quilter!     Maybe  Smitty will plead my case, if I send him an extra pound or two of catnip!
Actually, finishes are allowed  :).

 So what did I start this month?

  The two projects for Project Quilting.....started and finished......the  tulip  mini table topper and a table runner, When Clematis Bloom.   Both of these projects had dead line requirements.  That's my excuse / real reason  for finishing up these two.

Another  NewFO that got finished was the baby quilt  that I just showed.  I really have a good excuse why this one got finished..... the baby is due next week.  So can I please play this month?   If  so, I'll be purring like a kitten.

   I did start  planning a quilt and selected the fabric.....does that count?    I promise to begin slicing into this fabric in April.  Pattern...nope, not telling yet!

    I do promise to start more projects---at least one for sure--- next month.  And to buy more fabric, and notions, and patterns...etc.  That's enough whining...... be sure to check out the Linky party for the NewFOs.   Off to start something new.....happy stitching.  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A different one for me

  What fun this baby quilt turned out to be.   I love the pinwheels.  And I used every bit of the scrap of rose and pink print that I had to finish off the border.

  I only had enough scrap for 7  squares of that print, which worked just perfect between strips of white to make a border.   The multi-color print became the binding, as it was the only fabric of which I had enough yardage.

   I quilted  swirls and jester's hat in an all over pattern using white thread.   The over all look is so different for me to do.....this is soft and girly.  A perfect little Quilted Blessing.

Did you find any eggs yet?  Sir Old Man has been playing Easter Bunny this weekend.    See what I found when I opened the drawer by my sewing machine?   I found one last night on my pillow.  I believe there is one more yet to discover.  I better keep looking.......happy stitching.

Friday, March 29, 2013


   A soft package arrived from Pam at For Quilts Sake.  She was a sponsor for Project Quilting, and I was a random drawing winner recently.  This is one of the stash packs from her etsy shop.....fabrics, beads, and trims!  How lucky can you get to have all the fixings for a very special project in one pack.    Thank you, Pam, for being a PQ sponsor.
    I'm quilting on the baby quilt.....almost ready for the binding.  Happy Easter egg hunting, jelly bean grabbing, and happy stitching.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

In the works

  Yikes, I need a quick baby quilt for a shower next week.  There is nothing better and quicker than pinwheels and large blocks.  My stash is very slim when it comes to pink, so I made do with 3 pink/pinkish prints and a mottled yellow.  Two more borders to add and I can get it quilted this weekend.

I had begun some free motion quilting on  the long bed runner that has been hanging around.  This section is mainly feathers.  I put this aside to get the baby quilt done.  Guess it will hang around a while longer.

   In the evenings I am still stitching on the floral strips.  The stack of blocks is growing but the box of strips still seems full.....guess  it is the fluff factor!  I only need about 80 more blocks, so there is hope.

Almost time to claim the finishes and NewFOs for March.  I am liking this set up  of making plans for the month  and then accounting for them.  It has given me a focus---a much better focus than the new glasses---and this brain needs the help and encouragement.   And who knows what next month will have in store......happy stitching.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pinning inspiration

  A few weeks ago I finally gave Pinterest  and started a few boards.  Lately,  I can't remember where I saw something  that I know is on my traditional list of favorites.  I was just going in circles and kicking myself for not remembering.   I try to get to the original source to pin,  if I can.
From Quilt Trends Magazine
  And that is where I found the inspiration for the border I plan to use for my guild challenge quilt.   I am not a big fan of traditional checkerboard borders, and this one reminded me of stepping stones in the garden.  So my border idea is in the planning and math stage.....I may need to  use different size "stones" to make it fit the sides.

2012-09-21 IMGP1745agf
From Fat Quarter Gang blog
   Then I ran across this cute baby quilt  with a PDF pattern to download.  It is made using the hatchet block pattern and the instructions give info for paper piecing or using templates.  The designer  sees baby bows, and I see butterfly wings, so it will work for a boy or girl.   There is a precious gal in my Bible study group that is expecting I need to plan two of these.

  Over the weekend I was "pinning" my scrap quilt....prepping for the quilting.  It will go under the needle next.  I also spent some time working through the information that LuAnn at May Your Bobbin Always be Full  emailed me about her sit down quilting machine. I may be ready to cave on this is short and there are many quilts to make.   Of course that will mean that Sir Old Man gets a new tool and will have to make an extra table/rolling cart or two.  :)  Life is full.  Happy stitching.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Project Quilting final challenge

"Hurrah for Spring" was the last theme challenge for Project Quilting.  I hope you have been following along and viewing all the entries, as there have been some really great projects finished.  It is always fun to see how we progress through the watching Project Runway.  I view it as a way to "find my voice" and "make it work".....ala Tim Gunn.
  Spring is always a welcomed growth and returning favorites in the garden.  I have 3 different Clematis vines in shades of purple scattered around the yard and they became my inspiration for When Clematis Bloom.  

 I stuck with my original fabric choices after all. Since  I needed a sample for the quilting class I will be teaching soon,  I left the center plain for lots of machine quilting.

I also like offset layouts---part of my voice---so the vines  are similar around the center, but not mirror image in the way they curve.  I kept it simple  and did not try to over design this one.                                                                  

When Clematis Bloom

  Then the fun began with the machine quilting.  I filled the center area with stacks of teardrops of all sizes.  They create wonderful texture when you allow them to grow out in different directions.
  A little bit of pebbling was used to fill in in some areas that were just too tight for a teardrop.  Then I moved to the border print area.  My original idea was to quilt in leaves, but I noticed the swirl in the print and decided to use that instead.  So lots of swirls along the edges.
    Flickr Group for Project Quilting.   It has been a great season.  Thanks, Kim, for setting this up.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nickel scraps and challenge

Woohoo....this month is rolling along.  I checked on my list for March and I am almost there!
    The  5" scrap project is ready for quilting. It's on the floor because the design wall is in use.   My goal was to get the 48 blocks put  together this month.  Check!    I will get it pinned for quilting  this month....maybe.


 On the design wall is my guild challenge project.  The goal this month for it was to finish the applique and join the sections.  Check!
   I finished off the machine applique and joined the sections.  I had a few of the appliques to finish that overlapped the seam lines.....all done.  The remainder of the challenge "ugly" fabric was used for the inner border strip.  
    Now I need to figure out the outer border.   Right now I am playing around with the leftover background pieces  for that.  Or  maybe adding some 4 patch units between them......not sure yet.  I will let it simmer on the design wall for a while.

    The final challenge for Project Quilting was posted.  Our design inspiration is "Hurrah for Spring".  I began pulling fabrics for this that I see them in a photo, I may need to lighten up just a bit.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Since google reader is going away.....I am claiming my blog
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I will probably go back to  read my daily blogs on the blogger dashboard at home.  Bloglovin' does have an iphone app for reading on the go.  If you are using ipad, know the google reader will be going away this summer, so you will need the app too, I think.  All this technology mushroom / explosion that happens too fast is taking a toll on my brain!   Don't you think those geeks could just leave us quilters alone for a while?   I am going to relax and do some free motion quilting before they try to take that away from me.   Happy stitching.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

From fabrics to selvedges

   So what am I doing for International Quilting Day?   First is to enjoy and pet my new fabric from The Fat Quarter Shop!   Instead of radomly picking out things I liked---and there were tons of charm packs I wanted--- I spent time selecting these batiks for a new quilt for our bed.  Even though I said I was not going to do another giant / monster quilt again, I am biting my tongue and planning one more.    And I  do think there will be enough leftovers here for a smaller lap size too!  Thanks to Kimberlyt at the Fat Quarter Shop for the prize, and fabric and wonderful service!
  After cleaning off the cutting table, I discovered a huge pile of selvedge edges.  Thus far I have not done anything with selvedges.   I mean I have lots of fabric, why mess around with just the edges?   The scrap saver / user  genie-monster  got to me, I guess, because there I was arranging the strips onto a hunk of batting and stitching away.  I now see why these things are addictive!  I ended up with a small mug rug in about 10 minutes....and it just needs a touch of applique to be complete I think.   
Applique----that is what I will be doing today as I continue to work on my guild challenge quilt----after I watch a few videos at the Quilt Show.  It is a free weekend of viewing over there and prizes too.    Hope you do some quilting.....cutting, planning or sewing today.  And visit a few blogs at SewCalGal.   Lots to do.    Happy stitching. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi Day and a tip

short3 QM Shorts: No Mark Stitch & Flip
From Donna Amos and Quiltmaker 
Pi Day?   Yes, it is March 14 or 3.14.   I couldn't find the correct Greek / math symbol on the keyboard, but  we all should know that Pi is important.
    I am suppose to be making a "pie" but instead wanted to share a tip I saw at Quiltmaker.  It's a "no mark the sewing line"  way to add those stitch and flip triangles that we use all the time.  Here's the link for the full tutorial.    
  How timely......after I just finished marking about another 50 large squares with a diagonal!    Needless to say, I am making a couple of these strips in different lengths to use in the future.

Tomorrow begins the celebration at SewCalGal for International Quilt Day.   This should be a great source of inspiration.    Make plans to drop by and see what is going on.    Happy stitching.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Strings and watercolor

Is your body clock reset yet?  Am I the only one who struggles with the time change?  It always take me about 5 days to get back to a routine when it happens.  Anyway, I never got around to sharing those questions and answers from last week.  So here is a short recap.

Can you use the gridded interfacing for a larger quilt, like a lap size?  Will it be too bulky or heavy?
  Yes, the gridded interfacing that I use for my wall hangings will work for a larger size too.  It does add a tiny bit of weight but not even to really be noticeable.  It is the same  weight of interfacing used in clothing.   I used a light weight clothing interfacing when I made Wonder of Color that used 2 1/2" squares.  It ended up about 48" by 55", and made the sewing all those squares a breeze.

Where do you get your patterns for your watercolor quilts?
   Out of my head, usually!  Most of the wall hangings focus on a light source and the rest of the quilt goes from there.  I may add applique or thread painting for a focal point.

   For large lap quilts, I usually use a strip piecing technique of some sort.  One example is the braid I used in Through My Wall.  Although this one is only 45" by 45", it could be made much larger by making more of the  braid strips  and making them longer .
   The piecing is a simple braid.  I used all floral fabrics and paid attention to the placement of each one to achieve the blending.  It is the interplay of  fabric  value that makes this appear so different from a normal braid quilt.

   So, watercolor quilts are not really limited to just using the small squares.  Use strips and there are lots of basic quilt patterns that can be adapted to get the look of a watercolor quilt.
   This is my latest watercolor project to use up a pile / huge stack of floral fabric strips.  The idea is adapted from the book, Awash With Color by Judy Turner.  I am using mostly  2" by 6 1/2" strips with a few narrower ones thrown in.  7 or 8 strips will give me a section long enough to trim to a  6" by 10 1/2" block.   Some sections are light, some are dark to medium, others are light to medium, etc.
   This has sort of turned into my "leader/ender" project for sewing between other things.  I have created stacks of the pieces that are sorted by value to be sewn together.  Notice the red plastic viewer beside them.  That is a tool to check for value by eliminating the color.....I view the stack or block thru it and I can then see just the value-- darkness or lightness--of the block.

  This project would work great with string strips of different sizes.....and not just for florals.  Think batiks especially....they would be great done this way.

     And a final question about Faceted Jewels----the quilt in my banner.
  Is there a pattern for the string quilt in your banner?   Will you be making another one?
    No pattern, but I did put the "road map" for coloring your own on the Patterns page.   On the Tutorials page you can find links to my posts about how I made this string quilt.
    Yes, I am planning to work on another string quilt this summer, just because those string baskets are full!  So if you want to sew along, get prepared.  I am thinking in June.
Thanks for the questions.....happy stitching.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Some mail

   It is always so much fun to open those packages that come unexpectedly.  There were two last week.
       From Mrs. Claus in North Carolina at Sewcookandtravel  came the cutest little doll quilt.   Not only are the colors wonderful, but the prints are so cute.   "Once upon a time" theme fabric is so perfect for a little girl and her doll.
  Thank you, Shelia for sharing and caring.


 An adorable set of four doll quilts arrived from Mrs. Claus of New York from Vroomansquilts .  Sharon is a prolific quilter and loves creating doll quilts.  She said she was using up some extra layer cake fabrics to make these. Just delicious!  Thank you so much.

 Thank you  both for your continuing support and help.

Remember these blocks from 5" squares?   I began sewing the rows together over the weekend.....I have 2 more rows to add and I  will call it done.
Then the quilting can start.
Happy stitching.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Challenge 5 for Project Quilting

Garden Gate page 28
   The challenge was to select a magazine or printed publication and turn to page 28, and use that page for the inspiration of this week's project.  Sounds easy....except we had recently discarded and cleaned out a lot of old magazines, so my selection was limited!
   I decided to use the first one I found.   Garden Gate page 28---- it was a lovely view of a front entrance garden of white tulips planted in mass.    It was easy to zero in on one white tulip but what else?  
   I liked the contrast of the deep green plantings against the cedar shake and faded brick of the  house.  Looking closer I noticed the weathered  blue shutters.  So I drew inspiration from the subject as well as the colors.

Simply White 

 To the stash closet and there I found the fabric to use for the background that closely resembled the soft colors of the house.
  The background  is pieced with strips of varying widths.   The tulip and leaves are machine appliqued.    Very simple, very white.....thus the name is Simply White.   Sometimes less is more.

  This mini banner is 12" by 14".

   I liked that  the challenge topic was different take on what we would normally get.  And thankfully, we were not sent to the hardware store or grocery for inspiration!   There should be great variety in the entries for this challenge.   To view all the entries on Flickr Group, click here.
   One more place to look for inspiration....... Happy stitching.

Monday, March 4, 2013

About that fortunate accident of color

    I had so many great comments on my color choices for Walking in Sunshine.  Thank you all.  I answered many of you and said it was a fortunate accident when I switched to  the yellow rather than my original red choice.  It is so hard to select colors / fabrics for a mystery quilt.  I have been "burned" before.  
   I wrongly thought the purple was going to be the stand out star in this one, but by clue 3 or 4 I knew I had  been fooled.  It was the last color that was going to be in the spotlight,  for Bonnie's that was the lime green and that would have been red for me.     My gut instinct told me to find something else, pick another color that would not be in conflict with the purple.   That is why I went for the golden yellow, of which I had a good selection in my stash.
    A little while ago, I realized my fortunate accident had been resting / sleeping right before my eyes for a long time.  My desktop wallpaper is a favorite photo on a perfect Spring day!
The dark purple iris, the golden yellow for sunshine and flowers, the light blue for sky, and the turquoise and teals for the foliage.....exactly the colors I put into the quilt.

   I  am sure in a color class that I would be taught to break this all down, and analyze it as a split complement color scheme.  But all those words take away from the beauty of learning from what I see around me.    That's the heart of my quilting, I think.    Maybe finally, I am learning to trust my instinct!

   Insight:   Here are some questions to ask next time when looking for a color scheme.......
  What colors surround you?  What colors do you see when you walk outside?  What colors make you smile and feel good?  What color is your very favorite outfit that you select when you want to really feel good?

    I was asked about the border ...... I wanted the purple to stand out more in the center and to tone down the yellow just a bit, so the dark purple border does that.  If I had used the light blue (which is mixed with the black and white prints in the blocks) in the border, the overall pattern would have appeared to "float" on the light background.  Sometimes that is great, but in this case, I felt the busy block pattern needed to be stopped by the border.  The flying geese inserts are an easy cheat when joining the strips for the border.....and I didn't have to toss them into the scrap pile.
   There was some hooting and hollering going on here this morning, too.  Early comments sent me to check out the post at SewCalGal.     I won at the Giveaway Party......***big smile***   What a way to start the week!  

Walking In Sunshine

Walking in Sunshine
  When this mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville started at the end of last year,  I knew better than to expect it to be an easy stroll down Easy Street.   I am so gullible!  It was not hard.  It was time consuming.  There was that unexpected twist in the color selection that almost threw me into a panic.
 And it was that change in color that really puts the spark into this quilt and gave me its name, Walking in Sunshine.
   I also learned I need to count and then recount those individual units.  I ended up with over a dozen extra flying geese units!  I could not let them go to they filled in the border.

I only made about one fourth the number of blocks.....and ended up with a throw quilt that is 50" by 70".   I never counted the number of pieces per block....I would run out of toes and fingers I know.

  Sir Old Man helped me drag this one around looking for shady spots for the photos.  With no leaves on the trees, that is almost impossible to find.  Finally we went to the wooded area and  I think this is my favorite with the bit of sun in the background.

 Then as we headed back to the house, guess what I saw.....the perfect yellow blooms to match the quilt.

   The quilting.....I used a large stipple over the pieced area.  Nothing was going to show anyway.  I saved the thread and effort for the purple border area.  Oh, and I used 2 different purple fabrics for the outer border....I did not have enough of either one for the whole thing.

  The border of dark purple got the feather quilting.  One sided feathery quilting I should say.  I used chalk and drew the basic "line" for the feather to follow.   I stitched  5 plumes on one side and the switched to the other side of the curve.

 This walk on easy street is done, and yes, it feels so good! challenge is posted for Project Quilting, so no rest this week.  It will be a small project for me as I am into the appliqueing on the ugly challenge quilt.  Also,  I had several questions in email  over the weekend, so I will be answering them this week.  Happy stitching.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February finishes

Shine On for Project Quilting.  Red Hots  and Candyland--both for the Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop.
Practice for the sheer ribbon illusion challenge.  Pasque for Project Quilting.  The travel duffle bag.

Fewer finishes for February it seems.   I did get most of the quilting done on the easy street mystery quilt, but it will be a March finish.  The travel bag was the big project and involved a lot of steps/adjustments for me.  I probably won't make another one this big, but a smaller size is a possibility.
 March should be much more productive.....less things to sidetrack me.
March plans:
  Finish up easy street mystery quilt.
  Complete the applique on the guild challenge quilt.....and maybe get to the borders ;)
  Do the 2 projects for Project Quilting----but keep them small!
  Put together blocks of the  scrap quilt from 5" squares.
  Continue with the floral coins blocks.  ( I have had questions about I will answer them soon in a post.)
  Do something with the stack of old blue jeans.......possible tote bag?
  Start something new----?!!!!

Hope you got to attend the awards ceremony at   SewCalGal.   Padsworth did a great job as MC and the star was Bonnie Hunter, who just about did a clean sweep!  You might want to click over and see it and enter the drawings for some prizes.
I will be linking to 2013 year of the Finished Project.   Happy stitching.
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