Thursday, August 29, 2013

End of August and NewFO

   Time to bring all the August projects together and see where I ended up.  I am cutting this month a day short because of family coming in for the weekend.   Holiday weekend, too.....and the last hurrah for Summer.
   The partial section of watercolor that was a UFO became Renewed.  Turned on end, added to, some thread painting and done.  I am enjoying this daily now, as it is in the sewing room.

   Twin Chevrons----for Maria's twin boys---are pieced and quilted.  Some how I knew I needed these to be done sooner than later....and sure enough, the twins arrived early.   The boys are thriving and still in NICU .  Maria is home and recovering.  We dropped a meal off to them yesterday and while I visited with Maria, Sir Old Man made friends with Sydney, her young daughter.   When we left, Sir Old Man had an insightful idea......give a doll quilt to Sydney so she doesn't feel left out when the chevron quilts are given.     Absolutely brilliant idea......add a NewFO for September.

 An unexpected project...NewFO, begun and completed in August.
This is for my older nephew's birthday tomorrow, as a memento/reminder of his trip to Alaska this summer.
  I detailed this process here.

   The scrappy TAW, a  NewFO started a couple of months ago,  is large enough now for the design wall.  I am still sewing strips and making strata to cut apart in between other stuff.  So this one could just go on and on.  But I will stop when it is large enough for a large lap quilt.  This is going to be for Habitat for Humanity  project at guild.

   As for the other project that was on my list for August.....mainly the Buzz Saw quilt.  The borders are on.  It is pressed.  Now to tackle the pinning to ready it for quilting.  I have that planned, so it is just the pinning to do....when Sir Old Man is able to help!

Plans  for September:

Photo snitched from Vroomans Quilts!
  •   Quilt the Buzz Saw.  I know everyone is tired of hearing about it!
  •   Make a doll quilt for Sydney....a small NewFO.
  •   Continue with the Scrappy Trip around the World.
  •   Start a NewFO.....see photo I snitched from Sharon at Vroomans Quilts.  She created this using a jelly roll and getting the look of a faux braid.  I love the diagonal design, and the easy assembly of the quarter log cabin block.    I have a few ideas for this that I will share soon.  

Linking to Cat Patches for   NewFO.
Enjoy the holiday weekend......I will hold the doll quilts to share for another day or two.  Happy stitching.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another round of doll quilts

  I'm late getting these photos up.....yesterday was gray and rainy, or the usual  it seems.  But was beautiful, glorious weather.  I saw really blue sky and puffy clouds and the humidity was much, much lower.  A picture perfect day, or a perfect picture taking day.

Kim at Seeing Stars sent this beautiful little quilt.
  She also participates in the HGTV Message Board, and she sent this quilt to represent North Dakota.
   I had to look at the design a little while to see the positive and negative.  Do you see it?  The top row has light wings, and the second row has the dark wings in the corners.  I love her ingenuity.  Thanks.

  Shelia,  a friend from quilt guild and blogger  delivered these 3 cuties.  Let me be more specific in that......she was chauffeured over by her hubbie in his new/old '55 Chevrolet.  I think he wanted to show off his ride to Sir Old Man, and along the way another "car guy" followed them over here!  So it was hot rod night in the driveway for a while.
  Shelia loves pink and these 3 were great to use up some of her leftovers.  They also gave her some free motion practice time.  Thanks...I love them.

Mrs, Claus from OK sent this wonderfully soft quilt.  Marion2 is also a member of the HGTV Message Board.
This country homespun quilt is backed with fleece.....that is why it turned out so soft.  Thanks.  I know a little girl will love this.


 These 3 were made by Nancy, aka Catwmn27, from the HGTV Message Board.    The pinwheels are just delightful.......and I am so glad you worked to share in this project again.  Thank you.
  She is covering three states.....MA, RI, and VT!

   This Mrs. Claus loves miniatures!  Wonder how I figured that out?
Lori, is from the HGTV Message Board.  She claims to have made two of these just to use up fabric!  They are tiny works of art and I know little girls will love them dearly.

   Mrs. Claus from Michigan......aka TCMay at the HGTV Message Board has been busy, too.    A wonderful red, white and blue quilt.....just the cutest thing,  and an adorable Sun Bonnet Sue dressed in turquoise  came from her.   Thank you.

  Such a great variety of styles, and colors.  Thank you all.....for being willing to help.  And another big thank you for a wonderful "recruiter" in the person of Mrs. Claus from Texas, aka Nicki.  This project would be such a struggle without her help.
   That's the doll quilt round up for the week.....first deliveries go out right after Labor Day.  Labor Day, did I really say that......where has this year gone to?  
  I better get busy, I have miles to go before it is done.
Happy stitching.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No vacuum here

     Nature abhors a vacuum and I do too......even the kind you push and pull around.   Since the design wall was empty, I  pulled out the on going Scrappy Trip Around the World.   I was curious as to how this one would look..... given the wild variety of fabrics.  Yesterday I had 9 blocks completed.  And right, it looks like a huge mess.
   Last night while getting caught up on a few episodes of Project Runway, I put together a few more blocks and sewed together a lot more stratas to cut apart.

    Project Runway......sometimes I love it and sometimes it's a disaster.  This season is more personalities and disasters.  I see only 2 stand outs in the whole lot of them....Dom is right on the mark, I think.
    So why do I watch?  I know I will be shot for expressing this........but for years all I heard from my daughter was fashion design.  We struggled to get her into the right school,  lived through the ups and downs,  and watched her fulfill her dream.  With every challenge on the show, I remember her calls about the current assignment......and the un-conventional sources, her design vision,  and things she had to do.
     There was one dress she did that had to feature "closures"----like zippers, hooks, and such.  She created a futuristic dress of red pleather with a 50 inch +  double ended zipper on the diagonal  (quite a feat and quite revealing  when both ends were unzipped :)    The sleeves attached with D-rings.  It was a success and featured in articles for a fashion show event in Philly.  
  So I watch for the memories it brings, and because it gives me a good time to stitch.  And that brings me back to last night.

   Three more blocks completed and a little re-arranging and this one is taking shape.  Even with all the strange, crazy color and fabric combos, it is working!  I kind of like the off-set trip....but don't hold me to it until it is done.
  Each block is 6 fabrics of 2 1/2" strips, so the blocks will finish at 12".   20 blocks will make a nice lap size, but 30 would be a good size one.  I  will just keep going to see where it ends up, or when I get tired of it.  
You can find the directions at Quiltville......thanks to Bonnie Hunter.

   Happy stitching.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Over the weekend

  My weekend plans were slightly altered by a phone call.  The type of call that  takes you to your knees.....the twin boys were on their way, seven weeks early, and their Mom was encountering problems in surgery.  With grateful heart, I can now say that  miracles happen.  All are doing well..... tiny boys,  but thriving.
   Time to get those welcome to the world quilts ready to quilt......The chevron pattern is pieced and pinned ...times 2!    Quilting to follow.

    And for the big  nephew's birthday.....There's a Moose is ready for binding.   It took longer to stitch down the black silhouettes---they are tiny--- than  to quilt this one.   I used straight lines along the seam in the bargello portion, and swirls for the ground and in the dark sky.

  I wish I could get a distance photo that really shows the glow.   I  got the illusion I wanted.....mountains in the distance, moose on the hill and the lights dancing in the background.  I only hope this is not too "arty" for him.....but I did put orange in there (for Clemson), so he should be happy.
  My design wall is empty....void......naked.......and badly in need of thread bit removal!  I look forward to cleaning it up and sharing some more progress.  Till then, happy stitching.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekly mail

   I decided to save the doll quilts for a weekly post on new arrivals.  Boy, did I get a wonderful selection of doll quilts this week.  It's like a quilt show in miniature!

  From Hill Country Quilter came this beauty in batiks!  Not only has this Mrs. Claus from Texas developed her eye for picking batiks lately, she has the knack for making them sing.  These are set in a chevron pattern and they just sparkle.


  From Mrs. Claus in Florida came a stack of lovely seasonal doll quilts.  Chris, aka cksvett, is a member of the HGTV Message Board. In her note she said that these quilts were a stretch of her talent.  I think she found a new skill with these.

   She created an assortment of doll quilts from  a printed panel.  Trees, stars, teddy bears, and gingerbread men all turned out delightful.

   Mrs. Claus for Indiana, aka McPatches, is also a member of the HGTV Board.  What a box full of wonder she sent!
   Christmas stars,  sampler with bargello, tiny pinwheels, and 2 Sun Bonnet Sue doll quilts .....I was in awe! Just look at those pinwheels.   But there is more.....

   A disappearing 9 patch design,  tiny flying geese, a bowl of fish, a string quilt, and a floral applique .....oh, my!  
  This Mrs. Claus has lots of skills!  She said that all the little quilts are from orphan blocks, or were  a leader/enders projects.

  Don't you want to see a full show of her quilts?   I do.

And here is the whole week's worth of quilts.
   I am so humbled and amazed each week as these arrive.  Mrs. Claus---each of you are so full of love and giving.  Each of these little quilts have started their journey and will be going to the arms of little girls soon.  Can't you just hear their squeals of delight.
Thank you all for your help and support.  Big, big hugs.

Happy stitching.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Un-planned Bargello

   The heat and humidity have been relentless here, so I've been hiding out and taking a break from my planned and usual routine.  That resulted in a  new---NewFO---small project.

    My nephew, Justin, just returned from a cruise to Alaska.  After hearing about his trip, I was inspired to put together a small bargello for his upcoming birthday.
      I have the background bargello together.   I used the left over fabric from the Buzz Saw quilt  plus one batik  in this.  Again, I paid attention to the value of the fabric when I arranged the strata for the bargello.   I just made random width cuts...from 3/4" to 2 1/2"  to get the wavy and unplanned look.

 My vision was to create a view of the Northern Lights against a dark sky.  I have a silhouette set---thanks to DeeAnn who won them and passed them on to me--- to applique  to this.   It is not trimmed yet, but I am happy with the way it came together.

    I wanted the top edge to be wavy and show the movement of the lights.  The pieced bargello was very uneven, so I faced it with interfacing to get a finished edge. Then I machine appliqued it down to a solid strip of dark speckled blue.  I used a buttonhole stitch for this.  
Insight:   Take that detour and feed that creative urge.  
Happy stitching.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Doll quilts from the Phoebe Group

   What a delight to open the latest box of doll quilts!  A little whisper had come my way from Sharon at Vroomans Quilts that Mrs. Claus was busy in New York.   Sharon spread the word about the Get Your Mrs. Claus On project to a group of ladies in Middleburgh, NY.  Their group is called The Phoebe Group (I so love that!) and they wanted to help.  So here is what they sent......

    A precious pair of quilts in a fun character print that is  quilted with big stitch!   These two just say fun.

  Look at this beautiful embroidery.  I love the colorful butterflies.

   They used coordinating colors to create 9 patch designs with narrow borders.  Some of these are machine quilted, some  hand stitched,  and others are tied.

  Thank you, Mrs. Clauses of the Phoebe Group.  I so appreciate your help and support.  You gals are just wonderful!

It is almost time for the first deliveries of toys and quilts to go out......I need to check in with those pesky elves and see if they are ready!
And hugs to all the Mrs. Claus and all their efforts.  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


  Renewed.........I shared my process for this here.  

  I was slightly stumped when shopping the stash for a border fabric, as nothing seemed to work.  I really wanted to enhance that vibrant blue in the watercolor section on the right.  I finally found this blue-green piece in my "landscape" stash of fabrics.  I like the way the pieced area blends and flows into it.

  A good close up for those of you who asked about the fabric selection.  It takes a large collection/selection for this one.  
  The dragon fly has 3 colors for the body, and 7 colors in the wings.  But that is another story....

 Renewed----reworked, turned, and added to.    I think I will hang this in the sewing room to enjoy for a while.

Happy stitching.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Creative play

    I get questions about how I come up with ideas for the watercolor wall hangings.  Many times it is from a photo, a postcard,  or something I tore out of a magazine that gives me a direction to go.  It might be right out my window, or in the garden.  Inspiration might be seen in the shadows of a tree or from light streaming through branches.   Or lastly, it may just happen!

   Remember this re-discovered UFO from last month?  I was determined to create something with it.....but as it was just too small or odd shaped.  I liked the way the color swatches were clumped, but it was just an odd arrangement.  So I did a little playing around with it....turning it in different directions to see how the view changed.

   I put it up on the design wall, closed my eyes, and then only glanced at it.  Close the eyes again and think about it.  The only position I liked was with the dark on the bottom and at the right hand side.  I had the impression of cascading water.  Impression is the key word for what I saw.
    I began adding squares to blend and enlarge the side I had.  The center light area just developed from there.   I worked in a bountiful blooming area on the left, but did not let it get too dark.   Once it was fused and sewn together, this is the base background I had.  All it needed was a little personality.

    A little thread painting---more creative play time---and a dragonfly emerged.

   I added some stems by couching down some braided cording and adding purple leaves.  The purple leaves balance the cluster of purple squares at the top to my eye.
I've added a border and done the quilting.  Once it is bound I will give you the full view.

  Insight:  Take time to let your creative  vision happen.  

So what does your creative mind's eye see today?   Take time to play and let it happen.
Happy stitching.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday things

    Three colorful doll quilts arrived from Mrs. Claus in Arizona, aka Wiley.  She used a cute panel with rainbows and animals, and another featuring the Jetsons.  Just lots of fun in these three.  Thanks so much for being a Mrs. Claus.

 Did you remember to check out the Friday post at CatPatches?   She is doing a wonderful giveaway today.....for a metal barn quilt!  This is the one she put up last week at her home.  So neat!  There's a couple of things you need to go check it out now!

    I have two more scrappy trip blocks, and a huge pile of HSTs for the baby quilts to press.  Then I think I will move on to a little quilting to relax!  That's my plan....happy stitching.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Finishes for July

The cutting table-----by sir Old Man!  The beautiful top was installed and quickly put to use.
Hiding in the Garden---challenge quilt finished.
Feather quilting on a Christmas Tree skirt.....Made by Ann for her Granddaughter.
French Braid table runner.
Faceted Jewels II---colorful string quilt.
All in Bloom water color wall hanging to be donated for silent auction.

 Yesterday I posted my August plan-----
  •   Finish the 2 place mats.....those stringy geese.
  •   Add to the watercolor and get a vision for it.
  •   Get the baby quilts pieced and make 2 bibs.  An almost finish would be good here!
  •   Continue making Scrappy TAW blocks.
  • Buzz Saw quilt.....get those borders on!
I think I should add one....survive the heat and humidity of August!  Staying inside  should give me a good reason to get a lot accomplished this month.
   Linking to Never too hot to stitch for the 2013 Year of Finished Projects.   Lynne is recovering from shingles....drop in.  I know she would love the company.
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