Monday, March 31, 2014

I count March a success

  Mid-Winter Dreams...completed just in time for Spring and waiting for someone to enjoy it.  Care to join me on the porch?

  March needed to be a big quilting and finishing month.  I had the Whopper quilt to bind and three others to quilt and hopefully finish.  I can now say that I count March a successful month.

 Finished!   Never at a loss for Words  is inspired by Jumbled Library by Wanda at Exuberant Color.  All those narrow strips of batik and left over bits that I could not bear to discard were put into this one.   It does remind me of the book shelves in the bedroom and I love all the jumble of color.   So I expressed my love of words through fabric.

   Gum Blossom was the Let's Book It project.  It is already up on the wall and I love it.


  • The Buzz Saw is bound.
  • Frosty Morn is quilted and bound.
  • Mid-Winter Dreams is quilted and bound.
  • Never at a Loss for Words is finished.
  • Let's Book It is done.
  • McTavishing Lessons done.  
Probably the McTavishiving was my least favorite and thus the least successful for the month.  I tried, I can, but I probably will not do much with it.  I enjoy the swirls and feathers too much when doing free motion quilting.    
  Wow, it will be difficult to top March any time soon!  And that is fine with me because I have a clean slate.  The only thing hanging around are the blocks from the French Roses demo at guild last month.  I may make a few more and turn them into something eventually.

April is a time to start something new!  

  The blended scrap quilt:   I pulled a few fabrics out of the scrap pile to see how I like them together......remember the scrap project I want to start?   I plan on using these fabrics as my first test group.  Then I can begin the hunt thru the scrap bins.  


  And a Let's  Book It  project jumped off the pages of an older McCalls' Quilting magazine and bit me yesterday.   I have had this one earmarked for ages and ages.  

   I think it is the simplicity of it that I love. As well as the floral fabrics.   Unfortunately, I won't be following the directions...she did this by appliqueing each square!  My plan is to adapt this to create a new table topper.  A small project that I am sure to be able to finish.  

A successful month.......I think I need a nap on the porch before I begin April. See you next month....... Happy stitching.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let's Book It for March

   Let's Book It is an idea from Sharon at Vroomans Quilts.   Each month select a project from a book, magazine or such and do it.  Then post a finish and link up at the Linky Party.  So I jumped on her bandwagon this month.....From Stratavarious Quilts I selected this wall hanging project.  I liked the visual impact and thought it would be good to try thread painting again.
   As per my usual, I ended up not following their directions completely, and found that string piecing the background was an easier and less wasteful method.

I cut the foundation for the string piecing from telephone book pages.
  Tip:  Be sure to cover your pressing surface to prevent the ink from being transferred to your cover.....I use an old pillowcase that slips right over my ironing board end.
  Note the crease in the paper page.....that is the correct angle that I wanted to maintain for the background blocks.  It is not corner to corner, rather  the angle runs a little off kilter but still on a diagonal.
   The book project was larger than I I reduced the size to approximately 24 by 30 inches.  And that meant less leaves to applique down.  The stems and leaves were cut from batiks and glued to the background with glue stick.....not fused. This was to be raw-edge applique.

   Here's a close up of the raw edge stitching......and the thread painted blossom.  The thread painting was done onto tulle and cut out.  Then a few more stitches were added to hold it in place.  I used wavy lines for the quilting in the background.

    And it is done.    Glad I got it out of my system and onto the wall. The colors are slightly washed out in this is really a dramatic contrast in the dark background and the light leaves.

    I have no idea what I might try next month.....I need to look for a small project to attack!  Be sure to check out the other blogger's projects at the linky party.....Here.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Little quilts

  Time for the weekly update on those doll quilts.
I was so excited when I opened the package from Mrs. Claus in Maine.   She included custom made pillows for her doll quilts!

 Both of these were made by KC1930 who is a member of the HGTV Message Board.  The quilts are adorable, but those little pillows just add that special touch of love.  Thank you so much, Kathleen, for being a wonderful Mrs. Claus.

  If I asked you to guess which state these little ones represented, what would you say?  Cows....I loved these cows!  So this Mrs. Claus is from that great dairy state of Wisconsin!  Cute, colorful, and cuddly.
   Both are made of flannel by Patty J, who is also a member of the HGTV Message Board.  She included a note about getting a stroller for her baby doll when she was young.  So Mrs. Claus just wanted to pass along that happiness to a little girl.

   From the fabrics we select, to the memories we stitch into a quilt, as quilters we strive to preserve things about our lives.  I believe that makes us very special people.  So thank you to each Mrs. Claus.

On a personal stack is dwindling!  I have two of the three assembled for finishing done.  I hope to get to the the last one tomorrow.  So next week/ next month I can begin the scrappy strata quilt.   By Tuesday, I will be organizing those strips.  Please come back and join me.
  Today, Sir Old Man and I are heading to a local quilt show and then to dinner.  We are "celebrating" 39 years together....giggle and grin.  Who would have thought!

Happy stitching.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In production mode

 The last two days, I have been in production mode.  Several almost finished projects are destined for the finish category.
    So what sparked this burst?  Inspiration for a new project!  I won't let myself begin a new adventure until I clear out the unfinished business. Remember my Rule of 3.  It is part of my way to keep those UFOs under control. So with three lined up, I am out of control!  Time to toughen up and finish some things.
   OH....and my new bobbin thread arrived!  Aurifil 60 wt. bobbin thread was a new item on that I saw this weekend.  A quilter can never have enough bobbin thread.

 So production mode began and now.......
   I have the three lined up.  Each with bindings cut, labels printed, and ready to have borders added.  I also cut the hanging sleeve for the two wall hangings.  With the assembly line set up, I can sew on one without stopping to cut or hunt for binding fabric or whatever.   So for the rest of the week I will be tackling these three while I dream /plan / envision the next one.


One of the three is Mid-Winter Dreams.....I was working on this string quilt during our super cold days  in January and finally decided on the quilting.    
   Sometimes the quilting motif  holds me up.  I often wait until the fabric tells me what to quilt or a good idea hits.  In this case, the main quilt was so busy with the floral prints, I knew it would be an allover stipple or swirl.    I settled on the  big swirls for the center, and a smaller vine swirl for the contrasting narrow border. That left the outer border.  I selected a feathered swirl for that.  I thought it would be a good example for classes to show how one motif can be used in multiple ways.      

  And my project.....triggered  by this pin on Pinterest.    It is a strata quilt based on value---of course, you knew that was coming!   Originally inspiration from Maaike Bakker's book Strip Pieced Quilts----which I do not have, and it is long out of production.  But luckily, Leanne offers great tutorial on her blog.  You can find it here.   I plan on using leftover strips from my bin for the first one and then begin accumulating enough strips for one done in batiks.  I mean, why plan one when you can plan two.....right?    So if I am quiet for a few days, you know I am stitching.
Happy stitching.

Friday, March 21, 2014

She stitches among us

Mrs. Claus knows it is Spring, yet her work is never done.  She makes quilts through out the year.

  There's a Mrs. Claus in New Jersey.  She is known as Valene, or Turtle9 on the HGTV Message Board.  She sent two beautiful doll quilts.  A purple patch and a red one, too.....bright and cheerful.  Thank you.

   There's a Mrs. Claus in Wisconsin that is known as Sister Sue on the HGTV Message Board.  She loves flannel because it is still cold in her region.  The monkey print just makes me smile, and the little blue one has adorable bears on it.  Thank you, Sue.

There's a Mrs. Claus in Texas, too.  (Actually, the great state of Texas boasts quite a few Mrs. Claus.)  This Mrs. Claus is known as Mary, and is a special friend to this project.
Mary sent along a beautiful doll quilt in batiks made with precise triangles.  Such a work of art!

  And then I flipped it over.....she embroidered a label and attached to the back!  Thank you, is just perfectly wonderful.

  Mrs. Claus is wonderful, warm, and giving.  She is always thinking of others.  She loves to share her talent and gives freely to others.  Mrs. Claus loves cotton fabrics, flannel fabrics, all fabrics, really.  And she never wastes a bit of it.....because there is always another doll quilt to make.  Mrs. Claus is a quilter and she stitches among us.

Thank you all for your support and help....warm hugs to all.  Happy stitching.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Week 2 for McTavishing

    I am way behind after spending the day supervising Sir Old Man's yard work.  He was having just a bit too much fun with the electric glad the bushes will fill out again soon  :)

   So today I wanted to get some practice in for the McTavishing lessons over at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures.    Last week Amy commented to me about trying to fill in a defined shape.  So that is the direction I took this week.  I did paper practice first and then off to the machine.
   And she is so is much easier with in a defined shape.  I still have everything  going in the same direction.  For some reason, I don't stitch an s-shape well.  Oh, well, that is how my brain/hands work.  But....those "c's".....they are not as easy as you think.  A couple of spots look good, and in others they are just too flat.  So I need to really put move curve into them.

I switched to piece of solid purple fabric.  Again I chalked in a couple of leaf shapes, and then marked in the edge.

  I filled in the leaf shapes using a light green I could see where I was stitching.  The c-shapes are a little bit better.  I like the flame effect that happened in a couple of areas......I need to figure that out and learn to create it at will.

  Back to paper......before I try another piece.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Some things must end

  I had to bring some things to an end....there were too many piles in the sewing room that were half done.  So, first up was all the bindings.  Both the Buzz Saw and Misty Morn got their bindings attached.  The only thing left are the labels.  Printed and now ready to finish them up.

Moving on to the McTavishing lesson.  
  I got a comment to try again within a defined space.  So I drew a large circle and did some practice.  Much better....I still got lost in a couple of places.  Then I ran out of bobbin thread before I outlined the finished area, but you get a bit of the idea.  I need to use more of the c shapes to get the depth.
   Nothing comes easy for me....I am a "plugger" type personality.  I just keep at it, over and over.  So know you will be seeing more of this.

Lastly,  Let's Book It.  Click for details at Vroomans Quilts.
  I selected to do a  pattern from StrataVarious Quilts by Pershing and Hoover.  The Gum Blossom wall hanging really appealed to me....movement in the background and a strong accent, and some thread painting.  Sounded just right for me.
  After reading their directions, I thought I would try to follow.  Try is the key word here.....I did 4 of the background blocks via their method.  I felt it was too wasteful, and  time consuming.  I pulled out my telephone book, tore out a few pages, and did string piecing  on paper instead.

  The key element in their "strata" was the is not perfectly diagonal, like corner to corner.  So I figured out how to get that consistent line for my string piecing by creasing the phone book page.  This gives me the starting point for my first string.  I used up a pile of blue strips and put together the background.
  Back to the directions.....which said to quilt the background next before doing the applique and thread painting directly to the piece.  Whoa...stop sign!
   I prefer to do the thread painting separately and then attach it, and I want that applique to have more depth.  So, I am off doing it my way.  See why I rarely buy a pattern?  Don't get me wrong.... this book is great for inspiration!!!

And one last timely thought......if we set our clocks forward tonight, why will it be an hour later tomorrow when we get up?  For some reason, this idiomatic expression seems odd to me.   Now you see why Sir Old Man will not have this discussion with me.  Happy stitching.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Twice a year, this happens

A conversation occurs that follows these lines......
He says....We have to go to bed early tomorrow night.
She says....Oh?
He says......Time changes.  Be sure to change the clock in your sewing room.
She says......So, if I want to get up at my usual time of 7 am, what time will it really be?
He says.....8 am.
Light bulb goes off in her head.
She says.....So, I can set the clocks back tomorrow afternoon by an hour, and you can set them ahead an hour before you go to bed.  Then I can get up at 7 am.  Right?
He says---with a pained look on his face......NOoooooooooooo!  I am not having this conversation.
If you agree, set your clocks back!   
I will be stitching, no matter what time it is   :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's a challenge

  The McTavishing lessons / practice is a challenge for me.  I spent the afternoon viewing the videos, looking for more, and then facing the paper.  I won't show my first attempts, so don't even ask.....they are in the shredder already.  But, finally, I began to see how these designs come together.

                                                                                     In one of Karen McTavish's videos, she is drawing the design and describes it as cartoon hair, and waves her arms around.  Then she says, "Farrah Fawett" hair, and I get it.  Flips, and curves, and waves....... I remember that era!

   So how to get those flips, and waves?  She uses a lot of "S" lines to begin.   But studying a bit more of her quilting,  I began to see the letters  J, C, and U.  So, now I see them....can I draw them?  Sure, not a problem.     The challenge came when I tried to combine them.
    I kept  drawing the same wave.  The trick is to remember to change the direction and throw in a curve going against the first wave.  That is easier said than done for me.  I think I just have that one track mind, and all my "muscle memory" knows is swirls.  So I will be filling up a few more pages as I practice this week.

   The second thing I noticed about her patterns is the illusion of depth.  Some lines move toward you and others move away.  Those little filler c's  seem to be the trick to getting the depth.
  And finally, the spacing.....not too good here.  Her spacing between the lines is more even.  Mine is all over the place and probably will be when I stitch.

   Stitch....did I say stitch?  Yeah, I decided  to try on the machine to get a base line of what I would be facing.

   This is about a 10 inch square that I tried.  By the time I got to the edges, I was frustrated.  I was lost or in a spot and did not know where to go.  It looks nothing like my drawing.  The spacing is all over the place.  And the waves disappeared.
   OK, I have a challenge here.....back to the drawing board.  I remember being frustrated with learning to do feathers, so I guess the same is going on here!  More drawing, and practice batts needed......happy stitching.

  I am linking to the Linky party at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventure.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Quilted February

   That was my major objective for February....quilting a lot.  I actually got more done than I expected. I had 4 quilt tops waiting to be quilted, and two of them are done.  

  Something old:   
   It's not really old, but it has been hanging around a few months. The Buzz Saw quilt, aka The Whopper. All the quilting is done, and thread tails hidden.  Binding is cut and ready to attach.

Something new:
Frosty Morn is quilted as of last night...just under the wire.

    I was a little undecided on how to quilt this one.  It ended up with feathers through the light area, and wavy lines in the frosty color area.  The border portion was quilted with "jester's hat" swirls.....the border print made that an easy choice.
   Using the three different motifs on this worked better than expected really.  And now I have a good quilting motif sample for I am keeping this one.

Frayed edge technique......
   Finally washed and fluffed.  These are the 2 samples for the technique demo for guild in March.

March is here.  So a few plans are needed.

  • Bind the Buzz Saw.
  • Bind Frosty Morn.
  • Pin the Floral string quilt.
  • Add borders to Mid-winter Dreams.
  • McTavishing lessons at Freemotion Quilting Adventures   This starts on Monday.
  • Bite the bullet....since the bug bit me to join the Book It! at Vroom's Quilts  This will be my something for the month. 
     I put off jumping in on  Let's Book It! sew along, but this book kept falling on the floor.  I figured it was telling me  it was time to join the fray and pick a project.  So I cut some strips this morning that hopefully will get sewn this month. More on this one later.  
   I think I filled my plate up what's on your plate?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...