Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dancing Wings and the end of the month

   A quick glance at this quilt tossed over the chair this morning, and I realized the "wings" seemed to be dancing.....twisting, turning, and spinning around.  That settled the name.....Dancing Wings.

  Colorful wings in blue, pink, rose, purple, turquoise, and yellow  are made with strings of fabric blended by value. Here is the post where I discussed the blending.

   The triangular wings are different sizes,too.  The purple one is my favorite one......or maybe the  turquoise?
   I finished off a couple of mini-bolts to complete this one.  A darker green backing, the lighter green for the border and the pink binding.  Ah, a little breathing room in the stash closet.

   From stings to dancing wings, this was fun project that evolved on its own.  I think it will satisfy Chad's request and Amber's motif plans.

Finishes for the month of February......

   A candle mat for Valentine's Day.

   Table runner in blue and white in the Disappearing Hourglass pattern.

Quilting and binding for a Habitat for  Humanity quilt.

And finally....progress on the English Garden quilt.  Another row of feathers done on this quilt started in January.    It is my current Let's Book It Project.   A few more sessions with Hot Legs and I think I will get it done next month.

   Which means, I need another Let's Book It plan.  Read about the Let's Book It project, hop over here to visit Sharon at Vroomans Quilts.    She is our enabler/motivator to pull those books of ideas off the shelf and make something great.
  This is my choice.....a string quilt.....but more on that next month.  The sun is shing here and I need to enjoy it while I can.  Happy stitching.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday finds #6

From  Kaufman Fabrics
    A free PDF is available for this sling bag in 2 sizes.  It has an adjustable strap---shoulder or over the head---that will leave the hands free for fondling fabrics!  A cute bag for spring/summer whether made of denim, twill, or our favorite cottons.  

As Blogger has announced that  they will no longer allow certain sexually explicit content after March 23...have I been reading the wrong blogs?  Anyway,  I am throwing this one in.   Proceed with caution, and use your

Great way to recycle jeans.  The bigger the jeans, the bigger the bag.  The comment  on this pin was that the bigger the jeans, the bigger the bag!
See others here.   No tutorial, just I sad use your imagination!   With the waistband and pockets, this would be great for a workshop tote.  (Wonder how big this guy was.)   Just add handles by top stitching in place.   Looks like the lining was merely inserted and top stitched too.  Square off the bottom and call it a day.

As always, please visit the original post to pin rather than pinning from here.   
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New forecast

     I got a text message at 7:30 am from my brother....."Got snow?"  I had to laugh....yep, we got enough to close schools.  Translated to the folks who really have snow--big, deep snow---that is about 1-2 inches here.  For my sun-drenched, snow starved brother that was enough to wish he could fly up for the day.   I told him to wait until Thursday, the real snow arrives then....or so the "forecasters" (and I use that term very loosely in this area) have predicted.  The photo shows all that is left after  our "minor event".
    Still, I elected not to venture out.....I sent Sir Old Man to the Fresh Market  for the Tuesday specials.....with a list!  I have learned not to trust him in the market without one.  Instead of getting all bundled up, I turned on Hot Legs and got to work.  

   I finished up the quilting on the baby quilt of butterfly wings. I used a basic stipple, a few hearts, added antennas to the butterflies, and threw in a few feathers.  I know I overdid it....but I was on a roll.   I need to square it all up and add the binding.  Then make a a name to suggest?  I am blank right now for one.

    While I was zooming right along, I started quilting on the English Garden quilt.   This one is going to take several sittings to get the feathery things done.  One pass done, and about 7 more to do......

    Forecast for the end of the month.....2 done, 1 in the works, new project cut and waiting, and another planned.   Personally, I like my forecast better than the one on the radio!  Happy stitching.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A little thawing please

  After 4 days of temperatures not reaching the 32 degree mark, I was ready for some "warmer" temps!  It was too cold to even stick your nose outside and so the result is a little cabin fever here.
  I managed to stay busy.....taxes are done, and helped  Sir Old Man with the final paper work for his Dad, which has gone surprisingly smooth.  I also spent a long day re-vamping supply lists, and handouts for a watercolor workshop I will be doing.  

   Quilting and binding on a Habitat for Humanity quilt is done!    I mentioned this earlier I know, and it had been hanging around way too long.  It was still too cold for me to do a real photo I grabbed a couple of photos as quick as I could.  This is a very scrappy rail fence block that creates a woven design.  I only did the quilting and binding on it.

 One reason I put it off was the backing......really, it is an ugly fabric.  And to top it off, the yardage I was given was 4 inches too short.   This  meant I had to creatively piece it running across the quilt on its side rather than top to bottom.  LOL.....someone may get sea sick looking at the back of this one.

    Then I spent a day basting the butterfly wings baby quilt  and the English Garden quilt.  It was a sunny day to spent in the sun room with clamps and pins.   Our breakfast table is out there and a nice size for pinning smaller quilts.    You might notice the border here.  I nixed my original idea of a picket fence.  I did a small section and realized it was too busy and over whelmed the butterflies.  So I used the old faithful  simple border.

    It was more of a struggle with the English Garden quilt, as it is almost full size.  I had to shift it and re-clamp 4 times to get it completed....but I wasn't going any where and it was sunny out there.   It is ready to go under the needle now.
   Did I mention that I am already tired of the gray days and cold temps?   I think I have that seasonal disorder....I need bright sunlight on a more regular basis.  Guess I need one of those special lamps.   But then, come summer I will whine about the heat.......:)D
   Tomorrow is a grocery run......freezer is getting bare after a full week of lunches and dinners.  And I will finish cutting fabrics for a future project, a repeat of a favorite.  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Of wings and strings

  We visited with a young couple, who are expecting their first child,  over the weekend.  My intention was to make a pinwheel quilt for the their little angel who is expected in 2 months.  Then Amber started talking butterflies, and Chad chimed in with  his "I'm expecting something great" comment.  Oh, boy!

  I looked thru patterns and books and found a unique setting using log cabin blocks to make butterflies.  Only it required about 6 various block types to create the illusion of butterflies......way more than I wanted to tackle.  I checked Pinterest and then my computer files that had been saved.   There I found inspiration.  Butterfly wings composed of strings.  The original file was a modern version with uneven size "wings " of mixed pattern strips.  Of course, I needed to blend the fabrics, and decided to use several color ways for the butterflies.

   I cut squares of light background fabric at 6 1/2".   I matched up pairs of these squares and then I cut off one corner---to reduce bulk.  Each pair of squares was chopped differently so that there would be variation in sizes, just to provide some interest.

   Then I pulled strips in the desired color and began the blending.  Some sets were blended by value from light to dark in the corner, and others were done in reverse shading.   Once I was happy with the arrangement, I began to sew.

    Sewn, and now to trim and square up to 6 1/2" square.  And I have a pair of wings!   Now repeat......

    A few sets up on the design wall will give you an idea of where I am heading. I will get the wings assembled and decide on the border.  

  I sewed while the sleet was pinging on the windows.  It continued most of the night and was followed by freezing drizzle.  We awoke to  a sleet coated yard and roofs with trees dressed in crystal ice.  Beautiful to see but a danger to be outside.  A hard freeze is expected tonight, so everything will be slick and dangerous tomorrow also.  As long as we have power, I have stings to sew.    Happy stitching.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

2 patch + 4 patch

   I am not starting this project right away....but thought I would share my sleuthing on this.
  This pin is all over Pinterest....with no info or original source.  It is bright and colorful, yet the photo is sort of misleading.  It's a zig-zag pattern, but exactly what block was used?   I had to figure out the pattern.
  So the detective in me emerged and I  began to use my special  quilt block vision........
2+4=6.......that is what I needed!    A six patch unit to turn into a rail fence variation.

Rail Fence variation using EQ7

  Next I went to EQ and drew out the Rail Fence variation.  Then I set the blocks into a quilt.....yep, that was it. Instead of 3 strips to form the rails, 2 of those "rails" were composed of 6 squares.   It is very easy to put together 6 squares from 2 patches.

   By using 2 1/2" squares and  a plain strip the block will be 6 1/2" unfinished.    If you prefer 2" squares and a plain strip, the block will be  5" unfinished.

The overall setting is just like a traditional rail fence with easy block alternating---on its side and then straight, and repeat.

    I pulled out my box of 2 patch and 4 patch pieces to do a test.  I keep a stack of squares by my machine to use as leaders/enders, so I have a bit of inventory with which to work.   This will be a scrappy version.  I think it might be interesting done in color ways for the, green, red, purple.....maybe as a future project.  
   Anyway, mystery solved for the pattern.  The Quilting Queen did it in the studio with a rotary cutter!  I can put away my detective garb and get back to stitching.   I have a baby quilt to design and get busy on.....glad to have a project with the winter storm forecast of snow and ice.....yuck!  But wait till you see the blocks......butterfly and strings are in my forecast!
Happy stitching.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Blues --disappearing hourglass blocks

  Blue and white is always striking and a favorite of mine.  These blocks were a test/experiment using the tutorial from Missouri Quilt Company for the Disappearing Hourglass.  You start with layer cake size squares, turn them into hourglass blocks, then cut, cut, and cut them apart.  Next you flip and turn and sew things back together.   Sound confusing.....that's why I only did 6 as a test of this technique.

   I have done several things using info from the video tutorials from MSQC, so I knew it would work.  Sort of.  I think this tutorial should be labeled at least intermediate.  It was the sub-cuts you make that threw me off.  You must measure very, very carefully from the center seam, or things do not work out.   I was off  a bit on the sub-cut on this block and I struggled to get it to match.   There were a couple of others that grew on me--bias---and I just did the best I could with them.

But the open area for quilting....yes!  It was fun to fill in with feather sprays.  I left the blue areas unquilted.  

  Would I do this again.....maybe.  There is absolutely no waste to this technique.  You do have some bias areas to watch.  Pressing and measuring are vital.  Yet the blocks finish large and go together quickly.
  Be brave and try a couple....happy stitching.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Finds #5

    Need info on cleaning or maintaining your Featherweight?  Looking for a part for it?  This is the place to visit........Nova's Featherweights  

   Bonnie hunter mentioned it recently.  A quick link and I was amazed at the amount of information to be found here.  Maintenance and trouble shooting help,  all the bits and parts, and accessories.....I will be returning to read more tips.  If you have one of these machines, check it out.

great blog about machine quilting
From Ivory Spring.wordpress

 I haven't done a lot of pinning this week, so I am sharing a couple of my favorite free motion quilting motifs.

   From Wendy at Ivory Spring, I learned to do free motion swirls.    This is one of here tutorials that she refers to as Thread Talk.   Wendy provides great drawings to demonstrate her techniques.

embellished swirly vine
From Ivory Spring. wordpress
  Another from Wendy....this is Swirly Vines.
Once you get the swirly vine done, she expands the design into a flower by adding the bumpy description, not hers  :)

   This design took me a little while to get the hang of but persistence paid off.  I use this one a lot as it fills in the space quickly.  I find that this motif can be used as a wonderful all over motif and is especially good one to use on scrappy type quilts.  Just a little variety to  add to your FMQ diet!

Sashings and Borders

    For inspiration for a design motif, I love to visit LuAnn's blog.   She maintains a section on her blog she calls her sketchbook.  It is filled with design motifs, lessons,  and stitching instruction ----like this photo of a border motif.  She covers, leaves, vines, hearts, and feathers.  You might just get lost viewing all her design ideas.

  As always, please visit the links and pin any items from the original source rather than pinning from here.
  Thank you all for your notes and prayers this week.  They are greatly appreciated.  Life is returning to usual......and I got in some quilting yesterday.  I have a table topper/runner ready for binding.  The sounds of the machine, the steady rhythm of movement, seeing the stitches develop and create texture gave me a time of relaxation and reflection.  Which proves the adage.....fabric and thread feed my soul.  Happy stitching.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Duct tape removed!

   This weekend  Sir Old Man removed the duct tape and uncovered the fuming cage.  You can see that he was safety aware and wore the respirator.  We were anxious to see the wood color.

   This is one of the rail supports--I think.  The wood has developed a reddish hue underneath the ashy appearance.

   The color is a little truer in this photo.  Once this "jig saw puzzle" of pieces get assembled, the 3 part finish gets applied and sanded in.  Then the patina really develops.  Can you tell I am excited to get there?

   Yet, the bed will be delayed slightly.  Sir Old Man's father died today at the age of 94.  He had lived a long, full life.   Missionary, pastor,  machinist, wood worker----just  a few of his endeavors.   We are thankful this end was not prolonged, yet the pain is still felt.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Back to the garden quilt

   A few stolen moments from doing everyone's the taxes and  the last side to the garden quilt border was added.   A quick press on the border and it is a flimsy!

   I was actually beginning to run out of 2" squares after 4 sides of this blended border.  But that was the whole point of the exercise for me.....clear out the old to make room for some fresh cuts.

   This area of the yard was just a bit too bright for a good photo.  Yet I liked the contrast of the shadows of the bare branches against the quilt top.

  By the time I got to the back deck, the wind picked up.  But this will give a better idea of how it looks so far without any quilting.  It is so much prettier than the photos.

   I plan on giving Hot Legs--Tiara--a work out this week, as I have several projects waiting.  And I will get this one to the pinned stage, too.

   I am so ready to get back to the sewing room.  My head is spinning with numbers and  questions.  I think that tax agency should be gobbled up by the quilt police, flayed and diced with a rotary cutter, and if that is not enough stick a handful of pins in them.  There now, that little spurt of a rant felt good.   Have a happy week of stitching.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Finds #4

I ♥ Applique!  Applique heart by Mr Minds Eye for Riley Blake Designs
From My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs
  Thinking ahead for Valentine's Day.  Here is a cute applique---love that swirl cut out---for a block, mug rug, wall hanging, you can't make just one!    The tutorial and pattern can be found  here at Riley Blake Designs.

  I really like this little block, something about it ......must be the swirl :)   So what could I do with just one block?   That wouldn't take too long.
   I found a small sized piece of batting scrap, dug into my "parts bin" of 4 patch pieces and blocks, and pulled out a few strings.  A little play time and I put together a small candle mat/table topper.  Size is 11" by 13"  just because that was the size of the batting.   Tell me, what could you do with just one block?

  As always, if you are pinning the pattern, go to Riley Blake link above to pin.
I'm still sewing on the border to the English Garden quilt.....those darn taxes are interfering with my sewing time.   I will be glad to get it all filed and put away.
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A little etiquette please

  Before I get to the etiquette, I will share this progress.  Sort of.....I finished up the portfolio with a traditional binding.  It was too thick for the pinked edge binding.  I am on the fence about this design....even though I picked out fabric to try another one.  I plan on letting it simmer before I try again.
   Meanwhile, I am onto the third side of the border for the English Garden quilt.  Just fusing and stitching.....I will show it probably by week's end.
    On to the please and thank you part and reason for posting.  I read a very long post by Bonnie Hunter it here.   She hits the nail on the head in my opinion about some inappropriate behavior and use of patterns, etc.   Bonnie freely shares a lot with us, allowing us to even teach from her patterns.  She does require a request and permission to use and then link to her website.  I know because she gave me permission one time.
   To take a pattern/design of another, post it as your own, make a video, do a full tutorial, with no credit to the original source/designer is bad manners and does violate copy right and intellectual property laws.  I recently ran across an original pattern from this blog posted on another blog.....full tutorial, with my  cropped photos, and no credit or permission granted.  Apparently she thought she had changed the colors and size and could claim it as her own.  There was no reply when I am taking the high road and will let it go.   Not because I am a better person, or nicer.......rather I will be more cautious, learn a lesson, and be sure to watermark anything I consider original.   The Golden Rule applies here....and I need to always remember to give credit to others.....even when I swipe a photo to share.  Guess I got caught on that didn't I?  
   Anyway, read her post, it is a good one.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

He's fuming!

  Sir Old Man is fuming!  That's a good thing, too.
  Last January I finished up this quilt, the Buzz Saw quilt.  The agreement was I would make a new quilt and  he would build a new bed.  The quilt has been waiting for the bed since then.

   Over the last few months I have shown the progress on the bed parts....the slats, the legs, part of the head board in various posts.  Today I want to share the fuming stage.

  When Sir Old Man completed the end table  last fall, I mentioned that he had fumed the wood before putting on the finish.  It gives the natural wood a very unique patina.  There is an aged appearance that can not come from a stain or dye.  The "blonde highlight" on the table is from sap wood, which does not change with fuming.....even with stain it has a lighter appearance.

  I have been waiting for this stage---not very patiently---because I know it means the finish is getting near.   Or so I thought.  Let me explain......
  Fuming is done with is dangerous when breathed in, so a great deal of care must be taken.  That means the fumes from the ammonia must be contained in a type of covered cage along with the furniture parts/pieces/sections and it must be sealed.   This sits for a couple of days  to allow the fumes from the ammonia to react with the tannin in the wood.  The tannin will darken during the react which gives the deeper patina to the wood.  Actually, this explanation is the easy part.  Designing and building the cage and internal structure to hold the pieces took over a week!
   If you have hung on this long and are not bored, here are some photos of the fuming cage.

  Sir Old Man  recycled some shelf brackets and supports by building a structure out of 2x4 lumber.  The pieces for the bed can rest on the arm brackets.

   The support system is inside the actual cage structure.  The cage is built of PVC pipe.

   It was like designing a puzzle to figure out how to get the long and short pieces, the legs, and such to fit inside.  Once he was happy with the arrangement, out came the heavy plastic.

  One last look to be sure everything is positioned and ready to be sealed.   Wait......what do you mean you need to go to the big box store?  Now what do you need?
  ....Duct Tape!!!  
  ....You don't have duct tape?  Well, be sure to pick up a pretty color.
 .... Colored duct tape?
.... Yes, duct tape comes in lots of colors and designs now.
  At this point he did not believe me.  I stuck out my hand and said "Betcha".  He refused and went to the big box store.
Guess what he found?  Guess what he brought home?

Note the end sealed with ugly, manly, grey duct tape!
I had to laugh. He told me I was right, and could buy more
   That's okay, I was happy to see the bed pieces caged and sealed with grey duct tape.   Now the wait begins.

   Thanks for visiting the workshop with me today.....let's go make some scraps, or sawdust.  Happy stitching.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...