Friday, May 29, 2015

Let's book It --May

    Hello, from Morph!  My maker is a bit busy this morning,  baking bread it seems.  I figured I could fill in just as well since I am the Let's Book It project.
  A couple of months ago, I was being assembled as a lot of string blocks.   And somewhere along the way, she got bored with my layout.  She put me aside to finish up other things.....I mean really ignored.  What was wrong with me?   My blocks were fabrics she loved, a nice size, different values to play with.....all good things.  I was so dejected.

    Then about a month ago, she got make a change.   A new arrangement, some  sashing strips, and I was given a new chance to become a real quilt!

   This week I got quilted.....and stuck with way too many pins, but it was worth the pain to become a finished Let's Book It project.  She says she just did meandering stitching and a few loops in the border, but I think I turned out to be quite handsome.

   She named me Metamorphosis----now really who can get their tongues around that?  So just call me Morph, I will come winging my way to cover you up.

   These are my official ID photos..... hanging on the railing.  You can see my concentration of light values give the appearance of light streaming through a window with a garden view....or so she says.

    And resting on the new walk.   Did you happen to spot  the trick I played on her?  Believe me she was hotter than a hornet when she caught on----after the quilting was done!

   OK....if you need a hint.  Check out the middle group of three blocks of the window panes.  I managed to flip them around so that the strings fall in a different direction.   After spitting a few needles, she calmed down and laughed about it.  She said those were the broken panes that got replaced  after she had to break into the house.  And I believe that is a long lost story for another time.

   I am  ready for a nap.....and I smell fresh bread.  Bet she is just about done.
Thanks for letting me share my history story today.

  LOL.....I see you met the quilt that almost did me in.   Hiding in plain sight, those three blocks almost made me quit.  Yet in the end, a design mistake doesn't really destroy anything.....except maybe my self-esteem and pride.  Putting it out there for all to see.....we can chose to laugh or cry about it.  I did both.
    This will end out my month as I have family in town for a few days.  One quilt finished for May along with a few small projects recently posted.  I see I am slowing down, and that is okay.  I have one ready to quilt for next month, and that's a good thing.

    Info for Let's Book It can be found here at Vrooman's Quilts.    Now I just need a new Let's Book It project.  Something small for a change.   Happy stitching.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Finishing a few things

  I decided it was time to get a few things finished up to make some space on the "to be done" table.  I am probably the only one in the world that has a stack of small projects that get  set aside for  later completion.  This runner is one of those projects.  It's the Piano Keys pattern done in fall tone florals.  This is the small size using 2" strips.


   Two place mats needed I got to dig through the binding strip bin to find the right colors.  I love these done in the colorways.  I don't do much quilting on them, just some straight stitches in the white area to keep them from shifting.

   The design wall was bare.  I need to have something up there to keep me motivated.   The Carolina Chain---small version---went up on the wall for some interest.   I have a couple dozen units pieced and will get them turned into blocks soon.

   I know I seem to be a one-trick/repeat pony lately, between the string blocks and faux braid, and Carolina Chain blocks......but classics never go out of style.  When I get this one done, I should be ready for something new.
   I am spending the afternoon quilting on Hot Legs....she needed a good workout.  Maybe I will actually have a large finish this month.....happy stitching.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Finds May 22

  My case of batting arrived this now I can get the next quilt pinned.   I ordered from Batt-mart......Quilter's Dream on sale last week.
 The finds this week follow that thought....batting tips.

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 From the Quilting Board.....a handy tip to remember  how to place the batting!  It can affect your stitching and appearance.     * I know I have done this backwards and hated how the stitching looked*.

Laura Wasilowski explains what she calls the Scrim Factor.....on you tube in a short video.  Worth the 2 minutes of watching!

Some miscellaneous.......
   Sir Old Man's latest project gives me a safe, level board walk.  This area is right off the back porch, and gives us access to the rain barrel and bird feeder.  Recycled decking screwed down to 4x4 supports.....made in 2 sections, and pegged in place with rebar.  Sounds easy, but it took 2 days of hard work in the heat.
   Of course it needs to be washed down and painted,  but it is level.....that is all I asked for.  I can keep the weeds pulled and the plants trimmed up down without being worried about stumbling and falling.

   Off to get haircuts and run some errands......stitching later.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Just yard work.....

   After fighting the weeds in the beds, I have had no energy to sew.  After cutting back bushes that are way over grown, I have not felt like cutting fabric.  I did not mean to stay away so long, but some things must be tackled before the heat wave arrives......and stays.
   We put up the sun shade sails yesterday, and we need to finish one small project before I return to sewing.    The short back path off the porch needs a face lift.  It was originally just stepping stone slabs with lots of ground cover.   The ground has heaved and done its thing--very uneven and dangerous for me---- and now the stones must be re-set or replaced.  We have decided to go for a level path and use reclaimed decking instead of stone slabs.   Hopefully this will be accomplished in short time as Sir Old Man has a plan.   I will provided the lemonade for  heat relief.

Spring 2015 Viewer’s Choice :: Nominate & Vote Here!    Don't forget the Blogger's Quilt festival is still going on.  It is time to nominate your favorites.  
  Then the voting begins next week.......

   A last bloom, and those pesky weeds......and soon I will get back to the regular routine.  Happy stitching.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival.....small quilt entry

  I hope you are enjoying the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

I decided to share a second entry this year, as well as the story behind it.

  We have become friends with a young couple at church and often do the Saturday lunch thing with them.  In February we were having a lunch chat and talking about the expected baby soon to arrive.  My plan was already in the works---purple pinwheels accented with yellow.  And then Amber began to talk about butterflies and pink and green, and Chad's comment was, " I am expecting something great.".  Oh boy, time to change the design!  I went from pinwheels to wings and strings.

     I began making  butterfly wings in different color ways with string piecing.  I cut the background squares at 6 1/2" inches and then chopped off one corner.  Each pair was cut differently so there would be a variety of sizes for interest.  And I could avoid the bulk in the corners!

   I shaded by value from dark to light, or light to dark to add some dimension to each pair.  Then to the design wall....and I twisted them to fly in different directions.

  Next it was time for the border and quilting.  I used a darker green for the main border fabric and inserted strips of prints along the way.

  The main body of the quilt was quilted with a small meandering stitch.  And a wavy line of feather plumes  all the way around completed the border.

  Dancing Wings quilted and bound in the bright  pink she wanted.
   A beautiful baby girl was born and name Gracelyn.  A beautiful gentle name for a little girl who will be soon chasing butterflies.

 On quilt delivery day, Mama Amber grabbed the bag and exclaimed "Let me see!".  And the first thing she did was flip the quilt over to see the label!  Of course, there was one----and I did not take a photo of it :(  .    The father, a man of few words...gave me a hug and said I did good.

Dancing Wings, 46" by 50 "---small quilt category.
   And me....I learned a good lesson.  Make plans, yet be willing to change.  And always take a photo of the label!    Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy the rest of the festival, too.  Happy stitching.

Blogger's Quilt Festival May 2015

Welcome to the the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Spring is here.  A time of warmer days that bring a garden filled with delights.   Making this quilt brought memories of wonderful garden tours.

  Visiting the creation of others, seeing their formal gardens of straight paths and fountains, and enjoying the wonders of the informal cottage gardens with twists and turns.   Look closely at this quilt and you will see the influences of both......twisting paths, open spaces --filled with feather quilting, and a shaded border that reminds me of dappled sunlight.

 On the tours I often strayed from the paths, bending under a tree limb to see what hidden treasures I could find.   A gardener will often hide a quiet spot just beyond your view.    Please ignore my un-pulled weeds....this bed is a work in progress.

  I began this quilt in January for my Let's Book It project....hosted by Vroomans Quilts.  Pick a book, find a project, make it!

 The pattern is called English Garden from a publication by the Paloose Patchers from many years ago.   I almost followed the directions.....except I used wider 2" strips.  The blocks that make up the center are a modified log cabin, with one dark side and one light side. When viewed from a distance, it has a wonderful twisted ribbon effect.
    And there is a pieced vertical sashing that almost drove me crazy.   It joins two vertical rows....yet has few reference points for piecing.  


  It was the border that caught my watercolor eye......hundreds of 2" squares that are blended dark to light frame the entire center.  Just made to order for me, as that is what I love to do.  Before you panic and run, I will say I was prepared for this with a heavy stash of 2" squares already cut and a supply of fusible interfacing. 


 I simply worked in sections ---blending, fusing, and joining them as I worked around the quilt.   And no, I did not count the number of squares I used, but I did deplete my stash!

   The wide open spaces were a perfect space to fill with endless feather quilting.  It flattened the "paths" and let the blocks become the feature.  The border was quilted with a medium meandering stitch.

When it came time to name this quilt,  it seemed very natural to call it "Where My Feet May Fall".  I can enjoy a nap under it and view many gardens at the same time.
  Finished size is 64" by 84".....large quilt category.
  Thanks for visiting my garden and enjoy the festival and all it's inspiration.
Happy stitching.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Slow down

spring 2015 BQF Button   The Blogger's Quilt Festival begins Friday......get your post ready!  We went out early this morning for a few new photos for my entry.  I love the early light to show the stitching and colors.   Follow the link above to read the details.  Early thanks to Amy for all her hard work putting the festival together.

 I have been taking it slower the last few days.....all the weeds and yard work got to me.
   I played around with the border idea on the off set log cabin (faux braid style).  I feel like  I need a narrow strip to frame the over all design before the border comes into play.  The main border is light----a white and tan leaf print.
   I found a few blocks....not 9 patch like I thought, but 16 patch.  By adding a couple of  partial blocks, I can extend the "unfinished point" of the barn raising design.  That's on one side.....the rest is yet to come.

   I am off to bake bread for a luncheon tomorrow......happy stitching.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Package from across the waves

   A Mrs. Claus package arrived from a long, long way away.  Make that from half way round the globe......Australia, to be exact!   I was so excited to open it.

      Let me just say how my heart is touched when I open one of these packages.  For strangers to come together, share their time, talent, and love and make this project an on-going successful endeavor simply over whelms me.  Every time I open one of the packages, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be able to spread loving kindness with your efforts.

  Mrs. Claus of Australia is a self described "Kiwi" by birth.....that means she is a New Zealander.....and she now lives in Australia.  Let's see what she sent.

  Embroidered blue work  on one with star fish print accent is so cute.  A  fussy cut house is the feature for the second.  

   A kiwi lime stripe is just lots of fun.  The string pieced one on the right has adorable embroidery at the top.   This Mrs. Claus does beautiful handwork!

  A collection of squares for another doll quilt.  This reminds me of vintage treasures from Grandmother's day.  The quilt on the right is the backing Shirlwin used  from the first quilt above.....sea shells to match the front!

   Of course, you knew I would save the purple one for last.  Purple guitars with pink rick-rack accent made me smile!  It really is so cute.  It made me feel like dancing.....or at least think about dancing!  Oh, those were the days of youth.

  Mrs. Kiwi Claus of Australia, aka Shirlwin, is a member of Our Circle of Friends forum.    She is honoring both New Zealand and Australia this year with her donation of doll quilts.

  And yes, Shirlwin, some little girls will love each of these little quilts.  Thank you so much for helping again this year.

Big hugs to all the Mrs. Claus you all.
Happy stitching.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday Finds--May 8

   A couple of quilts full of inspiration were found this week.  One solved a problem for me, and the other filled my head with ideas!

From Wedding Dress Blues
 Remember my delimma with the rail fence 2+4 blocks that were too washed out in my design?  See it here.   Well, this "pin" gave me an answer as too what to do with those extra blocks that were not working.  I can use them later in a scrappy one like this!   Or at least do a small version.
A good tutorial is given with various sizes and color schemes....worth the pin!

Red bow
From Timna Tarr

  After seeing this quilt, I think  there is another Bow Tie project in my future!  Visit Timna Tarr for her inspiration  for this bow tie.  She also did a multi-color version that is a knock out.   I love how she used that negative space of white to create interest/light source/focal point.  
   All reds, or using batiks, all blues, or ocean colors......I think this modern setting of bow tie blocks has lots of inspiration potential.  

As always....please visit the highlighted link for pinning to get the details.  
  Happy Mother's Day wishes early.....may you get breakfast in bed, a basket of fabric and thread, and a lot of love.  Happy stitching.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Floral log cabin blocks

    All the floral log cabin blocks are now a flimsy.  At this stage it is 48" by 64".....that leaves a little room for a border without getting too large.

   I have a couple of different ideas about the is to make a few more blocks and carry the pattern into the border in a couple of places.  The problem with this idea is the increases the quilt by 8" on each side.   I want to maintain the off set I need to think on this one.

   The second idea  also extends the fabric palette into the border  using  9 patch blocks.   I have a few extra floral 9 patches in the orphan box, so I need to pull them out and play around with this idea.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

A trio of doll quilts and some answers

     A cute trio of doll quilts arrived last week.  These are from Mrs. Claus of Texas.  Rose, aka Rosenana, is a member of the Circle of Friends.   The colors are just dainty and sweet in this one.

  And the other two are fun and dashing with bright colors.  I love the red dots, they say summer is on the way!
   Thank you, Mrs. Claus for helping and giving of your time and talent.

My version of the Carolina Chain

   After my post of the end of the month projects, I had several emails about the Carolina Chain block.   The original block was from 2010 Quiltmaker magazine....ala Bonnie Hunter.  It is in her column Addicted to Scraps----so that is why I did not post complete instructions on how to make this block.  Bonnie gives so much away, and by posting instructions I know I would be violating copyright.   It is quite easy to figure out and select the size strip you want to use according to your stash.  My quilt in the photo used 2 1/2" strips.

     I began playing around with a smaller version over the weekend.......I know another project, but I was just testing it out  ;)    I have stacks of 2" strips of by adding a few strips of batiks for the center squares, I came up with this.  Each small unit finishes at 4 1/2".

  I have seen this quilt using all batiks....and it is always beautiful.  Then I saw one that a friend did in blue and yellow.....very striking.   What's in your stash?  Pick your favorite fabric style and go for it, I say!

 And several questions about the rail fence with 2 patch + 4 patch  popped up.  Here is the post with the block. 
     My earlier version appeared "watered down" because I included too many squares with light backgrounds.  I put together a few more blocks, keeping the prints and backgrounds deeper in value.  Now, the design becomes more evident.   Of course, you could reverse the rails by using  a dark rail mixed with lighter 2+4 patch units.  That would give a different look!     You can't get easier than a rail fence design.....and it makes a great donation quilt, baby quilt,  or family snuggle up quilt.  Just remember , you are the designer.....let your quilt speak with your voice.   Happy stitching.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May already?

  Time is flying by again......April was full of projects.

   A scrap quilt made from the Carolina Chain block from Bonnie Hunter was quilted and bound.  I named this one Home Ties.

 The pattern was in an old Quiltmaker magazine....but it is an easy one to figure out.  I used 2 1/2" strips for this one.  Light center squares go on one diagonal and the darker center squares go in the opposite direction.

   I spent a few days playing around with the 2+4 patch block scrap project.  My stack of 2 patches is piling up as I am making them as a leader/ender unit while I work of other quilts.  That means I have 3 things going on right now......that is enough.

  Then I spent a week making table runners from the Piano Keys pattern from Connie at Freemotion by the River.  I love this pattern and am planning /cutting out one in fall tones!

  The floral string quilt got a change up in the layout, which really slowed me down.  But I like the blocks so much better with the sashing strips.  I have just uncovered a fabric for a border, so I can get this one completed next month.

   I finished up the floral log cabin blocks....and decided on this layout.  It is simmering on the design wall until I get the border onto the string quilt.

  May looks like it will be spent on completions.....the string quilt, the log cabin watercolor, and  more blocks for the scrappy rail fence of 2 + 4 patches.
More than enough to keep me busy.  As much as I want to jump onto a new project,  I will stick to my limit of 3.....and maybe just add in a plan or two.   Happy stitching.
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