Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Slow week

    I saw a poster on the Pernicious Anemia FB page.......it tells exactly how I feel this week.  I know many of you battle pain daily too.
   This has not been a productive week on the sewing front.  I did a small amount of sewing more as a diversion than production.  Pain tends to do that to me and it has been one of those weeks.  Pain  is now prominent  in my feet.....I feel like the bones are exposed and the pains shoot up my heel and sole of my feet.  So walking and activity has been less.....and on top of that I have an evaluation for more physical therapy tomorrow.  Keep it in perspective.....I have sensation in feet and legs  where none was.  I believe this is part of the "reversing out" process of the nerves healing and connections being made.



    I added 4 more blocks to the scrappy mountains on the design wall.  And I cut 4 more sets......I think that will be enough for this one.    Yet, I haven't made a dent in the floral fabrics......I am losing on that front.

Piper on "place" quilt

  This pretty girl is Piper, my daughter's service dog.  Piper asked for a new "place" quilt.  When she is "on duty" Piper knows that she can keep watch from her quilt.   Piper goes to work at least 4 days each week....here she is keeping an eye on Mama while she is getting a check up at the doctors.

   She requested one that is colorful and fun.   This one always reminded me of a party.......we will send it off today.

   Happy stitching.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Magical eclipse

   We were fortunate enough to live in the path of totality for the solar eclipse.  For weeks that is all we have heard on the local news.  Huge viewing parties and events were planned in the area.  No hotel rooms were available in the county!  I thought about it and then decided not to offer the spare room for rent.  LOL.

  Today came and no clouds in the early morning.  A quick sit on the porch and I knew we would need to add the tall fan for cooling and table for the laptop.  It was very quiet for early morning.....no birds, bees, or chirps.

  By 1 pm it began.  Sir Old Man rigged up a box for me for viewing the projected eclipse.  He had the face shield to use from his welder's set.  We watched a bit of the local news streaming from different events.   The temperature began to drop a little bit, the shadows began to lose their sharp edge, and colors appeared different.  It was eerie.  Like a ripple in the time warp curtain, things were not distinct, and yet they were in the normal place.

Sir Old Man suddenly said, "Look".   Glancing down at the deck, I saw spots of sunlight that were the shape of the eclipse stage.  I had heard about the phenomenon.  Normally, light filters thru leaves of the trees or shrubs onto the dark ground/grass/surfaces.  This projection is not round at all, but crescent shaped like the eclipse.  

   Then we walked out onto the larger deck and stepped into a magical scene of crescent shaped areas of sunlight.

   Actually a more fitting description would be mystical.  The total eclipse was quickly approaching, the shadows were much deeper and less defined.  So standing there I felt like I was stepping into space as those tiny slivers of  were sparkling in the deepening dark.


 A projection of light on the hand rail.


And barely a few seconds later the projection is smaller/thinner.   Total eclipse is coming.

  When the total eclipse happened, it was abrupt as if the light switch was flipped.  One second there were faint shadows lines of the trees on the yard, and the next second they were gone.  The air temp cooled immediately.  Darkness descended all at once.  Through the tree line I could just make out the sunset colors of the sky.

  And Sir Old Man took a photo at totality.  Just to the right of the eclipse, Venus was fully visible and so beautiful .   I stood there in awe, with tears streaming down my face at such a sight.  Complete darkness, no shadows, Venus shining and the sun in corona......at 2:38 pm.

   And shadows returned as abruptly as they vanished.   The process began to reverse itself....the crescent shapes flipped as the moon shifted across the face of the sun.   Shadow became sharper, and colors returned to normal.   And birds....the birds began to chirp and sing.  A butterfly flew by.   A most magical mystical experience.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Once again......scrappy mountains majesty

   I had a comment this week on  some of my quilts.   The comment picked up on the simplicity of the  patterns I use  to create some of my  quilts.  I loved that....someone gets my philosophy.  Let the fabric do the work for you....and  I find that simple patterns work best with busy, colorful fabrics.    That is what satisfies me, and what you will find me doing.

   As I continue to use up my floral stash, I also tend to repeat patterns.   Nothing wrong with a repeat, if it is one you like a lot.  I enjoy figuring out a new version of my favorites.

  So from the stack of oldies that I made.......scrappy mountain majesty is a very easy pattern.  I use the tutorial from Bonnie at Quiltville.com  .   I made this first version about 7 to 8 years ago from large scraps that I had on hand.  I used a larger square and  sub-cut for this one....I think 2 1/2'' strips, so the blocks are larger.  This was mainly to learn the technique and use up some fabric.

  Fast forward to 2014, and enter the "whopper" for our bed and a tribute to Sir Old Man's woodworking skills.  

   This is the Buzz Saw quilt....same pattern with an extra strip added turn it into the  square buzz saw block.    If you want details...go to the linked posts.

   And this is what you will find on my design wall right now.   This version is done in florals.....let's just say the Year of Florals started 2 years ago is still continuing.
  Anyway, I am not sure if this is the layout I will use, or if I will make more blocks, or if there will be borders.    This is just what there is for now.

Happy stitching.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Any Which Way

Up, down, or sideways.....any which way it works for you.   I shared the development and layout for this water color here.  
 The debate went on in the comments about which way it should be oriented.

   This is how  it was oriented as I worked on it on the design wall.  The center portion was a class sample that was getting a little worn, so I added the gray border.  Then I went on and decided to add an outer border to show how to create a shadow and use the reverse value technique.

 Reverse Value Technique:  My word phrase to describe the contrast of value between the center portion of a wall hanging and the added border.  Where the center area is light in value, the outer border will be dark in value when placed next to it.    Refer to the upper right of the photo.....inner section is light/medium and the outer border is dark.    Lower left corner.....dark value in the center and light in the outer border.
  Opposite values next to each other in this case  are a good thing:)

     And a finished version with the dark shadow at the top.  I like this but had the inspiration to turn it upside down.

    And the personality changed with the  altered perspective.  The weight falls to the base and the shadow shifts to the left.   Sunlight fills the upper border.   The center portion to me appears to be a path now that is  leading me through an arbor of blooms on a summer's day.  

   And if you prefer.....a sideways view would work too...that photo did not turn out. :(   The name was an easy choice.....Any Which Way.  Size is 25'' by 31''.  

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Will this fabric work?

  I love fabric, I love floral fabric, but sometimes ....not so much.
  I get gifted with fabrics often....and this was one of those.  It came with the comment,  "It's floral so you should be able to use it."    Not for my watercolors....lol.

 Why?  In class I will often hold up a fabric, much like this one, and ask will this fabric work in your watercolor project.    Why not?   Common responses are

  • too much background showing
  • flowers are too small/or too far apart
  • too dark
  The correct answer is it is too evenly spaced and at a distance appears to resemble polka dots.  This green with the rose buds went on the back.....not the front of a small project.    Stand 5 feet back from it and you see dotted spots.  Save the polka dots for another project.  The florals/flowers need to blend.  

  Another example.....this is a recent print....much more modern.  While it is a great print, not so much for my style  of design.  The graphics are stark and have no shading making blending to other fabrics difficult.  I did cut some 2'' squares and try to use it, but found they stood out on their own.  They did not play nice with other fabrics.    But it is a great choice for a backing :)

The fabric may be a floral.....but not all florals work for me.  Guess you can call me picky.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Back in time to String Me Along


 Going back to  an early project.......String Me Along .
  I love this quilt.   I have it hanging in the sunroom and so enjoy all the details and fun things I learned and used in it.  

Here's the link to the post from 2011, when I finished it.

   I was looking at it yesterday and saw the hummingbird on it.   And that reminded me to check on the hummingbird feeder......it needed cleaning and refilling.    I enjoy their garden antics....swooping in, darting among the branches, hovering nearby, and then all out war to claim the territory.
  What you see on the quilt is what you can find in my gardens...... or could when things were in good shape :)

And one more critter on the quilt that we watch hopping around and nibbling our weeds, etc.  You might have to look close to find him as I sort of camouflaged him under the flower.

  Another post with a few details about the blocks, stitching, and such.   Most of the information on this quilt is scattered over about 6 posts and sort of jumbled.  It was early blogging days....I did not know what I was doing really:)  Second, some of the post have lost photos, need a fix, and such due I think to the blogger switch/change up format from a few years back.

  Would I do this again?  You bet.....only better and probably not as large.  I recently ran across the templates for the appliques I used.  Most of them were original, so I think that is why I kept them.   And there would be lots more floral fabrics.....instead of leftover bits and strings.

  But right now.....I am working on lots of small items for gifts, and guild boutique items.....more mug rugs:)  I have a couple of wall hangings to pin for quilting and that will be my time eater for the week.     So until I get some things done......happy stitching.
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