Friday, August 23, 2019

Tails and Bindings

  Yes, yes, I am still here......just been very quiet and struggling with the pain and heat.  Over the weekend, I pulled out tops, batting, and backing fabric for three things.  The two smaller ones have been hanging around for a while and will be donated.

   I uncovered Hot Legs, my Tiara mid-arm.  What a machine!  It has been sitting for at least two months and fired up and stitched just perfectly.    I only had to barely touch the tension when I changed thread cones. 

  Gentle swirls with tails for the quilting on this one.  The pattern is Crossroads from Connie at Freemotion by the River.   Love this pattern, which I have made before.  Note the binding....all ready to attach and wound up on an empty spool. 


 
  Lots of squares and a few random placed wonky stars here.  I used a medium stipple to quilt, except for the little swirl in the star centers.  I have tons of tails to bury on this one.  I know I am out of practice because I kept getting myself stuck in a corner around the stars.  So I had to break thread and find a new position....oh, well.  I found my self-threading needles that I use to hide tails. 

  The last top is pinned and ready to go.  It is the lattice blocks.  I am just not quite sure how I will quilt it.  I will have to pull out my sketch book of FMQ motifs and see what will work best. 
  In the meantime, I have tails to hide, and more binding to stitch together.  Both of these, well, all three really will have scrappy mixed bindings.  Might as well get them all sewn and ready for finishing. 
  We are expecting rains this weekend and some cooler temps for next week.  It has been stifling around this part of the world for the last month.  Wet air that smothers you like a heavy blanket.   Hoping we can slip up to the Apple Farm in NC and grab some early apples next week......I have a taste for some apple bread. 
Happy stitching.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sewing on the lattice

    We sure enjoyed the cooler days last week.    Heat has returned but it is not severe.   Plus we have had very intermittent internet and phone this week.   Finally a repairman showed yesterday who couldn't fix it,  and didn't know what to do with our problem. He thought maybe they could get a guy out next week....huh? And that  lead to a strong verbal demand by me---while Sir Old Man melted into the floor--- but a second guy called and showed within the hour!   The fix was easy when he got to the main box.   So we are back up and running with service.   I hate  being the squeaky wheel sometimes, but you have to stand your ground.   

 On to the sewing room.....
   I finished up the lattice blocks from all the large 5'' squares I had cut.  I fiddled with them on the design wall, and realized the more I moved them the worse it was.  LOL....isn't that the way it goes.  So I decided to just put them up as I completed the sewing and trimming.  As long as neighboring blocks were not alike, it stayed where it landed. 
   I webbed together the top 4 rows and sewed them together.  Time to press.



  I still have 8 or so rows to  go on the design wall.  I will probably divide it into 2 sections so it is easier to handle. 

  In between sessions, I pulled out my floral string bin.....it is overly full with all the extra pieces from this last project.  I will be making some small string blocks next. 


   Our neighbor has been making deliveries to our front porch nightly.....as he is sharing his garden goodness!  I make him apple bread in the fall and he brings me tomatoes and cucumbers!  Fair enough I say.  I plan on making another Tomato Pie tonight for dinner  from his bounty.   The link is to an adapted Paula Deen recipe.  I only altered the crust and made a quick one with Bisquick and half n' half. 
  And now to the ironing station....I have seams to press.
Happy stitching. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Comments from "no-reply"

 This is a rant! 
 I have been inundated this week with comments that are no-reply commenters.  Please tell me why you would ask a question and leave no way for the person to reply to you.  It is like leaving a phone message without your return number. 

   I started to copy and paste the comments here in hopes the person would see them, but why cause more distress.  If you are in doubt about your profile, check to see if your email is linked.  Linked does not mean it is openly displayed, but it allows the blogger to reply to you.  Nothing is shown on the blog.

  Instead, I thought about why I began to blog and what I wanted to accomplish here.  It is to promote quilting in general, to share my experience and knowledge, and have a record of the quilts I make.  So.............here is my list of general replies to some very common questions.   Take your pick  :)

#1.   I do not sell patterns.  Thank you for the interest and kind remarks.  My quilts are made as self-expression.  Many of them have a story behind them.  I suggest you use the search feature on the side bar to look for posts about the quilt you expressed interest in.  Or use the "Labels" feature to look for posts in general.

#2.   I no longer teach classes, instead I share all I know here on my blog.  Like I stated before, use the search feature to look for information on the topic you are interested in.  The Labels feature could also be helpful.  It may take some time, but it is free!

#3.   Each watercolor quilt is unique.  Duplicating them is impossible.  But the technique is learn-able.  I have a page at the top of the blog "Tutorial for designing...." .  Here you will find many links to exact posts full of the details you want.  You are free to print out the full tutorial to use on your own.   Under the Patterns tab at the top of the blog, there are 2 design guides for value for 2 watercolor projects.  I suggest you start there. 

#4.    I have no idea how much yardage is required for this quilt.  Scrap quilts are just that....made from scraps from other projects.   In this one, I added background fabric and border fabric as well as binding.  In general a queen quilt might take about 8 yards of fabric......if the blocks are scraps, who know???? And don't forget the backing.

#5.    A fabric stash is built over years.....not with a single shopping trip.   I bought what I could afford along the way.  For building a floral stash, I bought many fat quarters because you can get a lot of 2'' squares out of a 1/4 yard cut.  But yardage of  at least one to two yards is needed for borders and featured parts. 

#6.  I have no idea.  Buy a book,  or check out Pinterest for information.

  And I will call it a day on this!   Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lattice blocks and link

   I have 2 bins of fabrics to sort thru still, but not yet!    There are about 30 more blocks already cut and ready to sew.
   I wanted to make sure I liked the batik blocks mixed in with the floral fabrics.   I began filling the design wall.
 Yes, I like the combos.   And I have something to gaze upon instead of a blank wall.



Once I have a few more blocks sewn and up on the wall, then I will worry about shifting things and the layout.  I'm not sure if I will let things fall where they may, or lump colors or values.  Time will tell, I guess.


  I had a couple of emails about the pattern.  The original pattern I tore out of McCall's Quilting in 2007, called Trading Patches.
   Anyway, I did some hunting on line and finally found an archive link....here
  It is not the original article but a resized throw.  The details are the same.

I started  with a 5'' square, slice on the diagonal and add a 1 1/2'' strip to those diagonal cuts.  Block is squared up to 5''.
I mix up the matching when paining the lattice strip to the square of fabric.  Meaning some dark squares get medium to dark strips added, and others get light ones.  The same for the lighter squares.

  I also ran across another variation while searching.  But I did not save the link.....the 5'' squares were cut on the diagonal as this pattern.   But, different halves of the square were sewn to either side of the lattice strip.  A little busier variation but the same technique.

  A new subdivision is going in nearby.  The old golf course was sold and the developers are blasting....blasting with dynamite thru granite.  I don't know why they want  or need to dig so deep, but our nerves are on edge with the vibrations and shaking.  Yesterday, we thought it was an earthquake.   Hate the growth and such out here.  We thought we moved far enough out of town.  Guess not.
  I'll be found in the sewing room avoiding the heat and noise.....happy stitching.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Right now?

  First the saga of that "snake in the grass" scrappy trips top that needed to be ripped apart.  Finally un-sewn, gently starched and pressed, and re-sewn correctly.....including the outer stay-stitching.   I find I am no longer in love with it, and not really wanting to finish it.  At least  not right now.  At some point in time for someone.....just not  right now.

   I toyed with the idea of Bonnie's new leader and ender block project, the Shoo Fly block.  I think I would enjoy it larger rather than the 4 or 6 inch version.    Since I am not in the mood to figure it out or do the math, I am passing for right now. 
    Are you sensing a theme in my mood....right now?   Maybe it is the heat and humidity, or it could be the summer doldrums that has me unsettled and unfocused.  When I get this way, I tend to return to a favorite pattern that I did enjoy.
   Looking into the stash closet, I saw a couple of partial packages of pre-cut charms squares in the batik basket.   I never buy those pre-cuts, so I am pretty sure, they were won several years back.  Then the floral fabric shelves are overflowing and need to be organized.  That means pulling things out and refolding or stacking.  So if I am going to handle things once, I am going to make it count for something.


  This is a scrappy quilt made by in 2014, and given away.  I always liked the movement  and variety in the pattern.  So with lots of 5'' squares to use up,  a plan came to mind.    Cutting squares and strips from lots of  floral fabrics, finding some extra batiks for narrow strips, I have been busy in between the ripping.







   I am only about half way thru the re-organizing  right now.  I have a few blocks to show for it.  And that is enough for right now to get me working on a project that I can enjoy.

   Happy stitching.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Need to rip

I thought I was going to finally get this top together, so I just kept sewing.  Instead, when I quickly pinned it up on the wall without even straightening it................


What????????????    Where did that zig-zag come from?   I added the last column upside down and the design gets lost and that wiggly mess appeared.  LOL, I need to laugh at myself.  So I will be doing some ripping to get this mess figured out.  
  Lesson to learn.....when you are tired, quit sewing.  Instead of rushing, take a break.  Look twice before you sew.  

  We have had some visitors and such, so my routine has been a bit off.   Things will fall back in place by month's end.  Maybe by then I will have this thing fixed or done!  
  LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color sent me an email and photo of her finished small project using the Chandelier blocks she made.  Click here for that post.  
Perfect colors  for the holiday week, it turned out so great.  
Have a safe and fun July 4th.....lots of heat here, so I will be inside intead of outdoors this week.  Happy stitching.  

Monday, June 24, 2019

Blog Banner---From my archives

Rather than fending and answering a couple dozen emails, I thought it would be easier to re-post this from 2017.    I responded to a post by Kerry on the Quiltville Studio Group on FB and she mentioned my blog.  She had been inspired to make a beautiful version of Scrappy Trips in floral fabrics by my banner.  Others had questions....so here is a post that could answer many of them.
From July 2017.......

Insight:   Things occur and happen to direct you along the road 
you are suppose to take.  There are signs we can chose to ignore, 
but with advanced age I have learned to be more 
receptive to directions.  At least sometimes. 

   All of this to say......this has been a week for emails and questions....not just requests for patterns.  Questions are a good thing.  Questions ask for help, provide direction, point up details I have forgotten, and they let me know what readers/followers want to know.   So after 3 questions about the quilt shown in the blog banner, I think I needed to provide details.  A hunt thru past posts revealed a big lack of details.  I have no idea what happened about that.



   Trippin'  Thru the Flowers is from 2014.  I began working on this as a Let's Book It project in April/May 2014.  The pattern is from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.    She calls it Scrappy Trips.   It is a Trip Around the World variation.....many small trips in fact.  My version is based on value rather than one color.   So.....chains of value radiate around the center square creating diamond bands of value.   Doesn't that sound rich?

  Value......not color.  Value is the lightness or darkness of the fabric.   And the secret to a quilt with the changes in value like this is variety.  You can't have enough floral prints to chose from :)   
 Three things I use to work with value in a water color (or a scrap quilt) are
  •  a value viewer (ruby beholder), 
  • a design wall, 
  • and a camera.   
Learn to sort your fabrics into correct value groups.   I use a ruby beholder viewer.  Additional tip....... Visit Exuberant Color for some good lessons... variety of value  ,  a lesson on value .  I learned great lessons from Wanda's blog, and there is no reason to create my version when she is a master at this.  

Design wall.....big, small, permanent or portable, it is so important.  I can stand back from a design layout about 8-10 feet and see how the values are working together.  In this design I wanted to  see distinct lines of dark and light.  I needed areas of medium value fabrics to blend to the dark and to the light fabrics.  

A camera....if all else fails, take a photo.  Look at it on the computer and amazingly, I can see where problems lie that need to be fixed.  Added tip....turn the photo into a black and white version and you will see instant photo based on value!



Back to the quilt............  
This is how the Scrappy Trips is put together.  4 blocks come together to make up the small trip around the world unit that you see.   If you read thru Bonnie's pattern, you will know that it takes 6 strips for each block unit.    So I had to make several variations for the variety in the full quilt.
   I laid out the strips according to value from dark to light before sewing them together.  It was important to be sure the dark and light fabrics were distinct and not too "mushy".   The lowest block on the left is just a little bit too mushy.  Compare it to the upper corner block that is diagonal to it.  Much stronger light in the center creates the radiating diamond.     So yes, I did have to do some planning--not too much--- to be sure I had light center units forming as well as dark center units.  

 And now a little further along.
   I got better as I went along....selecting fabrics to put together to blend and to have contrast.  
  In the pattern instructions, after you make sub-cuts you unpick a seam to join the rows.  The strongest dark or lightest light fabric was needed to run thru the center to get the pattern.  



   So many Scrappy Trips became Trippin' Thru the Flowers.   And  then became my blog banner.......as it speaks dearly of the floral fabrics I love.   The blended values  remind me of shadows  in the garden in the evenings.  Movement can be strong and still gentle and that is what this quilt says to me.  
Happy stitching.

UPDATE:  After a few more comments and emails I realized there was a beginning section not detailed.   So I am adding a few more details here.    This is one of the stratas I used.    The strata is 6 fabric strips about 13'' by 2''  that are sewn together darkest to lightest in this example.  The blend might run  from very dark to light medium, or  dark to medium to light.  It will depend on your fabric selections.  
  When the strata is sewn into the tube and the sub-cuts are made,  The darkest fabric should be the bottom left corner of your layout.    Again, the technique for sewing is found at Quiltville under the free tab.  It is the fabric choice that makes this version different.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Piper and package

    Piper came for a short visit with our daughter and SIL.  Note the "place quilt" that travels with her.  She has become quite famous with her own Instagram page to promote her travels, and people she meets.   She's a Therapy Service dog for my daughter....yet everyone at her work loves to feed and pet Piper.  I think she serves as an anxiety calmer for a lot of gals there.  I spoiled her by baking an extra sweet potato for dinner.

  We had a great visit and Sir Old Man had some help in the garden for weeding and thinning plants.  That is until he was swarmed by wasps!  That pretty much squashed his day with about 6 stings on his arm.  So he was brought inside, treated with Benedryl, and ice packs.   He is much better this morning.


So I haven't done a lot of sewing.....but a lot of fabric came my way.
   Sir Old Man brought in the mail a couple of days ago.  He came down the hall asked if I had ordered some fabric.  I said, No.  He then asked if I was expecting some fabric.  Again, I replied no.  With a grin he presented me with a fully stuffed, absolutely stuffed to the gills, priority mail envelope.  Well, he told me, I think you got some anyway.    I am sorry I did not take a photo of the envelope.  And right now, I can't get the phone to transmit photos of the fabric.....have no idea what is up with that.  Sometimes I hate technology.
   But let's just say, 5 pounds of fabric is a lot.....probably 10+ yards  easy.  And of course, it is all older floral fabrics....from VIP and Cranston, and early Hoffman....probably from the 90s.  Some one had a clean out/de-stash and I was the gifted one.  Thanks, to Cheryl at  Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting for passing on her  de-stash.  And since it is more than I can use.....I have a couple of people in mind to pass some on to.  :)   Happy stitching.


Update!.......Sir Old Man figured out my technology problem and the photos uploaded.  I hate those phone updates that mess with my settings!  So here's a photo of the fabric received.  I will be cutting and sharing in a few days. 
  I have my cousins coming by to spend the day Friday, so I need to do some food prep tomorrow.    I always enjoy their visit. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Between the rains

  I glanced out the office window as I was answering emails and saw a swath of yellow blooms.  These are large, very large daylilies called Buttered Popcorn.  Isn't that name just the best!     I had Sir Old Man separate them last fall and plant them all alone the front walkway.    They are quite prolific bloomers.









  He had to tie up the gladiolas near the window that are just coming into bloom.    We have had 2 '' of rain in the last 2 days, and more  coming.  So I am afraid the these stems will be beaten down or broken soon. 









  On the design wall......
I unearthed a hidden UFO.  Well, not really a UFO, just a very long term project.  Anyway, I found about 20 of these block units while Sir Old Man was in Alaska.  I sewed most of them into 4 block units to create the small Trips Around the World unit. 
  Once I got them up on the design wall, I started sewing up more of the strata units of 6.   I have shared this many times.....from Bonnie at Quiltville.  It's the Scrappy Trips around the World.
  So this is what I have been sewing when I found a few minutes.   I like the very scrappy nature of this, and it is just fun stitching.  I probably need another 20 or so blocks for a large size.  So I will just keep going on this long term one. 
  Thanks for all the wonderful comments on Sir Old Man's project.  He was floored by the response. 
Happy stitching.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

From the workshop----no drooling please

   The last 2 weeks got away from  me.....Sir Old Man made it safely back with a full suitcase of laundry!  It took a couple of days to get things back to normal, and run errands, etc.  Then a week of something scheduled everyday.  And time  to sew or blog completely escaped me. 

   Today's project to share comes from the wood working shop of Sir Old Man.
It has been a UFO project for about 2 years.....everything else got put ahead of it for one reason or another.  No drooling, please.


  A Mission style cabinet  now fills this spot in the sun room.   He made it of oak, which he once again fumed with ammonia to achieve the color.  No stain, just the natural reaction of the wood to the ammonia.   He had to do a second closed fuming tent session to get the color he wanted.

      He tracked down and ordered the period reproduction hardware.  I love the lines of it. 




  A single shelf behind the door, and beautiful drawers on glides for easy closing. 

  Please notice the drawers are flush to face of the cabinet.  And there is a very nice, even reveal around each one.  I had a lesson or two about the difficulty of attaining this.  Pennies were used to ensure the spacing was exactly even. 



  I figured that if he could endure lessons on matching points and even stitches, I could learn about flush drawers and those details. :)



Perfectionist that he is, even the inside of the drawers get a sanding and finish. 
  Of course, that makes it all the better for me when loading or overloading them!  And no cheap plywood here....he uses a very costly baltic birch  for the drawers.  It does not warp or twist.










This photo is a truer color of the wood.  It is such a beautiful golden honey tone.  With exposure to daylight, it will darken and age to a deeper tone.   The appearance will be pure vintage Mission style in a few months. 











  I spent the afternoon gathering place mats, and table runners from the far corners of the house.  All the seasonal runners and mats went into the long bottom drawer.  Behind closed doors went the many place mats and runners for daily use. A smaller drawer for mug rugs too.  And the top drawers for extra cutlery and serving pieces. 
  This is the heirloom piece of his workshop.    I may need to add extra insurance to cover his work! 

  The rain has arrived and it is so nice to hear the splatter and drips out side.  We have been so dry for almost 3 weeks.  Good day for some stitching.....happy stitching. 



Tuesday, May 21, 2019

On my own

    I am on my own for a week or so.  It actually feels strange.  Up at 5:30 am to see Sir Old Man off, I napped a lot during the day.

  Sir Old Man landed safely last night.  This is out the window at 11 pm.  Snow, big mountains, still daylight......where is he?






  He had the opportunity to join a mission group from church.  Well, actually, I saw the notice and nagged until he went to the information meeting.    LOL.....it was meant to be. 
 






   This should give it away.   He is in Fairbanks, Alaska.  The team will be doing maintenance and repair of the buildings, and such at Camp Li- Wa. 
   For him, it is full circle as the Camp is now affiliated with the mission at Victory Camp.  His parents served as missionaries in Alaska--he was 6 weeks old when they moved up---- and helped clear the land and build the first buildings at Victory Camp. 





      So I get to "retreat" here at home....on my own.  I caught Bonnie's quilt cam over the weekend and thought the tulip blocks were so cute.  I like the idea of a small wall hanging or table runner, so I am working on a few to see how it goes.  I am not organized enough to use these as a leader/ender......too many small units to get mixed up.  I will say that if I wanted a quilt of them, I would be making larger blocks.  These are 6 1/2'' unfinished.   I think Pat Sloan showed the same pattern in a larger size recently.  Larger is easier on my fingers. 




  Weather finally cleared....and turned into summer.  I mean 90 degrees in May?   But it stopped raining and we had a couple of nicer days.  So I took a couple shots of the Jewel Box Star outside. 








   I have a couple of movies lined up on Prime, the Featherweight to get set up, meals in the freezer or a salad,  and I will be ready to stitch thru the week. 
Happy stitching. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Jewel Box Star

   The binding is finally on the Jewel Box Star.   This one began in  July 2018,  as the annual leader and ender project from Bonnie Hunter.  

   I used all floral fabrics for the block pattern.  I had to plan that out before I really began.  Since then I have been working on the units and sections between other things, until I had a small size top. 

  I really don't need another large bed quilt, so a smaller throw size was made.





 I knew I wanted a nice applique border on this to carry the flower theme out to the border.  The center would be busy enough and a "quieter" border sounded good. 

   I added applique vines and flowers to opposing corners of the top.   I wasn't really thinking about the quilting when I decided to do that.  I just liked the visual effect.






   The center of the quilt was quilted with a medium meander stitch.  For the  solid border I wanted quilting that would show texture and stand out.  I debated on several ideas, but found the perfect solution in my quilting motif notebook.  It's called leaf meander and worked just right. 

   I used a flange binding here too.  I repeated the inner border fabric for the flange, and used all floral prints for the visible part of the binding.  I think I stitched 5 different ones together for this. 






  While the open areas of the border were easy to fill in with the leaves, around the applique took a bit of time and patience.  The inner section around the applique was densely quilted with pebbling and small stippling, and the outer areas with the leaf motif. 




 
   Another great fabric for the back.  Also purchased from the QuiltedTwins website.  It was listed as a tan but had a distinct greenish tint....I thought it was more a pale sage with a tonal print design of swirls and blooms. 

















 
   And this leader/ender project is done. 


   Happy stitching. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A bright idea


NEW SUNBEAM FLEXIBLE NECK LED DESK LAMP ADJUSTABLE LIGHT ENERGY STAR BLACK    We stopped into the Dollar Tree yesterday while out to pick up a few items.  I remember seeing Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville post a while back about these small lamps she found there.   Our store was loaded with them, so I thought it might be good to use by the Featherweight.  Sir Old Man was quite skeptical.  I picked up one anyway:)   Let's just say he changed his mind and wants to pick up one for the workshop.  It is really bright light for $1,,,,and should help the eye strain.    
    I finished up the leaf quilting motif  and plan on making binding today.   Happy stitching.  

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Update! With a miracle thrown in....

   What a roller coaster ride the past few days have been.  My brother has had several more consults, exams, biopsy scheduled, and so on.  Nothing definitive, but general consensus was only biopsy will tell for sure....and it could be musculature.   Then yesterday he got up and said he felt normal.....less pain, and swelling down....what?

  He returned to his first doctor, and they talked about all the consults, and compared all to how he felt then.  Bottom line, he canceled the biopsy and is talking one week of steroids to see if all the swelling disappears.  He promises to be cautious and rush to the ER or doctor if any change happens. 
  We are optimistic and relieved to not have to rush to Florida, and so grateful for healing hands of mercy from above.  A timely miracle, I think, that brings me to my knees.  And very thankful for all the prayers and concern offered. 

  My creative self feels full and lifted....so I am sharing an older project called Awakening I.  This is my form of self expression.  Over on Linda's blog, Art in Search, she shared a wonderful post on reflections. 
Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

I finally picked a motif.

   For the past few days I have done little....very little in the quilting department.
   
   I managed a short couple of sessions at Hot Legs to quilt on the border of the Jewel Box Star.  I was trying to find a motif for fmq that would carry on the garden/floral theme.  I had a couple in mind, but for some reason  could not settle on one.  So I pulled out my FMQ motif  notebook, flipped it open and .....
there it was...exactly what I needed. 
The Leaf Meander motif is from Handi-Quilter. 






  It is one of their minute motif sessions.  I had printed out the lesson sheet and practiced drawing it a few times on my scribble pad.  When I am satisfied with the practice, I go to my motif notebook and do a page of drawing.
I also make any notes on source, or changes I want to do, or how I see using the design, like border or fill in.  It then becomes a future reference for designs for me to pick to use. 








    I changed up this one from an overall design to a trailing design perfect for a border.  I also do not do an outline stitch around each leaf, but rather use the outline to fill space or travel back to where I want to go. 






     The leaves can be fat and long, or short, or skinny.  I can do them in clumps or singles, twisting in different directions, with pointy ends or not.  As long as the impression is a trail of leaves, it works for me.  Plus this one fills in quickly and is not completely dense. 
   I am about half way around and I am very happy with the overall look.  So I am starting my month with an almost done quilt! 






   My mind has been a jumble of concern for my brother.  The biopsy was delayed and put off until Wednesday.  That gave us a time to catch out breathe, but it also gave him time to think about things.   He was ready to back out completely yesterday,  not a good thing really.  They suspect inflammation of the artery in the temporal lobe of the brain and that is scary.  There is treatment...no cure...but it can be lived with.  So until he gets thru this, I am living anxiously.  I am trying to be calm and trusting,  yet I am aware how short my fuse is right now. 
  Short sessions at the machine seem to help.  Thank you all for the notes and prayers for us.  Happy stitching. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

More FMQ


    I am working on the Jewel Box Star quilt.    This photo is from February when I was playing around with adding applique to the border.  

   The center has been quilted with a simple meander/stipple.  Now to the more intense outlining of the applique.

  Before I began I reviewed the points I picked up from Helen Godden video.

  • Since the applique stem and flowers are all connected, just start at one point and follow it all the way around until you have outlined it all.
  •   Second, if you have to stop, stop at a natural turn/point rather than in the middle of a long line or curve.  (Easier said than done in reality, but I tried to do that!)
  •  When beginning after a stop, get the needle moving before you move your hands/quilt.  This makes the stitching smoother, and without jerks in the line. 
  • Remember to breathe. 


  Before I  share this adventure in photos, the quilt police are banished.  No perfection here.  This is reality at its best.   It has been a while since I tried this style FMQ.

  Once I did the outline stitching, I decided to try some pebbling and dense stitching in the areas between the stems and inner border.  I love the effect but this is tough for my old eyes.   So I decided to mix it up a bit.  The next area was smaller stippling.







The outline stitching was good here.  The area was larger, and the closer stippling closely resembles the pebbling.  So why not?













 
   After a couple of hours, the intense concentration has sapped me.   And....I need to figure out what I will do around the rest of the border.  Maybe swirl flower will be a good choice. 






   On a personal note, my bother has a serious health issue arise yesterday.  He is having more test, scans, and doctors to see today.  I ask for healing prayers.  Thank you.
Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Simple quilting

  Just a quiet week here.  So I am getting a start on some simple FMQ.  I had the leader and ender project already pinned.   I debated back and forth on how I wanted to quilt this one. 
  The center is all done in floral fabrics...meaning not much will show once quilted.  That really influenced me to just use a smaller stipple, and ignoring the darker triangles that create the star.  Of course, you can't see much from this photo, and when finished it won't really show either I suspect.
 




  Even a peek on the back doesn't show much.  I really, really liked this fabric I picked up from Quilted Twins.  They called it tan, but it is more a pale sage color with a faded floral/swirl motif. 
  It was one of the extra wide backings that I ordered a couple of months ago. 
 



  And now I have a duo of watercolor tops for wall hangings.  Some days just playing with the squares calms me, and takes me away to a better place in my mind. 

  The peeling hands are still there, but seem to be calming down.  Soon I hope. 
  And the pollen season is beginning to wind down...thank goodness. 
Happy stitching. 
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