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. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Catching up once again

   I slipped up again....being too quiet and got a text from Cousin Di to let me know I hadn't been blogging lately.    Since the sinus infection last month, it has been pollen season and the allergies have worn me down.  And now I have developed a skin condition.....peeling, scaly palms and fingers.  Thankfully, it is not painful but very unsightly.  Apparently it is related to severe  seasonal allergies.   Like I need more evidence that my immune system doesn't work normally. 

  Better things.....I watched the Live Podcast done by Helen Godden for Handi-Quilter.  She is absolutely amazing and inspiring. 
  She was stitching on poly/silk scarves from thrift shops and turned them into beautiful wall hangings.  Her "road map" technique intrigued me.  I played around with it on plain cotton....just to get the hang of it.   Begin by drawing large curls  so that each one connects to the previous one, using a wash away marker.  You do not stitch on the mark but on each side....begin on one side of the curl and follow it all the way around the entire design.  It will eventually get you back to where you started. 

No laughing, or pointing fingers now.
   My results were not the most beautiful or anywhere near pretty.....but the technique does work well.  Yet by stitching this trial, I see how important it is to space the curls apart and not bunch them closely.  And it takes practice to control and be consistent in stitching around a drawn line.  That was always a challenge for me. 
  Helen also shared her technique for grid marking for sewing orange peel filler.  Once again I need to practice if I want to do this for real. 

   Moving something I know I can do. 
I played around with floral squares and some interfacing. Just to use up the abundance of squares, a more graphic interpretation  than I usually do.   Maybe it should be turned 180 degrees before I decide.   I will probably turn this into a small banner at some point. 

  Storms are moving thru the area right now....and heavy rain.  The rain is quite welcome because it should reduce the dreaded orange haze of pollen that covers us all. 
Have a great weekend.  Happy Easter.  Happy stitching. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Chandelier Beads done

  Bound, labeled and done!  I promised photos when it was a better day for photos.   Yesterday was just a perfect day that is except for the pollen.  I think it is twice as high as usual everywhere.  So just ignore any yellow haze on things for now.

  Chandelier Beads is a small throw quilt for the back of the sofa.  It is just 56'' square.  The block is and uneven 9 patch block that I adapted for this.  It is set on point.  I kept the beads colorful. More  tonal fabrics were used than prints, although I did throw in a couple of those too.  The background was kept light, but not all white.  I threw in beige and cream  too.

  After a quick wash and dry, it crinkled up nicely.  Nice and cuddly, and the quilting just seemed to pop.  Free motion swirls throughout the background areas, and those butterfly wings in the border.

  And now, I can call this one done.
And move on to the Jewel Box Stars for quilting.    A floral quilt for spring quilting.

  I did play a bit in the sewing room, but nothing to show.  I ended up in the kitchen putting a couple of freezer meals together for this next week as it is full of doctor's visits.  I am not sure why they all seem to come together in one week and bog me down.  It happens too often. 
Happy stitching.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Scrappy Trips anyone?

  It is always nice to get email from followers.  And even better when they share their version of a project that I inspired.  Just this morning I had an email from Nancy with a photo of her version of my "Tripping' thru the Flowers"----the one I use as a banner photo. 

Made by Nancy and shared at Stitchin'  Therapy
  Nancy said she has just recently retired and got going on this.  Didn't it turn out great?  I love her border fabric and how it just pulls the blues out of the center.  Just fabulous and exciting design.  I like her very clever borders too.  Thanks, Nancy, for sharing your finish with us.  
   My post with details for Trippin' thru the Flowers is here.    Links to the original source, Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville, and some details about my version.  
   It's a rainy day here, so no photos from my finish yet.  I plan on making a label today at least.  Yet viewing Nancy's quilt inspires me to play a bit with floral fabrics......wonder what trouble I can get into?
Happy stitching.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

FMQ on Bead blocks

   Slowly regaining my strength,  it  took me about 5 sessions this past week to get the Chandelier Bead top quilted. 

  I wanted the colors of the "beads"  to be the focus so I decided not to do an overall quilting pattern.  Lots of texture came up with swirls in all the "negative" space around the beads in the block. 

   In case you don't remember this block from a few months ago, this is the post and snapshot of the block I worked up in EQ7. 

      The border is in a teal blue tonal pattern.....I switched to medium gray thread so I could see what I was stitching.  I debated on feathers but in the end went with the butterfly wings motif.  It is 3 plumes in a clump and out line stitched to create a group that resembles  a butterfly wing.  Here's a better post and detail on this motif.     It's one I snagged from LuAnn Kessi's blog  and use it often. 

   Time to get this one trimmed up and the binding on.  I will get better photos when it is done.  I love the backing fabric....a crackled blue pattern that reminds me of ice.  It shows off the texture  from the quilting well.

    We had a nice weekend weather wise and awoke to cold this morning.  There were threats from the weatherman about snow flurries this morning, but I believe they lied to us.  LOL....what else is new.   This has been the craziest winter to spring season we have had in a long time.   

  More quilting to come as I have the Jewel Box Stars in floral prints ready to go.  That will be my April challenge to myself.  Happy stitching. 
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