Friday, April 20, 2018

Last blocks

   I cut and added the setting triangles on the floral log cabin on the design wall......and realized I was 4 blocks short.  Honestly, I can't seem to count anything correctly any more. 

  I stitched up the last 4 blocks and they need a good pressing.  So yes!  My adventure for the weekend will be rearranging the whole layout, and beginning to join the rows. 
  And since I seem to have forgotten how to count, I probably will need to cut another group of setting triangles.  I have the fabric because I bought extra.  A little voice told me so :)
   Looking at the calendar, I have kept my focus for the month  as this post said!    That is practically a first for me to not get distracted. 

  The sewing room has been reorganized and lost bits found.  I did not really move furniture that much, just more of a shifting  for more elbow room.  I kept finding ends and pieces of projects in different boxes.  I emptied 6 of them.  And now......
  The string bins absolutely are over flowing.  So I think I need to think about some mindless sewing and making up a big stack of string blocks for future projects.   




  I added a few more garlic knot blocks to my stack.   I pulled out the 2''' strips from the found leftovers  to make more knots.  I have 30 blocks made so far and at least 20 more sorted to make. 






   Sir Old Man had the second cataract surgery done this week.  He did very good, and is  being patient about being home and not doing yard work, etc.  By next week he will be able to do his usual routine.   The worse part of this has been getting up at 5 am to be there at 7 am.  Wow, does that mess up my sleep pattern.  But it is done with now, and we will return to regular programming. :) 
Thank goodness!
Happy stitching. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Insights

   I began blogging in 2009, as a way to document my passion for quilting, and to learn a new trick----i.e. the computer skills for blogging :)   Along the way I gain some practical skills, renewed my love for writing and words, and developed a perspective as to why I quilt.  
   
   Those perspectives turned into what I labeled "insights".  Some times the insight was about a block, layout, or technique.  Other times it was to listen to my gut instinct.   Once I shared the insight I read in a fortune cookie.....  It was just appropriate for me at that very time.    I learned about life, my life, through my quilting.   I recognized that people cross our paths, enter our lives for a season and a reason. And those lessons turned into my insights.  

   A day or so ago, I left a comment on a blog I follow about the many donation quilts she had stacked up.  A little nugget, a special gem of words, painted a picture of why many of us quilt.  
         We will mark our path by the trail of quilts we give away.

   For every quilt we make and share, we do leave a mark on some one's life.  We work long and hard on our piecing, learning quilting techniques.  We take classes.  We buy books and fabrics and notions.  We fret if the color is not right, or a star point is off.  And then we revel in the twinkle in eye of the recipient, the special hug and smile of the gift from our hands.    We are there in disasters, and times of pain and trouble.  We give to children's ministries, we take quilts to nursing homes, and hospitals.  We seek out neighbors, and strangers to wrap in comfort and love.  
  
   We have often been told to find a need and fill it.  Quilters just do this instinctively.   The blog world has many wonderful groups filling those needs.
        We will mark our path by the trail of quilts we give away.
Happy stitching.  

Sunday, April 15, 2018

On the wall again

  A couple of days ago  I got that wild hair and started shifting furniture and moving things around in the sewing room.  I wanted a better configuration for sewing with some elbow room.    Since I am usually an accident waiting to happen....... it did.   I caught my foot on the mat under my chair, I stumbled, but luckily landed in the chair.  Unfortunately, I caught my wrist in an awkward position and it is quite sore.....not broke or damaged, but quite sore.   So everything came to an abrupt stop.  I got no further and  stuff is in a mixed up jumble.   Guess I need a couple days of rest before moving things again:)


   That leads to where I am with the log cabin blocks.   I have another 8 or so ready to press and fill in the bare spots.   Hopefully then I can figure out how many more I need to finish.
  We ran into JoAnn's this week to pick up some felt to recover a small design board.  I found a green tonal that I think will work as my fill in triangle fabric.

  We thought Spring had decided to visit us....at least for a couple of days.  It is warm and stormy  today, and then we expect freezing temps in 2 days.
   I saw a post that said something about apologies from Mother Nature, Spring was delayed because Father Time was driving and refused to stop for directions.  That is just about how it seems to be going.




  I still have  a couple of  leader and ender type projects going on.  Some times I am sewing together random     2 1/2'' squares to make 4 patches.  I have a good size stack but no a real plan for them.
  When I have a need to complete a block to see progress, I make a block or two of the garlic knot blocks.  I just keep sorting my left over strip ends into sets and clipping them together.  One block takes 10 minutes and I can feel I really accomplished something.
Keep on stitching.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Let go....don't over design

  As easy as I said this block was to construct, it sure has me second guessing myself.  Not the construction, but the values of fabrics and the placement.  I added another dozen or so blocks to the previous ones. 







  I found myself thinking I should maybe add dark value sashing between the blocks.   For sure the added strips  give a very  3-D effect, but  for  some reason it appears too stark to me.    Maybe over contrived or over designed......I decided no to the extra strip for sashing.   I am willing to let go.   I am willing to let the strips or floral prints fall where they may. 






 Nature is full of shadows, some are stronger or darker than others.  Shadows give fullness and depth to our world and  the things around us.   I am reminded of the eclipse this past August.  At the moment of totality, all the shadows disappeared.   The view was flat and one-dimensional.  All colors were grayed and dull.  I remember feeling like I was in a time warp or in another world because everything was different without shadows. 


  I realized that I should let the shadows play and create their own effect.
  So off came the extra strips, and the blocks were placed next to each other.   I am much happier with the "trellis" effect this layout creates.   For now, I will cut some more strips and continue on.

   As for the setting triangles, I plan on using a more solid  or tonal for that and a narrow border.  That is until I change my mind...lol. 

  Even if Spring can't arrive on time, I am building another spring garden quilt with this one.   Happy stitching.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Garden in a Box

  With the appointments behind me, I had a sew day yesterday!  Time to put one  into the finish column....completely. 
  Garden in a Box was trimmed, bound and washed for a true finish.   I really like the simplicity of this quilt.  With all the busy prints, it is a restful design.
 
  I did a larger meander quilting on it, which gave me plenty of time to study the fabric combinations as I sewed.    I was amazed at the number of florals I included, with only a few repeats.  I enjoyed comparing the value and contrasts as I completed the quilting. 

                                                                                                                                 
 
  For the binding  I used a flange binding once again.  I really like this look, don't I?      The accent strip is a blue-green tonal and a combination of several  floral  prints make up the outer binding. 

  Overall size is 54'' by 62''.  Block was made using all 2'' strips of floral print fabrics. 










  I named this one Garden in a Box  for fairly obvious reasons.  The juxtaposition of the busy prints contrast sharply with the straight lines of the block pattern.  Nature does not grow in straight lines.  Yet in this quilt  you discover a Garden in a Box.  Now, if we could just teach those weeds to find someplace else to visit.
Happy stitching.                                                    

Monday, April 2, 2018

Looking forward to April

    I took some time over the weekend to work on the Boxed Squares.  I just love that beautiful blue backing fabric.  I ended up quilting with a medium size meander in an all over pattern.  It is a motif that blends, and is simple.....giving me time to enjoy the quilting motion and pay attention to the fabric combinations that are in this one.     I completely enjoyed  the two sessions it took for me to complete this.  Now it needs a trim, squaring up, a label, and some binding.
Not a complete finish for the month, but close.    I will take that :)

  That means I can really begin /move on to the floral log cabin on point.   This is my April focus project.


  So here are the first batch....of 14 blocks.   I figure a minimum of 30 blocks for a small lap quilt.  I can play around with the design too....wondering if I might just add dark  or scrappy mixed floral sashing to make it larger?????
Time will tell. 


  Here is the info once again for making the log cabin block that I will set on point.  It is often called half log cabin, or quarter log cabin, or chevron cabin block.  Here is the first post about it. 



For each block  Cut:
3 1/2'' square ---- lightest floral
1 @  2'' x 3 1/2'' --- light floral
1 @  2'' x 5''--- light floral
1 @  2'' x 5'' --- medium floral
1 @  2'' x 6 1/2'' --- medium  floral
1 @  2'' x 6 1/2'' ---- dark medium to dark  floral
1 @  2'' x 8''  ---- dark floral

Unfinished block size is 8''.  Finished block is 7 1/2''.


  Feel free to join in and sew along, pick your own color selection, or theme fabric.  

  I finished up at the dentist this morning.....hoping the swelling does not stick around like last time and turn into a major event.  I hope I can eat some soup later:)   Any tissue damage to me takes an extended period to heal due to the Pernicious Anemia.  And I mean any.....a bruise can take up to 2 weeks to disappear.  Tomorrow I go to the podiatrist....last time it was 4 days before I could wear shoes!   At least the temperature is warmer for a few days so I can wear sandals :)    Happy stitching.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Place mats again?

  I finished off a couple more of the smaller place mats over the weekend.  It was just too cold to go anywhere, or do anything else.  So I pinned and stitched a few things. 
   I had some leftover cuts of the fusible interfacing that were just big enough for a 8 by 5 grid for the watercolor.  That created a mat about 8'' by 12''---just a bit small, so I added a 2 '' strip of batik for an outer border.    No binding on this one either, just a simple pillowcase style edge.

   When I am not using binding on these small projects, I finally figured out how to get a better edge on them.  Usually, you need to leave a 3 to 5 inch opening for turning.  And no matter how I tried, my turning opening would gap/not lay flat/ never look just right.  There had to be a better way.

  I know I have talked about this, but for the life of me I can't find the older post, so I will just share the words for now. 

   I cut the backing fabric larger than needed, so I can cut it into 2 sections.    Then I turn around and sew them back together---leaving a 3'' opening un-sewn.  That is the opening for turning.  

  Then I can assemble the project placing  the top and backing with right sides together and the batting on top.  The batting is cut a tiny bit over the exact size needed.   (So the batting is smaller than the fabric being sewn.  I actually catch the smallest bit of batting in the seam, which holds it in place).  I sew all 4 sides....completely.  Turn it right side out thru the opening in the back and press.
  The opening is then hand stitched closed.  Projects just need a few lines of quilting to keep it in shape.  I usually stitch around the outer edge about 3/8'' from the edge first.    Quilt!  As much or as little as you like. 

  As a note for those asking for patterns......I don't have patterns for sale.  I have done up a couple of design guides for value placement.  These are found at the bottom of  the Patterns page ----look under the banner photo for it.
   I also do not have kits for sale.  But......here is a source for them.  Go to WHIMS .  They are a company with kits, pattern notions, and some watercolor fabrics.
Happy stitching.
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