Saturday, January 20, 2018

Project progress

  Everything in the sewing room seemed to be so long term.  And this week I needed, absolutely required, a quicker project that could be finished. 

   And nothing soothes me like working with floral fabrics.   I decided on  a couple of place mats as a quick project. 
   I worked these up using 10  2'' squares across and 8 squares down.   This would be excellent practice or a first project for anyone wanting to work with values.   I enjoyed playing with squares again that I made 2 more smaller ones for the kitchen island.

  Quilting was simple straight lines---easy and fast.

  I had questions this week about the mixed bindings that I carry on about using on my quilts and projects. 
Maybe this photo will give an idea of what I used on the mats.  I used two floral prints that were mainly blue.  Just joined and stitched down.....they just seem to blend and work well together. 
  On a larger project or quilt I will often have 5 or 6 different prints in the binding.  I will sew them together based either on color or value.   For example, I might begin with a light strip, then on to medium value, and then a darker strip.  Other times I could just mix the whole shebang together and let it rip.  I am not going for a prize but enjoying and using what I have. 

  Other questions came about the quilt rack Sir Old Man made for me about 7 years ago.  Unfortunately, the question was from a no-reply no return comment from me.  Please, if you want questions answered, we have to have an email to respond to.   Link your email to your account, or ask questions directly via email.  And yes, I can direct you to the plans for the quilt rack, but I have no way to tell you that. 

  Much nicer weather this weekend....sun is out.  We still have snowy patches, but that we can live with.   Like most everyone else I am looking for spring already :)  Happy stitching.

Friday, January 12, 2018

    I never expected to be so quiet for so long.  A month can slip away in a blink of an eye for me it seems.  The busy times of Christmas took a toll on me and I needed about 4 days to recover from than, and another couple of days to get the house set back in order.   Just when I felt better the first Arctic blast arrived and elevated my pain level beyond what I could tolerate.  Mornings of 6 degrees and days that barely got above freezing are not my friends.  I don't do pain meds, and rely on things like Tylenol to get by.   So I read a lot, and then read some more,  and just waited it out.

  This week warmer days came, the sun returned, and I spent a couple of hours each day just soaking in the warmth and Vitamin D.  I pulled out projects that had been cut and began some simple piecing.  My finger tip nerves are hindering me a bit, as I have a great deal of problem feeling the fabric.

 Just picking up pieces for pairing takes forever.  I had parts for this Crossroads pattern cut and sorted so that is where I began.  It is a forgiving block and my lack of accuracy in spots can be worked in.  It's from Connie at Freemotion by the's her tutorial.  
   I have made this one several times---scrappy, floral, fall theme prints---and in different sizes.   Crossroads to printout from Connie.  

   It took a few days  but I got parts cut for a Boxed Square throw.  The pattern is here  at Mary Quilts.    This one is just florals---dark versus light values.  I plan on sewing these  leader/ender style as I put the rows together for the scrappy Crossroads top. 

   My two 16 patch bed throws are pinned and sitting by Hot Legs for a quilting session.   We have another blast of very cold air blowing in tomorrow, so I really should get one done.

   Sir Old Man is down for a week or so.  He thought it was a sinus infection.  I thought he had pneumonia.  We were both wrong.  He is on steroids, and an inhaler for now for allergic bronchial reaction to inhaling wood dust----so so we think.  He was at the guild sanding on a donation project and forgot his mask.  First mistake.  On donation projects they use common/lower grade/overseas import products.......between the lines read  non-native species that we have not been exposed to can cause allergic reaction.   He is no worse, and has been able to rest better now.    It was still scary for him.

  Rather than a recap from last year, I updated the quilts for 2017  page.  As for 2018.....who knows?  I have no big plans, I have a couple things to quilt, a couple things I want to make.   I'm not running a race this year.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The baby quilt

  Quilted, bound, and finished......ready to be in the mail next week.  I know the baby is not due for 6 more weeks, but it feels good to complete this one for Chad and Amber's new little one.                                                                   
  The colors speak to me of summer days,  sherbet ice cream,  and happy times.  A medium green border to hold the design and let it float across the sunshine colored background. 

  The blocks are large at 12 1/2'' with orange peel sections machine appliqued.  I enjoy making these using fusible interfacing.  Here's a good tutorial for this technique.  

  The quilt finished at 42''  by 54''.  A bit larger than I originally planned....I say that is some growing room for her. 
  Quilting inspiration was vague.....I resorted to my usual swirl and curl and it turned out soft.  It is what I wanted anyway. 

  We have errands to run today, and my brother arrives tonight.  Tomorrow is cookie making day with Remy, along with other required baking.  So most else is done until they begin the un-wrapping stage.  I will wish all a Merry Christmas and send blessings to each one who stops by.  I will be back next week when the dust settles. 
Merry Christmas and happy stitching. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Absence explained

  I have been absent, not away, with too much going on.  And I never did get cookies made.  Things I did accomplish include......a double batch of Chex mix for the nephews and Sir Old Man to munch on, shopping is finished, packages mailed, Christmas notes sent,  side dishes for Christmas dinner assembled and frozen, small amount of stitching, and birthday brunch out.  Yep, I am a year older and almost forgot about it:) 

Refurbished Microsoft Surface Pro 12.3" Multi-touch, 7th-generation Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro    Sir Old Man didn't......He decided to make my life even easier and got me a Surface Pro, you know the fancy thing to replace a laptop or a tablet.    So it is learning time for me.  I called our IT friend and he will help us get all the settings right and set up sharing.  And that's all I really know to date. 

  I did catch the HQ live video on it for this month.  Feathers with Jane Hauprich was excellent!   It's an hour video and worth the watching.  She uses the HQ sit-down machine, but her techniques work even for LAs.   I loved being able to sit in my chair, feet up with  the tablet to watch it. 

  And a second video I watched today from Janome.  Anna Maria Horner shared a pattern for her Turn It Up quilt.  Lots of scraps went into this one as well as a good lesson on using value in our quilts.  You know that was right up my alley.  It's very simple, squares and HSTs .  And she offers a PDF to download. 

   My last to share today is from C and T Publishing.  Click here to get the Carolina Chain quilt pattern from Bonnie Hunter.   They are sharing full instructions for the on-point layout.  This photo is one I made with a straight set several years ago. 

  Stitching.....a bit more to do as I assemble the 16 patch blocks into two narrow foot warmers for the bed.  And I finally decided on a quilting motid for the baby quilt.  Now I just need a few hours without interruption or distraction.    Maybe today.......happy stitching.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

More from the 16 patch farm!

  The baby quilt is pinned for quilting and the binding is pressed and ready for finishing.  Just the quilting needs to be done.  I am seeking inspiration on that part or I will be resigned to meandering.  But I have a few days to contemplate it all. 

  So I visited the 16 patch farm.....the blocks were sitting by the iron and needed the final pressing.  I put up a crop of the darker blocks--shade garden blocks---to the left.  To the right went the second crop of the lighter blocks that jumble together like a country garden. 
  I could see a couple of blocks that needed to be switched to the other side.  Why so  narrow, you ask?  My thought here was to make narrow throws for the foot of the bed---foot warmer style.  I sort of thought they would be more useful for us. 
  Since the blocks will finish at 6'', I need to make a few more to have enough length.

    Over the weekend I made more  blocks while watching a movie.  Then I began playing on the design wall....and everything got jumbled and moved around.   Seeing the photo now, I think I made a mistake.  I like this better on the design wall but not in the photo. 

Insight:  Remember this trick....a photo does not lie.  I need to like the photo and the design wall layout!
That's okay, I can take it all down and add a few more blocks to the mix.  Then I can see what the farm crop yields the next time:)

  Two small trees are decorated and a few bit of Christmas decor spread around.  A small bit of shopping is done, and list made for food items to buy and bake.  Now if the weather would cool off enough to be able to heat up the ovens for cookies.  Maybe next weekend. 
Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ending and beginning/ November to December

    November began with the Scrappy Mountains quilt blocks that became Mountain Reflections.  Luckily it was finished up in time to get the photos with the fabulous fall color we had. 
    Multiple doctor appointments kept us on the road and confused the calendar for this month.  At the month's end, there is one more visit to the dreaded medical office, and I should be clear of that stuff for a few months. 

  I also began some hourglass blocks which have been set aside for later....if ever:)    I got caught up in thinking I would do the Quiltville mystery quilt but instead the fabrics needed to go into a  quilt that will be required by February.  Namely a baby quilt for dear and young friends.

   Just a corner of the baby quilt made with orange peel appliqued shapes for now.  I ended up adding a couple of borders to enlarge it a bit.  I cut the extra fabric up for binding, and now I need the backing to get it quilted.
   This is the main task for December.   I am hoping to get it completed and mailed before the new year...... Heather is due in Feb, but I want it there before the day!

  So no mystery fabrics now and the first clue is out.  I am just biding my time and will decide if I am going all in for this one or not.  I will just download the clues for now. 

   Instead I moved on to the 16 patch. 
  I have an even bigger stack of assorted blocks. More than enough now to play around on the design wall and see what happens.   I talked about a shade garden versus a country garden mix of blocks, and I continue  along those lines.  As I pull strips to pair that is the theme I  try to imagine.
  So once I get the baby quilt down for quilting, I will play a bit with these blocks again.  Fair warning to those who start in on some 16 patch blocks....they are quite addictive.  Worse than potato chips!

December plans.....quilt the baby quilt, play with the 16 patch, maybe pin the D4P that is hanging around.  Bake some cookies, take naps, have some coffee....all the comforting things like that.   
Happy stitching. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sewing on

  One set of appointments done, 2 more this week....ugh!  But I am thankful they are just check ups and check ins.  Except for the mammogram this week, but we will not think of that yet.  I have some blocks to show that I have stitched a bit.

   The first four blocks are pressed, fused and appliqued down for the baby quilt...... and the remaining blocks are set to go under the needle.  I will be stealing time between the appointments and a little bit of baking this week to work on these during the day.  I am using a pale yellow Aurifil thread for the buttonhole stitch on them, so that means using the Janome for stitching.

  The 16 patch blocks......I am loving them and the entire process from the selecting fabrics, sewing stratas, sub-cuts, and sewing again.  If you need a good/excellent tutorial for a 16 patch block, I have just the place for you to learn.  At Exuberant Color, Wanda has put together a perfect tutorial on her here. 
   I was inspired by her garden series projects to try this.  So the only way to learn, for me is to do.  I did a few.    Here's the mix of what I have sewn so far using 2'' strips. 

  Here is the cropped version of what I think will be in the "shade garden"  quilt.    Or maybe a couple of them need to shift to the country garden one.  Time will tell.

  I have more strata strips sets sewn and I work on them in spare moments or while watching TV in the evenings.  The Featherweight is perfect for this project. 

  I took a couple of photos to share the fabric selection part of the process.  I thought I would see how a light version and a darker version worked on the same floral print.   The upper block has a medium to light mottled fabric verses the dark plum in the bottom.  Quite a difference....the top one is mellow--country garden, and the bottom has drama--shade garden-- and the green in the print pops more to me. 

  The floral in this print has a lot of value difference....dark areas and light areas.  The top photo it is paired with a batik and then with a deep plum fabric.  I think both will work in the shade garden version. 

  The selection of the pairs is an interesting exercise for figuring out contrasts.  The shade garden needs enough contrast to be seen, but not too strong overwhelm.  I need to dig deeper into the stash for the alternate fabric for pairing with the florals. 

  So that's the plan for the week.....stitch between appointments, bake a few things ahead for Christmas.  We aren't doing a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving.....crazy for the 2 of us.  It's eat out or have a steak  We have a beautiful week of weather, I plan on stealing moments to enjoy it.
Happy stitching. 
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