Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

Wow...forgot about posting to the blog for half of 2016...sigh..I will really try to do better next year!

2016 in review:
Finished a few quilts... Echos of the Grand Canyon, Goose, Goose, Duck; Dragonflies Paradise, Hexie Daisy, Thread-Sketching Bouquet, Embellished Antique Linen, Summer Quilt for Dad, Star Mug Rug, Doodled Hexie Mug Rug
Worked on a few more quilts ...Fire Mountain Bargello, Desert Landscape, Wee Hexie Basket, Cape Blanco Light, Columbia Gorge...
Ate lots of good meals...
Went on several trips - Arizona, Texas, Nevada and the annual Quilter's Run in So Cal
Laughed a lot...
Cried some...
DGD moved to Tennessee..we are going to try visit soon..
Still working...Retirement is looming though!

Hope 2017 will be a great year!

Here are the Christmas gifts I made this year:
Squirrel Lovie
 Frog Prince Lovie
 Wolf - kinda a lovie..but I stuffed him...
 Three French Hens
Hedgehog for my hedgehog loving Sis: (not a Christmas Present!) - I had to try out my PomPom makers I bought on the Quilter's Run...amazingly..they work!

I discovered Corner to Corner crochet...it works up soooo fast...
 ...that I made a whole passel of washcloths and handed them out at the Christmas party!
Our tree...
 ..with a silly squirrel under it!
And the mountains out the back on Christmas Day - as close to a White Christmas as us flatlanders in So Cal get!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Star for a Star!

My daughter really, really likes stars...so I made a star wall hanging/mug rug for her birthday:



I fastened the ribbon holders on with a pair of starfish earrings. The star hanger I got on the Quilter's Run a couple of weeks back.

Paper pieced...this is about as much paper piecing as my tolerance allows. I must be getting a bit better though, since I did not cut any pieces too small and only sewed one seam with the fabric upside down when my mind wandered a bit..I have learned to use HUGE pieces of fabric for paper piecing, and if I cannot see the right side of the bottom fabric when I am stitching on the line...its wrong!

All star fabric, even the label on the back...

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy 4th of July and A Summer Quilt for Dad

Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone had a great holiday!

I finished the top for a summer quilt for my Dad..I made him a flannel one for winter, but..he needs a summer weight one..He sleeps in a recliner due to some breaks in a couple of bones in his back..I made a pocket for his feet in the winter one. this one will also have a pocket for his feet...



This is mostly a kit that I bought on the Quilter's Run last weekend..I had to add the beige and red stripes at the top and bottom since the kit by itself is not long enough...I frenched all of the seams so that no straggly threads would show through since there is no batting..and the backing is a linen duvet cover - half of which is making the pocket for the feet.

Not sure yet if I will just birth it...or if it will get some quilting...I am thinking around the center panel, around the RWB stripes and across the beige stripe - maybe around the eagle and the USA..but..we will see when it gets down to it!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

HST Column Quilt

The HST Column quilt as a top:


Finished quilt: (sorry the color is bad - my normal snap camera is trying to die....and I used the cell phone camera instead..yuk!)



When I showed the top to my Mom, she thought if would make a marvelous summer lap quilt...so I finished it for her - just backed it with one of the remaining bigger pieces of fabric scraps and folded the edge to the front instead of binding.. I did try the quilting in the 'column' part to see if using a different color of thread would make the column stand out a bit more...the result of that experiment: it really wasn't worth it..it would require a way more dense quilting than I had the patience for to get it to change color...best option if you want the column to be noticeable...make those HSTs with a different color!

Here is a closer up picture:


But...Mom likes it and it will serve a useful purpose..and now all three of us have a quilt made out of those dress scraps from long ago.


Sunday, June 05, 2016

Embellished Antique Linen

I saw a piece on Kelly Cline's blog that intrigued me.... http://www.kellyclinequilting.com/2016/04/frame-a-quilted-hankie/

Hum...I have an antique linen piece - I think it was an antimacassar  - one of those linen pieces ladies used to put on furniture to protect the places where human skin  or hair would hit the upholstery to reduce the damage to a replaceable piece...perfect!

I soaked it in Terial Magic and arranged the cotton lace - it was badly scrunched! The Terial Magic made it stiff enough to embroider without a hoop. Note there is some damage on this piece (it adds 'character'!) - I glued the broken threads down with OkToWashIt glue..not that I ever intend to actually WASH this piece!



I embroidered the center - making sure to cover up that hole with the big pink rose! I used the silk ribbons I got from Kathy at Retreat (she decided to give up all her beads and threads - a couple of other ladies at the Retreat and I split up the booty! Whoohoo!) Antique linen is pretty fragile...I almost wrecked the piece a couple of times - but manged to hide the boo-boos!



Wool batting, two layers of  plain teal fabric from the donation table at Retreat and I was off and running...



Added some antique lace around the edge and buttons from my Grandmother's stash...et voila'!



I usually name my pieces something more exciting than 'Embellished Antique Linen'...but I have no ideas on what would be better for this piece.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Progress on the HST Column Quilt

The center is put together. It probably could have been arranged better, but I grew weary of arranging the blocks. I ended up printing out a sample of the layout so I could get the pattern right,

Here is the original layout..the column is not very obvious...but the blocks were sprinkled around nicely...


Here is the center after I sewed it..I decided to group the colors to make the column stand out more.


Its pretty small - 21 x 35...so I am going to add a resting strip and a border..

I rummaged around and found a pile of scraps that I will use to make a piano key border...could not find any more of the light blue, but did find a piece of the dark blue I used to make the sashings on Heart's Garden..there are strips already cut that will go almost all the way around and hopefully I will have enough for the binding out of the same dark blue...



And I have enough of the blue plaid or the green and purple flower (top right corner of center) to make the back.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

HST Column Quilt

I need a new project like I need another hole in my head..but..when did that ever stop a quilter???

A couple of friends have made HST column quilts and I got to thinking about a stack of HSTs that I have had from when I made my sister her quilt from the scraps of clothes that our Mom made us when we were little..and how cute they would be as a column quilt...

I was going to make them into pinwheels..and even had stitched a  couple up..but they were sad, sad lumpy, crookedy pinwheels...the HSTs were not all the same size and in my ignorance as a young quilter, I though I could just...make....them...fit...

NOT...

Anyway, the HSTs have been hanging around in my quilting studio, ripening, for a LONG, LONG time! First order of business was to deconstruct those two very sad pinwheels..and trim up the HSTs to an even size..I found the smallest one..and that is governing the size of the rest of the blocks...

It is turning into an interesting project...

I am using a gizmo my Dad made for me a few years ago...its called a Square Up (my design, his execution)

It is making the trimming of these blocks really, really easy..especially since I acquired a set of square templates at Retreat last year on the donation table that have a groove on the diagonal which makes it very easy to line up with the seam..the arm holds the template from moving, the base rotates (there are levers to make it go only one way or free rotate)...and it folds up and has a handle so I could take it to class if I ever were going to one that needed to cut blocks (not usually my cup of tea...though...this IS really easy to use - might have to reconsider that option!)

Here is a block before trimming:


That same block after trimming:


And the two stacks of blocks - the trimmed ones look soooooo much neater!


Will post more when I have all the blocks trimmed and laid out...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Mandarin Duck Progress

I have quilted the center of the Mandarin Duck and added binding, which is now finished...
I am going to add quilting in the brown border - Flying Geese...with feathers in the corners, as a nod to Jenny Bowker, the teacher of the class (Images in Landscapes), who uses traditional blocks to expand the size of her quilts to HUGE...
Still have to decide if I want to do the FG in Monopoly like the rest of the quilt or brown quilting thread...but that will be for another day!

Here is what I started with...the picture of the Mandarin duck was taken by my daughter at the LA Arboretum...

Here is what that picture got turned into in class..

...and here is the quilt before I finished the binding...

The quilt is currently drying from being blocked..

Dragonflies Paradise


When last we left off on the Embellishment Sampler on International Quilting Weekend, I had finished the mounting quilt...and had a couple of the squares done..

The whole thing is done now! I really, really enjoyed working on this quilt..its going to hang in my office...at least for a while.



Here are detail shots of each of the squares:
This was the first one I did...I really love the colors that were in the kit and how the outer border has all of the same colors..such a lucky find in my stash!

This one is probably my favorite of the blocks..though...

 ..this one is a close second!

The center..which I think was the second block..on the original quilt, the quilter, Shelley Swanland, used a silkie with a dragonfly on it..and everyone oohed and ahhed about that dragonfly, but my kit came with the roses - not to fear..I found a dragonfly in my stash of bits and bobs...and the rest is history!  At first, I was just going to have the one dragonfly, but DH said he looked lonely...so I found the other two big dragonflies..then had the wild thought about adding the charm dragonflies..which came in a big tub of assorted buttons and other odd pieces that I got at Tueday Morning a long time ago...
So...the quilt was named 'Dragonflies Paradise'!
I attached the center block with plastic turquoise beads..they have a wee bit of iridescence...


For the outer corner blocks, I attached them with turquoise glass beads that have silver centers...


and the center sides (not really sure if this is the correct terminology!!) I used golden glass beads.



DH may be disappointed this quilt is not going to hang in the house, but eventually I will bring it back home again.. He says he likes looking at all of the different aspects...there is too much to take in at once!


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Stitching in the Great Outdoors

More stitching on the Fire Mountain Bargello's applique today..we went off adventuring and I got to stitch in the great outdoors for a while..twas glorious!
There are oodles of oranges on those trees...
 Watched a para-sailor ride the updrafts over the top of this mountain...

 A crashed balsa wood airplane  on the upper left (I think)!
Some dark clouds...rain maybe (we hope!)

Monday, April 18, 2016

More Fire Mountain Bargello Progress

I decided to add a vine with birds, blooms, butterflies and leaves to the Fire Mountain Bargello -  I cut out multiple copies of  some simple shapes out of card-stock and  did a mock up of the design..I liked it..

Counted up the number of pieces of each kind of object (128 of them!) and traced them onto Floriani fusible wash-away stabilizer - this is my first major project using this method of prepping the applique pieces..Then..cut them out...that was deadly boring! Adhered them to the remaining pieces of the fat quarters from cutting the strips for the bargello...and then cut those out - more boring! Yikes..a lot of cutting for two days!

My first attempt at gluing was using a Sew-line glue stick..and wee screwdrivers...it was not ringing my chime - it was ok for a small project but I was never gonna get thru with THIS project with those tools. Thought maybe I would have to do needle turn - and wondered if I should draw around the wash-away stuff or if I should leave it in and fold around....laying in bed, I was pondering...I realized that liquid glue would probably work better than glue stick...something like Elmer's School Glue...only fly in that ointment was I don't HAVE any Elmer's School Glue..still pondering..when a light bulb went off..I DO have some Roxanne's Glue Baste It!

Then next morning I rummaged around and found the Roxanne's - first order of business was to clean the applicator tip..now I know Roxanne's says NOT to, but I think they have a vested interest in selling you a new bottle whenever the tip gets fouled...but being the resourceful sort, I have a wire that I can pass thru the applicator that my Dad  gave me years ago that clears out any stuck on glue..This bottle dates back to the first year I was quilting - circa 2003... Glue still was good since I keep my bottles of glue in baggies with the air squished out to reduce the amount of air that can get to them. A trial piece with the wash-away and I am in business! I decided to use my Pearl Periera Applique Tool and a Popsicle stick with a notch in the end (looks vaguely like a fork)..and commenced turning and turning and turning!  I was bleary-eyed by the end of yesterday! I really like the end of that Applique tool - it flattens out the folds and makes the edges really crisp..no need to iron!

Finished the turning and laid out the design and wow! I really love it..Just have to glue baste the piece down once I am happy with the placements so I can remove the pins and start in on the fun stuff - appliqueing!!

Ta Da! (picture does not do it true justice..its so much better in person)


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Doodled Hexagon Mug Rug

I have finished the Doodled Hexagons...presenting the finished project: A Mug Rug! Hand quilted in delft blue thread on purple heavyweight fleece...



Doodled Hexagons

Monday, April 04, 2016

Fire Mountain Bargello Progress

I decided the size of the bargello was going to get too big when I added borders, so I took a few of the rows off..I ended up using the rows I took off as the color border between the two cream ones. There is very little of those rows left - mostly trimmings and a couple of two inch pieces..but..I like how its turning out..

This is what I made at Retreat:


This is how it turned out after I finished adding the borders:



I am tentatively naming this Fire Mountain..

And..now, I am trying to decide if I want to add applique to the borders..you'll have to squint really hard and use your imagination...the green pieces would be leaves, the blue pieces would be birds,  the rest of the colors would be flowers and butterflies...I will be making patterns sometime in the next few weeks..to try out the shapes..I do think I will like it!



There was a suggestion that I think about putting some flames on the 'mountain'...will have to try that shape out too!

Monday, March 21, 2016

What I Did for International Quilting Weekend

I binge watched a bunch of shows on The Quilt Show - every year they open up the prior years shows for free viewing...so I took advantage of that.. I think I watched 8 of them!

Learned a bunch of techniques...and once my 'creative juices' were revved up, I  turned my attention to the Embellishment Sampler that my quilting friend at work got me for Christmas...

It needed the mounting quilt - so that part is done!

I originally had a different blue floral for the outer border, but it just wasn't ringing any bells when I laid it out next to the partially embellished squares...so I rummaged around in my large florals bag and found a few other selections...this one won out...Originally, I had a bright green for the resting border, but my DH asked if I could find something to match the turquoise of the upper left flower..found just the right piece and I was good to go. The center is a vintage cotton hankie that I used Terial Magic on to make it board stiff...but since it is pretty thin, I backed it with a creamy muslin. Once the squares are finished being embellished, they will be attached to the mounting quilt with beads. 

I really like how this is turning out...DH keeps coming in to check the progress - I think he likes it too!