Monday, June 29, 2020

RUNNER, AND A SURPRISE FINISH

I took a week or so off from my Wisteria Lane project, waiting for some pink Batiks I ordered to arrive.  I purchased a new sideboard from our kitchen and my granddaughter asked if she could have the old antique one.  No problem, but I knew I should make her at least  a runner or two for it.  I had several I made for it, but they also fit the top of the new one.  Besides her taste is a bit different than mine so it was a good project to fit in while I wait for the Batiks to arrive.  
Her decor in her apartment has lots of grey accents so I thought I would try something a bit more on the modern side.
I originally started the blanket stitch appliqués with 12wt thread but also ended up using 28wt that I had more color choices in.  
And I finished it up with a grey Moda Grunge dot binding.  Lots of waves quilting too.
I had a surprise finish for this little piece this week.  Originally I failed to set aside binding for it.  I ordered what I though would match, but sadly it was just not going to work.  While I was searching through my stash of grey fabrics to make the runner for my granddaughter, what do you know.  There the leftover fabric from this piece was hidden away, a good half yard.  Just need to put a hanging sleeve on it.  I may use it for a table topper as well, so with a sleeve it will work for either.  
I finally got back to may Cold Wind Blows project this week.  I ended up have a serious problem with the wreath appliqué.  The pattern has an error.  I tried several times to work it out, and tossed it aside for a bit and then on Saturday came up with a solution.  I fused this entire piece of fabric, got two bowls out of my kitchen and drew the circles and cut them out.  Worked perfectly.
So I have a great start on this one.  I had planned on doing turned appliqué on this project, but decided I just was not in the mood to fuss with that challenge at this time.  The blocks are big 28 inches finished.  Not sure where I will go with this but a four patch layout produces a 56 inch square quilt and larger with borders.  The pattern book as numerous additional block patterns.  I have plenty of fabric so think I will just proceed with that idea in mind.   
My daughter's ducks have found a new purpose for her water fountain.  It appears there is a waiting line for this special spa treatment.  



Monday, June 22, 2020

WISTERIA LANE

I am actually running out of UFO', at least the ones that were easily finished off.  It appears that I have finally gotten down to a REAL PROJECT, in capital letters.  
I started this project some time prior to January 2019, I picked it up at that time and seems I did one or two things on it and again stashed it away out of sight.
 
I had the brick mortar completed and the brown twigs complete.  They were fused down and I stitched them down around the edges with Rayon 40wt thread.  I added the green wisteria vines.  They are fused, but do not get sewn down until all the blooms and leaves are on and the back and batting is in place.  Sewing them down becomes the quilting of the piece.  
I have fused down the first wisteria bloom.  As I was working on it I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  However, over the last couple of weeks I am coming to the conclusion that if one steps back several feet things look much better.  Once everything is quilted down that will add to it as well.  I looks somewhat flat now.  So proceed forward with more blooms in several different shades of lavender, purple, and blues I think and lots and lots of leaves.
I am approximately half way up my piece now.  It has become easier to manage.  I still stress a bit over the wisteria blooms, but I think it is coming along well.  I wish I had some pink shades of Batik to work with, but sadly all are too bright.  I am considering seeing if  our only quilt store available in our area has opened up yet.  It is just a work in progress at this point.
The pet groomers finally opened in our area.  Our little dog Ginger finally got in for a hair cut.  She is much happier now since I do not have to brush out her tangles and knots every evening.  However, her baby has not left her mouth since we brought her home a couple hours ago, she is not fond of the groomers either.  That is her look of complete upset with us, pitiful isn't it?  Even the pretty little red scarf  they put on her didn't help.
This past week or so we have been enduring having our roof replaced on our home.  Our daughter is also suffering the same dilemma.  The family that roofs together goes insane together.  She snapped this picture this past week of their roof inspector.  This little owl was walking up and down the roof checking out all the shingles packages.

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Monday, June 15, 2020

PENCILED FLOWERS

Over the last three months we have been pretty much locked in our home, with only banking or grocery shopping to occupy us.  This has meant that I had way more time on my hands and spent way more time in my sewing room.  I am a hoarder of UFO's; I start things and stash them.  So once I ran out of immediate projects, and could not shop to start new ones UFO's became the only thing to keep me busy.
 A good couple of years ago I started this project.  I copied floral prints onto gold paper (a paper that you can trace through, pin to fabric and then sew through it and tear the paper away easily).  I did put a stabilizer on the back of my fabric before sewing the designs on and used very small stitiches.  Once I had the stitched design on I use Derwent Coloursoft and Intense pencils to color in my designs.  I did find that the stitching helped keep me within the design lines.  Pretty much like you were coloring in a color book.
I made three floral blocks.
Once I got all three quilted with in the colored florals areas, I had to sew the three together and quilt it to a back and batting.  
I decided on this rather heavy quilting design.  It took forever to do, lots of sewing, but I am very pleased with it.  

So done at last.  I bound it in the cream back ground fabric.  Yes the center block has a slightly difference back ground.  I have no idea why I did that although I like it!I wish I could say that things are rather dull around here, but a minor dry rot and trim painting turned into a major roof replacement last week.  I guess we can't complain to loudly as the old roof was 27 years old.  This might put a bit of a dent in the quilt budget though. 

For you fans of of my daughter's peacocks and ducks.  One of her young male peacocks has been showing off for their little female peacock.  She's a real snob it seems, poor guy resorted to flirting with a couple of the 13 ducklings my daughter's lady duck hatch earlier in the spring.  Some guys just don't get a break.

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Monday, June 8, 2020

CHRISTMAS RUNNER FINISH

This runner has been stashed away for ages, a couple years easy.  With all the virus stay at home and social distancing just to keep busy I have hit the UFO's projects hot and heavy.
I must admit that quilting this piece was interesting.  I had all the appliqué pieces cut and the fuse was applied to them, but no pattern to see the layout of them.  Once I started to quilt it I just sort of went crazy.  About half way through I thought I had made a serious mistake, but it was too late so just kept going. 


So I just kept quilting and quilting.
Well two and a half YLI spools of thread, yes over 1,000 yards of thread and it is done.  In the end once I had it finished it looks pretty good.  I am still toying with quilting in the red areas of the nine patches.  The binding is on and hand sewn, but I could still do a bit more in that area.  Maybe, maybe not!
I did finish off the appliqué work on these four blocks this past week as well.  It will go to my guild's Warm Wrapping charity group.  Often times a piece like this is used to provide a charity with an auction or fundraising items.  It measures about 40 by 40, not a huge piece.  They will provide a back and quilt it and I provided the binding. 
My little quilting buddy Ginger just found the whole process just too much to deal with.  While I ran yards and yards of quilting thread through the sewing machine, she decided to drop in her tracks and take a nap. 


Monday, June 1, 2020

STAR AND GEESE

I finally got out and braved JoAnn's on Friday and picked up the one last thread I needed to finish my Star and Geese project.  I have avoided the lines around the building for weeks now.  But, somehow lucked out on Friday morning first thing they opened and was able to get in.  They limit you to 20 in the store at a time.  I don't think there were more than 3 or 4 of us.  So in and out in record time even though I picked up more than one thread, which I will confess later.  
Here it is at last.  I must admit though that sewing on that binding was quite the project.  I discovered several problems along the way and had to un-sew the binding several times and trim the edges.  As I did that a number of times, I figured by the time I was done it probably would not measure the same side to side or top to bottom. A simple binding took three times longer than normal.  I held my breath when I measures the sides and was shocked they were perfectly even.  
The quilting straight lines were the simplest of the quilting.  Finally getting the thread for the blue strip was what held up everything.
This was the most adventurous part of the quilting for me.  I do not do free motion so used one of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine.  I am so pleased with the results. 


Now this is what I have to confess purchasing on that trip to JoAnn's for just one spool of thread.  I have a large, actually huge, stash of thread.  Nearly every drawer in my studio had thread stashed in it.  I do keep it fairly organized by color, and also Rayon 40wt, 12wt, 28wt, and quilting threads.  That is not too mention a bit of a stash of metallics.  So when I happened to see this on sale for 40% off I knew I had come across the perfect solution to updating my organization of all those different threads.  I happily spent Friday afternoon re-organizing my thread and several of the drawers in my cabinets were empty cleaning out and I organizing all the other tools and supplies we quilters seem to hoard away.
Two of my daughter's five peacocks enjoying a nice summer tanning session.  Actually they are in deep trouble.  Husband is not happy with them at all.  They have been getting on top of the cars and scratching them.  Plus have taken to going over to the neighbors and causing a bit of a fuss.  So the contractor is coming out this week and a very large fenced in enclosure is being constructed and they are going into lock down.  Husband says it is either that or they are on the menu for a 4th of July BBQ.     

Monday, May 25, 2020

SPRING QUILTS AND A FINISH OR TWO

I took down my winter wall hangings this past week.  Once our weather rolled into the 80's and a few days of 90's those dark winter wall hangings seemed out of place.  This year I have a couple that were finished since last year that I was anxious to display.
This piece was one that took me a good deal of time to finish.  I had it all the way up to the borders and decided to meander them.  I am not a free motion quilter, so that chore demanded a good deal of effort to get it done.  Funny, while I still don't think I did a very good job of it, once a couple feet away it looks pretty good.   
I had this piece quilted by Rachel of Stitch in Color.  She and her family have since moved to the Netherlands.  I really like it and think it screams spring time.  
Vines and Berries is done.  I quilted it by stitching in all the fern stems and some vines in the leaves.  Lots of threads pulled to the back and buried in the batting, but I love the results.  

I also finished up my Sequoia Sampler, well at least I though it was done last Wednesday afternoon.  Then I looked at the bottom border of half square triangles.  Yeah, I sewed them on up side down.  So Wednesday night I picked out the stitches and sewed it Thursday morning back on again properly. 
 Much better, now to get a back made and start quilting it.  
My youngest grandson Ben had a bit of company at pool side.  Colonel Sanders decided to join him relaxing on one of the pool lounges.  

Monday, May 18, 2020

WILLIAM MORRIS A NEW PROJECT

OK, I have finished several UFO's, still have lots left, but I am interested in a new project for a bit of a change.
I ordered some fabric about a week ago.  It is William Morris  themed.  I have always loved the old ornate appliqué pieces and this fabric just grabbed me up and said I had to start a project with it.  
It included some light prints.
I had some background prints as well, I think the middle one is my favorite.
And a couple more prints from my stash.  Not sure about the center one on these prints, but you can never tell until you get into a project what might work.  
So I dug this book out of the closet and I am thinking to start a small wall hanging project.  
I have my quilting buddy all ready to give me a hand.  She has a nice cushy dog bed on the other side of the room, but she often prefers to settle in on one of the unfinished projects.  For some reason this particular item has caught her fancy.
This is my youngest daughter, the one with all the chickens, peacocks and ducks.  Her husband asked her what she would like for Mother's Day.  A flame thrower, go figure!  Weed control out in the country, and her farmer neighbor told her it is much better than spraying weed killer.  She says it works great, and much easier and faster than spraying too.