Monday, October 19, 2020

MASTIFFS AND DUCKS

 I set aside most of my other tasks this week to make a runner for my oldest daughter.  She has a Mastiff pup that is just about a year old.  A dainty little thing of just around 100 pounds.  A week or so ago she sent me a picture of an appliqué pattern, ordered it and asked for a runner made with the appliqué on it.  


The pattern came from The Whole Country Caboodle.  Once it arrived I found I had to increase the appliqué pieces to 165% to make adequate sizing for a runner that was to be 34" by 15".  After that it was pretty straight forward.  

Then to select some fabric.


And I am on my way.  I plan to have an appliqué at each end of the runner.  This first one just needs eyes now.  The red Frixion pen markings are where I plan to quilt creases and wrinkles once I get the runner on batting and a backing.  It is a bit of a challenge and I only work on it for an hour or so then have to take a break.  I am happy with how it is coming along though.  


I have sandwiched in a quick charity quilt as a bit of a breather.  I got an SOS for some baby quilts for our local Pregnancy Center.  There is always a need for 36 " by 36" baby quilts.

My daughter on a trip into town discovered someone had dropped off 3 Muscovy drakes and a white domestic duck.  They were among the wild geese that frequent our canals in the summer months.  These guys are not wild breeds and do not do well under these circumstances.  When she stopped to check if they were OK all four of them ran up to her.  Someone had just dropped them off to fend for themselves.  Well she already has 14 Muscovy ducks at home so what is another 4 more.  She and grandson Noah just picked them up and popped them into the back of her SUV.  


And a nice new home for the 4 new ducks in a nice safe place to enjoy life. 

 

Monday, October 12, 2020

BASKETS AND COLD WIND BLOWS FINISHED

 I have been watching Alex Anderson on The Quilt Show these past several weeks.  Her current class is a pieced basket quilt.  I actually took a class from her many years ago and have a wonderful basket quilt as a result of that class.  However, a pieced baskets just was not what I was in the mood for.  

I bought this pattern sometime in about 2009/2010.  I have pulled it out multiple times and put in back away in the closet.  I actually at one point bought a second one not realizing I already had one.  But, Alex did get me thinking about baskets so I pulled it out and decided finally this was a perfect time to try it out.  

Bias basket handles and a small blanket stitch.  Instead of using invisible thread I am trying out Superior Threads Microquilter white 100wt/2ply Polyester.  It is easier to sew with and looks great on the primarily white handles. 

And the first basket turned out really well.  I will admit using fabric that is only one way has made it interesting especially on the basket's 60 degree side pieces.  

And a good start.  I am thinking 36" by 36".  I guess it just depends on how I feel about it as I go along.  I am also playing around with the sizes of the baskets.  Once I made one or two I realized I can manipulate the sizes a good deal to fit where I wanted them to fit in the lay out. 

I finished my Cold Wind Blows wall hanging this past week.  Even quilted it myself which for me is no small feat.  I actually started out doing eco quilt on the center section and had a fair amount finished, but just could not get over the fact that it just was no coming out as I felt it should.  I ended up pulling out all the quilting and changed my plan completely.  Yes, I am much happier with it!

I stuck with just serpentine stitching.

And even that worked well within the center area.

Many of you are familiar with my youngest daughter with all her chickens, peacocks and ducks, but she also has 4 dogs and 4 cats.  I gather this congregation was a result of salmon on the human's dinner menu.  

Design Wall Monday

Mid Week Makers

Confessions of a Fabric Addict



 
 




Monday, October 5, 2020

MOUNTAINS OF QUILTING AND A PUMPKIN MOON

 I finished up my Tree Canopy project over the weekend.  And yes, there is mountains of quilting on it.  

The project is 14" by 18".  I spent a good several days stitching, knotting, and hiding the threads into the batting.  I am not a fan of using the tiny stitches beginning and ending to secure my quilting.

Adding a dark brown batik print finished the project and just needs a hanging sleeve.  

I live in the central valley of California and the entire state seems to be on fire.  We have had several weeks of dangerous air quality, ash falling and often an orange glow to the atmosphere.  On Friday night my husband snapped a picture of the moon.  Yes, it is pumpkin orange, getting ready for Halloween a bit early. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

TREE CANOPY AND THE COLD WIND BLOWS

 As I near my 7th month of Covid stay at home I realize while sometimes it has seemed a real pain in actuality I have made a leap into quilty areas I probably would not have ventured into before.

I decided to try a collage.  First step iron fusible on a number of fabrics.

Then cut up into little bitty pieces.  Note: tear off paper on fusible before cutting up into little bits.  Believe me from experience!  One of those mistakes you only do once.  Taking the paper off a pile of those little pieces took time. 

Lay out little bits all over your background.  I did discover it is important to make sure the fusible side is down on the background.  It was pretty easy to discover while ironing them down that one or two of them were fusible side up.  Scrapping the some of the little bits off the sole of my iron was a bit time consuming and fustrating.

I then fused on my trees.  I had a pattern of layout for the trees.  I am not sure why, but despite cutting everything the proper size, the trees did not lay out in the same manor as was suggested.  So, who cares!  I just laid them out as I pleased and I'm happy.  Now the idea is to lay net over the piece before quilting it.  Frankly I did not see the reasoning for that.  I am now quilting down the trees with dark brown thread and will quilt in between them with a gold or orange thread.  Then probably bind with a dark brown fabric. 

I just picked up my Bernina 750 from the doctor's last week.  I had a rather upsetting mishap with it about a month ago.  While quilting my Cold Wind Blows wall hanging it jammed and I was stuck with the piece stuck in it with the needle down.  With a good deal of fusing and husband finally taking the wire cutters to the needle to get it out it was off for repairs.  Surprisingly it wasn't much of an issue, just a good cleaning and the timing was off.  Running over pins was the suggestion for that mishap.  I would like to admit I never do that, but that would be a huge lie.  I am a regular offender!

I am back to quilting the Cold Wind Blow now.  And yes for those that saw my original posts about it.  I did tear out the eco quilting and decided on the serpentine quilting instead.  

And his highness Fred one of my daughter's peacocks is enjoying the late summer sun on her patio.  He rules the roost over the other three males and one peahen.  One must admit he is beautiful and very regal.


  


  





Monday, September 21, 2020

FINISHING THE FASSETT

Got a bit done this past week.  I finished my Fassett quilt top.


 
I really love it.  This type of fabric is not my usual buy, but these Fassett prints certainly have grown on me.  I used almost all of them up except for a bit of one or two of them with this project and my Trees quilt.  I might have to buy some more.  

Once again my daughter has enlisted me into making Christmas pillowcases for the boys.  Once she found out I can make them instead of her buying them she had me hooked.  

The fabric is flannel, not my favorite.  I never buy it.  Plus there were no coordinate fabrics to make a standard pillow case pattern.  I selected to make them in a pillow fold way.  So one top side is hemmed and the other hemmed and folded over 4 inches.  To make sure the seams did not tray, as flannel tends to do I over locked the seams.  I had never done that on a standard sewing machine.  I do not have a serger.  It worked great and they are nice and neat with no fraying.  

For the chicken fans!  My daughter started to decorate for fall this past week.  Looks like two of the hens thought that they should give her a hand.  Snowball seems to believes she is a perfect addition to the fall decor.  



 


Monday, September 14, 2020

LANDSCAPES, QUILTER'S PLANNERS AND DUCK LOVE

This past week I finally finished my beach landscape.  I am really happy with it.  

I added some grasses, shells and a few beads.  I am particularly pleased with the quilting especially the very bottom of the piece.  I am not a free motion quilter.  So, it was a real challenge for me to finally decided I was going to make a real attempt at that skill. 

Last month I ordered my Quilter's Planner.  It arrived just last week and along with it I received this pattern for a bookmark for it.  I decided a quick one day project was a perfect plan after finishing my landscape.  Something accomplished in an afternoon was what I needed.

I occasionally do paper piecing.  It always takes a few tries, tear it out, and do it again before I get back into the groove of doing it properly.  

Once I got the paper piecing down it was a very quick finish.

It is done and ready to start the new year in style.  I have used the planners for several years now.  I was a controller for a non profit for 40 years before retiring.  I used planners to keep myself organized and found that I liked the ability to know what was accomplished and where I was with final  project completions.  It seems it carried over into my home life and especially into what was going on in my sewing studio.  I am very active with my local quilt guild, serving as treasurer multiple years along with other quilting activities.  I think it keeps me grounded and at least sometimes organized.

Of course I had to start a new project.  I happened on to a blog this past week of Wendy's Quilts and More.  She featured her Turkish Coffee Quilt and Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Burano.  I have a bin full of Kaffe scraps and it was the perfect way to work with them.  Simple to make and fun to deal with all those crazy prints.  So that should keep me occupied for the next couple weeks.  We have just slipped by the 6 month anniversary of stay in place Covid lock down here in the mid valley of California so finding something to occupy your extra time is good.

And here is a bit of duck love.  This is my youngest grandson Ben.  As many of you know my daughter has a whole zoo of pet animals.  Besides the chickens and peacocks she has 14 ducks.  This is one of the ducklings that were hatched earlier this year.  She just loves a belly scratch.  The minute Ben comes out in the yard to feed them, she runs up for a bit of attention. 


 

   



 


 

Monday, September 7, 2020

CATS, THE BEACH, AND NORTHERN AMERICAN HERONS

This week has not been terribly productive.  I did work on my wisteria project a bit, but it is tedious and often I just work on it a few hours each week.  Sometimes I just need something simple to do to fill in some mindless time.  

I considered starting a Broderie Perse project, but decided that might not be mindless.  Not up to that.
So instead I found a fabric that somewhat mimicked that idea.  I have two daughter's that live in the area.  The older one is a teacher and works a great deal with an agency that traps and neuters ferrel cats and returns them to their colonies.  They often do fundraisers to pay the vet bills so I though I would contribute to one of her agency's fundraisers.
A quick finished wall hanging or table topper. 
I received the first instructions on my Morewood Mystery quilt.  There is an icon on my sidebar for it on my blog.  Gives one something to look forward to each month that has plenty of time to accomplish.
A quick trip to JoAnn's this week to pick up beads for my beach landscape.  Not really beads except for one, but perfect for that piece.
They are going to be perfect for it.  
This is a photo of a visiter at my younger daughter's home this past week.  He is a Northern American Heron and he brought his lady friend with him.  Unfortunatley they decided to dine on the fish in  pond and devoured all 50 or so gold fish in it.  Not a single fish left!  Ben my youngest grandson, the keeper of the pond,  proclaimed to get his BB gun out and get them.  Mother of course did not allow that, but I don't think they are going to be in a hurry to replace the fish until those two move along to another dining establishment.