Saturday, March 13, 2021

a small gift

I made a fun little project recently.  A gift for my cousin's birthday.  I used an applique shape that I had drawn for a previous project and outlined it with some big stitch quilting.

I love the background fabric.  All different names for Jesus from the Bible.  I knew she would appreciate that.
I finished it with a red zipper :0)  (red lining too but I didn't get a picture of that)

I also spent an afternoon getting this "6 inch blocks with flying geese quilt" basted for some machine quilting.  So far, I have done a bunch of straight line quilting in the ditch alongside the geese.  I'm hoping to put some kind of free motion feathered design over the blocks but I am still figuring that out.  Free motion feathers are fast and fun.  I put flannel on the back of this quilt - it should be good for snuggling under.

I've also been playing with scraps and making these Peony blocks.  I'm not sure where this is going but its been fun so far!

 I actually started a job a couple of weeks ago.  I've gone back to teaching - working as a substitute teacher mostly in Home Economics classes.  (they don't call it that anymore but I do)  I'm not sure how this will affect my time for sewing.  So far I still seem to fit some in everyday :0)

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A finish - Totally Tulips

 I finished the quilt for my youngest daughter.  From start to finish in less than 6 months is super fast for me :0)  This is my version of a pattern called Totally Tulips by Missouri Star.  It was fun to piece and I also really enjoyed machine quilting it.  The color scheme was all my youngest daughter's choice - I'd have never chosen it but I am very pleased with the end result.

With a mix of straight line quilting and feathers it was quick to finish.  I was stuck for a few days about what to quilt in the flowers and after doodling around I came up with this branched feathered design. I was aiming for fun and whimsical.  
It is a really long quilt.  I make them long so they stay tucked in at night!  It was hard to get a picture of the full quilt.
The sunlight highlights the texture
Here it is on her bed.  
And with a happy recipient :0)

 I should make more quilts with larger pieces - I discovered that they are more fun to machine quilt.  

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Keeping busy

I'm posting about a longtime UFO today.  This is my Trailing Vines quilt started many years ago.  A year ago I was working on handquilting it. Sometime around May I switched to working on a different project and this got left folded up and crammed in a basket.  I was worried it might be getting some permanent wrinkles so I pulled it out to lay flat on the floor for a couple of days.
I really like this quilt.  I loved working on the applique.  But, I am not loving handquilting it.  For one thing its huge, its also really, really heavy and to outline the leaves I am constantly turning my hoop.  And then after all that effort - its hardly noticeable...
I'm done the first 6 panels.  Only 7 more to go.
Also I need to quilt the sashings.  I will finish it eventually.

This quilt - Hospital Sketches - has been way more fun to quilt.  I love quilting feathers!  It's lighter, smaller, easier to turn.  I'm hoping to have it finished in a few months and then I will get back to Trailing Vines.  
I whipped up a couple of coasters for a quick gift for Sinterklaas.  I hadn't used fusible web in a very long time but the piece I had still worked.  I drew them myself and I hope my parents use them.
A fun quick project between the long term ones.  

Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A fun challenge

I was invited by Lori of Humble Quilts into a challenge to do something with an antique quilt block.  It began in Houston last year at the International Festival.  We met up together with some other quilters and Lori gave us each a quilt block to do something with.  Shown above is what I made.  
And this is what I started with - this Lady of the Lake quilt block.  I was initially drawn to it because I loved the pink fabric.  The navy fabric was rich and wonderful too.  
I made the tough decision to take it apart.  It was very wonky and the white shirting print was damaged and stained.  I had mixed feelings about taking out stitches that had been there for a 100 years or more.  As I snipped I wondered lots of unanswerable questions.

How old was the seamstress?  Did she enjoy sewing/making quilts? Did she live in the city or on a farm?  Did she make any completed quilts?  What did they look like? Why did this block remain as a set of unfinished blocks? What would she think about me taking out her careful stitches?  The thread was really thick - thicker than the handquilting thread that I use now - was that all she had?

After it was apart I shopped in my stash for similar reproduction fabrics.  I had this shirting print that was almost exactly the same.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to use much of the original shirting so I was really happy about that.  The pink and the navy were a little harder to match.  I used what I thought was closest.
I love star blocks - I couldn't resist. I had only triangles to work with so it was a good way to use them.  I made one star that was mostly the antique fabric and the other stars I assembled with what remained mixed with the reproduction fabrics.  
I played around with the setting :0)
I decided fabric this old deserved to be handquilted.  I got a good start on it.  
 If you look closely you can see the one pink triangle that I pieced from scraps to make it work.  This was such a fun project - it was really wonderful to get to sew with these beautiful old fabrics.  Thanks so much Lori!  

Will somebody one day in the future do something similar with one of my ufo's??  

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Fall stitching

2020 has been such a busy year for me.  My time is just not my own.  Finding time to post continues to be tricky but I am definitely stitching whenever I can.

In our new house there is a lovely window seat area and I want to make a few cushions for it. I purchased a couple of soft cushions and covers from Ikea in this gorgeous dark teal color.  

 I was pleased to find a few fabrics in my stash that matched well.  I remember buying the Laundry Basket Quilt fabrics from Edyta Sitar herself in her booth at Quilt Festival last fall - a fun memory.
Fairly simple quilting.  Maybe I'll be more adventurous with the next cushion.

I finished outlining all of the applique on my Hospital Sketches quilt.  I was excited to start adding the "fun" quilting in the background between the applique.

I had a little feathered wreath stencil to use in a few places.  Next will come feathers to connect them.
Outline quilting is hard to see in a photo but it's there :0)

My applique project is coming along well.  I finished my 12th block.  I'm planning a layout for 13 blocks so only one more to make.

Why use one pink when you can use 3?
Happy Quilting!!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

summer stitching

Summer continues to be busy.  I steal away to my sewing room to stitch a block or 2 when I can.  These blocks have been coming together quickly.  This is to be a quilt for my youngest daughter.  She picked the color scheme from a completely different pattern on the cover of a magazine. Mostly we shopped in my stash for fabric but I had zero magenta so a trip to a couple of local shops had to be made ;0)  We found this pattern online it's a Missouri Star pattern called Totally Tulips.  The blocks are huge and easy peasy - not my usual kind of project but its been fun for a change.

I just need to make 5 more blocks and I can start putting it together.  We will chose a teal border fabric and it will fit in in her new teal room. 

This next project got started because I was needing some portable applique for summer trips. I wanted to play around with an appliqued circle design which I could fill in with whatever applique shapes I wanted.   

I'm back-basting the circles with the points and then using regular needleturn applique for the centers.  It's been a lot of fun.  

I've still got lots more center applique ideas so I'll keep making blocks for awhile. 

A few of the blocks together.  Probably I will set these with an alternate pieced block or sashing.

Hopefully once  kids go back to school there will be time to get back to this long progress signature quilt.  The borders need to be attached so I can applique the corners.
It would be very exciting to get this (10 years so far) project to at least a finished top.

Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Back to it

After a long and unplanned absence I'm ready to blog again.  The last few months have been very different and unpredictable and there just hasn't been time for blogging.  I always make time for sewing though - it's how I relax at the end of the day.  
 I participated in an Instagram Sunflower sewalong.  The pattern was drawn by Susie @fixer_of_old_quilts from an antique quilt owned by Cathy @quiltingcat2

I did get the 6 inch block quilt top finished.  I enjoyed sewing all of the flying geese units and putting them all together.  I have backing and batting ready and I just need to find time to pin baste this for machine quilting.
I continue to work towards finishing my Hospital Sketches quilt.  Last time I posted about it I was just figuring out the borders.  I did get stuck for a bit on the corners.
I played around with paper shapes for awhile and settled on this design with 2 birds.
The corners were fun to stitch and it was exciting to get the whole top together.
This is the last picture taken in this spot in my old sewing area.  Looking down from above - it was a good way to view projects.  One of the things that made the last 6 months so busy was that we moved.  In our new home I have a dedicated sewing room and a very large kitchen island perfect for basting quilts.
Within a couple of weeks I put it to the test with thread basting my Hospital Sketches for handquilting.  In the past I basted quilts on my old dining room floor.  It was hard on the knees.  The last 2 quilts for handquilting I basted with a long arm machine but with Covid 19 that was not an option.  Basting on the island was easy on the knees but I could still feel it in my neck and back - leaning over it for 5 hours straight to get it done between lunch and supper.  I was thrilled to have it basted though and handquilting is coming along well.

Before we moved I participated in another small Instagram sewalong hosted by Betsy Chutchian.  This cute little quilt was the result and I'm enjoying using it on my nightstand :0)

And I wanted to post this little guy I spent hours working on at guild meetings last fall.  I'm not a very good paper piecer so this was a challenge and I think he turned out really cute. I hope I remember to pull him out near Christmas time and make a little wallhanging.

Happy Quilting!!