Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Diamond Tiles Border - Decision made and implemented

I agonized a bit over what to do with the Diamond Tiles quilt top... the borders were too plain... even with the square in a square corners.... I thought about taking them off and piecing them instead... but finally decided on some applique.  I drew the shapes, blew them up to 2 more sizes, then traced them onto fusible (eight times for each size), fused the black fabric, cut out the shapes, and then agonized a bit more over the thought of actually fusing them to the background... what if I put them on and hated it????

Finally, I took the plunge, heated up the Rowenta, placed the motifs and put iron to fusible-backed fabric.   I did the opposite (bottom right) corner as a mirror image to this top left corner.

I think I love it!  Whew!!!  What a relief.  Just have to sew all the pieces down, and I can call this one done, and ready it for quilting!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Piecing progress

I made 12 blocks from a pattern given to us during the 'Get-to-gather' at Quilt Emporium in Woodland Hills, CA... instead of using their civil war colors, I used something that appealed more to me, however.  The block is called 'All Roads Lead Home' and each block is 16".  I added piano key borders and mitered the corners, because I think that (or cornerstones) looks best with piano keys.

I also finished another top, including the borders this morning... no picture yet as I'm too short to take down the one above and hang the new one on the design wall...

The second quilt is made using Bonnie Hunter's Diamond Tiles block pattern, with a feline theme... fussy cut all these kitties on point to set in the tiles and chose some pawprints for the borders.   The white outer border might be a little stark, but didn't have anything else that looked remotely good with it. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New Baby

Okay - not a baby baby, but this new-to-me Featherweight followed me home today!  Can't wait to get a chance to use her... but first.. a trip to the movies to see a preview of 'Ready Player One'....

Ignore the chaos in the background of course.  Isn't she a beauty???  Just my color and so pretty... She was born in 1953...

Now off to the movies!

Monday, March 26, 2018

If Hexagons are Hexies, does that mean Octagons are Octies?

Today I sewed some octagons from an awesome Australian design fabric I found at equilter.com... The original fabric looked like this:

I cut them into 8 identical strips, stacked those carefully matching the designs and cut them into groups of 8 identical triangles.  I sewed the triangles into pairs, the pairs into fours, and the fours into eights, making kaleidoscopic hexagons:

I love how they came out, and I will probably be making more of them... or maybe a mix of hexies and 'octies'...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Recent Work

I've been doing a lot of small things lately - working on bindings (I have currently 8 quilts in the binding queue), a couple round robins, and some individual blocks for Block of the Month projects.

Here are the round robins I've been working on (2-3 months of each challenge):  For my guild's round robin challenge: in January, I added flying geese in the same colors as the embroidery... February, I added the southwest themed appliques to the block.  In March, I added the green 'grassy' outer border and appliqued some bunnies in the grass.  


For my mini-group's round robin, which we started in February,  I added four different borders to the first block I got, each one slightly 'land-' or 'sea-' or 'sky-' scapelike, and for March, I was stymied for a long time... the first person added two borders (the blue and the ombre), and it seemed so 'complete'  (and big) already.  I had to think hard to do something original and special.  I ordered 3 yards of the border stripe fabric (one yard at first, but it wasn't enough, so then I ordered two more, but two would have been enough total if I'd thought about it and knew what I'd be doing before I ordered).   I cut it up into groupings of six identical triangles and sewed them into One Block Wonder hexagons... I put these all around the quilt... hope she likes it.

A local quilt shop (LQS for short) has a monthly meeting that several of my friends and I attend.  It is called 'The Get To-Gather'... they give us coupons (so we can feel good about spending lots of money there, lol) and a little freebie (usually fabric or a notion) and a new pattern each month.  This months pattern was a modern mini-bowtie quilt.  Here's mine:

I am also doing a couple of BOMs:  One is called Purrfect Moments and is all fusible applique, with a little piecing  Every  block is a cat with a birdcage... they are all different of course... Here is the beginning of my first block:

Thimblecreek quilt shop is also doing a mystery quilt, which they give out clues for every other week.  Here are my first six blocks for it... I am doing mine in all batiks...

Finished another top as well... Nine-Patch Madness is the pattern (from MSQC), and I used yardage instead of charm packs... I busted a lot of Asian fabrics from stash for this one... used a metallic gold for the first border (not shown in this photo), and still looking for a good border for it.  I love the chained look  of it, and the complex secondary pattern, but the blocks themselves were super easy. 

Looking forward to more of these, and a couple of new BOMs as well!  Sew many projects, sew little time, but at least my time in my studio should be more productive now that the sale is over!

I am STABLE !!! (STash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy)

I've been working hard the last 2 months, preparing for a major de-stashing sale.  I culled all the fabrics, kits, notions, tools, thread, embellishments, fasteners, and patterns from my stash that I no longer had the desire to work with (or that were duplicates).  I set the sale date as March 17th... a Saturday which was also National Quilting Day (or is it Worldwide Quilting Day - depends on which website you check)... Anyway... most of January was spent thinking about what I did and didn't want any longer.  February was spent starting to sort fabrics for the most part.  The last week of February and the first two weeks of March were spent advertising the sale and gearing up with final decisions on items and sorting more fabric.  Here's a couple of pics of a small percentage of what went into the sale:

The day of the sale was supposed to rain, but we set everything up indoors (in the garage).  I was afraid rain would keep people away.  But Lo! the day dawned bright and clear, with only a few remaining small clouds.  Crowds showed up right on time and it was almost overwhelming!  I was floored by the response, and much fabric and other items walked out with new owners... My husband was a great help because I was overwhelmed a bit by the response!

We made it through the day and closed up a bit earlier than expected (about 2:15 instead of 3pm), but everyone who wanted to come was gone by then, and we were tired.  We figured if anyone came late, they'd knock and we'd open up for them, no problem... there were no late comers though.

I sold my featherweight and LOTS of fabric and other items.

After the sale, I bagged up ALL the fabric into 12 yard-sized trash bags... four bags FULL for each of three charities - Project Linus, Simi Valley Quilt Guild and Camarillo Quilters Association.  I made sure each set of bags got about equal amounts of each color grouping so no one got stiffed on anything good.  Project Linus came by today and picked up their four bags.  The others will get theirs later. 

My big promise to myself was that NOTHING would come back into my stash.  I broke that promise for one (and only one) piece of fabric, which should never have been in the sale in the first place... I'm actually surprised it didn't sell, to be honest, but I'm glad it didn't because I would have sold it, reluctantly, but still would have.  I even sold most of the plastic bins that held so much of these items!  It feels great to be rid of so much 'stuff'.

I'm free of SO much burdensome crap... Feels wonderful!  To give you some perspective, here's what remains of my stash.. as you can see it is still quite ample... I'm not gonna run out of fabric in my lifetime!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Working through the Pain

Somehow, I threw out my back on Saturday and have been in pain for the past 3 days.  Severe lower back pains and shooting pains down my left leg... sounds like sciatica... We'll see what the doctor says tomorrow morning.  In the meantime, I've been trying to deal with it and work when I can... Getting to and from the machine... and the ironing station is agonizing, but once I'm sitting at the machine, I'm fine.  I worked on my color block quilt, trying to finish up the bottom half of it.  I got the bottom six rows sewn, but not without a goodly amount of ripping, probably because of the pain meds... at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  I'm not thrilled with the color placements but I'm not doing any more ripping - done is better than perfect! 

Of course it still needs white strips on the right side and the bottom to be a totally finished top, but for now, I'm done.  (It's after 11pm and my eyes are starting to droop closed of their own accord... no more sewing for me tonight).

Tomorrow morning is guild meeting, then my doctor's appointment, then mah jongg... a busy day!  I hope the pain is manageable so I can do everything on my agenda...


My word for 2018 after much consideration is serendipity... I need more aha! moments in my life from happy accidents.  That is what Serendipity means to me.  The dictionary definition is "the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way."  and that suits me fine this year.  Hopefully that will lead to more flexibility (I need that physically as well as emotionally and intellectually)... and being open to more possibilities.

In the meantime, I have been working on several things...

Here is my Bonnie Hunter mystery top for 2017.  I opted to experiment with my own colors rather than hers, which worked out well for me.  Purple, green and black are my happy colors.  Maybe the secondary pattern is a little less obvious in mine but it's there..


Here is a link to Bonnie Hunter's blog showing more examples of ORL.

And I made yet another cat quilt, (who knew, right?).  I call this one 'Crazy Cats Elegante'.  Had a lot of fun picking out the buttons for the eyes!

And last but not least... my current work in progress is a shaded colorblock quilt.   I am currently agonizing over the color progression... top half of the quilt is sewn, but trying to figure out if the bottom half should start with blue and progress back to violet, or repeat the violet to blue again in the same order.  Lots to consider... Maybe I will try them both out on the design wall and see what happens.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Contemplation of a Word for the Year

Last year my word for the year was actually three words:  STRONGER, NASTY and BADASS... I think I wasn't nearly as nasty as I would have liked to be, but I was stronger (and healthier) than I've been in a long time, and I was pretty badass when I needed to be (most of the time). 

This year, I'm having trouble narrowing my focus to one word... this will definitely take some thought. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ten Years in the Making

I have a lot of UFOs... some are quite old... Now, I've only been quilting since 2003, but I have generated a lot of UFOs during that time, and I have one from the 70s that I purchased the top for and still haven't quilted, so I have one that's super old, but generally I don't really count that one in among my regular UFO projects.  This one:

Which I called 'The Horse Show', was started about 10 years ago... I finally finished it a couple of days ago... In retrospect, I think I may rename it 'Don't Fence Me In', as the original pattern called for fences in the sashing and borders, but I didn't put them in... I just wanted a small wall-hanging.  Anyway, I'm very happy with how it came out.  I quilted this one myself, and every fabric got it's own quilting design, each different, which was used for both the horse, and the background of that fabric... all the manes and forelocks are quilted the same, and the noses are not quilted so they stayed soft and silky, like a horse's nose should be. 

I've started working on the new Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt... I got my first clue completed... No pictures here as it's supposed to be a mystery... If you want to make the quilt or are just curious about it and the process... I recommend visiting Bonnie's Blog and reading up about the mystery quilt here.