Tuesday, July 24, 2018

These are addicting!

These are addicting!

Way too fun to make, as the possibilities are endless. 

Depending on my mood, I guess... some are somewhat neat and planned,

while others are sort of all over the place.

Some have the tiniest little bits,

 others use leftover units from other projects.

In the past couple weeks I've managed to rack up 72 of these blocks, which is the good news. The bad news is, it doesn't seem like I've made a dent in my scraps!

Meanwhile, yesterday I decided to take a break and make something else - another little Americana mini.

The pieces for the stars were already cut, leftover from a Vet quilt I made several years ago. Rather than incorporate them into the Quirky Quilt, I thought I'd play around with giving them their own space. Layered as you can see, machine quilted in-the-ditch. Will probably hand quilt the stars and borders.

Monday, July 16, 2018

My Quirky Quilt

I've been in the mood to play with scraps.

You know all those tiny little bits, sometimes called "crumbs",  that can drive you mad? I have numerous containers full of these little critters.

Not to mention odd-size strips and triangles, as well as a box of little ufo-type things - partial blocks, rejected ideas for blocks, leftovers.... etc.

 A few weeks ago I saw this on Pinterest and got an idea.


I thought I'd go ahead and make a few "quirky" blocks, using my scraps and strips, and see what I came up with.

My strategy is to start by making "centers" with the smallest scraps, then work out with larger pieces, to end up with 6 1/2" unfinished blocks.

Or, start with a UFO in the middle.

Here are the first ten blocks I made last week.

I'm liking these. Back to the sewing room to make some more.

As you can see, they add up pretty quickly. 

And it just keeps growing!

This is definitely fun!

Now to link up with Judy's Design Wall Monday.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day

aka 4th of July.

I made a little quilt.

I was inspired by this,
made by Sheryl at Temecula Quilt Co.

This morning's agenda: apricot jam!

Enjoy the holiday ~ 


Friday, June 29, 2018

Stars in a Time Warp

You might remember this sew-along on Barbara Brackman's Civil War blog a couple years ago.

I thought it sounded like fun, so I jumped right in and was amazed at how many of the various fabrics I was able to pull out of my own stash! I have to admit I did get stuck on a few, "faked" a couple, and was completely stymied on one. Ultimately I ended up with forty eight good blocks, enough for a small quilt.

This was definitely a process quilt. I had a lot of fun going through my stash and finding the particular styles of fabric Barbara was teaching us about. Btw this was an excellent way to refresh my memory and get reacquainted all the different fabrics I've been hoarding all these years! Anyway, I looked at the process (and the product) as a fabric study, as I learned so much going along.

I considered many ideas for my quilt. I auditioned several on my wall, proceeded with a couple,  sewed and un-sewed, and went back to square one several times.

Here's one idea that didn't make the cut.


Here's another.

Too circus-y.

And then there was this.

I came really close to sewing this one up, but it was just... too much! My Time Warp Stars were totally lost. Kind of a mess, really, especially up close. Also, too big. I am glad I kept the picture though, which is kinda fun to look at.

As much as I wanted and tried to work with the green setting, I struggled to come up with anything that made me happy. Time to let go, and move in a different direction.

Fast forward a few months (a year?) I happened upon a picture Hartwell Stars, by Cynthia at Wabi Sabi Quilts. What a gorgeous quilt! Simple, yet stunning. I'm thinking, this idea might work. And it didn't hurt that I just so happened to have a stack of triangle squares in very similar fabrics, made for a previous (aborted) project. So with Cynthia's permission, I borrowed her layout idea and color scheme, and hit the road running.

See Cynthia's inspirational quilt here.

Mine is more of a mini version, and really quite different from hers, in spite of the similar fabrics, etc. My stars are only 4" and there are far fewer of them, hence a much smaller quilt. Then I added the border, which really changes the overall look.  I wanted an "old" look, so borrowed a border idea from antique quilts. I think it's perfect. Small enough to use as a fabric reference tool (I intend to install a legend on the back) and big enough to snuggle under on the couch.

Anyway, here's another view of my finished top, taken outdoors, which shows the colors a little better.

I love how the stars take center stage, almost hovering above the more muted colors in the background.

Speaking of hoarding, I've been hoarding the last yard of that deep blue print forever, waiting for "just the right quilt" to feature it in. I think this works. I even have a bit of a scrap left over. 😊


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

as promised....

This has been finished for several months, but I never got around to posting a picture. At long last, here it is - my Hourglass Medallion quilt. 

Here's a nice detail of the center.

And here's a vignette on the garden swing.

I don't remember if I mentioned I used a cotton/wool blend for the batting. I've been using this quilt off and on for sleeping, and its nice and warm (as opposed to pure cotton) and also light. I love it.

Anyway, that's about it for this quilt! You can scroll down to the previous post if you want read more about it.

Meanwhile, new things are happening. Stay tuned....


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hourglass Medallion Nearly Done

Some of you may remember the countless pictures I posted of this quilt when I was in the process of making it. I was sure you were all sick of looking at it. I was sick of looking at it.  So I promised I wouldn't show it again until it was done.

That was four years ago.

 No, its not "done" .. but I'm done with the quilting, anyways.

At the time I finished the top, my intent was to machine quilt it. However the going was really slow, and I had too much difficulty going smoothly around those tight curves. The thought of sitting at my machine for as long as it would take to do it was very depressing, especially considering the shaky results I was likely to end up with. So I thought, hell with it, I'll just hand quilt it. Much more relaxing, and a successful result would be guaranteed.

 (ps that's my teddy bear in the background, who's in the 
process of getting new hands, feet and ears.)

I dove into the quilting process with great enthusiasm, which went along great for awhile. But eventually it stalled, due to ongoing tendon issues, and, frankly, boredom with the tedium of marking and quilting all those little curvy things.

When my hands were up to it, there might be another newer project that was more exciting to work on.

Like a doll quilt.

Or this.

This was another one that was intended to be completely machine quilted, but I had problems getting the arcs smooth ... and those are big arcs!

Anyway... I did manage to plug along on the hourglass quilt a little here and there.

Quilting the medallion was fun, and a break from the tedium.

Finally one day, I discovered I was almost finished! I only had a dozen or so hourglass blocks to quilt, so I revved up the motor and got them done. But then ... oh yeah. The borders.

By this point, I really didn't have it in me to hand quilt the borders. But in the meantime, I got my new machine (that was three years ago) with the hand-quilt stitch, which is much easier to manipulate around curves, etc. and would blend right in with the hand quilted interior.

I liked the idea of a cable in the wider border...

and a simple diamond shape in the smaller, inner border.

I love the way the machine "hand quilting" blends in with my own hand quilting. You can hardly tell the difference (except the machine quilting is more even and consistent.) And... I got the borders done within a couple of days.


Now all I have to do is bury some threads, and put on the binding. And label it, of course. When that's all done, I'll post a pic.


Monday, November 6, 2017

Marvelous Mini Revisited

or I should say, remade... and then some.

To refresh, the image below is how I set my Marvelous Mini blocks a few weeks ago. In my previous post I confessed a change of heart, resulting in my turning around and picking it apart a few days later.

I really wanted to love this quilt.  But the more I looked at it, the more I knew it wasn't ever going to happen. I found myself frowning instead of smiling whenever I looked at it, and more and more I had the inclination to just stuff it in a drawer.

Something had to change. This quilt should be all about the blocks, but they sort of get lost as rendered above. Instead of standing out, the blocks seem to sink behind the sashing, especially the red. Even the border fabric - pretty as it its - competes with the blocks.

My friend Pam and I worked on these quilts at the same time, and I rushed to complete mine (my excuse, btw) so we could do show-and-tell with our quilt group. When Pam held her quilt up, it took my breath away. She set her blocks in a simple, dark blue print, all the same. Very simple, very gorgeous. I knew immediately that's what I wanted to do with mine.

After picking it apart, I took all the pieces to my quilt retreat over the weekend, bent on reworking it with my new chosen fabrics.

Much better, don't you think?

The narrow dark blue sashing does a way better job of defining the blocks, even considering the fact that the outer "logs" are of varying value, many of them dark. Some of them disappear into the sashing, but I think that's ok.  It adds interest, and keeps the eye moving. The printed border makes it appear as if the blocks are floating in space. With this rendition, the viewer's attention is definitely drawn to the blocks themselves. Which is as it should be, imho. 

Now on to the rejected floral border and stripe. I still think is a brilliant combo and and an ideal setting solution for something, and I believe I had the perfect idea what to do with it. 

I pulled colors from the border fabric - basically, browns, reds and greens, for sampler blocks. About half of these came from Lori Smith's book Fat Quarter Quilting, the rest from other sources, including a few from my brain. See, now these blocks let the borders etc. know who's boss!

Speaking of brain, mine didn't register the fact that the replacement sampler blocks were actually a half inch larger than the Mini blocks (I thought they were both 4" duh... ) and because I didn't have any more of the stripe sashing fabric, I had to go with fewer blocks. But I think it works better with the twelve blocks anyway, don't you?

With that done, I decided to attack my carton of  1" strips left over from the mini's. I thought maybe a little Log Cabin doll quilt would be a neat idea.

Not sure l'm done with this yet. Maybe I'll applique a big black crow on it somewhere, and call it "primitive" (insert winkie face) !

Anyway, I had a great quilt retreat, and all in all I think I did pretty good!