Friday, February 17, 2012

hexagon update.....

The last of the basting stitches and little hexagonal papers went into the wastebasket this afternoon. I could have finished with this piece of business sooner....but, got done. Now I need to take a bit of think time. Sometimes, after a spell of thinking, I'll come up with a plan for what to do with a quilt top...what to make for its back and how to quilt the thing. Sometimes a quilt top will tell me what it wants me to do with it. When the plan comes together I'll proceed. Until then I'll get going on another project. I'd like to design or make something with a limited color pallet....since lately everything that I've done seems to be painted with a very scrappy brush. And since I have no photos of work or work in progress to show's a photo of one of my dog-babies. Her name is Mopsy Blue-eye. She's fierce, funny, and weighs six pounds.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1,995 hexagons.......

It was great take-a-long project and a wonderful exercise in English paper piecing. Little hexagons became part of my life. First cutting out paper templates, then covering each with a bit of fabric and hand basting fabric to paper, then whip stitching each piece to its was a challenge and it was fun (most of the time)....but....with all 1,995 1.5" paper pieced hexagons stitched together side by side by side, I found that the most tedious bit of business still had to be done. Before any batting, backing or stitching turn this top into a quilt....I have to pick out all of the basting stitches and pull off each paper hexagon. Yes, all 1,995 of them. So here I am, covered with bits of thread and filling my waste basket with hexagonal bits of paper. The dogs all look bored. Starting a project is so much darned fun that I almost always forget just what it takes to get to the finish. I know that I'll love the quilt. And I guess that's all that matters in the end.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

too many thimbles.....?

Question: can one have too many thimbles? Well, for me, owning a thimble...or you see in the photo, makes me secure. It's like this.....No matter what....when I decide to do some stitching I need to know that I'll always find a thimble that fits. My collection (which includes several others that weren't rounded up in time for the group photo) must protect my needle pushing middle finger under all circumstances. And....each one is slightly different from the rest. They may be advertised as all being a size small, medium or whatever...but believe me, the thimble industry seems to have missed entirely the concept of standardized sizing. There's also the little problem of finger size. We all have days when water retention or a gain of an extra pound or two caused our fingers to suddenly plump up. And what about when that mysterious condition....which I call early-morning-skinny-finger-syndrome....has turned our fingers to mere shadows of their former selves? Try to get a proper thimble fit then. So....I keep a whole stable of thimbles....just in case. One never knows.......

Thursday, February 2, 2012

just call it progress.....

I buried myself in a mess of sewing this morning. What is it about putting together a quilt that, no matter how tidy the work space looks when you start, you can bet that it'll be a complete jumble by the time you're finished. I've been working....and this is my mess.
Since the pillow project is now done (and in exile on the floor) I thought I'd rummage through my stack of waiting-to-be-finished pieces. I found a small lap quilt that seemed to want to see the light of day again. I'd forgotten when I put the poor thing together. It must have been during one of my experimental phases. Each one of the pieces was first sewn to an identical piece of light interfacing which was then slit and then the whole thing was turned inside out and pressed. Every "block" has a finished edge and, if I hadn't given in to my lazy side, would have been hand stitched together. My shortcut was to butt the edges together and attach them by machine using a zig-zag stitch. I actually think that all the zigs and zags add something to the piece. A bit of texture, or something. Anyway...I took it to my sewing space, pulled out a whole bunch of 5" squares of fabric that I had cut one day when I had nothing better to do...and pieced them into strips. The strips will become rows and the rows, a quilt back. And yes, in case you're wondering, I'm going to machine quilt the little beast.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

two pillows and a purple love-seat....

I finally finished the quilting, binding and sewing of my string-pieced and patched pillow covers. Don't know if I can really count them as two finishes for they are almost identical. I've been thinking of them as one project so I guess I'll count them in the same way. Unimportant technicality. The important thing is that I stuffed them full of pillow today and placed them where they'll live, at least for the time being, on the purple love-seat in the family room. The dogs weren't ready for this turn of events. The love-seat is a favorite hang-out. And in the mind of Archie, our slightly-off-center chihuahua
... pillows, blankets or whatever else that land in a space he's claimed as his own....must be thrown off, kicked off, nudged off or otherwise cleared out. Immediately! Unfamiliar as he is with the two intruders, for the time being he is proceeding with caution. By tomorrow afternoon he will have figured it all out and the pillows will have been evicted and in exile on the floor. I don't take that kind of thing personally. Once I'm done with a project I let go of it emotionally. And since it no longer belongs to me I figure I can just let it fend for itself.

Monday, January 30, 2012

finishes 2011....

I guess I should have kept a list and made photos of quilts that I sarted, finished, or 2011. I didn't. So I think that I'll just do this as I go and, in between talking about other things, squeeze in a quilt or two from last year. More and more, I've been piecing my quilt a style more like improv. This quilt is a little different. It's actually two sided...the back, an echo of the front, but with larger blocks and using a darker colors for the solid patches. I also used two solids rather than sticking to one as on its reverse. Here's a look at both sides.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

the best seat in the house......

Welcome to my favorite little corner of the world.  Here's where I play with fabrics, colors and patterns...then figure out how to turn them into all kinds of quilty things.  And some not so quilty.  The wonderful Miss Janome and her walking foot helped me quilt that colorful bit of patchwork on the left just this afternoon.  Tomorrow I'll make a pillow cover using that piece on the back.   


And here's the front....two fronts really ....because I have two pillows in the works.  I think that they're going to be a fun and colorful addition to the purple (yes, purple) love seat in my family room.  The pattern for this scrap rainbow is from a terrific new book, Scrap Republic.
I'm looking forward to making some of the other quilts from this book too.  This particular pattern takes the old, thrift based, scrap savers standby:  string piecing,  and gives it a fresh, new look.  Using scraps that I can't bring myself to throw away also helps me feel less guilty about those days when I can't stand it anymore and have to stop at my local quilt shop for a browse....which always turns into a buy.   The quilter's addiction....fabric.   There should be a fabri-holics anonymous for those like me...who find that the lure of cotton-on-the-bolt is irresistible.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

it's only been a year......?

2011 came and went...and my little blog was silent. It's not that I had nothing to say...or to show. I just got busy with things...simple, everyday things that, at the time, didn't seem to require a narrative or photos. Just the normal stuff of living. But now I think that I want to dust off my keyboard and try it again...blogging, I mean. No promises. I have a new camera and have taken some pictures. In a day or three I'll download a few and do a little writing...a sort of digital show and tell. So 'bye for now. I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Still Quilting After All These Years

I'm back after a long silence. After my last post a lot of things happened. I think that I mentioned something about traveling to Turkey for the wedding of my husband's daughter, Autumn....well....we did go in mid-July. I fell ill almost as soon as we got to through the next 10 days with lots of pain and fever reducers...and landed in the hospital a couple of days after returning home. There I stayed for a week. Then two more weeks of slow recovery at home until I got back on my feet again. That about describes my great travel adventure. It's the old story....something I ate. My husband ate the same things that I did and nothing happened. Anyway...I'm not in any hurry to leave the country again.

For the New time does fly....I've resolved to stop making so much "art" to swap and start finishing...and of course, starting....projects to keep. As for the finishing....I completed a quilt that had been three years in the making (I'm such a procrastinator). It was originally supposed to be a baby quilt for my Granddaughter, Lily. It would up being this year's Christmas gift. It's not a very good photo, but it turned out to be a very cute quilt. And I'm going to count it as my first finish of the New Year.

I found another UFO (Unfinished Object) in a box on a shelf. This consisted of a couple of completed and one partial block for a quilt that I began a couple of years ago. A Sue Spargo pattern....Ginger Grove. I've managed to complete all of the applique and embroidery on ALL of the blocks. The next step is sewing them together, layering the quilt top, batting and backing.....and.....quilting the thing. But first (something that I couldn't resist) another quilt begged to be started. This one is from a Kim McLean pattern called Roseville Album. I'm working on the second of the 16"x16" blocks. It's another applique project. I love applique. It's something I can do while watching TV. Actually, I don't really watch TV...I sort of half-listen and look up occasionally to see what's on the screen.'s a sampling of both of these quilts. I'll be very lucky to post the photos in the right place....they usually wind up at the top. Still haven't figured that one out. Oh, well.

Bye for now.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just Doodling

Sometimes I like to just take a Micron pen and a piece of drawing or watercolor paper and just play...see what, if anything, develops. So I doodled for a couple of hours today and up came this doodle-flower. I added a little color...simple black and white can be interesting...but my paper was not a bright white...sort of a light cream. From the beginning, this doodle wanted to be bright black and white with touches of it sort of decided that I should add some color to make it sing a little. So here's the result. I placed it on a piece of fun dotty, green paper that I thought would add a fun look....notice that it's the same paper that I used for yesterday's birthday card. I like this paper. I like dotty patterns...especially on bright backgrounds. So that's my big accomplishment for today....a doodle-flower on a dotty paper background. Some days just turn out that way too....a bit dotty.