Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I'm still here

Oops, it has been awhile and after my last post you might think I was planning to stop blogging. Nope, I am still here but things are busy with family stuff. Once again, it involves a move but this time it is not me that is moving but my youngest son. He graduated with his Masters degree in May and is working in Virginia on a contract that ends Aug 31. He just got a job offer in Oklahoma for a more permanent job and starts Sept 8 so we are all frantically trying to figure out how to find an apartment and get him moved. All his stuff is here in Georgia so the logistics are pretty crazy, but hopefully this will be last move we are involved in for quite a while!!!

But I have had a chance to get some sewing in. When life seems crazy I want to work on happy projects and first up is this Aiming For Accuracy quilt. I finished the top a few years ago and finally made a back and quilted it last week. This is my first time free handing this swirl pattern. I had planned on a more elaborate custom design but just couldn't concentrate enough so swirls it is!

I decided to make it reversible with a more modern pieced back. I like how the swirls look on the solid white. A fun happy quilt for my kid friendly guest room.

And here are a few more blocks for the Antique Wedding Sampler.

This is coming along nicely and I am happy with how they are looking together. This limited color palette gets more challenging with each block. Such a lesson in value and scale. I know I will appreciate 2 color quilts more in the future.

This weekend I really just wanted to sew some quick and easy projects for the grandkids. My little grandson started preschool and I saw this tutorial on a Patchwork Posse for a shark pencil case. The zipper was pretty confusing to do, and I discovered that I could not use my pinking shears anymore, but overall it was a fun little project. Hope he likes it.

And I couldn't forget my granddaughter. Here is a little purse for her , a free tutorial on the blog Make it and Love It. It is sized for a toddler so it should be perfect for her - she does love a handbag!

Finally a little fun Halloween sewing. This pattern was in the 2010 Fall/Winter Quilt Sampler magazine. I loved the pattern at the time and set it aside for when I had grandchildren. Then later I saw that my LQS had a kit for another quilt in these fabrics at a clearance price, I scooped it up and put it with the pattern waiting for just the right time. Well the grandkids are 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 so the time has come. This is just a 40" wall hanging and I hope to make lap quilts with the remaining fabrics.

I just love the bits of embroidery in the blocks and now that they are finished I will put them together today and hopefully get the border on and quilted by the end of the week. Here is a closer look.

It is fun having this silly project to work on during a busy time. Sewing is such great therapy!

 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Flower Pots is finished and blogging reflections

Well here it is my finished Flower Pots quilt by Kim McLean. This top was finished about 4 years ago and was my first, and almost only, use of Kaffe Fasset fabrics. I am very happy with it overall and while the quilting is not perfect, it is indeed finished.

A few close ups to give a better idea of the quilting.

While trying to figure out when I had finished this top, I scanned through old blog posts and that got me to thinking about my blogging. First and most important I blog to keep some sort of diary of my quilting progress and it is mostly for this reason that I continue. I love the fact that through your comments and my reading other blogs I feel I have entered into a world of friends which is a bonus I truly could not have imagined when I began. But sadly I am not reading blogs as often as I used to and rarely comment as lately so many of my comments get bounced back. Something to do with my aol email account not wanting to play nicely with Yahoo accounts and other stuff I don't quite understand. You might even be wondering why I am mentioning all this but mostly I wanted to alert people that I am not ignoring their blogs but finding the commenting situation just so frustrating. And some of you who comment on my blog, the comments are sometimes not being sent to my email so I can't respond. Anyway please know that I do appreciate all my readers and followers whether you comment or not. And like many of you I am also spending more time on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest but I am not quite ready to give up my blog, I really need this diary. So what are your thoughts, are you still blogging, reading blogs much or have you moved to other types of social media?

 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

More blocks from the Antique Wedding Sampler and Quilting Flower Pots

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my design dilemma. I am still torn and have decided to wait to make the final decision until after the rest of the blocks are finished. Hopefully once they are all arranged it will be more obvious which one works better to balance the quilt.

I have finished a few more blocks. This is one of my favorites, another starburst hand pieced block with broderie perse.

Here is block 9, an applique block with a fun fussy cut center.

I also made the cute little log cabin blocks for the Quiltmake Bitty Blocks BOM. They finish at 4". It was fun doing them totally scrappy from leftover bits of fabric, I think it took longer to cut than it did to sew!

Several years ago I made Flower Pots by Kim McLean and this week I finally had the courage to put it on the longarm machine. I have come to the conclusion that if I keep waiting til my skills are better to get all my tops quilted I will be waiting forever. The only way to improve my quilting skills is to practice, practice, practice so I here I go!

And I am off. This will take awhile but hopefully it will look OK and I keep telling myself that finished is better than perfect!

And finally someone asked about the paint color for my bedroom but was a no reply blogger which meant that I could not respond directly. The paint color is Aquatic Edge, a Valspar paint from Lowes. I have now used this color in three Master Bedrooms and still love it!

 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Design dilemma

I am still having fun with my Blue and White version of the Antique Wedding Sampler by Di Ford. Here is block 6, another one of the beautiful sunburst style hand pieced blocks with some Broderie Perse.

This quilt is destined for my Master bedroom where much of our collection of Blue and White Chinese pottery is displayed. Here is a picture of the bedroom, though the quilt will probably end up not on the bed but on the wall opposite.

So here is my minor dilemma. I have decided to modify the vase block in the quilt to reflect the Chinese pottery and to give the bouquet a more Asian look. I am pretty happy with the placement of the Broderie Perse bouquet and the vase shape but cannot decide between the two different vase fabrics. Actually they are both from the same fabric but one is predominantly dark and the there light. I will be placing this block in the center of the quilt.

So which do you think looks better, dark or light? I can't finish all of the appliqué on the flowers until I decide and I keep going back and forth between the two. Help me out and let me know what you think, I am also going to post in the FB group related to Di Ford quilts and ask. Should be fun to see what everyone thinks!

 

Friday, July 31, 2015

A new start - Antique Wedding Sampler

Time to take a bit of a break from the longarm quilting. While it is great to get some quilts finished, too many days on my feet and my knee started acting up. And then after a three day weekend babysitting the grandchildren, I was feeling a need to play with my fabric. I have been considering making the Antique Wedding Sampler quilt from Di Ford's book Primarily Patchwork in shades of blue and white for about a year. After seeing the beautiful red and white Civil War Bride quilt on the blog Every Stitch I was inspired again and decided to just jump in. For awhile I had considered using these fabric to make Oma's Blues by Esther Aliu, and still hope to make that quilt one day, but decided that I really wanted to give the AWS a go. I decided to make the blocks in the order they appear in the pattern, possibly not the best choice as the first block proved to be a bit of a challenge. This one is hand pieced and hand appliqued. I especially love the Broderie Perse in the corners, so fun finding the perfect fabric in my stash.

Block 2 was much easier. I machine pieced the large star and then did EPP for the little star in the center. It actually should have 8 points instead of 6 but since I already had the papers for the 6 pointed star I went for it. A little fussy cutting really brings the star to life.

Block 3 is a pretty simple block. Mostly machine pieced except for the circular star in the center which is hand pieced and then appliqued onto the center square. So hard to remember that these blocks will be set on point but so important when you are fussy cutting!

And finally a picture of these and a few more unfinished blocks on the design wall. These are more true in color. I love how the blues are playing together so far. Using such a restrained color palette is quite challenging for me. I am still working on value issues but as always, I am learning as I go.

I have been hoarding most of these fabrics for about 7 years so it is fun finally using them. If you are familiar with the pattern then you know there is lots more Broderie Perse to come - I can't wait!

 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The finishing continues

Now that my longarm machine is up and running I am trying to catch up with all the tops that have accumulated over the last few years. I can't believe that I had about 30 tops waiting to be quilted - it will take a long time to finish them all but I am making a start.

Here is my Celtic Solstice, Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt from 2013. I am very happy with the colors in this one.

About a year ago I made this quilt called Science Fair. It makes a cute throw in the guest room that until recently was my sewing room.

And today I quilted and bound another Bonnie Hunter quilt, Scrappy Trips, a free pattern available on her blog. I have called it Scrappy Trip to France because I used mostly French General fabrics. I had forgotten how much I like this quilt until I was quilting it, I just love all these pretty prints combined. It is fun getting to know my machine again and to practice a different design with each one. My machine is not computerized so I must free motion quilt all the designs by hand. I need lots of practice!

I also finished another 1/2 size block from My Enchanted Garden. Lots of fun to work with these fabrics and threads!

 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Di ford mystery quilt, part 6 continues

This has been a busy stitching week and yesterday I finally had a chance to cut the setting triangles for my Di Ford Mystery, Mountmellick. In the original quilt the final border is red so I have really had to think about color placement while selecting colors since I changed my border to a teal fabric. I am really learning a lot about color, design and attention to details with this quilt. Di seems to excel at these things and in trying to select fabrics to enhance her design I am paying more attention myself. Today I pieced 2 of the borders, can't wait to get to the other 2 soon. It turned out a little darker than I intended but I do really like it. And isn't it weird how light the center background looks - it is the same fabric used in the background for the stars in the final border yet looks so much lighter!

One of the things that has kept me busy has been helping my DIL finish a quilt for her brother's wedding. She finished sewing the top before the wedding but didn't have time to get it quilted so this week she came over to make the backing. We decided to add a pieced section to make the quilt reversible and to save fabric.

I rarely make quilts this big, it is 87 x 91", so I was a bit nervous to quilt it. I ended up doing a simple all over paisley design and think it worked out well. Now to get it trimmed and the binding put on. Thankfully, DIL will be doing the hand stitching on the binding on this one.

Really happy to have this quilt off my plate, I am anxious to start quilting some UFOs of my own.