Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Swans a swimming and more

 Here are four more of the blocks from the 12 Days of Christmas quilt that Little Quilts offered as a BOM last year.
 The maid a milking was pretty tricky but the other ones were just fun to make.
I do like the fabric choices made by the shop, the little touches of shimmer are just perfect.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Four calling birds and more

Here are three more blocks that go in the12 Days of Christmas quilt including the 4 calling birds, 5 golden
rings and 6 geese a laying.
Almost finished with the last block so I actually have hope of finishing this before the holidays.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Christmas in August

 Even though it is only August, I am determined to complete this quilt before Christmas.  This 12 Days of Christmas quilt was last year's BOM from a local quilt shop "Little Quilts" in Marietta, GA.  It was designed exclusively for the shop by Wanda Hizer, an applique artist who works and teaches there and I believe there are still kits available.
Each block represents a separate day and the fabric selection is beautiful as you can see.
I am actually currently working on the last block so this is just a preview of the whole quilt. 

My husband just got home from Charleston where the hurricane was pretty much a non event but my thoughts and prayers are with everyone else who is being affected by the storm.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A few more from Captain Russell

I just realized that I have been so busy that I haven't posted in awhile.  Here are a couple more from the Captain Russell quilt.  The pattern for this quilt is available from the Baltimore Museum of Art.  They have a website and it can be ordered though I have made a few changes to the original.  
For example this one with the birds in the center has the wreath from the Captain Russell quilt but the birds are part of another pattern.  I just love these little birds.
Right now I am watching the weather very closely as we have a townhouse in Charleston, SC and our son lives there while attending College of Charleston.  We are following hurricane Irene and praying for everyone in its path and hoping that we won't have to make an emergency trip to board up the house and get our son out of town.  Hopefully I can get a little sewing done to keep my mind off it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My intro to blogland,,,, Glorious Applique

I discovered blog land by accident last December while browsing the web.  My son had just had surgery and we were looking forward to a very quiet Christmas helping him with his recovery.  When I stumbled upon the blog Glorious Applique showcasing quilts being made from Kim McLean's wonderful patterns it put a smile on my face and I knew I had to make one.  I had never used Kaffe Fassett fabrics before but loved them in this applique setting and I ordered the pattern from the Glorious Color website as well as a fabric starter pack and began this quilt called Flower Pots.
 Unfortunately the blog was full and I wasn't able to post my progress but I read it regularily and gained inspiration as I worked on my quilt. Recently the moderator of the blog figured out a way to allow more of us to participate and I have recently began sharing my work.  Most of the applique is done but I set it aside for awhile while working on other projects.
My recent posting on the Glorious Applique blog has got me all excited about this quilt and I hope to have it all put together soon,  Such happy colors and probably the most fun quilt I have ever worked on.  It just makes my sewing room glow.  These are just a few of the panels - I'll show you more soon. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kinda trippy!

You may remember this project from a previous post. I took a class with Sue Spargo when she visited our guild in June. This was the embellishment project that we worked on and I just put the borders on and quilted it today. The border is a little busy but I think it goes well with the 70's vibe going on in the center. The project sure didn't start that way but I think I ended up channeling my youth. I am trying out a different sewing machine for my free motion quilting on smaller projects and while it isn't perfect I am pretty happy with the final result.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Playing with paisley

These days I am really on a paisley kick and find I am seeing paisley everywhere. I am also in the process of doing some minor redecorating - just new pillows and curtain that I still need to sew and paint if I can talk DH into it - and this UFO fits right into the new plan. I have a crazy Yorkshire terrier who loves to jump up on all furniture and we have an off white ottoman that is starting to show signs of wear so I have been keeping it covered with a small 42" quilt. It adds color to the room and saves our furniture but won't match the new drapes so I hope to finish this one to use instead. This project was started in China but because of our abrupt departure was just sitting in a box. When I saw it the other day I decided to figure out a way to finish it. It is being designed as I go as I only have 2 charm packs and a jelly roll and then some yardage for a border. Since I now only want a small quilt I decided to save the jelly roll and yardage for another project and just use up the charm squares and a few other pieces of fabric. I am not fond of working with just a line of fabric and when I look at this I remember why - it just looks a bit flat to me. I have all these applique borders prepared to sew.As you can see one of the pieces is only partially sewn but it gives you an idea. Most of my applique is done using the needleturn technique and I glue everything down with Roxanne's glue baste before I start stitching. Usually I use a light box for placement but with this one I just marked where the points would be and that worked out fine. I hope I finish soon as I now am feeling a need to work on something bright again.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Henrietta Whiskers BOM

One of my ongoing projects this year has been the free Block of the Month, "Henrietta Whiskers" offered by Ann Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs. Since next month is the last month, and all the patterns are still offered free on her web site I thought I would show some of my progress. This isn't my usual style but since it is just one easy block per month I decided it would be a fun stash buster. And I don't have any fall quilts ( I am more of a spring color girl) so this was an opportunity to make something different. It has really been a lot of fun.As you can see each block has some piecing, some applique and a little embroidery. There are also a few embellishments that I will add after the quilting is complete. Here is what is done so far.Next month the pattern will include filling that last block on the bottom and some borders. It isn't too late to get the patterns from Bunny Hill. Just check out her website and look under free patterns or Google "Henrietta Whiskers". I wish I could provide you with a link but I still don't know how - I am trying to learn but this computer stuff does not come natural to me! People are also posting to a Flicker "Henrietta Whiskers" page so you can see how others are doing with this fun project.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Work in progress

I am currently in love with pieced circle blocks and when I saw Kathy Doughty's "Pheasantville" in the April/May 2011 Quilter's Newsletter Magazine I knew I had to get piecing. Now I am not too great with paper piecing, I just get all confused, but though I hadn't hand pieced in a number of years I thought that I would give it a go. And I loved it. I have been hand appliquing for so long that I had forgotten the pleasure and portability of hand piecing. And the curves were no problem at all. I used the floral on the right side of the photo as my focus fabric and was planning to set the blocks on point using the floral as alternate blocks but I really didn't realize how big the blocks would be when I started and I don't have enough fabric. Now that they are on the design wall I think I may just leave them like this and add a small dk. pink border before the floral border. I cut the background at 18 in (in the pattern they are 16 in finished) because I wanted to see a bit more of the background and I should still end up with a decent sized quilt. I am also considering a small sawtooth border before the floral but think maybe I want the blocks to stand on their own. Any thoughts?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another finish

This week I have been practicing on my longarm "Annie" and we are really starting to bond. Though my quilting is by no means terrific, I am seeing some improvement and that gave me the confidence to quilt this appliqued quilt. The pattern is from the book Ruby Red Dots and I eliminated the outside border so it would be a better size for hanging. I made the top last year to hang in my kitchen at Christmas - not really a Christmas quilt but the colors seem to be of the season and will fit in well with my black, yellow and white French inspired kitchen. I was rather unsure about thread color and settled on a goldish thread which looks OK. Probably should have used 2 different colors but live and learn.
I outlined the applique as best as I could and then did an allover scroll type design in the background of each applique and star block. Then I quilted a larger meandering scroll in each of the borders. Oh and I quilted in the ditch around each block - not sure I would do that again. Since I am really trying to improve my machine quilting I would love to know what you think!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not just applique

Yes I can piece too. This is a Fig Tree Quilts pattern that appeared in a recent issue of Quilt Mania magazine. I would love to tell you which issue but I recently was tidying up and "put away" the magazine and now can't find it! Anyway since I much prefer applique to piecing I find I must occasionally force myself to practice my piecing skills. With 77 pieces per 12 in. block this pattern was perfect and a great way to play with value. Using such a limited color palette made value even more important and it was fun seeing how each block would turn out. And since it was a pretty busy quilt it was a great opportunity to practice on my longarm "Annie".
I don't have a computer guided system which means lots and lots of practice with free motion patterns. This time I tried some feathers, swirls and flowers and because of all the piecing you can't really see my mistakes. It was lots of fun to do and I just love this color combination.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More from the Captain

Here are a couple more from the Captain Russell quilt. If you are familiar with the quilt you will notice that I have changed the center of a few of the blocks so that they are all birds or flowers or fruit. The original quilt had a boat and a few other things that didn't want in my quilt. Though the blocks do look pretty similar when seen individually, together I think the quilt is very pleasing. I still need to prepare the center of that quilt but I spent the last few days trying to bond with my newish longarm machine. I'm hoping that we will be BFF's soon!