Thursday, September 24, 2015

Back to the Blue and White

Seems like forever since I have worked on my blue and white version of Di Ford's Antique Wedding Sampler. But sometimes that is a great thing because when I finally got back to it this week it felt like a brand new project and I have been making great progress. I am one of those people who find it impossible to work on just one project at a time and being able to bounce from one to another sure keeps things interesting. Anyway, I picked up this project right where I left off and here is Block 13. I hand pieced this one and then added the broderie perse. A fairly simple block but the broderie perse really brings it to life.

Block 14. Another one of my favorite circle blocks from this quilt. The starburst is hand pieced and then appliqued to the background. Then some fussy cut circles in the center and leaf shapes around the outside really come together in a great block. The hardest part of this block was selecting the fabrics!

Here is Block 15. Whew, piecing this one was like making a complete miniature quilt but, since I was in a piecing mood the day I made this one, it was a perfect project. This was machine pieced and rotary cut, really wish the pattern included the instructions for machine piecing but I guess it just adds to the challenge!

And Block 16. So hard to pick a favorite of all these blocks but I do love this one. I am trying to incorporate as many different broderie perse shapes as I can and was excited to find these little fan like flowers. I think they add a little Asian influence to go with the look of Chinese blue and white pottery.

Fabric selection continues to be the most challenging part of this project. I find it is easiest to think of each block as its own little quilt making sure that the blues within a block coordinate well. For a block that includes broderie perse, I try to select the motif first and then build the other fabrics around that. Of course, I love to add a bit of fussy cutting here and there to add extra interest to the block. Here you can see Block 17 in process. The diamonds and little circles are fussy cut and the colors were selected to enhance the broderie perse rose.

And finally I try to balance the colors in the whole quilt by keeping all of the blocks up on the design wall and taking plenty of photos for reference. Right now I am starting to think about the sashing fabric(not sure about this one), setting triangles and final border and, because I am over 1/2 way complete, need to make sure to start repeating fabrics to keep things cohesive. What looks pretty haphazard to many is actually quite a challenge to keep balanced and pleasing to the eye! Well, here is how the design wall looks right now. The blocks are not arranged in any order but I think it is coming together well.

On to stitching block 17!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mountmellick is a finished top

Whew, back from our trip to Oklahoma to move our son and The Texas to visit family. All went well and I have spent the last several days trying to get back into the routine of things and trying to get motivated in the sewing room. Though I was feeling the urge to start on something new, I resisted and put on the borders for Mountmellick, the mystery quilt by Di Ford that was in last year's Quiltmania magazine. I am so glad I did as I love how it turned out.

Part of what took so long is that I couldn't use as much of the strip as I wanted as there were not enought full repeats of the pattern to cut it the way I needed. So after much deliberation and advice from quilting buddies, I ended up just using the darker portion of the stripe. Turns out that was the perfect solution, but in future I guess I better check the stripe repeat before getting my heart set on how I want to use it.

Next up, the hand quilting. I am trying a wool batting for the first time and my LQS only had Quilter's Dream Wool in the size I needed. Seems a bit puffy so far but hopefully once I add the fill around the appliqe I will like it better. Still deciding between echo quilting or grid work as the fill. I like the look of grids but hate the marking and stitching. I love doing echo quilting though so it may win out once again!

I did get this month's Quiltmaker bitty blocks done. These finish at 4" and were a fun way to get back to my machine and use up more of my scraps. This will end up as a cute row quilt at the end of the year and hopefully I will see a dent in that scrap basket by then!

Finally, you may remember a quilt, Science Fair, that I finished quilting a few months ago. It was draped across the bed in the room that our son was expected to live in at the end of the summer. However he was only here for a few nights before moving to his permanent job and I had forgotten to remove it from the bed when he arrived. He saw it in the room and said how much he liked it. The next day he sheepishly hinted that he would like to have it to hang in the office/sewing room in his new apartment and I was thrilled to gift it to him. After all, isn't that the best purpose for our quilts, to surround people with our love. I was delighted to get this picture of the quilt hanging in his room, haha, a constant reminder of mom!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Two Halloween finishes

Whew, it has been a busy week of stitching and I finished both Halloween quilts in time for the grandkids to enjoy them for the season. Good job as moving our son jumped forward a week and with almost no notice an apartment became available for him one week early. So we load a truck today and head out tomorrow for the long trip to Oklahoma. But following his move we are going to Dallas to spend time with family and I get to visit my SIL who is my long distance quilting buddy! Hmm, maybe I can sneak in a little quilt shop therapy.

Back to the sewing. Here is the finished top for my granddaughter, a cute little wall hanging that was in the fall 2010 Quilt Sampler magazine.

I had fun playing with the quilting in this one. Since it is for Halloween, I liked the look of the jagged frames around the blocks and it was fun doing random spider webs and spiders. White thread on black is pretty non forgiving but I have decided it just goes with the scary look.

The lighting is weird with this one. Why is there no quilting showing on the bottom? And what happend to his legs?!

I searched for a pattern for my grandson's quilt but couldn't find anything that struck me,so came up with this design. Inspired by a quilt done by my SIL, I just cut random width of fabric strips, sewed them together and then inserted a strip and added some fun appliqué. I gave it to him last night and he loved the spider and bats, especially since "Grammie is afraid of bats".

I just quilted it simply, an all over loop and stars in the pieced section and a little swirl/star filler in the solid grey.

Not perfect but finished, my new motto!