Thursday, January 31, 2013

Are you a trimmer?

Well I am not and I gotta say my least favorite part of making a Schnibble is all the trimming required. But since the results are good I guess it is worth all the time and effort and I see more Schnibbles in my future. I really like how this little top turned out and I think it will make a great little table topper on my black kitchen table in my new home.

And looking at it hanging on the design wall with some of my butterflies I am so excited that they look nice together. My last two houses have had yellow walls in both the great room and kitchen and white cabinets and were decorated in a decidedly French theme. But in this new home, with its dark cabinets and counters and a very open floor plan I am going in a different direction. At this stage of life though, I have collected many things that I love and have special meaning that I want to incorporate into the decor. Nor do I have the money to start over following the latest design trends but I love decorating and hope to create a stylish and comfortable home. It is quite a challenge using what I have in new ways to create the British colonial look I am going for this time. It reminds me a lot of making a quilt and pulling various fabrics and patterns into a harmonious design. I hope you don't mind hearing all about my design process in my new home. I am enjoying recording the process and it will be fun for me to look back on once I am settled.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More Butterflies

Not quite finished my Schnibble but I have been working hard to finish the appliqué on my Butterflies Are Free quilt. I still have one more flower block and 25 butterfly blocks but these have been finished since my arrival last Friday. I have the perfect spot for this quilt in,y new home so the pressure is now on to get this done before I have to take down the long arm for moving. I don't really think I can do it but It is good to set goals! New flooring is being laid in the long arm room and should be finished tomorrow so it will be another handwork day for me!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My first Schnibble

I have mentioned before that I usually prefer to select fabrics from my stash rather than using a whole line of fabric so it shouldn't be a big surprise that I have not made many quilts from precuts. During the past year I did see several quilts made using the Schnibbles patterns for charm squares and I decided that I would give one a go as a quick project to use a fabric line that I love. This pattern is called Hot Cross and the fabric is the new line by French General called La Belle Fleur. Now I LOVE French General fabric but really have only collected bits of it and have used it in projects mixed in with other fabrics. I wanted to see how this collection would look together and I must admit I do love it. The top is not complete yet but I am imagining it will look great as a tabletopper on my kitchen table next to a hutch filled with transferware.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Remember this?

Well, not much sewing going on since I arrived in Florida since we are working hard getting the house ready for our upcoming move. We picked out new hardwood flooring for the long arm room so that I will be able to sit and scoot along on a chair. I gotta say my husband is really sweet to understand my quilting needs and to be willing to fund them. But don't feel too sorry for him as he has three old MG hobby cars and all the tools necessary to work on them so he "gets it". Frankly when searching for a new home we end up looking for a garage and sewing studio with a house attached. Neither of us really wanted to move but a job and great new home does make the transition easier. He also hung several new light fixtures cause I just hated the old ones. Though they may not be the fixtures of my dreams, they fit the budget after the flooring expense and I am starting to see things come together.

So, now for a little sewing report. I haven't posted this in awhile but you might remember these "this goes with that" hexagon blocks. I worked on a few more last week and all the supplies for this one will ow stay in Florida. These are the colors in my new Master bedroom and I love how it looks with the aqua walls and blue and white pots that we brought home from China. Can't wait to get more furniture moved in!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A happy surprise

Today started pretty early for me. I was planning to drive to our new home in Florida today to see DH and perhaps to check out the new tile backsplash he installed the last few weeks. Since it is a 6 hour drive I usually leave between 9 and 10 after the Atlanta traffic, and then arrive a bit before he gets home from work. But all day yesterday there were dire predictions of freezing rain and snow starting around 8 am so it was either wait a day or leave early. Since my sleep patterns are pretty weird these days I decided that if I woke up early I would go, if not I would just wait a day. Well for once I am glad that I rarely sleep through the night cause I was up by about 4:45 and hit the road before 5:30. Wow, even with a coffee break and potty break for the dog and a fabric store break (you know just to stretch my legs) I made it here by 12:15. And when I arrived the doorbell rang and a package was delivered! What a great surprise. Thanks so much to Thelma from the blog Cupcakes and Daisies. She recently had a giveaway on her blog to celebrate her 100th quilt. I was the lucky winner of the pattern of my choice from the Fat Quarter Shop and I selected On A Whim by Thimble blossoms. I look forward to pulling some fat quarters together to make this one. Oh and check out how beautifully it was wrapped, it was the prettiest package I have had in years. :). Thanks again Thelma!

Oh, and the tile back splash is looking good too. It is marble subway tile and when I was here at Christmas I arranged the tile for installation. Getting the title "pattern" just so was just like arranging quilt blocks on a design wall and I am delighted with the results. Hopefully he can get to the grout tomorrow!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A few more William Morris blocks

I finished the binding on my Whig Rose but have no way to take a good photo. Since I head to the new house tomorrow and plan to take it with me, I should have something to show soon. However I have completed a few more of the William Morris blocks. Sadly I won't have these with me to work on for the next week or so but I'm sure to come up with another UFO or 2 to keep me busy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Binding with a flange

Well, I have never tried this before and it is way harder than I expected but it seems to be worth the effort for this quilt. I debated the pros and cons of adding a flange versus piping and decided to go with a flange. Despite being VERY careful with my cutting and sewing my flange is not quite perfectly even so piping might have been a better option. I had always planned to bind this one in green but now am kinda wishing that I had reversed the colors but then the flange imperfections would be more noticeable! Back to stitching.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm doing the Happy Dance

Yep, I'm excited because last night I finished the quilting on my Whig Rose. I have been quilting a little almost everyday and I can hardly believe that after several years it is finally done. I love it but a full picture won't be posted til I get a binding on it. This morning I have been researching bindings with flange or piping and I need to do a little experimenting before making a final decision.

Oh and I also finished another William Morris block. Though it isn't my favorite it will do. I actually find it much more difficult to select fabric on these 2 color blocks so I am happy that there aren't many of those even though the stitching goes much faster!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Some more birdies

Here are 2 more blocks for my William Morris style quilt from Michele Hill's book. I have finished 3 1/2 blocks in 2 days so I guess it is pretty quick after all!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A new UFO

Well, that is a bit of an oxymoron but since I have never blogged about this one it is new to you! This is the quilt "Friends" from Michele Hill's book William Morris in Appliqué. I am a bit of an Anglophile, having grown up in Canada and living 2 years in England in the mid 1980's and have admired William Morris for many years. When I first saw Michele's quilts I fell in love with them and couldn't wait to get her book when it came out. My quilt was begun about 2 years ago and was inspired by some reference embroideries seen in the book though it shows no resemblance to the colors of the quilts in the book. As usual I began with much gusto but as I became distracted by other projects it was eventually put away and sorta forgotten.

I originally planned to hand appliqué this quilt but if you are familiar with these patterns, you will understand why I decided to use Michele's method of fusible appliqué with tiny blanket stitch appliqué. Lots of tiny pieces that wouldn't have enough seam allowance to turn under, at least too tricky for me. This is not fast appliqué though, there is lots of thread changing, tiny curves and tricky points and it is pretty challenging for me since I find handwork much easier than intricate machine work. But I am pretty happy with it so far and it is very satisfying to make progress on yet another UFO!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A wooly finish

As the reality of my upcoming move begins to sink in I am looking around to finish up a few UFOs that are almost done. Here is a wool project that I started about a year ago to practice embellishing. The pattern is from the book "Pennies from Heaven" and is just a small wall hanging. I tried a few new things with this including some needle turn appliqué using silk taffeta. I was surprised how easy it was since I had heard horror stories of raveling and shredding. But I used no interfacing and just marked the front and needle turned the seam allowance just as I would cotton fabric. It adds a nice sheen and I will be doing this again. I have a lot of silk taffeta that I purchased in Thailand but also some that I pick up in drapery fabric stores. Those little free swatches are perfect for appliqué! I did some quilting around all the appliqué and am not sure how I like that. I rarely see quilting on small wool pieces but I wanted to give it a try. Looks ok but not as flat as I might like. Perhaps next time I need to add more quilting in the wool background but this one will stay as is. I also used a silk blend stripe fore the binding. The colors are perfect and it was surprisingly easy to work with. Overall a happy experiment.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blogging and hand quilting

Well it seems that blogging and hand quilting don't seem to go together very well. Since I am working hard on this quilting there doesn't seem to be much new and interesting to post about. But I have made good progress so here is a picture of a finished corner. I am about 1/3 of the way around the outside edge and I am starting to feel the excitement of a near finish. So much so that despite raw fingers and lots of other stuff I should be doing, I am working on this almost non stop. I am starting to think about binding. Maybe a tiny red flange next to a green binding - hmm what do you think?

Monday, January 7, 2013

A finished UFO

Another good start to the new year is the completion of this UFO. While it hasn't been sitting around that long, maybe since Sept or Oct, it was just in a large pile awaiting quilting. I just quilted it with a paisley design that is pretty easy and quick to do and I finished the binding last night. Hopefully a little more hand quilting on the Whig Rose tonight.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Guilt free TV time

I finished the quilting on this one a few days ago and now I am busy hand sewing the binding which to me makes for truly guilt free TV watching. I love the mindless sewing that goes with binding and I can usually finish up a twin size quilt in about one afternoon and evening of sewing. Just a couple of movies and I am done. I tried a new free form pattern for the quilting on this one but I am not sure how much you can see it. I saw the design on a tutorial by Green Fairy quilts and I think it was called feathered swirls. It was great practice for making the teardrop shapes that are in feathers and I will definitely be using this design again, hopefully on something that will show up more! Time to turn on the TV and get stitching.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Another look at my Whig Rose

Well the holidays have come to an end and once again I am still not finished with my Whig Rose quilt. But I have made great progress. So much so that I am not going to put it away and instead am going to try to push this one to the finish line. Thanks for all the encouragement the last time I posted About this quilt. The fact that it has inspired so many of you to comment has given me the extra incentive needed to keep going. It is almost all quilted within the vine border so now all that is left is the area on the outside of the vine and I am hoping that goes quickly. Wouldn't this finish be a great start to 2013!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year new beginnings

Happy 2013! This promises to be another year of changes for me but one thing that doesn't change is the joy and comfort that quilting brings to my life. With that in mind my focus this year, as I mentioned in my last post, it to try to be true to myself. The last few years have been spent exploring blogs,fun bright fabrics, lots of appliqué, and learning some new techniques. I hope I can continue on this path and finish a few UFOs and make a few new beginnings along the way.

So since this is the first day of the new year I decided to start with a new beginning. For a long time I have wanted to do a strip style flying geese quilt using a border stripe fabric for the strips. However, I had sorta forgotten about this idea until today when I was looking at a fabric pile I had pulled together in my sewing room. This was so fun and easy and in one day I was able to accomplish what you see in the photo below.

While I was sewing this I got to wondering about how others work. I rarely buy fabrics with a specific quilt in mind. Instead I usually buy things I like and then might pull a bunch of stuff together and hope that an idea of how to use them comes to me. Or I might run across a pattern that speaks to me and go to my stash to see what I can pull together adding a few new purchases if necessary. I rarely use only one line of fabric but may use it as a jumping off point. Of course I can do this cause I have a HUGE stash. Embarrassingly huge. So that comes to my next goal for 2013. Cut down on fabric purchases (not totally cut out) and use the stash more.

I think this new beginning meets all my goals!