Category Archives: Art

Applique Border – Yikes!

What was I thinking? The best border, that’s what! This border is for my Lollipop Tree appliqued quilt which is complete except for the borders. I wasn’t fond of the pattern border, so I chose to do a circle on top of a circle, appliqued to a strip. First, a perfect circle is basted and pressed, then appliqued onto the white speckled preformed circle. Then each set is appliqued onto the border strip.

Note: the while line is chalk and will wipe off.

This is one of the horizontal borders all pinned and ready to go. It’s a commitment for sure, but it’s exactly what I wanted. And hey, I’d come this far with the whole project, what’s a little more extreme crazy?!

It will be a while before this project is complete. I remind myself that it will be well worth the effort, time and wait!

It’s a BIG Fish!

Fifty Five inches long, thirty six inches wide! How fun this was! Hubby was responsible for the fabrics I chose. He suggested I use some of the home dec fabrics in my stash. They are all bright. colorful and a nice heavy weight, and a no brainer as I have a ridiculous amount!

It was a bit odd to be cutting such large pieces and even odder to be sewing 5/8″ seams. My quilter’s brain had to really work on placing the fabrics at the right place under the needle!

The sewing was easy, but the stuffing – oh the stuffing. It took four large bags of poly stuffing and several hours. As much as I stuffed into the corners, it didn’t stay. I do know, however, once the fish is on the floor, played on and laid on, the stuffing will shift and disperse evenly.

The eyes are painted on with acrylic paints. It was definitely fun to play, even if just a little bit, with paints again – so artsy craftsy!

Then came the hateful part of this project. Hand sewing the openings on the bottom. Because of the size of the fish and the location of the openings, it was a bit awkward. I had to lay the fish on my cutting table to get a little comfortable. My back was definitely happy when that task was completed!

My brother will be delivering the fish to NY for me. It would have been a chore to mail it. It’s going to an almost three year old. I hope she gets as much enjoyment with this big fish as my children did when they were young.

Two More Quilt “Kits” to go

Last week I shared the flannel rag quilt kit I prepared for a week long retreat I’ll be attending. Of course one isn’t enough, so I now have two more ready to go!

First up is a string block kit. I pulled from some beloved batik greens and blues and one almost white and cut into varying strip widths. The plan is to sew them onto paper piecing paper doing a diamond design. I love to do string quilts! For me its both fun and therapeutic sewing. Sewing this quilt will also be perfect for a retreat as it doesn’t require much concentration. And again, I planned, made notes, and saved them in the kit box.

The second kit I prepared this week isn’t really planned out. When diving in a bin of blocks and miscellany, I came across these triangles cut from sewn very colorful strips. I barely remember these!

And then there were cuts randomly sewn into blocks. That was it! I’ll bring these to retreat , cut them randomly, sew and put together however the mood strikes at the moment. This will be fun play!

I am really so excited for this get away. I have a retreat checklist that I prepared years ago and having been going through it and putting everything in a guest room ready to pack. Good thing I’m traveling alone – it’s a lot!

A Happy Flower

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There’s been a lot of sunshine here but with that has been intense heat and humidity. Many hours of sewing and quilting was becoming somewhat unjoyful for me so I went down a different path.  I had ordered some large art paper and the first happy thought I had was a sunflower and I drew a very simple drawing

sunflower drawing

 

The center of the flower is strip pieced, cut and sewn again to give the illusion of a woven center.  Beading in the center gave it more dimension and made it look more like a seed center.

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The leaf is three dimensional.

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Lots of fun was had when choosing bright yellow batiks for the flower.  I sewed narrow strip piecing of yellow batiks, then cut for the petals.  Hubby helped me choose the unconventional green striped batik background. It surely makes the flower pop!

sunflower

Ahhh.  Joyful in the studio once again!

Oh Scrap!   Monday Making

Squirrel, Squirrel, Squirrel!!

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Oh the opportunity I saw when the Great Corona Lockdown began.  I was going to sew, sew, sew, and I did just that! I completed several quilts, made progress on several Works in Progress and best yet – I emptied many project bins! And then it happened – SLAM! I began to feel like going into my studio and sewing was a J-O-B.  So I stopped.  This is supposed to be a joy, not a chore, so…

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I immediately ordered a large pad of drawing paper, some Tyvek sheets and checked on my supply of Lumeire paints.  The plan is to do a few art quilts.  Not too big, not too complicated, but hopefully fun! I have four planned and began on the easiest one first.  I pulled various brown batiks, sewed some strips together and then pulled some dark brown batiks and cut thin strips.

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Next quilt will call for various yellows and I once again chose batiks. I’ll be doing a flower and I love the way these fabrics will (should) work.

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And some blues for a sky background.

IMG_2249I know, not too much exciting to show here, but I am excited – Yeah!

The Making of Tula Strings

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There have been questions regarding how I made the Tula Strings blocks and border. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at keeping notes and drawings, so I will do my best to recreate the pattern. First, I laid out the various colors of shot cottons from my stash, then pulled out coordinating Tula prints. One and one half inch strips were cut – solids and prints.

img_0062 The strips were paper pieced onto a 10 1/2″ square of paper, beginning with a solid strip in the center. Was the paper necessary?  For me it was because the shot cottons definitely lend themselves to wonky sewn strips. And there was starch – quite a bit of starch! It was also pleasing that when pieced, the seams matched pretty darn close to perfect!

Tula base

A 6 1/2″ inch square was then cut on point from each block of strips.

Tula base 2 After much arranging and sewing together the blocks, a border was most definitely needed.  The leftover corners were cut into triangles, then solids added to make flying geese.

Tula Strings was now a quilt!

The prints are all out of print Tula Pink and a few were used  in more than one colorway.

Tula Prings

There were many, many triangle cuts that have been made into a quilt. Stay tuned for an upcoming post!

 

A Golden Finish – Aurous!

Golden hexies

Another quilt top off the hanger! This quilt was started long ago, challenged me in many ways, was completed and hung “to dry.”  I collected a variety of metallic Asian prints and used the gold fabric to bring out their beauty.  The black stars were a suggestion by a quilting guru friend. It was a pain, but glad to have taken her suggestion.  Thank you Laurie!  I was inspired to finally get this quilted and decided to do this one in a continuous circle.  Meet: Aurous (containing gold.)

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The completed circles were quilted with black thread and the partial circles were quilted with a gold thread.

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Having completed this quilt, I’m feeling accomplished! Being home seven days a week has certainly made a difference in my quilt studio. And yes, there were more masks made. There will probably be more that I’ll make, but not today. The warmer weather has me here:

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I’d love to know what you have all been busiest with. Until next week, stay safe, happy & healthy!

Link up: Needle & Thread Thursday

Chequers

Happy Easter all.  It’s been very quiet here and rainy, and gloomy.  We are following the state “stay at home” directive and well….let’s just say I did a lot of sewing today!

Chequers

This week I finally finished my batik Chequers quilt. The pattern is from the “Modern Quilts Illustrated book.  This baby took forever! When I went to put the completed blocks together, I wasn’t loving a few of my choices so I remade the blocks. Then – ta da! – I quilted it! If you know me, you know that other than small quilts like table toppers, I am not a quilter. It’s just not something I enjoy, but this one I was determined to quilt.  It’s all straight and curvy lines.  Burying threads took forever!

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Instead of using batting, I backed this top with a bright green fleece.  I love the weight and the softness.  This will be my new couch quilt to cuddle up with in the evenings when I’m chilled.

masks

I’ve also made more masks. I’ll confess – I’m not as productive in this department as other quilters have been.  My hats off to all those who are so generously making and donating a load of masks. Some have offered to buy them from me but I have so gladly gifted the masks. We’re in this together and even my little contribution can go a long way.

May you all stay safe, happy and healthy!

Lots Going On

Like everyone else, I have extra time at home because we are truly isolating.  This has led to accomplishments! First, I cut ALL my scraps.  Yowza! It was a lot!! Below are just the 1 1/2″ strips.

strips

Then, I completed ten face masks. There’s a thread out there that we may be required to wear them out soon, so I made one for each of my family.  I plan to make more for family, friends and neighbors. Honestly, I found these somewhat tedious to make, but also important to do. I did have a couple of 1,000 thread count pillow cases that we never used that I cut as the layer on the face.

Quilting and batik fabrics were used for the other two layers. Not only did I not have any elastic, but I understand that health professionals have said that the elastic is taking a toll on surface skin, so I used t-shirt material, cut one inch by 18 inches and pulled to make a cord.

face mask cords

At the November 2019 retreat, blocks were pieced by the retreaters.  I put those together for a Hospice quilt. Would really like to get this quilted in the next week.

Hospice 3

Social media has been wonderful during this time.  As the Quilt & Sew-In had to be cancelled, we have been doing an “on-line retreat.” It’s also so easy to text or face time with family and friends. Imagine isolation before internet – Yikes!

I truly pray that all of you are staying safe and happy. So glad it’s spring!

At Home Retreat

The Spring Quilt & Sew-In has been cancelled.  Although it was definitely necessary to cancel this event, it has made me somewhat sad as I so enjoy all the amazing creative souls that come to the retreats.  We laugh, we sew, we share, we laugh, we shop and yes, we sew! Some I only see at retreat. Hopefully there will be a rescheduling at a later date, but more likely it will all need to wait until next year.

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My last social sewing for some time took place last week at the home of a friend for 3 days. There were three of us and it was wonderful and inspiring.  As usual, I came away with some good tips. I have been sewing, sewing, and sewing the flying geese made from leftovers of my Tula Strings quilt. It really is a pile of sewing! As a result of our sew-in, I have on order a flying geese trimmer and how that should make the task easier! Actually, hubby has it on order for my birthday (smile).

I also started to put blocks together for the Tangled quilt. I am using Robert Kaufman Blueberry Park collection which is in a variety of fabulous colors with a white print. 

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How about we all have an At Home Retreat!

Sew to your heARTs desire!