Tag Archives: spring

Post Retreat + Enjoying my Passions

After being home a week, I’ve finally made it to the computer to do a wrap up of my somewhat productive sewing at a quilt retreat I attended in South Carolina.  I began the week full steam ahead by making string blocks for a border that I cut into fours. I then paired each with a white on white square and made half square triangles.  All of my notes were at home (why oh why??) so I just made bunches!  This is the quilt top I was preparing the border blocks for:

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These are the border blocks, not yet attached to the quilt:

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And these are the leftovers! They will make a sweet little quilt. I will either add a couple of border to make it a baby quilt or add to it to make a lap quilt. That is a decision to be made at a later date.

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Following my “string fling” I just piddled.  I did some pinning, some sewing, but didn’t really attack anything else with much vigor. Mostly I enjoyed my time away and being with an awesome group of quilters!

What’s really been keeping me busy is the great outdoors.  I am in the process of dividing my ferns. They are truly glorious this year! And tree work was done in our yard and this pile of mulch was the result. I can only load a few wheel barrels a day and do the spreading. Hubby cut this pile of wood and we’ll need to get a log splitter to finish the job. This is not fun yard work.

There is also much weeding to be done. I attack it a bucket at a time and have the wonderful ability to look past the weeds and enjoy the pretty plants and flowers. Fortunately, my one side bed manages to stay weed free!

 

The temperatures here have been glorious so I am enjoying the outdoors fully.  I will sew more when it becomes very hot – mid to high 80’s and gardening do not go well together for me!

Embrace ALL your Creative Passions!

A Touch of Elegance

Retreat info

Several years ago I made a pretty set of pillowcases for our bed and hubby loved them. How disappointing when one met its demise. He asked for another set! What a nice break to do some easy and quick sewing. I did them on my Jazz because it sews really fast – 1,000 stitches a minute!  The first set I did is rather bold  and fancy and goes with our burgundy set of sheets.

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Next I chose a print to go with our turquoise set. It seemed a bit plain until they were all together and on the bed – a great look!

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For the third set, I chose this feather print. It goes with our gray set of sheets and is really quite elegant. Pillowcases are also a great way to use up yardage that you may not necessarily use in a quilt.

PC 1 (Medium)PC 2 (Medium)

Funny how the little things can make a difference. Now I’d like to make a few sets for our guest beds (but after I finish another quilt or two!)  (NOTE:  All the fabrics used in these pillowcases were prewashed)

Spring has definitely sprung here in the Piedmont. Every day there is an explosion of growth and color – absolutely my favorite time of year. The pollen is the downside, but so overshadowed by the wonderful goodness. Here for 34 years, and have not yet taken it all for granted!

Spring (Medium)

 

New to Me & Different Technique!

An Island Batik Adventure

Try a TechniqueFor the month of March we ambassadors were asked to try a new technique – something we had never done before. The list we made amongst ourselves was endless:  binding techniques, different types of applique, specialty rulers, clothing construction, art quilts, and the list went on and on. There were so many more things to consider, many of which I have done at least once. Maybe not perfected, maybe not well, but I had done it. Hmmmm. Then I saw a pic of a fabric vase type of structure. Okay! Here I go!

After sketching and cutting out a shape from paper, I played with it in a standing up position. I then cut that shape out of a heavy stabilizer. Having chosen several bright batiks, I began to cut them into random rectangular shapes, join them and place the piece onto the stabilizer securing it with basting spray. I also added another bright batik as the backing. I chose several of my Aurifil threads and quilted all the sections and then trimmed around the outer edge. I finished the edge with satin stitching and yes, this part was tedious.

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Now the vase needed some life, some dimension. I covered a thin piece of rope with fabric and zig zagged it onto the base. I cut out a front and back for two random shaped flowers from a bright pink batik and sandwiched them with a leftover piece of some Thermore batting pieces I had, giving them dimension. This is a wonderful light weight batting to work with. I machine quilted each flower and added some beads in the center of each and then went on to make three leaves using the same method. After arranging the flower and leaves onto the base, I stitched each piece onto the base.

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I then put the piece on end, made it into a cylinder and hot glued it together. And there it is! A glass vase hides inside nicely tucked away. It’s perfect having a yard full of daffodils this week – in the vase they went. So much color and the promise of Spring!

Vase w flowers heARTsCreations.com

Linking up with: NTT, One Monthly Goal

 

 

Where Did April GO?

It has been a beautiful Spring here in the Piedmont. A few really hot days, but mostly seventies with sunshine and just the right amount of rain. I have been more motivated than I have been in several years to work in the yard. There is a mighty lot to catch up on! The daffodils were spectacular, the azaleas were joyous and now we are awaiting the next blooms. I planted several annuals in pots – no longer do I plant masses of begonias or impatience in the ground (too much work!) And, what I used to spend on plants I now have allocated to quilting!

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I did manage to spend a good amount of time sewing and April certainly produced positive results. The above quilt for Hospice was made from bright random strips of batiks donated by Robert Kaufman. (I’m working on using the Ipad camera, so sorry it’s a little fuzzy.) To date this year, six donation quilts are completed. I also completed a top that is going to be a wedding present for a special couple (I’ll save that for another post). I’ve got some things ahead of it before I quilt it, but am planning on doing that in August. The wedding isn’t until October so I should be safe – hopefully!!

April Project List

How was your April? Did you spend it in the garden? Did you do sewing or work on a different hobby? Read some good books? I love to hear how others spend their creative and/or down time.

Mini Madness!

An Island Batik Ambassador Adventure

Mini Madness (Medium)

The March IBA assignment was Mini Madness – a paper piecing project that finished no larger than 24 inches. We could choose English paper piecing or regular paper piecing. I knew I couldn’t handle another hand work project so I chose regular paper piecing.

Mini Star 2 heARTsCreations (Medium)

I wanted something light and spring-like. Choosing from the treasure chest of Island Batiks has been really fun. This mini has a total of 10 different Island Batiks!

The star center was fun to piece. After staring at the pieced star for several days, I knew it needed more than a plain border. Several sketches later, I chose to do a paper pieced border. Boy! This was time consuming! It was worth it – I think it really compliments the center.

A fun batik outer border and time to quilt. One big spiral and I now have a fun, pretty and spring-like table topper for my dining room table.

Mini Star heARTsCreations (Medium)

Try your own mini-madness – it’s very satisfying to do a smaller project and complete it in just a couple of days! Be sure to check out the other Island Batik Ambassador posts to see their creations!

 

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation, WIPs on Wednesdays, Let’s Bee Social

Colorful 16 Patch

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Daffodils and so much more are in bloom, temps have been very moderate for spring, all of which makes staying in the studio a little tough. I also was gone for a week to Florida in January and last week four days to Charleston, SC. I did, however, manage to complete a 16 patch that was started two years ago! I love the brightness of this quilt. All shot cottons were used. These fabrics were a bit challenging to use especially when quilting. I found a secret to using shot cottons is to starch, starch, starch!

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It was an appropriate finish for this early Spring – I couldn’t resist a pic with the daffodils. When it was complete, I looked at all the finished quilts in my home (no, I won’t try to give a number!) and decided this quilt was better designated as a Hospice quilt. It should bring some brightness to a patient or family member.

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Today’s link-ups:  WIPS on Wednesdays, Em’s Scrapbag, Let’s Bee Social

A Little Bit Retro

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Know what this is?! For a little more than 40 years I have had an outdoor clothesline. All our laundry is no longer hung outside on a regular basis due to allergies from pollen, but I do manage to hang some things out, especially in the winter. Recently, when I grabbed the clothespin bag I’ve had since day one, I couldn’t help but notice how shabby and threadbare it was. How the clothespins were staying inside was amazing.

So…off to the home dec fabric bin to pic out something light and spring like. The home dec fabric is a heavier weight than quilting fabric and was the most practical choice.

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I simply copied the original bag making just a couple of tweaks. The original bag had a paper cord that I replaced with a cable from my hubby’s electrical supply stash. I used button holes instead of grommets and used the original sturdy hanging frame.

And Ta Daa!! A new clothespin bag sure to hold up for the next 40 years!

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