Thursday, November 20, 2014


The horses are ready to race across the bottom of my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I even started on the embroidery last night.  I added a flower to fill some space between the horses.  The space above the horses backs is just the right size for my initials and the date. I thought about appliquing them on but after getting some good advice I will stick to quilting them in perhaps with colored thread.
 My embroidery encouraging friend was over last night and she taught me how to do stem stitch - again.  I have a bad attitude towards embroidery but I do like what it adds to the applique.  She is very patient with me :0)
Jane of Jane's Threads and Treasures made a version of this quilt as well and I looked very closely at the embroidery on her horses before beginning mine. One more horse to do and some owl eyes as well and I can start assembling the top.  Exciting times :0)  (Of course I still have the side borders to applique)

Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

current projects

I started a new project.  A smallish one :0)  I like so much the coffee table cover up that I showed here  and decided to make another.  I wanted a lighter one to use in spring and summer.  Now that I've taken this picture - it looks like a Christmas project... Oh well, these are the colors that go with my living room rug.  
 I need to make 50 blocks to completely cover up my "well aged" coffee table. I have 13 made so far.  It's not a terribly creative project but I wanted something fairly simple for this space.
 I couldn't resist joining in Lori's mystery doll quilt quiltalong.  I hardly had to cut any squares for this as I found plenty of variety in my bag of 1.5 inch squares.  I wanted a few hst's like Lori's so I used squares from the 2 inch bag for those.  This is my first mystery quilt. A doll quilt didn't seem like too big of a commitment :0)  And, Lori's quiltalongs are so fun!
I've been really enjoying quilting feathers in the border of my Crowfoot quilt.   I'm making big, loopy feathers so it's going pretty quick.  I'm over 1/4 finished with them already.  This picture shows how they are sprouting out of the corner motif.
I plan to have the feathered vines meet in the middle of the border.  I will switch back to blue thread to fill in the pieced border up to the feathers with diagonal lines and probably on the other side as well.  I bet that part will go slow...  Anyway, I'm making progress and it is so cozy to sit under this as I work in the evenings.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I have half of the bottom border appliqued for my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I'm using some shapes from the pattern, some of my own ideas and images from the original quilt.  
 I added some apples for color.  My knowledge of owls is somewhat limited - do owls sit in apple trees??  lol  They were a bit tricky to applique and once done I felt that they needed faces so I scoured my stash looking for owl face fabric.  It's interesting to look at fabric in a whole new way :0)  They still need some embroidery details but I'm sure I can procrastinate about that until the whole border panel is done...
 Another black bird to add some black balance.

 And I thought a sprig of flowers would be nice for the center because on the other side -
there will be 2 race horses galloping along.  I just adore these horses from the original quilt.  They have so much energy and their shape is beautiful.  Julee, one of the posters from the Civil War Bride blog was generous enough to send me the shape for these horses copied from a photo of the original quilt. I decided to put them on the bottom border instead of the side so you don't have to turn your head to view all the parts of the quilt.  (Mine is going to be a wallhanging not a bed quilt like the original was likely intended)  I'm so excited to be getting close with this long, long term project!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

playing with blocks

Now that I have a few Wanderlust blocks made I can play with how to put them together.  Right now I am favoring a straight set like this first picture.
 Bonnie Hunter's pattern has them off set by half and a zigzag pattern develops. I like it too. 
It's fun to play :0)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

a fall finish

I found a fall ufo to machine quilt for a quick finish. I hadn't finished anything in ages -  it feels good :0)
 I hadn't done any machine quilting in months so that part didn't go as well as I would have liked...
 I think it will be better after I wash it.  I'm planning to display it here on the kitchen table so I imagine it won't be long before it needs a wash.
 I always enjoy feathering borders.  I was having a hard time finding a deep rich black to bind it with until I found this black and brown stripe.  I love striped binding :0)
While I was at the LQS I picked out some fabric to make owls for my Bird of Paradise border.  I really don't have these colors in my stash at all.  Anyway, I got home and went to wash them and they had been left on the cutting table of the quilt shop on the other side of the city.  There was other fabric purchased (stash enhancement) and that was what I brought home.  A quick call to the store and the owner promised to send them in the mail.  Canada Post can be dreadfully slow so I wasn't expecting to see them until next week but only 2 days later they arrived.  I will be appliqueing owls this weekend  :0)

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

a new project

I started a new project. It's a Bonnie Hunter pattern called Wanderlust in the July/August 2014 Quiltmaker magazine.  I like so many of Bonnie's quilts but have never made one.  Every fall when she gets started on her annual mystery quilt I am so tempted to join in but can't quite let go to invest  in something so unknown. 
 I liked this block when she first showed it on her blog - I think it was her submission for Quiltmakers 100 blocks or something.  Then she made a quilt and it was on the cover of the magazine - tempting me all summer, everytime I walked by the magazines at the grocery store.  After a month I caved... and then this week I started slicing into some fabric.  It's coming out much brighter than I had thought - it seems to have a mind of its own.
 I did make one more 6 inch block.  I wanted to use some of this awesome green striped fabric I found - I love it! 
And, I received a bag of 9 patches in the mail this week. I took part in a repro 9 patch exchange that Barb organized.  It was so fun to open it up and look at all the fabrics people used.  I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet but I will enjoy considering different ideas. 

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

top border

Last night I finished stitching the last leaf onto the top border for my Bird of Paradise quilt.  I thought I would lay it out with the top row of blocks to get an idea of how it will look.  I am keeping them as blocks for now because they are easier to store.
 It's not a mirror image from side to side but I was aiming for balance and not perfection.  I love the borders on the original quilt - that top border is much freer than mine.  I am trying to personalize this quilt while keeping the elements of the original that I like.
 So my plan is to make the bottom border next.  Then maybe I will have to sew the top together so I will know exactly how long to make the side borders.  The original quilt is put together this way.  It's interesting to do things differently sometimes :0)
 I also find it interesting sometimes to draw and quilt my own quilting designs.  This is what I have drawn for the corners of my Crowfoot quilt. I guess its kind of a feathered pineapple.  I tried quilting it with white thread and I am pleased with how the quilting shows up. There is likely still some soap lines making it look whiter in this picture but the soap markings don't last for long.
I spent a bit of time trying to make a more precise drawing but in the end I decided a freer look was okay too. Here are my templates for tracing and the $2.00 coin I am tracing for the center circles.  I just love quilting feathers and look forward with great pleasure to quilting the feathered vine in the border as well.
Happy Quilting!!