Wednesday, April 16, 2014

a gift given, a gift received

Lori of Humble Quilts is hosting a doll quilt swap and I couldn't resist joining in. We were supposed to use Civil war repro fabrics and immediately I knew I wanted to use Turkey reds.  
 Here is the doll quilt I made.  I flipped through several books looking for a pattern but in the end I just chose a 6 inch block and made 4 of them followed by a few borders.
 I would have liked to have quilted it by hand but it had to be mailed by April 20 and I wouldn't have been able to make that deadline quilting by hand.  Here is a closer picture showing the machine quilting and the fabrics a little closer.  I mailed it yesterday - I hope my swap partner likes it!  It was fun to make. :0)
On Monday my mailbox had a large exciting envelope in it!  My swap partner Anne from California had her doll quilt in the mail early!  What a pretty, sweet surprise inside. 
These colors are perfect for spring and for Easter!  She raided a friend's stash for the fabrics - I'd like to raid that friend's stash too - I love the fabrics :0)  Thanks so much Anne - I love my little quilt! 
Thanks to Lori too for hosting the doll quilt swap!  I look forward to the "link up" so we can see all of the little quilts made for this swap.
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

circle in a square

I finally got back to my Circle Game quilt again this week.  It has to be on hold for a bit because I am working on it with a friend and during soccer season my evenings are very full of (obviously) soccer!

 So this past Monday my friend had the day off and we spent the morning sewing together.  I was sure I would get so much done.  However, it took over 2 hours to get this one circle inside a square.  (the before picture is below) and it's still not done because it still needs the center circle to appliqued down.
 I'm sure the rest of the circles will go into their squares much faster...  lol!  The upside to this is I am getting a lot more confident with set in seams :0)
 Here are four more 6 inch blocks.  I'm up to 20 now and I'm still having so much fun playing in my scraps.  Maybe I'm making a big quilt of these after all??  I know there are scraps enough to make more than one large quilt :0)
And, I embroidered another bird crest.  The stitches might be a bit wobbly but progress is happening.  There are still no faces yet.  Slow progress is still progress!

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

a very little progress

I don't have much progress to show for myself this week.  I'm usually pretty strict with myself about appliqueing one evening and hand quilting the next but lately I've been pulling out the handquilting more often and my poor vine panel #10 isn't growing very fast. In a month I have only done one branch.  
 I can't lose my momentum on this project now!  I hope I get back to loving it again soon!!

I made 2 more 6" blocks as well.  I have plans for lots more...scribbled on bits of paper floating around on my sewing table -  I think I'll be making a few more than 16 blocks  :0)

Happy Stitching!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

my daughter made a bag

My daughter has been doing some sewing :0)  DD#2 was offered a bag full of scraps at the LQS.  In the shop they were cutting tumblers with a Go cutter and were going to discard the scraps but gave them to my daughter instead. 
With some help with trimming and cutting she had a pile of 2 inch squares, some triangles and a pile of small strings.   Now if it were me - I'd use the squares to make something but she went for the strings first and made a usable piece of fabric from them.  Last week she made a zippered bag from these seemingly unusable scraps. 
 It's the perfect size to hold a book :0)
 Here is the before picture of the scraps.  Wild colors and prints you don't find in my stash - lol!
 As for me, I made some more 6 inch blocks.
And finally got started on my Bird of Paradise embroidery.  Last night I even tried a bird crest.  Wish me luck on the people faces... they're next!  :0)

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

retreat sewing

I enjoyed my retreat last weekend - thanks for all the well wishes :0)  I waffled for weeks over what I would take to work on.  I wanted to start something new.

 I decided on a Kim Diehl pattern in the latest Fons and Porter Love of Quilting magazine.  It was a beautiful match of applique and piecing.  Such a pretty pattern - perfect for retreat I thought.  I had a glorious time choosing fabrics entirely from my stash to make it.
I decided to try Kim Diehl's method for machine applique using invisible thread.  The applique pieces are prepped with freezer paper - ironing the seam allowance under to stick to freezer paper so there are no raw edges.  I had been wanting to try this method for a long time.
 Now after making only 2 blocks I am quite sure I do NOT like this applique method.  I can't stand the prep.  Ironing that 1/4 inch seam allowance onto the shiny side of freezer paper is not something I have patience for.  Also, I found sewing with invisible thread is hard on the eyes.  While it is faster than hand applique - I do not enjoy it.  I think I gave it a fair try making 2 blocks.
 I don't know what I'm going to do now.  I could switch to hand applique to make the remaining 7 blocks but then my other applique projects would suffer neglect and I'm pretty sure these 2 machine appliqued blocks would always bug me.  I could also just make these 2 blocks into little table toppers or wallhangings as gifts and forget about making the quilt.  I'll have to think about it for awhile.  Anyway I thought the sentence under the title in the magazine was a bit ironic.  Personally I don't find hand applique tedious at all but ironing those little edges onto freezer paper - very tedious!
I also brought this Whig Rose block that I made a couple of years ago to add something to. The applique block is part of one pattern and the border part of another from this Lori Smith book.  I will add another plain border and make it into a little wallhanging.
As a guild we also put together a Zoo quilt.  One of the members took it home to quilt. It turned out really cute.  It was a lovely weekend of relaxing and sewing with friends :0)
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

some handquilting, some circles

I thought I would post some progress of my Crowfoot quilt.  I have made good progress.  Last night I started quilting block #15 of 25.  There are wide borders on this project so I'm probably not even half way yet which is fine with me - many more happy hours ahead quilting on this one :0)
 The fabrics are busy and the quilting doesn't show very well in pictures.  I tried taking pictures in a few different lighting situations.
 What I really love is how the texture of this quilt feels and of course I can't take a picture of that :0)
 I think it will be lovely to sleep under - maybe next winter.

I laid out the first 9 blocks of my Circle Game quilt.  I bought this medium blue for one of the 2 setting fabrics.  Next my friend and I plan to piece these circles into their square setting pieces so we don't have to do them all at the end.  There are 16 blocks in the pattern.
Here is the block we worked on this week.  I think it's one of my favorites. 
I get to go on a quilting retreat this weekend.  I'm starting a new project and trying a new technique.  I can't wait!
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Panel #9

My blog has been quiet because we were away.  We escaped winter to beautiful Mexico for 10 days.  What a delightful and relaxing holiday!  I finished up panel #9 of my Susan McCord trailing vine quilt stitching by the pool and on the plane.  I am still thrilled to sew on each finished panel.  Only 4 more to go :0)
 Still lov'in this project!!
 We've been home for a few days and more of these blocks have been made.  I'm still having fun with them but perhaps I'll stop at 16.
 Then I made this Panda bear block to contribute to my guild's Zoo quilt that we are assembling tonight.  It went together fairly easily but then the face had to be done by hand.
 The eyes were no problem but the mouth and nose had to be embroidered - yikes!  It didn't go very well and now I'm even more worried about the future of my Bird of Paradise blocks.  I want them to have embroidery but I don't like doing it and I'm not very good at it.  I may have to sew them together and keep going with the borders without embroidery.  At least then I will get to a finished quilt.
The kids wanted to paint pottery at the resort where we stayed in Mexico so I did a piece too.  It's so bright and happy :0)  We painted it as we wanted and then a resort staff person "fixed" it up to look like Mexican pottery.  I should have asked him if he did embroidery...

Happy Quilting!!