Saturday, May 25, 2019

Just One Block

For those of you who aren't aware, it is blazing hot in Alabama. Today was 94F with a heat index of 101F.  So, I am being lazy and trying to take it easy.  A tall glass of ice water or ice tea works well in this climate. I would love a Mexican Agua Fresca if they were as accessible as they were last year when we visited Mexico.   Ah well, ice water works just fine.

Two weeks ago, I made a 12" block for the "orange and purple together" quilt using a batik fabric for the background. Everyone seemed to love that one.  I realized that I need one more 12" block to put with the 8 inch blocks so everything fits together.  Thus, we get today's block.
I used a multicolored batik for the background.  I had leftover pieces of the pale orange that I used as flying geese points.  The extra pieces were cut quickly with the AccuQuilt Go!  and it was super easy to sew this block together.

I have been busy with other things the past week. We celebrated my Mother's 83rd birthday with family and food. Of course, I baked the cake - that is our family tradition for several years now.
 I have also started rehearsing with a choir for a Patriotic Concert that will be held on July 2nd.  The choir director invited me personally.  (I am sure he did that with LOTS of people. I just happened to see him in the hallway - so he asked.)  When he told me that there would be an orchestra I found it hard to say no.  But to seal the deal, he told me the venue - my favorite stage that I have ever performed on - Oxford Performing Arts Center.   I have been volunteering there for over a year and I just love the place and the staff.  This is also where our Community Theatre performed Young Frankenstein.  You may remember that I was in that play back in October of 2017.  I got to sing, dance and act on that wonderful stage. Plus, I got to indulge my love of making people laugh out loud.
I even did a rare selfie on opening night before the audience arrived. 
So,  you may see fewer posts in the next few weeks.   But I am alive and very busy. I will be back at it soon enough.

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, May 20, 2019

DaisyChain is a Quilt Top

Alison at Honey Bunny and Doll quilts released the final block and top design for the mystery quilt.  So I hurried along and got mine completed.   This is a really nice design.

Of course, as usual when I went out to take photos, the wind decided to "play" with the quilt top.
In this photo I am under the quilt top as it blows in the breeze.  You can see the edge for the roof line at the bottom right of the photo.

Before the glamour shot,  let me tell those of you who haven't done this step yet what I did wrong- hopefully you won't make the same mistake.
While sewing the sections for the cross blocks,  I carefully sewed all of the side pieces together - the wrong way!
I sewed every one of them like the left section - but they needed to be like the right section.   J.S.R. (Jack the Seam Ripper) and I had a bonding session and played frogger.  (rip it, rippit) I sewed them all the correct way - but I did remember to take a photo before I fixed them all.
The only other oops was that I sewed one star block in the wrong orientation - so J.S.R. and I played frogger one more time.

Next was the photo session with the top hanging on the line at the end of the car cover.
It was never completely still as I was taking these photos, but I think you can see the design very well anyway.
Still blowing

That's better!
I love the purple chain going on one diagonal with the scrappy batiks forming a different type of chain going on the opposing diagonal.

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A bit of Play

Sometimes it is good to just play and see what happens.  Today I decided to take a hand-dyed gradient and play with it.  You are allowed to be surprised.  I have hoarded the gradients that I get from Vicki Welsh for a long time. 
Here is the label from this one.
It is called Appalachian Sunset.  I have had it so long the label is faded.  Also, it was purchased from her Etsy shop- and she now sells directly from her website. This one is not currently in Vicki's gradient section.  But I am sure she could make one just for you if you requested it.

Yes, I do hoard them, but,  I needed a kickstart so I took one out, ironed it nice and flat and started cutting.   I did fold it in half first.  When I cut it into strips (random widths) there were two of each size layered together. 
I sewed each set of those keeping them in order.  I quickly realized that after trimming the edges of the folded gradient, I should have rotated one layer.  C'est la vie!  At that point I just kept sewing.
Once I had all the layers sewn back into a single piece, I pressed it flat, and cut it into strips the opposite direction.  I then sewed those back together flipping every other one end for end.

Here is the result. 


The colors blended so well in some areas that it is hard to see the piecing. This is actually quite striking in person.  Now I just have to decide what it will become.   My first thought is that it would make a couple of great looking pillow covers.  For now, I will just enjoy looking at it and wait for inspiration to strike me.


Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Orange and Purple -Together again

The quilt I am slowly making with the orange and purples got two new blocks this weekend. (there may be more yet!)



 These two blocks will finish at twelve inches instead of eight.  So that means that there will need to be two more of these OR a group of four inch blocks added to make up the difference.  Two nine patches that finish at twelve inches would work just fine.  A friendship star is a simple nine patch, so it would work well.  There are lots and lots of possibilities.  The big trick is that I am cutting these 12 inch blocks with a Go! Qube 8 inch set. It is simply one and a half of the size.  Since the Qube 8" set has pieces that finish at both 4 and 2 inches it will work out. Each section of a 12 inch nine-patch should finish at 4 inches.  I learned this from Beaquilter, her site is also where I found these two blocks. I confess that I simplified the top one just a bit. I replaced corners that were four pieces with a single half square triangle unit.
Remember as you are piecing that it is YOUR quilt and you can change anything that you want to change.

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Making it Modern - Island Batik May Challenge

The Island Batik Ambassadors were given the theme "Make it Modern" for the month of May.  My idea of a modern quilt was vague at best before learning of this challenge.  Fortunately we were given a list of Modern Quilt characteristics.  These are the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, Minimalism, expansive negative space, alternate grid work.
After reading that and looking at some examples, I suddenly said "Oh, I can do that! I do it already."
Perhaps you remember this photo from a previous post. 

That bit of improv piecing was the beginning of my May Modern Quilt. 

I pieced lots of improv units - and I did not make the sizes consistent at all!  After all,  I was planning to
 "Make it Modern."
After gathering all of my units together I put my chosen gray solid from Island Batik down and played with the units laying on it. When I finally got a layout that seemed artistically balanced to me - and that I liked, I started making the units and background into sections that could be joined into a whole quilt top.  
----Now that was a bit of a challenge, but I learned that it is not only possible, but it isn't as hard as I expected it to be.

Once the top was constructed, I needed a backing and a batting.    
For the backing I used an Island Batik Neutral named Whip Cream but since I had to piece it, I decided to use more improv piecing for a strip to join the two pieces. I used an "oops" block from a previous Island Batik Challenge.  It was sliced and re-sewn with some inserted strips. Then it was cut into sections.  Those sections were joined with some fabric from an Island Batik Stash pack. Be patient, I will show it in the post - but later.

The batting is a delightful surprise for me.   It is a Hobbs BLACK Batting  that is 80/20.  It quilted wonderfully and didn't beard through the top or backing at all. As you can see, it didn't affect the colors on the front of the quilt except to intensify the richness of them. 


The quilt was quilted randomly in what I consider a type of improv quilting - thus adding another layer of improv to this quilt. 

Of course on a lovely still morning, I hung the quilt on a line stretched between two trees.  I got ready to take a picture and........ This Happened! 

On that nice windless day, the wind suddenly began to blow - and the quilt danced on the breeze. 
 A bit of patient waiting and I managed a photo with it hanging relatively straight. 
One of the things I love about spring is that verdant green fields we have here in Alabama.  

You may notice the binding on the quilt mostly blends into the background fabric. But there are three places where colored strips were randomly added  to break it up just a bit. 

Here are a few closeups showing some of the quilting.  I used an Aurifil gray for the quilting on this quilt as well as for piecing.



Oh, wait, did I promise to show the back?  I won't make you wait any longer.
Even the backing has a modern vibe, don't you think?

Let's check on the "Modern" aspects of this quilt
Improv piecing is definitely featured.
Use of Bold Colors?  I do believe you can say that is so.
High contrast and graphic areas of solid color - definitely high contrast.
Expansive negative space- yes indeed there is lots of gray background.
Alternate grid work - again - yes indeed.

The products used for this project were graciously provided by the sponsors of the Island Batik Ambassadors.  They are:  Island Batik fabrics,  Hobbs Batting, and Aurifil Threads.
I am very thankful to be able to use these fine products and I do suggest you try them.

If you are looking for some Island Batik fabrics to use in your own quilt, you can go to the website and use the store locator.


Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Nine Patch Stars - Daisy Chain Quilt Along

Today, Alison at Little Bunny Quilts released the instructions for constructing star blocks with the parts we had made and cut in past installments of the quilt along.

 These cut pieces 

were made into four patches
and some quarter square triangle blocks that I apparently failed to blog about. 
They were made with the yellow focal fabric that I chose. 
They became the star points for this bunch of blocks

I have to say that I love these stars.  The only difficulty I had was keeping the purple  lined up for the chain.  I had to rip out a section or more - one from a finished block - and re-sew them. 

Of course I still have these units left 
and these four patches

I am wondering how they will be used in the quilt. 
I guess I will just wait and see. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Just Sew Something

Sometimes we all need to play.  So I take leftover pieces like the four-patch below and "just sew something."
You can see a bit of a leftover batik strip there at the edge. I was planning to use the resulting block in the purple and orange quilt.  But I may have added too much of other colors.  When I do this "just sew something" play,  I try to use leftover bits on my cutting table. (True Confession:  I don't clean it off that often and certainly not after every sewing session.)  For this block I used ONLY from the scraps on the table.   That means I can't fully control the color palette because sometimes there isn't a big enough piece in the correct color(s.)
The aqua/teal fabric carries over the same color in the first batik scrap.  Then the other batik carries it a bit further and adds some yellow with the orange.

Truthfully I am not sure that I like this block - it may not go in that quilt at all.  But,  I save all my odd blocks and just wait for the time they work with something.  Sometimes that means slicing and dicing them to change them.  When you do this, you can cut across at an angle and add in a strip or strips to change feel and add in new colors.  It is a great way to play with improv piecing.
Cuts can be made across both directions and the pieces re-arranged. 
When you play with this idea, and I hope you do, be wild and free; ask "what if I.....;"  but mostly have fun with it.

Until Next Time, 
Stay Creative


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

What's Up

Not much sewing this week, but lots of boring medical stuff.   Yesterday was spent with a liquid diet and "prep" for a colonoscopy.  The good news is that I survived it and nothing suspicious was found.  It was just a standard screening test. And now,  I don't have to do it for another ten years.  (yaaay!)

Over the weekend I did manage to sew a couple of blocks for my Orange and Purple quilt.  That is my casual project that is used as a time filler when I can't be working on another project.
Not a great picture, but here are those two blocks.
I really like the feel of rhythm that is added by the striped fabric in the pinwheel block. 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Getting There -LHQS 2.0


The Left Handed Quilter Sampler quilt was started in January. Today it has become a top.

I knew when I started this quilt that it would be made on an "as time allows" basis. I am happy that it has become a top already.  There are 32 pieced blocks in the quilt.  It is set on-point with sashing and cornerstones.  Most of the patterned fabric in the pieced squares are Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

 Quite possibly there will be a border added to this top.  That will make it easier to square up without losing points off the on-point squares.  Once again, there is no rush to finish this quilt.
The friend holding the quilt for the photo said "the colors in this are really pretty."  I agree wholeheartedly.  I am loving this one.


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Progress - at least a bit

Sometimes life gets in the way of quilting.  This week and next week are like that. Medical appointments and other commitments can consume a lot of time.  But I finally managed to squeeze in some time to work on the LHQS quilt top.   Back in April I got the diagonal rows sewn.  And now I have started the sashing to join them.  I am working from the corners toward the middle.  That way only half of the top will be under the needle at once - at least until I sew that center seam!

 For now I have the two corners joined.  The paper pieces pinned in place are my way of keeping a little order so that I don't have to lay out the quilt each time I work on it.  One corner is marked "A" and the other is marked "B."   The remaining strips are marked "A1, A2, B1, and B2." 

To speed the process, I cut a stack of sashing sections (6.5" by 2.5") to have at the machine so when I get a few minutes to sew, I can add those 2.5" squares to them as mindless sewing.  Then I can join the strips for each sashing row.
I am sure that I will have to cut more of the sashing strips before I finish.  I will also have to cut border strips to surround the pieced top.  I find that important for on-point tops to help prevent stretching. (I prefer to add the border rather than stay stitching the edges.)
I am undecided if I will end with the teal border or add a print border outside it.  But, that is a decision for another day.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Bit of Quilting


In case you are wondering if I am doing any sewing or quilting... here is a little peek at the Island Batik May challenge quilt that I am now quilting.

I call this quilting pattern Vertical (or horizontal) meandering. I first called it "straight line meandering."  I kept thinking  "there is nothing straight about it."   But unlike a typical meander, the lines flow in one direction.


But in some places on the quilt, the lines are in the opposite direction. There is also some free motion quilting on parts of the quilt.  As this is a Modern quilt using the principles of improvisational piecing and areas of negative space, I wanted the quilting to be just as improv as the quilt top.

This challenge is the 'Make it Modern with Hobbs Batting."  I am using Hobbs black 80/20 batting for this and it is great.  The batting doesn't show through at all and there is no bearding.  The gray fabric you see is  Island Batik's solid gray batik.  They make solids in black and white as well as the gray.  Due to the tighter weave of the batik fabric base it is wonderful.  There is less fraying (almost none) and virtually no show through.

Have you ever made a modern type quilt? If so share it with me.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

More Units Made

The Daisy Chain Quilt Along is still going strong.  Monday, Alison released the instructions for Unit D.  This involved sewing some strips together and sub-cutting them before joining them to other strips.
Here are the strip sets that I sewed.  I chose to use three Island Batik fabrics in each set, along with one solid in an aqua color.  I did not use the same three batiks in each set, but I aimed for a nice scrappy variety but using the aqua in each set added a bit of consistency.
Here are some of the strip units.

As you can see I did repeat some of the batiks, but I also mixed it up so that there was a planned randomness.
Those strips were cut into two and a half inch sections and sewed to the  background strips.
 Finally those needed to be pressed open to finish unit D.

Since I am making the throw sized quilt, I  constructed a total of 24 of these units.  According to the schedule we will begin using the various units to start constructing our quilt tops on May 6th.  I am really looking forward to seeing exactly how these units will go together to become a quilt.
This has been a fun quilt along for me so far.  I really think that I will love the finished quilt.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.

Monday, April 15, 2019

April Challenge: Island Batik and Accuquilt Go!

The Island Batik Ambassadors were given an Accuquilt Ready, Set, GO! package this year as part of an industry partnership with Island Batik.  For the April Challenge we were asked to make a baby quilt using the Go! cutter and the 8" Qube set that are included with the package.
This is the point where I confess that this was actually the first quilt top that I made as an Island Batik Ambassador.  I could not resist playing with the dies and experimenting with the blocks in the Eleanor Burns book that came with it.  I wanted to try every block in the book, but I managed to limit myself to only enough to make the quilt.  Since it is an on-point layout, that came to thirteen blocks.  I chose to use black, gray, and white as the setting triangles and sashing.

There are four of the "Sawtooth Star" blocks in this quilt. There are two "Old Maid's Puzzle" blocks, two "Frayed Four-Patch" blocks, two "Broken Sash" blocks, one "Whirlpool" block and one  variation on it, where I just changed the construction - I am calling it a design choice.  And in the very center there is a "Dutchman's Puzzle" block.

The Accuquilt package also came with a 2 1/2" strip die.  I used that die to cut the sashing strips and cornerstone squares.

This quilt measures 42 inches square.  The batting is Hobbs Premium Cotton batting.  The quilting was done with Aurifil threads in black and gray.  I decided to do a casual quilting that is less dense than my usual quilting as I wanted the baby quilt to be soft and snuggly.  In these photos the quilt has already been washed to produce the "crinkle" effect that I find so appealing in a quilt that will be used and loved.

I decided to do a two color binding in blue and red in order to echo some of the colors in the quilt.

Here is a cute photo with a couple of teddy bears from Mom's collection.

The fabrics were provided to my by Island Batik as an Island Batik Ambassador and the Accuquilt Ready, Set, GO! cutting system was also provided as mentioned above by Accuquilt in partnership with Island Batik. The Hobbs Batting was also provided as a part of the Ambassador program.  The Aurifil thread was in my stash although other Aurifil threads were also provided by the Ambassador program.  My sincere thanks to Island Batik and all of the partners/sponsors of the program.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.