Wednesday, January 17, 2018

There is a reason

Sometimes my excuse is too busy, or too many projects on the go, or nothing to report, but this time, I've not posted for several weeks because:
  • A-fib heart issue acting up slightly
  • Christmas
  • Trip to CA for my cousin's 100th birthday party (a blast) 
  • but too much salt and air travel...
  • Heart problems increasing
  • A-fib fixed with cardio-version on Jan. 5
  • Jan. 7 blood oxygen dropped drastically
  • Hubby called ambulance and I wound up in hospital for a few days
  • Recovery = slow
  • Today, feel almost normal (even though normal is only a setting on the dryer!)
In the past couple of days, finished the basting on Scott's king-size and it is now ready for sewing all the pieces in place using free-motion. It looks good on the bed, and I'm looking forward to the next steps. No recent photo, but soon. 

This is an older photo, shows only the left side and middle. 
A big thanks to those who knew what was going on and prayed for me.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Thinking abouut creativity

This time of year is busy for many people, and it can become stressful. I'm thinking that if I look at all that needs to be done, including those extra projects that might be 'nice' to do, and consider them as part of my God-given creativity, they drop off that 'chore' list and go on the 'fun' list. 

Since our kids left home, particularly the youngest one who loved decorating the tree, I've not had much enthusiasm for it. However, a couple years ago someone invited me to the local Festival of Trees and I was impressed by the creativity. I came home and tried some new ideas. This year was the same, and the most amazing thing happened: the tree was up in about 1/3 the time it usually takes. I felt like I just baked and iced a spectacular cake... or stitched and quilted a clever wall hanging. Here is my 30-minute tree. It could use a bit of tweaking, but no one will notice but picky picky me.

Now, back to that king-size. I have one more palm leaf to make and attach! Then a lot of stitching to do.

Friday, December 1, 2017

One palm tree now has leaves...

These photos show Scott's king-size pinned up, with about two feet of it on the floor -- hence it is fore-shortened. The left side of this monster is now closer to the goal. I've finished the palm with leaves, but it is just pinned (I keep tweaking the placement). Also, it is brighter in 'life' with more contrast in all those greens.

As soon as this part is done, I will baste the pieces in place and do something similar on the right.

I've put in a few critters and flora too, but they are not immediately visible, just like critters and flora usually are. Now for a short break to do something less challenging.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Progress Report on king-size landscape

Plugging away on this monster quilt — good thing my son is not a monster or he would not be getting this much 'love' and hard work! Here are some detail shots showing basting, pins, and one with the pattern pieces stuck on.  The quilting will make them.

 This part is about 8" wide from leaf tip to leaf tip.

 The palm leaves are freezer paper patterns,18-20" long to give an idea of scale. 
Each will be two shades/fabrics in various greens. 
I wasn't going to do coconuts but they nicely cover the ends of the leaves!

This is part of the 'jungle' at the bottom. 
The upper right leave is about12" long.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Houston Show Favorite

Whew, it has been busy around here! My hubby, who is the most supportive person in my life, organized a trip for us to the Houston Quilt Festival -- and I am still almost speechless at what we saw! 

Most of the the winners are available online if you look for them. I want to show you my favorite. The quilt is called "At the Waterhole" and here is the photo that I took. You can see a better one at the artist's website. Her name is Sheila Finzer and she lives in Oregon.

I loved this one so much that when I noticed it was for sale, I just had to go find out the price. I told the lady in the "quilts for sale" booth that it was likely the price of a small car. She looked it up and told me, "More like a mid-size!"  Needless to say, I came home without it. My hubby teased me, "Where would you put it?" but I would have found a place. It is six feet high and over eight feet wide, but would go nicely with the painting I have of zebras. Sigh!

By the way, many of the quilts allowed photos, but they are not to be on blogs, etc. without properly identifying them. The photos are not to be used or sold to be used on t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. either since this violates copyright laws. I've seen a few on Pinterest that have ignored this stipulation. I took about 150 photos (there were more than 1600 quilts) and will be careful to follow those rules. If you have never been to Houston for this event, PUT IT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST! And allow at least 4-5 days to see it all. Biggest cost is airfare and hotel (and whatever tempts you in the vendor booths)!

Scott's king-size is coming along. I've almost got burn-out on it and need to stop and make place-mats or doll quilts or something really easy every now and then.  The big one is pinned to the top of my design wall with the rest of it draped over my craft table so I can easily baste leaves in place. I'm also printing bird, flowers, and butterflies to hide here and there among the leaves, as well as a piece of driftwood etc. to go on the beach.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Progress on King-Size

This quilt is partly on the design wall and partly on a craft table. So the view is somewhat foreshortened. It actually has as much beach as water.

I decide to baste the leaves in place because pins are not too much fun when sewing complex applique. I wanted to post this in case someone ever finds themselves in the same dilemma — trying to manage a huge project and keep it all square and straight. This has a few wrinkles, but nothing serious. Pressing and quilting will fix it.

There are more leaves to go on the left end (just out of sight) and palm trees and leaves up the sides. I will look good on the bed, but right now I'm tired just looking at the picture.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Applque a few dozen leaves

Since the last post, I've been making large leaves, at least 18-20" high. At first, I didn't know the best way to do these. Raw-edge is prone to get fuzzy when washed and these would be impossible to piece. Finally, I decided to applique them using the following steps:
  1. Trace the leaf shape on to the dull side of freezer paper, cut out on the lines.
  2. Press the shiny side of the pattern to the right side of selected fabric.
  3. Cut it out with a scan 1/4" seam allowance.
  4. Turn the leaf over to the back side and place it on a piece of colored paper (red works).
  5. Ciip inside curves and V-shapes almost to the edge of the leaf. 
  6. Using a glue stick, put 3-4" of glue along the seam allowance. 
  7. Using the smallest Apliquick rod, fold the seam allowance to the fabric (wrong side) and press it firmly in place.
  8. When the entire leaf is done, let it dry then peel off the freezer paper.
  9. Press from the right side with a dry iron.
  10. Pin in place on the quilt background and to the next leaf...
  11. Repeat.
  12. When done, applique around the edges and enhance with quilting.

 This isn't as time-consuming as it sounds. The Apliquick Rods (See right side of the link for these) are amazingly helpful and even fun to use. It is going to take many hockey and soccer games to hand applique them in their final positions though. I just hope my son is not an old man before he gets this quilt!

PS... He told me he didn't want to see it until it was done, but then changed his mind. We invited him here for pizza Sunday night, but he had plans so invited us to his house. So I took the sketches (link here), and his reaction was a positive boost to my procrastination. For this I am thankful!