Saturday, September 24, 2022

Using Rulers

This quilt looks like a painting, but quilting a painting could involve a lot of thread work and I'd rather not. It is not a wall hanging and dense quilting would make it too stiff.

For this quilt, ordinary fillers do not work, and I didn't want to simply meander. So I've been praying a lot, working slowly, and listening and looking for ideas.

This is what came up for another group of trees. It is Angela Walters' quilting tool called "Taj" which is about 3-4" and gives this the look of a short, wide tree, yet points up. Since the thread is a bit lighter, the stitches show, but not too much. Double click on the photo for a closer look.

For what I wanted, it works. Thanks, Angela! (Just one of her videos, click here) I'm using a panto, free motion, and a few other simple line designs. It is taking a while but nearly done.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Trees from 'tree' fabric

 Using fabric that looks like trees and rocks sometimes works. It has to be the right scale and the right value. Since this quilt is a gift and a surprise, I'm showing only the trees. The first one had lots of overlapping tree trunks and shadows and could have been upside down in places. However, I trimmed the top and sides in tree shapes and stitched it down and it looks like a stand of trees. 

The rocks were all over the fabric. I cut them as a 'pile' and turned down the top edge and sewed it very close to that edge. I did the same with the second photo, but used the backside of the fabric, first to give it more 'distance' but also to soften it. The trees were easier than the top photo.

As for the reflections, that was another fabric entirely. The top one was blurry like a reflection on wind-blown water. Some quilted 'ripples' should look okay on both reflections. This top is done, about 60" square. Deciding how to quilt it is my next challenge!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Work in Progress

It has been a busy summer. Our oldest is building a house in a wilderness spot and photos don't do it justice... so we travel a couple hours one way to see it. I'm almost jealous but more excited for them. We also took a trip to South Carolina to visit our daughter, hubby and all. It was wonderful. Our youngest lives in our city and we spent most of a day with him and his fiancee looking at a show home and eating. Besides those things, the usual visits with friends, our church activities, and now I'm a new member on our local guild board, so that's one big learning curve. A few quilters in our neighborhood have started a Bee Group, so that adds a new dimension. Also, have a work in progress on my table that is where my heart likes to sew, but it is a challenge turning a sketch/photos into fabric and making it work. This is a shot of part of it. 

The sky and background are done, sewn, along with about 6-8" of water. This shot shows the sky pinned to a wall and the rest on a table where I am auditioning and fiddling. There is about 24" or more water to go, then a sandy beach with rocks in the very bottom foreground. I've not a lot of perfect water fabric. Also planning to put a couple islands of trees in the sides. This is fun, but not moving very fast. I keep playing with it until the best ideas show up. I've a sketch to follow (loosely) and am not sticking strictly to it. 

We had a wonderful August, sunny and warm (needed AC most days) with cool nights. By far my favorite month. No signs of fall yet, but some report a bit of yellow here and there.Back too school showed up far too soon!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Three Finishes and many plans...

 Jessica's quilt is finished, was delivered, and well received. I'd asked her a few months ago about colors and favorite things. She said pastels, cats, horses, elephants, beaches, sunsets, wildflowers and her son Cayden. Enlarge the pictures and everything is there. I called it "Jessica's Heart" and it is about 64" square. The colors are truest in the sunset one on the right and below in the upper left one with the horses.


Before finishing it, I took all my tiny leftover bits of old florals from the third quilt when it was in the top but not quilted stage, and made a table runner. I'd already pieced the much larger quilt (see below) but wanted to used up ALL of those bits. It is old-fashioned but looks okay on the top of a black bookcase.


The floral one was totally a blast. I had lots of these old print, either scraps or fat quarters. On Jessica's quilt I learned that fast and easy way to make eight HSTs at the same time. So I did that with my scraps and wound up with dozens of HSTs that would finish to 2" and 3" and 4" and 6" so they would easily fit together. Also some squares in the same sizes and a few strips. I started in the middle and made it up as I went along. The colors are anything but true in this photo. 

Now this is not a quilt that everyone will love, but so far, everyone does. It is called "It Started Out Sane" and became a little crazy, but there are no bits of old florals left in my stash. How good that feels. It will likely go to a charity but right now I'm still liking to look at it. 

I've many project boxes and as many more plans, but had to purchase the latest fabric from Northcott called Soar, the Moody Blues line. Yikes, this is so beautiful. Click here for my favorite story, but others will carry it.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Longarm Ruler and Two on the go...

 I had (note past tense) a great batch of old-fashioned flowery scraps, small flowers, not the greatest to go with anything. However, I decided to use them up. I made as many HST as I could in the following sizes (finished) 2" - 3" - 4" - 6" making 8 at a time if possible. I wound up with a large pile. The leftovers were cut into squares in the same sizes, and the narrow pieces became piano keys. The design wall became a puzzle board and starting with a square, I built a design that balanced, at least most of it, and used up all that pile! Some will be on the back because the backing fabric (also flowers) is a tad short. The leftovers filled that space. It turned out about 70" square and is ready for the longarm. Those who have seen it, love it. Even hubby. Yikes, this feels good. Photo soon. 

Also, Jessica's quilt is on the longarm and I cannot show it yet --- it is a gift. We plan on delivering it in a couple weeks.

However, I'm doing some in the ditch quilting and thought I should put you on to a ruler that makes this incredibly easy. Best ruler I have for many uses. I got it from Judy Madson. LINK HERE and it is on sale right now. IF you longarm and avoid ditch work, this will change your mind! It has a nifty handle and great markings. See the photo.


Friday, June 24, 2022

It's a Jungle Out There

 This blog title is the name of a finish. It came out of a pile of leftovers from another top that isn't quilted yet. We have a loft decorated with an African theme but needed a lap quilt (big TV, recliner, etc.) It was fun to make. Not happy with the photo, but here it is, with a close up. Double-click to see it better.

Now I'm working on a pile of leftover floral prints, oldies but enough to make a bunch of HST with contrasting values. Not sure what will come of it, maybe just an empty scrap bin!!

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Spring forward...

I finally decided to jump into free-motion on my longarm. Oh, I can do meander, leaves, simple stuff, but never tried anything too complex. Chicken. Hate to pick out mistakes. Lots of excuses. However, had this blue scrap quilt, mostly orphan blocks and decided it would make a good practice project. I decided to do something different in each block and change the pattern about every 20" in the piano key borders. Some areas are not very pretty. Others surprised me. I have more confidence now. Oh, I used rulers in places, but need practice with those also. It is still on the machine with a few blocks left to go and the final border. Here is a close-up.

We are enjoying spring, finally. The weather is still a bit iffy, with frost warnings after sunny days, but nothing near our home. The spring blooming trees smell heavenly and the grass is getting unruly in the boulevards. We saw two very large wild bunnies playing in the park, almost like two puppies would play. DH planted some daylilies this afternoon. I had a long nap. The older I get, the more I want to sleep... or is it this darn pacemaker that slows to 60 when I'm not doing much and I just think I'm sleepy? Anyway, the flowers are in an he is going to have a nap too.