Friday, February 12, 2016

The Valentine Quilt with no name...

Poor little Valentine quilt with no name!
I usually have a name as I make something, or even before I start sometimes.
Valentine series #22 just isn't cute.
For the label
I made a block from some extra triangles, placed it face to face with fusible interfacing, sewed all around, clipped the interfacing and turned it right side out. Voila! Edges turned neatly, and fusible allowed me to press it on the back for some hand sewing
The black with multi-color dots looked like a great binding choice. After it was on, I thought it took away some of the fun, so I couched on some multi colored chenille thread.
That means I appliqued thread with a zig zag stitch done with gold metallic thread.
It's hard to capture the sparkle in pictures, but you kind of get the idea with the spirals above.
I "love" the pink fabric that says I love you.
Last but not least, it called out for some crystals because life's better when it sparkles!
I fused them on with the iron, on three hexies. This one wanted one to a side...

What did I learn?
1. I love working from collections of prints. I am always on the lookout for a flamingo fabric, one with hearts, a good cow print or  something with a poodle, for instance. I like to mix them into a quilt.
2. I love making the 60* diamond blocks this way
3. Binding may be small but mighty, it can make or break a quilt finish
4. Done is good. Note what you'd do differently next time, note what you like and what you learned.
5. I like working in series
Help me name this one!

In case you missed close ups of the quilted feather click on above link

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentine quilt components

Not Done yet but will be!
I finally found a border to satisfy me after auditioning a lot of fabrics.
I finally decided on a binding after auditioning even more fabrics.
I just took a scrap of the back to do the sleeve, and a leftover block for the label. I chose a thick variegated gold thread to couch along the binding.
This is to show you some of the quilting, a mix of straightline echo and free motion. All of it done with halogram mylar sprakly metallic thread, in pink and red. Used a superior topstitch titanium needle in size 90.
Just to prove no space is too small for a free motion unplanned feather...

It would have been wasted on busy prints, but the sparkling pink called out for it, as the red above called for spirals.

I still love all the heart fabric.

I have so many quilts to make.
probably 50 UFO's or WIPS
Likely that many PIGS (projects in grocery bag)
Hundreds of patterns I want to try
Hundreds of books with ideas
Journals with sketches to make
and I get inspired every day looking at things other people make.

So much to look forward to. I'd better finish this fast and get busy!

Cole's commandments... gumball removal

Cole here to discuss an important issue to dogs...
the dreaded gumball.
These are evil. That's all there is to it.
We are entering gumball season around here and these little sharp pieces of evil are scattered all along my walking paths...
on my running grounds...
and get stuck in my pads, requiring a momma TOUCH MY FEET!
Momma:  we'll be walking along and Cole stops.
The "check poodle" light comes on.
Being stoic, yet unwilling to suffer any discomfort at all, he stops. I begin to check his feet one by one, as he gives no hint as to which one is effected. Nope, he waits for his servant to do that.
When I find the burr, I have to disengage it from the hair and webbed pads.
All while he kicks out at me because it tickles or hurts or something.

Degree of difficulty? 8/10

Cole: People, you with money... cut down these trees. I've seen momma skitter around on these ball bearings and the curses are pretty colorful. I've heard Daddy screaming as the limbs break off and fall on cars.

In honor of Valentine's day, two...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Flamingo love story and sketch of the day

In honor of Valentine's Day
This is a sketch of the day from October 2015. As I sat quietly thinking great thoughts (smile) I decided to sketch the two flamingos that had fallen together near the fountain .
As I sketched, their story came to me and I wrote it down. Want to read it? The original story was written right next to the sketch and I love the way the words surround the image becoming part of the whole.

A love story: be honest, plastic flamingo yard ornaments are not rare.
But once upon a time, there was one flamingo, a Not-your-typical-flamingo.

Quiet, as birds go, this one was always thinking, "What if..." What if, come evening I could take a walkabout?"

And he did.

He thought about all the things that interested him during the day such as what does the bird feeder hold? Where do chipmunks live? What does fountain water taste like?"

As dusk deepened, he stretched his long legs in anticipation of fulfilling his curiosity. He waited until dark when the people went inside their home, cautiously pulling up one leg, then the other. Out of their garden holes, and he walked to the fountain...
It tasted like buggy-water.
The suet cake left for birds could use some shrimp sauce, he thought. As for the chipmunks, well, who really cares, he sees enough of them all day.
Funny, he never considers leaving the yard. He knows his molded wings will not carry him in flight.

He watched the night critters. The foxes do not stop to chat, as they are about the business of grabbing a quick bite and moving on. The possum is a mean girl so he steers clear of her and her claws that could scratch plastic.

He is careful to find the original holes to put his legs in before giving in to sleep. No need to freak out the humans. These nightly explorations went on for years until the humans got another flamingo to keep him company.

Just when you despair of finding love, it shows up in your own back yard! Lovely!

"Oh let her like me" he thought

As night fell, he ventured over and told her how much he admired her vibrant pinkness, his having faded over the years. How good to find a mate after all this time.

One night he forgot to return to the original holes in the dirt, so comfortable was the snuggle with his new friend. He momentarily panicked when he saw the humans, but one said, "Hmph! Must have moved him and forgot!"

Never underestimate the ability of humans to rationalize facts to fit their existing beliefs. They are not as logical as we are he thought.

He is still able to move around but chooses to stay with the love of his life.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Steps to this year's V-day quilt

In Progress, now about 20" X 38"
Every year I make a Valentine quilt to celebrate the love I found with my husband. V-day is in less than a week so I started this yesterday, lol! That's just the way I am.
My motto this year is "Use It" and I wanted to use some of my V-day fabric stash. Each year it's a different style, a different size, a different look but always...about love.
First choose some fabrics...
Of course my Valentine collection is all over the place since I collect heart fabric in any color I find.
Second, make a few strip sets in order to cut out some 60 degree triangles...
then cut out the triangles and arrange them on your sewing table.
Next sew three of the triangles together...
Note, you now have a half hexie. I am making these by machine so the easiest way to sew them is in long strips after arranging them on the wall..
like that.

When I am ready, I'll sew each half to the other into strips, then strips together with long straight seams. All straight seam sewing here! Fast. I made all these since yesterday afternoon.

It's messy, and fun, and busy and colorful and happy.

I must tell you a secret.
When I made the first two blocks I thought, that's it I wasted fabris, time and now I can't let myself throw it away.
I considered doing an art quilt instead that's on the back burner of my mind.

But, I know this syndrome... I've had it with each quilt I ever made.

Just about a fourth of the way along the process I begin not to like it, growing fear that I wasted fabric and time on it, then just before it comes together in the final top I love it again!
I mean, look at these fabrics!
Some scraps, some stash, all love!
I do a lecture on working in series and show all 22 quilts... but if you want to see just one more...
check out last year's  (  HERE 
Love, LeeAnna

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A favor, a connection, and a thank you gift

The kindness of others!
It is the connection that makes life sweeter.
Sonja in Hawaii, so geographically far from me, offered to put together the I-spy quilt pieces a friend of mine here gave me. She was given the pieces from a friend, gave them to me, I washed them and am sending them to Sonja to make and give to a child...
One good deed deserves a reward!
A while back, I made some 6" friendship exchange squares in honor of Independence Day.
This is one I kept, and it's great to send Sonja as she has a lovely cat.

(As I have said before, perfection is So Yesterday! Stitching with gold metallic threads that won't obey, through thick stabilizer you'll see I didn't stop to worry about anything while hand stitching )

She is an artist so she can appreciate the way it went together. I did it freely, with abandon, happily combining bits and pieces to make my heart happy.
When I chose it to send to her, I added the metal charms, the heart the star sequins and embroidery to represent flowers she loves and the imagination that fuels an artist.
Thank you Sonja!
yep! All that in 6"

Friday, February 5, 2016

Brown, brown, brown...

The color of the month at is brown.
It's winter, the ground is brown, the grass is brown, the trunks are brown, the snow is brown.

So out came the brown scrap bin and I began to seek strips for strata. It's apparently the year of the strata quilts for me.
I was going to continue some blocks I made earlier in blues, and wrote a tute for:
 (Click Here or look on tutorials page)  but I couldn't remember what size square ruler I used, so I made them from the largest I own, a 15". I didn't go just look it up.  Of course they are much bigger than my others... so I thought, okay, 12 of these 20" blocks will make a good sized quilt in rainbow colors.

 I finished the blue one but I did not like it.
Too dull. In using the fabric strips I didn't love, I made a block I didn't love.


In for a penny... so this time I made a brown one to go with it. For some reason I like them both better.
They might work out. And I can quilt as you go a big block like this, and try a new to me joining method.
While I was at it, I made the other stratavarious blocks and  the diamond blocks. I'll show those in coming weeks along with the sofa, TV and dress.

From Browns.