Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Still quilting on one starting the next

 I'm still quilting the middle section of the Silent Snowmen quilt. I think I've mostly gotten it done. Here's the log cabin house we want, full of laughter and happiness.
As I was carefully, slowly stitching along with GREAT concentration to stay in the seam line, this happened...
 Know what that is??? It's a top thread traveling the length of the 60 inch wide quilt section because I
ran
out of
bobbin.
Right there a quarter inch from the start. You know stitching in the ditch is the hardest machine quilting as one moment's loss of focus and your off the seam, and it shows like a neon sign.
Argh!
I know you've done this too. 

As I'm wrestling with this bed quilt, determined to finish it, my good friend Nancy  asked innocently if I had finished my Valentine quilt for this year.

WHAT?!

If you are new to my blog, I have made DH and I a V-day quilt every year of our marriage. I've shown a few here and show them all in a lecture on working in series.



I do have a concept, and a title. Now I must make the quilt to match.
The pictured mess above is my valuable scrap box of fusible pieces. Almost no matter how small, if it has fusible ironed to the back, it goes in this box. It's amazing how many times I reach in here to add a little applique.
This time it's hearts. I fold a scrap in half and cut a heart, just like in Elementary school.
So this is how I work. I have many projects going at the same time. As I am quilting one, I am thinking about the next. You?
LeeAnna

Monday, January 26, 2015

Making a meal of paper

Cole here, to discuss the value of dining with your people.

This is my  breakfast buddy, Dad. He joins me near my nest each morning where he has a bowl of cereal and I have some yogurt. It's our thing. He can eat people chow each and every morning, same ole thing every day. I on the other hand am more, ahem, discerning.

For instance, since I am on a special kibble from the vet  because of food sensitivities, I have to be careful to eat only the correct amount of kibbles and only I decide what that is.

For instance I almost always leave one to three pieces in the bowl, which keeps my people guessing. "What's wrong with that piece??"



 I know those are for the food goddess. Just to keep the food a comin'

I might be superstitious

It's so sad when the food is gone, don't you agree?? (luckily my duck remains steadfast)

LeeAnna here... Let's DO talk about eating.
Cole has been a wonderful guy, for 12 years.
When he turned 12 he began eating odd stuff, which has bought him a prison sentence of being baby-gated into a smaller area when we leave the house.
He seems to enjoy paper products.

He has begun trolling the coffee table when I leave the room nowadays. Apparently this pad of paper was too enticing to resist.
He always leaves some portion of the item, just so I know what he's been doing. Last year it was a recently finished watercolor painting I especially loved (ate half) a portion of a new roll of TP, Kleenex out of the box, who knows what out in the yard, half a turkey sandwich, napkins, and my precious broken in perfectly dance shoes.

This was the final straw! This got him the prison sentence. See the post here ( Pictures Here )

He used to shrug off my arm waving angry reactions. Better to ask forgiveness than permission. The mommy always eventually forgives. However when I picked up the pad of paper this weekend, and held it down to him, and he sniffed it, he immediately ran to Dad and hid.
The vet has no insight into this.
It is very sporadic.
They have been know to ask on a visit, "what's he eaten?"
I'm sure I don't know. We provide him with expensive dogfood and treats, which he often says he WISHED tasted as good as paper.
LeeAnna

Friday, January 23, 2015

Silent Snowmen Quilt (not quite) Finish!

This beauty is my BOM 2014 from quiltdoodledesigns. and you'll see other quilts on the blog hop over the next few days, when you visit her website.

My husband says I always think I can get more done than I really can. I thought I'd be done with this by now but life, is just so... daily!
The blocks are all done and if nothing else, trying to finish the quilting got the cutting table cleared off!
YEA!! (Wish it stayed like this)

This post is really picture heavy, but I was excited to get this far in the process and wanted to show you.



Why do a Block of the Month?     It was FUN!
This one was so cute. Doing a block or a row each month allowed me to make a really big quilt, one step at a time. I got to use scraps almost exclusively. It was fun to see Cindy's free design each month.

I am probably one of the last people to quilt their own bed quilts on their domestic machines. 
 Folks, I am a quilt maker. I like everything about making quilts.

 Because of my physical limitations, I must think ahead with big quilts, breaking the pieced sections into smaller units to quilt. The center unit ( shown above) is about 28.5 X 58.5. Since it's a winter quilt I decided to back it with flannel I already owned that was 64" wide.

I'm using Hobbs 80/20 batting, both pre-washed and dried.
 Look at this cute little house...
It's going to have more applique's lots of threadwork and texture. Right now it has the words, laughter, happiness and gratitude on it.
The window will have satin stitched wood sashing to look like a craftsman house. There will be a half moon window and peak in the roof. 

The tree appliques came from the vest someone gave me, that I cut up for fabric....
See?
I think using lots of scraps, with different values makes this quilt sparkle.
I was going to only quilt it with cotton thread til my need for shiny sparkly overcame me! It now has silver and gold metallic threads as well as shiny multi colored poly.
I got a chance to use my special Christmas cow fabric and lots of my snowy blues collection. 
 I mixed in purples too.

I chose two border fabrics out of my stash. I'm more than sure I could have found a new snowy fun fabric to use but wanted to finish the way I started, using what I already own.




I started quilting the top section, 18.5" by 58.5", cutting the backing and batt larger.
The quilting is done and it's ready to join invisibly to the center after it is quilted...

I used a silver metallic fabric for the blades and button hole stitched around them.
Check out the little cow! heehee I love a cow.

 Please! Click on the photos to enlarge them and see the cool little details. The light bulbs are quilted with gold metallic thread, I like YLI the best. The caps have silver YLI and button hole stitch.
I used a double needle, mutlti colored poly and cotton threads to create the cord connecting the lights. <==
Don't look too closely. I noticed after the row was done, that I set them wrong. Oh well, I wasn't about to rip it all apart as it didn't matter to the look.

(enlarge the pics, the details do show better)
I am used to lots more quilting on art quilts but a quilt meant for the bed needs to be soft. I hope this level of quilting will be enough.See the back??
    This is the bottom third, 28.5" X 58.5" and like the skate section, the quilting is already done.


Here's a close up of the Silent Snowmen, with their wee little button eyes. I mostly used my waking foot to do varied straight line quilting but have done some free motion in areas, including these guys.
I love the mix of white/cream fabrics and the snowy blues. I also love the little row of candy.

I have gone ahead and put the first border on the top and bottom pieces and quilted them in. The same inner border will go on the sides after they are quilted.

The cup handles have button hole stitch again, and the steam is done with silver metallic thread and the white fabric sparkles with it's own metallic paints. I cut out a heart out of freezer paper. I ironed it to the cup and quilted around it, pulling it off when done, and re using it for the other cups.

I got hurt quilting the first two sections so I had to stop for now. When the center is quilted, I'll add heart buttons and other appliques. I so wish I could have been done all at once to show you.

The borders will be quilted THEN joined to the center after THOSE sections are joined. It minimizes the heavy pushing and pulling. Years ago I took a class in how to quilt as you go 12 ways. It has proven to be one of the best classes I ever took.

This quilt will be about 80" X 90" when done. BIG! Not big enough to cover the king sized bed but enough to lay across the top. Cindy has designed another BOM for 2015, so check it out. She is generous and her instructions are clear. Thanks Cindy for the fun year!!

Are you new to my blog? 
I write about living the Creative Life. I like to laugh and try to entertain readers as well as inspire them.
I hope you had a good time, and check out the other categories on the side. Lots of fun here.
Feel free to sign up to receive notices of posts ( usually MUCH shorter) by e-mail.
LeeAnna


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A well rounded crafter


 I am trying to get the BOM from QuiltDoodles finished for my post of the blog hop due on Saturday.
The deadline is good because I wanted to finish this anyway but it might have become another UFO without the deadline.
With the deadline it has become a REAL challenge. I'm quilting this big quilt in sections with my little domestic machine, as I do. It's wearing me out, pushing and pulling the heavy sandwiches around. This section is more or less quilted
It's about 60 inches by 30 inches, with a heavy flannel backing and 80/20 batt. It is a bed quilt so all choices are made so that it can be washed and dried over the years. It's VERY hard on my shoulders and back.
This is the third and larges section still on the wall, waiting for sandwiching and quilting. It's the middle section. I want the whole thing to be soft and cozy, so I am not over quilting it as I would one of my art quilts. It feels wrong to areas unquilted. More on Saturday's post.
To recover from pushing and pulling this around, I have begun trying to use up my wool stash.

When I learned to knit again as an adult, I fell in love with socks. Then I fell in love with knitting socks on two circular needles, usually two at once...
That's terrific as both are done at the same time. But they get heavy to hold, so I am now doing one sock at a time, on two circular needles. Easy! Fun! I have just finished the back heel here and am ready to turn the heel.

During a fabric reorganization over the holidays, I noticed several bins of sock yarn, and thought, I'll never use up my fabric, but I MIGHT be able to get this wool outta here.

Socks are perfect evening TV watching and car riding projects. Always there and portable.
I finished Mr Not Afraid of Colors first pair, and started these for me. I plan to keep at it til the wool is down to one bin.

I noticed Drew looking at coasters last weekend. When he said he needed one, I reminded him I um, know how to sew.

I located a scrap of flannel with guitars on it, from when I taught my nephew how to make a pillowcase, so I placed that with a black music flannel face to face, and a batting scrap on top. 

Using my 6.5 inch ruler, I trimmed all the way around. Then I stitched all the way around with a slightly larger than quarter inch seam, leaving a three inch area unstitched for turning.

Trim the corners off at a diagonal so when it's turned inside out, the batting is sandwiched and the seams are all finished except for the turning area. Tuck those edges in, sew along the edge catching that, then quilt.
Voila!

This was a great little break from the quilting project. Fast and useful.
He was so happy to see it by his chair!! Socks! Coasters! (Relax, Drew, I won't be making you a patchwork vest) (I have a quilt to finish by Saturday!)
LeeAnna

Monday, January 19, 2015

A little red wagon, a duck and a poodle

 What's this???
My favorite toy right now is that duck.
When I come in from outside I check to make sure the duck is in the toy box, or better yet, where I left it.
It has taken over the role of Favorite Toy from the giraffe ball that held the title for my first 10 years of life. 
 Now I find it sitting with the (lesser) toys in the new little red wagon? Then Mommy pulls it around and around me for a reaction?!

What am I? A Circus Poodle? What does she want me to do, pull the wagon around the floor with my mouth? Grab my duck out of the wagon?
Truth be told I want to grab that duck out of the wagon, because it's too precious to let mom play with. She might give it a bath and lose the balance of spit to fleece ratio.
 We saw this wagon in a shop window in Annapolis at Christmas,  (check out the post HERE)  and yes I look in shop windows.

I shop.

When allowed inside I look at every shelf and at every display in shops. I don't understand this prejudice against poodles that some shop keepers have.
Anyway, I have to think about the problem of this wagon a bit.... and wait for Mommy to go upstairs so I can relocate the duck.
Some toys are just too good to let humans play with.
Cole
(other poodle puppy ponderings here under this label poodle puppy ponderings)
Linking to Monday Mischief Blog Party

Friday, January 16, 2015

How now blue cow?

12" X 12" and that muzzle is pink not beige
I jumped (over the moon) into the RSC 2015 this year. Link is superscrappy
The first color is Blue, for January

I haven't finished setting any of  last year's blocks yet, but the fun is in using the color each month, so I looked around for some blocks  to make this year.

 I knew I wanted a paper pieced block, a scrappy free form block, and possibly a graphic one. I had so much fun last year with this project!
I found this cow block here http://piecemealquilts.com/2011/05/27/cow-block/

I can see the finished quilt already in my mind's eye and excited about doing it. It is 12 inches so large enough to make a statement. It is also one of the most challenging paper pieced blocks I've ever done.
If you choose to do it, I suggest laying out the un-numbered and un-marked sections first. Then numbering the sequence or coloring by pencil the sections with the fabrics you want to use. Then there are the weird angles.

The good news is I developed a way to cut and piece weird angles by doing this, and by the end of the block, I hardly had to rip out at all. (I'd do an emoticon here but there isn't one pulling out it's hair)

That being said, I appreciate the maker for providing this really fun block out of the goodness of her heart, and for free. Can't wait to see the cow in different colors!


A colorful coincidence

  It should come as no surprise that I am inspired by color. It will become the link party I am planning.
The other day, I realized I have been collecting shades of pink, or peachy pink, or coral.
This is only amazing in that it's winter and I am usually drawn to seasonal color.

While looking at magazines, I pull out pages that interest me in some way. Therefore I have snippets of paper all over the house... more about that in a future post.
I pulled out this one from a decorating magazine because the shades of pinks were very exciting to me.
I began to notice a trend, since all this stuff was piled up in the family room... My ornament from a craft festival (read post about the artist here ) the new fabric, the clipping, the nail polish...


Please overlook the dried out winter wrinkled fingers and note the color.
For about 15 years I pulled on ballet tights this color twice to three times a week. I have always loved this color.
Color vibrates.
While in university,I did volunteer work at the Lighthouse for the Blind, and one of the activities was to see if sight challenged people could feel color. And they could.

My friend Mary, ( blog is here) sent me this happy cow fabric, out of the blue this week Is there anything better than getting a gift out of the blue just because a friend was thinking about you, and put thought into action? Then happy cows show up?! In these colors? My neutral lime green and that shade of coral pink?



The clipping, the polish, the fabric, the files I bought last weekend on clearance at Paper source...

Mr Not-afraid-of-color and I were shopping last weekend at anthropolgie, when I went back to buy the cow creamer in teal, so we stopped in the Paper Source to see what was there. This man does not love color as much as I do, and is very understanding when I squeal upon seeing a color combination like this...





 Not only that coral/pink/peach color inside the file folders, but that pattern in subtle black and white and turquoise and dabs of dark pink??? Squee! And on clearance? I know my husband doesn't see colors the way I do, but he knows that look of discovery and loves me. When I got home I saw that they went PERFECTLY with these fave desk accessories from the Container Store...
I found a magazine holder, and two other containers in this pattern on clearance there about 3 years ago. I am still in love with the pattern and color. I don't understand marketing, because on our last trip to the Con. Store they were still there but full price. I like to have pretty things around me, especially pretty things I see daily and use, but have my monetary limits. So glad I got these when they were on sale.
I am working on the winter BOM quilt at the moment, but right behind it is the flannel flimsy in Turqoise and rose fabrics from Bonnie and Camille. These lovely colors and soft.

I usually love pure bright colors, but color is relative and changes in different combinations. It has an infinite range of hue and tint. It is infinitely inspirational to me and I wonder...
Does color jazz you too?