Saturday, February 29, 2020

sewing Saturday... last of the orange blocks

the cut away bits
Welcome to sewing round up for the week. I've had an eye condition but was able to sew the last of the orange blocks for RSC. I've been doing lozenges (by Bonnie Hunter) using  color rectangles with dark and light corner triangles
see the pretty fabrics?
see them with the green ones from last month?
and then mixed up
When I sew the squares to the corners, I sew another seam inside the cutaway part, cut the extra tiny block out, and use them in some mini project
I wasn't crazy about them facing the same way...

or as geese
one 16 block unit sewn, and look how small it comes out!
so I looked at blocks online and found a cool star burst design, and started sewing them, and here's what I discovered
1. these are tiny, trimmed down to 1.25", so you can't do them in this pattern as improv... you must trim them down
2. tiny pieces in pattern are easily mispositioned.
3. 64 little half square triangles are messy with seams and bulky to sew unless you're really really careful, and that's not that much fun
after I sewed it, I sprayed it thoroughly with water and pressed with my fingers first to line up the seams
and carefully followed the picture to do the next quadrant.
did I mention there are 64 tiny 1 1/4" unfinished blocks in this thing?
see the block image ?
you can see my guiding picture from google images... and how the quadrants look with opposite background layout.... I think it's too busy, maybe better like this
what do you think?
Last month with the tiny green HST blocks, I made the coolest little quilt by doing it improv. So much more fun but I wanted to try something else this time. Oy vey.
(I suspect I forgot to trim a few of those maverick blocks before sewing, hence the slight variance)
(I will make it work, not take any stitching out)

Note to self, that black and white block is truly nice, but not with these crazy color combinations... and make it larger next time!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

I Like Thursday# 182

welcome to this week's list of likes.... sorely lacking as I have a sty that is extremely painful and my eyes are blurry. The picture is of our red berry twig wreath, bringing in a bit of color.
flamingo of the day  Find your balance
I finished up last season's outlander dvd's and woohooooo how good it was. I will have to wait for the library to get the current season's. Mainly I listen to tv, try to do things, but don't feel like doing a list.
Here are some adorable baby animal videos and a youtube channel to take my place this week

This is a very heartwarming story of a little alpaca
this one is just adorable... a rescue mini horse and goose team find a new home 

keeping their own lists are




Saturday, February 22, 2020

sewing saturday "Open the door"

"Open the door..."  12" X 12"  2/2020
My art quilt group decided to do a year long series/challenge of 12 inch square journal quilts. We can make anything we want, have a theme or just make what reflects our month.
I chose as my words of the year the phrase, "open the door..."  to remind me to take a chance on life.
To interpret that for January's journal quilt, I knew I wanted an open 3-d door, opening to brilliant colors.

I started by googling images of curved doors, and settled on two images. Then comparing them I decided on one as inspiration and began...
I also began choosing fabrics to represent a tile floor, stone wall, and garden

I drew the doors, then used those to cut peltex in that shape, pressed wood like fabric scraps onto them, cut out a wood like fabric "frame" to go around those, made sure I left enough to pull to the back to finish off the edges, then carefully stitched around the raw edges. I used black first, then tan to stitch highlights on one side of each opening.
at each stage I go back to my peltex background cut to 12" to see how the scale is looking, how fabrics look together. I liked the words on this beige fabric but it was too "busy" for the wall so I moved it to the bottom of the piece and put a hand dyed quiet fabric in place for the wall.

To make the arch over the door, I basically closed the doors to get a size and angle and cut it.
To make the shadow under the arch I took tan hand dye strip, sewed wedges into it to make it curve at the right size, pressed both fabrics on "shirt tailor" and shaded in stone blocks with prisma color pencil.
Then I trimmed it to size, and tucked the arch under the doors. Adjusting constantly for angle and proportion and knowing the final stitching would really shade the lines and look like stones.
I like a time to laugh, sew, heal, and a time for keeping...
The blue 'tiles" are silk tie fabric, the columns are built onto peltex so they stand out from the piece too. I did all stitching first, then one line to connect them to the finished work.

The garden fabric is lovely mix of scenes so I had to cut just the right scene to show through the open door.

on the design wall
Some people think it's easy to make small quilts. I think any time you are making something original it takes a lot of decisions, back and forth, trying something and discarding it, tweaking, and perseverance. I don't overworry each stage, letting it unfold to tell a story.
you can just see how the backing was done along the bottom here
to finish this I folded all the fabrics to the back, and created a finished square to superimpose over those raw edges, then stitched right along the edge to seal it.
(I stitched a lot of the components before this step)
Then I did last of the quilting all layers,  inked in the title, date, and artist's signature, and now it's displayed on my easel in the family room.
I plan to use my three flamingos heart drawing as inspiration for February's journal quilt.

hope you enjoyed seeing more of my process, and it encourages you to open the door to new techniques and self expression.

as J. Basford said, "practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes progression"

Friday, February 21, 2020

paint party Friday

welcome to paint party Friday... remember my heart painting, that I didn't want to mess up?
the one I made to practice my inking onto, then didn't want to experiment with?
(so typical of me)
well, I got brave one morning and started doodling on it with ink
pigma .05 in black, and white gel pen
I like it still. I might do less inking on the  next painting, as it's pretty dense, or I might just let myself enjoy the process of seeing ink on a painting.
I checked this book out of our library, and hope to read it and try some exercises
sample page
I used my newfound skills on a fabric art quilt this week, those pics tomorrow... please check back and give me your comments. All learning goes into each new creation!!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

I LIke Thursday #181

Welcome to this week's list of likes... another difficult week...
But here goes....
I like that despite the what seems like constant snowing and lack of road clearing, I got brave enough to drive the 40 minutes to my art quilt group meeting on Wed.

We are doing a journal challenge for this year, making a 12" quilt each month. I love how mine came out and will share that on Saturday, and my painting/drawings on Friday

I like that DH took time off and drove the three of us to the vet visit in the thick snow. Not easy on any of us as Milo has another painful ear infection. I'm glad we toughed out the snow storm because more is coming and might be even worse. Milo is napping right now, despite the torment earlier.

we walked around the little shopping area Saturday and went into Hallmark where the ladies love Milo and he shops every shelf of gifts
I love to shop

at Hallmark
where I saw the elephant for this week.... now that's balance!!
which leads me to being thankful for girl scout cookies
dh said he doubts these are made with real girl scouts LOL
I found Restoration Home on youtube (BBC) about people restoring castles in GB.

I love that Survivor is back for another exciting season.

I liked finding the site
If you value history and education... check it out. I watched the video on DaVinci first...

rotary cutting your food?? Lookie at this tool

Misadventures of Milo
 I liked that my people stayed home on Valentines day to spend it with me, walking and sitting on the front porch while their moscato chilled in the snow...
I had some heart shaped cookies!
I am happy the vet visit is over with
I liked meeting a couple dogs in the park but no running as snow is icy and sharp and slippery.

now sit! Stay! Visit mama's friends keeping lists of likes too.... and let mama know in comments if you did a post to share!
new this week:



Sunday, February 16, 2020

sunday stories... a writing challenge

The challenge words for this week's story are from sundays whirligig
feelings, dirt, metal, many, clock, stuck, turned, one, meal, forty, lint, let

My story is:
                                               The clock on the mantel
 How quickly the dust piles up, she thought. Seems like I am always chasing dirt.

the clock ticked loudly on the mantel, tick. tick. tick. Time ticking by, minutes turning into years, as if turning forty wasn't reminder enough.

She felt stuck at the same time she felt carried along the timeline against her will. Like a solid crowd of people so close, she can lift her feet and be carried along wherever they are going.

tick tick tick.

She wiped the metal table with her dust cloth and looked out the window at snow. Why did she feel like this? Like she was stuck between time stopping and rushing by?

Her feelings were often too strong and too many for her to understand, even if  they came from her.

The clock sent out a loud reminder that it was one o'clock. Fine she thought, fine. now what? It's one o'clock what does that matter now that the days felt long and lonely. Cleaning the house gave her a sense of control, but she couldn't control the movement of time, or the disconnect she felt, or how her only son had just left for university.

Seems like he had always been with her.  She had her only child when she was just 19, and now she had to let him go into the big world with his own clock to tick tick tick.

She lifted the dry towels into a basket and cleaned out the lint tray of the dryer. Less clothes to wash, but she still had laundry. And dust, meals to fix, a dog to let out to play.

Nothing was different and everything changed, tick tick tick.

Can you relate to my words? To a fictional story that comes from my imagination and heart? I never had children but this is how I think one might feel. I am a woman who struggles with loneliness, and wants her time to matter, to create something larger than myself, to relate to others.
What do you think? I'd love to know...

Linking to

Saturday, February 15, 2020

sewing saturday

I know I posted about sewing and showed three quilts yesterday, but today is my usual Sewing Saturday so I'll show you the design wall. I made some bright green improv log cabin blocks to go with the two colors from Rainbow Scrap challenge so far.

I made one with a mix of orange and green, just because.

I really like this process, adding strips and seeing how it develops.

I've been going through UFO's and found these
On this first pass through the UFO piles, I'm tossing obvious outdated projects, and putting things like this in a bin labeled (for now) parts dept.
Some cool stuff has found it's way into that bin!

ooo I like them spaced out on the table cloth... hmmmm

I discovered these little EPP hand sewn tumbling blocks. You need three shades of a color for the effect, so with the orange bin already out, I made up some block sets and sewed them while watching tv (and snow pile up)

They are amazingly fast to baste behind the diamond papers, and to whip stitch together.
I think I'll make more.

don't we all?

Friday, February 14, 2020

V-day and I love a hexie!

Happy V-day! 
I'm going to tell you what I learned making this year's valentine quilt but let me start with a little story.... 

I make a Valentine quilt every year since our marriage.
One year I didn't finish and my husband cautiously asked if that meant something.
LOL! Yes it meant I lost my way somehow in the finishing.
I've been going through my UFO boxes, some projects go back to my quilting beginning in 1984!
Here was the old V-day quilt, all crinkly and buckling from an overabundance of quilting, circa early 2000's
step one: decide not to throw it away
step two: block it by spraying with water, lining it up, and weighting it down to dry
step three: remove a lot of weird quilting (metallic thread is hard to unpick)
step four: add in appropriate quilting to balance the the load
now that it was flat, square, and evenly quilted, I put on a binding

It isn't my favorite by a long shot, but I'm glad the 25 years of quilts is continuous again!
what I learned: my tastes have changed, and if quilting is going wrong it probably won't help to just add more...
Not everything should be saved, but even ugly quilts can sometimes be salvaged if they are important

Back to this year's work.
I did a post on the making of this see it here
since then I added in more hexies, and joined them after quilting.
What I learned
whatever size hexie you want, make the backing 3/4" larger on all sides. I laid the print on my background and a ruler on the 5/8" or 3/4" line and cut adding this on all sides.
use your stiffer batting,  a wall hanging done this way needs body
take your time with pressing  the backing to the front, as this is your finished edge.
I used this project to try different ways to sew this edge, zigzag, straight stitch near the edge, specialty stitches. I like the look of a matching thread and straight stitch.
When all the little quilts were quilted and bound, I put them together experimenting with  two different stitches by hand
1. whip stitch like I connect EPP hexies... not as smooth as it takes up a tiny bit of seam, not important before quilting but this is after quilting and that pulled the edges a bit.
2. ladder stitch
A. little hexie quilts facing each other, then take stitches along the top
B. hexies laying flat but next to each other, take small stitches pulling taut each time.

The flat alignment worked the best of all, no thread showing and secure without distortion.
I stitched on tiny star sequins at the end, see?
then hung it on the wall. DH even said he loved it there so it may stay for a while!
I'll try this technique again with my cow collection, to make a bed runner. I might keep the whole background the same in that one however.
Since this is Paint Party Friday, I'm sharing my painted face quilt, and the start to a new painting... so pretty I hated to start inking over it! DH said, maybe you can just paint something to ink... I said, that's what this was to be!
 so I might actually use tissue paper and experiment with flowers before inking...