Saturday, May 15, 2021

Sewing Saturday from blocks to birds to abstract


see the sun peeking out at top right?
This is Saturday's weekly sewing round-up for the week, welcome!

I have been obsessed with the tumbling blocks. I found this project after I'd done about half the blocks that you see here

it was an english paper piecing project I could do in front of the tv, in colors of the month at RSC. I added in some red blocks for this month and thought I have quite a few, what would they look like laid out? Since I couldn't place them on the vertical design wall (paper makes 'em slippery) I pulled out my portable design board and started to organize them.

As you can imagine, I've been moving them around all week, and when a section seemed right to put together, I pinned them to each other so they could be done in front of the tv. That's why you see small sections missing now and then.
what did I learn? 
group colors for focus else it will look like confetti
colors will blend, like the cool section that is really made of green, turquoise, blues and purple
I automatically set the size because of the size of my design board. 

that is big, y'all. I limited myself to this size, then wondered where to put the few excess blocks. Now understand I never had a size in mind, nor how many blocks I'd need, so why do I feel the need to use all the blocks? 

Should I ignore the size of the design space when laying out a design?  
So this may actually gain another row going up and down on the left. 

Anyway it has kept me busy and off the streets this week. 
This is the finished bird spring piece I finished last week, hanging in the family room! That means it has a sleeve sewn on the back too!

I am photo impaired for some reason this week... something about the changing light here lately

but this pic shows how I add branches then sew them in with texturing threads, how I painted the birds right onto a finished top of watercolor squares that finish at 1.5", and some quilting.

This shows two birds, and the binding choice I made to use my precious Caryl Bryer Fallert hand dye print on top and bottom, and my precious no long made pointillist gradation fabric on the sides.

leaves and sun rays quilted in add texture

what I learned...

first there are all the decisions about placement of squares, then piecing them in order
then where to paint the birds, and what colors to use on them (I used gelato sticks to paint with)
next the border decisions, then quilting decisions including thread, then binding... I learned to use my good fabrics even on small binding strips because small details matter.

such as the hand embroidery added to the trunk, years ago when this was started. Those tiny white flowers and thin green vines are not the first thing you see but I know they are there. 
You can see a bit of how the tiny squares come together to give a spring flower garden feel. 

I learned that some projects need resting time, and come out better than if you pushed to finish them all at once.

The color of the month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is red, and I like red in all it's variations. Last week I showed you a red scrap project started a year ago

and how I added to it with strips of tiny triangles sewn into flying geese. I am making a video of that for later... stay tuned. Anyway... I wanted to keep this in the red zone even though I like it on gray for the joining section area... it's a decision. 

I learned you just have to make a choice and move on, it can always be done many ways but it I let myself dither too long it will go back in the UFO pile. 

so I got busy and inserted that pinkish red fabric to join the sections...

see on the bottom of this picture. Then I just needed that precious hoarded striped fabric to go in it somewhere, so free form curves were used to stitch it on too. 

The pics do not do it justice, but trust me it's really pretty in person and the geese stand out.

as one does, I auditioned many fabrics, and decided this is a good layout, with the vintage hoffman red with wild metallic circles for the outside strips... then....

I wondered if it needed an accent of DARK red before that strip, or maybe an accent...

maybe not this shade of purple but a jolt of purple might make all the reds stand up and pay attention!

so it's all excitement and color in studio 1 this week. I have not neglected my watercolors just used my coloring calendar to play with blended colors this week. I realized I often put every color in!!

which led me to pull out my inktense pencils and color on fabric again. Once you dab on water and heat press it fades, boo!!! But this will become something betcha! Maybe a small machine side pin cushion to give away.
Linking with

myquiltinfatuation Thursdays



 scrap happy Saturdays

patchwork Sunday                    
oh Scrap Sundays 
 slow stitching Sundays


  1. The tumbler is awesome, Love those cute birds and how you are playing with your red scraps. This is right sometimes we have to make a decision and go for it or the UFO's pile will grow.

  2. Wow! There is so much beautiful work here. I am especially drawn to the spring bird quilt. You are right, some projects just need time, and other times we need to just make a decision and move on.

  3. Love your work! You are so creative and talented!

  4. I’m in love with those tumbling blocks! Grouping the colors was so smart!

  5. What lovely quilts. I made a tumbling blocks years ago but it was machine pieced. And the spring bird quilt is perfect in your family room. Nice to look ahead to spring and a beautiful summer.

  6. The tumbling blocks are so pretty! In my humble opinion, create your project as your heart and eye lead you. Your bird hanging quilt looks so springy and fresh. Nothing wrong at all with your photos to my eye. :)

  7. That RED piece is going to be gorgeous, LeeAnna!! Glad to see that the Tumbling Blocks are settling into place. Thanks for sharing the good news about the Spring banner. LOVE that it's now gracing the wall of your family room!

  8. Your tumbling blocks are gorgeous! I love the color harmony. Lovely red blocks too!
    Thank you for linking up today ;)

  9. Love the tumbling blocks! I recently came to the same conclusion that grouping colors can be more effective. And thanks for the video link - she’s great!

  10. So glad your tumblers have kept you off the streets and out of trouble this week. =) They are amazing! Oh yes, those reds are all the merrier with a splash of purple.

  11. The tumbling blocks pattern as well as water color quilts have been longtime favorites of mine. I only made one 12" quilt block once of the tumbling blocks and never a water color. I love the quilting in that one - it tells a whole nother story.

  12. Hi LeeAnna,
    Inspiration comes with time. That is so true for some projects.
    Love how your watercolour quilt, the bird spring piece, turned out !
    I am starting out with 5 inch sqares, light to dark, to try first.
    Wow! That red art and those tumbling blocks sure look good !

  13. What wonderful group of projects. I love them all. So nice to see the bird quilt finished and hanging up. The tumblers are coming along and the red piece is a great study in monotone.

  14. Your Tumbling Blocks are gorgeous and you have the eye for how to arrange them to be striking too. Love them! That bird quilt is also a beauty, LeeAnna. You bring such creativity to your quilted projects!

  15. Those blocks remind me of an Escher painting! So cool.

  16. Very vibrant play with color and thread and paint. Thanks for sharing.

  17. You are extremely talented! The tumbling blocks are fantastic. I love how the colors move around. The bird quilt makes me think of spring and how badly we all needed spring this year. LOVE the red strips project, so vibrant. Your Iguana makes me smile. Some years back we stayed in a timeshare out in Arizona and they had a large cement brightly painted Iguana that looked very similar to your water colors.
    Traveling Suitcase

  18. Love your watercolor tree scene, Leeanna. Such a lovely piece!!

  19. I love the spring bird wall hanging. It turned it so beautiful. Congratulations on the finish!

  20. I think you should rename Tumbling Blocks to " It kept me off the streets" ha ha !! I laughed at that!

  21. As always, so much inspiration. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  22. A lovely selection of projects, I did enjoy scrolling through looking at them all. Your bird quilt is delightful.