Thursday, October 31, 2013


My regular readers have already seen this quilt, but I am posting it again for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. 

I made this quilt top totally to have it for doing Free Motion Quilting on my domestic machine. I was taking a class on Craftsy that is taught by Leah Day.   The basic pattern for the quilt was in the class materials.  However, I made the color decisions and decided to finally make a  Roy G. Biv quilt.  Many of you know that bright happy colors are my passion. So the fact that I decided to use vivid colors was not a shock.   I side-stepped Leah's instruction to not use variegated thread because I wanted to tie the colors in the blocks in with the black sashing.
The stitching colors don't show in the pictures but up close it is delightful to see the colors mingle in the quilting.
I also carried the theme into the backing.  The backing qualifies as a "scrappy quilt"  since I did a pieced backing.
And as a last chance to add even more color,  I did a scrappy binding using the fabrics from the quilt also.
Thanks for stopping by.  Don't forget to visit the Festival. Just click the banner below.
You can see other Roy G. Biv quilts at this link. Voting in now in session.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Another Free Pieced Block

I have sewn another free pieced block to use for free motion quilting.  I think the areas in this will be fun to "doodle" on with my quilting. All of the pieces in this were trimmed from other pieces used in various quilts.  I love using my scraps as much as possible.
This block is 16 1/2 square so I will be trimming it down after it is quilted. I don't know which end will lose the piecing until after I quilt it.  What will be will be! That is the magic of sewing wild and free.

I did want to tell you that for October 30th and 31st Craftsy will be having a Halloween Flash Sale.
I hope you click the link and find a class that you love.  I am an affiliate so yes I do get a small commission if you click and sign up through my links.  The good part is that you still get the best price.  It is a win/win situation.   Happy Halloween!


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Little Weekend Work

"Unless the grain of wheat dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). 

Over the weekend, I spent time with some friends rather than sitting home and sewing or weaving.  
Saturday we went looking at potential retirement homes - found one that we like but it has an issue with "redemptive rights" as it is a foreclosure. It is also "in the city limits" which means permits for every little improvement.  Oh well! 
We also looked at a church building. I think that would be cool, but the main part of the building has a floor that slopes toward the pulpit area.  That would be a pain and costly to change. 

Sunday afternoon, after church, we had a get together on the mountain.  The invitation said, "bring an instrument if you have one, whether you play it or not." I love that idea.  Since I play the pennywhistle but only really know 3 tunes that I can play without music, I said "Let's Go!"   There was a bagpiper, a keyboardist, a cello,and  three whistlers.  One of the whistler's also played banjo and one played guitar - she also used the back of the guitar as a drum, which I found interesting. I was able to play along on several songs just making up harmony parts. Occasionally we sounded terrible, but sometimes we sounded pretty darn good. The important thing was the fun and fellowship. 

Now,  in the few hours I had to ply my trade, I did some free motion quilting and set up the loom and started weaving. 
I have a couple of pictures of the quilting to share. 
The unedited photo

with a spotlight filter added

I broke up the space and used several quilting ideas. The pink thread kept breaking when I was doing one design, so I did the middle section of that are with a different design. (improvise, improvise!) 
I put a warp on the loom to do a "mindless" weaving project as I need more pieces for the sale in November.  Those of you close enough to come by, it will be November 23rd at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Guntersville, Alabama from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.  I would love to see you there. 
Now the weaving pictures; first the on the loom picture showing the loom and the shuttle. The tension is slack as I don't leave it tight when I am not weaving as it can cause the warp threads to break or weaken. 
 Next is a close up of the weaving. you can see some of the warp threads at the top before they are woven.  You can also see the weave structure.  This is a rayon boucle yarn that I am doing in a tabby (plain) weave. I think this yarn makes a lovely plain cloth.  Rayon was originally made as an imitation silk. It is organic material, usually wood cellulose or cotton that has been treated to become soluble and then forced through a spinneret to make a silk like thread . Thus it has a lovely shine and is soft.  It also drapes well.
Most people think of rayon as a synthetic. However, it is really a semi-synthetic. 
Okay, so much for the weaving lesson. 

I have a couple of simple questions to ask you.  Have you ever read a book on creativity and the creative process?  Would you be interested in reading one if a quilter wrote one?  It would not be quilt specific, but would probably mention quilts and use some as examples. 

I need to add a reminder to check out the Quilt Angels project.  We will soon be into November, so there is still time to make a quilt to donate to this wonderful cause.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Foolishly posted "hate speech" comments will be swiftly removed.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival -Horse of a Different Color

The Blogger's Quilt Festival has begun and I am placing my quilt in the Art Quilt Category.
Horse of a Different Color
8 1/2" by 12 1/2"
This small art quilt was made when I was inspired by looking at quilt stencils. Quite often my brain jumps into "what if...." mode.  The background was made well over a year before this quilt was conceived. The background is woven and fused to a layer of batting.
I drew up the horse stencil and resized it until it fit on the background. I cut out the pieces from a piece of hand-dyed fabric with fusible on the back side.  Yes, some of those pieces are tiny!  When I was cutting the small pieces I realized that it would have been easier to work on a larger scale.
After fusing the pieces onto the background, I free-motion stitched each piece into place to add an outline, but also to further secure it.
The background is free motion quilted to loosely echo the horse. I bound this with a fused binding. A decorative stitch further secures the frame and adds color and dimension to the framing.
This piece is mounted on board with a "frame" piece behind it to hold it away from the wall.

Be sure to go to Amy's Creative Side and visit the Blogger's Quilt Festival for lots of eye candy and inspiration for your own quilts. Just click the banner below.  Or to see the Art Quilt category click HERE


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

After months in the "pile"

What a shock when I see that this quilt has been waiting since JUNE in the pile -waiting for a binding.
Part of the reason is that I was working on other things.  Another reason is that I wasn't sure what to use as binding fabric.  Finally on Sunday night I cut some pieces from various colors in the quilt and sewed them into a big block about as much as a yard of fabric.

Then I  took it to the cutting board and folded it - in that magic way - and cut bias binding.
Monday night I sewed on the binding in its multi colored glory.  The binding is a great reflection of the quilt although I left out the yellow and the green.  As it was I had leftover binding.
So here is the finished quilt in all its glory.
And of course I have to show the back - because it is really a reversible quilt.

And of course I have the obligatory close up of at least some of the quilting.
Each block of color has a different quilting pattern in it. Some are similar but I don't think any of them are the same.
Mark this one FINISHED!

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Are you Crafty? Could You Be More Craftsy?

For as long as I can remember I have loved making things.  From simple paper chains as a small child until a neighbor lady taught me to crochet, until I learned to use a sewing machine in high school, I have loved making things.  I love learning new ways to create.  I would bet that you do too.
I am an artist. There has been a long ongoing debate over what is art and what is craft.  I wonder, does it matter?   To me, it doesn't really matter.  As long as I can create in paint, fiber, fabric, clay or some other medium, I am happy.

So when Craftsy came along, I wondered "What is Craftsy?"   I took a class and learned that Craftsy is a learning platform that is really well done.  But then I took more classes.  I learned that Craftsy is a community. In fact, it is a worldwide community of people who love to create and learn new things.  The classes offered are online classes with well made streaming video.  The instructors will give feedback if you post a question or share an image of what you are making. I LOVE that.

I have made lots of things after learning techniques in Craftsy Classes.
Class Project- Hand Stitched Collage Quilts

From the free eBook in the course materials
The above pieces were made from the class and free eBook that is part of the course materials in Hand Stitched Collage Quilts taught by Laura Wasilowski.

The above pebbled feather is my design after watching Cindy Needham's class "Design It, Quilt It" Cindy teaches you basic designs and gives you the confidence to build on them and quilt your own designs. 

This is a portion of the back of a quilt that I quilted from the class "Free Motion Fillers Vol. 1" taught by Leah Day. As I recall there were FIFTY different designs taught in the class.

This is my piece that I call "String Theory" - it recently sold in an art gallery. (Yes that made me very happy!)  I made this as part of the class "Stupendous Stitching" taught by Carol Ann Waugh.  This is partly done with machine stitches and partly with hand stitching.

I have other classes that I am taking also.  The great part is that you can take these classes at your own speed.  There are no deadlines. If after a week, or a year, you want to watch it again as a refresher - or to master some detail that you just didn't quite get - you have the freedom to do it.  The classes are yours for life.  I have taken a class -live and in person - then gotten home and couldn't for the life of me remember how to do something.  Not an issue with Craftsy.  You have a renowned instructor in the convenience of your own home.  Yes you can take a class in your pajama pants and t-shirt, just like I do.

And here is the best part:  Craftsy has a Satisfaction Guarantee.
If you are not satisfied with your class, we will refund your fees within 30 days of purchase. 
-that is directly from the Craftsy website.   And yes, I have used it - but only once.  I wasn't happy with a class and filled out the online form.  I got a reply within a day or two (faster than I expected.) I was made a very happy camper.  
and don't forget that you can sign up and get FREE Classes! 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Finished - Black and White

Saturday I was able to finish weaving the black and white scarf.  It has not been wet finished but this will give you a good idea of how it looks.
The picture doesn't do justice to the shimmer of the metallics in both the black and white yarns.

I didn't accomplish anything else "craftwise" yesterday as a friend and her daughter were in from Montana and we spent the rest of the day together visiting and catching up.  I see my free-motion block lying on the table with the sewing machine waiting ever so patiently, but still calling my name.  No fear, it will get finished eventually.,

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Foolishly posted "hate speech" comments will be swiftly removed.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Another Block -and a Remembrance

Yesterday's post got a couple of comments that I took as great compliments. The block I made with my solid scraps apparently inspired a couple of you.  These comments came from readers who get the email version of my blog.  When someone tells me I inspired them, I am honored.  There is a part of me that is a "teacher" and if I teach someone or inspire them, it makes that part of me very happy. Your comments mean more than you know.
I couldn't resist starting another of these blocks.  I didn't get it big enough to square off yet.  That is okay as it lets me save scraps to built on it later.  Here is what I did.
There is one piece of fabric in there that is a print. but it works with the piece so I used it anyway.

A Remembrance
Today is Dad's birthday, October 18th.  He would have been 79 today.
Here is a picture of him that I painted/sketched.  I really sketched it first and then used that sketch to make a monochromatic painting that kept the sketchy feeling.
I have a few photographs of Dad also.
This is a family photo - notice Dad had on his cap.  It was rare to see him without a cap. The young one is my nephew. I am the weird looking one with the facial hair. Ha ha.
Here we are years ago. Dad, Mom, my baby brother, me and my sister.  Weren't we the fashion plates? But Dad didn't have on a cap in this one.
Dad with my adorably beautiful niece. 

Dad and Mom - a portrait of true love

Dad at a family reunion in 2008 (yes, he had a cap on again!) 
Happy Birthday Dad.  I miss you, but I know you are smiling down on us.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Big Block and a Work in Black and White

Monday night I spent some time  doing free-piecing with scraps from various other blocks.  I just kept going until I had this:
It measures just a tiny bit under 16 inches square.  I have no particular plan for it, but I am sure it will find a place in a quilt someday.

I have become addicted to  the show "Once Upon a Time" which I am watching on Netflix. I love a good fairytale and this show weaves them all together into a very interesting story. I am up to episode 20 of season one.  I believe there are two seasons on Netflix and that the 3rd season is currently airing.  However, I don't have cable, satellite or antenna reception so I can't watch television. That was a choice I made about a year ago. I have been quite  happy with that choice.  The money saved from the satellite bill is used for supplies. The time saved is used for sewing and weaving.

Speaking of weaving, I put a new start on the loom tonight (Wednesday.)  I am doing a scarf in black and white.  The black has a subtle glitter.  The white has a golden thread in the yarn.  I think this will be a lovely piece.   I am doing it in the same lace pattern as the gold scarf.  However, since it is a fuzzier yarn the look is a bit different.

I hope it turns out as lovely as I think it will.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Foolishly posted "hate speech" comments will be swiftly removed.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Scarves - on and off the loom

One of my kind readers asked to see the blue scarf that I made using the warp that I demonstrated a few days ago.  Interestingly, that scarf was finished pretty fast.
This is made with an acrylic yarn that is very soft.  I put some lace work at each end.   That inspired the next one I made.  It is a pale green rayon that has lots of shine.
Here it is draped over the loom.   I did the same lace type pattern along each long edge for this scarf.  Here is a close up. 
Doing this causes the plain weave to be looser. Thus the scarf is more like lace and is lighter.  
That inspired the one I am now working on. This is also rayon and is in a lovely gold tone. The shimmer on this is gorgeous.  
I did a two inch plain weave header at the beginning and will repeat it at the end for stability.  The rest is worked in the lace pattern.  It is a bit more work than the plain weave, but it is still quite meditative.  Here is a close up. 
It really looks like spun gold, don't you think? The color is actually called "Midas."  I can imagine this with a dark turquoise or burgundy or even black dress.  It would certainly accent those beautifully. 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Big Pieced Blocks - FMQ

After I played with the blocks for the Quilt as You Go quilt that I am slowly working on, I decided that I needed more blocks.  I had a few that I had added applique on as well as a few that are wholecloth.  So I decided to add the block I did last week as it is large enough (I haven't finished quilting it yet)

In keeping with the spirit of this block,  I did some blocks from large scraps and will be quilting them.  I finished quilting this one (The back is the solid, the front is pieced.)
 I have two others pieced.  One of them is layered and ready to quilt.
The other hasn't yet been ironed flat.
Both of these will be fun to quilt on as there are defined areas.  However, I may break some of the defined areas into sections with the stitching. Let's hope I actually finish this quilt in 2013.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Foolishly posted "hate speech" comments will be swiftly removed.