Friday, February 28, 2014

Floral Friday

 Since I have nothing to show but more quilting on the Wonky Nines quilt. I decided to show instead a bit of art.  And since this is Friday, I decided to make it Floral Friday so I could use alliteration in the title.

First off I will show you a watercolor that I painted soon after taking a class on painting flowers in watercolor.
Glorious Red
While the painting is titled "Glorious Red" in truth the flower is a multitude of colors. There is obviously red, but there is also some orange and even hints of blue and purple in the blossom.  I used a photograph of a hibiscus that I had taken as my model for this painting.

Next I will show you a  small art piece I made by fusing hand dyed fabric pieces onto a fabric background.
 I chose the colors for the rose based on some roses that I had grown in my front yard. The rose was named Rio Samba.  It was not only lovely but also had a delightful fragrance.  Sadly one year it was weakened and did not survive the winter.

And finally a simple tulip that I pieced -I think it was paper pieced but I am not certain.
Happy Friday to you.  Bloom with joy and brighten the day of those you meet.

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quilting - free (motion) and easy

First let me give you an update.  I started using a CPAP machine recently.  While I am adapting to it, I have been a little less productive.  Such is life - we take what we get - and if we are wise - perhaps we make the best of it.  Now to the quilting part of this blog post.

Leah Day would be shocked!  The Wonky Nines quilt is finally being quilted.  However, I am being "free and easy" with it.   Yes, it is free motion quilting, but there is no great effort going into making fancy quilting shapes.
The reason  will show in this first picture where you can see some of the quilting on the front.
If you look carefully in the lower right of this picture, you will see the poly batting that someone swore he would never quilt with again.  (Tip - never say "never")   For this quilt I wanted a more "old school" look to the quilting.  I wanted the higher loft puffiness that this batting will give.  So-- that is what is going inside it.  My typical hairspray basting doesn't work for this stuff.  It just doesn't stick to the poly like it does to cotton batting. So I started pinning this section.  But I didn't  find a lot of pins - where did my safety pin container get hidden? 
You can see the puffy texture.  I love it on the back.
 These fabrics actually hide the quilting pretty well.  I hope you can see the textures.
 The parchment colored fabric shows the quilting lines a little better.
This purple has a dotted swirly line that really disguises the quilting lines.

Now I need to get back to the machine!

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

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Back Quilting

The Wonky Nines needed backing.  As you know I am not a "solid back" kind of guy.  So I did some back piecing yesterday.  I use some of my orphan blocks and test blocks this way.
Now, to  layer that third of the quilt and get it quilted - that is what I need to do. (well, maybe iron this first ha ha.)  Then there are two more sections. I could be at this for a while!

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

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cabin Fever

There was a great question at Lily Pad Quilting - What do you do when you have Cabin Fever?  She is also hosting a linky party so you can share your Cabin Fever ideas or creations.
As for me,  my newest favorite thing to do when I am stuck inside due to show and ice - which is when I really get cabin fever - is to get some weaving going.
First I have to get the loom set up with a warp.

Then I can actually weave with a quilt wrapped around me -as long as my arms are free.
And the end result is something like this:
or maybe this:
or even this:
It is so calm and peaceful for me to weave, that I forget all about being "trapped" inside.

Of course after the snow and ice - the South had a serious rebound and yesterday we had temperatures in the sixties and even hit 70 the day before (Fahrenheit)
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Play Time - Scraps Can Be Fun

Yes, Scraps can be fun.  Monday,  The Quilt Show debuted the latest episode.  One of my favorite scrap quilters was the guest.
Show 1404: Jump Start Your Creativity with 15 Minutes of Daily "Play"
Featuring: Victoria Findlay Wolfe
 I have been waiting for the episode since Victoria  first mentioned that she was going to film an episode.  She did a fantastic job.  So fantastic that I was inspired to sit and sew scraps.  The "fifteen minutes" turned into over an hour. I was just having fun. Here are the pieces of fabric that I made.

One of the things she mentioned was using orphan blocks or block elements to build on.  You can see in the bottom one how I did that. The right edge is part of a band I made to use in an early project.  I was surprised to find these pieces in a bag of scraps.  I used two different pieces of it.
The corner was chopped off of this so I used a pice that had been cut of elsewhere when squaring to fill in the corner.  See that little pieced bit above the rotary cutter?  I call that a quilt seed.  I sew little bits together and save them to build into larger pieces.  I can either sew more onto that or use it to fill in a hole on another piece.
Why not take your scraps and play? It is a great way to spark creative ideas. And check out Victoria's book, blog and Quilt Show* appearance for more ideas on how to play creatively with your scraps.
*You have to be a member to watch most episodes of The Quilt Show.

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

Scarf Completed

I have been busy with things that are not worth showing on my blog. And I did some more work on the Wonky 9-Patch quilt - but there is nothing new and exciting to show there.

What is good to show is the scarf  that is completed.  The request was for red and purple with just a bit of black.  My muse dictated a bit of white also. The white has a subtle glimmer of a gold thread in it.
Here is the completed scarf.

Since I put this on a white background, the white in the fringe is almost invisible, but it is there.  I learned a lot of new technique as I made this one. My selvedges aren't as straight as usual but it gives a nice soft look to the scarf.  This one makes me happy.

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

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Winning Streak

I have had a nice little winning streak lately.  They say that good things come in threes.  I have had three wins.  I have received the e-book but the others are on the way and I can hardly wait.

On Facebook, I am a fan of Hoffman California Fabrics.  You might want to like them too.  I was the first to comment so I was totally surprised to see this

A bundle of batiks?  Oh be still my heart.   I suspect the neighbors may have heard my happy noises.

Then I got this:

I won an e-book copy of Kitchen Stitches from Martingale's Blog.  I know (thru the internet anyway) two of the people who have projects in the book.  Yaay!

And Third came this:
Denise at "Count it all Joy"  picked me as a winner of a book called Shades of Mercy. I am an avid reader - I almost always have a book or two in progress.  I think Mom will enjoy this one also.

Thanks too all the wonderful folks who have sponsored these giveaways.

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

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Craftsy Sale for Valentines/Presidents Day

Save Big on Craftsy Courses!
Heads up Craftsy fans...This weekend only, it's your chance to get up to 50% off perfect matches (for Valentines Day, get it?!?) of 2 Craftsy online classes. You can bundle classes for a bigger discount! Act fast, the offer ends at 11pm PST on February 16, 2014.

Craftsy Perfect Match Flash Sale

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

If you aren't yet a Craftsy fan,  you should go over and find one of the free courses and try it. I am a big fan - I will only be an affiliate for something I use and believe in.
This save on two classes is a great deal.

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Weaving a Pattern

I know that I have been missing a couple of days.  Due to weather issues and planning, work has been a bit crazy.  I have been pretty tired when I got home, so I have been "lazy."
But we were delayed going into work this morning so I spent that time putting warp yarn on my loom.  Yes I am weaving another scarf.
The request was for purple and red with just a bit of black.  I took yarn samples for her to see and got it approved.   I had two purples and two reds - she chose from those.

I was trying to figure out how this would work out. I was looking at some weaving forums and saw something that made me go "HUH?  How did they do that???"  The weaving technique name was in the text.  I had never heard of it though.  So more research turned up a "how it's done" article.

The technique is called a clasped weft or and interlocked weft.  Of course I had to try it. The great thing is that for this scarf it provided the answer to my question.
Do you see the zig zaggy design in the center area?  Do you notice that the red is rather solid as is the purple? Those things are the "magic" in this technique. All of a sudden I see "art weaving" coming up next on my horizon.
Tomorrow is a snow day - i.e. we are off work due to weather as the South is about to get blasted with a type of winter weather that is uncommon here.  I will be weaving and if I get done, I may work on a quilt also.

Peace to you all.

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

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Weaving and Quilting

Saturday was nicely productive.  First let me  show you the latest piece on my loom.  Actually by the time I wrote this I had finished it, but I don't have a finish picture.
There is lots of color in this but it came out with a far more subtle look than I expected.  Seeing the black stripe sections, I would love to make one of only black and this warp yarn. It has an almost stained glass look.
The Wonky 9 Patch quilt is also coming along nicely.  The darker brown sashing is wonderful with the blocks. Here are two rows that are joined.  Those little white bits you see on each block are my markers.
Since I don't have a design wall, I just lay it out on the floor and then label the blocks so I know where each one goes.  The label is always at the top center - so I don't rotate the block accidentally.
For the entire quilt, I cut 2 1/4 yards of fabric into 2 1/2 inch strips. I was amazed that it will take most of it for sashing and the border.
When I am cutting strips, I sometimes just hang them on the chair back.
Then when I am cutting lots of them -and in various sizes - I like to stack and label them.
When the fabric was cut up there was  one long strip that was only 2" wide left. It is labeled also and left with the group.  And I will be doing this quilt in sections and joining it. I learned the method I use in Marguerita McManus' book Finish (Almost) Any Quilt. So you see two joining strips for the front of the quilt in this group. The odd "scrap" strips are there and labeled also - just in case I need an extra piece.
Here is one of the labels in a close-up.
Please ignore my sloppy writing, I have never had good handwriting.

The piece you saw above will have a top strip and end strips added.  Then it will be backed and quilted.  I will do each of the three sections and quilt them.  They will then be joined together and finally it will be bound and finished.  What I have learned, is that I can easily quilt a third of a queen sized quilt on my machine - and probably even half .  This makes it easier than wrestling the entire queen sized quilt for the entire quilting process.

P.S.    A commenter, mssewcrazy, asked a question.  She is a no-reply blogger so I cannot send her an email.  In answer to your question, I may consider selling my horse embroidery designs once I have what a complete set and convert them to  all of the common formats that are in typical sets for purchase.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Chocolate Brown

With the votes and comments, I decided on the fabric for sashing the wonky 9 patches. It should be noted that my readers are a very bad influence on me.
You see, black was recommended  a couple of times, as was "darker brown."   Then I got a postcard in the mail. My favorite fabric store was having a SALE.  (that dreaded word)  And I was out of town and going right by it. My car pulled in as if I had planned to go there.
I wondered around a bit, and found a brown mottled blender.  It is DARK chocolate brown.

It works well with all the blocks.  And I blame my readers for my failure to avoid buying fabric. That is my story and I will stick to it.
Have a great weekend.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Equestrian Stitches

The "Second Horse" from an earlier post didn't sew out well.  There were two areas that were a bit threadbare.   I took the file back to the drawing board and reworked it until I was satisfied.
(I am writing this on Thursday night, it will post very early Friday.)  Tonight I had some tasks to do, but I set up the embroidery machine with the files and hooped fabric and thread.  I started it and let it go while I did some other chores.  Such as winding yarn into "balls" which are really more like yarn "cakes."  The yarn pulls from the center and doesn't roll around the floor.  I am happy I invested in the yarn winder.
Yarn Ball Winder

Skeins re-wound into center pull balls
I also had some mundane chores...and some of those are still waiting for my attention.

But about those horses - They sewed out nicely.  Here is a "not so good" picture of them side by side for size comparison.  The small hoop is a 4" hoop. The larger is a 5" by 7" hoop.
Now, how about some good pictures of the individually?
Large horse

Smaller horse
I can't help it.  I love the horse embroideries I have been doing.   I plan to put them all together in a crazy quilt of embroidered horses. (unless I change my mind!)

My friend Barbara at Pineland Treasures  is having a giveaway of a lovely hat she knitted.  As cold as the weather has been - you may need one.  I wouldn't mind winning it myself, but I am telling you so you have a chance also.

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

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Horsin' Around

One more design for the "Year of the Horse"

I am having fun with the horses.  This one is rather stylized.  I still have one more designed that I need to sew out.  The question is : Will I be compelled to design more horse embroidery designs?

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

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


To pick the sashing for the Wonky Nine Patches,  I decided to audition some fabrics.   The easiest way (for me)  to do this is to lay out yardage and lay the blocks on top if it.

I started with silver gray:
It really doesn't do anything for me.  In fact I dislike it heartily.

So I did the cheerful yellow next:

I do like it much better than the silver, but I think it may be too much.

Next up was a nice sage green - this is one that I thought "why am I even auditioning this one."  I was planning to dislike it.

But like those geeky looking singing competition contestants that suddenly sing with fire and passion, it surprised me.  Not exactly fire and passion but I do like it.

Finally I had a chocolate brown.

This performed like I expected. Maybe it could stand to be a shade darker, but maybe it will work.

Okay!  You are the call-in I want your opinion.   Which do you think works best?  Do you have a better idea?  Don't say black, that is more intense than I want for this. And white is too light, I think.
So now Speak Up.  You can either fill out the poll on the left sidebar OR leave a comment.

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