Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sweet Puppy Block

There was a "blog hop" that I watched for the entire run.  I loved the Dog Gone Cute block but didn't know if I wanted to try it. When a friend asked me to make a baby quilt in neutrals, that was all the push I needed. I gathered fabrics in neutrals (just some scraps.) and I cut and sewed it.
How stinkin' cute is this!
I confess that the eyes are not according to the pattern, The eye on the left of the block was designed to be closer to the center. I made a mis .....errr I changed it, using artistic license. This iis the large block that finishes at 18 by 12 inches. There are cutting instructions also for a 9" by 6" small block.

Since the quilt is for a baby girl we decided not to use it. Instead, I need to find a bunny or a kitten-preferably a bunny.
I must say thanks to "Sew Fresh Quilts" for providing this pattern free on her blog.  There are actually eight different block options so you can make a whole litter of these.
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Friday, October 30, 2015

A Finish - The Wind Doth Blow

Just a quick update.  I have finished my art quilt, "The Wind Doth Blow."  Since I started this one in 2013, it only took two years and three months to finish it.
I decided to use a very narrow binding, so I sewed, rather than fused, this one. I love this piece so much I am not sure I can sell it.  But for the right price, yes I will sell it.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Wind Does Blow

As the remnants of Hurricane Patricia came through Alabama, the wind blew. On Monday night, I heard it howling fiercely.   I was fortunate to have no damage.  Then on Tuesday, there were still some stiff gusts of wind blowing.   I went looking for something in a stash of supplies and found a small quilt that needed a finish. The subject of the quilt is a windmill - hence the tie in with the weather. This is an art quilt that was started  some time back. To be precise in the spring of 2013.  In that post, I mentioned that it still wasn't finished. And, at the time I am writing this, it still isn't finished.   But I have made great progress on it. I have been quilting my way thru it and meditating on the process of creating art.

I know, I know...... you want to see it! Good!  I want to show it too. Neither of these pictures show the full image. I took these just to show off the quilting.
I am thrilled with the way the machine quilting is helping to enhance the hand stitching. It is also creating a lovely dimensional texture.  Here is a close up for you.
I still have three yellow tulips to quilt as well as all of the blue ones and all of the green leaves.  I also have the blades on the windmill yet to quilt. Then I can bind and mount this piece. When someone asks "How long did it take you to make this?"  I can truthfully say, "It was more than two years."  I don't really know how much time I have in this, but I am sure it has many hours of planning, cutting, fusing, hand stitching and finally machine quilting. It is roughly 17" by 18.5"  and made with hand dyed fabrics and lots and lots of thread both hand dyed and commercial.  The design is based heavily on a pattern in Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts by Laura Wasilowski.  The flowers, leaves and windmill blades are shibori dyed fabrics by Vicki Welsh.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Monday, October 26, 2015


After doing the woven backgrounds, I decided to try something else.  Could I do a circle?  The book where I learned the basic technique has some woven circle pieces in it. (and instructions that I probably should have followed - but I didn't)
I was just wanting to do this quickly to see how difficult it would be. So I fused two pieces of solid color fabric (not hand dyed - I don't want to waste those. )
Here is what I came up with.
I should have measured for cutting so that the rays going out from the center would be more even. I will call it a "semi-success" since it did work out.  I am not sure what I could use it for, but it reminds me of the psychedelic sixties. I mean, what I have seen in movies and on television (wink wink.)

Now what on earth can I use this particular piece for?  I am open to suggestions.

Maybe I should try a half circle!


Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cat Quilt -Woven Background

A few days ago,  started an art quilt background.  
 This is made by weaving fabric that is backed with fusible web.  I love the whimsical look that is achieved this way.   The fabric is a hand dyed gradient that I got from Vicki Welsh who sells on Etsy.
This particular piece of fabric was designed based on one of my paintings named Transcend.
The gradient was for sale in December of 2012, but is no longer in Vicki's shop, but there are lots of others available that are equally beautiful. However, if you ask nicely she would likely recreate this one for you. 
But, the story goes onward:  After making the background, I ended up flipping it on end so that it would accommodate the subject I decided upon.  It is still very much "in progress,"  but here is how it looks today. 
If you click this should enlarge to show the
quilting on the cat.
The cat is hand cut from a piece of fabric that I also got from Vicki.  It is a dark blue that is almost black.  The butterfly body is from the same fabric and the wings are from a piece of Vicki's shibori dyed fabric.  

I was embellishing the butterfly with two different metallic threads through the eye of the needle in my machine.   My machine did not like it at all and I had to spend some "quality" time with the seam ripper and a bright light. I finally got it all out. I will try again with a different thread -maybe even a metallic thread.  After I finish the butterfly I will need to quilt this even more than it is quilted now.  Then I will add a binding and attach the entire piece to an artist canvas for display. 

*********So many ideas, so little time. ***********

Have a creative week, y'all. 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

He is Up to Something

Ha ha.  That title should not surprise you.  I am always up to something.  I have projects going all of the time.  Today, I have a crockpot full of cabbage stew cooking. It smells delicious.  I used ground turkey as the meat in this batch.  I often use purchased Italian meatballs that I cut in half -mmm. The ground turkey was on sale, so I couldn't resist.

The rest of the cabbage (2/3rds of a large head) went into the my first attempt at making sauerkraut.  I read several recipes; watched several videos on youtube and thought about it for some time. It certainly sounded easy enough.  And, if it works as promised, it is really easy - although a bit messy. I have this jar setting in the laundry room (I did all the laundry this morning.)  It needs a place where it will not be disturbed and does not get sunlight. Most of the time my laundry room is pretty dark.
In one of the videos that I watched, the man who was demonstrating used a food storage bag filled with salty water to act as the airlock.  I thought it was a great idea - and certainly simpler than making an airlock lid.  The reason for salt water is this: If the bag leaks, it will not dilute the brine.  My kraut is simply cabbage and salt.  The liquid in the jar is the brine created by breaking down the cabbage.
After making this batch, I did even more research (or squirrel chasing as the case may be) and found this website Make Sauerkraut.  I have added her blog to my reading list.  But after reading more, now I want to make another batch of kraut -or more. I saw so many variations on kraut that all sound good to me.  There is a lot of information on the internet about eating fermented foods.

I also am working on a costume piece for the local community theatre - but I won't show that in case any local readers attend that show.  (I am NOT in this one- I just didn't have time.)

And I also have a mini-quilt that I have started but can't show - well okay, just a sneak peek.
I am trying Heat 'N Bond light as the fusible for this one. It is made by Thermoweb.  I really like it so far. In fact, I decided to become an affiliate for them.  So, if you click on the banner and make a purchase I should get a small dividend.

I really had no clue about the myriad of product that they make until I joined the program.  I really want to try the iCraft Deco Foil. It can be used on fabric and/or paper.  So it is also good for scrapbooking, card making or whatever else you come up with.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Past meets the Present - time goes by

Today was quite and adventure for me.  Another blogger, Lynn at Alamosa Quilter,  introduced me to her mother - by email.  Lynn's mother, Nancy, invited me to a quilt guild meeting in Birmingham (a little over an hour away from home.)  The big temptation for me was the planned program - A speaker, Irene Latham, whose subject "Stitching Our Stories: Bringing Gee's Bend  Quilts to 21st Century Families" intrigued me.

Some of you who are longtime readers will remember that in April of 2013, I took a workshop with a couple of the Gee's Bend Quilters.  What a week that was!  So of course I was very interested. Here is where my quick reading kicked in.  I didn't fully read the flyer, I went on the title.  I am so glad that I did.  You see, Irene Latham is a fiction writer.  She has won awards for two children's fiction books. That would have been fine.  I happen to love children's books.  But I was expecting a different type of program.
As Irene talked about doing the research, meeting the quilters, and going to Gee's Bend - memories flooded my mind. She mentioned hearing the ladies sing. I confess that my eyes got quite wet and needed wiping.   I remember hearing these two ladies, that I am so happily standing between,  singing while we sewed.
Mary Ann and China Pettway
from Gee's Bend
I remember singing along with them and sewing my heart out.   As Irene spoke about the history and the fictionalized story that she wrote, I realized that I missed a great opportunity to ask these ladies about their personal histories.  But,  I did learn of the joy and love in their hearts and that is priceless.

At the guild meeting, I was approached by a lady who told me that she recognized me from this blog!  She was so nice, she said "You look younger in person."  (I may not believe it, but it surely made me smile.)
I also enjoyed the "show and tell" that is a part of most guild meetings. I took some pictures of quilts, but as I did not ask permission to post them, I will simply keep them for my own enjoyment.

I should mention that Irene Latham''s book is "Leaving Gee's Bend" and her website is at

In other news - ha ha - the warp that I dyed back in July was put on my loom this past weekend.
Since I like to try doing new things,  I decided to split this warp and turn part of it the opposite direction.  Good news!  It worked out just fine. Here is the warp after dyeing - and while it was still wet, so the colors look darker than they really are.
That "red" is really a pink now that it is dry.
Here is a photo of it on the loom- shown from the back of the loom:
You can see that the left third is the yellow from one end.  While the blue and pink are from the opposite end.

I am having a great time weaving this fabric.  It looks like springtime is here already.
I love the way the warp and weft threads combine in color to create visual blends. I have no idea what this fabric will become- but it will be lovely even if I just hang it over a window.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

More Batik/Neutral Quilt Blocks

My playful, what if? muse came to play and I made more quilt blocks.  I feel like the "quilt piecing" switch has been turned on.  Ha ha.  So I added some blocks to the group and used the bonus pieces to make more blocks also.
A bit of interior sashing made the bonus pieces large enough to make more blocks. I even got to use the "oops cut" pieces.
As I sewed a thought came in my head:  What if I sewed the turnover triangles together (making half square triangle blocks) and then used them for corners????
So I tried it.
It makes a block that looks a bit more complex but it actually easy to piece.  And of course it made more bonus pieces.
There are four that are large enough to make a block that doesn't need the "interior sashing."  But the other four are too small so they will probably get the sashing treatment.

While doing this, I am starting to really enjoy using neutrals. The turnover pieces are Nocturne by Janet Clare. While the others are from a layer cake of Chic Neutrals by Amy Ellis.  I my have to buy some yardage in neutral prints- just because they play so well with bright colors.

If you did not see the update on the Quilt Angels - please read it here.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Quilt Angel Update

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this.   I found out today that the Ogden House youth facility is being closed. Due to state budget issues and lack of funding the facility will not be able to remain open.

At this time the board of directors is desperately seeking funding to allow this much needed service to continue. Although with the poor state budget, it is uncertain at this time.

We are hoping that some type of funding will be made available to reopen Ogden House as we know that there are still youth who need the facility.    But until that time comes, we are suspending the quilt angel program.

I do thank all of you for the love and concern you have shown.  I am sure that this same love and concern is a part of your daily life.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Pointless Quilt Block Sewing

The title is a bit of a pun.  I made several more of the "square in a square" blocks. But I have decided to go a bit "folksy" with it. I am cutting the blocks down to nine inches square and loosing all of the points.  The "quilt police" insist that your points be "perfect."  Ha! So I decided to make my blocks pointless. I used more layer cake squares and some turnover pieces.  But some of the layer cake squares were cut into fourths to cover corners.
Okay, I admit it. I am playing and just having fun with it.  I started quilting to have fun.  So here are my fun squares and the "bonus" pieces
I have five squares and ten "bonus" pieces.  Yikes!  the bonus pieces have points?  I will have to solve that problem. Ha ha...I already have a plan.

Oh and if you are "doing the math" and wondering about the number of bonus pieces - two of them aren't shown as I don't know if I will use them.  They had "oops" cuts made on them.  Of course, with the "plan" I may still be able to use them.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Blocks -and a Trip around the Sun

My blogging has been somewhat sporadic lately.  My life has been busy - but fun.  I am truly enjoying my retirement years. While I have had to learn to live on less, I am enjoying the adventure.

This week I made several blocks of the "Sort of Square in a Square."  These were made with stash fabrics by cutting smaller squares to put in the corners and sew on the diagonal. I am letting these be somewhat free form.  All of the "squares" in the center are not square. I think it looks more interesting this way.
These are not trimmed yet....and I could lose some points. But remember - free form - it is okay. There is the one I started with added to this mix (lower left) I used the leftovers from the corners to make bonus squares and got the very bottom square. And I have a few more bonus squares.
Notice the oddness on the top two?  That happens when making the square in square this way. I consider it a bit more visually interesting.

I also celebrated another "trip around the sun" - also known as a birthday.  I have a friend who is a traditional weaver, spinner and Saori freestyle weaver.  On her traditional loom, she makes these amazing rainbow dish towels.  After looking (and lusting) for many months, I decided to get one for my birthday.
These are nicely sized. Mine measures 27" by 15 34/" 
I am considering using it as a table scarf rather than as a towel.  I am messy in the kitchen and would hate to mess it up.  Since it is cotton, if I had to (gasp) bleach it out, the colors would fade or possibly be lost. And if you are lusting too...her shop is HERE. Right now there are none of these in stock but I know she has some on her loom.  So use the "convo" thing on Etsy to let her know you are interested.

And finally,  I bought myself two classes on Craftsy for my birthday.  I got an email about a sale on "anything in your wish list" for $19.99 or less.   Imagine my shock when I found two that I wanted for only $9.99 each.  So I am "Improving my Knitting" and learning "Tunisian Crochet"
Sadly the sale is over, but I decided I do suggest that you go over and start a wish list on the site.  Hopefully, you will get a special sale on your birthday too.
Full Disclosure:  I am a Craftsy affiliate and using these links to purchase classes may result in compensation to me.  That said, I do love most of the Craftsy classes I have taken.  And if you ever buy a class you find disappointing, Craftsy has a money-back guarantee that I have used in the past.
Remember, learning helps to keep your brain active. So it is a great thing to do.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.