Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Big Reveal

Do not adjust your monitor, yes, I have had my blog revamped.  So not only is that being revealed today, so it my secret sewing project.

Here's the story.  I saw a project posted on Bumble Beans site back in the fall.  In January, Carol, from Fabrics Etc and I were tossing around ideas and I remembered how fun Vic's project was. We wandered and pondered and ended up with dots instead of stripes.  I emailed Vic to find out a few details of her piece and she informed me she was sworn to secrecy because it was being published.  Great for her, not for me.  We loved it so much, I went ahead and made my own version, but I promised I would not publish any pictures or hang the piece up until the magazine went live!

Well, check out your AP and Q June edition.  Here it is, and if you are in Bellingham, or close by, I'm going to be teaching this project on Sat. April 27th at Fabric Etc.

Victoria went wild with stripes, and I am calling my version, Dotty Dresdens.  This is a fun project, and the dotted fabric was a border print.  I was able to use the center of the yardage for the backgrounds, so nothing went to waste on this.  Oh and how I'm loving Vic's new fabric line, it too, has a glorious border print that would be fabulous for this same design.

So I hope you enjoy my version, I've been busting to share it with you all.  I never would have chose these fabrics but now that it's finished, I LOVE the green and grey combo.  The colors give a fresh twist to an old pattern. But be warned, use of a Dresden template can become addictive.

The daffodils are blooming, my miniature tulips are busting out, the cherry trees are bursting into a riot of color.  Enjoy your Easter weekend,

ps, is my blog too busy with the sides done with a quilt?  Please let me know, as everyone's monitor will look a little different.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Stitch a Day.....

That's what it takes to turn a project into a flimsy! 9 blocks are complete, and I loved working on this project. I think the pieced background really adds interest. Here is the center block of this top.
I love this block, the flower was fun to quilt and I am pleased with all the designs used in this project.
My other favorite block, are you seeing a pattern here??
Love the paisley in the center of this flower, I used a little of these for some leaves as well.
The birds, what can I say.  Such a simple design and yet, there they are, birds. But do you think they should be sitting up or hanging on the side?  *see below pics*
Which way is up? 
I kind of like this way, with the big flower blocks on the top and bottom in the middle. The pattern is shown like this, and I guess birds do hang in strange positions in the real world.
There is a 3 1/2 " cream border and a dark green print for the binding.  Borders are on, binding is made.  This finishes at 60 x 60 with the blocks being 18".

This BOM was gifted to me and I learned a lot about my processes, from this and from my JT2.  I started the stitching on my trip to AZ at Christmas and made great headway. Then it was back to reality, a pesky 8 - 4:30 day job, customer quilts and life. What worked was to keep focused. I packed the blocks with me to work, where I might only get one leaf stitched on my lunch. But it was one piece closer to finished. Having all the blocks prepped also made a huge difference, there wasn't any bouncing back and forth, it was always ready to go.

Now this goes in the line up for machine quilting, I will start prepping my next applique project and I'm going to start on my Sacawigia Sampler. There are 4 or 5 blocks of applique in this project so it will satisfy both the hand and machine work for awhile.

......and I continue to rock the needle on my BTCT

Take a few stitches this week, it's better than Prozac!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cover Your Ears...

I took advantage of a fellow bloggers weak moment, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! I sent this off a week ago....
I'm sure you were wondering what that noise was on Friday night, it was me, squealing with delight as I opened up an envelop from my mailbox.  Look what goodness Brandie sent me back!
Have you been following along on her obsession with zipper bags? She challenged us by saying, "I bet you can't make just one" and I replied that I'd like her to make my "one"  That's the slippery slope she fell down.  *vbg*
With my carrying on about the treasure that I just released from the mail,  my friend, a non quilter, was confused at how this was making me so happy!
And that was before I saw this in the bag. 
It's the cutest thing and I NEVER would have even attempted to make this, but I'm so happy Brandie did. I love it. How I will treasure this thimble holder. I can't wait to go to stitch group and show this off and brag about Brandie and her beautiful work.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, quilters are the BEST!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

60 Minutes

I got two little packets of these squares, one blue and cream, the other, red and cream. These would be one more thing cluttering my sewing room, so I decided to work with them right away and make two little quilts.

Now that the blue one was together, hand quilting will be my prefered stitch for this little piece. I pondered straight lines on the border, my "go to" design, and then thought, Cables! OK, so how to get a cable design on the border?

Get out a handful of acrylic templates and give it a whirl. Flop!

 Look through all my stencils, none fit. Per usual.

Pull out this book with step by step directions and get the perfect double cable drawn all by my own hands. Beautiful. One of the things Gwen writes about is living on an island and needing to "figure it out". 

She shares so much of her findings, and truly, in the time it took me with all the other ideas, I could have had it done from scratch.

One hour, simply not enough time to play once you get going on something.

If you don't have this book, look for it.  It's invaluable in your sewing room.  This process made me realize how an artist really does need the time to work through things, try new ideas, abandon some along the way, and have success.  This cable session took about 1 hour, and honestly, I enjoyed every second of it.  I could have played for the whole afternoon, but yard work was calling me.

The biggest lesson?  When I need a design to fit a space, draw it myself.  Now to sneak this project into the hand quilting line up, in between my BTCT.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

Have you been over the Squash House lately?  Did you all see Candice renovated?  Well, I loved it and I'm doing the same thing. Well, I'm not doing it myself, kind of like people who "quilt by check", I'm revamping my blog by check. PayPal. Honestly, I tried to update my blog one time and panicked because I thought I lost everything.  So change is in the wind here at Grass Roots.

This weekend I started a few new projects, I know, but what the hey!  This one started with 4 squares 36 x 36 and lots of bias stems. I'm doing them Gwens way, so I've basted down the middle, and will machine stitch them to the backgrounds.
 I'm getting really close to showing you 9 blocks of Joy of Life, and yes, there are only 9 in this one!
 Although it was Applique day on Sat, Jan brought her Abundance blocks to show, yes, plural.
 She couldn't stop at just one, aren't they so cute.  This is the block from Humble Quilts.  Way to go Lori, enable complete strangers via blogland.  :-)
We did some sharing on bias stem methods, oh my, one quilter brought bias stems that seemed at thin as DMC thread.   Very impressive.  I also missed a photo op of C's fantastic Farmers Wife quilt, all finished and bound, it was amazing.  This is such a great group to belong to. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Big Little Purchase

This is the second piece I've been able to purchase from the AAQI fundraiser.  It's really special because I got a 2 for 1 on this piece.

Kathie from Inspired by Antique Quilts did the piecing, then sent it off to Lori at Humble Quilts for the quilting, binding, and triangles on the back.
What's to not love about it? It's reds and creams, it's hand quilted, the money goes to a very good cause, it helped Lori get to her goal,

and it fits perfectly on my little stand.  If you click on it, you will see an amazing selection of fabrics, I love every one of them.
I'd say this was a win, win, any way you slice it!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On the Horizon

It's been well over a year ago when I purchased a tower of FQ's from Minick & Simpsons line Clermont Farms. Then my friend Louise and I fell down the hole of this pattern.  I love the funky red horses, the mix of techniques and of course, all the red in this quilt.

I purchased a few cuts from their new collection of creams and blues to add into the mix, but it still needed some punching up.

Now I've got these 6 more reds to add into the mix and I'm ready to start.  As soon as I finish a few other things.
What's on your list of projects you want to start?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Do Over

The story of this quilt goes back quite a few years. The pattern is Vintage Moments by Marsha McClosky (sp?) and I'm not sure if the fabrics were from a kit or her own choosing. Regardless, it's gorgeous.
The piecing was done and the top was sent off to a longarm quilter. The quilt returned with an all over meander panto. If you click on the photos, you might be able to see all the stitching lines.
The quilt was entered in a local show, one that has some pretty good competition, and it was chosen as viewers choice.
The owner of the quilt realized how this top would shine with custom quilting. She spent a long time reverse quilting this top, it's 88 x 88 so there was a lot of time invested in this project.

I've spent a few hours on it so far, it's going to have a lot of S.I.D., feathers, and cross hatching. Here's what I have so far.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Feb Update BTCT

Well, Feb was a short month, but I did get more hand stitching done on my BTCT. I was sidetracked with piecing two other projects, but they are now finished.

Progress to report:
8 blocks are completely outlined. Huge accomplishment as this is where most of my time and energy is being focused.

Once the blocks are outlined, the grid work is what shines.  I've tried to stitch a line or two at the end of my sessions, so it's a slow process.

Now that it's got some quilting on it, the tank is getting easier to handle.  It still weighs the same, it's just denser and easier to handle.  I am committed to staying focused on this project, and now that we are going to have longer evenings, I can get in the yard for an hour after work and still have some time to rock the needle.

What are you staying focused on?


Monday, March 4, 2013

Workshop Sample

This is such a cute sampler quilt from Yellow Creek Quilt Patterns , and the pattern has a lot of techniques and methods in it. I thought it would be a great Saturday Sampler workshop.
I'm working out the list of techniques that will be taught, then we will pick a start date and run it for 6 months at Fabric Etc in Bellingham, WA. It will be a learning class, rather than a 'make and take' class. When I teach, my focus in on techniques, tips, time savers, etc. All things that will carry over into all your future work.

Wouldn't this section make a cute little quilt, this section finishes at appox. 16 x 24.

I've been getting my secret sewing project bound and it needs a sleeve.  Yes, I got the label and the sleeve on the donation quilt.  I'm also trying to clean out clutter and to need what I have and in the process I found a label that belongs on another quilt I did in 2004. It had been removed as requested by a show at some point in time.  I guess they didn't realize we could cover up the label with a piece of muslin(?)  My Girlfriends quilt  (pansys) has been trimmed, and I've pinned the binding to one side, getting it ready, and I'm working on a customers custom quilt  that is 88 x 88  It has lots of S.I.D. so pictures will be kind of boring for a while.
Anyways.........I guess what I'm saying is "I've been busy with stuff that isn't blog worthy"!