Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hippity Hop

. . .down the Bunny Trail!

Happy Easter!

Here's my Easter quilt. The rabbit was a pattern in a Piecemaker's calendar many years ago. I had to add baskets and eggs, because that's what the rabbit is all about. This was just about the first applique project I did (and finished!)

Here's a closeup of the bunny. I put in the dark purple egg for some contrast, and also had a dark purple basket, but I didn't think it worked real well. But I had already cut out the fabric behind the egg, so I couldn't take it off. I had to compromise with the embroidery on the egg to tone it down some. I did change the basket. I think the egg still sticks out. Oh well. Lesson learned! I always seem to be learning lessons with my quilting. *sigh*

Here's Dunkel, "helping" me take the picture. Maybe he's inspecting my stitches! Those of you who have cats and quilts have probably noticed that, somehow, cats always find the quilts that are available to be rested upon. They seem to have a 6th sense about it.
I won't be blogging for about 10 days. I'm hopping down the trail to California for a quilting retreat with my friends!
Happy Spring!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Real Antique and a Mola

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!

Last December we went to Seattle for the day, just for fun. The first stop we made was an Antique Shop in Pioneer Square. I found this chest of drawers and fell in love with it! It's not real big, as you can see from the phone on top. It's oak and from "the late 1800's". The drawer pulls are carved. This is the first piece of antique furniture that we've purchased, and it was a good deal - under $200!

Later that day, we found a shop at Pike Place Market called "Milagros" that specializes in Mexican folk-art. We found a table full of Molas, and found this one of hummingbirds for a resonable price. DH was stationed in Panama while he was in the army, which is where the Molas come from. To read more about molas, see here or here. This is the first (and so far, only) mola we own. They're becoming very expensive. When DH was in Panama many, many years ago, they were very cheap - under $10!! I think I will have it framed to display it, instead of putting it in a quilted wallhanging.

Here is a closeup so you can see the stitches. They're so small - it's just incredible workmanship! And I love the bright colors!

While I was photographing the chest, Shade had to come check out what I was doing. Since Dunkel got his picture in last time, this is Shade's turn. Mind you, it took a lot of bad photos to get a good one. He loves to move at the last second, so he's blurry in most of the pictures. The last picture was when he was "helping" me sew by wrinkling the fabric. He loves to help me!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Oldie But A Goodie

This is a doll quilt that I made about 10 or 15 years ago. It's a reproduction of an antique that I saw in "Miniature Quilts" magazine. (sorry, I don't remember which issue) The original was from the 1800's. This was as close as I could get to the original. I actually made two of these little quilts. I made 2 of each block, and the other quilt was sashed with double-pink fabrics and given to my sister, since she likes pink. (Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of hers.) I think the blocks are 4 inches square. I appliqued all the handles on the baskets while caring for my Mom after her heart surgery. I needed some sewing to do there, and I thought this wasn't too demanding. I don't do much applique because of arthritis in my hands, but this was soothing. And it gives this quilt good memories. I really enjoyed being able to care for her and the time we spent together.

For someone who has been trying to be careful to not buy too much fabric for the last year, I've gone kinda nuts lately! It just goes to show - I'm more of a fabric junkie than a quilter, I guess. I got the charm squares and then had to get some companion fabrics to be able to make something with them. They will be my project at the retreat I'm going to at the end of the month. The others are for various projects, except the witch undies fabric on the right and the blue/purple batik on the left. Those were just because I love them!

We went to Ikea last week and bought bookcases for fabric storage in the quilt studio. They are still in boxes and still in the garage. We did more "shopping" but no buying yet. Still trying to decide what to get, and working on the floor plan to see what fits where. I'm considering this for my sewing table. I saw it on Bonnie's blog. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

I got a good picture of Dunkel yesterday. He had to check out the fabric that I was photographing (see above). He wouldn't pose on the fabric and moved to the window seat. He was being very uncooperative - he really didn't want his picture taken and refused to look at me. That's why he looks kind of grumpy. But I got him anyway!

We saw the Blue Heron this morning, so it survived its encounter with the eagle. Yay!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Baby Quilts & an Eagle

I have been working on more Doodle Bugs, planning on a wallhanging this time. So far, all I've done is fuse and cut. No actual sewing occuring yet. I am ready for the final fuse, but nothing worthy of photos so far. I hope to have them ready to sew together in the next few days.

In the meantime, I thought I would share two of the quilts that I've made for my granddaughters.

This first quilt was made for my eldest GD, for when she was moved from the crib to a Big Girl Bed, due to arrival of GD#2. It's an Eye Spy quilt made from the patterns in the Picture Play book by Ami Simms. This was tons of fun to do! I've probably got enough pieces of fabric collected for another 10 quilts! All my friends gave me pieces of fabric and I used Berta's hand-dyed fabrics for the alternate squares. My wise friend K--- told me to mix up the pictures and have them going every which way. That was excellent advice because, in the process of sewing this together, I did manage to get things all jumbled up. But, because the images were already going in all directions, it didn't matter! She was so brilliant! Or maybe she just knows me. Hmmmm. And I highly recommend Ami's book if you want to make an Eye Spy quilt. Her patterns are great, and EASY. And the book comes with great templates for picking out and cutting your image.

I think, one of these days, I'm going to make a Quilter's Eye Spy quilt. I think it'll be fun to make and to use. Cuz you know it would be mine!

This second quilt was for GD#2 when she was born. I found this cute farm animal fabric, which also has the sounds the animals make (ie. "cluck, cluck, cluckkity cluck; moo, moo" etc.) Who doesn't teach their baby to make animal noises? We always did, so I thought this was great. And I loved all the bright colors. So, farm animals = barn, therefore Hole In The Barn Door blocks. I used all the colors in the quilt. It was really quite bold! Turns out, so is GD#2!

Today, while I was (yet again) at the grocery store, DH called me to tell me we had an eagle out in the back! The eagle dove at the pond trying to get one of the ducks on the pond, but missed. So then it went after the blue heron! Fortunately, DH got some photos. Unfortunately, it's hard to tell much from them. So I will just post the one that's the clearest. This is the eagle and the heron flying. DH thought it was a golden eagle, and he thinks the heron got away from it. Time will tell on that one. I think we only have one heron here at the pond. As you can tell, it was kind of a stormy day, but we did have some "sun breaks", which were nice. Yesterday we got above 60 degrees! Today, maybe 45 degrees. Spring is trying, but not quite yet.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Spring Is Showing Up

Nothing much fun going on here this week. Certainly not any quilting! We're working on income taxes and paying bills. Not very blog-worthy subjects. But, I have to say, moving makes it pretty difficult to find the important papers that you know must be somewhere! And I was being careful too.

We had sunshine for a few days this week, and I got out to look at the yard. We actually have evidence of Spring! The primroses are a trifle chewed by the slugs, but still a beautiful, vibrant color.

The crocus are starting to open, and the daffodills are getting buds on them! These are the bulbs that I actually got planted in the fall - the others are a little behind.

And this is the tiniest primrose I have ever seen! The whole plant is about 3 inches tall. I put my hand in the photo to show the scale. It's all the way across the yard from the house, and yet DH managed to see it from inside! Of course, he was using binoculars, but still . . . I wouldn't have been able to see it, I'm sure!
And, because this IS a quilting blog, here is the requisite quilt photo. It has the bonus of a cat in it as well. This is Hamlet, who is my daughter's cat. This photo was taken almost 2 years ago. He lives in Nevada now. (We miss him.)
If you look closely at the quilt, you can see that I was in the process of putting the binding on. I'd had the quilt folded and draped over the chair back, and Hamlet managed to crawl up inside the quilt and pull it down, so that he could lay in/on it. Clips and needles don't bother Hamlet!
This is my Bullseye quilt that I did all in dots. I'll show the whole quilt in another post. I need to take a good picture of it.
I hope Spring will soon be visiting everyone.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Doodle Bugs

As promised, here is my new little creation: The Doodle Bug! This came about through a doodle that DH drew for our granddaughers. It was a little exercise, kind of like looking for shapes in the clouds. He drew a full-page doodle, and when he looked, there was this cute little bug-like creature! All it needed was legs, antenna and eye.

I thought it would be really cute in fabric! Well, I used Heat 'n Bond Lite (all I could find), and then remembered that you need to sew down the edges. Rats! The little legs and antenna might be 1/4" wide - waaaayyy too small to do that (at least in my opinion). So, the first two Doodle bugs are on their own little quilts. I sewed down the middle of the legs and antenna, figuring they're never gonna get washed or worn if they're on the wall! I made a little 6 inch quilt and just quilted the outside edge. I tacked them to some black fabric that I then wrapped around an 8 inch stretched artists' canvas.

They are ready to hang on the wall and will go home with the girls on Monday! Now DH is making some Doodle bugs out of clay for yard art.

This is Doodle Bug #2. I'm not entirely happy with Doodle Bug #2. He's a little dark for the background he's on. That's why I added the gold dots - to help him show up more.
Now I'm going to try them in fabric again, with a better fusible that's no-sew. I'm gonna try Misty Fuse - I haven't used it before. I think I'll do a small wallhanging, and this time I'm thinking of using non-batik fabric - possibly polka dots.

This little quilt is my daughter's first or second quilt (I can't remember which). She was 18 when she paper-pieced the 4 inch stars, using fabrics that matched the valance and comforter on the futon in the computer room. I think it's excellent for a first attempt. She even quilted it herself! She's asked for it to come live at her house now. I think that's a good idea, but I wanted to show it before it leaves here for Nevada! It's actually more intense colors that what shows here. I don't know why it's so washed out.

Here is my attempt at Bonnie's Maverick Star block. This was a lot of fun and very easy. I'm thinking there will be more of these in my future! Thanks, Bonnie!

And speaking of Bonnie, here's the blocks that will be on their way to North Carolina for her "house-warming", thanks to Tonya at Lazy Gal Quilting. I made a wonky
house block for Bonnie, and am throwing in a few crumb blocks that I had made. I think the house is pretty funny, and I love the way it looks like the chickens are having an after-hours party!