Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Lazy Blogger Strikes Again . . .

There is a little bit of all kinds of things in this blog post. I have no rhyme or reason to this today.  This is to disguise the fact that little actual sewing/quilting has occurred in this vicinity lately.  In my defense, I was dutifully visiting as many blogs as possible for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  We won't talk about all the hours I've wasted on Facebook or Pinterest, OK? 

Isn't this a fun scrappy Double Irish Chain?  I don't think I've ever seen a scrappy one like this!  Donna brought this to share at our little sewing get-together a few weeks ago.  This is a quilt that her grandmother made for her and is the reason she's a quilter today.  

It's hard to tell in the photos, but the background of this is a very pale pink.  The scraps are pieces of family clothing, etc.  I love the lime-y green!  And I like that the pink is not so strong that it competes with the other fabrics.  Not sure how much this has faded over the years, though.

There are some fun fabrics in this quilt!

Here is Dunkel "helping" me with a project that I had laid out.  He always wants to get under the fabric but just ends up wadding it up.  More on this one later.

Here is the word I made for Carol of Giraffe Dreams blog, who is making a quilt of verbs to celebrate her 60th birthday.   It took me about 3 tries to get going on this, as I'm out of practice.  I'm still not completely happy with the C or the R, both of which could be a little bigger, but all in all, I like it.  I used a batik for the hot pink, because it was bright and has dots!

Here is Dunkel, again, helping you get an idea of how big this turned out.  He's such a helpful kitty!

Here is the lovely flower I found in my yard last week.  I hate having these in my lawn, but they are really pretty.  So far, this is about all the flowers I've managed this spring.  It's raining too much to get out and do much yard work.  I don't know if that is good or bad, but it sure makes it easier to be in the quilt studio without guilt!

When I was taking out the trash tonight, I found we had some visitors in our driveway.  They were enjoying the big puddle near when this shot was taken. (I thought you'd probably enjoy seeing their cute little ducky faces rather than their tail feathers!)  I have no idea why they've wandered away from their usual hangout at the lake.  I think they were looking for a hand-out.  They waddled over pretty fast when I "quacked" at them!  LOL

And here they are leaving after our photo shoot - heading away from the lake! And because I was taking pictures of the ducks instead of putting out the garbage cans, I missed my window of opportunity, so to speak, and got drenched when it started raining right after this!  Some days ya just gotta laugh!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hometown U.S.A.

Whoo hoo!  The Blogger's Quilt Festival is on again.  There are so many new blogs to visit and gorgeous quilts to view.  I hope you'll take some time to visit them.  And a huge Thank You to Amy for putting on this fun on-line quilt show!

I would LOVE to read your comments, but due to wanting to visit as many entrants as possible this week, I won't be answering comments.  However,  I will gladly visit your blog and leave a comment for you!  Thank you for understanding.

This is my second entry in the Festival.  You can see my other entry here.  Strangely enough, both of my entries are log cabins and challenge quilts!  This quilt is entered in the "Wallhanging" category.

Hometown U.S.A.
18 inches by 25 inches
This quilt was made for a Log Cabin challenge in my guild in California.  We had a specific size requirement to meet.  This pattern was in a Country Threads quilt book, and if I reduced the dimensions of the project in the book by half, it would be the exact correct size.

These logs finish at 1 inch.  I did not paper piece this.  Really, it was easy enough that I didn't need too.  I picked out my blue fabrics and the off-white fabrics, cut them into 1 1/2 inch strips and put each set into a paper bag.  As I pieced, I simply pulled a blue strip from it's bag or an off-white from it's bag and sewed it on.  My only "rule" was that I couldn't put the same fabric touching itself anywhere in the quilt.  I believe I managed that, but I really haven't looked that closely since I made this! *grin*

It's all pieced except for the chimneys and windows on the houses, which are fused on. Oh, and the star on the flag is fused, as well.

When I quilted this, I made sure that I stitched through all the fused elements just to make sure that they would stay put.

I even carried the patriotic theme onto the back!  This quilt hangs in my guest room, which I decorated in a red, white & blue patriotic theme.  

Surprisingly, even though the log cabin block is one of my all-time favorites, I have yet to make a log cabin quilt that is big enough to snuggle with!  

I would be honored if you would vote for my Hometown U.S.A. quilt in the "Wallhanging" category.  Thank you!


It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival again.  I think it's so fun to visit new and familiar blogs, meet new people and see great quilts!  Thank you, Amy, for hosting this once again.  Grab your favorite beverage and settle in for some super "quilt time" as you visit all the entrants.  And don't forget to vote for your favorite quilt!

I would love to read your comments (I LOVE comments!), but owing to wanting to visit as many entrants as possible, I won't be answering comments this time.  But I will gladly visit your blog and leave a comment for you!  I hope you understand.

I'm going to share a quilt that has been done for a couple of years, so I apologize to my regular readers for any boring repetitiveness.  Please bear with me.  I've entered this quilt in the Two Color Quilt category.  You can see my other entry in the Quilt Festival by going here.

Touch of Black: A Study in Minimalism
30 inches by 38 inches
This wallhanging is an original design, inspired by the works of Yoshiko Jenzenji.  I had seen photos of quilts by Yoshiko on various sites on the internet and was quite intrigued by what she was doing.  (This link takes you to her site, which is in Japanese.  However, there are quite a few images of her work, which don't need translation.)  I decided to challenge myself to see if I could get the same effect.

detail 1

I didn't know at the time that I first saw her work that Yoshiko had come out with her own line of fabrics.   I decided to just use some of my graphic black & white fabrics that I had been stockpiling.  (AKA "The Stash")  So, lots of white fabric with a few fussy-cut black & white pieces.

detail 2

This quilt was also going to be my challenge quilt for my guild that year, and we were suppose to do log cabins, which were perfect for this  self-challenge.  You can read more about my process here.  My log cabins aren't perfect and I didn't win anything in the challenge competition, but this is still one of my favorite quilts.  I still love the not-so-straight-line quilting that I did on this quilt.  It doesn't distract your eye from the black graphic elements.  This quilt just makes me happy when I look at it, which is a success in my book!

detail 3

As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of making another one!  Maybe the next one will be in black with white accents.  Hmmmm.....  I still have lots of black & white strips cut.

I would be honored if you would vote for my quilt for your favorite in the Two Color Quilt category.  Thank you!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Not Quite Done?

Well, I don't have much to say for my long absence, except that April was a very busy month!  I can't believe it's been a month since I posted!

I did manage to squeeze in a little sewing.  Firstly, I got my Low Volume quilt top assembled.  And I love it! I started this way back here and here in November last year.  (Oh, it only took me 6 months! Yay!)

I have one small problem though.  I really think it needs a border.  I'd planned to do this quilt without a border, but I think the machine quilting could distort my piecing on the edge of the quilt, so a border will help alleviate that.  I think.  If you have any thoughts on this, please share them with me.

The big problem is . . . I don't feel like cutting any more fabric for this.  I was really hoping this was DONE, and I'm disappointed that the quilt is telling me it wants a border.  Now I'm planning on doing more of the low volume fabrics for a chunky, scrappy border, and the idea of getting all the fabric out again and cutting it just makes me come to a screeching halt.  Ugh.  Absolutely no motivation.

Well, I don't think the "cutting elves" are going to come to my rescue so, if I want this truly finished, I'll have to bite the bullet, clean off the cutting table and start pulling my fabrics and cutting.  *sigh*

I think my quilting mojo has left the building!  I wonder . . . if I clean the quilt studio, do you think I might find it in there?  I'd rather sew than clean, but I guess it's time to just do it.

I can't believe I did this whole top without having to buy any fabric!  I guess that's why I have a stash.  *Grin!*  Many of these fabrics are old friends from the scrap bin.  And the scrap bin is still full, somehow.  Must have "fluffed" it!  hee hee!

I even put some of my hand-dyed fabrics in here, scattered about the top.  See that piece in the lower-left corner that is pink-ish next to the "blah" fabric?  That is one of the hand-dyes. You should see the back of that piece - it's bright, not pastel!  The white-on-white fabric toned down the color and it works as a pastel.

This is my lone bird I did for the Block Lotto in April.  I got a bunch of fabrics ready to make more birdies, but never got it done. Unfortunately, I forgot to post this photo over at the Lotto, so I wasn't in the drawing at all.  After all that trash-talking I did to Joe Tulips about how I was gonna win, too!  She managed to make a whole flock of birds for herself, as well as for the Block Lotto.  Maybe I'll do better this month.

my camellia, about 2 weeks ago

The last weekend of April I went down to the California Bay Area to visit my friends and attend their quilt retreat.  I hadn't been there in 4 years, and it was so great to go!  We had a blast!  I'll try to do another post that shows all the great quilts that everyone had.  I even got something done and another top almost done.

Here's a fun "test" to see how Left-brained/Right-brained and creative you are.  I got 43% Left-brained and 57% Right-brained!  Have fun with it!  Wishing you a creative week!