Sunday, July 2, 2023

Quilting Odds and Ends

 Okay, so there are three quilts I want to talk about here. This is the first. It is the second one of the quilt tops I am working on quilting right now.

This quilt pattern is called Pivot, by Modern Handcraft. I fell in love with the pattern and I had this bundle of fat quarters so I decided to jump in and make it. I pieced it about a year ago and then it languished on a hanger in the closet. I am happy to say it is pin basted and is the next quilt I am going to quilt. Hope to start it this weekend.

This is the quilt I made from Sunday Morning Quilts. It is the High Five quilt. I quilted it very simply on the horizontal and the vertical lines. I needed a quick finish and I love it!
Some yardage was used and some scraps from my bins as well. I do love the colors in this quilt.

And we call this the Jon Snow quilt, since the backing is all white cats. N loves to use this quilt when she is here.

This quilt doesn't have a name yet. It is a 16 patch. I was sitting here looking at my pink and white checkerboard quilt one day, thinking I'd like to make another, but not quite the identical quilt.
My husband's baseball cap matches this quilt perfectly, don't you think?

I had the floral light green print, but not enough to make the whole quilt I wanted to make. I ordered some Kona ice frappe after checking my color card against the green print. When it arrived it was way too blue.

So I tried again and ordered Kona mint. It's a little hard to see here, but it's perfect actually. The ice frappe did not go to waste. I am using it for the back and for the binding.

The back is made, and when this quilt's turn comes up, I will quilt it up. I already know how I want to quilt it. Kind of. But this is number 4 and I am just getting ready to start number 2 so it will be awhile. I know I will love it when it's done.

Have a great 4th of July holiday.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Finishing Up Long term Projects

 I know that we all have UFOs in our closets. I have decided I need to stop making new tops and quilt up what I have here. So that's what I am doing. I decided to start with the smallest and work up to the largest.

I pieced this top last summer. I had been wanting to do some beach umbrellas for some time. I figured out the angles and rummaged through my stash. I had to buy some background fabric.
My daughter had given me a twin size flat sheet to use for a someday quilt back, and what's better with beach umbrellas than mermaids?
This was N's sheet and the bottom fitted sheet was old and very worn. I quilted wavy lines to mimic the ocean waves.
And of course I used one of my newest batch of woven labels. I got these from Dutch Label Shop.
These next few are close ups of some of the umbrellas in the quilt. You can also see the batik fabric I used for the background to mimic the sand.

N was here this week and saw this and she really loved it, so guess where it's going to live? She even remembered the sheet with the mermaids.

The other thing going on here is gardens full of flowers. So much is blooming right now. You can get local farm grown flowers at the farmer's market or I get some from my daughter's garden.

She grows tons of sunflowers. This is just a small representation . She has, I think, at least 6 or 7 different kinds of sunflowers.

And echinacea and zinnias too. Her garden is a profusion of color right now and it's beauty is so awesome.

That's it for now.

Friday, June 30, 2023

June is Almost Gone

 I have been so crazy busy that I haven't even thought about posting here. I have put a few pictures up on IG. But that's a quick way to do it. So here's a bit of my June for you:

We have been going to the local farmer's market on Saturday mornings. After market, we go to do the rest of our grocery shopping. It has been a great spring and early summer for fruits and veggies here.
Local Strawberries have been amazing. There's a small market near us that carries local stuff. They told me that their farmer does succession planting so their strawberry crop lasts longer. They are amazing.
I finished May for my temperature quilt. I am  half way through the June block. When I finish it, I will take a picture of all of the first 6 months together so you can see.
I learned how to grow cat grass for Jon Snow. As you can see, he loves it. It's pretty easy to grow as well.

And we celebrated B's 11th birthday with this luscious lemon cake. He loves all things sour, so this was his request. I used a lemon flavored whipped cream so I could control the sweetness. My family loves when I do that. A little sugar goes a long way.

I have a bunch more things to share with you, but I'm going to break it up into a few posts. Otherwise it's too much all at once.

See you soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Summer Weight Covers

 Since 2013 I have made 3 of these light weight blankets. In my previous posts, I always called them blank-o-lets, after my grandson's name for his special blanket when he was young.

This was my first light weight blanket. The fabric is a lawn that I got from Connecting Threads. This blanket was made in 2013. I used it for almost 2 years. The backing is white flannel and it is the perfect weight for summer, although I used it year round to wrap around my shoulders when I needed a little something, especially at night when I would get hot, and then cooled down again. Perfect weight.

See the blog post here for more detail.

Then, in December of 2014, just before my first surgery, I made a new one. The intended use was the same, I just wanted something different.

 And the reason I wanted something different was because this awesome print was available in flannel! I was so in love with this. So, again, I made the top out of light weight voile from Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voile. This blank-o-let comforted me for 8 years! I have slept with it every night and taken it everywhere with me for those eight years. But now she is getting thin. All the washing and snuggling is wearing her out. I did some repairs on her and was quite surprised to see how thin the flannel has become.

See this blog post for more detail.

So now, I found a really pretty fabric and it is not lawn or voile, but I loved it anyway. I used a yard and a half of the main print and a yard of the two coordinating prints to make this:

 This is one of those projects that I make up in my head and when it works out, it is so much better than I though it would be.

This is the main print. The line is Nocturnal by Gingiber for Moda fabrics. It is the coolest print and when I saw it, I couldn't resist. I knew that with the pink and mustard accent fabrics it would be perfect for a new light weight blank-o-let.

This is the selvedge of the fabrics. I got four of these little wordy pieces and saved them all. I put one on the bottom of the front side. I just love it.

And the backing is a well washed and used sheet that my daughter gave me, with the intended use of quilt backing. The fitted sheet was trashed, but the top sheet was in pretty good shape. This was a twin size. Now, this light weight blanket is a wee bit heavier because the fabric on top is heavier than lawn or voile. But, I am hoping it will last as long as the last one, which my husband has claimed as his own. It is a bit heavier than a sheet, and perfect for AC nights or even open window nights when it seems chilly by the early morning hours. As I said, I use it year round. I can't wait until it gets a few washings to soften it further. Oh, and I highly recommend that you prewash your fabrics to pre-shrink them. With no batting in between it matters. Ask me how I know. :)

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Getting Unstuck

 I have been stuck. Stuck trying to find a way forward with my sewing. I do understand that it comes and it goes and I'm not worried I will never sew again or anything weird like that. And I know why I'm stuck. Grief can do that to a person. I do have some days where I sew, and I enjoy it. Other days, I don't feel like doing anything at all. I have a couple of projects in process. One, I can't seem to muster any enthusiasm for right now, and that's okay. It's more of a winter looking quilt.

My temperature quilt is one I am slowly plodding along with. I at least update the charted temps every week or so. I know I will sew them up eventually. I did some last week and am now mostly caught up.

This is January and February. I have decided to do each month as a calendar page. Whenever there is extra space in the month, I will use a piece of fabric that represents the month. Here, January is white on white that looks like snow, and February is hearts.
This is March, which has shamrocks for St. Patrick's day. Can you see how the temperature colors are changing?

This is April. April showers are represented here. Now, each month has 5 horizontal rows, but because of the way things fell in April, the 30th was all alone in a sixth row. I checked the rest of the year and it was the only one like that. So, I opted to split the last block between the 29th and the 30th. I know they usually do this on a diagonal line, but the houses don't lend themselves to that. So I guess I am caught up for the first time on this project.

Then, I got a bee in my bonnet, unlike anything else recently. I started a new project and finished the quilt top in one week.

This is from the book, Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. One of my all time favorite quilt books. I go to it a lot for inspiration. This is the High Five quilt. Amanda Jean's version is totally scrappy and I do love the look of hers. But I used some scraps and some yardage that I was looking for a way to use. I also made it a few rows shorter that in the book. I am very happy with how it turned out and now I just have to find the energy to pin baste it so I can quilt it. This got me a little unstuck.

What really got me unstuck though, was this quilt.

I started this quilt two years ago. I made the top while living in California. My plan was to have it available to quilt when I moved home. I finally basted it, using thread basting, because I had thought to hand quilt with Perle Cotton and big stitches. Until two days ago, I stopped and started many times. I really wasn't into it and working on it was a struggle. You cannot do something you are not enjoying. 

I called on a friend of mine for help. I said I don't know what to do. She said she had only hand quilted one quilt in her life and that was one too many. That really struck me. I had hand quilted many quilts back in the day before I learned to quilt on my home machine. But hearing her say this freed me somehow.

I spent a couple of hours picking out all the hand quilting I had done. It was somehow satisfying to cut those stitches and pull the threads out.
I wanted, and needed a quick and easy finish. So I did an all-over large sort of stipple. Remember stipple quilting? It used to be so popular when we were all learning how to free motion quilt. I loved it!! The quilt is soft, and crinkly. It was enough.

I found a half yard cut from the same fabric line and did the binding. The entire process of quilting and binding took me about7-ish hours. I can't tell you how good it feels to have this one done! But I'm sure you know.

Have a great rest of your week.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Searching for Me

 I am once again home. I have been going between my daughter's house and mine for the last 2 1/2 months. We are done there, she is moved closer to us now. Hopefully the healing can truly begin. For me, that means finding my new normal...again. My sewing room waits for me. Quiet. Projects stopped in time. I am waiting for motivation to come to me. I am trying to be patient, knowing it will come.

While I was traveling back and forth, I carried hand projects with me. I had crochet and embroidery to work on as time permitted. Here is a little of what I worked on.

I'm sure many of you have seen these embroidery sheets from Lecien. They are available many places. Snuggly Monkey has them, although every time she gets them in stock, they sell out super fast.
These are the 100 Ladies. Each one is a line drawing that you can "dress" with embroidery. Or you could use colored pencils or fabric scraps.
For me, it remidns me of when I was young and we played with paper dolls all the time. I love deciding how to dress my ladies.
Each time I do one, it becomes my favorite one...until the next one comes along.
I usually pick out one of the ladies, and then I just look at her until inspiration strikes. Many times I start with color, but sometimes I have a style of dress in mind.
I have to say that so far, this one is my most favorite of all. She was just a line drawing with no dress shape at all. There are several of those.

So this is helping me keep creatively busy while I transition to my new normal. I have one other thing that keeps me busy.

This is Jon Snow. He is my daughter's cat and he is living with us for now. It took him about a week to acclimate here, but now, as you can tell, he is King of the castle.
And he likes to steal my chair. But he is sweet. And after two weeks we are getting used to each other. My last post that I made about quilting was January 12. I hope that the next time I am here in this space, I will be back to sewing again. Have a good week.