Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Checking In!

"THE Motherland" (I intend to keep the capitalization of THE as is), is about 90% completed.  I need to add the two borders and then it will be ready for quilting.  It is a BIG wall hanging---but I think I have the perfect wall.  I like this quilt, but am still undecided about the quilting---that will come though.

I also have been harvesting from my "garden".  I have never grown a yellow tomato, neither have I seen one in the store and this is my first one!

Isn't it pretty!  and it seems luscious!  So fresh!  I will let you know how it taste.  I also have a purple tomato plant and that one is beginning to turn purple!  Can't wait!

Well thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"A Whole Lot of Creating Going On"!!!

I am working really hard to finish this quilt.  Because I am trying to "match" colors---not really-- but I am trying to make sure the colors beside each other are  complements.  The process though, although not "matchy" is taking much longer than I anticipated.  I would like to have it completed by the August Guild meeting, so I have a "deadline".

I have named it "The Motherland".  All African fabrics and Lino's.  It is going to be large, but because of the type of fabrics, I really would like it to be a wall quilt.  It will really depend on the size though.  My home doesn't have a lot of wall space, so I may just fold it up and put it on the sofa as a "art object".  I'll see.  After the top is done, I will try it on a wall and see if I should add a border or just leave it as is.

The creative process though leads to "creative chaos"!!!  My "studio" looks horrible.  It is funny---it was the formal dining room.  I had french doors put in to separate it from the rest of the house and when I first moved in it seems like more than enough space.  Not anymore---with the longarm, bins of fabric (both scraps and bolts); batting; book shelves, and all the other "equipment" I need for my hobby---it really only holds one person at a time (a full size person anyway).  One of my grandchildren can come in when I am in---if they are small and younger than 12 :).  I am trying to figure out how I can take over the living room or better yet---the husband's "office" which he rarely uses anyway.  I already have taken over the closets for fabric storage (in addition to a part of the linen closet and one closet in my grandson's bedroom....I might as well finish the transition :).

 I  am not really sure if the pictures really show how chaotic it was, but I am almost positive that many quilters create in the same environment :)!  I have already started straightened up a bit since I am almost finished, in preparation for quilting this top!   

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great remainder of the week-end!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I hope everyone had a fun 4th of July.  Mine was pretty uneventful, given what usually happens.  This year, only a very small area in our yard caught fire (from innocent little sparklers) and we easily put it out  and a fountain tipped over and sent fireworks shooting at us (mainly me) as I sat in the driveway watching.  No injuries and no harm done!!!!!!

I love making desserts, and made a Salted Caramel Bread Pudding for dessert!  Too good!!!

I will definitely make this one again!

On the quilting front---I am still quilting my finished tops.  This is a picture of "African Abacus".  I need to complete the binding and sew it down by hand.  I decided to try a wide binding that finishes to the same width as the black sashing in the quilt.  It is a great look and really "ties" everything together.  I found a formula for insuring the correct cutting width (desired finished width x 4).

I used the " Egyptian Eye " board, but loaded the quilt on length wise so the design is vertical.  I like the look.  It actually mimics the shape of the quilt blocks but because it doesn't exactly line-up, it looks like a shadow I think.  I originally thought about lining it up with the blocks, but the dimensions are off and I was afraid it would look too messy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"I Believe....." is all quilted!!!!!

The orientation is all wrong---but you get the idea.  I literally JUST took the quilt off the frame and haven't even trimmed it yet in preparation for the binding.  I have a couple of "oops" places on my quilting---my DH says to stop pointing out errors all the time---but generally I am pleased with how it turned out!

Now on to the next one in line!  Have a great remainder of the day!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Current FAVORITE!!!

I am busy trying really hard to complete some of my UFO's for a special event.  I will let everyone know after I am absolutely sure it will happen.  In the meantime, I want to share my current favorite.  It is a quilt that I designed myself---really simple--nothing fancy.  I started it actually two years ago, but I put it aside---it was getting a little tedious with all the tracing and painting, so I needed a small break.   I picked it up a couple of weeks ago and started working on it exclusively, and finished it!

The center of the blocks are unbleached muslin and I have drawn (with the help of stencils) and painted in black ink various African symbols.  This was a very tedious process and it took a while for me to get the right ink...something that is a good color, but doesn't spread...fabric paints do not always work, ask me how I know.

The blocks are bordered in African fabric and I have added a African Scrap Piano border.  The sashing is Osnaburg (sp) also known as African Cloth/Linen since historically, it is said that this is what the slaves clothing was made from.  I added a really thin black border to "quiet" it before adding the border.  I am naming this quilt, "I believe.....", since each symbol means something special, and I chose them carefully and deliberately (once it is quilted I will post a better picture of the entire quilt.   I will also make a label that identifies the meaning of each symbol).  It is going to be a wall hanging (albeit a large one), so I am going to use very thin batting.  I think I will use my circle board since it seems circles are important in African history---at least this is what my research says...and everyone knows, if it is on the Internet, it has got to be true :)!

I like this quilt!  Well this is what I have been up to.  Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

One More Quilted!

I finished quilting the auction quilt.  I used the CL "Swirls" Board.  I think it turned out great.  The circles are a great contrast to the Hex's.  I had GREAT tension and only had to "un-quilt" one little spot where my stylus came out of the guide (I was busy watching TV and not paying attention).  I am going to bind it in a bright yellow 30's print.  Since I am going to keep the scalloped border on two sides, I will sew the binding on by machine, but sew it down by hand.  It is taking me a little while to complete putting the binding on because of all the mitered corners.  It isn't perfect, but I really think it will end up really nice since I can manipulate it easier when I sew the binding down.

I worked on another WIP and will try to finish at least one of my "yet to be finished projects" before I start anything else.  I also have two more tops that need to be quilted, including "African Abacus", so I have LOTS to do to get "caught up".

Have a great evening!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Busy Saturday!

I got up really early this morning--took my shower, and was drinking a cup of coffee in preparation for Guild Meeting.  Thank goodness one of the members called me and after talking, it was clear I had the wrong day---it is NEXT Saturday!  I don't know what is happening!  You would think I had just had a baby and had "placenta brain".  I think it is because I am having a little stress in my personal life and I am distracted a lot.  Anyway, since I was up, I decided to bind some quilts---all the more for Show and Tell next week.  I am getting pretty good at machine binding.  It is fast and perfect for quilts that will be used a lot!  I was able to bind three of them this morning!

One of the quilts that I put a binding on was one I quilted using the other new Circle Lord Board, Wanders.  I was not sure I really liked it at first, but it is growing on me.  There are more open un-quilted spaces.  I don't know why I feel this way since I have several panto's that leave spaces but I think the straight lines make it seem even more open.  It does however make for a soft quilt.  This is another lap size/child quilt.  I am not sure if I will donate this one either since it is nice to have this size available for covering cold feet or using when traveling.  I will wait and see.  I didn't use the high loft batting so you can't see the definition as well on this one as the other.  I think when I use the Board again, I will see how it does with a higher loft.  This would be a great pattern on a solid quilt too.  I think the "busyness" of this top makes the quilting get lost, but again, maybe that is what you want with a quilt like this.  At any rate it is done AND bound.

I pieced the back (a little) so you can see the pattern much better.  Everything from my stash!  It feels good to use what I have.

Have a great remainder of the week-end.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Good Day To Quilt!

I am trying to keep my promise and blog more----so here I am!

The other day I was minding my own business and surfing the web and quilting message boards.  On one of the boards, there was "talk" about a couple of new Circle Lord Boards.  I looked and of course, had to have them---so before you could say "No"----I had called Canada and was talking to Michael.  He is so very easy to work with---has a great sense of humor and within three days I had my new boards.

It is funny---I had been looking at a paper pantograph very much like the first one ("Wanders").  These are perfect for "modern" quilting (whatever that means) and according to feedback are easy to use---so I thought I would give them a try!

The first quilt is a top I have had for quite a while.  It is a large lap and is made from leftover strips.  The bottom quilt is the baby quilt I posted earlier.  Doesn't this quilting board  (Egyptian Eye) add great texture.  I quilted both of them today, so they are EASY to use.  Next I will load a quilt and use the other Board.

Thanks for stopping by!  I think I will quilt a couple more tops and then stop and finish the binding and work on some of my WIP's.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Busy Saturday!

Up early, trying to straighten up the house a little.  I find I feel less "guilty" if I at least attempt to straighten up one room.  My grandchildren were here, so they "willingly" straightened up a little.  I cleaned the kitchen (including moping the floor) and washed a couple of loads of clothes (currently on the pool table unfolded).  That was enough to alleviate any guilt I might have.  Down to my "studio" I went and completed a baby quilt.  I don't know what it is with me and baby quilts these days.  This one is for one of my daughter's employees.  This young lady is having a difficult time, is pregnant and has received a "not so good" diagnosis that will require a major surgery after the birth of her baby.  She is a single mom and doesn't have very much so----what does a quilter do (?)---make a quilt.  This one is the bigger of the two I am making and I am also going to make a couple of flannel receiving blankets and embroidery something cute on them.

The baby is a boy and I think these are bright, non-traditional colors  will work well.  I found some bright green flannel that will be the back.  These are all my hand dyes---I am using up ALL stash fabrics if I can.  I sent a picture to my daughter and she loves it!!!!   The white is 200 ct. bleached muslin.  I am not sure I really like it though---the "hand" isn't very soft, but I think it is fine for this small quilt.  I sent my son a picture and he asked that I make TWO for a friend that is having twins!  The key is the different contrasting tones of the fabric, so I will look for anther combination.   It makes me feel good to use my God-given talent to help someone else.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Time Does Fly!

I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted.  I can not really explain why---I have been busy, but I have found time to read other blogs, not sure why I haven't posted.  I don't know, mine seems so ----well---boring!  But I have to remind myself, it actually is a personal journal in a way---documenting my life at this time in history.  I don't have to be witty---just realistic I guess.

Anywhoo----I have been quilting!  I have completed quilting several quilts, and made several.  I have also planted my "crops" for this year----so--

These are my tomato plants.  Our oldest son came from Baltimore just to help me with my spring yard work!  How sweet is that!!!!  The grandbabies built the "wall" around the plants and this year we covered them with netting to keep those birds away.  Four plants--two red, one purple and one yellow tomatoes.  I don't have a picture of the "other" garden.  That holds two watermelon plants, squash and sweet potatoes.  Not sure why I am enjoying this---but I am.  Wonder if it has anything to do with living in the south and growing old---maybe with my grandchildren as well since I want them to understand that things do grow and don't just come out of packages.

 We also planted flowers and cleaned out the beds.  The above shows Sweet Coal inspecting the growth process.

On the quilting front----

I am determined to use up my stash.  Diane gave me lots of 30's scraps a couple of years ago.  They have been sitting in a box waiting for me to get some energy!  I purchased the GO! tumbler die and so proceeded to cut both large and small tumblers.  I originally was going to make a quilt using both sizes, but when I put a couple of rows together, I thought it looked too chaotic.  I decided to make a baby quilt from the small tumblers.  There isn't a baby I have in mind, but I will either donate it to the charity our Guild is supporting, or save it for later.  Eventually a baby will come along.

I agreed to make a quilt for the "silent auction" the school of nursing where I teach is having in conjunction with a fund raiser.  Again, I had some 30"s jelly rows that I have also had for years!  I really like 30's, but it isn't my first choice in fabrics right now (my first choice changes frequently).  I had an old magazine with a hexagon quilt pattern in it made from jelly rows.  The quilt below was the left overs.  You can see it is lots of "mix and match" blocks.  I also purchased the new GO! half hexagon die that is a perfect complement.  You might know this is a Jaybird pattern.  I love it when things come together making the process easier.  I didn't have to use the special ruler, or make a plastic template.  I wish other patterns would do this.  This is a baby quilt and like the other, I am not sure what I will do with it.   It is already quilted and only needs binding.

This is the quilt for the auction.  It is a large almost twin size.  I was trying to make something that would appeal to many, yet would not take forever for me to finish.  The quilt is not unisex, but is very female in appearance--but still hopefully will result in a good return.  I plan on leaving the edges scalloped to further add to it (at least I think so).

I have several more quilt tops that need to be quilted, and "dyeing season" has begun.  I purchased some dyes at AQS and plan on getting out and having fun with dyes.  I need to clean my corner though and so will need to get my  energy up a little more!

Well, no promises, but I will honestly try to blog more frequently.