Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In the garden...

The light was so beautiful last evening that I just had to grab my camera and take some photos out in the garden. There's a large fire north of us in Santa Barbara county that's producing lots of smoke in the air, which makes for lovely color as the sun sets. 

Hydrangea's are always fun to photograph and I sorely need the practice. It's been ages since I photographed anything sheerly for the fun of it. I feel like I've forgotten more than I knew! :)

The following three photos were taken in the back part of the yard and in deep shade.

I pruned all of my hydrangeas way back last fall - perhaps too far - since they didn't grow much in size this spring. But there are lots and lots of colorful blooms, that's for sure! One of my favorite flowers. The only thing better would be being able to grow Peonies!! :)

Take care,

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday fun!

It's Tuesday and that means my quilting group meeting. I didn't take much to work on today so I helped Katie draw/cut freezer paper templates for her orange peel blocks. She only needs 60 more and the ones she's already done are gorgeous. Of course, I didn't think to take pics of them. :) She's making them with Kaffe fabrics so you can imagine how great they are.

But, I did take pics of Jane's NY Beauty block starts.

This one, below, is my favorite so far...

She's making enough blocks for two wall-hanging sized quilts... one for a daughter's new apartment and the other one is for a church auction. She's generous that way!

I always enjoy seeing what's going on with my quilting friends.

Take care,

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Six years in the making... and it's finished! - #10

Yippee!! I finished my NY Beauty quilt on 7/28/16... only six years after starting it.

I loved making this quilt since it was a first in so many ways. I tried paper piecing for the first time... I found free blocks online (here) and printed them off onto bond paper. And, at first, it was a real struggle to wrap my head around how to paper piece since it seemed as though I was wasting a huge amount of fabric! :) But, I got over that and with practice, I came to quite like paper piecing. I also used some batiks and a lot of my own hand-dyed fabrics - something I've not done before this quilt although I have a huge stash of batiks and quite a lot of my own hand-dyed fabrics.

As you can see, I quilted it using organically straight lines about 1/2 inch apart since I wanted a more modern look than these quilts are known for having. I agonized for quite some time trying to decide how to quilt it, but kept coming back to the straight, vertical lines. Even as I started it, I wasn't sure it was the right choice. But, I love the way it looks so I'm happy I went with my instincts. And, it's the 10th WIP I'm able to cross of my list for 2016... I'm on a roll!

Progress shots along the way are here, here, here, and here!

When I showed it to my husband he said, "Wow... that's a work of art!" That made my day!

I've finally caught up posting finished projects and from now on, I hope to keep them in order! It got confusing (even to me and I knew what I was doing)!

Take care,

Monday, August 08, 2016

Six!! The Zenith Quilt

This quilt is the Zenith Quilt Pattern by Stephanie Prescott and it's an easy quilt to make using 60 degree half rectangles. I tried an experiment with this quilt, trying to use fabrics that didn't seem all that compatible with each other since I'm trying to expand my ability to combine interesting (and not just pretty) fabrics.  I'm really pleased with the end result. Please excuse the crease/fold down the middle of the quilt that's from having it folded tightly. It will disappear with use. As you all already know, I'm enjoying being able to count up my completed projects and cross them off my ever-growing (it seems like) UFO/WIP list! This is number six.

The quilting is the same as what I did for the Scrap Vomit, and the Many Trips Around the World quilts... wavy horizontal lines. I love the feel that it gives the quilt and it's super simple to quilt.

And, this is the backing...

When I was taking the photographs outside, I noticed that the quilt is much more vibrant because of the beautiful outdoor light. I'll have to make sure I use it/keep it in a room with lots of bright, natural light. Hubby was commenting that the minute we decided to go out and take photos, the wind started to blow. He's right... it did, but it was a nice, cool breeze so we thought it was worth it! :)

Take care,

Saturday, August 06, 2016

It's Saturday and I'm just playing around...

Hubby and I worked in the garden for a couple of hours today... repotting, planting, weeding, pruning, and watering. I love those simple chores that give so much satisfaction in addition to rewarding me with a beautiful garden.

Now I'm just playing around at Big Huge Labs. I forgot how much fun can be had there! :)

Hope you had a great Saturday too!

Take care,

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Circle of Illusion WIP - what to do with it?

This is the next WIP I think I want to work on, but I don't really have a clue what to do with it. A lot of the finished Circle of Illusion quilts use this as the center medallion, and I would prefer not to do that if I can think of something else to do.  We'll see...

I got online and found a photo of our class, showing how much/how little we each accomplished in class. We're the sixth photo down the page and you can see that I didn't get very far. I never do get much done in any class I've taken, because I'm usually trying to absorb what we're being told/shown. I get the basics and then I can finish up at home.

I pulled some fabrics and another one of my WIPs and started playing around a bit, but a good idea still hasn't popped into my head yet.

If you have any suggestions/ideas for me in regards to getting this finished, I would love to hear them! :)

Take care,

Monday, August 01, 2016

~ Five ~ Scrap Vomit Quilt!!

I started this quilt in February 2014 and by September 2014 the top was completed. It was one of my Tuesday and Thursday quilt class projects, which is one of the reasons that it took me so long to get it done. I then basted it/got it ready to quilt and put in on the top of the UFO stack and that's where it's been ever since. I finished it on 5/17/16.

If you are interested in seeing progress shots, they are here and here.

Take care,

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Halloween! (#'s 7 & 8)

Two more UFO/WIP projects finished a couple of weeks ago, and with plenty of time to spare since they are both for Halloween.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this Which Witches Boot (a Crabapple Hill pattern) quilt. I tried embroidering with perle cotton for the first time and I'm sold... it's so easy and is such a nice finish. It didn't take long at all to complete the embroidery panel. And, since orange peels are one of my favorite blocks to make, this border was a joy to make and it also went together pretty quickly. One of my goals with this little quilt/wall-hanging was to make it look like Halloween without using any obviously Halloween fabrics and I think I succeeded. However, for the backing I did use a great black with white Halloween print (see below) which was perfect! This is my seventh finish for the year!

The wonderful backing fabric...

The Halloween pillow that follows (number eight - yippee!!) was made from a length of fabric, purchased at Material Girl Fabrics in Redmond, Oregon, that contained two different panels. What a great little shop that is, and with a wonderful selection of fabrics! I loved spending time (and $$) there!

I started by quilting both panels - the usual way - using a lightweight cotton fabric (I use older quilting fabrics that I'm not in love with anymore since they won't show anyway) as a backing, then batting and the panel. That creates a nice, quilted texture that's not too flimsy for a pillow. The finished pillow ended up at 20" and I put a zipper on the bottom seam so it won't be visible when it's on a sofa or chair.

Since we don't have children and we don't see our niece and nephew very often (and miss them terribly), we sometimes feel that we miss out on the fun/spirit of the holidays. I'm trying to remedy that with this quilt top and pillow. Hopefully, it will feel a lot more like Halloween this year!

Take care,

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Convergence wall hanging - nine!

I can't even remember when I completed this Convergence quilt top, but it was probably around 2003/2004. I've got two completed Convergence wall-hangings that I alternate hanging in my sewing room and while I still like them, I'm ready for something else on my walls... now to figure out what that is! :)

Anyway, in my quest to complete more UFOs/WIPs, I "dug" this out of my pile and decided it was the next project I wanted to complete. Easy, actually, since it was already a top. I tried and tried to think of ways to work with it... de-construct it? embellish it? cut it apart and make it a part of something else? Well, I could not settle on any idea that clicked for me, so the next best thing was just to finish it. And, I did that last Tuesday (7/19/16)!!

I decided to try a different way of quilting it and I am loving the way it looks. It works well for a wall-hanging as it makes the quilt somewhat "rigid" and it was easy/fun to do and quick too!. I'm finding myself attracted to the more "modern" styles of quilting these days. Isn't it great that quilting never gets boring since there are always new ideas and new techniques coming along that keep it fun and interesting!!

This is my ninth finish for 2016 and I'm posting it out of order, since it's the first one I've been able to get photographed. I've been surprised at how much motivation keeping a list and crossing off finished projects has given me. Now I have to decide what to do next.

I'm probably going to put this into my etsy shop, but until I get it there, you are welcome to email me if you think you might be interested in it.

Take care,