Sunday, January 29, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

Some assorted slow stitching will take place today.  I do love cross-stitch and there are some beautiful designs out there.  This one comes from Beehive Needleworks and is a pincushion with a separate needlekeep with two of my favorite things, Poinsettias and Pomegranates. I started this years ago and am determined to get it done soon.

Since this photo the bottom border stitching has been "crossed" and I started on the brown basket for the flowers.  I may end up framing this instead of stuffing it.

Also going under the needle will be stitching down the binding for my version of the Star-Crossed quilt from APQ April 2016 mag that I am making for DD Erica.  She has been getting impatient for me to finish.  I was stalled at the quilting stage as the front is a bright cream and the backing is a purple shot cotton with a gold overlay design that I didn't want to have white thread ruin.  Finally yesterday I was able to work out a smoke invisible thread in the bobbin and thicker top thread in white.  I made the final decision to abandon FMQ in favor of simply straight line grid quilting the remainder, having already done so in the chains.
I used the Hera marker to mark all the quilting lines and that worked perfectly.  The binding will go on in a few minutes and I'll get to hand sewing it down on the back.  Hmm, needs a label too!

Linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday's Orts--Road to California Edition

Tuesday's Orts:  Bits and pieces of thoughts and events that land here occasionally.  This one is about a trip to the Road to California Quilt Show in Ontario.
  • My sister Kathy is an information junkie and not afraid to ask for perks.  While I drove, Kathy joined the rewards program to the Four Points Sheraton I booked so she could ask for upgrades as soon as we arrived. It worked. Here's our view from the larger room we got along with late checkout:
Mount Baldy, San Gabriel Mountains
  •  We joined some fellow guild members at the Ontario Museum of Art on Friday where another member had a curated show of modern quilts based on traditional designs.  It was great fun and several us met for dinner afterward.  I neglected to get a single photo as I was enjoying it too much!
  • Saturday we spent at Road--it was very crowded early but we took a midday break at the hotel to check out and have lunch and by then the crowds had thinned some. 
The exhibit of mini quilts made from the 2016 Kona color of the year, Highlight, was fun.  Here's  Jacquie Gering of the MQG demonstrating some of her precise walking foot work on improv piecing.

As usual, my attention was split between traditional and modern.  Here's a beautiful large traditional applique quilt I loved:

I had a small gripe about misspellings and editing errors in some of the description cards--but that's because I spell for a living.
Favorite Art quilt
  • Kathy and I wandered around til closing at 6 pm and shopped and shopped.  Kathy was proactive all day asking for donations for our guild and many were generous, including the Steady Betty booth.  Late in the afternoon at one booth when the owner heard me say "Tri-Recs", she then demoed her trimming tool.  Kathy loves gadgets and was a very entertaining student while the owner coached her through the process.  We both came home with the V Block trimming tool.    I also found not one but two Hera marking tools, some Essex Linen in gray, and a very pretty wide backing for a quilt I want to send out.

  •  Traffic Rant:  Despite posted Freeway signs all along our route through LA saying "Slow Down and Save a Life", there was no shortage of drivers veering across multiple lanes at 80-85 mph weaving in and out of "slow" drivers going 70-75.  Sheesh.  Fortunately we made it home safely and before all the heavy rain began.  We'll be back for Road 2018!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Design Wall Monday--1/16/17

My Design Wall this MLK day is cleared of the UFO #3 pick--the Row Robin top is complete!

Here the blocks are laid out as a trial. I needed to trim the far left block a bit and managed to cut off the wrong side so had to add on to the bottom of the block, but that is the joy of Improv, no mistakes, just design opportunities ;)

It is a very bright quilt but I really like everything that is going on.  I added the bottom row of 1/2 log cabin blocks to show what I learned from my fellow Row Robin participants with their color play.  I also wanted the quilt to be a little longer.  It is approximately 50 x 65".

I pressed on yesterday with cutting and assembly of the backing. 

The backing fabric came from JoAnn's, naturally NOT on sale and NOT eligible for use with coupon, grrr.  I hunted all over the store for a Hera marker but despite their website showing my local store carried them, none were found.  Hobby Lobby didn't have them either, nor do any stores in town.  Sadly, we lost the other quilt shop in December, though the owner is still carrying on in her longarm quilting business, so that is a good thing.

For quilting inspiration, I spent some time yesterday with this book.  The author is large in the modern quilting world with her blog, tallgrass prairie studio and on the Board of Directors for the MQG.  A lot of her walking foot techniques involve use of painter's tape and intensive marking, but I'm inspired by her ideas and working out all the details to follow.  I have two weeks to get this sandwiched, quilted and bound.  Wish me luck!

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

Thursday, January 12, 2017

UFO 2017 Challenge Progress

Well, here it is, month nearly half gone and while I have pulled out the project chosen for the month (#3 is my Modern Row by Row Robin quilt), I haven't made much progress on this project that needs additional blocks made and attached to the top, backing, quilting, and binding.

Here's half of a half Log Cabin block to add to my unfinished quilt top.  These blocks go fast and with only 5 to do, should work up quickly.  I have looked through my stash and have no suitable backing fabric for this modern quilt.  I'll hunt locally first for a print I like.  It is a lap size quilt and I'll spray baste when the time comes.  Pondering what solid color I'll use for the binding--possibly black. Meanwhile, I did get another top completed for guild philanthropy. 


Not a great quality photo, which I stole from our guild Flickr feed.  The Houndstooth blocks are 9" finished so it is a nice sized lap quilt.  I'm passing it on for quilting and binding along with extra fabric.  This was not on the UFO list but was great to cross off my to-do list. 

In the after-Christmas sales I found this wooden tree kit at Target for $5.  My winter decor is pine cones and bears since there is no snow in our beach town. 

While the actual colors didn't match the package, and I changed the layout of the pieces a little, it is a nice chunky item with copper dots, sides, and back.  I did have an amusing time trying to get the provided twine through the holes in the assembly process.  I ended up using a cuticle stick to shove it along.

I've also been distracted by a new-to-me type of organizing, the bullet journal.  I was struck by the simplicity as well as the customization that only involves a notebook and ink. My mom gave me a blank journal for my birthday and I've dived in to the analog world of bullet journals. Making lists and notes and doodles has ever been my method but unstructured time my downfall.  I am grateful to have that as a problem!  I look forward to spending more time getting things done.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Design Wall Monday--First of 2017

Another Design Wall Monday, and I have been sewing.  My sister Kathy and I belong to the local Modern Quilt Guild, and recently she wanted to sew up the free Block of the Month designs available on the website.


This is two blocks of the December BOM design (Mod Z block).  Kathy had printed up the directions and templates but they turned out not to be correct scale, making the triangle squares undersized.  Fortunately, my Tri-Recs rulers worked perfectly in substitution.  I prefer rulers to templates any day!  Then the Kaufman Kona Color of the Year was announced (Pink Flamingo) and Kathy wanted to make a different colorway of the free blocks.  We met at Superbuzzy Friday night just before closing and purchased some yardage. She came over New Year's Eve and we played with fabric and thread. 

This is 4 blocks of the November BOM, "Robbing Pete".  I cut the templates and guided Kathy in cutting the pieces.  There was a little (well, a lot) of colorful euphemisms while Kathy was cutting and sewing up this fussy block, but I think she did a really good job, for someone who hates piecing.  Isn't that color pretty?  It is really more coral than pink and not pastel at all.

See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

I've spent a couple more hours putting away all the Christmas decor, including an amusing 15 minutes moving the upright piano to retrieve two brass bells that fell behind.  I had to pick them up with my toes to get them to where I could reach down and grab them.  Luckily we had put nice big sliders under the piano when we had baseboards installed in November. 

Here's a few ornaments that got put away yesterday.  Handmade, Hallmark, childhood creations of the kids, stained glass, guitars, Kangaroo from my trip to Australia, gold disco ball I got in our white elephant exchange at work this year, Polar bear with a fish, and that pickle.  I love variety!

Some very favorite walnut shell ornaments I've had for over 30 years, and the darling twin babies in a wooden wagon.  Love these so much.

Later I'll be stitching down the binding on this tablerunner I'm sending to my oldest friend and her husband, as a housewarming gift for their new townhome.  I'll show the rest once it's arrived at their new address.  

Judy picked for the first number for the 2017 UFO challenge and it is #3, which on my list is the Row Robin Quilt from guild.  
I plan to add another row of the Improv Log Cabin blocks to the opposite end of the top, and will probably do some kind of straight line quilting.  I just bought Jacquie Gehring's book called WALK, all about walking foot quilting in the modern style.