Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day and Night quilt progress

After my class at Guthrie's Fabrics about a week-and-a-half ago, I didn't make any more of my Day and Night blocks for a few days. After a while, the guilt began to nag at me ( I swear I could hear the fabric calling my name in the night!), so I pulled it all out and began cutting strips once more. After sewing strips together, I cut them, using Eleanor Burns's hand-dandy triangle template (it comes with the book). These triangles are then sewn together into quarter-blocks like those below. 

At this point, I start matching seams. This block looks so complicated but it is a breeze! I have always steered clear of using templates because of the fabric waste, but these blocks go together so easily and look so great, that it's worth it to overcome my phobia. : )

I sewed eight blocks into two rows of four. I then tried to take a picture of the result. I got Callie's belly. I moved Callie, got glared at, and tried again.  

The picture below shows two rows of three (actually, two rows of parts of three blocks). The quilt's going to be interesting when it's all done. Certainly busy, but I really like it! You know I like bright colors!

But, of course, all good things must come to an end. Sinnie found my accent fabric on a nice, warm ironing board.

*What? Were you using this?*
 It takes very little time for Sinnie to decide to ignore me and get comfortable.

And even less time to fall soundly asleep. Well, at least I got some bocks finished before he showed up. I'll try again tonight.

We finally got some rain in my little corner of the world. The zinnias in Mom's garden appreciated it. So did the beautiful little butterfly that refused to be budged from his flowers!

I took these photos with my camera (of course), so I realize the last photo is fuzzy, but just because the butterfly refused to leave the garden didn't mean he cooperated by actually holding still!

We are expecting to get more rain thanks to the remains of the hurricane in Louisiana, so maybe my own garden will revive a little. Let's just hope we don't flood!

Until later,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Raffle Quilt!

I'm having to rest my elbow for a while, so I don't have any more of my own quilting to show you today, but I wanted to share our beautiful raffle quilt that Q.U.I.L.T. quilt guild will be raffling off the second week of April 2013. Isn't it gorgeous? I'm going to go broke buying tickets for myself! ; )

This quilt was designed by our ever talented Mikki Stone and made by Mikki Stone and Kay Jump. They did a fabulous job. Not only that, they both loved the pattern so much that they each made a quilt for themselves. Now THAT'S a lot of little baskets!

I'll catch up on my own quilting as soon as I can use my arm again.

Until then,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Some work done on next owl.

I've started - slowly - on my next owl.  I'm starting to have a little bit of trouble with my elbow when I sew, so I think I'm going to have to slow down my appliqueing for a while. I'm hoping to get this done in time to enter it into the Q.U.I.L.T. guild's quilt show next spring. I have eight more owls to go, including the one below that I have just started.

You can see the this little guy's plumage is going to be much quieter than his neighbor's I want them to look as different as possible. But now that I'm looking at Mr. Colorful in this photo, I'm wondering if I've made his eyes too calm and light colored. I was trying to calm him down a little, but I may have gone overboard! He's looking a little stoned. Oh dear! I guess I'll wait until I have both of his neighbors in and then see how he looks before I decide if I'm going to do any tearing out and replacing.

I haven't chosen the fabrics/colors yet for the owl on Mr. Colorful's left. I'll work on that when I get home today.

I also want to work some more on my Day and Night quilt this weekend. I have two blocks made from the class the other day. Now I'm excited to make more. If you didn't see my block earlier this week, here is a picture of it. I can't wait to get more of them sewn so that I can see how they'll look together!

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it, we had a great speaker last night at our Q.U.I.L.T. guild meeting -- Jenifer Dick, who is a modern quilter. We are an almost universally traditional group of quilters, so we rarely see modern quilts in the style she uses. It was quite refreshing to see something here that I usually only get to see on some of your blogs. : )

Well, I'm off to finish my first full week back at work with students.

Until later,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yes, I know. Even MORE new fabric...

Yes, I know. I REALLY don't need any more fabric. But (with a whine in my voice) it was so pretty! While we were at Guthrie's Fabrics Saturday for our class, Mom and I had to stop in to the shop and look at the fabric. And pet the fabric. And buy the fabric. Following are the pieces I got. Aren't they lovely?

The fabric above is actually a lovely green. It's hard to get a good picture of it because of the fairy dust sheen.

Ahhh, there's my fabric fix. Now on to owl progress.

I gave my most recent, and most colorful, owl some more bright color with lime green as the first of four layers for his eyes. My, he's looking bright!

To calm him down a little, I added very pale green as the next layer. My photo wouldn't transfer, so I can't show you that step, but here he is with three layers. I thought a pale blue next would continue to help calm down some of the wild colors. I think it helps.

One more layer of black pupils, and this little fellow will be done. I have his neighbor all ready do go. I've chosen very sedate colors for him so that our eyes get a bit of a rest.

I'll probably finish this guy tonight and get started on one of his two neighbors. These are going much faster than I thought they would!

Until later,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hello! How have you been? Butch has been worried about you. (Just imagine that your face has been licked in greeting; my camera was.)     : )

Sinnie has been sitting in his favorite seat watching all of the bustling back and forth today. All of that sewing equipment out - all of that sewing equipment back in. What on Earth could Mama be up to? Well, you may remember that I told you yesterday that Mom and I would be going to a Day and Night sewing class at Guthrie's Fabric in Colcord, OK, today. We did, and it was tremendous fun! I made three new quilting friends, including a mother and son duo! How fun - two mother and child combos in one small class.

Okay, I promised to show you the fabrics that I chose for my quilt. I needed three fabrics for this quilt, so I, of course, narrowed it down to eight. Sigh. Decisions are not one of my strengths. Mom affirmed my three favorites as the best combination, so these are the ones I took. And no putting on sunglasses! Just squint like the rest of us. The fabric on the far right, by the way, is not yellow. It is a brilliant, eye-watering chartreuse. I love it! My mom and my husband both said that it was an irredeemably ugly fabric that could never be made beautiful. Oh ye of little faith. I'll show you my block in a minute.

 I'll be using some combination of these fabrics in the borders. The fabric on the left is actually a dark green that matches the darker green in the floral fabric above. How can colors get so terribly distorted? You'll just have to trust me. It's very pretty. And very green.

Now, on to today's blocks. Remember that we were making Eleanor Burns's Night and Day quilt. The five of us quilters all made totally different looking blocks. It's incredible how the same pattern can look so different with different fabrics!

This block was made by the son of the other mother-child duo. He has only been quilting for less than a year (and no, he's not a child - in fact, he's a veteran). Gee, I wish my early quilts had looked that great! Isn't this a great color combo? The completed quilt is going to be quite striking. I hope I get to see it some day. How cheerful it's going to look with its little pops of red! He's doing a fantastic job.

This next block was made by his mother. Instead of a bright accent color, she chose a lovely, muted print. What a difference in styles! With the classic cream and black motif, this quilt will be elegant and understated when completed. I hope she uses the print in one of the borders to pull it through and let it stand on its own a little. I'd love to see it in all its glory. Again, I would love to see a picture of this one completed some day. The same black-and-white-style theme as her son's, but so different!

Now here was the surprise of the day. The woman who chose these fabrics is a more experienced quilter, but I admit I was surprised by her choice of the calico as her light color instead of the white. I was really interested to see how it would turn out. I must admit, the lady knew what she was doing! While the other blocks emphasis the star in the middle of the block, this selection emphasises the pinwheel effect. The white pinwheel really spins in the center of the red pinwheel! This finished quilt should really have some movement to it! Oh, for a photo of the finished project... It will be a very stong looking quilt.

Sadly, I got sidetracked and forgot to get a photo of Mom's block, but don't worry. She can't escape my camera. I know where she lives! He fabric choices include a cream polka dot, a deep purple pinpoint polka dot, and a lovely creamy pink. I WILL get to see her finished quilt - and so will you, later. But I'll settle for a block photo in the meantime.

Okay, so how did mine turn out? Not too badly. The pattern is much easier to follow than I expected, although the cutting is a little tricky thanks to having to cut around a complete triangle template. But it goes together like a dream! Who would have thought it? I look forward to getting more blocks completed so that I can see how it's going to look put together. I'm definitely going to like it, but of course I LOVE bright colored quilts! I'll keep you posted on progress, but since this is UFO number 301, don't hold your breath on my finishing it this week!

Well, Butch wants to thank you for stopping by to visit. He hopes you had a good time and will come by for a face washing again sometime soon!
Until later,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day and Night...

Guess what I'm doing!

Give up? I'm starting a new project! Yep, that's right. I still have three hundred unfinished projects, and I'm starting a new one. I'm not giving up on my owls, and I'm not abandoning my Farmer's Market, and yes, I'm going to finish my pizza box quilts, but just one more tiny, queen sized project...yes? ; )
Actually, there's a reason I'm starting this new project right now. Sharon Guthrie from the wonderful Gutherie' Quilts in Colcord, OK, is offering a class this Saturday. If you haven't ever been to Guthrie's, you're missing an incredible shopping experience. The shop is hidden down a long, curved dirt road and is in an old house, but it is crammed to the rafters with incredible fabrics - especially batiks! And by the way, when I say crammed to the rafters, I really do mean crammed to the rafters. One definitely needs a ladder to reach the bolts stacked up on top of the highest shelves. What doesn't fit is placed on the floor and leaned up against the bottom shelves. If you manage to get a bolt out of a shelf, you may need a helper to get it back in again! What fun! I love shopping there.

Oh, sorry, I was supposed to be talking about my upcoming class.

Two years ago I was on a bus shop-hop trip sponsored by Sager Creek Quilts and Yarnworks (another of my favorite shops), and I won Eleanor Burns's new book (new at that time anyway) Day and Night. No, I didn't win it in a lottery. No, I didn't win it by having my name drawn from a hat. Actually, mumble, mumble, I won it by spending the most money on the trip, mumble, mumble. But you should have seen the fabrics I got! Anyway, back to Day and Night. I loved the pattern (You can see it pictured above), but I never got around to making the quilt. It requires a special ruler (provided in the book). I blush to say that if I can't make a quilt using my trusty 8 1/2" x 24 1/2" rectangular ruler and my 6 1/2" square ruler, I probably won't make it. Pretty sad, huh?

The quilt that I've shown above is the one we're going to make. It's the 4-strip, 3-color version. The queen sized quilt top takes 17 1/2 yards of fabric! That should help my stash numbers! Now if I could just decide which fabric to use... That's my assignment for tonight.

The quilters I know all tell me to take every class I can. They say they always learn something new at each class. I think I have taken...hmmmm...maybe six classes in the seven years I have been quilting. I haven't gone to a single retreat in almost two years. Yep, I think it's time for a class. And since it's only $20, who could pass it up? I conned Mom into coming with me, so there should be six of us there. My husband is off to the races with a friend tomorrow, so I have the whole day to go to class, then sew some more when I get home. I can always do the laundry on Sunday, right? And the dishes. And vacuum the floors. And get ready for the first day of school on Monday... Hmmm, maybe this is why I don't get to take classes very often...

I'll let you know how it goes. And what fabric I chose. And whether I'm ever likely to finish it. : )

Oh, did I mention I bought seven new quilt patterns on Craftsy yesterday? Well, I do have all of that fabric I need to use...

Until later,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Owls from the toes up!

I've started my next owl. As you'll see, the colors keep getting wilder. I wonder who picks these colors anyway?!? Oh. Wait, that's me. ; )

How do you like those socks? I don't have many brown batik fabrics, so be prepared for the feet to start getting really wild.

Here're some more of the colors for this fellow. I need to sew down the head, but I wanted to work with the wing position a little first to see if it's going to be right. I think I may need to lower it a tad.

Just wait until you see what's coming for this guy's eyes! He's going to get even mor colorful. I hope that when he gets his neighbors in on either side of him, he calms down a little. Right now, I think he'd keep himself awake at night with those colors!

Until my next update, happy quilting!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Owl progress -

How embarrassing. I was so proud of getting my bright blue owl finished. Isn't he adorable?

It was two days before I noticed what was missing. Poor little Blue couldn't even tell me what he was missing. Have you noticed yet? His beak! The poor thing can't even hoot!

So here he is with his new beak. Okay, so it's a little crooked. At least he can hoot now. I will probably take it off and reapply it later; I just couldn't bring myself to do it immediately. I really needed to see some more progress before I started to tear out. So here's some progress...

Mama Owl and Owlet starting to take shape.

What big eyes you have!

Mostly finished. Baby still needs a new pair of shoes, but Mama Owl is finished. Again, she has a crooked toe, but I seem to have so much trouble with those extra tiny pieces! I need to practice holding them still when I work on them. Oh well, that's what this whole pieces is about after all. It's supposed to be a learning experience. When I'm finally finished with this wallhanging, I'm going to be an expert appliquer! Especially if I tear out all of my mistakes and reapplique them. I could still be working on this project next decade. ; )

I should have Owlet's toes on tonight. Then I can get started with the next owl up. I already have the pieces cut out and ready to go! I'll share progress again later.

Til then,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm Back! Again...

I'm sorry for yet another long absence, but I had to deal with a suddenly cancelled textbook that I had ordered for this semester. Nothing like having to find a new textbook in less than two weeks. : (   At least you've had some lovely dresses to look at in the meantime.

Anyway, a long time ago I promised you a progress report. And I've made progress! Here's an actual finish.

This is the Black and Blue quilt made from the 7" squares that I received in our color exchanges at the Eureka Springs Guild retreats. I finished the top a little while ago, but I finally got the binding done in the car on our way to Texas for my husband's training trip this summer. Did I mention that I was sewing in the car and made myself car sick? I finished the last stitch just in time to keep from throwing up. Okay, so I won't try that again!

I've also made some progress on my owl wallhanging. I finally finished all of my flowers. Hurray! You can see my earlier, wonky flowers in the first photo. I got better - and straighter - with time. Do you think I should tear these out and try again or leave them as they are?

My completed tree with leaves and flowers. You can see that I've already started on my first complete owl at the bottom.

Callie inspecting my owl. Doesn't Callie have pretty toes?

The orange is actually the inside of the eyes and will be scalloped over the black rims underneath them. You can't see the black in these photos. There will then be black irises on top of the orange. It'll look better - and less creepy - soon, I promise!

Well, we had our bi-monthly Stash Busters meeting earlier this month. Not only did I not bust my stash very much in the last two weeks, but I had to bring a few more fabrics home with me. I just completed a complete revamp of my sewing room quilting studio to give myself more room. I'll have to show you some photos soon. It really looks great! But I need to take the photos quickly before everything goes downhill again.

These fabrics have Callie's belly flop of approval. She insisted on sleeping on the fabrics piled on the floor all night long. Go figure...

Gratuitous kitty photos of Tessie trying out the Tonga Batik quilt that we have on the bed now.
 I think she approves.

And in closing, a photo of some beautiful clouds as they appeared from our front yard last week. We didn't get any much needed rain out of them, but they were lovely to see.

I'll be back soon with some more owl quilt photos and maybe some quilt studio photos if I still have enough light. Those may have to wait until this weekend. Thanks for being patient with me during my absence. Hopefully, I have my school emergencies behind me now! : )

Until later,