Monday, May 25, 2015

Flower Pillow

Hi all -

I just finished my May pillow for the FMQ Challenge. Just in time, huh? It was a busy month and I had some trouble getting inspired, so it came down to the wire. This month's inspiration was Cindy Needham. She's one of my favorite quilters so it's a bit strange that I had such trouble coming up with an idea, but you just have to wait for your muse when she isn't forthcoming.

I decided to go with Cindy's new ultimate stencil for my pillow this month. I don't own the stencil, but I have one with a bunch of concentric circles that worked for me. Here is the design that I drafted, based on Cindy's flower from her youtube video:

 I drew one side of each of the two different petals, then folded the paper on the different axes to trace the curves to form all of the petals. That way I could just come up with a pleasing curve without having to have a stencil or ruler to match that curve.

I traced the design onto the pillow fabric rather than redrafting it with the stencil:

I decided to put feathers in the outer petals, so I drew in a little center motif so I wouldn't forget what I was planning for that area. Here is the first part of the quilting:

I was able to do all of the petals in a single pass using this strategy:

- start at the center, quilt around the outside of the petal around the bottom edge and back to the point where you touch the inner line on petal
- stitch the inner line back to the original line. For me, it was easiest if I quilted the motif in the center of the feathers when I got to that point
- stitch the feathers up one side and then down the other
- stitch the edge of the petal down to the center of the flower
- repeat for each of the petals

Once I had the outer parts of the petals quilted, I decided that I needed some more color in the petals. I decided to do straight lines and marked a smaller petal shape in each petal to use as the end point. I then just free-handed the straight lines using my darning foot.

Here is the final pillow:

I really like how this turned out!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Herb Garden Fused

Hi all -

I have another new project going. I know, I know -- I really need to finish up other projects, but this is just the way I work. So, I pulled out some kits that I picked up a while ago, I think last year, at Keepsake Quilting. I got these for my sister since her hobby is cooking. It is a set of four fusible applique kits that are different spice plants. Here they are all fused:

And here are close-ups of each one:

Each kit came with laser cut applique pieces, so I just had to fuse the pieces and create the frames, so it was nice and easy, although it was a bit tedious since some of the pieces are very small.

I now have to decide what to do with these. The kits suggest putting them together into a tablerunner, but I'm leaning towards either separate wallhangings that can be grouped on the wall, or a single wallhanging. We'll see what I end up deciding. Either way, these are going to need a lot of threadwork to add detail and to hold all of the small pieces in place (I don't trust fusible to hold without some sewing).


Friday, May 15, 2015

Christmas Log Cabin

Hi all -

Hope all is going well with you. I'm very excited to have finished the piecing on my Judy Martin Christmas Log Cabin top. I also finished the back (which is a single fabric back) and have prepared the binding, so I'm all ready whenever I have time to start quilting this one.

Here is a picture of the completed top (I was really lucky to get a little time with no wind before the rains started back up so I could get a picture):

I really love this quilt and am planning on keeping it for myself. Which means it'll probably be years before I get around to quilting it.

I used a bunch of fun fabrics in this quilt. That's one of the things I love about scrap quilts! You can throw in really fun fabrics and they aren't noticeable unless you are looking for them. One of my favorites is a Day of the Dead fabric in Christmas green:

Do you see the skulls? I found it on the sale table at my LQS. The ladies thought I was crazy when I told them it was for my Christmas quilt (and maybe they're right....), but it makes me very happy. As do the googly eyes next to it. Aren't they hilarious? And I also love this scarf and mittens fabric:

The drawings look really Dr. Seussy to me. In the reds, I have a wonderful graphic roses fabric:

And a fun circus print:

Do you see the shadows of the clown, acrobat, ringmaster and horse? And that top green fabric is a Linus Project fabric. Fun, fun, fun! Some of the other favorite fabrics have words or maps on them. Here is a map fabric in cream:

I try to pick up these types of fabric whenever I see them.

As you can see from the pictures, when I make a scrap quilt I like to push the color envelope a bit. I don't want everything to be too matchy-matchy. I think the different shades and values add sparkle to the quilt when you step back and look at the whole thing.

Finally, here is the backing fabric I chose:

The color is a much darker gold than it appears in the picture. I also used this fabric for one of the stars on the front. I've started making backings for my quilts that have have lots of fabrics in them so they are more fun, but I bought this backing a long time ago and decided to still use it since I have so much of it. And I really like the fabric.

The other thing I made recently is a wallet for my niece for her high school graduation:

I made it out of a couple of the fabrics I picked up on our quilt shop hop:

The lining fabric appears yellow in the pictures, but it's really a yellow green. I traditionally give the kids money for high school graduations, so I thought it would be nice to make something to put the cash in.

We've been getting an incredible amount of rain lately. If the roads hold up, it'll be nice because the rain is pushing back the fire season. And it'll be really good for the wild flowers.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Denver Mancuso 2015

Hi all -

We went to the Denver Mancuso quilt show last Thursday, and I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures. Sorry for the delay!

I met my friends Sharon and Linda at the door right before they opened. We all like to be early birds! And going on Thursday lets you really see the quilts because they don't have the crowds. What a great day! We first walked around and looked at all of the quilts, had lunch, visited the vendors and then, the highlight of the day, we met up with our online friend Lorchen and her friend Brenda all the way from England. They flew in for a retreat with Ricky Tims in LaVeta, and lucked out to get here just in time for the quilt show. It was SO wonderful to meet these two sweet and talented women! Here's a picture of the group:

Nancy, Linda, Lorchen, Sharon and Brenda
We had so much fun!!

And now for some of the quilts...

To start off, we ran to see Sharon's quilt hanging in the show:

A to Z with Ewe and Me! by Sharon Engel
Isn't it beautiful! The workmanship is unbelievable! This quilt won Best of Show:

Ravendale Star by Linda Fleschner

And these are just some of my favorites:

Glacier Star by Barbara Odor
This one was so cool. I love the colors and there was an incredible amount of hand work. This might have been my favorite quilt in the show, although it would be really hard to pick just one!

Primitive Web by Linda Roy

Hosta on Fire by Charmaine Erickson

Pyrite Ammonites by Kimberly Lacy

Parker Lake Cabin by Ellen Palmer

The threadwork on this one was incredible. I would love to be able to do something like this myself someday!

Larger Than Life by Carol Kolf
I didn't find this quilt that appealing from a distance. It just didn't speak to me. But, when we got closer, it was hilarious! It was covered with things her daughter says.

Sh...t My Daughter Says by Deborah Wright
Here are a few of the things that her daughter says:

  •  "Morrissey needs a puppy!"
  • "Making cupcakes and a ham. Because obviously those two things go perfectly together."
  • "Nothing like waking up early to manhandle a turkey"
  • "Because why wouldn't you Hula hoop at the laundromat?"

The colors in this quilt just seemed to make it glow:

Garnets For Kristina by Rasa Read

This quilt was just so cool! Do you see the four dog faces? What I didn't notice at first was that the centers of the flowers were dog noses. Pauline's quilts are always so creative!

High Crimes & Misdemeanors by Pauline Salzman
And the colors of this Dear Jane quilt just really drew me in:
Dear Jane Goes Batty with Batiks by Patricia Lamfers
This quilt was in the antique quilt exhibit. It's a crib quilt. I really love the colors, but what really drew me in on this one was the reverse applique feather in the border:

Double Irish Chain Crib Quit

Finally, a couple of TQS BOM quilts. I have versions of both of these quilts in my UFOs. I hope mine turn out as nicely as these!

Firefly Night at White Oak Farm by Kathryn Zimmerman

Ruffled Roses of Basel by Jean Konopacz
I hope you enjoyed the show!