Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Project updates

The iris is finished.  I used several different Superior King Tut threads for the quilting and the thread play.  I chose two purple blends to applique and outline the flower petals as well as the thread play.  I have never done thread play before, and just tried it based on what I have seen on the web.  It was sort of fun, but made me a little tense.  I was so happy with the flower, I didn't want to ruin it.  In the end, it comes close to matching the image I had in my head, but I can definitely use more practice.  I used a green blend thread to do all over stippling on the green background.   This piece was great fun for me, for the most part.  I enjoyed going through Tom's photos to find the right flower.  I had fun sketching it out, deciding what parts to leave in and how to simplify the drawing to make a quilt.  I had fun selecting the fabrics, and all the rest.  I decided on a batik that has a light value for the binding.  It is hard to see in the photo, I think it works well.  With this finished, and Rhumba complete, I only have Farmer's Market to complete for the quilt show.  I think I will get that quilted tomorrow.

While I was in a quilting mood, I took the solid challenge off the design wall and quilted it.  Before I did, I drew what I wanted on the paper I was using for size.  Then I quilted the straight lines, followed by the circles.  There was something missing, so I chose three small areas to to small stippling.  I am pretty pleased about this piece, except for the bits of puckering I just couldn't get rid of.  At one point, I thought about starting another piece instead, but stuck with this one because I really liked the way it looked.  I hope my swap partner will overlook the flaws and enjoy it for the overall look.
We are having summer here for a few days.  It is quite beautiful and warm.  We finally felt a need to turn on the fans.  Summer is quite a treat around here, when it arrives.  I am hoping the strawberries in the yard begin to produce some fruit.  The blueberry bushes are full and are beginning to get ripe.  Bella loves to pick the blueberries.  We gave up on the hope for tomatoes this year.  Maybe next year.  I am still hoping for a raised bed garden, but we have to find a space where it will get enough sun besides the front yard.  For now, we do what we can.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A little play, a little machine applique, and an award

I started my studio time today making a little bit of fabric.  I need quite a bit of it for some upcoming projects, so I thought I would get started.  If I add six to eight inches every day, I will have enough by mid July to do everything I want.

Next, I got started on the applique portion of the iris.  Before I started, however, I wanted to add leaves.  That meant I had to go get some SteamASeam.  Then I realized I didn't have the right dark green for the leaves, and I was out of stabilizer.  Hmmm.  After a quick trip to JoAnns, where the rotary cutter blades are on sale at 50% off, I cut the leaves, steamed it all together, and started the machine applique.  I was working on another project yesterday and used the double blanket stitch.  After I got half way through, I realized I don't like the look of that stitch very much.  Today, I used the single blanket stitch, and I was much happier.  I got about 2/3 of the way done before my eyes started to cross and I had to call it quits.  So far, I am very happy with what has been happening.

Sunni and Melissa over at Love Affair With My Brother gave me this lovely blog award.  I am supposed to tell you seven things about myself.  Here goes.
1.  I am going to be 65 this year and I'm really excited that I can finally get all those senior discounts out there. 
2.  I am a vegetarian. 
3.  My favorite food is bread.  I especially love hardy European breads with crusty outside and chewy inside.
4.  I have just discovered the joy of working with Philip Jacobs fabrics, and want to have them all.
5.  My husband and I are Send Out Cards distributors.  Interested?  Leave me a comment.
6.  I am a retired teacher and school librarian.
7.  I love the process of selecting fabrics, figuring out what to do with what I have chosen, cutting, sewing, quilting, and enjoying quilts. 
I will select more lovely blogs over the next week.
Have a wonderful fourth, everyone.