Saturday, August 6, 2011

More fish and a giveaway announcement

This lovely lady still needs fins, but I couldn't resist sharing her portrait.  I now have four and 3/4 fish completed.  I need to have 12 for the swap.  They are really fun to make, but they do take me a long time to put together.  Here is the one I finished today.

My other big project for today was the Lotta Jansdotter challenge.  I got the top put together and am trying to decide about a border. 

Here are the details of the elements squares.

These were fun to make and I think they really improve the look of the quilt.  These were done after a family conference about the quilt.  Quilt by committee.  You have to love it.
Finally, I am guest blogging at Confessions of a Fabric Addict tomorrow and announcing a fun fabric giveaway back here.  Hope you visit over at Sarah's great blog and come back here to enter into the drawing.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Farmer's Wife blocks and more quilting

I have been seeing several bloggers quilting along on the Farmer's Wife quilt blocks.  Here is a Flickr group where you can see a couple thousand of these blocks. I was sure I wasn't going to jump on this quiltalong. When I was at the library the other day, I saw the book was in  so I grabbed it to see what all the fuss was about.  The book is The Farmer's Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird.  There are 55 wonderful stories written by farm wives in the 1920's as part of a contest.  There are also 111 six inch quilt blocks.  When I started reading the stories, I thought it might be fun to do the blocks.  The one above is #1 and it is called Attic Window.  The one below is #2, Autumn Tints.  I am going to redo #1 to get back my points.  There are templates on an attached CD, but I don't really like using templates, so I goofed on the measurements.  I know where I went wrong, so I will fix it tomorrow.

I also worked on my Lotta Jansdotter Echo fabric, but I don't want to show it until it is finished.  It has been quite the topic of discussion around here with Tom, Lisa (my daughter), and Bella all weighing in on what I might do to improve the overall design.  After weighing all their input, I added some design elements and I think it is much improved.  I will try and get it done tomorrow to share here and over at Modern 8 Create.

I started the day by practicing my free motion quilting.  I started yesterday with the sample on the left, and today I did the one on the right.  My hand was definitely steadier today, but I really do have a long way to go.  I am just glad I have started working on it. 

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.  Joyful quilting.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Modern 8 Create and a new challenge quilt

I have been invited to join with a group of seven other quilters to who will challenge and encourage each other to continue to explore the depths of our creativity.  We will have regular challenges posed by the members, and occasionally we will be given pre-release fabric to play with.  You can watch our progress over at

Our first challenge is to use a small charm pack of the new fabric line by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.  It is called Echo, and it is very modern and exciting.  I have been playing with it a couple of days, and this is what I have on my design board so far.

Hop on over to Modern 8 Create to see what the others are doing.
It is warm and beautiful in the Pacific Northwest and we are finally enjoying our summer.  The strawberries in the yard are starting to get red.  The blueberries are turning blue.  The cane raspberries in the neighbors yard are getting ripe.  And the fuchsia has decided it is warm enough to bloom, finally.  Soon enough, the cool fall weather will arrive and my favorite season will begin.  I have a long list of quilts I want to get made over the next three months.  All is good with the world.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A couple of small new things

I have been a bit under the weather the past couple of days and it has really affected my quilting.  Most things I sewed together got taken apart again because they were done wrong.  My brain was not working as well as it needs to for quilting.  So, today, I was determined to get something done to post and to get me started in the right direction again.  This is my guild's BOM in process.  I love the colors and hope to win the blocks this month.  I have more of this green fabric.  It is a Robert Kaufman manufactured in Japan.  It has a very interesting texture.  I wish I had bought more when I was in California.  I will finish up two of these blocks tomorrow and start on the presentation blocks.  They are also Christmas colors.  They are for a member who loves Aunt Gracie fabrics, and I have a vintage piece of Christmas fabric I think I will use for her blocks.

One of the other things I did over the past couple of days is to deconstruct several of the thrift shop shirts and dresses in my stash.  When I saw this one, I thought it would be great as a first border around Hokule'a.  These are just on the design wall and not attached yet.  I am thinking of putting some pieces of the dark background fabric in random places around the border to let the center breath instead of walling it off.  I was inspired to use this bright fabric by wonderful advice from members of the Rebels group of quilters.  Fabulous quilters who share ideas and advice.  I think the next border will be stars of some kind.  I do love star blocks.

Finally, I have decided to start practicing my free motion quilting so I can move beyond the stippling stage.  I do like the look of stippling because I want the focus to be on the fabric and the patterns of color and design, but there are times I wish I was a better free motion quilter.  From the look of my first small practice piece, I have a long way to go. But hey, it's a start. I am going to work my way through Leah Day's FMQ tutorials, trying to get at least one small piece done each day.  (When I say small, I mean 3" squares)
Other than that, not much else to report.  Have a joy filled evening.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bella's newest design

As some of you know, I have a three year old granddaughter who loves fabric and creating on my design wall.  This is her newest design.

I am going to see what I can do to make this into a mini quilt for her.  I have the photo, and the fabric.  Now, I just have to play with some sewing techniques to put it all together.
For myself, I started a new project with the Asian fabrics I have been collecting since before I started quilting again.  I have seen this pattern around in many variations.  I had great hopes.

Imagine my despair as I went to put it on the design wall only to have the black fabric begin falling apart on me.  You can see some of the whitish tear marks on the upper right side.  I knew this fabric was odd when I ironed it and it smelled funny.  Not polyester funny, but something else.  Foolish me, I just ignored it and went on my merry way.  I love how the block looks, so I will make more, but I have thrown all the black out, including the pieces in this block.  It was easy to get them off.  They just disintegrated.  Sometimes, free fabric, even when it looks and feels okay at first, is not to be trusted.  Live and learn.
I am still trying to get the new quilters as readers club off the ground.  So far, I have one other person interested.  Look for more information soon, as well as a giveaway to help spread the word.
Joyful quilting, everyone.,