Saturday, July 30, 2016

Design Wall Monday

These are the 2 quilts I have been working on most of the time.

This one is the one I am working on most.

I am making this in three panels. The center panel is finished. The other 2 panels start where you can see the break going across. The 2 panels will be the same, making the quilt symmetrical.

This is my drawing.

 The bottom edge is the center quilt. The quilt will repeat in a mirror image at that point. 

This is a quilt that I made a couple of years ago. 

It was inspired by a Pendleton Indian blanket I saw in a book. I have always liked this quilt, and I really enjoyed making it. I wanted to make another quilt using the same idea, but this time, I wanted to repeat the diamonds all over the quilt.

This is the drawing for the quilt I am using as leaders and enders, a la Bonnie Hunter.

 It is meant to be an abstract version of the sky. I intend to applique airplanes on it. This quilt is a commission, but they are not in a hurry for it, so I am working on it slowly.

Here is the quilt background laid out on the wall. The lower right hand corner is missing, because I transferred it to a free standing design wall that I cam put next to my sewing machine.

That is what I am up to these days.

I will be linking with Judy Laquidara's  Design Wall Monday, for the first time in a long time. Check out  to see what other quilters are working on. It's always fun to see!

Thanks for stopping by 

Happy Beach Trip

I spent today setting up my loom for the next rug, so not very much sewing happened today. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a photo of the loom set up, so that will have to wait for a future post.

Later, a group of us went to dinner to celebrate a friends birthday.  Despite the lack of sewing, it was a pretty pleasant day. Although, I admit, I am looking forward to the heat relenting just a bit. Late July in Georgia don't you know. It could be worse. It could be in the high 90s instead of the mid 90s.

So, I thought I would share a photo of a wonderful experience I had much earlier in the year. In May, I went with a group of 5 friends for a week on St Simons, GA. The house had a lovely porch that overlooked the water. During low tide there was some beach, but during high tide, there was just the rocks, then the ocean. There was a picnic table on the porch, and right next to the picnic table was a perfectly glorious electric outlet! Anyone want to guess where this is heading?

Now THAT is the life!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Moving Right Along

Lately, I have been working on three different quilts. I have been working on the quilt I wrote about in the last post. I have been doing a row or two on it everyday. You need to have your thinking cap on when you work on this quilt though, because you have to figure out which fabrics to use, and where to use them to continue the pattern. Even though I have the next section planned, I still need to get the fabrics in the correct order, and cut to the correct size.

A this point, I will stop adding to the center panel, and start a new panel, so I won't have to have the whole quilt in my lap for every seam.

In the mean time, I have been using this kaleidoscope quilt as leaders and enders.

I am also sewing together random dark strip sets for the Lightning strikes remake.

These work well when I am going to a friends house to sew. I have all of the strips sets pinned together in groups, and put in a box. It also works well when I need something to sew that doesn't require any thinking.

I got a big rug to weave yesterday, so there will be a bit less sewing in the next month. Hopefully, I can get a bit done in the evenings, especially, since I have these 3 projects all laid out.

That is what I have been up to lately. Hope you are getting to do something you enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Choosing Fabrics for the Next Row of Diamonds

To continue with the "diamond" quilt, I had to choose a set of fabrics for the next section of the quilt.

The fabrics for the half row along the bottom of the page is already chosen because that section is a mirror image of what I have already done, so I will just repeat the same fabrics.

I needed to choose the fabrics for the next row of diamonds. I have indicated that row with a piece of string in the above photo.

I need 10 browns, 8 earthy greens, 6 reds, 4 of another kind of brown, and 2 khakis.  Here is what I have planned.

So I will begin incorporating these color families in the next section of the quilt.

That's what I am up to for the near future.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Road Trip

Life is oh so good when you have the unexpected pleasure of being invited to a last minute trip to the mountains in the middle of the long hot summer.

My dear friend Eleanor, who I had a sewing play date with last week was the instigator. Her adult daughter, Emily is starting back to school this week (she is an ESOL teacher). They decided they wanted to do a girls only weekend trip, and since Emily was starting school this week, we decided to do it while we could, and head out to the north GA mountains on Friday, with just a couple of days notice. Mary Beth, who I have been friends with for years, but Eleanor has been friends with since grade school, rounded out our group. New friends are wonderful, but there is something really special about doing things with people you have known for years and years. I have been friends with Eleanor since college, I met Mary Beth through Eleanor soon after I met Eleanor. I have known Emily since she was born. 

Highlights of the trip included several lovely meals, a well contested Scrabble game, a shopping trip to Blue Ridge, where I found this cute little dress on sale. I couldn't pass it up. It feels like wearing air, it is so comfortable!

We also had a movie night, some hot tub time, and an afternoon of art making, in which they all painted. Since I am not much of a painter, I sorted a big bag of scraps by size.

Here are some photos from our trip. I wish I had thought to photograph the paintings. Maybe I will be able to get a shot of them in the future, once they get a little further along on them.

The view off our deck

Eleanor, Mary Beth, and Emily on the deck

The view down on the dining area from the sleeping loft

The view down on the living room from the sleeping loft

When I got home, I made a back for this quilt.

This is the fabric I used.

So now that quilt is ready to go to the quilter!

That is what I have been up to. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 25, 2016

My Most Recent Finish

I almost forgot, I finished a quilt just a couple of weeks ago.  It is called Sand and Sea Glass. 

I wanted to make a quilt that used the "Sonja's Windows " block with colors arranged randomly as opposed to in color families to form HST like I did in my Lake Country Bungalow quilt.

I wanted the blocks to be butted up against each other with no sashing in between them.

And as the name Sand and Sea Glass would suggest, I wanted the colors to remind you of the beach. So here is my new quilt.
 That's what I have been up to, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Fun Day Sewing With a Friend

I had a very pleasant day today sewing at the home of a friend. Eleanor made some beautiful pillows for her living room. 

I love how she put this decorative accent strip on the back. She came up with the idea because she didn't have enough black fabric for the back. What a happy accident/innovation!

Here they are on her sofa and chair in her living room.

Last year I made this quilt to give as a gift. Now that I have given it, I miss having it in my trunk show, and I miss having it as a class sample, so, I am remaking it. I worked on making strip sets for it today.

 I sewed 8 strip sets together today. These are really fun, since I have my strip sets already grouped together, it takes virtually no concentration. But it is fun to play with arranging the fabrics in each strip sets.

That is what I did today. I hope you had a fun day today. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Strip Piecing

Here is how I am making this quilt.

As I said before, I am working from this drawing.

You can see the creases in the above photo. First I fold the photo on the row I am about to make.

I choose the fabrics you want to use on that row. Each square on this drawing represents one inch. I use this to figure out how wide each strip should be. I just count the number of squares, and add 1/2" for seam allowance. For example: see the gold color? They are 3 squares across. So I cut a 3 1/2" strip of that color fabric. The next color is 2 squares across, so I will cut a 2 1/2" strip of that fabric, and so on. I am cutting each strip 16".

You may have noticed that the colors in the photo are a bit different that the colors in the quilt. These things usually evolve as you work on them.  

This is a photo of the next strip set. I forgot to take a photo of this, but I used painters tape with numbers written on it to help me keep these strips in the proper order.

I will make 1 1/2" cross cuts on this strip set. My quilt has 4 repeats across. I am cutting 10 pieces from each strip set. I am sewing 5 of them end to end. 1 more than the number of repeats. Then sewing the remaining 5 from end to end. I do 5 instead of 4 because you need some extra to make sure you can end it where you need it to end.

That statement will make more sense if you ever try this technique. Since this quilt is a mirror image, I am making 2 copies of each row. One for each end of the quilt.  

Here is a photo of a row laid out next to the quilt where it will be attached. 

Here is a photo of the 2 new rows attached to the quilt.

 I could keep adding to this central piece, but I think I will not attach the next 2 rows, but use them to start another panel. That way I will not be lugging the entire quilt around the whole time. I will show you what I mean in a later post. 

I hope this inspires you to give it a try. I think it is really fun.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What I Am Working on Now

 These days I am working on 2 quilts. Several years ago I made this quilt.

I self published a pattern for this quilt that is available on Etsy. I always wanted to make another quilt that is more like the center of this quilt, and repeats the diamond motif throughout the quilt.

Here is my drawing.

Sorry for the glare. I made the drawing on EQ. I took it to a copy place to enlarge it, so it would be easier to see. The paper they printed on was slightly glossy. The bottom of the drawing, with the green crosses is the center of the quilt. The quilt repeats in a mirror image from there.

This is what I have so far.

Tomorrow I will talk more about how I am doing this. 

Since it is midsummer where I am, I am sewing in my living room now. My usual sewing room is upstairs. It is a beautiful, cozy nest in the winter, but I only have one air conditioning unit, so it is not easy to make comfortable up there without making your  downstairs too cold, or costing a fortune, or both. So, in the summer, I set up a sewing station in my living room.

The quilt on the free standing design wall is what I am using for "leaders and enders".

I am working on a quilt commission that will be airplanes on a sky background. The abstract sky will be made from the kaleidoscope block. Here is the drawing for this quilt.

I have the entire quilt laid out on the design wall in another room, but I have transferred a quarter of it onto my freestanding design wall.  I have just started sewing on this. I only have 6 block centers done, so it will be quite awhile before it looks like anything.That is what I am up to. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Blog Reboot

Gosh it's been a long time!

Last winter I had 2 temp jobs. One I had to get up at 4:30 am for. I am not a morning person, and at the end of the day, my brain was so scrambled that I could barely write my own name, let alone a coherent blog post.

It has been a busy first half of 2016. Rugs to weave, teaching jobs and trunk shows hither, thither and yon, other trips and retreats. At times I went months with out even seeing my sewing machine (except and retreat-thank goodness for retreats!).  Through all of that, I totally got out of the blogging habit. Just as bad, I got out of the habit of taking photos when I WAS sewing. When I did take photos, uploading, and editing photos became an obstacle. But, I finally, finally got some photos uploaded and organized. 

Back in November, (shamefully, 2 whole posts ago) I wrote about starting 2 new quilts, and using them as leaders and enders for each other. Since I have to begin somewhere, let's begin with those quilts. They are both completed tops now. 

This first one is already at the quilter's.

This is the quilt that was inspired by seeing the new leaves come out in the spring, and the way they look against the clear, bright blue sky, and older, darker leaves and evergreens.

I had made a couple quilts using one of these motifs in the center, see those quilts here but I wanted to try a quilt that used several blocks. I was initially planning to make 12 blocks and lay them out 3 by 4, with no border, but as I was making it, I decided that it needed a border.

The other is a just a top, but I still have to make the back.

Again, I wanted to try this motif in repeat. 

 This is the first quilt I made using this motif.

  I also finished my Dresden Plate quilt top. It still needs a back also. I will have to feed these quilts to the quilter gradually, so I can pay for the quilting. I don't have great photo of this top yet, but I did snap a quick shot when it was on the floor.

So, that is what I have been up to lately. Thanks for stopping by!