Monday, March 13, 2023

Design Wall Monday March 13

Happy Monday!!  Just when I thought my design wall couldn't get any more colorful, well I just added another layer!!  The Queen of the Nile from Pride and Joy Quilting is a new guest on the design wall as we gets started, just completely smitten with her!

I think I need a bigger design wall!!

But alas there is some custom quilting that must be done and it's a great wintery day to get that started.   But I will have the queen of the Nile peeking over my should as I quilt.

Did I tell you about my wonderful time in FL?  I spent two full weeks at Santa Rosa Beach with a friend who graciously and generously hosted.  We did watercolor (I painted people who actually look like people!!!), we made a small collage project, made some hearts for IFAQH foundation, some slow stitching on a project that I can't share or they will boot me right of the group and not look back, there was mediation at the ocean front almost every morning, some really good seafood, a quilt show, some thrifting, some shelling and the BIGGEST and BEST  fish sandwich I've had in life (and that's quite a few years....)  I now understand why people snow bird.  I just can't tell you the impact to my psyche with the sun shining, the greenery and the sound of the gulf coast, did my soul good!  I am definitely a midwestern girl, there's no doubt about that.  But finding a place to go that is sunny and warm for a month in the winter, is now on my todo list. Phew, time for vacation right?

this is what daily morning beach walk and meditation were like

Sunsets all different, all beautiful

Spreading some quilty love

I hope someone found and felt the good vibes coming their way

Cooper loved a morning walk and mediation too!!

Some slow stitching by the sea, this is a sharable project!

there were a few little sand creations found along the way

Shells, shells and more shells!!! what fun we went home with so many!

Peg Leg Pete's in Pensacola area  - hands down the best fish sandwich I have had in over 60 years!!  The grouper was amazing!

And there we are seeing Forest Williams at a local bar, the ladies were with were hot and everyone wanted to dance with them.  What a great time, thanks Kim!!

I did actually finish a couple things of my own.

My Squash squad is now complete!!  Yeah, she will be entered into the NSQG show in May.  She has a double bat, 80/20 with wool on top.  FMQ with 60 wt thread.

My first real collage (not counting the peacock).  I added a little yarn couching to this guy.  I started with some thread painting and that was taking way too long, so I stepped up my game and add some yarn.  Less than 2 hours to finish this little guy.  This will be my mini donation for the sale at NSQG show in May.  I hope he's not the last one there!!

Judy has a blog post on her Birds of Feather Quilt here. This quilt, I'll never make one but if someone wants to make one like this for me, we can trade quilt top for custom quilting.  I just absolutely adored this quilt and I hope she'll enter in a show.  Judy has more pics on her blog, check hers out too! She's got the story about the pattern and how this came about. It's a good one!

Don't forget to check out all the linky parties on the side bar. So much to be inspired by! Have a great quilty week!

Friday, January 20, 2023

A feather for you and a feather for you and a few other things.

 Oh 2023 has gotten off to a great start!  3 quilts on and off the frame.  I am in such a quilting groove right now.  And I have two more to finish by the middle of Feb so, I do hope the quilting Gods stay with me just a wee bit longer.  Want to see what I've been working on?   So many beautiful and different things.  This is the part where I feel very lucky to be a longarm quilter. I love the quilting part, the final icing on the cake.  I get to work on so many beautiful and creative pieces that I never in my wildest dreams would ever make.  But yet with the grace of the Quilting Gods above they cross my longarm and I feel ever so grateful to be a small part of these beauties....Ok so are you ready to see????

First up is Kim's New York Beauties, The stars are silk and the background is aboriginal fabrics.  I did a simple design in the middle of the stars, I wanted the silk to just shine through.  On the background I literally used the prints for the dense background quilting, quilting on the lines and then added the border.  I tried to pull some elements from the fabrics for the last border, but I think that silk, anything quilted on that would look amazing.

Next up was the first art quilt that I've quilted.  Kathleen's water lily pattern by Sandra Mollen.  I am so in love with this, I really need my own!!  Isn't that the hardest  part about being a longarm quilter? You want one of everything that goes on the frame! Hmmmm can't remember the last time I quilted on of my own....oh wait it was an edge to edge :)  Yes I digress here.  One day I will have my own quilt with some fancy stitching but in the mean Kathleen gets hers.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous, I have never quilted an art quilt before and I did love how Sandra Mollen quilted hers so I took that as inspiration.  This is all free motion, two layers of batting, quilters dream wool over dream orient. The fabrics everything, just in love with this

And finally a sampler quilt for Annemarie. The pattern is Portage Lake.  Is there such thing as too many feathers?  Oh I think not!  She likes feathers, I like feathers, there are lots of feathers.  One person commented there are feathers everywhere except on the Bird, lol!!  Samplers are fun and it's like a new quilt with every turn of the frame and this was no exception. This has two layers of batting as well, background quilting with 60 wt glide thread, the rest with 40 wt glide thread and too many rulers to mention!  Lot of free motion, lots of rulers, lots of fun.

Check out the linky parts on the side bar for inspiration!  So much out there.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Design Wall Jan 2023

 Oh boy, if my design wall is any indication of how 2023 will go, I'm not really sure what it's trying to say!!  Hmm it's like instead of reading tea leaves I'll be reading my unfinished blocks - what are they telling me about my future???  Just look, goodness gracious!  All of these projects were started in past years but surprisingly more than half were started last year. 

Design Wall Jan 2023

Oh 2022 was a wreck of year, it just hobbled along to the bitter end for me.  There was Drama, there was delight in retiring, family expansion with the wedding, guild shenanigans, health issues and to end this crazy bit of a year, I ended 2022 with Covid for the first that I know of....if I had it before I was completely asymptomatic.  I had my first positive Covid test Dec 20 2022.  That's right I was on the naughty list and I got Covid for Christmas Yes, yes, ready to see you go 2022.  There were good things, thank you, there bad things, no thanks and everything in between.  I think my design wall shows this!!

So let's just take a look at what's up there.  Looks like two finishes up there waiting to be quilted, one before covid started and the other from the first year of covid.  They may never get done, but still hold a place on the wall.

Sue Spargo Squash Squad

This guy just needs a border and to be quilted. There's a guild quilt show in May so I have high hopes for this one!  I think it's gonna be finished by April (fingers are crossed and a little shaky).  Just needs a border, keep it simple (I think this is the overwhelming message from my design wall for 2023). I learned to hand embroider in 2022 and I have completely smitten by all the pretty threads and textures.  But mostly so very surprised that I actually love and, at times, need the handwork.  I've found it to be very meditative and comforting.  Running with that while I can!

Next up

Buckingham Garden Stitch Along - Pieceful Gathering

In the second half of 2022 as I finished (well almost finished, hehehe) the one stitching project that I was working on I started to crave traditional everything, piecing, colors, quilts, all of it.  We have a lovely shop by us, Pieceful Gathering, which will serve all of my traditional needs.  They have this lovely block of the month Buckingham Garden and I jumped right in.  They even had a little stitching group which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I need to find another stitching group.  This one I'm doing my own stitching on it, making up the stitches for the wool applieque. Theirs's is quite lovely and quite simple.  Well, those that know me know that I am the queen of over complicating.  So yes, there is a bit more stitching on my blocks, Some I like, some I don't but if I don't try how will I ever know????  So again I feel my design board hinting at maybe I should consider a little simplification in 2023, perhaps..... 

Cathedral Doves 2 - A Different Box of Crayons

Another BOM, this one from Lynn Schmitt of A Different Box of Crayons.  Lynn's BOMs are always out of this world, always!!!  This stitching is a little different on this one.  The other stitching projects were folksy type projects and if you stitching wasn't up to par, you get to write it off as "It's folk art, it's not suppose to be perfect".  But this BOM, it's all elegance and charm.  Yes I had to step up the stitching game just a little.  but I can't wait until it's done.  I do have over 400 HSTs to make......hmmm what is your favorite method for 2 inch finished HSTs??? I've lightened my up with light color silks here and there. Time will tell if this was a good more or not.  So far I've done quite well not over complicating this one, but it is a bit complicated to begin with through no doing of my own!

Friendship Star Guild 2022 Challenge

This bright beauty does not have one single traditional stitch on it!  Actually there isn't a single stitch, it's all fused. These are hand dyed Frieda Anderson left overs.  You had to start with a square of with a minimum size and any method you choose.  The one stipulation is it has to have a little crazy.  LOL mine is just a hot mess of crazy!  My center is the beautiful landscape with hills and trees (courtesy of Frieda Anderson.)  First round was curves, which I added to two borders. Next was flowers and then triangles.  Last was applique but shoot my entire piece is all fused.  Now I just need to figure out how to finish because I really like the triangles hanging off the edge....we'll see if anything happens with this one, there is still a glimmer of hope, not completely written off....

Guild Work Shop with Karen Combs
We were delighted to have Karen Combs as a speaker at our guild and a workshop.  The workshop was for this lovely Illusions quilt.  It was supposed to be a large lap, but honestly I didn't want to buy 10 yds of fabric!!!  I know that really doesn't sound like me but...I did want to participate in the workshop so I did a mini!  Brilliant, my blocks are 2 inch finish (the project as is had 6 in finished block), I used a couple of layers from a layer cake in my stash and this was so much fun.  Ok I made the mini, it was great and out comes the Queen of over complicating again.  It needed something, just a little something.  I have a couple of yarn couched daisies, don't they look sweet on this mini?.  Now I just need a little yarn couched  bird and then this will be complete.  I think this is a spectacular example of taking things to the next level that bring me joy, but not completely over complicating things.  And this is what I think my design is trying to tell me....

Kaffe Wedding Star - Judy Niemeyer

I've had the pattern since 2009, it was  a limited edition pattern (don't even know what that means) and the fabric idea came from a bundle of fabric I purchased at Paducah in 2017 ish.  I started the arcs in 2018 (oh I was so motivated then). But along the way I decided I wanted to a silk back ground (the queen of over complicating rears her head again).  Oh the yards of silk that were purchased before I finally decided to dye my own silk radiance a lovely chartreuse color.  I  finish quite a few blocks on this the end of Dec.  I just have 4 more for the inside and then the border blocks.  I'm still very much in love this one.  Will it be finished this year?  I dunno but it will get bigger this year for sure.. 

Lady's Basket BOM - Pieceful Gathering

Warm Winter Wishes
And of course I start two new project rather that finishing the others...but in my defense, some of those are BOMs and they are done yet....I need more!!!  So feeding my traditional crave is the Lady's Basket Sampler.  I'm all caught up, I've got the January blocks done!  But I do need to catch up with Warm Winter Wishes. This has the piecing and the wool appliqué which I just love.  These may go to FL for  project to finish there.  Perhaps at the end of 2023 I will have a nice little Winter Wishes quilt!!

And that is my crazy design wall as we start 2023.  I have high hopes for finishes!!  But I think the overwhelming messaging that it's telling complicate things were appropriate and simplify the rest.  Do what you love.  Whatever that is, do that, it will bring you the most joy.

Next week I'll share some of the lovely things I've add on the frame this year.  I have been running the wheels off my long arm and there have some beauties on there.!!

In the mean time, check out all the linky parties on the side and go get inspired!!

Friday, December 16, 2022

A Little Holiday Quilting

Did you make any gifts for the holidays?  I'm in a small but very talented quilt, Friendship Star in Crystal Lake.  These ladies are avid quilters and they make the most beautiful things.  For our Christmas Challenge we all got a fat quarter and had to make something as a gift. We have no idea who the recipient will be.  It's a bit intimidating for me, while I have the quilting down pretty well, everything that comes before is certainly questionable!  My first thought was a bag.  I've wanted to make the Dancing Diamonds bag for years and the fat quarter that we were given would be just perfect for it.  Now any of you that know me, know that for one reason or the other when I go to make a bag all the sensibilities that I possess run and hide in a closet, a cozy for a nap, but they there's no sensibility left in me.  It's the strangest thing, but it's very true.  But some day I will prevail and this bag will be mine!!  

I get ready for this bag, convinced I am going to turn the corner in this wonderful bag making world and I can create something just as amazing as the other ladies in this guild.  I have my coordinating fabrics, I cut my strips and I'm ready to go.  As soon as I laid my strip from the fat quarter I realized they were not cut for diamonds.  My heart sank, I have this bag curse that I just can't shake, dang it.  But time is running out, there's only a fat quarter, and I needed every inch of what I had.  

I quickly scour the internet for ideas that will not be nearly as spectacular as the bag planned but certainly there could be something that would be pleasing.  Then I found a runner from Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn and like many quilters do, I thought.....I can make that!  And so I fell into my comfortable quilting corner and made a runner.  I'm not sure I got many pictures of it as I was riddled with quilt at first not giving a second try to the bag and then blatantly taking the pattern I say and making it and not even giving the proper credit (I looked for it again and couldn't find it....I tried). Shoot didn't even take a picture after the binding was on!

If you're still with me, I can give you just a few details on what I did.  It's really a simple pattern with the ornament on the ends (using the fabric that I was able to salvage).    I used  my Accuquilt circle die and cut the circles and then a couple of 1.5 in strips for each end, fused them on to a 14 in width of beautiful green fabric.  Then the fun begins!!!  All my sensibilities have returned.  

So this runner needs some fancy quilting and I am in just the mood to quilt something to death, I need a win!!  I wanted to evoke the sense of an vintage ornament in the middle of this modern runner.  I found the center and started marking.  I used the Leisha Kaye Circle2 (circle squared) rulers for this.  The 10in for the outer circle and the 5 in for the inner and the 8 in for the top and bottom.

Then I got to quilting. I've got two layers of batting, Quilters Dream Blend with Wool on top and 60 wt thread top and bottom.  I normally don't like to use different colored threads but thought  this one need just a little bit of something different so I added a Christmas Green to the cross hatched center and top.  Finished it off with a lovely teal binding.  The recipient loved it. Someone asked how long it took to quilt it.  I just explained that it took longer to sew the binding on than it did to quilt it!  I'm the slowest binder ever.

So what do you think?  Does it bring out that vintage glass ornament?  I sure hope so. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season however you celebrate!  I hope there's lots of stitching time as well.

Check out the linky parties on the side bar, lots of inspiration out there