Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rolling Stones (aka Broken Wheels)

I'm a failure. 
I didn't accomplish last month's OMG (One Monthly Goal). 
I was going to make 28 more Rosebud blocks but I only made 14 . 
I'm changing goals this month.
I hope to have my Rolling Stones at least assembled into a top by the end of May.
I requested this block for my birthday from ladies in 3 different "birthday clubs" - in fabric of choice on neutral background.  I will be using 20 blocks that go together pretty well plus sashing in this quilt and the rest will go into the Orphan Box to be used at a later date.  (Or maybe they will go on the back.)
And if I get the lap quilt completely finished that will be a bonus. 

Linking up to:

grab button for RedLetterQuilts

Maybe I'll call it Broken Stones, Rolling Wheels or how about - Gather No Moss. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kaleidoscopes, Butterflies and Kaleidoscopes of Butterflies

ROY G BIV Kaleidoscope
80 x 80

Last year I made 8 inch kaleidoscope blocks from scraps as one of my projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. All 100 of the blocks came from the 2.5 inch scrap box. I used solids for the corners of the blocks.

I arranged and rearranged the blocks on the floor and couldn't come up with a good arrangement. I finally settled on arranging them clockwise starting at bottom left in rainbow color order.  I left the brown and black blocks on the outside edges. 

I quilted it on my DSM, Little Bro, with some spirals. I used a variegated gray, pastel blue, pastel pink thread on top and a dark gray thread in the bobbin.  It's what I had on hand. 

Since I used solids for the kaleidoscope corners I decided to use it for the binding also in all colors of the rainbow.  And I originally was going to use muslin for the backing but went with a more colorful option instead. 

Since this quilt was from the scrap box I'm linking up to

This finish was also my goal #4 

And, as for butterflies...

Butterfly Garden is still in my hoop. 

I have the hand quilting on three of the lengthwise sashings completed. You can't see it very well but I know the quilting is there and it's giving the quilt a nice overall texture. 

I'm quilting leaves and flowers. I'm using these stencils and marking with mechanical pencil. I'm using Lizbeth size 20 (100% Egyptian cotton) threads in a variety of colors. 

This is my slow stitching I'm slowly stitching a little bit each evening. 
Linking up with other stitchers this dreary Sunday for Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts. 

Now, did you know that a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope? 
I found that out last year.  

To celebrate butterflies (real or in fabric) and kaleidoscopes Ann of Fret Not Yourself and I host a monthly linky party.

I thought it was too early in the year to see butterflies around here but I saw a Silver-Spotted Skipper while I was out weeding the strawberry patch.   I knew it was a skipper but wasn't sure of the exact name. I identified it from pics in the gallery at the BAMONA (Butterflies and Moths of North America) site.    I hope to get the grandkids to help me take pics and catalog the butterflies we see this summer. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Marginalia: A Quilty 365 Project

I've been making daily circles (and HSTs) since November 4. 
This month I have fallen woefully behind although I do have circles prepped through today, April 30. 

We've planted lots of seeds inside under lights (tomatoes, peppers, brassicas, flowers) and they have been transplanted and are hardening off.  Lots of flowers (tulips, lilacs, bleeding heart, bluebells) are blooming.  Spinach, lettuce, sugarsnap peas, potatoes and radishes are planted outside and have sprouted. 

My daughter-in-law had hernia surgery so I've been helping her out. My husband has an infection in his mouth where a tooth was pulled a couple of months ago that will not heal because he had so much radiation in the past when he had cancer. He's miserable but doesn't want to go through daily hyperbaric treatments again like he did last year.  So I've been doing a lot of the chores (like make dinner and do laundry) that he usually does (he's retired, I'm not) because he doesn't feel well. 

 I finished reading "The Pecan Man"  (good book) by Cassie Dandridge.  

And we finally replaced our pop up camper with a new one complete with bathroom.  The grandkids have already slept out in it in our backyard and had fun. 

And I finished a couple of quilts. 

Luckily I keep track of daily events to portray in fabric on pieces of scrap paper.  Hopefully I will find time to play catch up in May. 

I need to start putting circles together soon because I want to keep them in order. I will lay them out 18 x 21.  But first I need to make some circles with letters. 

Every month it's fun to see everyone's circles. I love the variety. 

Orange Chains and One Other Thing

This is the last day for orange as the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The only RSC project I had left to make was a pair of orange Interlocking Chains. 

And I have a few orange tulips blooming in the flower gardens. I have a difficult time growing tulips because the squirrels like to dig up my bulbs.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Thoughts on Improv

I don't have what I would consider any particular quilting style.  But if I'm going to go hook up with a bunch of improv quilters I feel compelled to explain why my post covers improv. 

I have not been doing much of what I think is improv.  And that's because I think improv quilting requires more thinking than I'm willing to give it right now.  I am dealing with a great deal of job-related stress right now and sew primarily to relieve that stress. I'm a zombie chain piecer. 

I think improv requires somewhere to lay out blocks; somewhere where you can keep them laid out; somewhere where you can arrange, rearrange and rearrange again.  I don't have a design wall. I don't have a big space to leave blocks laid out for any period of time.  That makes it difficult to see how the parts fit into the big picture. Of course I could sketch something out. But, I'm not a sketcher...even my stick figures stink. 

I think my improv requires a seam ripper a lot of the time. 

And I think that's why I have a lot of improv UFOs. 

Case in point above. I started a tea towel challenge a few years ago and I have gone nowhere with it. I made up some letters for some words last year and this month put them together. I don't like how I assembled them. There's too much space between letters. I used the same fabric between letters and rows and wish I hadn't.  Time to rip...I hate ripping. 

I think free-piecing (like the letters) is improv. 


I have a lot of different elements made for my tea towel quilt.  I just don't have much room to lay everything out that I want to add to...

...the middle tea towel, etc section. 

I think Crazy Quilting is improv quilting. 
This is my Valentine bed runner UFO.  I haven't worked on it in ages. I wanted to make it to go over the bottom of a ...

...Valentine Hanky quilt I made ages ago. 

I used to participate in a lot of crazy quilt round robins and several times chose valentines as my theme. I have a lot of blocks embellished and lots waiting to be embellished. I couldn't figure out what size to make a bed runner or how I wanted to assemble all of the blocks so everything has been collecting dust since about 2010. 

I've gotten the blocks out several times to work on them again but each time put them back away because how to embellish each seam of each block will require too much thinking from me right now. 

Meanwhile Valentines are always on my mind. When I find embellishments I think will be perfect for a Valentine bed runner on sale or at the thrift store...into the box they go for whenever I'm able to spend a lot of time thinking while I'm stitching.  (No, that's not where I hide my drugs...I've found prescription containers make a good place to store tiny beads). 

Another crazy quilt/improv UFO I pulled out of the fairy garden at midnight glow in the dark wall hanging.  First of all...I have a LOT of fairies from coloring books saved for use in this wall hanging but found it difficult to transfer to the black background so decided difficult was not something I wanted to deal with anymore.  I have a bunch of glow in the dark threads and black background fabrics in the box with 7 12 inch blocks. I don't even know how many blocks I want to make.   But, you know, I sure love whimsy so this looks pretty inviting to me right now. Maybe this summer when I'm not hand quilting (because I don't have A/C and hate sweating under a big quilt while hand quilting) I will pick this up and start working on it again. Otherwise I think it will stay in its box a little longer...until I retire next year. 

And here's even more craziness...Crazy Farm blocks.  I started making a third Crazy quilt (first was Crazy Basket Case and second was Crazy Cravings) called Crazy Farm but, again, I haven't worked on it in a long time.  I just don't feel like thinking when I get home from work.  Like I said...improv/crazy quilting takes a lot of brain energy I don't have right now. 

BUT...I came up with a brilliant idea (brilliant for me anyway)...I will combine improv/crazy quilting with some improv/free-piecing and Build-A-Barn as the center for my Crazy Farm.  I know I can do that since I already made one following tips from Julie.  (And I didn't rip a single seam or have to think too darned much to make it...I used the barn in my own backyard for inspiration). 

(To order your own copy of Build-A-Barn see Build-A-Barn, the blog). 

Ok. So now that you know that I think crazy quilting and free-piecing can also be considered improv I'll tell you what I don't consider an improv project although others might think so. 

I've seen these types of units that are actually, to me, a form of "stack and whack" blocks laid out in various ways to make a quilt. 

It doesn't take much thought to make these...they are pretty mindless and one of my projects these days to use up fabrics left over from Pickle Dish and Petunias that I've been too lazy to put back on the shelf. 

So, since they involve no thinking...doesn't follow my definitions of improv. 

But then of the blocks did involve a little improv (as in improvise) when I found out I didn't have enough fabric for all nine units. 

Other than that...if I make a blocks A,B,C,D (no matter how cut or sewn together)...

...and I follow the author's layout (Fractured, by Kathy Doughty) to make the quilt then I don't think I actually did any improv. 

Just my 2 cents about my improv style. 
Like I said...who needs labels? (except the kind you put on the back of the quilt).  
Crazy Quilting, Free-Piecing, Wonky, Stack and Whack, Traditional, Modern, Improv (your definition, my definition)'s all good. 

AdHoc  Improv Quilting with Kaja and Ann and others. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Happy Butterflies

Happy Butterflies
50 x 50

I have a box of Happy Blocks (I call it a Happy Place) of various sizes and themes. I used to use my scraps that way (bordering a central square) and when I got enough of them in any particular theme that might look good together I'd sew them into a quilt.  It's nice to have a happy place whenever you need to assemble a quilt quickly. 

I found enough 10 inch butterfly themed blocks bordered in blues, purples and oranges to make this quilt for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge. 

I added some pieced batting and quilted it with some very free form five-petaled flowers on my DSM. 

I had enough of this flowery fabric in my stash for the back and binding. 

for the 

Linking up to:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Orange Snakes

Orange Snakes
I used 2.5 inch orange scraps and the pattern Snake Trails from 
Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration

Orange you glad they aren't real snakes?  Yep, me too!

Other orange scrappy projects can be found at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge weekly linkup, ScrapHappy Saturday