Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pig Farm Hexie

Over on CQI (Crazy Quilting International) Yahoo Group I'm in a one on one "Snowball Swap" with Thearica who requested a hexie shape with the theme of a pig farm mostly done in browns. And so here is my version of a pig farm.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Baskets for the Grandkids

I made a few Easter Baskets for the grandkids following a tutorial at Pink Penguin.

I still have to buy some cord to add to the insert in the Spiderman bag but otherwise they are ready for some Easter goodies. The two 7 year old granddaughters are going to get some sewing, crochet and embroidery items in their baskets. Not yet sure what my 3 year old grandson will be getting.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another 24 Heartstring Blocks

Over the weekend I finished the rest of the 24 blocks necessary for the 48 for an adult sized quilt for the Heartstrings Quilt Project.  I may have scraps/strings left for one more set of 24 for a children's quilt. And I may have enough blue strings for a blue quilt...that is if I finish making all the blue blocks necessary after swapping blocks to complete my blue double 4 patch quilt. That should give me a few more blue strings. Now...what will I use for those centers? 

Oh, and that box in the photo...well, it's full of scraps too small to use for anything quilty (at least I think that is what's in that particular box) so they go into my compost pile or are used directly on the garden as mulch! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Midnight Fantasy Garden

This is my work on Lyn's Midnight Fantasy Garden block. I stitched some fuschia in silk thread. I didn't take a photo of the bottom of the block but she has a deep purple patch there and the fuschia picks up the color in that. There is feather stitch with variegated orange bullions, an embellished chevron stitch seam and a chain stitch and french knot motif both in variegated threads. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Free Motion Quilt Challenge - Flowers

This is my hotpad for March for the Free Motion Quilt Challenge at SewCalGal.  This month's tutorial was by Ann Fahl. and I chose to free motion some flowers on my hotpad. I used some variegated thread (I think Coat's and Clark's) I had on hand in shades of brown. 

Hotpad is filled with insulbrite and terrycloth and is 8.5 inches in size so my flowers had to be rather small. It was hard to quilt flowers on the fancy fabric I chose to use but this will be a hotpad for my brother who looks forward to my wild hotpads for Christmas.  Quilting flowers seemed appropriate. 

And what I was actually practicing flowers for was to finish this Sunbonnet Sue quilt that's been a WIP for too long. Blocks were from a swap on the Mailblocks Yahoo Group. I will need to buy some monofilament to stitch in the ditch along the borders framing each block and then find some thread to use as filler flowers around the Sues. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Butterflies and Dragonflies

This is my work for Candji on a Butterfly and Dragonfly themed RR block. I stitched an art noveau dragonfly with 2 strands of DMC and 1 strand of metallic. The feelers look a little like antlers but that's how they were in the pattern I traced. I tried a sequin flower (near the crocheted butterfly) and made my first ever beaded dragonfly (near the bullion roses).

Another crocheted butterfly near some fantasy flowers of drizzle stitch, Kiko flower stitch and pistil stitches and beads.

I tried a needlace butterfly but it was too shameful to put on the block. I'll just have to keep trying...that's the reason I wanted to join this force myself to try some needlace butterflies. I have several books that tell how to do it and I love them I said...I'll have to keep trying.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Love Cherries

I've been hoarding cherry themed fabrics long enough so I'm turning the fabrics into Japanese X & + blocks. I'm not sure yet what size quilt I'll be making. I've got a big box of fabrics. This will be the first in a series of "My Favorites" quilts. I love coffee, butterflies, fairies, large flowers, birds...that should give you a hint of what's to come. This is not the layout I'm using...just had to lay them on my "design floor" to take a pic.

Monday, March 19, 2012

On My Design Floor...Heartstrings

I don't have enough space for a design wall so I have to lay things out on my design floor. Pay no attention to the carpeting that is old and in terrible need of vacumning. Anyway...these are half the blocks necessary for an adult sized quilt for the Heartstrings quilt block challenge. If you've got some stringy scraps consider joining in. It's for a good cause.

These are my colors of autumn.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Snow and Ice

This is my work on Colleen's winter themed block. I tried to keep embellishments to white (snow) and silver (ice).

You can't really see them from the photo above but there are ice crystal sequin flowers in amongst the silver rhinestones.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chikan Embroidery

Anita of has graciously shared a tutorial of chikan embroidery. I have completed lessons 1 and 2. My eyes don't see too well to do such small stitching but I managed to make it through it all. My stitching definitely improved as I went along. The teardrop shapes are like shadow work. I have a book on shadow work I'm going to have to find. I'm not so intimidated by it now. Image is worked on poly/cotton blend of batiste. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fanning for Gold

This is my work on Arlene's block for the Fool's Gold RR over on CQ International Yahoo Group. I chose a block with a fan on it so I didn't have to rack my brain for a  motif to add. First I added did a feather stitch between the two middle blades of the fan.  Then I added some bullions to the feather stitch and outlined them in gold metallic effects DMC with a lazy daisy stitch. Next I couched some trim along the first fan blade and added some bullion roses made out of perle #5 gold metallic (not the easiest thing to do). The other fan seam has double herringbone, straight stitches and beads. At the bottom of the fan I couched down some cording with dmc that matches the second blade of the fan. I wish I had used some darker thread so it would show better...but I didn't. I couched in a brick pattern. Then I added a black perle8 bullion fantasy flower surrounded by some gold flat trim raised leaves and pistil stitches. Oh, and I couched on the black bullion with gold. Then I added gold rick rack with zig zag chain stitch of 1 strand of gold metallic thread and 1 strand of dark purple DMC. Then I cut some leaves out of gold ribbon I fused with interfacing and made a gathered fantasy flower out of some wired gold ribbon and surrounded it with a variety of gold beads. 

And so...I'm done fanning for gold! ;-) 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Black, White and One Other Color

I've joined a swap on Block_swappers Yahoo group. We are swapping 12 inch block of choice done in black, white and one other color of choice. This is called Sarah's Choice block and you can see the colors I had in my stash. I didn't have enough of any one color to make all 9 blocks the same.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Things are in turmoil at work. There are too many people who make me feel angry. If I sew for charity I don't feel angry...I feel good...and my world seems to be in balance.

The latest set of I Spy string blocks for the Heartstrings Quilt Project.  I didn't think I would have enough strings for another one but I did. I had to purchase some yellow for a consistent center color but other than that no purchase, no cutting, just using scraps. And I think I have still have enough strings for another set of 24 I Spy Heartstrings.

Yes, I feel good.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Valentines and Snowballs - Some Crazy Things

This is my work on Ely's 6 inch vintage valentine themed block for a RR over on Crazy Quilting International Yahoo Group. I loved the silky of the little girl that was on the block when I received it. 

And this is a snowball I made to exchange with Alice.  She wanted a botanical type snowball so here it is. It's really difficult, I think, to piece something so small. Trace a CD and you know the size. I used some botanical fabrics I had in my stash and then added a silk ribbon botanical daffodil, some anorexic bees, a tatted butterfly and then framed it all in some french knots. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Aqua or Turquoise?

I finished 24 blocks for the Heartstrings Quilt Project  which is what is necessary for a child size quilt. I had enough different aqua (or is that turquoise?)  fabrics to use as the center of the blocks and the rest are from the novelty string bin. I tried to use all different fabrics for kind of an I Spy type quilt. I put some aqua fabric that I think will be enough for borders next to it and will hopefully get all blocks sent off to the volunteers to complete at the end of this week. Now I think I still have enough strings for another adult sized quilt (48 9.5 inch blocks) and another child size (24 9.5 inch blocks) if I can find some fabric for centers for each. 

I think this quilt can be for a boy or girl because it's full of sugar and spice and everything nice and snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Buckeye Beauty - A Finished Quilt

Last year on the Block_ swappers Yahoo Group we swapped what were called "Buckeye Beauty units" quarterly. The units consisted of two HSTs and two 4 patches in fall colored (not necessarily themed) fabrics plus cream or tan. None of the fabrics could be repeated in the units. 

And so I just finished a Buckeye Beauty quilt this weekend and I'm linking up at "I Love a Good Swap"  over at Pigtales and Quilts.  Quilt measured 88 x 108 before binding. 

Closeup of some of the fabrics and blocks. 

I'm glad I went with the red binding because brown would have been too drab for me.  I don't have a long arm and am not too good at quilting other than straight lines but I got adventurous on my little Janome since I've taken the Free Motion Quilting challenge (see sidebar for link). I quilted some leaves in variegated thread since it is a fall themed quilt. My leaves come in all shapes and sizes and some are even a little deformed. And 15 bobbins later I'm a little deformed from sitting over the sewing machine. 

And here's a peek at the back. 

This year we are still swapping HSTs and 4Ps over on Block_swappers; however, we've divided it up into two separate swaps and the HSTs aren't fall themed anymore. I'll probably make a broken dishes or depression block quilt with the HSTs. I don't know about the 4Ps yet. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Crazy Basket Case (CQJP 2012 March)

My CQJP 2012 block for March. I'm making a lap quilt so all blocks need to be washable. I've called my quilt "Crazy Basket Case" so my personal requirement is to have 2  baskets per block and mostly use red and white. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

TAST - Couch

This week the TAST at PinTangle is couch. So I've been couching. Didn't know what to do since I'm making my TASTs into a lap quilt so want to remain washable and cottony but finally decided to couch down some torn fabric strips into a flower and leaf shape.