Friday, January 16, 2015

One finish... one WIP

I finished a quilt ... my first for 2015!  It is called City Zebra...

It is a challenge quilt - my guild is holding a challenge to make a quilt with a funny animal or an animal in a funny situation... This was my attempt to meet the challenge.  The 'reveal' comes next month at our meeting.  I hope it goes over well.

I also worked on my Bertie's Year quilt.  It has sashing, but no borders... which I'm debating the width and design of.
I'm considering a 3" border (the sashing is 2")... or a 2" border... or something else? I would love to make a sawtooth border but I don't want to make the quilt that much bigger... I'd like it to fit on a wall, and it IS getting big.  Any ideas?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy New Year

Yes, a new year has  begun, which means an end to the old year.  I have been finishing up some year long projects: a Saturday Sampler and a couple of BoMs.  The BoMs are still 'in progress' - one is pinned and ready to quilt, the other is just pieced and appliqued, still needs a back and batting:
I added the borders and they threatened to swallow the whole quilt.... not what I was expecting... Rather than chop off some of the width of border in the HOPES that it would alleviate the problem, I added some applique of my own design.  

The dog of course is our dear Maggie, who wouldn't move despite my attempts to get her up and out of the picture.  She wouldn't be budged.

The BoM is called Bertie's Winter and looks like this:

It was lots of fun to make and I can't wait to finish quilting it. 

I also worked on another BoM called Bertie's Year (same cute bird as in Bertie's Winter, but it was a year long project).  I am still finishing up the November and December blocks of that one, and no pic to share yet.

I have another Saturday Sampler in progress (that one ran February thru January, so it's not done yet).

Looking forward to another year of BoM's, Saturday Samplers and just projects to do of all sorts.  I'll even be doing a round robin with my mini-group.   A fun year to look forward to!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Word for the Year

Last year, my word of inspiration was 'JOURNEY' - I wanted to savor the process rather than always rushing to next plateau, the next phase, or the finish line.  That inspiration served me well last year, as I very much enjoyed what I was doing, quilting-wise, much more than in the prior year or two.

This year, I've chosen the word 'SIMPLIFY' as my inspiration.  I am still continuing the process of working on several block of the month and saturday sampler projects, but I want to cut down on the chaos of both my life and in my studio/home.  I am absolutely going to finish my studio and move the rest of my quilting things into it, rather than scattered about the house.  I am going to purge unwanted books, magazines and patterns.  And I am going to work steadily and calmly on my projects without taking on more than I can handle.

I will probably have to cut back on some of my outside activities for a while... I haven't been playing Mah Jongg for a while, and I was hoping to get back to it, but I think that will have to go on hold.  My mini-group was thinking of becoming a Red Hats group as well, and I volunteered to run that part of our activities, but I think I'm going to back out of that as well... not that I don't WANT to do it, but I also don't want to commit to more than I can handle.  I have been playing several pbp (play-by-post) games online.  I am going to cut back a bit on those as well - simplify, simplify, SIMPLIFY. 

Because 2014 was a much better year for me as a result of taking my word of inspiration quite seriously, I am hoping 2015 will have similar results.  I know it's still 2014, but I figure 'why not start early?'  I'm gonna still enjoy the JOURNEY, and carry that forward into 2015 while I SIMPLIFY.

Having a 'word' for the year has helped me tremendously to be inspired and focused.  I wish the same for you, whether it takes a special word or just your own wisdom and concentration.

Happy holidays to all and a prosperous and inspired new year!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Making tops

Finally the Saint Bernard quilt top is finished.
I put on a plaid border and didn't match the plaids... Or well I DID make an effort to match the plaids, but I matched the START of one strip to the start of the next, and they weren't cut straight, so by the time the stripes got to the END of the first strip for each side, the plaids didn't match any longer... something I didn't think of.  Anyway when it's all quilted, I'm hoping it will be all good and no one will really notice.  To me, right now however, the mismatched plaids stand out like a sore thumb.  (ah the downside to all those years making clothes, and matching plaids and other patterns.)

I also made this cute little top at retreat:
I think I will save it to be the center of my mini-group's round robin next year.  It might be fun to see what my friends will do to add borders to it!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekend at the Beach - on retreat again

What did you do this weekend?  Did you quilt?  Did you craft?  Did you do something fulfilling for you?  I sure hope so!

I went to a quilting retreat at the beach.  Filled my sense of wonder at the beauty of the sun going down over the water.

Sewed for 3 straight days while enjoying the company of other quilters and crafters.  Lots of sewing and knitting going on, and a little embroidery too!   Lots of eating and chocolate involved as well.  Not to mention the wine and the margueritas!

Many thanks to the crew who work so hard to give the rest of us 4 days of relaxation, fun, sewing and shenanigans.   You know who you are!

I made eight appliqued blocks/quilt tops, a quilted kindle cover and a dog themed quilt for donation to Sunny Saints St. Bernard Rescue to auction off to make money to rescue more precious gentle giants.  (I got my Maggie through Sunny Saints and couldn't love her more!  So this is a way to pay it forward for the next dogs who need a loving person to step in find them good homes.)  The quilt has St. Bernards on it, and came out super cute.  Here is a picture of it, sans borders for now, but I have a really cute plaid to use in the border.

Hope your weekend was even half as nice as mine... but as much fun as the retreat was, I am glad to be home, back with my husband, my beautiful Saint, Maggie, and my kitties, Pan and Squeak.


Friday, October 31, 2014

All Colours are of God

2014 Bloggers' Quilt Festival entry in the ROYGBIV category:

Quilt is 18.5"x18.5", a miniaturized version of a Jacqueline de Jongg design, Circle of Life.

Backlink to Amy's Creative Side:  Linking to Amy's Creative Side

When you get to Amy's site, please scroll down to the link for ROYBGIV quilts, and vote.  Your vote for All Colours are of God is greatly appreciated... Thank you! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Woodland Creatures reprise

2014 Bloggers' Quilt Festival entry in the Applique category

The quilt is 80x100 and is all fused and machine appliqued with hand embroidered details.

Here are a few detail shots:

Visit here to see all the quilts in the 'contest' and vote:
Amy's Creative Side

When you get to Amy's site, please scroll down to the link to Applique entries and vote.. Your vote for Woodland Creatures is greatly appreciated.  Thanks!!!

"Social Tote"

I saw a cute little tote on Facebook and decided I just HAD to make one.  I bought the pattern, by Carolyn Friedlander, collected some fabrics and got to it.  Now, you have to understand that making totes and bags is NOT my forte...  I usually have trouble with anything three dimensional... I'm much better working in two dimensions, which is maybe why I'm a quilter and not, say, a sculptor?  Anyway... I did manage to make sense of the directions and made this adorable little tote for my hand sewing projects.  In fact, the little hexagon tote I made (see the link to tutorial at the top of this page, it's the 'English paper piecing travel kit') fits perfectly in the Social Tote, so I can take it anywhere.  (By the way, I didn't DESIGN the hexagon tote, I just made one and posted the link to the site I got the pattern from).

Anyway - here are some pics of my little "social tote."  It even included a pattern for a matching pincushion, so I made that too... fits perfectly in one of the small pockets!

Hope you are having a lovely day - It's beautiful here in So. Calif. today - comfortably cool and 'autumn-y".  Leaves are green (since we don't have much of a seasonal change here), but it still feels like fall.  Tomorrow is Halloween and we might even get some rain!

I am getting ready for my guild's biannual retreat to Saylor's Sandcastle at the beach.  SO looking forward to 4 days with fellow quilters.  Prepping for the stay is always a busy time here at serial quilter headquarters.  I am dithering between which projects to take with me.  Not that I lack for UFOs, just a question of which ones to bring.  I am planning on bringing a lot of applique projects, and doing all the edge-stitching on them, as well as one quilting project and a saturday sampler block if I feel the need to do some piecing.  My problem?  - Will those be enough, or should I bring more?  I don't want to end up twiddling my thumbs the last day or two, while projects languish at home.  Otoh, I don't want to overwhelm myself with projects packed in the car and never needing to be unpacked even.  Where is that balance of 'just right?'  Well, I have one week to figure it out...


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Escher in Bali

Here is the finished top:

Can't wait to see it quilted and done, but I'm happy with how it came out.  Love the tessellation.  Got the rows sewn together this morning before company came over.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Escher Meets Bali

I am currently working on a quilt of tesselating houses...

It still needs more work - the rows need to be sewn together but this is essentially it.  It's not quite this pink - that pink background is actually a grey flannel, so the lavendar sky triangles should be bluer.  Still, I'm having a ball making it - keeping all the houses in line with their roofs and eaves has been a puzzle and a challenge to say the least. 

The pattern came from Craftsy and had so many errors in it that I found myself re-sewing many parts.  If you like it and go to Craftsy and look for it (it's called 'A Rainy Day in Mr. Escher's Neighborhood'), DO look at how half the houses are reversed, and so you need to sew the siding on the wide windows on the opposite side from the directions on those half the houses.  A design wall is ESSENTIAL for this quilt!!!

What are YOU working on?