Thursday, July 30, 2015

Budding Comedian and Whole Cloth Block Finish

Every family has one...a comedian.  That joke-ster that thinks they are ever so funny and clever.  And usually in my family that person is me...but this week my husband stepped up to the plate with a little healthy Facebook shaming for me.  Apparently he discovered some app or web site that would allow him to create his own meme's and to town he went.

I was actually quite impressed he has payed enough attention to know what a stash of fabric is.

My response...Yay!  You cleaned your office!  I'm not sure what part of block of the month he doesn't understand.  I can only sew what they release.  I'm ignoring the fact I've had his fabric for about four years.  

But speaking of blocks of the month, August is almost here and that means the new blocks in some of the quilt a longs I'm participating in shall be released.  So I better get my butt in gear and get Jungle Gym finished in the next few days.  Currently, it is ditch stitched and waiting for the fun to begin.  

I did manage to get my bobbin wound and in no time completed my first whole cloth block.  All that is really left to do is to soak and block it and get ready for block number two.  Block number two is scaring me quite a bit.  This time the feathers will be arranged on the outside and inside of a heart.  If you remember a few weeks ago I attempted feathers in a wreath and it didn't go quite so well.  Ren, the lady hosting the quilt along on facebook, did provide a template to practice on and I decided to take advantage of it and take a 10 minuet break at work yesterday.

Not too shabby, so I'm feeling pretty good about it.  Not sure if it will make it to the table this weekend, but its day will come soon enough. 

I also got a surprise yesterday at work.  My friend Lori (my partner in photography crime) stopped by to give me this.

She figured if they won't let me drink at work, maybe I could eat it on toast for breakfast to start my day out right.  So a big thanks to her for thinking of me on her trip to the local farmers market.

Now I'm off to start quilting my next mini and daydream about all the blocks I will hopefully be making this weekend.  Before I can start sewing for the weekend I must make it through my daughter's first field show tomorrow night for band.  My only baby is growing up on me and turning into a wonderful young lady.  Watching her take all these first steps is so bittersweet.  I refuse to be the fool at the football field crying...but I'll sneak a few tissues just in case.

Hopefully, you have big plans for the weekend.  If you do I'd love to hear what they are.  Or advice on how not to be the blubbering fool at the football game.

Today I'm linking up with

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Ramblings and Partial Quilt Gallery--Finally

It's funny, when I don't get to do something quilty for a few days in a row, I start to panic.  I feel like I'm going in circles and that I may never get anything done again.  It's crazy talk and I know that but sometimes I just can't stop those negative voices.  I'm writing this post to try to reign myself in again and get back on track.

Last week a friend of mine and I took advantage of some of the pretty weather that has found its way to our neck of the woods.  She had recently expressed an interest on working on her photography skills (plus I stalk her on Pinterest, so I know what she's up to) so I asked if she would like to help with my quilt pictures project.  I thought it would be neat for us to take a few of the quilts and put them in different settings and both takes pictures.  It was really fun to spend time together and work on something creative.  Plus having two cameras going at the same time (though you had to watch out for the other one) really paid off.  We were photographing the same thing in the exact same setting, yet we each had different perspectives on how it should be done.  I have posted a few pictures to the quilt gallery  It is still a work in progress, but it's getting closer to done.  She and I hope to have another outing soon.

Yup, these are pictures that Lori took of me taking pictures.  If only pictures could capture the sound of laughter and fun.

Next up is the whole cloth quilt along that I have been participating in on Facebook.  I believe the instructions for the first 3 blocks have been posted to the group page.  Somehow I'm managing to turn the first 18 inch block into a year long project.  I have sworn to myself I will finish it this evening.  What is the hang up?  My bobbin ran out of thread and I was completely unmotivated to wind a new one.  It's been sitting on my machine table since Friday night.  Isn't that just awful?  Do you ever find your self walking away from a project over the silliest reason?

I did come up with quilting plan for my next Aurifil mini finish, Jungle Gym.  If I can get the whole cloth finished, this little guy at a whopping 21 inches shouldn't take much time to quilt.  I wonder just how much quilting I can fit into such a small space?  Insert diabolical laughter.

On a different note, last Monday wrapped out our 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop.  It saddens me to see it come to and end.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet and know everyone who participated in the event.  But I can happily say that I have met 72-ish new friends that I can continue to keep up with thanks to blogging.  Ladies, all of you inspire me.  

But our fearless leaders Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs, Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter, Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl and Terri Ann @ Childlike Fascination have not left us.  These wonderful ladies have offered us an opportunity to participate in yet another blog hop.  Introducing...

For this blog hop, everyone who participates is asked to create a 12 1/2 inch block using fabrics that have been graciously donated by Fabri-Quilt .  The hop will begin August 31st and continue through September 3rd.  On the assigned day, we will post a tutorial on how to make our blocks then ship them to our leaders so that they can assemble them into three quilts to be donated to charity.  I couldn't be happier to be part of this project.

Along with my block for the block hop, I am considering writing a tutorial for the dandelion mini quilt...stay tuned.  

So what do you find yourself working on?  If you are like me and you have something just laying around for no good reason, I hope you will join me this evening on trying to get that ball rolling again.

Today I am linking up with

Friday, July 24, 2015


A few weeks ago our local community theater group contacted our quilt guild hoping that we would have volunteers to help create the blocks needed for their up coming production of Quilters.  A musical about quilters?  Yes please!  With out any hesitation I signed up to help with the project.  I was given the task to making the Dandelion block for the play.  I wrote about constructing this block earlier in a post called Keeping It Simple--Dandelion Block.

Now I would like to say a few words about the quilting.  I started off by "stitching in the ditch--every stinking seam."  This quote actually comes from Cindy Needam.  I have never had the pleasure of actually physically setting in on one of her classes, but through the power of the internet have taken both of her Craftsy classes.  If I ever have the opportunity to physically take one of her classes you better bet your life I will.  Her work is AMAZING and she is such an entertaining instructor.

Back to stitching in the ditch--every sticking seam.  This is a method she swears by.  You cannot debate her out of it, it is what it is, and you should do it.  She gives examples in her class of blocks that have had the seams "ditched" and then was quilted and blocks that were not "ditched" just quilted.  The difference is unbelievable.  The "ditched" blocks lay flatter which makes the quilting look better.

Do I do this with every I  Should I...probably.  The great thing is there are no rules.  For this particular project, I chose to stitch in the ditch ESS.  Since it will be viewed from on stage, I hoped that it would help with shadows or possible wrinkles.  So that is where the process started.  I used Aurifil #2692 in my bobbin and Sulky invisible thread on the top.

The next step was to figure out exactly how to bring the flower to life.  My usual quilting style is lots of dense quilting, but I felt this project needed to be more toned down.  Continuous curves in the flower and leaves, pebbling in the ground area and possibly straight lines in the background.

When I work with continuous curves, I try to draw them out on the project. I like to have a mental map of how to travel around the quilt with out doubling back on my lines.  This always pays off.

The next step was to add my background lines.  As a last minute change, I decided to do diagonal lines instead of straight lines.  I posted my picture to Pat Sloan's quilting group on Facebook and on Instagram asking for help.  At first I wanted to do cross hatching, but I wanted to get opinions on leaving the lines the way they were.  Would cross hatching be too much or where my diagonal lines not enough?  I just didn't know.  Overwhelmingly, everyone liked the diagonal lines.  A few people even suggested it reminded them of rain in the background.  So if it's not broke don't fix it.  I left it alone.

 I finished it off with the pebbling and piano keys in the boarder.  After attaching a hanging sleeve and binding I could officially call this one complete.

The only thing left to do, is turn my block in and wait for August 6th to arrive so that I can watch the production of Quilters.  I have to say I'm super excited about it.  If you find yourself in the north central area of West Virginia August 6th-8th and would like more information about the show and tickets please feel free to email me using the email button on the top right of this page.

Now I must get back to quilting.  I have the July Aurifil Mystery BOM mini quilt to quilt and a whole cloth quilt along to catch up on.  Sleep might be nice too.

Today I will be linking up with

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Midweek Adventures

Wednesday is upon us and the weather here in north central West Virginia is still hormonal.  I think mother nature is having some real issues.  This was my view yesterday as I waiting to pick my daughter and niece up from band camp.  Beautiful blue skies, white fluffy clouds and plenty of vitamin D rich sunshine.

By the time I got home thirty minuets later, dark skies had started to form leaving me no time to get pictures of my finished dandelion block.  UGH!  But I guess I can't complain about mother nature too much.  As I watched the kids proudly march by me in formation, I started to tear up as my daughter marched by.  This was the first time I have ever seen her march in formation.  She is growing up too fast.  All I could see as the kids went by was small ghosts of their kindergarten selves, carrying instruments that where way to big for them.  So I guess I understand how mother nature can cry so quickly.  Maybe she just feels my pain. 

Enough of that.  So I spent most of the evening working on July's Aurifil Mini by Ebony Love called Jungle Gym.  Her version has lots of bright colors; yellow, purple, red-orange, and green.  One of the fabrics even has cute little elephants on it.  These are not my normal color pallet choices so I admit I was having trouble figuring our my strategy.  My first thought was something in blacks and whites.  Then I stumbled onto this great turquoise fabric with what reminded me of white firework bursts with pink in the middle.  Then my vision was complete.  Whites, blacks, hot pinks and turquoise would be my color pallet.

Note to self: work on the whole cloth block.  It feels neglected.
Since I was changing up the color scheme, keeping track of what fabrics would go where really seemed to take the most amount of time.  The quilt is made up of basically six different blocks.  You can sort of see her quilt on my phone it the picture below.  Oliver was doing his best to try to help me keep everything straight.  He pretty much knows I'm a lost cause most days.

As I pieced the blocks together, I kept thinking man this quilt reminds me of something.  Then it hit me these are the same colors I used in The Death Quilt.  Instead of reverting back to the tears I just kind of smiled and thought, these are great colors.

Read about The Death Quilt

I didn't get all of the blocks finished. I still have eight more to go, but I should have the top completed in the next few days.

 I hope you will stop back later and check it out.  I also hope to show some pictures of my block for the play Quilters being performed by our local theater group.  Until next time, I hope everyone has a quilt-y day.

Today I'm linking up with

Friday, July 17, 2015

I'm A Quilter--Not a Photographer

Before I started blogging I usually put 0% thought into taking pictures of my finished projects.  I would just snap a picture and post it on Facebook to share with my friends and famil.  After I started blogging and reading blogs I realized that these finished projects really are huge accomplishments since time is something that is precious.  We only get a finite number of days to live and how we choose to spend them is important.  When I can squeak the time to create something, I should savor the moments creating it.  And when you give a quilt away, you never know what type of life it will lead.  I read a great blog post on the BadAdd Quilter Society's page called You Can Have Sex On My Quilt.  It's a great read and so true.

I decided that I would like to add a gallery page to my blog (still under construction) so anyone who is interested can check out the quilts that I have made.  But I quickly realized most of my pictures...well...honestly are awful.  So I decided to put the brakes on and try my hand at photographing them.  And lets just state for the record I am not a photographer and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Since I have no idea what I'm doing I turned to Craftsy, that seemed logical.  I have downloaded several quilting classes and thought maybe, just maybe there would be a class to help with this.  What I found was a class called Shoot It! A Product Photography Primer by Caro Sheridan.  This class is specifically about trying to obtain that perfect product shot.  Maybe for a pattern cover or just to sell a product, like a finished scarf.  She gives tips about lighting, working with models and playing around with photo editing.  There is even an extra bonus on taking self portraits.

So after taking some notes and commandeering my brother's Nikon camera, I waited for a day with decent lighting (and no rain) and tried my hand at photographing inanimate objects.

**Note: Please do not be horrified by the quality of the before pictures.  I'm a little embarrassed that I'm sharing them.  Growth through pain.

This is a before picture of my pink and green sampler.

 Isn't my husband's little piggies just the cutest? I'm rolling my eyes over here.  And the pile of yard sale junk...what was I thinking?  Hopefully, the new pictures will redeem me.

Yes, I actually forced my brother and his wife to snuggle under the quilt...he he he.

Next, is a before picture of a mini quilt called Don't Break Bread Into Your Soup.

Not really the best lighting and I just laid it across the chair to grab a quick picture.

Hopefully the scenery in these two pictures make it more interesting and help the colors to pop.

Next up is another mini quilt called Decoy and it is probably one of my favorite things that I've quilted.

Lovely mauve carpet background and kind of blurry.  The detail of my quilting is visible, but I wouldn't say great.  Now for the newer and hopefully improved pictures.

The first picture is crisper and shows the detail in the quilting better.  The second one could still be improved, but I think it's kind of fun and shows the colors of the whole quilt.

And lastly, is a quilt that we keep in our living room.  I made it so long ago I forget what the pattern was called.

Yup, another very blurry picture and don't you just love the blanket under it??  If anyone would like to borrow it to show case a project on just let me know.  I will let you borrow it for free :)  And now the newer improved picture.

This has to be better than the first one, right?

I am glad that I took the leap and purchased the class.  I still have things I need to work on, but it gave me a starting place for sure.  Do you have a process or tip for taking pictures of your quilts?  Do you maybe keep and album of the projects you have completed?  Does anyone still do that?

Today I created a page with pictures of the Aurifil mini quilts I have finished to date.  You can check them out by clicking the tab at the top of the page or you can click here.  Hopefully, I will have my gallery page up soon and you will stop back over to check it out.  I may still have some pictures that are kind of, ehhh, but that is because those quilts have moved on to new homes.  And to those that have some of those quilts, you may have sex on my quilt, I hope you make many memories with them however you choose to.

I'm linking up with:

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