Saturday, January 28, 2012

Circles #1 a "How to Do"

Circles #1

See that?  That is a quilt that I made as a sample for my LQS's new Kona club that starts next Tuesday.  (They don't even know it yet.....unless, of course someone from the shop is reading this.)  My inspiration came from the paintings of Georgia Gray.  She uses bold solids and I love them!  I am going to show you how to make your own.

First, you do a drawing!  Just like with most of my stuff, I make the drawing to scale, and when I like it, I bold it out with a Sharpie.  (That's so I can see it when I put it under the base fabric.)

You will see that although it appears as though dark blue was my base fabric, it was not.  I decided that white had to be the base so I could retain the cool, crisp whiteness of the circles.  (Besides, I can see my pattern through'll see that later.)  Note that I numbered all the blue spaces and that was so that I could fuse a big hunk of blue and cut the pieces out all at one time, numbering them on the back so that I could place them all at one time.  Cut your base white fabric at least 1/2 inch bigger all the way around just in case the quilt is not even when you get done.

See the numbers?  I use Steam a Seam and that's so that I have a clean sheet to use as a pattern with one sheet still on the back of the blue fabric.  I trace the front of the blue numbered spaces on that clean sheet, place it over the paper pattern, and cut the blue fused fabric from the "front" or top.  NUMBER your pieces on the paper back as you go so you know what is what!  (I get too confused turning it over and tracing them on the back.  Besides, for me, this is much faster!)  When you're done, you should have pile of blue pieces ready to fuse.

You'll note that as I was doing that, I put the pattern underneath so I could see what I was doing.  You should only do a section at a time and then iron them down.  (Sometimes the fusing doesn't stick like it should as a temporary agent and when you get up with your piece to take to your iron, they fall off and then you have a real mess!)  DO NOT IRON THE PAPER PATTERN...only the fabric!

When you get all those dark blue pieces ironed down, it's time to start on the colored circles and I really can't tell you how to do that.  It's a matter of color preference.  I like red, so used the majority of reds and oranges.  The trick is to ALWAYS repeat a color somewhere else.  The eye flows better that way.  (Unless it's in the same color family, and lighter.  Sometimes you can get away then only using one of that color.  I think I used a pale yellow for one of them.)

So here it is all fused and ready to be quilted.  At this stage, I must admit, I let it sit for a few weeks.  I really didn't know how I was going to quilt it until I looked at Georgia Gray's paintings again.

Of course, you already know what I did.  I sewed down each circle with the appropriate color thread and then just used white to go round and round each white section.  Here's a close up of the finished quilt.

Circles #1 close up

It's hard to see the white quilting, I know.  I love it!  It's already hanging in my dining room and I think it will have a permanent home there.  At 19x28 inches, it seems to be the perfect size.  Besides, it makes me smile and isn't that what it's all about????

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Images and Stuff

I was thinking the other day about all the e-mails we get, and how neat some of them have been lately with such awesome included images.  Since I seem to never go anywhere lately (probably because I'm sewing my life away), and thought that some of you might be in the same boat, I'd include a few that I borrowed.  Ah-hem....stole/swipped/downloaded.  (All for good fun!)  Naturally, I named them.....(like you didn't know I was going to do that????  Please!!!)

The first one, I'm calling, "Show me the way to go home...."

I don't think you'd want to do that at night with a bit of a buzz, huh?  Pretty though.....

The next one, I named, "the road to no where".......for obvious reasons:

It might be a nice ride on a warm summer day though.

The next picture I took last week.  I call it, "Lonely leaf with a touch of snow"

And finally, the last picture I stole.....borrowed...which I call, "The garden gate".  Soooo cool!!

Yeah, I know you're probably saying, "okay lady, the pictures are nice but where is the finished abstract......did you work on it at all, it done?"  Well...yes and no.  It is done to the point of sandwiching it together.  I do know now what I am going to do with it though and that's a plus.  At first, I was contemplating making it bigger by adding some borders.  Hopefully, I can show it all finished next time.  For now though, I can show you 2 log cabin potholders I made for the Potholder Pass swap.  My partner wanted orange, and turquoise with a touch of curry.  (Actually she wanted grey too, but I didn't like the grey with the other colors, so I didn't use it.....bad me!!)

Wacky Log Cabin Potholders

Then, I finished the log cabins for the theme of the Jan/Feb STUD swap too.  (Log cabins must have been on the minds of lots of administrators, huh?  I just realized!!  Hello!!!???)  Anyway, my partner got the mini quilt I made for her yesterday so I can show you.  Do you have your sunglasses on?  It's a bright one!!

STUD - Log Cabin - Jan/Feb 2012

So, that's about it for today!  I'm sewing constantly lately, it seems and even wake up at the crack of dawn with more ideas.  I wish I could sew as fast as I think...............'course then, I'd need lots more fabric too.  lol

Thanks for visiting and being a fan!  You have no idea how I appreciate each and every one of you!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I think I told you that I had a passion recently to get out the solids and just "play".  I really felt like trying to do something graphic, but still "me" (if that was possible) without any whimsey.  (Sorry about that for all you whimsey lovers out there.)  Actually, I wanted a challenge, if you will.  Lately, I have been seeing so many abstract, colorful quilts that I just HAD to try it too!  First I got out all my favorite colors and sewed up a storm trying to come up with a plan:


As soon as I saw that picture, I knew some of that stuff wasn't going to work, especially if I wanted "graphic".  So, I cut the yellow strip in half, and made some more pieces:

As of this moment, I am stuck, so I had lunch and looked at it, and looked at it again, and prayed that at this stage, I don't mess it up!  So far, I'm really liking it and it seems to be designing itself, in a way.  Perhaps, I am getting divine intervention, I don't know.  All I know is that I really would like to finish the top today sometime.  Only the first 3 sections are sewn together.  See:


Now to fill in the blanks and try piecing the rest of this puzzle together!  E-gads!  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It finally snowed.....

I really wished the snow could have stayed away all winter, but I guess I should be happy that it stayed nice outside as long as it did.  Toby likes it's fun to burrow in:

Snow is Fun!!

I continue to play with solids and decided the other day just to sew some leftover strips together and see what I could come up with.  Once it was done, I had no idea how how I was going to quilt it until I looked at my sewing machine and decided to make it a stitch sampler.  I named it, "Stitches".  (I never seem to run out of clever names, dontcha know??!!  lol)


I have something else in the works and the only thing I can say is that I used a ton of colors:

That was only a few of the many that I used.  This wall hanging is taking me an age, so we'll see what happens.  If I get a partner who likes color for a new swap that I joined, perhaps they might be blessed with it, who knows?  First though, I have to finish it!  I go from liking it to not.  Sometimes that means I've been looking at it too long!  lol  So often, I wish I worked faster!!!  I don't want to forget so many others in my head that need to come out. more thing.  I don't think I showed you a mosaic of all the ladies together.  It made a hit with my friends in Flickr:

My "girls" from 2011 in my Ladies Series plus Flossie #20

Cute, huh?  Perhaps I will continue with that series when this "solid" marathon is done.  Let me know if you'd like to be in the next bunch.  Wouldn't that be fun???  Until next time...........

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm having so much fun!

I'm so glad the holidays are over and I can sew again!  Can you believe that I am having so much fun and I'm so busy that I haven't taken a nap since December?  lol  (Usually, I take naps when I'm either bored or sick....mostly!  I just thought I should throw that in there for clarification.)  It's gotten so bad that we hardly have a space to eat, the table is so filled with stuff!  (Current projects are done in the kitchen, spare...."immediate need" stuff is in the dining room.  You've seen the table!)  I do move the sewing machine though.  Otherwise Toby might eat the cords.  lol  He still loves to chew on stuff!!  Sweet baby!

Remember, I told you that I was starting 2012 with solids???  What fun!  Only.......I sure wish I could work faster!!!  I have so much in my head that it's getting to where I am making quilt wall hanging tops only, just to get the stuff outta my brain and on/in fabric!  That's NEVER happened before!  I think I'm on my 8th project right now.  I'm naming my newest series, "Abstracts"!  Quite clever, I know!  (Hey, I sew, I don't name stuff.............although I must admit that I ADORE naming my work!!  (Secretly I always wanted to work in a paint factory so I could name the colors..........honestly!!  Not many people know that about me!)

Okay, okay......I know, you probably want to see something.  You didn't come here to hear me blab!  There are two that I recently posted that I can show you.  The others are either being auditioned for swaps or aren't done yet......sorry!  First of off, we have ...................."Trees":


It's 9 x 19 inches.....and kind of ZEN like (or so I've been told).  In actuality all I was striving for in the beginning was to see if tree limbs would look better if I used my rotary cutter rather than a scissors.  Once I got them on fabric, I drew (and cut out) a zillion little pieces and fused them to represent the leaves.  It's okay, but rather dull for me, wouldn't you say???  Who would guess in a million years that I would have a background of gold???  Eikes!

I do like this one better!  I named this one, "Artsy-Fartsy".  (My cleverness has no bounds!!)

Artsy-Fartsy Abstract

Quilting on Artsy-Fartsy Abstract

And the back (which could be a quilt itself if it wasn't for all the lint and birds nests.  Duh!)  lol  Incidentally, this wall hanging is 15 1/2 inch square!

Back un"linted"

So, there you have it!  I'll get back to work now!  It's 5:30 am (on Saturday) and I am ready!  Who needs sleep anyway??

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A fooler....

My daughter turned 35 on the 3rd of January and asked if I'd make her a peach pie instead of a birthday cake when she and her hubby came for supper.  Now normally this might not sound like a problem, but remember..... I live in Wisconsin and this is the beginning of January.  Where was I going to find peaches without jumping on a plane or taking out a mortgage even IF I could find some decent fresh ones.  Instead, I decided to use frozen peaches.....BAD IDEA!!  Don't do it!!  Although the pie might look pretty.....without lots of ice cream on top, it was yucky!  Frozen peaches are not for pie making.....believe me!  Maybe if you froze your own peaches, maybe, but not the ones from the grocery store.  Next year, the poor girl will get a cake and that's it!!!  No more peach pies in January for me!

On another note, I have been sewing again and it feels so good.  I pulled all (well, not all, but some) of my solids out and decided to give them a whirl.  I have some very abstract, arty type quilts in my head that really need to come out and solids are the only thing that will work.  I did make a couple already, but I really can't show you until I decide if I'm going to use them for an upcoming swap or not.  I have about 3 more in my head that I need to work on first and then I'll decide.

Did you see that picture?  Not bad, huh?  I took it with my new point and shoot camera!  Hubby bought it for me for Christmas, but our local camera store was all out so I had to wait until last week to get it.  My old one was 6 years old, only had 5 megapixels and really took crummy flash shots.  So far I don't see much of a difference between my old one and new for shots in the sun, but the flash is another story!  Wow!

My new Camera

Here's one of Toby:

"Hey Ma, let me in!"

On another note, look what I bought last week when I visited my local quilt shop when I went with a few friends:

Isn't it beautiful?  These are not Kona colors, oh NO!  This jelly roll is called, "Fresco" and it's by Patrick Lose.  Every single color looks hand dyed......they're gorgeous and I can hardly wait to cut into them!  I'm thinking they'll be perfect with the Malka Dubrawsky fabric that I'm waiting to get!  I might need sunglasses for that combination.........yippee!!!  How cool!  Until next time..................

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011 recap

I'm sure by now, you've seen tons of mosaics from other bloggers recapping their sewing successes in 2011.  Unfortunately, I won't be one of them!  I made much too much to even begin to put it all on a mosaic (or two or three) so I thought I would instead just list my finishes:

20 "Ladies" Quilts
2 Crayon Quilts
24 Mug Rugs
12 Pincushions
7 Lap Sized Quilts
1 Baby Quilt
44 Doll Sized Quilts or smaller
3 Lap Quilt Patterns
4 Coasters
12 Hot Pads
12 Felted ornaments
4 - sets of Bitty Blocks
4 Size 3 Kids Outfits
1 Magazine Publication

Whew......and then I wonder why I don't read so much anymore?  Who has the time????

You might like to share in some of my 2011 favorites:

Gloria #7 in The Ladies Series

Mug Rug or Mini Wall Hanging

"To you - From me"

5 Pleated Pincushions

"Color Play"

"Who's Katy?"


"Wild Flowers"

"Over the River" - Finished


Sweets for Rachel

"When you wish upon a star......"

DQS11 Angel Quilt #4

A Charley Harper Christmas

"The Gift"

And last of all:

"Love the Beach"

Wow!  There were more than I thought and I probably missed a few in there too!  I hope I didn't bore you.  Sometimes it's fun looking at that old stuff again.....even for me!  lol

I have tons of ideas for 2012!  Lately, I have pulled out the solids again, so we'll see what happens!  I hope you'll stick with me through this process.  I so appreciate each and every one of you!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Baby it's cold outside...

E-gads, it was only 9F degrees (for all you Aussies out there sweating at the beach) this morning when I woke up.  Even with the heat on at 70F in the house, it's still chilly!  Brrrr!!  Good thing I took some time between the holidays to get out my machine and sew up something that I've wanted for a few years.

Do you remember this stuff?

Cozy flannel

Well, it didn't take long to cut it up and sew it back together again in simple squares.  (A bit simplistic for me, I'll admit....BUT fast, and that was the point!!)  I knew that although we had 40's for most of December, it would change fast and we'd be shivering in the living room at night with our high ceilings and that darn ceiling fan supposedly blowing the warm air downward.....(ya, right????)  If you ask me, wind just makes things colder!!!

Flannel Quilt

Can't get much easier than that, huh?  I wanted something that looked like northern Wisconsin (although I really live in southern Wisconsin) for years.  I know, don't ask!  My hubby thinks I'm nuts too!  It ended up at 62x72 inches so it's a nice size for snuggling under!  Good thing I had a reservation for quilting that I hadn't used.  My quilt shop got this done in a record ........2 DAYS.......can you believe????  I love that store!!!!  And doesn't it look nice hanging over my couch?

All ready for use.....

And it's toasty too!!!  Please stay warm, my friends above the equator!  Winter doesn't last forever!!!  And for you Aussies who are sweating on the!  You have no idea how cold 9F degrees feels!  (I know...I have a nephew who works in Perth!)