Friday, August 26, 2011

Harvesting Flannel

In her first house, my sister had lovely custom drapes.  She took them with her to her new house hoping they'd work there, but they didn't.   They didn't work at my mama's house either.  Yes, I'm from the South and I say mama.  Eventually, the drapes came to my house where again, they didn't work.  Unlike mama and my sister, I couldn't let them go.  I just knew I'd use them someday, somehow.  Those drapes have hogged my storage space in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Kentucky and three houses in South Carolina and I have never used them!

Finally, I found a way.  I disassembled those babies and was rewarded with yards and yards of lovely, high quality flannel that had been used for interlining.  There's plenty for a design wall and lots of other things.  I'll never have to buy flannel again, so long as I want white.  I think now I'll be able to let go and drop the fabric & backing at Goodwill.  I re-used.  I re-purposed.  I am at peace.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Design Wall Monday!

Hexagon progress!  Confession.  I'm so over hexagons!  I am trying to go full steam ahead and make a finish of this, but....I'm over 'em.  Another confession.  This is no longer a completely handpieced project.  Yes, those little hexie flowers are being zig zagged together.  I think they're fine.

Linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times where you'll see lots of pretty design wall offerings!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pets on Quilts

When I stumbled across SewCalGal's 2011 Pets on Quilts Show, I had to find this picture and enter.
Sammie, my constant companion for sixteen years.  Looks like I just interrupted her reading, doesn't it?

It's all about the dog.  The quilt is incidental.

She dominates.

She fills whatever space she enters. 

I love this little rat!

These pictures are eight years old and she is much changed.  She is mostly blind and deaf and has an inoperable tumor that will eventually carry her away.  But, she gets frisky about her kibble and will still spin for treats.  I'm loving her and taking care of her to the end.

About the quilt.  My sister made it, entirely I think, from scraps from our old clothes, little tops & dresses we sewed for ourselves in high school.   I used it for picnics and outdoor concerts throughout my twenties and just generally abused it.  It's made of tough stuff and I appreciate it more now.

For some reason, I can't get the button on my blog, but go here to see and vote (tomorrow and Sunday) on all the Pets on Quilts entries!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Watery Departure

Apparently I'm not focused or industrious enough to have quilty things to post about regularly.
So, here is something else I obsess over.

Watercolors!  Once or twice a year I drag out my paints, get all inspired and sign up for a class (did this a couple of weeks ago).

Invariably, things don't go well.  My work of art is, well, not a work of art.  I'm not happy.  I quit.  Maybe this year will be different.  I need to either learn to paint or give my supplies to someone who will.

So, I've actually finished one painting (this one) that I like fairly well.  I'm well aware of it's shortcomings, but I'm calling it done & I've moved on to the next one.

True to form, the picture I'm working on right now isn't going well, but I think I've learned that you have to keep going.  There's an ugly duckling stage and you just have to keep painting and sometimes you get it right.  If not, you have scrap paper.  At least I think I'm learning that.

If my readership was above the occasional low single digit, I don't think I'd have the nerve to post this. Comments and constructive criticism would be welcome (as long as they are kind).

Back to quilting or something fibery next time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Love/Hate Relationship

This quilt was part of the Charm Pack Quilt Along hosted by Freckled Whimsey last summer.  It took me over a year to finish because I very quickly fell out of love with my fabric choice.  Seeing this photo reinforces that feeling.  Not knocking the pattern at all.  Entirely my fault.

Since I didn't love it, it became quilting practice.  

I did a mixture of stitch in the ditch, straight line, and free form feathers.  My straight lines were supposed to be a quarter inch apart.  Sometimes they are.   Looks like I've perfected wonky feathers, too!

Here is the back:

I used plain, inexpensive muslin because that's what I had on hand when I decided to put it together.

Much as I like color, creams & beiges are so calming & restful.  I prefer the back of this quilt to the front.

I love the actual quilting part of the process.  Maybe a machine with more throat space would help.  It took a whole lot of manhandling to get this quilt done on my little machine and sometimes I just couldn't help the wonkiness due to the lack of maneuvering space. 

Once the quilt was washed it became wonderfully crinkly and soft and the bad quilting didn't seem to matter so much.

I'll be linking up with Fabric Tuesday so hop over there and check out all the pretty things!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aren't These Pretty?

I've only recently discovered designer, Amanda Murphy.  I know!  Where have I been?  In case I'm not the only under a rock dweller,  Amanda designs fabric for Robert Kaufman, and quilt patterns among other things, and she recently had a giveaway on her blog.  I was lucky enough to win!  The flowers are from her Veranda fabric line and the pattern is Village Green. 

I like it a lot!  Thanks Amanda!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Mindless television sewing?  Potato chip piecing (you can't make just one)?  I started basting these little hexagons last summer and kept basting sporadically through the year.  This resulted in piles of hexie flowers with no plan attached.  Couldn't bear the thought of appliqueing them onto solid squares or worse still, basting a bunch more solid hexagons to go between the hexagon flowers so I just started sewing them together.  There's still no real plan, but one may be forming as I hand stitch my way through all six seasons of Lost.  Yes, we just got Netflix. 

Other people are being more productive and focused over at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Blocks!

Finally!  I'm sewing again!  

These two blocks are part of Marti Michell's American Beauty Block of the Month that my lqs is doing as their $5 quilt offering.  I really like the quilt, but these blocks are just wearing me out!  There's no extra fabric included, so one slip of the rotary cutter & you've had it. Just the cutting makes me a nervous wreck.  And if there's any way to miss-cut or make any other kind of mistake I will find it.  That's why one of those plaid pieces is pieced and if the block on the left looks tortured, it is!  When will I ever learn to read through all the instructions before cutting?  Actually, my lqs has been very good about coming up with extra fabric and for free when I've made mistakes. 

Still & all, it's such a pleasure to have my little sewing space back.  I love it there.  My fabrics still aren't organized, but since we've moved in I've finished the quilting on a quilt started last summer (posting on that soon) and finished the top for a child size charity quilt.  Feels good! 

Oh, I'm linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.....if I remember how!