Monday, July 25, 2016

Graphic In Nature

Do you ever wonder where the time goes?  Either it flies by or drags along.  Summertime has a way of blurring time and making the days all run together!  

I finished this quilt top three weeks ago, but it seems much longer.   Graphic Nature (AKA: Graphic Second Chance Quilt) was put aside waiting for me to find the gumption to finalize the quilting design. 

The graphic design still makes me happy.  A little color, black, white, along with the crisp clean layout is a pleasing aesthetic to me. 

I struggle on quilting this.  I asked myself over and over 'how, what and why' over and over, never really getting a good answer.  One idea was to stitch in the ditch around the blocks, I did.  I tiny bit of free motion quilting inside the blank squares, done.  Three fourths of the quilt has random width of horizontal lines, the last quarter is vertical lines much like a column chart.  

I haven't played with a backing for a while, so this one got the VIP treatment.  Use some fabric, use some scraps and 'make it work'!  I must have turned a corner!  I was ripping fabric left and right without a care in the world, not my normal practice!

The top color is Kona Ice Frappe, the middle Kona Sour Apple and the bottom is New Spray Green.  Another win win on the row of blocks on the back!  I've had that text print squirreled away waiting for the right project, this was it!

The black binding surprised me!  I like how it frames the backing, but love how it blends in with some of the blocks on the front.  You'd almost think I planned that, which I didn't!

The new bundle of joy!  
You know the feeling I'm talking about!  Finished, washed and folded...and done!

Truth is I'm not blown away with the quilting I did on this one.  Apparently on the day of quilting, my mojo took the day off!  I can beat myself up or I can try harder on the next one! Have you ever felt like that?  

I was disappointed in myself for a while, but it didn't last long this time...highly unusual! 


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Texture Abound! A New Past Time

I absolutely love having a project to work on in the evenings.  Maybe hand sewing a binding on a finished quilt or a fun English Paper Piece project.  Yet more times than not, I'm dead in the water! No quilt, no EPP, nothing to keep my hands busy.  Now I have one more 'thing' to fill those evenings.  Hand quilting!!  

15 1/2" x 15 1/2" Wall Hanging
I know, hand quilting has been around as long as dirt!  It wasn't until recently that I started browsing Instagram, Blogs and Pinterest admiring all the different styles and techniques.  

While working on the last surprise gift for my daughter, this wall hanging, I decided I was going to do a little needle work to see what all the fuss was about.

If the block looks familiar, that's because it's one of last blocks I made for the Epic Sampler BOM.  I added a border around the entire block, extending the coral orange to the edges. The border increased the size slightly from 12" to 15 1/2".  

Before hand quilting entered my mind, I knew some good old fashioned straight line quilting was exactly what it needed.  You cannot go wrong with tight straight line quilting!

The 'X' through the center has three different thread colors:  yellow, blue and green.  All three colors converging to create the perfect grid!

The binding is pieced with one section of coral at the top.  Why not be different?!  Or maybe I was being lazy!!  At this point I thought I was finished.  

...and then the hand quilting bug bit...

What I'm about to attempt has never been attempted by me before.  Which means I certainly didn't have any supplies either!  I was lucky enough to find some DMC Perle Cotton in my daughters stash and the fun began.  

The plan is simple, simple, simple.  A straight running stitch.  From what I have seen in my internet travels, the running stitch is the one that interests me the most.  It appears simple, yet creates the most amazing texture.  

After spending a few nights doing hand quilting the end finally came, much to my disappointment.  I'm looking forward to taking on a larger project and learning along the way!  More perle cotton and proper needles!

After washing, the surface texture was even more impressive!    

Who is a hand quilter?  Sashiko stitcher?  What is the one piece of advice you would share with a beginner hand quilter?  I love having one more tool in my tool box!  Learning something new ain't so bad either!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Spewing Butterflies ~ A Pillow

I had a plan.  Pin baste and quilt my Kona Highlight quilt and get it off my design wall. Unfortunately, I didn't have the right backing.  It's on order and I'm patiently waiting for it to arrive.  

With spare time on my hands, I was looking through my box of 5" blocks (cut from left over scraps) and came across three pretty butterflies.  They have hovered in my stash for years, literally years!  I kept pushing them aside not wanting to do anything with them and certainly not wanting to through them away!  Heaven forbid!

12" Spewing Butterflies
The colors match perfectly fine with the Birthday Quilt I made for my daughter a few months back, and since she is moving into her new place...I decided to whip up a little surprise for her!  A pillow!  A small pillow ~ it's 12" square.  

Once I decided the layout, I fused the butterflies to the background fabric.  I used Pellon Wonder Under (#805R) because that's what I had on hand.  Everything in this pillow is something I had on hand, no special treatment just because it was for my daughter!  With the butterflies fused to the fabric, it was ready to quilt.

I think the stitch I used around the edges is called a blanket stitch, its one I use nearly every time I do applique, which isn't very often.  

Now you see why I call this pillow 'Spewing Butterflies'!  The lines coming from the butterflies represent antennas, lots of antennas!

The rest of the pillow, I free motion quilted wild loops.  What do you call that?!  Loopy loops? Meandering loops?  Let's just say it was a good try and move on!

After I wash and dry, all was good again!  I was shocked that there wasn't even the slightest fraying around the butterflies.  Is it the Pellon?  

The back is 'Wanderer' by April Rhodes.  One of the many fat quarters I had left over from the Birthday Quilt.  I went with an envelope closure because with a fat quarter that was the best I could do!

The good news, she loved her pillow and it sits upon her bed on top of her quilt!  I really spoil that girl!  The truth is, this is really super 'cutsie'!  Which I'm not known for!  Fun and fast was just what I needed at the moment! 

I have one more surprise for her...see...spoiled!  It's my first hand quilting project which I'm still working on, but I'm super excited about it!  Here's a sneak peek!

Do you applique?  What do you use when doing applique for the fusing part?  


Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Epic Saga Continues!

I might be a little proud of myself, after all, I am staying caught up with Epic Sampler Block of the Month this year. It is a surprise, and maybe takes the sting out of the fact that I haven't even looked at my Skill Builder BOM ~ Technicolor Galaxy in months!  I suppose I need to revisit that one in the very near future!

I'm anxious to see how it all comes and my rainbow take on it.  I truly won't know until it's finished!

Another month, three more blocks.  Rumor has it we have nine blocks left to go!  I can see the finish line!

What I have loved the most about this BOM is all the paper piecing.  Seriously!  If you know me, know my blog, I thrive on improv and the unconventional.  So, how does one go from that to the precision of paper piecing?  Total opposites?  Maybe it's the precision, or the amazing shapes and designs...either way I have come to love paper piecing.  Putting myself in one category has never been a goal, it's all about creativity in my humble opinion!  

Without further ado, let's check out the blocks, shall we?!

Here we have 'Bow Tie Mania', this 12" block features a combination of purple and light grey. Traditionally pieced, with my fingers crossed every time I make a block for this rainbow vision I have!  I just do not know if it will come together!

Bow Tie Mania - 12"
We have 'Star of Awesome' next.  Paper pieced  12" block.  This one is a favorite of mine. I had extra paper templates left over that I used for one of my Secret Surprise quilts!  

Star of Awesome - 12"
It looks like blue and black, but it isn't!  This one is all about the blues...singing the blues, perhaps!

I'll finish with another paper pieced 12" block, aptly named 'Spider Web'.  I'm good with spider webs, just not the spider part.  Being from Tennessee, I can't help but worry about the infamous Brown Recluse spider!  I won't bother you Mr. Brown Recluse, if you don't bother me! 

Spider Web - 12"
Can you see the end coming?!  I can't wait to get some yellow added to this mix!