Sunday, January 20, 2019

Bee Inspired 2018 :: Continues

I'm not the only one who got way behind on my bee blocks!  Everyone in our group is playing catch up and for me...I have one more prompt to complete and 2018 will be only then be a complete success!

It has been a challenge interpreting the prompts!  Our group has come up some amazing prompts that have pushed me, inspired me and nearly kicked my butt!


Shelby @godshomemovies picked Substrate/Lichen.  I was at a loss until I threw myself into it and immersed myself in the process.

The color palette threw me for a loop to be sure!  Shelby did include several Lichen pictures which was very helpful.  The background for each block needed to be a textured fabric such as a cross weave or linen.  To be honest I don't have much of this type of fabric in my stash, but I had just enough to make these blocks.  

I did what I could with these 8" blocks!  Like I was so hard!

I wanted each block to have a different color for the main Lichen and I pretty much did that.  This one is an 18" block and has what I'm going to refer to as layers of rock with bits of lichen.  

When I saw the prompt from Shelby, it said now raw edge applique.  I took that as no applique should be used, when in reality I think I could have and it might have made for a better representation of the prompt.  My goal for this year is to pay attention!

I moved on to the next prompt from Shelagh @stuartmooretextiles Migrating Birds - A Birds Eye View.  This one I knew I could handle, or so my mind told me so!

I don't fly often, but when I do I'm always mesmerized by the view from above.  I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking it would make for an interesting quilt!

The color palette is full of green and brown and I was sure I wouldn't have a problem finding the right colors for this one! 

We were asked make one block with rectangle shapes and the other with at least one circle.  The other requirement was each block needed an odd number of geese flying south. And so I did! 

I loved making the circle block!  I enjoy a good circle or Drunkard Path!  One more prompt!  The next one is going to be full of color and I can't wait!

It's not too late to start thinking about my next idea...I gotta get creative this time!

You can check out my previous Bee Inspired posts here:

You can check out all the blocks on Instagram here:  #beeinspired2018

My Bee Mates are amazing! 

Shelby @godshomemovies 
Jayne @twiggyandopal 
Audrey @artandstole 
Kathryn @kupitis
Heather @quiltachusetts 
Christine @ccpquilt 
Jenny @pappersaxsten 
Shelagh @stuartmoorestextiles

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Drunkards Path :: SCRAP Busting

This is going to be the year I work through my unwanted and unloved fabric stash.  In fact it, I'm blowing through it with not one but two scrap projects so far.  I've gone from two totes to one and I couldn't be happier about that or happier about the scrappy quilts that are the result of scrap busting.

The first one is a good old fashioned Drunkards Path quilt.  I had these white sections from a previous Drunkard Path quilt in 2017 and instead of tossing them, I held on to them knowing full well I'd come up with a good way to use them.  It may have taken a while, but you never know when an idea is going to come to mind.

My daughter Britt has numerous boxes of 'treasures' stored in our basement.  She was rummaging through some of boxes and came across this set of drunkard path templates which I quickly snatched up.  One day they will come in handy I told myself!

That day came!  The dots were connected when I was cleaning my sewing room and found the templates, found the white scraps and put two and two together.  The templates make 4" blocks and with a little trimming the white sections were ready for some scrappy action!

Dragging out the unloved fabric totes, I started by making four blocks using the same print.  The plan was to pair all four together for one large block and then piece the quilt together.  

That plan went out the window pretty quickly!  I added more prints to the mix for a true scrappy mishmash concoction!

I like to sew curves, but I always have issues with drunkard path blocks.  They never come out perfect.  With the blocks being 4", I took the time to glue first and then sew.  It takes a lot more time and still they have to be trimmed.  I ended up doing all of the work (glue, press, sew, trim) in the evenings.  

Look at that pile!  I love a nicely trimmed and pressed stack of blocks!  I trimmed the blocks to 4 1/4", threw them on the design wall, tweaked, turned and adjusted until it felt right.

AND then the fun began?!  It isn't easy getting the centers to line up perfectly, and truth be told, not all were.  

My answer to that is:  Que Sera Sera, Whatever will be, will be...the future's not ours to see...

And you're now have that song flowing through your mind, as do I!

In order to increase the size of the quilt, I added a scrappy border around the outside.  Once it's quilted I plan on using white for the binding.

Another way I drastically decreased my stash of unloved fabrics was to use larger pieces of fabric for a lovely pieced back.  I didn't take a picture, but once it's quilted you will most certainly get to see that.  

While I was on a scrap busting roll and all the fabric was out, I couldn't resist one more quilt.  I quickly drafted a design using EQ8 and it should be a lovely flimsy by the end of the day.  

This my lovelies, is to be continued...stay tuned!


Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Last Britt Quilt :: Bittersweet

This finally happened!  I finished every single WIP my daughter Britt started that somehow managed to land in my lap.  She had some beauties that were long overdue to be finished, each one more than worthy of taking the time to do so too!

Now that I finished, I'm left with feelings of happiness, joy and sadness.  In case you don't know this, Britt was the one who introduced me to quilting...reluctantly at first.  She guided me through everything in the beginning.  Which blocks to try, fabric knowledge, tricks and techniques and color combinations.  We would collaborate on quilts, design quilts, make quilts together.  Eventually her interests changed leaving me carrying the quilting bag!  

I miss the days we spent together sewing.  Two machines humming along on the dining room table, fabric flying, steam from the iron blasting, laughing and being together.  So while I'm excited and relieved that this last quilt is finally finished, it also leaves me feeling sad that this is it...the last quilt!  We've made a quilt of two together in recent years, mostly she says I have an idea, would you make it?!  The progression of life!

57.5" x 57.5"

She pieced, pinned and started quilting and then it was in limbo hanging on my quilt ladder for a couple few years...literally!  I pulled it out a few times and quilted a few places, but it always ended up hanging on the ladder.  

I was more interested in the scraps from this quilt!  In January 2016 I made a small version and a mini with them in what I called 'Take Two & Three'.  

The fabrics are a combination of Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton, Gees Bend Solids and the print is Anna Maria Horner.  I don't think I could have come up with the color palette, that was all Britt!

The four center squares were free motion quilted with pebbles and lines before I took it over.  I added FMQ  zig zag, funky triangles and kept the pebbles for the remaining square-in-a-square blocks before it ended up back on the ladder.

The next go around of quilting ended with 1/2" straight lines in the solid stripes (or logs, I guess), more zig zags and ending with loops around the border.  

I could have done something more interesting with the quilting, but at this point having it finished was more important. 

The backing is woven stripes and it's glaringly clear that it is not straight!  I'm going to chalk that up to the fact that it's woven stripes, it's been hanging pinned for years and not pinned as good as it should have been and the batting is silk, bamboo or a combination.

The good news is this quilt will be staying in the family and no one will have to know! 

The quilting detail in all it's glory!  Tiny pebbles take center stage in this one!

All I did was fill in with any design that was quick, easy and painless!  When I look back at quilts I've made through the years, I see so many more imperfections than I did at the time. Some are more glaring than others, but it shows growth.  

I don't think it would be very fun or rewarding if every single quilt was perfect.  Imagine if that were true.  Isn't half the fun of quilting learning, growing, experimenting and testing the waters?    

Once this quilt is washed it will be perfect!  I might be a little sad that this is the last Britt quilt, but I'm more happy that I've finally reached the end.  The monkey is off my back and I get to concentrate on other projects now!     


Thursday, January 10, 2019

New Logo :: New Labels

I've always wanted a logo all my own but never knew what it was that I was after.  I played around with an idea and have since then tweaked and changed several different things.  With no connections to a graphic artist I had to rely on myself and my son to make it happen.  More about that another time!

When the Dutch Label Shop asked if I'd like to try their woven labels I couldn't wait!  I had an idea for a logo in my mind and it seemed like the perfect time to make it happen especially for these labels.

I couldn't be happier with how these labels turned out!  Woven labels are pretty spectacular and the quality is second to none. 

There are decisions that need to be made when designing labels, such as size, color, custom or standard.  The Dutch Label Shop takes you through each step with clear and easy instructions.  You can even get a proof of your design before committing to your order.  

My labels are center fold labels that measure 1" x 2" after folding (unfolded 2" x 2"), with print on two sides.  Do you see the 1/4" line across the top?  That's the part that ends up in your sewn into your seams or in the case of quilters, under the binding.  That space isn't part of your original label size.    

The size I picked is perfect.  It's large enough to read and you can easily see the logo which is pretty important!

I am very impressed with these new labels!  It's exciting to see you 'name in lights' so to speak!  Next time, and there will be a next time, I hope to have my new logo idea finalized.  

The Dutch Label Shop provided me these tags for free, but I can honestly tell you I'm a woven tag convert!  The quality is great, turn around time fast and they make an impactful statement.

Would you like your very own woven labels?   

The Dutch Label Shop offering 15% off to my followers using Coupon Code:  twiggyandopal15

I'll be ordering another batch once I settle on my new logo! 


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Finishing, Finishing, Finishing!

The end is near!  The goal:  finish older projects before I can play!  I've been playing a dangerous game with myself for the past couple of weeks.  Dangling that proverbial carrot in front of my nose.  If I can make it one through one more week I'll have a clean slate and can finally work on whatever I want to!  

Today I want to share my latest finish of Fishy Bones!  This was a free pattern on Craftsy by Unicornharts before the big shake up.  I hope you downloaded it before it disappeared!

I thoroughly enjoyed making every single one and finishing the lot of them with a couple of twists and turns along the way!

8" X 5"
Rainbow Fishy Bones is my favorite by far!  He might be the happiest skeleton I've ever seen!

Machine quilted with pebbles or in this case I'm calling them bubbles and finished off with slice of rainbow!  I cut 3/4" rainbow strips and made two sections for the binding.  

Sometimes when a 'quilt' is so tiny, its fun to add an extra detail to compensate for the size!  Glub, Glub! 

9.5" X 13.5"
The trio of Fishy Bones was no exception when it came to bubble quilting, details and fun!  I kind of felt if I didn't finish these three they'd be forever flopping fish out of water!

There were quite of few people who suggested the fish should be accompanied by a pesky cat!  I thought about it and wasn't sold on the idea completely!  But I kept thinking about it and in the end I came up with what I think is the perfect solution for me!  

I wanted the illusion of a cat, very subtle and ghost like.  I used white along with very light shades of cream/off white and just a dash of pink for the nose.  I fully intended to add it to the front, but it just wasn't working for me.  Backings are always a good place to add a bit of randomness and so it was done!

The binding is 'Heavy Metal' fabric like the fish in a dark burgundy.  Gotta love a little metallic in fabric once in a while!

It's good to have these done!  I've also finished another of my daughter's WIP quilts.  It marks the end of an era with her unfinished quilting adventure!  I'll be sharing that one soon. 

Not even a week into the New Year and I've made progress!  


Friday, January 4, 2019

Lilly Pilly :: You're Done!

Another old WIP completed!  Technically I didn't start this project on my own, that would fall on my daughter Britt's shoulders.  She basically willed it to me and I was tasked with finishing it even though it's been sitting around for years waiting.  In fact, she left me with several of her abandoned projects in various stages of completion.

My goal before the end of the year was to finish the last two.  This was one of them.  I don't think the Lilly Pilly pattern is readily available, but I'm sure if you search hard enough you might be able to find it.     

36" X 48"
I dug out this project in August (An Oldie :: But a Goodie) and went to town by finishing the applique on the majority of the pieces.  Applique isn't my favorite thing to do, but I've always thought this project was worth finishing.  So I was least for a little while!

Then I promptly hung it on my design wall for four months!  I guess it was my way of forcing my hand or guilting me into finishing it.

It's a happy bright quilt now!  The time and effort that went into cutting each piece is crazy to think about!  That part my daughter did, but I was involved in sticking them around the tree...years ago, that I remember!


I can almost hear the birds chirping with glee!  Especially since after all these years they finally have eyes and legs!  I machine stitched the legs using a straight line and going back and forth a few times.  For the eyes I used one of the decorative stitches on my machine.  It's like an asterisk (*).  It was an easy way to add the detail and get ever closer to finally finishing!


Which brings us to the quilting!  Oh Yikes!!  Free motion.  This design I'll call 'Herky Jerky Swirl'!  There are a lot of jerky jagged not smooth curves happening!  But you know what they say 'Done is better than perfect' and this baby is done!

I'm not the least disappointed with the quilting.  Perhaps a wash and dry will mask the flaws!

See that quilt ladder?  That was the reason I was locked in my sewing room by my husband right before Christmas.  He wasn't wrapping presents, he was making me a quilt ladder!

We both work from home and neither of us are out of the house separately for long periods of time.  Were always together.  He works in his room, I work in my room and we meet in between for dinner!

He needed me in my room so I wouldn't hear the table saw and sander noise, which I did not.  After I would go to bed, he would sand, router, drill...then stain, sand and top coat.  I was oblivious as to what was going on.  He was very clever and secretive!


A few years ago he made an 8 foot quilt ladder for the living room, and now I have a 6 foot ladder for my sewing room!  Anyway...that was the big secret surprise.  And it was a surprise indeed!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Finishing Projects :: Fresh Start

The past week or so I've been focusing my attention on getting projects finished before the new year.  And while that is happening, I'll be sharing a few of them in the first part of 2019.  I can't believe I'm saying 2019 already!  This year has flown by and it's been a crazy fun one to look back on!  

I love having some sort of hand work to do in the evenings, whether it's hand sewing bindings, English Paper Piecing or really anything to fill the time.  When one of those kinds of projects ends I feel almost sad!  Weird, right?!  It's probably because I have to figure out the next one to keep me busy and it can be difficult to pick one.   


Luckily this pretty Peacock landed in my lap at just the right time.  A friend from our Guild graciously gave me this Violet Craft Peacock EPP kit!  I was beyond happy and still cannot believe it happened.  I've wanted to try a Violet Craft EPP project for quite sometime!  Peacock, Giraffe, Wolf, Elephant or a Chicken, she has something for everyone!  Click on the link under the photo to check out her shop.

19" x 19"
I had the top finished for a few weeks before I decided what to do with it.  A couple of days ago I decided I wanted a new pillow cover for my couch.  

As you can see from the pattern cover I didn't change a thing!  I used almost the exact colors as the original which made it to much easier!  The kit comes with reusable templates that are marked with numbers and symbols making it easy to know what fabric to use and where it goes.  I found that part very helpful and easy.

The hardest part for me was figuring out the best way to stitch the pieces together.  I powered through, but you can see my finished top is slightly wonky!  


I rarely use anything other than Warm and Natural batting for all my quilts, but this time I grabbed a scrap of fluffy wool batting for this one.  I don't think I would ever quilt an entire quilt with lofty batting, but for something this small it was worth a try.

I quilted 1" diagonal lines in two directions ending up with diamonds.  Simple and fast was my goal!    

The feathers on the Peacocks head was the hardest section to stitch!  Those black strips are skinny!  

The back is a chaotic mess...luckily we don't have to look at that side!  

My very favorite method of finishing pillow backs is with a hidden zipper.  I used this tutorial: Hidden Zipper tutorial from Svetlana at SOTAK Handmade.  If you haven't tried putting in a hidden zipper, I highly recommend this tutorial!  You'll be surprised at just how easy it is and it looks great too!

I enjoyed this pattern and one day I wouldn't mind getting another Violet Craft pattern to fill my evenings!  Which one would you make?