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Friday, January 27, 2012

The things you find when "stash diving"

I have been doing a lot of stash diving lately, looking for various fabrics I want to use. Unfortunately I tend to get side tracked due to finding projects I forgot I am supposed to be working on.
 First I find a hand piecing project that I picked up a few years ago while in Texas. Yes I said years! The colors will be beautiful in our fifth wheel, and while we were traveling I got a lot of this done. We would "land" and while relaxing I would work on this. Somehow it got pushed aside.

These are the first four blocks of 20!  I have all of the components of all of the blocks ready I simply need to put them together. It is a Jenny Beyer pattern called English Garden. The best part of finding this little jewel is I have only 1 1/2 of my tiny baskets to hand piece and I have been trying to decide what I was going to do in the evenings; now of course I know. I will keep you up to date on progress with this one.

Here is a view a bit closer, I think it will be beautiful.

Then of course there are all the projects that are machine pieced! Here is just one of them, are you seeing a pattern here?

This one is going to be a queen size, no I do not know why I put it away because I really love the design and the colors! I discovered it in the bottom of a box with a double wedding ring quilt in 30s prints!  This is the project for my machine for the next few days. Today the weather looks as if it will be perfect for sewing that means I have to get the crock pot bubbling and my chores done!

See my darling Kimber at the bottom of this picture, she has been very upset because Dad has had to leave her home with me for the last couple of days. She gets extremely bored with this sewing thing. Kimber prefers to be out with the guys doing "important things"!

Monday, January 23, 2012

YAY Orca Bay all pieced!

My quilt partner in crime and I began an adventure in November and finally we both completed the piecieing of our Orca Bay quilts!

Here is Sheryl with her Orca! Isn't it beautiful?  Such a wayyyy cool design and she did a wonderful job on it.

Here I am with mine, as well as little Milly ( Sheryl's little quality control kitty) I added an extra border to mine so it would fit our bed.

Little Milly just loves quilts in any phase of construction and as you will see below she has decided she loves having her picture taken!

She put a real show on for the camera, what a little ham!

Then she decided to talk while I was taking her picture, I think she is asking which way I want her to pose next!
She is young to be in quality control. but as with many felines she has a gift for it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

This helper is stubborn today

Finally I have some time to work on my Orca Bay!  Ever since  we got the final clue I have had too much going on. I get little blocks of time to work on finishing this quilt. So it is Sunday, football is on and I get time to actually sew!  I am  putting rows together!  YAY  I have this plan in my head that I will get all of the rows done then I can do borders tomorrow, the excitement is building!

Oh the progress it is truly amazing! But you know the saying the best laid plans of mice and men? Or something like that.

Yep here she is! Now I ask you would you argue with that?  Is that an I dare ya to move me look or what?

I do not think she wants me to do this!

Great I am supposed to just wait while she has her bath?  OK Miss Tilly you win I will wait!  I wonder if I am ever going to complete this quilt.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This is progress??

The weather was perfect for staying in and sewing! It was super cold outside, with high winds and snow flying around. So I put chile into the crockpot, got my chores done (after an early morning nap) dug out all my pieces for Orca Bay and started sewing. Things were going well, the phone was quiet instead of crazy like Sunday and all those little points were behaving. I was completely satisfied and finally making progress again after a couple weeks of not getting anything done on Orca Bay. THEN quality control showed up~
As you can see she decided to climb right into my basket of red string flying geese!  I did try to explain they are not ready for testing but she refused to listen.

She just proceeded to make herself comfy! I did finally lift her a bit and get enough red strings to continue; it is taking a risk to mess with her when she is comfy but I DID it.  I continued on and started putting rows together, I got the first two rows joined and laid them out on the ironing board while I sewed the third row. I was very pleased with myself at this point I might add!

The picture is not great, the sun was shining onto the ironing board.  One has to realize how attractive sun on an ironing board is to my little Tilly.

She rolls around and streatches and just enjoys herself!
OK I did not dare move her, no more progress on Orca Bay, I decided to just curl up on the sofa with my hand pieced baskets and a hot cup of tea.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

finally a day to work on Orca

Finally after a lot of busy days I actually had time to work on Orca Bay.  When I started in the morning I still had all of step seven to do!  Well after noon I got the red strings stitched to the little bat wings.

Then it was hst in neutrals that needed cut; 100 of them, it went very fast! Soon I was stitching them up.

Suddenly they were all stitched and pressed!  Today I am going to start stitching the blocks together and turning all this into a full quilt. The weather is perfect for sewing today snowing and blowing, there are black ice advisories as well as no unnecessary travel warnings. We are supposed to go out this afternoon but we will check all these road advisories first!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

OK so we went to The Quilt Nook

I bragged yesterday that my pal and I were going to town but we were not going to any quilt stores. So I was wrong. As it turned out we went to The Quilt Nook! We completely enjoyed ourselves! No we did not spend a lot of money. We did have a wonderful time. I think part of it was that we had not been to any quilt store in a very long time and it was wonderful to just look at all of the terrific fabric, tools and books. There was a time when quilt stores were hit a few times a week and the stash was added to on a regular basis, in fact I did not bat an eye at dropping a few hundred dollars for fabric that I did not even have plans for. It was just buy, buy, buy! Now we are on a fixed income (and it is a very low fix) I have to be very selective what I spend money on. The strange thing is I tend to enjoy quilt stores more- maybe because I truly LOOK at what is available. I only purchase when something is really necessary. I did buy sewing machine needles  I purchased two packs and actually got a third pack free. I also got two packs of nickle squares that are Cival War prints for my english paper piecing project, they were on sale as well. I really enjoyed myself though far more than when I just went in and purchased willy nilly! I have noticed several changes in my attitude concerning quilting lately in fact. When I first started quilting my boys were small and I was on a limited income, all of my quilts were from scraps either from my sewing or those that people gave me when the learned I quilted. There were not quilt stores as we know them today. All of my pieceing was by hand as well as my quilting, but I found a great deal of joy in those early quilts. I discovered peace in the rythm of my sewing needle. For the last couple of years as I churned out dozens of quilts (many of which are stored as tops because I lost interest and never quilted them) I noticed that joy seemed to be missing! I thought maybe I had "outgrown" normal quilts, so I was very into "art" quilts for awhile. I still enjoy putting together those type of quilts, the freedom of design but they have never given me the joy that an old fashioned bed quilt can. Somewhere in the rush to make every quilt one could imagine I lost touch with myself. Somewhere in the excess I lost the pleasure of the process. I discovered this quite by accident a few months ago when I was sorting through fabric and quilts. I felt I needed to get rid of some of it. I came across a couple of quilts I made a long time ago but I could not part with them even tho they are worn and frayed! Then it came to me, I had loved making those quilts, loved using them and loved looking at them. I was so pleased when they were done and yet I was sad too because they were done. I realized while looking at those old worn quilts that it was the process I enjoyed then. I was in no rush to complete them I just enjoyed working on them. So now I am only making quilts I truly want to make, I take my time while I consider what I want to do. I don't choose a pattern or fabric because it is what everyone else is doing, I choose what I love not what others say is the newest. The result is I am back in love with quilting, those tops that are not quilted will be and they will be shared with someone who really loves the color or pattern. Most important I am finding peace in my quilting again.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sheryl's Birthday quilt

A while back I decided I needed to make Sheryl a quilt to snuggle with for her birthday. She has made several quilts that she intended to snuggle under, but alas someone always took them over and she has been left shivering! I started by looking for a pattern that included things she lovea. She loves John Deere but I could not find any patterns with John Deere lots of fabric but none that I thought would fit the plan. She loves hearts, and scrappy quilts, ahhh now this was better! In my patterns I had a wonderful pattern, the original was all in pastels. Now my pal is not a pastel type, she loves the deep rich colors of fall! So that is what she would get!  

Here is my version, after a few struggles. One day while I was working on it Sheryl showed up at the house for a surprise sewing day. The hubby saw her coming down the road luckily so I had time to hide the evidence! Then while I was trying to get it quilted and in a rush I might add because the big day was looming close, my quality control decided to test it!

                                                                                Well I think it passed the test!
I did not have the heart to move her! She was sooooo comfy! In order to finally get it done I had to put my Orca Bay on hold, now I need to get busy and catch up! Here is another view of this quilt.

The original pattern is from Piece of Work,   "Spring Tulips" designed by Kim Ellis