Thursday, May 21, 2015

Really Random Thursday

How about some randomness?  Let's go!
 Yesterday was my birthday and Mr. Riley gave me a citrus press.  I had told him I didn't want anything (I'm saving up for bees and accessories), but the other night we were watching Martha Stewart, and she used one, and I commented that it was the one kitchen accessory that I didn't have.  Now I do :)
 I finished binding my second Wisteria Mini.  Reveal soon, or whenever I get around to it, really.
I've got a stack of whites and creams ready to be sewn into triangles.

 My FIL brought in my high school artwork folder from the barn.  I don't know how it got there, but its been fun to go through.  I don't really remember doing color studies, but I loved doing the black and white drawing. 
 We were given a picture that was cut into pieces and blank paper with the same shaped pieces.  Draw one section at a time and put it back together. 
 I instagrammed this one, and said 8th grade, but it must have been part of my high school class.  I didn't take art until 12th grade because I was too busy taking all the classes that were "more important".  Perhaps I'll take more art when all the kids are in school.  It was a blast.

 Here is the National Geographic page.
 Don't remember making this one, either.  But I love it.
 Honestly, I kind of wonder at all this art that I made. 
I also wonder what it the world to do with it!

Linking up with Cindy, where you can see more randomness!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WIP Wednesday 5.20.15

 This is what my Google homepage looked like this morning.  Mark me as a little freaked out that it personalized my doodle for my birthday!

Since it is, in fact, my birthday, I plan on sewing as much as I can get away with, while still keeping the family alive and safe.
 I sewed all these up last night as teacher gifts.  Charm square fabric boxes.
 Now that my official Wisteria quilt is finished and turned in, I'm binding my second one.
 Here is my tin with sorted squares for my long term leader/ender project.  French General Chateau Rouge.
 An idea that I'm working on.  Right now I refer to it as "modern tree".  Brilliant, I know.
 All the greys I own in one place.  Need to start my guild challenge quilt.
And a look at the official list.  The next quilt with a hard due date is my next Four-in-Art quilt for August 1st.  I do know what I'm going to do.  Maybe I'll work on it soon...  Probably not.  :)

Linking with Lee.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Crayon Challenge: Wisteria: Finish!

 You guys have been watching this little quilt come along for quite a while now.
Seen various stages of the applique, and then the long process of outlining each of the petals with a stem stitch.
Well it is finally all quilted up. 

As you may remember, I was given a crayon, the name of Wisteria, and my quilt had to be mostly that color to match the crayon.  I decdided to go literal with the name and searched for images of wisteria.  I settled on this one, mostly because of its simplicity and balance.

The quilting is relatively straight match stick quilting.  Or maybe even toothpick quilting....
I had originally planned to do an overlay of lavender sparkly tulle and then quilt over it all, but the feed dogs on my walking foot shredded the tulle, so I unpicked about three lines and started over without the tulle.
The top quilting thread is the clear poly from Superior Threads.
Bobbin is Bottom Line, also from Superior. 
 If you look closely, you will see there is a thin line of green next to the binding.  I added that after all the quilting and binding to pull the bright green from the middle out to the edges.
 This is how the quilt looks ready to be turned in.  The crayon has to be attached to the front.
 And a label on the back. 

Happy to have another have to do project, done.
BTW, all these crayon challenge quilts are up for silent auction.  I always watch to see if someone buys mine, otherwise I will.  :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WIP Wednesday 5.13.15

 First up this week: My Wisteria Crayon Challenge quilt is quilted!  YAY!  If you're on instagram you may have seen this the other night.  The original plan was to do a purple tulle overlay and then quilt with the small matchstick quilting.  Well, the feed dogs on my walking foot shredded the tulle.  Not cool.  I ended up not using tulle, and ultimately using my old walking foot, because the newer one also caught on the embroidery.  Today I will get some binding made.  It is quilted with Superior Thread's clear thread.  Really want to get this one done for the next guild meeting on Monday so I can get it turned in.
 I've also started quilting my first attempt at the wisteria quilt.  I am using a purple thread on this one.  Not sure what the long term plan is for this one, but I don't want it to sit around and get lost, either.
 I've also been working on a hand full of these cute little portable thread catchers.  A real-life stitching friend was making some a couple months ago.  They are mostly hand work, and for me a bit slow going.  The tutorial can be found on Fabric Therapy Blog.
Last night I was previewing a movie for the kids and finished this one up.  I have four more cut out and ready to go.
I also finished up my last two samples and popped them in the mail Monday.  Totally forgot to take pictures, but I couldn't have showed them anyway.....

Linking with Lee.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WIP Wednesday 5.6.15

 Over the weekend I ran out of handwork projects.  For Real!  That has to be a first for me since I started making Hexies. 

 You see, I finished up the embroidery on my wisteria quilt.  Onto the quilting.
So, I printed out the rest of the papers that I will need for my hexie quilt.  400+ more.  Yes, I print and cut them out.  Guess what?  I figured out that the whole miss-sized issue was a printer percentage problem.   The 1600 hexies that I have done are actually .95 inch.  Hah!  Not a full inch.  At least now I know why the last 400 didn't fit.  They were an actual inch.  Believe it, or not, that makes a difference in EPP!
In between things I've been working on a couple more samples.  All you get to see is the back.... :)
Next up is some bindings

 See what others are working on at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Four-In-Art: Literature: Series 2: Reveal

It's Four-In-Art reveal day!  So without further ado, here is my latest installment of Literature: Fairy Tales

 I'm sure you've gotten the reference to Cinderella with the glass slipper, mice and pumpkin.  Perhaps you are wondering about the lizards?  I read the French version of Cinderella, by Charles Perrault from this book:

 This particular version uses mice, rats, and lizards for the horses, coachmen, and footmen.  I even looked up what kind of lizards live in France so I could get the coloring right.  (can't help but be literal, even in my art)

 One of the notes says that every culture has a "Cinderella story" of rags to riches.   In this version she is originally called Cinder-tail for her habit of sitting in the ashes, but the nicer step-sister changes it to Cinder Ella.

The quilt itself:  As I was pulling fabrics for this little quilt, I remembered that a friend had given me two grocery bags full of upholstery samples and I thought that would be a good place to look for some of my fabrics.  I ended using samples for all the applique pieces.

The mice are a fuzzy kind of plush fabric, the lizards and top of the pumpkin are a loose woven.  The pumpkin and shoe are both shiny and textured. The above shot should give you some idea of how the appliques stand up from the surface.

I did some stem stitch outlining of the pumpkin and the shoe.  Both with shiny threads.

My overall idea was to present the elements of the story so as to be recognizable without actually announcing the story.  I think I managed that.

Quilting was all done with Invisifil grey, a thin, shiny, polyester thread, with Aurifil in the bobbin. 
 In a rare moment for me, I took the time to coordinate my backing with the overall quilt theme.  Although in this case, it is rather a contrast. No pinks on the front of my princess quilt.

The quilt finished up at 12" x 12", which is, of course, the idea.  I did a single fold binding so that the front could be nice and narrow and neat.

I do know I am my own worst critic, but I'll share some of my thoughts overall.
Things I like about this quilt:
-The texture of the various upholstery fabrics.
-The mice/lizard border
-The quilting of the center
-The subtle tones/colors of the whole piece.

If I had another week to start over:
-I would make the center just the shoe. As I was quilting I realized the symbolism of the shoe, in that it is the only piece that stays as it is.  Everything else returns to its original state at midnight.  Therefore, the pumpkin should be moved to the border for a less prominent role.
-I don't really like the stipple/meander quilting on the borders.   I tend to fall back on that, because for me it is easy and fast, but I think that even straight line quilting in the opposite direction of the center might have been better.
-I would look for a different way of applying the pieces.  Right now they are simply glued/fused down with raw edges.  Not sure if that is a great long term solution.  Time will tell, I guess.

Please, take the time to check out the others who are also making quilts as a part of this Four-In-Art group.  I promise it will be worth it!  I will update the links as I can.

Betty at a Flickr site:
Catherine  at Knotted Cotton
Elizabeth at 
Jennifer at Secondhand Dinosaur 
Nancy at  Patchwork Breeze
Simone at Quiltalicious
Susan at PatchworknPlay