Thursday, March 19, 2015

Really Random Thursday???

When I saw Cindy did a RRT post today, I raced to my computer and pulled a bunch of my Instagram pictures to share.  My life is full of random.  All day, every day.

 I am in love with this girl.  And this picture.
 I painted my nails to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  I sew hexies while watching the two older kids during diving lessons.  And I'm in shorts because I ran my first mile in over 2 years.  I think I could have gone farther, but my class was starting.
 In case you missed it, March 14, 2015 was Ultimate Pi Day. (pie day, get it?)
 This boy turned 5 yesterday.  He is about 48 pounds.  The cat is about 20 pounds.
 Absolutely gorgeous sunset the other night.  Just kept changing into more beautiful scenes.
 And I'm working on Wisteria 2.0 today while fighting a cold and recognizing that I've got some quilt deadlines coming up.  I still think I'm going to finish this up before moving on to more "pressing" items.

Linking up with Cindy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Crayon Challenge: On Color and Value

 So, I haven't touched my sewing machine in nearly a week. *gasp*  There is, of course, the occasion meeting of needle and thread on the 10 year hexie project, but the sewing machine has been put away in favor of birthday and St Patrick's Day dinners at the big table.  Which is actually OK, I was quite ready to start something new instead of continuing to work on WIPs.  So now, I have a NEW WIP :)

I'm sure I mentioned before that I pulled Wisteria for my guild crayon challenge. After talking to another guild member who got Asparagus and going literal with our color, I thought it was a great idea.
I found this stencil from the never ending internet.  Apparently it is from a Japanese Family Crest.
I've had a stack of purples pulled from the stash for a while.  The background is actually the closest to the crayon color. 
The above picture is what I posted on instagram.  The colors aren't true, but it did make me notice the out of place colored petals.

I took out the "too blue" ones and ended up with this.  At this point, I knew the contrast was too sudden, but they were all fused down, so I decided to continue on and see what happened.
This is what I ended up with.  It's OK, but there are no medium values.  I was really trying to only work from stash, but alas, I had to stop at the LQS yesterday....
So what I find interesting, is that "upside down" also looks better.  I think visually the darker colors need to be moved to the bottom.
I'm also contemplating a brighter vine color.
Here are the new mediums I picked up.
I did also find a few that I had in other places around the house.
So here is my new selection.  I will have to cull it down in number, but at least its a better value range.
Now I'll have to figure out what to do with this one.  Maybe another bag....

Linking with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Feathered Christmas - A Finish!

 Feathered Christmas is done! As in, all the way done.  Bound, labeled, and all the offending stitches colored in, done.
 This is another Cherry Blossoms Quilt pattern, just like the Feathered Wreath quilt I did.
 The back.  I pieced that lovely snowflake fabric - from Connecting Threads - which is why it goes two different directions.  Its the back.  Who cares. 
 I even took the time to do a fancy pants embroidered label.  I should do this more often.  As in all the time. 
 The quilting in the center is a nice little loop-de-loop freemotion.
 The applique is raw edge with button hole stitching to secure.  I did this part before the quilting, so as I did the free motion, I also went around each appliqued piece to make it stand out more.
 The sides are a random wavy stitch, which you might recall I went back to fill in another set of lines.  I also quilted around each square in the inner border.  This is where coloring my stitches came into play.
 The corner where all the wavy stitching overlaps.  This way I don't have to pivot nicely. (weird blue picture effect, sorry)

 Quilted and pieced by my trusty Aurifil threads.  Looking a little less robust that when I bought them, but lots of life left in those spools!
The details:
24" x 28"
Fabric: The reds are a couple of batiks.  Incidentally, the white is a white on white, that is the wrong side up.  I got crazy with ironing down the appliques and then realized I had done them on the wrong side! So from there, I just had to make sure that all the white was wrong side up!
Batting is a Pellon cotton.
Quilting, applique, and piecing threads: Aurifil  Red #2250 and White #2024
 All work on this quilt was done by me!

I'm ready for Christmas!  (not really, it was near 70 today and AMAZING)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cheating, or not? Coloring the quilting.

 I thought I'd pop in and do a quick blog post on why the Feathered Christmas quilt isn't quite done.... (with apologies for not great pictures, but hey, its the first post in like a week)
 It's all because of those white stitched on the red squares.  You see, as I was doing the quilting, I thought, hey, no big deal.  It's stitched in the ditch and no one really cares.  However, I had been planning on 'fixing' a couple of white stitches in the center part that had accidentally bit into the applique.  So then I thought, why not color all the white stitches red????
 So I've been spending some time with a red sharpie and my quilt.  I can only do it when no one is around, because any bump will seriously mess things up.
 So, I just pull back the fabric and touch each stitch with the tip of the sharpie.  The thread sort of sucks the color up and voila - red stitches.  (see the opposite side of the square).

 Is it cheating?  I don't know.  I mean I could  have changed my thread for each block (yikes!) or I could have left it white....  but I'll tell you what, those red colored stitches sure make me happy.
  I totally plan on a finish post Monday.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sewing Machine Cover

 I finished up another small project yesterday.  A sewing machine cover.  I loooove this fabric.  So fun.  I'm so glad I found a project where I didn't have to cut it up.  And I get to look at it a lot.
 It is essentially a bag without a handle.  And yes, one side is upside down.  I couldn't afford to take a seam and shorten it more.  I'm totally OK with it.
I fully lined the inside with this great rainbow batik.  So it is essentially reversible, depending on my mood.
This is why I needed a machine cover.  My little helper.  I know you are supposed to cover machines when not using them, but I'm pretty sure that I put more dust in my machine using it, than when it sits.  After all, I do sew pretty much every day.
Lately, if I sew during the day, every time I get up, she takes my place.  Unfortunately, it looks like she's already figured a way around it. 
One of the reasons I made it soft, is because I usually have my table attached, so I wanted to just be able to flop it on.   Also makes it soft, squishy, and packable.

 In other news, I can always tell when E has been at the sewing table, my pins are organized by color...
 And last night I basted my Hexy Baby quilt.  For this kind of size I do a combination of spray and pin baste.  I carefully pinned the edge of each outer hexie.  For a size reference, it measures 31" x 37" right now.  It is made of a total of 408 hexagons. 

I should start quilting E's quilt first.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blue And White Quilted Bag

Catchy title, eh?

 I've decided my current favorite way to use up small pieces of patchwork is to make bags!  I made these blue pieces into a small rectangle ? years ago.  I can tell you where (up north) but I don't really remember when.  The patchwork rectangle has been floating around since then, with me having no idea what to do with it.
 After last week's patchwork bag success, I decided to follow up with this one.
 Again, two layers of batting.  I did a three step zig zag for the quilting stitch.  I actually don't love it.  I feel that I probably should have done something more curvy, but done is done.
 I just love the lining fabric.  So soft and pretty.  And I even went ahead and put in a pocket.  I did not do a ring tab this time, though.
 The handles are quite wide, which works, I think.  It's a fun little bag.
 I didn't do a separate piece for the bottom, just boxed the corners.

Fabric: Who knows?  It was a scrap bag I bought for $1.25 a few years ago up north.
Batting: Pellon cotton, two layers
Thread: Coats & Clark White cotton quilting thread
Dimensions: 10" x 3" x 12"  Handles: 21" x 2"