Thursday, October 23, 2014

Planning the Lights Quilt

 As soon as our final Four-in-Art theme was announced for the year, I knew what I was going to do.  This fifth quarter theme is Light.  Light falls under the year's theme of Urban. 

 My previous quilt showcased a skyline silhouette of Milwaukee, and I wanted to continue to explore that idea combined with the idea of lights.  Here are a couple of preview shots to whet your appetite.  The final reveal will be November 1.
This one is a bit of a test.  I traced the skyline backwards.  And when I sat down to do the sky quilting, I think I forgot how to FMQ.  Really, its been a couple months, and it wasn't pretty.

Here's the base for the "real" one.  We'll see how things go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

IG MiniSwap Update, WIP Wednesday 10.22.14

 The two major WIP's this week are the IG Mini Swap Quilt and my next Four-in-Art quilt.
 All the pieces for my IG Mini Swap are put together.
 Diamond set 1.

 Diamond set 2.
 A shot of things laid out.  I need to do a bit of work on the diamonds to get them ready for applique, and then I'll be ready for assembly.  The real question at this point, is whether they will fit on this piece of background.  Its a fat quarter, and I checked at the store Saturday, and they don't have any more.  This may lead to some background piecing.  But, I will wait and see after the edges of the diamonds are turned under.

Tomorrow I'll share what I'm working on with the art quilt, so far.

Linking with Lee.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


 I know a while back I mentioned that I was making skirts for E.  I made a total of 6 (or7?).  Alas I do not have pictures of them all, but they are all pretty much the same.  I used the same pattern for them all, just a variety of fabrics from my stash.  The one above is a linen look fabric with some stretch to it.  She wears this one a lot.  Its substantial and doesn't wrinkle.
The one above, here, is actually a tube skirt.  My MIL was cleaning out her clothes and asked if I wanted anything out of the pile.  I grabbed a couple of red knit T-shirts, cut them up and put them back together as a skirt.  No hemming needed!  Or side seams, just four tubes sewn together with an elastic casing at the top.

Perhaps I'll manage to grab more pictures as she wears them, but at least these have been blogged.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Giant Hexie Pin Cushion, or Miss Muffet's Tuffet

 Hello Bloggity Blog readers.  Its been a while, eh?  It seems that lately its been hard to force my self to slow down to take the time to sit at the computer and blog.  Today, I'm taking some time.  Oh, and for those of you that asked, Mr. Riley is doing quite well after back surgery.  The surgery itself was successful, there is still some recovery time, but today he is back to work after three weeks off. (coincidence with a blog post? hmmmm.....)

 Anywho. A couple of days ago I had an idea that I just had to try.
I grabbed some fossil fern in a rainbow selection, did some quick glue basting and English Paper piecing and put together what I thought was going to be an awesome pin cushion.
It didn't turn out quite as awesome as I had hoped.    For one thing, actually the major thing, its huge!

 6 inches across!
Look at that sad little pin in there!  Oh, and when I appliqued the hexies, they shifted, so they are not quite centered.  Sigh.  I had honestly hoped to give this as a gift, but it is not quite up to my gifting standards.  Kinda looks like a weird soccer ball.
The bottom. 
I filled it with a combination of walnut shells and fiber fill. 
I may use it to keep track of my machine needles.  Write on each hexie a type of needle and then I can reuse them and not forget what they are...  It would probably make a decent pattern weight, as well. 

Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIP Wednesday 10.8.14

 Hi!  I have been doing some sewing.  Not much blogging, though.  I have a good reason.  Mr. Riley had back surgery last week and is home for a few weeks recuperating.  I don't mind him home, but its weird.  Plus the fact that I have to do all the driving for everything, so its been a bit busier than normal.

 I'm working diligently on my #igminiswap.  I've got my diamond pattern figured out.  The blue was the last test one.  All good as far as the pattern goes.  I would re-do the too light blue if it was a real block, and one point isn't quite matched up, but I'm ready to move ahead in the real fabrics.

 Here's a look at the 'real' fabric.  This will be the center of the quilt.  I did this part EPP.

 This is just a quick panel I'm putting together. 
And of course, the ongoing WIP, my temperature quilt.  Done through September. This picture is right to left, Jan to Sept.

By the way, I'm much more consistent on the daily goings on around here on Instagram.  You can find me there rachel_thelifeofriley.

Perhaps I should mention that I made a fabric pledge.

 No new quilting fabric for the next 6 months.  Exclusions are yardage for background and backing. (probably don't need those, either).  Its pretty freeing to delete all my email ads and throw all catalogs away as soon as they come in.

Linking with Lee @ Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pleiades - A Finish

This post has been a long time in coming. You see, I started making these paper pieced stars way back in June.

Then in July I had a finished top, and the top quickly turned into a finished quilt.

I couldn't share it before today because it was for a guild challenge.  The only rule is that the quilt had to have one 5 pointed star on the front.  We were given a paper pieced star pattern as a start if we needed it.  That's what I ended up using for all my stars.

Last night was the voting on the anonymous quilts.  I missed out on the voting because of family obligations.  The winners will be announced at our Holiday Party in November.  Fingers crossed....
Pleiades - named for the constellation of the seven sisters.  This quilt has seven bright white stars, representing those 7 sisters of Greek mythology.  There are seven blue stars to make a total of 14 visible stars, which is what can be seen with the naked eye.  The quilted in stars represent the many, many more stars that make up the constellation that can only be seen with telescopes.
I quilted around each star for definition and then went back to quilt in the rays.  I did the rays with my free motion foot, so they are not perfect, but I'm perfectly ok with that, especially with all the texture the quilt got after I washed it.  Each star is made from a different fabric.  7 blues and 7 white on white fabrics.
The back is made form a bunch of uglies that I mashed together.
Some quilting detail from the back.
My quilting threads.
I love this shot with WP laying next to the quilt.  This is actually before the binding and washing.
My moment of brilliance when I used the practice block for my label!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

 If you haven't seen at least one blogger participating in the Around the World Blog Hop, then you've probably been under a rock.  I know I've seen a few.  It was pretty exciting, though, when Cindy from Live a Colorful Life tagged me to participate!  She's been working on her own version of the Temperature quilt, keeping track of both Fresno and St. Paul.

So, on to the questions that are part of the blog hop.

1. What am I working on? 
My latest finishes consist of a menagerie of pin cushions.

And a 100 Blessings Quilt for friends.
Right now I'm trying to work on my Instagram Mini Swap ideas.  I block tested to see if I could paper piece the diamond shape.  I need to add some seam allowances and match points better, but it worked.  I tested in green because emerald is my birthstone.

I'm always working on the Temperature Quilt

I'm also always working on the 10 year hexie project

Soon I hope to also be working on my next Four-in-Art quilt. Urban: Lights.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
What's a genre?
OK, really, I do know, but I don't have one.

I make traditional quilts.

 Art Quilts

 Mini Quilts

Modern Quilts? (a whole 'nother discussion)

 Charity Quilts

And baby quilts, pincushions, bags, pillows, costumes, dresses, skirts, pants, and so on.
(the above quilts are all from 2014 - and can be found at the 2014 tab at the top of the page)

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
This question could probably fill an entire post, so I won't get into why my blog is the way it is, but rather say I do this creating thing because I have to.  It keeps me sane.  It feeds my creative side.  I can make a quilt and my kids won't come along and unmake it.  Actually I just had an 'a-ha' moment.  I rarely make the same quilt twice - and even if its been the same pattern its been different fabric - now I know why.  I clean the same toilets, fold the same laundry, vacuum the same rugs, but the creation of something, like a quilt, is always new!  I've never once in my whole life followed the instructions for a quilt and made it to look exactly like the picture. (exception may be The Downton Abbey one, but I did add a border and I didn't know what it would look like, because it was a mystery quilt along!)
4. How does my writing/creating process work?
 That is an interesting question.  I make blog posts when I have time.   I don't worry so much these days about posting everyday, so now its more when I have the time and something to write about.  And reasonable pictures.  As for creating the quilts.  I think about them a lot.  Sometimes obsessively, often times when I'm laying in bed.  I know I've referred to some of my ideas as "needing to get them out of my head".  There are so many ideas in there and so little time!

So now that I've met most of my obligations, here's where it gets interesting.  I was supposed to tag three more people to do this blog hop.  No one said yes.  It was for various reasons; one doesn't blog much, another had already participated.  It was even referred to as a 'digital chain letter' - that made me laugh.  So I'm going to let this particular length of chain end here.