Wednesday, March 23, 2016


I have been making slow but steady progress on this project.  This part is still in about 5 different sections then I need to sort out the process of making extra hexis from fabric that looks similar enough that it doesn't appear that I didn't plan this out well years ago when I started.

Progress has been stalled by an unplanned road trip to California.  Down via Nevada.

Back through Oregon.

About 1200 miles (1930 km) in 4 days in terrible weather to spend 20 minutes to say goodbye to a family member who passed away 6 days later.

Totally worth it.

Doing a food Gut Biome food challenge which has helped the hubby with the GI problems.  Details on my Nutrition Blog.  

And it was time to replace the tires on my bike.  Which resulted in a 166 mile (267 km) lunch ride Sunday.

The wind was blowing like mad but it was warm and sunny.  While I was exhausted at the end, surprisingly, that cured the lingering back pain I'd had for the past month,.  Apparently, it's a better "core" workout than the stretching and yoga I'd been doing.

And I'm trying to learn some Ukranian for a possible vacation to visit a good friend.  I might need to learn Romanian too.  There are lots of Romanian quilters....

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Hexi WIP

Time to pull another WIP out of the pile.  Once I pulled it out, I remembered why I had stalled out.

It's at the point that involves spreading it out in order to figure out the pattern for putting it together.

After a couple days it's starting to shape up.  This view is actually 4 panels waiting to be combined as well as a dozen strips.

I think that another reason it was abandoned is that the original sketch I made notes that I need 1054 hexies, it is only about 44" square.  This will mean either another 1000 hexies or some rather large borders to make this anything a useful size.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ojibwe Finished

This quilt was originally designed as a wedding quilt in 2005 inspired by Ojibwe bead work, but done in the favorite colors of the bride to be. I had spent quite a bit of time in New England and the museums of Washington DC that year admiring and taking photos of Native American beadwork. 

There are several reasons this got set aside.  
1) I got bored making 4 repeats of the same designs
2) I wished that I had done this in more traditional beadwork colors (lots of blue and on a white background).
3) She didn't get married
4) I didn't want to give it away anyway.
5) When I pulled it out to work on years later, I hated the green fabric that I'd used for the leaves.
6) I kept changing my mind about the quilting
7) I swore I would never FMQ a black quilt ever again. 

In the end, I have mixed feelings about the flowers I added in red.  I am very fond of the red/yellow ones in the center.  But the green thread blended into the background too much so the others seem to randomly float. 

I did all the gridwork and outer lines without a ruler.  Even though I drew those lines on, I have trouble driving that machine consistently in a straight line. 

Some is reasonably straight.

Others very much not. 

I considered re-stitching these sections.  But I was reminded of another quilting "disaster" when a friend reminded me "It's art, it adds to the charm."

One more that I'll be able to submit for the Finish-A-Long.

My original goal list post

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


So, when your brain is on cold medicine and tells you to FMQ 1/2" micro-grid as background, don't listen.  It's a trap.  Brought to you by the same part of your brain that says "Watch this, hold my beer."

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Progress Report

Sometimes procrastination does actually pay off. I started this quilt inspired by Ojibwe beadwork in 2005. It got set aside and finished up the applique in 2010/2011. I started machine quilting it last week. Super happy with the contrasting thread additions. Just now have the skills developed to pull off the concept.

 I posted this photo on my FB page earlier today and felt validated when a non-quilter replied with   "You have mad-bad quilting skills"

Which is funny because I spent the morning staring at this quilt laid out on the living room floor and thinking "That turned out well if you don't look closely.  What next?"

While watching Ming cook on PBS, I looked over my reference photos of bead work and free-hand drew some flowers and swirlies onto the quilt with a whit colored pencil. 

I'm in the process of adding the veining on all the big leaves and then maybe some more freehand fill flowers. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ojibwe Revisited

I am super motivated to finish up some of my old UFO's before it gets warm enough to go play outside.  Monday I go this quilt sandwiched, pinned, and all the ditch-stitching done.
This quilt was originally designed as a wedding quilt inspired by Ojibwe bead work, but done in the favorite colors of the bride to be.  There are several reasons this got set aside.  Which in a way is good as my FMQ is finally good enough to make this look the way I had imagined.

I bought black batting for this quilt about 7 or 8 years ago when I started it.  I sure wish I would have thought to use it for the last black quilt that I made.  No tufting of the batting, or if it is, you can't see it.

Hoping to do the quilting detail on the applique over the next several evenings, but will need to wait for a bright sunny day to attempt anything on the black background.  I keep changing my mind if I'm going to use black or red thread for the fill.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Evolution Finish

So, this is a rather long post as it was quite a journey of quilt learning for me.

 This project started with some blue and green triangle pieces that were given to me by my friend Emily when I was working on the Turquoise Double Wedding ring.

I added the green floral which was a dress that I made, the apple green from the Big Ass Cat, and the yellow plaid which was a second-hand sheet I used for the back of a quilt.

I arranged the HST blocks on a piece of flannel.

This much hung on the wall from July 2015 until January 2016.

One evening, it occurred to me that I should extend the blue line and square idea out.

I started auditioning scraps.

And I found some orphan blocks and a Spoonflower sample fabric.

And " Evolution" evolved.

With some things I liked, and others that I just tolerated.

Improv piecing can be fun, but doesn't always have the outcome I'd imagined.

Then I realized that it looked much different when viewed from a different angle.

I added dark frames until I ran out of fabrics.

I wanted it to be larger, but 60" x 74" makes a decent lap quilt.

The quilting started out well, especially after I found this square flower by Lori Kennedy.   After the second design of hers that I randomly picked from a google search of designs, I started following her at The Inbox Jaunt.

I have a strange Love/Hate relationship with variegated thread.  I Love how it looks on the spool.  I Hate how it looks on the quilt. ( with the rare exception of match stick quilting, which I rarely do.)  I make a post about how much I hate it about every 6 months.  So my goal was to use all this crap up.

Mission accomplished.
5 spools gone and 2 more skinnyfied.
(There are still 5 spools in the stash in other colors so there will be more complaining on this topic. )

I had a few rare moments when every stitch turned out exactly the way I imagined it to look.  Perfect feathers!  The right shape, even stitch length. Wow!

A zen moment when I actually felt like I was a really good machine quilter.

Balanced by the Drunk Feathers.  There was actually a section worse than this that had to be un-stitched following an evening of Cabernet.  (Apparently, too much of a good thing is too much.)

I was testing some design ideas for another UFO quilt.  Borrowing from ZenTangles.

After washing.
Another borrowed design was this 3 or 5 petal flower.  Which when I was spontaneously stitching, turned out like this.  I could argue that it's a leaf not a flower.  It was easy and forgiving as any weird wiggles just make it better.  And the echo makes it cohesive.

After washing view.  Did not pre-wash to get max shrinkage.

And the best part?  It's done!  Linking to the Finish-along.

My original goal list post