Monday, April 27, 2015

Biggs Blocks

After my last post, I realized that I had the house to myself and decided to settle on to the couch for some hand work.

My cat is only a "lap cat" if I am trying to do some hand work.  This slowed my progress somewhat.

Thanks to "speaker phone" I was able to catch up with a friend while making these fussy little stems.  The center star and buds stitched as well as the bottom flower.  About half of the other flowers basted in place.

Needing to feel some accomplishment, I moved on to working the greenery on this block.  Bottom done and the right one started.

And more flowers basted in place.

I just realized that there is a 4th block I haven't started and the 5th for the year comes out in a couple days.  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pickle Progress

I am back to piecing on the Pickle Dish quilt. I think I worked out the mental math error I had made before.  And I'm trying to get over my need to keep the variety of fabrics evenly distributed.  (Scrap quilts make me anxious.)

I spent an hour removing the paper from the back of all the arches.  I think it is much easier to piece curves without the paper, and it saves tons of time later removing tiny bits of paper from the back.

It took me a while to remember the order in which to put those rings together.   I'm sure glad that I splurged and bought this magnetic pin holder for myself last time I was at my LQS.  Those curves are far more successful with a half dozen pins holding each together.

Tea break is over.  Back to the grind.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

SteamPunk Dragonfly #1

The prototype is finished and washed.  I used orange thread for the dragonfly, blue for the center background, and purple for the outer fill.  I'm pleased enough with it to use on the full sized quilt. Some of the details I was considering changing disappear with all the background fill.  I am still no-good at making straight lines with FMQ.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I am so in love with this dragonfly.  This is my sample block to see if this is really going to work on a quilt.  This is from the back side.

I was worried about how the little details on the chain would work out.  It went surprisingly well.  Probably because I drew the design to start with, so the curves were my normal flow.

Next up:  drawing then quilting some interesting background fill.

Friday, April 17, 2015

SteamPunk Dragonflies

It's just a little bit wrong how much fun I am having tonight turning my lovely dragonfly sketches from last night into SteamPunk Dragonflies.

These goggles make me laugh every time I look at them.

The challenge is applying motifs that I also believe I can quilt.

These will be the corner blocks of the circles quilt posted a few days ago.

I am fairly sure that my plan exceeds my abilities.  But I never have  let that stand in my way.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Creative Ride

My bike completed her Primary Mission today.  She was purchased to complete fabric runs on winding mountain roads.  (Note the odometer 4022.  I bought her the end of August.  I live at 44 North.  Clearly, it's been a mild winter here.)

It was 75 degrees in the valley today, and equally delightful in Crouch, ID.

I bought 4 different orange batiks as I have recently discovered that I don't have any orange in the stash.  Which is weird as it was my favorite color when I was 5.  Oh yea, I remember why.  Maybe a story for a different day.

And I ran into a former neighbor in the quilt shop.

We had the road to ourselves being as how it was Monday.  Tons of sand and a fair share of rocks.  Typical Spring riding.

I have been really protective of "MY" Mondays off.  Hubby quit his part time job so is "really" retired now. I don't mind sharing my day off if it goes like this.

My nephew Phillip has claimed this quilt, much to my delight.  I've designed several "custom" quilts for him that never really worked for me.  I spent the ride thinking through quilting possibilities.

Our last discussion for design involved paisleys.  But he's a gear head, so I was trying to think of ways to use that to personalize it.  

Here's my first attempt.

Spark Spark Paisley.

Distraction UFO

I was tidying the sewing room (aka still looking for the missing template) when I ran across the green squares for this quilt, along with a black and white print out of the inspiration quilt from Crazy Mom Quilts. 

Being as how scrap quilts beget scrap quilts, I had a bin of blue strips, so started putting that one together.  The cleaning process also found some light purple strips, and I was able to find some non-batik purple in the stash that really needed to be used.  Deciding on the 4th color was a challenge.  I considered fuchsia, but wanted the quilt to be gender neutral since I haven't decided on a recipient. I am pretty happy with the yellow.

Looking forward to trying some detailed machine quilting in those big, blank spaces.  I am sure that my vision exceeds my ability, but I won't get better unless I do it.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


I'm a little confused about why I am so popular in Russia this week.
But to my Ukranian followers, a friend of mine is moving there this summer.  If you meet an American named Carol, be sure to tell her that you are my friend.

Fix-it Friday

Am I the only sewist who will spend hundreds of hours on a great quilt, but can't find the time to make basic repairs on some old favorites?  When I was searching for the missing template for the motorcycle saddle bags that I drafted last fall, I found not 1, not 2, but 3 piles of mending that I have been ignoring, for up to a decade.  

 So here's what I've done since last evening:
1) Replaced a worn out waistband on a very comfortable pair of PJ pants
2) Sewed the straps and pockets on an apron.  It was one of 3 aprons I was making at one time when I misplaced a pocket and couldn't finish.  Sometime in the past 5 years I found the missing pocket and folded it up with the rest of the project where it ended in one of the mending piles.
3) Fixed the back seam of a very comfortable rayon dress that I bought in Hawaii.  The fabric frays, particularly at stress points around the hips and butt.  It's the 3rd fix.
4) Fixed seams around the arm holes of a vintage mumu.  It's the snuggest part of the dress on me and the thread is old.
5) Replaced a missing zipper on a 1940's silk dress that belonged to my mother.  I can't wait to wear this to work next week.
6) Sewed and added the straps to a shopping bag.  This was one of 6 bags that I made about 15 years ago.  I misplaced the fabric for the handles and forgot about it since I use the other 5 bags every week when I shop.
7) Fixed the back seam of a pair of silk PJ shorts.  Another case of fraying fabric at a stress point.

In addition, I decided that the time involvement on another pair of PJ pants wasn't worth it since the fabric was getting pretty thin.  I have 4 new wonderfully soft rags for washing car/bike.  I also found a red dress that had side-slits that kept popping open making the slits far higher than is appropriate for work.  But I just bought 2 red dresses that fit much better so I put that one in the donate box.  The silk slip that I've repaired twice got moved to the silk fabric box to be repurposed for something else.
After this blogging break, I'm going to work on some hand hemming and see if I can fix the crocheted edge of some pillow cases that I bought at a deep discount at an estate sale.

Monday, April 6, 2015

2 Projects Finished

I am finished with the IWMC quilt and am extremely pleased with the binding.  Need to add the hanging sleeve tonight while watching TV, and awaiting a stand so I can take detailed pictures.

This morning I headed to the sewing room to reorganize the mess that's been accumulating while I was working on other things.  I decided to take some time and do something with these panels.  They were originally planned to be the 3 front panels of a skirt which you can read about here.  After getting this far, I lost momentum.  Today, I couldn't bear to just throw them out, so instead they became a 24" x 28" doll blanket.  I even had the binding in the stash.

From this project, I learned that William Morris motifs could be wonderful quilting, if I were to use a light background.

I found a skirt like my inspiration photo on sale for $10, so no need to finish this one.

The other side is a batik re-purposed from curtains from one of my daughter's bedroom from the grade school era.

Next up: sewing patches on biker vests, and prepping the last 4 Benjamin Biggs applique blocks that I haven't started.