Sunday, January 31, 2016

Evolution Quilting

I'm quite pleased with my FMQ progress on Evolution.  I made dark blue narrow stripes by eye.  I think this will have even better texture after washing.   The center square flower I found on line and am happy to give credit to Lori Kennedy.  She even has a free tutorial at this link.   It was fun to make and I love how it turned out.  I like it so well that I used it in different colors on all the 4" to 6" squares in the quilt.

I tried a swirl with pebbles and feathers on a set of squares before I found the flower.

I tried a variety of fills on one of the corners.  Only one I like much is the feathers, but it is on a wider strip than most of the area I need to fill, but I am leaning toward feathers for the medium colored sections in the first photo.

I have been using up some varegated green thread.  I discovered a while ago that I'm not that keen on it for most quilting motifs that I do as the dark/light can make it's own odd, unpredictable patterns.

Back to the sewing room for me.  (After a glass of wine and looking for a design for the large square I need to fill.)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Evolution Framed

I was hoping to make this quilt a little bigger but I'm out of dark fabric scraps and I think adding the medium/light greens that I do have would detract from the overall look.  I'll stop here with the piecing at 60" x 74".  My goal is to make the backing and sandwich it tonight after work, quilting over the weekend.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Evolution Tipped

While this project sat completely ignored since July ( see that post at this link), I have rapidly made progress, mostly this week (progression post here).  I finished what I had been considering the "bottom" corners (now the left corners from this view) this evening and took this shot on the floor after evening up the edges.

At this point I briefly considered extending the outer box that appears from this angle.  But then I decided to simply be done.  I've added a narrow border of the medium blue all the way around and was in the process of adding a 6" blue strip and a 6" dark green strip on what would be the top and bottom of this view to widen that direction when I ran out of bobbin and declared today's session over.  The version in the photo is about 46" x 70".

I have some ideas for quilting this that I am looking forward to trying, so hopefully I will get to that point sometime this weekend.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Stuff

I spent the morning working on bits and pieces of UFO / WIPs.  This is my temperature quilt representing the first 3 weeks of January.  It's folded upon itself in this photo to get a feel for the color distribution.

The daytime high is 2" wide strip and the low a 1" strip.  Our temps have ranged 0 to 50 degrees over the past 2 weeks, with most 30-40

This quilt will finish about 80 x 102.

I wasn't ready to tackle the popsicle quilt and decided to start on something that takes less thought.
Evolution is some improv piecing taking off from a HST set on the right of the picture.  I found a couple orphan blocks (bottom) and a free sample of a dragonfly camo material that I got free from Spoonflower as a promotion.

Filling in with some neutral colors went pretty quickly.

I decided to cut one of the orphan blocks in half.  Here's me playing with some placement options.

Here is where I'm going to leave this project for the day.

Not hating it.

Not loving it.

Like using up bits.

And now to watch football and crocheting the cardigan.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Crochet cardi

I started crocheting a cardigan on our Christmas road trip to Arizona. Unfortunately, I didn't have a ruler with me on that trip, so I just had to trust that the stitch scale in the pattern was right. It has been a particularly long process since the yarn is super fine,  much of it was done in a car or in poor light,  and I haven't crocheted in years.   I was able to finish the sleeve sections this weekend while hanging out with a good friend, watching football in our PJ's.   
It's been a good take-along project since you work it in square/triangles then sew it together.  Working on the lower section (peplum) now, so have hope it will actually be a sweater someday soon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


A trio of small finishes.

The Arizona pillow is in the mail to it's new home.

The concept test panel of the first steam punk dragonfly got a dragonfly fabric backing and is now a pillow at my buddy Bobbi's house.

And last night I up-cycled 2 card table sized table cloths from my friend Jana's grandma's stash into pillow cases for my BFF Rob.  The upper one is linen and the lower one is either a super soft cotton or a rayon.   They get delivered this weekend.

Check, check and check.

My original goal list post

Monday, January 11, 2016

Long Lost Popsicles

After finishing my errands and most of my chores, I decided it was time to put the Popsicle pieces up on the design wall.  I was shocked to realize I started this in June 2010 and last worked on it March 2011.

It was rather concerning to me that these bits are not very square which will make the joining rather interesting.

Task 1 was embroidering the signature on the lower left corner.  The artist is my husband's cousin and at some point I had her sign it in pencil to be extra legit.

After I took the first photo, I found 2 other pieced section of the background.

I have spent considerable amount of time trying to find this long lost project, and periodically think I'm missing more pieces.

I also couldn't find the original photo anywhere on my computer.  Thank goodness for the Internet.
Today's accomplishment was the upper popsicle - strip pieced and shading appliqued over top.   And a good start on the remaining half of the orange popsicle.
Hopefully this mix of methods  will end up flowing alright.

Pulling this project out is really amazing to see how much my skills and techniques have improved over 6 years. .  Where I started out carefully templated piecing,, I found myself today doing improv applique.  I'm also kind-of glad that I didn't finish it sooner.  I can imagine much different quilting than I had planned previously, which I think will add to the overall look, as well as hiding some inperfections.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Goals - Old WIPS

Like many people, I'm much better at starting a project than finishing it.  As part of my recent organizing efforts, I have tidied up my blog, including an updated WIP page.  This is only a fraction of my UFO's.  It is supposed to be the ones I am committed on working on this year.  Some have been on the page for 6 years.  One of the things that I teach in my day job is goal setting.  Including "put it in writing" and being accountable to someone.  So here you go.

Monet's woman with Parasol.

If I remember correctly, I have the 2 main people sections done.  The new design wall will make a big difference on some of the connecting sections.  It seems like I ran out of the fusible I was gridding this out on and need to change to just regular piecing.


This is the watercolor by Terrece Beasley.  I have most of the big sections of this done, but it was a project that spread all over the house so it's been hard to finish.

But my machine quilting has improved to the point that I am now excited to quilt this one.


Deserves to be hand quilted.   I splurged on a wool batting this fall and think this is where to use it.  And I decided on a recipient so it moves up the priority list.   Just need to buy a backing.


Because I have a black batting I bought for this that is taking up a lot of space.

And I finally have the quilting skills to make this look pretty amazing.

Betty Jeanne.

Of the 80 squares I needed, these are the 9 that are finished.  She's now 86.  I may need to reconsider the concept and make it a highlight reel rather than a square to represent each year of her life.

I also have 5 newer projects that are on the to-do list including Big Ass Cat 2, the temperature quilt, bookcase, and the Evolution scrap quilt, a couple pillows and a scrap quilt with a lot of FMQ for a niece.

I'm also determined to do more clothes sewing.  But I say that every year too.

Addendum:  I was invited by Archie the Wonder Dog to join a I will.

FAL 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Design Walls

 I've been spending more time in the "Studio" over the past couple weeks and decided that it's finally time to break down and make a bona fide design wall.  I sent hubby to Home Depot on his day off so he could pick up a big foam board for me.  What he brought home instead was 5 small panels, each 2 feet x 4 feet.   I had been planning a floor to ceiling option on this main inside wall so decided I needed to go back and pick up 1 more to put them 3 high, 2 wide.  But with the sewing table and bookcase I wouldn't be able to access the bottom panel.
 So I started eyeing other walls and realized that behind the door was a wall a little over 4 ft wide.  My original plan was 4 panels but discovered after the fact that the bottom panel would need to be cut to 18-19" which is too much trouble, so I put the 8th panel on the back of the door.

I used the tutorial at The Quilt Edge, except that I used white flannel instead of batting.

Because I lucked out on the flannel being 50% off and was able to use a 50% coupon for the spray adhesive, it turned out to only cost $12 per panel.    ($2.85 per foam board,  1.5 yards fabric each @$2.99/yd.) The expensive items were the spray adhesive (normally $12) - but worth the cost.  Be sure to buy "repositionable". And the hanging strips at $6 per package.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Evolution Part 2

I was waiting to hear back from a friend on details so I could finish another pillow when I was staring at this project pinned up on my wall.
I knew that I wanted to connect the dark blue line on the top left and and triangle mid way down.

I took a photo, printed it out and started drawing connection lines.

After an hour and only one major miscalculation I had the big square and connecting triangle sewn.

Here's the open audition of fabrics from the scrap bin and the random odd colored fabrics I found in the studio tidy.

This is turning into something I can easily work on a few minutes at a time now that I've decided that any combo of squares on point and lines should play nicely together.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pillow Finish

The pillow for my sister-in-law is finished. It was inspired by the baskets from the region in Arizona where they spend the winter. One more off the list.


I was going to be posting about 2 finished pillows today, but instead I got caught up cleaning and organizing.  It started with 3 drawers in the bathroom and ended in the Studio.

I am, and always will be a "piler".  (My husband is a "spreader".)  Here are the piles on the North end of the room.

The remaining big bins will be there until I sew some clothing or admit that I'm never going to sew clothing and give that fabric away.

Success in this area was the result of my giving away 80% of the scrap-booking stuff which freed up 5 of the drawers in the right stack.  I found several things I didn't know I had, and over time, some of these things may go away.  For example, I'm pretty much over the need to make ribbon flowers.

The other set of shelves was in shambles as well.

Discovered that the baskets hid random fabrics that fit into the "why do I have this" category.

While it doesn't appear much better, it is better organized and the small bookcase is no longer hiding a pile as big as it is.

There are probably several more hours of organizing to be done, but at least it's functional and I have a grasp on some of the bigger bits of leftovers that I can't bear to toss out.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Working towards finishes.

This was the 3rd project I was trying to deliver on the Christmas road trip.  Unfortunately, I tried piecing this when I should have been applique  This created several problems and a learning curve.  I finished the piecing as best as I could to salvage the project.  It is now appliqued onto a brown backing and I'm about to start some quilting.   Machine on the piecing and hand on the background.

I am working on a crochet project.   A cardigan pattern I bought about 4 years ago with some super fine "lace" weight yarn that is extremely challenging to crochet.   Particularly in a moving car.  I'm partially done with body section #4 which is about 1/3 of the way through.

And I am totally amused by the temperature based afghans being posted on Facebook.  I've decided instead to make a quilt instead.   And to further complicate matters (as is my way) I've figured out a plan to include both the high an low each day.  So yesterday's block will be both Blue and Pinky Purple.  We just barely made it out of the Purple today by a degree.

So now back to the studio to try to finish up some UFOs