Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Totem Pole Quilt Design

Returned from a vacation to Alaska with plans for a commemorative quilt.  I focused on incorporating what we saw in Ketchican including eagle, hawk, kingfisher, blue jay, salmon and bears. I still have some adjustments to make to the salmon's head, and some details to add.   Looking forward to making this my football season project.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Still Here

My, how time flies.  In the time that I haven't been blogging, I've ridden my motorcycle several thousand miles, had play dates with the granddaughter, celebrated my mom's 90th birthday, and hung out with friends.   Some of those friends have decided to do a Craft Bazaar in November to sell some of their crafty goods.  After much consideration, I came up with some things that I thought would be profitable enough to spend my time on.

 So I've been mastering a recipe for bath bombs. 
Am figuring out lip balms.
 And have started making some cute purses.
 Meanwhile, I' volunteered to put together a swag bag for a motorcycle club regional meeting.  Here's a prototype of the 6"x8" "ditty bag" I designed, that will hold all the other goodies.  The duck cloth will be embroidered with the logo, and we'll use a team of crafty volunteers to sew these up. 
And while I have all that slave labor lined up,  there's plans to make the neck wraps to include, along with a custom flavored lip balm. 

Next post should be showing off some of the bags I have planned to make this weekend.  Should be a learning curve as I have a mix of materials I'm trying including some quilting fabrics from the stash and some upcycled clothing.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Orange Finish

I finished this baby quilt. 
A friend had gifted me with a bag of batik leftovers that included 19 finished blocks in orange/blue.  I made a few more and finished it with some of the orange strips. 
Simple quilting with the walking foot in the center and some feathers around the edges. 
My machine has been having tension issues, which on the feathers caused enough trouble for to break needles. 
The back has all kinds of random loops that I didn't discover until I was nearly done. 
Both of those problems are just going to become part of the story of the quilt. 
And the reason I have a new machine!

Sunday, May 5, 2019


 I have been doing lots of fabric based projects, but not finishing anything.  Here's the body of a bluebird I'm making for the winner of a custom pillow I donated for a fund raiser.
 I tried working on the Benjamin Biggs applique, but my cat had other ideas about what I should do with my hands on a lazy afternoon.
 I am working on a fairly complex applique border for a friend who knows what fabrics I'm using for a quilt for her, but wants it to be a surprise.  The pieced center is finished and about 30% of the 44 flowers.
 I was working on the orange applique when our travels took us to Sisters Oregon.  Where I fell in love with some cute fabric that begged to be dresses for my 2 year old granddaughter.  I made a major flub on the zipper insertion on the kitty dress, so I added a pink bow and a yoyo flower to match the print and cover the mistakes.

A friend bought and refurbished this industrial Juki that I got for a great price. 
  I am still a little afraid to use it.
 Making room for the Juki means that tons of things got moved.  In the process of re-homing things, I ran across a pile of batiks that a friend had donated to my cause.  It included 19 finished blocks.  So I decided to sew up a few more to finish up a center.  I even got most of the quilting done, when I realized how bad the tension was on my machine.  When I switched over from the walking foot to the free motion foot to do the borders, I realized that I needed to replace the walking foot (the plastic had been nicked by a needle and was catching thread.)
Lucky for me, they didn't have the replacement foot, but for the cost of a new foot and a tune up, I could get a new machine.  So I did.  The previous one lasted 6.5 years and I had bought it in an emergency situation to finish a project with a deadline when my Viking started acting up.

So maybe my next post will have some finished items.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Eel update

The applique part is done.  This is going to be a large throw pillow (22") so the quilting should be fun.  Will be adding lots of texture to the eel and following the swirlies on the background.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sea Applique

I was admiring the amazing photography of Brooke Peterson
You really must go to Waterdog Photograpy and give it a look.
She is our niece, and she graciously gave me permission to reproduce some of her photographs as applique.  This link takes you to a variation of the photo that I chose. 
 I had a hard time getting the cleaner shrimp's face right and had to ask for extra pictures from different angles to figure it out. 
 Making it from the stash.  Which means my eel will end up chartreuse instead of it's real color.
I had a "perfect" background color, but it wasn't big enough.  Settling on this. 
 Back-basting needle turn is the best technique for these tiny pieces in my opinion.  But nearly impossible (or at least highly frustrating) on dark fabric.  I decided to do this on some thin cotton.  This allowed me to easily position fabrics to "fussy cut" details.  
 I was careful to stitch only to the other batiks and not the backing.  The outer edges are needle turned, but only basted with big, purple stitches.  I will press and starch the heck out of this, then remove the basting and stitch it down with silk thread to the dark background. 
This cleaner shrimp is roughly 9”. 31 pieces. 13 fabrics. 8 hours

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Rug Hooking

 I spent my crafty time in November, December and January working on this hooked rug.  It was a class by my friend Kim at Nampa Farm Girl Creates.  She also does custom dyed wool.  These are all her hand-dyed fabrics with the exceptions of the pinks.
 There are also other fibers and techniques which are somewhat easier to see before the background was added.  The dark blue buds are a fuzzy acrylic yarn.  The dark stems are either nubby hand spun wool, or some upcycled wool from second-hand wool jackets.  The lower stem has crochet cotton over strips of wool. And the pink centers of the blue proddy flowers is a multi-color yarn.
 My original plan for the background was the upcycled dark green.  Then I was going to do black.  In the end, I went with a custom-dyed very dark purple with some variation in color to give the background more movement.  It was the right decision.  I also borrowed a page from my quilting experience and alternated widths on the background to add some interest.

My plan is to add a dark purple batik for the back and make this a large pillow.

And just when I swore I was going to quit being a hooker, I decided to re-visit this rug that I started 10-15 years ago to use up some cheap blue cotton that I didn't like anymore but couldn't bear to throw away.  I can't say that I really love this technique, but have enough time invested to justify a finish.

But I did pull out an old quilt project last night.  I've been following the temperature quilt-along at Twittletails and decided to finish mine from 2016.  I was done through week 30 and cut out 6 more weeks last night.