Saturday, December 8, 2018

Variety the spice of life!

Have you ever made the same quilt twice?  Something I have never done and have no desire to do. Not that anything is wrong with that, but there are so many other quilts that tempt me.  I really love it when a quilt teaches me something new, and none of my quilts have let me down.  I love finding an element in an antique or vintage quilt that really catches my eye or a quilting design that I keep in the back of my head, cause you just never know when you can try it out or it just may be what that next quilt needs.  These elements are usually what call me to make another quilt.  For my Texas star, it was about hand piecing and challenging myself to design a border.  When it comes to the quilting I like to challenge myself also.  So for my Texas star, I decided to use regular quilting with some big stitch.  I have done both before but never together in the same quilt.  I am also using several different shades of Perle cotton in one quilt.

After designing the whimsical border, it just called out for some whimsical quilting too so it could compete with those lovely stars. The pictures above show all the regular quilting completed on the borders.   I am not sure of the original use of perle cotton, but it works great for big stitching. The large visible stitches really add a lot to a quilt.  I also think it's a great way to try hand quilting if you have been tempted to do so.  I can't wait to get started!

I really like how it's turning out!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Progress Report

Hand quilting is often looked upon as an endless project.  I suppose in today's fast-paced world it is a slow process, but one I look forward to most days.  I have always quilted for enjoyment, making traditional quilts that have always inspired me.  My favorite part of making a quilt will continue to be the quilting, whether the design is fancy or simple.  Making those stitches and watching a quilt come alive is so satisfying.

It's my me time, my quiet time, a time for reflection!  A calming act, where all the cares of the day are put aside and I just enjoy the methodical stitching.  I especially love when all is quiet and I realize the old wall clock is still ticking away those seconds.  It has been in my husband's family for years.  It has outlived many a modern-day clock. 

I finished up quilting all the stars this week. Today I hope to start the border. First, I will stitch around the whole quilt to make the quilting on the border possible. I find my sewing machine fitted with a walking foot works best.  I suppose I could do this when I baste my quilt but I always wait till I get to the border so I can ease out any excess fabric.  I am not sure what others do but this seems to work for me!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Slow Stitching and Relaxing!

Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts reminds us today to add some slow stitches and to slow down take some deep breaths and relax.  I haven't been able to do that much lately.  I have been dealing with losing a pet that was very dear and he had been with me thru my quilting journey.  Not having him there at my feet under the hoop has been hard. But, I know I must move forward.  So instead of feeling sad, I am spending my time stitching remembering some of the great times and travels we had and the new friends we made.
I was able to sit out on the screened porch yesterday the weather was gorgeous and the natural light over my shoulder was so nice. It was great for stitching and warming my back and shoulders.

I am really liking the way this quilting design works well for working in a hoop.  I have done quite a few quilts with a crosshatch background which means several needles at once. This design is completed without moving the hoop and the parts of it are close enough together that I can move my needle thru the quilt to the next part.  Just what I need some relaxing stitching !!!!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Mr Max

I think I can finally sit down and write a post about my buddy Max.  When my kids left home he came to us thru a friend of mine.  Mr Max was just a year old and full of energy.  He was given to us by his former owner who loved him but just didn't have the time to give him.  He just wanted Max to find a home where he would have a yard to run in and someone to be his buddy.  I told him that was what I was looking for, a buddy.  Max really lived up to his end of the bargain. He was my daily walking companion until this last year when he was just too old to handle it.  But, he still took a trip with us out to Seattle to see my daughter and her family.  He loved to travel!

 In the spring of 2014 Max became very ill and it took a specialist to find that he had a Peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia.  It was a congenital condition that came to the point he could hardly breathe. So Dr. Hunter had to perform major surgery.  He pulled thru like a champ and we are thankful for the extra four years we had with him.

But this week Tom and I realized to ask him to keep trying was just becoming too difficult and the decision was made.  Wednesday morning the 7th of November we both looked at each other and knew.  Such a hard realization but, I know he will always in our hearts!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Still stitching!

Well with the cold blast we are getting I am so happy to have my Texas Star quilt in my hoop.  I find my favorite time to hand quilt is when I first get up in the morning.  It's a wonderful way to slowly start my day. Maybe I will sit behind the hoop this evening too, it would be nice to have my quilting to distract me from the Cowboys game.  Such a hard year to be a fan!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Me time!

 I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts today to join other hand stitchers as we add stitches to our projects. Kathy talked about the healing quality of stitching.  I  agree that putting in those hand stitches has a great calming effect.  I am currently hand quilting my Texas Star quilt.  I have it set up in the corner of the kitchen nook, so it is easy to go over during the day and sneak in a few stitches. I call that "me time".  For me, it's a time when all other thoughts go away and I just stitch.  It doesn't take long and I feel relaxed.  It's been a busy week here, but I was able to sneak in a few stitches!
Since this quilt is not made up of blocks it's hard to know how far I have come without laying it out.  Although, the quilting is nothing fancy I really like the way it softening the whole quilt and playing nicely with the stars.  It doesn't get better than that!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Marking with soap!

Well, no winners here!  Tom and I are not lottery players but with the big jackpot he picked up several tickets when he filled up with gas.  Of course, we had the typical discussion of what would you do if you won.  Of course, he said I would purchase a big long arm to quilt my quilts.  I am quite sure I would continue my hand work. Perhaps the scenery would change as I traveled around the world but yes those slow stitches would continue!  I haven't made a lot of progress to show you but this project is just there for "me time".  I did enjoy quilting that striped star. Not sure why I don't use more striped fabric in my quilts.

I had a question about marking with soap.  So, I thought I would include a picture of the soap sliver I use and what kind of line it makes.  I don't want to hear any comments about the oils and chemicals etc.  I really hate that part of the quilting community.  I am just sharing this cause I always seem to have a sliver of soap and I don't have to worry about not having something to mark my quilt. I simply use that last sliver of soap instead of throwing it out.  Simple!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Keeping it Simple!

 Sometimes keeping it simple is the solution!  I thought from the start that would be the best approach for my Texas Star Quilt.  But I had the idea that simple diagonal lines would be the way to go until I started marking.  So, I played around and soon came up with a new plan.  So happy, to now just enjoy putting in these simple stitches to turn this into a usable quilt.
I'm using a sliver of soap to mark my stitching line on the stars!
Love this striped star!