Sunday, December 29, 2013

Slow Stitching Hexies!

Christmas has come and gone and we sent the last of our Christmas visitors on their way this morning.  I can't believe that I have not done any stitching for the past few days.  I did get three hexagon flowers assembled before my sister and brother in law arrived on Christmas.

So today, I will spend the afternoon assembling a few more hexagon flowers. Hexies are such a great project to fill in those times  I am in between projects.  It is nice to have company, but I am looking forward to sitting down this afternoon and enjoying some stitching before we I have to face the routines the rest of the week will bring. I will be linking up with Kathy to see what others are slow stitching today!


I have decided to join Angela in her Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2014.  Although I did make a big dent in my stash in 2013, it is far from gone and there are some fabrics that just never seem to get pulled out and used.

Being a planner I have spent the last couple of weeks wondering what pattern I would like to use and how I can best incorporate scraps into it.  Well, a pickle dish quilt was very close to the top of my list of quilts I wanted to make so why not jump in with both feet.  I thought about the word challenge and decided to challenge myself to use fabrics in my stash that never get pulled out. They are the fabrics that catch my eye but always are a bit to bright to use in quilts I have made in the past.  So this am, I went to my closet and found a bundle of batik fat quarters, and a stack of black and white fabrics and then I just pulled out a few others that were bright enough to catch my eye.

I was the lucky winner of Vicki Welsch's  hand dyed fat eighths so I hope to use them also.  Thinking about combining all these fabrics is a bit bold so I hope to tie them together with a gray tone on tone, which is fitting since it is a neutral color that I have never used.
I love all these bright colors on a cloudy winter day, but I must admit they make me hyperventilate just a bit!  I am looking forward to starting with my first block this week, to see how it will turn out! This is going to be the perfect little project that will brighten up my year as I continue with my quest to get a few more quilts quilted this year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I would like to thank all of you that stopped by this year and shared your comments!   I hope you have the happiest of holidays and may the New Year be good to you and yours!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Slow Stitching Sunday!

What does one do after a finishing a quilt? Yes, Christmas Journey is now a quilt! I posted the final pictures here. Well, like most quilters I have several projects that need  my attention. I made a few more hexie flowers this week. They will be added to the stack waiting until the final layout it decided upon.

Today, I will spend my spare moments putting in a few more big stitches in my thousand pyramid quilt. I am pleased with the way the quilting design is working with the patchwork.  It has made me rethink what I will do in the border.  I see a large quadruple cable winning the battle of ideas. Do you make changes when you are working on a quilt? I am finding that the more quilts I make the more that happens. How about you?
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Journey

Christmas Journey  is finally  complete. I just love traditional quilts and am so glad to have this one complete to enjoy this holiday! It is a bit of a gloomy day here for good pictures but here it is.

Current and Coxcomb block

Self designed block
Oak leaf block
Cotton Boll
Pineapple block
Birds Block
Prairie Flower
Medallion Block
Closeup of Pineapple

 I collected the fabrics for this quilt while traveling to visit family, Christmas 2011, our last Christmas with my father in law so I am dedicating this quilt to his memory. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Naming Quilts!

I have been quilting for about ten years, seriously for the last five.  Being self taught,  I have spent a lot of time, learning how to piece, applique by machine and by hand , and hand quilt. When I started out, my intention was to make some quilts to use around the house, so I decided machine quilting would be the way to go.

But as I was learning, it occurred to me that the hand work was what I enjoyed most.  I find that running that needle thru the fabric is so much more than that. It gives me time to think, clear my head, and express my creative side.

Christmas 2011 we decided to take a Christmas Journey to visit my sister and family in Illinois and my inlaws in Tennessee.   When we had visited my inlaws earlier in October we realized that my fil was really not doing so well.   So as Christmas approached we decided to visit him and also stopped in Illinois to see my sister and her family.  I had purchased the book Traditional Red and Green Quilts by Jeana Kimball, and decided that I would visit a couple of quilt shops along the way and collect some fabrics to make this quilt.

In February of 2012 my father in  law passed away. When we got back from the funeral, I started working on my red and green traditional quilt. I chose blocks out of the book that seemed to relate to my journey thru life.  The flimsie went into the closet waiting it's turn to be quilted. This fall the quilt came out of the closet and was marked and quilted.  As I was quilting it, I often thought about that Christmas journey that we took and realized that this quilt would be very special to me, and decided to name it Christmas Journey.  I finally understand why I love quilts. When I look at antique quilts, I am pulled in to the point that I want to study every stitch.  That trail of thread is someone's life, their journey it reflects their life.  Quilts are art, they are a journal, they are therapy, and oh so wonderful to wrap up in and enjoy and share.   I love putting my heart and soul into them!  A label is a way of letting others know the quilt's story, it is those stories that make them special. So this morning my slow stitches were attaching this label:
Even Max knows this quilt is special!  He jumped up on the chair as I hung the quilt over the back of it.  I just had to take a pic of him donning his Christmas attire.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Still waiting!

Still waiting for my binding fabric to arrive.  I have been pretty patient, keeping busy with some other projects. Yesterday gutters were cleaned and today the leaves were sucked up before the rain.

Sometimes it is wonderful to live in a small town out in the middle of nowhere.  It just seems to take forever to get things delivered. I placed the order on the 5th of December and it didn't ship until the 12th, so I guess the blame shouldn't be placed on the carrier. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Marking Thousand Pyramid

While I am still waiting for the binding fabric to arrive for my red and green quilt, Christmas Journey, I have stayed busy.  I pulled out another fourth of my pumpkin seed quilt and have started to applique the scrappy pumpkin seeds.  I also got all the handles on my basket blocks appliqued in place. I am in the process of sewing sashing strips to the blocks.

Saturday, I pin basted my thousand pyramid quilt.  It is one of those tops that has been waiting patiently in the studio closet.  I am big stitching it, this is often called utility quilting.  It was often used to finish quilts quickly. The needle and thread used are much larger and instead of 7-10 stitches per inch only about 4-5 stitches per inch are stitched into the quilt.  I am going to include some pics today on how I am marking this quilt.

First I need to find the center of the quilt and draw a line straight down the center. Then I will add a line across the middle of the quilt.  Where the two lines intersect is where I will start marking.
I made the template which is an easy one for pumpkin seed, a simple circle, using a compass and some cardboard.  Since the body of the  quilt is 48 inches across without the border I made my circle's diameter six inches cause it divides into 48 evenly.  I then placed a mark at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock. These marks will help me to place the circle as I mark the quilt.

I lay the template on the lines where they intersect on the quilt, matching the marks on the template with the lines I place on the quilt.  I used a piece of paper to demonstrate so that you could see better.  I will continue to the top of the quilt lining up the 12 o'clock and six o'clock marks with the line. Then, I will continue all the way down to the bottom of the quilt.
 Now it is just a matter of lining the 12'oclock mark right where two circles come together, the 9 and 3 o'clock will match the bottom of the previous circles, and marking around it.  I will continue doing this until the whole  body of the quilt is marked.  I will mark the border differently and go thru that process in a different post.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pumpkin seed applique!

I know that some of you have been waiting to see my red and green quilt, Christmas Journey in its finished state.  Well, that didn't happen this week. I live 40 miles away from the nearest fabric store.  I didn't have any fabric in my stash that I felt would work for the binding. A trip to Texas, a wintery ice storm, and everyday life distractions and I  decided Friday just to order it on line, so I am still waiting for it to arrive.  I did add a bit of trapunto to the quilt on Friday so here is a sneak peak at that.

Today is my husband's birthday, so we will head out for a nice lunch.  but I will find some time to put in some slow stitches on my pumpkin seed quilt.  This quilt is actually four large blocks, which is a bit different from most quilts. I found the easiest way to applique these large string pieces is to use a glue stick and turn the quarter inch seam allowance by hand and press with an iron.

 Once all the seam allowances are turned under, I pin it to the top and applique away. It is hard to needleturn something that has all those seams, and the preturning worked out well on my other string quilt, Amish Ice Cream Social. Hope you are staying warm and getting in some stitches. I will be taking some breaks and heading over to Kathy's blog and enjoy the progress of other slow stitchers.

After I add two more seeds to this large block, I will have one more block to make to complete this top.  Of course quilting ideas have already been thought about!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday

This is one of my first quilting projects.  It was a thimbleberries pattern that was so much fun to make.  Lynette's instructions are great for beginning piecers. 

It is so much fun to look back at past projects.  What  a wonderful way to reminisce about my quilting journey.

Look at that quilting!  If I remember right I didn't mark it I just eyeballed it.  I didn't even know that quilting the crosshatching on the bias is so much easier than on the straight of grain. I loved this pattern so much, that I made three more and they were gifted to family and a special friend. Yet even though my skills have increased, I pull this piece out and use it as a table topper on my dinning room table. It has become one of those beloved Christmas decorations that you pull out because it reminds you of the past, those special times with loved ones, it doesn't get better than that. Hope all of you are enjoying the season and pulling out those wonderful decorations that make Christmas special in your heart!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Back from Texas

We headed to Texas for Thanksgiving this year to have Thanksgiving with my son and his family. We had made a stop at the George W Bush Library. It was such a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the library.

Here I am outside the replica of the oval office in the rose garden. 

I took my hexie project along and got alot of hexies basted and even got a few flowers assembled. 

Today I decided to outline these shapes on my Red and Green Quilt. Then it will be onto binding it.

I also decided to use this pattern that came in the latest issue of Quiltmaker magazine as a the center medallion on my hexie quilt. Hope you had some time to fit in some  stitching. You can see what others are doing over at Kathy's blog.
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