Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged by Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting to join in the Around the World Blog Hop!  She has a such a fun blog, and I just fell in love with the Butterfly quilt that was a reproduction of one her Grandmother had made.  I am not sure who started this tour and I am not one to do this kind of thing, but hay, why not!  It  is as simple as answering a few questions.

What am I working on? 

Well, I always seem to have several projects going. This year I joined RSC2014 to use up some bright fabrics. So each month I make three pickle dish blocks and a wonky star block. Then my major focus this year has been completing my blocks for my applique quilt Baltimore Garden.

Baltimore Garden

Pickle dish
wonky star


Why do I create What I do?

Quilting is an art in my eye.  I love color and design.  I love the satisfaction of making something!  I would like to think, that these are the same reasons our ancestors quilted and I think it is important to promote the art.

How does your work differ from others of your genre?

Well, I would say, I don't have a need to use the latest fabric line, or make the pattern that everyone else is making.  I like to take the road less traveled. I insist on making my quilt from start to finish. My goal with each quilt is to achieve a balance between the design and the quilting, so it doesn't matter how long it takes, it is more important that I achieve that goal.  I also love learning something from every quilt I make. I love studying antique quilts and modern quilts also put a twinkle in my eye.

How does my creative process work?

I personally think that creative people are just people who notice and love details.  I used to think being an artist was pure talent, but it is something that anyone can learn and it's all about the details. A lot of what gets my attention is what I see in nature.  Color, shape, texture they all speak to me. I guess that is why I like applique so much!  It's a need to combine those details to make something pleasing that drives me.  As I progress in this journey I am learning to let go of rules and patterns and find myself enjoying the craft even more.

Time for me to pass the baton. First there is Wendy, she has that free spirt that most Australian quilters seem to have. I loved seeing her progress on  a gorgeous Storm at Sea Quilt.  Then there is Donna over at Quilted Chocolate. I always love seeing the fun filled projects she is tackling. I think we came across each other's blog at Celebrate Hand Quilting.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Slow Stiching Centers

I set a goal of finishing this block by the end of the month.  So why not join the other slow stitchers this Sunday and add the centers to the remaining six flowers.  This is what the pattern says each finished flower should look like.  I think mine turned out quite well considering the size of each flower is a little over 2 inches across.

As I have worked on this quilt, I have learned to let go of perfection and have embraced the hand stitched loveliness that I adore in hand quilted antique quilts.  I am not saying that I don't try to do my best, but with hand work you always get a bit of unevenness and wonkiness. But it is exactly what I love about needle turn applique.

When I made my daughter's birthday quilt I really realized how I love that look. Her quilt was made totally by machine.   When I first spread it out, I was a bit disappointed! It could have been made by anyone with a machine or purchased at a big box store.  It lacked that signature that tells me I made this quilt. 

I know that newbie hand quilters especially are very hard on themselves. But I suggest you study some hand quilted antique quilts or visit a quilt show and take note of the details. Those wonky or slightly uneven stitches that we see up close are the very thing that tells us that someone took the time to put in all those stitches. When I see hand quilted quilts at a flea market or antique store those stitches never look wonky or imperfect. They do look hand made and it makes me wonder about that person.   It makes that quilt special and I like to think very unique.  So I am going to add my unique flower centers today and enjoy every stitch!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Orange Wonky Star

I was able to almost get my orange wonky star done.  Three more seams this am and it will be complete.  I was out of town part of last week and this week visiting family. We spent part of one day going thru things at my mom's house and I found a bit of fabric with some orange in it.  I just had to add it to this block. I think this fabric is from the sixties, but I am not really sure.

It makes me happy that this quilt will have a bit of great grandma's fabric in it since my granddaughter Aria will be it's recipient.

I also think the black background of the fabric will add a bit sparkle to the quilt! Sometimes the unexpected is just what we need!

Friday, September 26, 2014


I have felt a little burned out as of late.  I am not sure if it has to do with the change of seasons or my trip out of town, but I need to get organized and get some things done that seem to be  haunting me.
Kathi has suggested making a list so I came up with this list for Sept/Oct. Let's see if it helps. I am linking up with Kathi's blog for some motivation!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Very Slow going!

I will be adding more petals today.  I started the fourth layer of the flowers. This block has a total of eight flowers, two are completed.  I then decided maybe I would try to apply chain stitching ideas to my applique. So I am working on the remaining six flowers at the same time.  
Layer four pinned into place

This is very slow stitching, as each layer seems to get smaller and smaller, but I do love sitting in the early morning and focusing on each applique stitch as the needle goes thru the fabric.  I am so glad I revisited this block and took on the challenge of stitching these flowers.  The ruched flowers I made to use on it originally were nice, but I it really pleases me to follow the footsteps of the original maker and needle turn these flowers.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Seeing a lot of Orange these days!

I got busy and finished up my three pickle dish blocks for September.   I don't get bored making these like I usually do when I am piecing.  It may be because I am only making three a month, so it is much more like a small project.  The new color of the month helps too!  It is always fun to see how each color will turn out.

After making my three orange blocks, I just had to drag the rest out of the closet and lay them out!  I have no clue what the final layout will be.  I think I may take some time and play with all this wonderful color.  It will be hard to decide!

I do know that I have thoroughly enjoyed this fun journey with scraps from my stash and a color theme.   These fabrics so look so much better this way than laying on a shelf or sitting in a box. If you need ideas just head on over to where Angela is hosting RSC2014 and see what others are doing. It is so inspiring!

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Monday Finish

Well, it is not a complete finish, but I have completed block #24 on my Baltimore Garden journey.  Next I have decided to go back and replace the ruched flowers I had made for a previous block with the layered flowers.  I just don't think I will happy unless I do.  Yes, much more time involved, but since I have come this far, I just feel it is the right thing to do!

I wish I knew more about photography, it is hard to capture the dimension the layered flowers add to the block

Here it is hanging off the edge of my chair

a closer seems to help


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lots of Petals!

I started my applique quilt, Baltimore Garden, over two years ago.  I had a wall hanging, a Hawaiian quilt, and a red and green traditional quilt under my belt.  Each one was a bit more challenging.  I was thinking this week about the progress I have made with my applique.  Sometimes, if we don't look back we don't see how far we have come.  Each quilt I do the pieces seem to get smaller.  That is definitely a sign of improvement.  With the Hawaiian quilt the pieces were large, but as a beginner I was challenged at keeping it from shifting.

 With my wall hanging, the pieces were smaller and I learned to deal with stems and leaves.  But it has a very folky looking, so placement was not going to be the end of the world.  I just love this wall hanging the simple shapes and colors just sing to me.

Then I figured I was ready to tackle a red and green quilt. I have always loved them.  I started on the center medallion block which was the hardest block.  Not sure why, I had it in my head to start there, but I survived it and moved on to the surrounding blocks.  I love this type of quilt as each block is quite different and so each one is exciting! 

Then in 2013, I started Baltimore Garden,  I had fallen in love with this quilt the first time I had seen it.  This time I was experienced enough to start with some of the less complicated blocks.  Barbara Burnham who wrote the book that includes the pattern did an awesome job with detailed pictures and step by step explanations of techniques used.  Each block has been a joy!  I feel I could almost applique the leave and stems in my sleep.  Block 24 is challenging me again with those layered flowers with the little round petals.  Then it came to me, one of the reasons I like applique is there are so many different ways to approach it.  So I decided to go back to marking my seam line on the front of the applique instead of using freezer paper on top. I also put in my Elly Sienkiewicz dvd on applique as I sat and stitched..  It felt as if she was there guiding me along. You know applique is all about one stitch at time.  If I could stay in that frame of mind almost anything is possible.

I laid out my completed blocks for inspiration

So today I will work on finishing up the layered flowers on block 24.  A lot of single applique stitches to be made but each one will get me closer to my goal.  I finished one up on Friday so hopefully by the end of the day they will all look like this! I will also being linking up with Kathy and the other slow stitchers today!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Time is flying by!

Here we are the 6th of September already!  Where the does the time go?  I did get my pieces cut out for the three pickledish blocks that I need to complete this month.  I love the bright oranges and they look even more vibrant next to some black fabrics.  Hopefully I can get going on these today I have a trip out of town planned for later this month so I really need to focus on my goals.

For inspiration, I will be heading over to Angela's blog to link up and see what others are doing with orange today! I hope you can join us.