Sunday, December 6, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

Kathy's post over at Slow Stitching Sunday really hit home.  Getting back from vacation and catching up at home has taken a toll.  Yesterday, I was helping Tom blow leaves out of the landscaping and I got up hung up in the electrical cords and fell face down onto the driveway. My glasses took the brunt of the force and broke but there is a bruised area under my eye.  But, I am happy to say I woke up this am feeling pretty lucky nothing worse happened.  Sometimes we push ourselves too hard.  So today my goal is just to get in a few stitches.  A few wonderful stitches and some "me time" is much needed. I came across this article that explains it all. Yes I need some mental health stitching, that is why I love linking to Slow Stitching Sunday. Today I will start block 8 of 25 on Baltimore Garden.  I have decided that I am not setting a goal to finish this quilt.  I just want to enjoy the stitches and memories I am stitching into it!

I love coming across these flowers as I quilt the background, they just make me smile!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday!

It is hard to write new blog posts these days as the two projects I am currently focusing on are slow long term projects.  The progress is slow and pictures could get pretty boring. I haven't made a lot of progress but they are moving along. The fall weather has been calling to me daily but it won't be long and the cooler temps will keep me inside.  That should help with my progress.  I am still
working on panel #3 on my version of Trailing Vines.  I ran out of prepped leaves about a week ago and finally got more prepped, so hopefully a few more will be added.

The hand quilting continues on Baltimore Garden.  I have the middle five blocks completed and started number six on Thursday.  I hope to finish it up to day and move on.  It is such a good feeling that what I have done so far is working out as I had envisioned it in my head.  So many more stitches to do, but this is my favorite part of making a quilt.

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sundays.  Like Kathy I love to take a break from stitching on Sundays and enjoy seeing what others are stitching. Hope you can enjoy some slow stitches today and join us.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Online Trunk Show

Hey did you know there was an online trunk show going on this month.  How exciting to look back at your favorite quilts!  Come join the fun! There is a button on the right hand side of the blog that will explain it all!

I will start with my favorite quilt. I had so much fun making this tradtional red and green quilt.  It comes out every Christmas to help put us celebrate the holidays.

 I made this pickle dish last year. It's my cuddle on the couch quilt. It's such a whimsical pattern and the colors just make you happy every time you look at it.

cable border

My pyramid quilt was made from favorite fabrics in my stash.  I used a solid black to border it.  I had a lot of fun big stitching this quilt and used the large cable on the border.

I love to garden so quilts that feature flowers always call to me.  This peony quilts was made to remember the beautiful peonies that we had in our yard in a previous home.

 This red and white and blue kaleidoscope quilt was made for  my brother in law.  He works with a  funeral detail that honors our veterans as they are laid to rest. Such important work and these former veterans are out in all kinds of weather honoring those veterans for the last time.
Amish Ice Cream Social was my first attempt at a string quilt. Again I added a lot of wonderful hand quilting and a wonderful cable feather border.

I added trapunto to the feathered wreaths.
And finally Simple  But Not came about  because of my need to own a cheddar quilt.  Made out of bits of scraps sewn into pumpkin seed shapes and appliqued to the solid background and accented with feather quilting backed by some crosshatching.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Slow Stitching Weekend!

I was woke up early Saturday morning when my husband decided to cook his breakfast at 4am. He rises early everyday for work so I can't blame him. I looked out the window and it had started raining.  Very gloomy and dark I made my way to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.   I need about three cups before I can start my day, and then I headed to the quilt frame. Two blocks are completed and I am quilting the second half of the third block.

 I put in several hours of wonderful stitching and finished up block number 3  I am always amazed at how much quilting changes each block.  It's almost magical!

I noticed this week with the cooler temps I have been opting for the quilt frame rather than my applique leaves.  I am not going to fret if my progress on trailing vines slows down, as I stitch for pleasure. I did get the third panel prepped and started adding a few leaves.   I just wish there more hours in the day!

But November has arrived, and I really need to spend some time today making progress on my second wool mitten.  I grew up wearing mittens my mom would knit and they are definitely one of my favorite things.  There is nothing worse than having cold hands so I need to add a few knitting stitchs today.  Not quite cold enough yet to wear them but it won't be long.

I am linky up with Slow Stitching Sunday and I hope you will join in and share your slow stitches today!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Morning Progress

Yes we are finally enjoying a few days of slow rains.  I know our mighty oak trees are so grateful for some water before they head into the winter months.  My heart goes out to those in Texas that are enduring floods and devastation from the many inches of rain they received.  But, I must admit is is great quilting weather!  I was able to finish  the quilting on the second block of Baltimore Garden.

Quilting progress so far!

a close up of the 1/2 grid

I also found enough time to finish the second panel of Trailing Vines and to start a third panel.  It looks like these will be my major focus as we move into the winter months.  There will be plenty of stitches that need to be made to finish these two quilts.

But I do get the notion to sew at the sewing machine every once in awhile.  So when that happens I have plenty of strings to turn into blocks. I started working on these this summer. They are just  a whole lot of fun to do!

No specific plan for these yet!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Yes! Machine Quilted

I faced a fear I had and decided to try machine quilting again.  A bad experience many years ago turned me to hand quilting all my quilts.  For starters,  I took a walking foot machine quilting class on Craftsy with Jacquie  Gering.  She opened my eyes to a lot possibilities!  This is my second attempt and I decided to try spiral quilting.  Oh what fun!  No stopping just continuous stitching!  Now this I can enjoy!!!
This quilt was a great way to use some scraps I had

I love the wonderful texture! These lines are one half inch apart!
I added a scrappy binding to finish it off! I also used a pieced back which I don't do when hand quilting!

 I am so glad I gave machine quilting another try!  I see doing more of it in the future!  I know there are some who exclusively hand quilt and others who exclusively machine quilt.  Having done both, I realize they both take skill and practice. I am so proud that I had a successful experience and am entering this quilt to the home machine quilted category at the wonderful Quilt Festival that Amy over at Amy's Creative Side is so graciously hosting! Come join us and vote for your favorites in each category!

Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's that time of year again! Time for the online quilt show at Amy's Creative Side!  I love looking at all the quilts in the categories every year.  So many talented quilters out there!  Since I love to hand quilt, I definitely need to enter that category . I named this quilt Simple but Not!  It has simple scrappy pumpkin seed shapes appliqued to a  solid cheddar background.  I absolutely loved working on this quilt.

Just four big blocks in this one!

I added a few feathers here and there!

And I added a striped binding to finish it!

I hope you can join in the fun by blogging about one of your finishes  and entering it into one of the many categories!  So much fun to go thru the categories and vote for your favorite too!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Leaves, leaves, leaves!

We have had the greatest fall weather this week. A bit of rain, not enough as we are so dry. The leaves have started to fall because of the drought. So sad to see 60 foot oaks look so sad.  Fall colors are just starting here with the sumac. But I don't think we will have much color this year since we are so dry.  So I am enjoying stitching on Trailing Vines.  Each branch is a like it's own little project. Since I use the freezer paper on top method of applique, it a nice little surprise as I uncover each leaf as I applique them down.  Then as each branch is completed I hold up the strip and admire how the vine has grown. This week I completed four branches.  I applique a bit each morning as I sip my morning coffee and  finish each day with some applique. This is a pic of my second strip.
Last week I finished three branches and had started the fourth!

This week's progress with seven branches completed!

During the afternoons I have been trying to get in some hand quilting stitches.  It is so nice to sit and enjoy some stitches once I get all the "have to" things done around the house.  I have one block completely done on Baltimore Garden and have marked another so there is plenty of stitches that needs to get done this week.

I hope you can enjoy some "me" time and put in a few slow stitches.  I think it is so important in this busy world to take some time for ourselves.  I am linking up to Slow Stitching Sunday where other slow stitchers will link their wonderful projects. I love taking time out of my stitching to see what others around the world are stitching! Hope that you will join us!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stitching Weather!

I am not one that quilts all year round.  I sometimes wish I could but I live in the south in a very hot and humid climate.  So I keep busy in the summers with machine work and applique.   Sometime around mid September I start really getting the urge to do some hand quilting and I look forward to those cooler days so I can cuddle under a quilt.  That change in weather happened this week.  I actually had to pull out some jeans and had to put on a windbreaker this morning to take Max for his walk. Yes, hand quilting weather has arrived!  Being an early riser, as I sipped my morning wakeup coffee, I pulled out panel 2 of Trailing Vines and added a few more leaves.  This week I finish three branches!

But this afternoon, I will be under the quilt hoop working on Baltimore Garden.  I finished placing some floral motifs around the center block and decided to figure out the background quilting before I went any further.  I have always been one to finish each section before moving on when I quilt.  I know some anchor seams by stitching in the ditch or finish all the motifs and then move to the background work.  But I like to finish as I go!  My original thought was to add heavy line work much like the original quilt. The thought of not marking and being more of a free spirit is intriging.  But, than my inner self that likes things planned and organized takes over and I realize its just too scary.  I really like following that marked line and I like to know exactly where I am going. So I settled upon a half inch crosshatching set on a 45 degree angle.  Now its just a matter of putting in a few stitches each day until it is complete!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

For the love of slow stitching!

Boy it has been on crazy day!  I finished my first panel of Trailing Vines on Saturday and woke up this am thinking " I don't have anything to slow stitch today! "

  So I got out the next panel and pressed a few more branches and started glue basting them in place.  I have never been a big fan of using glue, but I do like it for basting these long strips.  It really made for the arduous task of prepping so much more bearable!  It was quite time consuming and when I got the stems done I realized I still wasn't ready for any slow stitching!

So that is when my eye caught a glimpse of Baltimore Garden all basted and draped over the quilt hoop. I really could use a break after all that prep work, so I got out my quilting templates I had made and started thinking about what I wanted to do and it all seemed to come together.  It didn't take me long to trace around a few templates so I sat down to put in a few stitches.  I am thrilled that I have gotten over the hump of just starting!  At least now the decisions have been made and I can sit and stitch a bit here and there when the mood strikes.  Since I prefer to hand quilt by the light of day, I still needed some hand work  to sit and stitch this evening!

 Indian Summers is starting tonight on Masterpiece Theatre and I really like to stitch as I watch.   So, it was back to prepping the leaves for the first branch of panel 2 glad to have all this prep work behing me. First I am heading over to Slow Stitching Sunday with Kathy and the rest of slow stitchers to get inspired as I sit down and finally get to enjoy some of my own slow stitches.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

On the right trail!

I know as quilters we are always having to make decisions.  I think one of the hardest decisions is what our next endeavor will be. There are a lot of factors that go into making that decision.  Since I quilt for my enjoyment, I am always looking for that perfect next quilt pattern. I guess that comes from knowing there is no way one can make every quilt their heart desires.  I do know the process of making that quilt really comes into play.  So often I see quilters jump into a project and find themselves losing interest in the project.  I find not enjoying the process is probably the biggest culprit.  

Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken came to mind.  It really explains how I feel when choosing my next pattern.  I tend to always take the road less traveled. I stopped buying quilt magazines when they were all about "Quick" quilts.  It's not about "Quick" for me!  I love the process and simple shapes and if they come from nature, count me in.  

So while some think that making this quilt would get quite boring, for me it is the perfect choice.  I love applique and playing with scraps.  I love that a simple design taken from nature used over and over has the ability to turn into something so grand.  I have only been working on this quilt for a week, but I am very happy with my choice.  So glad that I followed my heart and I have no regret on the trail I chose.  If you like to slow stitch, I hope you will join us over at Slow Stitching Sunday and share the trail you have chosen.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Trailing Vines!

Well, I have finally jumped in with both feet and started the applique on my version of Susan Mc Cord's Trailing Vines.  I am using Janet of Quiltsalotte's pattern.  Thank you Janet for your generosity and sharing your pattern.  Janet of Mrs Sew N Sew just finished her version of the quilt. What's not to love?
I have been wanting to make this quilt for a long time.  If you follow my blog you know I have spent the last four years making quilts from scraps that I have collected over the years.  I am down to a box of strings and large bag of bits and pieces.  So two new projects are started.  The first is making string blocks, with no idea how they will go together. Not sure if they will become several smaller quilts or one large quilt.  If you have ever worked with strings and paper foundations you know how much fun these are to make.

The other project is using those bits and pieces to make Trailing Vines.  This week I started the applique on the first strip.  Oh my, this is one of those projects that just plucks you out of reality and takes you on a wonderful adventure.  A bit like eating potato chips you just can't stop.  I have read several bloggers posts on Susan Mc Cord and see words like genius, best quilter, and I agree she had a real gift.  She lived on an Indiana farm and raised seven children,  you would think that would keep you busy enough but she found time to make some very wonderful quilts.  I hope someday I can return to Michigan to see her collection at the Henry Ford Museum.  But for now, I know I am really going to enjoy having this project waiting for me when I feel like enjoying some applique stitches.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Mini Pineapple Finish

I always love to celebrate finishes!  Big or small it is wonderful to see a plan come together.  My first intention was to add a border and add some hand quilting to my mini paper pieced pineapple quilt. But once I finished the blocks, I just didn't feel that was the best thing for this project. So, I cut some bias binding and finished it up. Since the logs are so small I knew there was no way to hand quilt it.  I also didn't want to distract from the lovely blocks so I used some monofilament thread and machine stitched in the ditch.
It will make a great addition to my mini collection.  I think there are going to be more two colored quilts in my future.

Today I will be working on row 31 on TATW.  It's the final row for my quilt and by adding some quarter square triangles it will square up the edge so that the binding can be added.  I started this project back in January and can't believe that I had the tenacity to stick with it.  Like an old friend, it would be there when I had the urge to do some stitching.  If you ever want to learn to hand piece this is a great project to tackle.  No thought or planning went into fabric choices as I used fabrics from the stash that have been there way too long.. The only criteria was wheter  there was enough to add a whole round of squares.  A great scrap buster and I am pleasantly surprised at the results! I will be linking up with WIP Be Gone and Slow Stitching Sunday today! Hope you will join us and enjoy some stitching!