Thursday, January 26, 2012

Back to "Dear Jane"

Dear Jane really got pushed to the back burner with the holidays, etc.  By now I have more than enough blocks to do the layout I have in mind and yesterday I started playing with arrangements.  I had a little more help than I needed.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New and Old

The "Shattered" quilt is coming right along.  It has provided my evening entertainment for many nights lately.  It has an insane amount of stitching that I am really enjoying.  Working on it is like doing a puzzle.  I'm filling in spaces with various lines, stars and triangles, in three shades of embroidery floss (3 strands).  The stitching in and around the letters was done with pearl cotton.  (Click on the picture for a close-up, it's about 2/3 done.)

For fun, I thought I'd show this little table topper that I made a LONG time ago.  How long?  Gee, I wish I knew, but there is no label!  Remember to put labels on your quilts ... often, if the back is light enough, I at least write my name, town, and year with a Pigma pen.  This project was the result of a small challenge where friends exchanged 6" charm squares.  I appliqued these quarter circles by hand but later I made a machine pieced drunkard's path quilt and actually got quite good at it after piecing 400+ blocks!
My assistant showed up just as I snapped the picture.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Change of Pace

For a change of pace, I decided to work on a little idea that I started thinking about back in December.  Here is the fabric I'm using.
I've admired Bethany Reynold's "Stack and Whack" quilts, but I never wanted to make one because I wouldn't enjoy matching up all of those triangles!!  At a quilt show, I saw a simplification of the idea in a form I liked - FOUR PATCHES!  Sorry, I don't know if this is from a pattern or a book, I just looked at a quilt and remembered the idea.  I chose the busy floral fabric, cut four repeats, layered them carefully and cut 2 1/2" squares.
Today I got around to playing with the squares.  It was FUN and I can see that this could become addictive.  The four identical blocks produce a kaleidescope effect painlessly. 
Here are the first eight blocks.  I'd love some suggestions for how to set them together, something a little more interesting than just plain old sashing.
This is another idea in progress.  Sally found this craft project.  We "painted" pictures with melted crayons.  Next, we will crumple it up and spray with black fabric dye.  Finally, we will iron and iron between newspapers to remove the wax.  Hopefully, we will end up with a batik effect.  Don't know if it will work or not, but I'll show it even if it is bad!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Have I been in a slump this week?  Not much to show?  Not much to show that is blog-worthy!  Working a little bit on many different things, including folding a zillion (maybe around 100) fat quarters in preparation for the shop hop that is now less than a month away.  Not my favorite chore, but Sally helped.  THANKS, SALLY!  Also finished the binding on the shop hop quilt.  Also attended two quilting meetings and missed a third.

Work continues on the SHATTERED quilt (so, maybe "Scattered" should come next?)  It is slow going, but here is where it stands:
Here's what the backing looks like, in case anyone is curious.  Wait ... what is that big gray blob?
I have to end today with a little confession:  There has also been a bit on knitting going on.  This scarf looks boring now, but I'll show it again after I bind off.  It's the waterfall scarf pattern that I showed once before.  Stitches are dropped during the bind-off that produce special effects.
Romancing Eastern North Carolina Shop Hop takes place February 1-4.  Full information is on our store website and on the Romancing Eastern .... FACEBOOK page.

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's a BIG Runner

In the January 4 post, I showed the pieces cut out for a table runner.  The top is finished this morning and it's a big one, 21" wide and 49" long.  Here it is, pinned to the wall:
It's another project designed by Susan Fuquay of American Quilt Retailer.  (Previously, I've shown "Punkin Heads" and "Rick Rack Out of Whack", two more of her designs.)  I used two bright batiks and I love it!  It could easily become a "bed runner" by adding a little more length.  I've never made a bed runner, but I understand that they are all the rage.  A pretty thing to lay across the foot of the bed as an accent and an extra layer to keep your toes warm.

Here's a question.  Do you think that cats can smell quilts in progress?  I was working on the binding of the SECRET shop hop quilt the other day and stepped away for a few minutes.  This is what I found when I came back.  Doesn't Cassie look smug?  Baby looks unconscious.  Ha ha ha ...
I'm still hand quilting on the Shattered Quilt and the Phone Book Quilt.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Don't Laugh

Don't laugh, this is going to take me a while.
I'm working on the "Shattered" quilt again and I've chosen about 4 or 5 colors of embroidery floss.  Now I'm busy filling in the borders and background with lines and stars and triangles and beads.  It is fun, but labor intensive.  It is a good thing that this challenge isn't due until April!  I'm not marking a thing ..... the only exception being that when I was adding the beads I scored the fabric with my needle so I could keep my line smooth.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Light Bulb Came On!

The "Shattered" quilt has been hanging on the wall so that I can look at it every time I walk by.  That's what happens when I'm not sure what to do next.  Last night I mixed paint (nothing fancy, fabric medium with acrylic craft paints) and did the stenciing.  I took my time and got just the color I wanted.
With all of the stitching on top of and around the letters, I know that I need to do a like amount of stitching in the background, if I want the piece to be flat.  That is what has been bothering me.  I've decided to do some free form embroidery, lines and stars!  That's what I mean by the light bulb going off.  I also did a Google Images search and saw a piece I really admired, from a blog called iHanna.  Now that I have some direction again, I've pulled out the embroidery thread and I'm ready to go.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Quilt of 2012

Happy New Year to EVERYONE!  I don't have any resolutions, but I have a single word:


Yes, it's true, I've finished the first quilt of the new year.  Granted it is a miniature, measuring only 11" x 12 1/2", but we are always happy when any project reaches completion.
The blocks were so tiny that it was an easy decision to just tie this little sweetie.  I used 6 strands of embroidery floss.  I did hand quilt around the perimeter with blue quilting thread.  Here's a close-up, so you can better see my efforts.
I am FIRED UP with ideas for a new year.  I have one challenge quilt underway and another in the thinking stage.  Yesterday I put the binding on the shop hop quilt (that I can't show yet) and cut out the pieces for what will be a sample for a class and possibly a kit.
I like to keep folks wondering, so here is what I've done so far with that pretty floral fabric that I showed on December 30.