Thursday, April 27, 2017

Walking Foot Quilting

This morning I finished the quilting on the brown/gold/red piece.  All straight lines, 1/2" apart.  It took 2 1/2 bobbins!  I marked the center with blue painter's tape and lined up the edge of the walking foot.  Then I continued to line up with lines of stitching, working on one side and then flipping it around and working from the center out on the other side.  

I like the texture.  Now all that's left to do is squaring and adding a facing.

WAY last fall I was working on a small tree wall hanging.  It was part of a challenge for the local quilt show with the theme "Branching Out".  I realized that I had never shown it after it was completely finished.

The straight line stitching on this piece is by hand.  It also has a little bit of embroidery and beading, plus some hand made polymer clay leaves.  I actually made the leaves before I started the wall hanging.  It's name is "Standing Alone".

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Bits and pieces have spent all week on a pieces of batting on the wall.  I look at it every time I walk by.  Once in a while I make a decision about what comes next.

What starts as pure play ends up feeling like an engineering assignment as the pieces come together.  Keeping in mind color and balance, light and dark, detail, it's time to make things fit together.  Here's the progression, starting with the last picture that I showed here.

Everything is sewn together.  Quilting comes next.
Small - 19" tall, 24" wide

Sunday, April 16, 2017


I looked it up.  Although sometimes "octopi" is used, the more correct plural of octopus is "octopuses".

Now that that's settled, I've got to say that I was downright embarrassed to see that I had only posted FOUR TIMES in 2016 and 2015 wasn't much better. There's no explanation other than laziness and the possibility that all my sewing was for the shop and not too creative.

There's also the KNITTING factor.  Here's where the octopuses come in.  I bought a darling little pattern from Jeanne at Knitting Addiction in Kitty Hawk, NC.  I've made about a jillion socks since I learned about 2 years ago so it was time for something new.  

I promise to keep the posts coming.  This afternoon, I completed seven more scrappy blocks and started many more, for no reason other than it's fun to do, it's the weekend and my other scrappy stringy project is on the design wall at the shop.

(Cotton Fields Quilt Shop, Washington, NC)

Friday, April 14, 2017

One Thing Leads to Another

I am a great admirer of Sujata Shah and have had a lot of fun with her book Cultural Fusion Quilts.

I have played around with several of her designs but, up until now I hadn't tried the wonky hourglass blocks.  Here is one of her quilts: 

Have you ever noticed that, no matter how much fabric you have, it's fun to play with someone else's scraps? One of my good friends is moving and downsizing her sewing room.  She brought over a box of scraps and I pulled out the browns and golds.  I cut 6" squares and placed them in groups of 4, light, dark, light, dark.  I have enough to make 36 blocks.

The method, in a nutshell:

About 2/3 of the way through piecing the blocks, I was wondering if the project would be too dull.  Does it need an accent color?

I thought about Victoria Findlay Wolfe, who I had the pleasure of meeting in NYC two weeks ago.  The title of her book 15 Minutes of Play gave me an idea.  What better way to play is there than sewing strips together a la Rayna Gillman???  I cut some strips from the remaining brown and gold fabrics and added some red.  Then I started to play.

At the end of the day, I stacked things up.  Today I put up a piece of poly batting to use as a design wall.  I arranged and re-arranged and made more strip sets.  Something is taking shape.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Custom Batik

For the first time in my life, I was a fabric designer!  In honor of our 12th shop hop, we decided to have a custom batik produced.  Majestic Batik in Corvallis, Oregon had a reasonable set up fee and minimum order, so away we went!

We are the "Romancing Eastern North Carolina Shop Hop", so I used hearts and dogwood (state flower) images in my design.  Here is the drawing that I sent to them:

Off it went to somewhere in Indonesia, where the tjap (pronounced CHOP) was created.

For color, I was inspired by hybrid roses that I had seen in the Wilson, NC Rose Garden.  They looked something like this.

So, we sent off color swatches for ideas.

They sent back a ton of samples, some from our colors and some completely different.  We chose the orange/pink version as our official shop hop batik.

Here is the quilt I designed for my shop using the batik:

And here's my new pattern:

The process took months and months, but it was worth it!  We also ordered two of the other colorways presented to us and were very happy with them.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Scrappy Fun!

The borders are ON!  I think that the big colorful stripe is fun.  I even mitered corners, hadn't done that for a while.  Here is the completed top, pinned to the wall.

Close-up of the top right corner:

This isn't the end of the scrappy blocks.  I have at least 50 more AND a big laundry basket of scraps. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Under Construction

Sorry I've been away so long!  Recently I have been having a lot of fun making scrappy blocks from all sorts of left-overs.  I sew, trim, press, sew, trim, press until I can cut out a 6 1/2" square. 

First I made this little table topper.  Nine blocks, machine quilted and machine appliqued.

One of the ladies in a local quilt group makes charity quilts all the time and always starts out with new fabric.  She has a lot of scraps left over and she gives them to Lizzie.  Lizzie makes scrappy blocks and sells them in lots of 50 or 100.  But Lizzie is 92 and can't keep up with all the scraps, so she has given me a healthy supply. 

I decided that I needed to figure out a creative way to put some together instead of just block to block.

This is what is "UNDER CONSTRUCTION".  To add some interest, I made a few wonky bird blocks.  And a star up in the top row.  I'm thinking about borders now.  There's a big wide stripe with lots of color that I'm considering.  Wait and see.