Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Challenge Continues....

 I now proceeded to piece my tablerunner...first though I needed to sign my artwork!

 Here is the pattern I used for the runner, modified a little to suit my perameters, since this runner is 18X50 and that is too long.  But I knew the design would work well with the idea I had....

 I cut out the strips I needed in various colors.  The Challenge is actually called the Color Box Challenge, and all these great colors from the inspiration fabric work well as strips!

 Once the runner is all sewn together, I sandwiched it with batting and a backing of the turquoise fabric.

 This is a closeup view of the runner top...there are red triangles on each end, also that you can't see.  Just a corner of one is visible in the picture above....

 Then I start shadow quilting the bird.  This is a view from the back.  I am using black thread, and it shows up great against the turquoise.  More to come.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010


At Quilt Bee a couple of months ago we were all given a half a yard of this crazy, bright fabric and were challenged to make something no bigger than 18X30 using at least one piece of recognizable challenge fabric, and any other fabric we desire.

The gorgeous bright colors gave me the idea to make a table runner for my sister-in-law, who is a parrot and macaw lover, so I decided to place an appliqued parrot right in the center of the table runner on a black background, and then use fabrics of matching colors to make the rest of the runner.  I found a photograph online that I copied, to use as a pattern for the bird.  But, appliqueing something this complex on the machine was turning into a REAL challenge!

So, on to Plan B!  Back in the early summer I had purchased some fabric inks online.  I decided to cut the parrot out of white fabric and use Seam-a-Steam to attach it to my black center square.  Then, since I have always loved to paint, using the fabric inks on the bird was a breeze!!!  A LOT easier than trying to sew down all those individual sections of bird!  You use clear Aloe Vera gel as the fixer for the ink, and after you apply ink to each section, you heat set it with an iron.

This is my black square with the parrot cut out and attached in the center on-point.  I used red ink to color these areas of the bird and heat set them.  Then I went onto another area, heat set again.  At the end, details were added with a black ink marker with a fine point and used it as well for shading areas.... and again heat set.
This is the parrot when I finished!  I will now hand-applique the bird around the outside edges using an embroidery stitch. There will be updates on this project as it takes shape!  I also plan to make my sister and brother-in-law two placemats to match though they are not part of the challenge.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Been Away a While....

My Dad was very ill.  We almost lost him, but thankfully we did not.....  Then I was completely wrapped up in a 125th Anniversary Celebration of the Train Station where I work, and didn't have even a moment of my own!  Check it out at my blog A Colorful World! Mom & I missed Quilt Bee when Dad was sick, and really neither of us were in the mood to sew for a while after that.  Plus, then I was just so exhausted because of the Event! :-)  But, I am back in the swing of things now!

We had Quilt Bee yesterday and it was so much fun!  Two of the ladies did a demo on hand quilting, which I badly needed!  I have hand quilted in the past, but use a laborious in-and-out method.  I think I can handle trying the rocking method now, and want to.  Plus, I am so INSPIRED by all the talent in that room every time we go!  Have a lot to work on, and want to GET BUSY!!!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Two More Baby Quilts

I used these same fabrics in a previous log cabin baby quilt, but did a different arrangement.  This one is for my niece's baby.

I loved the fabric colors, and I placed a fussy cut bird at the center of each log cabin square.

The bird fabric made a great backing.

This quilt is for a friend's baby.  My friend chose the animal print fabric and I added the other choices.  I am photographing this one inside my place of employment for an added interesting look....this is the antique roasted peanut cart.  I work in the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum.

Another view of this quilt on the peanut cart.

This shows the back of the quilt.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First Bee Anniversary

Sometimes you have something very special to you that you treasure and feel like you could never give up.  That's how I feel about Quilt Bee.  If I analyzed why it means so much to me, I could come up with a lot of reasons.  First of all, it means something special I share with my Mother.  Back when we were still meeting at Ladybug Quilt Shop, I would drive up from Elizabeth City to Suffolk and meet her there, and after we would have lunch.  But we moved from EC two years ago, and those who follow me on my main blog know that we have been bouncing around, and do not yet have a new home.  That will be happening VERY soon now.  But, my point is, Mom and I still share this special second Thursday.....Still, it's more than that.....

Last Thursday we all celebrated our First Anniversary of meeting outside Ladybug.  It's been a year of meeting at the church in Suffolk, and if I were to count my blessings concerning Quilt Bee, I have to say that it's largely the leadership of Pat, who is amazing, and gives of herself so much to all of us; it's partly the group of ladies who are all so great and fun-loving and share so much on so many levels; it's partly the fact that Rule #1 is "There are no rules" so Bee isn't stuff and formal like a Guild would be, nor is there any pressure; and partly I would say it's the comraderrie of sharing a fun activity that we all LOVE and doing it in a way that often brings howls of truly is an escape from all the pressures of that world out there.  Yep, it means so much to me on SO MANY levels, and I'd never give it up! Thanks Pat!  And thanks to all of you wonderful quilters who come every month.....

Pat sharing some information at a recent meeting.

One of our BOMs that we did when we were still meeting at Ladybug.  We don't do the BOMs anymore, but do other things.

For the Anniversary meeting, we were all given a piece of an inspiration fabric and a paper piecing pattern.  These are the squares that were collected to be given away by drawing.  The inspiration fabric is shown best in the bottom middle of the picture, the blue with cranberry-colored flower.

This was the quilt top Mom showed for show-and-tell.  It was quite a challenge to make, she said!

This is me, showing my latest.

One of many others....I love the twist border on this one!  We  had a donut "breakfast" that day and everyone brought a finger-foods lunch that was delicious.  Normally we don't do food, but it was a special occasion.  Plus we had some GREAT surprises.  It was a very special day!  For more on the Anniversary, go to Mom's blog

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spring Greens

This is my latest baby quilt, a gift for friends.  I used a full-sized pattern from a magazine, and had trouble reducing it to fit my needs, so I ended up creating my own design.
I thought the colors were soft and cool.  Here is a closer view of the center diamond.
The back has jungle animals, used in part in the piecing on the front as well.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This is the quilt that became my Dad's 80th Birthday present.  In a previous posting, I showed the Lone Star I attempted to make.  I finally gave up, and decided to use the blue and brown strips in another design.  This is the result!  My Dad was a fox hunter, and this represents his favorite pastime.  At 80, his foxhunting days are long past, but this commemorates a part of him that was important for so many years.  I think I am much happier with the end result than I would have been even if the Lone Star had turned out!  The blocks are called Roman Blocks, and I machine appliqued the figures in the center panel and then embroidered the borders of each.  It is machine pieced and machine quilted.

Sweet Roses For Baby

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Roped, Hog-Tied and Branded by a Texas Lone Star!

I know that many of you have made beautiful Lone Star quilts, and you will likely laugh me to scorn over this. My plan was to make a lap throw for my Dad's 80th birthday. He made a Lone Star as a child with his mother. They probably did foundation piecing, and I know it was beautiful. My lap throw was to be an homage to his childhood achievement. But....don't EVER try to make something without detailed specific instructions! You may end up like I did, tied up in confusion and branded with frustration! It just isn't worth it. Here is my auspicious beginning.....

I started with a search online for directions. This yielded me a lot of vague references to what you do OR order forms for books or dvds on the subject. Nothing of any real HELP. OK, so how hard can it be!? I had my strips all cut out, and then sewed them meticulously together, ironing the seams open as suggested on one website.

I cut the strips on a 45 degree angle....

Carefully measuring so my diamonds would be the same size (might I add it didn't help that I was working with such narrow strips ie small diamonds!)

At first I didn't realize that I needed an equal amount of strips so what I had sewn together was definitely too long.

A paper pattern helped me envision the right size.

And viola! a perfectly shaped diamond star point! Only.....on careful inspection I suddenly realized that the colors are not placed correctly. They don't go ACROSS the width of the point! WHY???!!!!

This is what it is SUPPOSED to look like! Well, maybe if I remove the ones off either side. Only then I realize you can only remove the strips from ONE side and get a nice straight edge. The other side becomes jagged. Nope....this can't be anything like what I was supposed to do!

I GIVE UP! It bested me. Oh, well, I guess a good set of instructions would have been a HUGE help! I'm turning my strips into something else!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Log Cabin for a friend's baby

This quilt is for a young couple at our church who just had their third baby. It is my fourth machine-quilted quilt, and only my fifth completed quilt. It was partially hand-pieced. Click on each photo for a larger view.

Detail of one of the corners...I had found this wonderful bird fabric to use as my inspiration fabric and I built this great color combination for the quilt from the colors in it. But, I fussy cut four of the birds for the corners.

Here are two views of the back. I used a cute whimsical light blue to back it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quilt Gifts!

Guess what I got for Christmas and my birthday (which is right after Christmas)--this awesome Debbie Mum bag came from my Mom, with fat quarters inside, and a giftcard to JoAnn's which was immediately used to buy the great fabrics leaning to the side of the lamp. And that brings me to the lamp--a wonderful magnifying glass lamp for close work for these failing eyes! I'm in good shape now!

Here are the fabrics I chose with my gift card, which incidently had more money left on it and I will share the second trip purchases I made on a later post! These are three light blues, three light beige, three darker blues and three browns to make my Dad a Lone Star lapthrow. I want to make it for his birthday in February. When he was a little boy he helped his mother make a full-sized Lone Star quilt, which was used and much-loved and finally fell apart. I am making the lapthrow in honor of his awesome achievement. He will be 80 on this birthday!!!!

This is where I have to do my cutting and measuring and dreaming at home, and though I have a sewing machine there that I can use....

You usually can find me at Mom's working away! (I mean, she has this great quilt room with design board and all you blame me!? :-)