Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Fiorire - to flower, to bloom, to blossom, to flourish.

This quilt is a graduation gift for a dear friend who has done - and is doing- exactly that!  It will be sent with wishes for continual blooms in her life!

This was done with the Lazy Angle Ruler by Lazy Girl Designs and a pattern by Jaybird Quilts (links here because I am being too lazy to link them all again) - though I took a few liberties to make it a bit bigger (and added a few different blocks because I messed up the math).  I also added a pieced border to this.  It is a nice generous throw - with a flannel "batting" so it drapes ever so nicely.
The backing is a piece of fabric from Ikea - wide enough for what I needed, but just a smidge too short, so I added in a pieced strip up top.  I didn't pre-wash this and it held up nicely - adding to the overall "crinkle" that I love so much in my quilts.  I loved the birds -and they fit nicely with this quilt - even though they are a bit more "subdued" than what is going on with the front and all the colors.

I did a concentric spiral quilting on this - which is something I have done a few times now.  I like how the gentle curve breaks up the angularity of the blocks.  In the lower corner of this picture, you can see where I added some free motion quilting in the center of the spiral, loosely following one of the flowers on the fabric.
I love how the quilt looks with the flowers in the garden (actually my neighbor's garden) - many of the same colors are blooming in the fabrics and in the flowerbeds.

I am not sure when I will get this delivered - I would rather not ship it and the recipient is not local - but hoping it will be soon.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Design Wall Monday - being 'challenged'

So - this is 'some' of what I have been working on.  I am perpetually challenged by "quilters distraction disorder" and the "I must try this new pattern or technique NOW" syndrome.  Hence the "art quilt" to the left, the "one block wonder" to the right, and the triangle diamond blocks below.

The one I am being "challenged" most by is the art quilt.  This is part of the Caledonia Quilt Guild members challenge - we were each given one piece of the same fabric, and challenged to make something with it - not to exceed 30" square.

I had been playing with these "Lotus" blocks for a while using the Hex-N-More ruler from Jaybird Quilts.  I had made a class sample using the batiks, and then made these blocks using the leftovers - and a smaller scale.  I set them a bit differently - "fussy setting" the challenge fabric into one big "flower" and the blue surrounding it.

I liked the idea of this being a garden -especially since our quilt show is "A Garden of Quilts" but my inspiration after the first layout fizzled for a while.  Then I decided to turn this quilt into Mary Ellen's Garden - inspired by my high school Latin teacher, who is a gardener and quilter.

When Jill was here, I sought out some "tree" like fabrics, and some cobblestones.  After pondering a bit with the idea of adding a stone path, I decided to add a wall, a tree, some branches, and some leaves.  More embellishing will follow with beads, silk embroidery, cording flowers and a jungle vine.

My intent is to put this in the show - and then give it to Mrs. Westlake (Mary Ellen) as a gift.  It pales in comparison to her actual garden - but I know she will appreciate it.
Some free motion quilting of bark on the tree trunk - including a big knot.
"leaf" clusters waiting to be appliqued - there are more and they will fill the top edge and corner of the quilt.
Mrs. Westlake also likes bird watching, so I had to add a bird house.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Things that get in the way...

Sometimes it is just hard to find the time for everything I want to work on. In the summer especially - my sewing gets short shrift because there is so much else going on.  I normally sew from the time my son heads to bed until my bedtime - usually by the time I get upstairs that is 8:30 - 10:30 or 11.

With a later summertime bedtime - I've lost an hour - and that really wipes out my momentum.
It's also hot upstairs - even with the A/C... which wipes out my motivation.

So I sew when I can - and shift a lot of my focus to some other projects.
Like these:
Perler bead quilt blocks made by the Munchkin - magnets will be added and these will be sold at our guild quilt show in August.
Perler bead sewing machines - vintage or modern.  Again -will have magnets added.
Black raspberries -with a few wild strawberries thrown in  Have been harvesting about 9 cups at a time- though they are starting to taper off.  My first batch of jam this season was overcooked- so was like fruit leather in a jar.  Freezing the rest and will try again when the weather cools.
This is our BIG summer project - replacing the sidewalk we tore out last year.  The only hitch has been the mold takes 60# bags of concrete - and we ordered 80# bags (that's what the website said... oops!)  So I get to play with the leftovers.
Casting stepping stones over rhubarb leaves with leftover concrete.
Making handprints and concrete votive candle holders.
Cast a rhubarb leaf in a curve over a pile of sand.
And more handprints.  Basically anything that can hold concrete has been cast.
And this doesn't even cover the growing that's going on in the garden.... I will leave that for another post.