Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A visitor....

Discovered this lovely creature in the fence in the back yard yesterday. After googling around yesterday afternoon, I realized it was a Question Mark Butterfly. Thank you for visiting my yard, fellow, you made my day...my week!
I thought it was beautiful with it wings shut.....but look at the top side of this butterfly....such incredible pattern and colors.

The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.
                                                                                                             ― George Carlin

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Recent projects....

It's been a while since I've posted and wanted to share some recent projects that have been on going around our house.

Have become addicted to English paper piecing these past few months. I started with a pattern called "pies and tarts," but have put it down to focus on my version of a "Levens Hall" quilt top. The center medallion is almost done. Am currently working on adding the stripped border and mittering the corners which will be a first for me. 
The quilt shop where I worked part-time this past year closed its doors the end of June after a 7 or 8 year run. During one of the "employee" sale days, I picked up this awesome piece of Echino Decoro by Etsuko Furuya for Kokka, it's call "dahlia." Absolutely LOVE the colors in these fabrics. With all the hand-piecing I have been doing lately, I did turn on the machine to put together this whole cloth quilt using the "dahlia" fabric. It's approx. 72" x 72", a nice lap size quilt...a cheerful quilt for napping under this winter.
We bought a palette of rock this past week to use around the flower beds and throughout the yard. Tons of work a head for this project....but very satisfying once it gets done. Here's a bit of the results from the front flower beds. We are trying to eliminate most of the grass and establish more draught-tolerant plants. The yard is slowly evolving...

Thanks for stopping by....

And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
                                                       Wm Shakespeare

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shop round-robin...

The employees at the quilt store where I work part-time are participating in a "round-robin". We all purchased the same four fabrics which were leftovers from previous shop projects:

There are very few rules to this round-robin other than we had to use these four fabrics in our initial block. We then could add as many other fabrics as we wanted as long as the fabric is of quilt-shop-quality. We can embellish the blocks if we want....oh, the possibilities are endless. Probably the most difficult part of this project is knowing when to stop creating!

Here's how I manipulated the first block I received in the round-robin. The co-worker who pieced the center block, didn't really like the fabrics chosen for this project, but used them to create a little jewel of half-square triangles bordered in a fun stripped fabric (originally. 8" x 8"). I decided to enlarge this sweet little square into a wonky star using some of the brights from the stripped fabric along with some embroidery stitches here and there for good measure (the amoeba-like object in the upper right fabric is outlined in a purple running stitch....you can almost see it in my photo).

I fell in love with the stripped fabric she used and quickly purchased a yard to add to her block and to add to my stash. My additions to the original block created a 24" square .....wanting to keep the "wonky" look, I cut off a couple of inches on one side....the overall block is now approximately 24" by 21".
Hoping my round-robin block is having this much fun.....will have to wait and see.....I promise to post more of this fun project.

14. What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 6, 2012...

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the 
American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."
                                                                                                                            Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, September 17, 2012

Beaver Island Quilt Retreat, 2012 and more...

Recently attended Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat White Birch Lodge in lovely Elk Rapids, Michigan. This year's retreat focused on Liberated Medallions. We had a talented group of quilters in addition to awesome weather. In my opinion there couldn't have been a better place to sit and sew than in the large dining hall with windows all around us and Elk Lake about 100 yards away.
Our group creative sewers surrounding Gwen who is in the middle on the first row. 
One of the many medallion quilts Gwen had made and brought to show....the fabric in the center of this quilt is a reproduction of a John Hewson print from the 1800s.
This is the first of two medallion tops my friend Vicki pieced while at the retreat. The center is a vintage piece of linen she found at an estate sale....the colors were printed on the piece before being embroidered. Vicki used one of Kate Spain's line of fabrics for the pieced borders.
This is my mariner's compass medallion that I pieced over 25 years ago....I finally found a use for the block. One of the great things I discovered about medallion quilts is you can start with a pieced block or whole cloth block and then just add as many borders, either pieced or whole cloth as you want to get to the size quilt top you want. How cool is that. I really think medallion quilts are in my future, especially for showcasing a piece of fabric that I love and don't want to cut into. I used a lot of men's plaid shirts (from Goodwill) in my borders. Learned a valuable lesson....I needed to spray starch the blocks to prevent some of the stretching that occurs with a looser woven fabric. 
This cheerful top was stitched by Sharon Taggert....she came to the retreat with the center block and three of the inner borders already pieced. I think this is just stunning.
Switching gears, I wanted to show the "wonky" top I have been working on for over a year. It is another coop project with my friend Vicki. She pieced some of the houses and a butterfly and a tree or two....she also has some of my wonky blocks in her top. This is about 99% done as I have some appliqué I want to add yet.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New potting bench....

While I was gone to a quilt retreat last week the hubby made me a potting bench....am loving it! I had told him I wanted one, but knew it was low on the list of "to do" projects. Maybe I should go away more often...who knows what "honey-do" projects will get done! Thanks, hubby!!!
My sister-in-law out in Vancouver, Washington is getting creative with her gardening efforts. Her hen-and-chicks plant now has its own lovely vintage chair. Love the shabby-chic look. Am wondering if she has another one of these chairs I could talk her out of?

“Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.”  William Cullen Bryant

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wonky house quilt coming together...

Another "ufo" is finally back on the sewing table. Started piecing these "wonky" blocks back in December, 2010 and January, 2011 with my bff, Vicki. As fun as it was to make these blocks, the thought on how to put them together was overwhelming at first. Maybe that is why they stayed on the design wall for so long. I finally gave myself permission to "play" and add other strips and pieces of fabric to make the blocks fit together in different panels. Wow, I was amazed how a little trimming here and adding fabric there worked. Now I have a fun and playful community of blocks that is about 36" by 45". Now, on to adding strips of borders and pieced pinwheels to make it large enough for a good sized lap quilt. Oh, what dreams I will have taking a nap under this little fellow.

"We have had cloning in the South for years, it's called cousins."