Thursday, January 27, 2011

Batiks and Bali stars...

Started working on a new BOM quilt from one of my favorite quilt stores. Here is the first month's block... looks like several blocks to me. Anyway, have been wanting to sew a large project with batiks... they are just beautiful, don't you think? I see all those wonderful batiks Wanda shows on her blog: and I just drool. Of course, I could never decide what to make. Well, I think this BOM project is going to fill the desire of working with batik fabrics. Just glad I am not the one who had to make the decisions on which fabrics to use... am sure I would still be there pondering. 
For a long time I have been intrigued with quilts where the color way changes graduate from a light to dark or brights as it does in Stars Over Bali Skies, but have always felt a bit intimidated by such a complicated pattern. So a BOM is a good way for me to tackle this sort of project. You can find this pattern at Painted Pony 'n Quilts out of Texas:
During all this piecing I have been doing lately, I continue to struggle with 1/4 inch seams or scant 1/4 inch seams. Have been using some tape to mark my seam allowance on the Featherweight but don't like the sticky residue it leaves. Well, looking for different tape that would work, I ran across some magnetic strip tape I had in my craft supplies. A little strip of this works great.... it gives a slight lip for the fabric to butt up against and can be removed and not leave a sticky mess on the machine or fabric. How cool is that!
Thanks for stopping by and think spring!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

...Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...

Am so excited! Just finished stitching the Oklahoma map embroidery I designed last year after we decided to make the move back to our home state. Started embroidering this map last year, put it down for a while and picked it back up recently. Am sure everyone knows how that it is... you start or move on to other WIP only to return to the project at hand and eventually things get done.
Anyhow, I have become besotted with embroidered maps. It started a couple of years ago, when I offered to embroidery a pre-printed South American map panel for my friend, Vicki, while she did the embroidery on the North American panel. These companion panels were rather large as you can see in the photo below (that's hubby holding up SA for me). 

Part way through this coop embroidery project and while on business, Vicki's partially embroidered panel was stolen from her hotel room. We were both heart broken. The motel and the local police didn't seem to think it was a big deal and in the grand scheme of things maybe not, but losing all that time and energy was really very upsetting. After a few months, another panel was located on eBay and I am pleased to say both maps are finished and framed.
Wishing you ... "Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Birds, buttons and half-size shirts...

Found this DIY mobile kit illustrated by Scottish artist, Alice Melon, on-line recently. It came in the mail last week and I couldn't wait to cut out the adorable birds for a wire mobile structure I have been saving for the right piece of art. There were 5 birds in this kit but the mobile has 9 hangers, so I quickly made some paper flowers to fill the other spots and glued buttons to the centers to add some weight to offset the birdies.

Here's a couple of links to Alice Melvin's art: and Her illustrations are so fun and fresh!
The little guys seemed hungry once put together, so I'm sure they appreciated this plate of food.
Now to find the right spot to hang this whimsical creation.
Yesterday was another fun day with my friend Vicki. Quilt show, lunch, and a trip to Goodwill to buy men's shirts. We are quickly running out of the madras fabric that is the mainstay for our coop project and since madras isn't available in the fabric stores, she thought we should check Goodwill for men's plaid shirts. We hit the jack pot and came away with 20 to 25 all cotton, plaid shirts..... perfect for our project. And the price was right! We split the shirts, so I guess this lends a new meaning to men's half-size shirts.
Buttons are now removed and saved for another day and one mountain of shirts ready to be washed and harvested for the nice cotton fabric.
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One very creative day...

A big pot of tortilla soup, homemade cookies, conversation and sewing..... a day doesn't get any better than that. My "bff", Vicki, and I spent the day yesterday working on building houses, growing trees, making baskets and catching birds for our current collaborative project. This "liberated piecing" process is so much fun, we decided the end results will probably be more of a lap quilt size instead of a wall hanging. You just can't quit piecing one house, tree or basket... and we may need some wonky people, also.
You don't see the mess on the floor of Vicki's sewing studio..... trust me, it was also strewn with fabric and snippets of thread. And, looking in the trash can at the end, gave me a sense of accomplishment, for sure.
Here's some of the progress we made... my blocks have the blue back grounds and Vicki is using cream colored prints in her backgrounds. To tie everything together, we have talked about piecing simple squares, strips, etc. of the fabrics we have already used to set the blocks together. As before, we will exchange blocks .... have already put my name on the apartment house with the fuschia colored roof.
And I think a little embroidery won't hurt anything, what do you think?
Our inspiration comes from: Gwen Marston's books: Liberated Quiltmaking I and II ( and Kathy Doughty's Material Obsession I and II ( Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Row of houses...

All the houses on Whipple Street:
Tried to piece the roofs, but didn't like what was happening, so I cheated (or did I?) and made the little roofs with prairie points.