Sunday, August 2, 2009

Spread in the middle can be a good thing!

All the flowers are fused down to the background! I thought this part was going to be tedious but it turned out that it was actually enjoyable. I also expected the bouquet to look exactly (or very close to) the original layout. It's surprising how much it changed along the way. Flowers were picked up from the background in groups, the fusible backing was ironed on and then flowers were returned to background in a pleasing arrangement. Then they were ironed down as a group. One reason the arrangement changed a little is because I found that the flowers I hated in the beginning were not so disgusting anymore. They seemed to fit in better with lots of other flowers so they no longer needed to be completely or mostly hidden with other flowers. The result is that the arrangement is a little more spread out.

I also got rid of the longer, strappy leaves and added more football shaped leaves. The one element I really do like is the rose-type leaves in the upper left corner. I modeled these leaves after the roses in my garden and that corner needed a little something more so.....a rosebud.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Grow 'em or sew 'em (flowers)

This is the final arrangement of my little bouquet quilt....until I start permanently attaching the flowers...that is. Started with the flowers in loose groups...darker purples on the lighter background with lighter colors on the darker background. The main colors for the flowers are purple (dark and light), rose pink and coral. More variety was needed. After rumaging through my non-quilting stash, I found some eggplant velvet, palest pink and light gold dupioni silk, and some white eyelet. These broadened the palette of flower colors. So, once I had the flowers in groups by color, then I switched out a few of each color so it wasn't so color blocked and looked "looser" and more haphazard. I could re-arrange these flowers until I die and still not settle on the perfect arrangement.

The next step is to secure the flowers to the background and i think the best way for me to do that is by fusing the flowers to the background and then attempting to quilt over the top.

Monday, July 27, 2009


This is Malva "Mystic Merlin" in my garden. I planted it this spring and it is already blooming. Some flowers are a rose-violet and some are blue-violet. A "black" hollyhock..I love this dark, deep purple-crimson color.

About one month ago I put in a pond but haven't finished with the rocks around the edges. As soon as I filled it up with water I had dragonflies, smaller electric blue and this larger dragonfly with black on it's wings.

I reworked the background for my little bouquet and started making flowers. They take some work and practice. It is gonna take a while before I have enough to start playing with placement.

Close up of the fabric flowers. I think they are a little too round and need some trimming. But pretty happy with my first attempts. I would really like to have some other shapes of flowers, but not quite sure how...pondering my options.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Background is done!

Background pieces sewn together but not trimmed. It was fun to learn this technique...I didn't enjoy sewing with interfacing on the back because it sticks to everything and is so flimsy that sometimes it would flip over/under and I didn't realize it until it was caught up in a seam. But making 12 squares was just enough that I got the hang of the technique without getting bored with the project. I do think I will try this again...I have seen string quilts on the diagonal that look amazing and would like to try that. It is A LOT of work for such a small project. I'm not sure how I would last on a much larger quilt of this style.So here is the background with the blocks all squared up and sewn together...I love my fabrics but I wish the colors had blended a little seems to be all dark on one side and all light on the other with no middle ground. Never have been great about finding the middle ground! Started off with all narrowish strips and soon learned that I needed some wider strips to give variation and to make it go faster. Also completely melted my interfacing on the back of my first two squares because I had the iron temp set too high. Luckily I had only sewn 2 strips on each interfacing square and the loss wasn't that great. I also learned not to leave a tiny space at the edge of the square so that a tiny strip of fabric needs to be sewn there and then most of said tiny strip trimmed away and then the rest of said tiny strip sewn into the seam allowance. Not only irritating and tedious, but makes for a bulky seam.

On an unrelated note...this is offspring # 1 (which I will call Bebe) and a friend. We live in the south so ball caps and big hair are ALWAYS in style!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Little Bouquet Quilt Along

Outside in the backyard yesterday and I was lucky enough to see (and get a picture of!) this rainbow!
I am participating in the Little Bouquet Quilt Along hosted by Cherry House Quilts. This is going to be new for me because, duh, I am new to quilting and because I have never made an "art quilt". I don't know if I can get my machine to free-motion quilt or not...we will see.

These are the fabrics I purchased for the quilt. My stash is mostly large patterns with multi colorways so, you see, I really had to...needed to purchase more fabric. It just couldn't be done with the fabric I currently own. These are all fat quarters purchased from my new fave store...Stitcher's Garden in Franklin, TN. (Sorry no web site) But they boast over 8,000 bolts of fabric. The most designer fabric I have ever seen in one place (never been to Hancock's of Paducah in person) LOADS of fat quarters and misc. other sewing, quilting and crafting items. All of the fabric is cotton quilting fabric...which is not to say that it can't be used for many other applications. But you won't find knits, suiting, lining, home dec, costume or bridal fabric here. But OMG it is heaven! She carries most, but not all of my favorite designers and SO much more wonderful fabric. It is sensory overload. And the prices are mostly all around $9 a yard which is what I pay for designer fabric online. I have been to a few other specialty fabric stores and all of their designer fabric is $14-$15 a yard. Too rich for my wallet. You can't beat Hancock's of Paducah or eQuilter for their online sales...but this is my new, go-to fabric store.

These two blocks belong to Kim who is making a quilt for her son, Alex. Obviously Alex likes University of Alabama...not my favorite. We made these two blocks (Kim cut and I sewed) as samples. It's a simplistic version of Oh Fransson's hedgerow quilt. I love the look of squares within squares, even if it is done in crimson, gray, black and white.

Summer sewing 2009

This is my ipod case. Cute huh? I only started playing with an ipod this week. My family has had mp3 players and ipods since they first came out. In fact, everyone BUT me is on their second or third ipod. Mine is a hand-me-down from Mark. I have even had it for about a month but haven't gotten around to loading it with MY music, or making this cute case for it. The main fabric is Jane Sassaman and the accent is Anna Maria Horner. It has a removable strap that closes with Velcro so I can wear it on my wrist when I don't have any pockets. Last night I downloaded some additional music and today I actually used it.

Below is part of a baby gift I made for a co-worker who is having a boy. There is an appliqued onsie, a quilted bib and a quilted burp cloth. The main fabric is Tiny Treasures by RJR Fabrics and I purchased it from EQuilter for less than $5 a yard. I love nostalgic-looking baby fabric. The back of the bib and the burp cloth is a soft blue flannel which I doubled and then machine-quilted through all 3 layers.

I took these pictures in the car on the way to the baby shower. Remember that I do not regularly take pictures of anything and I am trying hard to document more. I also made a beach ball type baby toy with a jingle bell inside but, in my hurry, forgot to take it to the shower. The ducky is just the gift bag covering up my car interior. Not pictured is adorable Osk-kosh denim overalls which are part of every baby boy shower gift I give.

And finally....Surgery day for offspring #2 (which will now be known as Pucky because offspring #2 is too hard to type) Surgery went "perfectly" according to our surgeon and Pucky is recovering with the help of some mighty strong narcotics...which means he won't be using that shiny, new DL for a few days anyway. Yes, I am gonna catch it for this picture! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Big Day for Offspring #2

I thought the color of this painted concrete car stop was so pretty and then I realized it matched my toes!
Offspring #2 exiting vehicle after road test. You probably can't tell but the ride-along test administrator has a huge tattoo across his neck that reads "CRYSTAL" I had to let my son ride alone in the car with this person!? He only had 2 points deducted for a rolling stop. I remember that I had the exact same penalty when I took my driving test.

Offspring #2 will be having wrist surgery next Thursday. He has a fractured scaifoid (small bone in wrist) that has not healed for 4 months and the surgeon will be removing some bone from his arm and transplanting that bone in between the broken bone in his wrist then the broken bone gets a screw to hold it in place. After 8 days of healing the stitches come out and a short-arm cast goes on for at least 8 weeks. So it looks like the senior pictures will be with a cast. We had been holding off on taking senior pictures until the first long-arm cast came off...but there is no way to avoid it now...