Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Termination Dust

We have some "Alaska sayings," you don't hear anywhere else. One is Termination Dust which refers to snow showing up on the tops of mountains and moving farther down the mountain as winter approaches.

I've got a few leaves to rake...hopefully that will happen before the first snow fall. So far just a few days with temperatures dipping below freezing. 

I finished cross stitching Amazon Santa, in the middle of this year's Sandra Cozzolino series, "South American Santas." All so very cute. You can see why I am addicted to making her designs. 

I have finished quilting, "Sparklers." I loaded the quilt on my frame, August 25th. 

The next few photos are mainly for me to refer to when looking for ideas to quilt future quilts.

I had three different stars in the quilt and tried to quilt them each a little differently.

Red Star.

Blue Star

White Star

Trying to quilt details in a printed batik is a subtle effect...but it does work.

I mark dark colors with regular white chalk sharpened with a regular pencil sharpener that has a larger opening for fat pencils. Below are my two favorite rulers used on this quilt. 

I marked the circles and little hash marks for angled straight lines going to the center of the arcs.  Those straight horizontal lines in the body of the quilt are from my basting lines. Those will disappear when all the quilting is done.

Another detail photo to help me.

And the result.

Here's the only critter photo I have taken in the past few weeks, Eli at the top of his cat tower. He could use a Maine-Coon-sized cat tower. Somehow he curls into the top for afternoon naps.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Plaid Bucilla Ornament Kit Finish

I recently became an ambassador for Plaid Bucilla. I’ve been making Bucilla kits for over 20 years so it was a definite “yes” from me when Plaid contacted me. The perk for me is every now and then I get a complimentary kit.

Below is a kit from my stash, “Holiday Shopping Spree,” from 2017.

I think this kit is rather challenging. The seam allowances to join the pieces were 1/8th-inch. Being used to working with small pieces helped me. This is an adorable kit. It was worth the extra challenge.

There was a mistake in the stamping of the felt. 
First time I can remember encountering one like this in the kit.  The green felt pieces for the tree on the auto with the reindeer was the culprit. One of the pieces was printed twice and one was not printed at all. I had heard about the issue from another Bucilla enthusiast who had made the kit before me. I just made a new piece from scrap felt in the kit. It was just the reverse of one piece so very easy to replicate. 

Recently a reader of my blog left a comment asking for help with the kit Ballet Bears. I couldn't answer since the author of the comment was flagged as a "no reply Blogger." This is the default setting for leaving comments and if you want a response from me you have to go into Blogger and change your comment status so it will allow me to email a response to you. I made that mistake for several months when I first started reading blogs and leaving comments on Blogger. You can google how to make the change to your settings.

You can also reach me at my public Facebook Page, And Sew Forth.

Not sure what Plaid Bucilla kit I will work on next.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Better Late...Even if the Deadline Was Last Year

I missed the quilt retreat in October of 2018 due to my niece's wedding. I also missed completing the challenge assigned to everyone in May of 2018. I am going to make the 2019 October retreat so I have been working on completing the challenge. 

We were given four fat quarters to do with as we pleased. 

Almost immediately I thought of taking artwork used for carving pumpkins and making a silhouette wall hanging.

I enlarged the artwork 200-percent.

I added fabrics from my stash to make strips of oranges, golds and yellows. I started with 1-1/2 strips but decided to reduce them by half an inch after sewing most of them together.

I now have the piece all fused together and ready for top stitching which I will do as I quilt it. 

I'm making good progress on my "Sparklers" quilt. I finished stitching all the areas requiring white thread. Below is a detail of how I worked out marking stitching in the white stars. 


A  little detail of the large white stars below...

I am ready to switch to red thread and have my quilting plan worked out for those areas.

Will I get it done in time for show and tell at Thursday's Breakfast club?
 I don't think so but I'll keep trying.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Bit More Progress

The Butterfly Patch quilt top is done. This will be a fun one to quilt...someday!

I had a print that coordinated with the lilac fabric I started using for the background so instead of letting it age any longer in my stash, I created nine-patches to complete the border. 

I got two more autos done from a Bucilla Plaid kit. Three more to make.

Lots of appointments in the schedule for the coming week which is just as well since the forecast is rain, rain, and more rain. Still pretty warm so not yet worrying about "snow." 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Quilting Progress

I have been deciding how to quilt this top as I go...not my usual style. I spent months doodling on this one but never got in a rhythm. It was time to just sink a needle and make it happen.

I'll do several colors of thread so I started with the navy blue thread areas as this is the predominate thread used in this quilt.

Not sure the stars stitched in a field of pebbling is popping as much as I would like but I am happy with the technique I came up with to mark them on my quilt top. I found 2-inch star shapes on the internet to print on card stock. After trimming to shape, I used double stick tape to hold them in place for positioning and then outlined with chalk.

I have all the blocks made for the butterfly patch quilt. Such a fun quilt to make.

I got one little ornament finished last week.

A good start to September. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Critters Everywhere

I have spent my holiday weekend doing a solo quilt retreat. I have even spent a few hours on my midarm quilting machine but what I am really jazzed about is all the quilt designs swimming around in my head. 

Got back my Quilting Mojo.

But first I am working on quilts already underway.

The Butterfly Patch quilt is looking great.

I played again with the design on EQ8 and think the version below is where I am going. It will have a row of nine-patches  on the left in the background lilacs and lavenders but it is too laborious to add that in EQ8 at this stage. 

And I have a flimsy finish, a quilt for my son in the Air Force who is Bigfoot enthusiast. The colors in this photo are so washed out, they are much warmer in person.  Yes...I added the phrase. I tried piecing letters but found them too, "blocky." I resorted to adapting the font, "Jokerman," I found in the computer program Word. I printed the lettering at 400-percent to get the right size. I had less than an inch of the background fabric when I finished. I was really sweating it!

It started with the Elizabeth Hartman pattern, "Legendary." I pieced all the tree blocks and the bigfoot block at a quilt retreat last February.

I have been really remiss this summer about sharing wildlife photos from my neighborhood. 
I was driving into town one morning in late June when I had to stop for a Mama moose crossing the road...with her three calves. Got this photo sitting in my car with the window rolled down...pretty darn close. 

The next two photos are from my neighbor's trail camera taken on August 14th. They live directly across the street from me and have lots of animals that traverse through their backyard.

A mama black bear with her three cubs. 

Then one morning while trying to make my coffee the dogs were outside barking like crazy. I expected to see a moose in my yard but instead I saw this pretty horse.

It belongs to the neighbors behind me and as soon as I finished taking the photo, the horse went right back home. 

Time to get back to quilting.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

August Breakfast Club

I made a great effort to pull myself away from landscape and garden chores to attend Breakfast Club last Thursday. Our project was, "Butterfly Patch."

 Below is Marcia's class sample. She substituted more complex 6-inch blocks for her version.

Laura worked on the pattern ahead of time and finished her version in class. No patchwork blocks. 
Seeing how others interpret a pattern is my favorite part of Breakfast Club.

I played in EQ8 to get my concept drawn.

My goal was to finish the monkey wrench and chain blocks. 

I got done with  my center blocks too. I'm looking forward to tweaking this design as I work on it.

Marcia had her class samples for the next two Breakfast Clubs ready for us. Both are smaller quilts.

September's Club will feature this Cozy Quilt Designs mini version of "Daybreak." Strips that are 1 1/2-inches wide are substituted for 2 1/2-inch strips.

And for October's Breakfast Club there is a fun Pattern Basket design, "Pumpkin Seeds."

The quilt shop we meet at, Seams Like Home, is hosting a mystery quilt starting in September. For $89 you purchase a brown paper bag of fabrics and only the focus fabric in a ribbon is shown on the outside. If the ribbon is in batiks then all  of the fabrics will be batiks. Below is what was in my brown paper bag.

I'm very excited with my fabrics. The shop did this last year and it was a huge hit. Every brown paper bag is a different selection of fabrics. A lot of the ladies from Breakfast Club did the mystery last year and it was so much fun to see all the different quilts so I had to join in this year.

Have share one of my studio projects...I tore the carpet off the support stands on Eli's cat tree and covered them in twine. Eli had shredded the carpet with his clawing and the one section wrapped in rope was in tack but really too short for my huge Maine Coon. He barely fits in the top bed but he loves this spot.

I have such a sense of quilt renewal after seeing the ladies at Breakfast Club.

I really hope to actually get a quilt top loaded on my quilt frame today. Maybe I can get my quilting mojo back!