Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tiny World Demi Tasse Pincushion

It was a good news day! Mom (Anne H) broke her right arm (the humerus) and while we were hoping it would heal, at age 93 we weren't sure it would happen.  She saw the specialist today and surprise, surprise! It is healing. She'll have to baby it for the next couple of months but otherwise she is good to go! She has been struggling with her sewing but now that she is cast/brace free she can have fun with her sewing!

I've been sewing bits and pieces for Tiny World Pincushions and I managed to finish yet another. I have two little gold demi tasses and here is the first of the two. The other will be finished another day!

To give you an idea of the size here it is next to the Farmer's Home - Winter Pincushion. I really adding tree trunks! And they are both working pincushions! Can a quilter have too many pincushions? I think not!

I'm still working on the feathers in diamonds in Butterscotch Ripple - there are two or three to go. This quilt is going a little slower than I would like but hopefully I'll pick up steam tomorrow. I've been doodling away like crazy trying to decide how to fill the diamonds after the initial feather border. My doodling isn't perfect or even accurate but that isn't the point. The purpose is to help develop ideas. I might not be able to quilt what I draw but it gets the creative juices flowing! And it did just that!

The outer feather is quilted in the example below and I drew two inner diamonds that are 1/2" apart to create channels. I used my blue water soluble fabric marker.

Close-up of the blue markings.

I stitched two diamonds inside the feather to create the channels and then filled the outer channel with circles. I'll leave the inner channel empty. I've tested this on the first block and I am happy with it. The next step will be to decide what to put inside the centre diamond. I may use a couple of designs to fill the diamonds.

This is a close-up of the channels and the circles.

Now about those two rabbits I've been seeing in the garden. They were back again. They sure like the pond! Isn't he's a snappy dresser - blue plaid pants and a leopard print vest!

I was able to get fairly close - they didn't seem too bothered to have their picture taken but then in the blink of an eye they were gone!

Was it me or was it this??? The dreaded Grey Panther from two doors down!

Until I post again, happy sewing!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Butterscotch Ripple today and another hexagon

The border adjustment is corrected and the stitch in the ditch is done! Woo hoo! Now the fun begins. I started working in the border but quickly lost interest so I've been sketching and pondering how to quilt the diamonds.

Feathers are getting easier and easier and once you have then nailed they are a great way to fill spaces quickly and elegantly! I pulled out my pad of paper and this is what I have come up with thus far. Curly queues in the corners and feathers in the spaces in between. I don't know how I will fill the smaller diamond in the centre but it will come to me!

The first step was to draw some guide lines on the diamond with my blue water soluble fabric marker.

And here is a close-up of the marking for the curly queue.

From there it was time to just dive in and quilt. Once again I am using Superior Monopoly on top and Superior The Bottom Line in the bobbin. I want the texture to show, not the thread. Here is the first diamond quilted.

And the second is also done! I may go back and echo around the feathers to give a little more dimension.

I'm thinking of sewing another diamond border and filling it with little circles and then for the very centre some feathery curly queues. I'll give it some thought while I work on the other diamonds.

How about another foundation pieced hexagon? For those of you who are new to my blog you can read about how I make these hexagons in my posts dated  May 30, June 3June 13 and June 28.

This is a fun easy variation of the star that I shared in an earlier post. Depending on your colour choices it could be very effective!

And this is the template I used to make this block!

I did a quick tour of the garden this morning with Forest Gumby. We were downwind from a couple of critters and we wanted to get a closer look so we snuck up behind them! I managed to get this picture before they caught wind of us and took off into the undergrowth!

Lucky for me one of them stopped and turned and just as he did I snapped this picture!

I then went through my old pictures of the garden and low and behold, there they were again! Remember this one? I'll have to keep my eyes open for these two cuties!
Well that's it for today. Until I post again, keep your eyes open for rabbits and happy sewing!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tiny World Make-Do Mug Pincushion and Another one of Mom's African Quilts for the Mennonite Relief Auction

I continue to stitch in the ditch  on Butterscotch Ripple and there is one more "ripple" in the border which needs tending to! Drat! Hopefully it will all be sorted out by tomorrow so that the real fun of quilting can begin!

I finished my fourth Tiny World Make-Do Pincushion. All the basics can be found in a pattern by Mimi Kirchner and once you have learned them, you can let your imagination run wild! I used a blue and white mug that I found at the local thrift shop. Around the bottom of the mug are the words "Farmer's Home - Winter".

So needless to say the theme for this one hand to be winter. Here is my tiny world mug!

I love the snow topped roof and evergreens and the silver snowflakes and silver beads on the ground!

Also Mom just finished her third small African quilt that will be sent to Renske Helmuth, an amazing applique artist! The quilted blocks will be assembled into two quilts that will be sold at the Mennonite Relief Quilt Auction. Each of Mom's quilts is unique, colourful and loaded with charm and personality! They'll be packed up and sent to Renske this week.

These are the first two African theme quilts she made for the auction.

It's a short post today but hopefully tomorrow I'll have a Butterscotch Ripple progress report! So until I post again, happy sewing!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Butterscotch Ripple Quilt and Yoga in the Garden

I admit I am addicted to hexagons - just can't get enough of them. Every time I see a hexagon quilt I want to make it! Even the simplest of hexagon quilts is alluring! I read a post by Kath of Hillside House. She has a chair named Peggy and Peggy had a simple hexagon quilt on her back. I think it looks quite elegant and I want one just like it!  Or check out this sweet little Harriet cushion that is embellished with hexagons. It was made by Natalie of Sewing Room Secrets! I need one of those cushions too!

There was another hexagon quilt that I came across a couple of years ago while I was zipping around the internet and you guessed it! I wanted one! All I found was a picture of an unfinished quilt top. Large prints were framed with a diamond of hexagons. I loved the idea so I made myself a quilt top. After the top was finished I discovered that the original quilt was made by Brigitte Giblin and that she had just published a book titled Feathering the Nest with Vintage Inspired Quilts. There are loads of hexagon ideas in the book and the photography is so pretty that I couldn't resist....I bought the book!

This is the hexagon quilt I fell in love with!

The basic shape was a diamond of hexagons framing a large print and there were little diamond and triangle fillers. It was simply a matter of selecting the size of hexagon I wanted to use and then deconstruct the hexagon to create the diamonds and triangles. I wrote about how to do this here.

My version of the quilt

I chose to work with a hexagon that was just over 1". Each diamond is one third of the hexagon and each triangle is on half of the diamond. I used a light buttery-toffee colour for the diamonds and tiny triangles throughout the quilt.

The original quilt doesn't have a border but I usually add a couple of borders to my quilts and had done so with my quilt before I found the book. The inner border is a repeat of the buttery-toffee fabric I used for the diamonds and triangles and the outer border is a butterscotch stripe fabric with curvy ribbons; I knew it would be perfect and I just had enough fabric to border the quilt. Directional prints such as stripes can add pizzazz to a quilt. I wrote about the use of these prints here.

I call my quilt Butterscotch Ripple for two reasons: the colour of the outer border reminds me of butterscotch but more importantly when I pin basted the quilt I realized that the border was not laying flat and there were ripples!!!!  I had to do some reverse sewing to correct the problem!  Normally I would hand applique the quilt top to the border but I had read so much about machine applique that I thought I would give it a go. I had machine appliqued the quilt top to the border with invisible thread and a tiny blanket stitch. It worked very well and was invisible BUT it had to be unpicked because of the ripples. It was a huge pain to remove those invisible stitches! In future I will hand applique because it works just fine for me! And if any reverse sewing is required, it will be easy to do! So I reverse sewed the problem areas but left the basting pins in the quilt. I then made the necessary adjustments to the border and hand stitched it to the quilt top. It is much better now!

The border is separated from the quilt

So here is my quilt Butterscotch Ripple! I took the picture under the arbor this morning and had not yet repinned the border.

I really love the backing fabric which is magnolias on a robin's egg blue. Too pretty for words!

So with the border correction complete, I can now pin baste it. I can't wait to start quilting this one! First step will be to stitch in the ditch in every single seam and then the fun will begin although as usual I have no idea as to how I am going to quilt it......yet!

When I was out in the garden photographing this quilt I thought I would take a stroll to see if there was anything interesting. Aren't these colours glorious - yellow sunflower, orange trumpet vine, lilac balsam and little purple something or others! The bees are absolutely delirious with the abundance!

This bee kept bumping into me as he went from flower to flower! 
This looks like something from the milkweed family

I was enjoying myself with the bees in the balsam when I first heard the unmistakable voices of Turtle Girls. I had forgotten that they were holding a yoga class in the garden today. I wonder if anyone showed up!

 Not a bad turn out from the looks of it - six doing yoga plus Turtle Girls!

And three observers!

They started with some gentle stretches (as always)!

And then it was right into downward turtle. But wait, who is that in the background stretching? Do you see him? I don't recognize him but it looks like he is interested in yoga! He does look rather shy so I won't bother him because he seems to be enjoying himself.

 Immediately after downward turtle they started dropping like flies! They were all worn own except for Zebra Fellow!

Looks like everyone took off and left Turtle Girls on their own.

And with that their noses were out of joint so Turtle Girls got up and wandered off into the garden!

I turn back and can't believe my eyes! What do I see?

My quilts!!!! They were using MY quilts as yoga mats! And they had my silk quilt that I told them was not to go out to the garden! Those Girls are going to need a talking to, that's for sure!

Until I post again, be sure to hide your quilts if there are Turtle Girls around and happy sewing!