Monday, February 22, 2016

Block #18 Fleur De Lis

I've completed my first block for my Sarah Morrell quilt. The damask background fabric shows well in these photos. It's a cotton damask that I bought at least fifteen years ago. I've been saving it for something special, and I hope this quilt is it.

I won't be posting again for a week or so, as I'm off to Disneyland with my grandchildren. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Of A Color Obsession

Color.  I'm a fan. Put me in that column. As you can see from the above photo, I used to be a fan of a muted palette. 

 I love just looking at my stacks and stacks of fabric sitting on the shelves, waiting their turn. Waiting to be cut and stitched. Woven into the whole cloth of my creation. There are color wheels and charts of complementary and contrasting colors. I sort of know the rules, but I make my own when it comes to quilting. I use what I like. I have taken a lot of time to find just the right color and print. In fact the Gypsy Kisses quilt that is in my hoop right now took a year to find the background. It may not be something that you would choose, but that is one of the great things about quilting. We choose what speaks to us. We may use the exact same commercial pattern, and yet my quilt is totally different than yours because of my fabric choice. 

In my Gypsy Kisses I used clear, bright colors. I did not have a lot on my shelves. The ones that I bought at first, just didn't work. Not for me. Not in this quilt. I tried other fabrics, and when I was satisfied, I cut and pieced, and appliqued, and now I'm quilting. The black and white for the fan centers was used in the quilt in the pattern book, and I loved it. I thought it was really striking, so I used black and white polka-dots as well. Being quite a fan of polka-dots made that an easy choice.

 If one fabric doesn't work, choose another. BUT, try not to cut until you are sure. I've made that mistake, and fabric is so expensive now that it's not something that I want to cut until I'm sure. I try to pull all of my fabrics for a project and lay them together on my cutting table and look at them together. It's much easier to change whatever isn't working when you see all the fabrics together. Sometimes it helps to take a photo, and look at the photo. I'm not sure why that helps me, but it does. 

I play with color in other forms as well. Yarn, colored pencils, watercolors and even sometimes gardening. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Baby Steps

The above photo is not a good one, BUT, I just want to show everyone the quilt that I have now taken little baby steps into. I ordered this pattern from Australia. It's a Di Ford pattern, and I want to be her best friend. Really. I've told my friends that it is my bucket list quilt, but I want to stitch every pattern that Di Ford has drawn. I have her book, Primarily Quilts. I understand that she is also going to publish another book in 2017.  I think I have another pattern of hers that I ordered as well. That's a lot of stitching. I have been hurrying through the last two quilts I've made, because now I want to concentrate on Di Ford, and concentrate I will have to do.

It requires me to use skills that I've never used, or haven't used in a long time. It will stretch my brain a little, if you know what I mean. I hope it snows for the next month, so I can stay in my sewing room and stitch.
 There are a lot of blocks that are hand pieced. The others are hand appliqued. Needle turned, and Broderie Perce blocks- a lot of them. I chose the fabrics for a simple one the other day, and it took hours. Hours. Much longer than I thought it would.

Speaking of fabrics, I'm now hampered by the lack of fabric stores that sell the style of prints that I like. I think I'm going to have to resort to ordering fabric online.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Baste This Gypsy

I do not like sandwiching a quilt together. I don't have tables that are big enough, so I crawl around the floor. It's never been a favorite of mine, but now that I'm a bit older it's a real workout. My hands are always sore because of my autoimmune disease, but by the time I finish pinning and basting a quilt I need to take a pain killer. 

This quilt had issues, but I think I've solved them. 

The pieced border at the top and bottom, somehow some way, stretched out the bias edged pink background pieces. By the time I had it pinned and basted I had a rippled mess. Sometimes you can tell that a little bit of a ripple can be quilted out. This time I had puckers that would not have laid flat no matter what I did.

I had to take out the basting along the edges and rip out the stitching on the border. The pieced border is no more, and the pink background now lays flat. It means that my quilt is about ten inches shorter, but it's okay. The hard part is over, and I can now relax with my hand quilting. I love hand quilting. It's my favorite part of the entire process. I know that most quilters have moved on to machine quilting, but I don't think that will ever be my choice.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stitching To The Finish Line

I'm stitching the border of Sugar Kisses. approaching the finish line. Straight lines along masking tape. Every time I pull a new line of masking tape off of the roll, my six month old puppy comes running. It doesn't matter how sound asleep he is. He jumps up and comes to me and puts his head on my knee. Sometimes he makes me stick the tape to itself... I wish he wouldn't help so much, if you know what I mean.

But look at that face. He's just trying to help.

We've had a little snow. Nothing major, but I don't like to drive when it starts sticking to the pavement. Our roads are too hilly and windy, so when it snows, I stay home and stitch. Or read. Or color in my coloring book. Or watercolor in my journal.

 I also just caught up with the last Downton Abby on the DVR. I don't know how I ever managed to watch my shows before I could record them. I wish I could buy all of the Downton DVD's to save for later, but who wants to spend hundreds of dollars? Not me.

I love quilting when it's snowing outside. I can use the quilt to stay warm while I'm stitching away, and I love looking at the bright colors.