Sunday, September 3, 2017

woodland animals quilt

The danger of putting your quilt on the back of the couch to look at for a few days

is that it gets all covered in cats, hats, backpacks and coats.

but I finished the quilting on it

and just have to find thAt red from between the blocks for the binding.

Friday, August 18, 2017

CQJP Paris walking the dog

So this is sumething you will see in Paris alOt

a very chique lady walking her dog.

Parisians love their dogs, they take them everywhere

and like their children, these dogs are very well behaved.

You see them everywhere, under tables in cafes,

outside groceries guarding bikes,

or walking thir people through the markets or down the street.

this lady is dressed for work

walking her dog through the champs elise

on her way to her office job, not all though many,

who allow their people to bring their dogs to work.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

hexipoluza #6

Another aspect of all this is using up your "odd bits and bobs"

I don't know  how closely you all can get on the pictures but I try to use as many odds as I can.

Many of the beads don't match in places like the bodies of the dragonflies on this block

and the butterflies on the one below

then there are the beads on the button bug on the penguin block

and the pink flowers I used at the bottom

If you noticed, none of them match

I have done this in several places throughout the block,s to show that you don't have to be matchie, matchie to have a cohesive whole.

It's very freeing when you realize this and makes for a whole lot more creative fussing.

here are my hexies so far all sewn together and spread throughout.

I see it getting much bigger as I continue to use it to demonstrate the stitches in class and use it as a teaching tool I also have a ton more blocks pieced together.
I hand them out to newbies who haven't a block to work on

Oh dear, it looks like I have run out of done blocks!  I  must finish a few more of these, darn the luck ;)

Friday, August 11, 2017

hexipoluza #5

So here is an example of a much better blending of very bold and very light contrasting colors

The dark blue looks much less out of place here than it does on the block from my last post

The reason being, I used more of that same dark blue on the other side of the block, to balance all that  dark blue across from it

Then I used more dark blue in smaller increments throughout the block, to keep your eye moving around the block, rather than being distracted by the big wad of blue along the edge

It also helped to soften the edge of that dark blue with a seam that blended it into the the rest of the block, with the other colors of that block.

This shoe block is another way of blending away the stark edge of a too dark or bright contrasting panel while still making space for it in the body of the whole.

Now you may be asking yourself "why use the dark panels at all if it causes so much distraction?"

Its a challenge to make it bend to your will
Its a creative challenge to get yourself out of a rut or just a challenge for yourself to see what you can do with it. It6 also creates some really beautiful effects in both color and texture.

In many ways I do this to myself to shake up, what is normally, routine sewing and its fun to discover for yourself what works and what doesn't.

Like the block from the previous post what i did worked but not quite enough. I chose to leave it as a good lesson in how to deal with that sort of thing.

Because it doesn't matter how seasoned a CQer you are, you will make "mistakes" like that

Especially if you are making all your blocks first and not putting them together as you go.

I find I do this a lot when I put long projects together like the CQJP or even round robins,

 where you need a certain set of blocks to finish the whole.
Its easier for me to put the blocks together first so I know at least the fabrics in them will go together, then even if halfway through the project I go haring off in some other direction, I can pull it back together in the end.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

hexipoluza #4

  As I have mentioned I'm using Jennifer Clouston's book for my CQ class

I am trying to follow each of her examples so my students have a tangeble block they can go to to see, touch and study how the stitches are put together

I have used cottons in all my blocks because it is much more forgiving of mistakes than silks and satins are and much less daunting to a beginner to put together

As most of my ladies are sane quilters first, I know they have a ton of this kind of stash at home and can easily put a block together with what they have in hand

Another part of my reasoning has been, if I can make all these prints look good together, it will encourage my ladies to use more color in their pieces as well

I also try to put a few "impossible" colors together to show how you can "blend" them back into a piece to soften it's impact.
I do realize that dark blue is a really stark contrast to the rest of this block but more in that later
 I also want to have fun with this as well so Ive used many colors on the back as well as the front.
Life is too short and there are so many wonderful colors to play with.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hexipoluza #3

 so my Philosophy of zen quilting is this, slow hand sewing should be a safe non-judgmental place. a place where we as women, mothers and humans should take time for ourselves to be quiet and reflective.

Take as long as you need to finish that seam or embellishment and if it's wonky, so what?
 when was the last time you gave yourself permission to make a mess?

Ask yourself

Does it always have to be perfect?

Does it always have to have a purpose?

Does it always have to be meaningful?
 I want my classes to be a place where perfection is not the goal because you are not coming to class with the skills to make it so.

You are coming to class with the desire to learn and in so doing, wil make mistakes and your seams will be wonky.
So much of sewing is muscle memory.
Like driving or cooking when you are concentrating on it you notice how far away to not hit the curb or just how much of a spice for that perfect taste

It all becomes second nature after you do it for months and years but untill then, you concentrate on just how long that stitch should be before you can just "feel" it.

So go ahead, give yourself permission to make a mess, take a few days to get that stitch.
We as women and mothers don't do that for ourselves as much as we should.
We need to realize if only at our sewing table, it's ok to take our time, to make mistakes and do it over again.

Our lives are so busy taking care of everything and everyone we forget to take care of ourselves. We forget that we need "quiet time".
SLow stitching does that for me and I like to share it.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Introducing Bernie

 Isn't she a beaut!

My DDH is the absolute best!

And I got her for a song! I'm so happy with this machine, you have no idea!

It's made me realize just how sad my poor 30 year old Viking Lily was getting.

This baby sews smooth like a babies bottom!
 I'm excited can you tell?

I finished quilting this almost queen sized scrapbasket quilt in 3 days!

Yes the stitching is a little wonky but I do need a little more practice, whee!

I really could not have done this on my old machine at all. Poor thing was refusing to do circles and absolutely balked at any kind of curve at all.

The last time I used it I whent through 4 needles for a single one of those "S" motifs, my DDH said that if I could find a reasonable price for the machine I wanted he would consider getting me a new one.
So when this sweetie came up for sale as a trade-in at one of my local shops that sells and repairs nothing but Berninas, I jumped right on it!

I'm in quilting heaven!

I did the yellow one as a test piece, the day I got Bernie home.
I did  my son's quilt on the long arm at quilting mayhem, over in Snohomish, so I could give it to him for his birthday last week. And I finished mom's lap quilt on the Lily before we left for  Chicago in april.
I now have 5 more tops to finish And I'm so excited now to get them done!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hexipoluza #2

 I'm going to dribble these out in batches since I'm also posting them on facebook as well.

I've tried to follow Jennifer Clouston's blocks as much as possible  as to have examples for my students they can see, touch and feel. Her book is so easy to teach out of!

(thank you!)

 Also in doing this I used all cotton prints and odds and ends from my stash, things I only have a little of or bead soup from old projects and tipping disasters.

So much of what is on these are one offs fitting in nicely with that 2020 challenge that's going around as well but I don't think I'll join as I don't have the dicipline to count all that!
The Hexi craze is enough for me and I've  had these done for a couple of years. Well past tim to show them off.

There's also my ultirior motive, I've got almost nothing else done.

It's been a slow summer for stitching. Though I got a new machine and am getting my quilt tops done but that's a post for another time.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hexiepalooza #1 yellow and pink block

Jumping in on the Hexi craze

these first dozen blocks have been in use for a few years actually.

I Run a class out of Gathering fabrics Quilt Shop in Woodinville WA., once a month and I use Jennifer Cloustons book and several others, to teach crazy quilting and embroidery from.

I use these hexies to show color theory, stitch placement building, sre, use of materials, etc.

I try to teach my ladies how to bring out their creative side, the zen of hand sewing and how not to be afraid of color.

They are vEry colorful ;)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

CQJP 2017 Paris block #3

 this block cellebrates all the open parks in the city and the art neuvo influence that you will see scattered everywhere

first up is the moth, in a vine you will see them in the dusk after the street lights go on banging their heads against the glass

then the duck, she was supposed to be a swan but oh well shes a pretty enough duckriding the waves of a pond

the phrase is from one of my favoriet Edith Piaf songs and is the title as well" Je ne regrette rien" I do not regret anything.
 the little pump in a cistern is a common sight as well usually behind large houses or in country

I did a fair amount of sewing on the flowers in the middle portion mostly because we took a 2 day train trip to see family in CHicago and 2 days on a train is the perfect place for sewing

squares for watering the gardens, horses and the other family animals
 and look what decided to flower this Year! The irises are huge and have may blooms on each stalk. I suppose this is what happens when they hybernate for 8 years!

to be fair i had them in a different location and only mooverd them 2 years ago to where they are now but they didnt bloom last year either.

I also found this fellow sleeping on my allium drumstic this morning.
he must have been caught out when the sun whent down over the trees, it gets cold quite fast around here after dusk.

more is in bloom in the garden and ill have pictures of those too soon.

Monday, May 8, 2017

sane quilting Woodland quilt

One of my inspectors is back, making sure there are no parts missing

As you can see there is a perfectly good cat basket behind her bUt no,

She must sit on my pile of work


Such is the life of a cat owner, one must put up with these sorts of foibles.

 Good thing I have finished this top now

Not without more help though.

At one point while trying to get the placement just right, the catscapades ran through and messed up my ordering.

Then violet, the above mentioned menace, decided it was the perfect spot to play ball and messed up the ordering again, aaahhh!

So the top is now done, yay! It just needs borders, binding and a back.

As it happens I still managed to get two brown blocks and two deer back to back.

Oh well.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 CQJP 2 Rue Glycene

The story of this panel starts with a picture taken during a meandering walk,

in which I decided to wander the streets, looking for nothing in particular.

After passing the rather disreputable looking door,

 As the door was deeply set into the wall and ajar I entered this unexpected fairyland,

Located down a little covered corridor which opens onto one of Paris' many pocket streets.

In which there is a little courtyard

containing 3 or 4 homes with balconies

overlooking this glorious little fountain tinkling merrily in the sunlight.

Each entrance with thier own potted garden and ancient wisteria vine

covering entrance and balcony, in purple and pink splendor.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fairies en Rouge

so, I just finished putting together 4 of my blocks from the last year, or so.

 Do you know how hard it is to catch a fairie?

 and then they just giggle at you

 and toss rosehips at your head, when you try to sew them together.


Monday, March 13, 2017

sanity claus

 What project would be complete without my assistants mrs. molly fluffy butt and her daughter miss. Violet fur pants

 As I have said before I'm keeping myself sane by sane quilting.

 I've moved a sewing machine table into my little area. It looks more cramped than it is. I like the way I can reach everything I need, except maybe the iron. I need to think on that.

 Not that I have fallen out of love with the crazy, I have been feeling the need for instant gratification and accomplishment.

I think we can all agree that crazy quilting is not a fast project, at least not the way I do it.

I need the high of quickly completed quilting.

That being said I still have to sandwich, quilt and bind the silly things so there is more to do than just the topping I've been doing.

But that's for another day.

Right now I'm in the zone out, zen up, of piecing.

I'm loving 1/2 square triangles right now!

and flying geese...

 of course the hubs had to get into the act.........


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