Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Decorative stitches ... The Good and The Wonky.

I am doing some decorative stitching on some sunflower petals and it is not as easy as I thought it would be! It's a lot of shifting the quilt top and changing direction.

It's a big quilt flimsy to stuff in a small machine. 

Sometimes it looks good ....

Sometimes it looks raggedy and uneven ....

Thank goodness my daughter loves me even if my stitches are a little wonky. Just like me!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finishing what I start .... soon I hope.

I must finish what I start. The Little Engine That Could .... I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. The reality is that I know I can finish the quilts I have started. It's a time issue. I am busy and I do not always manage my time well. I do NOT want to start having a backlog of UFO's. They weigh on my mind and I really don't have the storage space.

My little corner to sew in my bedroom. I am so blessed. 
I could whine about sewing in the corner of my bedroom which means I am limited on the hours I can sew - my hubby goes to bed pretty early for his 430am wake up alarm. But that's not really fair. At least I do have a small dedicated space. For years, I sewed on my dining room table for an hour or two each day. I had to put everything away to serve a meal to my husband and 4 children. It was imperfect but I made it work. I will keep my little corner working too. 

Sunflower Fields getting its border attached.
Christmas is coming and I really want to cut fabric for Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery quilt. However I am staying on task to finish 2 quilts for my daughters. One is a gift for my daughter for Christmas or I want it to be a gift. I finished the top Friday. I need to piece the back, sandwich it then do some simple quilting. Its a chevron based quilt so I am going to quilt lines going with the chevrons. It's a king size, so it won't be quick but it won't be hard either.

Border and more border for Celtic Solstice.
The second quilt is last years mystery Celtic Solstice. The backing fabric finally arrived so as soon as I get my safety pins freed up, I will sandwich and quilt it. Again, simple lines as the design is the main attraction. Again a king sized quilt. I apparently lost my mind when I decided to make everything so big this year. 

Inner border strips for Celtic Solstice.
Do you struggle with time?
Do you finish one project before starting another?   
Officially, I do have a 3rd quilt top waiting to be finished but it is for my bed. No rush. 

I'm not deep into stitching Grand Illusion but it is on my mind daily, so I am linking up to Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville Monday Link Up. I will be playing catch up soon I hope. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Grand Illusion Colors

2013 Celtic Solstice though it might be renamed by my daughter

Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville has released the first clue for her 2014 mystery quilt Grand Illusion. I'm excited and hesitant, LOL. I participated for the first time last year making Bonnie's Celtic Solstice. I kept up with the steps but then assembling the blocks got stalled out waiting on my cohort to work her scrappy magical arranging. I just finished the main flimsy. A year later! I'm delighted and proud that the bulk of the work is accomplished. And embarrassed that it took soooo long.

From the bright blue wall and the blues-y sun, you can tell blue is my favorite color

I also hesitated on the colors. Bonnie chose colors almost identical to what I used last year. I love them but I have other color waves in my head. Which meant I stopped sleeping because I'm loony, LOL. So finally on Thanksgiving eve I decided to follow my heart and the colors in my head.

I chose .....

Kona Mulberry for Bonnie's pink

Kona Lagoon for Bonnie's yellow

Kona Ocean for Bonnie's blue (aqua to be more precise)

Kona Clover for Bonnie's green

Kona Bahama Blue for Bonnie's neutrals

Kona Marine for Bonnie's black 

Obviously I am NOT going to have high contrast between colors. However, I hope to have a lovely rippling motion of blue - green - purple lusciousness. I tried to make substitutions based on the intensity of her colors light to dark. I'm definitely going to have to label them to avoid confusing myself. 

And now I wait for my fabrics to arrive. I ordered the Kona cottons, a couple of flannels and the backing to Celtic Solstice from Fabric dot com I can hear the clock ticking as I wait and fidget. Sighsss .... 

tick ....
tock .....
tick .....
tock ..... 

Go check out all the participating Grand Illusion quilters here

Friday, November 28, 2014

Finally working on Celtic Solstice

I am finally back to working on Bonnie Hunter's 2013 mystery quilt Celtic Solstice. It is destined for my younger daughters bed and she has been managing how the blocks go together. That meant I only work on it when she is available. Argh!!! The kid is busy with college, she got married last month, life is busy and I want this quilt done.

OK ..... I confess I have 3 quilt tops super close to being done with the piecing. 
I have issues ...... 

Anyway, she finally cleared some time, got the boxes out and started arranging blocks, which I sewed. Two days later, she arranged more blocks. I asked her to count and we were just blocks short of being done. SO CLOSE!!!

So the next day, I pushed, made her separate them by style, recount, and arrange the remaining blocks needed. Wahoooooooooooo!!!  


Todays count showed us one short, LOL. That's ok though. It took a few minutes to assemble the last block and press it. Then I started pairing the two styles of blocks together. Some are a little wonky, a little ripple-y ... I;m not worrying about it anymore. I will steam them smooth. I want this quilt top done. Tomorrow I hope to sew the pairs into 4sie's.

My daughter has these neat boxes from her work that hold quilt blocks beautifully.
I would call the blocks by name but last year as Bonnie shared her tutorials, I saved them to my computer. And backed them up on an external hard drive. Just in time for my laptop to barf and die. I bought a new laptop, my computer guy made a few alterations, then attached my external hard drive. It asked about formatting. Without pondering, he clicked for it to format ..... and it formatted all over my saved info. All of it. Oh well. So one is a 'fight' block and another a 'happy birthday' block or maybe those are the same block. One had numbers but I have no recollection of which numbers, LOL. I just know one block went by two names. 

It is time to get this flimsy whipped out. Can I hear a "Heck yeah!"

Update** I have the basic king size top done! Wahoo! Now to add borders and get this quilted.

Even without borders, the flimsy drapes over the sides of my king size bed. 

Bonnie Hunter is doing a mystery quilt again this year. Her inspiration was the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. It is called Grand Illusion. Go check it out on her blog Quiltville.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Blue moon

I am working on finishing up a few projects before Christmas. And then I need to make or buy Christmas. I'm behind. Meanwhile Bonnie Hunter is preparing to start this years mystery quilt. And ..... I have colors, many beautiful colors floating around in my head wanting to find a quilt pattern so I car wrap myself in them. This is in spite of the fact I have fabric bought for 2 more original quilts and they just sit, folded in bags, waiting for attention! What is wrong with me?!?

I found this sun - moon while vacationing in Branson last month. The colors reached out to me immediately. I didn't have to think about it before my hands reached for the sun.

It has the colors I am craving. Blues, purples both light and dark. Turquoise and aqua. Then it is triangles. Think of the possibilities!

Can you see the moon on the right side? You can see the paleness better in the lower picture, though the top one has less glare. My photography skills need work :)

Now to find a pattern and fabrics and more time .....

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Quilt Inspector

Everyone seems to have a quilt inspector. I have a canine quilt inspector.

Hurry Mom! I wanna go outside!

This is Isis. She came to me 2 years ago, already named. Egyptian lore says the name Isis is literally Queen of the Thrones. She was a goddess of health, marriage and wisdom. This is who her breeder was thinking about when she named her. Her sire is named Zeus. Her dam was Hera. Lots of mythology there. My girl is NOT named after the radical people creating havoc.

Early snow 11-16-14
Isis came to me when she was several months old. She was a wild child but over time has settled into my life. Farm chores are one of her favorite activities. Waiting while I stitch is not her first choice but she does flop on the bed waiting for the moment we can go for a run outside. It's tough for me to get a good picture of her as she prefers to be moving :)

Slender puppy still in early 2013

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Quilted Potholders

My oldest son asked me to make a couple of potholders for a friend of his getting married. They were decorating in an Indonesian Elephant theme. Red, gold and green. Indonesian Elephants??? I asked if this was a new fad and he shrugged his shoulders. New brides decorating their first home is not in his realm of knowledge. Typical man, LOL.

I could not find elephant print fabric. I did find some insulating batting with the foil layer which is new to me. Luckily, my stash had some red and gold patterned fabric that looked appropriate. The real blessing - my Janome has an elephant stitch on it! Yes!!

I decided to quilt the layers then trim and bind the various potholders. It was easy stitching, though the dense quilting really shrank my pieces. So I made extras.

I made a red on one side, gold on the other.

I made a red gold stripe.

Before quilting .... 

After quilting ...

I made a half square triangle style potholder.

And would you look at that elephant stitch!