Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spring Report

The highest reward for a man's toil is not what he gets from it but what he becomes by it.
John Ruskin

Iris Beauties

The iris were early this year but not as prolific as last year  
This was the first week of April.

Fall Flannel Four Patch

Since Summer is officially here now I am going to review what I got done during the Spring of 2012.  Not as much as I needed to, but some progress was made.  My UFO List has not gotten much attention but I did finish the Fall Flannel Four Patch.  Yeah!!  I had gotten it quilted in January and in May I got the binding done right after I did the Construction Zone quilt for my grandson.  I even attempted to do some staging with the pictures.  Let me know what you think.

Misty isn't impressed with quilts

See the Quilting?

The pantograph I used was Ground Cover.  It is just a nice simple leafy one.

Back of Fall Flannel Four Patch

Here is a better shot of the back.  I didn't have enough of any one fabric left over so I used the extra four patches, made a few more and pieced it.  I might have enough left to make enough four patches for a crib quilt if I added another fabric for the alternate blocks, could easily do that with some of my plaids.  Maybe one day or I might kit it for a charity project.

Rainbow Quilt
Tweety Bird Quilt 

I joined a local group that meets once a month to make quilts for cancer patients and NICU babies.  I found these two cheater panels that I had quilted several years ago and had not bound.  I got the binding on them and donated them.  The binding will be sewn down by others who do not quilt but can do hand work.  The idea is that the future owners of them are prayed over and for as the handwork is done.

The Amaryllis were prolific this year.

I've been keeping a journal log of what I work on.  It helps me realize that I actually DO get some things done.  This quarter I've also done these things.  Pictures will come in due time..
  1. Pieced the center of a crib quilt using the Flip Flop Block template and Safari prints.
  2. Worked on my Iris Circles Quilt.
  3. Cut out and pieced blocks for Zen using batiks. About 2/3s done.
  4. Cut out 4 backings for quilts to longarm.
  5. Cut out and pieced the Carpenter's Star Quilt center.  
  6. Pieced and designed a kid's quilt, all done but borders.
  7. Cut out 3 pastel quilts from same fabrics using the patterns Hint of Tint, Columbine, and Cottage Romance. Two are queen size, one lap.
  8. FOUR  finishes - Construction Zone and Fall Flannel, charity quilts above.
  9. Straightened and Hemmed Leaders on the longarm and added Leader Grips. I need to restitch my casings when I finish the quilt loaded now.  I didn't make them tight enough.
  10. Pieced backing, loaded and quilted a charity quilt.  Not quite finished.  Interrupted by 3 trips out of town. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

St. Simons Island

Joy shared it twice the joy.  Sorrow shared is half the sorrow.
Swedish Proverb

St. Simon's Lighthouse

We made a quick trip to the coast for a wedding. We just had to go since the grand twins were in it!  Their aunt got married.  The last time we were there was sometime in the 90's.  I don't remember the year but things around the lighthouse have changed a lot!  There is a new sea wall, a small water park and a putt-putt course.  The weather was perfect!  Not hot and a wonderful breeze.

St. Simon's Beach

The tide was in so there was only a few feet of beach to be seen.  Time was limited so I just got to take a few quick pictures, watch the twins putt-putt a little then it was time to go get dressed for the wedding.

The Bride and Groom Arrive!

This is how the bride and groom arrived at the reception.  The dock was under the building where the party was about to get started.  They had a great live band!  I even managed to drag DH onto the dance floor for part of a song.  The twins danced too, they were so cute.  We were really glad we made the trip!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Seeing Stars

Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.
Serbian Proverb

Hint of Tint

I have been out of town twice in the last ten days, back home to stay for a while.  Back to back trips are exhausting!  The second trip was a quiet one.  I took my machine and was able to get most of the blocks for a queen size quilt pieced.  I finished the last six blocks this evening. Now to play with the placement but first they need a trip to the ironing board.  Check out what else is on the design wall over at  and what other quilters are up to at and Fabric Tuesday at http://quiltstory.blogspot .

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Spy ...

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.
Henry Ford

I Spy

This has been on my East Design Wall for a while now.  I put it up right after DH hung the design wall for me.  It is the Fons & Porter design wall that Jo-Ann carries.  Great thing to use the coupon on!  I like that it is gridded, it even has a couple of 45 degree lines.  I don't like that it curls up at the edges. I hung some bulldog clips at the bottom thinking that the extra weight might help. It did not.  I guess I'll have to add a little removable poster tape in a few spots.

Back to the I Spy, I started it over ten years ago when I had my shop.  I hung it thinking that might inspire me to get going on it.  New projects seem to be claiming my attention instead.  The grand-twins are 5 now and are old enough to play...maybe soon.

Can you offer any motivation?

I'm linking to Judy's Design Wall Monday, a day late I know.  I couldn't find my picture yesterday ; (

Slow! Construction Zone

You don't just luck into things as much as you'd like to think you do.  You build step by step, whether it's friendships or opportunities.
Barbara Bush

I really can do more complicated quilts than this!  I just wanted to show you something I recently finished. It follows in the line of yesterday's post also.  Here is a quick quilt I made for my grandson.  I saw the panel and it just screamed LITTLE BOY PLAY QUILT to me.  I also purchased some fat quarters of transportation prints, a half yard of a co-ordination print, a fat quarter stack of flannels and a remnant with the same theme.

Construction Zone

The center panel gives a place to drive the trucks on and the border is wide enough to park them on.

Quilting Close Up

Just a large stipple for quilting although I did add his name in the borders.  Black seemed the best choice for binding at the time but after washing maybe not. (Note to self:  Black shows lint from flannel ever so well.)

Flannel Back of Construction Zone

Here's the back, I had to run out and buy the gears and wrenches to finish it up. 
Not much fabric left over from this project Yeah!

Great to see it being used!

Now the action shot.  Want to play?  Looks like fun!

Tips for working with panel prints:

1) They will not be square or have 90 degree angles.  Either ignore that or work around it by adding borders that can be trimmed square.
2) Look for co-ordinates, they are usually printed with matching prints that can be used for backings, pillows or curtains.  This is great if you are working on a nursery or kids room.
3) If you can't find them at your quilt shop look in the chain stores, country or general stores with fabric, yard sales or thrift stores.
4) Use them to practice your free motion quilting, back with whatever you have on hand and you will have a bonus charity quilt or something for the 'I need a gift quick' closet.

How have you used panels?  I'll have to share how I've used the smaller panels soon.

Check it out!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays...

A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.
Robert Frost

Playing in the Rain

After a few rainy days I thought of sharing this cute panel quilt.  I quilted it a few years ago and even did the binding, then it hung around (literally on a hanger) waiting for someone to love it.  My daughter's college roommate had a bouncing baby boy back in December and this was the quilt my daughter chose to take to the shower.  Mom and baby love it.

Quilting Close Up

Here is a close up of the quilting.  I sometimes use panels like this to practice my longarm quilting.  The easy thing to do when working with this type of panel is to add borders to it.  This gives a nice frame to the project and takes away the 'it's just a preprinted panel' look.  It also makes it bigger, some panels are a little too skimpy to really wrap up a baby in.   After practicing a new panto or free motion quilting I have a nice size quilt for a gift or charity.

Back View

I had a nice piece of plaid that worked well for the back. The yellow binding pulled out the color of the raincoat. The red border was a tiny gingham micro check that I only had slivers left of when I got it on.

Bright Rainbow

Great Colors!

Where's the Pot of Gold?

A few months ago this rainbow was outside my front door.  It was so big I could not get a full shot of it.  It was one of the most intensely colored rainbows I have ever seen.  I'm not sure it's visible in the pictures but the whole color spectrum could be seen clearly.  Rainbows - they always bring a reminder of a promise and a smile.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Traveling Quilter

Know from hence you came.  If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.
James Baldwin

Antique Quilt in Arkansas

One of the joys of traveling is finding new quilt shops to visit. While on vacation to Branson in April I got to visit Quilts & Quilts It is an incredible shop. What made it even more awesome was the fact that six weeks before I arrived their shop had been hit by a tornado. I would have never known they were in a brand new location if they had not told us.  They have bolts and bolts of fabric, many books and patterns and a lot of finished quilts for sell. I didn't get any pictures but I did buy a few goodies that I'll share with you another day along with some other great shops I visited.

On the way home we stopped for lunch at a cafe that had a crafts, shoes, Tshirts and furniture.  The quilt above was hanging on the wall. Here are the close ups:

Antique Block

Another Block

I don't know the name of the pattern but I just loved it.  They had some other quilts hanging, log cabin and ninepatch but this is the one that caught my eye, along with this:

Pottery Owl

Pottery Pitcher

I really fell in love with the owl vase that was sitting on the mantle. Unfortuneatly it was not for sale. I have a thing for owls. I also collect pitchers and after asking several employees I was finally given a price. I got it for less that $40.  Don't think it was a good deal?  I know you can't tell from the picture but this thing is huge! It is glazed ceramic pottery and probably will hold 2 gallons - more than I'd want to pass around the table for sure!  My husband likes to ramble through antique shops with me and we did a few of those too. I will have to share the other pitcher I got on the way through Alabama later.  By the way, if you know where I can get an owl like that please let me know.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Design Wall Fabric Choices

Now I need to decide which colors to use for the bottom and top triangles. I don't want to use the purple, it would weight the quilt with too much purple and I want a warmer quilt so which color should I use with the multi-colored batik the yellow or the orange? Those are the colors in the center star. See the previous post for the whole picture. Please leave me a comment on what you think.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

May Color Palette Challenge

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas Alva Edison

I didn't need any more new projects but when Judy Laquidara of started talking about her feather lessons I knew I wanted to try to do it.  I had bought this tulip print in the last year or two because I loved the colors. When I was starting to pull together some stash fabrics for the Carpenter's Star quilt she is using for the lessons the tulips jumped right out at me.  I just happened to have some batiks that matched nearby and so I was soon cutting triangles.  After I started working on it I realized that it was close to the colors in the May Color Palette Challenge that Vicki Welsh is putting together. It still isn't a finished top but the center is together.

Carpenter's Star Center

Vicki has a great blog that I have been reading for years.  She is currently doing a color lesson of Fridays that is great.  I also won a giveaway of a years membership to the Quilt Show from her blog back in March.  It was the first time I won anything from a blog in all the years I been entering.  Thanks Vicki I love getting to watch Alex and Ricky!  When I was trying to find the green narrow border fabric I could only find this one in my stash, the color was close to what I was looking for but I didn't like the print.

First Border Choice

So I went out to look for something better and came home with this:

Second Border Choice

After looking at it on the design wall I decided that there was too much blue in the green to go with the warm colors in the rest of the quilt.  Although it matched the tulip print very well it just didn't work with the yellows, oranges and plum tones.  A few days later I came home with this print:

Third Choice A Winner!

The very next day Vicki had this post which explains why it worked.  Isn't it great when your decisions are affirmed! Nice to know I have not forgotten what I learned in my Art classes all those decades ago too!

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