Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What's on Your Bed?

The best kind of sleep
beneath heaven above,

Is under a quilt
handmade with love.

What quilts are you sleeping under?
With cold temperatures here in Colorado
quilts are a necessity.

This is the quilt I have on my bed now

The pattern is called Checkers and Rails.

I enjoy the blue and white graphic design
especially in the month of January.

It feels soft with the texture of the hand quilting.

I drew and inked a special label.
If I hadn't put a label on, there would
be way I could remember when I had made it.
That's 25 years ago!

This is what's on one of the guest beds.

It's a raw edged flannel quilt (2000)

This is a great stashbuster pattern.
Start with one large square 8"  and then center and add 3 more squares
reducing the size each time. 5.5", 3.5", 1.75"

I sewed the edges with a narrow zigzag for
a little more interest and then, of course,
when it's washed the edges fray.
There's no clipping like a rag quilt.
It can be a nightmare when you pull it out of the dryer,
but after all the strings are cut away,
it makes a great quilt for winter.

Underneath the flannel quilt is another one.

Strawberries and Chocolate

I loved a line of fabric from
Buggy Barn and I believe
this is a Miss Rosie Pattern by Carrie Nelson.

It was machine quilted with an overall design.
The quilt adds just another layer of warmth.
This is Colorado.
We use lots of quilts.

One more guest bed.
This pattern was a free Moda pattern in 2007.

Harvest Home

I made it as a store sample for the LQS I worked for
and then we made kits

I believe the fabric was a Brannock and Patek.

One of the best reasons for  making quilts is being
able to use them in a functional way.
Five or six times a year I change the quilts.
Do you think different patterns and colors
effects your dreams?

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What's Your Approach?

Question: How do you eat an elephant?

(internet image)

Answer: One bite at a time.

We've all heard this saying before.
We know it's an effective way to tackle big complicated projects.
It's taking the approach of small bites or goals
to eventually accomplish the task.

The problem I see with eating one elephant
at a time is that the elephant can become a boring meal,
stale, and never be finished.

I've always taken the approach in quilt making
to eat multiple elephants at a time.

Working on a variety of projects simultaneously,
 keeps me from getting tired of that one thing.
There are times when one project just 
tastes better than another.

I've been enjoying 3 elephants recently,
one old, one new, and one 
that I've wanted to hang out with for a long time.

I'm continuing to embroider and learn new stitches
from Sue Spargo's book Creative Stitching

It's her free pattern Instastitch.

I've been sewing churn dash blocks
as part of a block swap coordinated by Barb
This is another great way to eat an elephant.
Team up with others and work together
on the same goal.

Here are the blocks I'll be exchanging for
66 different ones.

The third project is one that's 
been waiting for me since 2009.

It was a free download from 
Becky Goldsmih and Linda Jenkins of
Piece O' Cake Designs.

I have tried to find the link, but
haven't had any luck.

It's a simple red and green applique
stitched on 18" backgrounds.  It's copied from an antique
quilt Linda found.

I'm taking the one bite approach
to this quilt.  Well, rather a two bite meal.
My plan is to do two blocks a month and
get the 12 blocks appliqued by August.
Leaving me plenty of time to finish before Christmas.
I think this way will keep me motivated doing the same
block 12 times and then have a
wonderful quilt for the holidays.

So what is the best way to eat an elephant?
One elephant, one bite at a time or
an elephant buffet?

I think it's up to you.

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Gotta Love A Hexie Quilt

Don't you love a blast from the past.

Remember when it was safe to climb
on a metal jungle gym and girls wore dresses to school

or if you went to the library
and needed to look something up

this is what you did way back when.

So speaking of the past,
I'm finally done and ready to share
a quilt I started way back in the
fall of 2015.

When I first saw Di Ford's book
Primarily Quilts,
I knew I wanted to make the hexagon
quilt she calls Route 66.

I had never done English Paper Piecing, EPP, before,
but immediately
discovered I loved the accuracy,
the rhythm of the handwork,
making neat stacks of hexagon shapes,
and the crisp edges of each of those
pieces shaped around paper.

Fussy cutting the fabric is not a new concept,
but a fun one to experiment with, especially
when you're using the hexagon shape.

The top has been done for over a year.
I just couldn't decide how to have it quilted.

The only area where the quilting was really going to show
was in the light surrounding hexies.  I finally
settled on this simple swirl
 to make the look more modern.

The real stars of this quilt are the colors and
fabrics so in the center hexies
my machine quilt, Kathy, and I decided to
still keep it simple by accentuating the hexagon shape

and a simple motif in the centers.
I was super pleased at the results.

It may have been started awhile ago,
 but it's technically my first finish of 2018!
You've got to love a Hexie quilt,
even when it's a blast from the past.
Until Next Time-

Monday, January 8, 2018

Believe In Yourself

I've been stuck 
for over a year.

It's been frustrating.

One project from last year that was left dangling
was quickly heading for the discard pile. 
I didn't like what was happening
and I didn't know why.
This ill-behaved project
was Sue Spargo's Instastitch free pattern found on her 
website here.

"Let me make this perfectly clear,
it wasn't the pattern.
It was me, the maker of the pattern."

Even with some psychoanalysis

it took me awhile to figure
out what was going on
 or better yet what wasn't going on.

Otherwise, this project was doomed.

First, I loved the fabrics.
I was using a set of indigo fat quarters gifted to me.
Shweshwe fabrics under TheThree Cats trademark
produced by Da Gama Textile Co.
They're pretty wild.

I loved the free style of the pattern.

I loved the idea of learning new embroidery stitches
to embellish the quilt.

I loved the idea of doing something designed by Sue Spargo.

Then finally
a couple of weeks ago
I had the aha moment

Sue's monthly patterns came with specific 
fabric layout directions for each block
for the perfect placement, if you had a kit.

I had been trying to do the same thing
with the fabrics I had chosen.
I had lettered them all and thought it
should work perfectly too.

My fabric A should work where
the pattern had fabric A.
Nope, wrong!

The solution:
Throw the dang chart away and go with my gut.

I left the first 3 blocks that I had done in 2016
and then by simply changing my perspective and saying
"Gosh, Kyle, what were you thinking!
Stop being so lazy and 
do the part you love best!"

It didn't take long for the 
other 9 blocks to come together.

Now I'm facing the second challenge:
the embroidery.

I've ordered a few spools of
Sue's awesome perel cottons sizes  #3, #5, and #8. 
The colors are different than what was suggested in the pattern.

 I'm going to blaze my own path
and choose my own colors that go with my quilt.

I'm a bit intimidated.
I'm pretty good at the backstitch,
the lazy daisy, and don't have very many
dangling french knots.

It's time to move forward.
Now we'll see what happens when
you start believing in yourself.

Until Next Time-