Monday, April 29, 2019

April Mini

Making a quilt
is acknowledging the fact
there are times when you 
need to be flexible

either with your design, your color schemes,
or fabric choices., etc.
You become aware that
 your quilt has other ideas!

I was reminded of this recently
with this month's April mini.

29" x 29"

The pattern was from Jo Morton's book
Jo's Little Favorites III.

I first selected a border fabric
and used it for generating my color palette.

But then, when it came to adding
that border, well....

It was way too busy,
way too complicated,
and way too much.

It didn't fit the style
 of the center anymore.

This presented a change of plans
and a lot of digging for new possibilities.
I know, we've all been here before.

Nothing seemed to work and
I kept wanting to make the original idea fit.
Finally, hidden deep in "THE PILE",
I found the one that worked for me.

The edges seemed to soften
like spring softens the edges of winter.

The quilting added the right amount of texture.

Blossom by blossom

spring has finally comes.

Wait a minute!
Hold that thought about spring coming.
We're expecting 3- 5 inches
 of snow today.
Goodbye blossoms!

Take a moment and check out
the other monthly mini's
posted on Wendy's blog,
The Constant Quilter.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Busy Bees

There's been a lot of
buzzing around here this week.

A couple months ago
we lost all our bees in our hive.
It wasn't to the cold,
or the lack of winter food.

The only possibility was that
in their efficiency, the hive
plugged up vent holes and
it probably caused  moisture to build up
which caused their demise.   

We were heartbroken.
So we harvested the honey
that was left,
so all their hard work 
wasn't wasted.
Running Man uses a hot uncapping knife
to release the golden honey.

Once the frames are prepped

they're place in our high tech honey extractor (not very)
3 at a time.
Running Man gets quite the work out.

The honey is spun out,
and comes out the bottom spout
where it's filtered
and then we place it in sterile jars.

Then we heat it to keep the honey from crystallizing.

Well, that was all well and good, but
now we needed new bees.

So guess what's in this box.

Our new hive had arrived.
I wish you could have placed you ear 
next to the box.
It was a sound like a very deep droning sound.

The bees came from Arkansas 
and Running Man picked them up in Denver.

Ready for transferring the new arrivals
from the box to the hive.

They arrive on frames
and they can be
easily and gently placed in to their new home.

Anybody who fell off the frames
were simply poured into the hive.

 Running Man added 
an extra box to give everyone
a little extra room to 
stretch their legs.

So far they seemed to have settled in 
to their new home.
The queen must be happy.
The workers have been busy
flying out and finding pollen.
No time for relaxing and settling in.

We all need to do our bit to 
support these amazing insects.

 The average worker bee produces 
only about 1/12th teaspoon of honey 
in her lifetime.
 Doesn't this fact make you love every drop of honey?
Until Next Time-

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Hokey Pokey Approach To Quilt Making

I'm assuming most of us have
danced to the song "The Hokey Pokey."

You know.
"You put your right foot in, 
You take your right foot out"...

I usually hear that little ditty a couple times a week,
when my little grandson is here having lunch.

Music to eat by!

Anyway, it got me thinking about
how similar my approach to my newest
project has been to the song...
one step at a time.

1.  You put your right foot in....

When I was in Houston for Quilt Festival 
this past fall,
I saw Aline Joulin's 
remarkable quilt .

which was inspired by an American quilt 
found at the Grand Rapids Public Museum
and dated 1846.

I fell in love.

2. You put your left foot in
and you shake it all about...

I discovered that Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts
had a pattern of this awesome quilt.

And then discovered that Quiltmania 
was going to publish the pattern in
issue #128. 

Her method is a strip piecing method
for the machine using 1" strips.

3. You put your left arm in
you take your left arm out...

Well, I know my sewing capabilities.
And I knew that would be a challenge
making those 1/2" diamonds to come out right.

But I discovered
that Jeanne at in the Netherlands
had a stamp set just for this quilt.

It would be a great solution,
hand piecing,
stamping rather than tracing the shapes,
and the diamonds finished at 3/4".

I ordered the set.
There is one more diamond shape in the set.
I was using it today.

My left arm was back in!

4. You put your right arm in...

More thinking and deciding.
What style would I make,
what colors,
what fabrics....

And you shake it all about...

5. You put your backside in,
You take your backside out...

I had decided on trying to use
many of Di Ford's fabrics from Andover
leaning towards, teals, pinks, reds, golds, 
browns, beiges, and creams.

I pulled fabrics for the first star.
The first block of a sampler
 is always the hardest for me.

Too many options.

I laid out my choices,

But I needed to see them in the right proportions

Using the rubber stamps, which are terrific,

I cut out enough small diamonds
to make one diamond point
and used a hinged mirror to
see how these fabrics looked together. 

After a few changes,
I decided this would work.

6. You put your whole self in
You take your whole self out

You put your whole self in
and you shake it all about...

I have officially jumped in.
This is not a fast project.,
but one to savor.

Here's my progress over the week.
I'm super excited.
I'll let you know when  
the the first whole star is complete.

Until then...
Let's do the hokey pokey 
That's what it's all about!

Until Next Time-