Monday, September 13, 2021

What Kind of Days Are You having?

 The lazy hazy crazy days of summer continue 
here in Colorado. 
I've been the lazy one and
the usually bright blue skies 
have been hazy with smoke.
I haven't seen the foothills from my backyard
for weeks.
The crazy days of 2021 seem to keep
us guessing about what will happen next.

But with all of that in mind,
I have actually been filling my days 
with stitching, mostly,

The first piece that I've finished 
earlier this summer was:

"Winter Rose Manor"
Designed by Brenda Gervais
With Thy Needle and Thread.

I learned with this piece that not all overdyed cotton
threads look like the photo.
There must be some variables in the 
dying process.
It's okay because we know that
 there aren't stitching police,
just like there aren't quilting police.
 Who says you can't change threads and 
choose a color that you find more appealing or
makes more contrast.

I had to do that so the cardinals showed up better.


This small piece is 
"Hello Summer" 

Designed by Paulette Stewart
Plum Street Samplers

I've been enjoying stitching some
of these smaller pieces just to get something finished 
Although, I've found nothing is really
too quick.

Adding some trim around the edges gives 
this a nice finished look.
What I don't like to do is to stitch the
small opening closed after it's stuffed.

Here's what I've been doing.
Stitching completely around all 4 sides
and then making a small slit in the back in 
order to turn the piece inside out.
We've all done that, but what I have been doing
is fusing a piece of fabric and  matching up the 
design elements of the fabric. 

I challenge myself to see how close
I can make it.
Not too bad.

The 3rd piece just finished is:

Come Into My Garden
Designed by Blackbird Designs

I learned that if the border actually meets 
it can be a miracle.  
The question then becomes 
do you fudge or frog it (rip it, rip it)
In my case, I like fudge more than frogs!
Hopefully, no one will see what I had to do.
And if they do, well, that's the way it goes.  
I'm sure my recipient will love it anyway.

Well, my days are still some what lazy,
the sky is still hazy,
and from not going too crazy
I keep putting in more stitches, one at a time.
Until Next Time-

Monday, August 30, 2021

August Mini

 My August mini is called

No Rhyme nor Reason
33" x 33"

I noticed there has been several bloggers, like Barbara
have been doing some tidying up of little bits and pieces
that had been accumulating.
I try and do the same thing as I end up with
small pieces leftover from a current project,
precutting different sizes of squares and strips.

Lately, I had even gone so far to sew some of the squares
into hst's with no plan in mind.
I thought, I probably should do something with them.

With a pile of quilt books
and a pile of hst's 
I found a pattern in 
Beyond the Battlefield 
by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene

There was no event or plan or reason for choosing
this particular pattern, 
other than
I could use those half square triangles, 
it had some applique pieces,
and lots of red.

Add in some fun pinwheel blocks
and a flange binding and you've got a 
great combo.

Sometimes it important to
be a free spirit
and sew something 
for no rhyme or reason.

But speaking of a perfect combo....

"Garden fresh"

The garden is finally giving us some
perfect tomatoes.

Now go check out Wendy's blog,
for more free spirited quilters.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, August 5, 2021

A Perfect Combination of Events

It's always interesting to look back at what might 
have influenced you in a certain direction
 when you're ready to start something new.
Here are 4 perfect events that influenced me.

1.  As a quilter and a X-stitcher, we have all been
saddened by the passing of Barb Adams, who was
part of Blackbird Designs along with Alma Allen. 
This lead me to revisit all of their wonderful books and patterns
I've collected over the years.  
So many wonderful ideas.

2.  I recently sorted through my wool fabrics and
decided to share pieces with friends.
I had a large piece of off white wool.  When I 
showed my friends they all said, "Kyle, put that back
in your stash.  You might need that!"

3.  Also in the past 2 months I have relocated
most of my fabric stash from one place to another.
The good part is that you familiarize yourself again
with what you have and the bad part is
you realize just what you have!
My flannel collection had not been reduced in quite awhile
and I thought maybe I should work on that.

4.  Ideas come and go like the ebbing of the tides, but one
that I always seem to come back is a log cabin design.
I had been thinking about making blocks with a larger
center square and using the center as a platform for an applique.

So where did all of that lead me?

The idea was sparked from a pattern found in a series of booklets
called Christmas Memories.

I pulled red and green flannels

and cut strips.  Then I subcut the strips 
into the correct lengths for the log cabin pieces.
I find if I take the time to do that,
my blocks stay square and all the same size,
especially if you use your walking foot on your machine
when you're working with flannels.

But before I sewed the blocks together, I 
fused off white wool snowflakes to the large center squares and
then whipped the edges with a DMC wool floss.

Once the blocks were sewn they lacked the luster
of new fallen snow.
It was then I decided to stitch crystal beads 
to the points of the 20 snowflakes.

I attached the 3 beads to each point as a separate unit.
Just in case a bead becomes loose, all of them won't fall off.

For quite awhile, I was in a spot waiting for inspiration
and not having anything in mind of what to work on next.
I do like where all of the different influences ended up leading me.

"Perfectly Imperfect"
57" x  69"

 I'm glad I was open to combining events and letting
my creative muse inspire my imagination.
I hope you are too.

Until Next Time-

Monday, July 12, 2021

What to Pick?

Over the last few months I have finished
lots of projects 
and  now I find myself undecided.

Undecided about what I  should I choose to work on next.
Too many ideas?
No good direction?
 Nothing exciting? 

I always have a monthly mini to make.
My Dutch fabric collection has been ignored. 
Lots of flannel stash that could be sewn.
There's always sewing room clean-up and organizing. (Not)

So, not having any direction at the moment,
I've been looking through some of my books, patterns,
exploring Pinterest and Instagram,
listening to music,
(check out 2Cellos)
waiting for inspiration.

What do you do when you're trying to decide 
what to work on?

Instead, I have pushed the pause button temporarily.
Not for long.
Summer has a way of filling up my time.

Camping in the Colorado Mountains.

Maybe to inspire you.  I've had this quilt  on my bed recently.

It's the quilt I made in1998 to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary.

A Single Wedding Ring
Hand pieced and Hand quilted.

The other day the light was coming in through the windows
highlighting the quilting.

I looked at it and surprised myself by thinking:
 I made this!?!
Does that ever happen to you?

Single stitches working together to create a pattern.

Don't you love what we all create?

Until Next Time-

Monday, June 28, 2021

A Mini Quilt for June

June's monthly mini
went together so easily.
Love it when concept and execution
merge effortlessly. 

Polka Dots and Squares
32" x 32"

Occasionally, I notice that my 
little basket containing my 1.5" squares 
is overflowing.  Meaning, it's time to
think of something to do with them.

It is actually fun to dig through the 
colors, sorting them, and arranging
it all into a pleasing pattern.
Nothing much easier 
than a checkerboard arrangement.

A while ago some of Wendy Reed's amazing
quilts were on display at 
the New England Quilt Museum
and I was inspired by one of her creative borders.

With all of the straight lines
of the squares in the checkerboards,
the border needed to have an opposite design element.
How about curves and circles?

I didn't mind appliqueing the polka dots,
but I was lazy and 
didn't want to applique a vine.
I love ric rac trim.
Problem solved.

But before I did the border appliques,
I went ahead and machine quilted the 
entire piece.  The reason was
so I wouldn't have to work around the
dots and ric rac.

After it was quilted, then I added 
the polka dots and vine.
Very easy!

I really like how playful June's Mini turned out.

If you need some monthly inspiration,
don't forget to check out Wendy's blog,
other quilters who have been busy this month.

June is always a busy month.
I got to celebrate another trip around the sun

I had my whole family here to help me celebrate.
There was no better birthday gift than that.

Until Next Time-

Sunday, June 13, 2021

A Little Road Trip for a Photo Shoot

 Running Man and I hit the road
last week to visit our favorite get away place.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

There's no perfect way to describe Santa Fe.

History, culture, art, 

all packed with flavor

A walk up Canyon Road combines
art, adobe architecture and creativity. 

Take a scenic drive on the Turquoise Trail linking
Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  Stop and do a little shopping
at the Henderson Trading Post 

 Happy 48th Wedding Anniversary

I brought along my Star Upon Star quilt
hoping to find a few fun places to do a photo shoot.

I received a lot of compliments
from people walking by as I attempted
to take a few pic. 
That made me smile.
Everyone is an artist in Santa Fe!

I hope as the summer months
roll along, you get to
 reconnect with the joy and healing vibes 
of exploring new and favorite places.

Safe travels.
Until Next Time-

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Remembering a Friendship

 Another month,
another mini!!!

This little quilt actually began
back in the 1900's.

32" x 32"

My dear friend, Norma, gifted me 4 antique star blocks
many years ago.
This April Norma passed away.  
She was 85 years young.

What better thing to do than to take
those blocks and put them together into a 
special quilt to remember our 
special friendship,
connecting us both with the original quilter
from long ago.

Just one problem.
Do you see what I mean?
Not with our friendship, of course!
Those 8 points can be a 
challenge no matter what century
they are sewn.

I deconstructed the blocks,
redrafted and marked the pieces,

and being careful with the seam allowances,
sewed the blocks back together.


Norma had also given me a piece of fabric
that was so similar to the indigo and flower print 
that I had to use it for the setting.

It was uncanny how similar the fabrics were.

Norma and I had been friends for 30+ years
celebrating quilting and life.

She was a sharing and caring person
and will be missed each time 
the "Quilty Buddies" get together.

I hand quilted hearts in the open areas and 
in the borders and, of course, 
needed to add a red backing. 

Many times we take our friendships
for granted and assume we will be together
forever.  This past year has been a reality
check. Always cherish your friends
and family and the time we're together.

Looking for more mini inspiration?
Check out Wendy's blog where she
lists the bloggers who share their minis each month.

Until Next Time-


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Spring Time can be Allusive

 The calendar says that it's May
and springtime, 
but the weather seems
to still have Winter on it's agenda.

Luckily, the trees survived another snowstorm.

To feel the presence of spring,
I have found it in some stitching.

How about some tulips
not covered in snow.

"Tulip Festival"
A pattern designed by Brenda Gervais

Or a bunny not shivering from the cold, but 
instead leaping happily over the tulips,
not snow piles.

"Spring Delivery"
designed by Brenda Gervais

Springtime should not covered  with snowflakes

"Basketful of Spring Time"
Design by Brenda Gervais

How about a springtime scrap quilt.

"Pastel Checkerboard"
40" x 50"

The squares had been lingering on my cutting table. 
A quick sew.

Leftovers from the previous 
charity quilts I had finished.

Of course, my "go to" flange binding
for a quick, easy machine finish.

In an ideal and perfect sewing world,
the stitching would line up with the
crease between the backing and the binding.

This is perfect in my world.

I put a flannel on the back.
A necessity for springtime in the Rockies.

Well, the good news is 
spring weather will be back by tomorrow with
warm summer temperatures following
closely behind. 

Until Next Time-