Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lynette Anderson BOM 2015 continued...


This tote bag is made from a drawing/painting that my daughter Zoe created. She visited us last week and sent this along for me. I love it! The colors are very true to her original piece. The original is only about 6 inches square. You can look at the bag and her other offerings at society6.com/zoemarissa


This Precision Trimmer is from Marsha McCloskey and can be purchased at her website http://www.marshamccloskey.com/prectrim6.html
I was using it today making the turquoise and dark gray block below on the right. The turquoise triangles are actually made by sewing two squares together. This is a nine patch design with a large turquoise triangle and the white and gray quarter square triangles sewn together. The squares are made a bit large and trimmed to size. Using the precision trimmer makes trimming so easy because you can place the seams on the diagonal lines with the ruler circle in the center of that intersection. Perfectly trimmed!


Here are all the bits and pieces I've made so far. The Naughty Fox and top two pieced blocks are from Month 5. Next comes Rabbit Love and two Night Vision blocks which is the turquoise and dark gray block. Kind of like the block called Card Trick? 

As a reminder, I am using Misty Fuse on the applique pieces and machine stitching the edges with blanket stitch and zig zag. So far, so good! I love the Naughty Fox block. Henny Penny looks rather unruffled by her ride, doesn't she? Little does she know...maybe the rabbits will save her. I'd better get moving on Month 6. Month 7/July is Goody Two Shoes and features a very self-satisfied cat. 

I still don't understand why we did the upper and lower banners first. There better be enough wiggle room for me to attach these blocks and then the borders. Fudge factor. 



The two blocks below are called Golden Gate.





Maine Quilts this week! I'm going to bring Zoe's tote bag so if you see it say hello! Let's see: Champagne Preview, Friday night murder mystery dinner, Saturday morning class on color with Bill Kerr. I'll need Sunday to recover. 

Happy Quilting! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Pursuits



My life has changed over the last few months and for the better, I'm happy to say! I have a new job that is much less stressful than my previous job and for that I am very grateful. My hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Of course, that means I get up very early in the morning but I also have plenty of time in the afternoon to enjoy being outdoors and in my garden before suppertime. I have a cubicle and these silk flowers help keep my smiling during my workday.


My friends at my last job gave me a gift certificate for a local nursery and I was able to buy lots of flowers for hanging baskets. 

I cleaned my sewing room and put many fabrics on my bookcase. I cleared out a lot of old fabrics ....

 and took them to our annual auction at my Back Roads quilt group.


 My friend Donna brought her issue of Quiltmania to our embroidery session last month. Here is my newest obsession. Since I've been working on Lynnette Anderson's BOM featured on The Quilt Show, I've discovered that I enjoy making hexagons. This gorgeous and intriguing quilt begins with a hexagon center and then is surrounded with so many fascinating blocks. Resistance may be futile. This version of an antique British quilt uses repros and Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I've got plenty of repros and will need to buy some KF fat quarters but what is Maine Quilts for if not to support the vendors?


My niece Mandy and I went to a yard sale last month. The woman having the sale is a fabric artist and she had plenty of supplies. On the left is a 2 yard piece of navy and a 7 yard piece of blue silk. Each piece was $3. Yes, who could resist? Light table $1? Say no more, already used many times. And then some odds and ends for $2. 


I'm on vacation! Zoe is here visiting for the week from North Carolina. She was hoping to escape the heat and it was 94 and humid her first day here. Fortunately that didn't last so we had a comfortable day creating with Mandy Russell, Zoe's cousin. 


We stamped. 


We rolled out ink.


Hand dyed linen.


Zoe's little field of dreams.


You can see our thermofax screens and silk screen on the table. Oh, hanging from the doorknob is a bag with Zoe's mandala painting on it. You can buy one here!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

From Sebago Lake to Tulip Fields


Earlier this month I began making hexagons, something I swore I would never do. Never say never. The Lynette Anderson BOM that I am working on called for hexagon flowers last month. Little ones! Despite myself, I enjoyed the handwork, so I thought I would try a larger size. These red hexagons are ready for sewing together. They measure 2 inches on a side. I've been busy in Pinterest looking at hexies. I'll do more of these, but in the meanwhile, I've been distracted with other projects. Sound familiar?


My Tacoma Lakes quilt group worked on this Sebago Totebag recently. It is made from pre quilted fabric. I still need to attach the handles. This is a nice roomy bag, perfect for the summer. 


I joined my Back Roads friends last Saturday for a charity sew-in. We worked on precut squares of fabric to make some small quilts to give out when there is a need in our community. These are a few of the blocks that Judy and Sylvia made. This is the Jacob's Ladder block, an old favorite. 


Krista and Donna worked with purples and laid out this design. There was another sewing day on Sunday that I did not attend. I sewed from 9-3 on Saturday and had a really nice time with everyone. So much gets accomplished when we all join in together and we have such a good time with a lot of laughter and sharing. 


Bonnie Hunter came to Maine again recently. Several of my friends went to hear her lecture and trunk show. I found a quilt I wanted to make in one of her books. The quilt is called Tulip Fields. The block is the Cross and Crown block and it finishes at 7 inches. 7 inches! That means the little blocks in the corners finish at 3.5 inches. I made over 100 of these string pieced blocks. Now I am adding the triangles and squares.


I'm using up many of my scraps for this one! I didn't realize how many bright and novelty fabrics I own. I didn't pay much attention to what I put next to each other. When the total quilt is done it won't matter; it will be a lovely, lively swirl of color. 


Okay, this is a boo boo. I found directions for the cross and crown block online and this is what it said to do. Wrong! This is why you make a block up before you string piece 100+ seams! 

I've been having a wonderful time sewing this quilt. I love working from my stash and seeing many of my old scraps. I used pages from an old telephone book for my foundation and the paper is easily removed. I've been listening to Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel while I work on this. Are you watching the show on Masterpiece? I listened to the audiobook some time back and now that it has been made in to a Masterpiece program I decided to listen again. Very enjoyable. Imagine living in Britain and learning history that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years? Growing up it seemed every school year started with 1776 and we might get up to the Civil War. 

I'm savoring my sewing time because I start a new job on Monday. I won't be able to attend Tacoma meetings anymore and will miss my many friends and all our activities. What a great quilt group with lots of fun things to do and see. However, many of those same friends go to Back Roads, so I will see them there as we meet in the evenings, not during the day. 

I'll be working full time Monday-Friday. This is a Good Thing and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life. 

Happy Quilting!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Bonnie Hunter


This weekend I talked with some of my friends who went to see Bonnie Hunter recently in southern Maine. Bonnie came to our PTQG members meeting in May 2013. Everyone was so enthused by Bonnie's upbeat, practical, and friendly personality. I remember coming away from her lecture feeling really ready to tackle some scrap quilt blocks.

I'm posting this youtube video of one of Bonnie's Quilt-Cams. She posts these very frequently. You can watch her as she sews and chats about her life and what she is working on. Lots of tips and beautiful quilts. She often talks about her collection of old sewing machines. This lady has a lot of energy!

Sew along with Bonnie and let her be your quilting pal at home. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Camp Kieve and more


Earlier this month my quilt group, Back Roads, went to Camp Kieve again for a retreat. This is what I worked on. This is a kit I bought at Whippersnappers. I had been looking at this quilt on the wall of the shop since the summer and I decided it would be a great project for the retreat. I cut the fabric before leaving and it was very simple to sew. Lots of half square triangles and flying geese units made with the square on a rectangle, trim and flip method. I got the rows all sewn together on the second day. 

My other quilt group, Tacoma Lakes, is having a sew-in/pot luck on Wednesday. I am going to take this quilt and sew the two borders. I'll have to find a second project to work on as those borders will take no time at all. Love the colors and large flowers in this quilt. It is going to hang on the wall in my living room. 


While at the retreat, a group of us made a trip to Mainely Sewing quilt shop in Nobleboro. All the rulers were on sale so I bought two Deb Tucker rulers. I bought a square squared ruler and a V block ruler.  When I got home I played around with them and they are really remarkable. So easy to use and very accurate results. The blocks are made a bit larger and trimmed with the ruler.

 Wow, so accurate! The directions are easy to follow and she has videos for extra help. Watching the videos first will let you understand the directions quite readily.




Here's my practise block with the patches using both rulers.


Then I went to town with other fabrics. I made 5 inch squares for this 15 inch block. I don't really want to make this into anything just yet. Maybe I will make more blocks from my stash and have a scrappy quilt someday. I do like practising techniques. 



We are making fidget quilts for Alzheimer's patients in the Tacoma group. We had a workshop and people brought in lots of odds and ends to share. The fidget quilts are meant to sit in someone's lap and have lots of different textures to feel and things to play with. 

I made a little book of fleece. There is an eyelash fabric, lace, and ball fringe. I've also sewn in a shiny brocade, navy blue fringe, some tassle fringe, and a piece of fur that is sewn on the two ends and is open in between so you can slide your hand in to cuddle the fur. 



This little pocket is something that has been kicking around for years. I think it may have been a tooth fairy pocket at one time. I attached a little stuffed kitty that I made years ago, too. It can be tucked into the pocket. 



I did some all over quilting and bound the edges by folding the backing over to the front. We were told to not make these quilts pretty as they are going to a nursing home. Sadly, members who have made quilts for loved ones in nursing homes have found that their pretty quilts get stolen and are never seen again. My quilt is certainly not pretty!


I bought this bird panel at Maine Quilts one or two years ago. I never got around to making it into a wall hanging until this weekend. I cued up Season 2 of the Great British Bake Off on my YouTube playlist and had a blast. I would like to enter this in the Back Roads quilt show in October, so I will get this one completed!


Happy Quilting!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Who's on your committee? Jane Dunnewold shares her thoughts



I love her last line: It is a privilege to be an artist on the planet.

You can see Jane's website here http://www.janedunnewold.com/

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cabin Fever Anyone?


We sure have had a lot of snow this winter. Recently DH brought these snowshoes down from the attic for me to use. My old snowshoes (the kind with the vinyl) had fallen apart and these were left here by my brother-in-law, so I decided to give them a try. So much fun and so good for getting outdoors after being cooped up in the house for too long. We have so many beautiful sunny days here in Maine. Despite the cold, the sky is bright blue and the snow is sparkling white. Dazzling! Don't forget your sunglasses.


Breaking the trail was a good workout. I make a big loop in the backyard. This weekend DH and I donned skis/snowshoes and went out for the morning through the woods. Whew, it was a great workout. 


Meanwhile, back in the sewing laboratory...here's my busy design wall. I finished month 1 and 2 of the Lynette Anderson BOM on The Quilt Show. Still a bit of embroidery to do on the center panel. I keep forgetting to do it. I used Misty Fuse, which is a very lightweight adhesive for my applique leaves and flowers. I think this piece could be a wall hanging at this stage, don't you? I will continue on with the BOM, however. There will be 12 inch pieced and appliqued blocks around this part, but month 3 has us making the strip above those blocks first. This strip features a crazy pieced heart in the center with flowers made of tiny hexagons on the sides of the heart. I don't really like it that we are making this piece before we do the blocks. I'm not sure mine will fit but the strip is cut extra long to allow for small differences. Month 4 will be a similar banner strip only on the bottom of the quilt. Fun so far and this month won't be so time consuming...at least I don't think so!

To the right of the BOM is the beginnings of my Tacoma challenge banner. We are making a vertical banner 6 inches wide by 60 inches long. Each person has a particular season and colors. I got Summer and the colors are red, orange, and purple. It is coming along and I really like it. 


Yesterday I visited friends in Rockland. We went out for lunch and afterwards we visited a fabric shop on Main Street called Clementine. Not strictly speaking a quilt shop, more of a fabric shop with some uncommon fabrics and patterns. Yes, there are some quilt fabrics but there is more than that. As their website says: Supplies to create your handmade wardrobe, do some home decorating, make a unique event, or craft the perfect gift. 

They have a line of lovely Maine yarn and a selection of nice ribbons and trims. I bought this cotton lace that I will probably dye, organza ribbon (it was difficult to choose which color), and this cream ribbon with a little textured dot. 

Clementine's carries laminated fabric, Amy Butler's 56 inch wide fabrics, lawn, voile, and the fabric that Judith Baker Montano (crazy quilting queen) created called Radiance. That was a big surprise to me as I have only ever seen it in one other store. It is a cotton and silk blend and comes in many beautiful colors. Its hand is just lovely and the sheen is luscious. At $17.95 per yard it is not cheap but compared to silk it is a good price. 



Clementine's has a bin by the counter that is filled with free fabric. Yes, free! Bits and pieces of upholstery and drapery fabric. I brought home this piece of upholstery fabric. So good to get something for free, isn't it? 

I held back on buying more because I am going on the Back Roads quilt retreat to Camp Kieve this weekend. Hurrah! We will be going to Mainely Sewing in Nobleboro, I'm sure, so I will save my fabric purchases for then. 

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Do you have the same seam ripper you had in junior high?




Do you know how to use a seam ripper? I wasn't even going to watch this because, come on, who can't use a seam ripper, you know? Well, live and learn! I'm going to check out the notions department today...see you there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Folk Art Masterpiece

Cowan's Auctions: The Midwest's Most Trusted Auction House / Antiques / Fine Art / Art Appraisals



Above is the link to look at Carrie N. Phelan's masterpiece quilt that is a chronicle of our nation's history. Lots of close ups to zoom in and see this treasure. This quilt belongs in a museum for all to see. Wish I had $25,000 to bid!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cabin Fever



I just had to watch this video. I couldn't imagine what she was doing until the end. You won't believe it either. This would be fun for a flannel quilt for a child. Really a beginner project or just something easy to make. Not an heirloom but sort of fun just the same.

Did you ever see the video How to sharpen a pencil? There is a whole book written on the subject. It is hilarious. Well, in fact, there are some tips on sharpening pencils. Here's one for you. Hold the pencil in your non-dominant hand-left hand if you are right handed and vice versa for left handed. Hold the sharpener in your dominant hand, right hand if you are right handed and vice versa for left handed. This is the opposite of the way I would normally sharpen a pencil, but this way will give you a sharper pencil. This is a really good practice for colored pencils, which I always find hard to sharpen.

I'm on month 2 of the Lynette Anderson BOM. This one is a five inch border with a vine and leaves and a flower. I tried a different method for bias stems and I'm not really loving it but it is done now and I am NOT taking it out. I think with the addition of leaves and flowers it will be just fine.

I bought a tripod for my digital camera last week. Yesterday I set it up to take a photo of my BOM so far. The legs of the tripod are very easy to adjust. There are two bubble levels to make sure everything is all set. Okay, good so far. I set it up on my quilting table. Camera on. Okay. Press the button. Oh no, replace batteries flashed on screen. It is Sunday afternoon and we are having (another) snow storm). I'll just have to use my phone camera a little while longer.

Keep stitchin' my quilting friends. Don't let winter get you down! Create Create Create! That's the way to conquer cabin fever when you can't get outside.

Friday, January 30, 2015

January has been a busy month


Month 1 of the Lynette Anderson BOM is done! Well, almost, there is some more embroidery to finish this piece. What a lot of work for one month; it kept me busy that's for sure. Lots of fits and starts and seam ripping and plotting and planning! 

Lynette's quilt calls for nine patches made of nine different fabrics. These blocks finish at 3 inches so I was sewing 1 1/2 inch squares together and I was not happy with the results. The Quilt Show forum I joined suggested using Billie Lauder's method for making nine patches. I got much better results with this method and think I have sufficient variety in my blocks to make an interesting border. 


Have you tried Billie Lauder's way of making nine patches before? The video is from 2011, so this has been around awhile. Sometimes a reminder is good, don't you think?



Had some wooly thread from an embroidery shop and couched it around the outline of sheep. Aren't they cute? I like their little legs, too. 

Can't wait for the February instructions to arrive; I'm ready!


I've been making bags like crazy, too. This one features a cowgirl that I printed on fabric then embellished with beads and embroidery. Vintage lace, buttons, and patchwork for extra goodness.


Another bag, this one with hand embroidery of my own design. 



One wintry afternoon I sat in front of the kitchen fire and embroidered and dreamed of summer. I love pink, coral, and green together.


A few more totebags. No embellishments, the fabrics are enough. These bags are great for toting projects around. They easily hold sock knitting, embroidery, or applique projects.


My great-nephew Max came to visit over Christmas vacation and we had a wonderful day together. This is a pizza we made. Max enjoys baking so we made the dough ourselves. Let me know if you would like the recipe. This is the best dough and sauce I've ever made. Oh, it makes me drool just to think of it!

Max also made white bread that day. Luckily, the recipe made two loaves so he got to take one home to his family.

While waiting for the dough to rise we played board games. What a fun day, thanks Max!