Monday, February 20, 2017

Solstice Challenge Update

Just wanted to make a quick post to show the latest in my blocks for the 182 Solstice Challenge.  Here is the last block that Pat Sloan gave us. It's HUGE! About 36" square, but pretty!



The pattern called for the same fabrics in the center star as the outer points, but I switched it up a bit with the yellow center star. Not sure I like that. I'm actually thinking of removing the four floral squares in the center and replacing it with four white squares. Than I can do some fancy quilting in it. What do you think? Would you leave it, or change it to white so it shows up better?

Then, just for jiggles, I threw up all the blocks I've made so far. One is a duplicate, but I put it there anyway.


Seeing all the blocks up on the board will help make my future fabric choices easier!

Looking forward to the next blocks, but not before we get to spend a little R 'n R in sunny, warm Arizona! I am SO looking forward to that.  Especially after we spent the past two days shoveling more than six feet (yes, that's 6 Feet of solid packed) snow off the decks and around the base of our cabin in the Sawtooth Mountains. SO looking forward to warm!!!



Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linky Tuesday

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pillow Talk

I had a request for a custom pillow recently. There was special meaning to a particular striped, knit t-shirt, and so he wanted to have me make it up into a pillow to give to his sweetheart. In fact, this was the shirt he was wearing when he proposed. What an endearing act of love to have it sewn into a remembrance pillow!

I couldn't say no, but I was having the hardest time trying to decide how to turn this knit fabric into a structured pillow top.  He wanted it for Valentine's Day, so I dug in to get the job done.

My first roadblock came when I cut out one side of the shirt, and the knit was totally wonky. The strips skewed badly, and no matter of stretching was going to bring it back into alignment. So I ditched that, and tried cutting out the backside. Ah, much better!  But not a lot of fabric to work with.

So, I decided to make an oblong pillow, and add some scrappy patchwork strips. You can't tell real well from the photo, but the patchwork strips are staggered, to give it a little interest. It worked!



Except that I was ever so slightly shy on having enough knit fabric for the last panel (far right).  So, by this point in time, I just clipped off a section from left-over knit fabric, aligned it to match the striping, and stitched it right in.  Whew! You have to look closely to even see it has been patched. Of course, I pointed out this little flaw to the new owner, because that is just my nature. They loved it anyway!



It did my heart good to make this project for these newlyweds. It put a little spark in their Valentine's celebration.

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up to:


Oh Scrap!
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Friday, February 3, 2017

Project Quilting Tuned Into Texture Challenge

Spontaneity is my middle name. And so when I read Kim Lapacek's blog about the challenge for Project Quilting - Tuned Into Texture - I decided right then and there I'd do it!

But where would I find my inspiration 'from the wild'? It's deep winter here, with literally four feet or more of snow on the ground. Not much to see out there.....or is there?

I started by looking out the window of my home in the Wood River Valley in the south-central mountains of Idaho. Little bit of melting going on and a nice ice dam forming. Oh, and then there was a cool rug in our kitchen. Or the blinds create an eerie glow with the light shining in.



 I decided I'd better get my snow boots on and venture outdoors. Heck, it was 5 degrees. No biggie.

I found some neat designs on the snowbank, as the snow had been melting ever so slightly, and it was a little wind blown..
 Then I noticed the tire treads in the driveway from the snowplow and the snow blower. Kinda cool.

And then I really liked the late afternoon shadow that the trees cast across the snow bank.

But it wasn't until the next morning, as I was showering, that I really 'looked' at the window tiles in the shower. They were blue, just like all the winter shots from outdoors. And the light played across the curved bricks in the most delightful way!


That's what I decided to use for inspiration in my new quilt. But how? Think, think, think.  I came up with the idea that simple is better.  I constructed this fun lap quilt - a really easy pattern, but the key to it was the background fabric.  It's an Art Gallery print, with small dots interlaced throughout and then some modernistic stick that remind me of pine trees on one of the outer edges.


The pattern is simplistic, with the blocks representing the shower tiles.  And for the texture of the piece, I used a pantograph that is very fluid and makes the eye move from one section of the quilt to another. 


This was the first time I'd used this panto, and I must say, I'm in love with it! It's a favorite from now on!




I put a soft gray minky backing on, and the texture on that is heavenly!  Don't you just want to run your hands across it?


So. There you have it! My first completion for Project Quilting. It was a good challenge to go from conception to completion in one week. Very fun!  This quilt is a good lap size at 50 x 59 inches.

Quilting with a smile,
Barb
Linking up with:
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Project Quilting
Show Off Saturday
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Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? 
Finished Or Not Friday
Midweek Makers 
Needle and Thread Thursday

Sunday, January 29, 2017

January Happy Stitching

This January has been a strange month for me. We've had greater than anticipated levels of snow. Our wildlife - the deer, elk, moose, antelope - literally have no source of feed because everything is covered with more than four feet of snow. They come to the doorstep, eating rose bushes and thorny bushes because that's the only thing available. It's heartbreaking!

 

I've had three friends who have experienced the passing of their fathers. I have dealt with my own family trials. And I fret about my husband who has to travel on slick, snowy, wintry roads.

And then there's the change in administration in D.C., but I won't even go there.

So what am I doing to distract my mind? Going to my happy place, of course. My sewing studio!!!

I have completed three quilt tops, and quilted another. It just needs the binding to get a complete finish on it.  I've taken an online class, have refrained from buying (too much) new fabric, and I have gone through my stash to take an inventory of Quilts-I-Want-To-Make-Someday-And-Actually-Have-Fabric-To-Make-Them.


I did get this top pieced together. The fabric for the backing is lying below. It's on my To Do List for this week to get it quilted and bound. I've had this pattern and fabric for about three years, so it seemed to be a good time to get 'er made!  Oh - and you can see on my design wall, I actually have another scrappy quilt assembled and ready to sew on some sashing strips.

I've also been working on Pat Sloan's 182 Day Solstice QAL.  Just finished Block 6. Here's how they are coming together:


So far, so good! It is always interesting to fully trust a Mystery QAL. It goes against my nature - I want to see what the finished product is, and I want to see it now. Having to wait is a killer.


Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up to:
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Linky Tuesday 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Little Surprises


Here's a little table runner that I finished up prior to my knee replacement surgery way back in March. I didn't get around to posting it, so here it is today!



As I was making this runner, I didn't really like the fabrics in the batik charm pack. But now that it's together and quilted, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Each time I walk by, I smile at the quilting, and the border, and the little pops of color that spring out from the array of dark fabrics. It a nice little gem of a surprise!

And hence, a lesson learned for me:  get out of your comfort zone with colors and palettes and try something new. I might just like it!

Barb
Quilting with a smile!

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday
Midweek Makers 
Needle and Thread Thursday 
Pre-Cut Linky Party 
Show Off Saturday

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