Sunday, August 19, 2018

A little surprise and some challenges

I made a few more blocks for the Moda Blockheads II sewalong but wasn't particularly happy with the fabrics I chose so I redid at least one block.  The bottom one was the first; the top one was the improved version.  Chevron vs flying geese??

And I wasn't happy with the original fabrics in this large block so I took out the large triangles and replaced them first with medium and then dark blue.  This is the last one.  I'm still not loving it but I'm going to leave it as it is.  There are too many pieces to take it apart!

I reused the medium blue and lights which were the original large triangles and made a pinwheel.  I'll use it in the quilt somewhere!  I think you'll agree is kind of "blah"!!

I'm also doing the Splendid Sampler when I like the blocks (not too complicated...VBG) and they're not appliqued!  I love the little blue kitty fabric!  Since they are 6", they'll fit in with the Moda quilt when I'm all ready to put it together.

The surprise part of this post is a little teaser-- I'm doing a swap with Janet O. again this year and our theme is baskets.  I love baskets... second only to stars.  Maybe we'll do stars next time!  So I've got the majority of my piece together but had some leftovers and will show you these extras!  I love double pinks!  These little half square triangles are perfect for Janet--they finish at 3/4"!!  I'll post a picture once she's received it later this month.  That's my plan for now!

We drove back from the cabin yesterday and I  worked on the bottom border for the little village I've been working on from Primitive Gatherings.  Tracing the words was a challenge. I ultimately got tracing paper (remember from sewing clothes way back when??) and used a pen to trace the words.  I also finished most of the wool applique.  There is still a key!-- I need to cut that out but I didn't bring any wool with me.  UGH.. the roof is a little crooked in this picture.  I even pinned it down while I sewed it.  Oh my--story of my wool applique life!

Don't look at the gorgeous floral print in the top corner...might be part of the surprise for the basket top.

I really don't feel that I've mastered the stem stitch, even after all these blocks...if you have any tips on embroidering a stem stitch, I'm all ears.

Here's the rest of the village... Little Emma loves to pick up the picture of the wallhanging and compare it to what I've done--even at just 6, she's able to identify which trees should go where!  The angle of the picture makes it look even wonkier than it is.  It's only a little cock-eyed!! ;-)  Once I get the key and other pieces for the bottom border sewn on, then I can sew it together and get the border vines and flowers cut out and ready for our next drive back up to the cabin in two weeks.

Hope you're enjoying the last vestiges of summer!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The intersection of art and quilting

Last month I went with some friends to the Palace of the Legion of Honor, which is a fabulous small museum in San Francisco, perched at the north end of the city, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.  Truly spectacular setting.

They had an exhibit on pre-Raphaelite art and I saw a few things I thought you'd enjoy.

One of my favorite enjoyments is looking at really old tapestries, which are just incredible if you think about their construction back in the days.  This one is over 500 years old!  And also huge!

Our grandkids left on Sunday so I'm just starting to get back into my sewing room!  We had a wonderful time with them here at the cabin and the place is so eerily quiet and empty without them.  Little Emma starts kindergarten next week so they are definitely growing up; Ryan goes into 3rd grade and Jack starts pre-school.  

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A little wool applique soothes the soul!

During the drive up to our cabin with the grandkids, I was able to get a little hand sewing done.  I mostly finished these three (one still needs the stems...)

This one needs the final border which has a lot of applique, and then I'll add the vines all around all sides.  I'm loving it!

Sadly the week with the kids here is coming to an end.  Went just way too fast.  We had a great time with them and I think they did too.

The heat continues--the temps have been over 100* this week.  That hasn't stopped my very adventurous husband was driving near her assisted living facility at noon the other day and saw her walking along the sidewalk with her walker!  No hat, of course.  According to her, it wasn't that hot.  The temp was 100*!
What can you do???

Monday, August 6, 2018

Small quilt show in Sunriver - FUN

We timed our arrival this year to coincide with the local Sunriver Quilt Show, which is held outdoors in the small little village of Sunriver.  I met a friend and we whipped through the area quickly, as I needed to get back to the grandkids.

I saw more than a few that I really liked.  It's a very small show and there were actually two Laura Heine quilts.  This one really caught my eye, with all the embellishments!  Beautifully done!

Again, inspired to make a Jen Kingwell quilt!  Long Time Gone.
By the way, this quilt hung right in front of the grocery store, called Country Store.

Nice log cabin variation

I liked this pattern--simple but effective.

Another simple pattern, nicely done with great quilting!

Don't you think the quilting is really nice here?

This is a Freddie Moran design.  Cute or what??

Here's a cute wool applique called Summertime Sampler. Pretty impressive.

Cute simple small quilt.

And, best of all, the 3 grandkids with us this week at our cabin! They've been biking non-stop, very different from their lives in San Francisco. And swimming.

Emma has somehow learned to POSE for pictures...

I'm not getting any sewing done but did get a bunch of hand sewing done in the car.  I'll post those pictures in the next day or so.  Having a great week with the kids!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Frida Kahlo exhibit that's AMAZING

I'm sure you recognize the figure in this picture.  It's Frida Kahlo, who was an artist from Mexico who was married to Diego Rivera, TWICE!  I think she's more well known for her appearance than for her art, to be honest.
Cindy Thompson, who made that fabulous pin cushion for me some months ago, mentioned that she was invited to exhibit HER quilt at this exhibit in a small gallery in Walnut Creek.  So I wanted to be sure to get there before it closed in a month.  Yesterday I went with some friends and we were totally impressed and overwhelmed with the variety and quality.

All kinds of artists were invited to submit/display their versions of Frida.  The variety was awe-inspiring.

This greeted us at the entry... can you see that there were quilts on the floor and walls of this little display?  Sadly we weren't able to get close to it.
I really like the quilt on the floor, which seemed to have a lot of Kaffe Fasset fabrics, square in a square, with fabulous flowers adorning the edges.

This is Cindy's quilt, which was really fabulous!  Her thread-work created the face and hair and was just so beautifully done...even down to the gray streaks in her hair!  The necklace was real jewelry!

This was another version that was hand-embroidered!  I tried to take a picture from the side so you could see the stitching.  Not sure if worked but isn't this just amazing??  Embroidered!~!

I really like this one; the quote was one she was known for.  You may not realize that she sustained a very serious, sad injury when she was young that left her in tremendous pain throughout her life and severely limited her mobility.

There were also two artists who had decorated dollar bills.  This one was my favorites.  We were just so impressed with the talent!

There were very few quilts exhibited.  This was one of the ones you could look at closely.  Finding curved piecing so challenging I was particularly impressed with this design and the execution.

I apologize for not having gotten the artist's information.  Isn't this just an amazing interpretation?  
I can tell you that most of the artists were local.

We are heading up to the cabin in Sunriver tomorrow with our 3 grandkids... our daughter is driving up on Saturday so we'll have her whole family an entire week.  So we are very excited!  I probably won't get much sewing done but that's ok, right??  We will miss the other little darling boy who was with us last month.  I think getting all our 3 adults kids with their families in one place at the same time is asking a lot!  I guess that is the way it is, right?

Hope you enjoyed this little Frida display.  If you are in the Bay Area, I highly recommend going to the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

a couple more red/white/blue blocks

I'm still keeping up with the Moda Blockheads and some of the Splendid Sampler blocks...

Didn't think a pineapple would look good in red/white/blue so I tried a flag.  Kind of pathetic and I may redo it... but it will hold the place for now!  I've never sewn a flag freehand and I probably should've looked at a picture.  

And sadly my Splendid Sampler block shrunk from the applique... but I think the fixed seam will be within the seam allowance and won't show.  Story of my sewing life!  I did change the bobbin thread to match the top thread, at least!  Progress!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

When you think you're picking up your quilt...

Remember I labored over this Bonnie Hunter design?  It was her leader/ender project from a few years ago?  I made it as a main project and finished it earlier this year?

I changed the fabrics, made it very bright and dropped it off at the LAQ's shop recently...  This quilter is new to me...He's very near my house and he quilted one other thing for me (the basket quilt along) so I figured I've return.

Well, when I walked in, I hadn't remember which quilt I'd dropped off (really.. I'm not kidding!).  As he was unfolding it, he asked if it was destined for a particular person?  Did I have a plan for where to put it?  I was confused... thinking maybe the quilting wouldn't go with the intended recipient??

When I told him I didn't, he started to say things about how attached he became to the quilt;  how much he just loved it... finally I asked him if he wanted to buy it...

YUP, he did.  So I went home without my quilt!! (and a wad of cash in my wallet!).  And immediately proceeded to start another one!!  Notice the dancing girls, writings, dogs and ducks!!

It was an easy pattern to make and so much fun so I figured I didn't mind selling him the quilt, since he loved it so much.

Never heard of such a thing.  He also said he'd never bought a quilt from anyone before...

What a surprise!!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A little bit of progress on some blocks

After showing you all the lovelies from the Sisters Quilt show, it's time to show you  some of my humble work...

some more of Bonnie's blocks, which I'm loving!  I have had fun fussy cutting odd fabrics and but pretty limited up at the cabin, which doesn't have my normal [=voluminous] stash

Those dazzling eyes are from a new Tula Pink fabric, which I couldn't resist!  I didn't get the on-point fussy cutting done very well...but you get the idea

I keep going back and forth on whether I want to add sashing or put them up next to each other.  They are fun blocks, though!

And I worked on the Primitive Gatherings freebie of this year's project.  These are quick and easy~  I found that the leaves were too small to buttonhole stitch so I just cross-stitched across them.

The background is from a new line that is being put out by Primitive Gatherings in red/white/black. They are just gorgeous!

I also have a lot of trouble with my stem stitch.  I always feel that it looks pretty pathetic -- I'm not a great embroiderer but I do enjoy working on the wool appliqué in the car during our long drives up to the cabin.  Have I told you it's 530 miles, takes 8-1/2 hrs each way??  Lots of time to sew.

For a while, I've dragged along a smaller project I started but have yet to feel that it's complete... orange peel blocks.  Have you ever sewn any?  They do require needle-turn but since they're small and there's only one per block, I don't feel overwhelmed.  I have a large pile in a baggie, waiting for a decision on how to set them.  They could easily be a monthly mini!!