Village ready to quilt

My little improv village is all ready to quilt. I selected the border that is the same as the background fabric, but threw in just a bit of whimsy!

I toyed with the idea of piping or multiple borders with this fabric, and another that I didn’t take a photo of.

I liked the look of the black/white and decided to use the colorful fabric as a binding. It will be just wide enough to act as a tiny border with color. I think that’s all it will need.

This weekend we also had a discussion of batting basting tape. With our little smart phones, we looked it up and found that there are several brands and sizes from which to choose. I happened to have some that I got in a gift basket at some point so I decided that today was the day to use it.

Totally simple to butt up those straight edges and iron on the tape. It holds, it doesn’t make a stiff line and it’s super easy to use. I will be using it again–I like it!

I’m eager to get this project quilted and finished. It has been pure enjoyment from start to finish. Should be able to get that done tomorrow and I’m looking forward to some quality time at the machine.

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Handwork

Working on hand sewing projects is strange. You are sitting down, relaxed, to work on a project, but your mind could be racing. It might be a time that engenders new ideas or brings resolution to problems.

For my current project, I work on it a bit and think that I don’t want to put a whole lot of stitching on it. Maybe I’ll fill just one more circle.

Then maybe one more.

But then it needs some here to balance.

Hmmmm….does it need some beading or does the metallic paint give it enough bling?

I thought this piece was going to stay simple and serene. So many thoughts running through my brain that cannot be seen as I sit calmly stitching, one little stitch at a time.

Strange…

Almost done, I think.

No beads on this one. Keep it simple. Soft edges so wrap around the canvas. Yep!

Finished and really just the way I envisioned it. Hand work really gives you the time to think things through!

No waste!

I always think everyone knows all the cool shortcuts and tricks and then I’m surprised when I talk about something and get those blank looks of whaaaaaat?

Just Pick A Direction, Already!

So it was when I talked about making Flying Geese and heard groans and those “I hate making those blocks and wasting all that fabric when you cut the corners” complaints.

Well, I don’t make FG blocks that way. I make them with the no-waste method, which has been around long enough that there is a ruler for it…of course! There are YouTube videos on how to use the Lazy Girl Flying Geese x 4 Ruler, but I’ll show you my little shortcut even using that. And then there is the old-fashioned math formula method, which is also a no-waste technique and also has lots of info available on the internet. Nobody likes doing the math anyway, do they? I don’t need to repeat everything here, but the math method does exist.

Here are the basics of how it works—to make 4 blocks at once, you need 1 large square and 4 small squares. The large square becomes the ‘goose’ and the small squares are the background.

Shortcut alert–they always tell you to mark a line diagonally across those squares so that you can sew along each side of that line. It’s so much easier to fold the squares and hit ’em with the iron–line made! I usually don’t do more than 2 or 3 squares at a time for a bit more accuracy. And why else would you have a 1/4″ presser foot if not to use it?!

You can chain piece them, up one side and down the other and then cut between the lines.

Press the background (in this case, light) squares up and lay out the next square onto this heart shaped piece.

Sew each side of that fold line again, cut and done! Chain piece, too, so it’s fast!

Tip: always line up the small squares with the outside corners of the large squares. Accuracy is useful with this technique. Sometimes my lines wobble a bit and I don’t rip, I just sew it again!

If you are accurate, you should have a nice, straight line across the top of your goose block, with 1/4″ seam allowance so you don’t cut off the point.

You can cut off the dog ears if you want. I usually don’t bother on a small art quilt piece, but I have done it on full size quilts. Maker’s choice! This method is so fast, it actually took me longer to take the pictures than it did to finish the blocks!

There are so many layout possibilities for the FG block! I just threw these up on the design board while I think about it.

Now all my Flying Geese hating friends, do you think you could show some love to this no waste, fast method of making this block? Four alike at one time, no waste, easy-peasy…could you ask for anything more? Go for it!

 

Up or down?

Started adding some quilting to this piece and thoughts of Irma were in my head as I created this swirling design.

I worry about my relatives in Florida and my son in Charleston, who may evacuate to my brother’s home in upstate SC. Hope for a good outcome for all of them–that’s all I can do at this point.

So I continued to quilt and to fret and now I can’t decide which way is up on the piece!

This way, with the turquoise wide end pointing up?

Or turquoise pointing down?

It’s been around for a while, so I’m at the point where I simply want it done! But I don’t want impatience to push me into the wrong decision, so I’ll let it rest!

 

Planning time

After my QU class, I decided that I am totally in love with the navy fabric that I dyed and that I MUST create something using it. However, this is a time when I am not at my studio and don’t have any of the fabric to play with. So it’s all a mental game for planning.

I do have some pictures of what my first idea would use. The navy fabric, of course and then this.

Blocks that I have made from mostly turquoise scraps and then not done anything further with. I have enough fabric and scraps that coordinate with this to make probably 3 full quilts, paired with that navy.

However, I want to start with these blocks and cut some silhouetted shapes of leaves or flowers out of them and place them on the navy background. Or perhaps the reverse–the navy placed on the scrap blocks. Probably some of each.

I really don’t want to make full size quilts anymore, but I can’t see any other way to use up all the fabric that I have. Using this planning time to develop ideas for reducing my stash could be the best outcome.

And I DO have these lovely blocks to play with also…

Hmmm–since this stash is obviously weighing me down, my next priority is to use, use, use it!

Quiltmaking, back to the basics, here I come!

Love this flower!

Hardy hibiscus was a pleasant surprise for me a few years ago. I had no idea that this beautiful flower could withstand Michigan winters, but mine is flourishing. Of course, any plant that thrives on neglect does well at my house! These full blossoms are past their prime, but that adds to the charm for me.

Every year I take a few photos of the beauty I enjoy, fully intending to make an art quilt from them. I have yet to do that!

There is a beautiful orange colored hibiscus at my mother’s house that I would love to have here.

However, that is in Florida and those plants really would not survive that Michigan deep freeze!

The bug-eaten leaves—the potential of the buds and the flowering as it’s opening–inspiration for sure.

But it’s inspiration that stays only in my mind, not committed to fabric. Yet. It could happen. Maybe.

A step at a time…

I don’t usually like to drag out a subject or project that I’m blogging about, but this may take a while. In Deborah Boschert’s classes this weekend, we created fabric (which I haven’t touched yet!) and then eight small pieces illustrating design concepts. I’m working on finishing the eight pieces and it won’t make sense to show them all and then every step along the way. I’m working on them as a group right now and adding machine stitching to the pieces.

Some of them are getting some stamping, painting and additional fabric. I will try to show what I’m doing as each piece is finished, so you will see this particular group of fabrics quite often until they are done…and I have a teaching trip to Blue Lake for 10 days starting next week. Could be a while!

The first composition I did in class was this landscape.

I knew that I wanted to add a large leaf or tree on the right in paint. So I went through all my stencils and stamps and couldn’t find one that was just right. Simple solution to that issue–freezer paper stencil!

Practiced on a scrap and didn’t like the opacity of the white paint and decided to go with orange. I also hate to waste paint, so after stenciling the piece, I flipped it over and pressed it onto another scrap for the reverse print.

This was after I played with oranges on a green scrap, with stencils and a screen.

This is where I’m at right now.

No stitching on it, but I’m pleased with stencil and orange paint.

I’ll continue working on this series, but I won’t detail each part like this! That would bore both you and me! More later, and I know that it will get done————–a step at a time, bit by bit!