Monday, April 27, 2009

Hearts, Flowers, and Swirls - quilt finished!

Just a quick picture with my pocket camera, so I could show you how it came out. For quilting, I ended up stippling the background of the smaller hearts, and using multicolor thread to quilt swirls on the striped border. Now off to finish the pattern.

A little spinning

has taken this fluffy Astro Turf roving, from Black Bunny's Fiber Club

and turned it into this lovely, green yarn.

Now I just need to find a pattern and get it made up in time for St. Patrick's day next year!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hearts, Flowers and Swirls - quilting progress

Just a few quick pics to show you the quilting I'm doing....

I decided I wanted the hearts to have feathers around the edges, but it needed more... I tried just stitching just inside the edge, but it wasn't enough, so tried a row of loops, and really like them! There was too much open space left in the center, so I decided to use leaves to fill up the space. They're a bit irregular and wonky, but this is a FUN quilt, designed to be fun and easy, not precise! I'm really trying not to quilt as close as I usually do, because this is a lap quilt, and I want it to drape over the person using it.

For the swirls, I stitched twice near the edge, in a kind of sketch-like way, and began the flowers in a similar way, but added a couple more rows inside the petals, and a swirl for the centers. The background fabric design looks like tendrils found on some climbing plants, so I decided to use a larger version to quilt with, but didn't want it to stand out too much, so it may be more difficult to see.
Once the background is complete, I'm thinking of stitching in the ditch, between the decorative (loose) dark pink flap, and the striped border, and then maybe I'll use transparent thread to quilt over the stripes, so as not to detract from the piecing.

Noro Sweater

(Sorry, just quick pictures with my point and shoot camera.)

Not too long ago, I mentioned that I have a lot of UFOs hanging about. I'm making the cover sweater from this pattern book, and in the listed color, because I love this Noro colorway! (After I purchased the yarn and started, I found a modular vest UFO that I'm using the same yarn for.)

I think I started it last summer, but in the background of other projects, only a few rows at a time, but slow and steadily making progress. It's a simple pattern to do this way, because there is no complex row by row patterning, just stockinette, garter, and a garter variation, with a little shaping thrown in.

This is the lower back. The pattern tells you to do the lower back, then the lower fronts, and finally the sleeve / upper front and back pieces. Because I like the longer jacket, but am worried I could run out of yarn, I decided to stop before it was the required length, and hold the stitches on yarn (with the ball still attached), so I could do the front / back / sleeve sections first. Once those are finished, I can see how much yarn I have, and either start the front panels, or finish the back first.

This is my first finished upper front / upper back / sleeve section. I love the colors, but really had to be selective when choosing which ball to use next. Occasionally, there would be a knot in the ball, and the color would change drastically, so I've learned that sometimes it is best to set it aside and find another ball that makes a better transition.

Back to Basics socks

This pair of socks is going very slowly, and as you can see, I'm still on my first sock (this is my purse project for riding in the car or waiting, so you can tell that I haven't been doing much of either). At least I was able to finish the instep increases, turn the heel, and am now going up the heel flap (back of foot). Once that is done, the rest is just p1, k2 ribbing until it's long enough, or am close to running out of yarn. Since I prefer my socks to be reasonably short, it shouldn't take too much more knitting time (of course, one must sit and knit for it to make progress).

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This quilt is a tribute to my mom. My best guess is that she is standing in front of the house my grandparents had referred to as the stone house in Oakmont, PA, but I'll probably never know for sure.

I printed the photo onto already prepared fabric, and decided to build the rest of the house (using my artistic license, of course). Fabrics were cut and fused in place, and then the top was machine quilted before painting, binding, hand appliqueing lace, and sewing on a few beads to finish it up.
The quilt was finished in 2008, but wasn't blogged. I guess I was too emotional at the time, and only realized it hadn't been blogged because I'm getting ready to enter it in my local quilt guild's show.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hearts, Flowers and Swirls

pattern is coming soon! It's a fun, colorful quilt designed to be quick and easy with a one piece background, simple strip piecing and fusible applique. (I wish I knew how to add that little accent mark on top of the "e" in "applique", but can't seem to find how to do it with blogger.)
I've been using Misty Fuse lately, and although it does take a step or two more than using the paper backed fusible web (I've been experimenting different ways to use it), the designs don't need to be reversed before tracing, and I do love the way I can layer appliques without them getting too stiff.

Snohomish and Busy Bees

What a view to look at while waiting! I must say that with all the road blocks and traffic that I've been waiting at lately, this one has the most beautiful view! Sorry it isn't a better picture, but it was taken through the windshield while in traffic South of Snohomish, WA, while on my way to speak at the Busy Bees quilt guild meeting. Other than sharing projects at the guilds I belong to, this is the first time for me to speak to a large group, but the ladies at Busy Bees were so much fun, they put me at ease, and it was a wonderful evening.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pattern pages have been updated

on website - finally! Larger pictures of my pattern quilts (or projects) are ready, and linked to the titles under the thumbnails on the pattern pages. The pattern front and back are also linked, as well as a .pdf file of the pattern cover.

Yeah, I still have to do the same for the gallery of my other quilts and projects, but hey, I'm making progress!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The bees are buzzing!

Here it is - this year's shop hop block for Gathering Fabric quilt shop!

And three more:

Since we had to send 2 to be included in the shop hop quilts, I made 4 blocks. Three of the blocks have a butterfly print fabric, fussy cut for the bees wings, while the 4th has Fairy Frost wings, although everything else is the same. There is a little bit of hand stitching to enhance the design, while keeping the applique as simple as possible, and a couple beads for the bee's eyes.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Floral Vest - more info

Judy said my vest looked like the class she took several years ago based on Rosemary Eichorn's style.

Well, the vest pattern is a Rosemary Eichorn pattern, Vest #101, that has been discontinued, although she does have another that is quite similar. While I did follow the pattern instructions for the assembly, it was not done in her collage technique, other than the darker green fern fabric. After cutting out my vest, I covered it with paper and sketched the flowers where I wanted, and then used my pattern to applique all the flowers in place. Of course, since I used myoriginal pattern, I no longer have it, so have re-drawn the flowers from a combination of tracing from a photograph of my vest, making some small adjustments as I went to create new patterns. The butterfly was created with patterns cut from a fabric that looked like overlapping parts of butterfly wings. I collaged the parts together, and then cut a litle body out. Most of the beading was done by hand, but the flower centers with large beads were sewn by machine.

Looking back, I wish I had pieced the lining before the vest was cut out and appliqued, but her technique for finishing the shoulder seam and edges worked like a charm! The vest can be worn reversed, and as you can see it is quite different. The front closure is a large, handmade frog that is on the inside, and both sides have large, coordinating glass buttons.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Creative Twist

Don't forget, Tuesday, April 14 is the next Creative Twist class! During the last class, everyone decided they would like to learn how to do my raw edge applique, from the back technique that I used for the flowers on my vest. Students can choose to applique a sunflower or dhalia from the patterns I supply, or work on their own design, that can become a quilt, garment, or just a sample.

The class will be from 10-2, at Fresh Air Farm, which is just up the hill from Gathering Fabric quilt shop. Sign up for class is at Gathering Fabric, and supply list and pattern is online at our Yahoo group. (Susan says we can stay past 2pm if we would like.)