Monday, May 15, 2017

Neexxttt....

This one is for a teaching co-worker who retired. It was a big project to take on at the time and those of us involved thought we had an extra year, but she decided to retire a year earlier than planned. What?!?!
It has taken a long time to get the blocks from her friends and family. As a result, I kept pushing other projects (for other people) in front of it. Now we have all the blocks and the top is pieced. Some blocks are pieced, some appliqued, some made with fabric markers and/or paint, some are embroidered by machine, some embroidered by hand, some have special elements like sequins or beads or trapunto-like stuffing, some printed on special fabric for ink jet printers. The blocks that are printed on fabric (Colorfast fabric sheets for ink jet printers) are stiff and any stitching holes remain - so no mistakes!
I had decided simple quilting in just the sashing and borders would be best so that the blocks would stand on their own and the special elements would not be disturbed.
I was going to machine quilt it on the frame - easy, fast. HA.
I had not gone far when I realized that would not work - or at least not look well when finished. The stiffer blocks were bunching up and there was going to be puckering on the back.
Off the frame it came, stitching removed and it is now on my floor frame and I am hand quilting in the ditch around each block and will quilt around some elements in each individual block.


I have quilted around Curious George's kite, the heart in the block above George, and a line in the music in the block above that. I am also quilting an X in the corner stones.


 This is my block. It represents her love of children and country. At some point in her day her class sang songs, often patriotic ones.

This is the center panel before it was completed. She often said "Kindergarten is, you know, the garden where the kinder grow". The flowers at the bottom are thumb prints of the students who were in kindergarten her final year. The sun and clouds are thumb prints of students she taught in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade her final year.

I think she will love it, but I need to go work on it and get it finished.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday...

...again. I don't know how the weeks get away from me, but they do.

I have been busy!

I worked my way through a pile of mending - patching jeans, a couple of lines of stitching in my quilt apron to make a smaller pocket for the seam ripper, taking up 3 shirts so they fit better in the underarm area. Seems I don't have quite enough to fill in the top part of most shirts when I buy the size that fits my middle parts making them gap in that area.

And, then there is the quilting.

I finished this T-shirt quilt for my co-worker. Her daughter is graduating high school this year.



My co-worker loved it! 

Then I decided to work on the 365 Challenge. The challenge is going again this year and most of the blocks are the same. But, I am so far behind I am being lapped. 


This is the unit for April 1st - 2016.
Not this year's, LAST year's. Oh, well. I really think I want to finish this. 
It just might take me ... forever.


I like to cut pieces for 10 days at a time. 
I find it easier to pick up a day and make a block quickly.
 

I think part of the reason I am struggling with this project is that for some of the blocks 
I chose fabric that doesn't have enough contrast. I plan to remake them.

Quilt Retreat was 2 weeks ago, but I failed to take photos of what 
I did there so I will save that for another post.

Go to Judy's page to see what other quilters are working on.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Quilt Exchange Block

This month's Quilt Exchange ...

 
Here are all the blocks before mine was added.
I like to put them up on the wall to see if any fabrics have been used a lot,
 or if there are fabrics that need to be better represented so the quilt will be balanced.

This is my block - Dancing Shoofly.


I have tried to fussy cut the center square for all of them. The center block finishes at 1 inch so sometimes the fabric provided does not lend itself well for that.
For this one, I cut a stripe fabric on the bias to hopefully add some interest.

Here are the blocks with mine added in.

 

 Some of the fabrics have metallic highlights. 
These lovely colors remind me of fall.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday...

Spring break has started so I am hoping to get some things done. I always have a list - clean out/declutter the upstairs room (dumping grounds), clean out the garage, yard work, garden - but I never get all the things done. Oh, well. Maybe I would feel better if I kept a list of all the things I do get done.

But, I have been busy.

Last month's block exchange...
We are nearing the end of this. May is the last exchange, I believe.

All blocks, except mine
My block - Dancing Shoofly

A co-worker has a daughter graduating from high school this May. Grandmother pieced the top with T-shirts and I have been asked to quilt it. That is on the frame.


This top is mostly together. The fabrics are from a recent flannel exchange. 
The pattern says it will finish at 65 inches square. I want it to be a little longer so I have pieced 2 rows of 4 patches to go at the top and bottom. I decided to add 2 inch strips of the grayish background print to the top and bottom then add the 4 patch strips to the top and bottom. Then border the whole piece with 2 inch strips of background, then 6 inch borders of a dark blue print. 
I measured what was left of the background and discovered I did not have enough. 
More is ordered and this is put away for now.


My husband had a birthday in February. My parents sent him this lovely card. We have donkeys.
I decided this card was too pretty not to be on display. We found this frame that we thought was perfect for it.


I used to do counted cross-stitch, but gave it up when I started having trouble seeing up close. I had worn contact lenses since high school and had begun to wear reading glasses to see things better. That worked well for a while, but my eyes were changing. I decided to go back to glasses, thinking I would need bi-focals. Wrong, it was tri-focals I needed. Anyway, with prescription needs still continuing to change and not having just the right prescription doing close work was too frustrating so I gave up counted cross-stitch. I could/can still see ok to quilt and knit.
I have finally gotten a good prescription (I think/hope) so I ordered a kit to see what happens. The thing that really spurred me on to do this is that I am involved with our local county fair. We had a meeting a month ago to discuss any changes, decorating ideas, etc. that we thought needed to happen. If a category has not had any entries in a certain number of years it is at risk of being discontinued. There are not many entries in the counted cross-stitch categories. I think this is sad and really don't want to see them discontinue this category. I am trying to do my part by having an entry this year.


On the yucky side of life, I live in the country, on a farm. We are surrounded by fields and have livestock. It is inevitable that we will have a mouse problem at some point in the winter. I had not seen any evidence of mice this year and was thinking how lucky we were. Ha! I opened a drawer in my bathroom to find this...


Those crazy mice pulled out dental floss and wound it around throughout the drawer, chewed through moisturizer tubes and other things and generally made a big mess. I now have lidded containers in my drawers to keep my things mice free - I hope.

Right outside my kitchen window is a small honeysuckle tree. I keep it pruned because I don't want it to block my view of the driveway. Anyway, there has been a nest left over from last year. I was wondering if birds reuse nests. The other day I saw a very busy robin adding to it. I am hoping for eggs and baby birds soon, although I haven't seen any action around the nest the last few days. 


Now I need to get busy quilting, cleaning, and relaxing!