A View of My Quilt Life

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blog Post

With an Important Announcement!

I've been sitting on some really big news and the time has come to finally share it with you.

Fifty-Eight Nines has been named as a finalist in the New Quilts from an Old Favorite: Nine Patch.

All eighteen winners and finalists quilts are hanging on exhibit at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, from March 13 to May 19.  The National Quilt Museum recently sent out an email about the new exhibits including the NQOF.  Imagine my surprise to see my quilt in the email!

Then, I went to the NQM website to check out more on the current exhibits and there it was: Fifty-Eight Nines was on the banner! 

And then again lower on the page 

Lots of squealing when I saw this - I was totally blown away!!!
And just when I thought it couldn't get any better...there is a book published every year from the contest. 

I am so amazed by all of this.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Blowing in the Wind

The Sauder Village Triple Windmill Challenge needs to be done by the end of April.  I've had the fabric and a 'vision' since last May.  Up until this past weekend, all I had done was the washing of the fabric and making the paper foundations. 

Since the weather had taken a turn back to cold, damp and windy, it was a great quilting weekend.  

I started with the largest block to work out the angles of the block. 

So many colors had to be narrowed down.  The large block was destined for bright and warm colors.

The block foundation was cut apart into sewable sections. Thank goodness for glue sticks! 

They progressed rather quickly by continuously chain piecing.

Once the sections were pieced and trimmed, they were joined using the partial seam method.

The big block done - 12 inches square

I moved on to the violet blocks.  These blocks are spinning in the opposite direction and measure at 8 inches finished.

Two violet blocks done.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Where Have I Been

Well, last week was a bust, blog-wise, with lots going on in different directions. And some I'll tell you about here as we move through this week.

But I want to kick off the week with some quilting progress. Finally!

Over the weekend, I was up in Wisconsin, house and dog sitting for friends, P&T.  They have 5 Chinese Shar Peis so I LOTS of company and help with quilting.

First up - the machine quilting on Chirp, Chirp is done!

The edges were trimmed.

The binding is stitched down,

and just needs to be turned and hand stitched on the back. I pinned it in place to get an idea of what it will look like.  So nice to have this one so close to the FINISH line.  It's a benefit auction quilt, with another one to make by May.

Friday, March 20, 2015

One Night Quilted Object

I finally have a quilted finish!

Last night I was determined to get something stitched - anything.  The objective was to start and FINISH a project.  Being able to do it in one night was a bonus and a boost.  

It started with cutting, using the pink pad as a pattern.  Butterfly fabric for the top, with plain natural muslin as the back and batting scraps (yes - use them up!) in between.

I quilted diagonal lines in a lime/aqua variegated thread  and used extra wide double fold bias tape for the binding.

FINISHED!!  I have a new pretty saddle for the upcoming spring fun show.  Better yet - I have some stitching momentum building heading into the weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Butterflies are Free to Fly

There aren't any butterflies outside yet but they are on the sewing table. Aren't they bright & fun?

Not going into a quilt but it will be a quilted object.

I am making a spring-y saddle pad for the upcoming Easter fun show at the barn. The pink pad is my sample/pattern.

More importantly, I am thrilled to share that the quilting on the body of Chirp, Chirp is complete!!

I still need to quilt out the borders but definitely a step towards a Finish!

Maybe I'll be binding this weekend - fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stitching - of a Different Sort

Yes, I know I am supposed to be quilting. 

Yes, I know I have 2 Challenge quilts and a full size Auction quilt to make.

Yes, I know the machine Quilting is not yet finished on Chirp, Chirp.

BUT I just couldn't put this down.  I NEEDED to see if I could do this. 

My brain needed to stretch in a different creative direction.  Maybe I am hoping it will help cure the design standstill I’m having with the Triple Windmill Challenge.  Or maybe, just maybe I wanted a new pretty for my horse without spending much money – just in time for the spring fun show in April.

I progressed from chain stitch and single crochet on this sample to double and then triple crochet.

This sample is the square mesh stitch,

And finally we have the netting stitch.

Hopefully with a little more practice and some careful study of my sample fly bonnet, I’ll be able to make my own version.Hmm, maybe I need to try a smaller hook, too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Reviving an Ancient Skill

Once upon a time, a long, long, long time ago - like last century - I learned to crochet.  I was probably about 5 when my grandmother first taught me. I could chain stitch like nobody's business!  

The last time I crocheted was sometime in middle school. I made the ugliest, scratchiest, brightest orange slippers ever seen.  Acrylic yarn was big back then along with worsted wool - ICK!  Thankfully - there are NO pictures of them.

Fast forward to now.  I've been inspired to see if I could revive my very old, very rusty skills and see if there something new I could learn too.

I LOVE crocheted horse fly bonnets.  This is one I replaced the ears on with peppermint swirl batik.

But even the simplest of them are $20 at the saddle shop and they are a plain solid color. Once you add trim or bling - the price can skyrocket.  I found some custom made ones online going for $120 - $170!  Granted, they were pretty but that's so  not in my budget. And I know I can make my own and trim it out for a fraction of that price! 

I have this as my prototype.  Not sure who made this one - but the tassels are not even in placement or count.  I am strictly using it for size and shape.

I found this really pretty cotton yarn - shades of blues and greens. There are TONS of pretty cottons yarns out there, which could cause other problem down the road but I'll worry about that later. 

A quick review of the slip knot, chain stitch (foundation stitch) and single crochet stitch from online videos and I had this.

YIKES!!  Still rusty as all get out!  I pulled it out and tried again. 

MUCH BETTER!!!  Not perfect but the fingers are remembering what to do, how to hold the yarn and relax at the same. Too much tension in the fingers carries over into the stitches. 

There are a few more stitches I need to learn and practice before I'm ready to start on making a fly bonnet but it's good to have a goal.  It's also good to have another kind of handwork project to carry around with me. 

The downside to this? There are tons of soft cottons yarns  in hundreds of beautiful colors...and I probably have batiks or solid cottons to coordinate with most all of them for the ear covers.