A practice piece……….

Over the last few days I have been piecing the first of the denim/corduroy/homespun quilts.  I wanted to see how easy it was to quilt before I make the rest of the quilts.  This one is the most multicolor and I used a homespun tiny plaid on the back to keep it light weight.  The squares are 8″ finished.
I intended to do the wavy lines in both directions, a crosshatch type design, but after going one way I could see the stretchiness of the denim was going to cause puckers if I did that.  I also decided that I will pull out the really heavy and stiff denim squares from the other kits and replace them with softer denim.  I pressed all of the seams open but the stiff ones rolled back when it was layered and were hard to quilt over.  Most of the denim I have cut is soft and/or thin so I won’t have to replace too many pieces in the kits.  I haven’t figured out what to bind it with yet.
I also got the binding on one of the quilts that I quilted on Monday.  I think I made this top around 1992-95 time period.  There are 2 logs on one side to every one on the other side in the blocks to create the rounded effect.  While I have dark blue thread on the machine I’ll do the binding on the seaside theme quilt today. 
I have another color cactus blooming.  This one is a more true red than the others.  All of my plants have buds now so I should have blooms all the way through the month.

>Did you think I was kidding?

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We really do have snow on the ground!  In this flowerbed it is about 16″ deep.  It was heavy wet snow too, not like the fluffy stuff when it first came down.  I shoveled about 4″ off the sidewalk.  My back complained later.

This is turning toward the driveway from the porch.  In the grassy areas it was about 12″ deep in the morning.  It got up above freezing so the snow is compressing now.  The pile is by my driveway, where my plow guy pushes it.

The border is on the Christmas quilt.  I decided to use some denim in the border too rather than try to match the checked flannel if I pieced it. It isn’t spectacular looking but it is a quilt that will be crumpled up on the couch, not hanging out full view.

This is the piece I used on the back.  It is a brushed Moda print from one of their Christmas lines about 8 years ago.  I had a huge piece of it and it is so soft.  It’s a deeper color than it looks here and the dots are deep red.

I quilted it last night too.  I just did a meander free hand and went around the embroideries instead of through them.  Now I need to pick a binding.

Don’t you think my refrigerator belongs in that commercial where they show a bunch of things that look like faces?  I forget whose commercial it is. 

A friend made the potholders and gave them to me last year.  I like them as eyes and they are way too pretty to get dirty.

>Workmen gone, life back to normal

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My daughter emailed me pictures of a quilt I gave her about 15 years ago.  I didn’t have any digital photos of it.  The background fabric was dyed by Laura Wasilowski and the applique fabric was dyed by Melody Johnson.  It is hard to capture the true look of the dyed fabric so the pictures are a little brighter than the actual wallhanging.
I free hand cut stylized heart shapes and started playing with the fabric in a hoop, the feed dogs dropped, and black thread on the machine.  I started making flowers first and then the butterfly.
The narrow border is fabric by Mickey Lawler/Skydyes.
After I decided I needed 9 blocks I made the 2 leaves.  This is one of my favorite quilts that I have ever made.  It was one of those playtime, in a zone, losing track of time days.
The gas company guys came and dug a big hole to get down to the shut off at the edge of my property.
This picture below is when he hit the paver blocks that surround my little flowerbed with his trench digger, Ooops!  Well what did they expect when they come with snow covering up everything, LOL.  If I had known they were going to do that I could have warned him.
While they were working I took some good pictures of a lot of my small wallhangings.  The sun was shining so the light coming in my east picture window was perfect lighting for photos.  I created a couple more “pages” listed at the top of the sidebar on the right side of my blog.

I started over with the triangles on my double wall, now back in place after they got the gas meter out.  I did some more cutting but I have a long way to go.

>No progress on quilts…………
I had a restful day yesterday so not much progress on the bindings. I took a picture of this red veined plant, red penstemon, that is a volunteer plant. Most of the volunteers come up right next to my stepping stones or by the edge of the sidewalk. When I spread seeds like columbine I don’t have much luck with them Now I think I will spread seeds in the fall and then place small rocks over the area and see if I get more plants. I like all of the different colors and shapes of the leaves together.
When I walked into the studio yesterday mid morning I noticed how well the quilting showed up with the light from the north window, so I took one more picture. I did get both of the small quilts trimmed later in the day.

I heard a lot of chattering in the back yard and it didn’t sound like the squirrels. I looked out and this little guy on the tree was making the noise. There were 2 bunnies under the bird feeders, a couple squirrels in the trees and birds at the feeders in addition to this one. I guess it is a chipmunk. It is like a little mini forest in the space between me and my backyard neighbors and they enjoy nature as much as I do.

Today is sewing circle at church so I need to load up the sewing machine and serger as well as cutting equipment.

>No finishes, but close……….
I finished the quilting on the 2 small pieces I showed yesterday. I decided to quilt in the ditch of the 4 patch seams and continue through the plain squares. In the border I did a line diagonally through the squares that forms a zig zag pattern all around the quilt.
On the pinwheel one I did free motion in the plain squares and ditch quilting both ways through the pinwheels. Since I pressed all of the seams open on the pinwheels there technically isn’t a ditch so it was hard to balance the stitching right on the seam line. This pinwheel looks pretty good but……

there were equally as many that the centers didn’t match like this one. Very humbling. I’m sure there are still a lot of people who would like to own this quilt anyway.

You can see the free motion and ditch quilting on the back. This is one of my favorite batiks with the story about Andy and his dog Toby. It isn’t continuous so you read the same parts of the story over and over.

Now I have 3 bindings to do and I will do all of these by hand. The yellow quilt is 2/3 done.

>Free Motion Stitching

>About 20 years ago Ellen Anne Eddy came out to our little sewing machine store in town and gave a workshop on using hand dyed fabrics and free motion stitching to create a little art piece. I bought some of her hand dyed fabric. She lived in Chicago at the time and later moved to Indiana. She wrote a book about her fabulous free motion quilts.

About 7 years ago she was in the area again to do a workshop for a guild. I was invited to spend the day there with her and some of my friends. We took Decor Bond and drew our design on it. My butterfly came from a coloring book. We ironed the Decor Bond onto the wrong side of our fabric and filled our bobbins with a glitzy heavyweight serger thread (an extra bobbin case purchased just for that purpose was used). From the drawing side I free motion stitched the outline of the butterfly with a dark thread. Then I came back in and started filling areas with stitching in other colors. I never did finish this project but now I think it needs to be done. The sparkly thread is almost impossible to capture in a picture to show you the real look.

It is gloomy and will be rainy soon. The only good thing is it is going to be warm today and the heavy rain should hold off until after my mother’s Dr. appointment today. It’s a good day to turn on my daylight bulbs and not look out the windows.