Saturday, July 14, 2018

Deconstructing and Reconstructing Butterfly Quilt and Thoughts on Hand Quilting and Must We Always Be in a Hurry?

My Pfaff Expression 3.5 sewing machine, intuitive and 'charming.'

My deconstructed butterfly quilt now being reconstructed!

The new backing fabric for my butterfly quilt, pinned and ready for hand quilting.

'Atmosphere' lights and 2018 cow/farm calendar with bits of color inspiration.

Hand quilting started with cotton pearl #12.

Seer Sucker black and white for new binding, think 'utility'.

My zipper pouch keeps my spools of thread, I like the texture and the utility look.

Happy Weekend! from the Pacific NW where we have warm temperatures and clear skies.

And I've been doing some rethinking about some of my projects especially after visiting Jillayne  and Karen , two textile artists extraordinaire. They do thoughtful beautiful work and get it done in a timely fashion. It's not that they exhaust themselves, I think balance is the word.

I had finished my small butterfly quilt a couple of weeks ago with machine quilting. And the more I looked at it the more I didn't like that machine quilting. Another of my blog friends was in the process of deconstructing a worn antique quilt with the thoughts of repairing and reusing the blocks in a new quilt.
If these people can take time to lovingly stitch and create and repair then I think I can do that too.
So I unpicked the machine quilting on my butterfly quilt, not as bad as you might think, and took the layers apart. I had used a thin batting, Quilter's Dream, and it was too thin, it didn't give the body I wanted. So I replaced that with Warm and Natural, much better. I also gave it a new backing. I had bought a yard of a black and white butterfly fabric just to use on this quilt but for some reason I had whipped up an improve backing and used that instead. So that improv backing will get repurposed.
And now I'm hand quilting with cotton pearl #12 and it looks like I wanted it to look.
I'm happy about that.

So my thoughts through all this are 'Why must we always be in a hurry?'
Is there some book deadline to meet? No. Are we in a contest to see who can punch out the most quilts? Not me anyway. 
Why do I stitch and quilt and blog? I enjoy it and reading about other textile/sewing/quilt artists' adventures and methods. Just have to clarify that once in a while!

My zipper pouch, black and white, made with quilted scrap fabric and 'made' fabric, I like looking at because it says 'utility' and 'useful' to me. I made it using MSQC's Zippered Pouch YouTube tutorial.
Good tutorial, easy to follow and you can add your own touches.

So I hope you take time to visit the blogs I've linked for some relaxed beauty.
And just be thankful, the best things in life are free.

I'll be by to visit!


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Quilt Border Change, Liberated Piecing and Summer's in the Air!

Crocosmia in bloom here, gorgeous!

I learned to swim here when I was a girl, Steel Lake, Federal Way, WA.

Two more blocks of liberated piecing got done this week, another star and Log Cabin nine patch.

Astilbe blooming and a great big hosta in the back yard.

I took off the outer white border of my Rail Fence Medallion Quilt, it looks better this way. 

Hello, from the Pacific NW, Washington State!
Where we are having great weather, warm for a few days then cooler with clouds and showers.

There was a bar-b-que for the Fourth of July and the neighbors really out did themselves with their firework show in the evening, wow!

I got some 'liberated' piecing done, a star and a nine patch log cabin block and trimmed off the outer border of my Rail Fence Medallion Quilt with sawtooth borders. I was looking at photos of that quilt as I was piecing it and I realized it looked finished without that last white border. In fact it looked good that way, (My last post has a photo of the white border still on), so off it came.
And yep, that was the trick.

That's the news here in the shire. Where summer is keeping me busy and the days are long.
Hope you're enjoying your summer, and some of you I know are getting into winter and I hope you're staying warm!

I'll be by to visit!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Quilt News! Whirlpool Blocks, Rail Fence Medallion Quilt Ready For Binding, Summer Quilt Classes?

My Rail Fence improv blocks started last summer.

The Rail Fence blocks are in the center now surrounded by borders.

Detail of quilting on back of Rail Fence medallion.

Quilting detail on front of Rail Fence medallion.

I trimmed the two whirlpool blocks for my traditional quilt.

Happy Weekend and almost Happy Fourth of July!!
We have light rain and clouds in the Pacific NW.

I finished machine quilting my summer improv Rail Fence medallion quilt, 30"x 36.5". For now I'm just going to call it Rail Fence medallion quilt. Summer and improv are descriptive but that makes the name too long I think. Binding is next.

And my two whirlpool blocks are trimmed to 10.5". One more to go, a Lend and Borrow block . Again I'm roughly following the pattern, 'Times of Refreshing' by Piecing the Past Quilts.

The Cotton Patch/QuiltUSA  in Lafayette, CA has an exciting class, actually several, that I'd love to sign up for this summer. One of them is by Youngmin Lee , South Korean, living in the Bay area now.
This class is a for a patchwork technique called Mosi Jogakbo with finished seams, front and back, with no batting or backing. It makes a beautiful gauzy looking piece of patchwork and reminds me of my butterfly four patch quilt I finished last summer. I made it of mostly white, cream and grey in the four patches and the butterflies were bright colors. I kept thinking the flimsy looked great as it was.
 Maybe I'll move there for the summer and fall and dedicate myself to quilt classes! I'll let you know about it if I do.

That's my quilt news and progress.
Have a good week and I'll be by to visit!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Whirlpool Blocks Finished, Quilting Sections, Officially Summer.

Whirlpool block #1 for my traditional sampler.

Whirlpool block #2, HSTs, ready to be pieced together here.

Pinned like crazy, another section ready for machine quilting.

Rail fence, sawtooth border 2017 summer challenge quilt. 

Happy summer and weekend! Summer officially started last Thursday, the 21st.
Long summer days and walks are relaxing. We walk past local ponds keeping track of the ducklings getting bigger and bigger. And the frogs are reproducing and threatening to take over the world until the big blue heron moved in for a while, and quieted them down.
A little drama.

This week I made HSTs using batiks. I trimmed and pressed them and they are both now sewn together with a thin border and a small setting block in each corner. They're for my traditional sampler. One more block to go. 
I'm roughly following Piecing the Past Quilts' pattern 'Times of Refreshing.'

Another wonderful online quilt shop with great ideas and patterns is Temecula Quilt Co.
They have a book coming out soon, Quirky Little Quilts by Sheryl Johnson, I think there'll be a lot of fun ideas inside.

Also I'm getting the machine quilting on my 2017 summer challenge quilt done. I'm working on quilting it section by section, slow going but quilting it with an all over pattern wasn't going to look right.

That's the news from the Pacific North West.
Hope you had a productive week and I'll be by to visit!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Quilt News!, On Point Blocks, More Piecing, Quilting Started

Trimming up half square triangles.

More trimming to size.

My sampler blocks on point, three more blocks to piece.

I started machine quilting my improv quilt started last summer.

Happy Father's Day!
What do you have planned, a bar-b-que or a quiet celebration with a walk in the park?
It's a beautiful time of the year isn't it?

I've been trimming, piecing and choosing color for the 'flying x block' for my traditional sampler quilt started last summer. I put up my design wall (flannel taped with painter's tape on the closet doors), and arranged the blocks on point. Three more blocks to go and some setting triangles, it's getting there.

And I started the machine quilting on my summer improv quilt. I began with the center 'medallion' blocks, slow and steady. I always pin like crazy when machine quilting to keep everything smooth and flat. Soon it'll be time to choose the binding. I use a 'skinny' binding on my small quilts, 1 1/4",
as a 2" binding is too bulky for something small. Dark or light binding? High or low contrast?

That's the news from the Renton, Washington highlands. There'll be relaxing and small celebrating here this weekend. I hope you've enjoyed your weekend so far.

We have a lot to be thankful for don't we?
I'll be by to visit.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

16 Patch Blocks, Hiking and Admiral Butterfly Sightings, Joe the Quilter

Squares for 16 Patch block for my traditional sampler quilt.

Set of squares for 2nd 16 Patch block.
We hiked in the Kent Valley on Saturday in the Green River Natural Area.

Salmon berries are ripe, not real sweet, but good.

Natural shrubs blossoming, lovely smell.

Wild rose, fragrant.

Admiral butterfly, they don't stay still long.

Bird sanctuary pond, off limits to the public.

'Country road take me home to the place I belong.'

I saw Gold Finch but they were shy.

I think this was some kind of wild rose.

Bend in the Green River with pedestrian/bike bridge.

Happy Weekend!

Saturday here, clouds and sun, not too hot and not too cool. Good day for a hike. We drove to a natural reserve and walked around for some good exercise.
We saw Swallow Tail and Admiral butterflies, Gold Finch, Sparrows and chickadees.
There were wild flowers and blossoming shrubs, wild berries and poplar/cottonwood. 
Lots of color inspiration and fun.

And I found time this morning to get the squares for my two 16 Patch blocks ready to piece for the traditional sampler I'm working on. I'm roughly following the pattern by Piecing the Past Quilts, 'Times of Refreshing.' The blocks are 10" finished. 

If you want an interesting read about quilts in the fashion world, read Joe the Quilter's post entitled 'Calvin Klein and Me.' Well written with good insight and humor.

And I'm linking up with Sew Stitch Snap Share, hosted by Julie at
Thank you Julie!
Stop in to share your projects and get inspired.

Well that's what I've been up to today.
Have you seen any butterflies in your garden?
How are your projects coming along?

I'll be by to visit.

Monday, June 4, 2018

'Homage' to Gwen Marston and her Liberated Style, Fun with Red

My 'liberated' log cabin blocks, 3 1/2" ea. after trimming.

I pieced them using two different reds and Kona 'snow', the white.

Using the same colors I pieced a liberated star, 9.5".

My liberated log cabins sewn together, 9.5".

Happy Monday and it's June! 

Summer officially starts the 21 of June. We're enjoying the longer days, it starts getting light here around 5:00 A.M. The birds start singing early and want everyone to wake up with them.
Good times.

This post is inspired by Debbie Jeske @A Quilter's Table. This month she is hosting her group of improv quilt friends @ Bee Sewcial and the challenge is 'Homage to Gwen Marston' by creating a 'sketch' focusing on Gwen's liberated style. To be pieced using reds and white!
So I got excited about that and pieced two blocks for the challenge and fun.
Thanks Debbie and thanks Gwen Marston.

Have a good week and enjoy the birds. 
 Have you seen any swallowtail butterflies yet?

I'll be by to visit!