Monday, October 17, 2011

The Incredibly Shrinking Plans for a Quilt

Oh the crazy joy of english paper piecing! I've been addicted to the wide assortment of geometric shapes for several months now. . . . . . diamonds, triangles, and of course hexagons. I love having a pile of fabric covered papers to play around with. The color and design possibilities are endless and I've a growing collection of very random block creations to prove it! My early intentions of creating a bed quilt out of all these, however, have shrunk. Still seeming a bit to overwhelming my second plan for a lap quilt was axed as were the plans for a table runner, pillow, and mug rug set. As usual I eventually decided I was most content turning them into pincushions! That was until I discovered I could purchase the paper pieces in even smaller sizes!

Meet here the 1/4" hexagon. . . . .

. . . . .which when combined with 18 other such creatures. . . . .

. . . . . and accessorized with a bit of quilting and picot crochet,

turned out the most delightful little pillow for one lucky doll!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Summer Sewing

As much as I love my cozy little sewing nook at the top of the stairs, come summer the heat up there has me more than grumbling. This year I smartened up. . . . .

. . . . .and relocated to the sun room! The open windows provided not only a blessed breeze but also great light and a view outside. This new arrangement worked out so well that the nook has already made reservations to vacation there next year as well!

With our last "official" Farmer's Wife gathering scheduled in July, I first set up shop to work on getting something together for our final show and tell. There was quite a bit of sewing. . . . .

. . . . .and trimming involved.

Block #91, Strawberry Basket, was one of my favorite creations and fun to make but. . . . .

. . . . . upon completing Broken Sugar Bowl (block #12) I decided enough was enough. I had 20 of the 111 blocks made up and was itching to lay things out.

Inspired by the image of this quilt I decided to make the sashing strips and cornerstones a bit wider than those called for in the assembly directions for the sampler quilt in the Farmer's Wife book.

I had intended to to use a pink fabric for the sashing strips themselves. . . . .

. . . . . but then came across this print which I had fallen in love with years ago and yet never found the right project to use it in. Perhaps this was it?

I began laying it out and loved it. Soon after I started piecing it together, however, I learned the one downfall of relocating my sewing nook. . . . . .opinions! Being in the sun room put me much closer to the hub of daily activity. Lots of foot traffic through the space meant lots of mouths were walking by as well and each one seemed to have an opinion. While given individually the consensus was unanimous. . . . . .I was making something very ugly. Needless to say my seam ripper packed it's bag and joined us downstairs where I frantically attempted to remove as many of the stitches as I could.

The few raggedy blocks and sashes that remained intact were reluctantly revealed at our gathering the next morning. They met with many more opinions of. . . . . approval?!!! My Farmer Wife cohorts actually liked it! Well probably not the mess of dangling scraps I was displaying but the fabric choice was deemed a winner!

And so my Farmer's Wife blocks and blue sashing needed to be reassembled. I, however, decided to take a break on my quilt. . . . .

. . . . .and work on someone else's. Although I don't believe it to be very old I found this patchwork quilt at an antique mart for a mere $20. Considering it a bargain price for the fabric alone I snatched it up in order to re purpose it into smaller projects. Wanting to spruce it up a bit I decided to rewash it and hang it up to air dry.

Stringing a bit of rope between the sun room windows proved to be such a great impromptu clothesline that I decided to root out every last scrap of retro fabric in my possession. . . . .

. . . . . and give our clothespins a workout!

Believe it or not it was actually quite fun to take down each piece as it dried. One by one I ironed them, and cut them into even smaller scraps for use in my newest passion. . . . . English Paper Piecing! More on hexagons, triangles, and diamonds in a later blog. . . . .

. . . . .for now I'll turn to circles and the huge assortment of big and little ones I used to complete a very unique custom order.

While I thought of yo-yo button flowers as mere pincushion toppers someone else saw them as eye candy for her scrapbooking creations. I was a bit confused at first, weren't scrapbooks two dimensional? Shouldn't she be using flat, paper flowers? And then I saw her work. Seems I've been quite out of the loop as far as scrapbooking goes! Add in some felt leaves and a hefty bouquet of Bitty Blossom Pins and let the fun begin!

As one thing often leads to another, I soon found myself adding more felt, some gingham paper, and. . . . .

. . . . . tiny pin backings to the yo-yo flowers. . . . .

. . . . . for a batch of custom name tags! Perfect for a garden party. . . . .wish I was going!

And who doesn't like a few blue (and green) birds in their garden? This batch was actually for a baby shower but just as fun.

A celebration of a very different sort was held at Candlelite Quilts this summer. July marked the 5 year anniversary of their grand opening and so a birthday bash was announced. There were fun and prizes for everyone. . . . .even the employees! Now considering the fact that these employees are some of the very sweetest people you could hope to meet I was very excited to have a hand in creating something special for them. First I painted . . . . .

. . . . .while dear hubby went to work incorporating their candlestick logo into a fabric design I could print out on some cotton material.

Eventually the fabrics were cut, pieced, and embroidered to create a quilt block pincushions upon which the rest of the goodies would go.

Around about this point things start to get very messy in the nook!

The pincushions, however, seem to be falling into place. . . . .

. . . . .as they welcomed an entire tribe of Candlelite Sweeties! Happy Birthday!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Field Trip Part II

Mid July found me headed back to Seawright Gardens in hopes of seeing some of those plein air painters busy at their craft.

Alas, while the daylily fields had indeed transformed from this. . . .

. . . . . to this abundance of blossoms,
not a single artist was in sight!

Good thing I brought a few of my own!
This beauty was by one of my all time favorite artists. . . . .

dear hubby!

Close on his heels, however, is a new and rising "all star" . . . . .

dear daughter!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sorting. . . . .

September 1st already?!!!

Delivered my (not-so) wee ones off to school this morning and returned to a house that was empty for the first time in 9 weeks. Strange coincidence that
I've been absent around these parts for that same duration?

I think not. . .
. . those kiddos did a great job keeping me hopping, skipping, jumping, and especially driving this summer!

Today, however, I had 5 blessed hours of freedom ahead of me.
I suppose I should have utilized this time tackling one of the 1,000,000's of
tasks on the ever growing "to -do" list.

I decided to sort buttons instead.

Lots of buttons.

Lots of quiet.

Lots of remembering all the things I had wanted to write here. . .
. . .but didn't.

And yet. . .

There are things I want to be able to look back on and share.
There are oodles of photos on my computer waiting to be sorted.
There are many more school days in September.

Therefore, bear with me if you will as I indulge myself
in a month of reminiscing. . . .

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Field Trip!

Have wellies. . . .

. . . . .will travel!

Thus without further ado we were off to the R. Seawright Gardens
where hostas and daylilies flourish,

. . . and little red wagons await a helping hand to lead them through the wooded paths!

The shady hosta gardens are cool and refreshing on a hot summer day,

feature a tremendous variety of plants,

and some new inspiration as to how one might arrange them!

The wee folk in our party, however, found this small pond . . . .

. . . . . and its residents of far greater interest.

Eventually the woods gave way to endless fields of daylilies.

Rumor has it they will be in full blossom round about the second week in July
and that plein air painters will flock
to the glorious site!

After numerous loops around the farm it was time to make our final selections.

Which came with a few would-be stowaway worms!

Kiosk in sight. . . . .

. . . . .the little red wagon was toted along the last leg of our adventure,

after which it happily returned to his comrades-in-arms.