Showing posts from July, 2014

Taming scraps - again

Wait, didn’t I do this already?  I distinctly remember in January 2013 I attacked the scrap bin with the intention of cutting all those bits into useful sizes, à la Quiltville’s scrap user’s system.  By April I posted that the bin was empty!  I promptly used the bin for something else so I wouldn’t be tempted to let the untrimmed scraps pile up again.I did pretty well for a while.  When I cut fabric for a project, I cut down the small leftovers right away.  I was very pleased with myself, yet somewhere along the way the scraps started reproducing.  All by themselves, I’m sure.  When I was tidying up my quilting corner last week, I found this:I don’t remember tossing all those scraps in there.  Well, not that many, anyway.So, I’ve been spending some time every day sorting and cutting these down.  At least this bin is smaller than the one I tackled last year! As you can see, I’m making progress: the piles of strings, strips, bricks and squares are growing and the level in the bin is goi…

Green and blooming

Unlike the past 2 or 3 tears, we have had rain this summer.  yay!  My garden is looking happy for the first time in a long while so I thought I’d share.  The tipsy pots!  Love these.Daisies and blanket flowers flanking a barrel full of celosia and purple sweet potato vine.  The yellow coreopsis behind the daisies started blooming after I took the picture.Daylilies.  Their bloom time is almost over now, but they have been splashing their color around for the last month or so.Purple fountain grass, coreopsis, coneflower.  Sweet potato vine, lilies and daisies.  Black-eyed Susan (very late to bloom this year, just starting).Phlox. Sunflower.Asiatic lilies.  One of these years we’ll manage to keep the rabbits from stripping all the leaves off the stems so these beauties might have a chance to multiply and come up in gorgeous bunches instead of single blooms.The swing set birdfeeder.  My son built the storage bench in the background with guidance from my dad last month.  The sunflowers are…

Sparkling Strings pattern available

Finally, the Sparkling Strings pattern is available in my online shop. Click on the "Pattern Shop" tab above to visit the shop.

As part of the process, I asked a friend to test the pattern for me.  She offered some great suggestions to improve clarity.  Thanks, Kathy!  Here’s what she had to say about making her version. 

I had a lot of fun making this quilt.  Using my daughter's suggestion, I chose to make the stars from reds and golds, the colors of my beloved Iowa State Cyclones!  So, I started by looking in my stash; then, of course, I ended up at a fabric store.  I decided to use nine different red and seven different gold fabrics for the stars.  Normally, I wouldn't choose a stark white fabric for a background.  However, I found that the one I used not only made the stars pop, but the gold swirls in it added an overall soft, circular pattern to the quilt.

Cutting out the various pieces for this quilt was a new challenge for me.  I had neve…

Presenting Sparkling Trail

It’s done!  Binding on and everything! (Oops, everything except a label.)  I’ve named it Sparkling Trail.  I named the pattern Sparkling Strings, because the original version used string stars, but as you can see there are no strings at all in this version, so it needed a new name. 

I debated quilting more heavily in the stars but I really wanted them to be floating in front of the spirals.  When I quilted too much in the stars they receded to the same layer as the background, so I decided to mostly stitch in the ditch, with just a bit of outline quilting.

For the borders I finally decided to quilt sets of 60 degree lines in the corners and join the corners with plain straight lines.  Once that was done I thought the plain straight lines looked a little stark, so I stitched a few sets of 60 lines randomly through them.  That broke up the border nicely and echoed the straight lines in the quilt.  I had trouble getting the full effect to show up in the photos though. They look more effec…

It’s on the wall!

I just realized I never shared a picture of my completed Canada Quilt after I finished it in January.  I was waiting to get it hung on the wall.  My dad made a quilt hanger especially for it (thanks Dad!) and brought it on his recent visit.  Here it is, filling a space on the very plain wall at the top of the stairs.It hangs straighter than I hoped for, which is nice.  I think when I get around to inserting a dowel into the little corner pockets on the back of the quilt that tiny ripple will be taken care of.  I’m so happy to finally enjoy this one out on display!

Interrupted Spirals

Yay!  I finished quilting the background spirals on my red and green star quilt yesterday.  It was a bit tedious but I think it was worth it in the end.  I still have to figure out what to quilt in the borders, so there isn’t a finished quilt to show yet, but in the meantime I thought you might enjoy a quick explanation of how I marked (or didn’t mark) the spirals.These large spirals were inspired by the ones demonstrated by Jacquie Gering in her Craftsy class “Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot”.  She only marks the center circle and the line that extends from that circle to the next round.  From there, she just quilts a set distance away from the previously stitched round, around and around in a spiral without stopping. I used a guide arm that attaches to my walking foot, lining it up with the stitched line, to keep my needle a more-or-less constant distance from the previously stitched line.  (This picture was taken after the fact, so just imagine that line of stitching in fr…

It always takes longer…

Last Friday I woke up inspired to quilt the red and green stars quilt.  Then I remembered I needed to prepare the backing and snip any fraying threads off the back of the top(any loose threads would definitely show through all that white).  That took up any quilting time I had that day.  Then the weekend came, but I at least managed to baste the quilt by Sunday night.

Yesterday I was off to a wonderful start.  Stitching in the ditch went more smoothly and quickly than I expected.  I expected that to take longer than it did and when it didn’t I became convinced that I would get most of the quilting done by the end of the day.  Oh well.  Hope springs eternal.  Maybe today?

Here’s a peek at what I’m doing in the open spaces and behind the stars.

 Breaking the spiral at the stars and continuing it in the next white space is trickier than I expected. I’m striving for the impression that the stars are floating in front of the spiral.  Now I’m wondering if it’s worth the trouble, but I’m com…