Something Fun and New

Now that our local quilt show is over, I can relax and play. I needed something fun instead of fancy.  First thing I did was take out my box of solids.  This box isn’t huge but it’s loaded with solid fabrics of every color.  Some are leftovers from my mini dresden,  a new bundle of jewel tones and the rest were given to me by a good friend!
P1400796I love to use solids but this will be a first to use only solids.  I found this pattern on Craftsy and saved it for a later date.  Today is that date.
P1400797I have plans to use more of these solids in another project after I finish this one.
P1400798There is even a backing that has been sitting on my shelf for years!  I love it when that happens.  Shopping your own stash can make you feel so efficient.

I’ve already sewn the bottom row and it’s 60″ long.  The pattern calls it a throw size, can’t wait to see how big it’s going to be.

A lot of color will be used in this quilt but I’m really looking forward to seeing them. I really need a less formal quilt to play with.  I’m even thinking this is another quilt that needs straight line quilting.  Hopefully this will be a quick and easy quilt because I already want to play with another quilt!

Surprising myself I bought 2 Kaffe Fasset charm packs in blues, turquoise, plum and violet.  I think a can do a controlled color palette of Kaffes this way, with a few solids thrown in.  If I can’t handle it, it’ll be a great gift for someone!

Take care my friends, Brandie

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Expiration Date

You know that quilt I’ve been complaining about, the one that needs to be quilted for our up coming quilt show?  Well I think I’ve   f i n a l l y    gotten to the point of seeing the end of it.  I’m not even sure I can say this is a favorite quilt anymore.  I have been working on this sooooooo long that I kind of hate it.  After the show I’ll put it away, forgot about, find it in a pile while showing someone my quilts, and fall in love with it again.  But right now I’m actually calling it the butte county quilt after the county I live in (drop that “e” and you know what we really call our county and what I’m calling this quilt).
P1400746This has been such a hard quilt to capture the true colors of.  I’ve taken shots indoors and outdoors, sunny and cloudy but none have been the true colors.  This first shot may be the best for the leaves and dresden flowers but it make the black faded.
P1400745This shot makes the black look it’s blackest but washes out the colors.  But hopefully with all the pictures you can imagine it’s true colors.
P1400744This quilt has an expiration date on it so I better finish it up soon!

I’m not using this as an excuse but I’m now quilting around all the dresden flowers with metallic thread and it’s not going perfectly.  The thread breaks at least once on every flower.  Very frustrating and time consuming!
P1400736The backing shows off more of the quilting. Sometimes the backs become their own works of art, not that this is! What a pile of thread clippings I see in my future.
P1400699Is it any wonder that this quilt is covered in fur?! I take a bathroom break and this is what I came back to. Silly cat!
P1400726Don’t let this sweet little face fool you, he’s a terror!  Thank goodness he still sleeps a lot!

My Daughter asked for a baby quilt for a co-worker.  The only instructions she gave me were, the colors are pink and gray and she likes animals.

So with those requirements this is what I came up with, using one of my favorite subjects!
P1400733The retro kitty is velvet.  I thought it would feel nice so I used it but I’m looking for a better way to applique with it.  If you have any ideas, please tell me.

I backed my velvet shape with a thin cotton and tried to flip it inside out, tried.  I mostly ended up cutting an opening all the way through the shape.  But it helps keep the raw edges together so I slowly tucked everything under and sewed it down.  It’s mostly OK except for the area where the tail meets the back leg, that area just looks like the cat has a prolapsed rectum.  Did that get your attention? Anybody out there?
P1400730Eyelet lace, ric-rac and rhinestones can be a girls best friend. Velvet applique, fleece backing and satin binding make this a most touchable quilt. In fact I want to make one for myself! How else am I going to learn to applique with velvet?

Take care my friends! Brandie

Modern

What is modern quilting? As a traditional quilter I’ve never really gave it a second thought. Occasionally I see a quilt and I think “that’s modern”. The use of gray backgrounds or traditional blocks made with solid fabrics seem to be a clue. Though not all the blocks in a modern quilt are traditional. Many blocks are more organic in the style of a Gees Bend quilt. But how is a Gees Bend quilt modern? They weren’t even recently constructed. It all boggles the mind, yet I still feel the need to know and so I went looking for an answer to what modern is.

This is what the modern quilt guild has to say.
“Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. “Modern traditionalism” or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.”
P1400703So according to that little blurb, my latest baby quilt is just that, modern.

How did this happen?  I thought I was a traditionalist.  Am I still a traditionalist? I seem to have checked more that one of those modern boxes.  Bold colors, high contrast, expansive negative space and alternate grid work.
P1400709Gees Bend quilts influence the modern quilter.  They can influence any quilter!  How they used fabric to make a blanket to provide warmth.  I don’t think their first intention was to make art.  It was a necessity first.  But make art they did.  Or were they just being frugal? They say necessity is the mother of invention.  P1400708As a child I made up stories to go along with my village of stick people.  At the time I was unaware of my lack of toys, I just made do and I was happy.

As a teenager I became aware of those around me with fancier name brand clothes, newer cars and “normal” homes.  I was embarrassed of my Kmart clothes but once again necessity knocked and I learned to sew many of my own clothes, which several girls seemed to be impressed by.

My Grandparents car was big and old compared to the 80’s smaller cars.  Fast forward to today when my son tells me that their car was a muscle car and he would have loved to have it.

Then there was my Grandparents home.  A very small simple shack they bought in 1943.  Over the years my Grandfather added several additions to that shack.  Sure it will never be considered “normal” but it has it’s charm and it means a lot to me.

Isn’t it funny how our perceptions change?
P1400707When I first started quilting, I thought all quilts should be made from one line of fabric.  I thought they didn’t “match” unless all the fabrics were related.  Now I really have a hard time “not” using everything,  as long as it matches in color.

I used to think that a house with a matching couch, love seat and recliners were the ultimate in home interiors.  Now I couldn’t stand to be in such a sterile room.  Give me patterns, as long as they match in color.
P1400713But back to modern quilting, isn’t it a statement of being frugal?  Fewer fabrics and simple lines.  Doesn’t this all add up to making do and being frugal?  This is what the Gees Bend quilters did.  I did it too, with my binding.  Sure I could have bought more fabric but why not just use up the strips that were cut away?  This would have made my Grandmother so proud!  Once I made a doll and I glued the dress to her.  Yes I GLUED her dress to her!  My Grandmother learned me a lesson with that example.  I learned that that doll would forever have that dress and I couldn’t even change it even when it got dirty.  I learned that lesson real good!  Slipcovers became my new motto, for everything!

Scraps, even if I can’t see the use of them (at that moment) can later become the best piece for applique.  So now I ask, is it frugal or hoarding?
P1400705Today I can see the charm in all things old. I could literally go back in time and kick my teenage shelf for not seeing the beauty in things!

Gees bend quilts may not be my cup of tea but there is a beauty in them, a love that can be seen by the work they put into these quilts for their loved ones.  A quilt is a real work of love, be it of sewing, creating, for a family member or just the fabrics themselves.  That’s me to a “T”.
P1400701This quilt may not be my favorite but I learned something new and I did enjoy creating a new quilt for a soon to be arriving baby, there is nothing sweet than that!

(except maybe this!)
P1400695Every quilt is an expression of ourselves, it just can’t be helped. We put our love into a quilt and that shows every time someone admires it. But you and I know just how simple this quilt really is! But we will lie and tell everyone how long and hard we worked on it, at least I will so don’t give me away!
P1400712Sorry for the long post, these were just the thoughts that were going through my mind while I sewed a bunch of straight lines.
One thing I learned about myself in this process was that I will always think of modern quilting as frugal.  That and I will always enjoy quilting in any style.

Take care my friends, Brandie

Random Musings

This summer Hubby’s family has been cleaning up the grandparent’s property. It has been a long difficult job with many emotions involved. During the course of cleaning up everyone has found a few treasures. This is a quick story about one of my treasures and how it inspired a quilt.
P1400566This dirty little chest came home with me after we had put it in the “free” pile outside the gate.  I didn’t need/want any furniture but when I saw these drawer pulls I was attracted.  I convinced myself that because it wasn’t big that I’d find a use for it.

Since it was already painted I thought it wouldn’t be any loss to repaint it.  Off I went to buy some red Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  I love that stuff!  I was going to go bold, paint it red and use it as a TV stand.  Truthfully, I’m hoping to bribe a few of my son’s strong friends to move a 500 lb broken TV.  My new lighter (I can pick it up) TV is sitting in front of the massive broken unit.  After they remove it I’ll gain 3 whole feet in my living room.  It’s a plus all around, extra storage and space, I just need to find those strong boys!
P1400592The after is quite a change, no?  This was Hubby’s idea, you know the one that comes after you thought you were done with a project and you put all your tools and brushes away.  But I’ll keep him because I thought this was an excellent idea!

(Warning: the pictures are not in order and look away if your allergic to cats)
P1400652Then came the quilt idea.
My son’s friend is going to be having a baby, so a quilt was/is in order.
His friend was born in England and later moved to Shetland. Now the friend lives here and as life progresses, he fell in love and they are now expecting a baby boy.
I like to personalize my quilts when I give them away, I’m sure I’m the only one of us who does that, right?
P1400655I just knew I had to do a Union Jack quilt block. What I wasn’t sure about was the rest of the quilt.

My DD asked if I was going to give them the dresser.  Haha, no!  I’m not that generous!
P1400656Then I remembered Lori Holt’s new book Farm Girl Vintage. I’ve been hankering to make a lamb since I bought the book. Why not now!
P1400657I grabbed a few blue scraps (really only the few I had left) and cut up a flock of lambs with a piggy friend and the flags (not to scale and only a representation) to commemorate this babies heritage.

Tomorrow is the shower and I’m hoping that the parents will love it as much as I loved making it.

This last week was our monthly mini meeting.  These blocks also came from the same book.  I chose to make the 6 1/2 inch blocks.  Than I thought these would make a great pillow to send to my daughter.  Every month I can send a new cover and she can decorate for each season.

Can you spot the fox?
P1400622I’m still working on my quilt show quilt. It’s really boring and I’m not even sure if I like the quilt anymore! I will be so glad to see it finished!
P1400627With all the furry kids in this house it’s not unusual to find someone in an out of way spot.  Or someone stuffed into as small a space possible.
P1400631Or to just be right in your face demanding attention. Can’t help but love them all and pick them up to squeeze the lovings into them. I’m sure it makes them love me more.
P1400643Well congrats for reaching the end of my rambling.

I hope you have a wonderful and creative weekend!

Take care my friends, Brandie

Material Obssession

Had to do a bit of shopping after seeing these beauties on Instagram.
P1400617Pumpkin set, why what a good idea, they will become pumpkins!
P1400618Not sure what these will become, but I just couldn’t live without them!P1400619These will be used in my next mini. Next months project. P1400620These lovelies were on sale and I thought they’d make good backings.

Oh how I wish there were more hours and less chores.  Maybe I need my own wife, cook and maid.

Have a Fantastic weekend and may you find beauty to gaze upon.

Take care my friends, Brandie

Chocolate and Pears

Even though I’ve been absent for days, I have been quilting just not enough to show you.  Not that I need an excuse but it was dang hot last week!  If I didn’t get to my machine before 9 am it was just too hot to be close to anything, particularly fabric and batting.

Sunday the weather started to cool down and I took the hubby out of the house to do some shopping.  He refused to be dropped off by the door or to use a motor chair, he wanted to do it all on his own.  He made it but not for too long, it’s still an improvement and we are both happy with it.  Walking slowly apposed to not at all is a GOOD thing.
P1400595Monday was cooler still, enough that we had to close the windows!  I’m going to relish this cool air and not complain.

After a few chores I sat down in my cool room and layered my dotted pears.  A quick pleasure in this fall like weather!

Tired of all my grid quilting I attached my free motion foot and quickly quilted some fresh water pearls, chocolate dots or are they blueberries?
P1400597A simple and fun mini.  This one I decided to leave off the extra borders making it a small 22 x 14.

I wanted to add a bit of something and remembered that I had seen ric-rac used in bindings. I was up to trying something new and to add a bit of whimsy to these dotted pears.  Also I wanted to try it out because I was thinking about it for my quilt show quilt.
P1400599I like the look of just a bit of color at the edge, this is a keeper idea for me.

I don’t usually go for the bright colors but I really love these pears!  I’m sure it’s the dots that make it for me.  I’m looking for it’s perfect home to display it.  I even bought it a cute accessory from Target.  Every pair needs a pear.

I’m working on my Hollow Cubes and the red pears, hoping to have them finished soon to show you.  And of course I’m working on the dresden quilt, this one just takes so much time!  I had to play hooky because I’m getting bored with black thread.  I know I’m close, I just keep avoiding working on it.  Shame on me!  I’m going to talk myself into finishing parts of it now that I’ve had some fun.

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Take care, Brandie

It’s Not Procrastination

Sure it’s true I haven’t touched my machine in a week.  But I’m not a procrastinator, I’m a worrier.  I’ll own up to the worry and I’ll also admit that a deadline makes me get things done as well as worry me more.  That is where the worry comes from, a deadline, as in our local quilt show.

Now that I’ve faced the root of my worry, it’s time for me to deal with the problem and do something about it.
P1400573I would like to have this quilt done by the show, but I will admit that I’m not a failure if I don’t make the deadline.  I’m not going to go crazy to finish this or any other quilt.  This is just the deal I make with myself and how I motivate myself.  Today I used the motivational technique of  “I’ll just quilt one row of lines”.  An hour later I had finished 3 rows.  It wasn’t hard at all!  I than discovered that I had quilted a quarter of the middle, even better motivation!  Now I know that I can do the other 3 rows and have half done.  Maybe I’ll even get more done this evening, if I feel like it, no pushing myself too far.

It’s a bit slow going.  Lint roll, mark my lines, quilt, repeat every 10 minutes.  Slow and steady wins the race.

I use to use the rule “one bobbin” before I could take a break.  Not so this time!  I’m using Aurifil 50 weight and boy-o-boy is it going a looooong way!  My shoulders can’t last through 1 full bobbin.

After quilting my last 2 (?) quilts with straight lines, I said I wasn’t going to do the same thing again.  But after removing the curvy-circle pattern I had started on this quilt, I wasn’t happy with anything I came up with BUT straight lines.  This is 1 inch lines that will be cross hatched.  Not quite the same as straight lines 2 inches apart.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself, along with, cross hatching is not a cop out.
P1400575Thread trimming is going to be a blast!  More motivational talk.
P1400576Just a shot of the back with bonus cat hairs to make this quilt fluffier.

Now that I’ve had a break, it’s time to put on my gloves and… sew a straight line.

Take care my friends!  Brandie