Monday, February 18, 2019

American Jane meets Wabi Sabi...

Hello - popping in for a rare Monday post as I have some quilting projects to share... I found some motivation ... but I didn't get out of my pajamas till dinner time... but I was productive...yeah for me!! I've been working on another Moda Love quilt in the same style I did before, but this time I'm using my much loved American Jane Fabrics.  You can see the free pattern for the Moda Love quilt here.... I started with one layer cake of the Potluck collection and added bits of other collections to round things out. I got the center finished last week and yesterday I went into my sewing studio and got the borders on... now the borders aren't what I planned to do when I started but I'm so much happier with how this turned out...



 I had plenty of the yellow tape measure fabric but only a little of the multi-color tape measures... I think the multi-colored fabric is  from the Wee Play collection. Anyway I love pop of color it brings to the border... and I LOVE the perfectly imperfect... wabi sabi... look and feel it gives to this quilt.


Here's some close ups of some of the blocks...





and you can see the yellow polka dot background fabric peeking in at the corners of these blocks.  I used the technique where you stack 5, 6, or 7 fabrics .... then you cut them up randomly ... and then you shuffle the piles ...


There are 7 fabrics in this stack so I cut it into 7 irregular shapes... just layed the ruler down and sliced them up.

Then I shuffled each stack... in the first stack I moved the top fabric to the bottom, in the second stack I moved the top 2 fabrics to the bottom, in the third stack I moved the top 3 fabrics to the bottom, and so on and so on...


Now sew the pieces together and you get a block looking something like this...


Now the edges aren't going to match up but that's okay... next you trim down the block to the size you want. I started with 10" squares... I could squeeze a 9" trimmed block out of most of the pieced squares but it was easier to go down to 8 1/2". And the more fabrics you stack the more seams you have and so  it gets smaller.  Also, the block will get even smaller after you make all the HST for this pattern. My blocks finished 7 1/2" square and the center came out 60" which is perfect for my double size bed. The borders boosted it to 80" square... just what I wanted.

I take no credit for this crazy pieced block ...I've seen this technique in several quilt books... I have Stack, Shuffle and Slide: A New Technique for Stack the Deck Quilts by Karla Alexander in my library and have used it before... it is the same idea.  And I got my inspiration from this quilt done by Edyta Sitar for the Moda Love version.

And here is a close up of those wabi sabi borders...



I'm so happy with me for using up some of my horded fabrics... I know the multi-color tape measure fabric is long gone... maybe it will be reprinted some day ... but instead of living in a plastic bin it will now see the light of day... and will make me smile when it it on my bed... I'm getting the back together today and sending this off to David of Quilting by David as soon as I can pick a quilting panto for it.

Oh if you are fan of American Jane fabrics Sandy Klop has a website with her patterns and fabrics and she has some inventory of older lines... you can see it here... I just checked and she still has the yellow tape measure fabric listed....

So now that this quilt is done I'm off to play with another idea I have using my American Jane... since it is strewn all over the floor and the tables in my sewing studio I might as well play in the piles some more...LOL

I'll be linking up with couple of blogs today...Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday... and Quilting is more Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!...and Love Laugh Quilt for Making Monday.

Hope you have great week ahead... I'm feeling good since I'm starting the week with a finish... maybe I'll get some other stuff done and have something else to show on my design wall next week...hope springs eternal...LOL

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Looking for motivation on a Slow Stitching Sunday...

It is gray outside ... and rainy... and cold... and I do not like it one bit!!! insert stompy foot... Yesterday was cold but sunny... I can take the cold if it is sunny... these gray days just get me down...and now I've got the Carpenters running through my head singing "rainy days and Mondays always get me down"... and it isn't even Monday yet!  Need to focus on something sunnier... like I did last week when I got to sit on my sunroom porch and stitch with the Dude.

And this is what I got done last week... first is this Lizzie Kate piece from Spring Smalls...



This is on 32 ct I painted ... it is softer in real life with more yellow showing... I'm so frustrated with the color on my pictures ...grrr... I changed all the thread colors and used DMC... it is very Spring-y!


And I stitched a second Lizzie Kate, Spring String...


This is on 28ct and I changed all the colors on this too... some close ups...





Now to get them FFO'd ...when I get some motivation... sigh...

I finished up the Spring String yesterday evening and didn't have anything else ready to go so I picked up Good Deeds by With Thy Needle & Thread...



 I started this one last Spring and set it aside...



I got the leaves done on this first of the 4 giant tulips.... nice repetitive stitching... and on the subject of With Thy Needle & Thread, have you seen the pieces she's bringing to market next month?... check them out here... oh there are some wonderful pieces... I LOVE the bunny with the gigantic head ... and the new hoop series ... and the sampler ... and the sewing basket... oh I LOVE everything she designs... such talent.  And if you want to see some other stuff coming to the Nashville Market check out the newsletter from The Attic...you can read it here. 

So I was thinking this morning that I'd get the threads together for the April chart from Hands on Designs A Year of Celebrations... and I looked EVERYWHERE for the piece of yellow and tangerine linen I painted for this piece about 2 weeks ago... I even straightened up my craft desk and it is no where to be found... where did a piece of linen walk off too?   OMG... it just hit me... the piece of linen I painted for April is the piece of linen I stitched the LK Spring on.... no wonder I can't find it... I already used it... arghhh... I've done this before ... sometimes I actually write in the selvedge with a pigma pen what project the linen is for ... so I won't forget... and use it for something else... like this... Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!!

Maybe I'll go downstairs and sew a bit... I need to get the borders on my Moda Love quilt and I want to play with a Spring-y wall quilt design for my living room. Don't have any plans for the rest of the 3 day weekend. Did dinner last evening with my son and daughter-in- law and we are going to see the play Hamilton on Tuesday... and perhaps I should get out of my pajamas... maybe that will motivate me ... but the pajamas sure are cozy...

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and if I do get motivated I'll post some quilt pictures tomorrow... I saw that David of Quilting by David has quilted my Hot & Cold Running String quilt... you can see it pic of it here... it looks great, should be back home by Wednesday.

Hope your week isn't gray and rainy... that's the forecast here for the week...  need to go play with some pretty colors ... 

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Hanging with my Gnomies on Slow Sunday Stitching ...

I knew that this week wouldn't be as productive as last week ... and I'm okay with that... but it didn't help that I've got a cold and felt like carp for a couple of days. My voice is back now, but I'm still stuffy and that nagging cough thing has resurfaced... it seems to hang on forever.  The nice 60 degree weather departed and the the cold has returned. It is February so I'm not surprised but I will be happy when the normal temperature is above 50 again... couple of weeks away still. The daffodils in my yard are up about an inch and half... can't wait for Spring!!

So as I sat in my stitching chair, hacking and sneezing I did do some cross stitching...it required very little motion on my part and that's all I was up to. Now what I worked on all week was no where on my radar till last Saturday... I had stumbled across a new to me designer Kyoko Marouka Gera... you can see some of her stuff on 123Stitch here and on Creative Poppy here. I purchased this chart from 123Stitch... Gnomes in Springfield...

And I fell in love with all the little gnomies and they seem to like me too...LOL I didn't want to stitch all the flowers just the gnomes  ... I pulled out one of the pieces of linen I dyed last week and started doing a gnome here and a gnome there and another gnome over there and in the end stitched 6 gnomies on the approximately 10" x 13" piece...


Let's get up close and personal with these cute little guys...

I'm calling this one Dominic, after my Uncle Doe... he was a little guy too!



And this one is Bergy... my cousin who was into mushrooms ...and ahem,  other plants...


This guy is Eli... he and Bergy were good friends who shared an interest in botany that could be experienced ...


 Next we have Ray... he's a bit flighty but a good guy down deep...


This is Mac... a gnome of Irish descent hanging out in the clover...


And finally Finn... he's the sensitive one...


This guys are tiny... Dominic only measures  1.5" tall and 1" wide... I plan to finish each little guy as a separate cushion... maybe with some sort of cording or edging or rick rack around the outside edge... need to play with that idea soon so I can display them this Spring. I think it will be fun to tuck them in here and there ... a sort of Where's Waldo? but with gnomies!!

And sitting in my chair and exerting as little energy as possible did allow me to finish another pair of scrappy socks... 



They are bright... all Opal yarns ...my favorite yarn for socks!!  I cast on another pair of scrappy socks when these were complete, but in calmer colors... greens and purples and a bit of peach... I'll show them next week although I'm not sure I'll have a pair complete... I'm still moving slow. 

Plans for today include dinner with my sons and daughter-in-law... we never got around to doing prime rib for Christmas...and January got away from us with birthdays and baby showers so today is the day... prime rib, asparagus, mushrooms, pasta salad, tossed salad, strawberries and rolls... should be yummy... 
and I'm hoping for a little time with my sewing machine today. Yesterday I worked on my latest Moda Love Quilt... all the crazy pieced blocks are pieced... now to trim them, turn them into half-square triangles and re-trim them... check back tomorrow... I'm hoping to have them on my design wall in a final layout... then I can sew them together next week.

I'll be linking up with Kathy's Quilts today... and perhaps there will be a small bit of time for a nap... like the Dude...



I had just folded the Moda Love Quilt I showed last week and this Princess and the Pea moment materialized... I need to get the binding on the quilt below but don't want to disturb him... maybe tomorrow...

hope you have a great week ahead...
happy stitching-
carol fun 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Quilting mojo returns...

If you read my blog yesterday you saw that I am coming off an unbelievably productive week ... I cross stitched, I dyed linen,  I knitted and I sewed... and I got something finished in all those endeavors... this week I have high hopes too of doing a lot ...although so far today I'll I've accomplished is brunch and a trip to Micheals for 6 skeins of floss that only cost me $35... yeah, pricey right?  The floss was inexpensive but a couple, a few, a bunch, heck a whole lot of other stuff jumped into my cart... I'm obviously not moving quickly enough through the aisles to avoid cute things from flinging themselves off the shelves and landing in my cart... oh well, got some  Spring decor and some odds and ends.

Anyway, yesterday I showed the baby quilt I did for my daughter-in-law's shower on Saturday... Trip around the World pattern done in Richard Scarry fabrics I've been saving for years for the right occasion.

And I finally got the binding on this quilt... which has lead me down another path I'll talk about in a minute... this is the Moda Love pattern done in the Fancy collection by Lily Asbury... this quilt has been around for five years... I hang my head in shame for being such a procrastinator but in my defense shiny things keep catching my attention...





And I finished this top that I started because of the Moda String A long... ta dah!!



I took my inspiration from this quilt in Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms...


My pieced blocks finish 12"... when I started I made the first couple 16" ... and then I did some math and realized the quilt would be enormous and all I wanted was a large throw... so I downsized and I'm happy with this version that is about 61" square. My sashing and borders  are 6" finished.

There are fabrics from a ton of different designers in this quilt all sashed and bordered in  the Pool colorway of Moda Grunge... I'm calling it Hot & Cold Running Strings... and along with the brights there are a bunch of novelty prints mixed in giving it an eye-spy vibe...

and since I'm over the moon with this one I'm going to let you see every single block... sunglasses may be necessary...LOL



















This was a lot of fun to make but oh so messy messy messy... and it didn't make a dent in  my scraps... but I do think I might make another quilt in this string fashion this year.  If you want to see more string quilts take a look at this tag on Instagram... you can see it here.

I found some yardage in my stash for the back... forgot to take a pic before I sent it off... it is wild and crazy. I bought it to do a Stack N Whack years ago... it has been maturing on my shelves for years, and I did have a bit of a pang when I cut it to make the back... I realized that if I didn't use it now I probably would never use it... I have oodles of fabrics to do Stack N Whack and there is only  a slim possibility that I will get  all those done. I convinced myself that it is better to use the fabric that just let it languish ... however it makes me feel a bit old and a bit morbid... I'm kinda admitting my own mortality will not surpass the depth of my stash... trying not to dwell on that but find joy in the fact that the fabric is wonderful and I'm using it. I'll post pictures when it comes back from the quilter. I sent it to David not realizing he was going on vacation. I don't need it right away but I shall anxiously await it's return.

So with several finishes under my belt last week I told myself perhaps I could finish up some of my WIPs... a sensible thing to do... and I got out a couple of plastic bins and perused these projects ... and then resealed them and started something new...

As I was putting the binding on the Moda Love quilt I looked at all the versions that are showing up here on Instagram... and there was one done in American Jane fabrics which you can see here... I LOVE LOVE LOVE American Jane fabrics... and I have 2 quilts for my bed made from her stuff ... but I want another one... I want this Moda Love quilt done in American Jane fabrics in the same crazy quilt fashion of the quilt I just put the binding on... and that is what I started... here's one of the blocks I've completed...


I have 7 finished and need 30 blocks total... I ordered some background fabric ... cream with the yellow polka dot...which should arrive today... can't wait to play with this some more.

So the weather has been all over the spectrum here in southwest Ohio... I'm glad the sub zero temps have gone and today started out sunny ... it has since started to rain but the temperature is 60 degrees, so I'm sitting out on my sunroom porch with my laptop and the Dude ... we've been watching the birds as I filled the feeders before the rain started...

I'll be linking up in a couple of places today... Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday ... and Quilting is more Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!... and Love Laugh Quilt for Making Monday. 

Here's hoping my week and yours is as productive as it can be!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Where crazy weather induces productivity on Slow Sunday Stitching...

Well that was certainly a crazy week of weather... we had rain, snow, abit of ice,  sub-zero temperatures, fog, and sunshine... a weather buffet... Mother Nature couldn't make up her mind!  Now my worries over Tuesday were totally unnecessary as it was very cold... single digits...but that was the extent of the "weather"... Wednesday and Thursday had us in the polar vortex but we made it through and Friday was a little snowy but nothing to keep us home... Saturday started really foggy and then the sun broke out and the temperatures soared and today we are going to be almost 60 degrees!!  I love 60 degrees... it won't last but a day or two but I'll take what I can get.

And suppose I shouldn't complain about the weather... but I will ... it gives me something to say here each week...LOL... however this week it made me quite productive. I worked on and even finished a bunch of projects ... to start I got the binding on my baby quilt present for my daughter-in-law's baby shower... which was yesterday so now I can share it...





The colors are a bit truer in the second picture and if you zoom in you can see that the fabrics are Richard Scarry prints... one of my son's favorite childhood books was Richard Scarry's Busytown... it was a series of pictures and objects were labeled but there wasn't any "story" text. He would sit with my Grandma... his great-Grandma... and she would make up stories about the characters on the pages... and he would add to the stories. He loved doing this with her, to the point that our copy of Busytown is in tatters.  I've had this fabric for probably 5 years just waiting for the right time to make something with it... so this is the first of many quilts I hope to make for my grandchild who's due to arrive in late April.   I put minky on the back in my favorite color...


which shows off the quilting pattern nicely... David of Quilting by David did this one and I'm very happy with it.

I was so pleased with myself that I had this quilt ready to go on Monday and the shower wasn't till Saturday that I jumped into another project I'd been wanting to do... dye and paint some more linen...


I painted these with Lemon Yellow and Coral...


they are light and soft and I've got projects picked out for both pieces... and I painted a pale green piece which you'll see further down...and since I had the dyes in little mason jars I squished a piece of linen into  them...

The yellow is a combo of Golden Yellow and Lemon Yellow.... the aqua was Apple Green mixed with Aquamarine ...and the coral  is just Coral... I like how mottled they came out.

Success with this project spurred me to go to my sewing room in  the basement and sew... I got the binding on a quilt I've had finished for months and I completed my top for the Moda String a long ...



It finished 61" x 61"... I'll go into more detail about it tomorrow in a design wall /make it Monday post.  I even got a back together out of something that has been in my stash for eons and sent everything off to David to be quilted.

Having finished this project I moved onto some cross stitch... I'm loving the A Year of Celebrations series by Hands on Design... I turned February into an FFO just in time for the first of the month...


I don't do a lot of decorating for Valentine's Day but I'm happy with this little vignette... I found the cake felt pincushions in my stash of decorating items ... I made them years ago and I was happy to let them see the light of day. I don't do many pink things but these are pretty in pink... the pins in the jelly roll are from Just Another Button Company ...

And I did this little display too...


I stitched this Blackbird Designs sampler back in 2011... it is called Truly Thine but I changed it to Truly Mine and added my sons' initials in place of my own... and the vintage valentines came from Hobby Lobby...

And since I'm trying to keep ahead on this series I started March....ta dah!!!



This one was so quick to stitch... I spent about 4 evenings on it ... now I did change almost all the colors to go with the linen I painted with Apple Green Rit day... I like the splotchy-ness of  it ... I'll turn it into an FFO at the end of this month.

I also started a new quilt ... a  Moda Love quilt variation with my collection of American Jane fabrics... only have 7 of the 30 blocks I need sewn so I'll hopefully have more to show next week.  You can see lots of versions of this quilt here on Instagram .And I saw that Fat Quarter Shop started their BOM Threadology ... you can see it here... I want to do it in American Jane fabrics so the plan is to get them done in tandem with the Moda Love quilt... we will see where it goes. I feel like my sewing mojo has returned  and that makes me happy happy happy!!!

So I will start this week off with high hopes that I will be at least half as productive as I was last week... I have no illusions that I can repeat this performance  but it was nice while it lasted... at the moment the upcoming week only has 2 out of the house things I need to do, so that it a plus. Hope does spring eternal ... and Punxsutawney Phil said Spring would come early... hope he's right... but I read he's only correct about 40% of the time...which is less than a coin flip... oh well.

I wanted to share this game from the baby shower yesterday... my son, the father to be, put this together ... it was a quiz to "Name that Storybook"... in lieu of a card they asked for books for the baby's library... I was able to find a vintage unused copy of Richard Scarry's ABC book which made for a great themed present to go with the quilt (I was so proud of me...LOL)... anyway here are the questions that were posed... can you name the book?

1. Undersized steam powered vehicle ascends incline and overcomes self doubt.

2. Gluttonous larval stage Lepidoptera binges on fruits and vegetables in preparation for climatic metamorphosis.

3. Young obsessive compulsive cotton tailed mammal bids evening salutations to inanimate and celestial objects.

4. Pathological fibbing martinet seeks animated status and more complicated relationship with Maestro Geppetto.

5. Over -generous arbor indulges ungrateful youth who exploits a lifetime of gifts until only a stump remains.

6. Impulsive yellow Ursus with obsessive fixation on nectar products explores .156 square mile forest.

7. Anthropomorphic Felis Domesticus in striped cranial accessory entertains unsupervised children on a rainy day.

8. Affable sow piglet befriends clever arachnid to win blue ribbon and inspire a generation of vegans.

9. Whimsical lumbricus terrestris navigates congested urban core in red malus pumila mobile.

I'll put the answers in the comment section so you can check how you did... and yes my son is a smart ass... he reminds me that crazy doesn't fall far from the crazy tree and that I am responsible for this situation... ROFL..

I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and plan on a post tomorrow that is quilting related... I know you are shocked and amazed... me too... posting more than once a week hasn't happened in quite a while...
hope your week is going to be a great one!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Weather guys tell stories on Slow Sunday Stitching....

Well I had every intention of doing a blog post last Sunday but the weather guys told me a story... that I believed... and it wasn't true. Let me explain... for at least 5 days  before the weekend they predicted a snow apocalypse for last Sunday... we had 2 family events scheduled to celebrate my older son's 34 birthday (disclaimer: I have no idea how he got to be 34 as I'm positive that I haven't aged that many years.... but then I believe a lot of things that don't turn out to be true... like the weather guy's story... back to it)... I believed the weather guys... they had two of them doing the forecast on Saturday night... a tag team which always means serious weather. It was snowing as I went to bed , so I was sure that all the events we had scheduled would be cancelled and I would be staying at home in my pajamas all day and then I could write a post.

But I woke up on Sunday morning and while there was snow on the ground, the streets were plowed and there wasn't any ice and I was out of the house all day... no pajama time at all!!  We did have a great day... dim sum for brunch and Cincinnati chili for dinner... both favorites of my son... but I was pooped by the end of it all ...

Now this Sunday is also busy... this evening there will be 7 people for dinner at my house to do some more celebrating. It is a joint party for my niece, my son and a remembrance of my brother as they all have January birthdays. I've made lasagna and a white chicken ziti dish that everyone likes... my niece is bringing a Dairy Queen ice cream cake and I know we'll all have a good time.

After starting last week discombobulated the rest of  the week continued to have me mixed up ... Monday was MLK day, and Monday holidays always have me confused as to what day it is for the rest of the week. There were lunch dates and a hair cut and a medical appointment and  dinner out and I just didn't get a lot of  crafty stuff done.

I did finish this pair of socks... I used two different yarns alternating each round...one yarn was a green Opal and the other is a self-striping On-Line yarn ....




And for  cross stitch  I've continued working on WTN&T All Bundled Up...


And the color on this is soooo off... argh... the background is a beautiful olive-y green and I've taken about a hundred pics of it this morning in various locations around the house and I can NOT get it to come out even when I play with filters on my phone. The background color is better (but not much)  in this pic from 2 weeks ago... I swear the camera in my old iphone was way better than the one in this phone.



Anyway, I have everything on the right hand side of done... the snowman's head is taking a while... I've already used an entire skein of Gentle Arts Pineapple Sherbet. I am getting good coverage and I'm glad I still have 2 more skeins in my stash. When he is done I'm moving on to Spring stuff. I love my snowmen but I already have a lot of them and I want to add more stitched pieces to my Spring decor. I spent a couple of hours going through all my charts and picking out things I'd like to stitch this year. I came across several pieces that got started last year and need to be finished, so I want to work on them too. Here's just some of the ones I picked out to work on...


and these...


and these...


This isn't all of the ones I'm liking at the moment... I pulled about 25 charts in all... and a lot of them are smaller pieces... that's my plan for 2019...we'll see how it works out.

And I can finally show these little  Lizzie Kate sleds...

I had them stitched since before Christmas but didn't gift them until  a week ago.. our little group waits till January to exchange Christmas gifts ... they came out cute.

This week has a similar forecast to the story the weather guys told me before but with the added touch of below zero temperatures. I'm again hoping for a pajama day... a day to stitch and knit and maybe go downstairs and sew. We'll see if it actually happens... in the mean time, the Dude is keeping an eye on the world for me... since it has been too cold to go out on the sunroom porch he's had to make do with perching on top of the chairs in the living room... not as comfortable as he would like...




Meanwhile, I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts and hope that between getting dinner n the table and straightening up the house I can find a little time to read some blogs and stitch a bit. Hope you have a good week ahead. I know lots of places are expecting bitter cold temperatures... stay safe and warm. I'm taking comfort in the fact the Opening Day for my beloved Cincinnati Reds is only 60 days away... and they got a new coach and a new pitcher... hope springs eternal that this could be a good year... and by that I mean a year with less than 100 losses... we shall see...

happy stitching -
carol fun