Monday, June 30, 2014

Watching the Paint Chips Dry on Design Wall Monday

I didn't get as much time as I wanted to sew this weekend, but really do we ever get as much time as we want? Anyway I did get the little spacer blocks sewn and I got the blocks arranged on my design wall and I'm waiting for this version of Paint Chips from Stack, Shuffle and Slide to dry.

Now I'm sure I'll make adjustments to the layout as I sew it together but this is a good starting point.

I was really happy to find this background fabric at Fabric Shack the other day. I bought all that was left on the bolt and it is going to be just enough. Love that it has the green and rusty speckly dots on a light yellow background.

As I was putting the blocks on the design wall my older son started "seeing" things in my blocks. Here is a little guy with his arm out waving - I kinda see it and yes he does have 3 legs - LOL!

A forest - I see the trees!

A birthday cake -- well, okay I see the candles but the cake stand looks kinda wobbly.

I'm not sure what that says about him or me except that we are both a bit crazy. As he often tells me "crazy doesn't fall far from the crazy tree" - true true!

Hope today is the start of a good week for all of us!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Moving slow on Slow Stitching Sunday

Well the stitching isn't the only thing moving slow around here... I can't seem to get my butt in gear and finish up any of the multitude of projects I have hanging around. I'll lead by apologizing for not responding to the lovely comments that have you have left in the past week. So sorry. Now I'm procrastinating on completing some paper work, which leads to to dragging my feet on some phone calls I need to make, which has me rearranging stuff instead of putting it away, which leads me to thinking about starting new projects instead of finishing the ones I have started. See? It's a vicious circle and I'm making myself dizzy -LOL!

So I did start this sampler about a week ago, it is the third release in the BBD Loose Feathers Abecedarian series.  After stitching the muted colors of the second release I was craving something brighter and this fits the bill.

Now I again replaced the eyelet stitches with Smyrna crosses. I like the bump in the center of the flowers much better. This one is stitching up pretty quickly as I realized that there are only 2 different branch types growing out of those pots and they alternate right and left. I just need to pay attention to the floss changes and that spot at the top of each plant where there is a space of two stitches, not one, on the stems. Missed it on both sides the first time I stitched them.

When I get this one finished I will have four of the twelve stitched. I received the chart and the linen and the flosses for the latest release, number 11, and I'm chomping at the bit to get it started.
You can see it here. I love the basket of fruit - very summery!

I'm still debating how I'm going to finish these when all twelve are complete. The gals at BBD say that the pieces will fit together as a collage grouping which has my interest. I'm thinking about setting them in a collage group but instead of frames I would sash them with fabric and make a wall quilt. Still have lots of time to make that decision, which is good because like I said, I'm moving slow.

 Okay, must to get out of my chair and get the lasagna made for dinner - don't want my company to be waiting on their meal.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Feeling artsy on WIP Wednesday

Oh my goodness! I am feeling very artsy today. I have completed the 20 "big" blocks I need for my next Paint Chips quilt and I LOVE ALL OF THEM!! (insert squealing with delight accompanied by happy dance)

This is the second one of these I've made from the book Stack, Shuffle and Slide by Karla Alexander and as you can tell I am quite taken with this idea. Again I started with the stacks and the cutting diagrams the book suggested but after that I went off in my own direction gleefully cutting here and adding bits and pieces there and mixing in as many fabrics as I could everywhere. If you followed the instructions in the book I think you could put the blocks together in a couple of hours - simple, easy peasy. But that just isn't my nature, if there is a way to make it more complicated and busier I am all over it! LOL! It is so much fun to snip and sew and cut and trim and pick and choose and see what develops.

Here are a couple of the blocks I finished yesterday.

I really like how these blocks look using batiks. My only problem was I have a very hard time leaving well enough alone and I had to make myself stop several time and not do any more cutting and adding fabrics. I tell myself I like the look of the big sections of fabric but then the little voice inside my head says "oh it would look even better with a bit of purple or green or orange, now wouldn't it?" That little voice is so persuasive... good thing it doesn't have a bridge to sell me - LOL! Okay, now off to find a pretty batik for the background and get this top together.

I'm hooking up with Freshly Pieced today - you can get there from here. Lots and lots of cool stuff to look at.

Happy hump day!

carol fun

Monday, June 23, 2014

Need more time on Design Wall Monday

I had high hopes for lots of sewing time this weekend but instead I found myself doing other things...enjoyable things... hanging out with my sons... grilling out... but not sewing. Oh well, the fabric will wait patiently in my sewing room. Now I did get a couple of blocks together for my next version of the Paint Chips quilt in Stack, Shuffle and Slide by Karla Alexander. You can see the quilt I'm basing mine off of on the cover of her book  here.

When I pulled these batiks my thought was to use this gold leafy one as the background... not sure about that now.

Here are the same blocks just pinned to my design wall. I won't use a white, maybe a light taupe, I think that might be better. I think another trip to Fabric Shack is in order.

As you look at the blocks, each vertical row started with the same 3 fabrics and the same slices. Then I added more fabrics, slashed here and there, inserted bits and pieces. I know I said I was going to to this simply like the book (insert friends laughing hysterically as they know I can never leave well enough alone and ALWAYS find a way to make a simple pattern more complicated... LOL... its a gift!) I love the busy-ness of all those pieces!

Here are close up of a couple of the blocks.

I have 11 more big blocks to make (8 X10 cut) and then the little spacers. Can't wait to play with this. My older son saw the version I made of this quilt last week (you can see it here) and when I first showed it to him, I just showed him a picture on my Kindle with no info to identify who made it. He was quite surprised. He liked it but didn't think I had done it. I kinda like that I stepped outside my comfort zone. Now I did tether myself to my standard work by using the bright colors in the first version but this design is a far cry from the traditional patterns I usually do and I am having so much fun with this!

happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, June 20, 2014

Focus is not my forte

Well this week certainly flew by, how can it already be Friday? Lots of paperwork and running errands and being available for service people and contractors has sucked up most of my crafty time. Oh well, the weekend is coming and I am ready!

Last night I was looking for a mindless project when I realized I had at least 3 partial finished socks sitting in the basket next to my chair. Obviously I am easily swayed by the next pretty ball of yarn and focus and finishing are not my forte - LOL!

Unfinished sock # 1 - Opal Rendezvous - old yarn - a replacement for one of the first pairs of socks I ever knit that have worn out.

Unfinished sock #2 - Regia Fluoromania -- love this - looks like a bunch of highlighters leaked all over it. Very happy with the serendipity that had the colors reverse order at the heel. Hope I can get this to happen on the mate for this one.

Unfinished sock #3 - Regia Kaffe Fasset - Carolina pattern - you can see it here.

My goal for next week is to finish one of these socks... not all of them, just one -- an attainable goal, I think... unless another pretty ball of yarn catches my eye. oooooooohhh pretty colors, where is that other set of needles? LOL

Happy knitting -
carol fun

Monday, June 16, 2014

Unbelievable - 2 finishes in 2 weeks - on Design Wall Monday

Unbelievable - I finished 2 tops in 2 weeks! I don't know how long it has been since that happened, heck I don't know if it has ever happened before. Now I wasn't under any deadline, I was just swept away by this quilt.

Its BRIGHT, BOLD and I think AWESOME! I never made anything this art-y/modern before and it was a lot of fun. I started with this book by Karla Alexander, Stack, Shuffle and Slide - you can see it here.

This is her version of this pattern called Paint Chips.

Loved the design but not the palette. I chose 12 different tone on tone prints from the Dream collection from Timeless Treasures. You can see them here where I purchased mine at Fabric Shack.

Now I started with her basic instructions but ended up slicing and inserting lots of bits and pieces which I think adds more interest to the blocks.

When I showed my blocks on the blog last Wednesday and several people had suggestions as to what color I should use to set them. I appreciate all your opinions but I had decided before I began that the light turquoise was going to be the one. I don't think I've ever made a quilt with a turquoise background and I wanted to see what it would look like.

 I know this style and color palette isn't every one's cup of tea, but I'm loving it. Now to think about how to quilt it. And while I mulling that over I decided that I need to make this quilt pattern, again, RIGHT NOW!! I put together this collection of batiks. Aren't they luscious?

The gold leafy print will be the background. I'm thinking I may make the blocks with less bits and pieces and inserts. I need to sew a few together and evaluate. Good thing is I can always slice and dice and make them busier.

Hope you have a great week!

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Now that was a quick one on Slow Stitching Sunday

Now this was a quick little sampler - My Heart's Desire - the second release in the Blackbird Designs Abecedarian Series. `It finished at a petite 6.25" wide and 8" tall. I spent less than 2 weeks on this one and that may be a record finish time for me - LOL!  The colors in this first pic are a bit off, it isn't as blue as it is reading, more turquoise and beige.  The second and third pictures are truer to life.

Love the motifs- those ones that look like quilt blocks and the tulip-y flowers and the hearts - all favorites of mine. As for the color palette of the flosses, I'm underwhelmed. Too pale and monochromatic but when it hangs with the other pieces in the series I'm sure it will shine.

The further along I stitched the more I found myself substituting the GA Mountain Mist for the GA Lexington Green. The Mountain Mist is a lovely dusty turquoise and every skein of Lexington Green I've ever had is just colorless. I love the way it looks on the cover of the sampler but I know I've bought at least 4 skeins of it and mine are all just blah. I worked in my sons' initials and the C in the middle is for me. Those little crowns are pretty. There was another one to stitch but I'd had all of the over one I could stand by then.

Again I substituted a large Smyrna cross for the eyelet stitches and I like the way it makes the heart stand out. I'm ready to dive into a new sampler, something with more color. I think I have everything I need to do Forget me Not, it is number three in the series and features some lovely blue flosses. But what is really calling my name is this one...

this is number 11 in the series and is called Summer Harvest. I love that big basket of fruit and that it is another more horizontal sampler, like Rosy Morn.  I will be getting my auto ship on it hopefully this week.

Well the weather yesterday was gorgeous,  temps in the 70's and no humidity, I should have planted my flowers then, but noooooo I waited till today when it is upper 80s -yuck. But I did get 3 big pots planted and stuck the left over marigolds in the ground. Originally I had planned to do a border of marigolds around my bushes and then I realized I would be out there watering non stop.  I estimated that there is about 50 linear feet of border and that would be a LOT of marigolds. Instead I potted  them up with some other foliage I picked up at the garden center. I 'll take some pictures later after I've recovered from my heat stroke - LOL!

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Arty or awful or alright? for WIP Wednesday

So I finished that sweet, summery, almost vintage-y quilt on Monday and turned right around to start another quilt which is pretty much the antithesis of sweet. This one is bright bold and modern.

The pattern is called Paint Chips and it is featured on the cover of this new book by Karla Alexander called Stack, Shuffle and Slide. You can see it here on Amazon. I bought this as a digital download on my Kindle instead of a paperback. I'm not sure I like it better than a real book but it is certainly less money and there are no storage space issues.

I was intrigued by this one but found the colors she chose not to my liking. I know there are plenty of you who love the gray trend and the solids trend, but it doesn't float my boat. I decided a palette of bright colors would really jazz this up. I'm using 11 different colors in this quilt including the background. They are all a tone on tone dot print called Dream Basics by Timeless Treasures. You can see them here where I bought them at Fabric Shack. Love that store!

I've made 12 of the big blocks and I have 8 more to go. The block on the right was the first one I did. It only called for 3 fabrics but I knew right away that wasn't going to be enough for me. I snuck in that bit of red and as you can tell all the rest of the blocks got busier and busier and busier.

The book gives you a schematic as a starting point and off you go. I did lots more shuffling and sliding and slashing than it called for but I like the motion it gives the blocks...they kinda a good way... at least I think so.

When I started this I thought is was arty and then I moved to, oh my gosh this is awful, but now I'm back to its alright. I think the addition of the littler art blocks in the sashing and some cool quilting will make this sing. I'm also thinking it would be cool in batiks. Oh no, I feel a series coming on - LOL! Does two make a series?

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday -you can get there from here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Finish to Start the Week on Design Wall Monday

It isn't often that I get to start the week with a finish. I hope that it's an omen of more good things to come. I'm calling this my Sweet Little Kisses quilt and in the end it got too big for the wall, hence the wonky angle floor picture.

It looks so fresh and summery and I am so happy to have a nice wide swath of those roses encircling the little kiss blocks.

No two blocks are identical - I decided on the cornerstones all  being the same fabric - make the picture bigger and you can see it is a diagonal print pink fabric with big and little polka dots along with some red, yellow and aqua - so much goodness wrapped up in one little square.

As I was taking pictures Big Dude came by to inspect and for the price of a couple of kitty treats I secured his approval!

I have to put together a back but I'm sure there is something in my stash. I already made the binding using that red gingham check fabric you can see to the left of  Big Dude's tail. So, when I get this back from the long arm quilter I will be ready to truly finish it.

Hope you and me  have a productive week!
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A new start for Slow Stitching on Sunday

Since I finished the BBD Her Sampler SAL piece last week I pondered whether I should go back and pick up a WIP or start something new...hmmmm... nanosecond decision - something NEW! I had this little sampler already kitted up and I away I went. (Ignore the shadowy lines - I photographed this on my design wall and the grid is showing through).

This is My Heart's Design. It is the second offering in the Loose Feathers Abecedarian Series from BBD. You can see it I want to do all 12 in the series and this is the third one I've stitched. So far they've released 10 designs so I'm a bit behind, but I'll get there eventually.

This one has a very muted palette - Gentle Arts Lexington Green, Mountain Mist, Toast ed Barley, Carmel Corn and Weeks -Pelican Gray and Charcoal. I like the little motifs with their Dutch flair.

Blackbird Designs plans for the 12 samplers when completed will "fit into a configuration that will easily fit over a sofa, fireplace or headboard". I envision  a collage like setting and think perhaps instead of framing each one I could sash them with fabric and make a wall quilt of them. I'll have to wait and see how this all turns out.

Hope you are having a lovely day - happy stitching!

carol fun

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Front door decor!

Along with freshening the house up inside I ventured out on my front porch and changed the decor there too. My first project was a new wreath for the front door - something fun - and I found this idea on Pinterest. Clothes pins covered in washi tape - love it!

I've been collecting rolls of washi tape for a while, snapping them up when I find them marked down or on sale and I have about 20 different patterns. I placed a strip of the washi tape on each clothes pin and then the tedious part was trimming off the excess. I used 90 clothes pins for this wreath.  I clipped the pins to a wire wreath form. Some wreaths only do 2 rows but I like the fullness of 3 rows and with all the different patterns I reminds me of a scrap quilt.

To finish it off I used some of my other crafty toys and die cut some tiny little tags and tiny little letters to add the greeting "hello" - I strung them on some 2 tone bakers twine that I've had for years. I think it is a nice touch.

And I was looking on line for a new outdoor flag for my porch, something summery, when this popped up... POLKA DOT CHICKENS!!

At first I thought it was a Debbie Mumm design but the signature says Debbie Hron - their styles are quite similar.

So now I have a very welcoming front porch - I sat outside the other evening and truly enjoyed it! Hope you are having a great weekend!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Freshening up the house

Well we've gone from cold,  endless Winter, blown through Spring at warp speed and landed smack dab into humid Summer - oh the wonderful faces of weather in the Midwest. I shouldn't complain - but what the heck it gives me something to talk about - and I  do like it better than when I lived in the Central Vally of California where the only two seasons I experienced were hot and hotter than Hades.

So the change in weather spurred me into changing up the decor in the house. I freshened up my bedroom with a new quilt. Now it isn't new in the way of just being finished, it is new in the way of I just rediscovered it, and got around to washing it and putting it on the bed. I went back through my blog to figure out when I actually made this quilt and was shocked to find out that the first time this quilt appeared on my blog was July 2011 - oh my goodness - I could have sworn I just made it last summer. And then I found out that I took if off the design wall in July of 2011 and didn't get back to it till August of 2012 and now it is June of 2014 and this is the first time it has ever been on a bed. The pattern is Sugar Dish from Cluck, Cluck Sew - you can see it here. And the fabrics are part of those old old collections called Swell  and Sweet by Urban Chiks. Lots of subliminal chicken references here - LOL! Pulling this quilt out is what motivated me to work on the UFO that is currently on my design wall - love these fabrics!

Hmmm... it  appears I am intruding on someone's beauty sleep. If reincarnation is true I hope to come back as this cat. Seriously, I have this nap stuff down pat, and I'd love if someone prepared my food for me each day.

Anyway I love this pattern - those sweet Dresden plates and simple rectangular blocks to show off these pretty pretty fabrics.

Love those birds! This collection reminds me of sheets from the 1970's. I remember when my mother replaced her plain white sheets with colorful patterns and prints. We were being so modern!

Oh sorry Big Dude... I'm leaving now.

Happy stitching-
carol fun