Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring!

 Well, I finished the hand quilting on this little runner runner/coffee table quilt for the coffee table I maybe will have someday...snort!!  I put it on the fireplace for this picture.  Hey, speaking of the fireplace, we have raccoons in the chimney again with babies.  A nursery.  The mother talks to her babies, and the babies purr and coo back to her.  I love to hear them talking!  Our little poodle, on the other hand, does not like it one bit!
 The back side of the runner, showing the quilting better.  I appliquilt the leaves and flowers in place...meaning, I blanket stitch them into place after the layering is done, going through all three layers.  I heard the term appliquilt some years ago, but it was demonstrated with straight stitching...blanket stitching does the same thing.  Just thought I would try it.  I love the little puffy leaf shapes on the back!
 Some pretty blossoms outside our door.  Are these dogwood?  Come on you southern ladies...I know you know what these are!  Will you share?
 The iris are blooming again...pretty!  This one just emerged.  Many of the iris I dug up from my MIL's home before it was demolished and the city paved over the property for a parking lot...I am so glad I took the time to save Mama's iris!  We have enjoyed them for years and years.
And a heart rock!!  A little one, about an inch in diameter...it is a good one!!  Do you collect heart rocks too????




Have a great day, everyone!!

Julie

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A small circle...

 Working, working, working!  The last five days in a row, 13 hours was the minimum day's hours this stretch...so I am glad to be home, where I can work, at last, on fun stuff! I truly love borders, they are tons of fun to piece, and also to applique.  Above are some leftover flying geese, turned into a coffee table runner with an applique vine, and leftover flowers too.  Oh how I love to use leftover bits to create something new!  Now this is the funny thing...I do not have a coffee table.  Dear husband wants things to be minimalist and not cluttered, so he really does not want a coffee table that I just might clutter  up.  Oh how well he knows me!!  But maybe someday, he will change his mind, LOL!  and I will have just the little runner to put on it!
 The corner pieces were leftover flowers from this little quilt.  The lime green looks pretty bright in this picture, but it is really not too bright in person.  I am working on the quilting and binding...I always seem to show a work in progress!!
 This is a string top I made last year, I think...
 And the border lingered undone until now!  I am making big 1/2 square triangle blocks and making a border of them.  Lots of different hot pinks...so this quilt will definitely be going to a lady!
And this does not look like much, but I have been outline quilting all the blocks on my applique quilt.  My friend Lois said to put in the bones of the quilt first, when I am quilting, to hold it all together, and then add the detailed quilting later. So Lois, I am doing just that.  I think I need a small table or something to drape this across each day, because I want it out and looking at me, so I work on it every day...personification, right??  If it gets put away, I will tend not to work on it.  I need it in my face, begging to be finished!



Hope you all are well and happy and maybe having some time to stitch!!

  What I mean by the small circle in my title is the one I run in...like a mouse on a wheel.  Home, work, grocery store, post office, quilt shop occasionally, then back home.  I would like to get out of the cage...how about you??  A trip!!  or something...



Julie

Friday, April 4, 2014

Vote!

I participated in Em of Em's Scrapblog contest, using her flour sacks that she so generously gave to each of her participants. (see my post from earlier today) Would you please go HERE and vote for the quilt of your choice?  On the right, at the top of her blog...

Thank you again, Em, for your generosity of spirit!

Have a great day, 

Julie

Blue Bird Quilt Challenge!!

 Here is the quilt that I designed for Em's Bluebird challenge.  I just loved making this quilt, from beginning to end!  First of all, a big thanks to Em, at Em's Scrap Bag.  Please see her blog here...and see what everyone else has been up to, making special projects from their own flour sack.  Em was generous enough to give each participant their own flour sack from her personal collection, and we were off to the races!!  I draped mine across the roll top desk and thought about it for a few days...and then I began.
 I wanted the center of the quilt to be a Mariner's compass star, with the pretty blue bird part of the flour sack in the center.  I worked and worked to try and piece it...disaster, peeps...really, not pretty at all.  So......
 I designed the block again and appliqued the star points into place!!  Now that I could do, LOL!!  It was great fun after that...
 Another view of the star center.  I just love those blues in our flour sack...thank you, Em!!  I hand appliqued and hand quilted the entire quilt.  I quilted around the bird and main parts of the background...
 then added the little circles in the border, blanket stitching them into place.
 I hand quilted the whole thing, in a one inch grid.  That was so much fun!!  I marked the quilt with the blue marking pen...and it almost all came out, LOL!!  I will have to think about that before using it again.
More on the hand quilting, so you can see the detail.  I used a very thin batting, so I could take tiny stitches.  I loved, loved, loved making this quilt!!  It truly was so much fun, and I have the quilt hanging in the foyer now.  Hubby likes it too!  so win, win!!!  This quilt means a lot to me, for I was born very close to where the Bluebird flour company is in Colorado.



Thank you again, Em, for this fun challenge!


Julie

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hand quilting

 Well, on Sunday afternoon I sandwiched this quilt.  Lots and lots of pins and smoothing.  Some drama was involved!  I found that I had a stain from something, who knows what,  on one of the blocks.  So...I took the quilt top to the sink and thought I would rinse out the little stain.  Well guess what?  The pink sashing fabric ran all over everything!!  You would think that all fabric nowadays would be color fast...NOT!  So...I stay stitched the edges, and threw the whole thing in the washing machine.  Rash, I agree...but four rinses and lots of color catchers later, the pink is gone. OK!  I am sold on prewashing fabrics now...sold, I tell ya!  It was a matter of a ruined quilt, one way or another...so I am glad it worked out, and hey, all the applique stayed in place just fine!
 A close up.  I intend to quilt all around each block first, then add in all the detailed quilting as I can. I think this will be a multi year project for sure...but if I don't start, I will never get done!!  So here goes...Kathy, I have something to show for Slow Stitching Sundays!!
I made more melons...I am not sure now where I am going with this.  I like using the little pieces up and like the chaos of all the colors...not sure exactly what to do. I was going to make a big quilt, but maybe not...maybe use them in a border?  Hmmmmmm...I will dream on it!!


Have a great day, everyone!!!

Julie

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thinkin'!!

 Good Monday Morning!!  TGIM!  Above is a quilt I finished a few years ago.  It was in the binding pile.  Well, I thought...I will bind that by hand, of course...everything should be bound by hand...NOT!!  It was just lingering, and lingering, and lingering there, and no one was getting any good from the quilt at all!  So...this morning, I made a two color binding and applied it...by machine.  And it is just great!  Now why do I think I have to hand quilt and hand bind every quilt? For a quilt that will be used and thrown in the washer repeatedly...I think a machine binding on some of my quilts is very appropriate. So I am going for it!  Done is better than perfect, sometimes!
 The machine binding...it is fun, and I like the contrast.  It took three hours to cut binding, sew it all back together, press it, apply it to the back, and bring forward to the front and stitch is again.  It took 12 strips of 45 inch wide fabric to do this...I would have been FOREVER binding it by hand...so yahoo!  The quilt is now on my bed with fresh linens...it will be heavenly to slip in those sheets tonight!  I do have quilts that it is very appropriate to hand stitch the binding, and I love to do this, but life is slipping away faster and faster...geterdun Julie, already!
 I am making more melon pieces to put in my quilt from last post...anything goes here...any little scrap will do!
More of them. I want to make 120 in total.  I have 29 done, so almost 25% done.  Fun, fun, fun!!  NO matchy matchy, no seam allowance worries...just going for it on the sewing machine!  And I am using up precious pieces of friendship fabric...I love that!!


Have a great day, everyone!!

Julie

Friday, March 21, 2014

A dream quilt...literally!

 Hmmmm...I have woken up thinking of making a string quilt like this one for several mornings in a row.  Why not start!!!?  This is just strings and crumbs, foundation pieced on scrap fabrics, cut into melon shapes, and blanket stitched to the background. You could also use paper foundations, but then you have to take out the paper, and I can't sit still long enough to do that, LOL! But that method works really well for some quilters, so whichever a person likes is just dandy.  Above is my first figuring out what to do...the squares are 6 inch finished, so I cut the melon shape to just fit with a seam allowance and a tiny bit extra room.
Here is my first one appliqued down.  I sincerely love working with these little pieces...love, love!!!


Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Julie

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Overtime days!!


 Happy Tuesday!  I was lucky and got an overtime shift yesterday.  A busy day, and I was floated, but I am happy to have gotten the day.  Above is a start...a quilt that was in my mind all last year!  I have two rows cut out, and these above blocks are stitched.  This is Country Threads block of the month from last year.  I find that I like to have the whole pattern/or all the BOM kits, and then I can just go for it! (Thanks, Elaine Adair, for that bit of wisdom some years ago...)
 I have finished hand quilting and binding these mug rugs.  A fun, portable project.
 And...another estate sale!  Our neighborhood has had three in three weeks!!  I found this little tiny rocker...is it meant to be a pin cushion?  Ideas?  I would like to recover the little cushion part...
And a vagues photo of a string hot pad.  Take the tiniest slivers, mash them all up, press them down firmly with lots of starch, and then just sew over the top until it all melds together!  I was cutting neutrals, so that is why it is made of neutrals!!!  So that is what I have been up to, which is not really too much...



Have a great day, everyone!!

Julie

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day off!

 Wheww!  Off work today...and catching up!  Above is a little needle case I made...machine quilted fabric that I quilted on my Bernina, then wool applique, then added little scissor pocket and pin cushion.
 The inside...
 The piece of quilted fabric that I made was too long, so the cut off piece became a book mark.  That is an 1/8 inch binding..
 I sandwiched this little quilt and quilted the borders in straight lines, to that I could bind it and quilt the triangles by hand when I have a spare moment.  Just trying to make some progress, any progress will do, LOL!
And thanks to friends, I came up with enough pastels strings to finish the middles of the String X blocks.  The pattern is a free one, and is on Quiltville, under the free patterns section.  Thank you, Bonnie...I must have made twenty or more Bonnie quilts...how about you???




**************************Nurse's Notes**************************

Praying especially for one older fella patient...undergoing his fourth lung surgery for cancer...hopefully this is the last one and the cure!!!

Praying for all my co-workers...we are a mixed bag of nuts, and many of us have been at our hospital for many, many years...one for over 40 years!! We come from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Latin American, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Pakistan, Kenya...and on, and on, and on!!  And India...beautiful girls from India...Lots of other places too.  I think each nurse/aide/secretary/tech lends something special and unique to her (or his) care of our patients!!

Praying for peace...just want peace on Earth and good will toward all men!!  Don't like the news lately!!

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Hey, I forgot about the drawing for the book!!!  so, Mary of Quilt Hollow...you were randomly chosen to win the book from a couple weeks back...I will send you an e-mail and let you know and get your addie...

Please stay tuned for some giveaways coming up, as I am still sorting and organizing.

Have a great day, everyone!!


Julie



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Is spring coming yet?

 Well, I have been working on string blocks.  This is the String X pattern from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website. I picked through my strings, and selected any string that reminded me of an Easter Egg.  I am confident that spring will come to us SOMETIME this year, LOL!!  We have had more cold weather this year than any other than I can remember here.  So...I made 48 blocks.  Now I have decided that the quilt should be bigger...so I am combing the drawers and bins for more Easter egg colors!!
 Since I mistakenly thought I had made all the blocks I needed, I made  this little table runner with my leftovers.
 Then this little coaster...
 Then I hand quilted it and bound it.
 And this was all the pastel strings I had left!!  I have cut some more, ready to go,  and now the goal is to make 80 blocks altogether...8x10 block setting.
 In a cutting mood, I cut a bunch of pieces and parts for these blocks.  Not sure where I am going with this, but I like the crazy cacophony of colors on the cutting board, LOL!
 A little pincushion took all of five minutes...
And more of the cut off triangles from the string blocks became this.  I still have more triangles....





*************************Nurse's Notes****************************

We had a poor little lady who was in sad shape last shift I worked at this hospital. She was a frail older lady, and she was coming out of a public restroom, and a young man was running and did not see her and ran into her.  She fell quite hard and shattered her shoulder and hip on the same side.  Quite a game spirit in this patient...she says she is upset about this set back in her life, so we need to hurry and get her better so she get home to her garden!  We will do our best, sweet lady!!

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Have a great day, everyone!!

Julie

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Little bits of this and that

 Happy Sunday!  The above quilt from Terry's Treasures quilt along is completely complete. Quilted, binding done, labeled, the whole shebang.  I really enjoyed the push to get this done...thank you so much, Terry!!
 Here is a closeup of the binding.  I did it by machine...it was so much faster!  And since it will be a quilt that gets used a lot, I thought it would be OK to use a machine applied binding.  I used the little flange method so that there is a little more interest, and I could put it on by machine.  I have done this with two quilts so far, and I am getting better at it, although far from perfect!!  I learned something this week from Jo's Country Junction...she says to use the darkest fabric in the quilt and use it as the binding.  I like that idea!!
 I had a leftover block from the quilt, so I made a little candle mat and hand quilted it.  No marking, just going for it!
 A baby quilt that has been languishing for years in the quilt cupboard is at last together and quilted!!  I will wait to bind it until the next baby comes along...girl (pink binding); boy (blue binding).
 This quilt went to a patient this last week, after it was bound and finished.  He liked it a lot...poor little old fella, a patient at the hospital, needed some quilting hugs...he has a long recovery ahead of him!  I am never sure what kind of a quilt to give a guy...much harder than for girls, LOL!
 I started a string X quilt too...I do love my strings!!  48 of these to do...
 I tried to stick with all pastels, for spring!!  Tried, that is...some dark strings just insist on sneaking in there...
 The cut off corners from the string X quilt blocks became a couple little quiltlets.  The blue is entirely by machine, and the pink one is all by hand.  A fun experiment...it took about 4 times longer by hand, but I like the look better...it is somehow softer to the hand.
 Little four inch sampler blocks...
using this tool to make them.  I like this too, it gives the measurements for several different sizes of lots of blocks...easy...no brain work involved for me, LOL!!



And that is about all, folks!!  Believe it or not, it was 82 degrees yesterday, and now it is snowing and 21 degrees.  A strange winter!!  All the trees are confused...do I bud out or not, they whisper to me as I walk?!!!  Surely your trees talk to you too?



Have a great day, all!!

Julie