Sunday, July 23, 2017

Okay, Finally Done with These Pieces!!

First I want to thank my commenters!  I always like to get comments.  

I still had some of these rectangles left and even though they weren't as nice as the others, thought they deserved  chance to be in a piece with proportions that I liked better.  Here were my first choices among my remaining pieces.

I also toyed with doing this as I do want to highlight those two remaining blue pieces and will eventually.  I discarded this idea but will probably try this again when I have painted some more pieces.

Here is the piece completed.  You will note that I replaced one of the red rectangles that I had chosen earlier.  I also though that the 1/4 inch red border would accent it.  You will notice that there is a lot less white on this one and I found it much more pleasing to the eye which led to the following redoing of the two previous pieces that I had finished  (already quilted and bound).

I had liked the thin red strip so much that I decided that I could applique black dividers with red trim between the blocks right over the white.  I literally made tubes and was then going to just sew them down.  It seemed like a good idea but I know to really audition now!

I didn't like it.  The red was too much in this piece (and I knew it would be in its twin horizontal version).

So then I thought maybe just window panes with just the black.  I added black to the edges so that each piece would be framed with the same amount of white figuring I would just applique the tubes down.  Black is very very forgiving unlike white!!  Well, good thing I auditioned as the black border was just much too wide and overpowering.

I ended up appliqueing one inch "tubes" of black between all the rectangles.  Then I just sewed new borders right over what was there, making sure I had about the same border of white.  And here comes the hard part....

I chopped off a good chunk of the existing border and all the nicely sewn on binding!!  Into the trash, but I am much much happier now with the result.  I tried small red borders but the pieces already had more than their fair share of red!

Here is the horizontal piece.  Guess I do have a series here.  I can sleep tonight now.  Those two pieces were driving me crazy as I really liked the painted pieces but didn't like the finished pieces!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Almost the End of the Small Projects or Maybe Not........

Well, finally got to quilting the small pieces and did this one first as it was my least favorite of the two.  Even with being very careful, there was still some puckering.  I think my biggest mistake was using the wool batting instead of some of the cotton remnants I had.  Wool is very puffy.  I used an even feed foot on all the lines which did eliminate most of the puckering.  White is very sensitive and shows every bit of mis-quilting!!

This is the second one I worked on and less puckering with this one so I didn't feel the need to tightly quilt around all the rectangles.  I haven't sewn the binding down yet so a littly wiggly around the edges.  Still trying to decide whether I will do quilting within the triangles.  They don't appear to need it.  I do like the images here.

This is a very small piece that just seemed to want to be by itself.  I may add some Sharpie coloring around the yellow as it doesn't show up well against the white -- probably a red.  Didn't realize until I finished the piece that this was the reverse side of the painting!

These are some more blocks that I am contemplating doing another piece with.  I definitely will make the white between the pieces much smaller this time.  Wish I had done that with the second piece but too late now!

These are the original three pieces which I had originally thought I would put together but changed my mind as it didn't look interesting enough.

Monday, July 17, 2017

End of Baby Quilts and New Projects

This is all the completed blocks up on my design wall for the disappearing 4 patch baby quilt.  It's a little random as I only used leftovers from the previous projects.

Of course, I went to sleep before I did anymore and decided I would like to expand the size by putting it on point.  Seemed liked it would work and I needed it to be at least 40 inches wide which it wasn't.  I didn't want to make another row of blocks.

Here was my first test and figured it was a go but I did have to make a few more blocks but not as much as I would have with the other orientation.

Well, I got it finished after having to rip out some blocks (of course the same ones) a couple of times.  I am a bit compulsive in some ways!

It's not great but it is okay and the backing is bright and cheerful for both of these.  I even pieced the batting from many random pieces that I have saved.  I am going to keep doing this as it is easy and will get rid of a lot of fluffy random stuff!

Of course I found another bag filled with these 4 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inch pieces cut from some fabric I had painted and dye painted years ago.  I think I was going to do postcards with these as we had a postcard project at one time in RAFA -- a LONG time ago.  These really appealed to me just sitting against the white design wall.  I had some more of the fabric in the bag so cut as many more pieces as I could of the same size.

This  is most of the pieces.  I ended up with 21 altogether and I really liked them.

I decided I would construct a series of small pieces with a few of the blocks in each one.  I tried surrounding each piece with a small rim of black and that didn't work at all.  I added a 2 3/4 inch border around and between the pieces.  This one was the vertical presentation.  I really sorted through the blocks and did a lot of auditioning to get what I thought was a pleasing arrangement.

I think the black will make a nice frame for the piece though.  I haven't even sewn all the white strips on yet.  I wanted you to have to get close enough to really see the blocks which is why I didn't put all the blocks in one piece.

This is a second set which I will set horizontally.  I still have enough blocks to make at least one if not two more pieces.

Of course, this all has really inspired me to start painting fabric again, something I haven't done in awhile.  Some of these blocks are painted with thickened MX dyes and some with acrylic paints.  It is hard to tell them apart!.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Disappearing 9-Patch and 4-Patch Baby Quilts

Well, just when I thought I didn't have anymore bags of stuff to complete, I came upon a bag of leftover squares and accompanying fabric from a baby quilt that I made probably ten years ago.  I had thought that just for relaxation (even before I found this bag) that I would do some disappearing 9-patch or 4-patch baby quilts with smaller squares and this fit the bill.  I only had to cut some of the accompanying fabric into squares and some of the bolt of white I always have handy!

This was the first 9 patch cut up.  In the original 9 patch, the kitty fabrics were in the corners, with white between and purple in the middle square.

I have started adding squares to my design wall.  The complication is that the kitties are for the most part directional fabrics to I had to be a little creative in sewing together the 9 patches so they wouldn't all be upside down or sideways when I moved the pieces around.  

The top is pretty much sewn together but not big enough so borders are in order -- just enough so that I can use only one width of the fabric I found for backing -- it has kitties on it too!  I didn't try to place the green, purple or orange squares so it is pretty random as i didn't want to obsess too much!

Added the borders and almost used up the accompanying fabric.  Unfortunately I still had a bunch of squares as well as some of the cut up 9 patches.

So the leftover blocks are being reborn into disappearing 4-patches.  Of course I don't have quite enough for a whole baby quilt and it will be a little random looking, but that's okay!  At the end, I will still have the leftover 9 patch squares but no more random squares.  Here it is with the blocks next to each other..

Here I separated them to see if they would be okay with sashing so I wouldn't have to cut any more squares.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The End of the Projects

This is a table runner begun many many years ago in a class at quilt club.  It was an interesting technique as the curved parts are actually folded down and then machine appliqued down.  The class was taught by Annette Ornelas of  Thanks Barb!!  I hadn't remembered but a previous club member reminded me!

Except for hemming the lining , this jacket is completed and I am pleased.  I stuck a piece of white fabric for the purpose of showing what it would look like with the white t-shirt I will wear under it. It is lined in black silk which was a bear to work with!!  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Zucchini Nut Bread

The following is a recipe which I got a long time ago from a neighbor when I lived out in the country.  I can barely read it anymore so thought I would post it for posterity (and so I will always be able to find it!)  It is sinfully good and a great use for zucchini.  For the batch I did today, I actually used zucchini that I had grated several years ago and thrown in the freezer.  I was afraid that it would suffer from freezer burn as we discovered the container when defrosting the freezer a couple of weeks ago but it tastes as good as usual.  It is great by itself but even better toasted with a bit of butter on it.  This is a repeat of a recipe I posted a long time ago but for a smaller amount!

It is a little early in the season for zucchini but I look forward to it later this summer!

Recipe for Zucchini Nut Bread  (2 loaves)                                              350 degrees

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sale

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla

2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini squash

1/2 cup walnuts
1 tbsp flour

1.  Mix first five ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2.  In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs and then add the sugar, oil and vanilla.

3.  Mix chopped walnuts with the 1 tbsp flour

4.  Slowly add flour mixture into the egg mixture and then add the zucchini squash.  Add chopped walnuts which you have tossed with the tbsp of flour..

5.  Pour into two prepared loaf pans (coated with shortening or butter and dust with flour).

5.  Bake for a hour at 350 degrees.  Check with a broom straw which should come out clean when inserted in the highest part.  Cook an additional 10 minutes if wet.

This is a Cabbage White butterfly entertaining me while sitting outside on a nice summer day (a rarity this year!).

A hungry House Finch next door taking his fill!  I also saw a Tufted Titmouse but couldn't get a good picture as he flitted and hid behind tree leaves!

Friday, July 7, 2017

July RAFA Meeting and a Couple of Finished Projects

Will start out with a couple of my finished projects which I shared with the RAFA group (as well as all the others pictured in previous blogs!!).  This is the completed Four Seasons.  I actually fused fleece to the brown border print so that there would be batting in that part of the quilt.  I also had to piece in bits of fabric on the back so that everything would join together.  The back is NOT pretty but there are no exposed seams!

This is a very small piece that I did in a class probably 15 years ago.  I have no idea who the teacher was but it seems to be paper pieced.  It will look just fine in a bathroom at the beach.

 Ann Hawkins had five pieces for show and tell.  I just love her work (as well as her personality).  She is another of the snowbirds.  I think we had four or five in the meeting yesterday which was great -- a very good turnout!

This was the second piece.  They seemed to be in a series inspired by different artists.

Certainly reminiscent of the beach in the islands where she spends her winters.

This piece was completed while she was south for the winter and I believe  a prize winner at the recent quilt show.

This was a wonderful piece that took two people to hold it and combines digital images as well as the quilted scenes.  The heads are all pictures of people in Ann's life.  It is so long, she is going to hang it going around a corner of a room!

 This was an incredible work by Regina Sweet.  Too bad Elaine wasn't there to enjoy it!!  Just loved it!!

This was done with inspiration from a class at the quilt show with Susan Brubaker Knapp (host of Quilting Arts) using painted and manipulated tyvek.  Beautiful piece!

This is the beginning of a piece by Barb Seils, another of the snowbirds who, like me, finds it difficult to come inside and do quilting in the beautiful winter weather in the south!

This was a piece created as part of a rather complex round robin that was part of Sarah's Arizona quilt guild.  Each person worked on their own piece but each month had to use a different technique or color, each step determined by what slip of paper was drawn for the month out of a hat.  The ideas had been assembled at the beginning from each person

Sarah does gorgeous beadwork and she claimed  these necklaces were easy but they certainly didn't look easy to me!!
This was a very small painting done on a teabag and attached to card stock by Julie.  We all loved it!

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Seasons -- a New Project (or the Finish of a Very Old Project!!)

 Still cleaning up the sewing room and finishing up projects started years ago.  The four pieces here were done in a Cynthia Corbin class.  I can't remember what the exercise was but I ended up doing four pieces that looked like the four seasons.  This was fall.  I am basically practicing my free hand machine quilting which has been kind of fun!  Only part left to do on all the pieces is the sky which is small and very easy!!

This is spring.

This is summer.

 This is winter.

I have been trying to decide how to put them together and came up with this using the collage function.  I will put a very slim border of white between the pieces and then border the whole piece in brown probably.  Will be a little tricky to get them together.  I literally used scraps of wool batting for each of these pieces some years ago and the backing and batting for each piece is random in size!   I usually don't like the machine quilting part, but had fun with these!  So it is now called "The Four Seasons" -- very creative....

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Visit with Marcia and Priscilla

This is the view from Marcia's studio (which is to die for) on a rainy summer afternoon.

Although we spent a lot of the day just catching up, Marcia did share some of the projects that she has in process and it was a thrill to see these new pieces.  This one is in the final stages.

This is still in its early stages but I am sure will be just gorgeous when done.  Her pieces are just wonderful and she has won many prizes and has been consistently in many national shows

We were all working on wearables this day.  I took along a weaving from Laos that I bought from Priscilla some time ago as i though it would make a nice jacket although I needed to add to the yardage to make it long enough.  I chose some of my hand dyed sateen that matched the crimson in the fabric as well as a thin layer of black.  I still have to do the hemming and the band that acts as a collar and front.  I am thinking of doing it  little different.  Thanks to Priscilla's suggestions, I centered the two fronts and the back so that the black area was centered on each side and the back has  similar treatment.  I am not sure I would have thought of that.

Marcia and Priscilla were working with huipils that Priscilla had bought in Guatemala and which she sells on ebay.  I have several that I have not used yet.  This is the back of Marcia's work in process jacket.

This is the front of the jacket.  Gorgeous!!  Indigo fabric will finish off the sleeves (matching the bottom pieces).

 Priscilla made pullovers with two of her huipils.  The one above also includes two of her beautiful beaded belts that she buys.

This is the second one just filled with birds (my favorites).  I have four huipils altogether.  One I can figure out how to use but am still a bit stumped about the three others as I may have to cut into the patterns to use them so we shall see.  

This is a closeup of the second one which looks densely embroidered.

This one gives the appearance of almost being needlepoint but isn't.  It is also very densely embroidered.  I have one of this second kind and three of the above type.