Sunday, August 30, 2015

Woolies - Folk Art Album

I've been remiss in sharing another BOM that I've been participating in this year ....

A group of us are meeting together once a month to work on Lisa Bongean's Folk Art Album (FAA).  Yes, I am doing a folk art quilt!!!  (Did you just hear that loud thunk?  That was the sound of my friend Janet O. dropping her mouse in shock!)   I have to admit, I mainly chose to join in on this project so I could gather together with my friends  But I also have to admit, that I am enjoying it very much. =^..^=

We are calling our little group The Woolies because almost everyone is making theirs in wool .... we all fell in love with a gorgeous sample quilt done all in the most wonderful wools in one of our local shops, The Quilting Squares in Franklin TN  and the search for the perfect wools was ON!

I say "almost everyone" because Little Miss Rebel decided that since I already have one project in progress using wools, I would make mine using batiks from my stash

 and this lovely gray cotton background ...

I've darkened this a little so you can see the design texture.
It is Modern Roses by Moda

I started out with the intention of hand appliqueing these pieces, but very quickly discovered that they are pretty darn tiny and fiddly - so I abandoned that idea and very wisely (I think!) made a quick executive decision to use raw-edge fusible applique instead in order to have some hope of finishing it in my lifetime :*)

I'm still choosing to hand stitch the pieces down, so it will retain some of the organic look that is so charming about this pattern.

Block #1 is almost done!  

I have the first seven blocks fused down, so quite a lot of hand-stitching is lurking in my future LOL!!!  I'll share them one-by-one as I begin stitching them.

FAA is proving to be a nice addition to my current hand-stitching projects.  POTC and Millefiore blocks are exciting, but they require tons of advance preparation before they are ready for hand stitching.  These blocks will be perfect to work on when neither of those are at the stitching stage.  I did manage to finish up this POTC block last week ....

and this one is now in the prep stage  ....

Hope you are finding something stitchy to get into today!  I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday with Patchwork Times and Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching - it's a party I try to never miss :*)

Slow Sunday Stitching

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday - POTC Update

I've been playing with my Patchwork of the Crosses blocks again lately - and remembering how much fun these little English paper-pieced blocks can be!!!!

This is my current favorite ....

I just love the blast of light on the outside of this block with that strange yellow fabric!  It was a last minute substitution because the fabric I was originally using didn't work as well as I'd hoped.  My friends and I all agreed that this gorgeous plaid with all the same colors in it was the perfect fabric to frame the center....

I even fussy cut those darn stripes!!!  But as I was stitching down the first couple pieces, I just knew something wasn't sitting well with me - it just didn't give me that thrill of being "right" that I expected.  I put it up on the design wall and stepped back - and was totally underwhelmed.  Yeh, it was okay, but it was BLAH!  That's is always a deal breaker for me.

So I went back to the stash and just started pulling anything that might work...

To my total surprise, this icky yellow was the surprise winner - it just simply began to glow behind those fabrics!  I suppose the moral of this story is, never feel that you are so far along in a project that you can't back up and make changes if it's not working for you!

Here is another block completed.  I love the hot pop of these colors! I'm a little concerned with the lack of contrast, but it's staying as it is because I'm not unhappy enough to tear it apart and try to make changes :)

I have two more in process right now and then I'll have to go digging in the stash for more blocks - YUM!!!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching, while watching golf to see if Tiger can play his way into the Playoffs this year.  NFL season starts soon, and I can't wait for Sundays with My Guy and lots of stitching and football - woohoo!!!!

Also linking up with Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts and Tuesday Linky Party @ Freemotion by the River

Wishing you all a lovely Sunday!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Meanwhile, back at the Studio .....

Ah, LIFE does have a habit of becoming very, very busy, doesn't it?

Thankfully, for me, it has been a good kind of "busy" lately :*)  I've been working on lots of different projects in between running in and out, here, there and everywhere!

The project on my Design Wall right now is Scrappy Nines (Pat Wys).  Although I have quite a few alternate blocks to fill in yet, you can at least get a general idea of how the design will look.  I think the stripes and plaids of the recycled shirts is going to look amazing!!!  (go HERE if you want to read more about that).

I'm keeping these pieces all laid out on my sewing table so I can work on it as any block of time becomes available - and it is working marvelously!  I zipped right through all the little nine-patches which are the basic building blocks for the actual blocks themselves.  Then I put nose to grindstone and completed all 15 of the main blocks - whew!!!

Then I started on the alternate blocks - only 10 more to go!

Can anyone tell me what I was thinking when I cut these pieces?  These are LEFTOVER!!!

Yep, that's a lot of pieces extra!  Wow.  Just Wow.  And to think that I had a backache for a week because of all the cutting I "had" to do for this quilt ... looks like the joke was on me, right?

I rushed through the cutting for this because it was for a class, and I think what might have happened is that I cut the same amount of pieces from the lights as I did for the darks - but I had twice as many light shirts as I did darks.  Duh!!!  One more piece of evidence that Math is definitely not my strong point LOL!!!

Actually, I'm thinking I may use these leftovers to add a pieced border to this quilt and make it bigger.  In my rush to get this project ready for class, I also never stopped to look at the finished size.... 66-1/2" x 78-1/2" .... only a lap-size.  I'd really like for this to be a queen if possible so I can use it on the guest bed when gentlemen come visiting.  Or as a possible gift?  I already have several gentlemen who are begging me to let them have this quilt =^..^=

Before I go, I'd like to announce the winner of the Cozy Afternoon Giveaway from last week (see original post HERE) ....

The winner is Bobbie, who blogs over at From This to That - check out her fun blog HERE!  I love her blog name - Bobballuiah :*D  Bobbie said .....

Teresa - your blocks are a delight! I couldn't think of a fun comment so went in search of some cat fun : A group of cats is referred to as a "clowder" or a "glaring".

*It is illegal to let your cat run loose in Denver Colorado, United States.unless it has a taillight.
*Fights between cats and dogs are prohibited in Barber, North Carolina, United States.
*It is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animal kept as pets in Zion Illinois, United States.
*Riddle: Is it hard to spot a leopard? Answer: No, they come that way!
*Riddle: What kind of cats like to go bowling? Answer: Alley cats!
*Riddle: What kind of kitten works for the Red Cross? Answer: A first-aid Kit.

Now, how could I resist choosing such a fun comment as the winner?  I know a few of you found it pretty hilarious too :*)  Congratulations to Bobbie who will receive a wonderful set of digital patterns from Cozy Afternoon designer Jacquelynne Steves!

Hugs & Blessings!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cozy Afternoon Block #4

Wow - can you believe we are already making Block #4 of Jacquelynne Steve's BOM, Cozy Afternoon?  

I've had so much fun making these blocks - and I particularly loved making this one ....

This is the only block that has a dog as well as the cat.  At first I thought, How sweet! They look so cute together, like best friends.  But then I looked closer and noticed the look on that cat's face .......

She looks as if she's saying, "Really?  You've tied me up in these stupid RIBBONS with this stupid DOG????  You know I can't stand even being in the same room with him!!!  He DROOLS and he BEGS!!!  No self-respecting cat would ever do something so GROSS!!!  Ewwww ... I think he's drooling on my shoulder!!!!"

And next to her is that sweet little dog, all doey-eyed with love and almost quivering in his happiness to be all cuddled up next to his cat sibling whom he adores.  LOL!!!!

Such is the special talent of Laurel Burch that she gave her art such character and LIFE!!!

In fact, I fell so far in love with this block that I decided it needed to be my center block for the quilt.....

See how the lines of the blue and purple make a nice frame for the chains made by the Sew Sweet Simplicity blocks around it? (Note - see my note at the end of this post if you love those SSS blocks as much as I do!!!)  And since Cozy Afternoon has five block designs, the quilt will end up in a perfect nine block square :)

This was actually the first CA block I made, and it was while I was planning it that my final plans for the overall quilt design came together in my mind.  I knew if I wasn't careful, all these bright colors and designs would just become a jumbled hot mess!

I decided I wanted those wonderful hot colors - pinks, oranges, reds, yellows - to pop and play in the block centers ...

......with those luscious cool colors - blues and purples - framing and containing all that color explosion :)

And this is how the blocks are looking all together so far ..... I think my plan is working!

Block #5 will go in that bottom left section
If you are making these fun Cozy Afternoon blocks too, be sure to share your blocks with all of us at Jacquelynne's Facebook page and Instagram!  You can also find me on Instagram HERE :*)


And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!!  As always, Jacquelynne loves to give away fun patterns and projects :)  To celebrate the release of this CA fourth block, she is giving away a digital pdf set of these PATTERNS to one lucky winner from my blog!

I love that Mad About You quilt!  Quilt block designs with curves have always appealed to me - and of course those colors are right up my alley :)  And who doesn't need an adorable tote bag to carry our latest hand project in style?

For more opportunities to win, go to Jacquelynne's blog post HERE and find links to all the other bloggers who are showing off their blocks today and hostessing the Giveaway :*)

This Giveaway is open to anyone - just leave a fun comment on my blog post here and you'll be entered.  We will close comments and choose a winner at midnight on Sunday, August 16.


Note:  You can still get the Sew Sweet Simplicity patterns from Jacquelynne at her website HERE!)

Sew Sweet Simplicity by Jacquelynne Steves
Hugs & Blessings!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Scrappy Nines - Finally!

A few weeks ago, Pat Wys and Nancy Mahoney were the keynote speakers/teachers at our bi-annual TVQA Spring Seminar.  The first night, Pat sat right next to me at our table, and I was totally starstruck!!!

I've been following Pat's blog, Silver Thimble Talk, for years, and when she released her book Spotlight on Neutrals - Quilts and More for Any Decor in 2011, I had to have it!

I know - you all think I only care about playing with those bright, bold colors, right?  Well, yes, that's true usually.  But the visual impact of Scrappy Nines, the cover quilt on this book, sucked me right in - I just love that intense contrast in design.  I bought it almost before it came off the presses!

Yep, a first edition :)

Pat told us in class that this book sold out of the first publication almost immediately and went into the second printing quickly.  The first edition can be identified by a typo on page 23 - squares that are supposed to be cut 7-1/4" are given as 5-1/4" - yikes!  That's a BIG difference!!!

So a word to the wise .... if you have this book,
go check it now to be sure you have the right measurements in there :*)

This is one of those projects that I fell in love with and couldn't wait to start .... and then I never started it.  Four. Years. Ago.  Ever happen to you?  Yeh, I thought I was the only one. *wink*  It actually took Pat coming to teach classes for me to get fired up and start pulling it together.

I do remember that one of the problems I had with starting was that I had decided to use only recycled men's shirts.  I actually have quite a few shirts that I've picked up at thrift stores and Goodwill already stashed for quilts, but it took a while to gather enough to have a good variety of neutral fabrics. This is one box of recycled shirts that I have disassembled and stored, ready for use....

.... there are a few recycled dresses in there as well :)  A few of these shirts made it into my version of Scrappy Nines.

Neatly cut up into squares and rectangles.  And before you begin to think, "well, how cool is that?", I just want to let you know that this took FOREVER!!!!

Cutting precise pieces out of such irregular sections of fabric was difficult and time consuming...

I was constantly trying to maneuver to make sure I made the best use of whatever size section I had to work with.  Some shirts were Xtra Lge, long-sleeved and provided plenty of fabric, but others were smaller or short-sleeved, so I had to really work to get all the pieces needed out of them.

First I had to cut strips from each shirt for making the nine-patches - I used my Sizzix cutting  machine for the strips and that part went very quickly.  Here they are all bagged up and ready for class ....

I need 168 nine-patches for the quilt - 

It's a start, right?

Actually, I now have 120 of them made :*)  I went on a retreat the week after class and spent two days sewing strips together, cutting them into little tiny sections, and then sewing them back together into adorable little nine-patches!  It's a tough job, you know, but someone's got to do it.....

So, here are the two blocks I managed to get done in class ....

Don't you just love this???
By the way, I did try to keep lines straight but sometimes it was just impossible.

And here is how they look together ....

Now that I've finally started on this quilt, I'm determined to work on it until it is done!  I set up a work station in my studio totally dedicated to Scrappy Nines alone, and I can sit down to sew on it for a few stolen minutes here and there, or for an entire afternoon - whatever I have available each day.  Hopefully, I'll have a finished top to show you before too much longer :*)

I'm linking up with Sharon over at Vrooman's Quilts this month for Let's Book It! - so happy to finally have the opportunity to join up in this fun linky party!!!  And interestingly enough, Sharon pulled the same book from her shelf to work on this month.... they say great minds think alike, don't they?

Hugs & Blessings!

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