Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Complicated Chickens

My UFO for this week has been to begin the setting for the Funky Chickens. 

Over the last several weeks I had been playing in EQ, trying several different settings.  This is the one I have decided on:
Funky Chickens
I didn’t want them to have a straight setting but to look more like they were in a chicken yard.  (Please don’t pay attention to the appliques on this picture.  I can’t draw so I used bird pictures from EQ)  Sarcastic smile

trial setting
The first thing I did was to put the blocks on the wall in a trial setting.  I used strips of fabric from an old jelly roll that have never made it into any project, just to see what that setting would look like with the real chickens.  It looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

add blocks and sashingThen I started making the filler blocks and adding the sashing to both the fillers and the chickens.  I really had to watch my layout picture to be sure I put the sashing on the correct side of each chicken block.  I wound up putting check marks on the printout just so I would know what I had already done.

more blocks
At this point I had placed half of the blocks and was beginning to wonder how I was going to sew this setting together.  But I think I have it figured out, even though it will entail partial seams.

then prep for the rest The last thing I did tonight was to put the rest of the chicken blocks up on the wall so I can see how this setting is going to look for real.  Now all I have to do is make 6 more 9 patch blocks and 6 small squares that will tie the blocks together.

sashing closeup
I did want to show my sashing fabric.  It has chicken wire in it which is I bought especially to fence in my chickens.  My mother thinks that this fabric is a little too dark but I think that with all the brights in the chickens and the 9 patch blocks, it shouldn’t make the quilt dark.

I am almost sad that I won’t be able to work on this tomorrow.  But when there is a quilt show within 100 miles of my house, I feel it is my bounden duty to show up, see what others are doing and check out the venders.  And I think there are 4-5 quilt shops between here and there, too.  Open-mouthed smile

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Finish!!!!

It is finished!!

I got the quilting done on Friday and the binding done on Saturday.

023And this is the back.  I am really happy with the way this has turned out and plan to have it on my bed this week.

007I did have fun taking these pictures cuz I am really proud of my Easy Street: little itty bitty units pieced in December, blocks and rows pieced in January and quilted and bound in February.  The quilt is 101” square and covers my queen sized bed more than adequately.

018And here is what is on my design wall today.  The center of this little quilt has been done for some time but I couldn’t find anything to put with it, until recently.

019  This is the border fabric: doesn’t it look more like flowers in the picture above.  And yet it really looks more like a computer board.  I found it in a little uniform shop where they make nurse’s scrubs to order.  And I bought 15 yards at $1.99 a yard.  Needless to say, it will show up in several comfort quilts before it gets all used up.

I am going to try to spend some time this week quilting the above, refining the layout for Funky Chickens and maybe even cutting some fabric for it, and doing some machine applique before the new blocks come out.  But the thing I am looking forward to the most is a quilt show being held in Destin, FL next weekend. 

But first I am going to Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are working on.  See ya there,  Gari

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Family, Nature, and Easy Street

Did you see the new header picture?  If not, it is time to look at it and then you can read that this is our youngest son (44yo young) and his almost 2 month old daughter, Elsa.  Think he is a proud Papa?  You bet he is.  And we are so enjoying seeing him with his new love.

Chrysler Seabring   2009  2-20-13And his twin sister didn’t want to be left out so she, too, has a new baby.  This is her gift to herself for becoming an RN and getting a new job.  Even if you can’t see it too well, her smile is every bit as big as her brother’s.  Open-mouthed smile

new leavesNot to be outdone, Nature is having babies, too.  Even though the temps have been near freezing at night, our trees and bushes are sprouting new leaves.  I just hope they are hardy.

chicken visitorsWe live in the country but don’t have chickens.  Well, we don’t own chickens.  These are some of the neighbors chickens that visit every day to find goodies under the leaves.  There are about 15 of them, about half hens and half roosters.  They are fun to watch and there is crowing going on all day.  And aren’t they beautiful?  We love having them around and the dogs love chasing them.  They don’t want to catch them, and aren’t allowed, but they do love to watch them run and fly.

close to being doneAnd look how close to being done I am!  I thought I might have been done yesterday but between phone calls, lunch out with DH and then assisting our daughter with her car buying, I wasn’t even able to get into the studio.  So this afternoon, after housekeeping duties, I plan to get back in there and get some more quilted.  I should be done by the end of the week.  Fingers crossed

walining lightWhen I left the studio Tuesday evening I saw the beauty of the quilt in the shadows.  I really love how my quilts look different with sun, shadows, and especially in the early morning light when I wake up under them.  I am really looking forward to waking up under this one.  Smile

And now it is time to get the dishes in the dishwasher, walk the dogs, and feed the birds.  Then lunch and it will be STUDIO TIME!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A New Project

owl bom 1I am so excited.  This is the new BOM from FatcatPatterns.  And it is in addition to the fish BOM she has going.  Well, I collect hollow glass owls and then some other owls as well and I just couldn’t pass this one up.  This little owl is block 1.  And to add to the craziness of all the BOMs I am working on, I am thinking about doing two owl quilts with the other one in “funky” colors.  That idea will have to wait.  Anyway, this is the only thing that is on my design wall at the moment.

a little over half way doneThis has been what has taken up most of my quilting time.  And this is how I left Easy Street Sunday  night.  I think I am a little over halfway done with the quilting.

textureI am quilting it with a panto from Urban Elementz, Tapestry.  I like the texture.

But it is funny that it really can only be seen on the borders and the back.  In case I haven’t mentioned it, this quilt is 101” square and one of the largest quilts I have done.  And now that it is almost done, I am really liking it more and more.

new pin-pendant
Saturday I took some time off from quilting and we did a little antiquing, something we like to do a lot.  Anyway, the only thing we bought was this pin.  Isn’t she beautiful?  The face is hand painted porcelain and the gems are Swarovski Crystals and swing freely.  I am wearing it as a pendant and feel quite elegant. 

My plans for this week are to finish the quilting on Easy Street and to put borders on a charity quilt I have had on the back burner for far too long.  I also have to take the stitches out of a section of the dragon.  It seems that my basting didn’t hold the applique pieces tight enough on the background and it moved enough to leave wrinkles.  So out will come the stitches around the wrinkles and then I will secure that section with pins, the kind that stick.  My new plan is now that I will pin each section as I come to it and hopefully no more wrinkles.

I am connection with Patchwork Times and What a Hoot

Monday, February 11, 2013

Design Wall 2/11/13

Design Wall 2-11-13Today’s design wall is highlighting “the dragon”.  I have appliqued about 2/3rd’s of one side of him.  But this is going to go slow because I get really tired of wrestling with him.  So I am going to give him about 1-2 hours a week until he is complete. 
Beside the dragon are three strips of leftover pieces of Easy Street: those strips are really doubled.  My plan is to sew these into the backing for Easy Street, maybe even this week.

Easy Street centerI finally got a pretty good picture of the center of Easy Street, complete. 

ES 3 bordersAnd here it is again, with the three borders I have decided on. 

new fabricI only got the outer border fabric last Friday.  I went to look only for the border fabric, BUT, when I walked in the first thing I saw was a sign for 20% off all batiks.  I was really good and looked for the border fabric first but once it was in the cart, I was on the hunt.  I didn’t buy a lot of each fabric but I did add to my batik collection.

The browns on the left will be used for an owl BOM I plan to start this week.  The rest were just because I couldn’t not buy them.

slide sortingAnd DH has found a new job at home.  He has “thousands” of slides.  He began teaching over 45 years ago and putting on high school/college musicals and plays .  And he took slides of all of his productions until video came into being.  So for Christmas I gave him a device which allows him to upload slides into his computer.  And this week he got a slide viewer so he can sort his thousands of slides.  This is our dining room table: we may never be able to eat there again.  Sad smile

So as you can see, we are both keeping ourselves busy and having fun.  You can have fun, too, by going over to Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are up to.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Other Stuff

Fish 1 & 2How much fun it is to, once again, be able to work on more than one thing at a time.  I finished my second fish.  I am also enjoying figuring out which square of the background fabric to use: the colors are so different from square to square. 

Feb 2013 TeapotI also completed the February teapot from Rhonda.  If you have seen my feathered star table topper, you will see that I am using some leftovers for this pot.  As I look at it I am thinking that I may applique it with two different threads: I have used only one on the others.  I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Return of the DragonAnd part of the reason for waiting is The Return of the Dragon.  Monday afternoon I pulled him out and began machine appliqueing him down.  I had originally planned, and begun, hand appliqueing him but the batiks are so tight that my hands would give out after three spikes.  Now, it is not easy to machine applique a whole cloth piece, either, but I am more likely to get it done this way.

ZigZag-bright verigated threadI am zigzagging with a bright variegated thread so the stitching will have different colors on the different spikes.  I think overall it is going to look really good.  But don’t hold your breath until it is done: it is really a come and go project.

Mommy's little helperYesterday was also the “finish up the laundry” day.  So as I was putting a new load in the washer, Ms. Murphy decided to investigate the dryer.  At first all I could see was her tail but by the time I got my phone out of my pocket she had turned around.

not coming outThen it was time for her to come out: she refused.  And when I reached for her, she moved to the back.  So I started throwing wet clothes in around her.  It took 5 handfuls of wet clothes before she decided there wasn’t enough room in there for the clothes and her and jumped out.

See, I may live in the middle of nowhere, not have a job, and not get much done in any given day, but my life is just one adventure after another.

Monday, February 4, 2013


015Something new on my design wall.  This is what we have made so far in the Carol Doak Mystery BOM: only one more block to go.  Right now she is having a contest to guess what her final layout will be.  I have moved these blocks around several times and this is the way I currently like them best so this will be my guess.

Now, you may be asking about Easy Street.  Well the blocks were are completed on January 31st and the center was sewn together on Feb. 1st. 
center finished 2-1-13
Because it has held center stage for so long, it has been put on a back burner for at least a week.

Part of the reason for this delay is that I still don’t know how I want to border it.  Look at all the little leftover parts I have.  I am trying to see if there is something I can do to use them in a border or maybe they will wind up on the back, who knows.

And, finally, I am back to working on other projects.
Here are my heart placemats on the frame and being quilted.

And here they are completed. 

One more picture to show the quilting. I did micro stippling in the blue and purple sections so the ribbon is nice and puffy.

016 I also have started my Wonderfully Fishy BOM for Feb.  It is such fun to go through my batik stash, looking for “just the right” fabrics for these really cute designs from

So here is part of this fish.  I would have had all the parts there but I cut two of them backwards so I will be re-doing them this afternoon.

003And while I was working in the studio, DH was redoing his B Western collection layout in the living room.  This Roy Rogers grouping is now living over the fireplace.  This isn’t all of it but it is fun to see Roy, Dale, and Trigger smiling out at us.

004His really big display is of Hopalong Cassidy.  This is the first time he has had so many of his Hoppy things in one place and it is really impressive. 

005Of course the above is only one of his Hoppy displays.  Here are several different plates, cups, bowls, along with silverware.  At the bottom is a Hoppy Radio, which works (AM only).

In addition to all the action above, I “taught” a longarming class (of 2) on Saturday.  I was asked to share some tips on how to easily load a quilt on the frame and especially how to work with pantographs.  I tried to explain that I don’t know that much and am not that good but wound up doing what I could to share some of the things I have learned.  It turned out to be really fun as we shared experiences and what others have suggested to each of us.  We don’t have a long arm group in our area so this was the first time I have been able to talk this type of quilting with anyone.

Well, that’s about it for me.  Have a great week and come back again.    Gari