Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Catching Up

It has been raining hard off and on for days now.  That actually has given me lots of extra time for my artsy projects!

On Thursday I went to Clayton to exercise my visitation rights on my Gammill machine.  I managed to quilt both my baby quilt and the flower challenge quilt while I was there.

The baby quilt just has loopy meanders with some flowers and maybe a butterfly for fun.  The baby's name is Holly, so I added her name and a holly leaf.

The backing is pieced from leftover fabrics in the quilt and some others that coordinate.

I made a label today, and will try to finish hand-sewing the binding and label tonight.  I'd like to give it to Holly when we are in the mountains for the Fourth of July.

Here is the flower challenge quilt, now that it is quilted.  I did not touch the flower or stem, only the background.  That makes the non-quilted areas pop.  I will be doing some stitching/beading in the flower area.

I did a lot of small, artistic freestyle quilting.  Near the base, feathery ferns. 

I added some quilted leaves along the stem.

Around the flower I just added some spiral swirls.

Next up for this project is to add beads, crystals, embroidery etc. to embellish the flower.

While I was at Maureen's, there was a severe thunderstorm with heavy rain and dark skies.  I finished quilting just as it started to storm, and by the time I traveled home the rain was over.

On my design wall is the beginning of another child's quilt.  I can't really call this a baby quilt because the baby is already three years old.  This one is for our friends, Ricky and Mary's granddaughter Shelby.  I made  quilts for both of her older brothers, but got in a slump on baby quilts a few years ago and could not keep up!  

This one is going to be a sort of I Spy quilt with pairs of blocks with the same center fabric.  Two mermaids, two butterflies, etc.  Hopefully she can make a game of finding the matching pairs.  

All of the center patches have an animal or other novelty print fabric.  Many are left over from the last three quilts I have made for Charlotte, Lucas, and Holly.

In fact, I have so many leftover scraps that I am piecing together scrap quilts for yet another baby quilt.  I have two more to go before I have made one for all the great-nieces and great-nephews.

I keep a basket of scraps by the sewing machine, and when I am in the mood for some mindless sewing, I just stitch the scraps together randomly until I can cut an eight-and-a-half-inch square.  Very relaxing!

I also have been working on two watercolor paintings.  One is another view of the dam at our mountain place, this time from the bridge with dogwood branches reaching over the creek.  

Before, I had a lot of heavy branches above the dam, and did not like the way they looked.  So, I lifted the out by using a "thirsty" brush and going over the areas to remove the paint.  This left a kind of ghostly effect, not unlike when the mists rise off the water.  But I am filling back in with some color.

I want to have this one ready to take to Michael's to frame when I pick up the one that is there now.

The other painting is a practice portrait of my granddaughter Lily.  I had a good closeup of her face, so I used her as the subject even though she was in my last portrait, as well.  I want to work on the eyes and the shading a little more, and decide if I want to add some background color.  I already have the same face drawn on another paper, so I will try some different color tones for that one.  

Tomorrow we are going back to the mountains for the Fourth of July.  We have a big group gathering there. Lots of children, grandchildren, and friends.  We are looking forward to it...and hope that the BIG RAINS will be over by then.  Charlie and I went up last weekend to do some preparations since we had not been up there in a month.  It was lovely and cool.  We enjoyed watching my sister Katy and her husband Kenny feed the fish in the pond, the pigs, the chickens, and the goats. 

 And of course, the ride over the Christmas tree farms in the Gator is always a highlight.

After running up there, my dog Kasey looks like a lion lying in the savanna of Africa.

Guess that's it for now!  My art quilt bee met yesterday, but I will save that report for another post.

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