Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Baby Quilt Progress

I've been babysitting the last two days for my little Charlie, but today I came home to my sewing room and finished piecing the blocks for an I Spy Quilt.  I had finished the short sides last time, and had the long sides all organized in order for quick chain piecing.

When you chain-piece, you just sew one block after another without stopping to cut threads.  You end up with a "chain" of attached blocks.  You just sew one side, then start again and sew the other side, before cutting the threads apart.

Then, I pressed both long sides to the outside, and checked to make sure that each block had a "twin" with a matching center.  These seem to be upside down!

Next is the fun part...arranging the blocks in a pleasing placement on the design wall.

Here are some other pictures from the last two days.  First, my grandbaby!


She is full of new tricks, including sitting up, eating solid food, and, oh yes, happily untying my shoes!

It has gotten scorching hot this week, but we are still having heavy rains during thunderstorms.  All this has made the yard extremely green for this time of year.  I took a walk around the house this morning with my camera.

I love the way the sun lights up the woods in places where it can break through the trees.

The swallowtail butterflies are enjoying my flowering shrubs, including abelia, butterfly bush, and crepe myrtle.

Hope you are enjoying life wherever you are!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sunflowers Wallhanging

Here is the wallhanging that I quilted for my friend, Carolyn, on my Janome 6600 domestic sewing machine.

I stitched in the ditch around the inner edge of the brown border.  The rest of it is quilted with color-coordinating thread in stippling or meandering or contour designs.

This was a fun project, and I was glad to help her out with the quilting even though my Gammill is not at the house at present.

I also got the short side of the framing fabric done for the next child's quilt that I am making, and they are all pressed and ready to sew the long sides next time.

Other than that, I did not get much done today.  We had a showing on the house with only an hour's notice. Just as they left, another man came to the door and said he wants to buy a house with enough land for a horse and a pony.  We have three acres plus a little more, so I told him to go walk the lot if he wanted to.  We are allowed to have horses in the neighborhood.   I also had a contractor come out to give estimates on removing wallpaper and some other work, and made an appointment for the next measurement for our replacement windows. Always something!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Quilt Bee News

Today it is sunny and bright outside.  What's up with that?  It has rained so much that I forgot what sunshine looks like!

Back to the meeting of my Anything Art Bee.  I was the only one to have made progress on my flower quilt for our challenge.  We got the sad news that our newest member, Marion, must move back home to Australia because her husband's job here ended due to budget cuts.  Her last meeting with us will be next month.  We sure will miss this talented lady!

Marion has started doing some weaving and incorporating her woven projects into quilts.  I absolutely love this one!

Here are more of her weavings.

She also created a piece of rusted fabric.

And here is a lovely fused flower quilt on a beautiful background.  She created the white flowers using a color remover product, I believe.

Roberta showed us a really unique piece of fabric that she purchased at the recent Sewing and Quilt Expo in Raleigh.  It has her name written all over it with the black and white checks and bright colors.  I believe she said it was a painting that was printed on fabric.

My traditional quilt bee also met recently.  Here is a beautiful quilt made by Marilyn for her grandbaby who will be born in December.  The ocean scene is a fabric panel.

Mary had completed a Christmas table runner.  We all loved it.

And, we got the sad news that we are also losing a member of this group.  Sharon and her husband are moving to Florida next week.  We hope that they will enjoy the change, and the chance to live close to her brother and sister.  Here is a picture of Sharon from one of our meetings at Quilts Like Crazy to make a charity quilt.

The Fourth of July mountain weekend was pretty much a wash-out.  Too much rain!  This is what the dam looked like when we arrived on July 3.  Lots of muddy water.

My daughter-in-law's family had planned to camp in tents in our yard.  Nothing doing.  The lawn was soggy and there were periods of heavy rains.  They spent the first night at a bed and breakfast in town, and left for home the next day.  We spent a lot of time in the shelter by the creek in the area we call The City Park.  Both my granddaughter Charlie and my sister's grandson Lucas were there.  They are going to have so much fun running around together when they get older.

The older children entertained themselves by making a mud slide and doing their best otter imitations.

The weather started improving enough that we could sit by the creek and ride to the top of the mountain at various times.

Little Holly was there, and I gave her the new quilt.  She is an adorable baby, but always getting into something.  Here she decided to climb on her big brother's four-wheeler to eat her potato chip.

That about catches up with what I have been doing.  I am quilting an art quilt for my friend Carolyn on my Janome sewing machine, and it is almost finished.  I will post pictures when it is finished.  It is a sunflower designed by Eileen Sullivan.

I have been going to the dentist a lot this year.  Thursday I was supposed to get the latest of my permanent crowns.  After enduring two-and-a-half hours in the chair, I had to get the temporary crown back on because the permanent one would not fit correctly.  I was not happy!

We rarely go to the movies, but last night we went to see The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.  There is a LOT of offensive language flying in that movie, but if you don't mind that, it is very funny.  

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.