Friday, September 5, 2014

Off the Frame

The surprise gift came off the frame today and it just received a trim before the binding goes on.  Since it's a surprise, I'm not ready to show off the front side yet.  However, the back side looks pretty cool too.

And a the outer portions ... 
(This backing color is more accurate in the top photo.)

Some of the quilting stitches are cream: the continuous curves and the loops in the center, also the mums.  Other stitches are a dark purple : compass and the meandering swirls and the borders.

I'm excited to get this one off the frame after loading it last Friday.  My quilting is usually much slower.  This time, I worked hard not to over-quilt it.

Can't wait to present the quilt and then I will share the front side here.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cotton Flowers

The cotton next to our house is flowering in soft whites and pretty pinks.  Since we're all quilters, I thought you might like to see what your fabric looks like before it's on the bolt.

I like the buds before they blossom too.  They look almost alien with all those tentacles and their pyramid shape.

In my studio, I'm working on a new project.  However, I'm still moving along on the southwestern quilt.  Over half-way finished!

I really like Mariner's Compass blocks.  All those sharp points radiating outward like the sun's rays!  There are 2 different purples in the star points, but the camera missed that texture.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Quilting And Some Distractions

First, here's a few shots of the second row in progress.  I'm almost done with the mini blocks.  Then I'll quilt in the dark purple sashing before returning to the larger blocks.

Also, I've been working on a thread cabinet like the one described in The Creative Homemaker's blog.  Here it is drying after the first top coat of paint.  I'm excited to hang this up in a closet full of quilting supplies - away from the sunshine, but accessible when needed. 

Mr. Seeing Stars helped me a lot.  We mostly used pieces of wood we had stashed in the garage.

There's a field full of cotton behind it. Not many flowers so far.  So in a few more days, I'll get a close-up photo of the flowers.  They are pretty!

My yellow quilting friend posed for this photo.  I'm not sure what kind of bird he is, but maybe some kind of oriole or warbler or vireo.  My book shows photos, but his markings don't really match anything that I found.  Anyway, he landed on my sunflower and I loved the image.  He didn't cooperate for a photo then.  My friend, Florida Farm Girl, might be able to help identify him.

Finally, here are a couple of quilt tops that I made at the beach.  I like to have something else to do in the evenings or rainy times besides watching tv.  So I pack a few fabrics and notions ... and a machine and table ... and of course a cutting mat and ironing surface ... and soon the whole van is full.  My poor family loves me to put up with my shinanigans.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Monday, July 21, 2014

One Row Is Finished!

After seven months of quilting, the first row is complete.  Only 3 more to go!

No, I'm not quitting my day job any time soon!

I like the quilting more than I did when I first started.  Mostly, I think I've seen what digitized quilting is capable of creating and I wanted to see that type of precise work on this quilt.  Even with rulers, I haven't achieved exactly what I was hoping to see.  But with each block customized, I'm happy with the result so far.

Here are a few close ups.

The double triangle - I'll go back and fill in the rest of the background with pebbles.  I thought they'd mix with the bear claws, so I stopped to think about it.

That free hand dragonfly - I ripped out the leg on the left and sketched it with chalk to make it more symmetrical.  But somehow, he really wants to kick that leg up a little, so it was quilted with a kick again.  This time, it will stay as is.

Here's a preview of Row 2.  I plan/hope/really want to get this one done this week. 

When our raccoon bandit passed away, I sort of celebrated that my bird feeders would be able to feed the birds again.  However, we have discovered that she left two babies.  These little fellas also learned to scale the pole and steal the birdseed just as their mother did.  Oh well.  Double the trouble, but they sure are cute.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Friday, May 30, 2014

On the Frame - Progress Report

This quilting has been slow going, but there have been lots of other activities in the SeeingStars household.

I've used Hopi and Pueblo pottery designs as inspiration for the quilting.  Here's one of the border cornerstones.  I'll use this bird in all four of them.
The photo flash washed out the vivid jewel tones, but the shine in the thread makes it more noticeable.

And here's some of the border design.  I like the scroll with the bird head and the variety of designs throughout the scroll.

I have several newsprint pads for scribbling ideas.  Typically, I've have 5 or more pages before I find a design I'd like to use.  Here are a few of mine for this project.  The top zigzag design is used in my dark purple fabric in the photo above.  None of the others have been used so far.

I've come up with a neat design to quilt the applique blocks.  Now I just need to find that piece of paper.  My sewing room is clean, but I've moved that design somewhere when I started thinking of the details of making it happen.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope your Memorial Day is full of thanksgiving as well as fun.  Here's a Quilt Of Valor I hope to deliver to Jimmy today. 

After a bike wreck on Saturday, I'm a little behind and haven't called to see if he's available.  As a side note, I am a whimp and don't deal with road rash or bruising very bravely.  My family is very patient with me while I'm rebandaging every couple of hours and just being pitiful.  However, I am a fast healer and hope hope hope to have my knees and arms better in 2 weeks for a MS fundraiser bike ride. I also need to bring my bicycle to the shop for a little post-wreck TLC.

This came from a block swap I was involved in a few years ago.  It's really great to see another UFO finished.  A friend used a similar layout for some of her blocks and I liked the blue quarter square triangles, so I used them for inspiration.

Here's the back side.  It's a solid navy blue, which shows off the gold quilting threads so well.

Some of my friends (Sarah and Libby to name a couple) have gently encouraged me to blog more often, so I'm going to try for once or twice a week.  Now that our first high school graduation is behind us, life is slowing down again.  I'm looking forward to getting back to the studio to work on my mom's quilt, then a baby quilt, another QOV and a few more.

Enjoy your freedom today.  I'm thankful for those who have served our country and given their lives to defend us. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another On the Frame

I've been working on a quilt that I can't share yet.  So I've had to be very quiet for a while.
But this one I can talk about.
It's a Quilt Of Valor.  It's a UFO.  It's a block swap quilt. 

If you walk around the frame to get a better look.  You can see the overall design.

There's mostly Red/White/Blue, but a touch of gold here and there.  So I took a bold approach and began quilting it with gold threads.  At first, I thought about using a clear thread over these beautiful star blocks, but I think they'll still shine with gold over them.

The quilting is very similar to my last QOV motifs.  I was quite thrilled with how that one turned out and other designs I doodled with weren't as nice.

The first of 4 rows is complete now.  For the 2nd and 3rd row, I get to do 6 feathers!  I love quilting feathers.  For balance on these large blocks, I'm marking the spine.  Frixion pens for lighter fabrics and white chalk for the dark blue fabrics.

I'm planning on a quilt retreat next week.  My goal is to have this one off the frame and ready to bind for the retreat.  It's ambitious, but the retreat is hosted by the Alabama QOV coordinator.  So I can leave it with her if it's finished before I pack up to come home.  While I'm there, I can make a pillow case and label.  But if it isn't finished, I'll mail it to her or use her "Mules" to hand deliver it.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars