Friday, June 29, 2012

Quilts at the beach

Our family is visiting my mother-in-law at her beach house this week. It's great to see her beginning to feel energetic again after illness and surgery. We all want to see healthy moms! So we are crabbing and boating, shrimping and jumping in the waves, watching the dolphins play and enjoying the coolness of the evenings. Some are watching movies at night while I sneak up to our room to sew. These blocks were made before we came, but I've joined them together here.
Bonnie Hunter's Sisters Choice (?) I think pattern

Did you want a better peek at the view behind the quilt?
Here's the sound side of the island.  We like to kayak amonst those green marshy places.

And here is Mr. Seeing Stars posing near a grand fortress .... one which we did not build.  This was part of our morning walk on the beach.

I missed the opportunity to capture video of 4 dolphins body surfing in a row a couple of days ago when the surf was strong.  They also put on a nice show of flips,  usually one-and-a-halfs, after they had fed on schools of fish.

Next on my quilting list is to put together another twister quilt.  The 10" squares are arranged, but 2 teens are ready for an after dinner beach swim.  So the sewing with have to wait.

Enjoy your weekend!
- SeeingStars

Monday, June 18, 2012

T-Shirt Experiment is Complete

Now the trio of tees are ready for sharing!

raspberry colored shirt
bleach is brighter in the center and fades at the edges
I'm happy with the final products.  The bleach pen adds a little interest by not evenly removing the dye.

Turquoise tee
This one faded more at the edges, but left color in the center

Although the girls have worn theirs a couple of times, it's taken me longer to finish mine.  I think the extra stitches were needed to kick it up a notch.  The center hue was a yellowish color, but it just didn't show up as well.  Also, the bleach was applied to thick and spread out in larger globs.
Whoops!  I didn't notice that I needed to smooth it out a bit
Large stitches in orange and green emphasize the design

I used a stabilizer (tear-away) behind the stitches.  After it's been washed, I might cut away some of it, but I'll leave it alone for now.  I think the stabilizer's roughness is why the shirt didn't hang well in the photo.

These shirts were fun!  I might do another batch in patriotic colors and designs for the 4th of July.

Not much quilting in the past week or so.  We've been out of town visiting my mom.  It was great fun to take a zip line adventure.  I also took a clogging lesson.  Teen 2 rode a horse.   We all laughed at the hummingbirds vying for their turns at the feeder.  And we ate lunch and shopped in a quaint, artsy town.  I purchased a tree frog caller - a wooden instrument which can call tree frogs by imitating their sounds.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just Had To Give It A Try

I started following Beth Stone's blog and found one of her recent posts about a little accident with bleach.  Then another.  The results were super cute!  And can be found at the following links :
Unusual Uses For Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Another Happy Accident

So since I had 20 minutes to wait for a prescription to be filled, I found a bleach pen and some $5 t-shirts before I went to work this morning.  This evening, while I should be furiously packing for a trip, I stuffed the shirts with poster board and newspapers and then drew on them with the bleach pen.  Sometimes it's fun to get distracted.

The bleach is still on the shirts in these photos.  I let it sit a little more than 30 minutes, so I could finish the task at hand.  Then rinsed well in cold water at the sink.  All 3 are in the washer right now.

The orange one has a few places where the bleach was too thick.  So I may use some contrasting embroidery threads to trace the design.  (think Alabama Chanin style)  Guess I'll see how it looks after it's washed and dried.

The last one?  Well.  It reminds me of a joke.  See, there are 3 kinds of people in this world : those who can count and those who can't.

I forgot to take photos of the purple one.  Just couldn't count that high!  But I'll post the final results soon.

Enjoy your day!  May you stay on task better than I do - if that's your goal for this evening.
- SeeingStars

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Next Time Won't You Sing With Me ?

When I found this fabric, I thought it was adorable.  But not easy to cut up in small pieces.  So instead, it's almost a whole cloth quilt.  Just a column of stars to add a little extra punch.
ABC quilt

There's too much going on with the top to make the quilting stitches steal the show.  So most of this one is loop-de-loops in doubles and a few triples.  The quilting went pretty quickly until my machine needed some TLC.  The tracks, wheels, etc. were cleaned and rubbed down with alcohol.  All the encoder pieces for the stitch regular were checked for good connections and then the Tin Lizzie was ready for action again.

I did play a little with the stars and yellow borders.  Just added some swirls and swoops.  Next time, I think I'd add a stitch-in-the-ditch around the yellow borders and maybe tracing each star.  Guess I need to practice doing this without a ruler, so it doesn't double the time on the frame.

Another view ....
Side view

And here's the back.  I like the stars from the back side.  It's different and interesting.  As per usual, I thought I'd purchased enough fabric for the back, but ended up making the front bigger than I'd first imagined.  The plaid looks better in person (i.e. plays well with the alphabet) than in the photo.

Whoops!  I see a thread on the back.  They always show up after the photos.

Enjoy your day!  I've got to get ready for work..... Very grateful for flexible hours!  I can go to work much more relaxed knowing that my machine is working again.  Hardware errors drive me nuts since it's almost like magic to fix them.  I prefer software problems.  Once they're fixed, they don't break themselves later. 

- SeeingStars

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Couple for Project Linus

I didn't piece either of these quilt tops.  Our Project Linus group is enthusiastic and although some donate finished quilts, others donate tops.  So when I can, I grab a few tops to stretch on the frame and quilt them.  Usually, I return them quilted, but not bound.  (It's a wrist thing and I prefer to hand sew the 2nd seam on the binding edges.)

This lavender quilt has stars in some of the prints, so it was an easy decision to quilt it with stars and loops.  I worked deliberately to use a larger design that I usually would do.  Not every quilt needs micro-stippling!

This quilt has terrific colors and fabrics.  I think the overall design is cute, but look closer.

Aren't those bugs and caterpillars adorable!  And the whimsical polka dots keep it all cheerful.

This is what it looks like on the back side.  The picnic blanket look cracks me up with the ants on the top side!

So I need to decide which top I'll quilt next.  There are a few (four to be precise) waiting patiently, but they've draped themselves over the frame.  I'm in a "get 'er done" sort of mindset right now.  Just need to keep the focus when I get home after work.

Enjoy your day!  I'm looking forward to singing with my large church family this morning.
- SeeingStars