Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bottled Rainbow ...

Bottled Rainbow in progress
There's a fabulous stitch-along at Stitched In Color's blog.  It's been a long time since I started this project with the first 3 blocks.  I'm not expecting to make a huge quilt, but this will make a nice size for Project Linus.  I'm thinking about adding an appliqued watercolor set in the center.  With a little more effort, I'll be ready to hand sew the binding when I next meet with the Project Linus group here in early February. 

It's a quilt-as-you-go easy quilt to make.  But I've still managed to make several mistakes along the way.  First, I forgot that I'd resized the blocks from the pattern.  So I have a huge purple block that wouldn't play nicely with the others.

I think it could make a nice pillow top!

I also managed to flip the blue and green row.  Not only were the colors wrong, but the sea turtle was swimming upside down.  Whoops!  The seam ripper came to the rescue and everything was rearranged to work out nicely.  Sorry - no photographic evidence of that mishap!

Now it's time to make a grocery run.  Family will be asking about dinner soon and we'll have guests over tomorrow for lunch and again in the evening.

Enjoy your day!  It's been so sunny and cheerful here.  The birds have shown off all day long.
 - SeeingStars

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seuss with a Twist!

Baby Quilt for Amanda's little one
This quilt top was made last Spring from the remnants of a Twister quilt.  I posted about it on Last March's Twister Blog Entry.    Since I just found out that Amanda is back in the country for 2 weeks, I was excited that I had enough time to quilt and bind it for her daughter.  I'm really excited about how the quilting turned out.  It's playful and fun, just as a Dr. Seuss quilt should be.

quilting the border ... details
The outer border was done with double wavy lines in turquoise Isacord threads (top & bottom).  Although I like the idea of piano keys, they would have been too orderly for this quilt.  The no-marking, no-rulers improvisational wavy lines were fun to do and added whimsy.

The narrow striped border just seemed like it would be too busy if it was quilted, so it remains as-is.  I considered filling it with circles, but decided against it.

Then the inner red border and piecing sports a red cotton YLI thread (top & bottom).   From Myrna Ficken's DVD's I grabbed this border motif and gave it a try.  The texture and movement it added makes me smile.  Although it's super simple, I should have practiced on paper how to deal with wrapping around the corners of the borders before I armed myself with the machine.

Finally, the pieced top was a cocktail of motifs and doodles.  Jamie Wallen's Mystical Cotton Tracks provided inspiration for those fat leaves.  If you're looking for a new longarm quilting DVD, I recommend one of his DVD classes.  My goal was to use lots of different flowers, rather than just one.  Here's my practice piece to double check tension.  The quilting is easier to see here since it's high contrast.  I return to a piece like this when I change bobbins.   I might use these little pieces for mug rugs.

My backing for this quilt is really busy!  Since the top was made from leftovers, it's only fitting that the back used my last scraps of Seuss fabric too.  I added that gold triangle for the label.  Since I don't have embroidery capability, I use pigma pens to add label info.
It's time to tidy the house for a quick visit from my mother-in-law.  She's a blessing to all of us.  I wish everyone could have a MIL just like her!  There isn't too much to do to prepare for her arrival.  We've been hosting a weekly Bible study at our house this month and it's great to know the house will be full each weekend.  It helps all of us clean as we go.  Much much nicer this way!  But the van ... is still is full of pine needles from the smaller tree purchased last month.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Let it Snow (part 2)

We did get a little snow!
After my last blog entry, the kids and I watched from the upstairs window as big fat snowflakes swirled all around us.  We had our own snowglobe view of the backyard!  Then, the texture changed and we could actually hear the white stuff landing on the roof and walls.  It began to stick.

There was a little snowdance outdoors and a quick refill of the birdfeeders.  Then we had to dash back inside to warm up.  Brrrr.  34 deg F.  Yes, we're whimpy. 

These snowflakes won't melt!
So I made time to get this quilt done.  It was a challenge making each snowflake unique.  I lightly chalked the 6 lines radiating outward to get the spine of the snowflake right.  Then used leaf shapes, half-hearts, feathers and weird little squiggles up and down each spine.

border snowflake
Here's a closer view of the border.  With the dark grey-blue threads, most of the quilting is for texture more than a design.  It doesn't compete with those terrific batik fabrics.

This afternoon, I braved the 59 deg F sunny weather to help my husband and teen take down a few trees.  They did almost all of the work.  But one pesky tree was leaning in a weird, threatening way and we needed to take it down before we get the fence replaced.  Our neighbor allowed us to tie ropes to his trees to make sure it didn't fall on either of our houses.  Hubby suspended long tree truck sections to those ropes.  They each weighed over 100 lbs and it took coordination, a ladder and team work to get everything ready.  (I should have taken a photo!)  One he began making that chink in the tree, K. began to tighten the last rope with a come-along.  It was me who cheered victoriously as the tree fell just where Hubby wanted it to go - away from the homes.  Those dangling tree trunks buried themselves in the soft dirt/ground up tree stumps.  We untied all the ropes and got ready for late afternoon company to drop in.

Tomorrow, we'll deal with all the tree parts strewn over 2 back yards.  I think we're ready to have the fence replaced.  Big smile.  The mangled one just looks so pathetic.

Since it's slightly after midnight, it's hardly appropriate to end with my usual sign off.  Instead, I'll share this Psalm with you.  I've spent a little time this week studying from it and we'll discuss it tomorrow morning in class.

Psalm 19
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
  The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
   night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
   no sound is heard from them.
 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
   their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
  It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
   like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
 It rises at one end of the heavens
   and makes its circuit to the other;
   nothing is deprived of its warmth.
  The law of the LORD is perfect,
   refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
   making wise the simple.
 The precepts of the LORD are right,
   giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
   giving light to the eyes.
 The fear of the LORD is pure,
   enduring forever.
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
   and all of them are righteous.
  They are more precious than gold,
   than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
   than honey from the honeycomb.
 By them your servant is warned;
   in keeping them there is great reward.
 But who can discern their own errors?
   Forgive my hidden faults.
 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
   may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
   innocent of great transgression.
  May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
   be pleasing in your sight,
   LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

(text from

- SeeingStars

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Let It Snow!

Well the weather outside is .... way too warm to see snow.  It's gray and wet with lots of puddles.  Although the Christmas decor is put away, the snowmen are still scattered around the house for January.  And on the frame, a beautiful batik snowflake quilt is resting while I take a break.

Here's what it looks like so far.  Simple snowflake quilting in dark blue.  I don't want the quilting stitches to compete with the top.
Big Blocks with Snowflakes

Cornerstones with improvisational snowflakes
The blocks are on point with pretty pieced sashing.  I had swirly wind patterns in the sashing.  There are more starts/stops than I realized, but the overall effect is nice.  January is a perfect time of the year to quilt with snowflakes!

It's a busy day at the bird feeder (and the ground below).  Doves, tufted titmice, a woodpecker, several cardinals, finches (at least I think that's what they are), a bazillion squirrels and one wandering cat have kept the backyard show alive.

Enjoy your day!

- SeeingStars