Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More for Project Linus

Blue Striped quilt

 These were quilted before Thanksgiving.  Simple quilts to provide comfort and warmth.  I am sure they'll find good homes.

Both of these were pieced and donated to Project Linus.  Then I took them home, pieced the backing from donated fabrics and quilted them.

I think the thin black stripes add interest to this one.

Multi-colored Stripe
quilting up close - black and variegated threads

There's another one waiting patiently for me in the studio.  The backing still needs a little more work before it's ready for the frame.  It's fun to practice quilting ideas or review a pattern I've not played with in a while for these Linus quilts.

Enjoy your day. (or night ... this post is being composed around 1 am)
- SeeingStars

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Outside the Pizza Box

An online friend (from the HGTV Quilting and Needlework forum) held a block swap a couple of years ago.  We each chose a theme and mailed a Fat Quarter of fabric to another participant.  Every few weeks, we'd make a block centered around the theme and using just a small piece of the FQ.  When there were 12 blocks, we all mailed them back to the originator.

The hostess had a goal of challenging every one to create something unusual, rather than making the same kind of block that we're comfortable making.  She named our swap "Outside the Pizza Box."

My theme was High Afternoon Tea.  I don't know why.  But it seemed fun and the FQ I sent was an elegant paisley with gold metallic highlights.

I joined all the blocks, then put it away for another 6 months or so, awaiting some backing fabric.  But somehow, I managed to push past all the inertia and load this one on the frame.

I like the fact that some of the blocks are appliqued and some are pieced.

Care for some cheesecake?
Or a box of chocolates?
Perhaps you'd prefer a heart shaped box of chocolates instead ...

And some tea, of course.

This last photo was taken before I started working on the blocks.  I took it to remember what the border looks like.  However, I just had to show you this adorable mug.  The handle is made from a leather cord.  And the mug is actually a pocket.  It came with a tea bag inside of it!  I had to remove it for quilting, but once the quilt is finished, a tea bag will go back to this mug.  So clever and this quilter was definitely thinking outside the box.

The quilting is not finished yet.  Three borders and all the cornerstones are still waiting.  Then, I'll inspect and see if I need to add another element here or thread with thread.  I've had a blast with the feathers, although I thought the thread matched the fabrics better when I chose it.  It sort of reminds me of the steaming milk in a latte, so I'm going to consider it a plus.

Our family saw the play, It's a Wonderful Life this afternoon.  My husband's soccer teammate starred in the leading role, which made it even more fun.  Yes, I actually had to wipe tears away before the lights were turned back on their bright settings.  I'm sappy, but that was so sweet.  A nice way to begin the holiday season this year.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Words Left Unspoken

This is my entry in the 2012 Scraps to Treasure challenge.  We had about 40 participants, each who sent 2 or 3 fabrics to the hostess of the challenge.  These were pre-washed and cut into 6 inch squares - enough for each participant to receive a set of fabrics.  Then, we were allowed to add a few Fat Quarters and a few more 6 inch squares.

As a twist, this year we were asked to name the quilt before we even received the fabrics.  Ha!  As if we needed the bar lifted higher on this challenge!  So my title is Words Left Unspoken.  It seemed open-ended enough that I could go several different directions once I got to play with the fabrics.

It became my prayer .... to my Creator, who with words formed this world and all its creatures, let my response be praise rather than Words Left Unspoken.  And as He's entrusted me to share with others the grace I've received through faith in Jesus, let my response not be characterized as Words Left Unspoken, but may I share His love in my actions and words.

It's a personal prayer and it's a little outside my comfort zone to share it with you.  But  I've already shared it with those who are aware of this annual challenge, so I'll post it here as well.

trees, DNA strand, and the ocean
 There's some thread play in the tree line.   However, most of the quilting is words.  All the words are taken from scripture and relate to the part of creation where they reside.  For instance, the DNA strand says You knit me together in my mother's womb ... I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...  Your eyes saw my unformed body.  Psalms 139.

scripture, large tree and people ... the dark shaded area is the cliff near the ocean

Here's a portion of the back side.  You can see the words quilted on the muslin backing.

If you're interested in joining the challenge, the sign up time usually starts in March, fabrics are sent and received in April and the deadline to send photos of the finished quilt happen some time in September or October.  I'll post here to let you know more about it.  You can also visit / join the HGTV Forums - Quilting and Needlework.  It's a terrific and encouraging group of quilters who love to share photos and ideas and advice about quilting.  Members of the HGTV forum vote on their favorites in various categories.  We're all encouraged to donate the quilt to charity or, if we keep the quilt, to donate a check instead.

You can view the other entries to this year's challenge Here.

It was an interesting journey this time!  As usual, I felt I was in way over my head.  Also, as usual, once I had a design in mind, I couldn't dream up a second design, then decide which was better.  The first and only design dominates, so even though I have inner arguments - it's technically too difficult, the color values won't work well, ....  I end up being forced to implement it.  And, as usual, I like the finished quilt.

If you are a quilter and you've not joined a challenge before, I encourage you to do so.  It will stretch your creativity and your skills.  The sense of satisfaction when you're finished is well worth the time invested.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars