Friday, February 28, 2014

Racing the Calendar with Mini Clams

It's not the fastest design, but I love the texture it adds to this quilt.  I'm using a circle template to make the clams.  With the shiny fairy frost fabric, it reminds me of fish scales or maybe even dragon scales.

I generously offered to stay home today so Mr. Seeing Stars could use my vehicle.   
It seems his 23 yr old Honda needs a little TLC ... again.  Yes, we could have carpooled, but he often gets home well past dark and I leave work much earlier.  Plus, this extra time at home will help me to cross my finish line by midnight tonight.

So I can start on another UFO for March.  I do hope it's going to be an easy one.  I'm eager to reload my Mom's quilt again and make more progress on that one.

 I hope the ginkos aren't too un-quilted for the rest of this quilt.  For now, I'll leave them alone and see how it goes.  I could stitch in the ditch around those ginko squares, but time's not on my side right now.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February UFO - Racing the Calendar

I'm working hard to finish this one by midnight on Friday night.  I love a challenge!
Disappearing 9 patch

The quilting is almost to the bottom border.  Whew!  Except ... there is no quilting yet in the light pink rectangles.

Here's the back side.  The quilting is much easier to see.

Plan A : Use the cherry blossoms as quilting inspiration and make oversized blossoms in the navy fabrics.  The green inner borders have a bamboo design.  Add ginko leaves to the dark pink (Gees Bend dyed fabrics) small squares.  Using a template, add clamshells to the light pink fairy frost fabric.

It's easier to do all the free motion, then change the hopping foot to a template foot once and execute the clamshells.  But I did try a couple of clamshell areas near the top of the quilt, so I've already changed the foot a couple of times.  It just doesn't work on this quilt.  My template makes too large a design and the tops of the second row end up being cut off by the edge of the patchwork.  Not very pretty!

Plan B : Skip the light pinks until all else is done and make a new plan.  Since the focus fabric is an Asian print, I'm looking for another design which will fit that theme.  Free motion is much easier for me than templates.  And .... since this finish is for a monthly UFO challenge, I'd like to get 'er done soon.

I'm open to any ideas for this quilting.  Before deciding on clamshells, I thought about a tall crane, but his wings wouldn't be spread and I thought it wouldn't look regal enough.  I love the look of sashiko and I'm willing to lightly mark a grid to accomplish that look.

I've got to dash off to work now and then I'll check back here to see if anyone has an idea for this pink.  The quilting thread is Isacord Petal Pink.  It blends very well with the light pink, so this area will be all about texture, not contrast.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Thursday, February 13, 2014

On the Frame - Part 2 Through the Ages

Okay.  The stabilizing stitches are finished and so now it's time to play.

Here's the start of the border.  I'm using a few Native American designs as inspiration for this quilt.  I drew the main spiral with an erasable Frixion pen.  They will be some type of filler above the spiral eventually.

It will be slow going to quilt this, but I'm hoping it will add texture and still not take away from the amazing design of the quilt top.  I *think* I've decided to use a light tan thread for the center design and leave this dark purple for the frames and outer border.

The border design is much easier to see from the back side.

Not all the quilting motifs are decided yet.  But I do have an idea for most of them.  It's fun to get this one started.

After three days of no school and no work, I think I'll be ready for a semi return to normal tomorrow.  We've had fun in the snow and it's always nice to take advantage of an unexpected stay-cation!

Enjoy your Friday!  As the sun rises, I'm reminded that His mercies are renewed each morning.  What a gift!

- SeeingStars

Monday, February 10, 2014

Coasting Along ...

Leftover scraps of paper were put to use as quilt block designs

I had a chance to spend some time with our college ladies at our church this weekend.  And since there is a rumor going around that they love to make crafts and Pinterest is quite popular, I found a fun project for us to do together.

We made coasters starting with 4 inch tiles, adhesive felt dots, scapbooking paper, rubber stamps & stickers, and lots of Mod Podge.  It was a fun and messy.  When we packed up our supplies, there were lots of small scraps of paper left over.  So, those became quilt block coasters.

Too bad that I didn't bring my camera with me.  I wish I had photos of everyone's tiles.  Those college ladies are creative and it was fun to see so many different layouts.

Here are a few that my teens and I made.

These 2 verses have been on my mind lately.  I want to make them more a part of my life, to love God with my all and to direct my thoughts toward things that are positive.   That leaves little room for selfishness or complaining.

I like the off-angled layout.  The zentangle one didn't use any paper, just a sharpie marker.  I really like this one.  I think with another package of felt dots, we could use up the whole box of 100 tiles.  As a set of 4, any of these coasters would make such a neat gift.  Next, we'll find some ribbon to tie up our sets.

I'm still working on the stabilizing stitches for my mom's quilt.  This weekend was full of other things, so progress is slow.  Maybe tonight, I can finish another row.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Saturday, February 1, 2014

On the Frame

The first step for this one is to receive stabilizing stitches.  I wish straight line ruler work was easier for me.  After a few wobbles, I tossed aside the rulers and am doing it free hand.  For me, the stitch-in-the-ditch lines look better that way.

I've been looking at some Native American pottery and will use some of those designs as inspiration for quilting this one.

February UFO top on the design wall

While I know there is still many hours custom work to be done, I've hung my next top on the design wall.  It's a disappearing 9 patch pattern with navy cherry blossoms and the dark pink is hand dyed from Gees Bend.  My hope is that I'll get a good idea for a quilting design on the cherry blossoms while I work on the current one.

A late breakfast today.  Our "pets" are happy for warmer weather.

We helped our neighbors move furniture yesterday.  They are moving overseas for a year and will keep most of their belongings in storage.  With new carpets and tile, they are getting their home in top shape to sell quickly.  They also helped us move a new couch upstairs and a very old loveseat (slightly chewed by a previous dog) downstairs.  So I wish I'd had the camera ready to capture their expression when we moved that old loveseat to the front porch.  You could see the thought bubbles over their heads accusing us of being rednecks and worrying about the reduced market value of their home. 
In my weak defense, I'm calling the thrift store this morning to arrange a pick up.  Until then, we're thinking of seating the whole family there, armed with red solo cups, loud country music and a cooler close by to watch the neighbors as they work.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars