The Eagle Has Landed!

It appears that April will be a very quiet and productive month for Clay and I – and it is about time!

I have been working on a lap quilt and a wall hanging for gifts and so happy to report that they are both waiting to be quilted on the long arm!  The Eagle quilt is a pattern from Eleanor Burns and this is the 4th one I have made for my Veteran friends.  The most difficult piece in this wall hanging is the stupid beak!!!!  Each time I have made it I tend to go ‘what?’ and after a few minutes the light bulb clicks in.  Guess if I made one a month I could make it with my mind and eyes closed!  I had a big laugh on me when I was working on the star points.  I love Eleanor’s rulers for Peaky and Spike and especially for Flying Geese, the problem is that I have one of each size and yesterday the brain was getting close to “stupid” and when I started trimming the flying geese I realized something just was not correct!  So I threw those pieces away and started over again only to have the same experience.  BUT, alas, when one has too many rulers one had better REALLY check which ruler you are supposed to be working with.  I just could not believe I was having an issue – so I pulled out the Eleanor Burns bag of rulers and guess what – YUP I had picked up the wrong size.

Now here is my excuse for being stupid!  The weather was changing and the pressure was dropping like a rock – little did I realize that a cold front was blowing in.   I was determined to get the stars finished and I did, but after supper the Vertigo set in and that is when I confirmed to myself it was the weather change.  For my Fibro and Meniere’s friends – you know what that means.  YUP – go sit in a chair and veg until things settle down.   Life is so much fun when you never know what the weather will bring you!  Guess it is like the box of chocolates!

This morning I finished the borders on the Eagle and that is the end of me for the day.  It appears that this will be the weather pattern for the next 2 weeks – so maybe a lot of appliquéing will be accomplished as now we have high winds today!

I will appliqué the tail feathers down this afternoon.  I used a blue Hoffman 1895 batik and some Hoffman for the gold stars and found a beautiful piece of Moda fabric with the black and gold.  I love the metallic look for this wall hanging.  (Oh yes – the Eagle will get an eye!)

Eagle Wall Hanging

This is the lap quilt that I made last week – so happy to have peace and tranquility and problem free time for quilting!

Gretchen is working on a Tulip Quilt.  When she first posted the quilt I thought it looked familiar, so I went through my patterns and found it.  It is called Tulip Dance by Annette Ornelas.  She was a guest speaker in 2008 at a local guild and I purchased her book and some patterns.  I only did one project, a Heart Block, and made a large pillow cover with it.   She has some neat 3 dimensional patterns which are based on a cathedral window type block.  I did the appliqué by machine, if I made a quilt I would do the appliqué by hand.


 

Today is done so tomorrow I will get the 2 projects ready for quilting.  Have a great day!

My Dear Friend and Teacher – “Dear Jane” and being a PPF

I remember when I started quilting in 2002.  I knew that needle turn applique would be my first love in the quilt world.   My goal was to be able to applique like the Applique Queens on Simply Quilts.  In fact, that is where I really learned a lot about being a “wanna be” quilter.  Recuperating from 3 back surgeries in 3 years gave me a lot of time to learn and dabble in starting my quilting journey.

I remember seeing the small blocks, the feathered star, the beautiful patterns from Sue Garman, Mimi Dietrich, Lynette Jensen, Pat Campbell, Robyn Pandolph, Eleanor Burns, Curtis Boehringer, Elly Sienkiewicz,  and  so many many others who inspired me to become a very serious quilter.  As do most quilters, I constantly purchased books, patterns, and more books and patterns.  Then it was the realization that fabric from Walmart was nothing compared to  the beautiful fabric from a Quilt Store.  In 2004 my “piecing journey” began.  I knew absolutely NOTHING about making a quilt, but when I was a teenager I had made all of my school clothes and later all of my work clothes – until the age of 30.  Since then I have never made one outfit and know for sure I never will again.

In my quilting journey, I strove for perfection and always wanted to make a Dear Jane, Dear Hannah, Feathered Star, Baltimore Albums, and many more.  I wanted to learn more about color, movement of color in a quilt, become a Master Appliquer and Quilter, even learning how to  paper piece.  So much to learn and so many quilters that I met along the way that have helped me.

I always shied away for tiny blocks (Miniature Quilts) and of course those pesky 3, 4, and 5 inch blocks – WHAT – who would be nuts enough to take that on? How about those tiny tiny pieces to applique on a Baltimore Album quilt?  I learned that most quilters used paper piecing to obtain accuracy in their quilts.  I have tried and tried, but have finally decided that the paper piecing technique is just not my bag. and I am a total PPF (Paper Piecer Failure)!  So I have continued to push myself to attain perfection in studying a pattern, cutting and measuring accurately and when I made a block and it did not turn out correctly I ripped that baby apart to see exactly what I was doing wrong.  This has taken some years to achieve this.  I do not mean to “brag” I am just thrilled that I have taken the difficult road to achieve the results that I want when I make a quilt.  This applies to quilts that I enter into Quilt Shows for judging,  a Utility quilt for a gift, or a wall hanging or quilt for a donation for a raffle or auction.

When had the opportunity arose for me to join the Austin Quilt Guild Dear Jane Bee, I jumped at the offer.  The Bee Keeper designates 4 blocks a month from the Dear Jane book for us to work on.  The first 2 weeks I just keep looking at those 4 1/2″ blocks and the tiny tiny pieces and saying to myself, “am I nuts”?   I decided that since I had signed up for the project I needed to stick with it and would start on the easiest of the 4 blocks this month!  Then I  would progress to the most difficult.  I even tried to do G-4 Shutter Bug that starts with  a 1/2″ square in the middle using paper piecing, but since “I AM A FAILURE AT PAPER PIECING”.  So I bit the bullet and I sewed the puppy by machine.  (I was going to hand quilt this entire quilt, but my hands have different ideas for me – so I am saving them for appliqueing).  I was so excited Sunday when I actually finished the block and it came out perfect!!!  Whew!  Over that intimidating challenge!

I took pictures of each step in making the Shutter Bug block.   This is the fabric that I used for the background.  Neat because it provided the different shades of beiges for the block.

Fabric for G-4 Shutter Bug

Background Fabric for Shutter Bug

 

Here are the steps taken to make Shutter Bug by machine piecing.

Shutter Bug 1Shutter Bug 2Shutter Bug 4Shutter Bug 5Shutter Bug 6G-4 Shutter Bug

I studied Coyote Chase and decided that I wanted to “cheat” and make this one the easiest way possible.

MVC-384S

MVC-385SMVC-387SMVC-388SMVC-389S

I-11 Coyote Chase

Coyote Chase Block

Justin’s Comet took me awhile.  I decided at first to  hand piece the block but did not like where it was going.   So I tried 2 other times to machine piece it before I got it right!

G-8 Justin's Comet

Justin’s Comet Block

Now Springbrook Park was a “small” challenge.  I printed the pattern on pre-cut freezer paper, cut out the pieces, and prayed, closed my eyes and here is the result:

K-8 Springbrook Park

Springbrook Park Block

 

In December (I think) I started a quilt for my friend Wanda.  She wanted a lap quilt with the Ladies with the Umbrella’s.  I finally finished them and now need to decide on the setting for the quilt.  Not sure where I will go with it, but maybe it will come to me soon.

Belle of the Ball Ladies

Belle of the Ball Ladies

As a quilter, it is such a wonderful feeling to finish a “segment” of a project.  I seemed to be in a “funk” with my quilting with my back problems, so I am thrilled that I have accomplished the Dear Jane blocks and ready to work on the Ladies quilt setting.

Thursday I will have the RF treatment in my back and hoping and praying that when they carterize the nerves in my back that my pain will subside.  After all, how can I possibly work on all the wonderful projects I have ready to go.  I received my Stonefields pattern about a week ago but when one is not feeling up to par, it is not time to select fabric for a project!

From now on, one thing that Dear Jane has taught me is to not let a small little block like Shutter Bug intimidate me!  LOL

So until next time,  I hope that all stay healthy, quilt all the time, and enjoy winter time because we are fast approaching Spring.  I am hoping that we do have a cool Spring and maybe just 3 months of the 100+ with 100 % humidity………..Now if we have a lot of rain, that would not bother me either.