Progress is Here – Finally

Here I am on 19 October and life is really getting back to normal!  A daily routine that I love, coffee, walking, breakfast, and the rest of the day quilting!!! Pure Heaven!  We have AGAIN changed travel plans and will be going to Galveston Beach for a week in November!  YEA!  After 17 years of wintering in Arizona to me this is going to be so much fun!  Next year a trip to Michigan to visit with Doug and Jean!  In the meantime though, I am quilting and have made progress with my projects although I did lose 3 days last week when we upgraded our iPhones with Verizon.  Now that was not fun but we persevered and I got over it!

I have started working on Mountmellick, a Di Ford Mystery Quilt in Quiltmania magazine in 2014.  It took me 2 days to prepare the medallion for appliqué, but I now ready to start the appliqué work.

Mountmellick Medallion Pattern

The process involves Broderie Perse  a technique that I wanted to work with for a long while.  I purchased a lot of Dutch Chintz fabric for use in making the Australian reproduction quilts, but had to put this on hold for a few years. Now I am ready to embark on my goals of 2014 and beyond!

I first began by auditioning different fabrics to use in the Medallion and came up with this selection.

Auditioning of Fabrics – The light-colored fabric with small flowers did not make it in the final cut!

Next step was to prepare the back ground for placement.  Then preparing the separate appliqué pieces.  For the broderie press flowers I played “let’s play cut out flowers” and here is what happens to beautiful expensive fabrics to achieve the goal required in this quilt for the medallion.

Dutch Chintz Fabric Cut Up

Alas – the final result of 2 days of work.  The stems took longer to appliqué and one can barely see them but after needle turning the flowers I believe more of the stems will show.  The leaves in the upper right hand corner are possible “changes” to a couple of the leaves in the middle right side where the two leaves are the same.

Ready for Applique – Stems finished – Flowers Ready for Applique

I have made progress (faster than I thought) on Sweet Stitches. I have completed Block 4 and will prep Block 5 tomorrow.

Mr Easter Bunny – April Block

Sweet Stitches – January thru April Blocks

The embroidery goes faster than my needle turn appliqué. My hands are working but, but it does make them “act up” a bit when I overdo the hand work, so today I am going to go back to the month of May when I loaded a quilt in the longarm and try to get it finished in the next day or so.  This quilt was my first appliqué quilt called Hearts which was made in 2003.  Hum a lifetime ago!  Since I am not a real scrappy person, I was surprised at the outcome for my first try with colors.   I retired in 1999 and learned how to quilt by watching Alex Anderson on PBS – really miss her from those years.  Elly Sienkiewicz’s books and Anita Shackleford were my main teachers.

Hearts – First Applique Quilt from 2003

An update on my CutterPillar Glow.  This tool is so neat and so worth the $110.00.  It functions as a cutting mat (the grid just lies on the glow mat) AND is so great to trace patterns for appliqué or embroidery patterns!!! BUT BEWARE – The mat below is a regular cutting self-healing mat and works great.  They also sell a glass self-healing mat that I ordered and received last week, but decided to call Cutter Pillar and ask about using the glass mat with my rotary cutter.  They said it would, of course, dull the blade on the rotary cutter (obvious) BUT that to be careful because it could slippery to work with.  Well with the recent surgeries I did not want to have an accident.  I was going to send it back to the Quilt Store – but the mat cost $22.00 and I had already paid $9.00 for shipping to me and then it would cost $10.50 to mail it back, I quickly decided to keep it and purchased a book of stamps!  I will try it and then post my opinion as to whether or not it is smart to purchase the glass mat!  Hope this information is useful for all.  I still strongly recommend this cutting mat – especially if you only have a small space for cutting.  I have a full size cutting table so that is not an issue for me, but when cutting small pieces this is great to have the backlight!

CutterPillar Glow Mat

I DO NOT RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FOR RECOMMENDING THE ABOVE PRODUCT. I am just sharing information about a tool that is great!

Well, that is what I have been up to and hoping to be even more productive as time progresses.  Hoping that you have a great week-end and enjoy sewing today!

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.