Evening in the Garden Quilts

Adventures in Fabric Art


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WIP Wednesday: Stars and More

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I’ve finished half of the ditch quilting on Oh My Stars, and I’m thinking about what to do with the green background.  I’ll probably stipple it.  I looked at the Flickr page(s) for this Quilt-a-long, and that’s how most were done.  Go over and look.  There are some gorgeous quilts there, and even a couple of Christmas ones.  Gotta love the red background!

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I needed pale green thread to quilt the background, so I ordered some from Superior, and it came crazy fast.  Thought I could take a couple of days off, but, nooo, my thread is here!  So pretty and fun to get in the mail.

 

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Today I interrupted the quilting to pull fabric for a quick, super-secret project.  Check over on Twitter if you want to get some clues.

I hope you’re playing with fabric today.

Yuri

 

I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


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WIP Wednesday: Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

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A little unseasonable snow this morning can’t hurt as I continue this Christmas sewing.  We heard there could be flurries, but it really was surprising to look outside this morning.

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Even before there was a trace of snow, I got back to work on my Christmas version of Oh My Stars, the quilt along from Sheila at Thought and Found from two years ago.  Obviously, I didn’t quilt along very well with everyone else.  I got so behind that I put it away, and I really fell out of love with the project.  I’m sure seeing Jaye’s beautiful version progress this past year has spurred me on, and I put it on my Getting It Done List for this month, so that I will have something to use come December.  I hate UFOs!  When I got this back out, it was so stale, some blocks were made, some pieces were cut, but I had no idea what or why, or where I was going next with it.

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I made a few more 12″ blocks and fiddled with other things while I got back in the mood.

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My fabrics have large-scale prints, so I never intended to make all the very detailed versions that are offered in this project.  I chose 3-4 of the simplest patterns to show off the fabrics, which I love.  Here are some 8″ blocks.

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And some more.

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And some more.

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And here are my 4″ blocks.  Do they look more like gorgeous mixers?  I took yesterday off and DH and I went on a leaf drive that included a visit to the KitchenAid Experience in Greenville, OH.  They offer factory tours and cooking demos, but not while we were there.  It was a quilter’s dream of color.  They have good deals on refurbished mixers and blenders, too.  If I didn’t already have a (white) mixer, I know DH would have bought me one, he was so taken with the colors.  So I still need to make the many little blocks.  I doodled possible layouts for the quilt while waiting for dinner.

I hope you’re playing with fabric.  Or colorful mixers.

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I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


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WIP Wednesday: I Won!

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I’ll show you a little bit of new sewing in a minute, but first I have news to share.  My “North Dakota Landscape” won the judges choice in mini-quilts in the Holiday Memories Mini-Quilt Competition over at Celtic Thistle Stitches!  I’m so excited.  This is the first year for this contest (thank you, Fiona!), so there weren’t a huge number of entries, but go over and take a look.  They are really great entries, with diverse ideas for portraying vacations from all over the world.  So I am honored to win.  AND…I won a batch of Oakshot Cottons, which was exactly the prize for which I was hoping.  Thank you to everyone who advised and encouraged me in one of the few landscape quilts I’ve ever done.

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I paper-pieced this little tree  (please hum carols- so far all I’ve gotten is a Halloween carol!).  I think it turned out beautifully, but I am not making another anytime soon.  I like to sew big patches together.  This was a pain.

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I cut and sewed a bunch of triangles together for Step 2 of the Scrapitude Mystery Quilt over at Quilting for the Rest of us.  These are only part of that, but I did finish the step.  I found that I used a lot of a few medium and dark fabrics for this particular size, instead of being really scrappy.  I hope that doesn’t mess me up.

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And I’ve been working away at the garden: harvesting, pulling, replanting, mulching.  At the risk of jinxing it, we’ve been having beautiful fall weather.  I hope you have, too.

And I hope you’ve been playing with fabric.

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I’m linking up WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


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WIP Wednesday: Fall Fever

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With the Coffee Quilt finished during the Labor Day Sew-In on Twitter (pictures on Friday!), I was good and cut up all my scraps from this and a few past projects, and put away the piles of fabric that had been accumulated.  Of course, my clean slate only lasted about twelve hours, but I felt virtuous.

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One of my Getting it Done goals was some fall pieces for my shop.  When I pulled out my fall fabrics (I have a little!), I found a ton of scraps to cut up and a lot of strings.  I knew I wanted to use them for wall hangings, instead of the applique I did last year.

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I designed this log cabin wall hanging on EQ7, to be made from rich fall prints with sky blue “chimneys”.  I also worked out the math for a very different one I want to do with string blocks.

Now excuse while I go dive into those gorgeous scraps!

Hope you’re playing with fabric today.

I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.


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WIP Wednesday: The Coffee Quilt

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The log cabins went away so that I could work on one of my few July sewing goals, a Christmas gift.  Judging by how long it took me to make the first half dozen blocks, and how few days I will be home in July, it doesn’t appear that I will achieve this goal, but a start is a start.  At least I’m not waiting till December.

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These are nine-inch blocks.  I didn’t want to go larger, but I wanted the larger novelty prints to show, so I altered the block a bit.  I took the Card Trick block on EQ7 and removed the seam where there are now large triangles.  This made the cutting and piecing a little more complex, but I figured out how to do it with just one Y-seam.  After the first one I figured out how to chain piece and press these puppies so they are coming out sharp.  Hope I still remember next month!

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Meanwhile, we’re preparing to take a three week trip to Montana and Canada, so I’m trying to tie up loose ends around here:  harvest the garlic and onions, tie up the peppers, plant more edamame, pay the bills, stock fridge for DS, etc.  Oh, and take the sewing machine in for cleaning while we’re gone. I owe it that much.

Question:  Lately I’ve been using photos from my BlackBerry and writing posts on my tablet.  Is the quality or format annoying?  Is it a lot better when I use the real camera and the computer?  Please let me know. You’ll probably be getting the phone photos a lot as I’m traveling, but I could make more of an effort when I return if you think it looks better.

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I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


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New Blue Pitcher

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I collect light blue ceramic pitchers, as well as fabric.  Of course, I don’t have nearly the tonnage of pitchers that I do fabric, and I display the pitchers mainly in my kitchen, but it is a collection. 

Last week I found a large pitcher at a downtown antique mall.  The one at the top of this post. I knew it wasn’t quite right, but I went ahead and bought it anyway. 

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I know that many people do not have a good color memory.  They can’t match a fabric without a swatch.  They wouldn’t dream of buying a random piece of fabric or can of paint and expecting it to fit into a given project.  I am not one of those people.  When I trust my instincts, I can pick the right bolt or paint sample out of a wall of them, take the cut or can home, and go right to work. (It’s good that I can do this, because I so often forget to take my scraps to the store with me and I’m usually too embarrassed to admit it.)

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So, I knew this pitcher didn’t quite go with my others. It’s a little darker blue. It’s much taller, but that’s good. It also has more curves. Most of mine are sleeker, but, again, that’s good. Variety. Also, it cost more than the ten dollars I usually pay for one. Still, I bought it. As you can see, it is a very nice pitcher. The clerk made me promise to put an armful of hydrangeas in it, and I think she’s right.

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It does stand out a little from the rest of my collection. However, as a quilter I know exactly how to handle that. What I need are more pitchers! If I get more of various sizes, shapes, and shades, this one will blend right in and feel perfectly at home. I’ve got this!

I hope you’re working on something useful like this.

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I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


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WIP Wednesday: Baby Memories

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My design wall is full of patches cut from baby clothes.  I have a commission for a throw quilt and a pillow top.  It’s very odd and interesting to go through the clothes of a child you’ve never met.  I’m the mom of one son, so these girly clothes were pretty foreign to me.  One problem was that someone had already begun to trace and cut patches from these clothes before turning them over to me. 

Nearly all of these are knit fabrics, so I backed them all with fusible interfacing before I cut, the way one does for T shirt quilts.  I worked mostly with Pellon sheer weight fusible, which cut, pressed, handled very well.  When I ran out, I used a bargain, packaged, store brand interfacing to finish.  Not so good.  It was difficult to tell which side was fusible.  Even when I got that right, it wanted to deform and melt with the hot iron and kind of stick to it.  Yuck.  I muddled through.  Unfortunately, once the fabrics were interfaced, they completely refused to stick to my design wall, so they are all pinned and hanging off.

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A number of these dresses were handcrafted batiks, so I tried to make the most of them.  I’ve ordered some batik yardage for the backing, and I think it will look great.

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Here’s the finished top for the pillow cover.  I soaked poor Winnie in Oxiclean, but he’s still a little grungy.  If he doesn’t come cleaner when I wash these, I’m going to add a few extra gold glitter hearts to cover up the spots.

What are you working on?

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I’m linking up to Wednesday WIP at Freshly Pieced.


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WIP Wednesday: Still Tulips

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I thought I was at the point of auditioning thread for some accent quilting on this garden of tulips, but not so.  The quilt insists that I stitch in every ditch, so I’m going back to do that.  Straight line quilting may be fairly easy, but does it ever take time!  When I do get the ditch quilting finished, I think I will use this light green King Tut (40 wt.).  It’s tempting to try something special on the plain green Grunge areas, but everything else is the busy prints and it would be wasted.  So, more straight lines.  Someone said that they tape their seam guide in place on their walking foot to keep it from moving around (and to keep from having to mark all those lines!), so I think I’ll try that.

 

This quilt is 60″ x 84″ , which is at the outside of my zone for really enjoying machine quilting.  It’s a bit heavy on the shoulders, and more than a bit warm in this lovely summer weather in my upstairs studio.

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Verdict on the fabrics:  I still love both tulip prints and the Grunge.  I really can’t stand the pink at this point, but it still plays well with the others, so…

 

Back to work.  I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


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WIP Wednesday: Tulips!

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I don’t know if I’ve ever had more trouble photographing fabric than these four fabrics.  Every light in my studio is on (cue country song), and it’s daytime, but I still can’t get a true picture.  Take my word that these fabrics really do play nice together.  The pink is a little on the strawberry side, but nowhere near as dark as it looks.  My favorite blocks are the ones with the two tulip prints.  This placement works, but I may move some things around, too.  You’ll just have to stay tuned.

I’m using the Disappearing Four Patch technique (D4P), which I think is a lot prettier than the 9 patch.  I’m sure there are lots of tutorials, but I learned it from Mama Vesuvius when she was collecting blocks for Hurricane Sandy quilts.  Scroll down a little on that page, the tutorial is there.  These are the 12 1/2″ blocks she is showing.

 

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I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


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WIP Wednesday: Strings

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I made these forty string blocks into this top, and finished putting borders on it yesterday.

 

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This was intended as a  new donation quilt, but it turned out a little small for that, at 48″ x  72″, especially since I only had a yard of the border fabric and was determined to make it work, so I think I’ll keep it for my shop.  I have an idea for quilting it all over with leaves to go with the borders.

Now I’m going to put together the backing and at least get this sandwiched today.  Also, someone should clean up this studio.  It’s all mine, but it’s tiny and things are beginning to pile up.  And spill over.  And the orange fabric needs to go away before I’m tempted to start another quilt with orange in it!

 

What are you working on?

I’m linking up with  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.