Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Diamonds in the Garden (an unloved kit) update

It's a beautiful 70 degrees out side, and I am in my basement quilting. I have to go to the dentist at 1pm today, so I can't get down and dirty in my garden till this afternoon.

Stitch in the ditch done for one diamond/vine strip.
 This morning, I am adding the back-fill to make the patchwork and applique pop.

I may just like this quilt a little bit. 😏

Monday, May 21, 2018

Diamonds in the Garden (an unloved kit)

It's going to take me awhile to finish this quilt, so I thought I had best give it a name.
  I'm calling it Diamonds in the Garden (an unloved kit).
I started it about 10 years ago. It was a deep discount from Connecting Threads, a kit that was on their discontinued/sale page. I was a beginning quilter and I thought it would be a good practice quilt.  Ha! I was too busy quilting to finish this top.

When I cleaned out my studio last year I rediscovered it and wasn't any more excited about it than I was 10 years ago.

This was what I found:
I had all the diamond strips pieced and the rest was still in folded fat quarters and yardage!  I had long since lost (I probably tossed it) the pattern, but remembered that there were folk-art applique flowers meandering through the negative spaces.  They are easy to make, so I just winged it there.  I did all the applique and I was sick of it by then, so I put it away for another year.

April 30th, 2018, I decided I would publicly declare my intent to finish this unloved kit by using it as my May, One Monthly Goal.

I got out the fabric for the border and didn't like it at all.

  Still, I used it . . . and it's growing on me.

I used up all the border fabric and it made a huge 8-inch border.  I had precut the 2 inch blue binding as the pattern must have told me to to do....something I would never do today.

Still, I am not too excited about this top.  I just let it hang for about a week , it just doesn't look ready to quilt . . . should I cut down this large border? It just needs something!! 

I envisioned the matching blue binding just making another large blue square WAY out there at the end of that 8 inch border.

My brain must have worked on it all night, because when I got up, I knew I was going to scallop the edge and cut brand new bias binding in blue.

I had just the tool to make it happen. I bought this at my very first quilt show.  I bought a lot of stuff in the beginning that I have never used! 😟

But here we are, and I got it out and read how to use it.  The directions were pretty confusing and not enough detail for me to figure out how to divide my 91¾ x 69⅜ inch quilt top so all the scallops on the sides were the same size as the top and bottom....and how do I make the corner fit into the divisions?

Sheesh....I took Calculus in college, but this "easy scallop tool" was beyond me.
I Googled a video and it was simple, I just needed an explanation how to do the corners and where to start measuring.  

Here is the best video I found: Easy Scallop

Once I got the scallops marked, I also marked the piano-key quilt lines.  This brought me to another question, how will I do the corners?  If I fan the piano keys out around the corner, all 10 of them will start from the same inside point
which will make the quilt stick up like a tent when it's all done.  I decided, since this is a whimsical quilt, I will stick in a matching flower in each corner to make a larger place for the fan lines to start and stop. 

This morning, I quilted the top border and stitched-in-the-ditch the first sashing and first row of diamonds.  I used Dream Puff batting, as I plan to do a lot of quilting in the neutral spaces and want the diamonds and applique to puff.

I am getting a little exited to see where this goes!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

One Monthly Goal...progress

  I love working in my yard and garden!

But, a few chilly mornings have kept me at the sewing machine to finish my:

I finished all the applique stitching on my bee block
Now, I just need to add the hand stitching embellishments.

I added the borders to this quilt.
But, before I did, I discovered I still had 3 rows that I did not finish blanket stitching the inside of the flowers......18 more large circles and 18 more small circles finally, finally done!

I have the backing sewn and ready to put this quilt top on the frame.
I hope some creative quilting idea pops into my head as I plant my garden.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Quilt Ladders

I enjoy reading the Tuesday Archives over at Val's Quilting Studio
This week, it's about quilt ladders.

Since I didn't have any old posts about my quilt ladders, I decided to create a new one.
It all goes back to my quilt studio in Idaho.
After we sold the farm and moved to Ohio, this was the only thing I missed!  I really love our new home here and I set up my studio here in my cozy basement.  At least I don't have to shovel my way back and forth to the BunkHouse in the winter!

So here is a quilt ladder I had in Idaho.

It was an old orchard ladder that belonged to my husband's grandparents. The Grandmother's Flower Garden top was hand pieced by my grandmother and the Glorified 9 Patch was hand pieced by her mother, my Great-grandmother. 

Of course, I still have the tops, but I left the ladder with my quilty niece when we moved, so it's still in the family. 

We made this skinny ladder and I just hang random quilts on it in the corner of my studio to fill up this empty space.
We also made this attached wall ladder for the entrance of my Idaho studio.  I used to hang the "next up" customer quilts on it.  We brought it with us and it's the first thing I see as I go down my basement stairs.  I have my own yet-to-be-quilted tops hanging here now.

This is my favorite ladder.
 It is an old painter's ladder I bought from an antique mall just down the road.
I have it in my living room to display a few of my more recent quilts.

Monday, May 7, 2018

OMG Bee Block #1

It was chilly this morning, so I finished piecing my first Bee Block for my May, One Monthly Goal.

The applique is all ironed on, so my next step will be to blanket stitch it all down. I am going to do the entire quilt in black thread. I think it looks more um...rustic, primitive, not sure either of those are the right word, maybe more charming? 

While I was running all these little pieces through my Bernina, I was also using my left over squares from the last quilt as leaders and enders....

I hope we get some real Bees, just look at the apple blossoms!
They are going to need some friendly bees...

linking to 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Wild Robot Quilt

This really fun and unusual quilt was made by a friend of mine--a 5th grade teacher in Virginia.

She made this quilt to reflect the cover of the book: 

She might use this book as a theme in her class for next year.

It was super fun to quilt.  I marked it all out with school chalk before I put it on the frame; so, all the "thinking" had already been done before I started quilting. 

I was able to center this quilt between the added yardage on either side.  I have done this a couple of times and you just have to be accurate and square when you put the backing and the top on the frame and keep it straight all the way to the bottom.  
It's pretty dang close!!

Forest creatures on the flannel backing: bears, bees, squirrels and owls. 

Her thread-play radiates heat from a fiery sun!

The skinny twig trees are all raw edge applique, so they will only get better as time goes by and they fray more and more. I love this!
Brown binding adds a finishing touch to the wild forest.

The rocks!  
The rocks were a blast.
Here is my quilty interpretation:

Alluvial fan . . .

 Sandstone . . .
 Lava cinders....

 The Robot stands on a giant, striated granite dome.

Conchoidal fractures on this flint outcrop. . .

Stratified sedimentary layers . . .

Folded Granite. . .

 Gneiss. . . 

. . .and water lapping around the shore rocks.

It was so fun, I hated it to end.

I used light grey on the back and these 3 colors on the top.

Did you catch this little detail?  The robot only has one shoe . . .

Thanks for letting me quilt this awesome project!


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