Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Morning

"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You,
who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they exalt in your righteousness."
Psalm 89:15,16

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cut the Scraps

 What some quilters would refer to as scraps, I call Stash. You will find pieces as small as 10 inches square or even 6 inches wide folded neatly and sorted by color in my fabric drawers along with fat quarters and larger pieces up to a half yard. As I work on quilts, I cut the even smaller leftovers into squares and strips of various sizes and store them together in plastic containers.
 Most of you probably know by now that I'm always working on two quilts at once because I use my previously cut squares as leader/enders. Currently, I'm sewing together 2.5 inch squares in sort of a light/dark combination. Instead of creating square blocks, as I usually do, this time the little squares are being sewn together into long rows.
 My goal is to make 48 rows of 44 squares. Yesterday, i reached the half-way point so took some pictures of my progress. I started this in January. (Once in a while, when I want to do some mindless sewing, I admit to working on this project by just feeding the 'twosies' under the pressure foot one after the other!)
Once I get all of the rows made, it will be an easy job to press the seams to one side, after I lay out the rows, making the seams nest together as I sew the top.
 This morning I spent a little time going through my 2.5 inch strip containers and loose charms, cutting off more squares for this scrappy quilt. 
All those colors make me so happy!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Morning

"The LORD, He is the One who goes before you.
He will be with you,
He will not leave you nor forsake you;
do not fear nor be dismayed."
Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Susan and Mary


Just like this pretty butterfly, i was really busy today...
... finishing up bee blocks for Susan and Mary, my mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee. Susan is planning a medallion quilt with black as the background and has asked us each to contribute a 12-inch star block in bright colors.
 I chose this foundation-pieced Versailles block from the Quiltmaker's 2010 magazine, 100 Blocks. The star should have really been mailed in July, so I am late in getting it finished. So sorry Suz!
 You can view Susan's inspiration quilt here. What a beauty this project will be!
Since I was slow in making my contribution block for July, I decided to get with the program and be early with my sewing for August's queen bee, Mary.
Half square triangles on a background of blush or cream were a nice change from the more fiddly, foundation-pieced star.
Scrappy sewing like this is my favorite kind. 
Both Susan and Mary have become good friends to me through blogging. While traveling a few years ago I was tickled to get to meet Mary in person. I am hoping to get to meet Susan face to face, as well, but traveling to Australia might be a bit more tricky!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Morning

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Friday, August 1, 2014

Town and Country: An Art Quilt About Contrasts

Green is such a refreshing color, don't you think.
Traveling the highways of America, we see the nourishing green that water brings to the earth through the irrigation of farmland.
Much like a patchwork quilt, when viewed from afar, our continent and world is ripe with patches of emerald wherever water has touched. 
Driving along suburban boulevards, we see man's attempt to bring that refreshing vegetation into his world as he has made his home in towns and cities.
Small towns, baking in the heat of summer, create relief with the planting of shade trees wherever there is space.
Big cities must try even harder to provide the contrast of green within its concrete boundaries.  
This quarter's Four-in-Art challenge was to create a 12" square quilt depicting "Contrast" as it relates to the overall theme of "Urban". 
 Struggling a little with this challenge subject, I ended up making my simplest design of the four quilts so far. As I tossed around ideas, the contrast of rural nature and man made concrete kept coming back to me.
Beginning with the same Architexture fabric that I had used in the previous challenge quilts, I pieced some simple rectangles to represent towns and suburbs across America.
 A strip of Kona coal became a highway by adding some hand stitched dashes of yellow crewel embroidery thread.
Finding two charm squares of the city names fabric, I cut one into little squares and stitched them down to create a sort of heart shape along the highway. The frayed edges represent the many people living within the cities' limits. The red hand stitched heart and button is the pulse of the city. Getting out of the city into the natural "green" world surrounding busy streets brings refreshment to the soul. 
 The backing on my quilt is a remnant of another script fabric listing beaches around the world. When I'd almost finished the quilting, I turned over the quilt and realized that I'd laid the backing fabric upside down! Oh, well.
A year ago, at the beginning of this Urban challenge, I decided to make my quilts go together as a set so that they could all be hung together. I used some of the same fabrics and colors in each quilt. I'm not sure how well this latest Contrasts quilt fits in with the style of the other three, though.
l to r,  Flying South,  Urban Crosses,  Landmark, Town and Country
The leader of our art quilt bee has proposed that we make one more quilt with the Urban topic so that the next topic will begin with the calendar year. I'm a little bummed about that because 5 quilts won't fit together so neatly. (I may have to make my own rule about the size of the next one so that it plays nicely with the others!)

Here's one last shot of my Town and Country quilt hung on a crumbling urban wall. See the list below for more quilted creations in the Four-in-Art Urban Contrast Challenge.
Amanda  at whatthebobbin.com
Betty at a Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com
Elizabeth at opquilt.com 
Leanne at shecanquilt.ca

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Material Obsession

 As a little girl I often visited the quaint Pea Green Store back when it was still a little grocery and general store. It seemed the perfect place to take photos of my latest finished--the selvage quilt. I'm calling it Material Obsession.
Only if you grew up near Olathe or Delta, Colorado, would you even know that there was such a town called Pea Green. My mother attended grade school across the street in the now-abandoned brick Pea Green School. (Someone has since converted it into a house.)  The only other buildings in town are the Community House, where my parents used to attend dances, and an old run down house.
No one was manning the junk store, now housed inside the Pea Green Store, so my husband and I had fun using the building and old truck parked outside as a prop for photos of my quilt.
Peeling paint is one of my favorite backdrops for photos and there was no lack thereof. 
The few farmers who drove slowly by while we were shooting pictures probably wondered what were were up to, but nobody cared enough to stop and ask.
The back of my quilt is as cheerful as the front. I used a fabric called Wildflowers, in lime green, from the High Society line by Modkid. Yes, it came from JoAnn's and is one of their high quality (and-pricy-without-a-coupon) fabrics. I bought it because I did have a coupon!
 From the back, the straight-line quilting shows up well. Because the selvage blocks were all made on muslin foundations, I used Mountain Mist Light batting thinking that polyester would help to make the quilt not so heavy. It's a little poofier than I like, making me wish that I had just used a layer of flannel instead.
 Here's a good shot of the back showing off the big chevon X that I top-stitched onto the backing fabric. I wanted to mimic the X's on the foundation pieced blocks.
 I ran out of the black and white zig-zag Remix fabric, by Robert Kauffman,  when I only had a few blocks left to make. You can imagine how excited I was to find enough on-line for the binding as well!
 My quilt measures 60 inches by 72 inches and is the perfect size for wrapping up in on a couch.
 Finishing the binding on the long car ride from Missouri to western Colorado, I found it great entertainment to admire and read the selvages as I sewed and cuddled with the quilt! Probably only someone truly "obsessed with material", like me,  would think so, I admit!
I don't recall for sure, but wouldn't be surprised to learn, that the infamous Pea Green Store once sold fabric up those old concrete steps!
 Instructions for creating my selvage blocks can be found here. Apparently it's not just me that's become addicted to fabric and quilting. I might need to check the roster of Quilters Anonymous to find out if my husband might be a secret quilter? Could yours be one, too? 
 We'll find out August 1!