Sunday, November 20, 2016

Clam Shell Quilts

Halloween Clam Shell 2.5"
Since I began to quilt, I've always loved clam shell quilts.  I loved the symmetry, the gentle curves, the scrappy look. Before I took to hand piecing or hand piecing took to me, I never  imagined I would make one.  Even after I discovered hand piecing,  my brain rebelled.  Tracing templates, plus marking sewing lines and registration marks, was way too tedious and time consuming. Plus I'm not a really big fan of large bed size quilts.  I get great ideas, but the follow through sometimes escapes me.  Doing a large bed quilt in clam shells would probably end up as an incomplete. 

Then a few months back, Linda Franz created several new Inklingo Clam Shell Shape Collections.    Two were small!  Big smile here.  😊  Finally I could make a clam shell that had sewing lines and registration marks that were easily printed on the back of my scraps...and it would not take me forever to make  (thus in line with my short attention span and lack of follow through). And here it is.  I started before Halloween, but it didn't get finished because....
I'm waiting for Linda Franz to come up with 2.5 inch edge collection.  I just know she will (right Linda?).  Hopefully before next Halloween. 😉   Well some would say, just cut off the edges why don't you.  No can do.  I'm OCD about wasting fabric.  😏  In the mean time, in between other projects, I'll wait or add an embellishment or two.  I'm thinking about making a few of the black clam shells into little cat faces peeking out.  I can make a game of "Can You Find the Little Cat Faces".  😸  (Bye the way, I'm having great fun with these emoji Blogger is finally allowing for.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Snowbuddy: A Symbol of Renewal

I'm in a club at a local quilt shop. The cost of admission is $10 and it carries one finish a pre-selected UFO each month.

Snowbuddy was my September pick. You can see the original Snowbuddy below. He hung on my sewing room wall in Toledo Ohio for years and years, waving and smiling and encouraging me on. Snowbuddy was wonky and poorly quilted but he was  my own creation and he was ever so happy.  My buddy smiled back at me from his place of honor from the time he was created in 1998 until the time we moved to the South in 2015.

Original Snowbuddy

After I arrived at my new home,  Snowbuddy was unpacked. I took a good look at him. Fabrics used in 1998 were beginning to show ware. (That was before I discovered quilt shop fabric.) The workmanship was poor.  The applique was good, but the machine quilting was really bad and my buddy needed a wash.   My skills had miraculously improved with the decades it was time to put these improved skills to use.  This Northern girl was about to start her new, unexpected Southern life with a new, renovated, spruced up Snowbuddy.

First, my buddy was lovingly disassembled. The machine quilting was carefully un-quilted. The binding and borders were removed.  He was given a gentle wash and hung up to dry.  The embellishments were removed and he was given a press.  My wall hanging was now ready for reassembly with new borders, backing, batting, and hand quilting.

Snowbuddy got a new face.  Tufts of cotton became his eyebrows and nose.  Buttons were stitched on for eyes. 

Embellishments were added:   A winter moon, hearts, stars.  The star on the right was hand pieced using Inklingo and then appliqued down.  New buttons were added along with a hand crocheted red scarf. Hand embroidery was added to the hat and mouth.   
Snowbuddy 2016
Then finally a label was printed and attached.

Snowbuddy helped me through the transition from North to South.  I worked on him here and there for over a year.  Each day this quilt was renewing, so was I.   I miss the north with the change of seasons.  I miss winter and the snow.   Snowbuddy allowed me to remain in touch with winter, as I sweat through the heat in the south.  My buddy now hangs in a place of honor in my Florida sewing room, smiling, waving, and encouraging me on. Looking at him, I can almost feel and smell the fresh Northern Winter air.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tumbling Stars

Working on projects from the past.

Tumbling Stars
Two years ago in July of 2014, I mixed tumbling blocks with stars and made this small quilt top. (Tumbling Stars July 2014 ) I told myself at the time that I would square it up with neutrals. Well here I am in June of 2016.  While looking through my UFO's last month, trying to figure out what I wanted to do next, I made this marvelous discovery.  There is was, still waiting for the square up. When something that old is found, it's like a special gift and new again.     After doing some thinking and figuring, I finally just today got it properly squared.

All of my piecing was done with patches made with the help of Inklingo.  It's all  hand pieced. The Stars were pieced using the 60 degree 1.0 inch Hexagon collection together with the Star Point 1.0/2.0 inch add on collection. The tumbling blocks were made with the 60 degree Diamond 2 inch collection.  The neutral square up was made with the same collections plus the  60 degree 2 and 4 inch triangle collection. I'm still using my stash and haven't purchased any new material to make this top.

I'm now trying to decide on whether or not to put in some colored borders. It seems the colors are floating in there with nothing to tie them together.  Hopefully it won't take me another two years to make a decision on that.

Tumbling Stars Squared with Neutrals
Once I decide on borders I'll be hand quilting it to finish up.  I've been enjoying hand quilting lately.  I haven't done much of it in the last 2 years, but loving it now.  Like hand piecing, it is very relaxing.  I finished up this very old wall hanging last month...A small project with little thought required while I figured out the squaring up of  Tumbling Stars.

3 Block Sampler from copyright1983
I pieced this wall hanging way before Linda Franz came up with Inklingo. I used Paper Pieces pattern that I found at a local quilt shop in the late 90's.  Must have been hanging around that shop for a while since the copyright says 1983.

While I'm thinking up what more to do with the Tumbling Stars, I'll pull out another small project to hand quilt.  In the mean time, I'll leave the Tumbling Stars on my design wall and peek at it now and then until I'm inspired.

Bye for now from Central Florida, (where my rain gauge measured 14 inches this morning from yesterday and overnight rain thanks to tropical storm Colin).

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Carpenters Wheel

After a month of hand quilting, I've finished quilting my Carpenters Wheel,  made with the help of Linda Franz'  Inklingo Free Shape Collection.  I finished the top a number of years back when I first caught the Inklingo bug. It's my first Inklingo project and made entirely from my fabric stash.

Carpenter's Wheel Hand Pieced and Hand Quilted
It's a nice lap size and will come in handy during Ocala Winters.  Surprisingly temperatures actually got in the 20's F in Ocala last Winter.

I love hand piecing and Inklingo has made it so enjoyable that I tend to move from project to project and hand piece tops and don't get to quilting them.  This time I made a promise to myself to take on nothing but the hand quilting of this top until done.  I've made promises like this before.  This time I kept it.

My two boys always hang out with me - watching me quilt.    

They're actually bored.  Don't they look bored.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Splendid Sampler and Milleflori La Passacaglia


Blocks 1- 3 top row; Blocks 4-6 2nd row; Block 7 bottom

In February, Jane Davidson and Pat Sloan, began their 100 block year long odyssey, The Splendid Sampler.   Each week 2 blocks are published after being created by the 80 + Splendid Sampler Designers.  It's been fun for me to prepare the blocks so I will continue to post my progress here from time to time.   I encourage you to visit the site to learn more.  

I love to hand piece so I've been busily converting the blocks to hand piecing friendly but for those of you who would rather machine piece, there are excellent instructions for each block from it's designer including tips and different ideas for piecing.

I've posted my first 7 blocks in the photo above.  Converting to hand piecing is simple when I use the Inklingo Shape Collections.  

I use the Inklingo Shape Collections whenever I can.  There is a list of shapes on the Inklingo site created by Cathi Godwin that is a valuable tool I use all the time.  If I know what size and shape patch I need, Cathi's list leads me to the shape collection where I can find it.

Block 1 - Hearts Aflutter: 3 inch squares and  1.5" squares from Storm at Sea 9 inch

Block 2 - Wings: 1 inch squares from 1 inch log cabin and 1 inch half square triangles from TRI HST 00b

Block 6 - Focal Point:   I used HST 00b collection and 1 inch log cabin again.

EQ7 is also a valuable tool.  I create the blocks in EQ and then make templates for my piecing. Below are Block  3 - Lots of Love on the left;  and Block 5 - Simple Simon on the right.  Each block shows the templates on the back of freezer paper.  

Block 3 and Block 5

Blocks 4 and 7 are hand appliqued and hand embroidered...which I love to do just as much as hand piecing.  They went together quickly.  
Appliqued and Embroidered Blocks

I'll be working on Block 8 - Friends Around the Square .  This lends itself well to EQ7. 



In between I continue to hand piece La Passacaglia with the aid of Inklingo Shape Collection for this project. This is a big project and will take considerable time.  

Rosettes 1 and 3 joined top left.  Three of the required, completed  Rosette 2
I'm currently piecing Rosette 4.  There are nine of them.  As you can see, my colors are all over the place but I have a little of blue and white in each rosette.  Hopefully this will tie it all together.   More photos of progress to come.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

La Passacaglia

Like one of my blogger friends, I've been in a blogging slump.  I've had some major changes and upsets in the  year 2015 and it was hard for me to get back to being me.  The upheavals changed me for a time.  Now I'm back (I hope) to just being me and doing what I love.  I love blogging, really do, but for months sitting at my computer was difficult for me.  Lately I find I'm really enjoying it again. And I'm really enjoying hand piecing again.  All sorts of quilts are spinning in my head.  What to do next?!!

My Carpenter's Wheel is coming along.

 I've put borders on it and it's ready to be basted for quilting but then I got distracted by Passacaglia.   This is my life story, endless distractions.

My interpretation of Willyne Hammerstein's Passacaglia from her book Millefiori Quilts  is a difficult piece for me.  Not the piecing process.  It would never be that.  But the colorways and the size.  I'm not good at big things.  Hard for me to picture.  Small has always been better for me. And of course I'm making the Rosettes even bigger than Willyne Hammerstein intended.
Millefiori Quilts

Willyne Hammerstein in Millefiori does all her quilts by handpiecing with the running stitch.  I chose to do mine the same way.  I could have gotten templates or I could go to Linda Franz Inklingo and used her shape collection.  Being a big fan of Inklingo, I went there.  Using English Paper Piecing is out of the question for me.  Some may want to pursue this burdensome method and actually enjoy it.  I've tried it and can do it with some skill, but don't enjoy the process.  Hand piecing with a running stitch is so much more relaxing for me and a ton of time faster and I don't have to deal with those papers - stitching or gluing them to fabric, piecing together, taking out the papers...not for me.

So back to bigger than. Willyne Hammerstein calls for the use of 3 cm shapes.  Inklingo comes in 3 cm or alternatively in 1.5 inch shapes.  Three cm is equal to 1.181 quite a bit smaller and probably easier for me to manage...but no, I decided to try the bigger.  Even when I finish it, I'm not sure what I will do with such a large piece.  My BFF says well put it on a bed.  Hmm.  yes that might work.  I do have huge wall space in my new home in Florida but probably not that large and they all seem to be taken.

And what about matching all the rosettes to each other in some color way?   I think I'll just do what I always do and use what's in my stash.

My Stash.  Excuse the messiness.

Here is what I've done so far.

Rosette One ( I made this one first)
Then I began on Rosette 2.  The plan calls for three of them.

2nd inner rosette made

Third Inner Rosette Made
This is the fourth inner rosette with almost all the rows added and of course it's quite large by my standards..

First Rosette 2 almost done.  Last partial row of stars needed.
I embroidered wee snowmen on the inner pentagons, probably because I'm now in the South and actually miss snow.
Inner Pentagons of first rosette 2.

So I will continue to work on my rosettes for La Passacaglia.  I think it will be very interesting when done and will include many of  the fabrics purchased in my years as a quilter...20 years as of 2016.