Friday, April 28, 2017

Block 4 of the Growing Up QAL

Getting this one done in a nick of time! Here's block 4 from Alida at Alidatweloqdesigns and her Growing QAL.

This one is all about embroidery, something I haven't done since my early teenage years. At first, I thought about couching a white thread, but wasn't happy with the thick threads or yarns that were available. So, I bit the bullet, and actually sat for a few hours to stitch this out. By hand.

I have no idea what this stitch is called, but essentially, it's up through the front, back down 1/8" or 1/4" away, and back up at the end of the first stitch. This created an overlap, and a more defined stitch.

And I also used all six strands of embroidery floss. I want this baby to be seen!

Hate to admit it, but this is probably the only QAL I've kept up with. Couldn't stick with the Honey Pot Bee, (no pun intended!) as I wasn't into the blocks. The RSC17 challenge is still a QAL I want to do, though I'm far behind. All of the January purple quilts took it out of me! Hopefully I'll catch up since the t-shirts quilts are waiting for a batting sale.

Funny how this always seems to happen. I have great intentions, then it all falls apart. Does that happen to you?
Leave a comment, and maybe we can come up with a strategy to deal with it!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 21, 2017

T - Shirts and Me Two

Here's another installment in the t-shirt quilt saga. Over the last few days, I've gotten two more tops done.

These two are similar in layout, though one had five shirts to work with, and the other four. The one yard border pieces have made for great additional blocks, an idea to consider for any quilt.

This one, with the fun 'grandpa' shirt, is for his granddaughter,

and this one, with the wild electrical cord background, is for his daughter.

So far, so good! Two more to go, then it's on to the quilting. See you next week, as I'm off to create!

Happy Quilting!

Friday, April 14, 2017

T - Shirts and Me

Everyone loves T - shirts, right? Soft and comfy, they can be plain or decorated. Being a cotton girl, I've got plenty of T - shirts in my drawer, with this one being my all time favorite:                

procatstination shirt

So true, right? Lots of people comment when I wear it! By the way, it's still available over at (no affiliation).

Why all this T - shirt talk?? Because there's more T - shirt quilts happening in the house! A good friend of mine commissioned me to make six quilts from her late husband's T - shirts, along with tool fabric that he talked her into buying at shop hops. Though I never met him, he must have been a sweet guy!

So I have been having a blast playing with really fun fabrics and creating special quilts for her, her daughters, and grandchildren. Two tops are done, measuring approximately 55" x 70".

granddaughter t shirt quilt

grandson t shirt quilt

A third one is almost finished, as it just needs sashing and borders. Some quilters don't want to deal with t -shirt quilts but I think they are a lot of fun - endless possibilities! And I've been so inspired by this project that I may finally make one for my hubby (and clear out my closet at the same time!!). I'll keep you posted with my progress.

Have a great weekend quilting!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Santorini, Greece

It's a beautiful day in Santorini, Greece!

Santorini Greece

The sun so bright, the sky so clear and blue. The beautiful church steeple absolutely shines!

Santorini windows and steeple

As do the walls of the buildings, with their fascinating twists and turns.

Santaorini buildings

Makes me want to visit Santorini all over again!


I hope you've enjoyed the visit as much as I have! 

For more closeup pictures and landscape quilting tips, check out: 
Santorini - Landscape Quilting Part 1
Santorini - Landscape Quilting Part 2
Santorini - Landscape Quilting Part 3

and to view the original picture and the making of the quilt in fabric, check out this post, So Long Road2CA 2015.

Happy Quilting!

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Santorini - Landscape Quilting Part 3

Santorini, one of my favorite places to visit in Greece, is almost done.
The buildings are quilted in different patterns, giving the scene lots of interesting texture, and the street is paved in pebbles.

wall and road texture

Though it's difficult to see, the pebbles get smaller as they flow toward the wall in the back, which is an important element to aid in the perspective of the piece. 

Another element is emphasizing details. In the picture below, the dark shadow is stitched over with black thread,

shadow quilting

and the grey shadow is stippled, which will match the stippling of the wall.

shadow and wall quilting

And inside the window, the quilting not only makes the area darker, but it also mashes down the batting. The cream trim around the window is left unquilted so that it can stand out and away from the window. It's those little details that add to the realism, and are really a result of common sense.

Keeping that in mind, the middle building is left unquilted, 

unquilted building

because I didn't want it to blend in with its window or side, both of which are in the 'background'.

Then finally, there's the sky. Cathy has four different ways to quilt skies, and I opted for the more simple long, wavy horizontal lines. The sky is crystal clear, with no hint of clouds.

drawing out sky quilting

This time I used a walking foot and some pins to use as guidelines. An embroidery technique of using jump stitches avoids stitching numerous times around the steeple.

jump stitches

Clean and easy to trim away!

jump stitch trimming

Cathy has many more quilting suggestions in the Lovely Landscape Quilts book, such as water, hills, mountains, and foregrounds. I highly recommend this book if a landscape or pictorial quilt is in your future.

Happy Quilting!


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Catching Up on the RSC17 Challenge

It's April, and I'm just now catching up on some RSC17 projects. Red scraps, the color choice for March, have been made into a pretty, vibrant pinwheel!

While making it, I realized I hadn't made the February aqua pinwheel. So here it is, just as pretty as the red one!

Remaining scraps still need to contribute to small pinwheels, and circles. And even after those are made, there will still be scraps!  For April, the choice is multi-colored fabrics, which I'll tackle later after I dig them out from deep in the scrap bin.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Santorini - Landscape Quilting Part 2

Back for another day in Santorini - such a beautiful place!

My quilting adventure continues, and this time the discussion is about the stitching. The first round adds stitching to every butted up seam, which will hold all the layers together, and stabilize the piece. Since I was working with clear poly thread, the iron bars in the window and on the gate got some detail stitching too.

Notice a free motion foot in the above picture. Holy smokes - I'm actually doing sit down free motion work! It has been years since I did any. So why now? It all comes down to needle size.

I commented last week that some of the zigzag stitching could be seen, even with a 8/60 size needle. Imagine the hole that a huge, fat 100/16 longarm needle would leave! A lot of fused fabrics aren't pliable enough to bend back into shape to make the hole small again. So, my dear Innova friend, Tess, you're not invited to this party!

And that's okay. I'm rather enjoying this free motion process, though it's far from perfect. I'm certainly no Diane Gaudynski, and quilt judges will have a field day with my stitching. Whatever. It's getting quilted and I'm enjoying it. That's what matters, right?

Anyhoo, one day Massdrop had a deal on a Superior Threads Kimono Silk Thread pack, with neutrals that would be perfect for Santorini. Plus I wanted thin thread for fine details.

Though it took awhile to arrive, that's ok, because it gave me time to ponder how to quilt Santorini. 

My go-to process is to put vinyl on the top, and start drawing with a dry erase pen.

Referring to the original picture, I started filling in, and getting a sense of what I wanted to do.

After that much drawing, I figured it was enough to get me started. Once I had those parts done, the rest would fall into place, in both texture and density. I didn't need to spend the time to draw it all out, as plans change.

Notice that the stitch designs are rather simple: pebbles, stippling, and directional stippling. In the Lovely Landscape Quilts book, Cathy states that "simple stipple or meander adds texture and is often more appropriate for landscape quilts, versus fans, feathers or geometric circular motifs." Yeah - no need to get fancy here!

So now I'm off to stipple and pebble. More stitching talk later this week.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 2017 Book of the Month

Being that I'm in the middle of quilting my pictorial quilt, Santorini, I've chosen to continue with Lovely Landscape Quilts (affiliate link) by Cathy Geier for the April 2017 Book of the Month.

I own several landscape quilt books, yet none of them talks about the quilting of the piece. In Cathy's book, she not only shows you how to design a landscape quilt, she gives instructions on prepping the quilt, the quilting itself, and adding extra details - one of the more thorough books I've run across. 

Who knows - when I'm done with Santorini, maybe there will be another landscape quilt in my future!

Happy Quilting!