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Archive for the ‘quilts’ Category

Blue stars

When I made big sister a quilt, Alyssa felt the fluffy batting and sighed; I like them fluffy like this! So it was the moment to plan her quilt. She looked through my books and picked a pattern and it needed to be blue. Two weeks later this is on her bed;

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I do love the simple saw tooth stars, they just have a happy feel. Actually I found the quilt like this today;

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She he had spilled tea on it and washed it out and left it outside to dry. I put it in the machine of course, living in the tropics it is always a race between us and the ants as to who gets where first! You can see how very ‘fat’ the batting is. All my kids request this type of batting, which makes it impossible to FMQ. I figure they sleep under it, they might as well have what they like best.

i am also nearly finished my Leanne’s house quilt, it would be done but then I decided I will go in and FMQ the whole thing. That cannot happen today, I have to lean the house, shower the puppies, meet my daughter for lunch, do some banking and teach a couple of classes.

There is always next week, right? I hope you have a wonderful weekend and something fun to sew!

See you soon,

Cathy

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Another finish!

Well, I’ll tell you what finished, my camera batteries did yesterday when I wanted to take pictures of my new quilt. I promptly went out and bought new ones, but lo and behold, they are nowhere to be found today. Funny things do happen! So I got these pics by slowly taking one or two and then waiting for the battery to give it a little bit more for one more shot! It’s one way to spend a morning.

Anyway, I finally finished my June doodle:

I was worried about sewing circles. I did not need to worry as the beads cover my shortcomings very well,lol!

I certainly was not stingy with the beads on this one and the painting was lots of fun. As usual, once I start, it just takes on a life of its own. It’s stopping that’s hard!

I also found a way to display some of my inchies. a nice wooden frame from the 2$ store (Yes, we have that here!) and a piece of canvas.

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This looks presentable sitting on my shelf like that! ūüôā I am very happy with it and plan to add or exchange the inchies every month or so. Actually I am working toward 100 natural colored inchies, which I hope to frame under glass.

Something like this. this is not my work, sadly, it’s from the book Inchies by Peggy Donda-Kobert. They just really look good in collections.

You see what I mean? This is from the same book. I am keeping my eyes open for interesting bits of nature to stick onto my 100 collection. I think I will raid the kitchen for some coffee beans and anise stars and the like. That’s nature too, right?

Aaaaand I finished my log cabin quilt.

From this to….

this in three days. By the way, I do not recommend anyone to sew 36 circle wreaths in three days. My shoulders are not thanking me, but i AM HAPPY NEVERTHELESS!

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Monday I dyed a batch of fabric, as I wanted the back of the quilt to match. It was a major flop and I now have five meters of assorted pink and peach fabric! I did get a piece for the back of this quilt, but not really the color I had in mind. I will try harder to follow the Thai instructions on the dyes next time,loll! Or the English ones underneath, once I scratch off the Thai with  steel wool.

 

I quilted it with feather wreaths. I felt very brave doing that to be honest. It’s my first time to not just do an overall design. I marked the spine and went for it. I used four different thread colors to go with the fabric.

 

It was really fun and I want to do more wreaths like this. they just come together so nicely. I was about two thirds done when I decided to make the wreaths in any direction without turning the whole thing around every time. It worked too! ūüôā

 

And it has been approved as a lay mat. This is not truly it’s original goal, it will most likely travel home with a friend to cooler climates. I absolutely love the terracotta red and the browns in this. I will try again to dye some more fabric in these shades. My first hand dyed quilt and my first log cabin. It’s 60 inches square.

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I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

I know I will, I am invited to a nice dinner with a friend in a beautiful hotel restaurant along the river in Bangkok tomorrow.

I hope to be back here soon with new batteries to tell you about my adventures in book binding.

See  you soon,

Cathy

 

 

 

 

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Hello there! Remember me? I am still alive, although you probably think I fell off the planet. I cannot believe that a month has passed and I have not been blogging.

Well, no use crying over spit milk, I did finish a few things and start too many others.

Let’s see, Tiger’s quilt

 

Here it is, all puffy like. at first I wanted to trim the border, then I thought to applique something onto it, but in the end I left it as it is.

I also finished Irmelin’s baby quilt, but have no picture for it. ūüė¶

Then I had a long weekend and played around. First, I put together a pink baby quilt, which I have the top for and have bought the batting, but just cannot get around to quilting it yet.

 

I had great fun fusing the flowers and sewing zig zag stems, somehow I really love this little quilt. I need to finish it soon. Then I cut into my home dyed fabric and decided to make some log cabin blocks. I started out with four, then upped it to 16.

 

Ok, the colors are much better in person and since it is evening I cannot get better shots. I had great fun laying them out all different ways, but I knew I wanted to make a barn raising. I think that’s what it’s called, right? It looked so good that I made some more, you know, to get a bigger quilt!

 

Aha, obviously I still needed the corners at this point. I got this top assembled and liked it soo much that I could not finish it without dying some more fabric the same color for the back and binding! I am afraid it will be one of those never ending projects. I went and bought the dyes and am now tempted to want to make it a full 80 inch square quilt. Hmmmm, I really, really like the colors, they are very calming and pretty to me. What do you think?? 60 ” or 80″. It already went from 40 to 60. well, I don’t have the same kind of cotton in the house and am a bit shy to go spend a lot more this month, so we will see how this goes.

Yes, two unfinished quilts!!

I did buy a new set of Inktense color pencils, 36 colors!, and spend a couple of days trying and learning how to blend and get different effects.

 

Stitching, coloring and then applying fabric medium, or the other way around. the trick is to not let the medium leak out  beyong the color as it does stain the fabric. You can see that on the flower top right.

 

They say practice makes perfect, I am not sure about that, but It does improve some with time. this one is not stitched yet.

 

this one is BIG, about A 4. there is something sooo relaxing about painting and playing around like this, it’s therapeutic!! I will spare you having to see all the other pictures, but I now have plenty of in between stitching projects for when the mood hits. On these pieces I just put ¬†very little pencil around the edges and then smudged it with the fabric medium. This works best for me to get soft colors and not mess up with the medium.

And then……. I ¬†found felting needles in Bangkok. What are the chances? I have been wanting to learn felting for a while. So whlie teaching a grammar lesson I look outside my room to see a mom peacefully felt a small animal! I went to talk to her and ask where, how and how much. Bangkok s a city of about 12 million people and it can take you forever to get anywhere in heavy traffic. getting lost a few times does not help either and monsoon season likewise is an added hindrance. But I soooo wanted those supplies. Imagine my pleasure when she had bought her stuff just three minutes away from the school!!

Here are my humble first attempts,

 

A tiger. Now honestly, I do not need a tiger key chain, but the kits have all the wool, needle and instructions to make it and I felt it would be good to learn how to do it right. He is friendly fellow and here to stay.

 

This is such easy fun. Alyssa was intrigued , so she helped me put some swirls and mentioned that they look like eyes. we decided to follow the idea and made this happy  person together. His curly locks where borrowed/stolen from my fancy felted journal that I bought on Etsy and showed you last time.

Today I was sure I would clean the house, but alas, the needle called to me. I started to make two little book covers as I am also attemting to bind my own notebooks. I know, I know, I have a lot of plans!

 

This is from a ball of wool that I have sitting on my shelf. I don’t have a felting mat, but a Scotch Brite works just fine! the spongy side of it. Alyssa’s sales pitch to Amaris was cute: “This is fun, you can get rid of all your anger by poking the stuff!” Which she did again this morning. we also played a game by looking at pretty wool batts on Etsy and choosing a favorite from each page. That was her idea, I was trying to bookmark some options to buy.

 

In the works. It wouldn’t be me if it didn’t have some beads on it. but there are so many nice things you can make like this and it is sooo easy! The needle is sharp, and it does hurt, that is the only real danger. I am very happy to have begun my felting journey, one more thing to keep me busy!

 

Here are my little notebooks I made, nothing very fancy, just paper and painted card stock, but I did sew the signatures and I like the process.

 

And here is my center block for the Round Robin. a simple star with some puffy applique. I am looking forward to this swap, having never done one before.

Ok, I hope you had fun seeing all my different attempts!

I hope to be back with some finishes.

Have a wonderful week!

Cathy

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It’s been a good week, maybe two weeks? I never manage to keep track. I’ve got lots to show you!

First, my inchie obsession continued. this time I made the base from torn wool, which I fused to cotton backing.

 

I don’t know what it’s called, the stuff you put into man’s shirts’ collars. Cotton with a sticky iron on side, very stiff when done. This worked great to give these tiny babies some shape. ¬†I also laid some embroidery thread on top and then sewed it all down on the machine.

I decided to edge them by hand this time, to see the difference. It’s a good thing to do while watching a movie! I didn’t do that, but I did convince my son to drive me to town to get small needles, strong glue and more cotton backing! I needed the small needles to sew the beads and the glue for some of the bigger pieces.

 

And here is my new little set, called the blues. My favorites are the two flowers left top and the big pearl in the middle. It just makes me happy to look at them!

here is my latest way to display inchies. What do you think?

I also want to learn felting now, dry and wet. I always wanted to, but this could come in handy for inchie bases!

And then I remembered that there is a real world and other things I should be doing too!. ¬†ūüôā

I have a new finish!! This has been in the works for half a year, due to the hand sewing and stitching. It’s from Lynette Anderson’s book Country Cottage Quilting. I enlarged the pattern, ¬†not thinking that of course this would mean a lot more stitching!!

 

Make some cute hexie flowers.

 

Cut many fusible backed felt flowers. Fuse, blanket stitch and embellish. It should have been French knots, but I opted for seed beads instead.

 

Make a couple dozen yo yo flowers, sew on, embroider and enjoy. I love these, my first time really to make and use yo yos, but certainly not my last!

 

and you get something like this,

 

and this.

 

You get the idea, in the end you get…..

 

A quilt. who would have thought! I made a pillow too, and my friend took one look  and wants it for her new baby, which will pop out soon! Happy me!! So she is buying it off of me and I could not wish for a better home for my newest quilt!

 

Here is Bandit checking if my seams meet properly! The dog quilting police!

 

You paaass, but only of you put some more treats on this quit for me!

 

I FMQ’ed around all the birds, flowers, stems and spools, but quilted the rest in the ditch and diagonally to keep the quilt very soft. I am glad I did it that way as it is soo nice and cuddly now!

Aand I finished one more block of ¬†Leanne’s house BOM. I have been busy, right?

 

A few flowers,

 

a few more,

 

lots of tulips,

 

and this block, which admittedly, I put together wrong! No matter, I like it anyway.

 

Tadahh, block 6 is finished! I am now working on 7, which has a lot of applique.

Just for good measure, I started another quilt, a kid’s one. This will travel to Sweden to my niece’s child.

 

I have always wanted to make a zigzag quilt, so I took the opportunity.

 

I did not name this child, but I did have fun fusing and blanket stitching her name. Now I have to go out and buy more white fabric and fluffy batting. This will be a ‘fat’ quilt, you know, it gets real cold in Sweden. I am still trying to decide how to make this bigger. Do I add one or two more zigzags, or a very wide border. Right now it is 40 inches wide and 60 inches long. Any input would be appreciated. I like the balance of the look right now, but it should be wider. Maybe I will add 10 inch white borders? Most zigzag quits I see have the design right to the edge though. Hmmmm.????

Alright, I have to stop here, but not before I show you a book I bought on Etsy.

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Isn’t it cute? I fell in love with it and it will help me learn about felting too. It should be somewhere up in the skies flying my way now!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend with some free time to sew!

See you next week!

Cathy

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Happy dance! I have finished my star quilt. Ohhh, it feels sooo good.

 

Ok, full disclosure, I finished it a couple of weeks ago and it has been on my bed ever since.

This is probably my favorite star, seeing I love orange!

 

It wasn’t big enough for my bed, so I added borders and squares and more borders, lol! I didn’t have enough batik to make it bigger, so this was my only option. I like it and it’s a monster now. I forget how big, around 90 inches long and 80 wide. I would show it to you on my bed, but I can’t, since Alyssa is still sleeping there.

 

For the back I used a second hand sheet, actually a duvet cover, and it was big enough, yepee! I had to piece it together of course. I love the colors and the ‘patchwork’. It’s such a nice match. I also ran out of fabric for the binding and went out and bought a couple of fat quarters to match.

 

What do you think?! I really, really like it, I guess you figured that out already. Batiks and me, we were meant for each other!!

 

I quilted it with spirals and loops. In the first border I tried the famous ‘worms’ from FMQ challenge fame. Well, I can’t get them even, but that’s ok, I’ll live.

 

Do you see my worms ūüôā The little squares all got spirals in them and the stars got loops too, because that helps me to fill in blank spaces and to get from one place to the next.

 

The small stars are 4 inches, the medium 8 and the big ones 12. This was really a fun quilt to make and I enjoy the fact that it looks so random when assembled. It will have a long and happy life on my bed, I think!

What else? Oh, I also made some small place mats.

 

I have wanted to make some wonky stars, so this was my chance.

 

These are very easy to do really! I like the free style to just stick on any scrap and flip it over.

 

I made six of them and then could not figure out a nice design to make them rectangular. My scraps get very limited at this point, so I just kept them square. they didn’t seem to need a lot of quilting either, I just stitched them in the ditch.

 

Fun, I love small projects like this, they finish pretty fast!

Aaaand I have a post card for this month’s swap. The theme is wedding, so this is what I made:

 

My son drew it for me onto the fabric and I took it from there, paiting, sewing and beading, my usual thing!

 

All blinged out.

I have to go teach my sweet daughter how to cook a curry for lunch, so I end here.

Have a wonderful week ahead and have some fun sewing !!

What are you up to this week?

See you soon,

Cathy

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Well, you didn’t know it would take me a week to find my talkative self, did you?

 

It didn’t, but I just could not find the timed to sit here and chat with you. This is truly my first opportunity. Well, this drawing is the March doodle and I love it so much, there isn’t anything that I would change.

 

Here it is stitched out. I used grey thread for the inside of the leaves, and the purple lines are still not ironed out here.

 

All ironed out. I really, really like the clean lines of this motive!

 

And then I got too busy to take pictures step by step. First, I painted the veins of the leaves a pearly white, then added the big black oval beads. Next, I mixed some ¬†pearly white and black to get grey and painted the ‘braids’ and then added the other beads to the swirls. I was watching a movie or two at the same time, which is why I didn’t remember to take pics. One thing I like about beads is that I can remove them if I am not happy with the result. I did just that as it got a bit bead heavy somewhere along the way. It was a good movie, you see.

 

I loved to paint the braids, such good fun!

 

Sparkly, pearly paint! Hmm, life is good. I went and bought four fabric dye colors in Bangkok last weekend, and then promptly forgot them in my locker! So I have four kinds of brown waiting for me to play with, just as soon as I can get my hands on them! I already have a white second hand sheet to cut up for the occasion. You see, I am itching to go!!

But I have been keeping busy. I have made most of my four inch stars for my new quilt! I trimmed all their sides, which was no small undertaking.

 

My colorwheel.

 

It’s official, I like my stars! Now I have to get up the courage to cut the eight inch stars, I think I need 28 of them. There are some colors of this Artisan Batik that I haven’t used yet, these little stars used only five colors of the eight that I have. Hmmm, I think I am starting to feel the urge to go cut!

These two helped me play with the stars.

 

The other quilt I am working on is making progress too!

 

Make a bunch of yoyos.

 

Make a dozen little hexie flowers.

 

Assemble all with stitching and applique. I need 31 squares like this and I have 24 of them made. Some have birds and some have hexies, all have spools and thread. I am hoping to finish this project during the summer holidays! I am sorry this picture is so¬†crumpled, ¬†these squares travel in my handbag and I add a little here and there whenever I can. They will¬†alternate¬†with 16 patch blocks in blue and pink. It’s hard to explain, I will just have to show you when I get there!

I am also looking forward to a week of holidays in Vietnam at the end of the month. I like holidays!! To be honest, I NEED holidays as it’s been pretty hectic around here.

I hope that you get some free time too!

See you again soon,

Cathy

 

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Lost in translation

Did you see that movie? Well, ¬†you have to live in a foreign country to appreciate the humor of it. We figured the puppies needed a trim on their shaggy fur. It took me three tries to get to the shop when the lady was there, but of course, she doesn’t speak English. So, I told her :” I want one inch”, meaning I want the dogs to keep one inch. This is what they look like now:

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I have little shorn lambs!! At least they look tidy and it will grow again. I think I better learn some more Thai! They seem quite happy with it, they really just don’t care and they have officially started their teenage years. You know, I don’t have enough teenagers as it is, so they decided to join the crowd. Bailey got put into her cage as a punishment because she ran out of the gate and nearly got run over, so Chris tried to make a point. Instead she figured out how to open the cage with her nose!! Bandit is getting more pushy when he wants something, life is interesting with teen puppies!!

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We are still guessing as to their breed, they are supposed to be poodle/ shitzuh mix. I find that hard to believe seeing their long noses. What do you think?? I appreciate any educated guesses!

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Bandit says he wishes you a happy new year if you promise not to shower him!

Ok, on with the new year. My family went to Bangkok together for a couple of days as the kids wanted to go to the count down at Asiatique. It is a huge shopping complex by the river. In ¬†our defense we really couldn’t have guessed how many people there were!!!Image

This is Rose and me. Crowds, lights and blaring music is not really my thing, so I did not enjoy it too much.

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These guys took it much better and had fun. Here we are waiting for Dad to come back and tell us where we will eat, as the lines were very long waiting outside the restaurants.

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This is a seriously BIG ferris wheel!

It was really nice to be in a good hotel for a couple of days and the boys did all sorts of sport, from swimming to badminton to table tennis. The girls enjoyed the bathtubs, as it’s not a usual feature in Asia.

Somewhere between Christmas and New Year I started to cut fabric for my next project. It will be a quilt based on “Oh my stars” from

http://thoughtandfound.wordpress.com/oh-my-stars/

I love stars and I love batik, so I am having lots of fun! So here is my progress in pictures:

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I have learned something here; do not try to smooth out an uneven surface with a towel underneath for cutting or you will cut right through the mat. The term self healing does not apply under these circumstances. But hey, the colors are pretty!

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These are pieces for my four inch stars, they are quite small and I am trying to use a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance, wish me luck!

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This and the following are 8 inch stars. I will need 28 or 40 eight inch stars ,68 or 89 four inch stars and 15 or 19 twelve inch stars! This may take a while!!

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I absolutely love the colors!! I am not sure if I have enough fabric to make a full king size quilt, so I will go with the smaller size first and then see.

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I am soo happy with these beautiful prints, they are so cheerful and bright. They are Artisan Batiks by Kaufman.

The pattern actually uses all the different variations that can be done with saw tooth stars, so I tried a few variations.

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This is ok.

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I don’t like this. I did a few like this and decided that I really prefer them plain to let the fabric and the prints show. I am not sure yet about the very big stars, but I think sometimes less is more. It means I will not grow in my star making skills, but I think the quit will be very pretty. I can live with that!

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And so production began. I think I used every single pin I have! I am really trying to do exact work for these little four inch babies. I wish I had a bunch of finished ones to show you, but that was not to be.

First day back to work, two of my boys , who get driven to work, were in a car accident. We are ok, they are ok, the car is totaled  God is very, very good to us! One of my sons has a broken nose, but other then that, there is no damage.  I could not be more grateful to have gotten away so easy! I did spend a fair amount of time in doctor offices this week and today spent the morning in the hospital again to set his nose. Hence not more sewing this week. But you know, I have twelve kids and life has its dangers, so I think I really have a lot to be thankful for!! But next week I hope to have some little stars ready for show!

I also started to crochet a new bag, it’s larger than I planned and is taking more time to do, but it sure comes in handy when you sit in waiting rooms at the doctor’s office! I do hope that the rest of it will not get crochet in those surroundings!!

Well, that is my beginning for the New Year.

What have you been up to?? A little less excitement then me? I certainly  hope so!!

See you soon,

Cathy

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