................................We are 8 quilters inspiring and challenging each other while having loads of fun playing in fabric!..........

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rest in peace?

I'm just wondering if we're done with this blog. I know I'm a bit over committed sewing wise, and I'm sure Victoria is busy with everything that comes with a new book. I enjoyed our Christmas swap last year. Anyone want to do another one?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

My May Challenge

My May challenge really had me stuck.  My subway token plan just didn't go anywhere.
 Meanwhile I'd been saving produce net bags to recycle.... they reminded me of my mom's old veils.  The other day  my friend Naomi gave me some lovely leaf fabric that she had dyed.  Then I remembered Victoria's own Mary fabric.   I dug in my treasure bin and came up with it and a satin rose taken from a valentine from my hubby...also some ribbons from holiday gifts.   Every element had special meaning, and it went together magically.  Sometimes you just have to wait a while for inspiration.

I used the pink net on Mary and the leaves, the yellow on the upper portion, and the green on the bottom.  It made subtle color changes and added texture.  Very ease to sew through, by the way.  

This year has been great fun.  I love the challenges we've had.  Thank you all very much!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

April challenge update

OK. getting caught up...  I took parts of my photo and took liberties with others... 
I left in my dirty windows... 
and added the BIRDs that sit outside my windows and tweet, waking me up in the morning...  Lovingly, I used a pillow case my grandmother embroidered to keep it in existence in a quilt.
I want ot hand quilt with light blue Fans and incorporate a bit of Modern quilting in it... 

...to be continued.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Still working on April

I took this photo a while ago in the hopes of developing it for the April challenge.  I knew I wanted to play with the designs in the openings, but not just leave them so symmetrical.  I also wanted to play with color.  I have made a few sketches, and today I finally started the project with fabric. 

This is just the start.  I have some other fabric pulled to build more color.  I used KF Targets as the peek-a-boo fabric, and I like the way the design stayed in the background.  It gives me the feeling I wanted of looking through a fence at something hidden, but wonderful.  I don't want to lose that when I add on, so I am going to look at it for a while before proceeding.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

May Challenge

I have been wanting to re-purpose these old subway tokens into a quilt somehow.  Have seen some interesting quilts made of used tea bags, real pennies, candy wrappers, onion bags, bubble wrap, CD's ,  so I am asking you to use an unconventional material with your fabrics in this challenge.  No rules, just head for the nearest dumpster and see what you can find.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

February Challenge Finished

Yesterday I showed January's piece. Today I can show you February's piece.

I didn't want to show it till my recipient had seen it, but she has it now, so I'm here to tell about it.

I made this for my friend, Stephanie, who's had a pretty rough and stressful year so far, so I thought she could use a friendly heart, especially one that bore some messages of encouragement.

First, I made a white fabric background. This will have specific significance to Stephanie, because I made it using leftovers from a block I made for the Two's Company Quilt Bee that she and I are in together.
I quilted this background piece, and then added all the other stuff on top of it while it was already quilted.

I made red fabric and cut my heart out of that and appliqued it on.

At this point, I went ahead and put the binding on the quilt, since all that was left was embellishment-type things.

I attached a ribbon to the background with little tiny buttons on top, which you can't see in my picture, to make it look like the heart was hanging. I added a key charm hanging from the ribbon.

Then I used cardboard rectangles and scrapbooking paper to make the individual quote posters to hang on the quilt. I printed out the three quotes I wanted to use on my printer, then cut them up and embellished them. Then I had My Cowboy drill holes through them so I could run the thread through.

I attached the thread (which is just perle cotton) to the quilt, then ran the ends through the drilled holes, and tied the cards to the quilt. I put little beads on the ends of the strings, tied knots, and fluffed them up.

I thought about adding even more embellishment, but decided to quit while I was ahead, and it looked OK to me. Sometimes I get carried away and do too much!

Then I mailed it off to Stephanie. And after it was already in the mail, I realized that I hadn't put anything on the back for it to hang by. I'm so sorry, Stephanie . . . you'll have to add that part yourself to get it to hang!

Stephanie has blogged about it: Stephanie's Heart Quilt, and she has much better pictures of it than I do, if you'd like to see some other shots of the quilt.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

January Challenge Finished

I've managed to finish another month's challenge piece: January!

Obviously, I chose the word "Inspire" for my quilt.

I blogged about it earlier, and did indeed decide to add the black embroidery around the letters. I think it helped.

I used "made fabric", all in various blues, for my background.

Then I added my word in bright colors that I thought would stand out on that background. But the background was pretty bright itself, so adding the embroidery helped them stand out a bit better.

That upper right corner seemed a bit bare, since all the letters were down low, so I added the sun. I don't know about you, but I'm always inspired more on a sunny day . . .

I quilted it with a blue variegated thread, and experimented with all sorts of little mini-filler designs, just for practice. The finished quilt measures 12" x 24". Perfect size to hang on the wall in my studio and be inspired every day.

I chose red binding . . . just because red is my favorite color, and that's just what I thought it needed. OK, OK, so it's really because I already had some red binding made for another quilt and there was just enough of it left over! But I think it works . . .

Am I the last one done with this challenge?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Does this light wood crescent add dimension? I am getting dizzy from sewing in circles!!!

6 Minute Circle

I did it! With some freezer paper, glue stick, and Dale Flemings tutorial, this was so quick and easy.

Made my Hole-in-the-Fence for April's Challenge. It will make a nice mug rug, I think. Or maybe a teeny wall hanging. Off to make another one....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April's Challenge

Started to play ...
Here's a peek.

Besides pins or masking tape
there must be a better way
to keep these cut strips of fabric on the backing fabric
so that I can keep moving them around.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Here is the circle tutorial I use

It is Dale Flemings 6 minute circle


I have done circles this way for a long long time now!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

A maybe photo

I'll post my maybe as well.  I have been looking for something different.  I can't get those fabulous cabinet photos out of my mind though.

Here is the top of my turnip I just bought from the farmer's market this morning.  I looked at it and thought, WOW!  This just might work!!

When I look at it, I think Shabby Chic!

A "Maybe" Image for April

I have been thinking in circles lately and would like to experiment with these related shapes. Maybe this is beyond me, but I am tempted to give it a shot. This photo was shot during my spring cleaning.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A little more Lotta challenge

I've just finished up the Echo challenge as well as the March UFO one.
I made a table runner with my Echo charms and
bordered it with Echo yardage.

It's quilted in straight lines and it coordinates with my sewing machine cover.

I may use it on the sewing table, or the dining table.
It looks great both places.

got it.

Got my image...

Man , oh man, do I need to wash my windows.....

April's Challenge

It's inside of my house.
I tried to make it unrecognizable ...
although I don't think I succeeded in doing that!
I've ordered a piece of fabric which should arrive any day.
This is an idea I've had for a long time.
Thanks for the push!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April's Challenge

Well! Here we are at April already!

And it’s my turn to offer up the challenge.

Have I mentioned how much I love this group? You all have made me try things I never would have thought of on my own. And even tho I’m behind, I fully intend to finish each and every one of the challenges. They’ve all been so fun!

I’ve had lots of time to think about what challenge I’d offer up, and therefore, have changed my mind a million times from the beginning till now.

Besides, all of you are a tough act to follow.

But . . . there’s something I’ve been wanting to do for quite awhile now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way I’ll make myself sit down and do it is by offering it as my challenge to all of you as well.

So here goes . . .

April Challenge “Rules”

1) Take a photograph. Take a picture of something around your house (inside or out makes no difference).

2) Crop it to pull out a section that is nearly unrecognizable as a “thing”.

Interpret this portion of your picture into a quilt.

4) Size is totally up to you. Make it a size you’ll love and want and use.

You can use any colors and fabrics you desire. You can embellish or not as you see fit. Use any technique that’s fun for you (or try a new one you’ve been wanting to play with).

Here's some examples . . .

An original photo of my kitchen cabinets:

A close-up portion of it:

An original photo of My Cowboy's antique dresser that belonged to his Grandma:

A close-up portion of it:

An original photo of the front of one of my sewing cabinets in my studio:

A close-up portion of it:

And here's one I'm thinking about using (altho I'm still snapping pictures and thinking some more):

I'll reveal my original and how I'm planning to interpret it in another post. You can make this as easy or as difficult as you wish, based on the photo you choose to use.

You can choose to reveal your original at the beginning, or show your quilt and then reveal your original afterwards and see if we can guess! Up to you . . .

So . . . I hope this is something you can have fun with. Can't wait to see what you all do!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A well-dressed sewing machine for my March challenge

So that nine-patch of circles minus one became what I originally intended:
a cover for my Juki sewing machine.

It took a little engineering, but it fits.
Here's the back where I made room for the thread stand
by removing one block, as shown in the previous post.
I used Kona Espresso for the backing and the binding, and
some off-white Kona for the background.
Thanks for the March challenge that pushed me to finish this!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Two challenges in one

I'm combining my solid and Lotta fabric challenge from August
with the March challenge of repurposing a UFO.
I cut the package of charms into circles and got this far last summer
but then stalled about what to do next.

I found the answer by unpicking one of the circle blocks.
Stay tuned for what happens next.
I'm liking where it's going, but I'm not quite ready to show you yet.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Here's What Materialized

A mini for me ...
I cut up my least favorite block & used it in the corners.

And another mini for AAQI ...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Challenge

Today I had some time to play with four blocks made
a few years ago when I was learning how to paper piece.
I've always liked them.
Maybe a mini quilt with wide colorful borders?

Maybe a table runner with a narrow border using a competing graphic?

Maybe the start of a large quilt?

Maybe I need to play some more!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My March Mini

My mini is a bit over 12" x 12".  I decided to use an orphan block I made a year or so ago because I didn't want to lose the tiny piece of fabric with the moth. The original block goes out to the gold corners.  I don't know why I was drawn to this moth, but I think she is very lovely.  I went through the stash and found some fabric I wanted to add, including the last of the Harvest Gold.  I am such a throwback to the 60s sometimes.
Because I wanted this to be a learning experience, as well as just fun, I decided to add a flange (I think that is what it is called when there is a piece that is only attached on one side between borders.).  I learned that I need to miter the corners of the flange and the next border to get the look I want, but I decided this time to leave it the way it turned out.  My next new thing was to do some thread drawing with the machine.

The first thing I did was the little moth in the center.  I used my favorite King Tut variegated.  Then I did some meandering on the first border.

I had drawn in some little moths in the corner squares because I didn't feel confident enough to freehand them.  I think they turned out pretty cute.  The rest of the quilting is meandering.
I have hung this on my wall of minis.  It is fun to have one of my own up there. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Woefully Behind

How do you guys sew so fast and get so much done? I'm always behind!

But I promise, I'm still in the game, and chugging along . . .

Here's the beginnings of my October challenge:I've decided to make a fairly large quilt for mine, so it might take me awhile, but since it's not a race . . . I'm making what I want to make, and enjoying the challenge and the process for what it is.

Here's my January challenge piece:
I don't have it quilted yet, and I'm toying with the notion of outlining the letters with black embroidery before I do, since they don't seem to stand out as well as I'd like from my made-fabric background. What do you think?

And I have a plan and a recipient in mind for my February challenge, but I simply haven't taken the time to start it yet.

I also have plenty of orphans to use in the March challenge, so I'll be getting busy on that one fairly soon.

I'll post more when I have more to show!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Practical and pretty

These orphan blocks were constructed LONG ago
with some very thin fabric.

I knew it wouldn't be the best to include them in a quilt...
but I did want to get them out of hiding!!!

So I made some table mats for the senior lunch I serve twice a month.

I know my friends there will enjoy these homemade centerpieces.

And I WILL too!!!