Saturday, July 30, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #32

This week's challenge is from Carole Ohl, Open Seed Arts, hosted by Laura Harms, I am the diva.  The challenge was to use any string with these four tangles: Pais (by Mikee Huber), Zedbra (by Laura Harms and Margaret Bremner),  Keenees (by Donna Hornsby) and  Baton (by Carol Ohl).

Here's my entry:

To see many more entries and interpretations, visit I am the diva.

Hope you had a good day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

One Flower Wednesday (or Thurs. or Friday)

I'm a little behind.  I did sew this flower in time to post it for One Flower Wednesday but I've been in a funk for a few days.  You know the one I'm talking about.  The thinking that says 'I'm never going to blog again', 'I'm never going to sew again', 'I don't feel like reading', 'I'm sick of watching videos', 'zentangle isn't much fun lately', 'this 501 Project is stupid'.  Sometimes when I get this way, to get out of it, I cut my hair.  But the last time I had it cut, I had it cut real short and it's not quite long enough yet.  So I colored it instead.  I just happened to have a box of color hanging around.  About six months ago, in another funk, I decided I was never going to color my hair again.  It was such a pain to keep up with and I do like gray hair.  But I was sick of how awful the 'growing out' looked.  So...

Oops!  Off topic.  TMI?

Here's my flower:

I had about 5 minutes to get myself together and out the door to go babysitting.  My kit had some hexagons made up but none I wanted to use so I grabbed some purple fabric and some previously used templates.  I didn't have time to find the unused templates.  I guess I'm not that organized after all.

To see other flowers in this week's 'One Flower Wednesday', visit Journey of a Quilter.

Oh!  By the way, I feel better now.  I've started putting together the brown/tan quilt.  I'm going to quilt it in sections.

Hope you have a good day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

15 Minute Challenge

I've been on strike for the past 3 days.  I haven't done ANY sewing.  I've had my nose stuck in a book.  I'd forgotten how much I love to read.

Tues.   July 19    Hexies, FMQ, Pink/Green quilt
Wed.   July 20    Hexies, FMQ, Pink/Green quilt
Thurs.  July 21   Pink/Green quilt
Fri.      July 22    Pink/Green quilt
Sat.      July 23   Pink/Green quilt
Sun.     July 24   NO Sewing
Mon.    July 25   NO Sewing

To see how others did on their 15 Minute Challenge, visit  Life in Pieces.

Hope you had a good day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ta Da !!

I've finished the pink/green quilt.  I decided against sashes.  I love the 'free form' design created by butting the blocks up next to each other.  I quilted it using Wandering Clover and this 8 pt. flower.  As you can see, it's very crinkly after washing.

I forgot to take a picture of the back but it's the same swirly green that's in the blocks and binding.  These aren't my normal colors but I think it came out really cute.

Hope you had a good day.

Foto Finish - Things That Are Hot

It seems that it's pretty much HOT everywhere these last few weeks.  Except for where it's winter.  And you know who you are.  Anyway...a photo of just about anything could be appropriate.  But it can be difficult to capture heat on camera.  Here's how I did it:

Boiling Water

What a cheat huh?!  To see other entries for this theme, visit Cat Patches.

Hope you have a good day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Challenge #31 - Fairyland

This week's challenge is presented to us by Carol of Celebrate Possibilities, hosted by I am the diva.  Visit the diva's site for this week's entries.

When I saw this week's challenge, I knew it'd be difficult for me.  I'm not a 'fairyland' sort of person.  I had to do some thinking to even come up with a fairy.  Tinker Bell is a fairy, right?  But other than the name, I don't know much about her either.  I've seen some interesting little fairy gardens on a couple of blogs and think they look cute, imagining little fairies living there in amongst the plants. However I'm not that artistically inclined.  I wanted my drawing to be delicate because that's how I imagine fairies to be.  I even bought a new .01 micron pen to draw it.  Here's my entry.  I tried shading it but it made it too heavy, however I think the shadow from photographing it made it just right.

Zentangle is a really a fun art form.  It can make you feel artistic even if you're not.  There are an amazing number of tangles cropping up every day.  I even saw some carpeting yesterday that'd make a great tangle.

Well, I'm off to continue quilting the pink/green quilt.

Hope you have a good day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One Flower Wednesday

It's One Flower Wednesday again.  How did it get here so quickly?!  I was pretty busy today but I was able to find a few hexagons to coordinate and make up a couple of flowers.  Here they are:

To see other flowers, visit Journey of a Quilter.

For my free motion quilting practice today, I tried the brand new design released just today by Leah Day.  It's called Edge of Reality.  It's listed as advanced.  I don't by any means consider myself to be advanced but I do love a challenge.  And I need 'echo' practice.  My defining areas aren't as extreme but for a first time out, I'm pretty pleased.

Hope you had a good day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dresden Daisies Inspiration

Today's Free Motion Quilting practice was based on Leah Day's Dresden Daisies however, I modified the design a little.  I left off two horizontal petals.  This design actually reminds me of something else I've seen but I can't put my finger on it.  As you can see, I started off stitching small.  It wasn't intentional.  I always start off too small.  Or at least smaller than I like.  They gradually got larger until I finally hit on a size that I like.  To make a nicer looking piece I probably should have traveled to the next row via the outside stitching line.

I like this tufted look.  I'd like to work them into the pink/green quilt somehow.  As an aside, when I make up the next batch of FMQ practice quilt sandwiches, I'm going to leave a wider border of fabric around the outside.  By cutting off the fabric so close to the outside stitching line, I don't have much to hold onto.

Follow-up on the chalk markers:  I got a little nervous about whether the markings would come out so this morning I handwashed the top.  I had to scrub a little on the darker ones, but all the markings came out.  I didn't want to wait until after I quilted the top to find out that the markings wouldn't come out.  Big relief.  Note to self:  Save time...follow directions.

Hope you had a good day.

15 Minute Challenge and more...

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel like you 'have to'?  That's how this morning has felt for me.  I HAVE to set up my machine for free motion.  I HAVE to choose a free motion design to practice.  I HAVE to sandwich the pink/green quilt.  I HAVE to blog about 15 min. challenge.  I HAVE to blog about marking tools.  I HAVE to....  Lately, I've been having my coffee and reading blogs out on the balcony first thing in the morning while it's cool.  By the time I finished this morning, I was drenched in sweat.  I'm now sitting comfortably in my rocking chair with the air conditioner on and talking myself down from the 'HAVE TOs'.  I don't HAVE TO anything I don't want to.  However, now that I'm cool and on my second cup of coffee, here goes:

15 Minute Challenge

Tues.         June 12         Hexie
Wed.          June 13         Hexie
Thurs.        June 14         I can't remember
Fri.             June 15         Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)
Sat.            June 16         FMQ, 501 Project
Sun.           June 17         FMQ, Hexie, Applique
Mon.          June 18         FMQ, border and marking pink/green quilt

I'm sure I must have done some sort of sewing 'thing' on Thursday but I can't for the life of me remember what.  To see how others did on their challenge visit Life in Pieces.

When I was at Joann's yesterday, I picked up a new marking tool.  I've never marked a quilt before.  I usually just do an allover quilting design that doesn't require marking.  However some of the bags I've made lately, have required some marking.

The marker on the right is Mark-B-Gone Disappearing Ink Marker.  I purchased a pink and a blue awhile ago.  The blue has been the better color for me however I've used up the ink fairly quickly and have blunted the tip.  The cost was $4.79 or thereabouts.  Yesterday, I purchased this Chalk Marking Cartridge Set.  List price in the store was $13.99 but it was on sale for $6.99.  (Am I too money focused?)  Anyway, I tried the chalk marker last night on the pink/green quilt.  I love it.  I started out using the white cartridge on one of the blocks but switched to blue.  You can see both colors in this block:

This is the blue on the lighter colored fabric:

If you look closely, you can see that I've decided on a freehand 8 petal flower.  I'll echo the lines in some of the unsewn areas.  There are 8 color and 9 white cartridges in the package.  I'm taking a big chance though.  I didn't do a test to make sure it would wash out before marking the quilt.  I'll let you know how that works out.

On another note...I started blogging one year ago today and have completed 199 blocks on the 501 Project.  Who would've thought I'd stick with it for so long?!.  (sorry...I'm not having a giveaway).

That's it for now.  I'm off to practice my free motion quilting before I head out to babysit my youngest granddaughter.

Hope you have a good day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I love zippers!

But I don't want to pay a lot for them.  I've used quite a few lately in the bags I've made.  Normally they're $1.99 for 14" at Joann's.  But I've found a new source - ZipperStop.

I bought 60 zippers.  With postage, the price works out to .48 per zipper.  I ordered them last Tuesday, July 12th.  They arrived today.  Do I need 60 zippers?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I can use them to my heart's content.

My FMQ practice today was Heart Paisley.  They're a lot more fun and faster to draw than to sew.

Heart Paisley

My impression is that they should be long and thin.  Mine seem to come out short and fat.  

Heart Paisley

This 9.5 inch practice took about 50 mins. to do.  It was a little difficult because I couldn't find the sweet spot for speed.  And I kept getting myself backed into a corner.  More practice needed.  I still like them.

Today I went shopping and bought the fabric I needed for borders and backing for the pink/green quilt.  I may have time tomorrow to put the sandwich together.  I'm still undecided about how to quilt it.

Hope you had a good day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Today's free motion quilting practice was pebbles.  The skills I hoped to improve were traveling (stitching on top of stitching to get to somewhere else), sewing slowly and round shapes.  I'm pleased with the results.

Hope you had a good day.

Creative Piecing

I'm down to the last of the pink/green fabrics I've been working with lately.  To get the number of blocks I wanted, I had to do a little creative piecing.  I didn't have enough of the light pink or green so I had to sew smaller pieces together to make large enough pieces for the pattern.  For the following block, I needed a fourth color.  Unfortunately the pink dot is too dark for this placement.  It's hard to tell that these are flying geese.  With another fabric they might be more recognizable.  I may take it apart, I haven't decided yet.

Flying Geese II

For this next block, I cut the green fabric to 4 1/4 instead of 4 1/2 so I had to add pink to two sides to make up for it.  I actually like the more finished look of this block.

Practical Orchard

Here are all the blocks in this color scheme.  I'll probably work them into a quilt but I'm not sure of the placement or whether to use sashes.

So with that color scheme completed, I had to decide on a new color set.  Even though I gravitate toward the brown/tan combination, I think I've done enough of that for awhile.  I decided to go with my favorite color - purple.  Most of the blocks will be different fabrics since I don't have a lot of any one fabric.  Here's the first block:


Hope you have a good day.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hmmm...what shall I do today....

I got up early this morning without much of a plan for the day.  I practiced drawing a few quilting designs last night and knew I wanted to sew a practice piece.  I wanted to make some practice sandwiches.  Maybe work on my Grandmother's Flower Garden.  Maybe run the vacuum cleaner to pick up some of the threads littering my carpet.  Maybe...Maybe...

So I made seven more quilt sandwiches.  I'm using some cheap fabric (not cotton) and scraps of batting sewn together.  Waste not, want not.

And I sewed a FMQ practice piece - Paisley Flower.  Leah Day recommends that you don't drop your feed dogs and to set your stitch length to zero.  I've quilted with the feed dogs dropped which on my machine automatically sets the stitch length to zero and I've quilted without dropping the feed dogs and setting my stitch length to zero manually.  I don't understand why it works but not dropping the feed dogs makes a huge difference in my stitch quality.  And of course, teaching myself to stitch reeeaaalllyyy slow.  I'm very happy with the progress I'm making.

Here's today's practice.

Paisley Flower

Hope you're having a good day.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Free Motion Quilting

Last year I purchased the book From Daisy to Paisley by Leah Day and started using some of her designs in my quilts.  Some come from the book but others are from Leah's Free Motion Quilting Project.  The really great thing about the project is being able to see a video clip for each design.  I'm afraid it's going to take a lot of practice before mine look that good.  This time around I practiced on paper to get a feel for the design before stitching by machine.  This is my practice from yesterday.



This is today's practice.

Pebble Loop

Pebble Loop
My goal today as I worked on Pebble Loop was to practice traveling, pebbles and stitching very slowly.  I have Pebble Loops of different sizes for practice purposes not so much for aesthetics, although I do think it looks interesting.  Also, I had to figure out how to quilt those weird places.  I felt backed into a corner more than once.

Besides the quilting practice, I washed and ironed 27 yards of fabric.  I'm either going to have to stop buying fabric or buy more storage bins.  What can I say?  Armchair shopping is a dangerous thing.

Hope you had a good day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #30

String Theory v.V :Initialize

While Laura Harms is taking the week off for family stuff, she's invited Christina of stART to give us this week's challenge.  The challenge was to use our initials intermingled as a base for our Zentangle or Zentangle Inspired Art.  Here's what I came up with:

Thank you Christina for an interesting challenge.  You'd never know from these that my initials are PW.

To see other entries in this challenge, visit I am the diva.

Hope you have a good day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Flower Wednesday

I sewed a couple more scrappy hexies for today's One Flower Wednesday.

I've been sewing some of the scrappy ones together and have used them in various projects other than my Grandmother's Flower Garden (GFG).   If you haven't been following along, you can see the projects here and here.

After using all the flowers I want for my GFG (114), I have 181 flowers left.  I haven't quite decided if I want to do another GFG (after I finish this one, of course) or just work them into other projects.  Stay tuned.

To see other flowers, visit Journey of a Quilter.

Hope you had a good day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

15 Minute Challenge

Great productivity this week.

Tues   July 5   -  Hexies
Wed   July 6   -  Hexies
Thurs  July 7   -  Hexies
Fri      July 8   -  Lunch bag
Sat     July 9   -  Shoe bag, 501 Project
Sun    July 10  -  501 Project, Grandmother's Flower Garden
Mon   July 11 -  501 Project, Hexies

To see how others did this week on their 15 Minute Challenge, visit Life In Pieces.

Hope you had a good day.