what's next

  I shot this photo a couple of years ago at  our cottage in north Florida.  
Thinking that it would be my next project. 
The time has come, at long last to begin my next project.
  This is going to be one of my most difficult pieces to date, because I want to try and highlight each of these blossoms within the blooms.  What caught my attention, initially, were the buds.
I was fascinated by their unusual shape. 

After taking umpteen pictures, I chose a few that weren't too blurry and printed them off.  From those pictures I chose 4 (so far) blooms that l liked and arranged them for my sketch which would become the basis for drawing the pattern.  Here's a peek at the progress.

Because of the tiny pieces involved, I drew it out on a 19 x 24 inch piece of paper.  I laid a piece of tracing paper, the same size, over the drawing to begin working out the pattern.  Got a bit done, but it could be simplified, unless I decide that I really want to piece it this way.  I played with an enlarged section to see how this might play out. 
I normally used multiple commercial print fabrics, but this time I want to use mostly my hand dyed fabrics.  Since I did all that fun dyeing last summer, it is high time to cut into them.  And I found that I had gobs of fabric that would work perfectly. 

Now to enlarge the entire drawing.  And thanks to my friend, Melody,  I now have use of her overhead projector. She generously offered and I gratefully accepted.  Thanks Mel.   No more trying to explain to the clerks at the enlargement booth at the local office supply chain  how I would like to have this enlarged.  "Oh," they would ask, "is this for stained glass?  It will be beautiful".  "No", I reply, " it isn't a stained glass, it is an art quilt."   At which point, they would smile blankly and dismissively then totally ignore my requests for enlargement size.

Yes, yes, I know.  The last quilt was no rules, seat of the pants fun.  But I have fun drawing patterns as well.   I just have fun challenging myself.  I so enjoy trying something new each and every day.   Beside, I've got two other seat of the pants projects on the design wall to keep me loosey, goosey, when the mood strikes.    And I've got a new toy to play with to boot.  I'm off to play with the projector.  I promise that I will do my best not to break it, Mel.  I am soooo excited.

It started with this

it started with this

it ended up like this

Don't you think that it would make a wonderful rug for my family room.  
If only everyone would remove their shoes before walking on it. 

I named it 
"not your prim and proper log cabin with posies inspired by the ladies of Gee's Bend" 

I followed no rules, no patterns and broke most of the right and correct methods of piecing,applique, quilting, and binding that I possibly could. 
It was most fun I have ever had in making a quilt.
I highly recommend this method.


Thank god it's Friday.
Although when you are retired, every day is Friday. Well, almost everyday, some days are not so Fridayish, some days it seems as if I need to get an outside of the home, paying job for a bit of relief.  Nah, not gonna happen anytime soon.

Let me start over:
Thank god it's finished:

I think that I actually had more trouble photographing Vanilla Bean, that I did working with a  neutrally colored design.  Forty odd shots later, this is the best I could do.

The quilt as you go method was so, so cool.  It was almost a shock to realize that once it was all stitched together, it was completed except for stitching on the binding.  I am so hooked on this technique.  "Beanie" finished up to a whopping 68" X 82". 
What began as playing around with linen scraps left over from making slacks, jackets, blouses, along with all types of scraps of batting,
resulted in a lovely coverlet for someone's bed.  Probably not my bed, alas, 
as Miss Annie-cat's claws would reek havoc with the coarse, linen weave.

The QAYG method easily allows for straight stitching feed dogs up style.  Which is what I did with Beanie, since there is no way I can stitch a straight line free motion style.  But now that I have gotten this under my belt, why not try a bit of free motion quilting on the next piece. 

  Got this Fresh Modern style piece in the works, which I had originally planned to straight stitch.  However, it just seemed to be asking for a curly, loopy design and off I go. Best laid plans never seen to work for me.  Nothing could be easier than free motion quilting on a piece that is only 12" to 15" in width.  Even though it is 62" in length, it is much more easily manipulated under Juki. In no time at all I've gotten one panel all quilted up.  Great practice for my free motion skills.

Only four panels to go, add the QAYG border, and voila', instant quilt.  Let me tell you folks, I am sold on this.  In case you missed my previous post on what I am talking about, and you have an interest in giving this a go, jump over to The Quilting Edge.  
Marianne has the best tutorial on how to. 
It's the weekend, go have some fun! 

aren't surprise gifts the best ever?

This surprise arrived yesterday.
From a delightful lady, Emily, a.k.a, Joanie Appleseed

She practices random acts of kindness, something that this world needs more of.  

This piece of sunshine will be a constant reminder to me of this fact.  

If I am feeling blue, I can look at this and be instantly uplifted.  

Thank you, Emily Douglas, from the way down bottom of my heart.
You are an inspiration in so many ways. 
I hope that life is repaying you a thousand fold.

And the winner is

I have arranged and rearranged and then rearranged again.  Trying to find the right balance.  It is difficult for me to do when playing with monochromatic neutrals.  I settled on this layout.  But to add color or not to add color.  I do so love to play with color and pattern. 
One suggestion I received, during the agony of trying to decide whether to add color or not to add color, came from Sujata.  Why not try adding some delicate saffron slivers rather than the strips with the tiny bits of colors. I loved this thought.  As I tried playing around with this idea, the light bulb went from 75 watt to 150 watt.  This piece does not need any color.  What was I thinking?  Each block is quilted in it's own pattern, as if it were a separate piece of fabric.  It needs no more than that.  She had gently led me back to my original thought, which was a soft, neutral quilt.  Thank you Sujata.  Isn't it wonderful to have so many good friends to help you find your way back home? 


Joining the individual blocks were a breeze.  Joining the longer strips of blocks, not so easy.  Well, the joining part was easy. I did enjoy  the challenge of hiding the joining strips. And the challenge of fitting all the odd sized blocks together.   Since there is no busy pattern to hide the strips, I didn't want them to be in your face.   
Guess you can still pick them out, but hopefully I've made it a bit tricky to see. 
Now you've got to quilt these joining strips and that involves more manipulating.  But then, it still beats quilting the whole quilt.  I could get used to this. 
I could have this whole thing completed by next week, if I stick to it.  

But there is this other project that I keeps asking for rearrangement.  She provides a nice break when I begin to be a bit twitchy from sewing straight lines and cramming all that linen under the sewing machine throat.  Here is what she is feeling like today. 

What does she make you think of?  
Hopefully not a Las Vegas showgirl's head dress. 
We'll she how she feels tomorrow.

I have been Leibstered

 Marianne over at The Quilting Edge has presented me with the Liebster Award.  I am so honored to be recognized by her, as she is quite the talented artist.  She continues to inspire me with each post.  And, I might add, teach me a thing or two as well.
Here are the rules:
  • Tell your readers who tagged or nominated you.
  • Add a link to their blog.
  • Pay it forward!!! Award 3-5 bloggers who you think deserve this award.
  • Inform them and post directions to your blog
  • Pick blogs with under 300 followers

As there are so many talented quilt artists out there, it is quite difficult to choose only a few.  I would really like to give a shout out loud to all of you out there and say that y'all are just plain wonderful folks.  Since rules are meant to be broken, I guess I could do just that.  However, being a bit lazy when it comes to typing in all the links to all the blogs that I check in on through out the days and weeks, I would probably end up with carpel tunnel syndrome.  So let me just say that from all y'all, because I have always tried to follow the rules,  I have selected some ladies, that I would like to pay it forward.  Just because. 

Click on each of their names and see why I chose them:

who just keeps on coming up with wonder upon wonder
who I have renamed Joanie Appleseed because she is constantly spreading the seeds of happiness, cheer and thought provoking wisdom
who blows me away with her designs and use of color

I promise that you won't be disappointed when you jump over to see what they have going on.