Friday, December 30, 2011

Border Wars

That's an exaggeration, of course.  It was more like Border Auditions.  I always knew I wanted a blue around the edges of the Four Seasons quilt, to make you think of the sky that is common all over the world.  So here is the blue.  Lovely color, lovely fabric, but it's definitely lacking something.
My good friend Julie suggested a thin inner border of a darker blue.
 That didn't do anything for me either.  I thought, "It needs a purple inner border."
So I tried a reddish violet, and immediately liked the way it looked.
Here is what it will look like.  I am thinking the skinny border may be about a half inch wide, and the outer blue will be about 3-1/2" or so.  I haven't sewn anything down yet, I've just laid the strips around the flimsy to see.  Looks like I will finish this flimsy before New Year's!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's a Bird, it's a Plane...

It's a flimsy!

I think that's my favorite quilting term.  Flimsy! 

Anyway, after avoiding the sewing room for the Christmas holiday, I finally got back in there last night and sewed up the four seasons panels into a flimsy!  It's amazing what three seams can do to fire up the creative juices.  Next up... adding the blue border all around and choosing the backing fabric!


Monday, December 26, 2011

5 Kindle Family

I gave my son a Kindle for Christmas, and my Mom gave my sister one too.  So we're a five Kindle family! Here we are all sitting together on Christmas, reading!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Four Seasons Panels

Here are the panels for my Four Seasons Quilt. They haven't been sewn together yet. The panels are about 37 - 39" wide and about 55" tall.

The quilt-a-long will begin about mid-January.  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Four Seasons Panels Complete

I have finished the four panels of my Four Seasons quilt. They aren't sewn together yet. I brought them to Quilted Threads to find a fabric for the border. Here I am auditioning a few of them.  You can see the discards at the end of the table. I did find a fabric, and it wasn't any of these.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Summer Cat

You really didn't think I wouldn't have a cat in the Summer panel, did you?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Summer House

Here's the finished Summer house.  I've had a guest visiting for the last couple of days so I haven't done any sewing. I hope to have the Summer panel done by the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Hammock

A great place to while away a lovely summer afternoon is swinging from a hammock in the shade of some trees.
The hammock is made from fabric with letterscript on it because when I think of lying in a hammock, I think of reading a good book. 

To get an idea of the size of the hammock, the space surrounding it is about two inches tall by about three inches wide.  The tree trunks are about 1/4" wide.

***As for Freecycle in this city, I signed up on Friday morning, got an automatic reply telling me to read the rules and respond. I did so Friday night, and now, three full days later, I still haven't heard one word.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Side Porch

Here in New England (in the Northeast USA) many houses have porches.  The house I grew up in had a  screened in porch along the front side of the house. It was a great place to watch the world go by, to watch the lightning during a thunderstorm, and just so sit on the swing and do nothing.

I decided the house in my Summer panel needed a side porch.  The small white rectangles in the photo above are 1/4" x 1".

Friday, December 9, 2011

How Do I...

How do I get rid of two old sewing machines that don't work?  One is a 1977 Kenmore portable, the other is from 1998 and is connected to a fold-away table. I have instruction manuals and attachments for both.

I could probably put them out for the trash pickup, and some passerby would pick them up before the trash guys ever came (that's how it is on my street). But if nobody picked it up, I'd have to find a way to get rid of it, and the foldaway cabinet won't fit in my car.

Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments or email me.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yvonne asks a Question

Yvonne asked a question when I was talking to her last week and it really got me thinking.  She was talking about the Four Seasons panels and she asked "Do you draw them out first?"
It caught me totally off guard. I hadn't drawn the Spring panel, and I didn't like it. I had done a drawing of the Winter panel and it had come out well. 
I was working on the Autumn panel,
 and I had drawn that one too. 

I really had to think about it. Why do I draw sometimes, but not all the time?

Now it sounds silly, but you've all heard the quote by Yogi Berra, "If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else," and it's a lot like that.  
I don't always know where I'm going when I get started, but once I do get going, I get a pretty good idea of where I want to go.  The details will change, but that's ok. I don't need to have a complete idea to get started. Sometimes I don't have ANY idea at all, but getting going gives me a point at which to start - it helps me figure out what I like and what I don't.

I draw because it's a way to get an idea out of my head and down on paper so I can remember what I want to do.
It's also a way for me to work out an idea when I can't sew.

And this give you all a peek into what the Summer panel will look like!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If At First You Don't Succeed...

When I finished the Spring panel, it didn't thrill me.  I liked the elements, and the colors, but to me it was a little boring.
I tried inserting an "overlapping" tree, and thought it would help. It did, but the house still looked a bit stiff and un Spring-like.
So I set it aside. I made the Winter panel, and I made the Autumn panel. I liked both of those. I knew I wanted to fix the Spring panel without starting from scratch, so I took the pieces apart and remade the house.
That was better, but it was only when I started rearranging the trees, (and adding a small pink one) that I really started liking it a lot better.

So now I'm happy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Revised Spring House

After I finished the Spring house, I thought it was a little stuffy and stiff.  I didn't like the roof, either. It looked too small.
The house really bugged me, so I took it apart, made the roof bigger, added a wonky chimney and a strip of fabric in the middle. When I was taking it apart, I planned to move the door to the other side of the house, but I sewed it wrong. 

The new house is on the left and the original house is on the right. I am much happier now.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Revised Trees

I lightened up the green trees. Actually all I did was replace the front tree fabric and its trunk fabric.  What bothered me about the original version was how dark it was compared to the rest of the panel. I liked the fabric a lot better. This green is a bit plain, but it'll do.

Selvage Fairy, the cat is back outside.  You'll see.

Friday, December 2, 2011

More trees

I think I overdid it. These two overlapping trees on the far right are too close in value, and the one on the left leans too far over to the left.

And the house needs a cat.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Autumn Trees

I'm getting the hang of making these trees overlap. It's a little bit tricky.  You have to think of the tree as a big triangle (including the trunk and the ground below it) as one unit, and handle it very carefully because the edges are generally on the bias.

I started making trees overlap by making complete tree units and then chopping off what I didn't need, but now I'm getting a bit smarter -- see that green tree over on the right? It never started out as a complete tree!

I'll have the complete "House and Tree Along" after the beginning of the year. In the meantime, be thinking of what you want to do with your own private forest!