Sunday, July 31, 2011
And, yes, my nose is still to the grindstone. I lack one fabric to finish fabric selection for the new hand piecing series. Then it's on to sewing like mad.
Okay, I'm just rambling tonight. You are probably reading this as blah, blah, blah, blah. So, enough already.
Sleep like you haven't a care in the world.
P.S. I am listening to Kill the Messenger by Tami Hoag and reading Riding Shotgun by Rita Mae Brown.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
On the applique front, I've designed three new patterns to complement another design I've had for a while but never done much with. All four can be used in any combination. When the samples are done I will share more.
On the hand piecing front, I have a new Monthly Bliss coming up. Eighteen new blocks have been chosen, and I am now deciding on fabrics.
On the lawn front--there really isn't much lawn left. Hot, dry weather yields weeds and not much grass. So no mowing for several weeks. But I had to have a bit of digging done (with a Bobcat) and am now in the process of raking and shoveling. And picking rocks. I'm wondering if I can restart the Pet Rock craze from, I think, the 1980s? I have everything from tiny to boulder.
We've had a brief break in the weather--cooler nights that make sleeping so much better.
I guess that's it for now.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Here's Sharon G's bright and beautiful quilt--the top row, anyway! Oranges, and blues with a setting fabric that is light and airy and perfectly complements the applique. Fabulous, Sharon!
Judy D. used a variety of reds and greens with blue vases for her masterpiece. Judy is new to applique and took this class with her friend, Susan, who couldn't attend the setting class because her daughter was sick. We missed you, Susan. But Judy did a wonderful job and is now considering adding a large border to perfectly frame this beauty. Great job, Judy!
Beth was one seam from having her top all together when she ran out of bobbin thread! So she decided to call it a day. Her choice of corals and cool greens gave an entirely different feel to this quilt. Meticulous work, great fabrics--that's Beth to a tee!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
First are a couple photos of students hard at work. It sort of looks like a sweatshop! (Okay, it was really warm in the room--machines, irons, laughing...you get the picture!)
In the background here you can see my quilt top.
And here is part one of the parade of quilts. Please note that not all the tops are finished, but you can see how wonderful each will be.
First, Kathy F.--just look at the vibrant colors she used. Kathy was a beginning appliquer at the start of this 9 month journey! A few months ago, I was walking through the shop to get to the classroom and I saw a totally awesome fabric on top of the shelves. I fingered it, drooled a bit, but decided I didn't have anything to really do with it. Lo and behold, that same day, we were choosing setting fabrics for Kathy's quilt. It was fate: It was exactly perfect with Kathy's blocks. I just love spending someone else's money! Great job, Kathy!
Pat S. chose beautiful reds and blues for her masterpiece. Her tiny circles are done in polka dots, so we chose a different dot for her cornerstones. Isn't it amazing how these blocks are transformed by fabric selection? Pat is a master appliquer--her work is meticulous.
And last, for tonight, is Sandy. Sandy was also fairly new to applique when she started this class--and she has done a fantastic job. Sandy is setting her blocks with a dark navy and is then going to use a blue and white floral print as the final border. I am so proud!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I was surprised to find that these pics were taken in February 2004. I had to orient myself to decide what direction I was facing when they were taken, as there has been substantial growth of shrubs, trees and the addition of a huge flower bed between where I was standing and the huge spruce tree you see in picture one.
And this is facing northwest. See the stunted birch tree midway between the icicle and the spruce tree? That fell down and was replaced by the ladder and trumpet vine which you have seen in other posts. And the spruce tree is giant now.
Stay cool--it's supposed to be over 100 degrees on the heat index here on Thursday. I'm mmmmmeeeeeellllllllttttttiiiinnnnngggggg.........
Monday, July 18, 2011
So tightly closed. See the whiter bits of sap?
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Deb H. took Hexagon Bliss at O'Susannah's Quilt Shop in Watkins Glen, NY. She decided that she did not want a hexagon-shaped quilt and went for the gusto. Hand pieced! Isn't it beautiful? I love the colors in the blocks and the setting fabric brought out the best in them. Check out the half-blocks on the long sides--too cool! See the secondary stars formed by the setting triangles?
So while the rest of the class was working on this:
Deb went forward with her vision. Well done, Deb! You rock!
Hot, hot and dry at the Stroud household. Makes me feel like...wait for it..."I'm meeelllllttttiiinnnnggggg!"
Til next time!
P.S. I am listening to The Alibi Man by Tami Hoag and reading Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovitch. Both excellent.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
These spacers are 1/2 x about 4-1/2 inches. The 1/2 inch is critical; the length can be to your liking. I hand them out in my hand piecing classes so that students can more accurately judge the distance needed between two templates to allow for seam allowances. The spacers are made from card stock--index cards work great and come in wonderful colors.
Lay out two freezer paper templates on the wrong side of your fabric. Lay a spacer between the two templates as shown. Press with a hot, dry iron--the freezer paper will stick to the fabric and the spacer will just lift off to be used again.
You can use multiple spacers if you'd like, so that you can position multiple pieces easily.
The purpose of the spacers, you ask? When you rotary cut around the freezer paper, leaving a 1/4 inch seam, you only have to cut once to get perfect seams on both pieces. On this pic, notice that the 1/4 inch line on the ruler is lined up with the edge of the freezer paper. One cut, two seams!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Here we see it fully loaded.
All the contents are now out of the box and on my cutting board. A pretty impressive array, eh? The smaller containers make it easy to find just what I want.
A slightly smaller box has seven spools of 50 wt. Mettler thread. Shades of gray, taupe and a navy. I can add others as needed.
Here's how it breaks down. The hand sewing kit has two kinds of needles, pins and cushion, extra pins in a box, an extra thimble, a bulldog clip (just in case?), thread, a seam ripper, scissors, Thread Heaven, a used needle case, and a couple pieces of pink felt (just because).
The marking box: Tons of markers--Pigma pens, mechanical colored pencils, Sewline, mechanical pencils, extra leads, and two pairs of paper scissors. (Remember, not all markers are used in all instances.)
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The stamen is almost star-like.
But apparently starts out as a straight shoot. Can you believe those colors?
And Lynnie said she hadn't been on the blog in a bit--so here is her too cute face. I just love her to bits.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
The fawn was quite a handful! Running and jumping in huge ovals around the birdbath, tree and its mother! She kept a good eye on her charge, but I think she was getting a bit weary.
But who could resist this face?
Taking time to smell...the leaves?
One spot, two spot...how many spots do you think I have?
Friday, July 1, 2011
This is an Apple Creek Tablerunner. My friend Debbie gave me the kit for Christmas 2010 and I have it finished! Partly because Debbie machine quilted it for me! It's a delightful addition to my kitchen island.
And here's a detail. The kit was from Connecting Threads. They were generous with fabric--working in fat quarters rather than smaller pieces that are not enough if you -- eek! -- make a mistake.
What's up next? You'll have to tune in tomorrow to see!
P.S. I finished reading The Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond. It was FABULOUS!!! A must read for everyone. I am simultaneously listening to Dark Horse by Tami Hoag and The Jungle by Clive Cussler and Jack DuBrul. Okay, it's really not simultaneously, even though I have two ears. One is on cassette and one is on CD. So one is done at home and one in the car. And I am enjoying both.