Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Madrona Road Challenge Quilt

The Michael Miller Fabrics "Madrona Road Challenge," has been the focus of my quilting for a couple months. Since Central Florida MQG members received fabric packets on December 5, I have been intent on designing, piecing, and quilting. I FMQed the BQ quilt, my first finish of 2013, as a warm-up to this one.
Photo taken at Wildwood Country Resort
I named my 39-1/2" X 49-1/2" quilt "Buckles and Belts" because the chevron and solid diagonal prints weave in and out of blocks that look like buckles. The woven affect was accomplished, in part, with hand appliqué.
39-1/2" X 49-1/2"
Top right.

After completing all the machine quilting using 50-weight Auriful thread in several different colors (white, blue, gold, black), I big stitch hand quilted the solid strips, using several colors of DMC #8 perle cotton.

Center quilting. 

Lower left corner quilting.

Several purchased prints ended up mostly on the back!

I loved being able to take these outdoor photos of "Buckles and Belts" early Sunday morning while the air was thick with fog. These are the grounds where our church is renting a community room for worship. The church is Live Oaks Community Church. Oddly enough, the church name came before anyone knew the place we would meet for worship would be on grounds that are thick with moss-laden live oak trees! Every Sunday we get to drive up to the building beneath a beautiful canopy of live oaks and dripping moss.
Photo taken at Wildwood Country Resort
Anyway, the rest of the challenge story is that MQG quilters who complete their project by January 31 will have their project considered for inclusion in a display at the Michael Miller Fabrics booth at QuiltCon on February 21-24, in Austin, Texas.

It's pretty great that Michael Miller Fabrics gave away all this fabric to MQGers here in the US and around the world! Now, check out the rest of the wonderful, finished challenge projects on the Flickr site. Linda

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Rush from Happenin's!

Activities have been happenin', quilting-wise, around here. In the past week I have:

1) joined the new Bradenton Rec Center chapter of Quilting Guild of The Villages (QGOTV);
2) pursued a possible Stitchin' Mission to be hosted by a nearby church;
3) been asked and accepted co-presenting a May 16 program about modern quilting to Country Road Quilters, Ocala, Florida;
4) and been approved as a quilting instructor at The Villages Lifelong Learning College! I hope I'll be teaching "First-Time Quiltmaking," based on the 2006 book I wrote by the same name, and my Stitchin' Mission program.

I bet you think I'll have a lot on my plate this year.

I bet I agree.

Sewing-wise, I made a couple pillows this week. They began with this.

For the first time since moving, I upended my bag of selvages and dug in to make two different blocks for a "Salvage Those Selvages!" workshop I'll teach this coming October for QGOTV. You might think I like to plan that far ahead (I do!), but in fact, the class supply list is needed by February 4 for a QGOTV meeting!

As much as I wanted to make a quilt, these pillows should get the point across. 

Four easy blocks from Karen Griska's "Red Zinger" makes a 16" x 16" pillow. (Used with permission from Karen.)

This one is backed with some Dan Bennett "Wild Garden" that I wanted to use in big pieces so as not to lose the graphic appeal of the large print. You can see on the right side, that I even inserted a zipper.

The block for this pillow is one I created myself. It's a little more difficult for having to cut and sew wedges - drunkard's path style - on a curve. I know there's a useful, special sewing machine foot for curved piecing, but I don't have one. So, an appliqué foot works.

This pillow is two-sided, with a different arrangement of the same block on the reverse side. Yep. That sewn-in center circle was about as challenging to machine sew as it looks.

This pillow also has a zipper, but it's along the corded edge. I covered the zipper with the same fabric as the cording, so it looks like double cording!

By the way, here's a tip for the next time you sew a pillow. These 16" square pillows? Well, they're stuffed with 18" square pillow forms! I like that the pillows feel firmly full, not wimpy, especially at the corners. Happily, I was able to buy Joann's Home Elegance 18" X 18" pillow forms at half price.

It feels great to to be prepared for the October workshop, already!

Now I just need to finish writing up the supply list, which includes a little detail about how to cut selvages. Do you know?

This week, I also jumped onto Debbie's - AQuilter'sTable - Triple Zip-Along, AKA 3ZAL. It begins January 28, and these are the fabrics and zippers I've chosen.

Oh! And I'm getting ready for next Monday's (January 28) Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild meeting. We're showing off our Madrona Road Challenge projects. Mine's done, and I can't wait to see everyone's finishes. Look for pictures of quilts on our CentralFloridaMQG blog next Tuesday morning!

Am I in deep? You bet! Am I sleeping through the night? Rarely. I've been up since 2:30 am this morning! Do I get a rush from doing this kind of stuff? Now what do you think?! Linda

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Alternative Apples of Gold BOM

An Australian blog friend who I've been following for a few years now, is a wonderfully talented designer of embroidered quilts. Each year Val generously offers her readers a free stitchery BOM that conclude with assembly instructions.

While I greatly admire her skills and work, her tastes lean toward Victorian. She told me in an email that, "I could have quite happily lived in the Victorian era.” Knowing my preference for all things modern, she added, "I can’t see you there!" Val's right. I prefer designs that are simpler, with less frou-frou.

But I like to embroider, and I really appreciate her talent for creating designs with Biblical messages. 

When I contacted Val to say I was thinking of adapting her 2013 "Apples of Gold" BOM 

to suit my tastes, what did she go ahead and do? Sweetheart that she is, she resized and redesigned the layout! 

Now, she's offering the alternative design to anyone who would like to join in on this 11 month BOM. So, for those of you who prefer brighter, more streamlined designs, here's the Google docs link to Val's "Alternative Apples of Gold." You'll get to choose your own fabrics and embroidery floss colors.

For mine, I chose Essex linen for the stitchery background. For the tree block, I used Vanessa Christenson's "Simply Color" orange ombre; "Nature Elements" from Art Gallery fabrics; and Cosmo floss.  

As my salute to the 2013 Pantone color of the year - Emerald - three strands of DMC #562 were used for the running stitch around the tree. Guess I've come up with my color scheme!

The tree is the first (January) block, and it was surprisingly easy and quick to make. Embroidery stitches include a stem stitch; blanket stitch; and running stitch.
That's my block on the left. Val's is on the right.

I guess she and I are like a couple you may have known. The husband and wife team who sang, "He's a little bit country. She's a little bit rock 'n roll." Remember, Sonny and Cher Donny and Marie? Thank you, Jackie, for catching my mistake!

Our lyrics would be more like, "She's a little bit genteel. She's a little bit modernistic." 

It's not too late for you to join us - genteel or modern - we're all friends! Lind

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scatterday - R

This Saturday Scatterday brings you the letter

This is the second time, I've created a photo post from the Scatterdays challenge. Every two weeks Cinzia gives us an alphabet letter and four subjects for which we find photos. It's definitely a challenge, not only in the photography aspect, but in simply coming up with items suitable for the letter and topic!

Mammal - Roscoe
My friend and neighbor, Michelle, owns this friendly dog, Roscoe. It was tough getting this photo, as he isn't a particularly good model, but I forgive him because he's so sweet, and soft to pet! Our Hogan gets along with Roscoe really well.

Technology - Radio
Though this emergency radio isn't ours, it should be. With a hand-crank battery, emergency light, weather station and radio, it would be handy to have during hurricane season. And it's red too.

Transport - Recumbent Bike
Sometimes I wish I had one of these. It looks so comfortable. As this fellow pedaled down the street, I complimented him on his bike. Note that the bike's not only red, but it has a red flag!

Red from My Sewing Room - Red Fabric
Since red isn't my go-to color, I don't have that much of it in my stash.

Guess I need to do some more fabric shopping!

Check back Saturday, February 2 for installment three that brings you the letter "Q." Linda

Thursday, January 17, 2013

First 2013 Finish

Happiness! My first UFO of 2013 is crossed off. See "On the Horizon" tab.

Thinking I'd use up some big pieces of fabric stash, I put this BQ top together when we still lived in Iowa. The BQ pattern is from Maple Island Quilts.

Blocks are 18" X 18" and made into a 53" X 72" quilt.

The back.

With all that negative space, I tried out lots of different quilting designs. It's really sort of sampler-ish.

Dare I say... "It was fun to quilt!"

Most of the quilting is free-hand. Unmarked. Only this blue block was quilted following a design drawn on Golden Threads paper. I buy my paper through J. Hittle Sewing.

Quilting took more time than piecing!

Score: Linda 1, UFOs 17.

Monday, January 14, 2013

What's Up

A week has just flown by. Activities are on again, with extra people at rec centers, and more golf carts and cars on the roads. I'm back to line dancing, stitchery group and Bible study, but have opted to drop out of yoga until April which is when class attendance will return to normal levels. It's just not fun to wait an hour or more to get into a class when I can do at home the yoga I've learned in the past five months.

Last week was Quilting Guild of The Villages garage sale. I came home with a M'liss Rae Hawley book called "Fat Quarter Quilts." Since I saw a quilter in Australia toting a whole quilt in a huge bag made from a pattern in that book, I've wanted one for myself. The bag is made from six fat quarters and needs 2-1/8 yard of fabric for lining! It's not very pretty but easily holds any size quilt I might need to carry around, and a few other things too!

I've resisted jumping on the Scrappy Tripalong that's so pervasive in the blogosphere. However, after we had a steering committee meeting for our Central Florida MQG chapter, and decided that our February meeting would be a demo about how to make Scrappy Tripalong blocks, committee members agreed to each make a block so the demonstrating quilter has blocks with which to show various layouts. These are blocks I sewed. I now understand why making them is so addictive. 

When Marmalade Fabrics had an after-Christmas sale, I jumped on $5 a yard Kona so I could make these king-sized pillowcases. Each case is sewn with an envelope at the end, so the pillow is hidden and doesn't slide out. We're sleeping on Kona Daffodils every night! Pretty amazing how that color matches the wall paint, isn't it?

Free motion quilting on Snowmen A to Zzz is coming along. I'm looking at each block individually to choose quilting designs, using a snowflake shape whenever I need filler. I like this a whole lot better than the all over meander shown on the pattern cover quilt. I've never liked the look of quilting on top of hand embroidery.

I've also spent considerable time FMQing my Madrona Road challenge quilt. Actually, I spent more time quilting than piecing and hand appliquéing! Now I'm adding big stitch hand quilting, using #8 perle cotton, to selected strips in the design.

Though I'm focusing on UFOs this year, only one of the above sewing projects is on my 18-item UFO list. (See tab above called "On the Horizon.") Can't wait to cross out a few of them, but I'm realistic enough to recognize that I'll have "UFOI" - UnFinished Object Interruptions. Already I'm on the lookout for a block(s) that I'll need to make for teaching a selvages workshop in October.

Everything I do these days seems better because of the climate we're in. We've gotten into boccé ball, a game that was new to us until last October. It's a great game, easy to learn and play any time, and play with others.... especially on a gorgeous Saturday, in January! My hubby is the one on court wearing the Panama hat. This is why we moved to Florida!


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