Friday, March 30, 2012

I lied!

to myself.  LOL  Not the first time.  Won't be the last.
I said I wouldn't blog for a while for several different reasons:
#1 Friends, reading about what I'm doing here or on FB doesn't mean we've talked and you know everything that's going on in my life so you don't need to call, email or stop by.
#2  I'm into Spring Sprucing and Cleaning:  a paintbrush and a dust cloth are my chosen medias for expression most of the time these days
#3  I'm working in the yard getting flower beds ready and the yard cleaned up
#4  I've broken three needles FMQing the tree and am a bit disgusted and frustated so I've put it away so I don't do something I'll regret later
#5  I'm starting work at a greenhouse on Monday.
( you know...I guess you really don't need to call, email or stop by)

I did take my last week before going back to a job I really enjoyed (but had to stop because of homeschooling) to put this together:

A coffee table quilt that was inspired by a quilt on Pinterest
Leanne's blog is so beautiful and amazing!
Her quilt is definitely bigger than mine, but the colors she used were so lovely and "cottagey", I had to make something similar without committing to another "big" project.
So, thank you Leanne for the Pinspiration.

Quilting was FMQ of flower petals in the hexagons and then meandering along the rest of the way.  I used one of my more recent thrift store vintage sheets finds for the back.

It is so nice to work on smaller projects that are fun and "quick and easy" to do that also add some lightness, prettiness and quiltey goodness around a house oh-ever-so-much full of air pistols, pocket knives, weights, Old Spice deodorant, smelly socks and no food ever in the pantry or refrigerator!

Hope today treats you kindly and the sun is shining warmly!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Thank you for all the kind words about the quilt I'm working on!

I started quilting it last weekend and love the way it's turning out!  Aren't sewing machines just the bomb!
I ended up using a light tan thread to quilt the trunk instead of a grayish color.  Picture me holding up all these bobbins of thread at Joann's and squinting at them to find just the right one.

A variagated thread with reds, oranges, yellows and greens is what I'm working on quilting the "canopy" part of the tree with.  I tried hand quilting around the circles...didn't look good at all!  So I ripped out the stitches and went with a swirling motif that echoes the tree trunk.

Corinnea suggested I enter it into the Pinterest Challange that Bower Power will be hosting.
Kirsten has also taken a Rett Grayson work and interpreted it as a mini quilt.
And for those who suggested I let the artist know just how much she inspired me, I had emailed her through her etsy shop and gotten a lovely, encouraging response, commented on the last post and a post mentioning the quilt I'm making!
Please take a minute (or two or three or thirty +) to look at all of the things she's created and crafted.

Thanks Rett, this means the world to me!  I'm so glad I found your blog because your work is truly beautiful!  The colors and themes (and sheer quirkiness and fun of your crochet!) make my heart smile!

Another Pinspired tutorial got me into all kinds of glittery fun yesterday.
As I've mentioned, I've put away larger projects to work on things I've pinned on Pinterest while painting and cleaning this spring.

Julie at Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss beat me out on pricing for her Goodwill lamp.  She paid $5.00 for hers and I paid:

Since I'm switching out colors and stuff in the front hallway, I figured a new lamp (wonder why we can't keep them whole around here?) was in order.
Loved Julie's idea and went from the lamp you see above to:

Ta Da!
(mass hypnosis happening are not seeing the blue painter's are not seeing the as yet unpainted trim...repeat...repeat...)

Really, really happy with the paint from Krylon.  I took my time and thankfully, the weather yesterday coorporated.  I had all kinds of sparkley floatey bits flying about me as I spray painted outside.
I chose Toasted Almond for our new reminds me of the beach.  Makes me happy!
I found a really cool lamp shade at Menards.

It's really white, but my photography skills are highly lacking!  See how the pleats in the shade sort of look like the ripples on the sand the waves leave behind?
Tickled.  Tickled.  Tickled!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for a fun filled day of browsing and enjoying other quiltey eye candy.
The best kind because it has no calories!

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Pinspired" from Painting to Quilt

Rett's paintings are really amazingly beautiful.

This one is titled Small Neat Worlds II.  I secretly think Rett, in her heart of hearts, is also a quilter.  She just doesn't use fabric.

Either way, I fell in love with A Tree Grows when I found it on Pinterest and repinned it onto my "Amazing Quilts" board knowing someday I wanted to recreate this magical design.

I have been obsessed this week.
Monday I pondered, picked, cut and rejected 3" square pieces of fabric for the sky, grass and tree.
Found a lay out for the sky and grass I liked.

I used  muslin to fill in where the tree would be appliqued.

Tuesday, things are just pinned in place on a makeshift design wall.
Okay.  It's cool.  I like where it's going.

Wednesday I traced my tree trunk and branches onto a paper template for the circle using a grid process to determine placement of the branches.  I then cut out the pattern and used Heat'n Bond from Joann's to fuse the dark brown batik fabric chosen for the tree and ironed it onto the circle.

Let me tell you, cutting the branches out before and after the Heat'n Bond was what I imagine wrestling an octopus might be like.  lol

Our oldest and nextest went hiking in the afternoon and youngest was at his school so that left the me time to cut out the small "lights", place them where I wanted them and iron them down.
This time, the smaller compass did work for the small circles of yellow Kona.

So, here I am.
Thursday, I added a few more medium and small circles out more into the sky.
Finished for now.
Taking some time off to think about where I want to take this next.  I know it will be another wall hanging for our home, but I don't know:
if I want to take this further in design.
do I add sashing?
complimentary quilt blocks?
extend it down vertically with sashing and ??????
leave it alone?
quilt the trunk and branches with white, or gray thread?

I think I'll meander a bit around the sky and treetop for quilting and then hand quilt around the lights.  French knots will be the tiny lights too small to cut and fuse to the piece.
I'm very pleased with this so far, and suggestions are always welcome!

Another "finish" I'm happy to report is Lady's new collar.  Another tutorial on Pinterest helped me use Moda's Birdie fabric to craft a replacement for the ratty old one she was wearing.

Saved me about $7-10 dollars!
You gotta love Pinterest!

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and with Megan for Sew Modern Monday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WIP Quilting That's "Pinspirational"

A Shoebox of Photographs is the blog of an amazing Australian artist named Rett.
I recently came across one of her tutorials on Pinterest for an amazing painting.

(A Tree Grows)

Isn't this incredible!  At first I thought it was a quilt and then I went to her blog and saw it's a painting.
I love the colors, the play of light and dark, the swirls in the tree and the lights and circles dancing through the night sky.

I'm taking March to Spring Clean and Spruce at our house and have put away all my "large" projects.  I've committed to working on smaller projects I've pinned on my boards for sewing and improvements around home.  When I saw how Rett's painting is "constructed" I knew I wanted to make a quilt inspired by her work.
You should really browse her blog...she has some incredible things she's created there.

Out came all the scraps (once again) and I cut 3" squares of greens, blues, reds, pinks, purples, yellows and shades in between.  I started placing them on a makeshift "design wall" in the dining room and played with where I thought the colors should go.  The placement is not true to the painting's, but this is an inspired piece where I let my preferences and medium play to my tastes.

So here is the first layer.

There are eight rows of eight squares.  The white is muslin left blank for the next layer.

Which is also finished and has been cut out to applique onto the first layer.
The dark brown batik is the fabric I've chosed for the tree trunk and branches.  I'm mulling over the best way to draw, cut and applique these on.  Then I'll move on to thinking about adding the lights and circles and quilting those swirling patterns into the tree trunk.

They say "Necessity is the mother of invention" and I needed a large circular object to serve as template for my tree top.  Um....we have itty bitty, little compasses (compi? lol) for school but nothing this large.
I have a Tupperware cupcake dish that's round and pretty big.
Not big enough.  Okay.  We have butcher paper out on the sunroom we use for projects.  I traced the outline of the dish and added 2" and cut that out.
I have my template.
(KT has since shared the string on a pin method...Doh!  Sometimes I overthink!)

I started on this Monday and as of last night decided to wait until today to start sketching the trunk and branches onto my template (which I will make a copy of to do this again if I want to) to cut out and then use to cut out the fabric pieces.

This has been a thinker for me.  Trying to take an inspired vision and turn it into practical application.  It's made me think, rethink and think again on a lot of different things.  But, it's been simple enough to get together pretty quick.  I like that!

I'm linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday.  You should look at her HST she's entering in the Modern Mini Challenge.  Gorgeous I tell you!  Gorgeous!
Hope to see your WIP there too.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fabric Tuesday's Pinterest Interest

I have been working on huge, ginormous, large, titanic, giant projects lately and am a little burned out on the bulk of it all.

The Scrappy Swoon and Rose Star are folded neatly away for a little bit.  I love working on quilts for my family, but I'm allowing myself some space for instant gratification projects for some "fun" right now.
(not to mention the Spring Cleaning & Sprucing going on)

I found this tutorial for wee itty bitty boxes from The Wool Food Mama and pinned it on my Pinterest board a couple of weeks ago thinking it would be a fun lil' thing to try out.

I pulled out some happy and cheerful fabric and went to work.  The tute calls for canvas, but I didn't have any on hand and was craving to use a sunshiney print I had! 

These cuties call for a liner and I didn't have quite enough of this perky, green I stitched together two long, skinny pieces to have enough to cut.  And here is another place I deviated from the tute.  I cut out a piece of batting and added that to the layers to sew together.  Mostly for stability, but I love the look of a basket with it.

I also sewed a 1/4" top seam allowance and hand sewed the top opening (that you turn the box inside out through) closed by using a whipstitch.  Again, personal preference and experience from all those Useful Baskets that is different from the tute.

And here is the finished Wee, Itty, Bitty Boxie.  It's quite small!  Right now, Bean has filled it with Hunky Dory strips...but it will probably be a box to hold keys and library cards.

Sister-friend was admittedly having a difficult day the day I put this together.  We had the great pleasure of spending Saturday night out with her and her family having dinner and shopping...where I gifted her a "I love you no matter what!" box in her favorite color.

Another slight variation on the tute was using ribbon to close the sides up this time.  Next time I make one, I will sew the ribbon into the layers and have it to tie the corners together.

The best part about sister-friends is they are the sisters and friends you would have chosen to grow up with.
They love you and share your life with no history and no demands. 
Their children are your nieces and nephews, and your children are theirs.
They spend countless hours on the phone with you.  Sometimes just chatting and other times, talking each other down from the ledge.
Thanks KT for being such a sweet sister-friend!

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday again this week.  It feels good to be consistently having something further along or finished each week.  Take a look at the other won't be disappointed!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mini Fini

When I last posted I was looking at ripping out sixteen lines of straight quilting on my Granny Squares mini.
I had adjusted the tension on my bobbin to FMQ and apparently, my walking foot was not happy.

I'm quite happy to report all tight, wonky stitching is gone and replaced with a nice, meandering stitch.

Here you see the quilting better here.  I FMQ'd a petal motif into the squares.  For some reason I'm okay on the right hand curve of something, but coming back down on the left really challenges my eye-hand coordination.

The color inspiration for this mini came from a coffee mug I've had forever.  I don't drink coffee but I love the colors on it and have kept it around for hot cocoa and such.

You can't see it in this picture, but the word "Hope" is in large print and Romans 15:13, "I pray that God who gives me hope will bless me with complete happiness and peace because of my faith."
The Sunkissed fabric has "hope" in there as well.

Another gratituous FMQ shot!

The finished Grannies measure 5" square with a 1" sashing (including cornerstones) between.  The overall measurement is 20" square.  I'm repainting our front hallway totally white and this little sweetie will hang on the wall next to the door and is the inspiration for the colors coming to our house soon!

Won't you please join me over at Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday?  I "hope" to see you there.

(think the AP wire tap-tap-tap update noise here)
Lindsay, fellow IMQG member, just suggested I link up to Ellison Lane Quilts for the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge.  Wow!  I'm glad I took that suggestion!
Thanks Lindsay and good luck!