It has been fun designing all the 32 pieces in the Gaa Barge series. I have enough scraps taken from the wastebasket or swept off the floor to finish the remainder of my challenge. I had originally planned to make one a week for a whole year, but gardening got in the way and the series wasn’t finished. Maybe, I can finish the series next winter when the snow flies.
The cat and dog pieces were made with purple and other dark fabrics for the background and tan fabrics for the animals. The made fabric was made in the mile a minute method. The patterns for the animals came from a child’s coloring book. The cut out animals were fused down and then zig zaged around the edges with tan thread. The lines of the drawing were zig zaged with black thread.
Shortly after I made these two pieces, I taught a class on this procedure at a local quilt shop. The pieces were my sample pieces. They were at the shop when a photographer came to take a picture of the owners. One of the pieces was grabbed and put under the needle of a sewing machine. The colors went with a piece that was on the wall behind them. I enjoy seeing my animal in the picture on the wall when I go to the quilt shop.
October and the first part of November was a busy month for Miss Molly and me. She had her wellness checkup and several necessary shots. Also went to the spa for a day. She came home beautiful and well-trimmed. She is very healthy for an almost 12-year-old dog. I had all my necessary medical appointments. Just regularly scheduled appointments. We are both set to go for the next six months.
In the meantime, I have been giving quilting lessons to two ladies. They wanted to piece and quilt by hand. This has been fun. It’s how I started quilting, As I prepare each lesson, I remember how hard it was for me in the beginning. The ladies have learned how to read a block. Also, color and how to choose fabric. They are excited. Last week, they went to the fabric store, without me, and picked out the most beautiful fabric combinations. They had several quarter square triangle block components pieced at their last lesson. Next week, at least one block should be finished. They should be ready to layer the block, batting and backing. and learn how to quilt. I am teaching Georgia Bonesteel’s lap quilting method. They will quilt each block and then put the quilt together.
While I was preparing the lessons, I showed the ladies the first sampler quilt that I made. They chose one of the blocks and want to repeat it for a baby quilt. I made three-star blocks in different colors. The blocks do not play well together so I have to make three different quilts.
One quilt will be a reproduction of the original sampler quilt in much different colors. I’ve finished two of the twenty-four blocks in the quilt. This should go faster than the original. I’m using a sewing machine this time.
The second one is a pretty green, with red star points. I fussy cut the center, The ladies also fussy cut their centers. I have a baby that will be born next year in mind for this quilt.
The third has fussy cut triangles. I have cut enough triangles to finish this quilt. The rest should be easy. I’ve been hand quilting this block in the evenings. The dragonfly section is finished as are all the white corners and outside triangles. I should finish quilting this block tonight. Then I have eight more blocks to piece and quilt. I’m not hand piecing. I am using the machine. It’s much faster. The other blocks will be hand quilted because I hand quilted the first block.
In the meantime, I saw a pattern for a quilt that I just had to make. The original pattern was for a full-size quilt. I wanted a baby quilt, so I made only nine blocks. The center is finished. The borders and binding are cut and ready to be sewn. It is a baby quilt, so it won’t take long to quilt. Hopefully, I’ll stick to my new plan of quilting every new quilt that I make. I don’t want it to go into the pile of ufos and never resurface. If you look closely, you will see that the center of the block in this quilt is the same star block as above blocks. It has sashing that is flying geese, squares and half square triangles. It is made differently. There are just squares and half square triangles.
My sewing room is an absolute disaster. I need to spend a full day organizing and getting things in order. There are too many projects going on at the same time. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day for that.
The class with Laura Rosenspan was wonderful. She is an amazing teacher. Before we went to the class, we had to make a landscape.
My landscape was made from scraps from my stash.
During the class, Laura suggested that I make trunks and branches on the trees that are on the hillside. She told me to use red thread. That was a great beginning.
Trees partially stitched
The sky and water were stitched in wavy swirls. A large tree was added on the side. It was fussy cut from a tree fabric. The leaves were cut from different green fused fabric. Later, the veins were stitched to hold the leaves in case the fusing failed. With the edges loose, the tree was more realistic.
In class, we wet fabric and scrunched it.
The fabric didn’t dry in time, so I added it to the piece after the class. At first, I made a beach on the further shore with a large piece of the scrunched fabric. It was overwhelming. Then, I cut it up and made three rocks, two on the further shore and one on the near shore.
The green scrunched fabric was placed on the near shore. All the scrunched fabric was hand sewn down. Pieces were cut off and the fabric was rearranged as it was sewn down.
There was something missing. I googled landscapes and came across a YouTube from an artist who was explaining how he painted a picture. He said that if you have water, you must have a reflection. That was what was missing. I thread painted a reflection with the color and shape of the land above the water. It was too bright, so I thread painted over the reflection with green thread. That color toned it down.
The top of the piece was finished. The bottom was a challenge. The green grass was large. My daughter had texted a picture that she had taken on her morning walk.
This is what I needed. The large grass portion could be divided with a path.
To further divide the bottom section, I machine embroidered red flowers across the piece. Then, I thread painted thick green grass over the flowers to make them more subtle.
The grass in the fabric was thread painted using the fabric pattern.
The bushes that I originally cut were discarded and replaced with other bushes. I had sewn them down using green thread. There was something missing. They looked like a blob of green. Then, I remembered Laura’s instruction on the trees. A little red thread made the bushes come to life.
The piece is finished.
Did you notice the owl in the tree? Every landscape has to have a critter.
This project was fun to make. There was no advance planning. Everything was added as I saw it at the time. It was serendipity. I usually name all my pieces and that name seems right. I will call it Serendipity.
There are days when I think that I haven’t accomplished much. I think that the problem is that I plan far too much for each day and some things just don’t get done. I love to stop for telephone calls and my door is always open to unexpected visitors. There is progress with the community quilts. I took four quilts to the guild meeting last week and I have three more finished, and one ready to bind. It seems as if I finish one a week.
The doll clothes are finished for the craft fair.
I may make one more dress. I’ve been thinking about a fancy wedding dress. I might just make it before the fair.
One hippo is finished. I have two more finished and ready to stuff.
Last week, I went to a class taught by Laura Rosenspan. Her work is beautiful.
The class was amazing. I learned many new techniques for thread painting. We prepared a landscape before the class.
I’ve been working on the project a little at a time. After I sew for a while, I leave it on the dining room table. While walking by, I audition the next part. In my next blog, I will tell you all about my journey. I’m pleased with what has been done so far. Laura’s tips and tricks have been great.
I’ve been asked to teach two women how to piece and quilt by hand. They have never quilted before. The class will be given on their coffee breaks once a week. This means 15 minutes of teaching at a time. I’m not sure how that is going to work. This will be a new way of teaching for me. A class has usually been an all-day affair. I’ve never taught hand piecing. The outline has been made and changed several times. A dictionary of quilting terms has been prepared and I have a week to plan the first lesson. I’ve always wanted to teach a class called Four Pins and a Needle. It’s a class that uses none of the expensive gadgets that quilters think they have to have in order to quilt. The pins and needles are the only supplies except fabric (scraps) and thread. Maybe a ruler, pencil, and scissors. Things that one has on hand anyway. That is the way that I started quilting at the beginning. It will be fun.
The definition of finished is to complete a task. Also, to be over with. Summer is finished. Where did it go? My bucket list for summer has not been completed. There is a lot to do before winter sets in.
I found this leaf in my back yard. It’s the beginning.
There are a few flowers left. Also, lots of weeds that need removing.
Making doll clothes is finished also. Making them became addictive. I might make one more. It will be a wedding gown. I want to get back to quilting. The stack of basted community quilts needs to be finished. Then I can go on and finish the stack of community quilts that are not basted. I also want to start a new quilt. I have three patterns in mind to do. It’s just a matter of choosing one.
I’m purging my fabric stash. One set of drawers is finished. It’s a matter of will I use this fabric or not. All the fabric that I purge will go to a good home. My goal is to get all the fabric out of bins and into the drawers where I can see them. This project will probably not be finished any time soon.
This is a small sample of the doll dresses. I’ve ordered some little coat hangers to hang them for display after they are pressed.
Adora is an Amazing doll. It’s a knockoff of the American doll. If I do make a wedding dress, I’ll display it on Adora.
Next month I’m taking a class in thread painting. The teacher uses a double needle to do the painting. It should be fun. There is homework before the class. We’ll be embellishing a landscape. The landscape is a fusible picture. We do have a pattern, or we can make our own landscape. I’ll take pictures as I have fun working on this project.
They say that if you don’t use it, you lose it. That is true with sewing. It has been a long time since I actually used a paper pattern and sewed garments. The craft fair is coming up in November. I have 14 doll quilts made for the fair. I also wanted to make some clothes for an 18″ doll. How hard could that be? November will be here before we know it, so I should get busy. I’ve made lots of doll clothes before. It wouldn’t take too long.
The first dress took three days. I had forgotten how to read instructions. There was a lot of unsewing. It’s so easy to piece a quilt from just a picture. I’m so very glad that the memory of sewing doll clothes came back. Several are finished, except for the addition of Velcro to the back. Some need belts and embellishments. Some need resewing. It’s good to take a picture to see how they look.
After I make several more plain outfits, I’m going to make a wedding dress. I did make one for Annie Louise and will use that pattern. It had a long skirt with a shorter overskirt. I’ll use a shiny white fabric and lots of lace and rosebuds.
As all dolls don’t have the same dimensions, I bought a doll to model the dresses. She is beautiful. I’ll have her model the wedding dress at the craft fair. She came with a poncho. As soon as I finish a few more dresses, I’ll take the poncho out of the package and use it as a pattern.
After a week of sewing doll clothes, I’ve regained my knowledge of sewing doll dresses.
I have a few more cut out, ready to sew.
I have been doing a little quilting. Also, a lot of planning about what to do next. A baby quilt that was made with old Joann block of the month blocks is on the basting frame. Another is on the Grace frame.
I have the biggest desire forget about all the community quilts and work on something challenging. I do have three pieces that fit this category. One need embellishment and quilting. The second one needs quilting, but I can’t decide if it will be hand or machine. It is needle turn applique. The third is a Dresden Plate made of real 30s fabrics, not reproductions. Even the back is from the 30s. It definitely needs hand quilting. I want to do something spectacular. In the meantime, I’ve been purging my scrap drawers. They look much better, and I won’t miss the fabric that is going to a new home. I’m half finished with this project.
Two bed quilts have come back from the long arm quilter. The binding is on both. One is almost finished and the other will be soon.
This was made at the Guild retreat that was held last spring. Miss Molly has checked it out and says that it can go to its new owner as soon as it’s finished.
This was the surprise mystery quilt from last winter. It also has a new home to go to when it’s finished.
I’m thinking of a way to comfortably choose what to work on each day. If I can come up with a plan, I’ll let you know.
I’ve been away from the sewing room for a while. Vacations to Maine, appointments, meetings, lawn parties, and road trips have been fun, but it’s time to get back to quilting. Two quilts are basted and ready to quilt. A quilt has been loaded onto the Grace frame and is ready to quilt. I can go into the sewing room with the fan and the little air conditioner and be comfortable with this heat.
Fortunately, my wonderful long arm quilter has finished some of my tops. The quilts are bound. Now, I have to decide what to do with them.
The first quilt used lots of my precut blocks. It will go into my gift pile. I’ll decide who gets it by Christmas time. Maybe someone in my family will claim it before then.
The second quilt has been sitting on a shelf for years. I had a class with Bethany Reynolds at the Vermont Quilt Festival years ago. She taught the Stack and Wack procedure. Everyone else in the class used beautiful floral fabric. I used a scenic print of golfers from the 1930s. This was the only class that I ever took in Vermont where I finished the project in class. The others held up their lovely floral beauties and I had to hold up “body parts”. When you stack and wack people, there are body parts going around in a circle. It was a lesson learned and the quilt top has set on a shelf for years.
I was tired of looking at it and decided to send it to my long arm quilter. She did wonders with this quilt. From a distance, it is a lovely Christmas Star quilt. Then you come in close and see the body parts. I’ve been told that I have to rename this quilt, but it will always be “Body Parts” to me.
I’m going to keep this one and hang it on the wall at Christmastime. The message is that broken lives can be pieced together into something beautiful with God’s help.
I did have plans. All the doll and community quilt tops that I made from the leftover bin were finished. After I counted them, I thought that if I quilted one doll quilt and one community quilt a week, they would be complete by the end of September. I could also quilt at least one of the larger quilts every month. It was a great plan. If only, I had stayed with it. Quilting doll quilts was quick and easy. Instead of alternating with the community quilts, I quilted all the doll quilts. They have all been bound.
The community quilts take longer to baste. Some don’t seem large enough and are asking for another border. The sewing room is not calling me right now. I may set the community quilts aside for a while and then go back to them later. Maybe, I’ll just baste them on the basting frame while sitting in the shade in the back yard. Then, they will be ready when the mood hits.
Some of the doll quilts.
I found The Colorblind Quilter blog. It is an awesome blog. Last March, Tom started a Series of videos on “This is How You Quilt.” The older videos are still available. He teaches walking foot quilting. Our lessons are on 10″ squares. Later on, we will bind them and put them in a book. It starts simple and, probably will be more complex as we do our lessons. He not only shows you how to quilt a piece, but also shows quilts using the quilting pattern. His video on procrastination was informative.
#1 straight lines
#2 shattered glass
I thought that it would be fun to quilt a small piece with every new design. I had made a small easy peasy mystery quilt and quilted it with disign #1.
The gardens need work. Some of my perennials didn’t make it through the winter. Others need pruning. The raspberries look good this year. I spent a few days at York Beach and the weeds grew fast while I was gone. York Beach is one of my favorite places. I love poking around in the stores. Saltwater Taffy from the Goldenrod is a must.
It is so good to be back to sewing and quilting. There wasn’t time in the day to be in the sewing room for the last few weeks. I did do some sewing though. My sewing machine was on the dining room table along with friend’s machines. We worked on the guild raffle quilt, The top is finished, and it is stunning. After it is quilted, I’ll get it back to sew the binding around the edge. Then we’ll have a sewing bee to hand tack it down. It’s fun to quilt with others.
Then, there were meetings, a cookout, coffee and doughnuts at the office parking lot and lots of other activities that took time. The gardens are finally in order and doing well. They just need maintaining with a little weeding now and again.
The flowers are beautiful this year.
The doll quilts and charity quilts tops have been organized. I had made fourteen of each type from the bin of scraps and leftovers. There is still a small baggie with leftovers including the flamingo fabric. I’ll get to that after all the tops are quilted. The doll quilts will be quicker to finish, so I’ve been working on them first.
These are ready to sew the bindings down.
The Guild had a quilt retreat in May. Everyone worked on their own project. It was a time of fellowship and good food. I really didn’t need to start another bed quilt, but I did. I had the pattern for years and finally decided to make it. It was either that or put together all the 1 1/2″ squares that I’ve accumulated. I’ll save that for another time. Originally, I was going to make the quilt with Japanese fabric, but I changed my mind and used some of the Jinny Beyer fabric that I bought on her final sale. It is almost finished. I’m making a piano key border with leftover pieces. It should be ready to go to the long arm quilter soon.
The long arm quilter has finished a quilt. It’s ready to bind. I have enough hand work for a while.
I’m still working on the big bin of scraps and pieces. It never seems to end. Then, when I thought that I had everything under control, I found another bin on a shelf. That bin was full of precuts. I had followed another bloggers advice and cut all the quilt leftovers into different sized squares. They were supposed to be on hand when I needed squares for a project. That would have worked if they were not on the top shelf and out of sight. I will not precut again.
I have no idea how many tops I’ve made. There are doll quilts, baby quilts, community quilts and some bed size quilts. I did cut bindings and have backings for most of the quilts. Also bought enough batting to last a while.
There are still five piles of pieces on the sewing table. That adds up to five more doll and/or community quilts. Then, I’ll get busy and do some quilting.
The pinwheel blocks came from another quilter’s sewing room. There were two flying geese blocks in the same fabrics for each of the pinwheels. I sewed them on two sides of the pinwheels and added white strips to square the block. The blocks were placed horizontal and vertical in a diagonal setting. This is one of my favorite quilts from this project.
This project has taken a long time, but it has been fun to figure out how to use bits and pieces.
Here are a few quilts that didn’t make the #10 list.
I have been working on bits and pieces from the leftover bin. So far, I have made 22 place mats for Meals On Wheels. They are all ready to go. Also, several doll quilt tops, several community quilt tops, and three waste not, want not quilt tops. There are still more quilts in this bin. After I finish the three tops that are on my sewing table, I should start quilting them. Then, they would be ready to move on and out of my sewing room.
The waste not, want not quilt tops take longer to make than an ordinary pattern. Every block has to be squared up. Filler strips have to be added to allow for another block that is a different size. The quilt top has to lay flat when finished. It’s like putting a puzzle together.
I needed a wall-hanging to be a showcase for the Dorset Buttons. There was a scrap piece of flowered fabric in my stash. I didn’t buy it. I have no idea where it came from, but it had great flowers for fusing. Fusing is not my favorite thing to do. I would rather needle turn applique. This wall hanging will never be washed, so I decided to fuse everything down. It would be quicker. I fused a vase with fabric that also came from somewhere else. Then, I added flowers, stems, and leaves. The Dorset buttons are the finishing touch. The wall hanging is a bit dark. There is not much contrast in it, but I like it. And most of the fabric was free.
This baby quilt was fun to make.
There are still a few quilts to make from the bin. I don’t know how I accumulated all this stuff. This is a great way to clean out the sewing room. Or to make an attempt. I still have a long way to go.