May 31, 2013

Day 5 Say It With Flowers Blog Hop

You were so kind and warmed my heart with your lovely comments about the projects I shared yesterday.  I appreciate it!  I had a lot of fun making my two entries.  A lot of hand work, in retrospect but I am pleased with the results.  It makes me smile to see them displayed in my home but it helps to know that others liked them too.  Keeps us striving to do our best, don't you think?

Won't you stop in and support today's participants and share some bloggy love with them too?

Friday, May 31st

May 29, 2013

My Day to share! Day 4 "Say it With Flowers"

Woohoo!  Have you enjoyed the hop so far?  I certainly have and the influx of new international hoppers has just enriched the hop that much more!  It is fun to "meet" and chat with blogging participants who you may not ordinarily see.  Of course, there are some of the other gals that I have come to expect wonderful things from when I see their names on the lists!  A good balance, don't you think?

Thanks to Mdm. Samm of Sew We Quilt who keeps coming up with great blog idea themes and pairs us up with wonderful sponsors like Andover.  Carol of Just Let Me Quilt is guiding us this round and kicked this whole hop off in grand style on Monday.

Okay, you came to see what I had made up for the Flower Hop.  There will be enough jibber-jabbering from me to follow.

As I was working on a wool project for the recent bird hop and chatting online with my friend Norma I came up with the perfect idea for one of my entries.  You see, several years ago Norma had gifted me with a penny rug kit that she had found in BC but I had not made the piece yet.   She said in her note at the time "The dogwood is the provincial flower for British Columbia.  This pattern was designed by an area BC quilter.  I wanted to find you something unique that you would not be able to find in Alabama".  Good plan, Norma!   Since DJ and I have been unable to get a dogwood tree to grow and/or last this is a good substitute.  (Hail got the 3rd one that had actually flowered in year 3.  Color me sad as we didn't try again )

outside shot that I think will show the stitching 

An indoor shot of it on the small marble plant stand.  Skyler has not hopped on it to peer out the window as it slides.  Well, I tried to stop that by putting some gripper stuff under it and he still won't jump on it.  LOL

I followed the directions in the kit until it came to applying the "tongues".  I pinned all the tongues wrong sides together and did as you would for a pillow back overlapping the halves by an inch or so and then sewed them in place by machine.  I thought it would hold up better than pinning, gluing and tucking under a 1/4 inch with matching thread and trying to bury the stitches in some way.  A bit of steaming and it all laid down quite nicely.

Moving on to my main entry
I love Amy Bradley's patterns and have had her "Spool Flowers" for some time.  I don't believe that it is available anymore except in the secondary market or I would direct you to her website.  HERE is a picture of the pattern jacket and below my version.

I borrowed the neighbor's fencing again. The day was a bit overcast but I think you will be able to see it fairly well.  It is currently residing on my bedroom wall above the bed.

I took some liberties with the design but that was NOT because there was anything at all wrong with the pattern.  Amy does a great job in her patterns, the placement sheets and the designs always so fun!  This being a blog hop, I wanted to make the piece my own though I borrowed ideas from other sources.  More on that in a minute!

My first change was to prepare this for more conventional methods of applique and try to avoid using much fusible material.  I rounded the spool tops and bottom a bit so I could turn the edges over Templar and prep as you would a yo-yo.  The leaves were also prepped over Templar as was the center of the orange flower.  The spools, shelving unit, the orange tulip petals, the hexagons on the purple flower and the blue flower center was all prepped on freezer paper.

The whole piece is predominantly hand appliqued.  The only spots that are fused are the stylized Gerbera daisy, the blue star points and the free form yellow layer and squiggle on the yellow flower on the end.  Those spots were button hole appliqued but the other sections----all by hand.   I button hole appliqued the stack of hexagons on the purple flower but that was a design decision.

I microwave dyed the yellow rick rack and in fact, blogged about it in THIS POST as I had some really varied results from that little experiment, let me tell you.  My results ranged from taupe to bright orange to milk chocolate to this pale yellow which won out in the end.

I might also add that the only fabric that I purchased for this was the green dot and green plaid for the stems and leaves and the striped fabric in the middle spool.  All the rest was from my stash.  Shop the stash first.  I am in a stash quilts circle so that is supposed to be part of the focus, after all.

Okay, the design changes:
Well, you know how you see things that inspire you or trigger an idea especially in these blog hops.  Quilter in Motion participated in the April Showers Blog hop and had used a free form cut flower with two stacked hexagons that finished at one inch and three quarters inch.   I knew mine had to fit about a 3 inch circle.  I drew circles as that is the first step to drawing a hexagon and then drew MORE circles till I finally got what I thought would show the background fabric a bit but still allow for a progression of color.

The stylized Gerbera daisy?
 You have to know I am a Joined at the Hip nut with all those Button Up series I have done over the last few years!  One that I want to do for a paint chip challenge for guild is in their book Folk Art Favorites.  That daisy on the front cover.  I scanned the pattern page in the book, reduced the size, printed it off several times till I got it down to occupy the space of the flower that Amy had drawn.

Then the one of the end:
Amy showed a heart with rick rack (I think) and a small heart button.  This is a flower hop so I knew I didn't want to do that.  What to do, what to do?  I looked on Pinterest, thought about kanzashi or some folded flower.  One of the Belles even gave me one that she had made---too big for the space.  Nothing was tripping my trigger. Finally as I was walking past my Nancy Halvorsen "Spring" wall hanging for the umpteenth time,  it came to me.  That squiggle thing is on one of the flowers on there.  I no longer have my book though.  Norma has it!  I scanned the wall hanging itself, bumped it up, printing it several times, tweaking the "free form" part and then found the colors I wanted in my stash.   I feel good about including two of my other favorite designers in the quilt though the main inspiration is of course, the wonderful Amy Bradley.

The only other change was I am not fond of piecing anything smaller than 1 1/2 inches. Just for accuracy sake, I drew up the checkerboard stuff in EQ and foundation pieced it.  Didn't have to.  Amy had perfectly good directions on doing it conventionally---just my choice.

Another quilting friend, A Left-handed Quilter was quite helpful when I told her I was not necessarily enamored with piecing narrow borders.  I normally would do a flap thing but that checkerboard finishes at 1 inch and the flap would hid it too much.  The emails were flying back and forth.  She suggested using the method Ricky Tims had included in his Convergence Quilt books. No longer have that book as I sold it when I finished the body of my Convergence.  I found a link to his technique online and then something else on a quilting board site that helped.  I blogged about it in THIS POST earlier this month.  The tip worked beautifully!

I also made a few Kanzashi flowers in the last two days but you can read about it in the post that precedes this one if you are interested.   HERE or search Kanzashi flowers from the tag list.    A friend had lent me 4 different makers to try so I was conducting another experiment.  THX, Bev!

Bless you all, if you hung with me this long through all the narrative, LOL.  I enjoy hearing how others make design decisions so I hope you did as well.  Thanks for stopping by to see what I have made.   Now please go off and make the others feel just as good as I am apt to feel with your comments.  Enjoy the rest of the hop!

Thursday, May 30th
Life, Quilts, and A Cat Too    >>>>That's me! <<<<<

meeting notes/another try at kanzashi flowers

The Bama Belles met yesterday as planned.  As expected we were minus a few folks for various reasons----it happens, maybe 6 of us with a couple of guests passing through.  Life happens, after all.

Bev had a double attic window quilt to show us and pin.  I had taken a picture of the top but when I went to edit and move some of the photos I adverently deleted them.  GRRRR  I'll get it when it is done instead.  Sorry about that, Bev.   Donna was working on her blue and white chevron quilt but we had her seam up what looked like the perfect backing that had originally come from the donation box.  She also showed us a purse she had recently made but had not quite completed.  She promised to bring it back when it was completed.

Teresa had taken the yardage home to use on the back of a panel quilt but I found a nice yellow check in the closet that fit the yardage better after a slight trim down.  Then we were able to use the stripe on Bev's quilt---though I mis-cut it out later and under estimated how much more we needed on the side.  Good thing there was plenty.

Teresa wanted me to show her how to cut bias binding as stripe always looks really cool that way.  I have no luck with the tube thing as I never have gotten the offsets done correctly.  So I showed them how to cut a big square and then fold it in half and trim away at the fold and then just cut and seam it, offsetting the points of the strips to sew a quarter inch seam.  Of course I cut enough for two maybe 3 quilts, LOL.

Beverly and Jane were helping Bev pin her top while Teresa was closing in pillows that she had been commissioned to make.   I had intended to do a little embroidery or at least attempt to put the purse clasp on my Tammy bag.  It didn't happen.

Bev needed help in figuring out the color sequencing from a quilt she and her cousin Nancy want to make from Lone Star Quilts and Beyond.  The book was written by Jan P. Krentz  The quilt is called Spiral Lone Star and it has some stretched strip pieced web sections as well as quarter Mariner's Compass sections in addition to the typical diamond shapes associated with Lone Stars.  The book had an orangey, red, violet version but they wanted to do it a coloration she had seen online with pinks, greens and blacks.   Wait, I found a gallery image on her website for the original quilt that I can point you to.  With that small picture on her Ipad and the book, we were able to figure out the colors 1 through 9.   I don't know where she found the pink and green version but it was somewhere online because we kept losing the image on the screen and she would have to go back to bring it up, LOL.  Bev said that she would be taking a foundation piecing class soon from Debby Kratovil who will be teaching in Oxford (AL) next month.  It is based on her new book Paper Piecing Perfect Points.   Debby was one of the featured bloggers in Day 2 of the hop if that name sounds familiar.  LOL  (I said surely the mariner's Compass elements were foundation pieced.  I don't know if they are but they should be!!)

DJ had played golf yesterday morning and stopped by to get me for lunch.  As it turned out, Beverly's DIL and sometimes Belle, came to get her for lunch too.  Teresa and Bev went out for a sandwich and brought something back for Donna who wanted to keep sewing.  Actually that was good because I had found out what I thought was the spare key was not and I had locked myself OUT when I tested it.  The church secretary was in so I was not completely without resources but I would have hated to find out the girls could not get back in, had I passed the wrong key on to them.  Jane had an appointment so she passed on lunch but I ran into her when I stopped at one of the stores that sells fabrics and notions on my way back to the church.
After we all reconvened then I started working with Bev on those Kanzashi flowers.   She has several of the Clover makers and is a whiz at these things.  Remember LAST WEEK'S POST when I had tried the conventional folding methods----and failed miserably, flunking Flower Making 101?   I tried round circles that were far too small to work with  especially when they had you fold them in half and then in half again.  The squares version?  Well, I pulled all the joining string off thinking this cannot be right.

Truthfully, I think Carol, our head cheerleader this round had a wonderful tutorial on her post on Monday for making round petals. You can find that HERE.  For one thing she used 5 1/2 inch circles and only folded them once and then stitched on the curved edge to gather up each petal.   They looked great and she did a whole quilts worth of them!  You could probably still do a gathered petal like my attempt on the right, above but better to work in a string of them.  Like the Kanzashi makers, you need a long length of string, doubled and do not cut them off when you complete the petal.

Bev lent me 4 of her flower makers to play with so I did make a few flowers last night and this morning.  I'll share the pictorial results-----

A cute little round petaled flower.  I used the fabrics on this previously made Tagalong Tote (pattern from Atkinson Designs. I made 5 of them several years ago)  You cut squares, fold them in half diagonally, trim to the shape of the blue holder and then the stitching lines are in numbered sequence.  The blue holder is hinged so you pop it out and follow the instructions for stringing them along just as Carol did with hers.  Quick and easy really and then I topped it with a covered button.

This was next up last evening----

Gathered petal  and truthfully, I think that there is one petal too many in there, LOL.  They said 10 but many of the other types had you use an uneven number.  I either need a larger button at center or a yo-yo button combo.  I am not quite done manipulating the fabric yet.  Actually, this is not a whole lot different than the one I attempted from the links I gave you in the previous blog posting but the raw edges are stitched and encompassed.   Bev wanted to see these so I posted some of the results on Facebook.  She said to not expect it to be "perfect".  And I said "why not?"  just joking with her.

Then I started on this one-----BUT!  See below the picture for the what went wrong.

I cut the squares out and on the first one, I thought why does this NOT look like the picture,  they should be gathered, not rounded.  I tried another---same thing.  I started over unraveling the threads.  Same thing.  SIGH something is not right but I was tired and called it a night.

This morning after Skyler drug me out of bed at 5:30 to feed him (kitties cannot tell time!!)  I sat down and looked at the starts to the flower again.  Immediately I spotted that I had the wrong directions out for that maker.  That  maker should be like the first flower, the squares folded diagonally.  I had the wrong plate out so no wonder!!!!   I started over and with some orange colored "object of my desire" fabric that I have pulled out to finally make a purse with it and other hot pink/orange fabrics. So I have a flower made if not the purse.  It calls for prairie points but I might skip that.  (Fabrics and pattern found HERE in this post.)

So here we go---this is what the "wrong" plate was supposed to make!  A nice gathered five petal flower like this----

I like this shape and flower!  I like the round ones too. I would probably like the other one if I got a little better result.  One of my FAB friends said she had flunked Flower Making 101 as well and apparently she has a few of these things.  She told me to check with her first if I plan to purchase any as I could buy hers.  I may take her up on it as these are fun!  Well, more fun if you do things right, LOL.

There is my experimentation and if I do get any of these from Pam, I will have this to refer back to.  I'll probably link back to this on my blog hop entry that I need to prepare and schedule for later this evening.  Somewhere along in here I really should be thinking about typing up the guild meeting minutes and show and tell lists as the newsletter editor is going to be asking for them in a matter of days.  Get on the stick, Mdm. Secretary!

Day 3 Say It With Flowers Blog Hop

 Here is the group of bloggers participating in Day 3 of the "Say It With Flowers" Blog Hop sponsored by Andover Fabrics this round.  Be sure to stop over to Sew We Quilt to see who Mdm. Samm has selected for Top 2 and Most Creative for the day.  The work has been fantastic so I do not know how she can pick just three.  Well, some days there is a 2nd Most Creative, LOL.  

Wednesday, May 29th

I'll be working on my post for Thursday as it needs to be up at 12:01 a. m. Eastern Time, or later tonight.   Hope you'll be back tomorrow so I can finally share what I had been up to for this!

May 28, 2013

Day 2 Say It With Flowers Blog Hop

Another Tuesday has rolled around and it is time for Bama Belles to meet again.  I know we debated about getting together as it follows the Memorial Day weekend so closely.  Some of the gals have other plans, another has a grandbaby due any minute, others scheduled appointments or family obligations. Other than the grandbaby on the way, a typical meeting date, come to think of it, LOL.  In the end, whoever comes, we'll be there.

I know you are going to be in for a treat since the first day was so fantastic!  I recognize maybe three of the names on the list as fellow participants in previous rounds but Mdm. Samm and cheerleader Carol opened this up early so the overseas bloggers would have a chance at sign up first.   What fun to see bloggers from all over the globe!

Oh and there IS a sponsor this round---Andover Fabrics has provided fabric bundles from designers Mary Engelbreit "Flutterby", Renee Nanneman "Villageware Toile" and "Annalee" by Jane Dixon.   Commenters are eligible too so take a stab at it!  

Tuesday, May 28th
Debby Kratovil Qults

I'll catch up once I am home from the meeting--------

May 27, 2013

Day 1 "Say It With Flowers"

I hope everyone is having a good---and safe--- Memorial Day holiday.  Bless those who have gone before us, both those who have served so faithfully in the military and our own family members and friends.  Somewhere along the line the original purpose of the weekend has been lost.  It was not meant to be the first summer holiday or the day to BBQ, after all.

Well, the first day of the "Say It With Flowers" hop begins today.  I do not think that Mdm. Samm has named our sponsor for this round but will correct myself if there one in future posts.

 Here are today's featured bloggers------

Monday, May 27th

Meanwhile I will continue to work on the Tammy Bag for the mid-June hop.  Borrowing the gorgeous graphic from Sew We Quilt,  this is sorta where I am headed but you don't know what fabrics I chose for mine.   I have made some progress in that the outside lining is done and I only have the joining seam of the inner lining to do.  The purse frame remains a mystery to me at this writing. Hopefully I will gain some more insight as I work through this step by step.

And sew it goes-------------

May 24, 2013

Say It Flowers Blog Hop Schedule--coming up next week!


Mdm Samm of Sew We Quilt and her cheerleader and right hand gal  Carol of Just Let Me Quilt  had so many applicants for the hop that they added two extra days into June, the 3rd and 4th.

Here is the complete schedule though I will be posting each day's listing as I have on previous hops.  My assigned day is Thursday, May 30th so I hope you will stop by to say "hello".   I may have "flunked" those kanzashi flowers earlier this week but I am pleased with how my two entries turned out and am anxious to show them to you.  I see some of the same folks I have been hopping with so I know we are all in for a treat but there are also some new participants!  Should be fun-------

Monday, May 27th

Tuesday, May 28th

Wednesday, May 29th

Thursday, May 30th

Friday, May 31st

Monday, June 3rd

Tuesday, June 4th