Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free Motion Quilting - Heart Shaped Leaves

 

Month one of my practice for the January Free Motion Quilitng Project Challenge is completed (which is more than I can say for my kitchen renovation - but I am not bitter!)

The design for this month was heart-shaped leaves. The hard part about this particular design is turning the leaves in different directions. Being the perfectionist that I am, I wanted to evenly distribute the direction of the leaves.









I practiced drawing the heart shaped leaves first.












 
I then drew something of a  compass on my paper, to practice drawing the leaves at multiple angles, without moving the paper. After looking at the picture I just took of this drawing I see another problem....can you see it?  ALL of my practice drawing leaves faced inward to the center of the compass.


I think the fact that there is a point on the end of the leaf, makes it more difficult for me. I seemed to be obsessed with he direction of the point. Had it been a curved leaf on the bottom, the directional thing would have been easier....does that make any sense at all to you?








I then moved to my practice quilt sandwich. I used an old practice quilt, so that is why you see the gold stipple quilting in addition to the leaves.
















Notice the burr in the thread....a speeding problem. I have to make myself slow down in this process.










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This is how the tension looked on the back to start with.....notice the thread "burr"




I think I finally got a decent tension, after some adjustments.....my bobbin thread is the non-gold stitching you see here.











Are you participating the Free Motion Quilting Challenge? You can join us at any point, and it is a great opportunity to challenge yourself with a new skill.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Free Block of the Month from Lecien - Block 4

Time to download the next block of this beautiful applique quilt! Click on the photo below, to get block four:


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The quilting tool you never knew you had........

Recently, I happened upon a very handy tool for quilting - I bet you even own one yourself! What's that you might ask? Well...........


It's a plastic serrated knife silly!

What in the world of quilting could you possibly use that for?



Why, for closing safety pins used in basting your quilt of course!
The knife slides easily underneath the pin without damaging the fabric, and without your fingers being pricked by the point of the pin. In addition, the serrated teeth grab the pin, so that it is extremely easy to navigate the closure. Try it - I guarantee it, or your money back!













OR you could spend the $8.99 suggested retail on something like this:

Money spent elsewhere = missed fabric opportunities!!!!






"Necessity is the mother of invention" - Unknown

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Seeing Red - and loving it!

It is January in Northwest Georgia....do you know what this is?












 

 
 
No, you haven't just awakened from hibernation to discover it is June...... 











 
 
 
Yes, I had a fresh, juicy, firm, vine-ripened, mouth-watering tomato sandwich for lunch!

How is this possible? Did the grocery stores suddenly find something besides a ROMA tomato that tastes good and has that great vine-ripened texture in the winter? Did they finally find something besides cherry or grape tomatoes that burst with juice and flavor? NO - we are all still waiting for that miracle!




I got my 10 pound bag of tomatoes from an unconventional source.......one of our family favorite restaurants. When we had dinner there on Sunday, I couldn't help but notice how delicious their tomatoes were. So delicious, that I wanted to snitch them off the plates of unsuspecting diners around me and take them home - for a BLT!

Rather than risk being jailed over a slice of tomato (although it might have been worth it) I instead asked the manager if I could purchase some from him he said yes - at an incredible price I might add. I would have cost me more for sad, tasteless grainy tomatoes in the local grocery store.




So for today, I had a little bit of sunshine on a wet, grey day - a fresh tomato sandwich on soft bread, slathered with mayonaise!

How was your lunch?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Project for The Quilt Pattern Magazine

Back in August, I did a little project for The Quilt Pattern Magazine. Of course, I couldn't share it with you until after it was published.........

This is "Fancy Fandango" - my test of a pattern by Jan Allston.

I was tickled pink to find the photo of my needle case on the cover!









As you can see, it is a needle case - I used fleece inside, instead of traditional felt. I have been using this needle case since I made it in August - it works quite well to hold needles.












Here you can see the outside of the folded out needle case.

It was a LOT of fun to make and actually went quite fast. There is not a lot of stitching, as the design is achieved by folding the fabric.

Visit The Quilt Pattern Magazine for the pattern and directions, which are in the December 2011 issure.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 - A difficult year comes to a close.............


As 2011 comes to a close, I am keenly aware that it has been a difficult year for many people - my family included. Bear with me as I take the time to reflect on our 2011.....

As the temperature goes down to 18 tonight, it is hard to believe it is time to begin thinking about my vegetable garden for the upcoming spring. Last year, I did a great job of pre-planning, getting my seeds ordered and started. The year started with an exceptionally hard (and long) winter - I know, we are wimps in the South..........
 






We were barely beginning to thaw out, and I was so pleased to post these pictures of life emerging from the cold ground in spring:









Shortly after my yard had come into full bloom I had these photos to post:






My heart had just begun to feel the life and renewal that spring offers -to be crushed by the violence of the first tornado to come through Georgia in 2011.









The damage the tornadoes caused to our property is still very evident today. The cleanup is still very much in progress. We are still replacing items lost - and we didn't lose EVERYTHING we own as many people did. 





 

We were blessed that we didn't lose any life. It still hurt though and it was especially disheartening as my soul felt a blow to the tender life that was starting to bloom.





 



I think I have been procrastinating on my first post for 2012, as I have remembered back over 2011 being a really tough year for me and my family. 





I carry on. I am healing. I am growing.






 



To prove it, I will sit down with my seed catalogs and start another year. Again, my heart goes out to all of those who were hit by hard weather last year. I pray that 2012 will be a better year for everyone!

Quilting is finished!

Just finished the quilting of this queen-size quilt. Now to trim and bind. This is the disappearing hourglass squares- used fat quarter...