Monday, September 28

Flower Petals Are Growing

Yesterday I started "coloring" my flower petals and doing the stitching. The photo shows 3 of the petals from the cut fabric, the coloring and the stitching. I'm doing the coloring with Prismacolor pencils. Then I cut out stabilizer and turn under the edge of the petal and stitch the edge to hold the stabilizer, then do some thread work to add dimension. There are 28 petals on the sunflower and I have about half of them colored. I've finished the leaves/stem coloring too. I should be ready to start sewing on all the petals by tomorrow.

Sunday, September 27

Embellish, Paint & Quilt

Spent all day yesterday working on the 10" x 13" center of the sunflower. I had planned to make it from cotton and make 6 small sunflower quilt blocks and then cut the shape from that, but after thinking it over I changed my plans and went with a more textured center. This I felt would look more like the seed pockets in the center of the flower.
First I cut a good size section of duck cloth and drew the outline of the area I needed. Then I took some sheer poly fabric in browns/tans/off white and used the Embellisher to create this oval of textured fabric.

This variation of colors/tones is just what I wanted as the base. The next thing was to give it an overall coat of watered down acrylic paint to add warmth to the colors. Then waiting for it to dry, tap tap tap my foot, waiting...

Now the fun part, the quilting. These tiny circles took a good bit of time and about 4 bobbins of thread, but I was very happy with the look.

My mother had sunflowers in her back yard, and when the flower heads would become to heavy for the stem she would cut the flower off and just lay it on the brick wall around the driveway for the birds to have easy pickings of the seeds. She also would save the big center part of the sunflower and let it dry out and in the winter she would put peanut butter in the little seed holes and press in a little small seed and the birds had a good winter treat. She loved her bird friends. Now my sister has sunflowers in her garden and a photo she took of one of her plants was the inspiration for this quilt.

Saturday, September 26

Birthdays & New Babies

While catching up on my blog readying this morning I found out that one of my blog buddies has a new baby, the Babylock Espire. Wow what a pretty baby. Gene is also having a birthday this month and also just made his 250th post. Way to go Gene! Well with all this to celebrate Gene is having a give a way on his blog. Free stuff! Drop by and check it out.

Friday, September 25

Planting The Seeds For My Sunflower

A few days ago I took the CD to Kinko's and got the print out for my sunflower quilt. I was so used to looking at it on the computer screen seeing it full size was so cool. We put it on the floor of the store and it got several people wondering what it was. The sunflower quilt block in the corner tipped one lady off. She said you must have a lot of patience, I said no, not really, I just take a lot of short cuts.

I did the drawing in Adobe Illustrator, and had it printed in black only. The pattern is life size at 52" square. I don't have a design wall so I've had to hang it from the curtain rod in the dinning room. I'm cutting most of my little parts on the dinning room table so that works out well (I can see it as I'm working). I traced all the flower parts on to freezer paper.

Then I ironed the freezer paper on the fabric.

Then I did a rough cut out of the flower petals and stem/leaves. I don't really enjoy the cutting part. All I have left to cut out is the blue background. It can all be rotary cut, thank goodness. Now I'll clean up the cutting on each part and get them ready for stitching. After spending weeks working on the design, searching for fabrics and fine tuning my attack plan it's all getting started.

Tuesday, September 22

Handbags - Something New I've Tried

I made a few handbags when I first started sewing, but was never real happy with them. That was before I learned about interfacing. Who knew? I thought I'd give it another try. I found a small bag at All People Quilt that seemed to be the perfect just got to run out to the store and don't want to carry my big bag, kind of thing and that got me started. That's the little blue polka dot one on the bottom. The other 3 were just experiments with no pattern. Of course as I've said before - me and patterns don't get along all that well.
So here are my handbag experiments. Excuse my photography I was getting chomped on by mosquitoes while taking these. (where's the Benadryl spray!)

I've started working on the middle of the big flower on the sunflower quilt. 90 degree triangles are not easy for me. I did try to cheat and foundation piece the block I'm using for the center of the flower, but it didn't work all that well. So I'll have to buck up and do it the traditional way.

Also just finished about 10 Christmas hot pads for a little craft show I'm doing. They were fun and to get finished with them all so quick is good. Seems like most quilting takes so long, it's such a happy things to finish something in under 2 hours. I normally do a few little things between my larger projects. I have a Halloween theme ATC to get done for the swap on Quilt With Us. I kind of have it in my mind so that should be pretty quick too. Yea for quick little quilts. Booo for mosquitoes - itchy

Sunday, September 13

Shocking Surprise From The Gallery

The gallery in our neighborhood has a wonderful show each year during the annual Tomato Festival. It's a month long show and this year the art was really fantastic. I hadn't heard from the gallery so I was thinking I'd not sold anything which was OK cause I'd already had my sister and a friend put claim on the 2 things I'd done. Then I found out this Friday that I'd sold eleven of the mixed media piece I did. So I've been in production this weekend and worked to get them completed. 14 hours later and they are done. I'm very excited that so many sold. I'm also glad to have them all completed. Thank goodness hubby doesn't mind eating frozen lasagna. I hear the call of the couch, but have lingering freelance graphics to do, drats. Well I'll work on that then collapse on the couch, guess we'll have the rest of the lasagna cause I'm just too pooped to cook.

I'd wanted to start on my sunflower quilt but
hopefully that will get under way by Tuesday.

Friday, September 11

Pattern For The Sunflower Quilt

OK here is the design for my sunflower quilt, "Home Away From Home". This quilt will be 52" square. The happy bee loves his sunflower and after I figure out how to do it there will be a 3 dimensional bee on the center of the flower. Samples of the fabrics are in a previous post.

Here is what I have planned: the blue background will be one fabric and the 2 sunflower blocks will be of this same fabric so they will be a slight design in the background. The sunflower leaves and pedals will be a solid color fabric with some fabric paint and tons of thread painting to give the dimension for a more lifelike look. The center of the flower will be the sunflower block done in 2 brown batiks and have small circular quilting. The bee motif in the lower right will be thread painted but in a color of thread close to the color of the blue background. This bee is only a motif to add to the quilting, but keep with the theme of the quilt.

Hope I've made this clear and you get a good impression of what I have in mind. I'm hopefully going to start cutting my fabrics this Sunday. I'm a huge believer in advise from other quilters and if you see any edits that need to be made to the design or have other suggestions please let me know.

Thursday, September 10

And The Winner Is

This morning I put all the names in a bag and drew for the giveaway and the winner is Shelley. Congrats Shelly. Hope you enjoy all your Holiday Goodies.

Wednesday, September 9

Sunflower Quilt - Found All The Fabrics

The Sunflower Fabrics

After I draw up my pattern I go select my fabrics and when they are in my hands I start to get very excited about the quilt. This one is titled, "Home Away From Home". The meaning of that will become clearer once you see the design. The digital "sketch" is done and now I'll make my pattern. I get my patterns printed out full size at the copy shop. This one is 52" square. I hadn't planned on fabric shopping today but it was very nice out and I just found myself at the Quilter's Attic. I had only looked one other place for the blue I needed and was very lucky to find it today. Finding a fabric to represent sky is always hard for me. The last time I went with a hand dyed, but was lucky to find this commercial print that will work out just fine. I hadn't given the back of the quilt much though till today. While the fabric was being cut I was looking at my sketch and thought I don't want just a plain back, and came up with an idea. (backing fabric is the yellow/gold)

So now I'll get to planning and cutting.

Wish I could say I was good today and only bought the fabrics for the sunflower quilt, but oh no - I got several other fabrics too. Saw a Christmas Quilt on display in the shop that was just too cute and it had a weakness of mine on it...reindeers. So as my friend Paula always says "it shall be mine", and of course you have to have several of the companion know how it is.

Isn't this just too cute! I'm thrilled with it, silly me and my reindeers.
The fabric is a design of Sandy Gervais from Moda. There was one of
the fabrics from this family that they didn't have and I will seek it out.
It's all these swirls with the cute tree ornaments on it. Must have it too.
It will be hard to put this away and not work on it now.
I guess I can work on them both -

Oh almost forgot I'll draw a name for the giveaway Thursday Morning.

Sunday, September 6

Addition To My Giveaway

2 More Items For Giveaway
More goodies for the giveaway. This top photo is a mantel decoration that can be used during the fall or into the Christmas Holidays if you are into Civil War prints. This is 24" long and each point hangs 7". I'd made 2 very cute extenders for this that have deer faces on them, but they have become lost in the shuffle. There are around here somewhere, I guess under a pile of fabric. I'll find them.

Also tossing in a few pre cut Christmas shapes
for you to use. Stars & candy canes.

Well I'm in a hand bag frame of mind these days and experimenting with several different patterns I've gotten free on line. There are so many free patterns out there! Some are quilted and I'm using some of my upholstery remnants for others.

Just leave a comment for the giveaway. Thanks

Thursday, September 3

My First Giveaway!

Christmas Goodies Giveaway!
I'd really meant to have a give-a-way when my blog turned one year old, but it just slipped by me and now it's way past that date. I figure better late than never. So here it is. I'm in the mode of making my Christmas stuff and as I've mentioned before I like to give them before Thanksgiving so folks can put them to good use. So there will be a selection of Christmas items one of which will be these cute hot pads. All you have to do is leave a comment and your in the drawing. There will be 2 other items in the give-a-way, I'll post photos of those on Saturday. (they aren't done yet)

I normally don't use my small scraps. They pile up in a little bin for that crazy quilt I'll make some day. My sister suggested I make some of these little Christmas tree pins for a local craft show we're both doing and I ended up making these little bird pins too. I thought they were cute and all they are is fabric glued onto a heavy stabilizer with a fabric glue, I used Fabric Fusion. Then I just hot glued a standard jewelry style pin on the back. The little trees are felt with fabric paint and a little star button. These might end up as card stuffers for my Christmas cards too.

Wednesday, September 2

It's Giveaway Time

While catching up on my blog reading this morning I noticed several were having giveaways. That's always great. It was everything from a pin cushion to a HP Printer. This sweet pin cushion from Fiber Fabrications did get my attention thou and if you would like to enter just visit Linda's blog, it's well worth the visit.