Monday, October 31, 2011

the making of "who's there"

When I started the Scraps to Treasure challenge, I had a few sketches made out.  I thought about me looking over my shoulder at various squares in my life.  That's squares as in quilt blocks, not people.  I'd have some broken dishes, bear paw prints, and who knows what else.  Then I thought about making a fence, and how fences make better neighbors.  That didn't quite gel.

Then I saw the Spring 2011 Quilts and More magazine with Mr. Owl on the cover.  I used the owl portion of the pattern, but the rest of what I came up with was mine.  I knew I needed a background for him to sit on, and I wanted it to be on point.  We weren't allowed to use the 6" blocks without them being cut in some manner, so I did half square triangles.  I then appliqued him onto a branch on the background, and added a border using one of my focus fabrics.  (We each had sent in 6" squares from two fabrics, enough for all the people involved in the challenge.  Of the two fabrics we sent in, we were allowed to add extra fabric to work with and I think it was 1/2 yard. That's  what I'm calling my focus fabric.)

Once he was stitched on, I worked with my layout, and wanted to incorporate other animals into it.  On the first round of rows around him, there's a raccoon, some geese flying in the sky, ducks on a pond, deer, and some bugs.  To bring a little more nature into it, I also put in some floral elements, leaves, and trees.
Then I played with some arrangements of getting it squared up as the center panel, taking pictures to see what I liked.
Ultimately I chose a single strip for the corners in the center of cream fabrics.  Those single strips, one in each corner, had butterflies, a bluebird, wheat, and a flower of some kind.
With those in place, I added a border at the top and bottom with my second focus fabric.

My next thoughts were that it needed more length, to be a rectangle rather than a square.  I had other fabrics that had to be incorporated into the quilt (we're required to use at least 2" or 2.5" of each of the squares we were given), so I gave thought to a dresden plate, possibly one at the top and one at the bottom.  Again I played with the layout.
Eh, that wasn't doing it for me.

Then I thought, how about cutting the dresdens in half?  I had two, that would give me four, and they could go in the corners.   That's what I did, and here's the final result.
The idea of these Scraps to Treasure quilts is that they are to be donated to a charity.  As some of the others have done who have grown attached to their quilts, I will either be making another quilt for charity or making a monetary contribution.  As for Who's There, this will be going to Elise.  She was my original inspiration for the owl since she has her friend Owlie who goes everywhere with her.

So that's it.  I see another scrappy quilt in my future, it's been fun.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

ah, it's been a week

Have I got an "old into new" theme this week?

Elizabeth had a birthday.  We went out to lunch on Monday, and it's always good to spend time with this woman who happens to be my daughter.  How does old into new fit in?  In her I see a bit of me, but in a much shinier and brighter, newer if you will, version.  Happy birthday again, daughter.  (The picture is from Elise's birthday.)

I went shopping for some new shoes this week.  A couple of years ago I was gifted with some really comfortable shoes, and they now have seen much better days.  So I got some new ones in the same brand.  Continuing the theme, although it is a stretch, I took another look at my old shoes and decided with a good polish maybe they could make it a bit longer.  Maybe not new looking, but an extended life none-the-less.  No pics available, but they turned out fine and will still be serviceable as knockin' around shoes.  (Yes David, I can picture you rolling your eyes over that term, but there are those of us who understand what it means.)  :) 

And last, I entered a quilt into the Scraps to Treasures challenge over on the HGTV forum.  Everyone was given the same sets of 6" squares, and we were allowed to add a certain number of squares and fat quarters from our stash (hence the "old"), with the challenge to create a quilt.  I'm very pleased with mine.  Though it didn't place in the categories of Use of Color, Best Design, or Viewer's Favorite, it did get the write-in award!  Take a look at "Who's There?". 

If you're able to click on it and enlarge the photo, you can see of course the owl in the center, and in the surrounding row and corners, other critters or birds.  Fun project, and I look forward to doing it again next year.  To take a look at the other entries, go here.

Have a good week everyone.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

quilting stuff

Where does the time go???  Blink twice, and another week has rolled around.

I went to a quilt show in Gainesville (TX) Saturday at their civic center.  I really liked the size of it.  There were several rows of quilts to look over, and vendors set up around the perimeter.  Gainesville is about 90 miles from here, and made for a nice little Saturday drive.  I got a couple of patterns, an older magazine that's not in print anymore about miniature quilts, and a few fat quarters.   The larger quilt shows are nice, but I like the flavor of the small town venue.   Here's a sample of what they had to show.

There was also a Texas theme redwork.  Following it is a close up to see more of the detail.

They only have a show every other year, so I'll have to mark my calendar for 2013.

Friday night there was a tutorial over on the HGTV quilting and needlework forum, this one on making fabric postcards.  It was taught by Gonesewin, who also happens to be one of my on-line Scrabble buddies.  Several years ago I tried my hand at the postcards, but wasn't pleased with it.  This class helped simplify it, and I'll probably make a few.  This was my class project.  Of course there are areas that will improve with diligence and practice, but I think it's cute.
And in the bright idea department, I came up with the idea of getting a pocket protector to use in a purse pocket to hold pens and pencils.  99 cents for three of them, heckuva deal.  For years I've carried a purse insert that had all the little pockets and compartments, but it was a bit big for this particular purse, not to mention it's wearing out.  Sorry, no picture, but I think we've all seen pocket protectors before.

Oh, and before I forget, these are the patterns I got in Gainesville.  They're by JudyDidIt Designs, and my patterns came from Barb's Quilt Nook, Etc shop. They'll be cute little wallhangings.

Guess that's it for now.  Have a good week everyone.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

ah, October!

It's nice to be able to step outside and wear my jeans.  Nothing like a brisk Autumn morning.  Granted, those jeans give way to some shorter pants before too many hours have passed, but it won't be long until it's cool all day.

I got busy this week and made a couple of my little witch towels.  Well, not mine.  The pattern is shown here.  I deviated a bit from the instructions, as do a lot of people.  That's the fun in making it, you can be creative if you're so inclined.   On these two, one was made with the little ruffle, one without.  One of the ladies on the HGTV Quilting and Sewing forum mentioned that she cut the towels in half, making two from one towel.  I really think I'm going to go back and do that.  They're basically decorative so the full size isn't necessary, and too they won't be so easy to fall off the handle since they'll attach with a velcro folded top.  Don't you think the purple shoes give it a nice little flair???

I've also been doing a bit of embroidery.  Nice relaxing handwork.

In between all of that I managed to read a book this week, Condoleezza Rice's Extraordinary, Ordinary People.  Autobiographical, she talks a lot about her parents and family.  She's an only child, so maybe I should say extended family.  Very good, I'd recommend it.

Then today I went to Ashlynn's first dancing performance at Burleson's Pioneer Days.  She looked really sweet, and did a good did all the little performers.  In this picture, she's in the middle.
And, last but not least, I tried my hand at another sketch today.  I know, I'd do better if I'd draw some everyday, but sometimes there just aren't enough hours.  Seems odd to be retired and saying that, but it's true.  The nose isn't right, as well as the beard, but oh well, at least I'm trying something different.  Maybe this old dog can learn some new tricks.  ;)   Hmmm, I've just noticed he reminds me of my first husband...
Here's what I was going by:

Enjoy the cool air and crisp Autumn leaves!