Sunday, June 28, 2009

My most recent project

Meet the newest addition to our family:
His name is Toby and he is a 5 month old mixed breed puppy that we adopted last week from a shelter.
Bricks From the best estimates, he appears to be part labrador and part basset hound. He has short legs with turned out paws and a jogging gait that resembles a basset hound, but his littermates had longer legs and were mostly black like a labrador.


Here’s a picture of Toby with 2 of his siblings, taken at the shelter. You can see that his brothers looked a lot more like labs than he did.

Nice Siding!
This is the first dog I have ever had the privilege to own, and I am totally smitten.

How could anyone look into these soulful brown eyes and not take him home? I just love his two tan “eyebrows”.

We are literally having a ball, despite the additional time and care it takes to train a puppy.
Quilting will have to wait for now. I have a puppy who needs me. :-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's a dog's life for me

Lately I seem to be surrounded by dogs.
There are pairs of Scotties on this fabric:
And sweet little puppies frolicking on this one:
These pups look like they have mischief on their mind:
And who can forget the little circus dogs?
All in all, these great little dogs have found there way into my home.
But wait! How did this one get there???
Guess who came home from the animal shelter with us yesterday?
This little guy!
He has found his way not only into our home, but into our hearts.
I'm sure this won't be the last photo you see of him! Please forgive me if I don't comment on anyone's blog for a few days,
it's because my time will be consumed with puppy-training!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Before the hexagons there were pineapples

Long before I started making hexagons, there was this quilt.
The pieced blocks that make up the center of the quilt were made using a pattern called "Pineapple Blossom" by Bonnie Hunter. Each block uses 3 sizes of strips, and being a lover of scrappy quilts, I made neat little piles of as many different fabrics as I could find.
When the pieced blocks were completed and sewn together, I decided I wanted to add a border with some applique. I cut some white fabric into wide borders and then placed some leftover strips aound the quilt in a few different locations to decide where I wanted the appliqued flowers to go. This is just one way that a digital camera is such a handy tool in quilmaking. I took pictures of each of the arrangements so I could compare them and see what I liked best:
I liked the arrangement with applique in the opposite corners, so I pulled out some graph paper and decided on how to arrange the flowers and leaves.
It was easiest to complete the applique on the borders first, and then sew them onto the quilt. Here's what the appliqued flowers looked like after the quilting was done, and a closeup of the quilting in the plain white corners:
I didn't do the machine quilting. I'm more of a stitch in the ditch kind of quilter, and I just didn't know how to handle all that white space in the borders, so I had it professionally quilted by a longarmer.
I had lots of strips leftover and some of them are ending up as hexagons for my current project. However, any notion I had of using up my 30's scraps for this hexagon project is pretty amusing to me, now that I see how many hexagons can be made from just one 1 1/2" strip. :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tired of Hexagons yet?

As I happily continue to make the 29 hexagon flowers I needed for my tablerunner, I lost count and made an extra one. What to do with the extra? Make the project bigger of course!
I had originally planned on a rectangular table runner, but now I'm thinking of a square table topper instead. That means.....I can make even more hexagons. I can hardly believe that the first flower I made took me two entire evenings. Now I can do 2 or 3 in a night. (Depends on whether my baseball team is winning or losing!) Here are a couple of my most recent:
First is this blue one with fussy cut daisies.
And this one which isn't fancy, but is such a pretty sherbert orange color. It reminds me of a creamsicle.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Testing 1-2-3

Here is a photo to give an idea of how big my hexagon flowers are turning out. Each side of the hexagon measures 1/2 inch, and the finished hex is about the size of a quarter.

This post is a test of the email notifications option of blogger, and also the Flickr option called "Blog this" which allows you to make a blog entry directly from a Flickr account.

Hexagons take over

Making hexagons has taken over my life.
I've done nothing else related to quilting except hexagons.
Who knew?
Here's what a stack of 21 completed flowers looks like:

And here's my most recently finished fussy cut one:

I've had a few people ask me what I'm going to do with them. I'm not following a pattern, I'm just making this up as I go. My plan is to applique the flowers to a background, rather than attach them to each other with a path of surrounding hexagons.
Here is a rough idea of how I see this turning out:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The "no blue" blues

A few years back I made a Star Log Cabin quilt for my own bed. I had decided on Autumn colors because we had picked a golden color to paint the walls. I used a Quilt in a Day pattern by Eleanor Burns, although as we all know, it takes more than a day to make a quilt, especially a queen sized one.
As I pulled out fabrics from my stash, it occurred to me that I had found usable fabrics from color groups that I hadn't expected, such as purple and green. I didn't think of those as Autumn colors at the time. When I look at this quilt now, I realize that I used quite a range of colors. Here is just a sampling:
I find it surprising that I ended up using every color of the rainbow, except for Blue. I had no idea that I could create a quilt with such an Autumn feel by just following one rule: No Blue!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hexagon Garden continues to grow.

Here are the 18 flowers I have completed so far. I need 29 all together for the table runner. Looking at this photo, I think I need to stop making so many red ones.
But who could resist showcasing this cute little blue flower?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hexagon fever

I have found that making hexagons is like eating potato chips in that you can't stop at just one. I have completed 16 hexagon flowers now, and have several more basted hexagons ready to sew.
My eye doctor gave me this neat, modern eyeglass case:
It folds up into a triangle shape when closed: I found it much more functional as a hexie holder:
The photo above shows ten sets of basted hexagons ready to be sewn into flowers.
I have a long list of items on my to-do list, but I keep coming back to making these.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Time for a change

I've been keeping a blog for almost a year now on another site, but decided it was time to move over to Blogger. I wish I had a family background of quilters, but I'm the first in my family as far as I know. My first experience with quilting was in a Community Education course about 15 years ago, and I have been hooked ever since. I started out doing everything by machine, but I have come to enjoy handwork as well, including hand piecing and hand applique. My current project is a Grandmother's Flower Garden table runner that I'm making using the English Paper Piecing technique. I'm using 1930's reproduction fabrics for the flowers. Here's a look at a few of the flowers I've made so far:
It's been really fun to fussy cut the fabrics for the hexagons and see how they turn out. Here are a few of my favorites: This is the fabric that started the fussycut frenzy. It wasn't until after I cut out and basted 6 rabbits, that I realized they were facing two different directions. I solved that problem by sewing them in pairs facing each other, and I think I like it even better that way. These little maids were supposed to represent Mary and her little lamb, but only Mary and her shepherd's crook would fit on the hexagon.

There's nothing like a circus dog performing tricks in a funny hat to bring a smile to your face.
These sweet little hearts just begged to be fussy cut.
I'm still learning my way around blogger, but hope to feel right at home here soon. If anyone from the myquiltblog community finds their way here, please be sure to say "hello".
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