Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July 4th to Everyone in the US!

Lucy and her friend Mr. Frog want to wish all of her friends a very happy July 4th!  She doesn't like the fireworks too much, but she does like all the red and white stripes in the flags!
We are having a very rainy 4th here in New Jersey.. and I think most of the Northeast.  Good day to stay inside and sew.
I have embroidered the crest on top of my peacock's head.  It looks more appropriate than the pattern, which had an applique piece that looked more like a chicken comb.  
You can see an actual peacock crest here.  We used to live not far from a peacock farm.. beautiful birds, but boy are they noisy! LOL
I will finish up the tail feathers today.  And maybe start the next block - Assorted Bouquet.
I traced the pattern to my pieced background.  Since it is such a dark and rainy day today I had to get a little creative.  I don't own a lightbox so I lowered my sewing machine into my table and placed a light under the plexiglass insert.  It worked great and I just needed to move my pattern and fabric around so it was over the light.  Easy-peasey!  Just be careful the light doesn't get too hot.. it could warp the plexiglass. :-)
Lucy hopes you enjoy the weekend and have a safe and festive July 4th holiday!  She is just going to spend it on her flag quilt on the back of the couch....
Until she gets tired of Mr. Frog and pushes him off the couch!

Happy Independence Day!
Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Design Decisions on A Bountiful Life

I am working on finishing up the Peacock block for the A Bountiful Life quilt.  I am moving onto more bird feet.  I should be getting pretty good at this by now, right?  Again I have chosen to use a batik fabric so it will not fray as badly as a regular cotton.
I think this guy needs an eye when I am finished appliqueing his body.
The full quilt from the book A Bountiful Life by Karen Mowery
Before I move on the the next block I need to make a decision on what my finished layout may look like.  I finally did make a decision (pondered this for months)  not to make all the blocks in this beautiful quilt.  Here is my reasoning: With all 20 blocks and the border, it makes a quilt much larger than I am able to display in my home.  I would prefer to hang this quilt and enjoy it each day rather than folding it and putting it away.  So, one decision made... Now, which blocks do I eliminate?
Here is a photo of the original Bird of Paradise quilt, circa 1858 - 1863
You can see it differs slightly to Karen Mowery's adaptation above.

I decided to keep the number of blocks at 16, with a 4 x 4 setting.  My blocks are slightly smaller at 12" finished. 
 Since I am partial to birds, despite the feet, I decided to keep almost all of the bird blocks.  And although I find the barnyard, racehorse, and circus animal blocks interesting, they really aren't relevant to me. Another design decision made!

So to better help me make a decision on the remaining 3 blocks to include in my quilt, I laid the blocks out to take a look.
Sorry for the shadowy pictures.  My living room is a little dark in the morning light... especially on a rainy day!
I quickly decided I needed to make the Robin and Nest of Eggs block.  They are the first sign of spring here in the Northeast.
I also would like to include the Assorted Bouquet block with its vase of flowers. I was moving right along in this process!

I continued to move the blocks around, checking the layout and the balance of color.  I moved the row of birds down to the bottom... hmmm... does that work?

I moved the Red Wing Blackbirds up to the next row, knowing the Robin and Nest of Eggs would be on the opposite side of the quilt.  And that I would probably add a nest of eggs in the bottom border.

Does the Grapevine and Swooping Bird block look better in the third row with the other fruit blocks?

But there is still that nagging question of what to put next to the Bride block. 
Karen Mowery added a Groom block to her adaptation of the original quilt.  There is so much mystery around the missing groom.  Speculation is that he may have been killed in the Civil War and the marriage never took place.  Original templates exist of a male figure but he is not included in the quilt. You will see in the original quilt above there is a block filled with flowers instead.  And why did the quilter choose white flowers?  White flowers usually represent innocence and purity.
Would you add the groom or the flowers?

For now let me get back to my bird feet and completing the Peacock block.
I won't show you how my two quilting assistants decided to rearrange my blocks for me. :-)

Happy Stitching!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hexie Update - Rainbow Scrap Challenge - June is Light Blue

If you haven't heard around blogland.. the color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for June is Light Blue. 
I discovered that I don't have a lot of true light blue in my stash... who would have known?? :-)
But I got them done with some supervisory help from you know who....
In other hexie news... Awhile ago I found that Eileen over at RobinHill Quilts was also making hexies... BIG hexies, like I was, in Kaffe prints, like I was.   These are my hexies that measure 6" across.  You can see her large hexies here
I suggested that Eileen and I do a swap of some of our Kaffe hexies.  After all... variety is the spice of life... and in my opinion the spice of any quilt, and it seemed like we were both on the same wavelength!  Here are the hexies that she sent to me.
Aren't they gorgeous!??  Definitely colors and patterns that I did not have in my Kaffe stash.  It's always so much fun to incorporate other quilter's fabrics into your own.   I tend to by the same colors, etc. sometimes. This was great way to add some variety!  Thanks Eileen!  I hope you enjoyed the hexies that I sent as much as I am enjoying yours!
And a bit more of great mail recently.  Eileen (no a different Eileen) sent me two quilt labels she had in her stash.  They are so cute and I can't wait to add them to just the right quilt!  Lucy particularly liked them.. no surprise there!
Aren't quilters wonderful?

Linking up with other wonderful quilters at the RSC linky party at So Scrappy.  Check out the other light blue projects.  You won't be disappointed.. I've taken a peek already! <wink>

Happy Stitching!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Update on Some Recent Applique

Finding time lately to quilt has been a challenge.. and finding time to blog about it has been even more of a challenge.  I guess it is just that time of year.  We have had some family visits, weekends away, and time spent getting our beach condo ready for the rental season.  The condo is now ready for our first guests which arrived yesterday, so now we can relax a bit.  This time of year, with the warmer weather upon us,  is a time to slow down, get out of my studio, and get back to some slow stitching. 
Do you remember this?  If you don't, you shouldn't feel bad because I am not even sure I ever posted the start of this block.  I can't find any reference to it, but I am guessing it was close to a year ago that I started this block from the A Bountiful Life quilt.  Where does the time go???
I finally picked it up again a few weeks ago.  I think I know what was stopping me...  those darn bird feet!  I love all the birds in this quilt, but those feet sure are challenging!
 Four feet... I just needed to get them done so I could move on with this block.  I label the freezer paper patterns so I remember where they belong on the block.
Once I got them done, I could add the Red Winged Blackbirds to the block. Will anyone notice I changed the fabric for the bird feet?  I knew that a batik would fray a lot less than a regular cotton fabric.  And it was easier... but still challenging.  I also changed the beaks, making them closed rather than the open beaks in the pattern.  Much easier!
After a dip in the spa, my block was clean and ready to be pressed. Oh it felt so good to get this one finally done!! 
I wanted to keep this momentum going and moved right on to the next block, The Peacock.  I always start with the stems and baste down the leaves.  You can see the blue marking pen I use to mark the pattern on my fabric.  There is a lot going on in these blocks and it is easy to not have everything fit together. 
Here are some of the fabrics I have chosen from my stash for the peacock and the roses.
And, of course, I will have more bird feet to deal with.  I need to change them a bit to make them easier to applique.. besides they look a little strange to me. :-)
Also completed awhile ago is this block from My Enchanted Garden.  Funny that I am working on both of these quilts and they are both based on the Bird of Paradise quilt. 
Love the wool and cotton combination.
And the addition of the beads. 
But my favorite part of this block is the bunny. So sweet. 

I'm linking up at Kathy's Quilts Slow Sunday Stitching.  Hopefully I can get some stitching done today!

Happy Stitching!
Happy Father's Day to everyone.  If you are lucky enough to still have your Dad with you, give him a big hug if you can!!



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