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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Finishes, Re-dos and Beginnings

A week or so ago, I posted some photos of my spare bedroom/sewing overflow. It was in the midst of total chaos as I weeded down the fabrics in drawers, found places for items just thrown on the bed and straightened whatever could be straightened. It still looks cramped and full but at least it's organized.

Then I decided I didn't like the way I quilted my Pink 12 X 12. So, I took all the quilting out except the edge finish and the echo quilting around my cone flower. The color is a bit off, pardon that but until I get the photo editing program I like, I can't seem to get it better. I love  how the grid lines make the flower really stand out. Before I had sort of loop-de-loops and leaves which sound great but, in fact, really did nothing to accentuate the design. I hope this has done the job. Another reason I took it out and re-did the quilting was the tension on the back didn't satisfy me. I thought it looked great fine until I looked closer at the back and found eyelash loops around all the circles indicating the bottom tension was too loose. My photo cut the top trim off but trust me, it's there. 

The last picture is the charity quilt I'm going to put together for the VBMQG (Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild). I had to take a few of the blocks out because I realized someone used something very stretchy. That could become very problematic to whomever quilts it, not to mention to me when I try to make them all fit together. I try not to be too picky on charity quilts but some things just have to be right. I may move it around more when I get those blocks replaced...we'll see.

Until we meet again...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend...No Quilting Yet

I looked out at the canal behind our house this morning and here's what I saw. This, my friends, if you've never had the pleasure, is a Nutria. He is the biggest one we've seen yet!  They are an invasive rodent that looks like a large muskrat, swims and tunnels like a beaver, has large yellow teeth and long rat-tail. They are as prolific as rabbits and take over the waterways here. They are not indigenous to our area. I am not sure how they got here but they aren't a good thing.

This guy is as big as our pug, Lowki, who weighs around 27 pounds!

After our Nutria sighting, we took Lowki for a walk on the beach. This is the walkway to the dog part of the beach.

Lowki was so stoked he wouldn't even eat breakfast until we got home. He loves the beach! See the big smile? It's there for the entire time at the beach!

Here's daddy bringing him back to the car. 

The next 4 hours we spent weeding, mowing, and trimming around the yard.We aren't done but I may  be for today.  I trimmed all of the roses in the back and weeded the blackberries. I weeded all the poison ivy out of the front I could find along with stuff in general in several other areas around the front flower beds. Rick started digging up the ornamental grass near the house that we are going to get rid of. All it does is hide the poison ivy and make it hard to keep weeded. After a nice shower, I think I'll dig into to my sewing room weeding project next. I think I'll sleep well tonight!

Have a wonderful weekend! Don't forget to honor the fallen men and women that have helped to keep our country free...the reason we're celebrating this weekend!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Catching Up and Relaxing to My Hubby's Music at the Beach

About a week or so ago, I started my fourth 12 X 12 quilt for a challenge with my quilt group, the Quiltworkers. I wanted to finish this little quilt to complete my WIP challenge for the Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild, and of course, I did...just not in time! I did, however, get my idea fused onto the fabric. Below is my "Pink" 12 x 12 in it's infancy.

A couple of days later, here is the finished product, quilted and bound. We were not to put a regular binding on any of these pieces but I wanted to quilt and thread paint through all layers. So after conferring with my good friend, Mary, I decided to put a different type finish on. I used a decorative stitch similar to a zigzag to finish the edges.

This is the back side...Now I only have 4 to go!! Or maybe that's 5. I think we added one more.

Saturday afternoon after the VB Modern Quilt Guild meeting and my hair appointment, I walked down to 7th Street Stage  from Norfolk Ave to watch my husband play drums with Tropical Steel. He's the tall thin, guy sitting down! 

I sat at a nearby bar and drank a beer while enjoying the vibes of the steel band and the company of my sweety from afar. 

The sun wasn't shining much but it was warm and it didn't rain...all good. Just imagine the boardwalk, the beach, then the ocean directly behind them...waves rolling in...people walking, biking, skating, laughing. Nearby others drinking, eating, enjoying the tunes...

...take a little time to smell the ocean...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Making of a Small Art Quilt...not for the faint at heart!

This has not been a very productive week for me. I just haven't had enough energy at night after work to do what I want. Migraines and a tight neck and back have sapped my energy. 

This is a short display of what it takes to make a small 12" X 12" quilt. Seems so simple, right? And it it's really difficult. The thing is, it takes an idea which then needs to mature and grow sometimes for days. Then the real fun begins when I try to decide how I want to put my little jewel together and what fabrics and backgrounds I want to use. Often I paint my backgrounds to get what I want. But not this time. Below are pictures of what my sewing studio looks like as I begin my work. 
Trust me, it isn't pretty! 

More fabrics pulled...lightbox out...I've already drawn my  I have to have two copies . One to make pieces and one to lay them out. Then they need to be traced piece by piece on fusible web so they can be ironed down. And this is just the beginning!

Fabric scattered all over the place...try one, no...then another...maybe...

Until I get what I am happy with. For this piece the theme is the color pink. I am not a big Pink fan so it was out of my comfort zone. I do have pink coneflowers, however, and I love them. So I decided on a single flower on a subtle neutral background with cursive print. I actually am quite pleased with the result but I have a long ways to go.

I am not going to be finished for a challenge that ends today, but you just can't rush some things. I now have to pull tons of threads so I can thread paint all the details of the flower. Then I need to quilt  it and making a binding of sorts. I'll re-post my finished piece hopefully before the weekend is through. Next time you see someone's beautiful little quilt, you might have a better understanding of what went into making it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So, What Has That Right Coast Qwilltr Been Up to, Anyway?

Okay, so posting to my blog is NOT the answer! That's something I need to work on but I think I'm doing the best I can with the time I have. 

I have finally taken pictures of two finished quilts. Yes, I did say finished! See there, I have done something!  Below is a Round Robin my friends, Mary, Shelley, Amy and I participated in in 2012, I think for the Richmond Modern Quilt Guild. I think my quilt turned out fantastic! I wish I would have taken pictures each time I got it back but I didn't. 

And here's the back...

Here are some photos of my baby quilt for Zachary Dimitrova  Dimitrov finally finished! My husband and I are thinking that because Kremena's last name is Dimitrova and her husband, Georgi's is Dimitrov...that the "a" at the end denotes females. That said Baby Z is a Dimitrov...not Dimitrova! They are from Bulgaria. I learned something I didn't know. 

The picture below shows the giraffe on the right side subtly showing through in the quilting.

Here is the front quilted.

And here is the giraffe I decided should peek around the back side!

The quilt photos below are a Charlotte Angotti kit I started in Houston a few years 2009?I didn't purchase her add-on for the borders. Now it needs more. So which do you think looks better....This?

Or this?


Or this?

Or do you think I need to do some kind of pieced border? I welcome all ideas! Please give me your thoughts because I'm sort of stumped right now. I think I may like the tan coral fabric for the first border best. What do you think?