Monday, July 14, 2014

Hot off the press, iron pressing that is!

Yay!! Just completed round #6 of my Camelot quilt.  This one was pretty simple so it went relatively quickly.

I changed the center by fussy cutting a flower rather than piecing a circle of four quarters.  

In looking at all I have so far I really need to veer a little more toward the green and orange side and limit my purples until I have more balance.  I love my little kitties in the outer ring.  

Here are all of the rounds I've completed..

This is a great way to get a feel for color and value choices that need to be made in future rounds.

Fun times!!  Happy Stitching!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sewing for the grands!!

My spare time these past couple of weeks has been spent working up these three dresses for two of my granddaughters.
The pattern for the Feliz dress can be found in the 2010 book Sewing Clothes Kids Love, still available on Amazon or through studio TANTRUM.

My daughter saw the dress on Etsy back in 2010 and asked that I would make a couple of dresses for each of her girls, then size 18m-2T and size 4.  That went well and they both loved their twirly fun dresses.  Four dresses down.

Then to be fair I had to make another for our youngest granddaughter.  That makes five.

Next thing I know oldest girly (age 11 at the time) secretly wishes she could twirl like the littles and I've completed six.

The much loved dresses were quickly outgrown, handed down and new dresses in the next larger size were made to replace the gap left.  I would have never imagined how much they would cherish these fun festive summer dresses.  This spring there was a meltdown as the discovery was made that there wasn't a fitting Feliz in the entire collection of eight dresses.

One, two, three shift.  The handing down and replacing continues and these are now dress #9, #10 and #11.

Today the girls were here to get their new dresses (sizes 8 and 10) and the twirling and giggling began again.

It was a beautiful summer day, perfect for rocking on the porch, playing with the dog and only thinking about playing in the sprinklers.

This is the precious girl who was heartbroken to be without her favorite dresses.  She's a girly girl, preferring dresses over anything else.

Oh! To be young and have a twirly dress.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Woodrow Wilson Quilt

This is a quilt that I just finished up last week.  The pattern came from the Woodrow Wilson museum in Pennsylvania.  It is a replica of a quilt that was in Wilson's birthplace home.  Quilts made from the pattern are then registered with the museum.  My friend, Gayle, made this beauty. Her piecing is impeccable.  Here are a few of the details I added to her magnificent work.

The Washington Monument

Supreme Court 

National Cathedral 

Woodrow Wilson 

White House 

US Capitol 

We The People 

Lovely view 

Always a bunny on Gayle's quilts 

Another view 

Gayle and I were both very pleased with how this quilt turned out.

Happy quilting, Laurel.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Round #5

Just finished the fifth round of my Camelot quilt.  It's slow going, finding time to hand piece isn't easy.  I can hardly believe I only have eleven to go.  Some of them look pretty simple, others, not so much.
As usual, I'm having those "what would I have done differently" conversations with myself.  I'm happy enough with it to be moving on to round six.  The light fabric in the center was a gift from my friend, Nancy.  I call it Toto fabric, not because that's the fabric line but because one of the little motifs in the print looks like it says toto.  I know, just my own little quirky brain at work.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Round #4

This is Round #4 of the Camelot quilt.  As usual, I questioned my fabric choices the whole way through.  Hear the debate in my head:  The gray speckle doesn't have enough contrast...arrghh, I can't believe I tried to fussy cut that bargello print, what was the point? what was I thinking?...and it goes on and on
But guess what??
I really like this round (can't call it a "block" just yet).

Does anyone else have these internal struggles with their fabric selections?  I can't believe I'm alone.

So, here is Round #5, templates made, pieces cut out and first section machine stitched together.  I will be back to hand piecing the rest of it.  I was thinking it would be faster, easier....WRONG!!

At least for me, hand piecing is so much more pleasurable and accurate.  So, at this point I still am happy with my color, contrast, balance of fabric choices here.  I will second guess it before I finish and then love it again when I'm finished....because that's just how it goes.

Happy quilting...Laurel

Monday, May 26, 2014

June's Awesome Beauty!

Yes, it is still May, but this is the amazing red work "Winter Wonderland" quilt brought to me by June Jones that is now complete.  I had so much fun just feather doodling to fill in the open white spaces.

June does beautiful work.  The red work and the piecing were both exquisite.

Closer view:  Just had to fit a few feathers in with the embroidery to tie it all together

This is the second "Winter Wonderland" quilt I've done.  They were each different in the quilting design (though not hugely different) and both beautiful.  I am so pleased with how this one turned out.

It's been a wonderful Memorial Day weekend at home.  My sister and I decorated the cemeteries on Wednesday, family here on Saturday and Sunday.  We so appreciate the service of our military members.

Happy beginning of summer...I hope it brings joy and laughter, great adventures and memories for you all. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gwen's lovely quilt!

I just received a picture of Gwen Christensen's lovely quilt.  She worked on the needle turn applique for a year or more.  It was such a pleasure to quilt it for her.  The quilting doesn't show up so much in this photo, which is as it should be.  The applique is really the star in this beauty.  Thank you, Gwen, for the privilege of adding to your beautiful work.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Camelot...Round #3

Hand-work is the perfect project to have if you're sitting around waiting at the hospital, which I was yesterday.  I had all of my pre-marked, pre-cut pieces in a little baggie with my pins, threads and snips.
It doesn't matter if you are fast at it or not, it helps pass the time and piece by piece, sitting event after sitting event, progress will be made.

I love the green, brown and orange in this block.  I'm not overly excited with the fuchsia though there are little specks of green in that fabric.  I am really pleased with the contrast though and I think it will fit splendidly into the whole.  

Back to finishing up some lovely wall pieces. 
Happy Quilting!!  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Side step...entertainment!

 Every now and then I need a diversion, a side-step from the quilting.
 This little guy provided plenty of that kind of entertainment.  My friend, Debi, the pincushion lady, advised my progress.
I'm not sure I got this just right but I think he's pretty stinkin' cute.  He's a birthday gift, belated of course, for a good friend.  I think she'll like his quirky self.

 I know, picture overload, but I couldn't choose which ones I liked best.
Alrighty then, back to quilting.

Have an awesome day!!  Laurel

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Disappearing 9-patch

Just sharing this awesome quilt that my friend and client, Linda Mason, brought for quilting.  I've seen quite a few quilts of this pattern but never that thrilled me like this one.  It just made me happy to look at it.

Some close details.  Linda's collection of Japanese fabrics and Asian prints is wonderful.

Don't you just love these little characters?  I see a Disappearing 9-patch in my future...well, someday anyway.   Happy Quilting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spirit of Sacagawea...nearing completion!

 I can seriously say, I was not sure this day would ever arrive.  Finally, the top is finished and quilting can commence.  It has been quite some time since this quilt has gotten attention.  There was a little bit of time yesterday to work on the bottom row of sashing.  When I came up to the studio this morning it was really cold since the stove ran out of pellets....SO! hmmm...finish this up.  Cold is a good excuse to do other things because the Gammill really hates to cooperate when it's too chilly, or perhaps I just don't like to either.

For anyone who hasn't seen this project already, it's from the book "The Spirit of Sacagawea" by Laurie Simpson and Polly Minick.  They have a Flickr group here with pictures others have posted photos of their work.  Pinterest is another place to see awesome versions...just do a search for Spirit of Sacagawea quilts and you will be amazed.

Overall, I think it looks great!

This block is called "Chokecherry".  I decided my berries needed to be blue, like huckleberries or blueberries.  Yes, I always need to be different, what can I say.  Still need to add the embroidery on the stems, inking didn't cut it (I was hopeful).

This block is called "Stack of Coins".  You will find Sacagawea on a coin!  My machine piecing skills are so evident here, my scant 1/4" is never scant enough.  I considered redoing the block and then decided to add a border to bring it up to size.  I really don't care for the look so the verdict is still out on a re-do.

I think this is my favorite block of the whole quilt.  It is called "Salmon berry".  

This block is called "Rocky Mountain Pass" in the book.  I call it Cogs.  Let's just say I'm glad this one is finished and whether or not I like it doesn't matter because, after all, it's finished.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Some Assembly Required"

My dear friend, Nancy, recently sent me this pattern.  Camelot, designed by Trish Harper.  You can find this pattern on Broderie for purchase as well as look through their Flickr account to see amazing photos of wonderful blocks.
 I happen to be a handwork junkie.  I prefer applique but any handwork will do.  Knitting, embroidery, whatever, I love them all.  I have a feeling that Nancy knew I would not be able to resist this pattern.

 This is Block #1.  I'm going to refer to them as "rounds" since I've yet to add the setting that will make them into blocks.  I'm saving that step for the end as I have a twisted plan for accomplishing it...a little divergence, shall we say?
 Round #2 I just completed this morning.  So much for a "work in progress Wednesday".  There are sixteen blocks in all for this project and so far they're moving along pretty quickly.

Why is it that after I choose fabrics and get them stitched together do I always see what I could have done better?  In the big scheme of things I know it will be fine but I kind of wish my center circle (behind the X) were lighter and wishing my green points were darker.  Oh well, persevering.

 Hand piecing is so wonderfully accurate, given the assumption that my templates were precise.

I like to run the pattern through the copier and print it on template plastic.

Pro's: Perfect straight lines (though you must check that the copier doesn't warp anything)

Con's: Ink can take too long to dry unless you're patient, and still it can rub off the plastic and onto your fabric.
Love that nice flat center.  I'm not great at machine piecing so I know this would NOT have turned out great had I tried it that way.  For proficient machine people, give it a shot, probably so much faster.

There is probably a technique for tightening up that center (see the bitty hole?).  If you know what it is please share with me.  Several of the blocks have just this kind of center and I would love to know how to improve.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, February 24, 2014

Paducah bound!

Just heard "Sleigh Ride" was accepted into the AQS Quilt Show.  Always fun to be selected into a national competition.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A little diversion

I took a little break from quilting last weekend and made this dress for Kit as a birthday gift for my daughter..

The pattern is from Liberty Jane, available through Pixie Faire and also on Etsy.

I was happy for my applique skills and used them on the front and side tabs as well as the pockets.  It actually felt like cheating, getting that kind of accuracy, but it was so worth it.  I did go back and top stitch the pockets so they "looked" like they were applied in the typical fashion.

I think Kit looks mighty cute in her new dress.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Choosing fabrics

I have had numerous questions lately, all inquiring how I selected the fabrics for my Petal by Petal quilt (see previous post).  I'll try to explain my process and inspiration.  

 This sweet little bird house was the product of a workshop I took from Tonye Belinda Phillips.  I was already working on my quilt design.  When I came home I KNEW that I had to use the plaid stem fabric in my project.  Also know this, my absolute favorite color combination is purple, orange and green.  I think that came from years of working in a florist and loving the autumn season colors most.

I bought a yard of the plaid (Westminster - Brandon Mably)  for my stems and though I love the way it looks on the straight grain (on the birdhouse block) I knew bias was the best way to make it easy.  Fortunately it was equally awesome.

My thought process was that I wanted to use a combination of patterned fabrics and solids, preferably no floral.  The next step was to choose the solids (Kona solids, yum) with my "favorite" piece being the inspiration.  This was pretty simple.  Hello favorite colors :)

I wasn't finished with my quilt design at this point, I was just in the fabric collecting mode so I didn't feel anything needed to be set in stone.  If I bought something that didn't work out it would just go into the stash.  I purposed to find at least two patterned fabrics for each solid.  The lighter stripe has the added bonus of a lavender stripe in it.  The darker orange stripe looked great with the purple.  I'm sorry there wasn't enough selvage to determine the manufacture but there are so many great stripes I would hate for anyone to limit themselves to these.

This lavender print is little rotary cutters. As hard as I searched I couldn't come up with the name of this line of fabric.  I also chose a darker purple chevron piece that I used for the berries, evidently it isn't still in my stash.

Then by some miracle I found this amazing chevron print.  I did NOT instantly see leaves here, that was a happy accident.  This piece gets a lot of attention.  It is a Westminster fabric (Fassett or Mably, I'm not sure which).

Of course I needed a few "blenders" and these two older Fassett prints work.  They qualified because they both contained orange and purple.

So this is how they all looked together.  There are at least three pieces missing here.  The basket, the motif that ended up in the center of the orange round flower (seriously, any motif will work) and the dark purple berry chevron.

Finally, I chose the background print.  The crisp white to really accentuate the bright bold color and the tan pattern to match the style of my design plan, besides breaking up a vast expanse of white.

I hope this answered any questions, feel free to ask if I missed something.  My biggest hope is that anybody who decides to make the quilt would make it their own.  Choose what you love and go for it!!

Happy Quilting,