Thursday, March 24, 2016

River Progress

I added more "bits" to the river. It only took me a couple hours to glue the pieces and about that long to free motion stitch around the edges! I like the contour and the depth much more. In fact, I liked it so much that I appliquéd the river to the piece!

Then I began working on the bridge. I drew several sizes of this bridge. It reminds me a little of the bridge that Monet painted so often. A few years ago, I was in Giverny, France and visited Monet's home and gardens. I couldn't believe how small they actually were! I will also tell you, I could see how they are beautiful any time of year!

At any rate, now, I'm deciding if I need the additional rails as I don't think that they are visible from far away; but, perhaps, it would be good to include them for those of us who like to get our noses as close to the quilt as possible! Also, I could put more white water under the bridge to show it off more. . .hmmm more to ponder!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Six Blocks Quilted!

Thanks Betty Jo Tatum for nominating me to take part in a blog challenge. Betty Jo shares her artistic process here. The rules are:
1) Thank the person who nominated you.
2) Post a quote each day for three days.
3) Each day nominate three new bloggers to take part.
My quote for the week is:

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

― Dalai Lama XIV

I often think of this quote when I feel like progress hasn't happened! I need to remember that every little bit helps!

I nominate Luann Fisher from Let's Create Today to carry on the torch! Luann dyes fabrics, quilts for customers and accomplishes LOADS each month. I always enjoy reading her posts. This is the third post of three to complete Betty Jo's challenge.

I've been doing a little quilting on my hexagon quilt. . .I want to quilt each of my 12 blocks a bit differently. Of course, before I began, I had little idea of what I was going to quilt! Remember, this was a BOM that I started in January of 2015 and JoJo Hall designed and taught this paper pieced class using the hexagon, diamond and triangle shapes. It was a lot of fun to see each person's interpretation the following month! I look forward to our reunion at the end of this month so I can see how people have set and quilted their projects.

I started with the December Christmas tree block. As I looked at the block, I envisioned wall paper behind the tree so that was how I decided to quilt the background with three thinly spaced vertical lines followed by a wider space of unquilted area and repeat! This is a Cindy Needham stencil from her ultimate stencil package. I'm using silk thread on top and a cotton thread in the bobbin.

The next block I tackled was the spider block. It was a pain stitching close to the dark lines of the web and not catching it with the white silk thread! Then, I echo quilted the rest of the block. My youngest granddaughter likes this block a lot! Her response to the block, just makes me smile! Too bad; but, my poor tech skills won't let me load the video. You would have seen her touch each spider and giggle; then you would have seen her feel the texture of the block. Her response is just the kind of response any quilter would love to receive!

The pinwheel blocks were fun. At first, I quilted the "swirls" in white. After quilting wavy horizontal lines for the breeze, the texture of the "arms" was lost. So, I requited the design using a colored thread. I liked the result. 

Since I just finished quilting "breeze," I decided to quilt wind for the kites! My quilting became more windy than I had envisioned; but, there is enough movement to keep the kites afloat.

My favorite block so far is this basket block. I used Cindy Needham's stencil to place the basket design behind the block and black thread to fill in the basket. I left the flowers unadorned so that they would stand out.

Last, I quilted the heart. Truth be told, this was the only block that I knew how I wanted to quilt it since I stitched it and now that it is stitched, it is much too plain!

 I did a little more thinking and decorated this block a little more. I like it better!

I've been noodling about how to quilt the sashing and the orange borders. . .so far, I'm stuck. Have you any thoughts?

By the way, the river addition is better. Check back next week to see it. It is possible to change the course of a river!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Block of the Month Progress

Thanks Betty Jo Tatum for nominating me to take part in a blog challenge. Betty Jo shares her artistic process here. The rules are:
1) Thank the person who nominated you.
2) Post a quote each day for three days.
3) Each day nominate three new bloggers to take part.
I decided to participate three weeks since I blog weekly and I decided to nominate one blogger to take part. (I guess I'm not a rule follower after all!)

My quote for the week is:
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do
— Pele
I nominate:
Diane Crewe who blogs the Cheshire Quilter. Diane shares her beautiful knitting projects as well as projects that were inspired at quilt meetings and swaps. Her creativity is extra special!

I'm working on two blocks of the month (BOM) mystery quilts.
Last month, I made these blocks for the guild's mystery. I have the clue for this month; but, I haven't started!

In February, I made square in a square blocks to add to the log cabins I stitched in January for the online mystery.

I liked how these blocks added to the log cabins and loved how the border looked on what I had stitched so far. I have cut the pieces and have more than half the clue finished. I am "focused" to stay on track this month.

I quilted more on my hexagon BOM. This month, I've quilted about half of the blocks. This is an example of one of the blocks. After I quilted the background, you couldn't see the "spin" of the pinwheel. 

I quilted that section a second time, using a colored thread. I like the results much better.

I even stitched a little on my old chicken project! Yes, it is true, to finish something, one must actually spend time working on it!

I haven't worked on the river. A flu/cold attacked me and I've been fighting it all week. I only felt like working on projects that didn't require a whole of thought! Luckily, I've lots of that type of work to choose!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Changing the Course of the River

Thanks Betty Jo Tatum for nominating me to take part in a blog challenge. Betty Jo shares her artistic process here. The rules are:
1) Thank the person who nominated you.
2) Post a quote each day for three days.
3) Each day nominate three new bloggers to take part.
My quote for the day is:
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. 
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
I nominate, Nancy Rehak whose blog Dizzy Dog Quilting, is always interesting! 
Since I blog but once a week, I have changed the rules for myself a bit and I'll post for the next two weeks.

Now. . .on to the news of the week!!!

I've been stuck trying to figure out why this design wasn't working for me.

I tried moving the river to a horizontal position. I tried making it shorter. I tried ending it behind the "hotel".  I took off the sky, I lowered the sky. Nothing clicked.

Then, my dear daughter came for a visit and I asked her what was wrong with the river.
She turned it at a diagonal. That change felt "right." How did I miss that option???!!!!

Next, my other dear daughter sent me a photo of her and a friend in front of a waterfall. . .it was synchronicity at work! I was thinking how I could incorporate it into this piece. As you know, I started with the "hotel" and a waterfall idea.

First, I had to work on changing the water. I thought about starting over. . .no, I like the graduation of pieces and color. I thought about cutting it. . .no, I'd cut it and then wish I had cut it in a different place. I decided to take tucks in it to change the shape. 

This is what it looked like:

I thought I was on track until I pinned it on the wall. The water lost its movement or personality so, I was back to square one!

I ended up removing some of the tucks and it fit more like I had imagined it in my head!

Here is the water, with the beginning of the bridge and a start of the waterfall. I'm making progress; just not at the rate I had envisioned!

After looking at it for most of the week, I'm thinking the bridge is too big, the waterfall doesn't fit and the river needs to be wider near the hotel so it is back to the drawing board!