Saturday, September 28, 2019

Finishing Machine Embroidered Crazy Quilts Tutorial

Hi and welcome to my blog!

If you want to start right now making a crazy quilt block use my tutorial link below.

No planning or real decisions should go into making a crazy quilt block. This is of course my opinion and each one of us makes different choices along the way, I just plunk down prints or plain fabric scraps that appeal to me, onto any sized foundation fabric and I get busy.

Its important to have less bulk when machine embroiderying or using a regular sewing machine to do some fancy stitches along the seams.

Once your original crazy pieced block is finished to your liking, then I pull fabrics to place around the block to proceed with finishing.

At this point its just like you are finishing a regular quilt block or top.

I usually try to make the border big enough that the center block is nicely framed.

This alternate color print is too much for this block, it loses its loveliness in the busy print as seen below, so pay attention and audition as many prints as you wish to make a good fit. I always take a photo of it as well because the digital image shows a better fit than my eye.

The choice of your border fabric with any crazy quilt is very important. You can see how much more the CQ block stands out in the upper photo compared to the photo above.

Its got to be right or your block dissappears in the color or business of prints.

This machine crazy block looks ready to hang as seen below with binding.

Simple machine quilted lines around the block is sufficient.

And I want to acknowledge my gratitude to Benita of Victorianna Quilt Designs for host her wonderful give away.

I'm late to the party, but I support her in the business of quilting. And I thank her for the invitation to participate. 

Her giveaway is fabulous. I purchased her book Secrets of My Success in 2018 and I'm not sorry I did!

Maybe you'll learn something too from Benita!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Maps Challenge Round-a-Bout

My Maps Challenge over at AHIQ is coming along, but with a significant twist. I've lost all track of time and I've missed this area of focus on the AHIQ site.

The Spring Block

 From here I was thinking trails and roadways that intersect with treed landscapes. I like the way that these look like birch trees, but they left me kinda of flat and my excitement of these blocks left me. 

I was left with trying to interpret the vision I had in my head again and again. I failed again and again in my color pallet. I struggled and like many of you, when the struggle became a chore, it had to go!

Reminder to my readers that I take the choice of not buying new fabric seriously. 

So this means that for me, I must make use of the prints, textures and colors I have in my stash. Its insanely presumptious of myself to think that continued buying of new fabric somehow didn't affect the world's pollution.

It does in a minute way, but I'm still guilty of consuming, so I've stopped doing that and I'm using up only what I have in my stash and some of that stash is organic.

Back in the 1980's I'd read the articles over so many times, I started a retail business in the Boundary Country of B.C. selling organic pet foods, livestock feeds and soil supplements.

I wrote a weekly column for a couple of years while struggling along trying to  educate the locals on why it was important to their health to feed pets, livestock and the soil with organic things, not chemical things. 

I began reading online about the toxins and chemicals used in just the manufacturing process of cotton back when I got my first computer.  I discovered this at a time I was raising young children and I feared for the future. 

Before, use of a computer began as regular life in the second half of the 19th Century, I read Organic Gardening magazines cover to cover. Our bookshelf was a lot more interesting than it is today. But I clearly understood that chemicals were out in our environment and they were a threat.

So I support organic cotton.

But using up what I already have is very important. I like upcycling cotton shirts for example into my quilts. I see that a lot in Kaja's work from her posts, we'd get along like a house on fire.

Her focus is using up as well, I think? She happily goes along injecting cotton from clothing on a regular basis. Secretly, I think its why I'm drawn to her quilts. They just seem to come together in a seamless way.

The Summer Block

I felt like I needed the last big block of intersecting roads must be in bring summer colors. While I am upcycling my own clothing and making up new projects, I am finishing up other projects and I went right into pink, blue, green and white for the summer block fabric pick. Some of these choices are new and some vintage and gifted to me.

Then my interpretation of the landscape and trails became birch trees. I enjoy the process of letting go very much and encourage youu to give it a try if you don't already leave the norms and play. 

And as I got into fall colors and decided to turn the blocks. Wow, suddenly the interest came back to my busy hands and I was able to move on to new developments for these blocks.

The Fall Block

The Winter Block

 I completely missed my follow through with Sew Slowly and many others who do participate and I'm sorry about that. 

But the only way to move forward is to let go of the safety in association. Let go of your own inhibitions about form and texture. That's what I love about the early Gees Bend quilts. They seemed to be so honest and forthright about feelings toward the beautiful colors of the world. 

I fell from the moment and this quilt top took the brunt and for what reason I'm not sure, but now its being loved again and I've proceeded to this stage.

So once I decided what I was going to do with all four seasons represented as the back ground for the birch trees.!

But the obvious green block needs some love, don't you think?

Slashing was the how I achieved the broken bits of similar color themes but improv layout all the way. Sort of like how I made Myrtle's Quilt as seen below.

So the next idea is to slash the whole top on the diagonal, breaking up the forest seasonal thing altogether. I like slashing and sewing thing back in a new way. 

I'm celebrating more progress on my various long term projects that have needed to be finished. And lastly thank you for all the kind encouragement of not letting the unfinished blocks dwell and depress me, but rather just plod at what makes your happy. Making progress on this one feels really good.

Debra Dixon is one such upcycler and one you might want to check out her on IS- debra_dixon_Design where her tenacity and spirit just keeps on giving and its an inspiration because I'm really to have found her again.

Up next post is my take on Outdoor Education and Crazy Quilts. What you might want to do in your community as I'm doing in mine and have some community fun with outdoor quilts. Helping to keep toddlers and children and people warm and feeling comfort is the best feeling any quilt can deliver!

Bye for now,

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Crazy Stitches are Fun

Hi everyone,

Its good to be back to the sewing room after a busy summer. I am working on a long time project and determined to get it finished before the coldest part of our rainy winter in Duncan begins.

I am making little crazy stitched blocks for a future slow stitching project. I must admit I've been slightly distracted this last year with ailments etc, that thank goodness I had some crazy blocks to embellish and my ankle is finalling healing. 

I'm able to start doing more walking, tendon injuries really do take a long time to heal.

Embellishing your Quilts

Embellishment doesn't have to be going out and buying more stuff!

Really people, I find the best embellishments are the fun stuff that fall into your lap and you wrinkle you brow and go wtf, could it work? 

As you may know, I am not a wall flower type of personality. I will jump in and try out stuff that may not have been tried before and why not, just because I can.

Its my therapy that soothes my busy life tensions as I stitch into it.

I don't try to make my stitches perfect. I just don't have the time to fiddle around with perfection. So I just play around with what makes me happy. I watch Netflix while hand stitching, I want you to understand that hand stitching is not difficult and its just about beginning.

I just don't worry about things looking a certain way. Do you know what I mean? I make things that make me happy. I don't have any daughters to have consultation with and the lovely men in my life, just love me.

So really every project is of my own doing with my own dreams stitched right into it.

I use whatever makes me smile and gives a sense of frolicking across a meadow. 

Quirkiness is in my blood. I add patches where I want and let go of the judgement that I felt my work would be in the beginning. 

But since blogging since 2007, prolifically since about 2011, I've gone so far out of my comfort zone, its just about being carefree and fun-loving with the stitches doing the talking for themselves.

These photos are obviously NOT a beginner project. But I have new posts on getting started with hand stitched projects.

I love couching overtop of all sorts of yarns, ribbons, rickrack, you name it! Don't hold back and think what if so and so doesn't like it? 

Look at the way these blocks look more at home on the green background and they just get lost on this pink background.

If I am looking for a good background color and I'm not purchasing fabric like I'm not, I have audition quite a few and finally arrive at the best one so far.

I know that many of you may not even think about where the cotton comes from or where its manufactured, printed and shipped from?

But it seems to me, that a few years ago, I began a systemic attempt to not buy any new fabric until the own new stash is completely depleted. 

But then nieghbours and friends began dropping off all sorts of clothing in bags onto my doorstep! I was overjoyed with finding table cloths, doiles, lace, frilly fabric that I'd last seen only when I was a kid.

Then some of the bags contained half finished quilt tops, sometimes in pieces with extra fabric to complete the quilt top.

Whoops! I didn't have the space or the ability to deal with all the quilt tops and bits and pieces. So I came up with a new plan, its taken me years to get it all going and more on this later.

Did you notice that my URL is now my own domain name?

This speaks volumes and I'm so glad I hung in there and kept working on my projects and dreaming.

Thanks to all of your encouragement and support by reading my blog. 

I can't tell you how good it makes me feel and yes, I fall down and forget to check comments. Thanks for browsing through my whole blog and leaving me comments from post back in 2012!

Bye for now!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Love on the Road Trip to Winnipeg

Our vacation began with a ferry ride when you live on island. My hubby and I had a bucket list of sorts for this trip. He grew up in Winnipeg. So he had some sweet places that still exist and don't show up these photos. They are private to he and I.

The photo above gives you an idea of the depth of some of the canyons passing through the Duffy Lake highway into Lillioet, B.C. It was our first stop.

We travelled east along parts of Trans Canada Highway, but spent time mostly going back roads, seeing country new to our eyes. Having grown up and lived all my life in British Columbia, its no secret that B.C. is in my blood. The Canadian Rockies spell beauty of unimaginable scenes of mountains, valley's and interesting rock formations like the Shale Rock.

Alberta was a busy section and we scurried into Saskatchewan heading for Grasslands National Park. This was poor planning on our part that we didn't know the way through the park is on a road tour that takes about 3 hrs to several days if you stay overnight.

We didn't have 3 hours for that ansd so this is it for Grasslands and its not even into the park yet, but similar territory.

It was a first for me to see the great expanse of the Prairies. Really, somehow, I just didn't get onto the Prairies until now and so glad I did as they are beautiful.

Monika Kinnen Whalen is a friend who stitches beautiful art sold around the world. This beauty is a piece of her thread art.

Image result for monika kinner whalen instagram
Monika makes her home in the Prairies of Canada and now I see why, its gorgeous in a totally different way. Yes, its prairie land stretches for as far as the eye can see and it goes on for days. But everywhere you look, its another scene of beauty in all directions.

And I saw my first Prairie Antilope, who bound off into the greater prairie right after this photo was taken.

My hubby found the biggest bush of chokecherries that we just had to stop and pick enough for one batch of jelly. Yum, it brings back his childhood days of picking chokecherries with his family. I didn't know that chokecherries grow wild everywhere I can see in Manitoba.

Manitoba is without a doubt a wild and beautiful province in Canada, yes, the bugs can be an issue, but basically at the end of August, they are pretty much done. But why so many mossy's you say, the province holds title to having more than 10,000 lakes, so there is a lot of water in Manitoba.

But I wanted to see and take a photo of some part of the Canadian Shield seen in the big rock across this lake.

Image result for canadian shield map

Lockport as seen below is one small fishing and farming town with a small dam on the Red River provides an annual place for locals to fish. Although, I didn't seen any sign of a fish ladder!

We came back into B.C at the Crowsnest Pass, lovely historical old mining town that perhaps is being revived, but do have all the amenties for the travelling public.

We came home refreshed and excited to begin our routines of work and play and garden.

We enjoyed our road trip of tenting and motelling our way to Winnipeg and back.

I will give a shout out to the lovely Manager of Motel 6 in Brandon, MB who went out of his way to help rescue our wet laundry from one his dryer's who totally quit. They took our wet laundry into their laundry room while we breakfasted on the best continental breakfast and recieved our laundry dried and folded!

We loved the fact that their rooms are clean and sparkling, no carpeting, yeah! Modern and everything worked great, highly recommend this site.

I have some more photos of dresses I took and forgot to get photos of me wearing them!!

This white dress began life as a white linen shirt I loved to death. I still couldn't part with it and added repairs and ruffles to make it into a dress.

I wore this dress on almost every day, I hand washed it a couple of time around the campfire. 

I got so many comments on my vintage top with bobbles!

Peace and contentment back at home with my stitching plans.

This quilt top will be finished this fall and sandwiched for winter quilting.

Along with a couple of gifts for some special people, you've seen one on the wall in one of dress photos, it will be completed this fall too. Plus, embroidery projects are on the go and I'll have more of that to share soon.

Happy Summer everyone!

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