Friday, September 30, 2022

Arabella has a garden

 Hello everyone! I hope you have been having a really good week. I'm still very down, but trying to work my way out of it. Our friend Preeti has released a new pattern, and she asked me to test it for her. I was going to say no, but some things happened, and I ended up saying yes. There is a story, but first, here is my version of Preeti's Arabella's Garden pattern:

Well, that's different, isn't it? But wait, there's more! Take a look:

Yes, I ended up making two. Preeti does not know about the second one, so she's probably said a few choice words by now, but they both have a story and both turned out well. I didn't get a chance to quilt the toddler size, but I think it turned out very cute and colorful and deserves some photos just the same.

Okay, I said there was a story, right? I was going to tell Preeti no, because I have a lot of work I'm doing and the family crisis is ongoing, as is the heartache. Well, then my brother called and wanted me to make a quilt for my sister in law, and could I please have it by their anniversary? Yikes! Does anyone say no to family? You are stronger than me. So it turned out that I could help two people in one go, testing Preeti's pattern and making a quilt for my brother at the same time. Win, win.

Okay, the quilt looks quite Christmassy, which was unintentional! My brother requested "cardinals" because my sister in law lost both her parents and has been very into cardinals lately. And then I had to add in the green because that was really the only color that would work for the corners. I guess I could have used more gray, but that might have been too depressing. You just have to listen to the fabric, you know?
I went looking for cardinals, but all of the cardinal fabric I found was Christmas fabric. I chose the least Christmassy one I could find (and there were not a lot), then combined it with a striped piece I already had which featured cardinals on a black background. I fussy cut that piece and only used the black stripes. I think they worked, and I'm glad they are out of here.

I quilted this in a crosshatch with pale gray thread in most of the quilt and black thread in the borders. The backing is the remaining cardinal fabric filled out with some gray to make the right width and length. And did you notice the mitered corners on those borders? The quilt is soft and cozy and ready to send off, and I really hope she likes it.

My quilt looks more traditional than Preeti's pattern, but that's me, you know? The pattern was very, very easy, and Preeti has this way of figuring out the least work-intensive way of making things. It's her genius, really, and many of those techniques are in the pattern, which is lavishly illustrated so you always know what to do. Some day I will figure out how to make illustrations that are that helpful!

So now we should talk about the toddler-sized, really colorful quilt. There is no real big story here, but I wanted to use fabrics that were much happier than the cardinals, and is there anything happier than a toddler quilt with yellow stars? I didn't notice until I was halfway through that the fabrics were mostly dots, but there we are!

This was a joy to work on and went together very easily. Most of this fabric, except for the background, came from the scrap bins, and even the yellow star fabric was a leftover from other projects. I think it worked out really well and I'm looking forward to quilting it. Since it's so dotty, I'm thinking bubbles for a quilting pattern.

And there we are! Run right over to Preeti's shop and grab yourself a pattern. This is a very easy pattern with great illustrations, directions for yardage and fat quarters, plus a fun coloring page. Plus it's on sale right now. You will not be sorry!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. The photo below has nothing to do with the quilts, but this friend was waiting for me right off our patio when I came home one day. Just hanging out, you know, like you do after a hard day in the trees.

 Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Radiating stars

 Hello everyone, and happy first real day of fall. The high today is supposed to be below 70 degrees, so I guess someone remembered to flip the switch to make things cooler. I noticed on my way home the other day that there are some trees that are definitely changing color already. Can raking be far behind? 

The family crisis continues, and so does my heavy heart, but it has motivated me to clean the sewing room and pull out a few things. The hubster wishes it would motivate me to install a new mantel for the fireplace, but I'm not that desperate yet. I was poking around in the sewing room closet and found a container of blocks, so I put them together really quick:

It was very windy when I was taking pictures! I tried to get a full picture with everything straight, but it was not happening. I made these blocks for the rainbow scrap challenge in 2020, but somehow never put them together. I think I intended to make more, or add some colors or something, but it was 2020, the nightmare year, and it didn't get done. But now they're saved, so yay!

There are a lot of ways to put these blocks together, and I played around and finally put them in this radiating design. I like it, and when it comes time to quilt it I think a spiral will work really nicely. I could change my mind, and probably will, but it's nice to have a plan for now. 
These are very simple blocks, just a colored square placed on a plain square and stitched into a flip triangle, but they make such a nice statement, don't they? And there are so many fun fabrics in here, even the darker ones that I don't usually use. I put all the blocks I had together, then added a bright aqua small border and a wider multicolored border. I think they work nicely with the blocks. 

This little quilt finished up at just about 43 by 53, which will be a nice toddler size. I should have made bigger blocks or many more of them, but I'm happy with the toddler size and the empty block box. I now have three empty block boxes or project boxes, so I really should take my temperature or something. Or maybe find a new project to fill them up?

Hope everyone is doing well and has a nice weekend planned. It's my birthday this weekend, so the hubs and I are planning to go hiking and spend the day in nature. Afterward there will be chocolate cake, so that's a happy day, right? Have a good weekend, all!

Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique, and soscrappy for RSC22.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

A comfort quilt

 Hi all! Long time no see. Yes, the family crisis continues. It weighs heavily on my heart, but a friend reminded me that art can be therapeutic. I've really had no interest in anything fun, but I took her advice and found a project to work on, and darned if I didn't feel better afterward. Let's take a look, shall we?

After searching through and rejecting every project I had in progress (isn't it odd how that works?) I settled on quilting the easy donation quilt that I made for this year's Hands2Help. I did a crosshatch, which was simple and soothing. Here is the finished quilt:
Okay, that turned out a little better than expected. It's a weird time of year to take pictures, isn't it? The sun is in all the wrong places, and it's definitely getting dark a bit earlier every day. Time to find some new areas for photos, because my usual trees are too dark right now. And did you see that there are tons of leaves already on the ground? Yikes!

I quilted this in a simple crosshatch, which really is mindless and always looks good. I was going to add some more lines, but I had trouble with the little bar that fits on the walking foot, so I just didn't. The quilting lines are close enough for the batting, and it makes the quilt extra cozy and soft.

I used a variegated blue from Aurifil for the quilting, and it blended a lot better than I thought it would. The backing is some of the leftover gray polka dot that I used for the last quilt I did, and it turned out well, too. I have another baby quilt- sized piece of that backing left, so I'm sure it will end up in a quilt soon. 

This was a free pattern that I offered for Hands2Help, and you can find the pattern HERE. You'll notice that I added a small border around the whole quilt, which was really helpful when I put on the binding. You can see I didn't take as much care as I usually do, but after washing I think it will still be okay. I can always re-stitch it if I want to. Right now I feel like I need to let go of perfectionism, so it will probably stay.

This quilt actually gave me a lot of comfort while I was quilting it, so I plan to donate it to pass that comfort on. I'm sure someone will be happy to receive it, don't you think?

So, there we are! Everyone have a wonderful weekend, and hug your family when you can. I wonder what else I can find in the sewing room that would cheer me up? Maybe I'll see! Either way, I'll be visiting some blogs and enjoying your creations. I don't have the mental energy to comment, but I do love seeing everything!

Lego sunflowers in my office. The plant is fake, but cheery in a pot one of my kids painted many years ago.

Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

The end of summer

 Hi everyone. I hope you are all doing well. I kind of fell off the grid a bit, didn't I? We have been having a family crisis, so I haven't had much time to stitch lately, especially on top of classes starting, but I did want to pop in and show off the last of the quilts I finished this summer. I have been able to escape from the drama just a bit and stitch a few things, and I finally finished the binding on this cutie:
Well, I'm pretty down right now, but seeing this quilt finished is definitely cheery!  All along while I was quilting it and finishing it, I thought of it as "the end of summer quilt," but its real name is Synergy, a pattern from our friend Preeti at Sew Preeti Quilts.It's a fun and easy pattern, and you can get it right HERE.

I quilted this on my quilty "playdate" with a Baltimore friend, and I used a panto called Seamless from Urban Elementz to finish it off. This panto is really easy and a lot of fun to quilt. It's very swoopy and swirly. I love the texture that it makes, and the exercise I got while quilting it. It's a real arm workout!

For the backing, I used a nice quiet gray with white polka dots. The front has so much color that I couldn't see using something bright on the back as well. The binding was done by machine and is the same fabric as the pink background. I think it looks good! If you have sharp eyes, you'll also notice that I added a small border all around the quilt, mainly to keep all the seams from popping. It helped a lot when quilting it.

If you look at the background of the pictures, you'll see a bunch of fallen leaves already on the ground. Yikes! I think it's been such a hot and wet summer that the trees around here are stressed and losing their leaves already. There isn't a bunch of color yet, but a lot of the trees are starting to turn. Doesn't that seem pretty early to you? I could do with some cooler weather, but all these leaves are falling waaaay too early for me.

So, there is another cheerful quilt to wind up the summer. It's Labor Day weekend here in the US, so everybody take some time to hug your family and maybe have a barbecue or something, okay? I will be doing the same!

Sharing at Finished or not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, and the Patchwork and Quilts linkup at Quilting Patchwork Applique.