Monday, October 28, 2019

Hawaiian Bay

Before my hiatus, I had started piecing a landscape quilt, which had only gotten this far. And I wasn't thrilled with it.

The initial idea was to use that stripey fabric, which I'd had for a long time, for water, and to incorporate the sky fabric I had painted a couple of years ago.

The sailboat, printed on fabric and using a photo I'd taken in Maine, was auditioned before actually cutting it out. It was really too large for the scene. (I've since figured out how to change the size in my photo program, but that was after the quilt was finished.)

The sand, flower and grass fabrics looked okay but nothing was "popping" (except maybe those sunflowers). The whole thing looked kind of drab to me. So I put it aside.

After the 3+ month hiatus I pulled it out of storage, and ended up taking all the foreground fabrics off and putting them back in my stash.

Then I took a good, hard look at what was left. On a whim, I pulled out my scrap box and added one little orange batik strip. And suddenly, we were off to the races.

It morphed into this pieced scene...

...but even as it did, that painted sun kept nagging at me. It was really pretty ugly (sorry for the oxymoron!).

Fusing a bright-yellow batik piece over the sun took care of that problem. Much better. Then a heron, a sailboat, and some shells were added.

Quilting was fairly quick, using both free motion and machine regulated stitching.

Binding was made, using the faux-piped method (it's on YouTube). Here are some closeups of the interior (click to enlarge):

Seed beads were hand-sewn to the centers of the "flowers."
And the finished quilt...

So, landscapes are done for 2019; I'm working on Christmas presents now! One of them has me really excited but I can't share it until after Christmas. Someone in the family might see it too early!

Enjoy the upcoming holidays, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate. Peace and love to all.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Although my eight-week hiatus from knitting and quilting turned into 3 months, the nerve is still not completely healed, but it will get there. Toward the end, I finally caved in and cheated...but only a little.

At 17" x 20", Up with the Dawn is much smaller than most of my landscapes, and less densely pieced and quilted, so it wasn't that much of a strain and didn't take very long to make. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

For years, I had been meaning to use that fabric for the sky in a landscape, but just couldn't seem to make it work until now.

One other landscape quilt quickly followed, and is nearly finished. I'll save that one for next time. In the meantime, it feels really good to be able to blog again. I've missed that almost as much as the quilting!

Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're in the northern hemisphere, happy autumn, my favorite season...time to make a pot of chili and a batch of chocolate fudge. If you're in the southern hemisphere, happy spring!


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Quilting Hiatus (Knitters Beware)

The other day I unfolded this remnant of a vest I cut out weeks ago, and, voila! Or should I say, "Moo."

Got a good laugh from seeing that. Anyway, the one quilt strip I was able to salvage from it ended up in this little quilt top for Project Linus.

And a quilt TOP it will remain, at least for now. Why? I'm out of commission for 8 weeks as far as quilting and knitting, due to a nerve issue in my left arm, which was caused by...knitting. To be more precise, knitting while leaning on my left elbow, which was always propped on the arm of the chair so that I could get more lamp light on my work. Knitters beware. This was a gradual progression, as I did not realize at the time (2015) how dim my eyesight was becoming, due to cataracts.

Cut to 2017, when I had cataract surgery on both eyes and could see great! No longer did I need to lean on my elbow into the lamp light to see my knitting....but I kept doing it anyway. I was so in the habit, that I repeatedly caught myself doing it all the way through 2018 and into this year.

And then the tremors started. First in my hand, then in my arm, then working their way up to my shoulder and neck. It's only visible in my hand, though. Then, last week, the muscles in that arm started occasionally tightening by themselves. Stress aggravates it, too, as stress does any physical condition. So now, long story short---no knitting and no quilting (which irritates the nerve somewhat as well)---for 8 weeks.

My poor husband. LOL No, seriously....

A happy Independence Day (July 4th) to everybody in the U.S., and a great weekend to all.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Something Fishy (Again)

 This week saw a finish for the underwater quilt. Nothing was added to my original design except the sapphire-blue binding. Again, I loved the background so much I just didn't want to add any more detail or even any borders.

Beneath the Waves is 22" x 42" (the full width of the background fabric turned lengthwise). The fabric is Gradients by Moda.

The seaweed was cut from a half yard of Kaufman Artisan Batiks Patina Handpaints. (The lake in my quilt Still Waters is a large piece of this same fabric and colorway.)

The fish and turtles were cut from West 22nd CX1418 Tropical Fish, and fused with Steam-a-Seam II Lite. UPDATE: This is a Michael Miller Fabric, by the way.

There is a mistake in this quilt that really tickled my funnybone when I discovered it, which was after all the applique was fused. I chose not to correct the mistake, since it's subtle and would have required a bit of re-designing. (Hint: you might figure it out if you can look at the photo upside-down. I first noticed it when the quilt was turned upside-down on the ironing board.)

Will I tell potential customers about this funny mistake? Nope. It's just not a big deal. Something even funnier happened with a landscape quilt I made and sold many years ago, titled Change in Routine and shown here below. See all that golden hay just behind the fence? 

A bit blurry. My present camera would have done a better job.
After I had completely pieced and fused/glued the scene, I suddenly realized there were tiny minnows...yes, FISH...all throughout that fabric! What I had thought was prairie grass was actually an aquatic plant. That gave me one of the biggest belly-laughs ever! Couldn't believe it had taken me all that time to notice all those minnows. That mistake, though, needed correcting. It was one of those things that, once you see it, you can't un-see it. I used a golden-yellow paint marker to obliterate all but one of the fish...I left it there as a wink to myself, even though I'll never see it again.

Those are the only two such instances in my landscape quilting "career" that I know of. Hopefully they're the last, but I'm not crazy enough to bet on it.

Have a great weekend.  :)