Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Am I Doing?--Linky Party Tuesday!

I started to title this blog post "What I Am Doing" but "What Am I Doing?" seems more appropriate.  Once again, I've started a new project that has "leapfrogged" over other things I've thought about to take precedence.  I can blame Margaret for some of this.  She needed some fabric for her broderie perse project for our applique group, and I decided to loan her some of this fabric with lovely roses on it:

This is a Faye Burgoos fabric that I bought 9 yards of four years ago at G Street Fabrics, with the idea of making a Dazzling Dresden, or just using it as a backing.  Seeing it again, I thought I would explore the Dresden opportunities, and of course, now I have these:

These are twelve of the 20 sets I've already cut out, and I have enough fabric to do 20 more (or 30 if I cut a smaller wedge).  I decided that this would make a great hand-work car project for our proposed trip to the Southwest in a few weeks (we're up to 16 days traveling, so far, if we make all the stops we've outlined). 

Of course, when I told Guy what I had in mind, and asked him to give me some suggestions about background fabric, he was right in there with me commenting on fabric samples on-line, sashing, and layout choices.  I think I've created a monster ("do you think 4 yards of 108" backing is enough, honey....wait a minute, let me do the math").  Two hours and $90 later, I've got the background, backing, and sashing fabric due for delivery in a few days.......if I could only teach him to applique (or better yet, do bindings!).

As though this isn't idiotic enough, yesterday I just started playing around with my "uglies" for my "In the Bag" ugly fabric challenge.  I decided on some big Jacob's Ladder blocks to showcase my ugly print in the four-patches, paired with my coordinating prints in the half-square triangles.  Here's what I'm working with:

If nothing else, these will make a bold statement.  And, by the way, Guy quilted  "The Charms of Salt Air"  (yes, I named it, and no, it's not terribly original, but you get the picture).  I love the quilting motif coordinated with the "wavelet" motif in the print.  My honey is the best:

I'd better get busy......I've actually got some projects I was planning on doing that have yet to see the light of day......have a great sewing day!  Don't forget to check in with Connie at Quilting by the River to see what everyone else is working on.


Friday, May 25, 2012

A Good Day's Work......Taking Time To Do It Right!

You may remember that about two months ago I was "gifted" with a charm pack of Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket from Connie over at Quilting by the River in honor of her birthday.  I was determined to use this with solids and white, and struggled for a while with layouts and block construction.  I pieced a lot of four-patches using various greens alternating with the patterned fabric. 

Even though I wasn't terribly happy with the first layouts, I kept on going (you have NO idea how many four-patches I made).  Yesterday I finally got the last of the center top pieced, and started work on the borders.  I'm a sort of "slash and finish it" kind of border gal.....but I was determined to make pieced borders that "floated" on the top.  There is no doubt that it was much slower, but I'm pretty happy with the finished product:

I'm really taken with the color palette here....quite outside my normal range, with a lot of muted colors contrasting with bolder solids.  Does anybody have any "naming" ideas?

With the remainder of the four-patches and alternating 2-1/2" squares, I made up a pieced back (another thing I admire, but rarely take the time to do), using up large strips of the same solids that I used to frame the four-patches on the top:

(Yes, the back is hanging in front of the top, which is showing through....reminding me I need a good batting choice to keep the front and back from 'shadowing'---ask me how I know that)......

It was fun to work on my own design, and I'm glad I took the time to work out the math and get those borders on accurately.  It seems that once I get the basic top done, I'm always in a hurry to "finish" and move on to the next project.  Does that ever happen to you?

I must say I am pretty satisfied that I let the design process evolve and didn't let myself be distracted by my "get it done" tendencies.

Over the weekend, I have in mind several projects that I've been itching to make more progress on.....my king-sized Summerbreeze quilt (yes, it's "percolating" since I can't decide whether I like my design or not), and I've started some handwork for an applique group I joined.  We're working on "broderie perse" as a learning project:

Here's my vase and flowers that will be eventually be appliqued down.  It's been a long time since I did needleturn.....

There are seven quilts awaiting bindings (ugh), so I guess I'd better get moving!  Looking forward to some sun after several days of clouds and thunderstorms.  But look what I got a picture of the other night:

Why do rainbows always fill us with a certain sense of wonder?  I know all about the physics involved, but I'm always taken anew by their spontaneous nature....they are just "there."   Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everybody!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another Puzzle.......Solved!

I seem to be stuck on puzzle quilts.  Last February I finished my "Puzzled in Provence" quilt, and Chrissy thought the pattern was a perfect match for her son, Zach, who is 12.  I started looking on-line again for the pattern, and found a downloadable jigsaw puzzle pattern at About.com, created by Janet Wickell.  She conveniently included sizes for a 9-inch block, which was perfect (45 x 63 pieced top). 

This quilt was so easy to cut:  3-1/2 inch strips cut into 9-1/2 rectangles and 3-1/2 inch squares.  It is absolutely essential that you lay out the quilt on your design wall, however, to make sure the interlocking "pieces" are correct. I finished it to 55 x 73 using 5-inch red star-print borders.

Zach's Puzzle Quilt

It's on the long-arm this morning, and should be done this week.  Almost all the fabrics I used came from a huge bag of "leftovers" that were on the Peddler's Table at VCQ Celebration last month (pick what you want, pay what you want.....I left $10 for a bag of pre-cut strips, squares, ends, etc., all in patriotic fabrics....).

I seem to be stuck on puzzles this year:  the Provence quilt, my Sudoku wall hanging, and now this.  Is there a message there....or am I just trying to bring a little order to my universe?

Today it's back to my "Salt Air" fabrics; I'm still playing with block design, and need to get a few more finished so I can experiment with layouts.

I'm going to link up with Jo at Jo's Country Junction for her "Try it on Tuesday" post.  Head over there and see what everyone else is working on.

Just a reminder:  there are only two days left to view and bid on the auction quilts for the Virginia Quilt Museum's "Little Quilts, Big Talent" fundraiser; go to www.benefitbidding.com, and check out the Auction page for VQM.  All proceeds go to benefit the Museum.  Thanks.

Have a great day........Kathy

Friday, May 18, 2012

It was a Slow Sewing Week.......

I didn't feel like I got a lot accomplished this week.....the garden (and my husband) beckoned, I did some paperwork for a project, and it seemed like everytime we turned around I had to get in the car and run an errand.  But, on Sunday, I took a "Mother's Day" break and worked on a new little art quilt:

"Sunflowers from Arles"

It's another entry in my "illusion" series.....for lack of a better word.  I took a panel from the sunflower fabric I bought in Arles (in 1999, no less), cut off parts of the flowers, and recreated them in thread.  This time, I used colored threads and Fabrico pens to really bring the full flowers and leaves out into the margins.  I'm pretty happy with it.  I have a summer tablecloth that I made from that fabric, too, so now I actually have a "matched set."

The 12" x 12" construction fits my Tabletopper that arrived this week.....now I have a place to display my "little" quilts.

There's something to be said for starting a project on Sunday and finishing it up on Monday.  I did get an entire basket appliqued onto a 22 x 22 batik background (how long has it been since I did that?) and most of the fabrics are cut for the blocks of a jigsaw puzzle quilt I'm working on in patriotic fabrics.

I went to a meeting of the Shenandoah Valley Applique Society on Tuesday, and I'm trying to get back to some handwork.  The next few months in this group are devoted to broderie perse, which will be a new challenge for me.  It's good to change my point of view sometimes.  It seeems to get my creative juices on other projects flowing better.

So.....not a bad week, all told. I need to recognize that small accomplishments that take time are just as valuable as large pieces that go together quickly.

Looking forward to a great, lovely weekend here.  We've got more mulching to do in the garden, a little fertilizing and then.....we wait.......that's how gardens are.

Have a happy Saturday,


Saturday, May 12, 2012

May for Me Saturday!

I got an early Mother's Day gift while visiting my family in Northern Virginia yesterday.  It's the first time I've gotten fabrics and patterns from the kids....just a fun assortment of  seven 1/2-yard cuts, and two patterns that are perfect for me, plus a pack of Texture Magic so I have a new technique to play with:

The patterns are for a "Feeling Crabby" quilt and a Kindle carrying case....absolutely perfect since blue crab season has started and Chrissy knows just how much I love me some crab pickin', and how hard it is for me to give up my Kindle when I'm in the midst of a good read.

What a perfect, thoughtful gift....and the cards are great, too.  Thanks, Chrissy and Patrick!

I'm going to have a Happy Mother's Day Weekend.....I hope you do, too


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rainy Tuesdays.....A Slow, Sort of Steady Day....

The late sunshine yesterday was just a teaser...it's been rainy and drizzly all day, and I've been "rainy and grumpy."  Slept too late, ate breakfast too late, got started with the laundry too late.....I don't know what exactly I was late for, but everything today felt like it was "too late".....do you ever have a day like that?

I finally got into my sewing room late morning, where the first thing I did was finish my cousin's purse that I started yesterday.  She picked black, lime and pink colors, and this is what I ended up with:

The lining is done is a soft pink/lime stripe:

I hope she'll be happy with it; I'll send her photos tonight and she can let me know if it's what she wanted.

I just didn't feel like working on a big project today, so I decided to get my "Sew Red for Women" block for May finished.  This turned out nice; it's the top left block, the others are from February through April.  And on all of these blocks, my points are all visible.....hurray!!!!  I can see a nice quilt top when I have 12 of these completed:

"Sew Red for Women" blocks.....

I've been playing with the Salt Air charm pack I got from Connie a few weeks ago; here are some of the blocks up on my wall:

I think I'll alternate the next round of four-patches with a solid surround and a white border; should add interesting geometries when they are paired up with these.

I've spent the last hour and a half cutting strips for my scrap stash;  1 1/2-inch, 2 1/2-inch, 4 1/2-inch and 6 1/2-inch; I cut up a bunch of squares, too.  I had two laundry baskets overflowing, but I'm back to one again, and my room is neater, too.  That will start me off in the morning in a better mood.   

Maybe tomorrow will see more progress......but I'm off to the post office and grocery; at least the rain is good for the garden.  Check in with Connie at Quilting by the River to see what other people are working on today.

Have a great evening,


Monday, May 7, 2012

In the Bag - An "Ugly Fabric" Challenge

I got my "ugly" fabric from Pam last week.  Those of us in the group are challenged to use 90% of the  two yards of fabric we exchanged to make an item.  I sent Pam some "interesting" selections, and she sent me these:

The front print is a "feedsack" variant; and the two "little prints" are Cranston VIP fabrics.  Probably from the late 70s or '80s, I would guess.  I haven't quite figured out the orange yet, but it's a funky paisley.....

What is interesting is that I just bought some Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy prints.  These are a few of them from the set of fat quarters I got:

I paired all of them up and here's the combination:

I think this is going to be fun....and I haven't even been into my "stash" yet.  It will be fun to figure out how to work these fabrics into a "whole."

Just an intriquing little problem for a Monday.

Have a great week,


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yard Sale PostScript.....and a little Baseball....

I had a great time fielding inquiries (get it?) from my Yard Sale today; so glad to see participation from so many people....I had over 700 hits on my blog today.  Tomorrow I'll share some fabric from my "Ugly Fabric" challenge....you won't believe what I ended up with......

Meanwhile, Happy Cinco de Mayo to all (skirt steak fajitas tonight). We got to watch the Derby this evening while having dinner, and saw the Nationals win their afternoon outing against the Phillies.  Go Nats.....we got "Nat"titude".....a non-quilting post, but a fun day spent answering emails, browsing Yard Sales on-line, and just having a fun day. 

Meanwhile, I"m in love with a left-handed pitcher for the Nats (sssh.....don't tell Guy).  He got a double and scored today, while pitching a pretty perfect 7 innings....and he's cute, and he smiles and giggles a lot.  And he had an awesome slide into 3rd base.  What's not to love?


Nationals are 18 and 9.  First place in the Division.  This does not happen here around DC.....I was born and raised a St. Louis Cardinals girl, but hey, Albert Pujols is gone and I need a new hero.  Go Nationals!

Have a great Sunday,


Yard Sale Saturday for May!!

I'm linking up with Bonnie Hunter at  her Quiltville blog for another Yard Sale Saturday!  I've got lot's of goodies to share.  Here are the rules.

If you want an item, send me an email at kackerso@shentel.net.  The first bidder will get that item, and I will try to mark items SOLD as soon as possible after receiving your email.  All prices shown DO NOT include shipping; I will determine shipping costs when the winning bidder is determined and sends me their mailing address.

Payments can be made through personal check, or through my PayPal account.  Shipments will be made when your check is received, or payment is credited by PayPal.  That's about it.....pretty simple, huh?

Here goes:

Item 1.  Quilt-Lover's Favorites from American Patchwork & Quilting.  $12.00   SOLD

There are lots of great patterns in this book; it is spiral bound and stays open easily.  Like many of American Patchwork patterns, there are alternate color-ways shown, as well.  The book retails for $34.95 and is brand new....it was a gift, but I have all of these patterns already.

Item 2.  Wonderful 1-Fabric Quilts by Kay Nickols. $8.50  SOLD

I took a class in this and ended up with two books; fascinating process using striped and patterned material to create new quilt patterns.

Item 3.  Turkish Delights to Applique.  $8.50

A lovely applique book with different motifs by Linda M. Poole  Here's an example of one of the patterns:


Item 4.  Dyeing to Quilt by Joyce Mori and Cynthia Myerberg $8.00  SOLD

This is an extremely informative book about quick direct-dye methods.  Filled with color theory, alternative dye processes.

Item 5.  Family Tree Kit from Keepsake Quilting -  $14.00    SOLD

This kit includes two (2) family tree panels for inking, plus two yards of additional fabric.  Perfect for the quilter who is also into geneaology.  Very nice fabrics.

Item 6.  Pieced and Applique Sampler Quilt (15 blocks). "Piece and Plenty" the Moda U 2007-2008 Mystery Quilt (Block of the Month?) - $15.00  SOLD

Various designers, including Sandy Klop, Edyta Sitar, Minnick & Simpson, Figtree Quilts. Includes patterns for all 15 blocks, as well as the setting patterns for the finished quilt.  A very nice, interesting set.  This is a bargain--essentially a $1.00 a block.  I can see this quilt in bright, cheerful summery colors; or an autumn pallette; I just don't think I'm ever going to get around to doing it, since I have a lot of other samplers I want to do.

Item 7.  Fiesta Vases - 4 Patterns 18" x 24" - Bird of Paradise, Tulips, Iris, and Calla Lilies.  $12.00 for all 4 or $3 each

These are unique and different applique patterns; I finished two of them in batiks; they make lovely wallhangings.  Each "vase" looks like pottery (at least using batiks).  The "Iris" pattern I made is currently on display in one of our local libraries!  I bought these from the designer in Houston about 10 years ago.  The Calla Lilly pattern is missing the color photo, but that shouldn't be a problem with the other references.  Originally these 4 patterns cost $36.00.

Item 8. A BIG box (10 cones) of Rayon Threads (3500 to 5500 yds each) - $ 15.00

These embroidery threads were from a woman who was quitting the professional embroidery business.  Some still in plastic wrap; all in good shape.

Item 9. Three Patterns:  Covered Bridges, Miniatures, and a good-sized wall-hanging called Village Walk.   $4 each or all three for $9  SOLD

Item 10. Folk Art Fantasy by Karen Kay Buckley - $7.00

One of Karen Kay's beautiful applique wall-hangings.  Her work is lovely, and her instructions are awesome.

Item 11.  Garden Medley by Karen Kay Buckley.  $7.00  SOLD

Another one of Karen Kay's beautiful applique designs.  Fairly large pieces, that should go quickly; a great introduction to her applique for someone who is a bit new at the process. 

Item 12. Nancy Crow -- Quilts and Influences.  $15.00  SOLD

This is a beautiful, hard-back, first edition of her 1990 seminal work.  I have found this on Amazon for $12 to $85.  This copy is in excellent condition, filled with incredible color photos and artistic narrative about Nancy's creative process.  A great book. 

A reminder:  if you want one of these items, email me at kackerso@shentel.net.  You can leave me a comment, but I will not be checking these for bids.  Don't forget to visit Bonnie's blog at www.quiltville.blogspot.com to see what other Yard Sale items are out there today. 

Happy shopping!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's Finished......!

I guess good things take a while, but this seemed to take me a little longer than I thought it would.  I finished my client's antique crazy quilt this morning:

I haven't really gotten much else done in the past week or two, just slogging on towards the end.....the sashings are quilted, but all the blocks are hand-tied from the back, and just when I thought I was done, I discovered two blocks with black silk that was shattering, so I hand-appliqued black tulle (very slowly, very carefully) on those segments.

I hope my clients are happy.....I really think that it came together very well from the original big huge hand-pieced and embroidered blocks.

Hurray, hurray, the First of May, my Client's Quilt got done today!!

Enjoy this beautiful weather....out to the garden to plant tomorrow,