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Sunday, May 28, 2017

300 pins

We spent part of yesterday blocking my Free Spirit Artisan Fabric Challenge quilt. Approximately 300 pins are holding it in place to dry into a nice square quilt with mostly straight borders. Does this mean I'm done with it? No, lots more to do. The entry deadline is June 2 and unless something unexpected happens, I should come close to finishing. 

The theme of the challenge contest is the harmony of color and texture. I don't know if my quilt does that but I like it and it makes me happy.

This weekend while my quilt continues to dry, we will celebrate Memorial Day remembering relatives who are no longer with us and enjoying a meal with family. I hope that you will also spend some time in remembrance and thankfulness for what others have done for us!

Until next time, Mayleen

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pardon the mess

I'm working on my entry into the Free Spirit Artisan Fabric Challenge. I don't want to show it to you until its finished but will tell you its different. Someone said it doesn't look like me. I'm glad to hear that because at least my quilts aren't predictable. lol

I'm busy hand embroidering and I'm not sure I'll be able to finish before the June 2 entry deadline. Lots of hours spent with needle in hand stitching, stitching, stitching.

Because I wanted to share a photo of something with you,  here's a photo of the mess on my sewing desk. You are spared a photo of the mess on the floor. It may take me all of June to clean up!

Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, April 27, 2017

That Cat!

I think I'm finally finished (maybe) with That Cat! It was begun in Pam Holland's Thread Painting class at Houston's 2016 International Quilt Festival. I keep thinking I should add more stitching to the fur but I have so many projects with deadlines that for now, I need to move on.

That Cat! resembles several of the cats who have been our companions over the years - Mary Jane, Buster, and one of our current cats, Clyde. He is definitely a "That Cat!!!"

I added the mostly vintage buttons from my mom's button jar to the border simply because I didn't want to machine quilt it. Ready to move on and finish another quilting project.
 
Until next time, Mayleen

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fireworks over Dresden

Someone requested closeup photos of my Prairie Quilt Guild challenge quilt, "Fireworks over Dresden", so here they are!
This is what it is finished but not what I envisioned when I started. I will have an idea where I want to go with a project but it usually will take a few twists and turns along the way. This time, I wasn't going to buy any new fabric, thread, etc, ha. It didn't take too long and I was at the quilt shop. If I were doing this over again, I probably wouldn't use the white with gray streaks fabric. I think it just stands out too much.
 The challenge required us to make a Dresden Plate and use some of this fabric. Its actually a panel of strips but my photo shows them cut apart. We could add additional fabrics and design elements but needed to also stay within size limits.
 I decided to make fireworks because I thought it would be unique and because July 4th is my birthday! Here are a few photos of the fireworks which I stitched over and added crystals. Some of the threads are metallic which was a new skill to learn. I had some issues with tension.


 The name, "Fireworks over Dresden" doesn't just refer to the fireworks over Dresden Plates. There is a bridge in Dresden, Germany which looks somewhat like this. Its the Loschwitz Bridge and is sometimes called "das Blaues Wunder".

I created the reflection of the fireworks in the water below the bridge by cutting small snippets of the fabrics and fusing them down. I also included small snipped pieces of the metallic threads to create even more depth. The water is covered with black netting and machine quilted to keep everything in place.
Here's the back of the "Fireworks over Dresden" wall hanging. I like the back almost as much as the front! 
Until next time, Mayleen

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I've been getting a few reminders that I haven't been keeping up my blog. It has been a long time and I don't know where to start again except to post a few photos of quilts I've finished. 

The next photos are "I Spy" quilts I made as 2016 Christmas presents for our grandchildren.

 The three boys received similar quilts with a navy blue border.

Our only granddaughter received this quilt with a red print border.

 This thread painted cat is my project from the class I took with Pam Holland at Houston's International Quilt Festival in November, 2016. I only get to work on him when I don't have a quilting project with a deadline. Still have quite a bit of stitching to do on him!

"Fireworks Over Dresden"

My local quilt guild, Prairie Quilt Guild in Wichita, KS, has a challenge every other year. We buy a small amount of required fabric to use in a required way. This year it was the Dresden Plate quilt block and a mix of fabrics in colors I probably wouldn't normally have chosen. 

I made my Dresden Plate blocks out of the required fabrics and added several fabrics of my own to make a fireworks exploding over a bridge scene. Several firsts for me on this project: a new sewing machine, learning to use metallic threads, and gluing on hundreds of crystals.

Guild members voted on their favorite quilts and winners were announced at our last guild meeting. "Fireworks Over Dresden" won 1st place in its category and Viewer's Choice!

I'm also working on a Kaffe Artisan Fabric challenge quilt but I won't be able to share it until June. 
I hope to blog again before then though!

Until later, Mayleen

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Orphan Block progress

I thought you might like to see the orphan block quilts which I've been working on since January. I received a lot of orphan blocks from guild members after my year as guild president was over.

I've challenged myself to put them together in different layouts and, as much as possible, use only fabric from my stash. I know several members of my local quilt guild, Prairie Quilt Guild, occasionally read my blog so maybe they'll recognize their orphan block!
 This is Orphan Block quilt #1 which I still need to finish. My plans are to big stitch quilt Baptist Fans on the top. Considering that this top was put together back in January, I need to make time to finish it. All of the vintage blocks were given to me by guild member, Jackie Clark. If this looks familiar to you, I wrote a blog post about it in January.
 Heart Orphan Block Quilt #2 - approximately 84x92"
Since the photo was taken, it was machine quilted by Dynamic Duo Machine Quilting in Wichita, KS. Just needs binding and some embellishment. I saw this layout or something similar on Pinterest and can't find it now to give the original maker credit. If you recognize it, please let me know. This layout used up a lot of orphan blocks but I had issues trying to keep it square. Probably a once in a lifetime project!
 Orphan Block Medallion Quilt #3 - 73x73"
There are 16 orphan blocks in this quilt, three of which were cut in quarters to make them small enough to fit. I used some of my Kaffe Fassett stash which I think really perked up and tied together the blocks. It was quilted by Bluebird Machine Quilting in Wichita. I still need to make and stitch on the binding.
Orphan Block Wall Hanging #4 - approximately 56x78"
I received quite a few red, white and blue blocks so I decided to put them together in a flag layout. It looks wonky in the photo but it isn't. I spent a lot of time measuring, picking out and restitching after I discovered it was over an inch larger on the top than on the bottom. Its going to the machine quilter today.

I have enough orphan blocks to make more projects but I need to concentrate on binding so that these projects plus my other quilts will be ready to show at guild meeting. I'm our guild speaker on September 13 and if you're in the area, I hope you're able to attend. Not a member? You may visit twice for free. Here's a link to the Prairie Quilt Guild website with more information. 

Until next time, Mayleen

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My July projects

The Prairie Quilt Guild's July speaker was Lea McComas. I took her two day workshop on Portrait Quilts and hey, this is me! It was a challenge, especially the glasses, but I'm actually thinking of trying to make a portrait of the grandkids or a landscape art quilt or a tractor or ???  

I finally finished the heart orphan block quilt top and its being machine quilted this week. I can't take credit for this idea, saw it somewhere on the internet but can't find it again to give credit to the original maker. Does anyone recognize this idea? I did a little fine tuning after this photo was taken and also plan to add some embellishment later. It was supposed to be a wall hanging size but measures a whopping 84 x 92". 

Here are the orphan blocks I'm using for project #3. Any guesses what I'm going to do with them? Its already challenging my limited math skills. After making several mistakes and deciding to embrace them as design choices, I sure hope this project looks good when its finished because right now I'm unsure where its going.

Here's the color scheme. I love color!

Since I don't do well in the heat and humidity outside, I'm finding more time to stitch this week. My question - why do the weeds flourish in my flower beds while the flowers wilt? The other day I found a weed which had escaped my attention by growing near an invasive vine in our yard. It was taller than me! Since it's kind is usually pulled before they're even a foot high, I had no idea it could grow so tall. Weeds on steroids? So, so looking forward to the cooler temperatures of fall!

Until next time, Mayleen