Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pickle fabric and paperwork

Pickle fabric choices.

Actually I have a lot more so this is just a sample. These may or may not make it into the quilt but I'm trying to challenge myself by using combinations I wouldn't normally use. Something I've noticed about my stash - hardly any light value fabrics.
Pickle paperwork
After having some problems with the accuracy of making my own pickle dish templates, I've been trying to draft a pickle dish paper piecing pattern. This is the most accurate I've gotten so far and will finish the pattern tomorrow. Unfortunately, I've strained my right elbow and shoulder so progress is slow.
Next time - my favorite "pickle"!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Please pass the pickles!

While I'm gathering the last few fabrics for my wallhanging, I've started hand piecing project#2. This is my very first curved piecing block, Pickle Dish, for a quilt by the same name from Kathy Doughty's book, "Making Quilts ... the promise of joy", published by Quiltmania.

Unfortunately, I wasn't very joyful as it all came together. You can probably see the wrinkle about half way down the football shape. I had made my own templates and somewhere there's a problem. I have never done well with templates so I've decided to try paper piecing this block and have drafted my own pattern.
The Pickle Dish quilt block is also sometimes called Indian Wedding Ring. Two different looks - one more modern and the other traditional. I'd really like to make both! The Pickle Dish quilt is in the "Making Quilts ... " book and the Indian Wedding Ring quilt is in the Quiltmania magazine, issue #89.

And then there's Pumpkin Peel on the cover of this book, "Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts" by Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Biz Storms. Its another one on my Someday List!

Mary Elizabeth Kinch has started a blog about quilts made with small pieces. Here's a link to it.

Too many quilts, too little time!

Until later, Mayleen

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunflowers - fabric and real

I found the sunflower fabric to use in my wallhanging! Pictures coming soon if all goes well. No pictures means hand piecing the wallhanging is not going so well.

The birds helped plant my flowerbed this year and real sunflowers are blooming in it! Here's a little tour of the side yard while its still relatively green and pretty.
These petunias were struggling to stay alive in the direct sun and heat on my west porch so I've moved them to the deck. They're doing better here but I don't expect them to last too much longer because of the heat we're expecting for the next week.

Beginning today, our high temperatures will be over 100 degrees for a week. We haven't had rain for awhile either so its very dry and if I weren't watering my flowers and trying to keep the lawn alive, most everything would be brown. The weeds, however, would be green. Is it only me or have you noticed that weeds thrive with very little moisture?

The vine climbing up our deck is Autumn Clematis. Looks great, does its job of blocking the wind, heat and dust but its also invasive. We cut it down every other year or so and it always grows back as long as you give it some water. It looks quite lush on the picture but the leaves on the other side of the vine are already turning brown.

This morning, I cut enough rhubarb to make 2 pies but again, I don't think the plants will be able to stand the heat for much longer. This is the green rhubarb which was given to me by a friend so I don't know what variety it is. Green rhubarb is supposed to be more sour than the red kind. I chop and freeze it to bake rhubarb pie, muffins and bread later.

The hibiscus flowers are wonderful this year and the bees seem to fight over the flowers! I'm glad to see the bees around because it means somewhere there's honey for someone.

Its time to move the sprinkler again so until next time, Mayleen

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Selvages, Octagons & Books

Look what someone gifted me at guild this past week!

The selvage tub is getting full again so it will soon be time for another quilt but I don't know yet what it will be. I'd prefer a wallhanging as I'd probably use it more than a bedsize quilt and most importantly, it wouldn't need as many selvages! It takes a really l-o-n-g time to save enough selvages and I certainly couldn't do it without help from friends.
Quilting is my stress reliever and this past week, I started two new quilting projects. Does that give you an idea what kind of week it was for me?

Here's part of the first project, which will be a wallhanging, not sewn together yet just cut and up on a design wall. Its my version of a quilt I saw on Quiltsalott's blog. Warning: Try not to spend too much time looking at the pictures of delicious cakes on her post. Scroll down to the last photo. For some reason, I think about the cakes often and wonder what they taste like! I will probably never know because Quiltsalott lives in Australia.

I'd like to include a sunflower in this wallhanging but I need one that looks a little more modern than what I'm finding in the quilt shops. How can I live in Kansas and not have a sunflower in it? Any suggestions where I could find a sunflower that will work with the fabrics you see?

I'm still gathering fabric for the second project which is a bedsize quilt. For me, searching and hunting for just the right fabric is just as much fun as seeing the quilt finished!

Last week, I received these two books as birthday presents. In fact, my second project is from Kathy Doughty's book, "Making Quilts ..." I think I'm drawn to these kinds of quilts because they use vintage designs as their inspiration and, of course, the bright colors.

The month of July is already almost half over and lately it seems my posts are getting fewer and farther between. I hope to do a little better than my only one post in June this month.

Till next time, Mayleen