Sunday, August 21, 2016


Four blocks and the quilting sampler are finished. All four of the blocks are based on Chuck Nohara's but on one I really riffed.

Fuchsias have always been a favorite of mine.  My mother grew them when I was a child in California.  I was drawn to this block and the idea of fruit hanging from a limb.  I was not sure about the pears and from there the block gradually morphed into the fuchsias after a bit of playing around with fruit and flowers. I think this one is my all time favorite.

The other Chuck blocks are more straightforward reproductions.

You can see this is a close copy-the only change I made was in making the center circle small to exaggerate the mirror image look.  Chuck's block looks very Oriental-I keep thinking "I Ching" probably due to the fabrics she choose to make her block and the design symmetry.

I love yellow and this block combines that with another favorite-twisty stems.  I like the way this one came together.  More definition will be added to the leaves during machine quilting. Chuck makes some bold and fluid designs.

And lastly another leafy sort of wreath:

I used a leaf from each of the aqua flowered prints from the different collections used in the quilt and then used rose as an accent.  


I finished the sampler from the Sit Down Free Motion Quilters facebook group.  This sampler was fun to do with some squares being hard and some easier.  I felt like I learned a lot.  The SDFMQ's did a very professional job in designing and teaching this learner's sampler.  I have gained confidence and am ready to do more. It is not to late to sign up if you want to make this sampler.

You can see the quilting is far from perfect but if you wait for perfect, nothing will happen!  I think I will do some wild and crazy doodle stuff next.


Applique Paintbox has three new international visitors this past week:  Serbia, South Korea, and the Isle of Man.  Admittedly, I had to look up this last knowing only its association with England.  The Isle of Man is a small island in the Irish sea between England and Northern Ireland.  It is not a part of the United Kingdom but is self governing and crown dependent (like the Channel Islands? New Zealand?).  All three of the flags of these countries have proudly added to the list of international visitors.


With these three photos, we have come to the end of the Caswell quilt demonstration. 

These two blocks I adapted from the Caswell carpet itself. You can see my favorite twisty stems and leaves.  Snails, ladybugs. a butterfly, and a hungry hummer all add to the garden.  I find more and more that embroidery is creeping into my applique. You can see it in the stems, the flower details, and the snail shells.

These two blocks I also designed directly from the Caswell carpet though you can see Threadbear's influence in the blue flower block.  The bird block was made then remade about 6 times until I got it right.

I don't know where this block came from except I wanted more dragonflies and you have to have a water source to have dragonflies.  Ergo-a bird bath complete with bird, flowers and berries.

There are other blocks that I have not shown but I am ready to move on to display another quilt.  Since I have completed about 20 appliqued quilts before I began blogging, there is lots to show. 


 I will be linking up this week with the lovely linkies listed left!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I don't have a lot to show for myself.  I made only 3 blocks this week and just puttered the week away. I did go to the city and visited my two favorite fabric stores.  I had been looking for some fabric with little houses on it and finally found a suitable fat quarter with which to make a little town.

This fabric is very cute with its little shops and houses.  I found the cobble stone fabric in my stash and its works okay as a cobbled pathway through the town.

My other blocks are from Chuck's book.  

In this pretty wreath, I used my four main colors: peach, aqua, yellow, and green.  I use Karen Buckley's perfect circles to form the shapes of the flowers.

This block is simple but very nice in the combination of angular shapes and curved shapes. 

Well, that is it for this week-not too much to show for myself-I did not even do my free motion quilting homework.  Do you find that this lack of focus happens as a project nears its end?  I have been going over my beautiful Kona solds fabric chart and choosing colors for the sashing for Chuck, Susan, and me.  It is wonderful to have so much to choose from. I have narrowed it down to 16 different colors-4 of each main color in the quilt.


My husband was caught up in the Delta Airline shutdown.  He spent 24 hours going from Roanoke to Atlanta to Cincinnati to Minneapolis to Kansas City.   He felt he was trapped in some alternate universe composed of airports and all humanity crowded into a tiny capsule. He was looking and feeling so frazzled towards the end of this odyssey that Delta upgraded him to first class which allowed him to catch up on some sleep. 


Look what I captured with my fabulous camera:

Is this a perfect shot of a hummer or what?  I took several shots most of which were blurry.  But the nexus of focus and cooperation on birdie's part created this great photo.  She is a female ruby throated hummingbird-our most common hummer in these parts.

I have told you of my terrible piecing skills-no matter how hard I try either the block is (usually) too small or is too big so corners have to be cut off.  In a blog post I saw a quarter inch foot with a wonderful guide on it that would ensure that the seam was was correct size.  I thought that's what I need.  So I go online to find one for my Juki, search around without much luck until I happened upon When I saw her blog photos, it was like an epiphany:

The Juki Manual calls this a compensating foot and not knowing what it could possibly be, I tossed it into a drawer.  Fool! It is obvious now that I know! Now I can sew perfect 1/4 seams and to think I had this little miracle in my possession all along.  This is very freeing and broadens my horizons in quilting. This happens at a opportune time because the sashing for Chuck, Susan, and Me will be made up of one inch squares.  The quilt will finish at about 100x108 so we are talking lots of little squares and a lot of 1/4 seams.  I guess this was not such a wasted week after all.


Here are two more blocks from my version of the Caswell quilt:
This block has the leaves and berries of the A-3 block but I changed them around to add the pond, the dragonflies, and the butterflies.  The birds are based on birds in the A-1 block except I gave them the turned up tails of wrens.

This was my favorite Caswell Block which I left unaltered except my pattern called for a block 14 inches wide instead of 11 so I lengthened the birds and added some more flowers.  The color is off on both these blocks.


My blog has had a visitor from Argentina.  I am so glad you stopped by and have added the Argentine flag to the list of international visitors.

I receive wonderful comments on my posts and answer all of them and check out those blogs as I am very interested in what you are doing.  However, it is impossible to respond to some comments as they are no-reply bloggers.  It is very easy to change this status.  If you are interested, here is a link which will help you: 

Not exactly helping:

Though Blossom did teach me to use the ~~~~ which she entered on her own.  Actually this cat can do things with her fanny and petty paws that hackers can only can only dream of. 

That's all for now.  I hope you have a good week.  Lots of kids go back to school this week which is both a relief for mothers and a feeling of missed opportunities. 

I am linking up with the very fun and informative linkies listed on the right.  Stop by for some great quilts.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

We begin August with 3 inches of rain!
I have been staying cool and working away.  I finished another column of Chuck, Susan, and Me:

I am getting there-about 2 1/2 columns remaining to be done.  I have gotten to the point where I am thinking of layout.  My latest thought is to make a one inch border between each row and column.  I am thinking of using one inch squares (finished size) of variously colored Kona cotton.  The main colors of Chuck, Susan, and Me are minty green, peachy pinks, aquas, and butters.  

I am mostly an online shopper.  As I am sure you know, what the photo of a fabric looks like and what the color actually is can be 2 very different things.  So I ordered a Kona color chart which is great because the swatches are the actual fabric.  Now I can order my 16 to 18 half yards knowing they will be right.  Here is what the card looks like which is really a piece of eye candy for quilters.
I want all the colors-there are 303. 

Next: blocks for this week.  3 are Chucks, one is of unknown derivation, and one is mine.This block is very different from the others having a more traditional applique look to it.  This block was very time consuming with all the little pieces-remember we are talking 6 inch squares here.

Here is another nice wreath block of unusual design. This pattern was followed closely except I centered the wreath in the center as the other is more appropriate for a modern look in modern fabrics.

I gave a new mood to third block from Chuck's book.  Chuck's block is obviously pansies which would not work for me as, much as I love it, purple has no place in this quilt.  I also joined the stems together to make one plant.

This is the block of whose derivation I am not sure.  I know I have seen it somewhere and I am not claiming it an original (I think??)  If anyone knows where the design comes from, please let us know.  A few weeks ago, I made a block which, to me, seemed really obvious design.  A reader wrote in to say the block came from the Dear Jane quilt.  She was right-the quilt had that block.  So much is done at a subliminal level and, if you are a person who does lots of research (technical term for spending hours looking at quilts on line),  it is easy to be influenced.  

The last block for this week.
You can see this block is broderie perse with the fabric taken from a piece of French General Bouquet Francais.  I loved the look of the basket of flowers and the birds.


The Petra Prins fabric for Quiltmania's Discovery quilt was delayed because the fabric was slow to come out of The Netherlands.  They had some problem but I have it now. There are 2 more months of the mystery quilt-September and November.  Here it is in all its glory:

I captured the colors pretty well.  Is this lovely or what?  I have not yet decided  how I will use it-the Discovery quilt is not exactly right for me. Anyway-this is not the quilt next in line.  Next in line and coming up soon is Sweet Surrender form the Aussie pattern maker Susanne Cody-she associates with Material Obsession. There are 2 more months of the mystery quilt-September and November.

One new country visited me this past week-Ukraine.  I will add the flag to the growing list.

Lastly, I wanted to show off two more blocks from Caswell:
This block has two of my favorite things: honeybees and Yoshi, my outdoor cat.  I just love the spider web.  The black and yellow spider is one we used to see in our garden (acres and acres it seemed if you had to weed the garden) on our zen farm.  You can see how the spider is dropped and the bees don't stay on the own block which helps the illusion that the quilt is not composed of blocks.

After I decided to join these 2 blocks, I knew something had to be placed the the wide space between the bottom of the vase and the blue buds.  After much thought (and research) I came up with this bird who is very busy eating birdseed.  You can also see a pink butterfly and a dragon fly which is going after the water in the birdbath of the block below. The blue, vaguely oriental vase is a reference to one of my other quilts-the Blue Collection by Maggie Walker.

That's all for right now.  Happy quilting and thanks for visiting my blog.  I love your comments so please leave one for me to read and enjoy!

This week I am linking to the blogs you can see listed on the left.  Good blogs, all.  I am also linking up with Bambi's show and tell monday @

Sunday, July 31, 2016

and we love it!
I have 5 blocks for this week:
I call this one "Under the Sea".   I had some great fish fabric begging to be part of the quilt.  The fish and the shells and the sand, and the seaweed make up the block with the ominous touch of wiggly worm on the fish hook.  The original version of this block had a boat in it but it sailed away.

Now my beloved Chuck Nohara blocks.

I don't do hearts often so I had to come up with another motif finish the block. These pretty flowers are from French General fabric and I like the way it finished.  I purposely lapped the motifs over the stems to give them more of a sense of belonging.

I was not in the mood for symmetry when I made this block.  It is such a great block but I decided to change it up with some asymmetry but with balance.  Most of the design is inside the circle which makes it interesting along with the odd numbers of elements.

Here are some of the butterfly blocks from Chuck's book.  I wanted to make the one in the upper left corner with the pieced fabrics but I did not like the shape.  So I combined several to make one butterfly.  The wing is reverse applique.  I like it okay except I wish I had cut the fabric more at angles like the first butterfly. This block gave me the chance to try out a technique new to me-that is using strips sewn together-a technique which can be very effective.

I call this block "The Curious Flowers" because they look for all the world like they are busy inspecting the ladybug.  You can see I changed the block a bit but not much.

Speaking of ladybugs.......I have been promising to show you more of my Caswell quilt and the ladybugs reminded me.  Here are two sections of the quilt which the lady bugs have claimed as their own.
This section also has snails, and a hummingbird.  You can see how I have sewn birds and bugs over the seams of the blocks to break down the viewer's first recognition of the quilt as composed of blocks.  The ladybugs tell their story over two of the blocks as to the snails, the hummer, the moth and the honeybee.

Here is the second grouping of ladybugs and also a bird perched on a leaf singing a birdsong which I "composed".  Again you can see an example of the unity which was my goal.

Free motion quilting-check!  Done this week-lesson 8. One more and we begin the borders.  I decided to work on only one sampler at a time.  Here is progress so far:
This has been a fun sampler and I will be sorry to see it end but I have another one in the planning.

Here is Mrs Blossom Muggles inspecting the start of the abandoned sampler:
She is such a big help with her praise and insightful criticism.  She is also a clown.  Here she is pretending to be a vam-purr:
I decided to set this sampler aside because I am not sure if the FMQ in this sampler, while nice, will suit the direction I want to go to learn methods and means of quilting around applique.

I also have three photos of the little dinosaurs which visit my backyard:
This is a Eurasian ring neck dove.  We have several. They are a soft white grey and much larger than the usual doves.  They really enjoy teasing Yoshi, our outdoor cat, who like to stalk them only to have them fly off at the last minute.
Can you see the hummer?  Just barely!  I will have better photos in the fall when many, many visit our feeders. 
This is a female hairy woodpecker.  She likes to eat ants from the feeder and also likes the sugar water as a sort of sap.

I have two wonderful new countries who visited this week: Sweden and Finland!  Lucky me!  I am very pleased you visited.  My mother's family comes from Sweden.  I added the flags to the growing list.

Well, I think I have covered all topics.  I am so pleased when you visit and leave a comment.  I read all the comments and just love them and will respond if you are not a no-reply blogger.  I want to know what you are working on!


This week I will be linking to those great blogs: Slow Stitching Sunday, Patchwork Times, Em's Scrapbag, Esther's WOW, Let's Bee Social, NTT, Whoop, Whoop. and Off the Wall.  Visit as these are awesome blogs!