Friday, September 30, 2016

CENTER BLOCK CREATED
AND I AM READY TO ASSEMBLE


I found a nice font to use for the lettering and made the letters with a brown pigma pen.  I learned how to make this lettering colorfast from Pearl Pereira when I made her Pearl's Garden Quilt.  I added my favorite Jacobean landscaping and choose flowers from Diana Lampe's great book Embroidery for all Seasons.

Now begins the assemblage.  After much thought how how to keep 143 blocks in the correct order and placement prior to sewing together, I decided to use my micro stitch tool to hook the blocks together in each row.  Then I will label each row so I know in which order to place the rows after they are sown together.  This should work.  We will see. Wish me luck.  I should have something to show this Sunday.  See you and until then:

Happy quilting!  


Sunday, September 25, 2016

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN LONG AND UNPRODUCTIVE BUT I GOT THROUGH IT!
I assigned myself several objectives which gave some definition to my time but still a lot of time was spent wandering lost among the fabric so to speak. Everyone who tries to create expects to spend some down time in the land of the lost.  This happened to me also about three months ago just after i finished quilting Mountmellick when  I developed a painful quilter's block-not the square kind-the empty kind.  I got over it-one always does but it does not seem you will while in this blue funk.

Let me tell you what I did accomplish this week.  The empty nester bedroom was cleaned and tidied-no mean feat- so I could lay out Chuck Susan and Me.  I divided the blocks into several parts-those derived from Chuck, those derived from Susan Smith Stonefields quilt, those I thought up, those which are so generic no one can claim them, and a couple from other designers.

Here are Chucks:



Here are the blocks derived from Susan's quilt pattern:


You can see the difference between Chuck's very imaginative and stimulating designs and Susan's simpler, softer designs which repeat several times.  The repeats are one of the main reasons I looked for another design source:  if I was going to go to the trouble of 143 blocks I want them interesting and different.  Nothing against Susan's quilt.  If you google Stonefields, you will see lots of beautiful quilts made from this pattern.  It was just not me.

Here are my designs which I hope have a lot in common with Chuck's outlook on design.



Generic blocks-we have all seen these blocks many times before in many different quilts:


What can I say-all are pretty simple and a lot use motif from a bit of fabric as the center.  

These last three are from 2 designers: first Dear Jane pattern and the second 2 are by Faye Anderson in her book published in 1990.


I believe in giving credit to my sources.  I have studied lots of quilts as I am sure you have also-we can all recognize when a design has a backstory.  

All the blocks have some deviation from the original be it shaping, color mood, little additions etc.  Next week i hope to be over my funk and able to arrange these blocks in their final order-maybe even stitch them together.  I am still working on the center block.  

On to new things.  I have begun Sweet Surrender (hate that name).  The pattern calls for 18 full triangles and 4 half triangles.  The four background strips are cut and marked,  and applique has begun on the first triangle..



How is that for a complete switch in color moods from C,S, and Me with its pastels to this wild coloration from Kate Spain.  I dug through my Kaffe Fassett collection but could only find some brilliant turquoise/green for leaves to add to my fabric mix.

That's all for now-I hope you all have a good week and enjoy what you are doing.

I will be linking up with Kathy's Quilts, Mondays with Bambi, Patchwork times, Em's Scrapbag, Esther's blog (she finished the wedding dress just in time), Lets Bee Social, Whoop, Whoop and Off the Wall Fridays.  Good Hostesses!

HAPPY QUILTING!!!!





Sunday, September 18, 2016

GOOD BYE, CHUCK...I WILL MISS YOU!
My voyage with Chuck has ended.  I will show you the last four blocks.





This is "Cat in the Sun" block-another of those blocks from my basket of must use in this quilt fabric.  I shaped the window frame out of some of the browns that were in the same piece of fabric with the cat and the bird.

This second block is from one of Chuck's.  I love the 3 dimensional look of the box but wanted to fill the box with more flowers.
This pretty block of framed flowers is also one of Chuck's.  I followed her lead closely on this block.




This block is one of Chuck's abstract blocks which I think she intended to have been pieced together.  Not having much luck with my piecing skills, i decided to applique the pieces together instead of piecing.  I think it is a very dramatic and full of the fluidity Chuck so often displays.  I am not sure the light yellow shows off the pattern to the fullest but there you are.

















The next block I made some time ago before I began blogging and displaying Chuck's blocks.  It is similar to the above block in that it should have been made by piecing but I again appliqued the block together.

There is no way I could have pieced this but I just loved her design and did the best fake-up I could manage. 

Chuck's book has 2001 blocks some of which I have made and shown you.  Her book covers so much more that appliqued blocks.  At least half is devoted to unique pieced blocks so still check out the book even if you are not an appliquer.  There is something for everyone in this book.

Well, there you have it. THE END. Good-bye Chuck!


EXCEPT........I had a great idea for a finishing center block and also there is one block which just has to go-totally wrong-so the numbers will still work out. I had to order some fabric for this finish up and maybe will show you next week.  I have also ordered my backing and the batting.  SO.......upstairs with all 143 of my little friends to be laid out on the bedroom floor and arranged and rearranged until they are all happy together. 

You know I do practice pieces of FMQing which has been really helpful in skill and confidence building.  Now that I have all the parts of Chuck, Susan, and Me, I will begin quilting her!!!! It will be a large quilt so the top of the quilt composed of 11x13 rows and columns will be broken into 4 parts and the borders 3 parts.  I am excited to begin and this makes leaving Chuck a little easier even though I won't be interacting with her designs. Also I have my new quilt and have spent some time with her this week getting to know her and her fabrics.

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So...visitors.  Andorra is a tiny county in the Pyrenees nestled between France and Spain.  There is a population of about 80,000 and has an alpine climate with 300 days of sun and lots of skiing in the winter.  Someone living in Andorra visited my blog last week but they did not leave a comment so I cannot tell you about them except they live in a lovely place.

I was also visited by people in the Philippines, Morocco, Portugal, Costa Rica, and Malaysia all countries of mystery and romance to me.  I would love to visit.  All their flags have been added.

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Now that the weather has cooled off (thank you to whomever is responsible for this), Blossom has returned to her comfy cushion placed for her before the window to enjoy the full effect of sun.  Here she is tanning her pink girl tummy in a posture otherwise known as total relaxation.


Hope you have a good week and get to quilt.  I hope to have an okay week without too much separation anxiety-I have laid out some objectives and am looking on the bright side.

In the meantime, I will be linking up with those wonderful, generous ladies who give of their time to provide us with a platform to see and be seen on their link-ups.  

Happy Quilting!
and see you next week
Pam















Sunday, September 11, 2016

A HOME, AN OWL, AND A RAINY DAY!
Chuck Nohara has several pages of houses in her book 2001 Nouveaux Blocs de Patchwork all of which are either interesting, charming or unique.  So I knew I had to make a house.  I began riffing off her houses and then remembered this novelty fabric with 3 little girls in a charming tableau.  So once I realized they would fit in a 6 inch block, I designed the house around them and gave them a cat for their window ledge, pink gingham curtains, and a chimney for their fireplace.  Do you like it?

Here is another block inspired by Chuck's blocks but as a starting point from which I strayed far afield.  Chuck has several owls but I felt I needed to go further and here is where I ended.
I saw a photo of an owl with a moon behind it and thought what a perfect setting.  I made the moon larger, added a winter tree and perched the owl there.  The owl is made from Chez Moi fabric from Mimi.  This fabric was one of those which used the same colors but printed them in many different designs so it was so cheerful with lots of variations.  Both the owl and the house were labor intensive pieces of work.

There were several motives I wanted to be in the quilt-hot air balloon, boats, fishes, bees, beaches, villages, birds etc.  One of these motives was umbrellas.  I love umbrellas and the rainy days they signify.  Having worked on several ideas, this is what came to me:



This block captures the rain, the introspection of a rainy day, and a young girl protected by her umbrella.

SO........withdrawal....only 4 more blocks to go.  How can you leave me now Chuck-our time together has been so meaningful to me. If it had not been for Chuck, I would still be making Stonefields repeats and not gone on this flight of fancy.   However, as I told you last week, I have laid out plans so I will not be a total wreck.

Now that the main part of Chuck, Susan, and Me is one inch from the finish line, I have been giving more thought to the layout.  Since the body of the quilt is so complex with 143 different designs, the border should be simple.  I was thinking of putting a one inch border between each of the blocks but have decided against that.  I will stitch them all one next to another.  I will lay all of them out on the floor of one of my empty-nester bedrooms to decide where they should be placed.  In terms of the finished quilt, these 143 blocks will cover the top of the bed.

Now the border which will be the part of the quilt which falls to the floor.......I have given this lots of thought and decided simplicity is best.  Look what I found on ebay:



The piece is wof by 68 inches.  This fabric is Pom Pom de Paris by French General last made in 2011, one of the main fabric lines in this quilt, and very, very scarce.  I will cut it in stripes so the border will consist of a 7.5 inch of the above with Kona cotton matching the yellow.....well, you will see more later.  But I am so pleased i found this.  It came with a matching 10" layer cake which I will resell on ebay.

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I have been doing my homework ie free motion quilting practice.  

With each practice piece I learn more.  Some of this was quilted in heavier 40 wt thread.  The pretty parts are all 100wt which is so much nicer.  On the back of each practice piece is noted the type of batting, thread, and needle used.  This piece is one layer of warm and natural.  This is what I mean by learning-the last piece was way overstuffed-I thought the quilting would stand out more-wrong!

The practice pattern is cloned directly from one of LuAnn Kessi's great doodles for the most part-I added one different fill but the fun and creative layout is hers.

I used a new for me product to etch out the pattern on the practice piece-Frixion pen.  These work great-the ink flows easily and the pattern really shows up. The inking disappears under a hot iron-poof! HOWEVER, when the piece was placed in the refrigerator for a while-all the marks came back.  So....good for practice, not good for the real thing.  We have to stick with chalk or blue pens.


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Applique Paintbox was visited by 5 new countries this week from diverse parts of the globe.  My wonderful visitors were from Israel, Bulgaria, China, Albania, and the Czech Republic.  That is so great-I wish they would leave a comment and a link so I could see their work.  Flags have been added to the growing international lineup.

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Lastly, here is Blossom asking me if the kitty in the house block window ledge is her beautiful self.  Which it is.



See you next week and in the meantime check out the community links to see what your fellow quilters and designers are up to.


Happy Quilting!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

ONLY 7 TO GO!
and I will have finished 143 blocks for my Chuck, Susan, and me quilt.  I had a week with lots of interfering businessy stuff but that is over now.  I made three blocks and here they are:



This is a Chuck block.  Since I work on a small 6" scale, I had to adapt this block so I could work with bigger applique pieces.  You can see it is still basically the same.  I enlarged the star and changed the flowers over to broderie perse.  The star somehow makes me think of Scandinavian handwork. The colors are soft and pretty.  This one took quite a bit of time.

 
Here is another of Chuck's bold and fluid designs.  Naturally fabrics of yellow were used as the yellows in these fabric lines really speak to me.

And finally, two fabrics which were in my little baskets of "must use in this quilt" fabrics.  A pretty aqua toile and a pretty bird to sit in the tree. The fabric was about 5 inches wide so I added the aqua frame.



So, only seven more blocks to make.  I have a house, a cat, some more flowers and some abstract block designs.  Less than 2 more weeks work. 

To prevent a total mental meltdown from missing Chuck too much, I have worked some this week on my next project.  While in Kansas City this week, I visited my favorite quilt shop Quilter's Station in Lees Summit.  She has bolts and bolts of the most wonderful fabric-so much it won't all fit on the shelves.  She has fabrics of all kinds and store helpers who are so pleasant and knowledgeable.  You must visit if you are in the area.  Rita has everything you might need.

Anyway, my new project.....I bought this background fabric at Quilter's Station.  A white with a black print which reminds me of music to go along with Kate Spain's Curzon and Day Dreams.  The black and white fabric will completment the geometry of the quilt and form a perfect ground for the colorful fabric. What do you think?


Below is the pattern.  I think these colors will be perfect for this quilt.  I love the twisty stems and all the flowers.  I will have to add a bird there somewhere and some honeybees and I will do a different border but I just love this triangular quilt concept.  I already have all the paper pieces needed to form the triangles and different flowers. The quilt is Sweet Surrender by Sue Cody.


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Applique Paintbox blog has had two new countries visit this week:  Austria and Hungary. Flags have been added!

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I will be dong some free motion quilting this week.  I plan on setting up a pattern to work on and get playing.  I learned from my last expedition into fmq not to use so thick a batting.  This thick batting caused the elements which were supposed to stand out to crinkle up and lose definition.  Well, that is what these learning sessions are all about.  I am going to keep practicing with different motifs until I work up the courage to quilt Caswell.

I admire the quilting of Krista Withers, Sue Heinz, and Margaret Solomon Gunn. Sue Heinz has written a book called Fill Harmonics which looks interesting.  Margaret Gunn has a book coming out in October.  Krista's quilting is so different and modern.  I like the modern look rather than the traditional.

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Well, I am going to start on the fmq-I have a whole afternoon to spend on this today and will have something to show next week.  Before I go. let me show you progress on Chuck, Susan, and Me:

I have run out of room on my design wall and have to tape 8 blocks to the wall.  You can see in the photo a little of how I set up my work area-sewing machine to the left, then I can swing around and iron to my right.  The ironing board is a 18"x5ft piece of nice plywood which I covered and placed on top of two bookcases.  My work area is small but very convenient.  Attractive to cats also!

Have a good week-it is odd to see photos by Australian bloggers who are happy with signs of the coming spring.  We in the north can't wait for the turning of the leaves. Happy Quilting!

Linking with the lovely ladies listed left!





Sunday, August 28, 2016

UP, UP, AND AWAY!



I don't have much of a bucket list-either do it or don't do it.  However, there are some hard to reach goals like living in a treehouse or flying in a hot air balloon. I feel like the hot air balloon is doable and so here is me practicing and  maneuvering  in what I hope is not a ship of fools.  You can see me in the cockpit in my favorite green jacket flying with the birds above the tree tops amongst the clouds.  This block has been evolving for a while now-I wanted to work out how to portray tree tops so they were understandable to the viewer.

My other blocks this week are thanks to Chuck.  This quilt has been going on forever it seems but now I have only about 13 more blocks to make and I am sad.  i do not know if ever I will share a path again with the fun and creative Chuck Nohara and feel there is so much more here that I have left unexplored.  




I bought this pretty teal print hoping I would be able to use it somewhere and finally found a place for it.  This trellis fabric makes a nice basket and I went with broderie perse roses, leaves and a little bird to complete the picture.





I changed the dimensions on this block to take advantage of the fabric I wanted to use.  The yellow stripes on either side of the pink floral band is very effective complemented with the yellow French General fabric.  This is another fabric I had been wanting to use.  Matter of fact, I have a little basket of fabric which I love that must be used before the quilt is finished.  




Pretty flowers growing in someone's garden.


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Here is what has really excited me this week:


I told you last week I was going to become a wild and crazy free motion quilter and here is the result.  This little quilt is about 12x18 white Kona cotton with poly hi loft batting.  I used 100 wt white invisafil thread top and bottom.  I have been learning more FMQ with the facebook group Sit Down Free Motion Quilters sampler.  Most of the stitches are those used in the sampler they teach but used in different ways and combinations.
Now before you start thinking "WOW, she is an awesome doodler"  I must tell you that this pattern is in no way original.  I copied it from the world's greatest doodler, LuAnn Kessi.  Here is her doodle which I cloned:

https://luannkessi.blogspot.com/
In comparing the two, you can see that mine lost some definition here and there when I quilted accidentally over a feather etc.  But overall, I am very pleased and excited.  The whole project took no more than about 10 hours from cloning to completion. Not that time matters but I say this to point out it was not impossible to accomplish.

I could not do anything creative without my printer.  A reader asked how I translated the 2x2 inch patterns in Chuck's book into 6" blocks. Simply put the small 2" block in your printer and change the setting to enlarge 265% and presto-out comes a 6" block.  Just play with this setting to get the size you want.  To get the enlargement I wanted for the doodle quilting, I printed a full page of the doodle, cut it in 4ths, and enlarged each 4th 200% which, when taped together, yielded the 12x18 pattern for me to trace. 

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This blog has had international visitors from 5 new countries in listed here in order of appearance:  Iceland, Norway, Belarus, Egypt, and Moldavia.  Lucky me!  My husband plays internet chess with opponents from all around the world.  We have a friendly competition going over who is the most international.  He will say Dubai and I will say Moldavia-so there, I win.

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Here is a photo of Peter Rabbit who lives in our backyard.  The corn which the squirrels kick to the ground is making him very plump and healthy. 


My husband saw a family of otters the other day during his walk in the woods and swamps.  The family was a mother and three playful, unruly children.  The children where going in all directions, paying no attention to the possible threat posed by a human. My husband said mother was scolding and harassed trying to regroup her young into some kind of order and marshall them back to the woods and creek.  She managed this and my husband heard 4 plops! as they jumped back into the water.

HAPPY QUILTING TO YOU
 THIS WEEK!  

I will be linking up with these fabulous linkies:
Slow Stitching Sunday
Monday with Bambi
Patchwork Times
Em's Scrapbag
Free Motion by the River
Esther's WOW
Let's Be Social
NTT
Whoop, Whoop
Off the Wall Friday
Thanks for providing this sharing forums!

Sunday, August 21, 2016


MAKING PROGRESS IN THE LAST LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER

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.  


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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.

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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.

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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. 

HAPPY QUILTING!

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