Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday WOW–July 31


From the pile of scraps I’ll bet you can guess what I worked on today.  Paper piecing, of course!


I like to start with the eyes.  They involve the most pieces and the smallest pieces and it’s best to get that part out of the way first.  Plus, those eyes are almost enough by themselves, aren’t they?


Add a mouth, and the personality really comes out.


Princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty.  I didn’t quite have enough time to sew all the pieces together.  I’m thinking she will look much better without the seam allowances showing!


This is Belle of Beauty and the Beast.  This block was finished last week.  You know – when my camera was in rebellion.  Thank goodness, it did not talk to the sewing machine!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Here There Be Dragons

I am going through a dragon phase – again!  Dragons fascinate me in all their forms.  This week I pulled out a book on drawing dragons.  When I have a little free time - not enough to work on a doll or quilt – I have started drawing dragons.  Here’s what I have so far.



My plan is to practice until I can draw something believable!  There’s a ways to go but I am enjoying the process.  Hopefully you will be able to see improvement as I share my progress.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Calypso

Today marks the beginning of summer.  No, not in the real world – in Kumiko Sudo’s book on Folded Flowers!

The first flower is called Calypso, which is a type of orchid, also known as “fairy slipper.”  It grows in the northern states, Canadian provinces, and northern countries of Europe and Asia.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one (I lived in Washington state for many years), but it reminds me of a snapdragon.


This flower begins with a hexagon shape.  This shape is folded several times and stitched here and there.  I had intended to take a few process pictures, but had trouble wrapping my brain around just how to make those folds.  In fact, it took me most of the afternoon to get the first blossom finished!


I was finally able to manufacture something that closely resembles the photos in the book.  I’m not sure it resembles the actual flower, but I do not intend to let that get in my way!  Each subsequent  blossom was easier to do, so that by the fifth one, I was feeling pretty confident.


I wanted to wait before cutting out the leaves.  I think I am going to want them smaller for the final piece.  For now, though, I pinned up the pattern pieces against a scrap of yellow linen.  It’s a triangle, so I will need to hunt up another background fabric.


This gives you a sense of how it will look anyway. 


By the way, here is what the Spring Botanical Garden looks like at the moment.  I’m auditioning fabrics for the border and then will be ready to quilt the background in preparation for sewing on the flowers.

I’m so happy to have my little camera back, too!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

If It’s Not One Thing . . .

It is definitely something else! 

I suppose someone (anyone?) has noticed I’ve been really quiet this week – blog-wise, anyway.  You see, there have been camera issues.

I have a little Olympus Stylus 810 that I love.  It’s accurate, small, and (most important!) I’ve spent a fair amount of time learning to use its features.  We get along fine, my Olympus and I.  Except . . .

I’ve noticed lately that the battery was not holding a charge for very long.  And then I started having trouble with the focus.  In fact, it was turning out terrible pictures!  So we decided it was time to order new batteries.

In the meantime, I started using Sarge’s Sony Cybershot.  It is bigger and (most important!) I have not had the time/opportunity to learn how to use it properly.  So the photos I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks have been – well – less than stellar.

I found that it is amazing at long distance shots:



and does a really nice zoom as well:


But when it comes to indoors and close up – not so good:



And of course there are the hazards of juggling the larger camera while trying to hold onto purse, water bottle, tickets, etc:


Definitely operator error (sigh!).

I’m happy to report, however, that a new battery has been charged up and my Olympus is happily taking lovely pictures again.  So we are back to business as usual.

Well, almost.  Now I can’t find the cable to upload the pictures to the computer!  Aaaaargh!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Phlox


Today’s flower is a fairly common one in North America, but a factoid I was not aware of is that there are 67 different species in the genus “phlox.”  Wow!


Since this is a five-petaled flower, I started with fabric pentagons.


With each corner folded to the center and stitched, the edges of neighboring petal openings are caught together.  I had intended to take a photo of an interim step to show the process, but I guess I was so absorbed in making these fun flowers that I forgot!


In fact, I thought the first three were so pretty, I made a couple more!  The leaves are a single layer and will be appliqued when I prepare the final piece.


This is the last flower in the section on Spring.  I will have to give the overall composition some thought and start working on stitching these in place permanently.  In the meantime I need to clear the wall space for the next section.

Next week we start on Summer.  The weather is certainly cooperating with that idea!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Passion Flower

Another flower I am unfamiliar with, although at least I’ve heard of this one!


This flower started out a bit differently.  Instead of a circle, it begins with an octagon.


After stitching and turning the shapes, I basted on a smaller piece of batting and began stitching each point to the center.


With all the points secured, it looks like this:


That is kind of a cute piece as is, but it’s not finished yet.  The last step is to flatten out each of those “petals.”


It took a little while to figure out the best way to finish up each petal.  I ended up taking two tacking stitches so they open enough to give a peek of the contrasting color.


The darker two are not as successful as that lighter one.  They would look better with a more solid appearing fabric.  But they still make an interesting addition to the Spring picture.


It’s getting kind of crowded, isn’t it?  You can see why I’ve been pinning the components up.  When all the spring flowers are done (there’s just one more), I can take more care in placing them permanently.  I think I’m going to like it.

I have a busy week coming up, with travel and club as soon as we return, so I don’t know if I will have time or energy to do the next flower on Sunday.  I’ll try to have something to post at least, so I’ll see you then.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday WOW–July 10

Like most Wednesdays, I spent today at the local quilt shop.


I can hear you thinking, “that doesn’t look like a Disney Princess.”  You’re right, this week I worked on the Block of the Month, called Moxie Girl.


This project uses a combination of foundation paper piecing (fpp) and english paper piecing (epp).  These blocks will be made up of hexagons. 


I was hoping to get the FPP done today, but didn’t quite make it.  I’m close, though, so I’ll finish up tomorrow.  I have one hexie stitched and trimmed so you (and I!) can see what they’ll look like.  Let’s take a closer look . . .


See those pretty points?  THAT’s why I love foundation paper piecing!

Once I have the FPP part done, I can do all the EPP – joining the hexies – as hand work.  We have a road trip planned for next week and I’m hoping to get a lot of them done while riding in the car.

Speaking of the road trip – I will not be home to post Wednesday WOW next week.  I may try to post something from South Dakota, but past experience has not been very successful doing that. 

So come back in two weeks – July 24 – to see what I’ve been getting up to.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Speaking of Flowers

Since my Sunday posts have all been about flowers recently, I thought I’d share a different flower project.  This time it’s a geranium.


This piece was a kit I think.  I got it from my auntie who had all the pieces but had never gotten around to doing the project.  I decided to quilt the center background after appliqueing the stem and leaves. 


It would have been very difficult to quilt it after the flower was done.  Each floret is attached with three french knots.  Good thing I like to do french knots!


I quilted the borders once everything else was finished.  That gives it a double layer of batting, so it has a very nice, fluffy feel.  Ready to brighten a corner of the living room!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Serendipity Sunday–Cockscomb

File:Celosia cristataII.JPG

If nothing else, I am learning a lot of new flowers!  While I’ve heard of the cockscomb, I don’t think I’ve actually seen one before. 


After cutting out circles for the past three weeks, I remembered that I have a circle attachment for my sewing machine!  I may be a slow learner, but eventually the lesson will get through.  LOL!


The circles are folded and gathered . . .


and ribbons folded and stitched to make the flowers and leaves.



Before I knew it I had three cockscombs complete with a leaf for each.


They’ve joined the other flowers in the Spring group.  The piece is filling up!  Not to worry, though, everything is pinned at this point so I can shift things around to make room if needed.  I see a few vacant spots, though.  I wonder what next week’s flower will be….

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday WOW–July 3


Today I continued paper piecing.  I guess I’m a glutton for punishment!  It’s never a good sign when the very first seam you stitch has to be ripped and resewn!  (That pink tool is my seam ripper.)  Deep breath.  Now, focus, focus, focus!


Fortunately, things improved from there.  I got all the teensy tiny pieces done today, so the rest of this block will go quickly.


Yes, I’ve decided to go on with the Disney princesses for now.  I know I’ll get tired of them eventually.  When that happens they will just go into the UFO pile until I am inspired to pick them up again.  I don’t have another quilt planned yet, so these are keeping my happy until something else comes along.

Besides being a glutton, I am apparently also fickle.  So many sins!  Quilting is a dangerous hobby!  LOL!