Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Little of This, A Little of That

I think I am finally recovered from last week's retreat--I even took a nap the day after I got home--something I very rarely indulge in. 
I'm not even sure what I worked on...
I know a made a LOT of half square triangles and turned some of them into pinwheels.

And I made a bunch of these units-- I still have at least this many to make before it will be a quilt top. 

I've been procrastinating since I got home, so instead of working on my UFO for January, I made my Stitching Society project I wanted to have finished before February's meeting. 

This was my first experience attaching a purse frame. After watching a couple YouTube videos, I decided to kind of baste it in place first since I don't have three hands.
 (Sorry for the blurry photo--I think I need to invest in a macro lens.)

I tried to hide my inside stitches as much as possible--which is pretty much impossible!

Can you see I used beads to attach the frame?
 I saw it on a blog somewhere (s
o clever!) and muddled my way through-it turned out to be much easier than I anticipated.
Of course, half way through I knocked  my little pot of beads off the table, so ended up working them off of my sticky roller I used to pick them up.

 I picked up my bundle of the new Kim Diehl line last Friday--
Good thing, because I notice my horoscope recommends NO SPENDING this week--yikes!
Have you heard of "food babies"?
I never knew they were a "thing", but for a giggle, check out my niece's blog post from October HERE,
So far this year, I've managed to resist most mysteries, sew a longs, and BOM's, but I'm going to have to jump in on the Buttermilk Basin "Mystery" BOM Sew-A-Long--it's wooly!!

Okay, enough This and That...back to that UFO....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog!

Thanks for stopping by!
Vicki at 2 Bags Full is again hosting the Grow Your Blog party!
Be sure to hop over to her site HERE for links to hundreds of great blogs.
If you are new to my blog, I'm Karen and I live in Minnesota where we need lots of quilts----perfect for me because I like to make them!

I started my blog as an aid for a group I have at Colorz Quilt Shop. 
Each year the Stitch Therapy group work on a project together. It is so inspiring to see how many versions there can be to one pattern!
Some of our past projects include: 

This is the quilt that started it all!
(Sadly--it's not quilted yet...)

I made the quilt as a model for the quilt shop--it turned into a class and the class turned into the Stitch Therapy group!

I stitched a second version in Redwork during the class.

At least this one is quilted. 

I had already made Lori Holt's Apron Club, so this was our second project.

The quilt was made before Lori began designing fabric for Riley Blake.
My label is dated 2008, but I may have pieced it before that.

One year we made lots of small projects from The Green Book.
Another combination of applique and embroidery: Memory Bouquet from the Kansas City Star book Star Quilts II
I'm not sure of the year we did this one.
Some of the Stitcher's did their versions in all applique.
I thought adding the dog-tooth border was kind of fun. 

The Wish Quilt.
This pattern was first published in an Australian magazine, which is when I made my version.
I started my blog so I could post updates for my class to help create this quilt-- now a free pattern from Bronwyn Hayes (Red Brolly).

I hate working the satin stitch, so I used colored pencils (and occasionally markers) to fill in those areas.
I know--slacker.....

I also used crystals instead of French Knots. 

Last year we did Simply Red by Kathy Schmitz.
This is Brenda's beautiful blue version. 
I'm not sure if I've forgotten a project or two,
but I can't wait to start Sophie's Garden, our 2015 project.

Thanks again for stopping in--come back soon--there's lots more going on!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Weekly Update

I think I've finally narrowed the fabric choices for Mrs. Billings.
Really, I just wanted to show off my new metal basket from Decor Steals--sorry!
 I don't think I've shown these Stitching Society hexies yet:
This is one of three Snowflake designs. 

Mr. Flake

Star Snowman


I got a little ahead of myself and did the Tomato Pincushion--
I just realized I forgot to put some pins in it!
I still have a few winter designs to stitch up--I'll be working on those today if I finish packing for a quilt retreat that starts tomorrow. 
I'll be working on my Mrs. Billings mitered corners tonight before Downton Abbey starts!
Linking up with Kathy at Slow Sunday Stitching HERE

Slow Sunday Stitching
and WIP's Be Gone  HERE
WIPs Be Gone

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mrs. Billings Update

I'm officially hooked--maybe even obsessed! 
This is how Mrs. Billings was on Sunday.
I wasn't happy with the browns, so my pile of rejected pieces is growing fast!

I decided on a more limited palette for this round--and a little more orderly.
I have to confess that I was so excited to see how this would look, and even though I had fully intended to hand piece Mrs. Billing--I sewed this up by machine. Gasp!
It's okay--she says you can in the pattern!

This is the beginnings of the next round--I've added the green back in but I think I will stay away from the browns for now.
I also have a different background fabric for this border. I'm not sure if the background will change with every border, but I won't be using the same fabric throughout--I'm trying to only use stash fabrics!
 A couple of recent additions to the stash:
I won these in a Primitive Gatherings 12 Days of Christmas drawing...

and this little bundle from Benartex was won during their blog hop.

You can only see 5 fabrics from the way the fabrics are folded together like an accordian, but once they were unfolded...

...there were ten fat quarters! Hounds-tooth! Dragonflies! 
I think this was packaged for Sample Spree at Quilt Market because it's marked $15 for 10 fat quarters--
I will be adding these to my Steampunk tub--I think they will fit in with my other chosen fabrics.
We'll see....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stitching Society Confessional

When I first started on my Stitching Society adventure, I was a lot more anal careful about following the patterns.
 As part of the program, we were given a clear overlay to use with a dry/wet erase marker.
 We could then trace the design and use it as a guide to place the wool design pieces on the hexagon.
That was really helpful on Mr. Mouse. 
I don't worry about being so exact anymore.
You can also see that I don't reverse the designs unless it is something that wouldn't look right.
I trace the parts of the designs that I will be using for wool applique onto Heat and Bond Lite and then arrange my pieces on the wool hexagon. When I am happy with the placement, I fuse everything down. Even though it's not in the instructions for the fusible, I've found a little steam helps adhere the appliques more securely.
I usually set up 15 hexagons at a time since that's how many patterns we are given each month.

This is Wintertime.
I simplified the design a bit. I wasn't too keen on the stars at the branch tips, and after stitching a few snowflake French Knots, I removed them and decided this one was done!

Okay--this is my biggest secret--my pens!
 I use very slightly tinted fabric markers to do little touches of shading. You can see I used this very light gray to shade under the wing of the bird. I also used it extensively on Mr. Mouse above.
I use a grey, peach, lavender and light olive--I'm not trying to add color to the wool, only a bit of a shadow--very subtle. 

Most of the designs are fanciful, but on a lot of the flora and fauna, I use my iPad to Google images just as little guide for colors.

Notice there are no instructions--just a line drawing, so it's fun to figure out how each hexagon will be tackled.
The little circles on the branch could be French Knots or maybe crystals--I used pearly beads. 

I'm almost finished with my wintry group--next up: folksy!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mrs. Billings is in the House!

Do you recognize this quilt/coverlet?
I've had the Mrs. Billings pattern and templates buried sitting on my cutting table almost a year.
My roadblock was indecision--I couldn't commit to any colors or fabrics--I was afraid to get started.
Finally on Friday I got out my tub of Japanese taupes and started cutting.
Well, you can see I didn't stick with that plan!
 I chucked everything I had started and dug out some Jo Morton fabrics--I'm not sure where the little check came from, but it jumped into the mix.
 I'm much happier now. 

Today I will be testing out fabrics for the next round--decisions, decisions.......
You can see many versions of this quilt by doing an online search for Mrs. Billings images--my very favorite version is Laurie Simpson's. I have a pretty hefty stash of Minick and Simpson fabrics and could definitely pull off one similar to Laurie's, but I don't want to be a copycat have to go my own way.

Linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching HERE

Friday, January 9, 2015

Stitch Therapy Sneak Preview

If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I have a little group called Stitch Therapy.
 Each year we focus on one project.
I finally chose this year's project--Sophie's Garden from Cottontales.

Cotton Tales Taupe Sampler Pattern Sophies Garden Wool Applique Japanese Taupes
I borrowed this image from Pam's website HERE.
It's a beautiful design done in wool applique with lots of interesting piecing. 

Of course, my version has lots of blue--teal actually.
I started with the "Sophie's Stars" then made all the four inch elements.
I have some tricks to make the piecing easier that I will share in class, so don't feel intimidated!
I love the houses--one brick and one stone!

The applique backgrounds are pieced too--every other block.
We pulled together a fun selection of fabrics including taupe's, prints, and batiks. 

There will be kits available for this version, as well as the pattern, at Colorz Quilt Shop.
The meetings will start in April--third Monday of the month! 

 One of the best things that happens in our group is seeing each person's take on the project--I can see Sophie's Garden done in pastels, bright batiks, "country" colors with lots of plaids--on and on...
It's going to be a FUN year!!