Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Card Party

     Every once in a while, some friends and I get together to make what I call "card components". I have always made my cards and it helps to make a lot of pieces that can be fashioned into a card later. When I buy the 50 cards and envelopes pack (with coupon) at Joann's or Michaels, I can use the stamped pieces to make cards later. I usually make 4 or 5 at a time.
     When you work with friends, you share stamps, techniques, tips and materials. I have a large well lit 2 1/2 car garage that we set up with tables, spread out and make lots of pieces. I provide lunch and we have a lot of fun.
All kinds of component pieces
A few sample cards put together.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Slow non-nine patch

      I am slowly working on the non disappearing nine patch cat quilt for a friend's friend in a nursing home. Because I did not have green batiks the full 6.5" x 6.5", I had to use 3 1/4" x 6.5" rectangles to make it work. That means cutting lots of pieces and chain sewing. I wanted to have lattice strips in between the blocks. I figured it all out and then realized my lattice pieces were cut at 2", not 1.5", so I had to recut. I wrote the wrong measurement down, even though I was trying to be precise.
     It will be 3 blocks by 4. Each big block finishes a little under 19".
Kit all cut (fussy cut the cat blocks) and page of notes.
Laying out the big block for sewing as it is not a nine patch really.
Four done, eight to go.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Rocks, sand and salt water

     Last week, I was fortunate to spend Monday through Friday in Ogunquit, ME. I had not been there in 3 years. Part of the reason is although it is not a great distance to drive from Buffalo, NY- the traffic when you get near Boston, Mass is a horror. It used to take 8 1/2 hours about 5 years ago. Now it took 10 1/2. And it crawls along the expressway. We try to find alternates, but there it is.
     One of the best things about Ogunquit is that it has sandy beaches for miles to the north and rocky coast paths to the south. The hotel we stayed at, The Beachmere, sits on the boundary between both. So, you can walk the beaches for many miles, or take the Marginal Way along the rocks to Perkins Cove to see boats, shops and eat. All without driving. The views are stunning and the salty air clears up my head. I took about 250 photos and did a lot of sketching. I also caught a gorgeous sunset I will show another time. 
    The sketches after the photos are done in watercolor and pencils, about 5 x 7, on location. I don't like to paint outdoors because the light changes so much, so I do sketches and take photos to paint later. I had a crazy experience with people wanting to buy the sketches and asking a million questions.
Our room was just below the 2 blue umbrellas, where the line of flowers are. Photo taken from beach towards rocks. At the green bush level is The Marginal Way path.
The coast where the inn is on the rocks.
The view from the inn towards the beach north to Wells
Parts of the beach are crowded, but the further out from the parking, the less people and unbrellas. I only like walking on the beach.

End of Marginal Way, Perkins Cove coming into view.

From rocky coast, looking to beach to the north.
The ocean, how calming
A little beach area off the Marginal Way.   

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Squirrel Time

     I thought I had my schedule all made up of what to work on. Our guild show is the beginning of October, so I have tops to quilt. I have an art show in September that I need a couple of small art quilts for. That was my priority. Changed.
     One of my friends, who volunteered to take care of my cat so he would not have to boarded,  told me of her friend who was stricken with an illness and is incapacitated in a nursing home at 63. He has refused PT/OT.  I knew I had to make him a quilt- Squirrel time. He loves cats and flowers. He was an avid gardner and cat owner. We chose some fabric online (wish I had some local quilt stores with choices) and when I got it, the print was smaller than I thought, so I had to rethink the design. 
     A while back, I made this Disappearing 9 patch with lattice and thought this would be a great idea.
     So, I thought I would use brown squares to repeat the idea of the window frames in the cat fabric. Well, big mistake- way too dark and overwhelming. Ripped it all apart. 
    I kept thinking about and thought green batiks might set off the squares.  However, my scraps were not quite the 6.5" I needed, so I used 3.25 x 6.5" scraps. Have a box of green scraps, so I cut those sizes. That means the quilt will not be assembled as a Disappearing 9 Patch, but chain pieced squares and strips.
   I like that much better, so that is the way I am going. A friend said the white looks like a hole, but I want a relief block in the quilt, so it is staying white.
     The quilt will be 3 by 4 big blocks, with some border, will have to see how it looks. Maybe florals.
     I wanted the back of the quilt to be interesting also. I can't imagine laying in bed all day and all night. I thought if the quilt reversed, it would be more fun. The back of the quilt will use this panel of cats cut into separate squares. I cut two of them, put a grey border on, and will use the Grunge Pear Green around all of the squares. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Battle for the Lilies

     I did not get beaten the red lily beetles. All the experts said give up the lilies and just grow local plants. Well, our blooming season is not real long and I need flowers to make it through the tough months. This is the way I figure it- for every lily bloom, I am keeping the pollinators fed and alive. So, I did battle with some Ortho products (don't shame me) and I have gorgeous lilies this year that are such a joy and treat. 
     I buy my bulbs from White Flower Farm and they do not disappoint. I have to put the new bulbs in the fall inside homemade hardware cloth cages so they don't get eaten by the squirrels. But these bulbs are worth fighting for. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

OBW orange top done!

      After a lot of fit and starts trying to figure out the borders, I made a decision and went with it. No second guessing now, it is sewn and don't ask me to rip it apart. I personally liked the turquoise blue relief border and wanted it to do what it does- stop the eye, but not call attention to itself. I had a great suggestion to use the teal/dark blue color found in some of the blocks (thanks, Julie). I debated how wide to make it. I cut it 2". When I put it against the turquoise, I cut off 1/2" off the turquoise, top and bottom. That made it seem a better proportion.
Other color ideas
Print with dark teal strip
The teal 2" strip
     Then I thought about using the print fabric and I had enough that I would not have to seam the lengths. I debated the width and cut it 6", knowing I could trim more off after quilting to square up. All the border sizes were cut using the measurement across the middle of the quilt. I don't like to average it. I add 1/4" to that measurement, pin out from the middle to the ends. It seems to work the best.
     I did not get the best photo I could. I always have a hard time getting the perfect flat shot. The breeze always messes with me outside, and the wall is never lit well or easy to get back far enough.
Inside on wall shot
Outside, hubby holding corners as high as he can

Friday, July 5, 2019

OBW Orange you glad it's sewn

     After sewing the rows together, I put painter's tape on the rows and sewed the strips together. I used the fork pins for every seam. I put too much work into a myriad of arrangements to endure sloppy row joins. Who cares it took forever?
        I measured 3/4" from the end points of the hexagons and drew a line. I staystitched 1/8" inside it and stay stitched the top and bottom also. Then I trimmed the line to square up the sides. I auditioned the width of the top and bottome border and went with 3" unfinished. Sewed that on.

      Now I have to figure out what border to end with. I tried this green which is nice, but does not put the focus on the center. I am pulling out some darker green fabric and we will see what happens. Not sure what to use. 

     I have to say I chose this fabric because I knew it would work for an OBW, I loved the flowers, I loved the designer, but boy, do I hate orange. Even though the orange is not dominant, I can barely look at this without getting a bit nauseous over that fever hot orange. I think time away from it will help me deal with it.