Saturday, December 31, 2016

End of the Year Recap 2016

Hello!  It's that time of the year where we look back to see what I have accomplished during the year.  This was the year of blocks. I feel like I've accomplished a lot this year.  I made lots of blocks for several different projects this year and maybe even finished a quilt or two.  Shall we see?

In January, I started off strong and showed you my four small finished quilts. Four!

Awards Banquet was my own design. I was using up scraps from the black, white, and purple Improv Quilt.

Dog Gone Cute is a pattern by Lorna Mahon from Sew Fresh Quilts. This picture and the one below it were taken in the summer, when the lighting and temperature were better.

Winter Scene. I made up this design too.  I was trying to clean up my studio, and using fabric that was not cotton.

Scenic Route is made with scraps of the Cultural Fusion quilt which will be shown below.  I don't think you'll have any trouble recognizing it when you get to it. I made up the design for this too.

In February, I finished these small project. I'm still not quite sure what they are. I gave one to my daughter as a mug rug and hung up the other one on my bulletin board.

Also in February, I finished piecing the Cultural Fusion top. It still needs to be quilted.

I also finally finished Cheddar Cheese and Crackers. It had been a UFO for too long. I am so happy to have this be finished! I hand quilted it.

Throughout the year, I showed you the circles I made for my circle quilt.  The goal was a circle block a day, starting in November.  Well, those blocks got stalled to get other projects finished, and then other things took up my time, and the anniversary came and went. This is just a few of the blocks to help you remember this project. There are other blocks not pictured and more made since this picture was taken.

Another blocks project is the 1857 quilt. This is the most recent picture I showed on the blog, but I have several other blocks prepped, and all of the applique has been sewn down.  I've been doing them by color instead of by block.

Yet another block project was the Adrinka Block of the Month.  This picture is the latest shown on the blog also. I've made more blocks since then.

In October, I finished making the Star Wars top. I haven't started quilting it yet.

In December, I quilted Daisy's Chickenpox. I will show it in its separate reveal post when it is finished!

One of the problems with having a recap in December is that it is too dark to take good pictures. This means you will be seeing pictures I have shown throughout the year instead of the current status of the projects. Hopefully this means when you see the next picture, you will be so impressed at the amount of progress I made on it!

Linked to Best of 2016 Linky Party
Moving It Forward 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Quilting Daisy's Chickenpox

Just to prove that this is a quilting blog, I am quilting Daisy's Chickenpox.  I gifted the tile quilt to my sister, but this one has all the safety pins!  I did relent and buy more safety pins, but I still wanted to get this one done before sandwiching yet another quilt. This one was next in line, and it didn't seem fair to bypass it for another quilt.

The store where I bought the machine says I don't need a walking foot. Strange that they don't have a walking foot for the machine, but it does work just fine without one.

Edited to add: I see I did say walking foot. I meant darning foot.

Monday, December 5, 2016

November Collages

I had a hard time choosing the photos for this month. There were more than 400 pictures to choose from, and trying to find a handful was not possible.  So instead of just a few or a collage, I made three collages for you.  This month, I looked for textures and closeups of things we mostly ignore or take for granted.

First up, is fences.

Next up is trees, including an unusual bird sighting.

Last one is textures.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

October College

Yes, I do know that it is December, not October, but I thought you might be tired of mourning trees, and wanted to give you something nicer to view.  This is a collage of my favorite pictures from the month of October.  That month, there were some soccer games, some Halloween decorations we saw on the way to a political rally, some traveling, and some unusual neighborhood glimpses. There is no water near the park where all those geese were, and there was a small fire in a neighbor's house. I have a new camera and those red barns and tanker shots were taken while the car was speeding on the freeway. Don't worry, I wasn't driving.

I'll get the November collage soon.  There are too many pictures to choose from, and technical difficulties caused a delay in getting that collage done. But at least it got me a chance to bring out the October pictures.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Where We Mourn the Loss of Some Trees

Early this spring, the city went house to house and trimmed trees that were overhanging streets, alleys and power lines.  They trim trees near power lines every year, but this year, they spent weeks trimming trees.

I was happy that the city was paying attention to our neighborhood and taking care of things, but I really missed their shade this summer.

That led people to thinking about the trees that hadn't been trimmed - the ones that were squarely within the property lines, and more people trimmed these other trees. Others decided that instead of trimming a tree, they might be better off taking it down entirely. 

I was one of those people too, so I'm not blaming anybody.  I had a diseased tree that worried me since it kept dropping big dead branches, and I didn't want it to fall on any property or hurt anyone.

But we can mourn their loss anyway, and thank them for their service.  This collage is of pictures I took all on one day.  I tried to make sure to only take one picture of each tree, but can't guarantee that there aren't any duplicates.  These aren't the trees that were cut down this year (I've been taking pictures of those throughout the year, so they aren't as easy to find.)  Most of these trees were cut several years ago.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mission Accomplished!

I have finished piecing this top. The background pieces were somewhat difficult because they are larger pieces than I am used to handling.  There is also some wrinkling, probably due to the fact that I did not press the seams before each intersecting seams (I fingerpressed), and the inconsistent weights of the fabric. The blue is heavier and stiffer than the shirt fabric. I am sure these issues can be fixed with a little nip and tuck here and there.

I do plan to add some applique in the space above BB8, but want to work on quilting another top that has been pieced and is ready for quilting. In between piecing the final pieces of this quilt, I have bought the backing fabric and washed, ironed and pressed it.  Some piecing is necessary to get it ready before I start to quilt it.

This is a lap size quilt, and the pattern is free from Hunter's Design Studio.

Linked to:
Oh Scrap!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Circle 365 Resumes

Hello and welcome back to the Quilty 365 circle project, where I make small circle blocks, presumably one a day until I have made a whole quilt. It is a daily dose of quilty vitamins!

We won't talk about how many I should have finished by now. I had not cut any more background pieces , mostly because I was thinking that I should have some pieced backgrounds to make it more interesting.  But that made it harder to motivate myself to just throw some fabric on the background and get it done.  I decided to cut some pieces to shock some life back into the project.  There will be pieced background blocks sometime in the future.

Block 168

Most of the blocks in this batch use fabric scraps I received from another quilter.

Block 169

This means that they match each other very well. Hopefully they will blend into the quilt.

Block 170

A circle made out of lines and a decorative stitch. If you squint, you might make out the circle.

Block 171

Pretty, springy block.

Block 172

Bambi wants to remind me that it is now entering fall and it is getting colder outside.

Block 173

Kanga reminds us that it is now springtime in Australia.


Adrinka Block

I have caught up with the Adrinka blocks.  I've prepped the next block, but do need to sew it down.

Linked to:
October 365 Linkup

Friday, September 23, 2016

More Zinnia Visitors

I have shown you the bees, ladybugs, and swallowtail butterfly that came to visit my zinnias this summer.  Recently, I've had other visitors come for a visit.  Each one of these visitors was harder and harder to photograph. Luckily, the photography got progressively more difficult, just like a photography classroom.

First, a reminder of the swallowtail. This one was easy to photograph. It moved slowly from flower to flower and gave me plenty of time to get the camera ready. I had so many pictures, I made a collage to show you last time.

Then came the monarch. It moved quickly from flower to flower, but it did rest long enough on each flower so I could photograph it. This one was a little more difficult, but I still had plenty of good pictures to decide which one to show you.

Then came the giant swallowtail.  It would not stop moving at all, and went away after a short time. It flapped its wings the entire time. I was able to get a clear shot, but it is hard to tell that this is a bigger butterfly.

Then a hummingbird came to visit!  It was the hardest to photograph, since it too kept moving and since I was inside the house when I spotted it. I took this picture through the window.

 I also saw several spiderwebs when I went out to cut the grass, but I didn't look for the spiders. We've been feeding this grass, so it is growing faster than usual.

I am in the habit of taking really closeup shots of things in my garden to make sure people don't see all the weeds and mess that is out there.  But this year, there are fewer flower beds so it is easier to maintain, and the zinnias have been profuse so there are fewer weeds. I can show you the full shot.

This is my garage that has access from the alley. There are zinnias near the fence on the right side.  There is one rose bush there and morning glories are now flowering against the fence. There are more zinnias against the back yard on the left side.  There are also zinnias on the other side of the garage so I can see them from my back door, and another small zinnia bed near the steps by the back door.

I've been adding background pieces to my Star Wars quilt. I'll show you when I am finished.

Linked to:
Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

Monday, September 12, 2016

Eye Surgery

Poor Rey had to have some eye surgery. One of her eyes looked up and down while the other eye looked side to side.   It may look cosmetic, and she is not so vain to require cosmetic surgery,  but it was affecting her depth perception. She needs that to properly use her weapons.

Unfortunately, since she was not willing to sell the droid, she could not afford to go to the top of the class specialist.
She had to make do with the village quack and take her chances.

Linked to:
Moving It Forward Monday 
Sew Mama Quilts

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Butterfly Collage

I know I already showed you pictures recently, but I don't want to wait all month to show you.  Today when I let Zeus out I saw a beautiful butterfly on the zinnias by the back door.  I didn't think it would still be there when I got the camera but I thought I would try.  It turns out that this butterfly loves to get its picture taken. It went from flower to flower, giving me different poses and angles. It stayed on the same plant so the flowers are all the same colors.

In fact, when I thought I was finished, it flew around my head as if to say it still wanted my company!  Wait! I can give you more poses!  I made a collage out of my favorites.

While I am looking in the September folder, I thought I would show you this poor squirrel that I saw on one of my walks.  It was going so fast, I wasn't even sure what kind of animal it was, so I kept taking pictures.  From this photo, it looks like there is a sad story to tell about the tail.

I also wanted to show you that Rey has a face now. I changed the pattern a little bit so that her hair is longer. It isn't as long as it is in the movie, but I didn't want to change the pattern too much. I just wanted to make sure it was clear that she is female. When there is a female hero in many movies and books, she winds up being very man-like. Rey can fight, but she still has a lot of female characteristics, and I wanted to make sure that my quilt showed that.

Linked to Wandering Camera September Linky Party.  Be sure to click on the link to see all the gorgeous photos there.

Also linked to Let's Bee Social 141.  Lorna is gearing up for another beautiful Sew Along, and I will be joining her for that. Check out her blog for free pattern of a beautiful Bear Paw Quilt.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Photos

It's that time of the month when I look into the pictures I took during the month and choose my favorites of the ones I haven't shown you yet.  I have five favorites for the month of August.

The rabbit is enjoying the shade.  Zeus and I really appreciate these little spots of shade during our walks this summer.

I love how the background is all black in this picture to really highlight the beautiful plant.

I had to include sky pictures, otherwise you wouldn't recognize my blog.

Another sky picture. Love the moodiness of this one with the birds on the rooftop.

This one represents all the zinnia pictures I took this month. The majority of my photos this month were of zinnias.

Linked to Wandering Camera September Linky Party.  Be sure to click on the link to see all the gorgeous photos there.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Droid Progress

I've been making progress on the Droid quilt, but these parts and pieces didn't seem blog worthy.  It is hard to tell what I am making until I put it all together, but I didn't want you to forget about me, so I will show you my progress.

I knew I wanted to use fabric I already had at home, and found several great choices.  It was hard to choose which fabric to use and where.  In the end, I decided to not let indecision slow down the progress. I especially had a hard time deciding which fabric to use for the skin and which one to use for the undershirt. It is all shades of beige, everything works everywhere.

I chose a stripe for a tunic, and I love the way it looks like folds. I did have to unpick the top right and cut a new piece to make the stripe go the correct way.  Well worth cutting on the bias. There was also a burlap looking fabric that would have looked great for the tunic, but I could only choose one, and the pants also have that burlap pattern.

I was worried about using templates, but it went together without issue.

This is her belt and the bottom half of her tunic. I've been finger pressing since it is really hot.  I'm sure it will be fine when everything is pieced, and I press everything smooth.

This is her pants, legs and part of her boots. She is very slim in the pattern. The pants look more brown than green in real life.

I didn't notice that little fold until I took the picture. I'll fix that.  I also have one of her arms done and ready to add.

Parts of her face are ready to sew.  This is a fun project.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pets on Quilts 2016

It's that time of the year when Lily Pad Quilting hosts Pets on Quilts.  I sat down to rest after our long walk today, fired up Bloglovin' and went on her blog.  As soon as I saw the announcement,  I knew we had to run out on the porch and grab some pictures before it started raining. I needn't have hurried though, since Zeus is so photogenic, the pictures just rolled off the camera in no time.

Here are the best ones.

I knew you were so busy looking at Zeus that I might need to point out that there is a dog on each of the quilts too. I am entering the Dog on Quilt and the Pet Themed Quilt Categories.