Saturday, April 30, 2016

More Circles and Monthly Recap

I thought about working on another quilt so I could show you something else besides circles, but it is the end of the month and the rules say I need to show you my progress so far.

So, this is another batch of circle blocks for my Quilty Project 365, and if you stick with me, there are group shots of all the blocks. When I left you last, I showed you Happy Block 142.  The more I look at it though, the more I want to add a border around it instead of using an adjusting strip across the whole row of circles that have been made already.  So it will now be blocks 142-145. This means we continue with Block 146.

Block 146


This may not look like a circle to you, but it was in its past life.  It started off as a circle, and the edges were turned down until it became a hexagon. Here's a link to the tutorial.  It's fun, quick and easy.  But it does use a lot of fabric. There is a lot of fabric underneath.  You can rack your brain to  remember if you are supposed to match the thread to the background or the applique, but I did neither and used a bright orange! It is more visible in person.

 Block 147

This circle is made up of leftover bits from other circles.  I needed to use them or throw them away so I decided to use them. I thought I had made a "garbage circle" before, but I don't remember which one it was.

 Block 148

These are two circles.  One is cut into a cog and the other one on top. I don't think I have done this enough - work on making the background interesting instead of focusing on top of the circle.

 Block 149

This one is a boring circle. I can't think of anything interesting to say about it. The purple is a really old piece of fabric, from when I was a new quilter.

 Block 150

This one uses leftovers from other circles too.  That weird shape around the circle started out as a circle too.

 Block 151

I had been planning on making a bicycle for my circle quilt anyway, but this study about bicycle drawings inspired me to go ahead and make it now.  It seems strange to me that the more rushed I feel, the more compelled I am to not try to "get away with" making something simple. Maybe it is because I get block 149 as a punishment when I try. Maybe subconsciously, I am forcing myself to slow down.

This block uses leftover pieces, and the pink bit is pieced to the black. It was a part of the Cultural Fusion rail fence blocks. I haven't sewn the pieces down yet.

Group Shots

That's it. Ready for some group shots?  These have been pieced together as much as they can, but there are a lot of loose pieces, since I have to wait for other blocks to be finished before I can piece them together.

Left side. I've been debating back and forth about whether this big block should be on the left side or the right side.  We'll see where it winds up.

Middle.  When I looked at the pictures of the recent rows of blocks, it was the S in rules that stood out, even more than the big blocks.  It surprised me, but I'm okay with that since my first name starts with S.  Now with the previous set of blocks, with the green in the blocks above it, it doesn't stand out as much.

Here's the right side. The right side still has all the embroidery. If I do turn Happy into four blocks, then there will be three big blocks in these two/three rows, even though there is only one big block in all of the rows above them.

If you want to see how others have interpreted the Quilty 465 Project, here's the May linkup.
If you want to see other scrap projects, here's the Oh Scrap linkup.
I've also linked to Moving It Forward. See what others are working on this week.
To see more quilts with blocks, see Building Blocks Tuesday.

If you want to read the story about the other blocks, click the Quilty Project 365 label below this post.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Happy Circle

As a part of my 365 project, I have been making circle blocks. So far, I have shown you 141 blocks. Let's continue with block 142.

 Block 142


Sometimes when I am in a rush, I try to stop over-think things.  If an idea is good enough, I just run with it without thinking everything through.  I found this free pattern from Sarah at A Little Happy Place. Yes, her blog is a happy place indeed.  She used it as a center of a dresden plate.

Yes, pattern is beautiful, it's free, and it;s a circle.  Let's use this for the circle quilt.  There are other thoughts, such as the one that says when I am in a hurry, maybe an embroidery project isn't the best one to make quick progress, but I brush them aside.

 Block 142

Is that the same block? Yes it is. Let's take the time to admire it, shall we?

After all, what better way is there to slow things down and really relax and enjoy the time you spend relaxing than digging through a big box of beautiful colors, choosing a color you like, and embroidering the word happy.  

This block is very appropriate for me though.  I saw two different blogs that used the word "happy" in their project that day, and I was listening to a book on tape called The Happiness Project.

Just look at it, who wouldn't be happy with seeing the word "happy" made in a chain stitch?

To see the other blocks, click on the Quilty Project 365 label below or in the sidebar.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Applique Handbook

I got a lovely package yesterday which had the book The Applique Book which is compiled by Casey York.  It was a giveaway  I won during a book blog hop from Sew How We Sew. Thank you to everyone involved for this great prize.

I normally do book reviews on my book review blog, but I haven't been updating it, even though I have a bunch of books I want to review.  So you don't have to go back and forth, I will tell you about the book here.

I really like this book, and not just because I got it for free.  The subtitle says 16 Quilt Projects; Learn from 21 innovative designers.  I really like that so many people were involved. It gives you a chance to learn a variety of styles and meet lots of new modern quilters.  It really shows the versatility of applique.  See the cover quilt - it is applique not pieced.

Anytime I sit on these steps, Zeus thinks it is time to get his belly rubbed. Be sure to rub his belly before you scroll down. Poor guy obviously doesn't get enough attention as he needs grooming.

 Most of the projects are really innovative.  They are not the same you see everywhere.  There are a couple of quilts that show the beauty of repetition and this is one of them.  The squirrel one on the cover is another. See how such a simple design can make such a big impact when it is repeated.

The quilts use different techniques too. You can try out a bunch and see what you like the best.  This one is reverse applique.   Just a pop of color adds so much to the quilt. The photographs are all gorgeous. You can see the quilting as well as the overall impact of the quilt.


This is one of my favorites.  It is more complicated to applique than some of the others, but the quilt is just gorgeous as is the setting for the photograph. The background is pieced and everything else is appliqued.

There is a little information about the designer in the gray box on the right.  There are also spreads of information about other designers who don't provide patterns, but do show lots of inspiring pictures.  When I first flipped through the book, this confused me, since I wanted to see how to make a particular quilt, but there was no pattern for it.  I looked forward and ahead to see what kind of pattern they did provide, and they didn't provide any pattern at all.  Now I see that these showcase designers have a gray bar around the page, but it isn't that obvious since there is gray throughout the book, including the profiles of the designers who did provide patterns.

The back cover does say there are projects from 12 designers and profiles of award-winning artists, and names them there.

I am glad that they did include these other designers, though, and the confusion is a minor issue that was readily remedied upon closer inspection.

Of course I had to show the circle quilt! Besides the beauty shot, there is a full spread picture of the quilt so you can see the whole thing. This one isn't innovative, except to make a large circle on an even larger background, but it is pretty, and is a great way to beautifully showcase your favorite fabric.

The book has 159 pages an there is a full size pattern sheet in the back.  You don't have to reduce or enlarge anything unless you want to change something.  The suggested retail price is $26.95 which I think is worth it to learn about a variety of techniques and a variety of different styles of quilting.

Friday, April 22, 2016

More Circles

As a part of my 365 project, I have been making circle blocks.  So far, I have shown you 133 blocks. Let's continue with block 134.

 Block 134

I got a routine blood test, and this is the neon green tape she put on my arm.  I wanted to use something that wasn't fabric, and this seems appropriate. It is stretchy and I thought I cut it rounder than I did.  We've done small and we've done off center, now we have small AND off-center. 

 Block 135

A simple circle to make use of fabric and represent sewing and math.

 Block 136

This piece is made up of leftover scraps from making other circles, some of which had fusible on it. Trying to do something different than the simple circle.

 Block 137-140

One way to make a simple circle not so simple is to put it on a pieced background.  This is four backgrounds so it represents four circles.

 Block 141

I was really bored with my last batch of circles, and was trying to figure out a different way to make a circle.  I rolled one up but it was hard to tell which was the front or the back, so I decided to use two layers of circles, and offset the inside circle a bit so you could see that it was a rolled circle.

To see the other blocks, click on the Quilty Project 365 label below or in the sidebar.

Linked to:
Oh Scrap! 
Slow Stitching Sunday It isn't hand stitching, but it is definitely slow! It takes at least a year to make all the circles!
AHIQ Linkup

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wandering Camera - Best of March 2016

Here are some pictures I took during the last month. A whole month of sky and tree pictures for you. I take photographs almost every day, but instead of trying to find the best one of each day, I looked for photos I particularly liked, and came up with these 20.  I didn't use any quilt pictures, since I have shown those to you throughout the month.

Linked to:
Whims And Fancies Wandering Camera

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Circles on a Sunday

I have decided to take a vacation weekend.  No, I'm not getting paid, and I don't have to work this weekend anyway, but I have decided that I will only do what I want to do this weekend.

The funny thing is that I am still doing the regular chores, but I have a better attitude about them, because they are optional.

Here are some more circle blocks.

I have put away the circles I have pieced so far so I don't wear them out from bringing them out to check the balance when I add a new block, and to photograph each time I add a new row.  This means I have to rely on my faulty memory to see if I have made a similar block, and trust that everything will go together even if there are two blocks the same color / style right on top of another.

 Block 128

Since I am running behind, I thought I would add a few circles where the fabric does most of the work.  Simple circle.

 Block 129

This block uses a leftover piece from the first big block I made.  Goodness, how many leftover pieces are there?  It was a two patch, and I added the third piece that was already cut. This fabric uses a piece from the Millefiore quilt.  I haven't worked on that quilt for a long time.

 Block 130

This piece uses leftover fabric that already had fusible on it.  I have run out of fusible already. I think I am going to have to invest in a bolt.  I like how the circle doesn't end circularly. It makes me think of a speech bubble.  And as a bonus, that dot on the background fabric looks like an eye and the triangle is then a nose.

 Block 131

I've used a butterfly before, and it will wind up pretty close to the one I used before, but again, using a simple circle and letting the fabric do the heavy lifting.

 Block 132

I tend to cut circles even though the fabric already has a circle in it, so this time I decided to cut a square.

 Block 133

I saw this on Facebook on a clothing label that said that it was washable by both men and women.  I like how the simple shapes can be used to signify people and how it is pretty easy to tell which one is which gender.  I wonder if it is as easy for younger people who aren't used to seeing women in dresses and skirts to tell the difference. It is also appropriate now with the current controversy about which bathroom transgendered people can use.


This isn't a circle block, and I don't normally show purchases on my blog, because I don't want to encourage people to buy stuff they don't need, but I found these things at the after holiday clearance at a couple stores.  It's probably too late for you to find deals like this this year.  Some of it was only 50% off but most of it was 90% off.  I think these will be great craft-making supplies.  Cookie cutters can be used for quilt templates and the burlap tags underneath the cookie cutter will make great prayer flags.  I don't know why but the colored twine makes me happiest, at ten cents a piece, even though I saved more money on the tags and the coloring kit, which were 50 cents a package.

Linked to:
A Colorful Life

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Seven More Circle Blocks

Here are some more blocks for my Quilty Circle 365, where I try to make enough circles to represent each of my days.

 Block 121

I decided to include the word "rules" in the quilt, partly because it would give people an idea that this quilt was about rules, and the breaking thereof. Partly because that was five circles all in one idea!  The original plan was to start out with a very prim and proper R and work my way down to rule-breaking more and more as I went along, but that sounded like the correct way to do it.  That and I drew the pattern wrong.

 Block 122

This one uses two different cross stitches on my sewing machine.  This one makes me think of football for some reason.  When I prepared these blocks, I was expecting to use orange variegated thread, but I ran out of it in the bobbin just as I finished needing it on a project I am helping someone with, so we are back to a neutral thread.

 Block 123

This one uses orange because that is the color of the month. I broke out a never-before-used-by-me fat quarter to celebrate this color. The L is stopping to smell the sideways flower. I put it sideways on purpose so it was easier to see, and, you know, it is breaking another rule we didn't know we had.

 Block 124

Don't forget to dot the e. Since all the other letters were inside circles, this one had to be beside one.

I thought I had used up the last of that blue fabric from my high school days but my mother gave me more.  If I am still using material I got in high school, that means I must be really young still, right?

 Block 125

A different way to incorporate circles in a letter.

 Block 126

A subtle way to say don't. Is it saying don't break the rules, or don't follow them, we don't know.  Sometimes it isn't always clear what the rules are until you get in trouble.

 Block 127

This one uses leftover fabric from the Adrinka BOM.

Seven circles is a nice number to share for the week.  Unfortunately Day 127 was on March 21, so I have a few more to do to catch up in March before I can even get started for April.

Linked to:
Oh Scrap!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

My Goal for April

Italian traffic signs - old - limite di velocità 30

 Image By F l a n k e r [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I have been helping a family member with a project so I don't have much of my own to show you.  Then I realized that instead of showing you what I've done, I could tell you my plans for the month.

You might have guessed from the image, but my plans for April are going to be simple and may seem realistic.  I am going to make 30 circles for my Project 365 quilt.  This may seem like a small goal, but it is going to be difficult for me to reach it with everything else I have to do this month.

To keep your mind off the fact that I am not showing anything finished today, I want to divert your attention to a couple of fantastic quilts I found on other blogs.

Barbara Brackman shows a flag quilt that looks new but was made during the Civil War. It is mostly pieced and has a lot of tiny pieces and silk campaign ribbons.

Esther Aliu shows a beautiful applique quilt.  Esther designed this quilt and offered the pattern for free on her newsgroup. One of the members, Ineke Waijers-Persons, made this beautiful elaborate quilt with a circus theme.

Linked to:
Scrap Happy Saturday