Thursday, August 27, 2020

Tree Quilts

In February, I curated some red and white quilts to show you.  A virtual High Road Museum, if you will.  In French, that would be Musée de la Grande Route, which sounds fabulous to me, so welcome back to my museum. I don't know French so if that isn't right, please let me know.

Since I showed you a finished tree quilt yesterday, I decided to find my collection of tree quilts to show you.  I added a label for that to some of my older posts, and hope that didn't mess up your blog feed.

This is the quilt I showed you yesterday. It uses scraps of actual 1930s fabric and reproductions as the background. The tree in the foreground is also a scrap. The same fabric was cut up in circles for the leaves and the trunk. It is completely hand stitched.

This one is another summertime quilt that is made with scraps. In this one, the background is plain while the focal point uses the scraps.  This quilt is also raw edge applique, but it is machine stitched, and has some added embroidery.

This quilt also has a tree, although the tree is not the main feature.  It uses fabrics that are not cotton. They are raw edge and machine stitched. So if you were thinking I don't know how to make a tree when you saw the other ones, you can see that I have made some progress.

This improv quilt is machine pieced.  I used some older fabric that was in the stash. It is machine stitched and quilted.

All of the other quilts I showed you are small quilts. This larger quilt is a wholecloth quilt. There is a large variety of buttons which are stitched to the quilt.

Thank you for visiting Musée de la Grande Route.  We hope you come again soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Quilt Reveal: Thirties Boro

May I introduce you to my mini quilt of the month for the month of August?

Last year, I was working with my thirties yo-yo quilt.  It is still a work in progress, but in the meantime, I had some precious scraps that will not work for that quilt.  There are so many wonderful ways to use the scraps, but I decided to make a boro quilt.

Here's the video that I used. I even pressed the quilted quilt, which I don't normally do.

Collages have a tendency to look awful until they are finished. It is a fine balance to take the time to make a pleasing arrangement, but avoid the overthinking that would make it look predictable and boring.

Once it was stitched down, it probably would have looked fine with a binding, but I decided it needed something more. Collage quilts are quite popular right now. I see quilts designed by Laura Heine everywhere right now in my internet surfing. I decided to add a focal point. I probably should have chosen a more interesting focal point, but I had the big piece of green fabric and I thought of circles.  It was late at night when the circles turned into a tree.

The tree applique and some other stitching form the quilting stitches.

The circles puff a little bit to make it look dimensional.

The threads are leftover pieces from the quote quilt. I added some stitching that goes a different direction just to secure more of the long edges.  I like how the tree makes you look at the other shapes again to try to figure out what they are. Is that a mailbox? A sign? Or another tree?

In true Shasta style, here is the back.

It is approximately 9" x 12".

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Rose and Fierce Girl

The weather cooled down this week. It was a foreshadowing of autumn. I should have painted the coffee table and the porch, but I really didn't want the rose to take another two weeks, so I finished the rose. It is pulling the fabric a little bit, but not as much as I expected. I really tried to keep the stitches loose. It does look like a rose though, so I am happy with how it turned out.

While I was at it, I also made Fierce Girl. I was inspired by Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street. Fierce Girl doesn't look like the statue so there are no copyright laws broken. I was worried about this one because the girl doesn't look like the statue and the quote isn't neatly added, but now that I see it completed, I really like how it looks.

2020:  Weeks 34 of 15 Minutes to Stitch


I finished the rose and added Fierce Girl to the quote quilt. While I have been going through papers in the basement, I found notes about quilts I am making, like layout ideas, and other quilt patterns. I was amused to find daily to-do lists that had "make circles" on them. They were never crossed off, since I didn't list a number of circles and I could always make more. 
All these other quilt ideas is making me antsy to work on other quilts, either ones already started, and ones that already in progress. I am going to try to resist it, since I have a lot of motifs I still want to add to this quilt. If you have any ideas of what else I should add, please let me know. I am trying to think of other historical 2002-2020 influences I can add.

15 minute days this week -- 7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 182 out of 236 days
Success rate  = 77%
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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Visitors in the Garden

I have zinnias in the garden again this year, and got some visitors in the garden today. They insisted on keeping a properly social distance, but I enjoyed their visit.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Index Cards Progress

Once upon a time, there was an Index Card a Day follow-along that happens from time to time, and I joined it.  It was a 60 day challenge, and still continues from time to time. I started early because I didn't want to wait until the start date, and didn't stop when the 60 days were up, because I was having too much fun.

The "a day" part of the challenge is flexible, since some days I make more than one, and many days, I don't make one at all. Did you notice that when I created a label for these, I called it "index card drawing" and not "index card a day"?  Thinking ahead. I know me.

I am enjoying making these small little works of art. They don't take a lot of time to make, and are a good way to use up small bits of scraps torn from advertisements, junk mail, and magazines.

I last showed you my cards in January, so I figured it was time for an update. First up, I've added more decoration to the outside of the box. When I first found the box at the office supply store, I was disappointed that it was so plain and ugly, and there were no other choices of designs. Now I am glad it was ugly so I didn't feel bad in covering it up right away. It is a work in process so it will continue to change.

In January, I made some collages to give you a random sample of the cards that I have made, and I think that worked much better than showing you the cards individually.

The purpose of the cards is to try out new materials and techniques, and just add a little bit of fun to the day.

You will see duplicates in these collages since I had to start over with each collage, and I grabbed cards at random and didn't try to make sure I didn't have duplicates.

There isn't pressure to make art - simply decorate the card. Some are more successful as art than others.

I did a quick count, and it looks like I have made 33 since the last collage post.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Hothouse Rose

When I showed you the quote quilt last weekend, I had pinned a paper pattern of the rose I planned to add next. It is a fairly long rose. Since it spans three rows, I had to find just the proper space that has room on the left and right sides of the quote and blue blocks as needed. I tried three or four spaces until I found one that would accommodate the motif.

I decided to make the rose using a satin stitch. Crazy quilts need satin stitch motifs and a rose seems like a good satin stitch motif.

What I knew but tried to ignore, is that satin stitch takes a lot of time to work up. Filling in the shape with color involved a lot of stitches. Satin stitches would require me to be more careful about laying the stitches correctly next to each other without pulling too tightly. A big shape would take a long time to fill. In my defense, it is a long motif and doesn't especially look like there is a lot of space to color in.

What I didn't know until it was too late is that it would be a particularly hot week. What I didn't think about until it was too late, is that adding a motif to the center of the quilt in a really hot week meant that the quilt would be covering me up. I managed to add the stitches on a pull out ledge on my desk which kept the quilt from resting on me, but it was still pretty warm.

One day, as I was watching a video, I braided some pieces of thread.  Since I had the braid, I decided to give the dog a braided rug. The plan was to give him an oval rug, but now it is a perspectively-challenged round rug or a maybe it's an exercise ball.

2020:  Weeks 32 and 33 of 15 Minutes to Stitch


During this two week period, I have mostly been adding the rose to the quote quilt. At this rate, it might take two more weeks before I am finished with it. This entire space has a lot of stitching. The tree on the left has lots of leaves, and the quote on the left is the one that is stitched.

15 minute days this week -- 14 out of 14
15 minute days this year -- 175 out of 229 days
Success rate  = 76%

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch
Slow Sunday Stitching
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making

Friday, August 7, 2020

Summer Happenings

There are a couple of people who share their coronavirus diaries with us every day.  They both add drawings to their daily happenings and make beautiful journals.  I really enjoy getting to vicariously join them in their adventures, so I thought I would share some of my "adventures" with you. 

Think of it is a "what I've done on my summer vacation so far." This replaces the photos of the month I usually present.

I bought a planter to take to my brother's funeral. I was too late to order one for delivery, so I ran out to a local nursery, hoping to find one that would be presentable. Much to my surprise, there were so many beautiful ones to pick from, and at wonderful prices. I decided to get one for my mother and sister as well as for my sister-in-law, and I got one for myself too.  My mother and sister kept theirs in their pots where they look wonderful on their respective front porches.  I planted mine in the garden. I really like the contrast between the orange and the purples.

Someone on Freecycle offered some handmade embroidered seat covers. There are about 10 of them.  He said his grandmother made them, and maybe his mother too. Mom and I drove there and got a lot of beautiful works of art.  I have to decide what to do with them now. My mother said she would take what I didn't use. I hadn't heard of seat covers, but Susan Lenz, an artist whose blog I follow,  recently worked with seat covers. Whatever I do with mine will be much simpler.

I haven't planted any food in my garden for a few years. When I am working, I have a hard time tending to the garden, and I feel great guilt in ruining food plants or wasting any of the harvest. I have been planting flowers only, which have the beauty without as much guilt.  This spring, I decided to make an exception during the coronavirus shortage situation. A victory garden of sorts. My brother-in-law planted one tomato plant and two pepper plants for me. As you can see, they are doing quite nicely, and I can't wait to start harvesting them. They are in tall pots so they will be easy to harvest.  I also got some basil after I saw it in his garden.

My neighbor was throwing away her porch coffee table. She was just tired of it, so I took it to put on my porch. I need to do some painting anyway, so it won't be any big deal to scrape and paint this too. There are flaps on both sides to add lots of horizontal space when it is necessary.

My college friend was in town and asked whether I wanted to join her in geocaching. I haven't done it much, but it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors (parks, cemeteries, other public spaces) while social distancing. You use coordinates to find the treasures which are hidden all around the world. Most of them have a log to sign that you found it, and sometimes the container also has little trinkets you can take if you want them. You can also leave other trinkets in there for others to find.  Now with smart phones, you don't even have to buy a separate GPS; you can just use the geocaching app. I've found 12, all of them with her. She has found 14,000. She said there are people who have found many more than she has!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Inspirational Quote Quilt Revisited

In my last post, I revealed a finished pinwheel quilt as my mini of the month of July. Please go back to admire it if you didn't get a chance yet, since finishes are quite rare on my blog.

Since it is finished, I am continuing to work to the Inspirational Quote crazy quilt which was being made concurrently with the pinwheel quilt.

This week, I gave the dog a dog house. He shouldn't have painted the chimney green, because it is hard to see.

It's been a while since I have shown the whole quilt, so I thought you may want to see the whole thing in its current state. Here's the best picture I got today.  When it is finished, I will find someone taller to give you a better picture.

Here are some closer views.  Top third.

Here is the middle. The long paper is a rose pattern that will go there. The short paper beside it and the one on the top right is just signifying that it is a duplicate quote. While I don't mind repeating quotes, I figured that if I found another quote that I wanted on the quilt, I would want to know where I could put it.

Here is the bottom third. At one point, I thought I was pretty close to having balance in the whole thing, but it doesn't feel balanced right now. It might be too early to ask right now, since I still have lots more to add, but what would you put where to make it more balanced?

2020:  Week 31 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

Another timely post!  This week, I quilted and bound the pinwheel quilt and gave the quote quilt a dog house.

The cleanup of the basement continues. I have filled a recycling bin full of paper, glass, and cardboard and have a bunch of stuff for the charity pickup this week.

15 minute days this week -- 7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 161 out of 215 days
Success rate  = 75%

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch