Thursday, August 9, 2018

My New Barn Quilt Sign

Daughter Linda gave me the promise of a new barn quilt sign for Christmas last December. We decided on the size (3 ft x 3 ft) and the design (a variation of Star of the Orient by Judy Martin) and the colors (see the picture). We removed the old 2 ft x 2 ft one and she is refreshing the paint and will hang it over the garage door.

My granddaughter Brittney Kuykendall visited this week and she helped finish the painting and her husband Erik did the climbing and hanging. It looks beautiful! The repainted smaller one is ready to hang by the next relative who visits from Texas!

Brittney spraying sealer. 
 Martha and Linda in front of the shop building

The view from the driveway

The view near the street
While the painting was going on, Tanner and Kylee Jo baked a pound cake and sewed pillows. Erik painted tattoos on Knox's tummy and back. They had a good time on their way to the beach.
Tanner and Kylee Jo baking a pound cake

Knox said, "It tickles, Daddy!"

Sunday, August 5, 2018

August--Finished MOP, Silent Auction Pieces

I finished hand-stitching the black binding around the edges of the MOP and only need to quilt a bit in the centers of the blocks, add a sleeve and a label and it will be totally done. The piecing of the arcs was the most fun because of getting to make all the fabric choices.
(Enlarge any picture for a better view.)

I have finished a piece I am donating to the Silent Auction at our upcoming quilt show. It is free-motion quilting on a piece of hand-dyed fabric.

Daughter Linda is submitting a batik table runner (18" x 54") which can be used with the squares showing or the green batik back; prairie points show either way.

I'm very excited about the barn quilt sign she is making to replace the smaller faded one on my shop building. She will repaint the smaller one and get it moved to above the garage door.
This new one is 3' x 3', an adaptation of Judy Martin's Star of the Orient block.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Binding MOP, Quilt to Japan, and Blue-Haired Cat Lady

It's the end of July and I'm still hand-stitching the black bias binding on the Mississippi Orange Peel quilt. I have to stay in the studio for this because of better lighting, but stitching with black thread on bias Kona cotton around scallops--well, it is just easy to decide to do other things! Particularly when two cats insist on being in my lap or on the quilt. Tarbaby actually walks around meowing because he doesn't see any room for him. When he piles on anyway, I just go to the LR recliner and humor him. But one more work session should finish it.

The friend's baby in Japan I sent the wild frog quilt to seems to like it! What a happy little fellow he is. I can almost hear him chuckling. You can see pictures of the quilt during progress here.

And then I decided to add some blue and pink streaks to my hair! Eric (my hairdresser for about 25 years) looked quite startled when I asked him to do it. I didn't know how much and where and just what I wanted it to look like so I just told him to do something! It seems my hair would not take the pink color even on two tries, so I have only blue. Gives a whole new meaning to Blue-Haired Cat Lady.

I mailed my June page (late!) to one of the members of my Artists Unbound group. The inspiration for this page is from Libby Williamson's page that she had sent me earlier. Then I enjoyed more of Libby's instruction about using tea bags in her article in the August-September issue of Quilting Arts magazine. I feel so honored to own one of Libby's exquisite works!
My page for Gabriele DiTota
Libby Williamson's page for me

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Mid-July Heat and Veggies

This has been a record-breaking hot week, and I can't believe I used to think it was fun to play tennis in the summer!
I've made a little progress on the binding of the MOP quilt, but with TWO cats vying for my undivided attention, some work sessions have had to be postponed.
Elizabeth and Tarbaby fighting for space on the quilt and my lap
I should take advantage of Tarbaby's nap to work on the binding.

The heat and lots of rain have made my trips to the Farmer's Market a joy. My favorite finds are tiny yellow squash and long purple eggplant--items that can't be found at the grocery store. Of course, there have been delicious home-grown tomatoes, too, which I just eat fresh. I am freezing squash, okra, and eggplant to enjoy later.
Purple eggplant, okra, yellow squash, figs, and peaches 
I have bought peaches for two weeks but learned today that someone came and picked this farmer's peach crop bare last night, so this treat has ended. What a shame that some thief would do this!

With my guild's quilt show coming up October 5-6, I have been taking care of some quilt show duties like ordering posters. The photos were taken at a local favorite restaurant, Patio 44. We asked a friendly waiter to help us drape the large quilt over a railing so we could get a picture with the white hydrangeas in the foreground. The quilt is 108" x 108" and quite heavy.
 I love this "behind the scenes" shot!
Dianne McLendon and Patio 44 waiter

Friday, July 13, 2018

Mississippi Orange Peel, Part 3

It's been a long time since I have used a bias binding to finish the edges of a quilt, but with the scallops on the MOP, I thought bias was was necessary.

 Elizabeth is very possessive of all quilting projects, and I have had to be creative to get any work done on it. She hears me begin to sew and joins me. After pushing her off the quilt several times, I either have to just leave her and go do something else or remove her and close the door.

Okay, I give up. I'll come back later.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Mississippi Orange Peel, Part 2

After some more attempts to machine quilt the Mississippi Orange Peel (affectionately referred to as the MOP), I decided the project was more possible on my Janome than my Pfaff, mainly because of the larger flat surface around the sewing area. You can read Part 1 about the beginning of the quilting here.

I did "in the ditch" quilting in a grid around each block, as well as around each pointy arc. It was not always easy to stay in the ditch, so some picking out and restitching were required. Elizabeth was sure her help was needed to bite every thread I pulled out. Many times I had to give up and go to another room. This took the joy out of the activity, so she took a nap.

After most of the in-the-ditch quilting was done, I could trim the outer edges to get rid of some of the bulk under the head of the machine. Kind of scary to cut this away.

I rewarded myself with Tom's Fried Pie (peach) and a cup of Blue Bell ice cream.
 Rahrah was feeling neglected and in need of my attention.
I am excited about being able to finish the MOP! It will finish at about 48" square, with black binding all around. I bought the Kona cotton for the binding today. Enough progress for now. But I'm out of peach pie.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June --Tying Up Loose Ends

While taking a break from quilting the Mississippi Orange Peel, I finished up several projects. I hope the child I'm giving this to likes frogs in wild colors.
Psychedelic frogs

The back has bicycles all over a black background
I love making the Interleave Quilts; there are so many possible fabric combinations as well as design choices. Here are a couple, along with a free-motion quilted piece for the Silent Auction at our show. What a great feeling it is to finish up some projects before deadline.
Interleave 1

Interleave 2
Free-motion quilting on hand dyed piece
My youngest granddaughter turned 21 this week. Here is one of my favorite pictures taken many years ago in the Texas bluebonnets near her home.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mississippi Orange Peel, Part 1

Karen K Stone's Indian Orange Peel
Karen K Stone visited Hattiesburg in November 2016 and presented a program for our Pine Belt Quilters guild and then taught a class on the traditional Orange Peel block, showing her beautiful quilt she calls Indian Orange Peel. Karen's pattern included printed paper foundations, which I then copied onto an interfacing (which can be left in) called Do Sew. This eliminates that tedious step of tearing all that paper foundation out after the blocks are sewn.

Picking and grouping the fabrics for these blocks was a fascinating and fun project, and once I got started, it was like an obsession. The possibilities for spikes and backgrounds were endless.

It took a bit to get the hang of sewing the blocks, but with each block the process got easier and faster. I decided on a five by five block arrangement, adding the curved arcs on the outside of all blocks. I did not want the larger border Karen used in her quilt. The project lived on my design wall for quite some time as I chose how I wanted to arrange the blocks, deciding on a diagonal line of basically red blocks from upper left to lower right. So far, so good. I loved looking at it!
Then life intervened and the project was put aside as I pondered how to quilt it.  I like to quilt my own work and planned to really enjoy the process. I selected a black/white print for the backing.

Finally I layered it and began to quilt on my stationary machines--both the Pfaff and the Janome. Ooops! I hit a wall. All those little pieces coming together at intersections and corners of blocks created thick and cumbersome areas that wanted to push and slide under the presser foot. So I tried free-motion quilting. Still having problems with the thickness. But I have begun and will persevere. I love the pieced top too much to abandon the project. I hope to have some progress to show soon.