Monday, March 2, 2015

Getting back to the basics

Happy Snowy Monday!  We're setting snow accumulation records here in Podunk for the month of March.  In our little spot of the woods the snow piled up to about 8 inches on top of the 5 inches already on the ground.  But it's still not warm enough for a snowman.  The snow is like powder.  I think by this afternoon that should change.  Anyone else playing in the snow today?
Since I couldn't build a snowman(boohoo) most of the weekend was spent quilting.  I managed to get all the applique machine stitched in place.  Now for the quilting.
My new walking foot is so bulky and I can't see a darn thing when I use it so today I'm trying out the open toe foot.   I really wish they made a walking foot with the open toe, it would make stitch in the ditch so much easier.

 The keep it simple quilting will make for a quick finish.  I don't feel like dealing with quilting on the frame lately.  Sometimes it's good to get back to the basics, don't you think?  It takes me back to my early days of quilting, long before I knew longarm quilt machines existed.  Oh don't get me wrong I still love the "quilted to death" quilts.  But sometimes it nice to just let a quilt be a quilt and let the quilt design do all the talking instead of the fancy quilting.   And this bright quilt has a lot to say!   

Maybe someday I can really get back to the basics by hand quilting a quilt....
Maybe.  So tell me what's your thoughts on quilting?  Do you like your quilts to be quilted to death, lightly quilted, tied, or hand quilted?

I found a new to me linky over at Hug-a-Bit Quilts.  Hop on over and share some quilty love!

and another new to me linky is MCM@Cookingupquilts
Hope to see you there!

And don't forget Judy's Design Wall Monday over at PatchworkTimes

~ Lea Anne ~

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Flimsy Friday

 I'm loving the snow!  My studio gets brighter earlier in the day due to the sun reflecting off the snow.  This is how I started my day.   So bright and happy, it  washes away any gloomy and glum cabin fever blues that might be lurking about.  

 When I started making strings last week I didn't plan on making a Wedding Ring quilt, but...failure on Plan A.  Onto Plan B which I pulled out of thin cold air.   My attempts at piecing the blocks ended in disaster.  Good thing there's always a Plan C that doesn't require so much pinning.  If you look closely at the picture below you can see where I marked a grid on a solid piece of fabric.  100 % applique.  All I had to do was add glue to an arc and press.  Much easier than a bazillion pins.

Add a few posies....

Now all I need to do is do an invisible machine stitch around ALL of it! 
Why can't I get a good picture of this quilt.  Maybe its because it's so bright.

When all else fails...put on your husbands boots and brave the weather.

Hmmm...the colors are still showing brighter than real life.

Oh well you get the idea.  She's happy and bright and puts a big ole smile on my face.  

~ Lea Anne ~
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Podunk Posy

 After running into a couple of design snags in my string quilt  I decided to take a short break from it this morning and do a quick Studio clean up.  As I was putting away some scraps I ran across the sweetest little scrap of pink posy fabric.  The little posies jump started an idea....  That's all it took to side track my mind and whip up a quilt block design on some graph paper.   Well what the heck let's go ahead and make a test block.  I need several more of these!

The adorable Podunk Posy block finishes (in quilt) at 6 x 12.  The design wheels are turning for a super simple, quick and easy, scrap busting quilt using a few of these Podunk Posies and scrappy charms.  Can't wait to get started!  But...I've a string quilt calling me back to the Studio.  Actually screaming load!  Wait till you see the colors...sunglasses required!

I found the perfect spot for her while I finish up my string quilt.  Maybe I should make a couple more, there's plenty of room on the curtain rod!

~ Lea Anne ~

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Let the fun begin!

Happy Monday morning quilty friends!  I hope it's warm and cozy in your neck of the woods.  It's sunny and 7 degrees here in Podunk.  The studio temp is 54.  Yes you read those number right, it's not a typo.   So while letting the Studio warm up lets take a look at the string quilt progress.   All the strings are pieced and ready for cutting.  It took a tad longer than expected to get enough sets for my design.  Would you believe I ran out of strings and had to MAKE more?! 

My granny used to say "There's more than one way to skin a cat".  Well that statement is very true in quilting.  When making string quilts there's several ways I could piece them.  Some quilters use some sort of foundation such as muslin, phone book pages, newspaper, or store bought foundation paper.  I chose to use none of them.  The reason is simple..bulk in the quilt and I don't want to remove any papers later.  I know there's a water soluble product on the market but I'm too cheap for that!  The next major decision was pressing of the seams.  Open or to one side? This topic is highly debated among quilters.  To be honest I do both.  It really  depends on the quilt and the amount of bulk that will be made if I don't press open.  As general rule I prefer pressing to the side.  It makes for a stronger seam, and although I've never put a quilt in a quilt show, should I decide to, most judges look for pressing direction and if they can see piecing stitches... that's BAD.  It could be the difference between a ribbon and a list helpful advice.  For this quilt I decided open seams was best.  Shew that was a chore!  Not a decision made lightly.  Pressing to the side would have been so much quicker and easier.

Finally I can start cutting and shaping these stacks into a quilt.  
Let the fun begin! 

~ Lea Anne ~
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Got strings?

The last scrap quilt was so much fun why not make another out of the growing pile of strings.  The inspiration for a string quilt struck when I saw Emily's quilt over at Em's Scrapbag.  

We've seen a gazillion string quilts of every shape and size.  How can I make this one my own, make it different, original, a one of a kind?  Nothing lubricates the creative quilty gears like some mindless speed piecing strips of technicolor  fabric.  

Once the sewing began the ideas flowed out of my brain like the curse words out of my mouth when my expensive sewing machine broke earlier in the week. 
(yep I'm still peeved)
One sweet idea after another until...I HAVE A NEW PLAN!  Something I've not seen before.   I've Googled, Binged, and YahOOOOO'ed and not one quilt with this idea.  Now that doesn't mean it doesn't exist ....and I'm sure somebody with better knowledge or skills of searching will let me know if does.  
So what's my plan you say?  
Before I go getting too cocky and spouting off at the mouth, there's still oodles of design elements that need a little tweaking.  So until then I'll show you what I should be working on but can't seem to come up with any ideas.

Oh yes, my nemesis....NOVELTY FABRIC!  UGG! YUK!   My sweet little grandson(Hunter) wants a Spidey quilt.  Well guess what granny had in the stash?   After hours of searching for some type of inspiration, I'm feeling inspired to toss it in the trash can, because you know 6 yr olds are very critical of quilt patterns...wink wink.

~ Lea Anne ~

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Flit and Flutter Friday

This has been finished for a couple of days, waiting to be photographed.  Our  weather had other plans.  With temperatures in the negative digits my photo shoot took place indoors.  Don't get me wrong I love snow but I don't like freezing my patootie off in order to get a good picture.  It's a pretty good bet that those temps wouldn't be good for my camera or phone camera. 
Anyway...this was a quick and fun way to use up some scraps.  The four patches are 2.5" squares and the the solid blocks are 4.5" squares.  Sashed with 1.5" strips.  Doesn't get much easier than that!  

The hardest part was drafting the cute 8" butterfly blocks, but once the pattern was drafted they went together in no time. 

It's so cozy and soft due to the low loft poly batting and the minimal quilting. No fancy free motion to weigh down the butterflies flight, just straight line quilting done on my domestic machine.

For the backing I chose to use up some not so loved yardage from the stash.  It's a field of flowers for the butterflies playtime.

There can never be to many ginghams and plaids in a quilt so I pulled some green plaid from the stash for the inner border and binding.

She folded and ready for her flight to my grand daughters house.

~ Lea Anne ~
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Monday, February 16, 2015

In a bind

The simple quicky quilt is close to being finished.  My daughter put her name on this one while she was here this weekend.   As soon as I can whip together a new quilt for my Spiderman loving grandson, both will be shipped to their new home.
This quilt could have been finished yesterday but....

And its a big BUTT, that's putting it nicely.  I was just stitching along and my sewing machine made the most horrible noises and locked up.  Of course it locked up with the needle down in the quilt.  This machine is only 3 or 4 years old, there's absolutely no reason why should behave this way.  I don't take my machines in for the yearly checkup.  With the older machines it wasn't necessary.  And it should still be that way unless the computer parts on the machine fails.  In my failed attempt to fix her I found that about half of her gears are plastic.  For almost $900 I got plastic!  NEVER AGAIN will I purchase a new machine.  They are good for the fancy stitches and that's about it.  And really how often do we use them?  The auto cutter hasn't worked right for about 2 years, and I've had to program my own tiny blanket stitch because the MAN who designed the blanket stitch on this machine decided I didn't need to make a tiny stitch.  Obviously he's never heard of invisible machine applique.
It costs $100 for the yearly inspection, cleaning and setting the timing.  Additional charges for any broken plastic and labor.  Now should get her fixed and sell her then buy a good old fashion simple low maintenance machine or should I keep the high maintenance pain in the rear?  

Why did I give my good girl away(below).  She never gave me trouble.  It was one of the machines from my high school.  When the school bought new machines they were going to toss these in the trash.  So a friend took one thinking she would use it, a year later she gave it to me.  Oh well, live and learn.  For now I'm sewing on the other money pit you see in the background.  

~ Lea Anne ~
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