Saturday, May 31, 2014

He loves me, he loves me not

What little girl hasn't played this little game with a flower?  Maybe that's why we love flowers so much.  The association of the handsome prince riding in with a large bouquet picked just for us.  It's right up there with the fairytale weddings and white picket fence lifestyle.
Try as I might I couldn't get the daisies out of my head yesterday and before I knew it...
I had pulled out another stack of yardage and was considering another design, but why cut into yardage when there's still tons of scraps.  There still may be another daisy quilt with a colored background and white flower.
So I tossed around a few ideas on paper until lunchtime.  Then while eating lunch I searched for online inspiration.  Finding this free pattern here at Daisy Janie.  Nice little pattern.  Much smaller blocks than what I wanted to make.
My block at 26 inches long will make a quick quilt!
 Do you recognize the leaves?  It's the same style that's on the cherry quilt from last year.  And tons of white space for quilting.
 After my test block the wheels are in motion for 12 more blocks.

~ Lea Anne ~

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Morning inspiration

One of the best things about living in Podunk is the sunrise.  Early mornings can be a spiritual event every morning.  The happy singing birds are calling me to take my coffee outside.  It's one of those picture perfect mornings with low humidity, the air is crisp and clean with the sweet smell of honeysuckle.  And my all time favorite flower is in full bloom.  Is there anything more simple and lovely than the Daisy?
Since they're my favorite I've planted them all over the property.  
 I sat on the back porch swing and enjoyed a cup of coffee.....
 In my minds eye I can see myself in Laura Ingals style running through a field of daisies...... 
...In the distance there's a yellow and white farmhouse, white gingerbread wrap around style porch, white wicker porch swing with yellow and red floral cushions trimmed with red gingham, red front door, hanging true happy place.  I'd take you for a tour inside but somethings are left to your imagination.
Well after a brief moment in la-la land it was time to come back the reality and get busy.  What that really means is that I want to make a daisy quilt.  I pulled some fabric, tossed around a few ideas in my head.  But when I looked around the studio at the 3 current projects and one on the frame....sigh...This will need to wait...bummer...but it's a cute idea that I think I can make into another freebie maybe in a week or two.

~ Lea Anne ~


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Mystery Box

Well there's another secret to reveal about my life.  I come from a long line of hoarders.  Luckily that gene stopped with my mother.  I won't say she could be on prime time TV, but she's working on it.  She says my home is too clean and boring.  Really I just don't like to clean, so the less I have the less I need to clean!  Anyway...
I received a small box of memories from one of the hoarders in my life.
Just by the looks of the outside of the box I knew there were some hidden treasures and secrets buried within.  
 Okay so the contents worth are probably less than the cost of the paper to print them.  I can't help but wonder why these items were kept.  What special secrets did they have to tell, you know there's always a story.    A scandal!
 There were some clues among the 100 plus photo negatives.
 And the hand written letters dating back over 100 yrs.  Very hard to read so I only skimmed over a couple.  The dates intrigued me the most.
 That's 1896 below!
 Only one personal photo in the entire stash.  Wonder if this was taken on a Sunday after church.  Back in the day that was a day for family and relaxing.  No stores were open and no work was done unless absolutely necessary.  Families would gather for dinner(which was cooked on Saturday) and the occasional game of choice.  It was a day to sit under an old tree and relax, gossip, and tell stories to the grandbabies about the "Good ole Days".
I looked for a member of my family in these band photo ads, but nothing...humm...did the owner of the box have a crush on someone in the band? 
Oh could there be a young love affair?  We girls do like a man in uniform or carrying a guitar.  
 This was the most interesting piece.  What happened here?  
 Why would someone do this to an envelope.  It seems to be an after postage adjustment.
 The contents were just as odd.  A couple of old postage stamps and some green stamps that I believe are from a different era.
 These are true treasures.(below)  I've seen them online but never held one in my hand.  A paper doll, it to has advertisements on the back.  The little baby carriages have tabs on them so you can make them stand.  And the handmade velvet heart...what the story there?
After going through all the contents the mystery remains, I did notice that the newest date was 1961.  What happened in 1961 that made the collection stop.  Much research to be done on the previous owner, which I know and they have passed.  A few family members remain, but who knows if they even know of the box and its contents.  I feel lucky to have been selected to cherish a box of memories that was so dear to someone that was so dear to me.  

~ Lea Anne ~

Freebie from Creativity Amongst Chaos

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Decisions Decisions

Yesterday I spent the day making test pieces for my new quilt design.  A traditional American Rose in the traditional red and pink.  Originally they would have been solid fabrics not prints.  
Working with a traditional pattern made me wonder if we quilters have become too lazy?  Laser cut applique, die cutters, fusible applique, the list could go on and on.  It took one hour for me to cut and pre-assemble the Rose.(and that's with no stitches)  Cutting the small red flower from the large red and did the same with the pink.  You can see how it looks from the back.  Thrifty and less fabric bulk.  Now had I used a die cutter I would have used more fabric and don't forget the fusible, but I'm pretty sure it would have taken less than 15 minutes.
And these stars take about 30 minutes a piece just to cut and press under the edges, no stitching.  Because of the white on blue I had to cut two stars for each one.  One thing I did to speed up the process was to blunt the tips of the stars, points are a pain!  About 8 pm I sat down with the best of intentions.  Thinking that I should be able to finish hand stitching this down while watching TV.  WRONG!  At 10 pm  I had finished 3 stars.  What can I say other than I'm lazy .  Today I'll put the pedal to the medal and finish them on the sewing machine using the invisible machine applique method.  
 In my defense I'm not a total lethargic blob.  It took some thinking and the use of another handy modern tool to line up those stars so perfectly.  EQ7 made the 13 spoke circle, I painstakingly printed and added the longer spokes by using an real pencil and ruler.  
 A longarm circle ruler made the perfect template.  
 So tell me do you think we've become lazy?  Do the quicker applique methods win big prizes at the quilt shows?  Will our quick methods stand up to the test of time?  Should we pay more attention to quality not quantity?  I read that it took Sharon Schambers 4 years to make a quilt.  HOLY MOLY!  Sure I've UFO's that old but not because they are beautifully pieced, it's because I'm to lazy to finish them.  Her quilts are made for show and prizes, I quilt for fun but I would like for some of my quilts to outlast me.   As long as we enjoy what we do it doesn't matter, that's my humble opinion.

~ Lea Anne ~

Border tutorial here

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Scrap Happy Baskets is ready

 Happy Monday and Memorial Day!   It's important to me to take the time to thank our Veterans and anyone who has lost a love one while protecting our freedom.  My gratitude is also extended for those who are serving and the families that wait stateside for their safe return.  Many blessing to you all.

So look what I finished a couple of days ago.  The battle of the borders gave me a little trouble until finally deciding to go simple with a small white border.  Then after quilting use a colorful binding for the "Pop" factor. 
So many fabrics, wishing now that I had counted how many.  Since I gave you the pattern for the block.  I'll give you a quick run down of how I finished the quilt just in case someone wants to make one.  The gingham was cut at 1.5" strips.  The yellow sashing is 2.5" strips.
 And the final white border is 2" strips.  
 Making this quilt top was so much fun that I just couldn't stop till it was done.  I'd really like to quilt it NOW but there's already a quilt on the frame.  So she's folded and is next in line.
 The scrappy mess was still scattered about the studio when I started another.  This one will be more traditional with lots of American Rose applique.  I might even do hand applique....maybe.  The only bad thing about hand applique is that it takes months instead of weeks to finish.  It's hard for me to stay focused for weeks let alone months.  

~ Lea Anne ~

Linking up with Judy over at Patchworktimes for Design wall Monday.

Today's freebie from Sewmamasew blog.  Designed by LittlemissShabby

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lost Treasure

Okay, long story short.  When I moved into Ross's home I gave almost all my possessions to my children.  No need to have double of everything.   As the years past  many of the family treasures were lost due to a long list of unfortunate circumstances.  However the one thing that I didn't give away were the baby boxes.  For each child I had a tote full of memories from birth to the time they left home.  I had also made one for myself of things from my childhood to current.  My two boys were visiting a few days ago and they both seemed so well adjusted and mature it seemed like a good time to give them their boxes.  They had a blast looking at all the memories.  Anyway....When I opened my box I found these!  I thought they were long gone!  I almost cried.  
 My mom made this for me when my daughter (the oldest,26) was born.  I used it with all three children.  It's just a panel quilt but it was well loved by all.
And then there's this one that's even older.  I made this in a needle work class while in high school.  It too was survived usage from all my kids.  All the new things we buy can't replace the memories of these two items.

~ Lea Anne ~
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Scrappy Spring Basket Quilt Block Tutorial

The Cutting List

(2) 12 1/2 x 2
(2) 5 3/4 x 4 1/2
(2) 5 1/2 x 2 1/2
(2) 2 1/2 squares

The handle(pink)
(1) 2 x 4 1/2

Basket(yellow and red)
(1) 8 1/2 x 1 1/2(red gingham)
(1) 8 1/1 x 4 1/2(yellow)
You can find the PDF file for the applique by clicking here. Make sure you print at actual size, no scaling.  The applique shapes are for raw edge fusible.  If you plan to do needle turn applique you need to add a seam allowance.  Another tip:  all circles are the same size.
Okay lets put this girl together!
For the basket you'll  need the 8 1/2 x  4 1/2 and both 2 1/2 squares.  On the left you can see that I've stitched from corner to corner.  This can be done by drawing a line and stitching or the method I prefer is using a guide on the bed of my machine.  If you save corner units like me don't forget to add that second line of stitching seen on the right. 
 Cut off those corners...
 Press towards the basket
 stitch the  8 1/2 x 1 1/2 to the top, pressing towards the gingham.
 Sew a 5 1/2 x 2 1/2 piece to each side, pressing towards the white.
 For the handle you'll  need to sew a 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 white piece to each side of the 
2 1/2 x 4 1/2 handle piece.  Pressing towards the handle.  For some reason I didn't picture the next step which is to sew this unit to the top of the basket, pressing towards the basket. In the picture this one is pressed towards the handle, I changed the direction on the next block.
 Add a 12 1/2 x 2 to the top and bottom. On the top piece I pressed open(makes the applique lay flatter) and the bottom towards the white.  And that's it!  So quick and easy.  After cutting each block can be pieced in under 5 minutes.  Seriously the cutting is the hardest part when working with scraps.  
 Now all you need to do is add the applique using the template and placement guide.
You can find more about my Scrappy Spring Baskets here and here.

~ Lea Anne ~

How about we link this up at Connie's over at FreeMotionbytheRiver.  Hop on over and link up with us, it's a great way to meet new bloggers and be inspired.  

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