Friday, November 28, 2014

I got the blues

 The Rainbow Scrap challenge at superscrappy has chosen baby blues as the color of the month.
I was visiting my friend Angela at (click here) where she did a fun block tutorial.
 I don't want to take a thing from her fab tutorial but this is my process in sort of following her directions.

Disclaimer, I never said I was good at directions.

First open the box of blue scrap strips and stand back! KaPow!
I sorted thru and found sets of light blues in about 12 inch lengths, and sets of med. blues same length.
See the top picture ^
I sewed the sets kind of keeping straight-ish lines.
To keep them fun I mixed widths and prints.
After trimming those sets to 12 inches square, I placed them Right Sides Together (RST)  with one set horizontal and one set vertical and then

 sewed around the outside edge quarter in. seam allowance. 

I recommend pinning along these outside edges as there is waaay too much stretch for my comfort and you don't want it all wonky at this stage. Next step is 

Trim diagonally with your long ruler and rotary cutter. Both ways. 
When you gently open the pieces you'll see some magic. 
Warning, these new squares are full of bias and really unstable and need TLC. Possibly spray starch

This is where I got a little confused. I looked at Angela's example and went to the design wall with the pressed squares and tried this...
 That's not nice like hers.
 Maybe it's my color choice of all blues. Then I tried different combinations like this
And some other more exciting combinations. I am going to keep those to myself for a bit...

Then I called in the big guns, DH. I showed him Angela's tute, and said come see the "dog's dinner" I made of it. He chuckled and said, well that's not like hers. (uh,  I know)
In his excellent ability to see pattern, he said "the outsides aren't right"

 I looked again and said, oh! The outsides should all point away from the center!  Voila!

 Now it looks good, see??
I really like it! It would be great with all the RSC colors too! This year's RSC has come to a close but there's next year or just doing it in all the colors I want and putting them together. The only thing is, how will the blocks look next to each other? Will  I like the secondary pattern that develops? 
Things I learned today:
1. You can make a lot of projects from a stuffed scrap bin and it still won't close at the end of the day
2. Use spray starch as lots of scrap strips aren't cut on the straight grain
3. Be willing to veer from a pattern/directions if you want
4. You could discover a whole new pattern while veering
5. Call in the husband for a new perspective when stuck
6. Whether it works or not, you are still sewing, and enjoying fabrics. Check out the scissors that I didn't even notice while choosing strips. I was going for medium tone and was happily surprised to see a line of bees show up in the exact center and a pair of scissors!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Baby Blue Stained glass blocks

These are my stained glass blocks in baby blues, for this month's color from the RSC (link)
The picture isn't very dramatic but they look good in person. I have to admit, using only one color of only one colorway is not my preferred way to use colors.
I like to explore a color from light to dark, mixing visual texture. This has been a good exercise for me as it's not my usual way of doing things.
Do you agree that it's good to stretch oneself? To try things a new way? To allow a challenge to put parameters on your sewing which make you do things differently? I think there's value in that.
See my tutorial on how to construct this stained glass block HERE!  and more of my little tutorials here

I try to collect my posts under labels so that a reader will know which older posts will interest them. Other color discussions, other scrap projects etc will be under those labels on the side. There's a lot of good info back there! I invite you to look. LeeAnna

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from Cole

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving and hope the dinner table is full of laughter, and good food, and remember if you are put at the kids table, it can be more fun than the adult one!
Love, LeeAnna, Drew and Cole

Monday, November 24, 2014

Out on the town again

 Fall is almost done, and many people are already putting up Christmas lights in our neighborhood. We went back to the last big Sugarloaf Craft show of the season this weekend. Cole was calm this time luckily!
 Here he is investigating the doggie metal sculptures with his favorite, Daddy.
We had quite a surprise this time. One of our favorite vendors had gotten a standard poodle puppy! Cole met "Stanley" and the two layed down on the floor side by side in mutual acknowledgement of their poodleness. It made me want a puppy... the vendor said she got Stanley because she loved Cole for years!

We passed many a dog, all nodding at each other til one little min-pin had a go at Cole who totally ignored his barks. Good boy.
As we stood in line visiting with friends from dancing days, someone asked if Cole was in line. He wasn't but the pug ahead of us was intent on getting a sausage.
All that fun and then ... (insert heavy music here) bath time. Why oh why do the good times end?
Linking to Monday Mischief Pet Party

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thankful for friends and fabric from friends!

Cole loves Fall  circa 2003

I made this quilt when Cole was a puppy and president of the Stick Relocation Team for our area.

He loved picking up a stick of dried up leaves, and shaking it. Rattle rattle. Then carrying the "carcass" home.

 I painted leaves with acrylic textile paint, pressed them on fabric and appliqued them to the piece.
Metallic threads of course, I have  had a long love affair with shiny-sparkly items. The teeth are hand cut and 3-D. I might make different choices today but I still put this favorite up every year.

Let's talk about Friends and Fabric for a moment. I entered a drawing for 12 FQ of brights on the objects of design and Sally hand picked these lovelies for me including the pink poodle print! I so appreciate her generosity and gift.
 While I'm at it, look at the cool gifts I was given by friends at the Houston Quilt Festival this year.
Nancy at pugmomquilts gave me the fun, and colorful, mug of the patchwork sewing machine, the ultimate power tool. Note, her  furbabies photo

Maggie at funkydiva  gave me the sweet faced file and magnetic clothes pins, currently living on my fridge.

 I gave them an owl pin cushion to remember me by. 

The following fabric was a total surprise and sent to me by my friend
 Janice Paine-Dawes at   Just because we share a love of dogs and fabric, she sent me this piece of reclaimed fabric with art deco poodles. What a treasure!
As the Thanksgiving season is upon us I wanted to say I'm thankful for my blogging and internet friends who are Real and important to me even if I didn't mention you in this post. You know who you are, and I am grateful for the friendships that have developed between us! Love, LeeAnna

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The color is light blue... and a tutorial

Sugar Cone  3 inch block
The color for November at RSC14 (soscrappy) is light blue. I know one needs lights and darks to make a quilt sparkle but I must admit I don't reach for pale fabrics as often as bright saturated colors.

I like them and blues that remind you of sky are beautiful. Out came the blue scrap bins, the paper pieced pattern sugar cone and I made some blocks.

I figured out an easier more exact way to match block segments and thought you might like to know too.
 First place the two segments face to face. Stick a pin straight through both corners, turning it over to make sure it's in exactly the right place. Push the pin all the way thru til the pinhead bumps the paper. Do this on both corners you want to sew thru.
On the 6 inch blocks, I also stuck a pin midway.

Then carefully while it's in place hold a pin parallel to the paper and carefully making sure not to distort it, pin parallel to the sewing line. Repeat on other side. Take out the first pins, sew, flip over and it should be sewn on both printed lines and match exactly.

You see, by pinning this way you leave the pins in while not sewing over them.  You can knock off your machine's timing by hitting a pin.

And now I want to tell you about my favorite new tool! I got a little Fiskars cutting set last year for little paper piecing blocks. I didn't use it til yesterday and WOW! I love it! It twirls around so you can cut without moving the block or ruler.   It turns around easily. Perfectly.

My white mat is so hard I have to push down with my rotary cutter but this one is perfect with a light touch.
In fact it's so perfect I don't want to use it.
I don't want to use it because I'll use it up and hopefully they'll make more.
They stopped making my favorite bra, my favorite lipstick, my favorite running shoes, so I hope they'll keep making these!

I am behind on making the 3 inch squares in monthly colors but here are all the ones I've made so far. 
I have no idea how I'll set them but I like them a lot. And they are all from scraps a sane person would have thrown away!
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Learning is a good thing

Our sewing group took on the study of the book  
Inspirations in Design for the creative quilter (K.Masopust)
We decided there would be more of a chance of us actually doing the exercises if we did them together!

Laughter ensues.

We led each other through the first exercise after arranging the white items to be drawn. Oh yes we're artists despite no one wearing a beret and some of us drawing like a 4 year old (me)
We all had paper, pencils and mat corners with which to crop an image we liked.

We got through several sketch-without-looking-while-listening-to-jazz exercises and my personal  outcome?? well... I didn't love the process or the outcome on my sheet. I do like sketching especially in this setting where I am among friends who are too busy trying to keep up to judge my weird offerings.
When tired we took it in turns to move the items around the table.

Yeah that's why it isn't working, it's the arrangement!

After lunch, the weekly highlight of our meetings, we resumed looking at that white still life but this time only using squares and rectangles to interpret the scene.

Hold the presses!!

I like doing this! I LIKE my drawings and the process and what I see. Then we tried it with only triangles. I kind of liked the drawings but again found I liked the process.
Sometimes if it's new, and not so fun, if you just keep going it gets better! LeeAnna

like this post? Look to the labels for others on creativity and living the creative life! over there  =>

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Odds and Ends and a waaaay cute video

In case it doesn't open on your viewer, try this link click
My friend Suze, who is a very good friend that I only get to speak to on the phone as we now live far from each other told me about Marcel.
She knows me. She knows I am creative and appreciate creativity. She knows I like humor and whimsy and she's right, I want to be friends with the makers of this video.

It would probably be another long distance friendship.

I thought I would also show you the statue I bought at Houston Quilt Festival.
It's Dorothy from my favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz.

It was a once a year treat to stay up late and watch this movie when I was growing up. It was shown once a year only. I only really flinched when the flying monkeys came out, but used to sing the munchkin song while in high school to make friends laugh. I do that voice pretty well. I thought Dorothy was the luckiest girl in the world, as she had not only a dog but three friends who went through life with her. She belonged.
And had great shoes.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Quilter's Quest

Jinny Beyer and LeeAnna
 Hi, Cole here for Mischief Monday!
Dad and I decided to take Mom to the Quilter's Quest shop hop on Saturday. I was all excited as I love to shop and imagine my surprise when the first stop was the VETS. Yikes!

But then I didn't have to leave the car and relaxed when I saw Dad bringing food out. Whew! Nobody had to get poked, or plucked or prodded. Let's get on the road to Virginia and Jinny Beyer's Studio.

 Mom spends a lot of time when we go here. Miss Jinny is so kind to me, letting me sniff where Mommy shops, as she loves dogs too. She has a one year old Lab!
Anyway, here's mom with the details.
Jinny is so gracious and her shop so chock full of fun, you really must visit if you are near Great Falls VA. I enjoyed digging thru the scrap bin (fill a bag for $5) and bought 5 yards of sale fabric. She designed the Quest batik I'll show at the end of the post.

The loot! 5 yards of lucious sale fabric, a free pattern, a bag of large scraps perfect for hexies and diamonds, and the packet of strips.
I even got a hand piecing lesson from her at the end as she made a terrific tumbling block from 9 diamonds. She has kits and patterns for it.
There were hand applique lessons as well. All in all, a fun stop.

 I didn't make it to all the shops this year, but we did go to Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg, MD...

Welcome to another fun and  friendly store! There were so many people Mommy didn't want me to go beyond the doorway, and besides

My friend Mazda who works here with her mom the owner, was worn out from greeting Questers. She was taking a pup nap while I was there so we didn't get to sniff noses this time.

You should see all the cool pet fabrics her store has, as well as every book, tool, pattern and machines as well.
Just click on images to see details of this section devoted to dogs and cat prints. 

Look at the loot from this store! Aside from the packet of strips you get a pattern, and I found all these too good to pass by fabrics, and that 60 deg diamond table runner pattern. I usually make original works but this will be a great gift and I need to relax with sewing for a bit. The pine cone fabric will go into mine.

Next shop was in Mt Airy MD called Patches. It wins for friendliest shop around. They also have everything a quilter could want and more, sale stuff!!  The owner is so jolly and fun, when she found out Cole was in the car, she said, oh bring him in! She has puggles at home.
 And here is where the Mischief really starts. He greeted the quilters, everyone got a good sniff and pet, and then he became really interested in one of their bags. The woman said, oh that's the ham.
 She had been carrying around ham from store to store since the Annapolis store, where she visited a specialty market!
She was traveling with her Aussie and J.R. and was afraid to leave the ham in the car because it was too tempting. So funny.

Just look into Patches and tell me you don't want to start shopping!

This is some of the Quest Batik fabric, and the camera washed out the vibrant turquoise and purple of it.

It has Washington DC motifs. Jinny will be carrying more of it in her shop after another batch is made. She just got back from India so we can expect fabric designs to keep on comin'
The packets on the left are from the stores and they all made a quilt from the collection of strips. I didn't get all the packets as I didn't make it to all stores, but I hope to make something from these soon.
Hope you enjoyed the tours! LeeAnna

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Silks and Hexies in Fall colors

I saw  elongated hexie papers at Lisa's Clover Hill shop in CT and thought what shall I do with them??
the link is here

Before my latest trip I cut silks, and reflective fabrics from my stash, and actual yardage,  and made a little kit. No scraps this time, I wanted to use the silks I've amassed over the years.

 My hope is it turns into an abstract Fall piece.

 I basted the papers only through the fabric on the back corners, like I do with my plastic templates. It worked fine but the silks fray a lot, so I made sure to leave large seam allowances.

 I make lots of basted sections before I organize them onto a piece of felt, pinning the units into place so they could be taken in the car or to bee. It went together pretty quickly. This usually means there are some left over after deciding on placement. Like starter bread! Waiting for the next project.

This is it so far. The plan now is to quilt in the branches and leaves with metallic or rayon threads. .

Abstractions are hard for me, I usually like looking at representational art on the wall. I briefly considered appliqueing a trunk or some branches, and still might couch some thick brown threads for the smaller branches. This is if I can stop moving the pieces around and finish it. I'm trying to decide whether to square off the outside edges by  piecing in some half elongated hexies.
So what do you think?
Some people say those take too long, or I don't like hand work. Well, it takes all kinds, and I love to keep my hands busy while the tv is on at night or I'm riding in a car. I have to say, I get a teensy little thrill when I baste a shiny silk onto a shape. It's like playing with colorforms. 
(The above pics are taken on my portable design wall that opens up, is two sided and can be taken to classes. I teach it as a workshop)
For other hexie projects check out the labels on the side, my art or this is gonna take a while! ==>>