Monday, January 26, 2015

Quilt Shop Gal Free Motion Quilting Challenge

A friend of mine told me about the FMQ Challenge going on over at Quilt Shop Gal.  Since part of my New Year's goal to "Breathe" included relaxing and breathing while free motion quilting, I decided this challenge would be good for me.  There were three options in this challenge.  I love feathers, and have wanted to learn how.   I appreciate the tips and encouragement Darlene gives on her website.

I have found that I do a better job on the right side of a feather than I do the left side.  I need to keep practicing.  I did better about breathing while quilting.  However, I still found myself tensing as I sewed.  I had to keep reminding myself to relax!  There are no quilting police!

Love the Singer my husband bought for me last year!
It quilts like a dream.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Axis of Hope

Axis of Hope
Challenge 2 for  Project QUILTING this week, was "Sunrise/Sunset".  It took me two days to come up with my idea. The obvious ideas popped up immediately, a landscape quilt.  However, I wanted this to be a pieced table topper for our dining room table.  After pondering this challenge, I began thinking about the sun and earth.  No matter where a person is on the earth, they see the same sun rising and setting.  So birthed my idea.

The center of my table topper represents the earth.  The blue/green batiks reminded me of the colors you see in pictures taken from outer space.  The quilting in the background around the center represent the latitude and longitude lines on a globe.

Using the colors of a sunrise and sunset, the flying geese represent the continual rising and setting of the sun.

Now for a name.  My daughter and I were pondering this while looking at my completed top.  Brittney came up with the name we both loved. She said that every morning when the sun rises on a new day, we have hope for something new.  A new day to begin again, if needed.  What a wise daughter I have!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Disappearing Hour Glass

Love the swirls in this batik fabric
 "The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of heaven breaks.  The summer morn I've sighed for, the fair sweet morn awakes."  This little known hymn by Anne R Cousin has been running through my mind as I sew up these beautiful Disappearing Hourglass blocks.  I know spring and summer warmth will arrive eventually.  But I am determined to enjoy these long winter evenings, and not to wish them by in a hurry.  I am thankful my husband keeps us toasty warm by adding pellets to our pellet stove several times a day.
Hour Glass block

The above block made it's start as a layer cake, turned into an hour glass block, which was sliced and diced and stitched back together again.  I have been pleased with how easy it is to make a block which looks so complicated.

If you want to try this easy block, click here to see a well done video by Jenny Doan, Missouri Star Quilt Company.

When I finish this quilt top, I will also have quite a few 16 patch blocks.  Instead of using a scrap of fabric as my leader and ender, I have a pile of 2" squares next to my machine.  When I come to the end of a seam, instead of cutting the thread, I grab any 2 squares and sew them together.  I've found I finish one 16 patch block for each hourglass block I complete.  Not sure what I'll do with them, but it make me happy to look at the jumble of color.  I also have the satisfaction of knowing I am using up scrap fabric, instead of just storing them in boxes.

I am hoping to finish up the hourglass block quilt this week, and will post a picture of my finished top when I've done so.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Every year, like many of you, I reflect on the past year, and ponder the new.  In 2014, I recognized that I was moving at a frantic pace.  Adding anything anyone asked me to do; flitting from quilt project to quilt project, trying to be wonder woman, while failing miserably.  My plate has been too full.  I know I am not alone in this, but I am only responsible for me.  I have decided that in 2015 my word is Breathe.

  • Breathe in the here and now.
  • Breathe while practicing free motion quilting on my Singer.  (I have noticed that I literally hold my breathe while concentrating on the stitching.)
  • Breathe in each morning while I take time to pause, reflect, and renew my spirit.
  • Breathe while watching my children grow up, while watching my daughter walk down the aisle in May to meet her wonderful groom, while watching my husband walk across the barn yard toward our home, while noticing the beautiful world God has given me to live in, thankful that I have been given this minute to breathe.

I have decided to join Project Quilting Season 6 , hosted by Persimon Dreams, .  The first project is inspired by trees.  And as I thought about the challenge this week, I pictured the rings on a tree.  These rings represent the years a tree has grown.

I realized that these rings also happen when something disturbs water, and ripples form on the smooth surface of a pond.

Trees cannot survived without water, the two have to live side-by-side.

And so my project formed.  Using blue batik fabric I had in my stash, I formed the ripples on "my" pond.  I then drew a leaf shape on stabilizer and fused it to tulle.  Using variegated orange thread, I thread painted the leaf and after trimming the tulle, I stitched it to my little pond.

Each morning as I use my mug rug, it will be a reminder to take time to breathe.