Sunday, July 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday 7-25-11

Be sure to check out Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times!

Once again, my quilting and crafting hobbies have come to my rescue. Tuesday I had gastric bypass surgery and am recovering. While I didn't get much done Tuesday-Friday, Saturday and Sunday I sewed a lot. The up and down motion of sitting at the sewing machine, moving to the ironing board, moving to the cutting table, then back to the sewing machine, has helped to alleviate a lot of the discomfort I was having. I purposely left on my "to do" plate several very easy projects. Here they are.

I'm always surprised at where inspiration for a quilt design will come from. Several weeks ago a local boutique published an ad for a sale and the ad featured flip-flops hanging from a clotheslines. Oh my gosh - it was adorable. So I put my own spin on it. The twine line in this photograph will be replaced with a piece of real clothesline. I will also use real wooden clothespins for "hanging" the flip-flops. All I've done so far is the applique - I need to finish the raw edges, add the clothesline and clothespins and, of course, quilt the piece. It's about 18" x 30". And since one of the rooms in my house is named "Just Beachy", I suspect this piece will end up in that room. I also suspect it may get some bead embellishments ...

Scrappy stars - when I got home from the hospital Thursday I had 5 stars made. Now there are 28 - and that will be all because I ran out of white fabric - will buy more this week. The blocks are 9.5" square, so I'll cut 44 plain white blocks for a total of 72 and will randomly place the star blocks. I'll think about the border when I get there. I'm hoping to find a happy color fabric with a star motif, and I'll have it quilted using a star motif as well. Just a fun, fast quilt.

And the bargello from last week's Design Wall Monday - I'm sewing the strips together. Still no real plan for the border - after I get the center panel finished I'll take it to the quilt shop and see what batiks she has. Cotton Fields always has a nice selection of batiks.

Anyone interested in reading about my bariatric surgery, please visit my other blog Sally's Lapband Journey. I had lapband surgery in August 2008, lost a lot of weight but in August 2009 started having complications. In December 2010 the lapband was removed and the weight quickly started coming back so then I had conventional gastric bypass surgery.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday 7-18-11

Check out Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday.

After a 2-3 week hiatus from sewing because of an ill-behaving sewing machine, the machine is now good to go again and I'm off and running. Lori issued a challenge to me for the scrappy star quilt so here it is, in progress. Check out her blog for details on her scrappy star quilt. I'm going to use a scrappy white background, and each star will be from a different color family. I plan to make a bed size quilt - these are 9.5" blocks, so I have to make a lot more. After the first three blocks I settled into a nice rhythm so the rest will go much faster. These are quite fun to make - no pattern!

I've also laid out my next bargello quilt. This is a jelly roll pack from South Seas Batiks. I laid out all the strips and arranged them in a light to medium to dark value scheme. Then I sewed them together, evened up the ends of the tube, then just started cutting strips from .75" to 2.5" inches wide - no pattern! I took some time laying it out to get the look I wanted - I'm pleased with this wave effect so I'll go with it. To make it a bed size quilt, I'll need to add some kind of side borders, then a plain top and bottom border. Don't have clue yet what that will be. Will ponder it while I sew these strips together. Maybe "piano key" side borders?? Am planning to name it Jungle Dance.

Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be less thread yardage on spools these days?

Have a great week everyone.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday 7-4-11

Happy 4th of July! Visit Patchwork Times today for Design Wall Monday.

Nothing to speak of on my design wall but the knitting is coming along nicely. This is an oven towel pattern by Rachel van Schie. She has a fabulous selection of knitted washcloth patterns, for all seasons. It's difficult to see on this towel because the design doesn't show up well until it's been blocked, but the wording says, "Grandma's Kitchen. Kids Eat Free." Too cute.

Each year I choose a word to live by - the word is used to help guide me in decision making and as a way of looking at life. Last year my word was "adventure". This year my word is "simplify" and I'm also trying to make it a point to use what I already have. Repurposing when possible ...

So, keeping the word "simplify" in mind, I looked around at what I had on hand that could be used for propagating plants, one of my hobbies. The plants need kind of a "greenhouse" effect. Hmmm ... what could I use? Empty two-liter soda bottles worked perfectly. I cut the top third of the bottle but not all the way through, and drill drain holes in the bottom. I have 12 azaleas, one rose, one honeysuckle vine, a camelia, and 4 hydangeas propagating. The plants get the greenhouse effect they need but rain can still get in, and there is enough ventilation that the plants don't get too hot, and they're easy to move around. A simple idea that repurposes a trash item, too. Cool.