Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snowflake and Birds in the Tree

The final two blocks are both applique. Again, since my setting squares will be a variety of tans, I set the background of the Snowflake block to this red. I couldn't really see a snowflake being dark green, so I chose pale gray greens instead. I also took the little templates that make up the leafy pieces and recreated it in the computer so I wouldn't have all these overlapping pieces.

There is a hint of sparkle in the palest points.

Even though the Birds in the Tree block pattern is set on point, the pattern had it laid out as if it were a straight set. This meant I had to completely re-work the layout and re-draw the pattern.

I love the background fabric with the falling snowflakes.

I chose to make my birds all red with the tan wing accent instead of including the dark green. Much brighter, I think.

The last step before assembling the top will be to satin stitch around all the applique and add a few hand embroidered detail.

I can't believe we're almost there!

Update on friend Judy C. and her husband: they are out of Chile and back on their regularly scheduled trip in Argentina. Can't wait to hear her stories at retreat!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bed of Peonies

This is the last of the 45 degree angles. Yay! From what I could find in the Rehmel book, the basic construction of this block is called the Bed of Peonies. However, the variation of the alternating color petals doesn't seem to have a specific name.

Keith sings and this is a Christmas quilt, so I wanted to use these Aunt Donna scraps with Christmas carols printed on them. They have a little bit of sparkle and were bright white before I ran them through a tea bath. That helped soften both the glitter and the stark white. I was pleased with the result.

I almost messed this block up royally. I cut the square for the bottom quadrant a quarter inch too short. I didn't have any more fabric and had already made the flowers, so I really didn't want to start over. I cut some strips of iron-on interfacing and ironed them to the back all the way around. With the strips overhanging each side, I re-cut the square to the proper size. It gives an eighth of an inch of fabric for the seam, but I used a shorter stitch length and the interfacing adheres to the adjoining piece when the seam is ironed to one side. I feel the seam is secure and it sure works for me.

The directions said to cut three-quarter inch wide pieces for the stems, but there is no way they are that thick in the picture. I cut mine a half inch. There wasn't a template for the leaves, so I just cut some slightly smaller diamonds. They work.

Can you spot the first line to"O, little town of Bethlehem" in the diamond to the left? One of my favorites.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Final Three

This post is for my quilting friend Judy C. who is stuck in Puenta Arenas, Chile, with her husband by the craziest vacation delay. Locals are striking and putting up road blockades to protest rising fuel prices. Approximately 2000 tourists are trapped in two towns in southern Patagonia.

Judy's been bugging me to post the last few Land's End blocks, so here they are. I am working on them still over the holiday weekend.

Judy and her traveling companions are safe and hopefully it won't be long before they will be able to return to Argentina and resume their regular itinerary. But I'll drag this out a little by showing details in the next post so she has something to look forward to tomorrow! Ha! For now -

Chi, Chi, Chi,
le, le, le
Los turistas de Chile!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day = Sew Day

Thankfully we did not get the raging winter storm that was predicted for our immediate area although parts of the state did get several inches of ice and snow.

Underlying the fluffy stuff is a layer of crunchy ice. This makes travel a little difficult and a whole lot dangerous when you live in an area not used to getting harsh winter weather on a regular basis. There was enough ice to cause schools and lots of businesses to close for the day including my work.

You can see the tracks of a few brave souls who have ventured out on my street today.

I cleared a path on my deck at one point yesterday afternoon, but it was soon covered up again. I would guess I might have about an inch of snow on top.

Last night I swept the snow off my front porch so it won't melt onto the porch boards when it warms up. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 40's, so I imagine this wintry wonderland will disappear pretty quickly. I won't be sad. I'm not a fan of snow, at least not at my house. It's just frozen water to me and water on the house means the potential for damage.

But today I am sewing! I'm actually working on the last of the Land's End blocks. Look for an update soon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Just because Christmas was over didn't mean I stopped buying. That's when everyone had things on sale.

set of 4 holiday napkins = $0.90
set of 6 woven placements = $0.99

grand total = $1.89