Design While Recovering

As I recover from hip replacement surgery, I had to find something creative to do. I received an email that mentioned Design Seeds, a blog I haven't visited in months! I thought this might be just the activity for me because I am suppose to lay pretty much flat or low with a pillow propping me slightly. Once each hour I am to use the walker to get 10 minutes of exercise on the main floor of the house.

It doesn't surprise me that I can't find the email I read last evening. I did a Google search but could not find the photo that inspired me. I did save a copy of the photo from Design Seeds.

Along with the photo, color cards (showing colors found in the photo) are provided. This is the quilt I designed.

Using EQStitch, I drew the 12" x 12" block for paper piecing. Some of the blocks were flipped. I will put this in my file to work on once I am able to get up and sit and sew. 

Check out Design Seeds and create a quilt for yourself. You can find photos on the blog listed by color or seasons in the atlas tab.


Half of May-Gone?

It is the middle of May and I liked looking back at the photo gallery on my phone. Sometimes I get so involved with the things of life that I forget what I have accomplished in crafting. The first part of this post is about those things of life that took precedence over crafting and sewing.

The last weekend of April was our youngest daughter's wedding. It was wonderful to have all my siblings and nieces and nephews attend, since most of them live out of state! I had time to visit with my brother and his wife from New Mexico. We don't see them all that much. It was fun to see all the cousins dancing together that night. They come from Washington, Florida, Tennessee and Michigan. I was so pleased with my dress and hairstyle. And I was able to do some walking without my cane (no dancing). Hip surgery is coming in May!

As any good parents would, my husband and I made the card box our daughter wanted. My husband built the box (18" x 12" x 12") with a lid that locked! I painted it. I found and painted the frame and made a chalkboard inside of it. I gave my daughter a few chalkboard inserts with font styles and some blank chalkboard inserts. I was very pleased that she figured out how to get the font she wanted chalked onto the insert! Yeah! A budding crafter.

After returning home from a long wedding weekend, I found some lovely tulips in bloom in the garden. I decided to cut them to enjoy in the house. I wanted to get them before the deer got them as they did last year. The donut was a nice treat for me, too.

I took photos of the centers of the tulips. I think I will try using my Kaleidoscope Kreator program to turn them into fabric shapes for projects and add the filigree embroideries to them.

I finished two honey bee blocks for the Queen Bee of the Gridsters before I left for the wedding. This is one of them. Rachel is a beekeeper and has a tutorial to make these blocks HERE if you are interested in making any.

I received all of my Queen Bee blocks from my fellow Gridsters by the first week of May. I am working on a design for a pattern, so I am not revealing all of the block. But just a peek for you now. 
I can tell you that the blocks on my design wall look spectacular together. 

The builder arrived the second week of May to begin putting vinyl siding on our house along with replacement windows on the south side! It really looks nice, I have to admit. And as we age, my husband and I will be happy we don't have to stain the house every 2 years or hire it out. I have to say the hardest part was trying to find the color we both liked!

I put some of that life aside and got busy sewing. I made two placemats with hedgehog fabric for a gift. I had a fat quarter, so the fronts have strips of stash fabric that worked with the print which you can see on the backs of the placemats. 

I used the embroidery from EmbroideryIt to make some more coasters. I found with felt, it is best to use a large needle (size 14) for little thread breakage, atleast with my machine,

I skipped a few stitches and added some letters to make this dish towel. 

I used another embroidery for the applique on this potholder. 

A little basket I found at a thrift store became a pincushion. 

I sewed a sample row of my pattern for the Christmas Caroling Row Along coming this fall. I can't show the row yet, but it did sew up easily. I have to work on writing the pattern to submit in early June. 

So thankful I have sewing as a stress reliever as well as satisfying my creative tendencies. How about you? 



Four-in-Art Reveal

I couldn't be happier that I finished this quarter's reveal early.
Our group of art quilters has a yearly theme (light) and quarterly sub-themes (light in the darkness).

I had a few ideas for this small quilt...the night sky with stars, the moon - or both, light in the windows of city buildings on a dark night, a flashlight held under a person's chin, a dark room with a partially opened door, the light from a house window shining on the dark ground outside as well as a dark flower with white streaks in the petals.

The design I created for "Light in the Darkness:" 

I had a roll of 2-1/2" fabric strips gradations of white through black. I thought of a beginning point of light spreading out as it shines and how the brightness diminishes the further it goes-like the distance one can see with headlights while driving a car at night, or a flashlight in the dark. 

I was able to make the wedges using the gradations of the fabric strips from white to dark gray on a mottled black background. I quilted white lines only in the wedges of light to indicate the direction of the light. I see nothing in the darkness outside of the shining light.

The quilt measures 12-1/2" square. I sewed folded triangles into the corners which allows me to put a wooden skewer into each pocket, allowing it to hang on a single picture hook on the wall. 

Be sure to look at the reveals from the other members of Four-in-Art 
to see their interpretations of the theme for May 2. 

Betty        Sun Shimmer, Filtered
Camilla         http://faffling.blogspot.co.nz/
Catherine         http://www.knottedcotton.com
Janine         http://www.rainbowhare.com
Nancy         http://www.patchworkbreeze.blogspot.com (That's me!)
All of our blocks are on our blog, Four-in-Art.


April Sewing Projects

My primary focus for the past few weeks has been on the upcoming wedding of our daughter! Since we were having guests staying, my husband suggested we get the spare room painted. I bought paint a year ago when the local hardware had buy one get one can free! He recruited a friend's high school daughter to help paint. (I am scheduled for hip replacement in May, so no climbing or bending right now.) She did a fine job and earned some money over spring vacation. The guests have a lovely, fresh room to stay in.

A new place for my "Love" quilt in the room.

Sewing has not taken the back seat. I am posting a photo tour of the items I have worked on this month, with a brief caption under each. 

This wall hanging was finished and sent to my aunt in Wisconsin. 
It hangs in her room at the assisted living home.
I used Island Batik fabrics with her favorite color--purple.

Another set of Michigan coasters and

 a pincushion basket to sell at The Yellow Window.

A pillowcase for donation.

Michigan Potholders

A test of the bee pattern for the Gridsters Bee block exchange selected by the Queen Bee for May.

Last month I forgot to post the 2 piggy blocks I sewed for the Gridsters March's Queen Bee.
Check Elizabeth's blog to see the quilt top she made with all her piggies.

I am April's Queen Bee and the blocks are arriving. I designed the block pattern. They are beautiful. 
I can't show them yet; they are for a special project. 

I am also working on the finish for the Four-in-Art Reveal for May 2. Be sure to check back then to see how each of the members interpreted the theme of "Light in the Darkness" for this quarter. Here is a little section of the quilt.


I have been working on my row submission for the Christmas Caroling Row Along - sponsored by Seams to be Sew. It begins September 5, 2017. Over 40 pattern designers are participating! This should be a spectacular event. Put it on your calendar to row along with us. You can find more details HERE.

I wish you a happy ending to the month of April and hope it includes many things you like to do.


Did A Little Sewing This Week

Last week was a busy week. My major goal was putting together the final details of the bridal shower I was hosting for our youngest daughter on April 1. It was out-of-town, so I couldn't forget anything.

I began the week on March 25, at an All Day Sew hosted by Creative Loop. I sewed 10-Minute Table Runners that day and finished more at home. These were for the guests who attended the shower. We let each person choose the runner they liked.

The All Day Sew was a fun day at a hotel conference room with lunch and dinner served. I finished the Compass Fire Star quilt top I began at the AQS Show in Grand Rapids, MI in August 2017. Nancy McNally taught the class using her pattern and special templates. I like the purple and yellow Island Batik fabrics I was able to use.

Friday I packed the car. I drove 30 miles north to pick up 4 dozen of these luscious and beautiful mini cupcakes from The Pie Hole. (This picture was taken after some were eaten.)

The bridal shower was very nice. The luncheon (which I ordered from a local grocery chain) was very good. I was happy I didn't have to do all the preparation. We ate, played 3 games and watched the soon-to-be bride open gifts; and the two hours were over. I was on the road heading home within the hour. 

I got home exhausted; but, I found happy mail on the table that excited me! I got 2 blocks from Mary for the April Gridsters Bee (Instagram #gridsterbee) block exchange, for my month as Queen Bee. They are so pretty and fun! I can't wait to get those from the other beemates this month. I can show only a bit right now, as I am using them in a special quilt.
Tomorrow will be a rainy day and I have a high school helper coming to assist in painting our guest room. I am excited to move on with the decorating after the paint dries. And a new quilt is in the works!