Friday, September 18, 2009

Gardening and sewing and cats

I just realized it has been more then a week since my last post.

It has been busy around here that's for sure.

Have been working
on the yard and on the gardens

and the cats keep me company.

As you probably already guessed

there's a bunch of cats around here.

It's almost becoming a problem but

I really don't have the heart to stop feeding them.

Not when they came to me and rub against my legs

and look at me with them big eyes...

Anyway, as I was saying,
the mower has been broken
and my yard almost looked like a jungle!...

Of course I'm exaggerating,

but it sure has been messing with my nerves...

Well, not anymore!
Mower if fixed, yard is mow,

and my pocket book is so much skinnier...

Oh well, things do go bad and I do what I can,

but fixing that mower was definitely beyond my capability.

Meanwhile I also had the tiller fixed and

have already tilled a stripe for my fall bulbs!
Anyways ...

I did some sewing and this time it was another wall hanging

(I got the idea from a blog but can't find the URL,

and for that I really do apologize).

I had printed the project (as I always do when I like something,

and then I filed it on a folder that I named craft's ideas),

and made mine just by looking at it, I had no pattern.

Of course, Cats being the theme was the main reason it caught my eye and made me print it.

This one is just about felt applique
on a background that I pieced together
(sky, meadow and wall).

Mostly I got attracted by the unusual cat's shape and outline.

To hang it I used my usual hearts
(it is my favourite way to hang these wall hangings as you can see and tell).
And that's it!
Tough it doesn't look like much
I assure you these have been long days
and still
I'm so glad they are
because it means all is well and running!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Little Chinese Girl and Cats

As I was walking around my gardens yesterday I took some pictures I would like to share with you.

Pretty awesome isn't it?
I reckon that's why it's called a butterfly bush... they just love it!
I don't have the time to work around my flower beds
as I did once, but still...
whenever I can I am there.

It's something I really enjoy to do
and my husband was very proud of my flower gardens...

My canas are still blooming and I just love that rich orange color!

The sunflowers are doing OK,

not as good as I would like but to be honest I just kinda threw the seeds on the ground next to the creek. So... I'm happy!

This is a partial view of my back garden, the big one, with the paths.
It does need some working and mulching...

About 6 years ago

we planted a snow ball little tree...

Just look at the beautiful berries it puts on now!


These last few days didn't sew that much...

other matters to take care of...


I did finished another tote, similar on its concept to the one with the dolls (boy and girl).

For this one I made 2 panels (front & back) with 4x4's and pink strips.

The front has an applique doll (felt).

I used the same pattern as for the other bag.

For the kimono I used an Asian print.

For the back, an iron on cats embellishment.

I called it
Little Chinese Girl and Cats.
I really, really like it! A lot!

I quilted each panel separately and afterwards I've sewn the bag together.

Lined it with a pretty kitten flannel print...

And that's it!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quilting quilts

Lately I've been talking about
quilted wall hangings
and quilted totes

and today I'm coming back to quilting,

to share some other projects with you.

At the very beginning of my quilting learning

I made some pillows.

Today I would have been much bolder
about the color selection
but I deliberately wanted to stay within the blues.
Those were my first pin wheels.
I also tried to play with simple 4x4's and log cabin blocks variations.

The next pillow generation already shows more color

and these are 3 examples
of the same technique called "quilt-as-you-go"
(in machine quilt terminology that is;
like I told you before I'm a machine quilter).

With this technique

you have to layer the batting over the backing

and the quilt pieces are sewn

through all the layers.

This seat cover for my lazy boy chair

uses the same technique.

And the same also applies to this table runner

I made for my table on the dining room.

I personally like this technique because you're able to see the final product as you keep sewing.

Lately I've been trying bigger projects like bed quilts.

So far I've only made bed quilts for a full size and let me tell you...

I have just a regular sewing machine... and it's sooooo.... difficult

to get the whole thing trough the machine

when you're quilting the all piece...

I decided to make my first bed quilt

(which I'm very proud of)

when I bought the Easy Circle Cut Tool to cut circles.

The instructions came with a free quilt pattern called Circle Dance Quilt.

That's the quilt I made. Like I said

I was really proud of my first one.

So proud... I decided to make a second one.

Bad choice for colors,

bad decision to have all the big circles the same color...

Enfin... what can I say?

I kept this one for my bed,

and the first one is my husband's.

Late last year I felt courageous enough to try another one,

this time I went for the Rail Fence quilt blocks

and I loved it.

The deep purple and the dots

and the tiny flowers worked out good I think.

And so I decided to go again, same blocks pattern, same print compositions, same color but lighter.

The quilt top is done since last December, but I still have to quilt it...

If I'll finish it it's going to be a Christmas gift for sure... :0)

And for last but not least

(because I'm really in love with this technique)

the raggedy quilts...

so far I've done three full size and a smaller one,

like a lap quilt for the wheelchair.

I used mainly 6x6 cotton squares,

with a few flannel ones here and there, for the one I kept for my bed.

The one for my husband's,

only has 6x6 flannel squares,

and the one I made for my grandson

also only has 6x6 flannel squares

(his birthday was just last month!).

The raggedy quilt technique it's really easy, you just sew an X in two squares placed together and sandwiched with a bating square the same size; then you sew the squares together to form the rows an then the rows to form the quilt. After everything is sewn together you cut the seams (which stay on the right side) to fray the edges. And after all the cutting (that's what takes longer, for sure) you trow it into the washer and then the dryer... et voila! That's it!

And I reckon this will be it about quilting, for a while at least.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quilting- some totes and wall hangings

Still on the bags/totes for conversation topic.

Beside the raggedy ones

(rag quilt technique)

I've already told you about,

and the knitted and crocheted ones

I also told you about,


I would like to tell you a little bit about the quilted ones,

or as I like to call them, my essays for quilting...
See..., I am a self-taught quilter.

A machine quilter that is.

Though for so many years I've been fascinated with quilting,

my personal and professional life wouldn't leave me much free time
(I was a teacher for about 20 years the last 10 of them in special education ).

as a self-taught quilter
I'm quite sure one will find flaws on my work

but overall I'm pretty happy with it.

My first quilt was somehow naive
(not good colors combination or border print selection)

but boy!, was I happy when I finished!

Like always, my husband would brag about it
and make me smile!

This next one was my first big project
and it was a gift to my husband
on Valentine's Day
(the last Valentine's before everything changed).
It's a very special memento to me.

This one
is a print panel that I quilted and embellished

and I call it "Teddy on the Deere"

and it's almost like a tribute to my husband
and his John Deere mower
with the overalls and everything...

Father's day used to be just was another excuse for quilting,
and so one year I made one wall hanging
with our kids pics
and the next year
I made another one with the grand kids.
Useless to say, he loved both of them!

This next one was also one of my first projects

(I was still experimenting the applique technique).

You can already imagine there's not much
white wall left in my home... :0)

Well, when I see all those wonderful quilts on my favorite TV craft shows, I really feel very small and ignorant... but I don't give up and keep quilting...

let me show you some more quilted wall hangings...

These two are very similar...

First I made the top one
(which hangs in my bedroom)

and the second one is quite close, with the same applique patterns;
I made this second one for my God-daughter.
This poor quilt has already traveled back and forth to Portugal
(it's now back in Tennessee... (:0 ... incorrect address...)
(Fofinha, este é o teu quilt!)

Of course I've already talked about the angels wall hangings (post of August 27th),
which are in fact printed panels that I adapt, quilt and embellish.

The Teddy & the Bunny here are another example of those panels;

as a matter of fact

this one was a baby quilt panel that I cut out.

Another with angels, this time applique angels.

and another with some more applique.

The long legged bird was another essay, this time almost like a painting or landscaping with fabric, the motifs being ironed on using double sticky interface.

This one is made of three log cabin blocks
and some applique motifs

I particularly like this one, it's a totally different technique that I watched on a quilt TV show. First I built the strips with ribbon and fabric; while sewing it I used several different stitches, and then the fabric is cut into long strips, which were then sewn into a background fabric an embellished with different cords.
I think the finished product is somewhat unexpected and unusual.
I love it, and it sure draws visitors attention... :0)

And for today I think this is it.

But I will come back to quilting, I have some more stuff to tell you about.