March

I looked back through my pictures and found this arraignment of the fractured flowers with one set of flowers before all the cutting and sewing.  The daisies show the original size of all the flower squares. Maybe that helps demonstrate the size difference from beginning to end.

2015-07-27 fractured flowers

I finally cut into my watermelon fabric and made some new pot holders for the kitchen. These are made just like those square coasters that everyone has been making for quite a while, except I start out with larger squares of fabric. These finish at about 6″ and are just big enough to grab the side of a hot dish coming out of the oven or the handle of a cast iron pan. We also use them a lot under a hot bowl of soup or oatmeal or a cold dish of ice cream. The colors are not quite as bright as the picture.

2016-03-23 pot holders

The second watermelon project was a new runner for the dining room table.  I really like this, although I would make a few changes if I did it again.  There will be lots more watermelon items turning up here shortly.

2016-03-27 table runner front

And to make one table runner do double duty, I put valentine fabric on the back.

2016-03-27 table runner other front

And just like that, March’s productivity concludes.

 

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Still Life on Caffeine

Thanks to Jean Larson for introducing me to this technique detailed by Brenda Esslinger in her books, Fracture Frenzy and Fabulous Fractures.  And thanks to my sister, Laura Knowles, for finding these lovely panels for me to experiment with.

Now for a summary of the technique as I interpreted it.

My first attempt was with smaller flower pictures. I think I may have mentioned them before, but here is a reminder:

2016-03-22 fractured flowers

Each of these started out as four identical pictures, then got cut up and sewn back together a couple times and ended up looking as if you were seeing them through a faceted crystal. They all started out as 6″ blocks and finished between 9″ and 10″. I think the difference has something to do with my inaccurate 1/8″ seams.  I am still thinking about what to make out of them – maybe place mats.

To make a fractured quilt  you need to start with four identical fabric panels. The ones I used this time  were about 23″ wide by the width of fabric high.

Carefully cut them into strips vertically

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Alternate strips from each panel

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Carefully sew them together. See how the flowers almost double in width?

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Repeat that process with the third and fourth panels.

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Now you have two larger panels. This is where the fun starts.

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Cut the panels into strips again – this time horizontally.

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Alternate the strips as before – This step would not fit on my design wall so I separated it. The top is on the left and the bottom is on the right.

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Sew all these strips together and you are almost done.

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I didn’t sew the last few rows on because that would have made the finished quilt way too tall.  Add borders and quilt it up. I tried several different colors for the inner border and decided the blue was best. Then I was fortunate to find some matching fabric at my local quilt shop,  The Quilt Place in Rockledge FL, to use around the outside. I quilted it simply with vertical serpentine stitch down the middle of each strip and then sewed some pieces of extra border fabric together to make the binding.  The finished quilt is about 50″ by 70″ – larger than I had expected – but luckily I have just the right sized wall to hang it on in our living room. The sunflowers, poppies and lilies in the side borders are the original size of the ones in the center.

2016-03-17 fracture finished

I took a few days in the middle of working on the fracture quilt to put together a Quilt of Valor for March. This is from a kit my friend Karen Downer sent me — a disappearing nine patch. It was pretty quick to assemble.

2016-03-09 qov

That’s all for now.  Happy Day!

 

February Update

Here is the Quilt of Valor I made for February. It is the same pattern that I used last July except this time I tried to use fewer fabrics. I liked the scrappy look of the first one, but this one is very nice too. The pattern is called ‘Falling Stars’ and is in the Spring 2015 issue of Easy Quilts.

2016-02-20 qov for feb

And that is about all I finished that month.  The rest of the time was spent on a really fun quilt  that starts with four panels (approximately 23″ by 42″) just like this.  I will show all the steps involved in this quilt, which I have decided to call “Still Life on Caffeine”, in the March post. More about that later.

2016-02-21 fracture 01

January 2016

This quilt top still needs to be quilted, but I wanted to show it anyway. I really love it. I got most of the little nine-patch blocks from a swap with a couple gals many years ago and they have been sitting in a box since then. I decided that it was finally time to play with them and planned this layout. I also got to use up some hexie flowers that I made when my hexie craze was at full tilt. I think they make a perfect accent.

When finished, this quilt will go in our guest room. I am planning on having two single beds in there. So far, I have just the one bed frame (I put an air mattress on the frame for the picture), but eventually there will be another bed. Best of all, I have enough little nine-patches left to make a quilt for the second bed. I have a different arrangement in mind for it, but it will also include hexie flowers.

Here is a journal cover that I made for a friend who loves Wonder Woman. The gold page marker is suppose to represent Wonder Woman’s golden lasso.

The next picture is of my first Quilt of Valor for the year. I made from a mystery quilt, although I waited and got all the clues and new what it would look like before starting on it.  Making the stars was a little tricky — everything else was easy.

2016-01-20 qov

Wrapping Up 2015

November

First up are a couple of things my sister made. I showed her how to make the folded fabric stars an zippy bags. She made two stars and sewed them together to make a tea cozy. Very cute!  Then she made several zippy bags for co-workers. I only got a picture of one, but the others are similar — with cute sayings and different fabrics.

 

December

Here is a picture of our house all lit up for our first Xmas in Cocoa, FL.

2015-12-03 house lights

 

This is the panel I quilted up to hang on the front door. The wreath has some little lights that look really nice at night, but of course don’t show up well for the camera.

2015-12-09 banner for front door

Wow! That was easy. I guess I didn’t get much done during the last part of the year.

See you next post.

Home Sweet Home

Sorry for the long time between posts (again). We moved into the new house on February 18th and have been unpacking for what seems like a million years. I don’t know where the time has gone. Sometimes It seems like we have only been here a few days, but I have no regular routine and lose track of what day it is.

It seemed logical to get the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms in order first, and now I am working on the sewing room.

Here is Raymond putting shelves together a few days ago.  What a patient soul he is.

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This is a day later, with some fabric on the shelves, and the cutting table put together.

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Here is the other side of the room with my big desk.

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During the time I was ‘homeless’, I worked on these hexies. Thetemplates are 3″ on a side and  each hexie measures around 6″ point to point. I used some old floral fabric, although I am planning on scattering them randomly over a background fabric so the finished quilt (or quilts) have a modern look. I had enough of the same fabric to make a couple of the larger circles and I thought they might look interesting in different sizes.  I have one more big circle to finish.  Any suggestions on the background fabric? Should i go with a solid or another floral? Perhaps a pastel stripe?

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Zeena and Max are supervising. How could we get anything done without them!

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Today, I set up the ironing board and turned on the sewing machine for the first time. Maybe tomorrow I will actually stitch something.

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I am planning on adding more shelves. Some of our ‘stuff’ had to go in storage in Chattanooga because it wouldn’t all fit in the truck we drove down her. So sometime soon we will have to go get it.  I have a lot more books and fabric waiting patiently. I hope it will all fit.

En Route

We stopped for the night at a La Quinta Inn in Macon, GA mostly because they allow pets. It was great.  Here are the girls exploring the room — their first time anywhere outside our house besides the vet’s. It didn’t take long for them to feel comfortable. That was a relief. I didn’t know how they would like all the traveling, but they were very good in the car too.

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After we got checked in, we went to find some cat food as the box with their food did not make it into the car. When we came out of the Publix, we saw this amazing sunset. I know photos of sky scenes never look as good as the real thing, but have a look at these anyway. it was so beautiful. I don’t think I have ever seen a sky like that.

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Because our whole house full of stuff was packed up, for the last couple days we slept on air mattresses, so we really enjoyed the feel of real beds again. Here is Raymond all snuggled in and ready for sleep.

??????????We are at another La Quinta Inn tonight, this time near Jacksonville FL. Tomorrow the vacation is over and we start house hunting.