Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2010

 Amy from Amy's Creative Side is hosting a Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Go to her website and look at all the quilts entered from quilters around the world then post one of yours on your blog so you can get in on the fun.  This is not a contest but a quilt show.  Now you can see and read about the quilt I am "entering" in this Blogger's Quilt Festival.
Farmer's Nightmare 2001
10" x 14 1/2"
 Now you all might wonder why the name Farmer's Nightmare for such a pretty looking quilt. As I was thinking about this Boyds Bear doll bed that my husband gave me for Christmas one year I wanted to make a quilt that reflected what he does. He is a I thought about crops he grows, cattle he raises, typical dress of a farmer, etc. What I settled on was making a quilt that reflected some of the pests he fights each year.
My original idea was to do a "redwork" inspired quilt with bugs and weeds he has to deal with yearly in the crops he raises so I sat about making a list of possible candidates. I had no problem coming up with lots different weeds and asked him about what bugs he has to fight for his crop health. I had quite a list when he finished telling me but the problem was most of them were in the larva stage and that means they would be fat worms - YUCK! I did not want to put any of those on my quilt so looked only at the weed list and I had enough to make the number of blocks I wanted to make.
It was decided then........... an all weed quilt.
I proceeded to draw simple line drawings of the different weeds then transferred the drawings to Solvy and pinned the Solvy to my white fabric. Using my sewing machine and red thread I stitched the designs. I lowered the feed dogs on my machine and used an embroidery foot. I ended up going around the lines twice to make the lines show up - one line of stitching was not enough for the impact I was looking for.
After the designs were all stitched on over sized squares I trimmed them to size (2 1/2" unfinished) and finished piecing the quilt then machine quilted it in white thread.
 Now for the list of weeds.
Row 1. (left to right) cocklebur, dandelion, lambsquarters
Row 2. pigweed, buffalo burr, bindweed
Row 3. shattercane, puncture vine, sunflower
Row 4. velvetleaf, milkweed, black nightshade
Row 5. musk thistle, ragweed, foxtail
I had to laugh when I got this quilt top finished my husband wanted me to print a scan of it. He wanted to take it to the elevator to ask his farming buddies to id. the different weeds. That was a real compliment to me as John hardly ever says anything about my quilting other than - That's Nice!

Feathers All Marked

Here it is....feathers all marked but don't know what i want to quilt in the reddish print borders yet so it is going to sit for a bit while I think.

We are having hunters here from Cincinnatti this weekend anyway so I don't have time to do anything anyway.  Maybe I will get an idea while I am cleaning and entertaining.  Pheasant season opens this weekend and these same fellows come each year.  They enjoy hunting with John and the other guys and all the wives and kids get together with them in the evenings.  They stay in a local motel and we eat out on Friday and Saturday night but they are all coming here on Sunday evening for dinner....they do the cooking and cleaning up so I think that is pretty wonderful.  We will be having steak and all the fixins and it is always yummy.   Started cleaning up my house earlier in the week as I get fatigued and have to sit and rest my ankle periodically, besides I just can't do it all in one day like I used to.

"Talk" to you all in a few days.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Part Two - Feathers

 I approached the border feathered units the same way I did the inside feathers. The only difference was I cut myself a template to mark the curves of the spine of the feather. I used the same curve for both the shorter side and the longer side. The long side is about 3/4" longer than the short side. I just adjusted each segment a tiny bit - you can't even see the difference but it takes up that extra length to make the design flow.
Uh-Oh...The Big Mistake!
As you can see from the first photo on this blog entry I goofed a little when I transferred my measurements to the paper for the short side so just marked it with slashes and moved ahead. I then made a mistake on the long side too....was watching my favorite college football team and got distracted. (American football and of course the team is the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers!) I did have to start over on it since my corner design was just not in the corner. How did I do that for pity sakes?

This last photo is the finished border to get them all marked onto the quilt


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OK - Feathers It Is

I love quilting feathers!!! This quilt will have mini feathers in two places for that very reason. One place they will be is inside the borders and another  is on the outside border.

Here is how I drew the feathered undulating lines to fit the inside spaces. First I measured the length and width of the section where I wanted the feathers to go. I transferred those measurements to paper and then divided the lengths into segments and drew smooth curves to make the center undulating line of the feathers. I wanted to make a fancy transition on the sides where the feathers meet so drew feathered designs to fit those spaces. On this small corner I just eyeballed and free hand drew the curves and the feathers trying to make a smooth transition between each feather. I just drew one corner then marked each of the quilt corners with this one design.  Everything is first drawn in pencil then I go over the drawing with a marker.  The darker lines will all show with my makeshift light box.

To transfer the design to the quilt I place a light on the shelf that my sewing machine sits on in the cabinet. The surface around the machine is a clear plastic so I just tape down my design then tape the quilt over the design in the proper position and trace the design onto the quilt.  If this were a larger quilt this space would be too small but for a miniature this is a big enough "light box."

Tomorrow the other feathered border.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Miniature Flower Basket - Borders

The first thing I have done to my quilt is to add three borders to the center section.  The three borders were stitched together before the 1/8" inch inside border was appliqued to the quilt top.  The inside border is only 1/8" wide and I find it much easier to applique something that small onto the background rather than seaming it.  I can keep the it all even that way.  I have problems when I seam those small borders and I can make them look really wiggly by only being off a thread or two if I stitch it with a regular seam.
I mitered the corners of the quilt after all three borders were added.  You can see a shadow of the background piece behind the borders.  I trimmed it back after the borders were stitched on and the corners mitered.  Didn't want to take a chance and trim it then find out I had to rip something apart and not have enough fabric.
My original idea was to put a scalloped border on the outside of the print border.  After I started laying the purple scallops out I started getting doubts about it.  It just looked way too busy and detracted from the center basket.  So off they came!
This is how the top looks now - just plain borders.  I do want to use the dark purple again either as the binding or a flange inside the border to bring the purple to the outside of the quilt but those scallops were just wrong, wrong, wrong!  Since I have large areas of solid borders I will do more quilting in those areas now.
OK, now to start figuring out how to quilt it....what designs to use, etc.  Am thinking feathers because I love to quilt feathers.  Is that taking the easy way out?

Oh, by the way if you want to read about the making of the other two basket quilts and the center of this one just look back in my March 09 blogs where I started blogging about the making of them.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to Miniature Flower Basket

If you were following my blog in 2009 you read about me making the two miniature applique basket quilts.  I made them as donation quilts for was donated to the Nebraska Cattlemen's Ball and the other was donated to the Nebraska State Quilt Guild.  Back then I started a 3rd basket quilt but quit after I had the center section done.  It has been put away for a year now but pulled it out to get it finished.

Here are the photos of the two finished quilts and a photo of where I stopped working on the last quilt.

Now to get an idea on how to finish it up. 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Harvest Finished...YAY!

The title of this blog pretty much says it all....our crops are all harvested as of today.  Yay, what a relief and time to celebrate!  It is always a little tense until everything is harvested and either stored in our own bins or hauled to the elevator.  When your whole years' income depends on these few weeks each year until it is all harvested and secure you can understand why farmers are in a hurry to get it done. 

Just because the grain is all out of the field doesn't mean the work is done on the farm.  His next job is to put up fencing around the stock fields (that is what the harvested fields are called.)  Our cows and calves are all still in the pastures and need to be brought home.  They will be put into the fenced stock fields and moved from field to field every few weeks until a couple of weeks before the cows are to have their new calves in March.  They love the stock fields, believe it or not.  The fields look like there is nothing there but there are always ears of corn that fall off the stocks before it is combined plus they eat the corn stalks and leaves too.

I always think it looks so funny to see the herd of cows and calves concentrating their time on a seemingly bare soybean field.  The soybeans stems are cut about 2"-3" from ground level.  All the leaves drop off off early in September so they are not eating too many of them.  What isn't obvious unless you get close to the field and notice, is that those 2"-3" of stems that are left have several soybean pods each.  Soybeans are like candy to the cows so they will go to those fields first and appear to be munching dirt day after day when in fact they are just in cow heaven!

Think John will be getting one field fenced right away so he can bring the cows home this weekend.  The cows still have grass in the pastures they are eating but are so tired of it and the grass has gotten tougher as summer turns to fall.  During the late summer or early fall the cows are walking the pasture fences and trying to get out to graze in more tasty corn/soybeans.  We have had to put a few back in that managed to escape the last few weeks so it is time to get them home.

Besides the fence making John will be repairing and maintaining all the harvest equipment.  We never put it away until it has been checked over and cleaned up.  He will keep busy the rest of the fall and winter but it is less intense since it is between harvest and planting. 

By the don't you love these clip art images?  They are from the following web page by Phillip Martin. Just happened onto this site and I just think they are wonderful.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Real Mums in the Flower Bed

Since I have not started anything new I am going to show you a photo I took of one of my mum plants in my flower bed with a small bee on one of the flowers.  Aren't you impressed with how many flowers it has on it? (Even though you can't see the whole plant it is impressive.)  Usually I pinch the buds back in early July so it fills in with more flowers.  I didn't even suggest that to John as he was taking care of the flower beds while I was incapacitated  with my broken ankle.  He did a good job at weeding and watering but that was as far as he had time or interest in doing.

My oldest daughter and two granddaughters came this weekend which was another reason I didn't get any sewing done.  The little girls are 9 and 10 and love to play outside plus we played a lot of games and put a jigsaw puzzle together too.

I used Photoshop Elements to add simple filters to the photo to get different effects.  Some are really interesting and some really add to the photo.  I didn't spend too much time with each one though.  I just wanted to see what they would look like.  I would really like to take a class on Elements to learn more about it but do use the program to diddle with my photos a little to get them the way I like them but don't even begin to use the program to it's fullest.

Maybe I will sew something again soon.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Small Autumn Mums

I finished my Frieda Anderson quilt...Small Autumn Mums.  Notice the name is different than what I have been referring to it by?  I have been calling it Little Autumn Mums but this afternoon I looked up the instructions she handed out and see that it is "Small" not "Little" like I thought.

The binding is fused fabric cut with the deckle rotary blade and fused on. Two opposite sides are fused first then the last two. The ends of the last two are trimmed and folded to the back then the backside of that last strip fused down. The final touch is the top stitching around the outside edge.

I did add a sleeve to the back and that is the only hand stitching on the entire quilt. With all the machine quilting I did on it the quilt was not quick to make but did stretch me out of my comfort zone. I had never just free hand cut strips and fused the backing of a quilt together so that was a new technique for me. I am not sure I will "free" cut but do like the idea of fusing as I am designing so may try that again.

I don't have a clue as what I will work on next. Maybe I will have to get out one of my UFOs to finish.
Fused Binding - front
Fused Binding - back

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Iron

Here is my newest purchase....a Reliable Velocity Iron.

I have gotten so frustrated with all of the irons I have purchased the last few years.  Seams like they don't last long before they die or else they start spitting or leaking water spots all over anything I want to press.  Years ago I purchased an expensive Rowenta Iron which I loved at first but the temperature dial came off after a few months so I sent it in to be fixed...cost over $10 for shipping each way.  When the iron arrived home it worked for a couple of days then the new dial fell off.  I just couldn't see sending it in again when it was so pricey.  The next Rowenta iron was less expensive but started spitting dirty water a few months after I got it so gave it up.  These irons were not cheap either which was so disappointing.  I followed the guidelines on the type of water to use in them too so know that wasn't the problem.

I decided after those two experiences with expensive irons I would just buy cheap, and I mean cheap irons. I would get them at around $10-$12 and if they started spitting in a year or so I wouldn't feel bad. Some even leaked water which wasn't good either.

This latest iron I have had for a while is a Shark and it has been pretty good but after reading Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times blog on this Reliable Velocity iron I decided to purchase one for myself. It is not an inexpensive iron but liked the idea of a steam generator so the water can't drip out the holes. So far I love it, love it, LOVE IT!
Last night I ironed a 100% cotton shirt that John has that I just hate. It is always a wrinkled mess and hard to iron every time it is laundered. I have had to resort to starch to get the wrinkles out because when I say wrinkled I mean wrinkles that are almost set into the fabric. I used this iron and no starch and it was perfect. I didn't have to go over and over areas to get the wrinkles out either.

The iron is a little heavy but if it does the job I will not mind. As you can see from the photos the sole of the iron is larger than the Shark iron too. It is taller because of the steam generator also.
Here is the information that was on the side of the box in case you are interested. I will let you know if this iron konks out on me or if I have problems but think I am finally going to love my iron.

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Little Autumn Mums

Couldn't get the binding done yesterday so decided to show the quilt with the shading done with out it's binding.  The shading I did is pretty subtle but it makes the designs show and the purple flower is a little better than before.   I love Frieda Anderson's hand dyed fabrics that we got as part of the class fee for this wallhanging.  The shadings of one color into another are just beautiful.

Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shaded Flowers

I used the Prismacolor colored pencils on the three flowers too. I figured if I used them on the purple one I had better use them on the other two a little two or they might look funny. Here is what they look like now and the way they looked before. New photos with the shading done are on the right.  The pink and teal don't have much change but in person they look a little more shaded on the tips. The lighting was a little different on the photos too so it really isn't a very good comparison.  I used a light pencil and shaded a little to the inside of the petals too.  As you can see the purple one has the biggest change.  Not sure this is the final look but sure is better than the way they were at first.

Now on to the binding.
Happy Quilting,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Uh, Oh...Designs Don't Show!

What I was afraid of has come true...the vine and leaf designs do not show with the busy bubble quilting surrounding them. The threads are too close to the same value and the patterns I used are busy in the background and the stem and leaves so what I get is mush!

I decided to go over all the quilting lines with a heavier green thread and hoped that would help...not too much difference with it either.  The photo on the right is after I quilted with the new green thread...see it still looks like mush.

To save this quilt this called for a new technique... for me anyway. I got out my Prismacolor colored pencils and started shading the edges of the quilted leaves and stems....what a difference it has made.  I blended them with my finger and an eraser.
I used several shades of green and yellow plus a little red on the darker edge of the leaves and stems. They don't pop off the quilt but you can see them - kind of shadow like.

Since this quilt will not ever be washed I am not going to worry about setting the pencils with some kind of medium. Don't have anything on hand that would work anyway.
I really like the way it turned out.  Now I can see the quilted vine and leaves and the shading is just the right amount to make them show up.  Think I will try them on the flowers a bit too and maybe I can get that purple one to show up more. 

Happy Quilting,


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...