December 26, 2009

Wild Tote Bag

My boss loves to travel all over the world to shoot fabulous photos. Her latest adventure was to Africa. One of her Christmas presents to me was a book entitled An African Moment. It is filled with HER photos of gorgeous landscapes and every wild animal you can think of. I thought she would enjoy having a tote bag that reflected the African animal theme and made her this Wild tote bag.
I thought she would like it but wasn't fully convinced because it is just a little bold, but she loved it! She is completely in awe of anyone that can sew, so it's pretty easy to impress her. LOL

Here's the pitiful progress made on the chenille piece. You can see some of the layers of color peeking out through the cuts. I have to say that it takes forever to cut through these random channels of quilting. I'm still not convince that it's worth it, but will continue on as my patience allows it. It looks like I'm almost finished, but this photo only shows around 20% of the piece. It's definitely a labor of love and I hope it doesn't end up in a pile of UFO's like the ones below.Am I the only person that has a lot of UFO's (UnFinished Objects)? I doubt it. I know some people finish each project before they start another. Not me, I generally have 2-3 going at the same time. This photo is of perfectly acceptable quilts in various stages of development. Top left is a quilt top made of 1" squares, top right is a wonky 9 patch that is layered and pinned, bottom left is chenille that would make a great pillow, bottom right is quilted, maybe another pillow or a bag.

What makes me stop working on a project when it's so close to completion? I don't have a good answer. Some people say that once we've learned the lesson needed, we move on. It appears that I've learned a lot of lessons! I have at least 10 projects worth finishing that will be completed in 2010. There, it's in writing, now the commitment is real and I have to do it.

December 13, 2009

Unusual Log Cabin

Here it is . . . the finished log cabin quilt I made for Leslie, my Blockhead buddy. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out and Leslie loved it. The piecing was a challenge because there were so many points converging at the end of each football shape. I feel it was worth the extra work to get this unique kaleidoscope & star combination. Each block measured 3-1/2" and the overall quilt is around 14" square.

Here's the quilt that I received from Jean. The inspiration I gave her was a photo of a macaw. She used the colors in the photo and created this wonderful snail trail quilt. Thank you Jean, I love it.This is the base fabric that I'm using for a surface texture experiment. Something sturdy and colorful. Hmmm . . . what could it be?This pile of scraps is the middle layer of this colorful sandwich. This technique uses tons of leftover scraps. If you're a pack rat and have lots of patience, this may be for you.If you want to know more, here's the link to the Country Channel TV that Sandy sent to me a couple of weeks ago. Be sure to search for all episodes of Talking Threads.

I'll show more as progress is made. I started with a piece 24 x 30", I should have started with a 12" square. Don't follow my example unless you're a glutton for punishment!! LOL

December 3, 2009

Fall Foliage in Southern California?

Many people believe that Southern California is always warm. Well, it's not true. As a matter of fact, it's pretty chilly. My heater is on right now. I know a lot of you are laughing at me . . . you think I don't know what it's like to be cold, but you're wrong. I grew up in Massachusetts and it's very cold there. I must admit though, my blood has thinned a lot in the past 30 years!
This is fall foliage in Southern California. Not quite the same as the east coast, but beautiful non the less. The colorful trees is one of the things that attracted us to this neighborhood.

I came across these bare branches at the lake and thought it would make a good thermofax screen.

Here's a piece in progress. One of my groups has an exchange each year. Leslie's inspiration was a photo of a butterfly. I decided to print the butterfly on fabric and use it as the focus in this unusual log cabin setting. This is half of the finished square. When finished, it will form a very cool circle with a star in the middle. Leslie prefers traditional quilts, so I tried to combine the best of both traditional and artsy. Right now, it's on the small side, I'm going to have to get creative with some borders. Any suggestions? I need to finish by Saturday. Yikes! Back to work.