Sunday, October 30, 2011

Almost There-Design Wall Monday

I changed out the corner on the border. I tried the knot in the original design and it was too heavy. I've ironed on about half of the leaves. I used misty fuse for the letters and the edges frayed a bit...I'm going with it. The leaves are so small that I'm using stitch witchery. A bit more there, there so I don't think it will fray. I'm cutting the leaves by hand, then bonding them. When they're all done I'll stitch around each one to make sure it doesn't fall off.

I love the darker green circle framing the tree. I did it in four sections, and it still needs to be stitched down. I'm doing a top stitch near the edge. I used freezer paper and pressed the round edge under, then took off the paper and pressed with best press. It's all pinned and waiting.

The borders aren't sewn on yet. I'm going to wait till I have the leaves all one. They'll be the last thing sewn. I don't want the letters to fray too much. I might see if I can find something that will stop the fraying. I think fray check will make it shiny, and I don't want that. Do any of you know what I might use? I am really pleased with how this is turning out!

If you want to see more design walls, check out Judy's blog.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Sometimes Mother Nature disappoints. I was hoping that wouldn't be possible to go to work this morning, but we only had about 2-3 inches and tonight, not a whole lot more, maybe 4 inches. I guess we can hope for more tonight, but I'm thinking we're going to be disappointed again. I guess I'll have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I may get more work done

Gotta have a picture, so here is one from Weather Bug
We have a forecast that includes 4-8 inches of snow tonight and another 6-10 inches tomorrow. The first real storm of the season.  If we end up with even 2-3 inches tonight, we probably won't go "down the hill". That's from Woodland Park to Colorado Springs, about a 2,500 foot drop in elevation. It's possible that if it continues to snow during the day, we won't be able to get home, and I'd rather be stranded at home than at work. Soooo, if I stay home tomorrow I'll be able to get more sewing done on the tree of life wall hanging, and that will be good!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Design Wall Monday-October 23

 Here is one of the knots. Thought I'd share just so you can see what it looks like up close... are three of the borders done. I've decided that I am going to put the leaves in, and put the green circle border around the tree.

The words are raw edge applique, and I'm going to put the leaves on using the same technique.

I'm really liking the way this one is turning out...lots of work, but I think it's worth it.

To see more design walls, check Judy's blog.

Tree of Life Progress

 Here is the drawing...
...above is what I have done so far. Now I can't decide if I want the circle of darker green and the leaves. I think the circle really frames the tree, so that will go in, but the leaves are still a question. The fabric for the leaves and the frame is not a solid, it is a darker green batik, you can see it to the left.  Do you think I should make it more solid?

I decided to use a stop watch to get some idea of how long the knots take to pin and sew. I wasn't exact (because I forgot a couple of times to start or stop it), but the one knot next to "be" took approximately 1 1/2 hours to pin and sew. I guess there's a lot of time in this one.

All of the knot work in the branches and roots are sewn now. The letters are fused and top stitched down. That was pretty easy. I'm going to try to get more of the knots done. I think I'll do the top ones next. They're smaller than the others because the letters are larger.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Design Wall Monday

 I've got the top bit sewn down along one edge. The roots are still just pinned. I need to add leaves to the to between some of the limbs. I'm also going to add a darker green in a circle around the tree. The tree is about 24" across. I'm also going to add borders with "The Lord be with you" the way the priest starts prayers...seemed appropriated.

It took a long time to pin, and a long time to sew what I've sewn. I don't think it's going to take as long as I thought.

I want to have it done by early November so I can quilt it. Don't know what I'm going to do for the quilting.

If you want to see more design walls, check out Judy's blog.

I decided I should add a bit more information about this. I am making the quilt for the pastor of my church. He is retiring after 11 1/2 years with us. He made a trip to England, including Iona, and really enjoyed the Celtic spirituality of Iona. My husband works for the church, and has a trinity knot quilt on his wall (that I made) that the pastor really liked. I decided since he is retiring to use the tree of life, and did a google image search using celtic and tree of life. This is actually based on a design for a tattoo.

I used Microsoft Paint to make up the design for the whole top (to the left). The words "The Lord be with You" are included because that is how he starts many prayers, and gets everyone's attention when we're in a group.

When I was finished with the design I found a free poster program online and enlarged the whole thing to about 36" square. I then traced it because it was quite pixelated and used the traced version to mark the knots and cut out the trunk.

 I'm going to quilt it with a white/light backing so it can be signed by the parishoners on the back. The pastor is leaving December 4, so I gotta hurry!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


 I just spent a good part of the day making the bias strips and pinning them to the design. It took a loooong time.

I bought some applique pins this morning, and used about 2/3 of the 350 I bought.

I wonder how hard it is going to be to sew all this down. I am going to use the machine. I'm a skilled top-stitcher, but there is an awful lot of bias tape to sew down. I like the way it looks.

The bottom edge isn't reddish, that's just the indoor lighting.

When I've sewed it all down I still need to add the leaves.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The View

 The first snow of the season. It's been a long Fall. We usually have snow before October, but we're getting it now.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Some Shopping and Jelly Roll Race Done

We got an Ikea in Colorado this summer. I have many fond feelings for Ikea. I like a lot of their furniture, they have fun lighting options, their food is pretty good and... I went to Ikea first in 1987 on my honeymoon in Germany. My husband's mom is from a small town near Heidelberg, Wiesloch, and not far from there is and Ikea in Waldorf. 

I thought it was wonderfully different then. They have the same type of layout today that they had in 1987. You wander through room set ups, see all kinds of ways you can use their products, then you go downstairs and shop for tschokes and kitchen stuff. I discovered the fabric section before the Ikea was here in Colorado. I have family in California, and when visiting a couple of times, I went to Ikea there, and found some fabrics. I haven't done anything with it yet, but I like it.

Looking at the fabric above, I think I'm going to make shopping bags from the vegetable fabric. The button fabric is actually pillow covers. The bright abstract fabric is a kind of heavy twill, so I might end up making heavy duty shopping bags from it. The black and white prints I think I am going to dye. It would be fun to add color to them. The vehicle print is going to be kid quilts. Either a whole cloth quilt, a backing, or maybe I'll cut it apart and use the different vehicles in different blocks. The green dotted fabric is actually the duvet cover to the right. I love the graduated sizes of dots. It's 100% cotton and when I figured out the cost per yard, it's only about $2. I don't know if I'll use it for a quilt backing, or what yet, but I own it now and can do what I want when I figure it out. 

My eyes aren't as good as they used to be, and sewing can be tiring. I saw this little clip on lamp (at Ikea of course) and thought it might work. It was about $15. It's an LED with a magnifier that makes the width of the beam much better. I was thinking of buying one of those tiny LEDs that you can stick on your machine, but I couldn't bring myself to spend $30. It does exactly what I wanted and should last me a very long time.

This quilt was quick and I think it's a nice one to brighten up someone's day. It is a jelly roll quilt, and I backed it with fleece. The binding is made from some fabric I bought on sale a while ago. 

I bought the yellow fleece previously to back one of the tops I have completed. I don't remember which one, so I used it for this one. I still have about 15 tops that need to be quilted, and I was able to use the same fleece for another quilt, so instead of the one I originally planned (whatever that one was) I was able to finish two tops with this one piece.

The colors on the first picture are a bit more accurate. It is a fun, bright quilt.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Design Wall--Working Again

I'm finally quilting some of the tops I have. In one spot, I've counted 17, oops (and that's not all of them). I already have a bunch of fleece to finish them off. This one will be a charity quilt when it's done.

The pictures below show the "after" of cleaning up my sewing room. I have some "before" pictures but they're on the other computer and I can't get to it right now. Believe me, you'll be impressed when you see them. It was so awful I wasn't sewing at all. My husband was gone for about 2 weeks, so I took the opportunity to move all of the totes out of the room and go through them. Get rid of stuff, move other stuff into more accessible places and make the room easier to work in. One thing I did was move the computer desk out. Now when I'm sewing and my mind wanders I have to walk down the hall about 30 feet to get to it. At least I'm getting some walking in :^)

The quilt on the design wall below is one I've been waiting to put borders on for a while. I got them done, now I think it's going to be the next top I quilt. By the way, it is NOT one of the 17 tops I have.

If you would like to see more design walls, check out Judy's blog.
This corner isn't changed much. I cleaned up some the piles, but now I've added new ones!

Much cleaner. I've turned the table, and the sewing machines that were catching all the extra junk are now holding up my ironing station.

The two sewing machines are under this pressing station. I made it 3 x 5 feet, so plenty big. I piled some stuff on it that will be going away next week. The green "fabric" in the center front is a duvet from Ikea, loved the fabric, and when I figured the price per  yard, it was only about $2...a deal.

The closet used to have plastic containers in the bottom part. I stuffed junk in there and never thought of it again. This way, I'll at least be able to see it. I know it doesn't look too organized, but it it is.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another UFO

 I am trying to get some quilts done. I just added the side border to this one. Now I need to decide how I'm going to quilt it. I don't know if I just want to use fleece for the batting/backing, or actually put together a quilt sandwich. It's so much cozier when it's fleece, but more durable if it has a "real" quilt sandwich. I'm going to let it percolate for a while and try to finish something else while I wait for inspiration.

October's UFO

 Judy has chosen #5. Maybe I'll actually get one done again, it's been a while. My number 5 is my jewel box quilt. I love the colors in this top. I finished it once as a duvet top, but then decided I wanted it as a quilt.

I'll be very happy if I get it now I have to pull it out and see what I want to do to finish it.

Wish me luck.


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