Feb 6, 2016

2015 BOM: Harlequin

Hello everybody,

After my post last week, I was kind of taken by surprise to see how much things have gotten in the way of posting.  I know, I know, life goes by... And I'm thankful for it!

So, instead of moping around and thinking of those days gone by, let's go and restart the 2015 BOM Adventure.

Let me tell you what a trip it has been! I think the color scheme is what caught me, but it's been a challenge to keep up with.  No worries here... Actually, lots and lots of lessons - we can always get better, right?  (I sure hope so!)

So, here you have it: Harlequin!





It always amazes me how exact any paper-pieced design is. This particular block had the challenge of completing "units" before sewing them together in a block.  I love the effect that the different colors give.  

I also liked how depth is achieved and leaves seem to be on top of the stem and on top of other leaves.

After months of waiting to make its appearance, Harlequin is now patiently waiting for this gal to make her way back to the 2015 BOM... One day, it will very likely be the topic of conversation!

I just hope that day comes soon!!

Have a fantastic weekend and God bless,

Yiya.

Jan 31, 2016

January flew by...

... and it seems ages since I last was in blogland - actually, it's been a bit over a month, but life continues and despite not being able to make it here, there has not been a dull moment in the Hill.

Surgeries, emergency trips and hospital stays have brought their challenges, but thank God, there is nothing that will come to us that we cannot deal with. And in the midst of all the ups and downs, beautiful creations have come along and made it to some gifts. Ongoing projects are still ongoing, just at a snail pace. 

With all the adventures coming at once without warning, I found a new appreciation for a sketch pad. Doodling helped pass time, whether it is practicing FMQ designs, sketching patters that I hope to make into a quilt one day, or even paying homage to under-appreciated salads. I also learned about the connection between sketches and smiles. I delighted in finding something in common with a lovely, talented niece.


And in one of those life downs, I just have to mention our experience with hospital food, particularly when it involved my father-in-law, who had a particularly hard time digesting the never-ending parade of carrot, broccoli and cauliflower side. I decided to leave a little reminder of his favorite food items, so that he didn't miss them when the tray was not at hand's reach. He always says that carrots are good, as long as they come in a cake... Seeing him smile when he saw the drawing was priceless; he even brought it back home! Something tells me, however, that he won't have it on display on his desk... 

Some time during January, I was able to cut fabric for the 2015 Craftsy BOM sashing.  Well, it all started back in October, when it seemed that I was actually going to be able to keep up with Jinny Beyer, but the border print has been cut and patiently waiting for over two months now to get its frame. Today, this is where I'm at:


It's definitely not a huge step ahead, but at least I'm a bit ahead. At some point, I shall find time to share the other beautiful paper-pieced flowers that will live in this gorgeous quilt.

Some weeks ago, I shared about a runner on the making. This is a very special quilt project for me, because Mr. Fuzz was involved in it and stayed close whenever I was working on it. I would like to think of it as a joint project. I decided on the pattern, based on a new book I got. He chose the main fabric and I got some solids to work around it.


Well, today, that project is almost complete. I cut fabric for the binding and decided to use a scrap strip that was leftover from the blocks. I thought it would give a nice pop of color. I think it only took me about 30 minutes to cut, fold, iron and sew it. It's now draped over the ironing board. The final touch is missing; I'm debating on finishing the binding by hand or by machine.... One will let me go and work on other projects, while the other method will allow me to enjoy the process longer - such difficult decisions in a quilter's life! 

I miss blogging and sharing; I miss creating constantly. Sometimes I miss curling on the couch with a good book. Interestingly enough, I feel that I am still enjoying life.  I thank God for his blessings and the opportunity to live a new day.

I hope you have a fantastic 2016, full of blessings!

Yiya

Dec 27, 2015

Doodles: Feathers and FMQ

WIPs are slowly starting to get some attention here in The Hill (note I said SLOWLY...). Schedule changes have not been nice to my re-purposed dining room and projects are patiently waiting for some progress. Little by little (VERY little by little, things are advancing, and I hope to get some things ready soon.

In the meantime, I find ways to appease my crafty bone and work on portable stuff - more doodling it is! 









And yes, that's my "art" signature - it's my initials, now with my married name. It's also something that I've been practicing in free-motion quilting, and I generally quilt in one lower corner of the finished piece.

These times, I guess I'm learning about resourcefulness with all the changes; and I know that more are coming our way! In the meantime, I learned remembered a valuable lesson in sketching the hard way - whenever marking the area to work in, don't use a tool that cannot be taken away (a.k.a. use a pencil that can be erased afterwards!!!).

Well, playing along with life and thanking God for his blessings keeps Mr. Fuzz and I going.  

I hope you had a very good time during this Christmas!!

Stay blessed,

Yiya.

Dec 13, 2015

A runner on the making...

Oh my! Where does time go?

I feel like I have some catching up to do. But after a sort of emergency trip back in October, things have just not been the same, so I have had to get creative and exercise my crafty bone in different ways.  

Crayons, color pencils, markers and sketch books are all quite a bit easier to transport than a sewing machine, cutting mat, and all the itty bitty tools and what-nots that come with it. I do have a project that I may start taking with me, but I'm honestly missing being at the sewing machine and getting relaxed in its humming sound when little pieces of fabric come together and make something special.

Well, when we came back from that trip, Mr. Fuzz said that he would like to change something in the bedroom. And that something was including a sort of cover for the dresser... YAY!!! Quilt!!!  :D

I am always buying bundles or fabric leftovers when they are on sale, and I had Mr. Fuzz choose one of the bundles. I just felt sort of bad thinking of buying more fabric if I had neglected the 2015 Craftsy BOM already. Anyway, I got over that fast enough, and Mr. Fuzz chose the one I had in mind - it was one of those many happy coincidences that often live in our household...

Anyway, this is a modern quilt, and I am actually trying to follow instructions. However, after making nine blocks, I had this:


And you know what we make with scraps, right? Mini blocks from all those extra half-square triangles and scrappy units from itty bitty pieces of fabric. If you want to download instructions on how to make those units, you can click here to go to the link.


Adding them together to larger pieces...



... and eventually forming large enough units to form a block.



Although I'm following a pattern, this is my grain of salt in this happy, bright Fuzzy Quilt.



Well, there you go!

It's amazing how much can be done with scraps, and how much fun quilt units turn out to be!

Just imagine... All of this fabric would have ended up in the trash can! Hey, I'm all for recycling, especially when it looks this pretty... :)

I hope you have a blessed week,

Yiya.


Nov 21, 2015

Doodles: Blue feathers

Well, what to do when life happens, blog gets semi-abandoned and crafty time flies away with stuff to do?

Get creative! Yes! Get creative and find how to be creative with what you are given. Portability is not that easy with a big quilt, but a sketchpad and pens, colors and markers are...

And this is where The Hill will have some posts with not many words, but with lots of pictures that will hopefully be a testimony to getting creative with the time and resources we have... 

Ladies and gentlemen, doodles and sketches are back! And I give you blue feathers:







Enjoy and have a blessed weekend!

Yiya

Nov 14, 2015

More Quilt Show - Quilting!!

Some time ago, I posted about attending my first Quilt Show. Well, I was looking at the pictures, and I thought of sharing a bit more about it. One post is not enough to capture all the beauty and all the effect it had on me.

The feeling I had while I was there was remarkable; goose bumps, smiles, awe, excitement all rolled into one big ball that left me all gooey and fuzzy inside, hehe. 

So, here is a bit about the quilting and FMQ... I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Of course, there were several quilting patterns that did not exactly stayed withing the piecing.  The end result was gorgeous.  For some reason, my eyes found the combination of curves and points really interesting. I particularly liked this sort of piecing and quilting pattern overlap. And what about the denser quilting that makes those curves pop! The chains and the Gypsy Kisses (or Pickle dishes) look amazing together and they pull your eyes in this sort of road maze - mesmerizing! 

Wanda Jones, Osage Jewels
Unlike the previous quilt, the following one had quilting that stayed "inside the lines."  With a different quilting motif in each area, the end result is no less impressive!

Wanda Jones; Maker: Eve Murphi, Urban Pods by Sew Kind of Wonderful

And just look at this beauty!

Clarice Jones, Victorian Lace - Love Flowers, Quilted by Cindy Thompson, Pattern: Jan Douglas.
Again, I go back to how much I enjoy the combination of curves and points, but the added element of complimentary colors here is fantastic! 

A bit after, it was interesting to come across a modern, chevron quilt. I really liked the clean lines with the simple background.  I was about to go on to the next quilt, when something caught my attention. Can you see it? 

Gay Cooper, Rail Fence, Quilted by Wanda Jones


I knew it was there, but it took me a bit to see what my head saw... Does that even make sense? Anyway, the camera got it before I did - I promise!  My first glimpse at this great idea was through the lense... Well, the LCD screen... :)


It was the combination of those beautiful, more traditional quilted feathers in the negative space, combined with a more geometric quilted shapes on the pieced shapes that not only gave a different texture, but also worked as an extension of the  chevrons, all the way to the edge of the quilt. That playful, sneaky contrasting thread!!  What a neat idea!!

And how about a combination of cathedral windows, square 9-patches and gorgeous, dense feathers?

It took every ounce of self-control in me to stay away and not touch it.  I felt like running my fingers and following each thread, but I make the best effort and locked my hands behind me, so that they behaved! 

Lexi Wallace, Lexi's Dream, Quilted by Jan Dunaway.

Of course, I felt like running to my sewing machine after leaving the show, but alas! It's kind of difficult to do machine quilting on the go...

Ha! Never underestimate the power of a spare piece of paper and a writing utensil at hand! I had to go pick up Mr. Fuzz Husband, and I doodled while I was waiting for him. And the conversation went kind of like this:

Mr. Fuzz: "Oh! I see you went to the quilt show?"
Yiya: "Yes, I did!" (Big smile.)
Mr. Fuzz: "And that's what happened?" pointing at the paper in my hand.
Yiya: "Yes. I just had to start putting those ideas down on paper right away!"
Mr. Fuzz: "Good! That means you had fun. Now, what are we having for dinner?"

Oh! The fantastic world of marriage and crafts!

Have a blessed weekend,

Yiya