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!


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,


Nov 11, 2015

MIssy's Drawstring bag

Well, I believe drawstring bags are growing on me!  It turns out that they are practically THE perfect gift wrapping that is so cute and functional that it won't be throw away! 

(Yes, I seriously and silently feel sad each time I see all that beautiful wrapping paper that ends up in the trash. My recycling bone awakens each time it happens, and some of it has even ended making up greeting cards and all sort of things of beauty and love - but that's the stuff for another blog post.)

Time came for another gift, and yours truly had everything ready BUT a gift box/bag... I still sort of refuse really taking a good look at those, unless I will remake them into something else.

So... Missy... A sweet, sweet lady that loves purple and bright colors... I took a peek at my fabric, chose the three below and went back to Crafty's Bag-Making Basics: Drawstring Bag & Bucket Bag, with Kristin Link.

I really liked the way it came together!

And here is a close-up look at my cutting mat, with Kristin Link's instructions handy, to make sure I got things right.  

Here is Missy's bag finished, right on that spot on the carpet, now more like a "spot of fame," hehe...

Well, yes... It's a tad too big for nail polish, but she can use the bag for so many more things.

(Mental note: Take time and write down the math to make smaller baggies and use in the future.)

I really like how bright that lining fabric looks next to the purple...

And when you pull the drawstrings, it almost turns into a pretty flower!

If you like making things, this baggie is also easy to make and Kristin's class in Craftsy is free and she shows each step - it couldn't get easier!

And you? Do you personalize gifts?  I would love to hear how you do it!

Have a blessed day!


Sep 27, 2015

BOM 2015 - Irises and Y seams... Check!

We only have a week left in September, and I'm still trying to catch up with blogging about my 2015 Craftsy BOM blocks

I'm not really sure whether to start with saying that this block is actually the July block or with sharing that all of the blocks are finished now, and I actually completed the frames today!! YAY!! I can't wait to take lots and lots of pictures!!  It's really exciting that my first traditional quilt, which is also my first BOM, is almost finished!

But now, I need to go back to July and share about the beautiful irises - it's amazing what can be turned into a quilt!  So exciting!

Beginning with some mise en place... Everything ready to go, with seams marked in chalk, pieces stacked together, the middle stem already pieced... Everything just waiting to get sewn in the right place to live happily in the Iris block!

It took me a while to mark all the seams... Hehe... you can even see some chalk on the right side of the fabric!  (I had them all stacked on top of each other, but you cannot tell in the final block, phew!)

And yes, I made a tiny design decision and changed the color of the petals.  I wanted to show the range of color in the fabulous palette. I was liking every bit of it!

So, I started making my way along the Y seams; however, I was not very sure it was supposed to look like this,...  

... but things looked better after pressing!  Yay!!  My first Y seam flower down!

I also made my mind and decided to give hand piecing a try.  Not too bad, but I didn't like the way it looked after pressing; I ended up redoing that little triangle, but left my hand stitches there, just for mere romantic reasons... hehe!

I actually enjoyed doing the Y-seams. I have heard about them, and I have seen people in blogs talking about how to avoid them and sew the Y in different ways, just to avoid it all together. 

I wouldn't mind doing some more of them; I thought the flowers ended up looking quite nicely! There are also some other Y seams in some of the other blocks, and welcoming this new skill was refreshing... A little challenge doesn't hurt much, huh?

Throughout this quilt, I have put the pieces on the mat, just to take a peek at the finished block. This one was no exception - I got more and more excited each time I got to see things coming together.

Sadly, I got so excited, that something didn't look quite right when I saw this:

I couldn't believe that I made such a silly mistake - placing the squares in the wrong order! 

I was about to undo the seams, when I thought of the easy way out, but what would also become a sort of Easter egg in the final quilt... something to look for and talk about when the quilt is done!

And here is the official picture on the carpet, with the evening light coming through... 

I had that minute of excitement, knowing that I had learned something new and that it actually worked!  :)  

Have a blessed week!


Sep 16, 2015

BOM: Getting started with appliqué

Well, technically, I think there is this kind of understood agreement that posts have to be chronological - at least for those efforts that build up to a project, like my 2015 BOM.

However, in my previous post, there was a little about my advance on the appliqued flowers. And this post is about that moment in June when I first started tracing the flowers, the one in July when I started cutting the shapes, some heres and theres, up to today, when I'm blanket stitching around them.

But, before I go on with more details, let's go back to the beginning.

So, I started with the tracing on freezer paper.

Then, I thought I'd better mark each piece with its letter and fabric number.

and... I didn't like it... lol

I tried using the freezer paper, but in between the turning, preparing and... well, lack of experience with applique, I ended up going back with something that I've done before: fusible web.

Of course, I had to retrace everything again, but I knew I was heading in the right direction.  After all, this is the technique that I used for Terminal Bee and it ended up looking quite well. 

After one or two TV episodes, this is all I had:

... it eventually made it into baggies, just to make sure all the pieces stayed in their place.

I liked when they were all like in the next picture; the beautiful fabric looks pretty also from the back.

I took them with me everywhere I went, so that I could work on them whenever possible. What I didn't like is the scissors... They are good scissors, but things go WAY slower with the smallies... Oh well! They work and they make really precise cuts.

Finding a bit of time here and there, I was able to -eventually- get all the pieces done.  

As I post this, all of the pieces have made it to a block and I'm working on stitching around them. Now, whenever I need a break at home, I take five or ten minutes (yeah, right... about one hour!) and blanket stitch around a petal or two... or three... or four...

This part of making the 2015 Craftsy's BOM is probably what got me more frustrated.  I even voiced my five-minute breakdown, thinking that I had taken a really complicated challenge this time - one which does not allow me to bend rules and makes me stick to it.  

Then, I had the five-minute picker-upper, thinking of all the lessons I've learned so far, and how my piecing has improved. I actually took a time to see all the blocks that I've finished so far. They are... well, different. It's obvious that the first one has a bunch of mistakes; I'll probably re-do it at the end, once I've finished all the blocks and know I have enough fabric to get a second one out of it. 

Go figure! From too much to "one more."

Learning experiences are always there, waiting for us to take advantage of them. 

So far, I'm getting there bit by bit, and it's really exciting to be able to share it with all of you.

Today is Wednesday... let's see if these beauties can be finished by Sunday! In the meantime, be blessed!


Sep 14, 2015

What did you do on the weekend?

Weather is starting to change, and I feel I'm finally making some progress in my quilting. I about decided to dedicate some time to it at least three times a week, so that things get going. And yes, this post will have to count as one of those three times this week.

I feel like there were two major things accomplished that feel like a huge advance in my quilting projects.

I think I don't actually realize that things wear and get old... After attempting to cut fabric twice unsuccessfully, I finally took a long, good look at my poor cutting mat... No wonder why things were not working!  

I ended up turning the mat and using an indelible marker to mark 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... inches where I had 24, 23, 22... Hey, I'm good for ingenuity that keeps me going without so much effort! It felt like I was cutting butter after doing this - I just can't believe I waited so long to get it done. I can just begin to imagine how far ahead it will let me go with fast and accurate cutting.

Another major step are these little guys. 

The fusible web had been on the fabric for a while; Kathy came and visited about two weeks ago, and I finished cutting all the pieces. They are now anxiously waiting to get to their final destination in the gorgeous baskets... I hope!

So, not a long post, but excited about going forward.

How did you go forward this weekend?

Stay blessed,


Sep 7, 2015

BOM: Baskets!

Well, who said things had to stay the same all the time?

When I first started my quilting adventures, I never thought I would be working on a year-long project with bunches of baskets! 

The 2015 Craftsy BOM has brought challenging opportunities to overcome and fall for this wonderful craft over and over again!  

I look back at these five blocks, and smile as I remember the challenges of understanding a very basic skill - pattern reading. I think it was the beautiful fabric that got me involved, and it has been fantastic.  I keep working bit by bit and some of these will get appliqued flowers very soon.  I couldn't resist but snapping a quick pic to remember how they all look like together. Pieced handles, bias-cut handles, matching points... A smile comes out and I feel grateful for the opportunity of enjoying the creative process.

I once said that I'd never quilt baskets - ha! Better watch out for next time I say I'll never quilt something - I may end up making a whole quilt of them...

Until next time... Have a blessed week!