Jan 30, 2015

Terminal Bee

... or the story of a curious child who went out to see the flowers.

An unexpected sight... Curiosity... Action... A happy moment!

All of these is Terminal Bee. 

(I guess that at this point, I should confess that this wall hanging was finished last year, in June, for the MQG challenge... (Big sigh!) Life went on, remember? And in the middle of the every day needs, I missed the draft that had been waiting so patiently for me to give it a final read and click "Publish." Well, it´s a 2014 finish published in 2015, but it´s still a happy quilt and I can´t wait another second to share it with all of you!)

So here it is... Terminal Bee!!

Terminal Bee is the wall hanging I made for the MQG challenge last year. The fabric was gorgeous and there was this one print with a yellow background and pretty huge flowers begging to be showcased.

However, I really wanted to experiment with geese, so I decided to make one goose with each of the prints; after arranging them in a long line, my husband walked by and said something like: "Look! Like the lines in the airport!" My head went  like: "Airport?!?! Really?!?! Men!" Well, scratch the "Men!" lol...

Anyway, I prepared the print and decided that the wall hanging was going to be a field of flowers with geese flying by. It just didn´t look right and seemed to be unbalanced. That´s when the idea of a curious goose spotting something and exploring came to my mind. "Hmmm... not quite... I need seeds flying after the goose flew all over the place, played around and messed up with the flowers!!"

A happy thought indeed!

The piecing came along and it took an extra dose of patience to shape the scrap background into seeds and fuse them around the right part of the quilt.

Here it is, all pinned and getting ready to be quilted... I could only think "quilt as desired," just as many instructions indicate, but I had a big blank in my head... "How on earth was I going to quilt this wall hanging? Happy quilting? How is THAT done?"

Well, something that I once heard and that has stuck with me is quilting that enhances the piecing. This time, the piecing was telling a story, and I only knew that I wanted the quilting to emphasize that.

I started with the appliqued flowers and quilted concentric petals... and the crafty bone was unleashed! lol

Somehow, in the middle of a loop or a turn, I was able to "see" the wind, shaped by large concentric circles with a tail. The green goose, a.k.a. disobedient child, would leave a trail in its hasty escape from the formation; somehow, straight lines would have to interrupt the dancing of the wind playing with the seeds...

See, it´s making a mess!! :)

I knew I wanted the geese to be puffy, so I decided to quilt the background only. I ended up outlining each goose and trying a different quilting pattern between each of them.

Here is something I had always wanted to try: a feather fan. I am still experimenting with feathers, and thought that this space would be the perfect opportunity to emphasize this bit of negative space.

And here is an attempt at a herringborne; I am not completely happy with the results, but I guess it´s not that bad for a first time.

I wanted to quilt clouds in the "cloud" area, but I was not too sure of how to do it. I drafted some and decided to make Cs, lots and lots of Cs!

The Cs went on around the geese and in the border. And there´s even spiky lines crossing each other. I like the contrasting quilting textures and shapes.

Here is another look at the disobedient child...

... and the wind and clouds meeting, in the back.

And talking about the back, look at this! I was thrilled to turn the quilt and discover a great surprise in the back: the quilting telling the story!

The puffy geese, the flowers, the wind, the clouds and the hasty flight of one curious goose.

I just couldn´t take enough pictures, lol!

Oh! And I also made an experiment with filters; I wanted to see if the quilting would look different in them. I think that the following would be the better, but it also shows where the quilting mistakes are...  No biggy, I am still happy with the end result!

So here it is! A happy quilt that makes me smile :)

I must confess, deep inside, I guess this quilt could also be called something like "Curiosity taking the best out of me," or something like that... Smile! :)

Stay blessed,


Jan 26, 2015

Craftsy BOM January Block

Well, here is the start of my adventure with techniques and blocks that will take me way off my comfort zone. The fabric keeps pushing me into working with it and learning as much as I can.  

I must confess I did not like working with the templates very much; it may be because I was trying to pay close attention to every detail. I knew that there was not going to be much room for mistakes and I certainly don't want to use more fabric than necessary. I was super careful with the size of the half-square triangle units. At the end, I was really pleased to see perfect points!

Well, not perfect perfect; just perfect... lol The templates were really accurate - and I learned a good lesson. If I took the time to observe all they "say," even grain is included and bias edges could be avoided. I did use some starch, which has become one of my good friends!

Another major lesson was finding out what the little holes in some templates are for. Blogging about this almost feels embarrassing, but I guess we all have to start somewhere. Now I feel like taking out some of those templates and start experimenting some with them, it is amazing how much we can learn at every turn of the road!

Well, here it is! The May Basket. The feet may look different from the fabric pictured above, that is because I had an issue with the initial cutting, so I ended up having to cut up extra fabric. I used a different section so that it matched the top, like a double rim effect. 

How about you? Have you started any quilting adventures lately?

I hope that all of you are doing fine and thanks for stopping by!

Stay blessed,


Jan 19, 2015

A Special Delivery

I am sort of new to quilting; I started experimenting back in 2012 and worked on my first major project in the Fall of that year, a sort of memory quilt for my in-law's. This was not a quilt per se, but a cover for their washer and drier. I was able to continue experimenting with different ideas and kept feeding my quilting bug with blogs, webinars, videos and online classes. The MQG once hosted a webinar about improvisational piecing, and the best advice the teacher had was: "Never buy kits." I guess I'm not a very good student... 

OK... I confess... I'm weak! I bought a kit! 

It is a package full of wonderful, colorful, quiltiful stuff to piece the top of the 2015 Craftsy's BOM! Luscious fabric that will be my  inspiration in learning new techniques and taking me away from my comfort zone. From baskets to applique, I'd better shape up and make at least two blocks a month! 

Isn't the fabric just gorgeous?

The combination of focus fabric and neutrals is just stunning! I am amazed that these colors are "unexpected" to me, but they work great together. I guess that is a token of so many more things I need to learn. Now, I just need to wiggle around this full-time schedule and find the time to practice...

It's probably the colors in the following picture that really caught my eye and it was just impossible to let it go... I'm weak... (Oops! I've already said that... :P) 

Yes, that's right! Craftsy has this new free mini class with Jinny Beyer - and I'm so excited! I have seen some of her products, and now that I get to see her in action, it's amazing! She is actually hand sewing the blocks! Now, how cool is that?!? 

I must confess I'm a bit surprised at myself. This quilt will be too traditional for my usual taste, and has a bunch of baskets (which I generally run away from) but it has a je ne sais quoi that I could not resist!

On top of it all, and particularly after my last post about not being able to quilt, 
I found some good excuses reasons for making this quilt: 
  • Gorgeous color palette
  • I'll get to work on it a bit at a time, and will -hopefully- have a quilt completely "outside my box" by the end of the year
  • New techniques to learn
  • Free Craftsy class that I can watch over and over and that doesn't expire

I am ready! Mylar, thread and even tailor chalk are getting ready to work on the first block, a May basket... in January!  :)

Even if you don't want to make this quilt, I would recommend you visit Craftsy and get enrolled in this mini-class. You never know what you'll learn!

Well, let the adventure begin!

Stay blessed,


Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you complete a purchase or enroll in classes after clicking on them.

Jan 6, 2015

Blogging keeps me sane!

After such an unexpected long hiatus from Blogland, I can only say: Life goes on...

I often wondered why major bloggers and crafters posted every now and then that they will not be active in their blog for a certain period of time.  After two or three months, BAM! A new book! Well, I do not have a new book, nor did I finish any projects. I do not even have a picture to share in this post... 

Life happens - and it goes on.  

In the meantime, ideas have not stopped fuzzying around in my mind and I could only wish I had a brief moment for at least putting them down on paper. I look back and realize that I never met my super blogging resolution for 2014, at least 4 posts a month. I am not sure I would like to set a similar one for 2015, but I'll do my best!

(Big sigh...) With all the commute time and a full-time job, I could only wish there was some kind of gizmo that could automatically download all those tickling and fluttering ideas in my head to paper, PDF, blog post or some kind of document that is easily accessible! I have rediscovered the wonder of post-its and other note taking artifacts, but it seems impossible to keep up with the constant flow... Maybe those self-driving cars that are often seen in movies will be available sooner than expected, and we will all be able to craft safely in the back seat... Ha! Wouldn't it be nice? Just think of all the projects that would be completed while going to and from work!

At this point, I can only thank all of you who kept coming back while I was trying to keep up with dishes, dirty laundry and house chores - which I think I will never catch up with. Your visits and comments are such an encouragement!

I have found out that this thing of writing and posting is quite a fantastic activity.  I can only promise that I will keep trying.  I have started a new project and materials are coming soon. I also started concocting a super fun idea for a quilt project. There are WIPs and WIPs accumulating in the dining crafting room, so I believe that there will be plenty to share during this year!

Stay tuned and God bless you!