Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Projects in Progress

I'm getting back into the swing of things and my design wall is filling up with signs of my progress.

 Miscellaneous Blocks

I've got last month's Little Windows Lotto Blocks to be mailed and 14 more, made for my Mod-Mod Sampler. Some more words and a Rose, to be added to the back of the quilt I shared on Monday, a couple of this month's Sweet Dreams Lotto Blocks, waiting for some friends and the twin center I made for my Cotton Robin quilt, still waiting for me.

And that's what in-progress on Wednesday at my house.

Monday, September 01, 2014

September's Goal and my Design Wall

This top has been finished for a while ... and this month, my goal for a lovely finish in September is to quilt, bind and label it and deliver it to the organizers of the local guild show.

A Whole Lotta Love

It's already off the design wall and waiting for me to piece the backing and get started.  The only thing left on the wall at the moment are a couple of blocks for the Block Lotto: 


Sophie - 2 September Lotto Blocks

This is Marcia Hohn's block pattern for a 7-inch (finished size) paper-pieced and appliquéd block, Sweet Dreams. For the Block Lotto this month, we're making it in a controlled scrappy color-way that includes a red background and a print on white background for two of the points. The circle can be appliquéd (block on the left) or pieced into the block (the one on the right).  For my notes on making these blocks, see my post on the Block Lotto, here:

Sophie's Blocks (and How I Made Them) 

If you are curious about joining us, you'll find the guidelines for the month and a link to the pattern here:

Paper Piecing and Appliqué in September - Sweet Dreams

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Finding my way back to quilting projects ...


I can't say what happened, but not a lot has been happening around Sophie Junction in August ... I thought this signpost image–found on Susan's blog–pretty much reflects my creative state for this month.

Among the confusing elements was Angela's choice for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge this month ... it was green, but not like the green that had come before.  Unfortunately, because I had chosen a broad interpretation for my scrappy blocks, I had effectively painted myself into a corner. I did manage to make a yellow-green oak leaf block today (second from the left in the bottom row) that comes close to being distinctive enough from the green block beside it.

8 Oak Leaf Blocks

I didn't need any more green broken dishes stars and I decided to wait and see if a bunch more green paper pieced Briar Patch blocks makes sense, rationalizing that it might be a good thing to wait until the end of the year, or whenever it's time to lay them out and see what color blocks I need to make them play happily together. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Modern Quilting Design Inspiration

Lately, I've had my eyes open for examples of great quilting design that feels fresh and Modern.  At the local guild meeting this morning, I picked up a book from the table of old library books for sale and bought it, mostly because of the quilting on this quilt.

Carol Armstrong's Crane Quilt

This is Carol Armstrong's Crane quilt.

The quilt appears in her book Wildflowers: Designs for Appliqué & Quilting, published in 1998.  It is still available on Amazon in paperback or electronic (Kindle) format–clicking the link or the book image will take you there. 

Carol's work is hand-appliquéd and hand-quilted.  I doubt that she thinks of herself as part of the Modern Quilting movement or that many Modern Quilters are familiar with her work, but I think there is much inspiration to be found there.

I came home from the guild meeting and pulled out some of Carol's other books from my bookshelf–including Wild Birds: Designs for Applique and Quilting, which has the pattern for that crane–and really enjoyed re-reading them with new eyes.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do you remember your dreams?

I woke up this morning, an hour before the alarm, feeling really well rested–a good thing because some of my old fatigue issues are back and kicking my butt.

But a funny thing this morning happened as I was becoming fully awake.

I don't know what I dreamed about, but I'm guessing I didn't just dream it, I must have been acting it out, too:  my legs were sore, my back hurt and it felt like I had jammed a couple of my fingers on my left hand.

... and neither cat was sleeping at the foot of the bed or coming to wish me good morning (and bug me until I got up and let them out on the deck) as usual.

I usually don't remember my dreams, but my physical side effects make me wonder ... and reminds me of when I was married and talked in my sleep.  Back then, my husband could at least give me a clue about what I was dreaming/talking about.

Do you remember your dreams?  Talk in your sleep? Wake up with mystery aches and pains?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

July's Lovely ... Failure

Silly String Blocks from WorkshopThese silly string blocks did not become a tote, as initially planned, nor any other lovely finished object in July.

I finally returned to work and along with the time spent earning a living, I am working on re-finding the balance of work and life, leaving the work stress at the front door and being organized enough to be able to find time to quilt again.

As far as my goal for a lovely finish, the quilt blocks did become something, this color saturated top. I got as far as buying threads for quilting it before I started the new work project. I bought fabric for a quilt backing yesterday.

It will have a plain back and lots of quilting. I'm still undecided on binding fabric ... I have enough of the plaid in the curvy strings, but would it be distracting?

Silly String Blocks + RED
I have shared this before, but am sharing it again, mostly to help me find all my lovely finishes and failures near-finished objects at the end of the year.   I am  not-so-secretly hoping to finish all my lovely goals by year end, even if a couple of them happen after the deadline. 

You can check out the successful bloggers and their lovely finishes in July here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Squirrelly Visitor

It feels like nature week at Sophie Junction. This guy appeared just outside the glass sliding doors in the studio several times today ... as Johnny slept nearby, oblivious to the wild life on the other side of the glass.

Squirrelly Visitor

Standoff at the DoorA few times, though, Johnny WAS awake and aware and appeared ready to charge through the glass to chase away the animal in his territory.

Bizarrely, the squirrel wasn't afraid of the large cat charging at him and they spent a lot of time in a sort of stand-off, simply staring at one another through the glass door.

Small Wonders

They were easy to see in person as 6 of them buzzed about a lavender plant along the walk outside my studio.

Lavender with humming birds

Can you see him now?But when I tried to capture them with the iPhone that happened to be in my pocket, the result was less obvious.  I first thought were some new-to-me variety of hummingbirds, traveling quickly in and out and around the lavender blooms and evading my efforts to capture their image.

I cropped this guy out of the photo above, edited the contrast and shadows and it is still hard to see him ... though he buzzed about in a typical hummingbird way, he didn't look like any hummingbird I'd ever seen and so I did some research ... and found the White Lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moth. They really seemed to enjoy lunching on my lavender.

I found a much more lovely photo of this interesting moth on the blog, Morning Bray Farm.

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