Piece by Piece

Since I finished the Texas Wildflower top, I decided to step aside before I piece the backing.
In the meantime, I thought it would be a good idea to clean out the stash boxes.
My goal was to get rid of little bits and pieces that could not possibly be used for anything.
I started out with only two boxes.

As I pulled out the pieces, I thought of the quilts I had made with these fabrics.
Then…
I started piecing the pieces.
These are the results so far:

These have to be good for something, right?
I don’t know how long I will stay on this tangent, but it has been a fun afternoon. 

Next Project

My friends and I are excited about working together to make a quilt for the Brackenridge Conservancy.
I tend to be more traditional in my quilt designs, although I have made some contemporary quilts.
My buddy who quilts, is a bit more on the contemporary side.
This will be a first quilt for my other two friends, but they are good at sewing.
They are also very creative and a whole bunch of fun.

After some discussion, I found a quilt design pattern that I shared with the group.
It was a hit.
We decided on making the River Run Quilt designed by Debbie Grifka of Esch House Quilts.
I purchased the quilt pattern, and we are ready to go.
Our first planning meeting will be this Friday.

Texas Wildflower Quilt

As I worked on finishing the Texas Wildflower Quilt, I couldn’t help but think of
Lady Bird Johnson.
Protecting the natural landscape was one of her major initiatives as First Lady.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a peaceful and lovely place to visit.

I did finish the quilt top today.
Now, I will try to design a backing with some of the remnants and a bit of yardage I bought for backing.

Many thanks to Nancy and Richard Reynolds.
Their friendship and creative works are inspirational.

Flying Geese

Even though it is said that the flying geese block is a remarkably simple block “ ,
I have always found it to be challenging.
In fact, I scrapped one of my first quilts because I found the flying geese too frustrating.
(I later used the fabric for a quilt that didn’t require flying geese.)
So, when I designed the Texas Wildflower quilt that requires 20 flying geese blocks, I questioned my sanity.

Previously, I had been using the rotary method for making the geese blocks.
I also tried making templates.
Neither method produced an accurate flying geese block.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a Bloc_Loc Flying Geese ruler from the Mesquite Bean Shop.
It turns out to be one of the best purchases I have made.
I had been following directions from other sources and cutting exactly a 3.5″  x 3.5″ square and a 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangle.
The directions for the Bloc_Loc called for cutting a 3.75″ x 3.75″ square and a 3.75″ x 6.75″ rectangle.
This made all the difference.
I also saved fabric by making a half-square triangle as I made the flying geese square.

The other area that I researched before I started this quilt, was how to press seams.
I always press seams as I sew.
I previously used Best Press, and then I switched to steam.
However, I noticed that my seams were still a bit off.
After reading an article on Craftsy, I think I finally found the best way to press the seams.
I am still using steam, but I no longer iron the seam…I press the seam.
Also, I had never set the stitches before I pressed.
I know this is not news to all of you experts out there, but it was news to me. 🙂

My goal for today was to make the 20 flying geese and cut the squares necessary to make the Variable Star block.
I also wanted to make the four vertical strip blocks.
I was able to get this done.

I discovered that the fabric I chose for one of these vertical strips had a large floral design.
It is perfect for the border and the background for the star block, but I thought it was out of proportion for the vertical strip block. I purchased some mixed blue and red flower, which is not from the Moda VIII line.
I am not that happy with it, but it is more proportionate for this block.

Vertical Strips Block


Best tool ever!
  
I might use these half-square triangles for the backing.
I have to see what remnants I have left before I can decide how to piece the backing.

This isn’t pieced yet.
Tomorrow, I will cut the photos from Richard Reynolds.
I just wanted to see what the block will look like when finished.
The bluebonnet will be the center block.

We are supposed to get hit with a big rain storm tonight and tomorrow.
Hopefully the power won’t go out and I can spend time on the quilt.

Wildflowers, Willie, and Me

The mailman must have thought I was crazy when he saw me jump up and down, hooting and hollering!
He delivered the package from my friend, Nancy Reynolds.
Check out her Etsy store.
She has some lamps that have lamp shades made with photos of Texas Wildflowers, butterflies, and landscapes.
Absolutely gorgeous lamps!

I now have the final fabric I need to start the Texas Wildflower quilt.
Plus…just look at these beautiful wildflower photos by Richard Reynolds.
The photos give such dimension and detail of the flowers.
The fabric upon which they are printed is so much better than photo fabric I have used in the past.
Now, I need to clean the machine and prepare my room.
I am playing some Willie Nelson to set the proper Texas setting for piecing a Texas quilt!
 _Photos by Richard Reynolds

 Moda Wildflower VIII

Getting Ready

Spring time in Texas is beautiful and inspiring.
The wildflowers are a lovely sight.
I finally got to the Quilt Haus today, and purchased the Moda Wildflower VIII.
Apparently, this fabric is selling off the shelves at the local quilt shops.
Even the online companies have sold most of the stock on this line of fabric.
As I was purchasing the fabric, there was another customer waiting for some of the same bolts of fabric I had on the table.
There are past years of Moda wildflower fabric, and other lines.
However, my opinion is that the Moda VIII is a more natural design.
It gives more of a feel of the wildflower fields gracefully blowing in the wind.
I was not able to find the white background with the multiple colors of wildflowers, since the shop had sold out.
Luckily, my friend, Nancy, bought some for me at A Quilter’s Folly.
Before I start on this quilt, I need to finish some small projects that I started.
I am also waiting to receive the fabric from Nancy, and the wildflower portraits from Richard Reynolds.
Hopefully, I will be able to start on Saturday.

This is quilt I designed on Pattern Jam.
I already changed the fabric choice for the three strip blocks.
There was too much green in this design.

 

Spring Fun

Today I took a break from my usual day activities and visited Camp Verde with my walking buddies.
The camp opened in 1855 and is most famous for the camel experiment, for hauling cotton to Mexico.
The food at the General Store is delicious…especially the dessert!
Our original purpose was to take in some history and a walk.
We spent more time enjoying the restaurant.
The wildflowers along the highway and fields are beautiful.
I must go to New Braunfels to get the Moda Wildflower VIII!
We are expecting a hail storm tonight, so I will see what tomorrow looks like.
I think it should clear my early morning.
Camp Verde

Cute Camels are everywhere at Camp Verde!

A delicious chocolate camel decorated the yummy peach cobbler!
The chocolate camels are made fresh each morning.

I love rocks, so I could not pass up these beauties.

I also had to have this cute little good luck pig.
The card tells of the German saying:”Ich habe Schwein gehabt!”; “I have a pig.”
It probably dates to the hard times when you were considered lucky if you had a pig to feed a family.
I will place it next to my other luck pig, Chanchito, from Chile. Chanchitos are given to friends as a toke of goodwill and love.

When I returned home, I was hit by the smell of lavender.
The pound of lavender that I ordered is overpowering!
I told my friend I was choking from the smell, and she said that in my case, crafting is dangerous to my health! 🙂

 

In Progress

The Quilt Haus in New Braunfels carries the Wildflower Moda VIII collection.
I had tax business to take care of today, so I will be going to New Braunfels tomorrow.
In the meantime, my sewing room has become Grand Mess Central.
All but three of the sachet bags are sewn and ready to fill, but the lavender has not been delivered yet.
So, I started making some Banded Baskets, using the pattern by Crossroads.
I borrowed this pattern a few months ago, and I want to get these baskets done so that I can return the pattern.
Unfortunately, my supply of fusible batting was not enough for this basket project.
This is as far as I have gotten today:

    

I am making one small sachet with polka-dot flower petals.

Go, Spurs, Go! Basket in progress.

Impulse Sunday

After making the Autobot pillowcase, I found myself with nothing to do.
I am still in the designing phase for the Texas Wildflower quilt I am planning on making.
My friends and I are still working on the design for the Brackenridge Park quilt.
My friend sent me a Pinterest link to different types of applique, and this got me thinking.
I decided to make some lavender sachet bags decorated with appliques of birds.
The linen remnants I had were black, so I decided to go to JoAnn’s.
I found the linen, and then I saw the section with AccuQuilt Go! die cuts…big mistake!
A bolt of impulsiveness hit me and I bought a template for cutting birds.
I was so excited, because I had a JoAnn’s 50% off coupon.
It just so happens that this coupon does not work on AccuQuilt Go!
This almost made me say no…almost…

I have had so much fun cutting birds…I feel another bird project coming on.
In the meantime, I am making some sachet bags.
I just ordered Lavender from Amazon.
I need to make two more bags.
The legs on the birds were my first attempt at using the zig-zag stitch to free draw.
The legs look a bit funky…but oh, well.
Now, I need to figure out what to do with the rest of the birds I cut!