Friday, August 31, 2018

Check This Out

My friend, Marti Plager recently sent me a link to her web page so I could check out some of her new pieces. Her new gallery, "COLORS OF CANCER", is based on the colors chosen to represent different kinds of cancer. Most of us are familiar with the pink for breast cancer, but did you know other cancers are represented by other colors? (Marti and I had talked about these pieces at a retreat we attended together. At that time, she told me she was "struggling with the idea" when I suggested she do small squares in the various "cancer colors." She wanted to let me know she had taken my suggestion and run with it. She has already sold several pieces and is having fun making them. And just so you know, she is selling the pieces for $100. She is donating $90 out of the $100 to the Livestrong program at the Y. She explains what that program meant to her below.)

I asked her if I could share her story about these here goes in Marti's words.

As the caregiver for 6 months I couldn’t focus on any creative activity. It was hard to focus on just living and doing what needed to be done. Those months were all about George and the treatment. With gradual return to health  and the Livestrong program we were able to return to a quality of life.  Creating the the small blocks are so much fun. They are not monumental but a satisfying activity. I hope they will bring happy thoughts to others. I love the colors and the chance to use more of my hand dyed fabrics. Each piece is unique so if a person orders a “pink” block, that piece will be different than another person ordering the same color.

They are all 6” blocks and 1 1/2” thick, ready to hang or sit on the shelf. The Northeast Livestrong program at the Y is a 12 week free program for cancer survivors and their caregivers. The goal is to help survivors return to a quality of life through exercise, healthy eating, friendship, motivation and compassion. It’s as helpful for the caregiver as it is the survivor.  We are not in this battle alone.

I thought you might enjoy seeing one of her pieces. This piece is the color representation of brain cancer. (With the passing of John McCain, I thought this was a good piece to show you.) 
Marti says, "All of the squares have a little bit of red as part of the composition representing life and hope."

Please check out Marti's other pieces--maybe one (or more) will speak to you. You can find her "COLORS OF CANCER" gallery here. Check out her other work while you are there.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I Haven't Dropped Off the Face of the Earth

We have been doing a lot of traveling (with a lot more coming up), and we have been filling in as a "babysitter" to our grandson. That has kept me REALLY busy. I thought I'd update you on what I've been working on lately, though.

I finished my Kingfisher quilt top. All the hexagons and the triangles in the border are hand appliquéd. I added two rows to make the quilt a better size for me.
I wasn't sure I wanted to add the triangles in the border and wrote about that in my last post. This is the picture of the top without the triangles. I liked how it looked without them.
As you can see from the top photo, though, I chose to go ahead with the triangles. I think they add that little extra spark that makes the quilt pop. What do you think?

While traveling, I have been working on thread basting some half-inch hexies for a new project. This is the pile I finished on the way home yesterday.
I got to spend some time with my son's family in Arkansas. We went to a museum in Fort Smith where I took this picture of June Beth. She LOVES to pose.
Asa spent a lot of time working on his car while we were there.
There isn't much better than getting to spend precious time with the grandchildren.

Friday, August 10, 2018

More Extreme Embroidery & Hexies

One of my "Extreme Embroidery" students just sent me pics of her finished projects. Thanks so much, Linda. I'm thrilled to see and share these finished works of art.
This is a picture of Linda's pin. It is an original design. I think it is BEAUTIFUL!
This is a framed piece titled "Autumn Pieces" and is a pattern by Aunt Susie's House. Linda used some variegated floss from Weeks Dye Works. It is done all in French knots using two strands of floss. She wrapped the needle only once with the thread. 
This is what I've been doing this week--working on my Kingfisher Quilt. I have added all the borders and now will be adding some hand appliquéd triangles in the 2nd border (the largest light border). I debated about even adding the triangles, because I liked how it looked without them. Before I made the final decision, though, I pinned the triangles on the quilt while it was on my design wall. I LOVED it with the triangles. They just add that little "spark" that makes the quilt a bit different from the "usual." I'll post a pic when that is finished. Who knows when that will be, though!

I DO have a retreat coming up, so stay tuned for some photos from that. Maybe I'll get some of the triangles appliquéd onto this quilt during that retreat.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tip for Sewing 60-Degree Diamonds

While sewing the center section of my Kingfisher Stitch Along Quilt, I found out that sewing 60-degree diamonds together (and getting them to line up properly) is not the easiest thing to do. I mentioned, in my last post, about a little trick I used to line up my diamonds for piecing the center of the quilt--here it is. (If you'd like to refresh your memory of what my Kingfisher Quilt looks like to this point, click here.)

When sewing two 60-degree diamonds to each other, there needs to be a 1/4" overlap/extension on each end. I was trying to eyeball that quarter-inch overlap; that didn't work very well for me. I discovered that using a 1/4" tape of some kind helped me measure that 1/4" overlap/extension very quickly and accurately. (The silver tape I used was just some I had on hand. I think it was used to do something with slides--photos--back in the day. ANY 1/4" tape will work.) Let me show you what I mean.
As you can see in the picture above, the tips/points of the diamonds need to extend/overlap by 1/4". In the next pic, you will see a 1/4" silver tape attached to my cutting mat. I used that 1/4" tape to quickly measure an accurate 1/4" overlap/extension for those tips/points.
In the pic above, you can see the edge of one diamond lined up with the tape, and the tip/point of the other diamond extending over the width of that tape. The very, very end of the tip/point lines up with the top edge of the 1/4" tape. You will need to do this with both diamond points (as shown below).

If you follow these instructions, you will get perfectly aligned 60-degree diamonds.
Let me know if this works for you.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

I'm Busy. How About You?

I have had a busy week. My grandson's usual babysitter is ill, so my husband and I have had to step up. We are babysitting every day; and once he starts school on Thursday, we'll be picking him up each day from school. I am REALLY enjoying him, but it DOES put a damper on getting any "serious" art work done.
On Thursday, we took him to get a school haircut and out for his favorite--a root beer float.
I spoke to the Raintree Quilters Guild in Evansville, IN, this week too. Getting ready for the lecture and trunk show took an entire day. (I take A LOT of quilts with me, so organizing and packing those up takes a lot of time.) I also taught an "Extreme Embroidery" class for some of the guild members the next day, so I had prep for that to do too. The guild was very welcoming, and I had a lot of fun.

Luckily, I thought to take some pictures along the way. Here are some pictures from the class.
I made a couple of blocks for a Block of the Month program at my guild in Tennessee. All the blocks turned in will be put together into community service quilts.
I worked on machine appliquéing my hurricane quilt to the hand-dyed background fabric. (I finished that, so it is on to basting the quilt sandwich together.)
I ALWAYS have a hand project of some kind to work on. Since I just finished my "forever" hexie project, I hand basted some hexies for a new project I have drawn up.
I also worked on piecing the center of my Kingfisher Hexie quilt. I'm not finished yet but will post pictures when I am. Piecing 60-degree diamonds into diagonal rows isn't easy. I have found a way that makes it easier for me to line them up for sewing. I'll be sharing that in my next post. Stay tuned.