Thursday, April 5, 2012
April showers .... you have NO idea!!
Since we've been back from our vacation in sunny California, all it has done is rain, rain, rain!! Six inches in 3 days!! Seriously, rock and mud slides, tall trees falling across highways and even Hwy 101 closed!! The last two days it's at least slowed to a trickle and we see glimpses of the sun. A couple of walks have been done - but the ground is so saturated that it squishes when you step on it!! Even walking down a hill that's in the sun!
Mom's birthday present is done! Hooray! I talked to her about Selvedge Yard when I was making it. Who am I kidding - I talked about it with everyone I met!! But Mom said she'd love to see some selvedges in a quilt ... so I immediately volunteered to make her a wall quilt for her 'porch'. Then I made her other things for Christmas, so imagine my surprise when April 11 was sneaking up on me!! Don't you just love those little roses in the grass - bought them in a package!! Hand stitched them on through the little leaves sticking out! Just what I needed for this project!
I started sewing it at our guild's March fun day. [It had been in my head since last fall.] I took some cloud fabric for the sky; my plastic shoe box of selvedges and a vague idea of what I was going for! My table mate was a new quilter and was amazed that I just sewed, measured and cut - no pattern! Hey- it's folk art!!
First adjustment: the clouds were going the wrong way! But I had to put them up and down, I only had a FQ. Who would notice - other than you, dear reader, and of course, the 5,000 stashbusters I tell!?! I love pale yellow spiral suns now!! Must be the Oregon coast influence - there are times we can't remember what the sun looks like!?!
I pieced the birdhouse from selvedges, even folded a selvedge, clever-ly, and used it for the roof. Now where is that green fabric for the ground? Ooops! Forgot it. Plan B - I had some really wide green selvedges in the bottom of the box. They were the wrong size, if I cut a strip the size I wanted - there wouldn't be enough selvedge left to work with. So I just left it well enough alone. I built the ground with them and it turned out darling!! Much better than just one green fabric!
Added wool applique birds and flowers, stems and leaves. All hand appliqued in front of TV. Machine quilted.
My favorite technique for bird legs is to thread two yellow threads through the eye of the needle on top. One bobbin thread as usual. A satin stitch makes the bird legs more interesting with two colors. A varigated thread changes too drastically, but I love this look. Try it on a sample first - these two yellows blended too well, but I was 'full speed ahead' as usual!!
I use DMC machine embroidery thread, it's very fine, and I go slow, so far no problems. [knocking on wood here!] I made this type of bird legs on 'Birds of a Feather' too - hopefully, you'll get to see that quilt sometime this year - on the last stretch of hand quilting, but it's tough going over the applique pieces. I rip out more than I leave in! Afraid I'll ruin it before I'm done!
Happy Birthday, Mom!
As usual in April, I'm heading for Nebraska for 10 days for mom's birthday. Looking forward to spending time with family, staying in L&J's mighty fine B&B and sewing room(!), getting together with quilting friends in Lincoln, attending the guild meeting, and laughing with Scrap Happens, my small quilting group.
Hope the spring weather holds there. Anything NOT torrents of rain will be appreciated!!