Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #6, Reflections Quilt

I'm happy to report that yesterday I finished hand sewing the binding on the batik quilt! After thinking about several different possible "artsy fartsy" ways to name the quilt my sweet, and a little bit sassy, daughter Sofia persuaded me to name it Reflections--just reflections and leave it at that. I gotta say I do like the simplicity of just "Reflections". I mentioned in a previous post what inspired the design and I'm really pleased with how it all came together in the end. And, it's the first of my quilts to get one of the new fancy quilt labels I had made by Dutch Label Shop. Originally I thought I would hand sew the labels, I avoid hand sewing at all costs which is why I never met my previous goal of sewing them on the other six finished quilts, so I thought I'd use the machine instead. It's soooo much faster and looks nice too! So, YAY for that!!

Like I've said before a quilt isn't really finished until it's been photographed, so early this morning I woke up my sweet, and a little bit sassy, quilt model and we headed out to take a gagillion photos. Well, maybe not a gagillion but for her it felt that way! Not to worry, while there are a bunch of photos in this post I promise there isn't anywhere near a gagillion. ;-) It rained just before we made it to the location so it was extra humid as you can tell by the test photo below that I took just after we arrived. My glasses always fog up the same way so it's no surprise the camera lens would do the same. A quick little wipe with the bottom of my shirt and we were good to go!

And so began our picture taking party and visual story of the colors, 
curves and calm that inspired the quilt design along the Cotee River.

A little more humidity...

I just love the early morning light after a cleansing rain, everything looks so crisp and vivid.

That "looking away" model gaze...

Cute little feet that are usually flippering while mine are flopping...

Just as we were about to get back into the truck to ride over to my favorite street 
of beachy houses we looked up and were treated to this rainbow...

One of the cutest little blocks in town...

You can't really see it in this picture but the weathervane 
atop the house below is of a mermaid!
How cute is that?

And take a look at this one with the bicycle mounted on the siding!

This little house has all kinds of fun stuff going on!

Just around the corner from the beachy houses is beautiful Simm's Park...
Some cloud gazing.

Hey look, chickenturkeyvultureducks!

The tail end of the rain cell that passed through earlier.

Nearing the end of the visual story now...  
I managed to get a bit of reflection of the quilt in a small puddle near the bottom stems of the plants in the foreground. Had I noticed that earlier I might have taken a gagillion more photos but it's a good thing I didn't because my sweet, and a little bit sassy, quilt model was pretty much done by then!

She's such a trooper! 
Many, many thanks Sofia!

Thanks sew much for stopping by and following along on this little visual story!
"Reflections" is available for purchase in my Etsy shop DolceQuilts.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #5, Birthday Edition

So, I had another birthday last week! Woohoooo!! I gotta say, I'm so happy and grateful to be alive, wrinkles and all! When I was a high schooler I doubted I'd see my 21st birthday, let alone make it to 46! My life has certainly had some strange twists and turns, I'm certainly not unique in having those types of experiences, but every twist and turn has led me here to this place in my life and I can honestly say that I'm the happiest and most content than I've ever been before. I am married to the love of my life, over 23 years now, and we have four precious daughters who light up our lives. How much more could a girl want, besides more fabric? And truth be told, I really do have more fabric than I'll probably ever use but had to throw that in there for the sake of humor ;-) Seriously though, I'm a woman who has it all! #loveisallthatmatters

Birthday pic with my #1 Fanboy in my sewing space...
HST's still on the wall, untrimmed.

The morning of my birthday I read a blog post from Becky over at Patchwork Posse about how to sew an easy, and oh sew fast, microwave potato bag. When I read it I knew I had the perfect fabric in my stash and as soon as I was done helping my dear husband with collecting rain water, you read that right, I got right to it and sewed one up lickety split. I'll elaborate more on the rain water later :-)

As for the quilt binding, I started hand finishing it yesterday...

...but got sidetracked with another side project that 
I started a few days ago with the trims from the quilt.

As per usual, to be continued!
Until next time,
Have a great week!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #4

Hello and welcome back to my SSR. Not too much to report, as it has been a busy week, so this is gonna be a quick post-a-couple-pics and go, just wanting to maintain consistency in posting and in the self imposed accountability department. :-)

Last Sunday, not long after my last post in fact, I had some time--imagine that--and I stitched the binding onto the quilt. Maybe this week I'll find some time to hand finish and photograph, we'll see. But here's a pic of it...

I also mentioned that I still needed to trim the HSTs before playing around with arrangement.
Well, here they are in an experimental state on the wall and untrimmed.
Yes, untrimmed because I don't like having an empty design wall!

Like I said this was gonna be quick!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a great week!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #3

Hello and welcome back for another SSR :) This past week I managed to make quite a bit of progress on the batik quilt. Right now it's ready to have the binding sewn on so hopefully I'll have it finished very soon. I'm preparing for a very busy next couple of weeks with my kiddos and their upcoming activities, which translates to my being the "taxi mom", so I'm not going to stress out too much if it doesn't get finished! Below are some progress shots from this past week....

But first take a look at this...
The photo below was taken Monday morning in the parking lot where 
my daughter goes for swim practice. 

A couple of weeks ago, on July 7th thanks to time and date stamp, I saw the beautiful painting below show up in my Pinterest feed. I saved the image so I could share it with my daughter Sofia who loves to paint. The morning I captured the parking lot photo I kept thinking about how familiar it looked! I had to show Sofie as we are always oogling over the incredible cloud shows we see. As I was showing her the picture it dawned on me why it seemed familiar so I scrolled through the photos on my phone and pulled up the painting image and at that point we both agreed that it had a similar look to the painting--palette and subject matter anyway. 
The painting is by artist William Hawkins who has a travel/painting blog over at
And, if you're in the market, many of his gorgeous paintings 
are for sale in his eBay Store.

Anyway, I thought that was a pretty neat story to record here in my journal. Sometimes we see things and then later see something very similar or vice versa. I know from experience that I sometimes create something that is inspired by something I've seen before and on a subconscious level that inspiration will manifest itself and it isn't until afterwards when the project is complete and I step back that I'll realize where it came from! 

Okay, moving along shall we...
Once I finished sewing up pairs of strips last week I needed to do a value check. It's not always easy to distinguish the value ranges in color so a simple trick to aid in that is to take a black and white photo as you can see below. Most of the time I set my iPhone camera to mono and just look through it and make adjustments where necessary, you know so I don't take a thousand pictures and add to the digital clutter I've already got going that needs to be cleared but will probably never be cleared and now I'm just running this already too long of a sentence on and on and adding clutter to this post in the form of unnecessary words. 

Below is a slightly different view in color.

As you can see in the photo below I made a few changes, mainly the yellows got rearranged. There's a design reason here. In my head it's supposed to represent an abstraction of rippled reflections. Once I was pleased with the placement of the strips they got sewn together into four vertical columns.

I was pretty certain with my original arrangement but was curious to explore a different design option just in case I was missing something, so I turned the columns and arranged them a few different ways, took some pics and then asked my #1 Fanboy (my dear husband) for his feedback. 

Lucky for him he agreed with my original idea so they got sewn up lickety split! 
Next I auditioned a couple different fabrics for the sky and still water...

I wasn't completely settled with the design. I thought it was a little boring. Yes, it's supposed to represent calm but rippled water BUT I thought it needed a smidge more movement, so I decided to slice it up into a few more columns. I'll admit it wasn't an easy choice to make because it would mean it would take longer to finish and I was kinda looking forward to moving on and then there's the whole what if this really mucks it up and it looks terrible, self doubt, yada yada, and then the whole, "Creativity takes courage" quote by Henri Matisse that I an artsy friend of mine posted on Instagram earlier in the week, and then...deep cleansing breath...then I reminded myself that it's just fabric for crying out loud, risks are fun!! And so, that's what I did...

Getting there...

Looking better...

Trimmed up and added the sky and some still water...

Next, I thought a scrappy binding would be a nice frame and of course, waste not want not!

For the quilting I kept it simple with gentle curves to accent the ripples.

I sewed up some more HSTs for the graffiti fabric project and I can hardly wait to start playing with arranging them, but first they be needing some trimming and there's quite a lot of them! I'm hoping this new rotating cutting mat, that I scored on clearance at Walmarts, will help speed the process!

Have a creatively courageous week and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #2

I mentioned last week that I started a new project with batik fabric after needing to purchase some very cute sailboat fabric from JoAnns and that my mind was racing with ideas upon seeing the sailboat fabric. I knew immediately I wanted to make an abstract improv-ish design and thought about simple squares and rectangles all stitched up and arranged much like the Crab Trap Quilt I made or a braided design, which I haven't yet tried, but decided to go with curved strips instead. My daughter Sofia swims for a local swim league and while she's at practice I usually go for a run to kill time. About a mile from where she practices is a beautiful park and a nature trail that runs along the Pithlachascotee River, try to say that three times fast! Locals just call it the Cotee River for some reason. Anyway, it's such a pretty area with quaint little beachy houses and boats of all sorts. I was inspired to go with gentle curves for the quilt because of the calm water and the colors from the rippled reflections that I see while running and listening to the sweet falsetto sounds of Sam Smith blasting in my ears. Last Thursday was a peacefully beautiful morning and I took a moment to catch a couple pics of the "inspiration" so I could share here in the journal.

The progress shot...just pairs for now. 

And...I really couldn't help myself but I started another project! 
This one with half square triangles and the graffiti fabric I bought from Mood Fabrics in NYC.

Goals reached from last week--worked on batik quilt.
I pulled fabric for the stitched canvas project but didn't work on it.
Decided to sew labels on later because, hand sewing takes a certain kind of mojo
 I was unable to muster last week, that's my story and I'm okay with it!
Started a new project--gotta love spontaneity! 
Goals for this week--work on batik quilt. 
Curves are tediously slow so that's all I'm going to pressure myself with!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #1

I've been thinking in order to keep myself a bit more accountable, and organized, in reaching my project goals maybe a weekly post would be more helpful than writing things down in a notebook. Looking back I've realized that the notebook really doesn't work for me. I like the idea of using a notebook, and I really tried this year, but only got as far as March in writing down my project goals. Using this online framework, I think, lends itself to my visual learning style and makes it easier for me to look back at the details of some of my projects. It's an online creative journal after all so why not use it that way?! For the weekly post I'll include finishes, progress made and the upcoming goals for the week. Okay, here we go!

Since the previous post I finished the little "Paradiso" quilt and listed it in my Etsy shop.
Still no progress on improv pieces or the stitched canvas piece.
Started a new project!
Ordered quilt labels from The Dutch Label Shop and they arrived yesterday--this is very exciting!
Worked on a Spoonflower project idea that's been churning for a while now in my head. More on that later after it arrives and I work out some details.

Paradiso Patchwork Match Made In Heaven Quilt

The new project shown here is in the very beginning stage--choosing fabric pairs. The fabric is from my quilty friend Julie who knows how much I love batiks! I wasn't sure when I'd ever use these strips but when I was in JoAnn's last week to look for embroidery hoops for my daughter, I had to take a quick stroll through the novelty section. Total no-no but...when I spotted the sailboat fabric my mind raced with ideas and so, I brought some home. Besides, with all the girly things I seem to focus on more often than not, I think a boy type project needs to happen. Yes, I'm using a validation technique to justify my purchase. ;-)

My new quilt labels! Aren't they pretty? 

Goals for this week:
Sew labels onto finished quilts.
Finish stitched canvas project.
Work on sailboat project.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!