“Foxgloves and Hollyhocks” by Holly Turnbull

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“Foxgloves and Hollyhocks” by Holly Turnbull

Holly Turnbull’s “Foxgloves and Hollyhocks” is another one of my favorite quilts from the AQS Syracuse Qult Show in Syracuse, NY  last month. The whole scene looked so inviting.
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I could just imagine the view from the round turret at the top of the quaint little house pictured above.IMG_3887

I wish my garden flourished as well as the window boxes and flowers seen here.IMG_3889

These pictures definitely do not do the quilt justice. Obviously, the overall design is beautiful, but the actual quilting was done really well, too. I wish the stiches showed up better in the photos. I will work on getting better pictures at the next show.
IMG_3885I also like the meandering sort of wave that the edge of the quilt has. It gives it such a dreamy, ethereal feel.

The first thing that I thought of when I saw this quilt was the 3-D chalkware plaques that my mom had when I was a kid. We used to have two of them but I only found this one in the basement.

Legends 3 D Chalkware

Legends 3 D Chalkware

I thought these were the coolest things when I was a kid. I remember I wanted to live in that cute little house with the thatched roof by the water. I think the 3-D effect was part of the draw for me. All the other pictures in the house were flat. This one, you could run your fingers over. I would imagine sitting on the dock with my feet in the water, feeding the ducks.

It’s made by Legends in England sometime in the early to mid 1970’s. My mom can’t remember where she got them.  I’d love to know if any of my readers had one of these. Let me know in the comments if you have any fond memories of your chalkware, especially if you had one of these cute cottage scenes. Let me know if you remember where you got it as well.

Things that make me smile:

  • Finding this chalkware in the basement and remembering my daydreaming days of childhood when life seemed so simple.
  • Dancing, shuffleboard, food, and drinks with Jim at Hot Mamma’s Canteen.
  • Getting extra wide backing material at Pine Grove Quilt Shop at 25% off. I think the sale runs through the end of the month for those of you who want to trek on out to Kenmore, NY.

Thanks for checking out my blog! Feel free to leave a comment. Until next time…

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

 

 

“Turmoil” – a Storm at Sea Quilt

Turmoil by Melanie Watson

Turmoil
by Melanie Watson

Although it’s not as unique as Yiting Lin’s “Counting Fish”, “Turmoil” is a Storm at Sea quilt I made in 2008. I used a John Flynn pre-cut kit of batik fabrics. I really enjoy pre-cut kits because I lose a lot of time trying to decide on which fabrics to use and where to put them in the quilt. I made the blocks very much random. This was a challenge for me, since I usually like to have everything planned from the beginning. It seems I take more time thinking, planing and talking about making quilts than actually quilting.  Prec-cuts prevent this and get me right to the project. When the blocks were completed, I laid them out to see what kind of pattern I could create. Since I finished this quilt in 2008, I just did simple stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. (I’m sorry I only have a photo of a portion of the quilt. I’ll swap this photo for a better picture later when I get the quilt out again sometime.)

Things that make me smile:

  • Bicycle riding. Jim and I went on a 20 mile bike ride last weekend.  I was exhausted, but lived to tell about it.  In fact, I went for a 10 mile bike ride after work a few days later.
  • Posting something on this blog. I’m really going to make a point to post something every week, even if it’s just a picture and a paragraph like this post. It may be something old. It may be something new. It may be something someone else made that I found inspiring.
  • Leaving work on Friday!

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

AQS Syracuse 2015 Favorites: Counting Fish by Yiting Lin

“Counting Fish” by Yiting Lin

My mom and I went to the AQS Quilt show in Syracuse at the end of last month. There were many gorgeous quilts. Yiting Lin’s “Counting Fish” was one of my favorites.  For those of you familiar with the Storm at Sea quilt pattern, you may recognize it in this wall hanging.

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I love the way the quilter just changed the colors of certain pieces to add fish. And shaping the whole piece like a fish bowl is the perfect finish!

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There are tons of embellishments in this quilt.  All sorts of shapes and sizes and textures of embellishments are used to create the idea of bubbles. Some “bubbles” are escaping the fishes mouths and some just float and swirl about.

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Did you see who was “Counting Fish” by peeking into the bowl, from the bottom right? I don’t think I saw the cat the first time I looked at this quilt in the show. I remember wondering what the 2 green squares were supposed to be. Sometimes these things are easier seen when looking in through the camera lens.

 

Things that make me smile:

  • A quilt show vacation with mom, especially when we see fellow guild members!
  • Fresh picked tomatoes.
  • Roller skating. Yes, I said “skating” not “blading”. I still have my roller skates from the 1980’s and I’m not afraid to use them. I went roller blading once about 10 years ago. It was not a good experience. I will try it again, but not until I get some knee pads and elbow pads. Besides, it feels good to say I could still wear something I wore in high school.

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

Question: How to Organize Embroidery and Sewing Supplies…

Answer:  A Shoe Caddy that hangs on a door!20150714_201539

In May we had a great quilt guild meeting where some of our members shared their favorite tips. This is one of the ones I brought in. Fifteen years ago, when I got my first embroidery machine, we made a caddy for our stabilizers in our new owners class. But, it only held 5 stabilizers. Well, let’s just say that in 15 years, I’ve bought more than my fair share of different stabilizers.

One of the best things about this caddy is that you can hang it inside a closet door if you want a clean looking room. I use it mostly for embroidery stabilizers, but you can use it for lots of other things as well.

I know they used to make them out of clear vinyl also.  I remember seeing one years ago that someone had sorted all her scraps by color into the different see-through pockets.

It’s easy to keep the directions in the same pocket as the product. And if you’re not real good at putting things away as soon as you finish using it, you may want to use a safety pin to attach the directions to a sample of the product.

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There are a lot of similar products, especially when it comes to fusible webs, etc, that required slightly different iron temperatures. Having the directions right there every time is priceless!

Another option is to put your item in a ziploc bag and label it.

I’ll share some of the other tips soon.

 

 

 

I wish I could say that I’ve been sooooo busy enjoying the beautiful Buffalo summer weather, but I’ve really been locked in a dungeon for the better part of a month. Ok, well, it’s not really a dungeon; it’s a basement. And it’s not really locked. But I have spent far too much time sorting the junk in the basement because we are having it waterproofed soon. We have to get everything away from the walls so they can install drain tile. What better time to do some sorting and tossing? There’s the garage sale pile, the keep pile, and the garbage pile.

It’s fascinating to see how fast some of the “not really worth selling at a garage sale, but I hate to see it put in a landfill” stuff goes. Since our garbage pick up is Monday morning, I put anything that someone might want to the curb early Sunday morning. There’s always someone who’ll come by and grab stuff. I’ll never forget the velvet Jesus on the cross painting. We put that to the curb a couple years ago and it went within an hour! To the neighbor across the street in his 20’s none the less!

Things that make me smile:

  • Cards with good friends.
  • Being in on a surprise visit from my boyfriend’s college friends
  • The Rolling Stones Concert! That was an amazing show!

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie