Monthly Archives: July 2012

Red, White and Blue

July 30th 2012
You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of the land I love,
Home of the free and the brave…

I wanted to make a hanging flag quilt for my dad who immigrated here in the 60’s. He loves the USA! We love the USA. I wanted to keep it simple, use small pieces and try something new. This was the original drawing a couple of months ago.  That was the plan….

Then I got the Riley Blake, Stars and Stripes collection.
And everything changed from there! Look at these neat patterns and colors…. the pinwheels!!

I decided to fussy cut these, yes 50 of them, and alternate them with 49 blue squares for the blue part of the flag. The pinwheels are about 1 1/2 inches so the actual size when sewn is 1 inch. Perfect. 
It only took me 2 hours to cut all these tiny squares! Truly a labor of love…
Then I thought, how in the world am I going to arrange these? In what order? Aren’t quilts supposed to have repeating patterns? Well, amazingly enough, while  “playing with the squares” a pattern emerged, actually a couple. VOILA!!  OK lots.  It was quite dizzying…
For the 13 stripes I planned to cut rectangles in the reds and also in the whites and assemble them in rows 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches. If you are going to quilt the “Grand Ole’ Flag” you better get the details right! (Although mixing it up is fun too!)  Unfortunately, I cut all the little rectangles the wrong size and had to “re-invent” the pattern and there went the 13 stripes idea.
TIP: Never cut fabric when:
1. You are upset
2. Distracted
3. Annoyed
4. Sad
5. Frustrated
6. Emotional in any way.
But I think, considering the huge Faux Pas …. I managed to salvage the thing!

I quilted the “star” section in diagonals and the stripes part in “waves.”
 My dad said “How will they know it’s not Coca-Cola?” 
Very Funny.
I added 2 loops on the back with Grossgrain ribbon for hanging.

He was speechless, except for the Coca-Cola remark
and counted to make sure there were fifty stars. : )

Meet MooMoo

July 24th 2012
Isn’t she sweet? Well she is a big girl now, she belongs to a dear friend.
So when trying something new in my crafting adventures, MooMoo has on occasion been the subject.

When I took a watercoloring class, she was my first watercolor portrait.
I love her lavendar ears!  Don’t have a photo of that painting, sorry.
When I started quilting, she was also part of that, see?

So that’s MooMoo, the kitty.

Quilting? they asked

July 22nd 2012
I have always been drawn to watercolor paintings and quilts. I like to look at them as a whole, and then I like to study the details.  Given my heritage, and where I have always lived, nothing could be more outlandish that the love of all American country quilts!  (Please take no offense.)  My parents are Cuban immigrants and we have always lived in South Florida. Quilts just don’t fit in that circle, at least none that I have seen.

So a few years ago, we went to Tennesee for summer vacation and I was once again, enamored with quilts. I would go into this shop (there were several)  and go straight to the back and where the quilts were hanging on pegs and touch everyone as I looked at the patterns, that’s when I first noticed the stitching and the quilting designs. Amazing.

The one I wanted was called Ferris Wheel by Donna Sharp and was a small fortune, there went that idea! I kept thinking about the quilt and my husband had so much faith in me, he said I could probably make that. So I pondered the thought. We came home and I started collecting books and studying the art/skill of quilting. Shortly thereafter I figured out that in order to make it myself, I would need the faith of Abraham, the patience of Job, the riches of Joseph and the endurance of Paul; since it was made up almost entirely of 1 inch triangles!

By December, I had found the quilt online (site no longer valid) at Mountain-Quilts.com for 40% off. Merry Christmas to me!!

But my fascination with quilts continued so I started small, with one 12 inch square in honor of MooMoo who will be featured in the next post.

Little Lamb Quilt Finished

July 20th 2012
Sorry this took so long to finish. But now with summer here it’s  “On your mark, get set, CRAFT!” is easier said than done!

I am glad I had some batting stashed away for the “sandwich” part or I would have had to wait longer!  I did debate about the quilting design, I knew the lamb would be “loopy” but I was not sure about the blocks. Either I mimicked the fabric (stripes or flowers) or did something uniform throughout. So you see, sometimes the “mental” part of quilting is more complicated than the “hands-on.” Another deliberate delay in finishing the binding is that I am in the middle of ordering labels for

my stuff and I really wanted to put a   “Summercrafter label on it. But it’s a process and I must move on in my quilting and crafting!! But keep an eye out, my labels will be here soon.

 To refresh your memory, here is how it started.
Here it is going into the wash. 

Washing it was a big deal for me because: 1) This will tell  how well put together it is.

2) It will give it a softer feel. 3) I will see if the little lamb looks fuzzy!

And here is how it turned out!

Here is the quilting close up.

 Here I tried to shadow the flower shape, see the stitching?

And here is how the ‘unraveling’ of the little lamb turned out,
plus his coat is quilted in loops.
Below is the before picture, neat huh?

Here is the overall look… yes, I just realized the head and legs are too small and he’s misisng a tail and an ear, sorry about that! But the raw edge technique worked, woohoo!!
So how do you like how it turned out?

Beach Room Ideas

July 17th 2012
As the header photo of my blog implies, I love the beach. I like to see the myriad of colors the sky, sand and sea display at any given moment. I enjoy the feel of the early morning tide lapping at my feet, the glowing sun warming my shoulders and the sand sinking beneath me. I relish the sounds of the waves crashing, the swishing of the palm leaves, and the breeze humming in my ears. What’s not to love? It’s God’s creation speaking loud and clear!

So for some time now, I have been working, in my mind, on making the family room, an Ocean Room, a Beach Room. The window view opens unto the pool where we have some of those swaying Palms. I have been collecting little things for some time (even unconsciously): photo frames, sea colored fabrics, Starfish, sand castles, not to mention the vacation photos I have taken that make me want to “skadoo” right into the pictures and be there again. The question is, how to put it together so it’s relaxed, refreshing and stylish?

I looked online where there is a world of ideas: Check it out. Absolutely Dreamy in  Coastal Living magazine,  Laid back in Country Living and the doable, vintage “lived in” look from the Lettered Cottage.  What I noticed about these amazing images is that these rooms have mostly the color scheme going on, gorgeous views and little, if any, of the knick knacks I have painstakingly been collecting save for a star fish here or there!

This is nothing like those rooms, I know!! That book shelf on the left I wanted to paint like a “sea foam” color and put it to the left against the wall facing the room, like an accent piece.  Or, should I paint it in white to go with the tables, even though the wall is already white. The entertainment center is way to the right against the wall and it’s that natural wood and cannot be painted. I see it as a wall fixture, set apart from the furniture.

Now that the room has been set up, I have two items I am stuck on: the bookcase I mentioned before (in above picture) and this beautiful white table with shutters and glass on top. It’s sitting  in the middle of the “beach” room and I don’t know what to put on it. I did some frames, NO WAY! Then I tried a collection of sand castles, YIKES! It seems the table is so pretty that putting anything on it seems like a bad idea.

Here is a picture of it. If anyone has any suggestions, please share!! Luckily, no one has put their feet on it, and they better not!