Archive for the ‘12x12x12’ Category

Journal quilts — May’s quilt

Yes, I know it’s September.  Way back at the beginning of the year I committed to doing monthly journal quilts  that were 12 by 12.   I got stuck back in….May.  Good grief.  I decided it was finally time to just finish the stupid thing and move on.

If you want a refresher, you can see the other posts about my journal quilts here.

So, here we go.  My theme is the Alphabet.  That’s a pretty wide open theme and I sort of wish I’d chosen something a little narrower, or stuck with some of my initial ideas that would have wound up tying all of them together better.  Oh well, it’s a learning experience, right?


You are going to think that what I’m about to say is going to sound like I’m being overly critical and hard on myself, and honestly:  I’m not.  I don’t hate this piece or think it’s terrible, but I do think it’s a little boring and could have been a lot better.  Or different.  Or something.

Things I do like

1.  The beads edging the leaves and flower petals.  I used something similar on the journal quilt I just sent to Houston, and I’m really pleased with the look that this gives to the applique.

2.  The beads in general.  I adore beads.  I still have a lot to learn about successful beading, but I know that I want to continue trying to incorporate them in my quilts.

3.  The colors.

Things that I do not like or wish were better or different or something

1.  I liked writing the words with beads, but I think my beads are too inexpensive:  the consistency in size and shape of the seed beads (or lack thereof) made it hard to always have really nice smooth lines.

2.   The size/scale of the flower.  I was using some applique shapes from an abandoned project, and I wish I had either made the flower smaller and had more flowers or made the flower much bigger and cropped some of it out.

3.  The background:  I wish I had quilted it on the longarm to give it some texture.  I also wish I had bound this with a regular binding instead of “birthing” it.

4.  The beaded edging at the bottom:  I like it, but:  I should have marked out where the loops were to stop and start so that they are all consistent, some aren’t the same and you can tell (in person).

The key is that these don’t have to be masterpieces:  they are supposed to be experiments and learning tools.

Honestly, all I had to do yesterday was the beaded edging — the rest of it was done.  And now I’m calling it good and moving on to “June.”  Hopefully it won’t take me  5 months for the next one.

In other news:  I had my first rehearsal with some of the kids that have solos in the upcoming high school production of Grease last night.  Went pretty well, all things considered.  I have a lot of practicing to do — so do they.  5 weeks and counting!  I got copies of the movie and the original Broadway cast recording to watch/listen to — this music is a lot of fun, and I hope our cast can have a good time with it.

Gotta go — my studio is calling me to come back for a short while before bed.




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Blue jeans and hydrangeas

Several months ago, I opened up the seams on a pair of jeans that had developed a hole in the knee.  The idea being that I would embellish the jeans in some way, and then sew them back up.   Opening the seams is as far as I got at the time….

Next weekend, my mom and I will be going to a wedding in Texas.  We were talking about what we are planning to wear — there is a party Friday night, the Blessing of the Wedding on Saturday, and a brunch on Sunday.  OK.  I’d better stop and explain first:  the wedding itself is actually tomorrow.  In Sweden.  (The groom is Swedish and the happy couple lives in Sweden).  The bride’s parents live in Texas, and *next* weekend is a great big party for the American friends that couldn’t make it to Sweden.  But it’s easier to say that we are going to a wedding, than it is to say that we are going to a Blessing of a Wedding — obviously it took me a long time to explain just what the heck I meant.

So, back to the story, and why this has anything to do with my jeans.  The Friday night event is Western themed party, and we decided that blue jeans were probably acceptable.  But I started thinking….wouldn’t it be cool to wear something I had made….and wouldn’t it be fun to actually finish embellishing the jeans I had torn apart?  The problem has always been that I simply didn’t know what to do with them.   So, I started brainstorming today.  Yes, the event is next Friday.  At least I’m starting today, and not next Thursday….

No matter what I do, the ultimate goal is to cover the rather large rip in the left knee.  This requires a fairly large patch of something, and I just haven’t been able to figure out what.  I don’t want it too look dorky….

For some reason I picked up a piece of Michael Miller fabric with big hydrangeas on it — which reminded me that I have a jacket made out of the hydrangea fabric.  OK, the reason I picked it up was because it was sitting on top of one of the gazillions of piles strewn around my studio at the moment.  But, it must have been sitting there for just this purpose.

Here’s the jacket: (You can click the picture to view it larger)


It’s longer in back than in front and is kind of swingy.  It’s an Indygo Junction pattern, and is actually reversible.  And *I* made it!  Amazing! And oh, I guess it needs to be ironed….

After contemplating the fabric and the jacket, I thought about turning the jeans into a companion for the jacket.

I decided to cut out some of the hydrangea bunches, and am planning to fuse them on.  The sleeves of the jackets get folded up to show the red lining fabric as a cuff, so I’m also thinking about adding cuffs to the bottom of the jeans:


Once the flowers are fused on, I’ll use monofilament thread to stitch around the edges.  I’m also thinking about adding some beading as an accent to the flowers, both on the jeans and on the jacket.

Any opinions on beads on the jeans?  Obviously I don’t want beads on the backside, because I don’t want to sit on them…..but if I use Nymo thread to apply them, they ought to be OK, don’t you think?  I’ll probably even try to remember to make a knot before and after each bead for extra security, maybe fuse something over the stitching on the inside once it is all done, just to help secure it.  Plus, these will be special occasion jeans, not meant to be worn every day.

Are the cuffs going to look OK?  Part of why I’m adding them is that the bottoms of the jeans are fraying slightly, so I thought it would be nice to help neaten those up a little bit.

That’s what I’ve been up to this afternoon.

I bent the truth a little yesterday — the day wasn’t completely wasted, as I did do some beading on my May 12x12x12 quilt.   I’m couching the beads on, and I need more practice apparently.   Additionally, it points out to me that the beads I was using were not as uniform as I thought.


We are headed to a movie tonight (Meet the Robinsons),

I hope you have a fun Friday night!



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Hey! I’m caught up now!

Of course, I can’t stop, as it is time to do May’s 12x12x12 quilt, but I have hopes of getting it done on time this month.

I showed pictures of this earlier, when I was just starting to bead. I mentioned at the time that I adore beads. I just should also add that I adore buttons. I’m actually pretty proud of myself for sticking with this one. As you will see, there are a lot of buttons. Maybe I’ll con the boys into counting just how many buttons are actually on it.

I really struggled with myself about even using the buttons or the beads. The design is nothing spectacular, just the initials of my business name. It doesn’t seem like it’s a “real” quilt. Even though I professed several months ago that I was going to use my stuff, I still struggle a bit — I feel like I should be saving things for “good” — for use on a really “serious” project.

Seriously. Isn’t that silly?

I talked myself into continuing and last night I sewed on the final button. I think one of the things I like best about this is the sheer weight of it. It feels really cool. Shall I show you the picture instead of continuing to ramble?

OK, here it is. I pinned some black fabric to my design wall to put behind it for contrast.  Click on it to view it full size.  It looks stupid with the right edge of the picture cut off.


After I finished the buttons last night, I actually found myself thinking “Hmmm. Maybe the letters ought to be entirely filled in with beads.”

In between sewing on gazillions of buttons, I have been spending time sorting out my disaster of a studio. 15 minutes of cleaning, 15 minutes of sewing. I’m finding some interesting treasures. I’ll probably share some of these later. One thing I did was cull out some quilting books I’d like to try to get rid of. I’ll be posting a list later. Right now, though, I have to get some More Meandering Magic books ready to mail, head to the Post Office, and then I’m off to get groceries.



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Monday wrap-up

So here it is the last day of April, and I’m still behind on the Quilt Studio 12x12x12 challenge.

But now, I’m only 1 month behind, instead of 2. Click to view this larger:


I was so tickled with my rainbow idea for the ABC Round Robin book (see yesterday’s post), that I did it again as a 12×12 quilt for myself.

It’s the same but different. It’s a 6 by 6 square of inchies, rather than the 6 by 7 rectangle for the book. You’ll also notice the addition of some buttons. And beads — the buttons on the inchies each have a black bead on top of them, in addition to the beads in the fringe. I love beaded fringe. I think I need to do more things with beads and buttons and fringe.

The funny thing is that my theme is supposed to be the Alphabet, with the idea that I will incorporate text on my quilts. Um yeah. Well, I forgot today. I had an idea that I was going to try, but I didn’t remember that I was going to try this idea until….the quilt was completely done. Oops. I still have a few ideas that I may play with, but for now, this is good enough. *I* know it is supposed to be a representation of “R is for Rainbow.”

Learned a few things from it. Still need to work on my satin stitch technique. I was brainstorming about why it is so messy, and it occurred to me that changing my needle might have helped. Any tips on how to do a clean satin stitch around the outside edge of a piece? The inchies are made of fabric fused to Timtex.

My next 12x12x12 is in progress. It’s covered with beads and buttons too. It’s taking me some time to do, but I hope to be done in a few days. And then I need to get going on something for May!


On a completely unrelated note, as I was looking through pictures, I realized that I never showed a picture of this little book I made. I saw these on Lisa‘s blog last week. She also provided a link to the tutorial where she learned how to make them, which is here.

I learned from this project that I am a very messy gluer. Actually, I knew that already, it was just driven home to me with this project. No matter how hard, I try I get glue allover the place. I’m not sure what my problem is. Maybe I need to go back to Kindergarten for some gluing lessons.

Last, but not least, I thought I’d show off a picture of my athletes. I didn’t get very many decent pictures at the soccer game on Saturday, but was glad that at least one of them had both boys in the same shot.


I think that’s all from me for today. I need to go sew on some more buttons and then go to bed.



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I heart beads

So after I got through whining about my fusible web tracing issues from yesterday, I went back to the studio to try again.  THis time I managed to get it right.  I’m making this piece up as I go along, so once the letters were fused, and I did a quick zig-zag in matching thread, I had to decide what was next.


Figured it couldn’t hurt to try.

I had this red bead mix that is packed with various shades of red (true red, pinky-red, purpley-red, goldish red, matte, shiny, silver-lined, clear).  So, I started picking up groups of 2 or 3 beads (stab the needle in, whatever comes out on the needle is what gets sewn on), and began outlining the Q.  Between last night and this afternoon, I’ve got the “C” and the “Q” outlined.


I adore beads.



Don’t know what exactly I’m going to do with the all of the plain white fabric in the rest of the block, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something.  Maybe more beads.

In case you are wondering, Salt Creek Quilt Company is the name of my business, thus the reason for the letters.

(Don’t forget to click to view them full size.  These tiny thumbnails do not do the beads justice.)

I think I need more beads.  Anybody want to share their favorite bead source(s)?



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I’m behind on my 12x12x12 projects — for those of you that don’t know, it’s challenge from the Quilt Studio web ring — I’m supposed to be making a 12×12 journal quilt each month. I got Jan and Feb done, but March and April were lost causes. I thought I’d try to do something — anything — today.

My theme is the Alphabet. I putzed around for awhile and then decided to do something using the initials of my business name. I drew the letters freehand, traced them to fusible web and then fused the web to some fabric.


I’m sure you can tell what’s wrong.


How about in this picture:


Ugh. I can’t believe I didn’t reverse the letters before tracing them on the fusible web.

Some days I don’t even know why I get out of bed.

It’s WIP Wednesday (again). I’m having such a hard time getting my self geared up to do anything.

I did load a quilt that I need to finish for a customer. It’s one of those African sun prints. I have already outlined all of the really large leaves, but still need to fill in all of the detail around them. I have a lot of work to do. It’s huge.


And now, it’s nearly suppertime, yet again. Life is so daily. Do you suppose my mood is impacted by the fact that we’ve had more than 3 inches of rain since Sunday? I WANT TO SEE THE SUN!



(you can click on all of the pictures in my blog to view them full size)

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V is for Valentine

I decided that it is MY project, and if I want to change my mind, I surely can.  So, I have abandoned my tree idea for the time being, and just picked another letter of the alphabet for my February Journal quilt.

I made a postcard a couple of days ago that was black with pink and green charms on it.  I decided to expand that into a larger piece and this is what I came up with:


I quilted the background fabric on my longarm.  The four charms were made individually and then I attached them with invisible nylon thread.  It had originally intended that the "O"s would both be buttons, and the "X"s would be beads, but I realized that i would be more interesting to try to come up with different ways to represent the hugs and kisses.  The bottom "O" is actually a tiny mirror that I glued in place and then surrounded with beads.  What I really should have done was used beads to create a "cage" for the mirror, but I wasn’t up to that today.


Both photos are clickable, so you can view them in a larger size.  The charms on this piece are about 1 3/4 inches square.

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