Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hands-2-Help 2017 #2 - "Kitty Titty Power"

"Kitty Titty Power" 
made by Lynette Caulkins and Marissa Anderson

I am reblogging this quilt, which I finished in Oct 2015 and have kept on tap for the next friend who had to face breast cancer. I've decided that since none of them has had this trial come up in their life by this point, I'm going to send this to the Happy Chemo project for Hands-2-Help 2017, organized by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

As I said when I made it, I know this quilt's name will be a bit rough for some folks.
But getting cancer IS rough. 
It sucks, and it happens all too often. Anyone my age or older has known someone personally who is/was battling one or another of those monsters - if we've not had it ourselves. I've gone through a bout of lymphoma, which killed my uncle and has challenged his son at least 3 times, and my mother died from a rare form of inflammatory breast cancer. Two of her sisters have had more common breast cancers. 
Rough words help dissipate the anger when you're in the fight, and if you can combine that roughness with humor, it's most effective! So I let the quilt's working name stick instead of polishing it into refined civility. This quilt's purpose is to provide bolstering support during an active battle with breast cancer, and the name is perfect in that context. 


The pink speaks for itself to identify it as a breast cancer quilt (I've always hated the commercialism of all those pink ribbons, but you have to admit the social power of the pink). The triangles evoke strength and dynamic energy. And those kitties are just so darned friendly.


I wanted the quilting to allow a more comforter-like feel for this one, instead of adding in some fancy fills. I also needed the quilting choice to soften the starkness I often felt when contemplating the top. I wondered if simple wavy lines would do the trick for this, and they really did!  

I used my walking foot and a wavy stitch on my machine for everything. (Don't forget to loosen the pressure of your presser foot when you are quilting instead of sewing - which is different from thread tension, even when using a walking foot). I just followed each seam, and then on the hollow triangles I put in some super-wide echos. On the solid triangles, I quilted point-to-point between the halfway marks of each side to break up that space in a congruent way.




For the back, I had pieced the off-cuts from the side triangles into a strip. Everyone who sees it thinks it spells something. LOL  I guess it does kind of look like an abstract "ZOOM":



If I received this quilt, I would take it to every chemo appointment. And then I would want to wash it a lot. So the binding got machine stitched, which is highly unusual for me in non-children's quilts. There was a lot going on, color-wise and dynamics-wise, in this quilt, so I went with the background pink for that instead of my original plan for a super-soft framing of gray Minky.



And this quilt's feline lover? - Isabeau adores it and settles down on it every time I get it out. Navarre only liked it when it was a flimsy for some reason. Go figure! Good thing I have a cat-free room now where I can let it super-dry before I box it up tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Minky Stripes" for Camp Hobe, Hands-2-Help 2017

Many of us have participated in this year's Hands-2-Help Charity Quilt Challenge that Sarah has coordinated over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

I was happy to have a super soft and perky kit on hand that would be fantastic for the Camp Hobe drive - soft minky stripes in the right size to comfort a young person fighting cancer. 



This was my first strip minky quilt, and fortunately others ahead of me had shared the importance of using spray adhesive as you go along. I can't imagine doing this without it. I don't normally use the spray, as the propellant uses carcinogenic chemicals, and I have an autoimmune disorder, so I wouldn't have thought of it on my own. Also - those rounded corners are a must if you're going to bind it.  :)  The minky strip just flows so easily around them, rather than struggling with corner folds. Also, you only need a single layer rather than the doubled-over binding that I normally use.


I just LOVE all the different textures that minky comes in! Don't you?


Thanks for organizing this event, Sarah! 

And all you sponsors are AWESOME! 

It's been washed and completely dried, so I'm off to the post office now. :D

Sunday, May 21, 2017

BOMs Away - Happy Distraction :)


Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Month projects and then not finish them? 
Or do you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Well, this is a slow month for BOM work! I've only accomplished work on my hand-work BOMs, with a fair bit of progress on Octopuses Garden block 1 and Fiesta Mexico block 3.


But most importantly, I got the room for the longarm cleared out, painted, and then. . . 

This!!

The new green is nowhere near this neon in real life :)
My Millie is all set up, ready for some attention soon! First I'll read through a bunch more stuff and watch the DVD I got from Myrna. I'll also take the initial class for owners. After NINE years of saving up, and that ginormous check, I'm not eager to mess something up because of ignorance. But I'm getting itchy to load up one of the 35 tops hanging in my closet and try out my first pantograph on it. :D

Getting it together was a family affair over a couple of days, but as Myrna and Laura assured me, we were perfectly capable of doing it ourselves, even with the few extras that I'd bought for it. Nice to save the set-up fee!


In the next weeks, I'll be painting the trim and closet doors white, replacing the bedroom door with a french door so I don't feel closed in (want to keep the cats out of there), and installing good overhead lighting. First, though, I'll finish up Lori's quilt on the domestic machine. 

And despite the fact that we don't live in Australia, we got at least 14 inches of snow three days ago! It was a perfect day for tea, and Navarre made this pic so awesome with his photobombing. . .  

May 18th

Colorado weather entertains me so much!

How has your work gone? Did you get something done on a BOM project?


Sunday, May 14, 2017

BOMs Away - Fiesta Mexico


Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Hopefully I'll have this set up properly to auto-post for the link-up. I'll be out of town this weekend for my aunt's 80th birthday. I'm looking forward to giving her gift to her. I've got one of the quilt tops her daughter made shortly before she died that I quilted up for her. Also looking forward to seeing my sister, as well as a couple of cousins that I haven't seen for decades, and I'll sneak a night in at my dad's place, too. Should be super fun!

I finished block 2 of Fiesta Mexico today, so I do have that to share. It's not trimmed to size yet.


How about you? Have you done BOM work recently?


Monday, May 8, 2017

BOMs Away - Painting Right Now


Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Oh! Sorry to post a little late - I did not do any BOM work this weekend, because I was heavily engaged in transforming the extra bedroom into a longarm room. Most everything is now out of that room, the walls are prepped for a pretty color, and I got the ceiling painted. The room was fully encased in this weird, depressing, dark-feeling tannishgrayolivy color that came with the house, and 5 years later, it's about time that it got painted over!! Going with a cheerful light green under a pretty cream ceiling, and later on I'll paint the old, bashed-up oak trim into a nice semi-gloss white. Hopefully, I can finagle a new French door for the room by summer's end. I want to keep the room closed off from the cats, but I don't want to feel imprisoned when I'm working in there. I get SADD (seasonal affective depression disorder) very easily!

I do have a tiny bit of BOM interest to share. On normal evenings, I hand stitch on applique while Scott and I watch a show. I've been working on these two blocks from "Fiesta Mexico," and now I've started in on a fun block for the new project, "Octopuses Garden":


Having these 3 blocks on the go at once gives me a good range of work for the different stages of backbasting technique that I use, so that something can always marinate overnight, but I also always have something ready to stitch down. Lots of overlapping pieces on these, so sometimes I can only baste a couple on at a time. That bottom one looks super strange in progress, doesn't it??

~*~*~

Have you done any BOM work lately?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

BOMs Away - Fall All Around & A Mournful Blizzard


Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Navarre cracks me up. He came and made me follow him so I could see that the doe herd of 7 was back at the house again - settled himself comfortably draped over the chair arm and burst out purring while watching them eat.


Heather and Pat's cat, Lupin, who lives with them on the walk-out basement level, didn't share the enthusiasm. An up-close encounter with Bambi, even with the glass between them, was too much for him. He hissed well and long.  hehe!


Meanwhile, I got four blocks sewn up for Fall All Around. I do enjoy some more complex piecing every now and then, particularly when the pieces are already cut out. :) So glad I did all that up front so now it's just fun to pull some baggies out of the box and sew away.


I think Astoria is my favorite. It's the top-left block. The others (moving clockwise) are Dogwood Crossing, Circle of Friends, and Knight & Day.

That makes me think of watching that movie with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruz. . .  

It's hard to register that tomorrow is May, with a foot-deep blanket of snow everywhere. This was a perfect blizzard to get right now, though. Friday started sunny with clouds, which made a pretty backdrop for a particularly heart-wrenching funeral in our community that morning. The skies stayed that way for the family's burial time afterward, but then quickly thickened afterward. By 5:30, a white-out blizzard poured over the mountains and subdued everything with 5 inches within the first hour of the storm. It was supremely apropos, making everything slow down, and cushioning the entire world with near silence as everyone just stayed at their homes. During the night, it turned from fluffy flakes into that super-fine snow fall, and that lasted all day long for Saturday with not a single break. It felt like the whole world was engaging in the grieving process. Today the snow is beautiful in the sunshine as Spring starts to reassert itself.


So let me tip my hat to my young friend, Hunter, one last time. He was one of my pals in Taekwondo class, and had the second most awesome smile I've ever encountered in my entire life.

souls too gentle to live among the trials of this world, too broken by deep feeling to see the love of family around them or the high regard of those whose paths cross with theirs, how do we help you though the pain, how do we reassure your fears, how do we ease your load and give you back a little of the spark that you bring to us, for the world is diminished without you
Rest softly, Hunter. It was a privilege to know you, and we pray for loving arms of comfort around your family.

~*~*~

Have you done any BOM work lately?



Sunday, April 23, 2017

BOMs Away - Star Crazy


Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Hi there! How are your BOMs going? Today I took advantage of feeling like dealing with HST's, and I stitched up all the rest of them for my Star Crazy - something like 300 of them. 


Now I'm settling down for a nice movie session with Scott here at home while I pop the papers off. Keeps me from binge-eating too much popcorn. :) 

Oh - P.S. - We had Taekwondo testing yesterday. Scott and Marissa and I are now at the last step before Blackbelt, and Heather and Pat are Red Seniors. Lots of work put in, and hard to believe I've made it this far. I have vivid memories of being a white and yellow belt three years ago and just knowing I could never make it to this level. But. . . Whaddaya know! 




~*~*~

How about you? Did you do any BOM work this week? I didn't. I was busy chilling out this Easter Saturday morning and enjoying a cute visit from our friendly neighborhood Easter bunny.

Kate over at Katie Mae Quilts has joined me in hosting this meet-up,
and linking up from either end puts you on the party at both sides.
:)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Whoopin' It Up at a Mexican Fiesta Block Party & a NETY prep

Whoop! Whoop!

I can't tell you how thrilled I am that this applique block is finally finished!! 



I absolutely love the vibrant colors and complex quilting on Kay Buckley's Fiesta Mexico, and wanted very much to work on it as a very long-term hand applique project. So I scooped it up when it made its appearance on a Block of the Month program. 

This was in April 2014. I started this block that month, placing it in my tote for evening hand work when I watch a show with Scott after dinner. It progressed super slowly since it got bumped any time a quilt needed tail-tucking or hand stitching on bindings, labels, or hanging sleeves. 

When I came back to quilting in February (post-wedding months and Lupus attack), I changed my modus operandi a little bit. I no long make evening work get bumped by quilt-finishing unless I'm super driven on a particular finish. Now I just stick with the relaxing slow-stitching of hand applique, and just about three months later, this behemoth is all stitched up! 



It is 11 x 48 inches (finished), with tons of flowers and leaves and berries. I work in the back-basting needle-turn style, which is awesome for this project. For the berries, I use those Perfect Circle templates (*love* those).

~*~

Also, I got another of my old NETYs washed, ironed, and kitted up. [Those are my Never-Even-Touched-Yet kits and sets that are in deep storage. The number of these is mind-boggling, and I aim to get one of them kitted each month so they eventually will get cleared out.]  

Santorini collection by Lila Tueller
This would have been purchased in February 2012. I remember that I walked past the quilt done up from this pattern kit, and really liked the fabrics, including the brown that was paired with the fat quarter pack. I'd taped a note on the bag, though, that I wanted to do it up in a different pattern. 


Still feeling that way about the pattern for these fabrics, I decided I really wanted to make a brick wall quilt with the prints, but then the brown from the kit just didn't float my boat anymore. 


Pulled a few pieces from my stash, and settled on the gray batik that's under the bricks I cut. (They were also really pretty with a white "mortar," but that didn't go with my theme vision.) That's now cut as well, and everything's tucked neatly in this super cool shoebox, waiting for an open Friday Play Day to whip that top together. And the brown can join my stash for another day.


Eventually, I'll use left-overs from the FQs and some water fabric from my stash to make a bricked well on a green floral background for the back. I intend to call the quilt "Secret Garden" when it grows up one day.

~*~*~
Linking up at 
Jennifer's Wed Wait Loss WIPs
Sarah's Whoop Whoop Fridays

Saturday, April 15, 2017

BOMs Away Monday, and H2H 2017 - Minky String Quilt for Camp Hobe


Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Monday!
Do you ever start Block-of-the-Months and then not finish them? 
Or maybe you just like doing a lot of them?
This is where you can share what you're doing on a BOM or anything you work on at given intervals. 
Show us what you accomplished in the past week or so!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Knowing full well that I'm not going to work on BOM stuff on Easter Sunday, and probably won't take the time away from family fun to make a post, I'm combining this week's linky with my progress report for my H2H community service quilt:


This is the minky row quilt I chose from my deep storage of untouched kits to make for Camp Hobe. Kids and cancer - who needs a super-soft, bright-and-cheery, can't-stop-petting-it quilt more than they do? 

It's 45 x 60, and all it needs is its binding. This was my first minky row quilt. Notes to self for when I make the animal minky for Scott:

  • Yep. Good thing I "listened" and got some spray basting glue to adhere the stripes down as they're sewn on, because there's no way this would work nicely without it. Coordinate the next one with a medicine day since I can't leave this strategy out.
  • While the center-out construction strategy makes for faster prep time between sewing sessions, I would prefer to start at the top and work down.
  • I'd like to control the rows a little more - chalk a line when adding them.
  • My walking foot doesn't play nice with Minky - the treads snag on it like it does on silk.
  • So, use this foot with 4.0 stitch length, foot pressure reduced to 1.0, ball-90 needle on the Sapphire.

P.S. I would also like to make a minky quilt like this one day (photo links to source):

Saw it at: Sewciety


~*~*~

How about you? Did you do any BOM work this week? I didn't. I was busy chilling out this Easter Saturday morning and enjoying a cute visit from our friendly neighborhood Easter bunny.

Kate over at Katie Mae Quilts has joined me in hosting this meet-up,
and linking up from either end puts you on the party at both sides.
:)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

TGIFF is Here Today, and It's All About the Dog :)

Hi! Welcome to this week's TGIFF link-up!
Have you finished something lately that you'd like to share? Link up at the bottom of this post, and be sure to visit some of the other links to find some great eye candy and help your fellow bloggers celebrate. :D

I'm really bummed that I couldn't get this quilt completely finished in time for this post, despite tons of overtime work on it, but I'm super thrilled that the cameo portraits are not only FINISHED!!!, but that the whole process worked! So here is "Lori & Aliya" with that part all done: 


It was a long, difficult process to achieve those portraits! 

Lori sent me about 11 photo files of Aliya that she totally loved. I lifted a couple others off her Facebook page. Played around with cropping/sizing and pasted images into a 9x9 grid until the two of us both liked the images chosen and the grid placement for them. 

Here are a couple of the cameos and the photos they came from:






I needed to create Golden Threads quilting patterns for those nine chosen photos, but I am not an artist! Any drawing task is excruciatingly slow and involves a large amount of erasing.

I made them by using this tutorial to edit digital photos at the free online app, PIXLR, so that they were as close to coloring book images as possible. 


Then I sized them up in a Word document, printed them out, and traced in the lines I thought I'd like with a fine-tip Sharpie. 


Finally, with the photo file open in front of me and a sheet of the Golden Threads taped over the marked-up print-out, I traced the lines I really wanted to quilt in. That part was done in pencil, because I had to erase so often, and it was tricky to capture a good likeness that conveys the gist of her markings, but also plays nice with stitchability and with the compression/loft effect of batting. This pattern-making stage took an entire week of several hours each day to get to where I was happy with all 9 in the set.


There were a remarkable number of free-standing details to quilt it, and on the full-body images in particular, I wasn't sure that the Golden Threads method was going to pan out well with the minky backing. Minky makes everything so much more springy to work on, and I worried that the paper would get prematurely torn and back-tracking or closely-spaced lines would just get all goopy and messy. But it worked just fine!


That one up there was one of the least-messiest, tails-wise. Cleanup of the quilting to this point took just over 10 hours. Details were too close to use backstitching, so everything is secured by tying before tucking. I used a lightly-variegated gray King Tut thread in 40 weight for those. The rest of the quilting is done in 50-weight Aurifil threads to match the fabric colors.

This is a special request commission quilt from a good friend. She wanted a quilt to feature quilting with bones, paws, traditional feathers, and quilt-outs of favorite photos of her beloved German Shepherd. That was quite the creative challenge! But you can see how beautifully it's working out on this shot of the minky back:


We went with a variation of the Metro Hoops pattern to have these feather-framed cameo areas (which will get cross-hatching filler around the figures). I chalked an inner border "bumper" line inside the rings to do the feathers freehand against the ring's inner edge.

. . .and I worked up motifs for the "between" spaces that get the bones in for her. These got marked with chalk, tracing a curvy-diamond and a bone stencil that I cut out of a file folder into the area after I'd chalked in a register crisscross. The plumes just got free-handed as I went along.


The portraits will get cross-hatching between them and the feather rim, and the ring arcs will get some curly-q's down their centers to further stabilize them. The outer border will have life-size quilt-outs of Aliya's paw prints superimposed on top of traditional feathers, as you can see in this shot of my acrylic overlay sheet (this is what I lay over a quilt top to play around with quilting ideas when I can't discover a scheme right off the bat).


I'm sure I'm not the only one who can quilt things a lot prettier than I can draw them. Does that happen for you, too?   

I'll cut a file-folder stencil for Aliya's paw and put those in with a blue water-erase pencil, along with a spine line for the feathering. I'm leaning toward all of that work being done in the red thread, but might possibly do the paws in the King Tut. I'll figure that out when the fillers are in and the paws are marked.

I apologize sincerely for not being able to finish this 100% for y'all. I'm still learning to correctly gauge how long certain jobs will take, and that cameo work totally blew my estimations away.

But now it's your turn to show us what you've finished! I love the variety that comes through every week and look forward to seeing your link: