Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rx for January...work with bright fabrics!

I have my 12 center blocks hand appliqued for the Lori Smith's "Folk Art Applique" quilt.  Each block will finish at 9 inches.
This has been the perfect hand stitching pattern for this time of the year in Michigan...there are a lot of gloomy, cold days with linoleum skies.
The picture on the original pattern looked as if solid, saturated fabrics were used.  I decided to use tone-on-tone bright fabrics, hoping they would read as solids, but with more zing and pep.
It's time to play with the layout and order of the blocks, sew them together, and start thinking about a border.  I think I will come up with an original border design...perhaps a swag.  
Should I put eyes on the animals?  I think the original pattern gave eyes only to the chicken and bird...
I've enjoyed the simplicity of the design elements.  This pattern works up nicely using the glue stick method of hand applique.
I carefully trimmed the black background away from behind the larger applique shapes, especially the yellow ones.
I found I needed to stitch in good light because I soon discovered that the black background really magnified misplaced stitches!  I'm still loving the YLI silk thread for hand applique.
The sunflower block just may be my favorite...
I have trouble with January...anyone else in the same boat??  I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays.  I had such a good mojo going with the weight loss and exercise in 2012.  Now I am on a plateau.  Lots of walking and exercise would burn me past the plateau and get me on my way again.  But the January weather can be bad for walking...and for mojo.  Sometimes it is just dangerous to be out there due to the ice, snow, and/or cold.

I whipped up this little top as a sample for the shop.  It is called "We're Chicken," by Button Weeds.  I really liked making up the scrappy half square triangles.  I love scrappy...I don't have to make decisions about fabrics...they're ALL good!  Right now the chickens are running around blindly...I will add button eyes after it's quilted.  They have little prairie point wings...so plucky!
Good-bye January...I hope you take the doom and gloom with you!

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)


  1. Just gorgeous!! But I love the whimsy side of you - the chicks are a blast. Oh, I don't do outdoors with ice either.

  2. Those are awesome blocks! So cheery on the black.

  3. Like the term...linoleum skies...perfect description.

    Here in MN I find using an stretch add-on "cleat type" product to the bottom of my shoes to be the best thing for taking walks when it is icy outdoors. Works great! I don't like winter either....but this helps me get out there in the slippery conditions.

    Your blocks are absolutely stunning. I love the vibrancy of the fabrics against the black.

  4. Just wonderful! Can't wait to see it all together.
    Love the chickens.

  5. This is just gorgeous! Oh I could look at it all day long.
    I like your animals without eyes, but if there were eyes on two of the animals, then I'm thinking they should all have eyes....or leave them off the little critters. Hmmmm.....decisions.
    Love your top you whipped up. Being the owner of twelve chickens myself, I rather love this !! Everything is perfect on it.
    Enjoy the day today. We are supposed to have temps. around 56 degrees and sunshine in Michigan! Woot!

  6. I don't know how to pick a favorite - these blocks are wonderful!! I always prefer tone on tone prints over solids. There is nothing like a fun and exciting quilting project to be working on to cheer up tough days. I had a day like that yesterday and I knew if I could just make it through to 9pm I could go to my stitching happy place :0)
    Love the scrappy border on the chicken project!

  7. I'm with you about the bright colors in January. Last year I was drawn to Flower Pots by Kim McLean and this year a happy appliqued baby quilt. Something about right after the holidays screams "bright fabric required". Love your blocks, so happy looking.

  8. Oh, I love those applique blocks!!! I've used black only a couple of times and while I love the emphasis it gives the other colors, I find that I don't like working with it much. I think I need to expand my horizons to include some hand applique work.

  9. Love your blocks --the design and choice of brights AND the precise applique work. I am so applique-challenged. Work like this really wows me.

    I hope your day has some sunshine peeking through the clouds. Your creative writing surely gave my day some chuckles... "linoleum skies," "prairie point wings...so plucky." :-)


  10. You have been busy. Just gorgeous. I cannot believe how fast you got them done.
    The Chickens are a delight. That top cheers me up during the January Blues.

  11. I recognized the Lori Smith pattern right away as it is in my stash of patterns waiting to be made. Very well done blocks!

  12. Those are amazing blocks and I'm in awe that you stitched on black...I'm not sure my eyes are good enough for that!

  13. Lots of bright colorful fun here today! And you know I LOVE the chickens running wildly.

  14. Teresa, I love those borders!! That scrappy chain quilt is so busy that it makes my eyes hurt, but those borders tame it right down.

    Those wonky stars are beautiful. I've made a double friendship star quilt before but the starts were even on it. Are these stars done in a similar fashion, or are they individually cut? It's a good thing you live so far away, or I'd be camped out at your house trying to learn all your neat, neat tricks!!!

  15. Love your blocks,great.All are just awesome and over the black fabrics ,yummies.

  16. ...LOL....look at all those little 'henny pennies' running...."THE SKY IS FALLING....THE SKY IS FALLING!"

    GIRL, looks like you have been busier than a cranberry merchant!!! WOW, I know what you mean about not taking them down off the design wall 'cause it took so long to get all those seam pressed nice and flat. I have one too that has been taking a l-o-n-g winters nap on my design wall!

    I really admire these blocks with the black background! Your photos are really great, showing how vibrant they are....I.LIKE.

    Of course I always enjoy your tips/tutorials on how you do yo thang!


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