Summer in San Francisco

This is what I've been working on:

Sewing is taking a backseat to some much need home improvement projects.  We're in the midst of wallpaper removal... 4 layers, that is.  This is what we found under the vinyl that stripped off easily.  The birdcage print and fake grass paper are GONE!  We have no intention of living with 50's era brown leaf patterned paper, either, and since this snapshot was taken, 3/4 of the room is now cleared down to bare plaster.  The floors are next on the list ... then painting, and so goes the summer!

Another day and another layer down

extra Maple leaf 
I finished piecing the back for my Maple leaf quilt.

Maple Leaf - back

This is the front:

Maple Leaf
29 x 29

The inspiration for the back is from a quilt featured in Material Obsession 2.  I replaced the center 9-patch with an extra maple leaf block and adjusted the dimensions of the pieces to fit with the center block.

I found it very refreshing to work some of my non-trendy designer fabrics into this work.  Although I find the online quilt world, including flickr a wonderful source of inspiration, the rush to use the latest and greatest new fabric lines, is getting old (for me).  Not that I don't LOVE fabric, it just seems like sometimes people respond to the "designer used" over the quilt, the creativity and skill the sewist invests in her craft.  It can be a challenge to filter it all out and listen to my inner voice and create what I want without worrying if anyone is going to like my work because it isn't "trendy".  

Now my quandary is how to quilt an essentially two sided-quilt.  Any ideas?  I have a rough idea of quilting freeform wavy lines in a diagonal around the leaves. 


This is probably my last post for a few weeks.  I'm taking a short break.  I hope everyone is enjoying their summers, whether you are sewing, relaxing, traveling, etc.

My Saturday morning walk on the marina (So. SF)


Happy Friday

Happy Friday!

This week I finished another block for the FWQL:

#8 - Bouquet:  I utilized the foundation paper piecing templates from the FW Yahoo group.  There's so much yellow in this one, it stands out a bit from the other blocks, but should balance out in the long-run once I've made more blocks in different colors.

I'm running out of room on my design wall ...

I'm "roughly" following the color scheme from the book, pulling out some pretty old scraps from my stash.  Because I'm not using white or other solids in this quilt, the challenge is finding good background fabrics; the one used here is a new fabric from Denyse Schmidt's new line from Joanns.

Have a GREAT weekend.


Border Maple Leaf WIP

My wonderful friend, Irv, was visiting yesterday and admiring my Farmer's Wife blocks I had taped to my bedroom wall.  He thought (to his untrained quilters' eyes) they looked "Japanesey" which got me thinking ...

Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt progress shot

I remembered starting a maple leaf quilt last year that I thought suited my friend's tastes perfectly.  After find the blocks in a box, I decided to sew them together to make a wall hanging.  The pattern is from www.quilterscache and is called Border Maple Leaf.  The site suggested sashing with lots of tiny fabric squares, but once I had a few of these sewn together, I hated it.  Thought it was too busy.  This is what I came up with instead:

Border Maple Leaf
22" square

Boy oh boy, is it difficult to photograph a black quilt.  The contrast is wild.  I chose some random bits for the the sashing squares.  I could border the quilt, but I'm leaning towards leaving it "as is".

I'm having fun piecing the back in a creative way ... check back soon to see what I come up with.


Farmer's Wife QAL

I'm very excited to have stumbled upon a QAL for Laurie Aaron Hird's The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt hosted by Amanda and Angela.  There's a wealth of info about the quilt on the author's website here.  Additionally, check out the flickr group.  Phew, I think that's enough links for one post.

If you are a long time reader of my blog, you may  remember that I started on the Farmer's Wife quilt last year, but lately the blocks have been sitting in a box under my sewing table.  Last night I pulled out the box (after hunting around for a while), and decided to sew up one of the easier block patterns.

#84:  Spool
Love it! 

I'm constructing the simpler blocks that are divisible by 6 by doing the math and cutting with a rotary cutter.  Templates seem really fussy to me for such a simple block.  I will be paper piecing the more intricate designs.

Here's my assistant getting in the act:

Assisting with block selection

It's a bit small ...


Lemon Pie

I love lemon pie.  One of our favorite cafes makes a buttermilk lemon pie topped with blueberries and whipped cream....oh so good.  But I digress from the topic at hand, my Lemon Pie quilt top is finished!

Lemon Pie
The pattern is from Fons & Porters March/April issue and is a Piece O' Cake Designs pattern.  As soon as I laid my eyes on this pattern, I wanted to make it so I started off with some aqua fat quarters and scraps from my stash.  Once I got to the setting triangles and borders I needed to go out and buy some yardage from Peapod Fabrics.  I thought these worked nicely with the existing fabric.

Now this moves on to my "completed tops" pile.  Or perhaps I should leave it taped up above the bed?