Friday, August 12, 2011

Bird Island continued

One of the really neat things about Bird Island is the "Kindred Spirit" mail box.  It's along the way as you walk towards the Little River jetty. The mail box is nestled in the dunes with a bench for resting, viewing, thinking, reading, reminiscing... You can find all kinds of notes, letters, journals, sketches in the mailbox itself. So here comes my big "Ah Ha" idea. I need to put the mailbox in the picture! Wow, that overwhelmed me.

So, on the left you can see what the mailbox looks like for real. And, this is how I did it in the quilt.  Now... all you bright people out there, explain to me how I get the lettering on my mailbox! ??? All I can think is a very fine point fabric pen in a light gray.  Does that even exist? See, this is where I come across as the beginner, newbie, less than an amateur. I will not be daunted by this task. I'm searching on line right now to find my answer. I was a First Grade teacher. Put the pen in my hand and I can do the perfect printing!!!
Wait a minute, I invited friends for dinner tonight. I have to clean the house and find a good recipe for something... Oh lord, what is my menu?  FRANTIC!

I'll be back...

Okay... who's the clever one?  While cleaning the bathroom, I heard one of you whisper, "Embroider it."  I'll do that if there's no way to print it... (I print better than I embroider)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bird Island, Sunset Beach,NC

I've started a new project. This is another thank you gift for dear friends. They visit us each year from Northern California (the best part of the state!) and come to enjoy the beach, ocean, and golf.... well, Mike enjoys the golf but Elizabeth comes to sew with me. Anyway, they love Sunset Beach so I thought a seascape would be a fine idea. Here's the beginning... Rather than using my usual method of fusing the layers, I decided to try anchoring them with a regular, good old glue stick. I wanted to see if the fabric would look softer without the Wonder Under. I carefully basted the layers with invisible thread as I anchored the whole thing onto a muslin backing. It all seemed to work fine. The glue stick gave me no trouble at all.

Next I wanted to add a frame around the edge... So, I began to research how to do mitered corners. I consulted a new book I've just purchased The Art of Landscape Quilting by Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell. Page 136 had a great tutorial on mitered corners - easy to follow. I think I did well. What do you think? The picture with Sweet Puny Puss shows the process of sewing on the strips and the second picture shows the completed frame. Adding binding with mitered corners I learned easily last year. Now I feel like I've made another giant step in creating art quilts with a real professional edge. If only it were that easy. I keep hiding from all the intricate free motion quilting techniques.

Back to the quilt... I've added the batting and backing fabric and begun to free motion. While doing the ocean water I used an irregular zig-zag stitch and 3 colors of thread... silver metallic, white silk, and blue rayon. I wanted to create the illusion of the white foam glistening in the sun.

My next step will be to add sea oats and dune grasses in the foreground, along with something near the horizon line... sailboat?, pelican?, seagull?,.... I've got to think about it.  (What's to think about... this is called Bird Island - add a bird!)... Well, that certainly make sense. I love it when I give myself good ideas!
Happy Stitchin'
Hugs from Mary

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Birthday Presents

Well, I  had fun quilting and making these two "Ittiy Bitty Bags", a pattern by Karen West at Thimble Pleasures Quilt Store in Chapel Hill, NC. This little bag is so fabulous. I've made six now for friends. They are light weight and slip easily over your shoulder.

You won't believe how much I can carry in mine... checkbook, wallet, sunglasses, address book, cell phone in the cute crazy quilt holder (I'll blog about that another day), camera, and junk like my golf score card that I need to record (boy it was hot on the course today), and a Little Duffle Bag (that holds lipstick, business cards, pill box, etc, and is also a Karen West Pattern).

So who do I make these for??? These sweet ladies are each getting an Itty Bitty Bag for their birthdays this year. Last year I made each of them a Crazy Quilt cell phone holder. We luncheon together each month one of has a birthday. They also happen to be my golfing buddies. I choose coordinating fabrics with colors that reflect the seasons of their birthdays. I also need to make each of them the Little Duffle Bag. It fits perfectly in the Itty Bitty Bag and helps keep everything organized.

I just wanted to share this fun pattern with you. I have met Karen when I've been at Thimble Pleasures. She's a very clever lady!  I'll have to let her know about this blog entry.
Hugs to all,