Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jacobean Journey Quilt - Applique Border Block A1H10

We got a few blocks to do this month and so far so good. These are called the Applique Border Blocks.
I just did the A1H10 block and it's really very pretty. Block A1H11 is just a flipped version so no video for that one.

This block is heavily embroidered at over 30,000 stitches. You will need fabrics 1, 4 and 3, water soluble thread and threads A, B, C and D.  The only issue I had with this block was that my thread A and B are fairly similar in color so when they're next to each other you can't really see any difference but that's okay. Overall, it turned out really pretty and I can't wait to see the next one.

I did add stabilizer to Fabric 3 for this block. There's a lot of embroidery on Fabric 3 (the pink fabric in the picture) and if you don't add some stabilizer, it may wrinkle or pucker as its embroidered. I used Sew Lazy soft lightweight stabilizer and it worked just fine but use whatever you like or have on hand. There's a lot of thread changes making this 57 minute block turn into an hour and 25 minutes. Remember, you can see all the videos for this quilt on the Hoopsisters website.

Video for Block A1H10

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Beautiful Saturday

Saturday, August 16 was just perfect.  You know the type of day where the sun is warm but not blazingly hot and there's a gentle, cool breeze that doesn't have a drop of humidity in it.  Days where no one has their A/C on, except that weird family you never see with their windows open and you're not sure they're human. Where even your black dog doesn't mind laying on the cool green grass out in the sun to grab a quick snooze, instead of seeking the deepest shade so she doesn't spontaneously catch fire. You know a perfect day.

Well, we just had one of those perfect days you normally get in late spring not mid-August. And I finally, got to see some butterflies including a monarch. I haven't seen a monarch butterfly for several years. They've probably been around but not in my yard. So this year I planted some milkweed to see if that would help.  The milkweed has been blooming since May when I planted it and absolutely nothing has found it except the milkweed aphids. No butterflies. Zip. Nothing. Not one winged creature until now.

On Saturday, I saw four eastern tiger swallowtails, a hummingbird moth and finally a monarch. The monarch went right to the milkweed, while the eastern tiger went to the verbena. The monarch fluttered about the flowering stems, while I snapped pictures from about 5 feet away and I didn't know she was laying eggs until the saw the picture with her abdomen wrapping up under one of the leaves of the milkweed.  I don't know how many eggs she laid but I'm hoping to see a few caterpillars.

According to Google, I can try to get rid of the aphids by squishing them or blowing them off with water or trying a bug B Gone spray but others say to leave them. The monarch caterpillar may actually eat the little protein crunchies as snacks.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll take a picture of a caterpillar eating one.

I also got several good pictures of the tiger swallowtail on my purple verbena. I love how its little proboscis is covered in pollen and the dark purple and green really make the yellow butterfly stand out nicely.

And of course, since it was such a nice day, I took a picture of one of the darker sunflowers that bloomed. It was nice of the deer to leave me a few so I figured I better photograph it. This is the first year I've planted sunflower seeds and a lot came up but they are definitely on the deer's menu. No wonder the doe around here are having triplets. Its not a huge flower but its still pretty.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jacobean Journey Quilt - Block B2

This is month 5 for the Jacobean Journey quilt Block of the Month and we're about half way done. Seems like I've already done a thousand of these blocks but we're not done yet.

This block is really pretty and very easy to do. It's definitely been the easiest so far.  All you need is fabric 1, all coordinating threads, backing fabric and water soluble thread.  It's all decorative stitching and takes about 50 minutes to get done.  All I need to do is get 12 of these guys done and get back to working on the borders. Here's the finished block.

Video for Block B2