Posted in Crow Quilt

Crow Quilt – Sewing & Sewing down some more

As with any quilt project it is a labor of love to get through a phase of construction. The sewing down of the applique just kept going and going and going. As I worked along, I continued to take photos to show how it is done and keep myself amused. First lets look at sewing the leaves down.

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I saved the crying baby crow for last.   He being the center piece of the quilt it needed extra care.   First I did the legs by lifting his bottom up and arranging them down.   Once I got them situated I moved the body around to make sure it was centered anatomically correct.  Then the sewing began.  As I went I pinned the edges over being sure to tuck the points down tightly.  How about a slide show for you to see the progress?

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And now drum roll!!!  Here is the finished top.   Next steps will be adding embellishments and quilting the top to the batting and backing.

Finished Quilt Top -  Small celebration!!
Finished Quilt Top – Small celebration!!
Posted in Crow Quilt

Crow Quilt – Sewing it down

Time to start sewing the applique down on the Crow Quilt.  It is a labor of love to whip the pieces to the background.  Even though I pre-folded the edges down there is quite a bit of finishing to be done.   Mainly it is how do I want the tree limbs to finish.  Should they end where at the background edge or do I let them trail into the borders.  I decided that visually it looked good to have some extend over.

Posted in Crows in Renton

Renton Crow Murder at Dusk

The roof of our office building was roaring from the pouring rain.   Dusk was hurried along by this dark cloud and rain storm.   Winter here in the Northwest is a dark time with the sun rising just before 8am and the sun setting soon after 4pm.  The sun is way to the south and when you add a rain storm it is dark and dreary.

In fly the Crow Murder of Renton.   Some would say that is a spooky thing to watch and hear.  I personally am fascinated by their dusk party time.   They are a social bunch getting ready to bed down for the night.

Then the clouds parted and a brief winter sunset offered a background for the Renton Murder.   Pinky clouds and crows; what more could this crow stalker ask for.

RentonCrows at sunset
Renton Crows at sunset
Renton Crows fly in for a visit
Renton Crows fly in for a visit
Posted in Crow Quilt

Crow Quilt design comes to Life

The Crow Quilt is coming to life.

The next steps I took were to finish cutting out the templates and then pressing all the edges in so they will be easy to Appliqué down on the quilt.   Some appliquers turn the edges as they sew.  I prefer to have them ironed over and then tweak them as I whip stitch them to the background.

Once I got all the edges turned, I started laying the pieces on the quilt according to my design.  At first I left the templates pinned to the pieces so I could keep track of them.  Next, I got things situated the way I liked them, I pulled the templates and pinned it all down to the background.   Check it out and see what you think.

Baby crow template edges turned
Layout with templates still attached
Reggie is insuring things are done correctly
First peek at Baby Crow Crying Design in fabric
Posted in Crows at the Beach

The King Tide is coming soon

Remember back in January I wrote about the King Tide and participated in the King Tide Photo initiative?  http://wp.me/p1d1cX-fE

There is another one coming soon on December 15th early in the am.   Not sure if I will be at my beach at the exact moment but will be sure to go soon there after to get some photos.  What prompted me to research this was on my beach adventure today I discovered that the tide in the last couple of days was extremely high.  I had to check if it was a king tide and found it is just a precursor.

This tide with a storm behind it got way up into things.   It rearranged all the drift wood and created new log jams in the downed popular trees.   Before you could walk through them where someone had cut them out.   Now the area between the two trunks is packed to the max with driftwood and debris.   Also on the south side it is all piled up too.  Next down at what we call “High Tide Fort” which is a big snag hanging out on the beach it also had acquired a bigger pile of driftwood.   Down from there the overhanging blackberry bushes had been scoured out from underneath to the point the roots had been scraped from the action.   Lastly, the bluff slide looks like it has had some more movement.

Check out the pictures below.   This is a good comparison for the Real King Tide to come.

High tide tossed logs up over a bulkhead like matchsticks
High tide tossed logs up over a bulkhead like match sticks
Log jam around the downed popular trees
Log jam around the downed popular trees
concrete slab that slide down the bank
concrete slab that slide down the bank
High Tide Fort gathered more driftwood
High Tide Fort gathered more driftwood
Debris up behind huge old log in the grass.   Rare that the tide gets up into this area.
Debris up behind huge old log in the grass. Rare that the tide gets up into this area.
Another slab pops out of the mud slide
Another slab pops out of the mud slide
Under the blackberries it scowered things out.
Under the blackberries it scoured things out.
Posted in Crow Quilt

Crow Quilt – Template Production

Time for the freezer paper to pay for itself.   This step is all about rolling out the paper, tracing and cutting out the templates to make the picture come to life in fabric.

Freezer paper has a paper side to draw on and a glossy side that when heated will stick to the fabric.  Once I had the templates cut out I ironed them onto my black, green and brown fabric I picked out earlier in the project.

Reggie continued to supervise while GiGi took a nap.   I think the slide show does a good job of showing the production this entails. (sorry about the pun on cat tails)

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Posted in Crow Quilt

Crow Quilt – Art time

The border is done and now it is time to draw the art piece of this quilt.   First thing I did was take the graph paper I have from my kaleidoscope quilt project and make a piece the size of the center background.   On this I will imagine the baby crow crying in the madrona forest.

Remember another goal is to use only my existing resources.  So far I have spent 2 bucks on freezer paper at an estate sale.  I really need that to do the templates correctly so an investment I had to make.  Hope that is it when all is said and done.

Graph paper taped together to match background size

Remember in the beginning the two pictures I published as the basis of my design?   My inspiration is a baby crow in relief crying and the madrona forest with its nice brown colors and limb positions.  I printed these two pictures on 8 x 11 paper and cut out the baby crow and leaf area.

On a side note, my printer’s printhead took a shit back a few weeks ago when I originally started writing about this project.   I did all the things I could like deep cleaning and aligning to no avail.  Then I called Lexmark like I had in the past and got a new one shipped.   The printer is under warranty still thank goodness.   And this is the second print head to fail.  They said they fixed them so this won’t happen again but we shall see.  So, when I was ready for this step of the project it worked fine.

Tools to draw the design and helper’s feet

As I worked on this my helpers had to pose with the background and border part of the project.

Reggie made himself at home on what he claimed was his quilt
GiGi my helper posing on the quilt background

Check out the final drawing for the art work.  See the big roll of freezer paper ready to be traced onto and made into templates.   Next blog I will show you how that works.

Crow Quilt Design with Baby Crow Crying
Posted in Crows on the Road

Crows playing in the Wind

A stormy day in Seattle gave the crows some fun today.  The flock was hanging out in the tall evergreen trees at Seola Park because the tide was high leaving them no beach or  tidal grass to graze on.

As I walked down the road to the hairpin corner where Marine View Drive becomes 35th SW I could see them playing with each other by diving and soaring on the turbulence.   Some of the group started begging for goodies.   Once I got to the corner I obliged them with bread and peanuts.  It was a feeding frenzy which some dog walkers didn’t seem to approve of.

Enjoy the aerobatics!!

Posted in Crow Quilt

Crow Quilt – More Border Fun

This has been a crazy busy weekend so I was only able to audition the outside border pieces.  This is the third and final border strips except for the binding.   Binding is the very last thing done to a quilt after the top, batting and backing are sandwiched and quilted together.

My original idea was to use the same fabric that was the first row of border.   Remember I re-purposed some fabric pre-cut for another quilt’s binding.   I was concerned that I had enough to go all the way around and more important did I even want that.  Hence, the audition with the pile of strips from my stash.

My strip stash has lots of blue, aqua, purple, white, green and blacks.   I quickly decided it needed to be a combination of that darker blue, purple and black fabrics.   I dug around and found I had enough to make it work.   Here is the audition and my stash bin for your viewing pleasure.   Next weekend I will sew it on and move on to the art piece of this project.