quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

Quilt Progress & Watercolor Doodles

The other day, I just happened to be walking by our atrium door in perfect time to see one of those big, red-headed skinks come running up onto the porch, followed closely by a fairly long black racer snake—an action-adventure chase scene right outside the window!

It was a life-or-death moment for the poor skink, but luck was on his side.  He made it to the wall and up out of reach of the snake, who hung around for a minute before deciding it wasn’t worth the effort and slithering off into the grass.

The skink was moving in a slightly more wobbly way than usual, and as I noticed it was missing its tail, I can only assume it had just dropped it and hadn’t completely regained its equilibrium, yet. That or he may have been discombobulated by his near-death experience. (Did you know that some skinks have the ability to sacrifice their tail to save their lives, if the tail is grabbed by a predator or can serve as a distraction while the skink runs away?  The tail will even grow back in time!  According to the Internet, it takes about 3 or 4 months to regrow, so he should be as good as new by the end of our miserably hot and humid warm season.)

I’ve seen Stumpy out and about several times since his encounter with the snake—and we’ve seen the snake a couple more time since then, as well.  If we have to have snakes in the yard, I’d rather have this one instead of certain other species, since it’s non-venomous, but be careful out there, Stumpy!

Selvage Quilt Still on Hold

I’ve actually finished the selvage quilt top, this week, but haven’t taken photos of it, so that’ll have to wait for next time. 

It took a while to get around to sewing those last few seams.  The thought of having to wrestle a lot of fabric into place and press the seams isn’t appealing!  It just gets unmanageable—and this wasn’t even that large of a quilt top!

Anyway, it’s done now, and I’ll try to take a few photos before the next blog post. 

Crumb Toss Quilt

Last time, I mentioned that I’d pulled the crumbs back out, rather than working on the selvage quilt.  I found that enjoyable, so I kept with it. 

There were notes to help me piece together (ha ha) what I’d been planning, the last time I worked on this project.  I calculated how many more crumb strips I needed, and before long had reached that goal.  Then I went looking for background fabric.  In previous crumb quilts, I’ve used denim, and that was what I had planned to do this time, as well.  Sure enough, there was a nice, big piece in the stash—more freebie fabric.  I was able to cut all 120 of the 8″ x 3″ rectangles I needed, with plenty left over to return to the stash.  

I got half of the blocks done in the first day, without even really trying, just sewing as and when I wanted.  (I had a more-or-less free day and treated myself to some sewing.)  After that, I took a break, but I’m now back at it again.  One more seam and it will be done! 

I’m calling this quilt “Crumb Toss”, because the stripes alternate between horizontal and vertical orientation.  (Naming things isn’t my strongest skill, but also there’s no point in trying to give this sort of quilt a very pretty name, is there?  It’s just not that kind of pattern.)

...collecting crumb strips...
...first few blocks on the design wall...
...full wall (and more to spare)...

Photos of the finished quilt top next time, I hope!

And that will also mean it’s time to settle on the next quilt project.  I have a lot of selvages left, but there are other patterns I’d like to try, so… We’ll see.  I’m not feeling particularly ambitious at the moment, so it probably won’t be anything too crazy.

Watercolor / Mixed Media

As with last time, I’ve probably spent more time doing watercolor/mixed media and doodles than sewing.  

Several of these are based on ideas from YouTube videos. The first one came after watching “Watercolor Doodle Landscapes”.

Both this and the next one were based on something I saw on Instagram (no link for that one, sorry)… This was fun, but I’d like to try again with better planning and placement of my trees, and maybe leave out the hills/contour lines.  At least, this time mine weren’t smooth enough to be completely pleasing. 

This one is based on this video by Diane Antone, which was a fun way to try out my metallic/pearlescent watercolors.  I’m not sure the pearly paints scanned well, but it was fun to make.  

...background with soft granulating colors (wish I'd left out the darker touches, really)...
...adding circles and swirls in Kuretake graphite watercolor...
...adding touches of metallic and pearlescent watercolors...
...scanned image...
...another Diane Antone one—something about swatching...I love these granulating watercolors!...
...just a doodle of potted plants while I rewatched Downton Abbey on the laptop...
...trying out some new watercolors and paper, from a long while back...

The scan on the next one made the colors go weird… I nearly didn’t finish it, because it felt too amateurish, and the sheep were too small!  But then I decided to just embrace the “kid’s drawing” look, have fun, and not worry, and it was fun to do, even if it’s nothing special.  

This one comes from another Diane Antone video.  I did use Derwent Inktense pencils to start with, but I also added some traditional pan watercolor, later on.

Yet another Diane Antone-inspired paint-doodle.  

The beaks are all over the place (hey, I don’t see chickens in person very often… or ever!), one chicken has a ginormous head in comparison to the others, and… they’re purple for some reason.  But they were fun to do!

...another chicken, this time using some cheap water-soluble crayons, followed by Inktense pencil (iirc)...

This one is based on something I saw Terry Runyan do, though I can’t remember if it was in a YouTube video or in one of her books… 

Basically, you cut “clothes shapes” out of paper (watercolor scraps, old books, whatever), glue them down to the page, then paint in the cats, or whoever else is wearing them.  Add embellishments in paint, pen, marker, etc.

I used some old watercolor paper I’d painted patterns on at some point.  It’s silly, but a fun kind of silly.  

I think this was my own idea…

For a while, whenever I was swatching new paint, rather than wash out the brush full of paint to switch to the next color, I brushed it off onto a scrap of watercolor paper.  I added layers of different colors this way.  If I had just a little leftover paint in a ceramic palette, I’d put that on the scraps, too.  

Then, I cut the scraps of paper up into jewel shapes:

I arranged them on a sheet of paper and glued them down, going back in to add the most opaque white watercolor I have, as well as black ink pen, to indicate the beveled edges, add shine/reflection, and extra little shapes in the background. 

Lots of fun!

I had more scraps of paper left over, so I tried another idea with leaf shapes cut and glued to a page with a watercolor background.  I was less excited about how this one turned out, but it’s not bad. 

I made this one after watching this video: “Watercolor Houses” by La’More Art.  

I changed some things, but I kept the composition very similar.  It was a fun thing to paint, and I can see myself doing something similar again.

I think I’ve seen things very similar to this in a number of places, but I didn’t base this on any single, specific example.  

It’s just simplified tree shapes in mostly granulating watercolor, then going back in with an ink pen to add the tree trunks and decoration doodles.  

So much fun that I’ve already painted a page with trees ready for more doodles!


I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

Recent Posts