Saturday, May 10, 2014

Metallics contest




Happy day before Mother's Day.  I just realized that I am a bad child because I hadn't planned for Mother's Day until just now.  One call to a random florist in Wisconsin later, and flowers are on their way.  The florist I called is from a small town and is a part hair stylist, part florist.  Love it.  She also spoke with a thick Wisconsin accent and it makes me wonder how I managed to escape the state without it.  (Yes, to my friends, my accent isn't nearly as bad as theirs.)  If you want to know what the accent sounds like, think of the movie, Fargo.  It makes for a surreal flower ordering experience.

Knowing that  have finished one thing today has filled me with a sense of accomplishment that can only mean more good is to come. I plan to go for a walk and buy groceries today, nothing can stop me.

Speaking of nothing stopping me, look at that quilting in the pictures above.  I did straight line quilting on my home machine.  These lines are rather addictive and I was okay with them being wobbly because the stars in the quilt are wonky and I thought that would tie everything together nicely.  This quilt is a smallish quilt and measures 44 x 45.  It is for a contest my guild has entered and consists of metallic fabrics provided to us for the contest.  I added the white and the yellow, but the rest was contest material.  The challenge was to design a Modern Metallics quilt and after several false starts I came up with a large wonky paper pieced star and several wonky pieced stars.  I like how it ended up, but this isn't really my thing.  I kind of wished I had added some brighter colors to go with it.  But, it is entered and ready to be accepted or rejected into the contest.  My quilting makes me hope it is rejected, but that's just me.  I'm just glad I had a chance to play with quilting on my home machine which makes this project worth it to me.

The next challenge is with some lovely Michael Miller fabrics.  During a long car ride through Seattle traffic yesterday, I came up with what I am going to do with them.   I had 3.5 hours to contemplate it so I'm fairly certain this has been well thought out.

I might be able to get started on that tomorrow.  Today is errands, fun in Olympia with some awesome people, and more errands.  And, a Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there - human or feline moms - we don't discriminate amongst species here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Color value and proof that I still live.

Well, I was gone for too long a time and I have been so neglectful of the blogs that I like to read.  I have a lot of reading to catch up on and quilts to plan.  My busy season at work is over and has been for about a month.  I've been doing lots of quilting at home, just not blogging about it.  And, not reading others' blogs which really bums me out.  I need to dig through my blog list and get caught up! 

The good news here is that the cat army is happy and healthy and have made a friend with the neighbor cat who I've been calling Frank.  Frank is not to be disturbed when it comes to hanging out by the windows and watching the army in action.  The army is familiar with him and even go nose to nose with him.  As long as Frank stays on his side of the glass we will be okay.  Frank doesn't really understand that last one.  I had the carpeting replaced on the staircase here and had the front door open with people going in and out with loud sounding equipment.  I had to escort Frank out of my living room twice during that.  My own cats were hiding underneath beds upstairs.  Frank is a tricky one.  

So, the quilting…

I took a class during the winter on color value.  Why take a class during my busy season?  Apparently, I like to add to my stress level.  Actually, it was a welcome break and I'm so glad I did that.  We cut 6 inch blocks of light, medium and dark fabrics to make varying groups of half square triangles, like so:

The first few light colored fabrics.

The final group of fabrics for class - dark, medium and light.

The final product from class.
Am I making this bigger, with more fabrics?  Of course I am.  I have almost all the extra HSTs sewn together and cut down to 5.5 inches.  Then I get to make more blocks and get this little sample up to about a 60 x 60 inch quilt.  But, are there other projects I've been working on?  Yes, yes there are.  I hope to update soon and share.

And, I hope that you hear from me on your blogs soon.  Just don't drop your cats off in the yard.  The army is not taking new recruits.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dresden plate - finish

The pretty front

The pretty back
People who don't know me and who have read the last two postings must think I just tear through my quilt projects and do nothing but share the final version.  I only wish that were true.  But, I was very lucky to finish this and send it to its new home where I have been told the cats there approve of it.  I think that is the test of all great art - whether a cat would be willing to sit on it.

This "little" quilt is gigantic and heavy and really makes cats happy.  My work here is done.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Two finishes to share

I finally have pictures of my latest quilts.  This is very exciting.  We should all be excited.  The first is the Graphic Floral Quilt that has been done for awhile, but I haven't gotten around to taking a picture of it. Thankfully, I displayed it at show and tell at the South Sound Modern Quilt Guild meeting and Honnah (Hi, Honnah!) kindly took pictures and displayed them on our Facebook page.  Because the work has been done, I will share those pictures here. 

Graphic Florals - front

Graphic Florals - Back
 That's me on the left with my eyes closed because I am just that good at having my photo taken.

The second is what I feel to be my now legendary Spinster Quilt.  I've talked about it for over a year now and its been quilted and mounted on my wall for a long time now.  I just haven't gotten around to taking a picture of it.  Tonight I sat on my bed with my iPhone and a trusty cat and took some pictures.  The first picture below is a close up of the back taken from the inside of the quilt mounted on the wall.  I didn't feel like taking it down and getting a better picture.  Lazy?  Yes!
Close up of the back. 

Spinster Quilt - the front
Wow, right?  I promise to stop talking about this.  I swear.  But, it is on my wall and I get to look at it first thing when I wake up in the morning and when I spend time on my treadmill watching Doctor Who.  I'm very happy with it.  And, best of all, there is a minimal amount of cat hair that can get on it hanging on the wall.  It's all good.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My semi-monthly return to blog-land.

I've been gone from the world of blogging and checking up on my favorite blogs. I'd like to say I was distracted, which it true, but it is mostly because I have been too lazy for blogging and busy doing otherwise.  I even thought about discontinuing this, but I have met some lovely people through blogging and I like the idea of having a space to talk about pretty, creative things.  

Speaking of pretty things, I finished up the front and the back of Catherine's Dresden Quilt.  I ordered thread for the quilting but haven't managed to make an appointment at the long-arm studio or get to Jo-Ann's for the batting.  Honestly, I would rather have a root canal than go to Jo-Ann's this close to Christmas.  I'll toughen up and head over there sometime this week with a coupon and a devil may care attitude.  (Last year at Christmas, I went to Jo-Ann's wearing inappropriately high heels.  The floors were wet and I fell down and slid into a display of wrapping paper containers. It was like people bowling and I was left with a 7/10 split.  I am slightly afraid there is a video of me floating around the Jo-Ann world.  But, I digress….)


The final, pretty blocks. 

She really is the worst helper ever. 

Centers!

All the blocks all put together. 
The pretty front
I originally laid out the blocks in a 4 x 4 square.  It looked busy but it also looked too small and I thought that I would have to make 4 more blocks to make it less square and a little longer.  I just couldn't do it.  I'm a little over Dresden's for the moment.  And, as you can see above, I had a cat on the materials. The situation called for special action.  I decided to stagger the rows instead of adding more blocks.  I think this worked better because it was getting a little busy and now there is some nice negative space.  I used the remaining fabrics to make up the back of the quilt.  I'll share a picture when it is all bound.
November South Sound Modern Quilt Guild Block of the Month. 
This was a scrappy little endeavor.  I have difficulty doing improve quilting - everything tends to look like a log cabin.  This was probably my best effort so far and I have to thank the original creator of the block as well as the lovely guild member who wrote up the instructions.

My next project


I've had this Christmas fabric for two years now and have not played with it.  Since we are getting close to the holiday, I thought I would give it a try.  Of course, this won't be done for quite awhile and I don't know how much fun it will be to play with in March but the point is I tried.  I tried to make a quilt for Christmas.  (Not very hard.)


I've started the cutting.  I got the pattern off Pinterest and it consists of two blocks.  One block is a 6.5 x 6.5 square of the patterned fabric, the second is a white block with 2.5 x 2.5 patterned square off-center.  It will be a good way to display the pattern and should be relatively simple to put together.  I like the idea of doing something complex, then a simple quilt to have a quick finish. And, yes, for me a quick finish is two months.

Awesome Guild Swap
Finally, I would be remiss without sharing this.  My Guild partner made all these items out of the fabric I gave to her.  I didn't give her any instructions, just told her to do what she wanted because I was curious what she could come up with.  As you can see, she did an amazing job and I am so incredibly happy.  The embroidery hoop is a gadget holder. If you've seen my kitchen table, you will agree I could use this.  It's up on the wall by my sewing machine and I love it.  I also got two mug rugs and a little pincushion ring.  It was all so awesome and I was very, very happy.

I have a couple of finishes to share and I will have to take some pictures of them.  The Spinster quilt is bound and hung on the wall.  I realized that I haven't shared the final picture so I will have to take one.  And, I finished the pretty flower quilt I started a few months ago.  All is well here and I can't wait to get caught up on my blog reading.  Hope everyone is doing well.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

European Odyssey

Did I miss anything?  I returned from my European Odyssey late on Thursday.  Two days recovering from a cold and jet lag later, and I have finally decided that it is time to update this blog and turn on the sewing machine.  The European Odyssey took AH and I from Prague to Amsterdam in 16 days with stops in Munich, Bamberg, and Brugge.  It was fabulous and we blogged it at http://eurobeerodyssey.blogspot.com. Over the two weeks, we were spoiled by good beer, good food, and good transportation options.  Oh, and I even managed to stop at a quilt store in Amsterdam.  


But, enough about my amazing vacation.  I have to get caught up on the South Sound Modern Quilt Guild block of the month project.  The September block was an aqua and red dream, the October block is an exercise in cool colors.

September 
October

I'm not thrilled with the center of the October block; it's a little off and it doesn't make me entirely happy. But, it is the first thing I've worked on since returning from the Old Country so I'm giving myself some latitude on this one.  At any rate, I love the cool colors that I selected  and I think a quilt with everyone's efforts will be rather lovely.  



I've also finished a couple more Dresden's for Catherine's quilt.  By my count, I only have two more to do and then I can get started on attaching them.  I'm really excited about how this is turning out.  I may or may not get to this today, but there is football to watch and there are cats to pet.  A big thanks to Christine for taking awesome care of the cat army while I was gone.  There has been very little surly behavior since my triumphant return, although Scout About has been walking me to the guest room on a regular basis and is looking for her new BFF.    


Sunday, September 15, 2013

A special project and more Dresdens


I am in a Dresden kind of mood.  I finished up more for Catherine's quilt and as you see below, they are coming along swimmingly.  





But, I can't stop with Catherine's quilt. I have to do more Dresdens.  The South Sound Modern Quilt Guild is holding a get to meet you event by asking members to trade scrap fabric packages and asking the recipient of someone's scraps to make that lucky lady something from them.  You get an idea of what they like and you get to play with something that might not be in your wheel house.  It is a really nice skill building event.  The scraps I got are featured below (sorry, I wasn't clever enough to take pictures of them before slicing into them).  The instructions I got from the scrap owner were to do something with a heart.  That is a great challenge.  After playing with the scraps and toying with various heart designs, I decided that the center of a Dresden plate could easily be a lovely heart and my plan of action took place.  All the fabrics are the scraps of the donor except for the heart.  My first heart attempt ended badly.  Luckily, no one was hurt and I was able to move on.  I thought this aqua fabric would make a fun heart.  I will also be using it for another SSMQG project that I need to complete this week too.  It's a month of aqua for me. 

My donor's scraps also had some lovely 1.5 inch wide purple strips which I just had to play with.  I decided on a couple of log cabins for the back. 


The quilting job was rather simple, but I really like how it turned out on the back. You can see the plate and the heart and I like that you can see that on both sides.  And, with that, my first mini quilt is complete and my first Dresden plate is complete.  Boom!

Now for some more aqua work.....