Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dutch quilt - assembly

So I have two rows done and three more to go.  This is a bit of an arduous process because my blocks aren't actually the same size.  There is no way to trim them down because I will lose my windmill points, so the only option is to add on.  I already planned on adding sashing strips, but I decided that I had to go with those little corner stones to help hide new seam lines.  That seems to be working; the stones aren't perfect when you look closely at them and I will make sure that everyone gets a glass of wine in them before looking at this quilt.  I had a hard time deciding what color to make the stones.  Should I use many colors, one of the prettier pinks or blues, or just go with one color?  In the end I decided to go with the gold squares you see above.  My thinking was that if I went with multiple colors, this could start to look busy and I would drive myself crazy trying to decide what color to use where.  I also thought that I could use a gold thread to quilt the pinwheels and using the gold as the cornerstones would help tie that together.  I actually like how it is coming together so I think I made the right choice.

It's very possible that I've gone insane

I've only been quilting for a couple of years and made a few quilts.  My 1/4 inch seams won't win any prizes for accuracy, but I find them passable and I really do enjoy the process.  One of my favorite things to do is to follow others' blogs and flickr pages.  One of my favorite quilters on the web is Oh, Fransson! who designs and makes fabulous quilts.  I've bought her Mix Tape pattern but haven't made it yet and I can't wait to get to it.  She also holds quilt-alongs where  you can join her and others in making a quilt using one of her fabulous patterns.  This brings us to the insane part of my post title.  I've decided to join her Tokyo Subway Map Quilt-Along (while finishing up my Dutch quilt).  The finished quilt will look like this:

Tokyo Subway

... and it consists of 1600 tiny squares.  I have no intention of trying to keep up on the quilt-along. I have to finish my Dutch quilt, clean up after the cats, and then there is the whole "going to work for a living" thing that I've got going.  But, it should be fun and a challenge to get those little squares to line up properly.  I almost have all the fabric I need for this - Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson!  suggests that this is a good stash burner of a quilt, but I don't have that much of a stash yet.  I need to buy some purple and some dark green as well as lots of white fabric. Off to Fabricworm to get some purple!  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Windmill #20 and laying out the pieces

Windmill #20 is done and I'm playing with potential ways to lay this out.  I'm going to be adding sashing between the squares and probably putting corner pieces in as while because I might as well make this as difficult as possible.  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Windmill #19

Windmill #19 is finished and I only have one more to go.  This one was a little disappointing because it is a little bulky in the middle.  I've been pressing my seams open in an effort to reduce bulk at the center, but this one didn't cooperate and even though the seams are open it is nice and bulky at the center.  I will have to remember that when I machine quilt this to avoid needle skips.  (Look at me, sounding like I know what I am doing!)

Dungeness Spit

I know I've already hiked Dungeness Spit this year, but I'm a sucker for a good beach hike.  The thing about the Spit is that it always seems to be smooth as glass water with no wind on the way to the lighthouse and then whitecaps and high winds on the way back - all 5.5 miles of the way back. This time, I also had the added benefit of the tide being in and having to walk on the very sandy beach.  Still, I saw lots of seals and shorebirds and missed seeing the whale that everyone near the trail head was pointing to. (The woman in the first picture was this week's lighthouse keeper and was trying desperately to walk out of my picture - the sands would not cooperate.  Volunteers sign up for week-long shifts to take care of the lighthouse and its grounds.  I imagine after all the hikers leave for the day it is pretty heavenly out there.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Windmills #16, #17, and #18

It's a record (of sorts)!  I finished three windmills in a day.  Actually, it took me three days to complete the pink and orange one because I cut some of the fabric the wrong size and didn't figure that out until I was trying to put it together.  Mr. Seam Ripper got a starring role for awhile because of that.  But, all is well that ends well and these might be some of my favorites.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I'm back from my two day trip to Leavenworth via Snoqualmie Pass.  Lots of great hiking, yummy gelato, and wonderful weather.  I arrived home late last night and was too tired to participate in the Friday night sew in, but have definitely planned what my next step on my quilt will be.  Today I am cleaning, enjoying the cool air, and making up for lost time with the Cat Army.  Click here for pictures of the Kendall Catwalk and here for pictures of Leavenworth and the Snow Lake Trail.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Windmill #15

Here is windmill #15.  All I can say is that it is hot outside and I finished this as well as a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cheesecake Brownie ice cream.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Windmill #14

I think windmill #14 is all I'm going to do tonight.  It is hot outside and is finally hot inside my house.  I've decided to have a cool drink and stay away from the hot iron.

Eagle Peak - Mount Rainier

Yesterday's hike was to Eagle Peak at Mt. Rainier National Park.  It was an incredible day to be out - absolutely clear, but hot and humid.  The trail was an exhaustingly steep 3.6 mile climb to the saddle which had amazing views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams.  I took pictures of all the mountains which of course failed to show up.  In the background of the picture above you will see an invisible Mt. Adams.  More pictures here.  

Friday Night Sew-In - August edition

Friday Night Sew-in is back!  Join your fellow quilters, knitters, sewers and all around good people for a night of sewing.  Post your pictures on Saturday on the Friday Night Sew-In Flicker page and check back there to admire the work of the other Friday night participants.  It's a great time and a wonderful way to connect with some very talented people on-line.  Click here to sign up!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Windmill #13

Windmill #13 is done!  At this point I have used all the fabric I bought in Amsterdam exactly one time.  I'll be repeating now, but not the same color combinations that I've previously used.  I'm going to make 7 more and then decide if I am going to go with 20 total or 25 total.  I also need to play around with the idea of making a border of half square triangles.

Flower update

Just a few pictures of what are currently blooming both inside and outside the house.  I had to cut the lilies because the deer like to eat the buds and flowers.  I consider it a victory that they are so pretty and the deer do not get to eat them.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mt. St. Helens

Who needs to go to the moon when you have Mt. St. Helens in your backyard?  I honestly don't know why I don't go here more often.  This is simply amazing. Yesterday's hike started at Windy Ridge and went through the desolation created by the explosion and then hit some very lovely wildflowers.  I even spotted a few hummingbirds.  A beautiful day.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Windmill #12

All I can say about windmill #12 is that orange is a really fun color to work with.  I also played around with my camera a bit to see if I can capture the colors a little better.  These are actually pretty true to life.  I am almost halfway done with the windmills.  Did I mention that this was going to be a big quilt?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Windmill #11

Here is windmill #11.  Maybe it is a little too pastel, I don't know.  This one doesn't really speak to me.  I think it will look great when it is with the others, however.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chinook Pass

Yesterday's hike was on the Pacific Crest Trail at Chinook Pass near the northeast corner of Mt. Rainier.  The weather was awesome and I was actually able to hike in shorts and a t-shirt until the last mile when I put on my raincoat because I was suddenly freezing and it was raining just a bit.  I can knock another 6 miles off the PCT (12 round trip).  More pictures below and here.

 I like this picture because it shows what we were hiking into - a nice sounding thunderstorm.  It got very cool when we turned the corner, but we didn't get wet.  Well,  we didn't get wet there.

Here is a picture of the trail.  Trail pictures make we want to hike.  I always want to know what is around that corner.