Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Union Jack Quilt - Finished

Technically, this has been done for some time.   I've shown pictures of it completely pieced quite awhile ago, and I really did quilt and bind it awhile ago too.  I've been unable to share pictures because I wanted to take a picture outside and finding daylight when there wasn't a cat sleeping on the quilt proved to be difficult.  But, here it is and it is now folded up on the sofa waiting for a cat to add the cat hair it so desperately needs. Sorry about the shadows, the pictures were taken on the sunny spot of the driveway (which, honestly, isn't that sunny).

Also, in unrelated news, my windows are open and someone is speaking with a thick Russian accent in the street by the neighbor's house.  This is not usual for this part of Thurston county and, what's even stranger is that it is the second Russian accent I've heard today; the first was when I did my Starbucks run at lunch.  Just thought I'd mention my fine little multi-cultural moment for you to all ponder.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mt. Rainier - Kautz Creek

Indian Henry's Campground

Kautz Creek is a tough hike.  5.7 miles to Indian Henry's Campground and a lovely view of Mt. Rainier,  climbing all the way.  I always hit a wall about 4 miles up where I'm not entirely sure I can finish or move another step.  Some food, water and a knowledge that the end is so close keeps the tired legs going.  Yesterday was a hot, muggy day with a fresh hatching of mosquitos to deal with (I was inhaling them as I was trying to eat), but it was amazingly beautiful.  Last time we scared and treed a bear on the way down, but I am happy to report that there were no bear sightings this time.  More pictures here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Modern Block of the Month (August)

I approached August's Modern Block of the Month with some trepidation.  I've never done improv piecing before and I didn't know if I was willing to let go and go all improv just yet.  Don't get me wrong, I like improv blocks and I most definitely like wonky log cabin blocks (I see one of those quilts in my future).  However, I'm doing 111 paper piecing blocks and attention to detail seems to be my very long middle name right now and it doesn't seem right to let go and go all wonky just yet.  Honestly, I like the result, but I don't see myself doing a whole quilt like this.  To me, quilting is putting together a puzzle and it seems like cheating to make up the puzzle as you go along.  Maybe that's just me, but there you go.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spinster Quilt - A wrench and a wife

You know what will throw a wrench into your plans?  That's right.  Rain. Rain will throw a wrench into your plans.  You may also think that this bears a striking resemblance to the Churn Dash block. Be assured that you are hallucinating.  There is simply nothing alike between the Churn Dash and the Wrench, I mean, the Wrench has a center that doesn't match the background.  This is completely different.

Contrary Wife
I have to admit I raised an eyebrow and asked, "Are you sure you want to call it that?" when I came across the Contrary Wife block. It seems a little too easy to call a woman who has her own opinions "contrary" and therefore be able to dismiss those opinions as being those from a contrary person.  Look, I don't like people who make it a point to disagree with everything I say, but voicing an opinion is not being contrary.  (Although I've spent time with people who have to disagree with everything I say; I don't make that mistake twice.)  Anyway, I've decided to make the Contrary Wife block purple because purple is the color of royalty.  I don't think anyone can be more contrary or strong-willed than royalty - at least based on the movies I watch. I would also like to point out that Michelle Obama's favorite color is lavender - which would make this the strong wife block.

Monday, August 15, 2011

More orange and some pink

When last we spoke, I said that I was going to do two batches of blocks of this quilt and then two blocks of the Spinster Quilt.  Well, I threw that out the window right away because it really makes more sense to do three batches of blocks for the Ingie quilt and then two Spinster Quilt blocks.  These blocks are just too easy and come together quickly, plus I only have two more sets of three to do which is much more reasonable than three sets of two.  Really, the math makes sense to me.  Really.

In deer news, I wanted to mow the lawn yesterday but a pair of deer had bedded down in the backyard and spent a few hours chewing their cud and otherwise being really, really sweet. I decided there was no need to chase them out with the lawn mower.  Unfortunately, I will have to address the growing lawn that provides a good bedding to the local deer community.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Spinster Quilt -Games and Butter

No matter what you use as fabric for the Checkerboard block, it is going to end up looking like a checkerboard.  However, I loved this Amy Butler fabric because I think it looks a little like game pieces. I can't really remember pieces to what game.  The bottom of the game pieces to Sorry?  Something backgammony?  (Yes, it's a word.  Backgammony: something resembling the game of Backgammon.)  By the way, I do not know how to play Backgammon; I'm assuming that it is an actual game because spell check has not told me otherwise.

Churn Dash
I can't think of making the Churn Dash block without making it look like butter.  Although after buying butter from a local dairy and forgetting about it in the back of my refrigerator, I do know that I could have made this block green.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Festival of pinks

I've completed two more sets of twenty-one blocks for Ms. IMs quilt.  As I said, this will be coming together quickly.  To make things interesting and because I'm all about random rules, I've decided that I will make two sets of this quilt and then two blocks of the Spinster quilt and go back and forth until everything is cut for the Ingie quilt.  Or, until I decide to break my own random rules because they aren't working for me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Spinster Quilt - Cats of Progress

Cats and Mice
Let's be honest here, cats and mice do not get along in this house.  I think it is safe to say that at least one party of that relationship wishes they did not have a relationship.  But, my cats being the warm, fluffy, soft tools of mouse death that they are, are not eager to end that relationship - at least until the taunting is over.  They cross paths outside in the greenery.  Hence the green block above.

Century of Progress (modified)
According to Historyorb.com, on November 27, 1911 (a century ago) audiences threw vegetables at actors for the first recorded time.  I don't have a reason why this block is pink and audiences threw vegetables, but I do think that is an awesome fact.  Be sure to break that out at your next cocktail party.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dungeness Spit

End of the trail marker.
With snow levels in the mountains still at 5000 feet and with the knowledge that the trail I wanted to take yesterday would require an ice ax and crampons, I decided to stick to sea level.  Dungeness Spit is one of my favorite hikes and I do it a couple of times a year.  Located in Sequim, the Spit extends out five miles into the Strait of Juan De Fuca and leads towards a lighthouse at the end.  By the way, I have decided that when I grow up, I want to be a lighthouse keeper.  The lighthouse keepers here are all volunteers.  They sign up for a week and stay at the keeper's house and show visitors like me around.  They always seem so happy when I talk to them, of course it was a beautiful day and I imagine they were having a wonderful week.

It was overcast and high tide when I started.

The seagulls were not happy to see me. 

My lunch spot - there was a seal playing in waves here also. 

The lighthouse - you can see people at the top looking out.

The long road back.
It was a great day for a hike. I marched out to the lighthouse, had my lunch on the beach and marched back to the trailhead.  I then stopped at the local winery to see what they had and I purchased a bottle of white wine with lavender essence.  That could be really good or really not.  Still, the label was pretty so it was worth the risk.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Ingie Quilt

Many months ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would be willing to make her a quilt.  Of course I leapt at the opportunity to make a quilt for someone who actually wanted one, but I had some conditions.  It would take me months to make one, I get veto authority over the pattern, and I will not do applique.  After IM accepted these conditions, I handed her all my quilt books and told her to pick out a pattern.  Months passed during which she was too busy, I was too busy, and life got in the way.  Eventually, she showed me the pattern she chose.....

Does Not Compute
.... from this book....

Dare to Be Square Quilting by Boo Davis
...and then she told me her conditions.  She didn't want the robot, and she wanted it in off-white and shades of pink.  After confirming with her that she really didn't want the robot, "Are you suuuure you don't want the robot?" I proceeded to dream up how to do this.  It's actually a simple Amish Brickwork pattern without the robot and since the background was now the foreground, I decided to make the blocks a slightly bit bigger to show off the material she chose. I'm showing you all this because the final project is going to bear little resemblance to the pattern, but I love how patterns and ideas take shape.  Then came the most important part, picking the material, and she chose well, very well...

This fat quarter bundle and IM met and they knew it was meant to be. 
With directions and a jaunty spring to my step, I started strip piecing and cutting......
First batch of 21 blocks completed. 
Only 11 more sets to go and then I can start putting this together.  It will go quickly, I think, but I have other projects to keep happy so it won't be overnight.  I can tell already that I am going to like how this turns out.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Block of the Month (July)

July's Block
So, here's what I'm thinking.  I'm thinking that I've already got enough fabric to make 117 or more quilts, I'm doing the Spinster quilt which I'm barely out of the starting gate on, I'm doing another quilt for a friend of mine (more on that later), and yet I think there must be something else I can work on. The answer comes from Sew Mama Sew's Blog and its Block of the Month project.  I mean it's a block a month, how much trouble can I get myself in?  Well, really, it's just a block a month. I can do that or at least not get terribly far behind.  With all that fanfare, I proudly present to you Ms. July.  I'm making my blocks in shades of purple and grey.  Mostly because I've joined Pink Chalk Fabric's Monthly Solids Club,  and, man, do I need to start using more solids.  If you are keeping track (and why wouldn't you be?), I'm using the May color stack - Pocket Full of Posies.  I would like to take this opportunity to point out that it is August and I am current with that project.  Victory feels so good.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Spinster Quilt - Calico Puzzle

Calico Puzzle
Calico reminds me of old school quilting and Holly Hobbie.  So, I thought it would be appropriate to make a sweetly colored block for the Calico Puzzle done in gentle pinks.  It's very twee, I think.  Also, on the right side you can see the marks where I had to remove the stitches because I sewed the wrong side to the wrong side during my attempt to make this yesterday.  I guess it isn't a good day sewing unless Mr. Seam Ripper makes an appearance.