Mystery Texture – WOWSERS!

HPIM2781.jpgI like these kind of surprises. I knew that the quilting was really going to look sharp with this quilt, but this is beyond my wildest dreams! I know that this pic right there doesn’t really show the texture. This is the better close-up I was able to get of the quilting and how the thread worked really well with this quilt colour-wise. I had one spot so far to fix, and I’ve already done that. So it’s ready for trimming and binding.

HPIM2777.jpgHPIM2776.jpgHere’s a wee bit of the texture play with sunlight and shadows. It rather makes it look like the quilting is the higher part and not the part that depressed the batting and made the pattern .. I think that’s a really neat optical illusion for this. These pics are taken a few different angles so you can see how the light plays a huge roll in the texture look of this quilt.

HPIM2780.jpgI’m still deciding on the binding .. I had a crazy idea that I would try and match up the binding with the borders .. but nope .. not going to go there .. I would lose my bloody mind before I could blink .. oh figuring out the sides would be no problem … but the corners??? Mitered???? EEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK **runs away .. That is so not going to happen .. would i like to see it?? You betcha .. is going to happen because I’ve done the math and figured it out right and there’s no mistakes .. oh HELL no! So I’m left with choosing greens .. the dark or the medium .. I’m thinking that the medium would look better as it would pull the tops of the middle xblocks out and make them pop more .. but ‘m really drawn to a darker colour like the green in the same blocks .. I have plenty to do both .. but am likely going to use the medium green because I do want that POP effect.

Then to decide what next .. I have the blocks to do for my initial colour challenge, or a convergence or a test bargello or another mystery pattern I’ve squirreled away .. no wonder I’m so nuts .. I’m doing all this squirreling LOL – ahem 😀  OH there’s also these sweeties that I can make up of scraps and whatnot .. maybe some other’s with wee ones or cats can use these for home decoration this Easter – retro mama: Easter is in the air

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Finishing my case …

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Remember These??

After solving the mystery and exposing (sounds rather criminal, doesn’t it???) the culprit – all that was left to do was to finish the case with some borders. Ya’ll remember the pile of HSTs that I had after making the blocks right?? Well I didn’t want them to go to ‘waste’ as it were .. not that they would, but I was thinking, I have a mess of HSTs here and they could be a sweet cap off for this mystery.

HPIM2725.jpgFirst of all I thought of just doing a sawtooth border .. but naw .. that seemed to ‘basic’. I thought that a quilt this stunning really needed something special to top it off .. Carmen suggested doing flying geese put on the narrow edge – and I thought that could work .. of course that idea ended up breeding another one .. so I started to play and plot .. Nevermind the lightbulb moment .. I had a super nova!! I grabbed the draft paper and coloured pencils and started to draw and colour and erase and draw and colour .

HPIM2726.jpgMy initial idea actually had 3 borders in total, but that was would have been overkill with the border that I did finally come up with it .. I thought of repeating the HSTs in straight lines all the way around radiating outward .. but then I started to think that I just had a narrow inner 1″border – that would have been just wayyy to busy! Then I booted up quilt pro and started to play some more .. I finally settled on something that I really liked and would be just right for the quilt ..

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Mystery "X" Box

My only thought was whether to have HSTs as the corner stones as well, but decided against it as it would have ‘stopped’ the flow – this way your eyes are confined to the center and travel outwards in a nice ‘orderly’ fashion .. I wanted the light purple and dark purple to radiate from the corners of the blocks on each side .. and go thru each colour I had in the order of the quilt – with the background easing out from the edges as it were ..

As for binding, I just might use the background fabric I have left .. I didn’t use all the border fabric that I cut out, so it wouldn’t be to much of a hardship to use that .. or I have some purple from another project that might work just fine! It’s a nice dark purple, so we’ll just have to see how it looks when I get to that point .

So this is now moved to the basting pile .. and should actually be basted pretty soon too! I’ve only the big fan, hopscotch and then this one to baste – oh a few other’s too, but nothing to pressing ..

Now to name it ..  For National Quilting Day, I worked on this mystery .. maybe I can incorporate that with the name somehow .. As for quilting it, I ordered some variegated thread from threadart and it’s at the PO Box (come on Dad, go there already!!) and while there’s an orange and another “summer sherbet” type mixture, I’m not sure they’ll work with this quilt .. This purply one is for my hopscotch quilt – so that’s out .. granted I do have some thread I picked up at fabricland the other week that might work .. we’ll just have to see .. oh and it finished up at 36 x 39″.

I do like how this worked with my challenge colour – orange too .. I will be making more of this .. I’m trying to convince Vicki into losing some of her gradients to my stash pile for another version of this quilt 😉 Wish me luck on that one LOLOL

The Culprit Is …

Mrs. Peacock in the conservatory with a wrench .. hehhehe .. ahem … sorry ** ducks thrown objects … I’m always a bit giddy after I solve a mystery – granted this was already solved, but I still enjoy working thru the clues and getting it to the ‘solved’ point .. I posted earlier about clues 1 thru 3 and went off to do 4 – 6. Between watching some of the games during March Madness I worked on my clues.

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Clue #4

Clue 4 was another quick one to do … altho I ran into a few problems, if I had checked my original downloaded clues, I would have been fine .. but I did figure it out and solved Clue 4. What I did for this was square these to 3 ½ x 6 ½” – these were flying geese units that had no seam allowance on either side .. I did the 3 ½” first, then lined up my ruler so that the points were at the edges 😀 Voila! Clue 4 solved!

Now I did have to frog one block .. In this clue you need to cut the squares in half after you have the rectangles sewn on .. well twit for brains here, cut the wrong way .. saints preserve me!!! I didn’t have any extra of this, so I needed a fix .. simple .. frog the rectangles off and put them on the right way .. Thank God that worked! Otherwise I would have been fit to be tied and then some!

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Clue #5

Clue 5 went even easier .. basically it was 3½” HSTs – just 2 of them .. I had this up on my board and was seeing this come together clue by clue .. but if I hadn’t had the final solution, there is no way I would have figured this out until after I finished Clue 6 .. this was a GOOD one 😀 I like it when I can’t guess it ahead of time .. This is also the one spot where I didn’t have enough of the light orange FQ and had to cut one rectangle ..

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Clue #6

Clue 6 was the piece de resistance! This was where it all comes together .. I wish I had been able to do this on New Years Day .. but that didn’t happen and I’m just pleased that I did it now! I just love the result of this quilt! And Kris’s suggestion of using stickers to number the squares sure made it easy to keep track of the blocks and to put them in the right order .. AND when I sewed them together it was a blessing! I didn’t have to rip one block apart because it was turned the wrong way .. How cool does this look!!

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Solve Inner Top

I’ve got all the blocks pieced together and pressed .. altho I do want to take some spray starch and repress it and measure it again .. I’ve a plan for the borders and all those HSTs that were left over from cutting the square in square blocks. But again, I need to be creative, so I’ll be doing some math and drafting tomorrow (today???) to see if I can get it to work out – I pray that it does because this would look really nice if I does .. I think that it’s going to look really nice!

Kris thank you for doing this mystery! I really enjoyed this one and will keep my eye open for your next one.

Happy National Quilting Day everyone!!

Sleuthing Away!

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Clue #1

I gotta tell you, I’m having a blast with this mystery! The first clue went super quick! heh It was only 4 ‘pieces’. Now this mystery was written for the ‘square-in-square’ ruler, but you can use a 6 ½” squaring ruler as well. I figured that if I lined up the points of the main square at 3 ¼” and then make sure you have your ¼” seam allowance – then it was a matter of matching up cross hatches for along the line of the square, then voila! There’s my block all set to go all square up at 6½” How cool is that!

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Clue #2

So I head off to do clue 2. That went super easy as well – Now the squares and rectangles don’t line up edge to edge but that is good as your square is 4¾” and your rectangle is 3 x 5¼”, so you overlap the edges and works just fine .. I know – clear as mud .. basically I didn’t panic when I tripped over that on my first clue 😉 I put these up on my design board, and got super excited!! I’m not going to post that pic here as I’m trying to stay in the spirit of the mystery 🙂 If you want to see what I saw, you’ll just have to do it yourself LOL ahem ..

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Clue #3

Anywho, I got so excited I had to chat with Carmen last nite and share it with her .. needless to say, clue 3 didn’t get done until today LOL ..

Clue 3 is using orange – rather my challenge colour that I’ve vowed to use more of this year and I picked it for colour 1. This was the same colour I made a mistake on while cutting initially, and while I was squaring these up, I saw that my values for light and medium were to close .. Kris had told me that the main colour doesn’t have to be medium – it can be anything – it’s colour A and B that are important to have distinct values for .. I’m a little disappointed in the result as I should have used the lighter FQ that I have, but it still looks good and I still like it .. but then again, you aren’t seeing what’s on my board :S .. The effect is still there, but not as dramatic as the effect with the greens and purples. Am I going to rip it out and redo the square .. NOPE .. are you kidding me .. not gonna happen! But I’ll be careful for when I do this one again

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HST Heaven

A nice little fringe benefit of using this method, is all the HSTs that I’m getting from them .. I see a scrappy quilt design in my future with all these nice scraps. What design .. I have no clue yet .. but there will be one I’m sure

Now off to clue 4

March Colour Challenge(s)

March is the first month for a series of Colour Challenges for this year. I’ve picked orange for my first Colour Challenge .. I recently learned to like orange through doing Matthew’s quilt and also seeing various friends use orange in their quilts (which are always so bright and cheerful!) .. it’s given me a new perspective on orange which in my head I has always been as “jailhouse jumpsuit orange” .. tends to give it a rather negative connotation me thinks.

HPIM2650.jpgI did two challenges with orange – the first one was an abstract quiltlet using orange as the focus with 2 of my favourites – purple and green. The orange is from an FQ that I bought just for the purpose of stretching my colour muscles, the green is a batik with leaf shapes on it, and the lavender is hand-dyed by me. I wanted to do take a traditional blockHPIM2658.jpg and put a twist on it so to speak. So I took the shoo fly block, used the orange as the central block, green as the background of the block and the hand-dyed as the background. I cut the pieces with my pinking rotary cutter and just tossed the pieces pell mell on my background. The only thing that I wanted to ‘control’ was that the corners of the orange sections were touching .. I do rather like this – I wanted to do a generalized background quilting, but thought it would be too busy if I had done with all the orange and green floating around on it .. I call this Orange Shoo Fly Spring Explosion.

HPIM2660.jpgI got to thinking, some people might not want to do this challenge as one they would be working in a hated colour and then not know what to do with the bloody thing after the fact. One of the members on OST (Joan – she’s listed under the virtual chaper), runs a block lottery etc for QFK (Quilts for Kids). I suggested that maybe they could get an FQ and make up blocks for QFK as their challenge – well I did both parts of the challenge .. The only thing that Joan wanted was that the fabrics are kid friendly and that they follow the block that was chosen for this quarter .. It was the Tam’s Patch off quilterscache. I used a funky kitty fabric, the hand-dyed lavender and another orange with neat swirly hearts on it .. The orange was less than ½ an FQ and I used scraps for the lavender HPIM2662.jpgand orange pieces. I know that the orange was to be the focus, but with this being a kid friendly block, I rather thought that the kitty fabric would be more in keeping with that theme .. so I used it for the 2nd fabric instead .. and could almost be the focus minus one square .. these blocks too me less than 45 mins to cut out, stitch, press and square ..

So I’ve managed to get an abstract quitlet done, stretch my colour muscles, and make up 2 blocks for charity – I feel pretty good about that .. and this all took less than 5 hrs at the most .. and get 4 quilts to my binding pile .. COOL!

Now what to do .. big fan – baste?? kitty quilt – quilt?? hopscotch – baste?? Hmmm decisions – decisions ..

January Initial Challenge is Done!

Well that’s nice to cross that off the list 😀 I did the last 2 blocks tonite – today was a tad bit crazy so not much else got done – well quilt or yarn related that is.

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Air Castle

This block was rather fun to do – it uses QSTs and HSTs for the star points. What almost had me wondering ‘ut oh’, was that I thought I had turned the HSTs around – hey, you think that it’s not possible … but this is me we’re talking about here … anything is possible with me!! My points are spot on for the most part … I’m going to say 90% spot on and that’s plenty good enough for me! Because of all the triangles in this, I pressed the seams open for the middle and the star points. Where I put HSTs on, I pressed to dark and my seams actually married .. I wasn’t even planning on that!

Okay for a recap on the Challenge with my letters with the appropriate blocks and colours.

G

Grandma’s Star

R

Ribbon Star

A

Air Castle
Affair Amethyst

C

Cyprus

E

Endeavour
Eastern Blue

On an unrelated note – it’s been bloody cold here lately – single digits and below zero – Reg said to me today that he wore his plow hat / mask that I knitted him all nite last nite and it kept him nice and toasty warm!! Kyle said the same his mask keeps him warm as well .. granted he’s not out in the cold at nite like Reg is, but walking home from basketball practice sure gets chilly! So, that’s just awesome news that they are warm from something that took me a day basically to whip up!! How cool is THAT!  Nice to know that they are enjoying and benefitting from those masks .. and they were super simple to knit up too!

January Colours; Yarn

After spending 2 days researching my blocks and colours for the Initial Colour Challenge on OST, I finally got to cut and sew today .. I pulled my first set of fabrics last nite, but was just to tired to press them out or to cut them, so they were waiting for me this AM.

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Ribbon Star

I started with this block, Ribbon Star and for how simple the block is, it took me forever to cut, square and stitch together .. I just couldn’t believe it! I made 2 of them and this represents “R” in my name for the challenge. I should be able to put this block together with my eyes closed and without even thinking about it, as this was, I guess you could say the base, for the blocks in Kyle’s Spinner quilt. But it took me forever .. I just couldn’t believe it! Talk and I did no frogging for this .. just in reverse I guess. I was worried that my blue, purple and green to were to close to create enough of a contrast, but with the motifs all being different sizes, it worked out quite well actually – but I still want to have more of a difference in tone for the rest of them – I might do these again, I’ll have to see how it all pans out.

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Grandma's Star

This evening I got started on Grandma’s Star, which i found on Jinny Beyer’s site. This one required me to actually cut out templates for the triangle. WOW I had forgotten how to piece these. It only took one goof to get it right, but of course I kept goofing on that ONE section – the poor thing. There’s more contrast between these pieces so the star stands out more. I actually did pretty good piecing this one and even with the goofs it went a lot faster than the ribbon star. I strip pieced the 4 patches and once that was done, it was only the triangles that needed to be done .. maybe part of my problem was I rotary cut the arms and then template cut the background .. but of course I had this thought AFTER I had cut all the pieces out .. and I wasn’t about to recut them if I didn’t have to .. but the 2 blocks I made of this are squared! 😀 So it’s all good

hpim24491I wanted to get started on the Air Castle block, but Reg had to get some sleep as he was getting called in at 3am .. (he was actually called at 1:30am ..where’s the justice in THAT???) So I stopped piecing for a bit .. Instead I grabbed the bag of yarn that I got from the basement earlier. This was actually one that Kyle had missed when he brought it up for me before – talk about a treasure trove of stuff .. but alas .. most of these don’t have bands as you can see .. While I can look at them and go – oh this is worsted or whatever, some of these I just can’t do that with .. I do know that you figure out what a yarn is by WPI (Wraps Per Inch). It’s a pretty simple concept, you wrap the yarn around a pencil for about 1 – 2″ and then measure how many times it wraps around in 1″. I found a site that shows an example of the wrapping and what weight yarn you have by the number of wraps .. pretty useful me thinks … I certainly did NOT feel like wrapping all that yarn to find out right then and there what it was .. This is going to be a project for when I’m mind numbingly bored! The reason why I went digging into this was to find more worsted weight yarn for the January KAL of mittens – I joined this group on Ravelry called One Skein just to get rid of all these loose onsie twosie balls of yarn .. and I will NOT buy more for these projects – so hunt I do .. but not right now LOL

Remember this sock?? Well, I rather tripped over something in the directions that gave me pause – so I opted to try it on – not a big deal – normally .. (**sigh) I got the sock and I must have had a dropped stitch somewhere because I ended up with a ladder from the cast on edge to the where I started to work the heel – I just could NOT find the dropped stitch – with the variegated colours in the yarn, small needles and the lighting, that stitch was playing hide and go seek and I didn’t have a prayer to find it .. so guess what .. I frogged hpim24531the whole bloody thing! That sock now looks like this -I hated to do it, but that is not something that I can live with. On a good note – (I AM trying to be positive here) – at least I found this out before I cast off the sock .. I would be so bloody ticked if I had done all that work and had the sock do a ladder up the back of the heel – this was infinitely easier and less painful when you look at it in that light.

I might cut out the last 2 blocks tonite and do them – or I might hunt down some yarn and start the January KAL .. or I might even read – my current book is taking me forever to read!!