Blowing the dust off ..

20150116_175432.jpgTo say that it’s been a while would be the understatement of the century – I packed up my sewing room to help a friend out in 2012 and it stayed in boxes as life .. happens. The only good thing about it was that when i moved last May, the second worst room to pack in the house was mostly done 😀 That being said – unpacking 2 years later tends to leave the memory fuzzy as to where on earth everything went. Worst of it was, I couldn’t find my machine oil – so off I went to buy some, as well as thread for piecing, and a new rotary cutter blade. No idea where my sharpener is – all my saved blades are rather useless without it. For the most part nothing was killed to badly in the move – I’ll hold a separate requiem for my long ruler later – I only lost 6″ of it so it was still ‘usable’ to an extent.

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Time Flew

It’s been a bit since I posted (or did much of anything), I wasn’t feeling well last week at all and basically dropped off the face of the earth. Well I’m back so to speak and have a mess of things to catch up on. The house, laundry, emails, and of course the challenge that was supposed to start yesterday, but I’ve not done anything on. I’ve done some research and have some links ready to go, but that’s it. It’ll prolly take me a week to get caught up around here. But I’m hoping to have the challenge ready to go soon. I hope

I spent last week being a lump on the couch and praying for my friend’s carmen’s safety and her family. They’ve had the threat of a volcanic eruption hanging over their heads and all the other dangers that are associated with sulphur and dangerous gases being tossed in for good measure.

While I was a lump last week I went on a knitting frenzy – heart dish cloths 😀 I posted 2 of my finishes in my last post and since then have done 3 more .. one of which I designed 😀 My february KAL is for heart designs .. doesn’t have to be dishcloths, but that was the easiest and required only that my fingers work – minimal concentration, so that was a good thing!!

I did a quilted heart dishcloth, a lacy heart dishcloth (this one is really pretty and I had a LOT of fun doing it!) and my Floating locked hearts dishcloth – this one is more of an abstract design with open ended hearts that float – very simplistic and easy to do 😀 The directions are on the Fiberbabble Says blog with a link to a pdf file if you want.

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Quilted Hearts Dishcloth

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Lacy Heart Dishcloth

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Floating Locked Hearts

Please don’t mind the green on the quilted hearts – it is the same green as in the lacy hearts dishcloth, but to show the detail, you get to see a nasty green instead. but the green in the lacy hearts is true to life so to speak. All these images are clickable to larger.

I’m planning on getting into gear on severals things, challenge for OST, guest blogger post, website updating, and my 1800 quilt. I’m working on my Kitchener socks again, and have almost 1 sock done .. I’m at the toe decreases and these socks can’t get done fast enough to suit me!

So time to take something for my head and plot my battle at step one for digging out around here. Hope you all had a great weekend and have a great start to your week!

Devious colour Challenge

On OST, I have the fun job of being a moderator there .. my duties are pretty easy and lots of fun. We are an active list, so that means devising some way (or ways) to torture, ummmm entertain our members. Since I can’t always depend upon my muse to give me patterns on demand, I volunteered to be the “Challenge Mommie / Queen”. I’m good with that .. I can always think of ways to challenge myself and others as I always like to be extending my quilting techniques / skills.

Well one of my tortures, entertainments is underway – I’m running a wee bit behind, but that’s okay – I’ll catch up in good time. I spent most of yesterday and today working selecting my blocks and colours. Oh the challenge you say? Easy … Using the letters in your name, choose colours and blocks – but you must have 3 colours 😀 and only repeat your letters when you run out.

initial colour.jpgI trashed my first attempts. I just had wayyy to many blocks and I didn’t want it THAT crazy! Mine will hopefully end up as a lap quilt .. least that’s the plan at this point and that’s the way I’m designing it. Carmen found a really cool site for colour names and that has proved immensely helpful and actually helped me move forward on this .. Heheheheh – essentially whatever I have in my stash goes! So this will be a stash buster challenge for me as well – and I’m doing another twist on this .. I’m going to do mine scrappy 😀 I think that I’m going to have a lot of fun with it as well .. Oh I know the colours are really dour in this layout, but by the time I got to that point the last thing I wanted to do was scan in my fabrics and place them here and there .. the hope is that the background will be green if I have enough of it kicking around .. if not, then blue or purple (which I KNOW I have plenty of kicking around) With this one, I’m using 10 blocks used twice, and since this challenge isn’t being run monthly, that’ll be 5 blocks a month for me – I think I can handle that. This will give me a nice break while doing all that quilting that is waiting ooooh so patiently for me …

I’ve also been researching for the next challenge for OST with help from a few friends – so between the research and playing with this, I’ve not done much else – I have knitted about 2″ on my Kitchener socks – but I’ve not pulled my yarn for my January KAL yet tho .. I think I had better get moving on that.  Time to send Kyle to the basement for my yarn …

At any rate, I think that I’m going to pull some stuff from my stash and cut up some blocks and stitch a few – we’ll see – I’m pretty tired as someone decided to play a telephone version of knicky knocky nine doors this AM .. was I happy – NOPE .. did they know … oh yeah 😉

Creative Shortcircuit

H ave you ever been merrily creating / designing along when suddenly someone just pulls the rug right from under you?? Well that happened to me and rather derailed me for a few days .. plus I was in my ‘inowannacut’ phase after the big push on gran’s and kyle’s quilts. I just wanted to design and play with paints and dyes. Well I got 1⁄2 my wish .. the paints and dyes 🙂 .. but as for the designing .. I hit a speedbump and got a flat tire .. with no road service in sight!

Fan Kitty

How it happened is actually pretty innocent in itself … I asked my dad if he knew what my aunt and cousin’s favourite colours were .. (now this was before I had decided on what I was doing for my cousin – the first time). He had no clue but said he would call .. that was Friday .. They’ve vanished for the weekend .. knowing my aunt, power shopping 🙂 .. but he finally gets a hold of her on Sunday (as she’s – are you ready for this .. going out the door for shopping LOLOL) and what it came down to – one cousin (Matthew) needs a wallhanging for his apartment, my other (Erica) a lap quilt .. (oh blood hell!!!). By this time, I had already designed a wallhanging for Erica .. it was based on the fan kitties that I made for my kitty quilt. They were going to be sitting in windows and each window view would have a different season with various seasonal ‘things’ appliquéd into the background – these kitties would have been lighter than this guy .. I had drafted it up and was about ready to pull fabrics when my dad called me. I was derailed and I knew it .. So rather than pout and get all out of sorts, I decided to play with my paints and let the ideas for each percolate in the back of my brain.

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Draft Idea

With Erica my dad tells me that her colours are “feminine and bright, but not vivid or intense” oh so pastels then .. no she likes them bright .. (Oh jiminybloodycricket what the hell do you mean??? Do you even know?? BAH) .. I knew I had some ‘lighter, feminine’ type dyes and I pulled them out with some pinks .. I’m going to go by my instinct instead of his ‘eye’. My dad and I have totally differing views on quilts, colours etc .. I showed him my TAWT mystery that I did for testing for Carmen, needless to say a lead balloon would have gotten a bigger lift – totally deflated me (pfft – philistine!!). I must have looked through 50+ magazines a TON of websites for inspiration – nothing kicked at me .. last nite I drafted up 4 patterns – one from quiltercache, but no way was I printing out 80 foundations for paper piecing! Then drafted up this and rather liked it, but since I hadn’t started to dye the fabrics, I rather knew this AM that it wasn’t “IT”. I ericastilesstarted to dig thru my inspiration file, randomly opening files here and there .. I rather stumbled across something and my mind started to WHIRL!!!! It’s PERFECT! Gives a nice pattern, and movement, but not totally traditional – I had to do a google search to figure out where I had gotten this from. (When I create a PDF file, I take out all unnecessary images to reduce page count – these are for my printing convenience and I’m a cheapskate when it comes to paper). At any rate .. it’s called Tile Quilt. Based on a simple 4patch design (Bobbie stop screaming .. you’re upsetting Ginger) and ‘logs’ – Oh Lordy but do I LOVE this concept .. soon as I drafted hpim2137this up in Quilt Pro, I grabbed my fabrics and headed to the basement to wash them for dyeing! Since it’s to close to supper (I’ve meat thawing in the sink), I’ll wait until after supper to dye these – These are the colours I’m going to use – the blue with fans and the dark pink will be my darks and the lilac and sea foam, the lights .. oh strip piecing . wonderful strip piecing!!!! ** heavenly sigh I’m thinking of doing the same borders for these as I did for gran’s borders .. it’s such a neat way to do them – I really like the way that this method opens up the quilt

Oh why didn’t I extend the design for Erica’s wallhanging to a lap quilt?? There’s a lot of appliqué involved in that quilt – while I don’t mind doing a bit .. I’m not an appliqué lover and would shudder in my socks and totally freak out if I had to do a whole quilt that way.

Matthew is a theatre major and works in the theatre so I was envisioning something with the comedy and tragedy masks .. I also wanted to this be an art quilt (to fit his arty self). I had a gazillion ideas floating in my head, but nothing that I could settle on at all! I was thinking of setting the masks each in their own block and doing a different technique to them; I was thinking of curved log cabins with the masks appliquéd in the center, and the logs extending into the borders – drafted up, it didn’t look at all like I envisioned – likely because the wallhanging would be so small that there wasn’t enough room for the full effect to show properly. Then I thought of doing a collage with the masks an that led to a million different ways to do THAT .. I think you see my problem here .. WAY to many ideas – I even thought of my Michigan Left as it was already basted (but I think that was more in self-defense / desperation) – I derailed myself on this one! Then in the about.com newsletter or blog, Janet made a pattern called Through the Window .. Now THIS spoke to me .. oh hell with that .. it YELLED at me!! And it’s a nice size for a wallhanging .. I have no clue the size of his apartment, the colour of his décor, what his fiancée is going to do with stuff etc, etc, etc .. so … this looks like it will likely be Matthew’s cmas present .. Carmen has been sending me files that she’s made up and they are just awesome, I’ve even tried to adapt them to something like this (with her permission of course), and while they look awesome! They just aren’t what I want for this (Sometimes, I’m just so bloody difficult!!!) Not that I’m stressing, because I’m not and I won’t .. I’ll do the best I can do! And I think I can handle doing 12 pp patterns for this wall quilt .. I think elegant and the colourway possibilities are absolutely endless on this! For this I’m going to do bright, vivid colours – red, green, deep blue – with maybe black or a dark brown for the frame .. you get my drift (Hey dad :P~~~~)

At least I am back on track again! No longer in “inowannacut” or “inowannasew” mode .. and I’m not overwhelming myself with ideas .. I hate that when you shortcircuit yourself!

Be-MUSED-ed

If you can believe it, I finally got the Michigan Left basted! I did thread basting a la Sharon Schambers again – I’m still trying to work out ‘my method’ for doing this .. not that her’s isn’t great – but I think I need to fiddle with my stitch length .. I used a poly bat for this one .. not used poly in YEARS and still not sure if I like it .. but, with me selling this, and ppl not wanting to pay the price of something done in cotton bat, I need to find a way to bring my cost down so that ppl will be inclined to buy. I want to find thin poly bat – this one seemed thin enough, but in hindsight (after basting), I’m not sure it’s going to be thin enough to suit me .. it might just change my quilting pattern .. but I’ll know more when I start to quilt.

I designed Gran’s borders today .. I think it looks rather sharp!! All I actually need to do is create 11 more blocks and just use them by half .. altho a thought does occur to me – with the added 1″ narrow border, that is going to change my block size, so I’m not sure that I’ll be able to use the exact size that’s in the quilt .. I’ve not drafted this as of yet, so we’ll just have to see .. and that outer ‘border’ is in actuality, the binding – I like to get a visual of exactly how it’ll look when it’s done. I’ll be doing the borders scrappy as well with hopefully some of the same fabrics – if I have any left of them .. I’m sure I do – but we’ll have to see .. Instead of HSTs in the corners, I just might do squares instead. It does occur to me after looking at it, if I continue the borders all the way to the edges, then I shouldn’t have to do deal with any math, as the extended borders will ‘frame’ the sections nicely .. my version of quiltpro doesn’t allow me that sort of design license, so I’ll have to do this by hand on draft paper.

In response to a challenge that is still in our testers group, I drafted up this block for me – this isn’t the way it started out on draft paper – as I started to add the colours, I saw different movement and clicked away like mad. Well while doing this, I was thinking about doing a lap quilt for kyle for cmas. He’s using his quilts I made him for when he was in a toddler bed – so I think that he’s due for a new one (oh and while I didn’t find all the backing for his bed quilt, I did find other stuff I can use for backing .. so that will be getting pieced soon). I started thinking about how this block would look in a quilt and then started to play again ..

I want to do his team colours and maybe his teams logos like I did for Reg’s quilt – while this one won’t have them the way reg’s did, I can still do smaller ones for the corners or maybe 2 in the center of the quilt (UofM & Red Wings) .. I’m still thinking about it .. oh his teams?? UofM, Detroit Red Wings, Indy Colts – and well we won’t touch baseball .. I think he professes to be a Detroit Tiger fan to stop reg and I from ribbing him, but I think he’s still a Boston fan at heart .. Sports teams gets pretty nasty in my house LOLOLOL ..but that’ll be another post.

So his colours for this quilt would be yellows (maize), blues, reds, (his favourite colour!!) and white / neutrals .. and this quilt has all those colours in it!! Altho with hi being a 13 yo boy, I’m not sure bout white .. we’ll have to see .. These blocks are 21″ so that will give him a good size lapquilt for himself. What’ll be even nicer, I can get all the HSTs ready right under his nose – LOLOLOLOL There are times I love how sneaky you can be, being a quilter 🙂

Underground RR … again :S; updated layout

Not sure how i feel about all that brown .. it looks to me like there’s going to be a brown blob in the middle edges of my quilt – while the rest of it will be more colourful ..

After I finished the middle section the other day, I brought all the sections to my bedroom and laid them out on the bed .. nope I just didn’t like it .. just tooo much … brown splat – framing this bright center .. the design of the Underground RR block is great – I just love that look I got, but not with that ..

I’ve been looking at it and looking at it and I’m just not sure I want to keep the Underground RR sections like they are – I am thinking of frogging the sections apart and using them instead for the outer blocks around the quilt – more like a frame and keep the rest of the colours more in the middle .. I’m just not liking it as it looks right now ..

Again, picking colours is my clue .. can’t decide on red or blue and both would work just fine – but it’s not a matter of it looking fine or okay . .but do **I** like it .. and i’m not sure i do .. it’s a GREAT design and look for those blocks, but does it really fit well with the look i want?? I’m thinking not more and more .. might be part of the reason that I’ve been dragging my feet on this .. (besides batting issues :D) – batting issues wouldn’t stop me from putting the top together .. i’m just hemming and hawing at it ..

So, i’ll boot up quiltpro again and fiddle around with it some more .. the more i think about it, the more I like the idea of having this quilt framed by these blocks at the edges .. and these edges are the ones that will be part of my drape off the bed .. and use more sisters blocks, ohio star, simplex star and the double X blocks .. yup – I think I like that better .. and if I need more of the Underground, I do have more of the brown vines fabric that I can make it with and use reds for the inner colours 😀 or creams or lighter browns that i have 😀

Update

With fidding a few things around – I came up with one layout with 2 different looks dependng on if i ‘spread’ the colours out that I used for the center section – For the Simplex Star I would use a darker / different background so that creates a frame .. I like this so much better .. only question would be if I wanted to keep the outer sisters blocks with the same background as the inner blocks.

Comments, suggestions, praises, criticisms?? Please comment and let me know 🙂 And if you want a response back from me, please do not leave it as no-reply@blogger.com .. rather hard to reply back to that address 😉 Thanx

Thursday is for Quilting ;)

Tomorrow is going to be a great day quilt wise :D.

  1. The attic windows charity quilt has a home with Ruth in Georgia – I just have some diagonal quilting to do as the 90% of it is already done and it’ll be time to put the label on and close up the top where I did the quilt birthing. I’ll be sending this quilt along with some fabric and boo-boo blocks. It is my goal to have this quilt finished tomorrow. God willing
  2. Reg’s Quilt has finally resolved itself in my mind .. i’m going to do a variation of double irish chain. Since my quilt pro is so outdated, it won’t accept new fabric images from me .. so, this is a close representation of the fabric that I’m going to use. The background isn’t country but is off-white in colour and has flowers and ‘foilage’ that pulls most of the colours that are represented together; the greens, reds and blue are pretty close in tone and hue. This quilt is all strip piecing then cutting, so this shouldn’t take me all that long to do. it was fun getting all these colours to work together .. The colours I ended up with are not the colours that I started with for the most part. Reg’s quilt should go very quickly for me. Cut strips, piece, cut and resew 😉 .. voila .. gotta love quick quilts. And he will prolly only use it for the winter to keep his feet and legs warm, so this one needs to get soon!
  3. Kyle’s quilt is finally back in blocks – I finished that this afternoon. I’ll press the blocks then square them up. Then sew them all back together :S .. I hate it when I’m a twit! Hopefully that will teach me .. prolly not tho. I’m going to finish up Kyle’s top after I get reg’s fabric cut out. I still need to get some backing for this quilt so there isn’t that much of a hurry to get this all together until I have the backing fabric.

I’m going to have a busy day tomorrow me thinks .. wonder how much I will get done .. it will be GREAT to cross off items on this very old list .. But Lordy is it GREAT to be back sewing again!!! WOOO HOOOO **kittyhappydance