Saturday, January 20, 2018

Adventures in sanity

As you all know I have been taking a break from crazy quilting,
Its not a permanent on just a cleansing, as it were.

I feel the need to have projects to do that can be finished quickly, mostly to keep my mind busy on things other than news, which I've switched off. For those that know me well that is a BIG deal as I am an itinerant newsie and have been since high school.

I'm still working on slow stitching and have several projects in the works but I'm a little brain fried with them right now so they will dribble in slowly as I get around to them.

I find it best to set things aside and work on something else when that muse has left the building, rather than trying to force it along or worse yet, let it sit there and stare at me, mocking my inability to create.

So instead I have taken on the NQS 9week quilt block challenge

looks like its going to be a fun quilt to make

It's much bigger blocks than I'm used to working on but I'm seeing the benefits to the larger format

the finished quilt if you follow the 9 block model
is 60"x60

but I want a bed size quilt so my first challenge is to make 2 of each block then pick 4 extras to make it long enough for a queen size bed.

my second challenge is to use as much of my star fabric stash as possible,

its mostly fat quarters with a few 1/2 yards mixed in so far so good

Blocks 2 and 3 have turned out spectacular!

Every thing I could wish for

nice defined points no missing ends or offset panels

notice how I said 2 and 3

Block one was, nice, bUt

was 2 whole inches to small, each finished block should be 16", this one was 14" NG

the pints were mostly fine but wonky in the crotches.

aaand the middle star has almost no definition between colors and so reads like a square at a distance, instead of a star.


and I followed the directions too! Double foo!

so I took my stars destiny into my own hands and resorted to my comfort zone for making flying geese, instead of the stated directions

and it worked! whee!


Saturday, December 23, 2017

the end

scrappy flowers test block#1
Scrappy flowers test block #2
of 2017 at least
Its been a challenging year
The boogar in chief notwithstanding

scrappy flowers test block #3
 I have made a total of 12 quilts this year!

Not all full size mind and not yet all finished but still impressive considering my usual 12-9" blocks and a few side projects

the quilting

  Most have been given to their expected recipients and I have fallen down hard on the picture taking,

which is ironic as i got a new phone with a fabulous camera in it this year.
So piece of coal in my stocking there.

the three scrappy flower quilts were the first to be quilted on my new bernina and for pracrice quits are not to shabby
all the Blue scraps quilt
they are all lap size and done with 1/4yds of the state flowers fabric from last year.

It's amazing just how far a few 1/4 yards will go!

woodland animals
the blue scrap quilt was done using all the blue and tan scraps i have been squirreling away for the last 25 years, lord only knows why.
its a full size quilt made of 1/2 square triangles and wild geese.

it's the first big quilt that bernie has done and came out a little wobbly but nice.

the quilting, I am liking my new machine
then the woodland animals for my dd#2 I still havent managed to get a binding on it,hopefully that will get done before new years.
as usual if you put it on the floor the inspectors come out to make sure your doing it right....

Spring and summer were taken up by the usual garden stuff

Green house

plus I FINALLY got off the stick and built myself a greenhouse.
I used the old sliding doors from the deck and a slide window

It took till mid september to make it leak proof but that's just because it didn't rain until then and then rained for 2 weeks!
Machine quilted, I may have gone overboard
Now I just need to find it a proper door
I'm using an old rug right now but that wont last

I've only been planning on doing this for 8 years so its so nice to have gotten it done

French store quilt half applique, half machine

the French store quilt was done with remaining tan and all the red and green scraps from the basket of doom
Center French store quilt

because why not finally empty the silly thing out?
what am I saving them for anyway if not to use in a quilt
besides 25 years 4 homes and 2 husbands is long enough don't you think?

 this one is made from Julie Paschkis Russian winter folktales fabric

 aand scraps from the basket, are you noticing a theme here?

this last one is still in the works but its coming along nicely I have 3 more rows of 4 blocks and the outer border to put on, nce I can wrest it away from the minions

Then there was my early prezzie of a surprise gallbladder removal for the holidays, yay. -.-
I'm doing just fine but if this is anything like getting shot in the belly, TV and movies have been lying to us for decades!

You do not bounce up to finish the job, with  great sopping hole in your tum.
If you are in line for one of these it's not that bad, you're belly will look like a bowling ball after and the first few days are owchie

but they give you the good drugs to get you over that part and hopefully, those around you are inclined to spoil the invalid.
Happy Holidays to all and a happy new year!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

CQJP Paris #5 bistro

 so trying to publish from my phone is a disaster as you have probably noticed from the lack of pictures or text since october. sorry about that when stuff doesn't work around here it really goes to the dogs.

This block represents all the wonderful little bistros that litter Paris like candy wrappers behind a careless child.

some do pastries,
            some are cafe' only
                            some only open for the evening
                                                               and some do it all

my favorite was a dinky little hole in the wall with one table
and an indolent cat who would beg the cream off your cappuccino in a demanding 3 pack a day meow

the waiter/owner would bring you your order and leave you to your devices to gossip with friends and neighbors inside at the bar

 and his wifes bread was to die for
 brown and crunchy crust soft fleshy inside
fresh from the oven

you could smell it down the block and around the corner

it would call to me in the morning, a sirens song of aroma drifting through my hotel window

Sunday, September 3, 2017

woodland animals quilt

The danger of putting your quilt on the back of the couch to look at for a few days

is that it gets all covered in cats, hats, backpacks and coats.

but I finished the quilting on it

and just have to find thAt red from between the blocks for the binding.

Friday, August 18, 2017

CQJP Paris walking the dog

So this is sumething you will see in Paris alOt

a very chique lady walking her dog.

Parisians love their dogs, they take them everywhere

and like their children, these dogs are very well behaved.

You see them everywhere, under tables in cafes,

outside groceries guarding bikes,

or walking thir people through the markets or down the street.

this lady is dressed for work

walking her dog through the champs elise

on her way to her office job, not all though many,

who allow their people to bring their dogs to work.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

hexipoluza #6

Another aspect of all this is using up your "odd bits and bobs"

I don't know  how closely you all can get on the pictures but I try to use as many odds as I can.

Many of the beads don't match in places like the bodies of the dragonflies on this block

and the butterflies on the one below

then there are the beads on the button bug on the penguin block

and the pink flowers I used at the bottom

If you noticed, none of them match

I have done this in several places throughout the block,s to show that you don't have to be matchie, matchie to have a cohesive whole.

It's very freeing when you realize this and makes for a whole lot more creative fussing.

here are my hexies so far all sewn together and spread throughout.

I see it getting much bigger as I continue to use it to demonstrate the stitches in class and use it as a teaching tool I also have a ton more blocks pieced together.
I hand them out to newbies who haven't a block to work on

Oh dear, it looks like I have run out of done blocks!  I  must finish a few more of these, darn the luck ;)

Friday, August 11, 2017

hexipoluza #5

So here is an example of a much better blending of very bold and very light contrasting colors

The dark blue looks much less out of place here than it does on the block from my last post

The reason being, I used more of that same dark blue on the other side of the block, to balance all that  dark blue across from it

Then I used more dark blue in smaller increments throughout the block, to keep your eye moving around the block, rather than being distracted by the big wad of blue along the edge

It also helped to soften the edge of that dark blue with a seam that blended it into the the rest of the block, with the other colors of that block.

This shoe block is another way of blending away the stark edge of a too dark or bright contrasting panel while still making space for it in the body of the whole.

Now you may be asking yourself "why use the dark panels at all if it causes so much distraction?"

Its a challenge to make it bend to your will
Its a creative challenge to get yourself out of a rut or just a challenge for yourself to see what you can do with it. It6 also creates some really beautiful effects in both color and texture.

In many ways I do this to myself to shake up, what is normally, routine sewing and its fun to discover for yourself what works and what doesn't.

Like the block from the previous post what i did worked but not quite enough. I chose to leave it as a good lesson in how to deal with that sort of thing.

Because it doesn't matter how seasoned a CQer you are, you will make "mistakes" like that

Especially if you are making all your blocks first and not putting them together as you go.

I find I do this a lot when I put long projects together like the CQJP or even round robins,

 where you need a certain set of blocks to finish the whole.
Its easier for me to put the blocks together first so I know at least the fabrics in them will go together, then even if halfway through the project I go haring off in some other direction, I can pull it back together in the end.


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