Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Table Monday

Dieciocho!   Bless you :-)  Since I'm thinking of Cinco de Mayo for the pattern, I'd personalize it by calling it Dieciocho de Mayo (18 May, which is my birthday). Any Spanish-speaking people out there, feel free to correct me if I'm not using the correct word here!  Pictured above are the fabrics I've pulled for the quilt, using the Kaffe "Paperweight" fabric as my inspiration.  They're stacked and ready to be shuffled into block color combinations. This is my very favorite part of quiltmaking :-)  

Judy has finally shuffled her life around enough to put up her Design Wall Monday, here:  Go see what else is new!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What's It Gonna Be?

"What Would Kaffe Do?" is the name of this quilt.  I had pulled Kaffe fabrics -- oh wait, I call them Kaffe fabrics, but they include Jacob, Brandon, Tina, etc. -- and paired them with neutrals for this pattern.  But even with lots of Kaffes, it was really blah.  Can you imagine?  Yes, it was!!  So I thought, "What would Kaffe do to spiffy it up?"  Well, of course, he would have tossed all the neutrals, the whites, creams, beiges, grays, and inserted more Kaffes!!!!  Which is what I did, and it turned out exactly right.  In fact, I loved the the way the colors played with each other so much -- mustard, cinnamon, lavender, taupe, aqua, purple -- I decided to make another quilt using those colors.  

Then came my second favorite part, rummaging through my quilt books to see where I would use said colorway.  Several years ago, I made a Karen Stone pattern, "Mississippi Wheel of Fortune" quilt, and it's one of my most favorite.  So that's what I would do.  I pulled lots and lots of hand-dyes, batiks, plain and fancy fabrics that would make up another quilt with these colors.  

Wait!  What?  Make up another quilt with these colors?  What the??  I already have a quilt that I love with these colors.  I'm 67 years old.  I don't have time to make duplicates, girlfriend.  However, as I was going through my stash looking for "that Kaffe colorway" I ran across this piece.
Not my colors, not even close.  I'm usually drawn to sunny, warm, tropical colors, and this is not.  But it spoke to me.  You understand, right?  Our fabrics speak to us quilters, and if you're not a quilter and are still here, please know it's not a bad thing, or a weird thing, it's just how we do business.  So I started to pull new fabrics.  Pastel fat quarters I bought a few months ago because I didn't have any (which I consider the very best reason to buy fabric, after #1: I loved it!).  Some dots and stripes.  And bits of orange -- see that tiny bit down at the bottom?  Just right!  
But while I was thinking "Cinco deMayo" (by Karen Stone also), I just wasn't completely sold.  So here we go again -- stop, reverse, do a 180, change of plan!  Lady Liberty Goes to Hawaii, yeah!  I love the pattern, and while I know I'll change around the blocks, that's where I'm headed this week.  

Now, I have to go arrange fabrics, start putting them into piles for each block, and copying foundations and cutting pieces.  I'm so motivated, ready, eager to get going on this!!!  Kinda like I was last week when I pulled out my UFO kit for "Rancher's Daughters."  Or this week when I gathered my hand-dyes for a Ricky Tims' Rhapsody.  Yeah, like that.  Except this time,  I'm really, really going to make this quilt!  The others will simply have to get back in line and wait awhile longer.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Week -- Whoop!

This week (see my post of the 22nd) I made a block for our guild's president, quilted a top and resumed work on a Christmas quilt .  Which got no further :-/  Because I dragged out this tote -- yummmmm.  
In this tote, I have my collected bits and pieces of hand-dyes and not-exactly-hand-dyes but that will go with this project.  I've wanted to make a Ricky Tims' Rhapsody quilt ever since I first saw his Fire Dragon quilt.  Oooooo, it's totally DRAMA!
And I started quilting this comfort quilt that a friend made to be donated via one of the local guilds.  It may be a veteran's quilt, and with these colors, I decided to do some geometric ruler work throughout the center, with wavy designs on the borders.  More details later :-)

All of which caused Annabella to crash on top of my Kaffe Fassett quilt, zzzzzzz.

Suddenly, I'm seeing trees turning color!  And while the temps don't agree, I'm thinking autumn.  My favorite season!  What's yours?  And do you make quilts to celebrate the seasons?

Go here to see what some fab quilters have been up to:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pitchin' a Hissy!

Product Details
This was an unusually productive weekend, and boy does that feel good!  Seems so often I wind up piddling away the day. Piddling?  Yes!  That reminds me to tell you about a book I'm "reading" via my MP3 player -- it's called "Hissy Fit" by Mary Kay Andrews.  It sounded like something fun to listen to, a change of pace from my usual mysteries.  And I love hearing the book because the reader uses a wonderful Georgia accent, and with the fun expressions, I found myself "tawkin' Suthen" again!!  In a darlin' little local boutique, I saw a sign that said something about getting results by pitchin' a hissy fit.  Anyway, I surely do recommend this book!  (I grabbed the picture from Amazon, btw.)

And listening to the book had me in such a good mood, I got busy in the sewing room. First thing, I cleaned up my sewing that I had royally messed up with threads, scraps, rulers, templates, books, etc. while I was finishing my last quilt. Then I got to work!  
My friend had made a Turning Twenty quilt for a guy who specifically requested camo fabric and browns.  So, of course, for the quilting she suggested a meander, which worked out perfectly!!  I hope she's happy with it, I am!  
In our quilt guild every year, we ask our president to suggest colors/patterns that she likes, and the membership makes blocks for her as a thank you.  This year the president asked for any pattern, using white and blues.  This block is called "Card Basket" that I used from Quilters Cache.  Are you familiar with that website?  She has blocks listed by size or by name, and I've never seen another site where you can find them all!  And she has the directions for them all here:  Be prepared to spend much time browsing!
This panel, "12 Days of Christmas" by Nancy Halvorsen, Benartex, has been aging in my UFO tote bin  shelf  closet for awhile, and I realized it's time to start making Christmas gifts!  So far, I added 5" blocks all around, a stripe border, and now I have these squares cut to make either half-squares or hourglass blocks for the next round.  Shhh, don't show this to anyone, tho, it's gonna be a gift :-) 

We will have had Annabella the Ragdoll for one year on 9/11, and she's about 20 months old.  We were told she'd continue to grow for 3-4 years, and her coloring would continue to darken during that time. Looking at a video taken about a month after we got her, she's changed quite a bit.  She didn't have a ruff around her neck, or the thick pantaloons that she has now, and she has darkened a little.  We're so happy we have her in our life!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sunkissed Finished! Whoop!

And it's a quilt!  YAY!  I soooo love the Sunkissed line -- I bought a Fat Eighths bundle the minute it came out, and have been playing with making the blocks, undecided where I was going with it.  I used the most delicious shade of buttery yellow for the background. The sashing is a slightly orange-y yellow with light orange dots.  The borders are a light yellow batik, the look washed out in the photos, but they're nearly the same color as the background. 

From a panto set, I traced the corner blocks.  Then I did a panto on all four borders and used a large stipple to fill the blanks.  There was a lot of ruler work, and free motion in the blocks.  I do love this quilt -- the colors are my favorite, and I used a Mountain Mist Cream Rose 100% batting which makes it soooooo soft and snuggly.  I haven't washed it cuz I was eager to get it on the bed!   

You need to go to Sarah's website: every Friday to see the happy finishes of other quilters, too!
After all was done, and I was going into the sewing room to clean up the mess, here's what I saw :-D  Annie was lying on the end of the ironing board, patiently waiting for some attention.  Amazing how she finds just the right height to be that makes it convenient to pet her -- isn't she thoughtful?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Progress on Sunkissed -- Whoop Whoop!

Sunkissed is a quilt I'm making for ME! For MY bed! It's the yummiest colors on this planet!  But I'm taking my time, SITD (stitching-in-the-ditch) to stabilize it before beginning the quilt. I've drawn patterns for the sashing and corners onto tracing paper. 
And today I sewed one border using a pantograph.  Since the whole quilt is SITD, I can turn the quilt sideways to use the panto on the borders.  I stitched the panto up to the corners, then used the drawings above in the corner blocks, then I echoed and stippled the empty spaces.  I used matching thread so mistakes wouldn't show, but it's so pretty, I wish I'd used thread that was slightly more contrasting. Maybe I'll go back and do some hyperquilting, a la Patsy Thompson.  

Here you can see where I drew the pattern on the corner using the Pilot FriXion pen.  Have you heard of it? Amazing!  After the scary experience I had with my Pinwheels (the blue washout marker didn't, until I washed the whole quilt in a cold rinse cycle!!)  I decided to try the FriXion.  You just draw on your quilt, and it's like a ballpoint, smooth, sharp, fine and comes in red, black and blue.  Then to remove it, you run an iron over it, and voila', it's clean!  Really!  It works!  It's advertised as an Erasable Gel Pen, and it does erase from paper.

Next, I'll be quilting the blocks -- pinwheel centers circled by flying geese. I intend to take my time, and it will certainly take time!  But so far, so good :-)  Doing all kinds of research online, reading books watching DVDs and YouTube, I've learned lots of little tricks.  I couldn't tell you where I learned about the FriXion pen, or this tip -- using a pants hangar and curtain rod on the clamp ends of the quilt.  The pants hangar wasn't complete tight all across, so I inserted a strip of the shelf lining stuff that's rubbery and knobbly, and it holds it firmly all the way across.  The curtain rod holds the clamp from drooping and pulling the edge of the quilt downward.

Here's a picture of the edge of a quilt I finished for the other bed, using a panto. I'm thrilled with how it came out.  The photo doesn't do the colors justice, just know it's yumm-o, too!  This one's 92"x98", and I was able to do it on my 10' frame with room to spare -- hoorah!
Annabella was exhausted by all the quilting going on, so after a hard game of feather-chasing, it was a long nap for her!