Friday, April 28, 2006

Woven Nets

I've been playing on my EQ again. These fabrics are from the 'Dried Flowers' palette. A not too feminine but muted look that would go well in my sister in law's guest bedroom, where she needs a double sized quilt. She prefers dusty mauve, light lavender, beige, and country blues.

The SIL's the type of decorator who can go out and gather two handfuls of weeds by the side of the road, throw them in a chunky, chipped pitcher from the flea market, and suddenly she's got an elegant arrangement. :)

Here's a version with brights on black. Doesn't this look like a portion of those woven net bags you take to the beach stuffed with your towel, a paperback, and sunscreen?

My problem is, I'm beginning to think this would be a real booger to sew. You look at the individual pieces and think, "okay, a bunch of those indian hatchet type squares with an upper and lower triangle a different color.... that's easy." And then you look at the horizontal and vertical strips that connect them, and it still looks easy. BUT - there's not a straight side-to-side or diagonal or top-to-bottom seam anywhere. Would I get stuck in a morass of partial seams? Or heaven forbid, a quilt with set in seams?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Where I'm From

Thanks to Quiltgranny for getting me started on the Where I'm From trip down memory lane. Try it yourself! At first it was difficult, but I ended up with far more recollections than I could ever use.

Where I'm From

I am from white Keds, and new $1 flip-flops every June.
I am from a house built on low land with a septic tank that filled up and toilets that belched every time there was a downpour. I thought 'Bubble, bubble, toilet trouble' was how the quote was supposed to go.

I am from Friday night pork chops, painted with Dad's homemade bbq sauce and grilled on the patio.

I am from Mom constantly telling us "Clean your plate!" and "Don't slam the screen door!" and contests with the fly-swatter to splat the ones that came in through the holes in the screen.

I'm from parents who believed kids should go to scout meetings on Tuesday, the library Saturday, and church on Sunday. We got Perfect Attendance yearly at school unless we'd been quarantined.

I'm from a rural childhood, with watermelons grown on the compost pile, homemade grape juice from our own tough-skinned grapes, and prickly crookneck squash, gathered while the cold dew soaked your sneaker-toes.

I am from summer camps in the forest shade. I am canoeing lessons and repetitive songs at campfires. Then teamwork-trained and prepared for grown-upness by sweaty summers of herding around my own cabins of grubby campers.

I am black and white pictures from a Brownie camera, turned golden with time.

Ideas and Iris

I saw this block blog hopping and couldn't resist playing with it in EQ. I like it scrappy, and the sashing with scrappy cornerstones seems to separate them and make them float. Ahh, there's too many quilts, not enough time! Maybe I'll write out my own instructions and make it my guild's block of the month for May. :) Does anyone know what my copyright restrictions would be if there's lots of different versions of instructions to make this block, and nobody seems to know the name or original designer? We wouldn't be using it for profit, or trying to sell the instructions I make, just a guild block swap.

Looking down into the iris you saw as a bud a couple of posts ago. Wish you all had scent-o-vision on your computers and could smell them too!

And I may be weird, but I like this extreme closeup of the iris, the way the little beards start out lavendar, fade to white, then turn yellowish toward the center of the flower. And I love the bit where the white and purple mix, in tangled stripes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Background Fabric

Well, I did get to the store after my guild meeting tonight and get one more yard of that background fabric. Now I can use it for not only finishing the nine blocks but for sashings and the first border - making my stars appear to float.

I also sewed THIS together, between the blocks I've been making, attempting Bonnie's leader-ender thing - I had a whole pile of pink, hot pink, and reddish strips, all different lengths. I do plan to put another blue strip on either end.

I'm wondering what to do with this fabric I've created out of the garbage. I have more of the strip chunks, more of the yellow and blue strips, so I can extend the piece. I COULD cut big 6 inch triangles out of it and make half-square pinwheels, adding a 6-inch triangle of darker fabric. I could cut squares out of it, 4 inch, maybe, and add two inch borders to the square, log cabin style, till I have a bunch of 6 and ½ inch square blocks.

Any suggestions? What would you do with it?

Monday, April 24, 2006

How does my Garden Grow?

It grows with yellow iris, lots of them this year, and each stalk seems to have at least three blooms on it.

It grows with deep purple iris - this one will open with three white petals in the center, and every year, I say it's my favorite color combination. Check back tomorrow and we'll see if it opened!

And finally, for any of you who visited my blog last week, the peonies have bloomed, at least the central bud of each has opened. I love the smell they have. :)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lazy Sunday

We had a lazy Sunday, even Libby just lounged around. Spent most of today doing stuff around the house... put a roast in the slow cooker with some carrots, mushrooms, onions, and taters, and the whole house smelled superb, all afternoon. Finished a book due back at the library, watched two movies.

I even did some quilting, two more blocks. :)

Here's my medium blue star, with slightly lighter blue corner bits. I'm running out of the purple I'm using for the background, so am being REAL stingy with my fabric... lol I think I have enough for maybe two more blocks. Should I stop with what I have, 5? I did cut nine of that center solid purple square, and I have already cut the 16 purple corner squares I need for four more blocks, my problem is the 16 triangles each block needs.

And a sky blue one - in real life, these two blue fabrics have more teal tones in them, but the flash washed it out. If I make two more, (the amount of stars I think I have purple background fabric for) then what will I do with 7 stars? Make four of another sort of block, and put these stars in an X pattern, the other 4 different blocks in a + pattern? *thinking hard*

Any suggestions, anyone? Should I just go back to the store and see if there's any purple left?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Buttons and more buttons

No quilting after my 'real' job today, just work on websites. But it's a quilting store site, which makes the graphics fun! Here's some samples (not links, just button blanks I made.)

And here's the spool bar, just for pretty, to separate things on the page. ;)

All made in EQ5, with Corel to add text and crop and resize, etc.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ribbon Star blocks

Well, here's what I've been working on, so slowly. :)

First the yellow star. I think now that I'm done with it, that I should have looked for a more goldy-yellow fabric for the v shaped bits. The flash does wash it out some, but there's still not much contrast there. What's the saying about hindsight?

I also wasn't picky enough on the fabric for the dark pink v shaped bits, the marbled effect on the fabric meant that some of my strips for the v's were too light for what I wanted. I guess I could have fussy cut them, but I really have this thing about wasting fabric.

Finally, here's the red star - I was happier with the contrast between the two shades of red, it was more of the folded ribbon effect I was trying to get, with the lighter on the corners, and the darker in the middle. But I do wonder, if when I get all 9 stars done, if the red is going to appear too vivid, next to the lighter colors.

And here's the EQ design of the wall hanging they'll go in. I'm not sure if I want sashing between the stars or not, I've drawn it both ways and can't decide.

It really HAS been fun picking out all the fabrics for this. If I'd hand dyed them, I could have gotten the exact shades I wanted, but I would have missed the joy of the hunt. :) It'll be the first quilt I've designed and made completely from EQ.

There's three blocks done so far, and I have a lot of strips and bits cut already for the other 6 blocks. Hope they'll go a lot faster! I think my problem is that I am so stingy with the fabric that I don't cut my paper piecing bits as large as I should, so I have to go slow, lining up the triangles I'm sewing and flipping more carefully than I would if I could just bring myself to cut a bigger piece and trim more... lol

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Flower blooms and buds

For Easter Sunday, I have blooms... :)

And I have a little guy who lives in my flowerbeds ... he's the shy type, always hiding under the leaves, and he lives in mortal fear of the weed-whacker. You can see it's taken some chips out of his red hat. He doesn't let himself get photographed very often, but I was quick this time. (Does anyone know why you never see any female gnomes? Would you call them gnomettes?)

Finally, here's my peony bush. I love the big fragrant blooms I'll get, but I sure hate the ANTS in them! I tried to take some blooms in to work and share, three years ago, but uggh. I was killing ants on my desk all day, despite having soaked the blooms in water first. Does anyone have any suggestions that will drive the ants away without browning the petals? A spray, perhaps?

This year, the tips of the bush got clipped down, in late winter, just as they were starting to grow, and now, for the first time, I have THREE big buds on some of the stalks, where before I've always had only one bloom per stem. I can't imagine what it'll look like when there's three blooms on that weak little stem, when usually just one bends to the ground with the weight of the flower-head.

My Favorite Part of Quilting

First, Happy Easter, everyone!

THIS is my favorite part of quilting. Sure, I enjoy making a pattern (enjoy it a LOT since I have EQ) and printing up the paper piecing templates. I like picking out the fabrics, finding exactly the colors I want. I even like rotary cutting, slicing up nice straight strips, but I LOVE taking my little piles of strips and triangles, rectangles and squares and making the blocks the most. :) Even on this old Kenmore sewing machine from the seventies, the stitching is the what I like best. Watching the bits go under the presser foot, clipping them off the chain, turning them, adding another bit to that, till finally you've got a block, then several blocks...

I could do without the ironing part. Trimming them and squaring them up I can live with. But I LOVE the actual sewing part the most.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Washing and Templates

Well, other than work on some graphics and one of the websites today, I didn't get much done. Nothing to take a picture of anyway! Time just got away from me.

BUT, I did get my new fabric washed, and the templates for my new quilt printed. The blocks are based on a 9 inch nine patch, and I'll be paper piecing 4 segments of each block, strip piecing 4 segments, and one will be just a plain square.

I was going to go on and start cutting some strips tonight, but when I looked for the background fabric (the only fabric that wasn't a ¼ yard or ½ yard) ... I realized that of course, it was the only fabric that I hadn't washed yet. It's in the washer now, and I'll start this thing tomorrow. It sure seems like my quilts go through more slow stages than some of the people whose blogs I read! They must be more organized.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


First, iris possibilities. This is the flowerbed between my front walkway and my front porch. The iris are coming up extra thick this year, I have deep violet ones, traditional lavender ones, and yellow ones, plus a couple of just plain 'different' ones. Buds are everywhere, and getting bigger every day!

And next, fabric possibilities.

When looking through my fabric stash, I was surprised to find out that what I seem to grab the most is tone-on-tone fabrics, and I was almost out of them. I picked up a range of light/medium color pairs today. They'll go in the ribbon wallhanging I posted earlier. (The yellows and oranges in the middle are nice and bright, but somehow, they washed out to beige)from either the flash or... something.

What I have left is a lot of medium floral FQ's, some brights on black, some pastels on white. I need to make a good pattern to use them in, or possibly something from Bonnie's site. There's a whole stack of patriotic prints, that I won at a guild drawing, and maybe I'll come up with something that uses Tonya's wonky letters in a border (Liberty! Justice!) and some of her asterisk fireworks... with stars and some piano key red and white stripes and... what else goes good in a patriotic quilt? Watermelon slices? Drums?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Pressing the Blocks

Ahh, 52 nine patches done.

Well, ok, they're not done, they still need to be pressed and trimmed to an exact 6½ inches square.

*translating for Toby*

"What do you mean, get down? You said you hated ironing, so I'm pressing your blocks for you!"

I fuss at him and none too gently move him to the floor, go take a potty break, and LOOK what I find when I come back.

He doesn't even have the grace to put a "I'm such a guilty kitty" look on his face. I might as well have held my breath instead of fuss at him.

I'll keep an innie and an outie pair of each of these colors, and take the other 38 (19 pair) to the guild meeting to swap.

Background play again.... :)

Decided to try to make my background more springy by changing the blocks from forestgreen and brown to pinks and purples... :)

Since I had already made the virtual quilt in EQ, it was simple to change the colors out, take another screenshot, save it as a jpg, and voila!

But I also wanted to try to fade it a bit, the brown/green one was too dark. While I had the new one in Corel, I also gave it a twist:

I think I'd title this one - "Quilt Denial: No, I don't need to wear my glasses to cut a straight line!"

Friday, April 07, 2006

More 9 patches?

Ok, I admit it, I'm a slow sewer. I'm impressed with people who do a quilt top every few days. By the time I get home from work and make myself some dinner (I've been trying to stay away from fast food) it's time to do housework or laundry, then suddenly it's bedtime, and no quilting done.

However, I have been working on MORE 9-patch blocks for my guild swap. I feel obligated to do one every month, since I do the website for the guild, I pretty much HAVE to do at least one block to use for graphics for the instructions. :) Besides, I'm the Block of the Month person, if I don't do it, how can I expect any one else to? This month I've made a bunch, I'll keep one set of each color, and take the rest in to swap for more colors, so I'll end up with a whole pile of scrappy blocks for my border.

Here's the problem I'm hoping some of you with more guild experience can help with:

We're going to do a 9-patch swap for the BOM for April. What's the best and most fair and FUN way to get a large group of people to swap blocks? I don't want to just lay them out on a table and have a 'run for the blocks' kinda thing. Everyone can bring as many blocks as they want, they're supposed to go home with as many blocks as they came with. When I took a show of hands as to who might be interested in a 9-patch swap, there were around 50 people. Not sure that many people will actually follow thru and make blocks, but even if it's 30 of us with 10 blocks each....

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Siamese Cat Quilt

Here's the Siamese Cat wallhanging that Darilyn was commenting on - I made it as a Black and White contest entry for my guild last year. My title was "Black and White and We're All Over."

If any of you recognize the style of the cats, they're from 9 Chickweed Lane, and even though I didn't use an exactly copied image to applique, they were close enough to where I did e-mail and get permission from Brooke McEldowney (the author) to use the likeness.

The top was quilted by Ann H., from MO. We were SO tempted to quilt in a little switch plate on the wall, in white thread... lol It's been in several shows, little non-juried ones, but never won anything.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A new background

I spent more time at the computer today, working on webpages, than quilting. Just finished a few 9-patches I had already cut out. But I DID get the new background to my blog up!

First I had to make all the blocks in EQ... then, since I didn't want to change the parchment colored center of the blog, I colored the virtual blocks in greens, beige, and browns. Then my first background, when I finally got it up, was (in my best Children's Librarian Goldilocks voice) TOOOOO BIG. But on the plus side, I now have a new background that can be used on one of MY web pages.

I squished the right and bottom borders on purpose, so that when tiled as a background, there wouldn't be a huge green seam. See?

My Tiled Quilt

So back on EQ, I made a new quilt layout that was 12 blocks tall and 8 blocks over, and re-set all my blocks... That's how I ended up with the one you see as a background now! What better way to waste a rainy, stormy Sunday evening? As a side note, this quilt you see in 'Tiled Quilt' is actually my biggest UFO of all. Someday, it'll be a king size summer quilt for my waterbed. I have more than half the blocks done. I had actually started hand quilting some of them... but too much is too much. Now I think I'll keep the hand quilted ones separate and make pillow shams or a huge body pillow kind of thing, and make some new blocks for the sampler.

Now back to the blog. *LOL*

Since I was also changing templates, I had to re-add all my favorite links. Speaking of which, do any of you know if there's a site somewhere that I can get that title on the sidebar to match what I have for 'Archives' and 'Posts' please? I don't really want to have to make my own. Although... teeny little quilt blocks... could be cute :D

Maybe someday.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Challenge page up

Spent the evening putting up the pix of my guild's 2006 challenge. If anyone wants to see some quilty eye-candy, feel free to click on over:

2006 Challenge Results

I loved all the embellishments on some of the quilts!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Kitty blanket accepted AND 9-Patches started

Libby seems to like the new kitty blanket... I think that look on her face is saying she's getting irritated with the flash, though. They've both loved having the window open today, and I've enjoyed turning the heat off!

Toby's accepted the new heart blanket as a new napping place too... and he doesn't mind the camera flashing at all. He's such a little ham. I think Siamese cats should always live in pairs, to keep each other occupied when nobody's home.

And, to make this post even more quilt related, here's a picture of nine patch blocks I've made and added to yesterday's block of the month page. I was trying to write a description of how to mass produce them, for our guild block of the month. It's sort of an 'idiot's guide to making a bunch of nine-patches.' :) If anyone wants to check my instructions for mistakes, it's at

April 2006 BOM

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