Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Been trying to post these since I got home, but guess blogger was having a lot of graphic traffic. Better late than never!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Halloween Decorations

Full speed ahead for Halloween! We're all decorated at the library. I don't think I've shown this on my blog, but here's a little wall hanging I did last year. Don't be scared by the spidey hanging on the right side!

I saw the instructions for the stars in a magazine, one of those stack and slice techniques where you do two blocks at a time and switch the colors. The witch, pumpkin and ghost were all drawn in EQ5 and paper pieced, with applique bits added.

I've also been doing activities at the library with the neighborhood kids. This year I drew a large outline picture on paper with black crayon, and after school, they've been tearing small bits of construction paper and filling in the outlines. I've had all ages working on it, from the 4 year olds that come to my storytime (one bit at a time, with adults smearing the glue) to teenagers, doing the detail trim like the black outlines.

And here's three of the kids working on it Saturday afternoon. They'll love seeing pictures of themselves on my blog. Didn't they do a wonderful job? It's almost finished.

The bulletin board above the mural has the quote from Shakespeare's Macbeth; "Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble...." I figured I might as well make it slightly educational while I was at it. :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Windy Leaves

Cloudy, gray, and windy today in Tennessee. I had this finished in time to take it to my guild meeting for show and tell, but it rained the last couple of days so I couldn't get a good picture of it outside.

Tried to put the finished leaf quilt up on the fence to take a picture, but the breeze wasn't cooperating!

I found these little spring loaded clamps at the store (like clothespins that open big enough to fit a fence board) but that didn't help me with the bottom. The first shows the backing. I used plaid both because it reminds me of Fall - did you ever have a plaid dress for the first day of school, or a plaid bookbag? And because I got a LOT of this 100% cotton shirting stuff when the local fabric giant went out of business. The quilt is just over a yard square, so I wanted something lightweight, it will be used as a wall hanging mostly.

This is the picture where the wind was blowing the least. The prairie points looked better before the quilt was washed. Now I think I need to iron them flat again. Should I try to put some spray starch on them?

Friday, October 20, 2006


Ok, I just couldn't resist. I'd been thinking about making one of those cute pincushion chickens ever since I'd seen so many posted on people's blogs. And I did have all those autumn colored scraps from my leaf wall quilt that were just begging to be used ... but I decided the season's coming round for turkeys instead!

I was trying to get a side view, and when playing with the contrast of the picture in my photo editing software, I happened to notice a black faced bandit in an area I normally crop out... so instead of increasing the contrast to compensate for the flash, I decreased it to reveal (eeek!) a SPY.

Think she's hearing very important secrets straight from the beak? Or perhaps wondering if she can flip him over and find a turkey leg under there?

I stuffed him with dried peas, so he's more of a beanbag, not a pincushion, and pretty heavy! I haven't decided on a name yet, not Tom, that's totally expected. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bloglines Folders

Did you know that you can take all your blog feeds (if you use bloglines, which is wonderful) and set them up in different folders?

I've just gone thru my comments for the last month, mainly looking for people who stopped by and had a comment for me, but who aren't on a ring yet, whose blogs I haven't visited.

Interestingly enough, I found that of the 75+ people that I have listed on bloglines, (mostly mavericks and stashbusters) only 40 of those have left me a comment in the last month. And of those 40, there are only 24 that have commented more than once in the last month. Sooooo, I've now got three folders set up, and they're divided neatly into categories:
'People Who Comment a LOT'
'People Who Comment SOME'
'People Who Rarely Say Anything'

It's easy to move people from one folder to another, and will certainly make it simple to reciprocate comment wise. And if you don't ever leave ME a comment, then I'll still read your blog, but feel a lot less guilty about not commenting myself.

Bloglines even gives me a separate unread total for each folder, AND I can click on the folder and open all the blogs in that folder at once. :) Pretty cool!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Prairie Points in Progress

Well, here's what I've been doing this weekend. Ironing more than 100 little 3 inch squares... folding them on the diagonal, ironing them again... folding them on the diagonal AGAIN and ironing them one last time. Uggh, you KNOW how much I love to iron.

Then I pinned them point-in to the border of the leaf quilt. It took me a few tries to decide exactly how far I wanted them apart. I finally decided to nest each one half way into the one before it.

I also decided that I was anal enough to want some kind of pattern, especially with the red, they seemed to jump out more to my eye. So I have a dark red triangle, three random triangles between, then a medium red triangle, and three triangles.

Spacing them halfway into the next one meant that I was continually sewing through 9 layers of fabric. I bet if you want them closer than that, you've really got to have a powerful machine!

I hope the corners work out when I flip them open. I did find a website that suggested matching them like a miter, almost, at each end, so that's what I did.

I've done two corners so far... another 1½ sides to go!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Prairie Point Questions

With final border on, the leaf quilt is 36 inches square (36½ unfinished). I've cut my scrappy squares from all my various leaf fabrics, at 3 inches square. I think I like the look of the points with the opening on the side, that are 'nested' into each other ... but I have some questions.

Does anyone have any hints on how many points look best per side? Should I really nest them deep into each other or only slightly, ½ inch or so? Do I have to pin a whole yard of these before I sew them? eww.

Will it look better if I stick to a pattern of colors for my points? I have 11 different fabrics... or will it look too regimented? But, if I do the color order randomly, some of the colors are brighter or darker, will they draw the eye and look funny if (example) the deep red points are only two points apart on the left side... and spaced by 8 on the bottom, and by 5 or so on the right?

Do people normally put these points on after you quilt the sandwich or before?

Have any of you ever put the quilt top and the backing right sides together, stitched the edges, then turned the whole thing inside out? That way my points would be caught in the seam... but where does the batting fit? I can just see it snagging on the pressor foot if I put it on top ... or getting mangled by the feed dogs, on the bottom.

Advice, plz?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm an Autumn

Got the link for this from Finn's blog, guess I'm an Autumn too. :)

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

I think I've decided to try prairie points on the border for this little leaf quilt... it'll add color to the edge without adding much size. And since it's going to be a wall hanging, it'll let me try the points without committing myself to a whole bed size quilt worth of them. :D

Actually, I'm not sure what to do with the points at the corners, but I guess I can do a search online and find some instructions.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Inner Squares

I did some extra time on Judy's 'hour a day' quilt today, since I had a nice free afternoon and a couple of DVD's to watch. Besides, I've got a board meeting tomorrow after work, and won't sew at all. Here we go. :)

Now for the borders. I'll do an inner solid green one, same size as the sashing, I think, so the leaves and lattice float. Then - still not sure what I want to do with the outer border. I've got plenty of that lattice color, and enough of several of the leaf colors. Lessee, got a choice between that Red/Orange/Yellow swirly stuff... the orange on the right side middle, and the red immediately above it. All the rest of the leaves came from FQ's, so unless I do something pieced, not enough of those.

I'm kind of leaning toward the lattice fabric, beige with brown leaves... what would YOU pick? Then bind it in... more green? A pieced binding? *thinking*

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Leaf Blocks done

I've been working away, just not posting. :)

Here's my 13 leaf blocks done (the three on the left are the ones I have duplicated) there's two in each of those stacks, making the 13 I'll need. That one on the bottom isn't really pink, it's more of an orangey red than it looks.

And I've done 6 of the lattice blocks I will need, three in each stack. I've got pieces of the other 6 done, two sides and the middle, just waiting for the top and bottom strip. Then I'll get started on my sashing! If only I didn't have to work all day Saturday... *sighs*

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Quilt for an Hour Two

My progress today on Judy's Hour a Day Autumn quilt:

I got all the paper torn off all my triangles. I rotary cut the three color squares, and the two background squares for each leaf, AND cut the background green squares for each lattice block. Then I got industrious and cut the stem fabric, seamed it together into a tube, and machine appliqued it down diagonally to 13 of my background squares. I LOVE the little applique stitch on my new machine, this is the first time I've used it. Well, I didn't get the instruction book out, but I used #34 on quilting mode, for you Janome folks, and it looks good to ME. :D

I've still got to cut the last three stems apart... and *confesses* I'm procrastinating on my least favorite job... anyone remember? It'll be the first thing I do when I get home from work tomorrow night, I Promise! Then I can reward myself by sewing my leaf blocks together.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Quilt for an Hour project

Well, here goes!

I'm making mine a little different from the one Judy designed - Making it smaller, 6 inch blocks sized for a wallhanging, adding sashing between the blocks, and using my favorite color as background, forest green, of course! My beige for the lattice is an oak leaf print, tans with brown leaf outlines, that should look like the fabric I found in EQ. Here's what I adapted from the EQ file Judy made available:

Sunday night I drew out my hst paper in Corel, and printed up enough for all my triangles. Tonight I cut my strips for the leaf triangles and sewed them to the paper, tomorrow at work I'll tear off all the paper on my break. Then my least favorite job of all, iron them. :(

This is what they look like now:

I'm repeating 4 of the colors, one red, one orange, one brownish gold, and the marbley red-orange-yellow that's my favorite. All the rest are different, but heavy on the orange variations.
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