Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kaleidoscopes and Classes

Fun! I had a LOT of fun on Monday - I took off work and went to a guild sponsored class taught by Marti Michell. It was a great class. I ended up buying her Kaleido-ruler and a set of little mirrors that you can test the pattern of kaleidoscope blocks with.

The kaleido-ruler will let me make a whole range of kaleidoscope blocks, from 6 to 16 inches, AND when you rotate the ruler, you can easily cut the triangular bits to go at the end of the kaleidoscope wedges, too. I made 9 little six inch ones in class, using scraps of fabric left over from my big blue and khaki quilt. I plan to make a pillow with it. Here it is hanging on the library shelves next to the quilt:

It's 18 inches square now, so I'll probably use more of that khaki and blue ferny fabric on the outer border of the quilt to border the pillow, and also use those fabrics for the pillow back, if I have enough.

If you ever get a chance to take a class from Marti, don't hesitate. ;) She's got an excellent sense of humor, knows what she's teaching, and I learned a LOT. I really wish I'd known some of the tricks she taught before I made all the kaleidoscope blocks between the depression blocks in the king size quilt. Even though the blocks I made can't be made with her ruler (the depression block is a 16 patch, her ruler makes blocks divisible by three, for use next to each other or with nine patches) there were still some tips that would have worked on my blocks.

Speaking of which, I also finished that, and got the borders on, then got a picture of it before I send it off to get quilted. NO way am I trying to quilt a king size on my machine at home! It's so big, it even draped too long when I hung it on the tallest shelving unit:

Now I need to make pillow shams for this quilt, and get the backing ready... then what should I work on next? :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Delectable Mountains and Kaleidoscopes

Here's my most recent finish - a blue and green delectable mountain quilt - pattern from Bonnie's site,, of course. I liked the lanterns layout on her examples, and the zig zag layout too, so I combined them. It was quilted by Mary S. in Missouri, and she did a great job for me, as usual, even constantly switching threads, using blue/green thread on the dark fabric and cream thread on the light fabric.

And here's what I've been working on lately - remember the hundreds of blue and beige half square triangles I was doing a few months ago? I sewed them all into depression blocks, then used some of the same blues and beiges to make kaleidoscope blocks. It's not your typical kaleidoscope wedges, though, I made the blue kite shapes skinnier and the beige parts wider, to fit edgewise with my 16 patch depression blocks. This is half the quilt top, it'll be kingsize, so when I get the top done, even without borders, it won't fit on the fence.

And finally, I got a rental car, the insurance companies decided that yes, their clients were at fault, and they're fixing my van this week. But lookie what I get to drive instead! I'm going to be so spoiled that I won't be happy when my van comes back... lol.

It's not near as big as it looks in this picture, but it sure is nice! It's a Toyota 4-runner, with all kinds of things I'm not used to. A lot higher than my minivan, for sure!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Some Finishes

This pink and brown one I started at our guild retreat last November (well, actually, we had some homework to precut our squares before the class, but didn't start making the blocks till the second weekend in November.) We had a great instructor, and almost everyone finished the top during the weekend, a few finished top AND borders. I sent mine home with my longarm quilter, to Missouri, and just got it back from her a couple of days ago.

I'd used up most of the fabric that matched it in the piano key border, but I was lucky enough to find another yard of the one I wanted (the dark reddish brown one) at the store.

Here's the back of a smaller couch-throw quilt... remember the floral windmills I put up on the blog a month or so ago?

And here's the front of it. Mary S. really did a great job quilting both of them. This floral one's already been washed, and really came out all soft and nice. Too bad I don't need a couch throw this time of year! I like the look of the pieced binding - it might have looked better against a less dark final border, but since this one was completely from my stash, I wanted to use up the last few floral strips.

Nothing new on the mashed van yet. Because the delivery truck hit me, then a car hit the delivery truck, they'll have to argue about who has to pay what percentage of the repair. A guy from the insurance company is meeting me at work tomorrow to have a look at the damage.

And finally, a question... have any of you seen the quilts that fold in on themselves and become pillows? Is it too late for me to do that and attach it to the floral quilt, or should I just make a separate little zippered pillowcase for it? If you attach it, do you put it center bottom or on a corner or?
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