Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Am I Crazy or What?

Call the men in the white coats... I'm getting ready to launch the 2016 Cotton Robin!

Check out the blog. Send me a comment or an email if you're interested in signing up, and feel free to enlist your quilty friends if they have the "chops" to play along.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Very productive retreat

My friend Catherine organized a sewing retreat to celebrate a big birthday, by renting a cottage in beautiful Pacific Grove for a week. Unfortunately I can't stay the whole week but I've had a great 5 days! I brought a couple of "kits" and my stack of Tula Pink blocks and here's the result:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

It's Tops!

Periodically I get annoyed/distracted/obsessed with the mounds of scraps I've accumulated and feel compelled to DO SOMETHING.

(I sort of loosely follow a mashup of Bonnie Hunter's and Joan Ford's scrap management programs, so I've ended up with shoeboxes of 2", 2.5", 3", 3.5", 4" and 5" squares, as well as 2" and 2.5" strips.)

So I rummage around in books, magazines, and websites, and make myself a bunch of "kits".  Sometimes it takes a year or more to actually assemble them, but that's okay, right?

Recently, I've been on a roll, though, and here are three quilt tops I've finished up. (disclaimer -- I prefer to do a good pressing just before a quilt them, so I don't knock myself out pressing them if I'm pretty sure they'll sit in the closet for a while...)

First up is "Picnic" from one of Kim Brackett's books -- this one is all dots:
Next is a Scrappy Bargello, one of Bonnie Hunter's classics -- I've made 3 so far -- an excellent use of 2.5" strips:
And this is one I found somewhere... I'm embarrassed that I didn't make a note of it, but it was a fun use of 5" squares:

I've made 0 progress with my "Inked" fabrics, but I do have ideas!  Just trying to get a few more things done before cutting into them.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Quilty Orphan Adoption Event!

Quilting is more fun than Housework

I'm joining in with the Orphan Adoption event on Quilting is More Fun Than Housework  -- here's what I'm giving away:

Several (many) years ago I was in an online birthday swap, and my request was for fabulous house blocks. I did receive fabulous house blocks but I've never been able to get excited about doing something with them...

So, I am giving them away to someone who will create a lovely finished project for a charitable purpose.
There are 9 - 12" blocks and 3 - 9" blocks and the fabrics are all batiks. A couple of the blocks have some beads or other bling as embellishment.

The event ends on September 20 at 9 p.m. PDT and I'll use the random number generator if I get more than one request. This is a give-away -- no charge to you -- but I would like to limit my postage expenses to the U.S. only.

Check out the event website for more orphan opportunities!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I've been inked!

Well, not in the sense of getting a tattoo...  I'm just not quite in that frame of mind!

But I did receive my bundle of "Inked" by Lynn Krawczyk -- just look at these lovely prints:

I'm ready to get the quilt-along going, and my plan is to do a medallion-style quilt.  I recently won a copy of The Modern Medallion Workbook (Janice Zeller Ryan and Beth Vassalo) which has lots of inspiration, but I also found a couple of older books on my shelf that have great border ideas: 60 Pieced Quilt Borders (Judy Laquidara) and The Border Workbook (Janet Kime)

Here's a little medallion quilt I made from a box of scraps a few years ago -- it's still one of my favorites: "Yello Kitty!"

So -- the "rules" for the quilt-along will be very simple:
- I set up a facebook group: "inked quilt-along" -- just ask to join and I'll let you in.
- you don't have to use the Inked fabric (although that's what sparked this)
- everything you do can be whatever size you want to make it
- you don't have to mail anything to anyone
- make a center block, or a center piece of some kind and post a photo
- then add borders and post photos as you go along
- that's it!

I'm planning on 2-4 weeks for each step, for my own schedule. If you want to work faster or slower, it's up to you!  I'll start posting encouraging words once there are a few participants.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Crazy Hearts

Finally, a finished quilt --  I started this ages ago, from a Buggy Barn pattern, and tomorrow it will be gifted to a friend's daughter who is off to Harvard (!) next weekend.

I learned a couple of things while working on this...

First of all, I used Quilter's Dream wool batting and I'll probably never buy another one. It is all soft and squishy -- a good thing. But it varied in thickness so much from one side to the other that it felt like two different products.  It was literally twice as thick in some parts, which made it a bit difficult to work with, and what's up with that, anyway?   If I hadn't been on a deadline to get this done, I would have gone to Plan B. The wool also sheds a lot and reminded me of working with old polyester batting. 

The other thing I learned was a New Trick!  After I quilted the top, I decided that it wasn't big enough.  I googled "add border to finished quilt" and found a terrific tutorial for how to do just that.  It's here.  Basically it's a quilt-as-you-go technique.  It takes a bit of finesse (which I didn't have...) to get the borders straight and flat, but I'm pleased with the result, and I think Soraya will appreciate the extra 5" of quilt on each border when it comes to staying warm this winter!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I made something.

Seems like a long time since I finished something made of fabric... but here's one:

The pattern was in a 2013 issue of Generation Q magazine, and is available online here, for free!  It's paper-pieced, and it was a bit of a pain to print out the patterns as large as they needed to be (because I was too lazy to go to a copy shop) but overall an easy project -- I even did a lapped zipper installation for the first time in at least 20 years.

I have several projects in process the might show up here before too long: a couple of things to quilt, a couple to assemble.  Watch this space!