Monday, December 31, 2012

topping it off

I've been chugging along getting some projects to flimsy stage the last few weeks, and here are some more for your viewing pleasure!

This one is from some of the Friday Block Party blocks I made a couple of years ago; I took all the ones with green in them for this top. It still needs some sort of border but I haven't run across the right fabric yet.

Next up is from a BOM project on a little Yahoo group I belong to. The fabrics are mostly Provence designs I bought in Paris about 7 years ago but I went a little out of line with the sashing and border.

Finally, this is the Christmas mystery from "A Pocket Full of Mysteries" this year -- it's called "Dashing Bachelor".  I think the design is quite clever, but I didn't like the construction method so much, because it resulted in some odd pressing maneuvers and some key seams not "nesting" as I would have liked.

And I am now officially sick and tired of sampler quilts with sashing and cornerstones! Here's to more creativity in the new year...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I won something!

Right now what really feels like winning is several days without going to work and very few other obligations.  I could get used to this...

But I did actually win something.  I rarely enter the giveaways that are all over blogland because a) they mostly seem pretty futile with hundreds of participants and b) really -- I don't NEED more stuff in my sewing room.  For some reason, though, I entered a drawing for a little FQ bundle of "Wrenly Christmas" on Valori Wells' blog, and I was one of the names that her daughters picked.

I like that it's festive but doesn't really scream Christmas -- and I love the doodle-y quality of the designs.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Last Call for the Cotton Robin!

This is your last opportunity to sign up for the 2013 Cotton Robin.  If you've been on the fence, now is the time to jump!

Your center block will be due in my mailbox by January 15 -- it can be anywhere from 6.5" square to 9.5" square, or a rectangle with the longest side at 9.5"  (unfinished sizes)

I will be sending out an email to each participant with my mailing address and other instructions next week. 


Saturday, December 15, 2012

She's a Rainbow!

(apologies to Mick Jagger...)

I've finished my yearlong Rainbow Scrap Challenge top -- and here it is:

The final knot block ended up being mostly black with multicolor prints, and the border -- I hope -- ties the whole thing together.

I got sort of tired of making these blocks because every time I had the pieces arranged I'd manage to  get them all mixed up again.  Now it's done, though, I do like it pretty well.  And I have a huge supply of scraps for next year!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Can I have another couple of days to this weekend?

What a nice weekend -- if only it were a little longer!  I've been on a roll with some sewing and I just want to finish up a couple more things...

I indulged in a little retail therapy last week, at Terri's Cyber-Holiday sale. She sells a nice selection of fabric and the prices right now are very attractive.  I picked out 5 that I liked and then challenged her to pick out two more to add to the mix -- partly because it's hard to evaluate the larger prints from a computer screen, and partly because I love surprises!

My choices were the 5 to the left side of the photo, and Terri added the two on the right. They're definitely going to add some pizzazz to my project (as soon as I figure out what it is)

I finished my November UFO challenge, which was to put together the blocks from a row robin in 2010 or so.  I was a bit disappointed that one person's set of blocks were quite wonky and she had cut off almost all the leaf points... but now that it's together I sort of like it.

I had a tiny mishap with the rotary cutter, though.  I had the quilt top folded in half and measured the border strip by folding it in half and laying over the quilt top and then cutting to size...  note to self: when you do this, make sure that you are using the rotary cutter on the open edges rather than the folded edge. You can see the tiny sliver I cut from the middle of a leaf!    I patched it with a tiny bit of similar batik and some mistyfuse and from a galloping horse it will never be noticed.

Finally, I also finished my Canyon Dance blocks.  They've been up on the wall for a week and hubby and I have been endlessly rearranging them.  This is one iteration, but I think a few have since been moved.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

The 2013 Cotton Robin is getting closer!

The 2013 Cotton Robin is coming together, but it's definitely still open for a few more participants!  We have a good mix of new players long with many of last year's.

Here's how it works:
The center block will be due to me by January 15.  I will mix them up and send them out, and then you'll have about 5 weeks to add the first border.

You'll send the project to the next person by the end of February, and you'll have about 6 weeks to add a second border on the one you receive.

You'll send the project to the last person by the middle of April, and then you'll have about 6 weeks to quilts and bind the one you receive before sending it "home" to its original owner.

You'll be able to list some likes/dislikes when you send in your center block, and you can choose to send a very small amount of fabric along if you want to -- no more than 1/2 yard.

Please shoot me a comment or an email if you'd like to join in, and make sure that there's an email address so I can respond to you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

alive and well

  I've been a total slug about blogging (again) lately, but I do have some stuff to show off, so here goes:

First off, I received my package from Another Little Quilt Swap (ALQS7), ably hosted by my friend Kate.  This year the quilts measured 12" x 12", and mine was made by Marie Joerger in New Hampshire. It's all batiks and looks even better in person than in the photo.

Somewhere recently I saw a blog post about these ruffled scarves, and watched a video on how to do them, and decided to try it out.  There are a number of companies making this style of yarn now and they are so amazingly quick (like one evening!) that I think they'll be my go-to holiday gift this year.

The lavender one is with Paton's Pirouette, and will be for a young niece.

The dark purple one is Katia's Triana, and  it's going to my hairdresser. I have a couple more to do as gifts, and then maybe one for me, too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

She's Got Ball *

Because I don't have enough crazy craft stuff going on in my life, I decided to take a class at the San Jose Quilt Museum in making Temari Balls -- I had seen and admired these for years and the class description made it sound reasonable. 


So -- it is an interesting process and I think the results are pretty cool even with the simplest of patterns. But I don't think I'm going to carry through with my idea of making them as holiday gifts for everyone!

*I love the crossword puzzles in the Sunday NY Times, and I'm always running about 3 months behind (saving them for my retirement, ha ha ha)  The last one I finished had the theme "Single-Minded" and it was full of silly puns like
"beginner magician's arsenal?" -- bag of trick 
"one who's read an encyclopedia's first volume?" -- man of letter

Hence the title of my post...

Friday, November 09, 2012

Three Down...

I am working on a couple of new things, but I decided to pause for a few minutes and finish up some easy projects before going further. So far there are three little finishes, and a couple more should follow soon-ish.

I won a big set of tic tac toe blocks in the block lotto some time ago, enough for two quilts.  The first one was done last year and used up the pink-red-orange part of the rainbow, and the second one in blues and greens just got finished. I'm thinking these might go as a set to my great niece/nephew for their first birthday next February.

And, when I started the 2012 rainbow scrap challenge, I thought I was going to make one baby quilt per month in the requisite color... I made it through three months, and I really want to finish the quilts and give them away before the holidays.  The first one done is "Pink".

"Green" just needs the binding sewn down, and "Red" still needs to be quilted.

Finally, decided to make a couple of table runners from a Martinique charm pack that was a birthday gift from Kate a couple of years ago. This skinny runner is for the top of my dining room cabinet, and shows off my small collection of pears and rhinoceroses.  There's a wider runner for my table that still needs quilting -- and now we're talking about painting the room, so I need to pick a color that goes with Martinique!

We're doing it again!

Crazy as it seems, I've decided it's time to start organizing another Cotton Robin, which will commence in January.   You can see how last year's projects turned out HERE -- they were pretty wonderful!

If you're interested in joining, or if you have any creative, reliable, quilty friends who might like to join in -- shoot me a comment or an email with your contact information.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

bloggers' quilt festival

I always love the quilt festival -- a chance for me to show off something I've made that I really like, and to troll around the web seeing quilters I haven't "met" before and re-visiting "old friends"!

This is my favorite quilt of the year -- it's called Antipodes I and all of the print fabrics came from a trip to New Zealand a few years ago.  It's made from a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. Here's a detail of the quilting by Sue Fox and my favorite bit of bird fabric.
Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 72 x90″
Quilted by : Sue Mary Fox, Berkeley
Best Category : wall quilt, throw quilt, Professionally Quilted

Be sure to go visit the Quilt Festival post to find links to the rest of the exhibit!

Monday, October 22, 2012

something new

It's the top of the 9th, in the 7th game of the division playoffs, and the Giants are ahead 9-0...  Go Giants!  (I'm a classic fair-weather baseball fan --- I only start paying attention when one of the local teams makes it into the post-season -- but how can you NOT get interested when your team is this close to the World Series?)

I finished a pair of socks tonight:

They're a pattern called Everyone Outta the Pool, and the yarn is Claudia Hand Painted in the "Carousel" color.  The yarn was fun and the pattern was quick to memorize and quick to knit.  The yarnovers in the pattern are meant to reduce the effect of pooling in variegated yarn and it does seem to work, judging by the difference between the ribbing at the top and the rest of the sock.  Now... what's next?

I also started a new quilt a couple of days ago.  I've had the pattern and the templates for a year or two; it's Canyon Dance by Tracy Trevethan. Surprisingly easy to put together the curved blocks!
These are hand-dyes from Starr Design Fabrics along with a couple of African prints. 

Still the 9th inning, Cardinals have two outs and two on base. I'm waiting for the sound of loud cheers from the tv in the other room so I'll know the game is over!  Yay! 9-0 -- can't beat that!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

501st Post GiveAway!

I missed my 500th post, somehow, but I always like to celebrate prime numbers so -- but wait! 501 is NOT a prime number! Did you know that you can look up prime numbers from 1 to a million online?   Okay, now I have to pause and figure out what 501 is divisible by...  it's 3 x 167 and 167 is prime (remember that thing about adding up the digits in a number and if it's divisible by 3 then the whole number is divisible by 3?  5+0+1=6).

Okay, enough math for today.  I decided to go through my stash of patterns and pull out the ones that I knew I was never going to make and ones that I wasn't going to make another time.  Photos and descriptions below -- leave me a comment if there's anything that interests you.

Two different FQ quilts from American Legacy Quilts

Baby Cakes uses 10" squares and Scrap Assassin  uses assorted scraps

Lover's Knot and Touching Stars are traditional designs -- a little bit more complex than the others

McGuffey is a little one using charm squares and the Simplicity pattern is for a variety of totes using 5-quart or 5-gallon plastic buckets

Cake Mix uses 10" squares and Butterfly Blooms uses 2-1/2" strips

Finally, a little bit of holiday cheer: Trim the Tree is paper pieced on tissue foundations (included), and the other is for a table runner and card holder.

I hope some or all of these will find a home outside my sewing room!


Monday, October 15, 2012

PIQF Report

I can't go to a quilt show without posting a few photos!  It was a good show this year -- I know that because my camera kept beeping that I was out of disc space.  For some reason (laziness) I still had a million old quilt show photos that hadn't been deleted, so I managed to clean up the disc a little in the course of the day and I think I photographed about 80 quilts.

I watched one woman systematically walk around the show snapping a picture of every quilt. She didn't seem to actually look at them, which I thought was odd, and she was just using a little "point & shoot" camera so it was unlikely she was doing it for publication.  Hmm...

Anyway, here's a little gallery of some of my favorites for your enjoyment --

First up is Blue Squares by Marcia DeCamp of Palmyra, NY (64" square) -- I love the color play in this one and the interesting fabrics.
 Then there's Hippo Love by Janet Fogg of Milwaukie, OR (81" x 83") -- absolutely wonderful!
 Here's a close-up. This won a ribbon for use of color, but the quilting is terrific, too.

This is Best Man by Jean Jurgenson of Walnut Creek, CA. I really like the monochromatic subtlety of this piece, and the intimate feel of it.
Here is Reborn by Vicki Thompson of Mandeville, LA (53" x 46"). It's quite whimsical and I really like the controlled busyness and the splashes of color.
 One of my favorites -- Pigeonholed by Julie Schlueter of Orange, CA. Again, great use of color...
 This one is Regatta by Bernadette Mayr of Germany (88" x 73") -- I think I've posted her quilts from other shows. So subtle... and of course since my husband is a sailor it caught my eye! 
 Another bright one is Gloriosa Pigmentosa by Linda Waddle, who is somewhere in the California foothills.  I'm a sucker for almost anything with leaves, and I love these bright colors!
 Finally -- my friends will be shocked  (shocked!) by this choice and even I'm a bit surprised because I really don't like 30's repro fabrics at all -- in fact I was having a conversation on that subject on the way down to the show.  BUT: I think this is a charming quilt:
Although I might like it better if it were just one bouquet of balloons in a frame of some sort...  it is Balloon Bouquet by Gail Lysett of Castro Valley, CA.  The handwork was lovely -- applique, piecing and quilting.
I hope you've enjoyed the show!