Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whoo Hoo!!! Success!!!

I'm not sure what I'm more excited about...being finished with the piecing, or the fact that when you scan the quilt live with the phone apps that do such things, it really does take you to my blog!!!  I was worried that the color selection, the fact that the points aren't perfect and/or not being completely flat might make a difference.

A huge thanks to Linda & John for letting me show up at their house on a Sunday afternoon with a weird request to test-drive my QR code. John also made his neighbor stop doing yard work to try it on his phone. Success twice! It was very cool to see the computer geeks as excited about this idea as I was.  Huge thanks also to my daughter who helped me double check the placement of all the squares.  We did find one incorrect one (right in the middle), which probably would have taken you to a porn site instead of my quilt blog had I not fixed it.

I am going to save the quilting for some other weekend and get back to some lovely, relaxing applique for the final afternoon of my vacation.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Projects

The only things that I dislike more than I dislike piecing are 1) waking up early 2) shopping.  Guess who was up at 3 am for my first, last, and only foray into Black Friday shopping.  We've been looking for a new TV for about a year.  Bought the grand-daddy of huge TVs for 1/2 price.  Merry Christmas & Happy Birthday Harley Dude.  Our daughter-who-wins-everything was with us which probably explains why we were in and out of Sears in 30 minutes despite the crowd.

Meanwhile, back at the sewing machine, I'm about 1/2 way finished with the mystery project.  The grand prize winner is:

Blogger Lynne said...
One of those code things for mobile phones. Not being up with technology, I don't know what they're called but I know what I mean! They're rectangles made up of black and white patches. Ah, maybe "mobile template"? If you press settings on Blogger then the "email and mobile tab", you'll see one!
November 22, 2011 6:29 AM

The code takes you to this blog!  
Runners up who win some batik charm squares include Ethne and Sallie who correctly guessed, (although days after Lynne). Other winners include Julie's guess of a drunken panda, Salley's Greens-eating Pterodactyl, Celeste's Crossword of Cross Words, and Amy's multiple guesses involving Atari, Wii and Micky Mouse. 
Send me an email with your address.  These are the main colors in my stash.  Let me know if you have color preferences and I'll do my best to pull together some of your favorites.

I'm a little over half-way finished with the piecing.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure that I have enough of the dark fabrics so I may have to start counting squares remaining and dip into fabrics set aside for other projects. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day Off

Don't you love how a "day off" never really plays out as planned?  I did buy groceries, made 3 pies (2 pumpkin, 1 fresh lemon w/ K's assistance), turkey stock for tomorrow's gravy, diced and cubed bread + herbs for stuffing, and I  a made family heirloom recipe for cranberry gelatin with pineapple and grapes that is far more complicated than it needs to be.  (I had never made it b/c I hate Jello and am so-so about cranberry, so I never eat this dish at mom's house. One daughter and my hubby thought it needed to be on the menu since we are staying home.)  I'm also prepped to make a gourmet version of green bean casserole (fresh beans, crimini & shitake mushrooms in a cream sauce, freshly fried onions on top.)

My favorite view today is the fruit piled up on the cyprus bowl carved by my friend Sparky.  Just above the oranges you can see the baby pictures of my girls who are now 15 & 18.

I was ABOUT to make brownies & lemon bars to add to the feast...I even pulled pans out of the cupboards.  But the reality is that I'm not big on sweets, so I decided to drink wine and piece instead.   Here's a sneak-peak of today's progress.

Surprisingly, I have only one person who has correctly guessed the outcome of my mystery project.  That person is going to be my GRAND PRIZE WINNER.  The winner was informed early on about her/his successful guess.  All the other entries still qualify for runner up prizes which involve a packet of Friendship Square Batiks.  Keep posting your guesses about what this quilt will become to qualify for yummy 5 inch squares of phenomenal fabric.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


My mystery project enters day 2.  I had forgotten how great a 9-patch can look! ( And how much variation there can be in white-on-white)

If you haven't checked in for a while, or you are here because of WIPs on Wed at Esther or Lee's blogs...on Monday, I started cutting fabric for a new project and issued a challenge.  Each guess posted on the previous or this post that identifies what the final project will be, counts toward a very cool prize.  In case you are too lazy/overwhelmed/busy to check the previous post, the basic rules are:  a gift certificate to my local quilt shop (who ships internationally) will be awarded  to a contestant who guesses what it is that I am going to make.  One entry per guess, with extra credit (guesses) for being right, or ridiculously wrong in a way that makes me snort coffee out my nose when I read your entry.   Contest ends whenever I get this thing done (could be tomorrow...could be next month).

And I don't want to make light of serious addiction...but when I ran out of spray starch while pressing these blocks...I was in a serious panic.  Until I remembered that I had a secret stash of dollar store spray starch.  Oh yea, that's pathetic (but a huge relief).  

My other project that I'm working on is my revised Heart's Desire...which I tend to refer to as Heart's Whim or that @#$% Heart quilt that I broke up with.  Follow the link for details...but this is my medium-tech version of showing what I think it may look like (when I get another 30 hours of applique done).   Planning to add more leave and vines around the outside.  Will keep you posted.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Piecing Guess Challenge

Yes, it's true.  I hate piecing.  But sometimes an idea comes up that requires it.  A lot of it actually.  I've had this idea rattling around in my brain for a couple months, but tonight decided to dig through the fabric stash to see what I have that will work.  The criteria:
1) Must have a strong contrast that "reads" as black & white.  (Dark blue/green & white-on-white)

2) Must be fabrics that I like enough that I don't lose interest before the 1089 pieces are combined. (Batiks collected over the past 2 years with the criteria that it goes with my stash.
3) Have nearly 5 yards in mixed colors that go together and read as a single color. (Don't EVEN ask.)
4) Fabrics are not my most favorite fabrics in the universe so if it's an utter failure I would have cry myself to sleep for months.  (The muddy step-batiks that I liked enough to buy, but went.."hmmm"  when they started to hang out with the others in the stash.)

Since this is Thanksgiving week and I'm taking some time off, my goal is to get this pieced by Saturday and find a friend with a specific type of technology to see if "it works" (the silly visual trick I'm going for).  There are probably dozens of people who have already thought of this and posted about it, but I'm feeling delightfully clever.  So clever, in fact, that I will award a prize...a gift certificate to my local quilt shop who ships internationally, to a contestant who guesses what it is that I am going to make.  One entry per guess, with extra credit (guesses) for being right, or ridiculously wrong - but making me snort coffee out my nose when I read your entry.   Contest ends whenever I get this thing done (could be tomorrow...could be next month).

What is it?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blooming Good!

I made a lot of progress on flowers over the past 2 days.  This one is my favorite.  I love the way the pink/green print really connects the flower to the stem.

This was my progress by the end of Saturday.

 And by the end of Sunday, I can almost declare this section done.   (Just 3 leaves to go)
 But there's another weekend worth of leaves to be done on the right 2/3 of the panel.

I don't have Photoshop so my photo splicing is really rough, but this is kind of where I think I'm going.  I want some open space in the middle balance out all the vines.  I'm considering trying some trapunto. If I extend the vines under the bird to the lower right corner, and same from the circle vine going toward the upper left, I'd end up with a 15" x 30" rectangle in the center.

I'm open to suggestions.  What would you do with the center?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Petal Progress

I got one of the small flowers stitched last night.  I was thinking of the large flowers when I was picking fabric placement, so I'm not entirely happy with this one.  But not unhappy enough to  un-sew it.

Unfortunately, I already had the outer 3 petals stitched on this one too.  Clever color placement, however will make for improvements.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Henry Glass Blog Hop

RGA518 Patriot Dream Kit
A really cool thing about knowing a fabric designer is that you get to see stuff before it's available to the public.  I got to see Renae Allen's Patriot Dream fabric for Henry Glass back in May.  The center panel is printed with traditional quilt blocks (perfect for those of us who hate to piece)  and was designed with Quilts of Valor in mind.

And, I just found out that Renae has started to blog!  Not only will there be cool things to win with the Henry Glass Blog Hop, but she's doing a blog give-away  of her Skillsbuilder Series.

That was where I got the idea for this particular feather design I attempted on this baby quilt.

Looks like my limited quilting time today is going to be spent blog hopping and trying to win prizes.  (It could happen....I won something cool.  Once.  A long time ago.)   Maybe by next Wed my WIP post will have more that 2 petals progress on my Heart's Whim.(Started as Heart's Desire but the passion is gone.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


My daughter had friends over Saturday to watch movies and eat pizza to celebrate her birthday, so I was displaced to the bedroom to applique and listen to football on the radio.

I have a rather alarming pile of green batik scraps.

Which means that there's a lot of variety in my leaves.   13 leaves finished over 2 days.

As is the one blossom that I made months ago using the freezer paper method.  The others will be back basting.

Thanks for all of you who took the time to leave comments about format. I like the classic format too, so you'll keep seeing posts this way.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Post Options

Over the weekend, I changed the view of my blog to be what blogger refers to as "dynamic"view but then changed it back.  My friend Heather at Retro Fabulous  now has her page set up this way.  What do you think?  When you log on, I think it appears in the format that the blogger identifies, such as Mosaic - where the photos of dozens of post are what you see and you click on the one that interests you. If you click on the header bar you can select "Classic" and get info the way most of us post. "Flipcard" option gives you thumbnails of the previous posts and the mouse-over gives the date and # of comments."Magazine" provides the first couple sentences of a post with a photo (click to read more).   There are several other options that you can click on to see the post as you like.

Leave me a comment.  What do YOU like??  I see pros and cons each way.  I want to provide information the way that most people want to receive it.  In this contest, the most vocal participants in the poll win.  If you don't give your opinion, no whining.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vining for you

The problem with hand applique is that progress is slow.  I added blue centers to the flowers in the upper right corner of the section I put in the last post. 

Then I lost interest and started drawing the flowers that drew me to Esther's mystery quilt  in the first place onto the back of a strip which will be the bottom of my revised quilt.

For several evenings, I've been adding vines.

And more vines.  I have a couple more stems to add then it's on to leaves, and at long last those flowers that I love.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Little Progress

I am still trying to adjust to my new work schedule.  After a decade of consulting work, I'm finding it a real challenge to work scheduled hours 5 days per week, and have to factor in commuting time.  It's amazing how exhausted I am at the end of the day, trying to absorb and retain all the new information.

I've added some leaves to the corner of my variation of Esther Aliu's Heart's Desire.  The cluster of 5 flowers is from the outer border corner vase.  The buds on the left were already drawn on the back of the fabric which was supposed to be like the upper left block before I gave up on the original.  I think I'll add more leaves once I figure out what is going into that lower left block.

I have a few hours today to work on quilts...will I end up working on this, or something entirely different????

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mission Statement

A friend re-posted this on Facebook.  I think it is brilliant and perhaps exemplifies my personal mission statement. I wonder if Marilyn Monroe actually said it (as is claimed).  I'm posting it here as I think it's a great way to approach the process of making an amazing quilt.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oct In Review

Fresh Sewing Day
My goal for October was to finish up some UFO's.  I was fairly successful.  This Crazy quilt was started about 2003 to use up blue scraps from a Hawaiian applique.  It was actually the first of the series of Crazies that I've made over the past few years.

It took forever to finish because I had decided to do all hand embroidery on every seam (what was I thinking???)

The top was backed with an iron on stabilizer to support the stitching.  Then, like a traditional crazy, there's no batting - I made bar tacks on the machine every 3 inches or so to connect it to a minkee backing.

I also finished this quilt which was my first attempt at free motion quilting a full size quilt on my machine.  I discovered that I am NOT a natural at feathers, which you can read more about in this post.

My newest UFO I pulled out is Hearts Desire which was a mystery block of the month by Esther Aliu.   I was 3 blocks into it when I realized that I would never finish it.   You can see her finished quilt here.  I have a master plan to tie together some of the blocks I did with some of the elements of the original quilt that I really like, without having to do multiple repeats of any design.  This weekend I added the hearts to the upper right block and over the past 2 days have been adding a curvy vine and flowers which will have more leaves.  
I've been practicing my FMQ whenever Leah Day posts some cool new fill.

I made my younger daughter take a batik class with me and we made this.

And I squandered 6 hours of quilt time making my paper doll costume for halloween.

But it was so worth it!  I won 1st prize at work, and had fun changing outfits every 30 minutes.

So, what did you get done this month?