Monday, August 27, 2012

Leaf it alone

Good news: I found the converter for the old camera so can stop relying on blurry photos from my cell phone.  Bad news: the battery on the camera goes dead after one shot.  This is the one shot I got, and I managed to cut off the top.  Come to think of it, it's a skill I must have inherited from my mother who always manages to cut off the tops of people's heads in photos.

I am declaring the applique on this panel done.  I added several more leaves over the weekend.  There are some kind of bare looking stems in the upper part of the photo that got cut off.  I'm just going to live with it.

I know a parent shouldn't pick favorites, but I really do like this leaf best.

 Or maybe this one.

I kept buying green batiks while I was working on this project, so the fabrics and colors vary widely.  Hopefully that will add lots of interest to the final quilt.

Next step: Pink & White  Sawtooth border.  Deciding if I want it all the way around or only on lower left and bottom.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Progress is Relative

I have limited my posts for some very good reasons.  I spent an additional 14 hours of my life working on transitioning older daughter's room into usable real estate (added to a previous epic marathon).  6 hours were spent on dismantling a loft that once held a twin size bed (but more recently just collected junk).  The rest was spent helping younger daughter to paint.  Unfortunately, the room had been painted a very dark shade of grey with an assortment of red/black enamel artwork painted over it.  I know that I should be impressed that the deluxe primer/paint that I bought actually covered that saturated of colors...but at $40 a gallon, I was really expected it to cover in one coat and bring me a latte in the morning.  It looks great at night in dim light, but I'm afraid there's another coat in the future of this room.  On the bright side, the roll top desk (that is too big for the kitchen space it's been living in for 10 years) will be moving into this corner and housing the sewing machine and serger, thus moving the sewing stuff out of the living room for the first time in 7 years.  Cool.

I have actually been working on some applique.  I last posted on this July 1st when I posted some close ups of the applique and June 30th with a wide shot.  Once again, I'm forced to apologize for the quality of the photos.  I had planned to replace the broken camera, but instead had to buy a new refrigerator AND a new computer AND a new expresso machine.  All are equally critical at my house.  No, that's a lie.  The expresso machine got replaced immediately.  I got by with marginal options for 2.5 months on the computer and had decided over 3 months ago that since I have a wine fridge and a small freezer I could wait for the squealing, shreeeeking, moaning fridge to really die before I bought a new one.  Several consecutive sleepless nights changed my mind.
Oh, but anyway, about the applique.... Looking at my checklist, I've actually done well.  Funny how it doesn't seem that way when picking away at little bits at a time.   Here's my goal list and the outcome.  Picture above is current, below was nearly 2 mo ago.

My "to do" list:
* leaves for the lower left. - added several stems and 12 2-part leaves on the lower left, between the 2 flowers and the heart motif.  
* blue stamens for the 3 left flowers. - done, both the embroidery and the annoying little dots.
* connecting vining of some sort from the bird to the lower right. Added a stem and large 2-color leaf
* ditto the center loop section toward the left - seem to have ignored that but added a good sized leaf in the center and one directly above it pointed toward the hearts. 
* one more bracket of 4 hearts on the right side - Done
* design tropunto for the center 1/6th of the quilt to include all the bits and pieces from the outer border. Uh, not done.  Still tweaking the leaf issues on the applique.

So what's left?  I'm quite happy with the lower left section.  I periodically think that I'd be happier with a couple more leaves.  I may be able to talk myself out of all but 1 of them.  On the upper right, there are about 5 more small leaves begging to be included.  On the other hand, I'm trying to convince myself that I only need a short stem and small leaf headed out of the upper circle pointed toward the gap in in hearts. 

I plan to hand quilt b/c I love the extra texture, but have sections for which I am considering FMQ by machine.  I think trapunto will really help...can I use that for some of the leaves that I was considering applique? If I machine quilt some leaves, would that make them stand out more than if I hand quilted? Green vs white thread? Machine vs hand for the trapunto sections (I've never hand-trapunto so I don't know if it's worth the extra effort over machine for texture).  If I add more leaves, will it take away from the white space that exists to the point it just looks weird?  My original plan for this quilt involved a sawtooth border (pink/white) of HST, maybe just along the left and lower side.  Yes/No?

I welcome your input, though I reserve the right to ignore it and do something I hadn't even listed here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Purple dress

I didn't get it done in time for the wedding I went to this weekend, but it is ready for work today.  Still not pleased with the fit of the arm holes.  Will have to continue to tinker with this pattern if I am to use it again.

There are 15 full jelly roll strips (2.5 inches) alternating with 14 half strips.  I will be buying a replacement camera in the next couple weeks and will post good photos then.  Unfortunately, this is as good as it gets with my cell phone.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I've come to realize that there are two kinds of bikers...those (like my hubby) who when asked if he wants to "go for a ride" are like a dog who is being asked if he wants to "go for a walk"  (ride, ride, ride, ride, ok, ok, lets go, oh boy, oh boy..).  I, however, am turning into a cat (where are we going? are there curves? what food is involved?)

Today I suggested a "backward loop", meaning that we would drive the reverse direction of Idaho City, Lowman, Crouch, Horse Shoe Bend.  (150 miles of 25 to 45 mile per hour curves)

 Oh...and it's Saturday.  So the quilt shop in Crouch is open.  Oh, and I have a $25 punch card credit waiting for me.   Have I mentioned that Stitch & Snip in Crouch has a really amazing selection of batiks?

I added to my purple collection so I could make the jelly roll strip dress that I saw in Portland

When I got home, I started laying everything out, working on a color gradation of light on top to dark on the bottom.  The sections on the left will be cut in half to separate the other colors.

After multiple swap outs, this is the color way destined to be sewn together.  Unfortunately, I am not thin enough to cut a dress out of 45" of fabric, so the pieces to the side are the extra 1/2 width section that will be the second back section to the dress.

It's hard to see in this picture, but the sections that are in the middle (belly section) are by far the most textured patterns, which I hope will distract the viewer from my middle.

Am in the process of watching the Olympics and turning these strips into yardage for the dress pattern.