31 July 2008

Modern-ish Twist

Yesterday I was busy! I started out the day with an itch to do another watercolour :D So I surfed the net and found this pic .. I thought it would be a nice wc when I got it done .. so I dived into my wc stash and found some nice pinks, reds, greens and colours between and started to sort and cut.

What I thought would look really neat, is putting a border just inside the edges of the picture. I'll do this either black, dark green dark blue or whatever dark colour I have kicking around. I've been putting squares up and down off this thing most of the afternoon .. I'm close, but not quite there yet .. I can almost see the flowers in this .. there are a few spots that are giving me issues, but it's just a matter of finding the right square to put there .. I do love working this medium and do have a lot of fun with it. I will quilt the flower to hopefully make it stand out more. I am struggling in a few places with this, but it's not going to perfect overnight .. this one is just going to have to be picked at off and on for a bit until it IS right .. because right now it's not.

I also picked up a book yesterday (Thank you Daddy!!) I'm interested in doing some abstract work - small little quiltlets, but I have NO idea what on God's green earth I am doing .. soooooo I needed a book that explained some of the techniques and tools used for this medium .. the magazine that my dad picked me up seemed to be more for more experienced fibre artists - i'm a pure rookie and well needed a abstract quilts for dummies :D They didn't have that, but what they did have was fabric art workshop by Susan Stein. She shows you how to do 27 different techniques and from reading them these are actually pretty simple .. I am much more confident now with trying this medium. This book is great and I'm going to have a blast with it!

I was rather disappointed in the bookstore we went to .. granted Windsor's not a HUGE city or metropolis, but our Chapters here is pretty big .. their section on quilting was a piddly 2 stacks - and these are the short stacks too .. I was taller than them! This book was the only one like it in the store. bah!

30 July 2008

Lots of little stuff done ..

Another day with stuff accomplished, but not a red letter day like yesterday ... but still a nice productive day.

While watching the Tigers play tonite, I decided to put that time to good use and finally frogged the Underground Railroad blocks .. so those are all done and ready for me.

All of the pieces for these blue Sister blocks was cut out, and I pieced 4 of them. I opted not to do the draw the line then sew, then cut. What i did do, was make sure that these squares measured 3" and then put them right sides together and then cut them in half for the HSTs. After they were stitched and pressed, I squared them up. Yes this took a bit longer, but I knew that my pieces were good to go and that sewing them together wouldn't be aggravating. I didn't have to spend as much time hiding wonky seams like I did yesterday - so it did go faster in that regard. Four more of these left - the the Ohio Star blocks :)

I changed my mind about the backing for the Ohio Stars - It was a yellow cream with red berries and blue flowers on it - quilt pro doesn't take these to size and it makes it tricky to figure exactly what the scale will be - and that is just way to much math for me to bother with .. so I did it the old fashioned way .. i pulled out my choices and then put the blue sisters block on top of it .. I showed it to reg and he goes .. well definitely not THAT one .. guess what "THAT" one was .. yup - the orginal fabric I had picked LOL .. so I pulled some paisleys that I have and one was all various shades of pink and just didn't look right ... I decided on this one because of the blue and cream in the pattern .. I have more than enough of it and it's a good compliment to the rest of the quilt . the Ohio Star blocks will be near the red Double X blocks and the Sisters Blocks .. so I needed something that would go well with those colours.

Last night I cut all the squares for the summer mystery quilt for August 9th. I made a few changes in my fabrics and these are the final ones .. no going back now .. they are cut - my first mystery :D :D :D

I joined a new list a few days ago - this list is called abstract challenge .. there is a monthly challenge based on a concept, and you need to create an 8" quiltlet that shows this concept .. you can use any embellishment to help you do this .. paints, buttons, lace, ribbons, rickrack - whathaveyou .. I'm really looking forward to this and can't wait .. This is really going to stretch my creative muscles in a way I would like to grow them ..

So didn't get HUGE amounts of stuff done, but did get a lot done - little things that needed to be done - But I do have a few really neat things to look forward to - the challenge, the mystery, getting my blocks done for my quilt, then attaching the border - Not much longer till I have all the blocks done .. wow .. I need to think about my next project - heheheheheheh - Like that's ever been a problem

29 July 2008

Do You Believe in the Fabric Fairy??

This was a full long day. Full of good things (surprises) and frustrating things (previous post) - but it was a busy day :) .. Can't complain about days that are full of 'life'.

I had been taking breaks while sewing up the set of the sisters blocks and was checking email .. I suddenly hear this sound scrap swishy (?!?) I'm like what the devil is that .. I looked under my cutting table in case Shadow was into something again - (She was keeping me company today and had been checking out all sorts of things), but saw her looking under the dresser where I put my fabric .. I sit here and just watch her taking swipes at the cutting mat that I put under there to keep it out of the way .. You'd think it was a critter than she had never seen before and kept taking swipes at it LOL - I was actually surprised she didn't hiss at .. I would have totally lost it then - She has the the sweetest most delicate little hiss . I call her Princess Hiss .. Poor Baby .. (this was actually an action shot of her swiping it). Needless to say .. she did NOT like it one bit and after 5 minutes of taking swipes at it she got bored and walked away .. tail flicking like mad LOL

My dad stopped by as well today .. he and Kyle went to my aunt's while they were galavanting across the creek in Detroit yesterday and she sent a care package of fabric for me .. I was just saying something about the fabric fairy and voila! FABRIC :D .. It's some really nice stuff too .. and there's even a reproduction print in there - yeah me!! Also on one of my lists, another lady had some flannel that she wasn't going to use at all and gave up on selling it .. well she posted to the list that she had this and all we had to pay for was the postage .. again the fabric fairy heard me :D .. I was just saying that I'm getting to the point where I need to do something about finding some flannel for my 1800s quilt as I'm going to use that for batting. And here it is .. this is the only way I could get this flannel too .. The fabric fairy DOES exist!!

Later I opted to not cut the pieces out for the last 8 sisters blocks .. on another list I'm on, there is a summer mystery that starts on August 9th and I hadn't picked out my fabric yet. So I spent this afternoon doing that and later on I cut out all the 5" squares that are needed for this. This is going to be my first mystery and I'm pretty excited about it .. August 9th is still ohhh so very far away! But the fabrics are cut out, put in baggies to keep my velvet paw (shown above) from wandering off with my squares. Oh speaking of the velvet paw .. she's back and peering under the dresser again LMAO!!!!

So this was a busy and very good day! Kyle found my missing box of goodies; the fabric fairy blessed me twice; I got the tricky set of Sisters blocks done; picked out my fabric and cut it for the mystery; and got the basement cleaned up

Welp it's late (not as late as normal for me), and I've been up since 5am and it's almost 2am .. I'm whacked and heading to bed :)

Tomorrow .. the other 8 sisters and maybe the Ohio Star blocks :D wow this is getting close - *kittyhappydance*

28 July 2008

I'm my own worst enemy somedays :S heh

You know, I just couldn't figure out for the life of me why my rectangles in these sisters blocks were giving me so much grief .. my test block went off without a hitch .. so - I decided to get very extra steps .. with each star point that I did, I square up the pieces .. the squared pieces would be 4¾" square, so i squared them up and then realized immediately, that my rectangles were cut for 25/8 x 45/8 - Oh Bloody HELL!! NO freeping wonder - AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH - **deep breath** Okay .. no big deal, sew my seam an 1/8" shorter - well that worked .. my block laid flat - whew!

I discovered another issue while doing this .. with my 'testing' my sewing and doing the speed piecing method, I did those HSTs at a spot-on ¼" seam, well my math / directions etc called for a smidge less .. so my HSTs aren't exactly 25/8" when finished .. talk about being your own worst enemy. I'm going to end up with squished points on these stars, but some will be okay.

So these next 4 blocks with this blue, will be done VERY carefully .. but they will be a nice flat 11" unfinished block :D

Thank God I only have 8 more of these blocks to go after these 4 - the strips are cut out already so I can correct the rectangle for the next 8, and will do my smidge seam for the HSTs .. those blocks might actually be 'perfect' .. heh .. I certainly don't have to worry about this quilt being perfect .. it's well past that LOL

Good things do come :)
My son has been trying to get back into my good graces by doing some yuck work in the basement .. well in his workings yesterday he found a box that I've been crazy looking for - you know ... the one that is listed in my projects to find?? The one with my dyes, green pigma pen, pooh bear stamps, handing quilting thread and all those betweens?? I asked him this morning to please keep his eyes open for a box that had this stuff in it .. wouldn't you know, the little darling said, "Oh, I found that yesterday!" I dared not hope too hard - but he brings it up and voila! There's my missing stuff .. the box wasn't labelled so no wonder I couldn't find the blasted thing!! But I have my fabric dyes again - oh and novelty buttons that I forgot I had .. altho, I thought I had more of them - He's going to keeps his eyes open for other sewing related stuff .. this is just GREAT news!!!!

27 July 2008

Blue Sisters in progress; piecing methods

Tonite I tried a technique that I'd not done in a long time. My HSTs were a wee bit wonky, so I decided to try speed piecing to see if it was my cutting or stitching. I really am not fond of this method for several reasons;
1) It seems to take forever to get the lines drawn;
2) I am crouched over my cutting table longer than I wanted to be and
3) my smaller rulers are MIA at this point and time, I know that one is broken, I found it when I was packing up the basement before we moved (GRRR - KIDS).

I really do prefer chain piecing - for me that is the quickest and most accurate way to piece. You rather get into a groove with doing the pieces.

I just happened to be looking around when I spotted my corner marker ruler that I don't use anymore and saw my 11" cutting mat - light bulb went off ... I can sit at the machine and do my lines, stitching and cuts. Well that's what I did and I have discovered that it's not my cutting or sewing, it's my pressing .. I'm dragging the iron over these pieces and it puts them out of whack! Well there's that problem solved :D So in the meantime, I've my HSTs done for 8 of the blue Sister's blocks and only 3 sewn up .. it does take longer - or so it seems ... I'm not sure at this point, because even though I started later, I fully expected to have the 8 blocks put together tonite .. ah well .. there's the 5 to do tomorrow (later today actually :S) and then cut out the other 8 blue sisters blocks. I'm still moving forward - slowly but surely .. I'm sure the the rest of these will make up in no time at all

26 July 2008

Moving along ...

Today was productive :D Not HUGE productive, but definitely moving forward.

I finished the inner sisters blocks so those are all done now, and have cut the strips for the 16 outer blocks. I had 2, ½ yd pieces of blue that I really liked and wanted to use and happend to get lucky as these strips needed 16 7/8" and I had 18" of each ;) **kittyhappydance**.

Please pray for no cutting mistakes .. because there is no room for error .. BUT if I do mess up, I have 2 other blues that will fit in nicely here .. matter of fact, if I didn't have enough of the two blues, then I would have used this other 2 FQs as fillers - so it works out.

My adjustments worked for these blocks .. I did ¼" seams instead of my smidge less, and my blocks were just about spot-on! Heh .. only 16 more to go (!)

Since I just have these blocks and the 8 Ohio Stars to make, I've been starting to think about my borders .. I played with a few tonite and I really like a few of the 9 patch and 4 patch variations - but this border is only 2 ½" wide .. so I think that either an alternating block border or just a strip would be better .. the quilt has it's own personality and a pieced border isn't going to be necessary ..

Now the other thing that I was thinking that since I am doing quilt as you go, then maybe i should just add my strip on when I put the pieces together .. this will just add the 2" or so at the one side. And they should (hopefully) be square-ish when they are put together. Oh this quilt measures 100½ x 100½", so a wide border will not be needed to finish it off - matter of fact, I think that it will pull away from the flow and design of the quilt top

25 July 2008

Why write notes if you don't review them ...

I thought I would try and save some time by reposting the previous pic of my inner Sister's block .. well i looked at it and it was the one that was all wonky .. Heh .. to bad I didn't look at it before I started to sew this one up. **Future Note to Self: Go back over your previous notes you twit!! (@@) Might have saved some frogging. Nothing to major though.

Lately my cutting seems to be off a bit, not sure why - the ruler's not moving - I might not have the fold lined up properly. So I've 'adjusted', I've gotten in the habit of making my seam a smidge - no not scant - smidge less than ¼" just to leave myself some wiggle room - well I'm also doing that when I cut .. just a few threads past the lines .. well combine the smidge with a few threads on a block that has a lot of pieces, and you are looking at ¼ - ½" of extra fabric sticking out the edges when you make a block that has this many pieces. With less pieces, it's not that much.

If I had looked at the block before i started to sew, I would have went - ahhhhh .. and not made the same mistake twice .. see what happens when you don't come back to something for a bit?? Creates all sorts of mischief with yourself LOL

At any rate, I fixed it as I went along, and while I'm going to lose the points on this block, I'll know what NOT to do for the other 3 inner Sisters and the 16 outer Sisters.

Well, it's after 4am (again) I'm off .. let's hope I can sleep .. was up til round 9am yesterday, then slept to 2pm I think .. I dragged all day with sleeping like that :\

You know .. I'm wondering why all the pics I take of my blocks look 'off' .. I KNOW they they are squared, but you sure wouldn't think so looking at this picture ...

24 July 2008

Prairie Queen - Check (!)

W ell i finally got them done .. I was so frustrated earlier today, i didn't think that I would get this far. But I did :D I have 8 of the pink background, 6 of the burgundy and 2 orphans which are twins but for the background fabrics.

Basically I had to go back and square up every single piece that I hadn't sewn .. and then the pieces that were wonky I had to think about what corner was going to be my outside corner - the wonky cut was hidden in an inside seam .. that way I could square the blocks .. some of my inside seams are ... "interesting" to say the least .. but my blocks are 99.99% square! And you can't ask for better than that .. I have more of the pink flowered background than originally planned, but with the wonky cuts I did, I'm glad that I had some background to use - Of course the worse ones had to be the burgundy ones .. can you guess .. I really liked that particular background fabric :S ... ah well .. these blocks can be said to be DONE and that's all that counts .. next ones .. Sisters ..

23 July 2008

To err is human - but must I be so good at it?

S ometimes I'm a total twit .. but of course you already know that - My cutting for the squares on the corner pieces for this block is off .. so no matter how i twitch, tweak, tug or pray .. they are not going to be perfectly square .. so all I can do know is minimize the mess the best I can - I have 9 blocks left to do and one is half-finished .. Not sure I'll do them tonite, we'll have to see .. it's almost 1am now

I had a busy-ish day with 4 hrs sleep, so yup .. I'm whacked .. as long as I don't get to frustrated, I should be okay .. I've realized what I did .. had an inkling when I did it - you know the .. "I just didn't do what I think I did, did I? "moment .. and hope for the best. Fabric shifted while I was cutting and I didn’t stop when it shifted .. And of course Miss Twit here was cutting a stack .. So this twitch affects a good chunk of the blocks. Well more than half the battle is the realization and acceptance that you screwed up .. Okay .. now to work with it ..

They are making up pretty quick - so we'll see .. I want to get at least ½ of the 9 done tonite.

Oh and I've already sewn one block upside-down lol

I'm seriously thinking of calling this quilt "Century of Progress?" yes question mark is intentional ..

Early evening Update:
I think I'm really going to be struggling with these blocks .. course having another headache doesn't help :S ... Plan of action is to square up each section as I go along - that way, it should be closer to being square and I'll know what pieces are good and use them as the guide for the ones that are really wonky .. wish me luck! I've been frogging a bit today

22 July 2008

Meet the Orphans

I figured this was going to happen - I ended up being 2 squares short of the dark green - and 4 squares short of the light green - how did I know .. for once, my wacky math was right .. but I kept hoping that I had measured wrong .. hey .. one can always hope ..

While I was able to match up the light green pretty close to tone, I wasn't so lucky with the dark green .. I probably should have done the olive green that I had ... but I thought this matched the lighter print well .. hmm for some reason the light green looks yellow in this picture .. but it's actually very close the lighter green calico print ... go figure :\

As you can see the background fabrics aren't exactly the same .. one is like a burgundy and the other a pink .. they do look well together and I am making 8 of each fabric - so there's a nice balance .. this background fabric is so delicate that I'm leery of giving a tug as i'm afraid that it will stretch all out of true .. Thank God for Speed Starch .. gives it the weight i need it to be and stops my fear of the odd tug. Another thing that I rather hate to do is I'm pressing away from the 4 patches .. the bulk of the seams created all sorts of havoc in the first block i did .. So instead of pressing towards the dark .. i'm pressing towards the light .. I hope it won't be to obvious when I finally get this quilted.

21 July 2008

Prairie Queen ...

One down .. 15 to go :D

This block is super simple to make .. strip-piecing on the 4 patch section - and the rest a 9 patch - and what's even better about this block .. no crazy 8th inch measurements - whole inch or ½" cuts .. this is a nice treat.

These will make up in no time as the cutting is all done and I have the strips all stitched for the 4-patches. I just had to make one up to see how it looks. I rather like it and am pretty pleased with it and myself - The corners are off a wee bit, but i'm really not going to worry about it .. now if it was upside, okay - I'll start doing frog stitch .. but it's not, so I won't. My background for this is really soft and delicate, so the less ripping i do on these blocks, the happier I'll be

Well, it's only 3am tonite at this point - I'm tired so the one block is it for today - that way no mistakes (hopefully) and I can be fresh for it tomorrow

20 July 2008

Oh I DO like this one!!

Click on image to enlarge in new window

Sometimes when something just doesn't sit 'right', then you need to fiddle with it a bit - and the last few layouts I did .. they just didn't feel right.

I opted to go with the Prairie Queen block - this block will have the same blue, but the greens will be scrappy - I'm going to use as much of the dark and light green from the Big Ohio as possible and use other greens that are close to it to fill in the spaces.

I have another fabric that has red flowers, blue berries on a cream background - I think that that is a better choice for the smaller ohio blocks .. now i might not have quite enough, but I have a few other fabrics that I can use as well that will work very well with it.

I moved the Underground Railroad blocks inwards one 'ring' and moved the prairie queen blocks outward - that puts the light closer to the browns and seemed to make a huge difference .. it changed the whole look of the quilt. And now the browns seem to be more balanced ... I took the one set out with the red dots on a background that made it seem to blend in with the rest of the quilt .. I think that also made a huge difference .. i did NOT like that blending spot at all!

This is pretty close to how it's going to end up - of course the greens and some of the blues will be different fabrics, but they are very close in tone to what i have used here.

I'm giving a kudos to myself and a kick in the backside as well .. i discovered the reason that quilt pro wasn't taking my fabric scans .. twit for brains here, had the images to large - they are supposed to be no larger than 100k bah! :S **shakes head** So this layout was actually done in quilt pro and paws are crossed that the library holds this time .. I'm still upgrading when I can tho - this version is so old that my serial number wasn't accepted when I tried to upgrade before. I'll call them this time and see if I can't push it through that way.

Welp - it's late and I didn't want to be up at 4am ... but I am tired, so that's good news .. I'll be asleep shortly


19 July 2008

Help Nancy celebrate ...

Nancy who is Blogging, Near Philadelphia is celebrating her 500th blog post. To celebrate this, she has packaged up five little sets of goodies - each one celebrating 100 blog posts. If you want to enter the drawing for one of the give-aways, leave a comment and indicate by number which give-away you would like to win ...The time to Comment will end on Saturday, July 26, and winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Give-away items will be mailed early in the week of August 4.

Simple Works me thinks ...

The more I think of it, the stronger I feel that the blocks that are needed should be more simplistic. The rest of the overall design is 'busy' enough .. not that it's too busy .. but could very easily end up that way .. So Quilt-Pro was booted again .. I really need to update my software for this program ...

I started plopping blocks in and again, it wasn't simplistic enough .. would have been nice to be able to implement the 54-40 or Fight block, but ah well .. just to busy for this. So running through my mind are the easy blocks to do (heh .. I can live with that!!) I thought of the split 9 patch, double 9 patch (Irish chain), steps to the altar (that didn't look good) and the Prairie Queen (patch variation).

None of these have the actual fabric scans in them, just used whatever was on 'hand' so to speak .. this was just a fishing expedition .. These will be made with all the greens and I think that I have some unbleached muslin kicking around that should work quite nicely .. if not, I'm sure I'll figure something out :D. So far the top two pictured here (Double 9 patch, Prairie Queen) are appealing the most to me ..

So - I'll let these sit for a day and see how they feel ... I am going to go with a more simplistic block here .. the other blocks past this part are complex enough that I really don't want to confuse everyone - including myself lol

18 July 2008

Chimney Sweep Test Block

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I would be doing a test block of the Chimney Sweep block. I really enjoyed piecing this one, much more than the Washington Sidewalk - but that could have been headache hangover at that point. I either need to make my squares for my HSTs and QSTs slightly larger, or do a narrower seam - both of these blocks are just a smidge to small - and i did do a spot-on ¼" seam - So, i'll cut one block slightly larger and go from there .. ten-to-one, I'll have it perfect by block 12 - oh wait .. I'm only doing 12 :S.

As you can see, while my edges are better on this block, they still aren't right and the block is smaller than 11"

This might be the block I end up using .. Seeing both side-by-side on my cutting table, I just like the look of the Chimney Sweep more and it has nothing to do with the dark green I used either.

I still need to make up my mind on whether this block will be to busy for the quilt at this time. While waiting for my book (**note to self .. nudge dad on this one ... ), I'll play with some other blocks - I might even do a log cabin .. we'll just have to see .. I did get a wealth of information on blocks from this period from Clues in the Calico - heh, but NOTHING compared to 4,000 blocks (!!)

17 July 2008

Clues in the Calico; Washington Sidewalk test block

I've spent the past few days suffering from the headache from Hell .. and a day with the infamous headache hangover .. Needless to say there's not been much accomplished, but I did do a few things...

I quickly read over everyone's comments and emails - thank you all for voting in my poll and giving me your opinion .. many of you said, it's my quilt and I should do what i want or like .. I needed everyone's feedback as I was at a brickwall - didn't know what i wanted, and your comments, thoughts, suggestions were what I needed to look at my quilt and these blocks with fresh eyes .. and that's what i needed .. a new perspective and way to think about this quilt .. Thank you everyone for taking the time to help me .. heh .. i'm still not any further along, but my thoughts are moving at least and I don't feel like I am brain dead .. well i am .. sometimes .. but you know what I mean ;)

My local library called me and said that the book I asked on interlibrary loan was in so I picked the up the book Clues in the Calico by Barbara Brackman and have found it very interesting .. if you are looking for a understandable way to date quilts or you have blocks in your possession and you think they are old, this is the book to use - she explains dating by threads, fabrics, blocks styles, quilting styles and there is a blank worksheet available in the book for you to plot your own timeline for discovery .. great book!! Also great for showing quilts with period blocks and fabrics in it too ;)

Doing the test block helped me move towards a decision at least ..Another thing accomplished is one test block - this block is Washington Sidewalk - nice block .. rather a pain to do with all those triangles .. and you put it together sideways :) - after doing the testblock, i'm not sure i want to do this block .. I do like it .. but i wanted a simpler block as a 'break' between all the other busy blocks - As you can see, this block isn't quite right . not sure if it was b/c of my headache hangover or what .. but I really do not want to struggle with this block - I might do more of this block later as a quilt .. but not sure right now .. will do the chimney sweep (album) block and see how that one goes. The colours I picked for this weren't the greatest, but they were closest to the colours in my smaller pieces. That blue and green rather cancel each other out, but you do get the gist of the block - which was part of the intention.

I'm going to be doing the Chimney Sweep block next (tonight) .. worst case senario, I take the easy way out and do a double nine patch, disappearing nine patch or nine patch .. we'll just have to see ..

13 July 2008

Decisions?? ya right .. pfft

Here I sit, staring at my puter screen - looking from one image to the other - and just not being able to make up my mind .. I like the first one .. then I don't .. then the next one .. then I don't .. **sigh** I just canNOT make up my mind .. it would prolly be easier if I did the test blocks first or did the math to see what one fits with what i have ...

On a good note .. Since yesterday was my bday, I decided to ask my dad if he would buy me a book. He goes what book is that .. I replied with Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns .. We were just on the way home from going out to supper and were going past Chapters and pulled in .. did a quick search and none of the stores in windsor have that book .. grrr .. so when he heads to the states (preferably BEFORE his next day of work - Tuesday), he'll grab it for me :D I sent him the link for it, and also there was a review about pages being repeated .. so also asked him to be sure that he wasn't a victim of duplicate pages - it appears that one of the printings had an issue with that - one of the reviews on amazon.com listed the pages that were duplicated and I sent that to him and suggested he print it out and bring it with him ... I'm sooo hoping he goes tomorrow :D heh .. who knows .. i might find OTHER blocks to use instead :D

I think I'm going to set up a poll and see what YOU think .. my decision process has totally stalled. :S

a b

11 July 2008

Simplex Block History revealed

I've been meaning to write out this post for the past few days - but something always managed to come up .. not that it's been bad .. just busy :)

Update on the Simplex Star search .. I emailed Babara Brackman asking her if she could tell me what she knows about when this block came around .. " .. it says Simplex Star is a name from the Hearth & Home magazine probably between 1900-1925. Other names come from the KC Star in 1939 and 1953. I cannot recall seeing it as a 19th century quilt but maybe you have.". This is good news, because now I know .. altho I didn't ask her about the previous names, but she did have a picture to work from. This is also bad news because i had **just** cut the strips for those blocks :S .. BUT I didn't cut all pieces so I still have the strips :D.

I did an on-line search of our library database for Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and of course they didn't have it - BUT - they did have Clues in the Calico, but at another branch. But that's okay .. i just had them do an interlibrary loan - our library really doesn't have much there quilt-wise at all - **sigh**. That might help me as well even tho this book is more for identifying vintage quilts - I need the block histories.

While I was at the library digging thru the shelves, I did find something useful .. actually I took out 3 books, but the most important (to me) was Quilt-As-You-Go by Sandra Millet. This book shows you how to build a little frame for it .. granted it's mostly for handquilting, but it should give me a good jump on this method. As much as I use the internet etc, I still like to stick my thumb between pages and haunt an index :D .. so this was a super nice find me thinks!

Of course that sent me off on another search for a block - I've got it down to 2 from that period .. Washington Sidewalks and Chimney Sweep .. Now amazingly enough those two blocks at one point in time had the same name, but don't look alike at all .. I think that Washington Sidewalk will be easier to implement both colours into as it was designed for 3 colours not 2 .. I'll just have to rework the patterns for 10 ½" blocks and plop them in and see what one looks better .. I know what way I'm leaning, but if anything I've learned from this quilt, it makes it's own decisions. The Washington Sidewalk would be an easier block for two greens. BUT for the Chimney Sweep, I can use either green for the inner and outer colour, then blue for the dark colour. **chases tail ...

07 July 2008

Kyle's definition of wet; 1800 quilt :)

We had a rather quiet but eventful long weekend here. Last week Kyle tells me that the basement is wet .. okay .. we know we have there is an issue of water leakage in the basement .. we noticed it during spring thaw, but it wasn't bad .. nothing to worry about. So i tell Kyle, just wipe up the water and things should be fine - heh .. what he neglected to tell me is that the basement was bloody well flooded .. Reg went downstairs to get the broom and all of a sudden I hear all sorts of aggravated sounds from the basement .. I'm like utoh . this can't be good .. next thing I know I see that the lake that usually happened in my backyard was in my basement (@@). Bloody Hell!!!!

We ended up tossing out 2 bags of stuff immediately as it was getting fuzzy .. blasted kid! That would explain my headaches for the past few weeks .. I'm sure I'll have a few more things to toss out, but am trying to salvage some stuff .. it wasn't to bad .. but of course the water was where the tv and game systems are .. well they won't be there to much longer .. we'll be moving them to the other side of the basement .. which means moving the whole bloody place around .. **grumbles**

I was going to start cutting out fabric for the simplex star section of my quilt, but had the good sense that God gave me to scan in the fabric and play with it first .. good thing I did!! What I was planning on doing, wouldn't have looked good at all! So I made a few adjustments and at that point decided, what the heck .. scan in the rest of the fabrics I want to use and lay it all out.

Thank you Cecilia for the suggestion to "switch the brown RR blocks with the blue sisters blocks or maybe the pinwheel type blocks" - I really do like the way this has worked out - altho, I did end up moving my double x sections ... it just flows better.

i'm sure this will change a million more times before I finally settle on it - and i'm likely to change the colours too :)

I really like the look of the white / brown-ish background that I've used for the Ohio Star blocks, but i'm sure I don't have enough of that .. I could do the outer sisters blocks in greens or even the ohio star blocks in greens .. Hmmm .. won't have enough green for the sisters blocks .. maybe the ohio stars as there is only 8 of them. I have other colours, but don't want to go to crazy .. I think I have enough in it now as it is .. Maybe do the sisters blocks all purple??? I LIKE purple :D

Heh .. I get to have more fun playing .. but I will do the Simplex Star blocks as I show them here .. I should have enough material to do that - I think .. only need 3/8 of yard for each HST colour (light green / dark green) and almost ¾ yard for the blue squares - and if I'm a wee bit short, I'm sure that I can figure out something ;)

04 July 2008

Watercolour Quickie

Taking a break from my 1800 quilt was the right thing to do .. I hate admitting 'defeat' even for a short while - but i know my limits and frustration level .. and I was definitely reaching it .. well the 1800 quilt is my first King size, so that is going to make a difference on where I thought I should be progress-wise .. but i'm 'refreshed' so to speak and have a completed project under my belt and I feel pretty darn good about it!!

I found this little darling at Whims, and it was a free watercolour pattern .. I have books here, but the smallest pattern in my book is like a 24 x 24 - this without borders was just over 9" unfinished .. I figured it was the perfect little quick project to jump start my creative juices in a direction I've not gone in a long time.

I did much better with my fabric choices than i did with my first one; 1) My feel for colour has improved over time and I have learned to listen to myself; 2) I have a larger wc stash than I did :D Gotta love the net for swapping fabrics :D.

For the rose, I did the same 'applique' method that I used for reg's quilt and learned something that should have dawned on me, (but I'll forgive myself as I've only done this twice now) from now on, I'm going to reverse the pattern and do my machine applique on the BACK (or wrong side) of my fabric .. that way I won't have the paper stuck in my stitching lines and showing - harumph .. ah well .. I guess i won't be selling this one :D

My border colour approach was different that I normally do - normally I have a narrow dark inner border, then a wider light outer border with a dark binding .. I reversed it this time and rather do like the affect ..

This is freemotion quilted with butterflies, flowers, hearts and meander quilting. Not bad for a two-day project. I had it all pieced and the first borders put on last nite - today i did the outer border, quilting, hanging sleeve andd binding. Oh and it finished up at 17 x 17"

No clue on a name .. I might call it the 'no name rose' as it is YELLOW lololol

02 July 2008

Double X blocks done

That was easier-ish than I expected .. oh you caught that 'ish' did you??? All in all, it went pretty good .. there was a few cutting "oops" and a few sewing "What did I do now?" But all in all they went together well. A few of the points are off, but that's okay .. I'm not to worried about it .. and I only managed to sew 2 sections together backwards :) .. I must be improving .. or else it's a deep reluctance and avoidance of wanting to do frog stitch?

Well so far for this quilt, I've a number of blocks / sections done:

  1. Underground RR blocks - however they will be used

  2. Center section - Ohio Star; Sisters Blocks

  3. Double X sections

I stlll need to do:

  1. Ohio star blocks - 8 blocks

  2. sisters Blocks - 16 blue; 4 purple

  3. Simplex Star - 12 blocks

I'm feeling a need to do a quick project .. not sure why, but I find myself thinking of doing a little quiltlet while I'm piecing blocks together. Maybe it's because I've had to go back to the beginning on this quilt so many times already?? I just NEED to do something and 'finish' it - I'm either thinking of a small watercolour or a scene using appliquilt .. if you can believe it, I'm thinking swimming fishies .. no clue why ... but i am :S .. ah well .. we'll have to see where I'm sitting with this later.

I think that I got a bit of what bit Kyle the other day .. just didn't sleep well at all the other night and wasn't feel good yesterday evening at all .. ended up NOT eating the chicken that I bbq'd for supper and instead had scrambled eggs and toast around 10m or so .. feeling better now .. but esh .. I really do not like feeling icky!!