Friday, July 31, 2015

New Knitting

 Jacket #17. This one is a birthday gift for a reader's mom. I love this combo of Noro Silk Garden and Lion Brand Amazing in Mauna Loa colorway. That fuchsia just makes it.


And now I am working on Jacket #18, for no one in particular, but I will make it available when I finish. It is Tupa silk/merino and Cascade Casablanca wool/silk/mohair.

I'm quilting in the morning and knitting in the afternoon. It works out that I get a lot more done that way and never get that slogging through it feeling. A good thing.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hot Ziggity

Hot Ziggity
Cottons, machine pieced top, 56" square.
After pulling several prints from my stash, I decided this Brandon Mably 'Jazz' design fit the bill. And those big blue on pink dots in the corners filled out the design.

I think this is it

 I feel the need to rearrange my studio over and over again, in search of the perfect arrangement. After I finish a project, I like to clear the decks and vacuum or Swiffer and then because I have moved the tables to get at the debris, it is natural to consider different spots to return things. 
I was surprised to see that all the fabric, and furniture fit exactly on this one western wall. I will take care to lower the blinds to prevent fading the fabric, and also to watch Netflix without glare.
The design wall is in a dark corner and that is the problem. It requires a second set of hands to move it and just this morning I corralled Dave into being that set of hands. In minutes we removed the Command Strips and put the wall up on the adjacent wall, where it gets much closer to the ceiling light and also gets the outside sun.

 Here is the before and after. Yay!

A much better site for designing and photography. As for these four blocks...I'm just thinking about what to do with them. 
Tony is my constant companion, and I have to scooch him off my chair when I need to knit.
 I saw this site with 50 fabulous studios and see that mine is quite spare, compared to the decor of the ones shown. But I like a clear open space, so I can design without distractions.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Update on Old Into New

Old Into New
Cottons, machine pieced, 73.5" square, unquilted top.
I added ninepatches to the corners and a pink strip border. I am happier that the pink stripe is repeated from the center square into the border.
And now onto something else. I am waiting to quilt these tops until winter, if it ever comes.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Traditional, Me?

 Old Into New, unquilted top, machine pieced, cottons, some hand dyed. 61" square. I think I may have to add a pink stripe border, making it even more traditional and bigger, but helps with the bias on every edge.
I had started this in my country house a couple of years ago, and just now decided how to finish it. The idea was to use up a big stack of charm squares, which did reduce the stack but of course there are still many many left.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Old Into New

 I have been making the blocks in the corners of this photo, over the weekend, and remembered this other patchwork made in 2013. So I thought they might work together into one big quilt.

 But then I also thought I could simplify the old stuff and join it with new parts to make a different quilt.

I had made this log cabin block yesterday and it seems to fit the empty space just right. If I just did this layout the measurements would be about 42" maybe some borders would be needed. I sorta have a small quilt size limit. I like it to be at least 54" square, preferably 60".
 This layout would work, with more stuff made for the empty corners. The Granny Squares in the center are a bit smaller than the yellow fourpatch parts and would need an inner border.

Just the four yellow blocks, which obviously need more to become a quilt. The one on the left is 25 x 68" and the one on the right is 34 x 50"


Two more ideas. Patchwork dividing the four quadrants and stripes dividing them.
So many possibilities.
I decided on this layout and added a pink and white stripe around the Granny Square center to fit the yellow sections. The two yellow parts have been attached to the center square and now I will fill in the corners with quarter log cabin patchwork.
The size is 61" square, but may grow with a final border.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Challenge...Sorta

My friend Mary made this quilt, which happens to be two sided, out of family garments, and thrift shop shirts. At a lunch meeting, a few of us saw this and got the idea that this would be fun to make...that's my story and I am sticking to it. Of course we were NOT collectors of family clothing, so Mary brought out huge bins and we dug around in them collecting from her collection. Such fun.
And then to make something using the motif of Friendship Star + clothing fabrics was the challenge. O dear. I thought this would be easy peasy and fun besides. But it was a horrible struggle. 
  I made this block and felt....meh.
I kept at it for two more days, disassembling patchwork and remaking blocks and HSTs, but nothing moved me. I complained via email and found a compatriot was also struggling. In giving her advice, I found a way out for myself. 
It dawned on me that I am motivated by the fabric and the shirt fabric wasn't doing it for me. So out came the good stuff, and I surrounded my little blocks with hand dyed colors and soon I was on a roll.
 I found a plaid in my stash that brought all my colors together like a plan and that saved the day.
And here is the finished top. 53.5 x 56". I have two friendship stars leftover from the bunch I made. I will donate them to the rest of the gals.
You know I don't ever, ever do challenges, but this one made me learn so much about myself and how I would prefer to work. You'd think I would know all this stuff by now, but noooooo.
It feels great to dig into my 'saving it for something important' stash and use these fabrics. So happy!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Shooting

I was listening to NPR and  heard the reports of the lockdown and possible shooting at the two spots in town, one not so far from my house. Later my sister called to tell me more details, since I am not one to pay close attention to stuff like that.
What a horrible waste, and it surprises me that this could happen in our little town, which is little in comparison to Chicago where we are from.
But guns and men, something lethal goes on there.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Front or Back?

Is this the front or the back? Neither, it's for a double sided quilt.  Woowoo!
I made this top in a flurry of excitement after a good cup of morning coffee. Not much of a plan, just starting with the center and building Log Cabin style outward. I worked in colors that were related to each other and just turned around and looked at my shelves, pulling out the needed piece without fussing over other possibilities. Freeing! It took less than three hours, seeing as how it is REALLY LARGE PIECES. Funny how that works.
I had to cut and repiece some that didn't automatically fit, but no biggie. Some, or um, most of these fabrics are ancient pieces culled from my dyeing for a living days. Darn if they weren't destined for such a top...
This top measures 63x64" which corresponds to the finished (when they get sewn) size of these 16 blocks. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Ok I figured this out, just now, after sleeping on it all night and spending yesterday doing no quilting, just a mountain of laundry.
I have determined that the blocks I just made will be backs to two new quilt tops.
I have 36 blocks, each is 16.5" square.
One quilt back will be 16 blocks, in four rows of four = 64" squarish
One quilt back with 20 blocks in five rows of four = 64 x 80" ish, with no leftover blocks.
So simple and obvious. Duh.
And not making a queen size bed quilt is smart, as I still have the chewing, licking, shedding dawggies that destroy things, sweetie pies that they are.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Thinking Out Loud

I finished my blocks and brought them over to my friend Mary's house where we discussed having it quilted or quilting it myself. The thought that I wanted to use up my fabric stash led to the idea of piecing a back and thus using my 'good' fabric for a second side. Hmmm. If I bought fabric in fat quarters, two would cover two 16" blocks. But then I don't buy fat quarters. So nevermind. But there is a serious amount of fabric in my stash that has been untouched for lo these many years. So why not begin with the idea of piecing a new top and using it for the other side (not calling it a back anymore).
The dilemma rests in making it in similar sections, thus making it easy to fit the existing blocks.
Of course I could make an entirely pieced set of blocks, just as I did with the first group, but this time in solids, which I have a ton, or in a color scheme that would easily work with my bedroom colors, and for that I have new fabric. Can you hear the wheels whirring in my brain?
And then I have five rolls of Kaffe Fassett fabrics in six inch widths.  This is the Spring set. I think we have an idea brewing.
But something is stalling me... I have 36 blocks and put 16 up on the wall and that looks to me like a perfectly respectable wall quilt size. 64" square.
And, I have more than enough queen size bedcovers already, so why make another one that I can't use?
This set of 16 could be the reverse side of another wall quilt, double sided. Yup. Good idea.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Plan

 Waking up from an afternoon nap (such luxury!) I knew what I was going to do with the blocks I had constructed, which by the way were all different sizes. I have a big 16.5" square ruler and decided that all the blocks would become that size. I cut a few down and added more to a few and before long I had 29 blocks. I need 36, so today I will complete 7 more.
If I decide to quilt as I go, and that is a big if, I will sew three sets of four and quilt those before going on to the second and third sets. Or I might seek out a long arm quilter locally and see what it will cost to have this finished for me.
The fun I am having is in knowing I am reducing the amount of scraps I have collected. But isn't it true that they reproduce overnight? I can't really see much of a reduction in the three bins I have sitting out. Hmmm.