Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1 UFO now a completed top

Here is Jenny's windmill UFO to which I added sashing to calm it down. I was originally going to have sashing between each square, but Frank said he liked the columns/rows alone. I thought a good name might be "I spy a windmill" but I don't think there is an actual windmill fabric, and it might confuse someone. (The orange T's are on my design wall, so that's why the photo was t akenwhen it was laid on top of the bed).

The next photo is from Sunday, Feb 21. It is so beautiful with the cherry blossoms out, daffodils, azaleas, a few early rhododendrons. The tree pollen has been very high, so I am home this afternoon using a few hours of sick time, since I've been having trouble breathing. It isn't even March yet.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Third time's a charm

Just wanted to show off something finished and thought I'd post this series of three quilts that I started last November in an effort to make a signature quilt for a former boss who was retiring in December from the Tennessee Division. The first image which I call "Surfer Frog Enjoys his Day" was the first try. I rejected it because it was too white and seemed rather juvenile.

This second attempt (Up and Away) was better but I became concerned about whether there was really room for folks to sign it. The balloons on the border are the reason for the name. Martha used this one to send a friend to celebrate the arrival of his son.

Third time really was the charm for this effort. This is the quilt I sent to Bobby in mid-January. It's called "Transportation to the Fishing Hole" - hmm, can you tell what his hobby is? - and gave me a chance to use some sample fabrics I've been hauling around since I picked them up back in 1998 or so. Check the four large squares around the central block. It has signatures from both the Iowa and Tennessee Divisions. I think it came out great!

All three quilts are based on Karen Rinauld's Generous Giving book although the last quilt's is a hybrid of concepts.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wearing my heart on a sleeve

Just wanted to share the silliness that I've been indulging in this week. I didn't think I'd make so many but there's 17 total - including the lavendar/silver one that I'd previously posted. Fortunately I think I've worked through the need to make any more of these just now! It's been fun playing with color combinations and backgrounds. I've put a ring on the back so they could be hung up if someone wanted to do so. Otherwise they're great for sticking pins in but aren't flat enough to be a coaster.

I have to say that I really enjoy using the Sulky 12 thread. The DMC 12 isn't bad but it's just enough thicker that I find it harder to pull through smoothly - of course that might just be because I have my thread way too long. The other thing about DMC 12 is that I haven't found it in variegated colors - does anyone know if it comes that way? Otherwise I'll just have to buy a few more Sulky 12s - darn, that means I might have to make another trip up to Crofton. Anyone want to go along? I'm willing to forego the snowstorm this time!

This is a picture from this morning of the snowpile. It doesn't look quite as impressive since they tried to shave off the front edges so that the garages for the end units were accessible. I'm not sure one could actually get much more than Clara's car in and then carefully. I've also added a photo of the icicles the neighbors behind me were growing; the icicles fell off yesterday noon with a spectacular clatter - I think they hit the heatpump housing on the way down.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quiting in Maui

It has been 80 degrees, with beautiful sunny skies here in Maui. We have been watching all the weather reports on CNN (the TV does not have weather channel, since they don't need it here) of the 55 total inches of snow in DC. At least today, the TV is talking about the Olympics instead of all the snow and the broken snowplows.

I have been to all 4 fabric stores, but so far, bought a couple of sashiko things for Kim's mom (to take to Phoenix in March), and one cute Hula girl fabric. The first rental machine was AWFUL, so we took it back and got a machine that works much better. I haven't been sewing that much, so I am not making as much progress on this quilt as I had hoped. But, my tan is looking good. :-)

Stay warm!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mazatlán project

Well, I just got off the phone with Continental. They had cancelled my flight to Houston tomorrow morning due to the weather and wouldn't have been able to get me to Mazatlán until next Tuesday (the 16th). Since I was due back the 20th, I just cancelled out of the trip. Now I'm a bit down in the mouth looking at all the snow that's coming down today, and knowing that I need to go out in it and brush down the heatpump (I need a cup of hot chocolate just to psych myself up for this little excursion).

This is a picture of the snow pile at the end of the cul-de-sac (the reason I don't think I can get my truck back into the garage right now) as of yesterday. I'm sure there will be substantially more snow by tomorrow the way it's coming down right now.

This is a preliminary picture of the project I planned to work on during my Mazatlán trip. It consists of 36 4" felt squares that will have 3" felt circles appliquéd on them. The squares will be whip-stitched together. I added four colors (black, cobalt, willow, and tangerine) to the summer color pack put together by "A Child's Hands" for 18 colors. It'll be 24" square. Just looking at the picture cheers me up.

To follow up on Kim's hearts, I'll have to post some of the extremely silly braided hearts that I've been making. It's like eating chocolate chips (since I'm not a popcorn fan), really hard to stop with just one! Looking at her hearts I may have to go back and add some beads and baubles to them.

Thinking of chocolate - I have to go make brownies now to ease my sorrows!

Monday, February 8, 2010

What can happen when a crafter goes crazy!

Okay this is completely insane! Is it any better that I know I made too many of these? The class Jenny B and I took (wool felt applique) was so much fun and the techniques so quick and forgiving that I went a little nuts.

This one is going to my neice Hannah - she will appreciate the "over the top" nature of this hanging.

I used lots of left over beads to decorate the hearts. It was also fun to play with the stitches - I am going to have to get back to my crazy quilt!

My other excuse for making so many is that we have had about 2 feet of snow. Without electricity for about a day, I was able to finish up a lot of hand sewing!

Okay now back to those UFOs I was supposed to be focused on!
Kim F.

The last of Jenny's UFOs (for this year)

It's been a productive weekend if, for no other reason than I finished posting all these projects. Working on getting them posted has also helped me get refocused on them. For instance, last night I wend through and cut up another 6 pairs of jeans for project #15 (which also opened some space in my closet. I'll need to do that t-shirt quilt if I really want to make space though).

15. "Rocky Mountain Ramble" - this is a denim log cabin summer quilt on which I plan to put all those fabric patches I've picked up from various tourist spots. Most of the denim comes from my old Rocky Mountain jeans (hence the name) but I did have to buy a few pairs at thrift shops to get the lighter colors I needed. On the list I gave Lori, I said I was trying to decide on size - that's done - this will be 5x7 using 14" sewn blocks.

16. "Wacky Patriot" - this one was inspired by a project Kim F. pulled together during an S&B session last spring. She put random strips around a center square and built up the blocks to a common size which she then sashed with a light lavender pulling the whole thing together. It was really fun and easy so I decided to try it using scraps. One thing I did different was not worry about having the center be exactly the same size in each block. Initially I got sidetracked because I wanted to use a few more shirt pockets but I've worked past that and only need to finish about three more squares. I plan to sash it with dark blues and use red setting squares. It's intended for QFV so 55"x70" is the goal.

17. Okay, enough with this one! It's been on the pile tooooooooooooo long as a result of my not wanting any one fabric to be within 4 blocks of itself in any directions (and you wonder why I have so many fabrics!). I think this is from the first Nickel Quilts book and that I started it in Ames but it was pre-index cards so no notes to help me remember what the h--- I was thinking. This is the central half. I need to add panels half this width to top and bottom. It will be queen-sized and is intended for a friend.

Okay, now I'm off to sew. Have a great day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yet some more of Jenny's UFOs

After shoveling snow yesterday afternoon, I'm not good for much until the Ibuprofen kicks in so here are a few more.

10. This one is based on "Country Manor" in Evelyn Sloppy's Strips and Strings although I made the blocks slightly smaller (5" trimmed). It's predominantly fall tones (don't ask me why) using strings from my scrap basket with black/cream in the pinwheels. I have about half the blocks complete. The string blocks are easy; for some reason, making the half-triangle squares is slowing me down - I think it's because I shifted from half-triangle squares to crumbs as my thread-savers. I started this one since moving back to DC.

11. This one uses the same concept as project #10 with slightly larger blocks (6" trimmed) and two different color schemes for the pinwheels. The blocks are almost complete other than adding the corners to the final four. I have most of the blocks assembled into sets of four so the final assembly should go quickly. It will be twin-sized.

12. Yet another project from Evelyn Sloppy's Strips and Strings (yes, I like the book). It's hard to tell from this image - the backgrounds are navy blue celestial/Christmas fabrics with silver and the star fabric (amazing but true that I limited myself to one!) is white with silver swirls. The strippies are Christmas prints - it's scary how many boxes of those I have. I have most of the strippy bits complete but need to cut the background and star pieces.

13. This one is based on the 2008 CFC quilt Jackie, Elaine and I put together although I changed the star blocks for easier piecing. This was intended as a housewarming gift but it won't actually work in the room it was intended to warm so I'm rethinking its size. If I go from twin to queen, I'll need about 5 more blocks.

14. I picked up the pieces for this project while at the Houston quilt show in October 2009. The larger pieces are hand-embroidered by South African women and depict aspects/characters in various native folktales. Each block comes with a copy of the pertinent story which I plan to include on the back. I need a fat quarter of one more African batik for the setting squares. The black on white batik will be the sashing between blocks. It'll be a wall-hanging.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Some more of Jenny's UFOs

I decided that, rather than sit and pout because I'm missing the opportunity to S&B with all of you due to the snow, I'd post a few more of my UFOs.

7. Okay, It's finally time to do something with this one. I started it back in Nebraska (so 1992-5) but my seam allowances have changed enough that I can't simply make more blocks to just expand it. My plan now is to use this in what will become the upper left-hand corner of an assymetrical twin-sized quilt; the remainder will be random pieced borders as the mood takes me. There will be a common sashing fabric (which I haven't found yet - the big hold-up so if anyone comes across a great multi-color star fabric on dark blue or black, give me a shout!) between the borders. I have a great lay-out in one of my design books but need the sashing to move forward.


I found this block in Yvonne Khin's The Collector's Dictionary of Quilt Names and Patterns while trying to complete a QQ quilt for a Rising Hope silent auction. It's called 'Exploding Star' and I just love the secondary pattern of pinwheels. I started this in summer 2008 along with a ripple quilt that Clara just put borders on for me (I'll post that image another day). It's intended for QFV (55" x 70") so I'm about 1/3 of the way done. The pieces are cut - it's just putting the blocks together now.

9. I'm not sure why this one isn't complete. It's one of the six I started in January 2009. I think it was the colors for the pieced panels above and below the star medallion that I couldn't decide on. I've done that now so hopefully this one will be done this weekend.