Friday, March 25, 2011

Backing done

The weekend was not as productive, quilting-wise, as I’d hoped.  That was because it was productive with other things like yard work, housework, paperwork, etc.   I did manage to get the backing piece sewed together by about 9:45 last night.  Of course I put the last piece on backward from what I’d intended, but I doubt that anyone but me could tell – the whole thing was just and exercise in creatively using up scraps, anyway.   So I will not waste the time to redo it.     I hope that the Other will be able to help me prepare the sandwich this evening.  That’s the only way I’ll ever get it quilted by Friday.      I think I want to enjoy this process more than I want to rush to submit it...  I think.

The backing piece for the Brown Bag quilt has been pieced finally.
Notice the set of strips on the left, these represent the last remaining parts of the four gift fabrics.  Every time I look at them, I wonder why I didn't just do something simple with them?!?!   Nah.  I will love having this on my bed when it's done,  I'm sure!   The four leftover blocks are pretty obvious. though I added more leftovers to them to get them up to a 24" width.   On the right are left over six-inch squares from the block middles.  I arranged them into four-square units with one white piece each (that was just the way the proportions of pieces best worked out).  then I pieced the four-squares into 16-square units that were also 24" in width.   Next to the 16's are the remaining leftovers.  Anything that was big enough was put into a 6" strip.  remains greater than an inch were made into fabric that was at least 6", and added into the mix.   Then the left over strips that were about one inch were strung into a strip.   And there you have it!   The back, overall, was made out of 20" wide strips alternating with 24" wide strips, since that was most efficient to cut out of 44" wide fabric.
Here's a chance to vote for your favorite shops, teachers and products.  Our own local Fabric-Etc. is nominated, so if you're a 'hamster, take time to put in a vote for them!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Finished Brown Bag (top)

The chances of me getting this thing sandwiched and quilted and bound by next Friday are pretty slim.  So I decided to take some good advice and get some photos of the top while it was warm, dry and not windy outside.  So - here 'tis!  I really want to give all due credit to Rita at Red Pepper Quilts, whose Sweet Daisy quilt was obviously an inspiration.  Although I didn't use her actual pattern, I designed the quilt based on looking at pictures of the sweet daisy.  Thank You!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Best Art Quilts Ever.

I was searching for another link, the one about "Just do the work," and I stumbled on this person in an old Google link here.   Karen Kamenetzky. 
Seed Dreaming I by Karen Kamentzky
I was hesitant to show her photo,  but I see in her blog, she has shown other artists' work, with credit.  I wish I could show everything she's ever done,  but just go to her blog.  She does interpretations from microscopic photos of cells.  It seems familiar, maybe was in Quilting Arts?  But I think I would remember being totally blown away by someone.  Her work is everything I love and want to do.   Sadly I can't find the quote I wanted.  Although I printed it out, I won't post it without knowing who to credit it to.  Why didn't I put a name on it?!

But anyway,  Kamenetzky.  Wow.  Love it!


Art quilts -  I struggle so much with not wanting to “copy” or be lumped into a category, I worry worry worry about finding my own voice.  So much so that I don’t do anything.   As I mentioned a couple posts back, I think that if I just go ahead and let myself be derivative and trite at least I will get started.

What if I take a list of 10 (or whatever number) simple topics to address, and a list of ten techniques I want to try, then randomly match them up?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BIrds of a Feather

Finally popped in to Two Thimbles to take a better picture of the installation - I think it turned out really cute!

Here's how it looks installed.  The artists' names are on the little blue leaves on the right.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Top is done!

I sewed the final seam last night, assembling the entire top.  I spread it out on the bed just to get a visual, but since Greg was also in it, I didn't take a photo.  ;)
I will this evening.   This morning in my stolen moments I continued piecing the scrap and leftover bits.  I spent some time on CAD drawing up a design to intersperse all the leftovers across the field of the back.  I abandoned that as too time consuming and not really attractive.   Instead I'm going to group them in larger fields -  I have seven 12" four-patches, and five leftover blocks.  If I border the blocks so that they are also 12" then I'll have 12 squares, that I can group together into three 24" squares.   There are 2-3 other leftovers that will be patched in, then I get out the Kona Snow white cotton and piece the back.  Then the sandwich.  I think I will use basting spray in addition to pinning, I have not tried working with anything this huge before, so I want to make sure the whole thing doesn't start shifting and bunching up.  Pics tonight, I promise.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sewing Saturday

I actually should have free time to sew today.  I still have to get my tax stuff together, and show someone the house, and go bowling in the evening, and maybe to a PP rally at noon.... but between those events, I can sew!
Last night I paired up the last four rows, so now four long seams will put together the five pieces and - voila!

I also started putting together the leftover squares to be part of a random backing.  There are seven squares that are 12" x 12", each made up of three leftover colored pieces and one white.  so pieced into bigger white fields they will look sort of like L's I am  guessing.  Then I have some smaller scraps to do something with...

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's been a really slow week sewing-wise.   Last night I sewed row seven to row eight.  So I have two of five rows paired up.  It's slow because I'm trying to make sure I press the seams nicely in the best direcction, etc.  But still...  only seven more seams to sew and the top will be done.

Blocking this thing out is going to be a major undertaking I'm afraid.   still not sure if I should use the table or the floor.   Somehow between breakfast and lunch I managed to get rows five and six together.  Here they are laid down side by side on the floor.  This is 3/5ths of the total quilt.  I am not sure what I think of it,  I have days where I say, what the heck is this mess, and days when I love it.   I did not notice the blue diagonal line when I first laid it out...  

I am following a ridiculous number of Blogger blogs. (Okay I checked, 91.) It's so easy when you see something interesting, to hit "follow."   I probably should thin them out, because I can't keep up with them all, and scrolling through ones I usually don't click over to keeps me from seeing all the ones I do like.

But as I browse and read, and watch tutorials, I worry that I will be too influenced, that I will copy the works I admire, rather than be inspired by them.  I always worry about this.  I felt the same way about architecture (but I got over that).  I wonder if the way to stop the worry would be to do a series of pieces deliberately "in the style of."  It would be just for study/practice pieces, to to be published or shown (as if I do a lot of publishing or showing anyway!).  It would be a good way to practice techniques as well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The second issue of  Interweave's "InStitches" e-magazine is out.   I ordered the first issue as soon as it was available, and I loved it.  I can't wait to download the new one.   It is a big file, so be ready to step away from the computer while it transfers, but it's so worth it - there are videos' and how-tos from lots of well-known fiber artists.  For only $14.97 it's hardly more than a paper magazine, and so much more fun and informative.  You can go back to it time after time and learn something new every time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Row nine sewed to row ten.

Halfway point

Stack on left -  first five rows assembled.  Each row contains nine blocks.
Stack on right - five more rows ready to assemble.

After that it's just hoping they line up nicely, row upon row, and stitching together the ten rows.  And the top will be DONE!  Maybe tonight??

(the blurry photo won't open or enlarge because I snapped it with my phone on the way out the door, and posted it via Flickr while waiting for coffee.)   I thought I loved technology today.  Then I tried to access my comcast voicemail.  I hate technology.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Taking Shape

I've finally laid out all the squares on the floor.  For an hour or so, I've been rearranging to get the colors distributed right....  I know there will be something I don't see until it's on the computer, so ....  here are some shots of the layout.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


All but a handful of the squares are trimmed to perfect ten inch squares.  I MUST practice being more precise!  After we finish at the house this afternoon, I will start laying out.  YAY!!!!  I had to go to JoAnne's for curtain rods, so I got batting.  I bought the Expensive Bamboo stuff.  I've used it in smaller quilts and I really love the feel of it.   I decided to splurge since I intend to be sleeping with this.   It was 40% off, anyway.

Too late in the evening to start spreading blocks all over the floor, so I stitched together all the leftover 2.5 inch strips to use for binding.  336 inches worth.  Not quite enough, but close.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Last night I submitted Cloister to the Sacred Threads exhibition.  I was not entirely happy because I didn't have time to properly finish the binding.   I had first done a pillowcase style binding when I did it for FFFC, and to do that I clipped the corners.  Now trying to put a straight binding on it with those corners clipped was not working.

I think this is the one I ended up submitting.

So it looks a little wonky.  I don't know what the standards are for this particular show, I just know I've heard it mentioned in several places.  Co-incidentally the church where it's shown is right down the street from my brother's house.   So if it's accepted I have to fix up the binding.  But I'm not holding my breath.

Then I went back to working on the brown bag. I thought I had 90 blocks.  I decided to make 10 more.  I got 6 done, then counted again and I only had 93.  So I dunno.   I'm just gonna make 5 more white blocks then start trimming and laying it out.  After Planning Commission tonight.

Now it seems I have 96 blocks.  I guess I was just too tired to count last night.  I'm trimming them all down from what was supposed to be 10.5 to an even 10 (rough - 9.5 finished).  I was not very exact in my cutting or sewing I guess.  I decided tentatively to make it 9 x 10 blocks - so it should finish at 85.5 x 95 inches.  A good double bed size.  If I get there and it seems like it needs a border, that would be fine too.

I've trimmed about 40 of them tonight, should be done trimming tomorrow, and start assembling it over the weekend.  It will go together fast - knock on wood.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday

Wwwhew.  It's been a long tedious day, with lots of meetings with engineers and lawyers about problems and issues.  Started with being late for my 9:00 meeting, and went right straight thru the day with pretty much non-stop appointments and meetings.  Only had about 30 minutes free at noon, when I tried to run out to Trader Joe's and buy goodies for the book club meeting I was hosting tonight.  But didn't find everthing I needed, and was still late to the 12:30 appointment becuase there is NO parking in the stupid lot at Joe's.  Why this city insists that a home based business put in 8 spots when they have one client at a time, but let a chain store like Joe's get away without adding any parking to a tiny shared lot.  Grrr.

I had about 20 minutes between getting done with the 12:30 meeting and being due at the 4:00 one, so I decided to relax and click through quilt pics on Flickr.  That turned into an irritation instead of an enjoyment because I discovered that one of the people/sites that I follow had decided to block me... could still see her pictures but not "Favorite" them.   Long boring story and I think that it is straightened out, but I got my feelings injured, and it sort of slanted my feeling about the whole Flickr thing from a warm caring sharing open community to... I don't know... something less.  But I'll get over it.  She apologized, but I don't really understand the whole point of blocking somebody.   I know there are always creeps and weirdos out there, but I didn't think I'd done anything to deserve being treated like one.  

Anyway, enough with the rant!
Here's the good thing about Fat Tuesday -  it's also Fat Quarter Tuesday at Fabric Etc!  20 fat quarters = $20.00

Did I go a bit overboard?  You decide:

There's a nice variety of greens which I seem to never have enough of, and some other neutral/solids,  then a bunch of black & white prints,  then a bunch of funky/fun brights and prints, and then stripes!  I grabbed a lot of stripes, having been really inspired by some works I've seen -  on Flickr - like Mariquilts.  

I think I'll go fondle them now.

Monday, March 7, 2011

90 squares done!

Even though we had the family here all weekend, I was able to get the remaining squares assembled yesterday and today, 90 of them, that is.  Now I have to decide if I'm doing 9 x 10 or 10 x 10 or 9 x 11.  I designed it based on the squares finishing at 10" and now it looks like I'll be cutting them all down to 9.5" (finished).  Which means instead of 100 x 90 it will only be 95 x 85.5.   Company Store quilts are 90 x 80 or 96 x 86.  Pottery Barn's are 92 x 88.

I think I'm going to make the extra ten squares because I want to even out the color distribution anyway.  Then I can decide if I want that added row or not.  I'm going with 10 squares wide, regardless.  I want to cover the ugly box spring.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Plodding along - but getting results!

I just couldn't resist laying these blocks out on the floor before I put them away.  Didn't take the time to randomize the layout, but it's starting to look like a real quilt!  It won't be so exactly checkerboard once the white-centered squares are added in.  But it's BIG.  Can I really quilt this on my home machine?  I think if I just do straight lines, I can...
I finished the next group of 15 blocks last night, bringing the total to 60.  My partner has finished her top and back and sent it out - to Everett, ironically - to be quilted.  But it's not a race!  I hope I get done by April, though.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When can I quit my day job?

I'm SO unmotivated to get to work, or to do work.  Especially when there are stacks of fabric calling my name.  Last night I worked on putting a new binding on the Cloister piece so that I can get it into the Sacred Threads show, which is due on Monday.   And now that we're having grandkids Friday night and at least half the day on Saturday, my weekend is not looking good.

I did manage to finish 15 blocks last night, bringing the total completed to 46.  There are 15 more at the halfway point.

I really want to start creating patterns to sell on Etsy.  I have bought 2-3 patterns at shows and on  line, and there really isn't much to them.  With the ability to draw everything out in Autocad it should be a no-brainer.  The main obstacle is that I need to actually MAKE the quilts so I know that it works, and so that I can show a photograph of what I'm selling.  Which means, making my own designs, not copying other ideas.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Are these not breathtakingly beautiful?

Stolen Moments

I think that is what I will name the quilt, because that's how I'm getting it done.  I rush to get dressed and showered so I can put in 20 minutes before work, I zip home during my lunch hour, after working on the rental and eating dinner at 8:30 pm I run a pile through the sewing machine, then take the pin cushion to bed to pin the next group.   THAT could be dangerous!

Anyway,  the next group of blocks is the prints with white borders.  29 of them.  This is a bit short, but I'm waiting until I do the layout to see what I need to add to balance the colors.  So I am almost half done with this group, I'm doing the short side first, and have about 4-5 more to do before I start pinning long sides.  Might get this done at lunch if I'm lucky.

Tonight I have to wash drapes at the laundromat before I can come home and sew.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I now have 31 blocks done.  This is all of the two-color blocks, including 12 with solid centers,  and 19 with solid borders.  I like most of them, there are 3-4 that should probably be changed or redone.  I'll plod through the remaining 68 half-white blocks, and see if I can just replace them, or if they need to be redone.

I made a quick stop at the quilt shop to see if the bird blocks were up.  Lee showed me how they look, but she's still working on the final assembly, a very cool tulle over blue fabric sky. It is going to be great!  I love it.  Glad to be a part of it, hope we can take some pictures when it's all done.