Archives for the month of: February, 2006

These are the blocks that I have made so far as examples for my beginning quilt class. I usually keep most of them at the office for teaching purposes, so this was the first time I had put them all up together on the design wall.

The first thing I noticed was that there was too much of that acid/icky green. Not that you can really have to much of it, but I need to use more of the purse conversational with the black background in the future blocks (still have a fusible applique’, a foundation pieced block and some others to complete) and well as the tone-on-tone blue dot.

This is definitely a good example of why you should look at your quilt blocks before you finish them and put them together. I am not Paula Nadelstern who works on a tiny table and never looks at the whole quilt while it is in process. She is a genius and I strive to be like her.

I made one of the alternate blocks, the Nosegay, and had a lot of trouble which taught me to not slack on the templates. As some background, I was trying to print templates and HP Mobile printing, which never worked properly anyway, had taken over all the print functions on my computer. This prevented me from printing from
EQ5 directly. Always one to revert to pencil and paper, I drew out the block with pencil and paper and made the templates on graph paper. It went together fine until I got to the cone part of the block. The two background pieces were obviously too small.

Here is a detail of my transgressions. ;-0

I checked the template with the fabric and they matched. I couldn’t figure out the problem, then work got busy and we went skiing. Finally, this week I was forced to prepare some more templates for class and took drastic action by deleting the pathetic HP Mobile Printing. Now everything works fine. I can’t print directly, but I can save to PDF, which HP Mobile Printing was preventing from EQ5. I redid the templates for the Nosegay and sure enough all of the original templates were fine, except for those two tricky background pieces.

Now the block looks like this:

And here is the detail.

I also finished the basket. I like the way it turned out and was pleasantly surprised when I used the purse conversational with the black background as a background.

My students are back in the groove of quilting, so tomorrow I will give them their next block, a foundation piecing block. I picked the New York Beauty for the block with the Pineapple as the alternate. Not sure which one I will do. Perhaps both.

I still have to finish the damn Nosegay and am thinking that I will have to completely redo the bottom (cone) part. It just doesn’t fit. C’est la vie.

I did have osme success with applique’, however. The Grandmother’s Flower Garden petals are applique’d to their background. This is one of the blocks from the class that has been kind of languishing.

I also worked on applique’ from an Elly Sienkiewicz class that I took years ago at Thimble Creek. It is one of the blocks from one of her Baltimore Album Quilt books. After doing two of the cut snowflake type blocks I decided that there was no way I could do an entire Baltimore Album Quilt. Still the block I worked on is nice and I did want to finish it. My applique’ leaves a lot to be desired, but it shows me making progress. The journey not the destination. I look forward to finishing it so I can say that one UFO is off the pile.

After the CQFA Steering Committee meeting at KAM’s house, we did fabric painting. KAM organized the whole thing and it was a nice ending to the meeting.

This is my first attempt:
After my first attempt, we watched a five (or so) minute segment of Simply Quilts. It was good to watch after, because I wasn’t too influenced by the demonstrator.

Here is the piece that I finished after we watched the segment.

One thing I got out of the segment is that simple shapes seem to be better, so I worked on this one:

My final piece is the best one IMO.

It was GREAT not to have to do any organization for the project but to just start painting on fabric. KAM was so generous with her paint, fabric, etc. It was wonderful. As you may know, I am not a big fan of messy work. I did enjoy doing this project as I could just play and not worry about making a masterpiece.

I plan to try the presentor’s idea of doing some curved strip piecing through the middle of my piece. I don’t want to make these the center of a piece. I just don’t think they could stand up to the scrutinty.

DCM and I discussed not having enough time to just play and wreck fabric pieces. We are both having a hard time getting over the feeling that each piece we make must be perfect.

A topic for another day….

This is the block that I made today. I wanted to get it done to show my students and just hadn’t made the time. I decided that I was in the groove and did it this morning. I thought I would run my errands first, but realized that that was deadly and did the pieced part of the block first. After cutting, it took me about half an hour to do the main part of the piecing. HALF AN HOUR!!! That is nothing. How could I forget that piecing, once you know what you are doing, takes no time??!!?? Later this afternoon I appliqued the handle and sewed the two halves togther.

I am pretty excited now and will, perhaps, make the Nosegay. I gave the Nosegay to the students as an alternate block to the 8-pointed star. I always give an alternate block, but haven’t made many of them for this project. Nobody has done the Nosegay including me. It is the traditional version with inset seams and not Doreen Speckman’s version with no insets.

I think the colors are pretty bright, but I like the brightness and the different way in which the fabrics react with each. The purse fabric is a new colorway, as I ran out of the other colorway. I like this colorway better with the bright green and pink. I am wondering if I should redo the other blocks with this colorway? Seems a little crazy, but I am the woman who took apart a whole back of a quilt, because I needed to use some of the fabric on the front of another quilt. Stranger things have happened. 😉

My sis said she didn’t really like the color combination. Oh well. I have to admit that I was getting tired of it until this most recent block. I like it. We’ll see how it ends up.

This is an interesting photo that I took before I cut and placed the middle pieces. You can see that I was having some trouble cutitng the background so that it all lined up. I eventually got it right, which you can confirm in the photo at the top.

My problem with lining up the fabric the way I did is that two sides of the block (top and left) are on the bias. I have to remember that so that I can take care in handling the block later.

I still have to applique the Grandmother’s Flower Garden to a background, so perhaps I should do that instead of starting the Nosegay. It shouldn’t take too much time, especially if I machine applique the petals. Stay tuned.

One of my faithful readers asked me to publish a list of quilt and creativity books that I acquire. It would be nice if I wrote a review of each one, but I will start out with just a list.

Paper Piecing Picnic from the editors and contributors of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine and Quiltmaker Magazine. Thanks JCN!
Kaffe Fassett’s Museum Quilts with Liza Prior Lucy. Thanks Beth!
Textile Designs: 200 years of patterns for the printed fabrics arranged by motif, colour, period and design by Susan Meller and Joost Elffers. Thanks JZS!
Mary Shaffer: American quilt maker by Gwen Marston. Thanks, Ruth!
Borders, Bindings and Edges: the art of finishing your quilt by Sally Collins. Thanks, Ruth!

Thanks go to people, because I bought the books with birthday money or was given the books for my birthday. I know this isn’t an exhaustive list, so check back. I am a lucky girl.

Kissy Fish is a small piece that I created so I would have some handwork and be able to try a few things. I haven’t worked on it lately due to time, and didn’t for a long time, because of an injury. In a continuing effort to sew and make progress on my quiltmaking, I pulled out the project and brought it with me to DS’ appointment today.

Every Friday I have about an hour to do something portable and not computer related. I have been bringing blank paper and writing letters. Over Christmas, I brought Christmas cards and wrote those. It occurred to me today that I could bring a portable sewing/quiltmaking project and make some small progress.

In the detail above I have placed slash marks in the area I was able to accomplish in the hour I had to work on it.

One reason I started this project was because of the embroidery articles in Quilting Arts magazine. I thought I would like to try some of the stitches, but am not interested at all in Redwork or an entire project based on embroidery such as a crazy quilt. I also had a lot of beads and thought it would be good to try beading out. Around that time I saw the work of quilt artist, Susan Carlson, on Simply Quilts and was inspired to try both beading and embroidery in a free form sort of way on Kissy Fish.

It is not meant to be a great work of ART. It is meant to be a test piece for me. I hope that it comes out well, but I am giving myself permission to do what I can and screw up if I need to. It is quite liberating to think this way.

George is DS’ much beloved “Lovey.” As a Beany Baby, George wasn’t designed for the difficult life he has been allotted. George gets laid on, rubbed, tossed, swing by his tail, hidden, etc. In the last little while, I have convinced DS that George is getting old and needs to be coddled, so George mostly lives in bed with 37 other stuffed animals, a body pillow, 4 regular pillows, numerous books and magazine and is only subject to extreme love at night.

Peridocally George gets too much love and begins to leak as DS is preparing for sleep. This creates cries of abject horror as they did tonight. There is no putting off the repair of George or there will be no sleep for any of us for hours. The sleep, when it finally comes, will the sleep of exhaustion and tears — not restful sleep. I must immediately go up and repair him.

Creativity comes in mysterious ways and I guess this is preparing me for what is to come or continuing the brief spurts of creativity I am forcing on myself.