Saturday, January 14, 2012

A tree for Sunni, and other things

I decided to join in a couple of interesting online bees this year.  This one is over at Stash Bee, and is hosted by Sunni of Love Affair With my Brother fame.  I was originally in Hive 2, but someone dropped out of Hive 1, so I joined that one.  There are 18 quilters in this hive, and my turn for blocks won't come around until June 2013.  I sure hope all the quilters in that group hang in there for that long.  If they don't, I will learn a lot and have fun making blocks for them as their turns come up.  This is my first online bee of this type.  I have done the other kind where you make a bunch of blocks, send them in, and get the same number back from other people.  In fact, the wonky houses are for that kind of bee.  I like Sunni's block because she just asked for a single tree on a 12.5" square of Kona white.  It was great fun to design a tree to machine applique for this block.
I have also started making little houses.

These little guys are 4" squares finished.  About a year ago, I found myself caving in to the cuteness of a Moda candy bar box of traditional fabric cut in 2.5" x 5" pieces.  There are four collections represented in the candy bar box, with 42 "pieces of candy" in each collection.  I haven't used them until now.  At the same time, I also got some  mini (2.5" x 2.5") charm packs from three different Moda collections.  Also not used.  I guess I was saving them for this little house project.  They are just perfect. There is not enough to build all 120 houses, but I have some Kansas Trouble jelly roll strips left from another project, and I think there is enough there for several houses.  These are paper pieced. and now that I have the fabric sorted out, I think this is going to be great fun.
I said I would show you the latest AAQI quilt once it was finished.

This one is 9.5" x 5.5".  I call it Kasbah Nights because the colors reminded me of exotic places.  I hand quilted it with #8 perle cotton in the same burgundy color as the HSTs.  The binding is a very dark blue.  I will send it off as soon as I get the registration number.
It has not started snowing yet, but I am still hoping it will come our way.  I am ready.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A new block

Today, I decided to make this block using Victoria's tutorial over at 15 Minute Play.  It is made with may triangles - 36 in fact.  It is about 13 x 13.  I started by taking a few smaller pieces of made fabric and putting them together.  Then I cut my first eight triangles.  Then I pulled colors from the stash shelves.  I wanted to use some of my larger scraps, and that is what I did, except for the yellow and the corner setting triangles.  These two came from the wonderful stash swap.  When I had it all together, and it went together easily, I did have some pucker in the center.  That was caused by my apparent inability to sew a straight line and not from the tutorial.  I just steamed the heck out of it, and it now lays pretty flat.  I think I will make more of these blocks as I get the urge.  Isn't it funny that I am really attracted to warm colors, but I keep using these cool colors?  I plan on making a warm one next.
The weather guessers are predicting snow for us for the weekend.  That would be very lovely, but I never count on it until it actually starts falling.  We are stocked with veggies and I have plenty of projects to work on.  Let it snow!
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Traveling Stash has a new destination

It is time to announce the winner of the Traveling Stash winner.
Mr. Random Generator selected #5
Vrooman Quilts.
Congratulations.  I will be contacting you by email right away.
Thank you to those who participated.

Beautiful fabrics from a swap

I was a participant in a Serious Stash Swap coordinated by Victoria at 15 Minutes Play over the past few weeks.  We were given swap partners and we were to swap 20 fat quarters.  My swap partner, Mimi, and I emailed each other with some ideas.  I sent Mimi her box without taking a photo.  It included some Kaffe and several shades of grey, which Mimi said she liked.  I mentioned I liked batiks and brights.  This is the collection I got in the mail today.  Aren't they incredibly yummy!  There is also a beautiful Amy Butler that somehow didn't make it into the photo.  All the warms fill in some big holes in my batik collection.  I am already seeing wonderful quilty visions.  I am so happy I participated in this swap.
I will be back Friday after my Bella days.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, January 9, 2012

AAQI and emergency bear surgery.

First, the bear.

Isn't he sweet?  For Christmas, Bella received two Build-A-Bear kits.  Her mother put one together and I put the other one together.  I wanted to bring it home to sew on my machine, but Bella wanted me to do it right then so she could take it in for her nap.  I agreed with the understanding that when it began to fall apart, because of the really crazy way they had for assembling it, I would have to take it to my house to sew on the machine.  Today, Bella came over, bear in hand, and said, "I wish I had listened to you in the first place, Nanny."  Music to a Nanny's ears.  So, I took the bear apart, took out the stuffing, and sewed it together like it should have been in the first place.  The operation was a success.

The other thing I did today was to start my January AAQI mini quilt.  When I joined in the 2012 Color Palette Challenge over at Patchwork Times, I decided to use the monthly palette to create my monthly AAQI mini.  This is the color palette for January.

I think I did okay with the colors. 
The other thing I wanted to include were prairie points.  Why prairie points?  I was watching Susan Cleveland on the Quilt Show the other day, and she made some of the cutest prairie points I have ever seen.  I thought they would make a great addition to my intuitive quilts.  This AAQI quilt is completely intuitive, even though it has some traditional elements.  Sometimes, my intuition tells me I need something traditional.  I am going to hand quilt it with #8 perle cotton in the deep purple.  If you notice, you will see my safety pin basting.  I will post it again when it is finished.
That is what I have been up to so far today.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Houses, big and small

This is house number 4 in the 12" x 12" category.  I did this without any pre-planning or sketching.  As it started, I started thinking about making it a ship captain's house, complete with widows walk at the top.  As I build each of these houses, I create a story for each one.  Crazy?  No, just a quilter with a big imagination. I am thinking of adding some salmon to the stream. 
Have you read Quilt Mania?  It is a beautiful magazine published in France.  I found it last summer and have become a big fan.  The pages are filled with quilts from shows around the world.  There are a few patterns, but mostly it is just eye candy.  In the Sept/Oct issue, there was part 1 of a house quilt created by Joe Wood.   He is the owner of Thimble Creek Quilt Shop.  Then, in the next issue came part 2.  Each house has a mini quilt side.  In the middle of the night, I woke up with a vision for a house quilt using a big house with mini quilts on the porch railings surrounded by rows of very small houses.  I have seen the tiny 3" houses all over the blogosphere lately, but I decided on 4".

I did the sketch, got the measurements, and cut the fabric.  I was not thrilled with the outcome.  I decided it would be better if it was foundation pieced.  I took the time to create foundation pieces for all 120 houses I need.  I drew the pattern for the big house I want to use.  This quilt will take a while, and I really have no business adding another project to the already long list, but I am pretty excited about it.  The added bonus is that it will use scraps.
I need to buckle down and get projects done that have January deadlines.  Maybe tomorrow.
Joyful quilting, everyone.