Saturday, January 21, 2012

Working on a new quilt

One of the quilts on my list for 2012 is this Mexican Stars quilt designed by Annette Ornelas of Southwind Design.  I spent time yesterday and today cutting the pieces and creating all the blocks.  Tomorrow, I will put the blocks together and do the "curving" that makes this pattern so pretty and unusual.  The pattern calls for machine sewing the curves, but I am going to do it by hand because I didn't like my test on the machine.  The finished quilt, if I stick with the pattern, is 34" square.  I don't use commercial patterns very often, so this is an interesting experience.  Having someone else figure out all the measurements and fabric needs is kind of cool. 
The tree where the robin was perched in my last post fell in the ice storm.  Tom spend yesterday cleaning it up, and cutting it into usable pieces for our friends wood stove.  It was sad to lose such a wonderful old vine maple.  Fortunately, no property was damaged in the fall.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Interesting Weather Day

This is the view outside my studio.  Most of the morning, I watched freezing rain falling and coating everything it touched. Before it turned to snow,  the blueberry bushes in back ended up with branches about 3/4" around with ice.  At one point, I heard a loud crack and crash like a tree coming down, but I didn't see anything when I looked.  We have woods behind us, so maybe it was there.

The arrow is pointed at a robin who is very confused by all this.  We usually don't see him until later when spring begins to roll around.  Fortunately, the woman across the street has is out restocking her bird feeders a couple of times a day since this strange weather started.

This is the icicle that has been growing by our front door.  It started out wider than it was long.  Today's ice storm seems to have changed its shape quite a bit.  It looks pretty heavy and lethal right now.

The rest of the icicles are pretty small in comparison.  If you look, you can see the ice on the branch hanging under the eaves.  This is my first ice/freezing rain storm.  I much prefer snow.  So many of our friends are without power, and there are trees and branches down all over the place.  Hopefully, we don't get any more ice tonight.  The weather guesser says it is going to warm up and start raining by tomorrow morning.  Let's see if he gets it right this time.

When I wasn't watching the ice and then the snow, I built this square.  I had to audition a number of fabrics for the middle where I ended up using the gold.  I would like to make a quilt eventually with blocks of all the color combinations I come up with.  Since I seem to stick in the same palette most of the time, I think this will work fine.  This one is very different from the first one I made, but I like it just as much.  I think Tom likes the first one better.  I am still having trouble with puckering in the center.  I really have to get that straight line 1/4" seam down better.  It will happen with practice.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A house and a doll blanket

This is wonky house seven.  Only five more to go.  I machine appliqued the tree onto this one.  I am sad that I don't have enough of the sky fabric left to make any more blocks with it.  I think it is a great sky.  If you want to see more great wonky houses, go over the the Wonky House Flickr page.

After I finished the house, I decided to put this doll quilt together.  Last week, when Bella was in the room with my stash, she pulled out the fabric with the blue flowers.  She decided she loved it.  Then she pulled the red and white to go with it.  Next, she pulled the pink and red and said she needed one more.  I pointed her toward the teal.  She wanted it to have flowers, but decided it was okay when we couldn't find any teal with flowers.  Then she asked me if I would make another doll quilt with them with a cuddly back.  I think she means minke, but she will get flannel.  I had the fabric on my table for a few days when I decided to just start playing. 
I really like how this pattern worked out.  I wouldn't mind having a larger quilt like this.  Unfortunately, the red with blue flowers is from a deconstructed shirt, and it was a small shirt.  The pink and red was from an estate sale bag of scraps, and there is very little of that left.  I have plenty of the red and white I got at a garage sale next door.  It is home decor fabric.  The teal is from a bag of solids I was given by a friend.   I think there is enough of everything to make myself a mini to hang on the wall, or a pillow top.  This quilt is 20"x20".
I think the snow is about at an end for us.  It snowed steadily all morning, and we got about 5" total in our neighborhood.  It has been so beautiful.  I think most people will be happy to see it gone.  We are supposed to get back into our typical winter rain starting tomorrow. 
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A lap quilt finished

This is my newest lap quilt.  It is made of 12" blocks from the BOMs over at 15 Minutes Play.  The background is Kona Jade (I know, it is blue, not green).  The sashing and binding is a Kaffe shot cotton with red warp and maroon weft.  There is a little bit of green Batik, that drives Tom crazy because it is not balanced.  The rest is fabric I made by cutting up my favorite Kaffe's and making fabric with them.  It is quilted with a large overall stipple in a King Tut variegated red by Superior on top, and a variegated gold/brown on the back.  While I love excellent quilting, I love seeing the fabric and the patterns created by the fabric more.  I think that is why I have not been really motivated to learn more about machine quilting.
Here is the back.
Originally, I was going to use a very colorful sheet I found at the Goodwill.  When Bella was over last week, she wanted the room darker for her nap, so I put the sheet up over the window.  It looked so beautiful, we decided I should make curtains out of it instead.  Then, I didn't have any idea what I would use, so the quilt sat.  I was going through a bin looking for something else, when I found this piece I had been saving for just the right thing.  I guess it was waiting to be found for this quilt.  I have a noren ( traditional Japanese fabric dividers, hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows) that has these three ladies on it leading into my studio.  I bought it in Japan, and was really excited to find the fabric last year.  But I digress.
The quilt is 42" x 52"", just the right size for my lap.
Just a little snow this morning.  We are told we will get quite a bit tonight.  It will be interesting.
Joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Two new wonky houses

When I created this house, I was thinking of yurts I saw photos of 40 years ago from the barren plateau region of Afghanistan.  On the inside, the walls were covered with beautiful woven rugs.  I put them on the outside here.  None of the ones I saw had an overhang for shade.  I decided it needed it.  It looked very hot in the summer.  Another thing I remember about the photos was how deep and dark the sky was.  It is quite a high altitude.  Maybe that is why.

I saw a house like this in a Dr. Seuss book at Bella's.  It was a little curvier, but I decided I was not up to curves today.  I was most taken with the room that just hung off the side with its own roof.  I used the same house fabric as the yurt because I didn't want to waste any of it, and because I think it is bright and pretty.
I also got a wall hanging prepared for hand quilting.  This one is the UFO for February for my guild.  I may actually get it done by the meeting.  That would be sweet!
There is still plenty of snow on the ground here, and they are calling for more over the next couple of days.  We had one of those really beautiful biggish flakes-coming-straight-down showers for a while earlier.  I am sure the Eskimos have a special word for it.
Have a wonder filled day, and joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playing with Wonder

This is what my design wall looks like today.  The Madonnas on the left are designed by Victoria Findlay Wolfe and I love them.  I have posted the other blocks recently, except for the one with the rounded top.
This one all started with making some letters from scratch.

Wonder is my word for this year.

This one is for the January challenge at my Modern 8 Create group.  I think there will be more added, but I will wait to see what it wants.  I am going to leave the top rounded and bind it that way when I am ready.
The snow finally arrived, and it is beautiful.

This is when it started.  It snowed off and on most of the day, heavily at times.  It doesn't snow all that often here, so I am really enjoying this.
Joyful quilting, everyone.