A View of My Quilt Life

Friday, October 24, 2014

As the Worlds Collide...

So there I was minding my own business and the BAM, the need to shop for quilt fabric hit out of nowhere!

Okay – a slight exaggeration but that’s how it felt.  I’ve been fairly, mostly, and sometimes entirely of the ‘Shop the Stash’ mindset.   My stash is what I would consider medium.  Over the past two years, I have sorted through, carefully and then ruthlessly culling out fabrics that I no longer am enamored of or will never get around to using – flannels, homespun, traditional prints, conventional blenders, a few panels, etc.  All of them were passed on to other quilters who will love & use them up. 

Then three things collided in my world.  The 2014 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt colors were released, I was heading to Michigan for a weekend (only a hop, skip & jump from Shipshewana) and time to stock up for winter shopping.  

That set up the perfect reason / opportunity to head to Shipshewana to do some lying in of provisions for winter.  I like to hit the bulk food store for spices, tea, jam, etc.  What’s a quilter to do when traveling to quilt fabric Mecca with color cards and fabric swatches from the stash?  I would just look to just see, if perchance, there are a few half-yard cuts or fat quarters wanting to come home with me…

I knew, at a minimum that I need to buy the black batik – nothing in the stash – and check the neutrals, as I only wanted to use 1 or 2 at the most in the new mystery quilt and I sure didn’t have that yardage at home. 

My pink collection at home is a little light after last year’s mystery quilt, when I changed the yellow to pink, and I wanted hotter, deeper pinks, edging into violet.  I found some awesome half-yard cuts.

I decided to lighten the green from grass to lime, well, actually Robert Kaufman AMD-7000 KIWI.  

 And since I was lightening the green, I deepened the turquoise.

I found the exact black batiks I wanted!!  I had cruised the internet last week, checking out some batiks for ideas and found this one – and Lolly’s had it! YAY!

The neutral was an issue – it couldn’t be too cold, or dark, or too grey, definitely not tan-ish or yellow-y.  It had to be perfect!  I found half-yard cuts of two prints in oyster - just warm enough and almost shimmery against the black and deep tones.

That brings me to yellow.  Since I had altered the other colors, a golden yellow wouldn’t stand up to them.  I need lemon – bright clear and not too variegated. Yellow batiks are not a dime a dozen.  It took three quilt shops to find just the right one. Lighter than I thought it might be, but the clearest lemon I could find.

As you can see, I totally fell off the fabric shopping wagon.  Sometimes, you just have to splurge a little and what better to spend it on than fabric.

Have a great weekend -  I need to go wash some fabric...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Working the Back Seams

The left hand column of the Nine Patch has been assembled. 

And it's now time to stitch the back seams down.  All pinned in place, ready for hand stitching.

After stitching and pressing.

One column down - two columns to go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Punkins, Punkins, Punkins!!

It's that time of the year - Punkin Huntin Time!!

I have a difficult time facing the fact the summer is in the rear view mirror.   I am usually in denial until the first snowflake falls.  One thing that eases the transition is the Annual Punkin Huntin Day!

This is one of the days that gets blocked on the calendar back on New Year's Day.  This was the third year of gathering with friends to head to a local small family owned farm.  Normally they have an awesome selection of varieties but this year the wetter than normal August weather affected the crop. Bummer!  

But no fear, we managed just fine.

And then we stopped by another farm a distance away - different growing conditions - to round out the varieties.

On the way home, DH & I stopped by our favorite nursery for some fall color.

Totally blown away by this variety of ornamental kale. The color is washed out but the center is vibrant red-violet!  It's called: Peacock Red.

And a lemon yellow hardy mum for contrast.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mystery Quilt Anyone??


Yep – Bonnie Hunter strikes again!  This year’s Mystery Quilt is called  "Grand Illusion" 

The inspiration for this quilt came from her visit to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island this past spring.  And last week the colors cards were released, along with yardage requirements.

Check it out and join the fun.  The mystery quilt is a blast to do, as it unfolds every Friday from the Day after Thanksgiving until we are done with how ever many steps it takes.  Everything is very carefully broken down into doable steps for everyone from beginners to advanced quilters.

Of course, I do like the colors Bonnie picked and understand why everyone is going crazy over them.  Here they are, plus black and neutral.  These are Valspar color cards - the exact paint card numbers & yardage requirements are listed on the Quiltville blog.

My pinks may either end up rose & muted pink shades or run from rose to hot pink, magenta & even violet.  And my grass greens may lean more to the lime shades.  I like the golden yellow with Bonnie’s colors but if I change my other colors, the yellow may end up being lemon. 

My neutral is still up in the air, as that choice depends on the other colors. I’ll most likely use 1 yellow, 1 neutral (white or light cream) and 1 black fabric.  The pinks and greens will be varied, pulled from the fat quarter stash.  Of course, they will all be batiks.  I love the fact we are using black in this quilt. It just makes everything else just pop!

I need to spend some times digging in the stash and pulling fabric for the mystery but I am trying to focus on finishing the current Nine Patch Project because that deadline is coming up quick!  Last year I didn't even pull my mystery quilt fabrics until Thanksgiving Day!

It seems like it was just yesterday that we were working on Celtic Solstice but also like Grand Illusion has been a long time coming – like a quilting time warp. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Back Under the Needle

The ‘Window Section’ was under the needle quite a bit and the quilting on it has been finished.

It was then time to go back to the upper left hand section – the ‘Angled Section’ to finish the quilting on it. I had considered doing some free form outlining of the flourishes, started that way & un-quilted that part I did.  I ended up doing rays in the four medium pieces. I think it helps reinforce the angles of the section.

The Upper Right section has not yet even started being pieced. ACK!!  However, in an effort to have forward progress on the project, I started assembling the left side column sections.  

The middle column sections are going to be a bit tricky as the very center piece needs a narrow outline added to it, to bring it up to size.  So? You ask – what’s the big deal?  Narrow strips and assembling quilted sections do NOT always mix well.   I had been joining the section using the zipper or cording foot and they were fighting me & slipping off the feed dogs.  I’ve done this before & not had as much wrangling.  Just one of those things I guess!   If the Center Section becomes a pain – I have Plan B in mind already.  Let’s just see how things go.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Quilting the Window Section

I started the machine quilting on the lower right section of the Nine Patch quilt, that I call the 'Window Section'

I chose to follow the general direction of the center patches dot print. Rather than go exactly with the flow and free form the lines, I went with straight parallel lines.

The quilting of the frames had me stumped until I decided to treat the double sections where two 'window' frames are next to each other.  That realization didn't come until my brain was preoccupied with other things. Love how that happens!

Now I just need to find some stitching time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Master Bedroom Makeover and Where's My Light?

Our Master Bedroom was more than overdue for a makeover.

It was last painted when we moved in over 11 years ago. YIKES!! I couldn't find a picture of the old walls, but imagine a deep grayed blue double rolled with a cream, in a roller ragged effect. It was nice but of course, seriously dated looking.

Not to mention that this room still had carpeting on the floor - ICK!  Since it is on the main level of the house, it was already slated to get the same vinyl 'barn wood' floor that we laid in the living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway. 

Drake helping hold down the edge of the new area rug
After this, only the second bedroom/office and the main bathroom still need the new flooring

Back when we were working on the living/dining/hallway, we purchased one of the paint colors for the bedroom - Martha Stewart Living 'Tobacco Road'. 

Think gravel - a warm, creamy, yellow-tan gravel. The accent wall color was never purchased because we weren't sure back then what, if any, special effect was going to be used.  It turns out the was a good decision - no special effect for this room!

Since DH sleeps in there, I wanted him to pick the other paint color. He was kind of surprised that I was giving up complete color control.  YEP!  I did and I was okay with it. Hey, I never consulted him on the coral shade I painted the downstairs bedroom where I sleep.  

So after a bit of standing in front of hundreds of paint cards, with no idea of which way he was leaning, he wrestles out the last paint card from behind the plastic holder of...
"Winter's Day"

Yep - just like it sounds - bluish grey fog color.

I must say DH really did a great job on the room redo.  From the beginning, I was hands off.  My schedule just didn't allow me to participate, given the fact he wanted it done in roughly a week - from pulling out the old carpeting to fluffing the pillows.  

Zena helping hold the opposite edge of the rug
We had the flooring already purchased, along with the area rug.  We did have to spring for some extra Kilz primer, the new paint color and the new closet doors.  Still need to pick out new curtains and install the closet doors. Totally loving the fact that the easy care floor is now in this room too!

And my new sewing lamp? The cool new Ikea lamp I bought it on Saturday, and used for the first time on Sunday?

The DH was out of town until Monday and by Tuesday - he had my brand new sewing lamp in use for cutting the flooring.
Lamp being used by DH & a kitty tail photo bombing
I may have to buy a second one to keep mine safe.