A View of My Quilt Life

Friday, May 22, 2015

Parts and Pieces

While there is still no sewing happening in the studio, there has been activity going on.


You remember this, don't you?  I got all giddy with the HST units and rushed ahead, sewing the blocks together.  Resulting in a very busy, dizzy quilt top.  Something had to be done!

Small sharp scissors to the rescue!

Careful un-sewing of some of the seams and I have these parts and pieces back on the design wall.

The new planned layout (shown here in a sides-chopped-off version) has open, mostly plain space to balance out all the tiny triangle madness. 

It will increase the size of this quilt to about 76 inches square - large lap / couch nap size. The exact fabric for the open space needs to be addressed before it can be reassembled. But I will be moving forward with more sewing restraint - if I have any, that is.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2nd Entry - Bloggers Quilt Festival

Thanks to Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2015  

This is my first time participating in the festival.

I decided my second quilt entry into the Blogger's Quilt Festival will be:
Fifty-Eight Nines

I chose to enter this into the Original Design category.  This quilt was a finalist in the 2015 New Quilt from an Old Favorite: Nine Patch contest. 

It is made completely from batiks that were gradually collected over a two year period, building quite a deep stash along the way! The quilt was assembled using a quilt-as-you-go method, on my home sewing machine and measures 52"x 54".

Take some time, check out all the quilt entries in the different categories and vote for your favorites - there are wonderfully quilty bloggers showing off their work and prizes to be won! 

Thanks for visiting - I'll hope you'll stay awhile and take a look around.

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2015: Connections

Today I'm taking a break from my planned posts to participate in something new!

Thanks to Amy's Creative Side for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2015  

This is my first time participating in the festival and my first entry is in the Applique category .


Based on the Traditional Double Wedding Ring pattern,  it's hand appliqued and made from Cherrywood hand dyed fabric. The arcs and corner stones were made the old fashioned way - I drafted the pattern full size on graph paper, and glued them onto cardboard to create templates.  Each piece was traced around, cut out by hand and the edges hand basted down. 

Measuring 34" x 43", Connections was quilted on my home sewing machine. The different curves on the opposite corners was done on purpose, following the layout of the 'ghost' rings. 

Take some time, check out all the quilt entries in the different categories and vote for your favorites - there are wonderfully quilty bloggers showing off their work and prizes to be won! 

Thanks for visiting - I'll hope you'll stay awhile and take a look around.

Rainbow Fabric Pull

Back to the studio!!
It's time to work on the first color of the 'Focus Through the Prism' challenge.  I chose green for the Monkey Wrench block this month and headed to the green batik drawer to pull fabric. 

And then decided - what the heck - let's pull all the batiks to go with the hand dyes for all 7 months now so they can be stored together. 

I noticed a severe lack of purples in the stash. Shopping is NOT an option.  The plan is to move some fabric out of the stash on this project.  Hmmm, a bit of a dilemma. Oh, but wait!!  When I was down in Paducah, I pick up some Bali snaps on sale.  

YES - The Kool Aid color pack should fill in any gaps in the purple range!!  

And I have the Breakers (blues), Taffy (greens) and Red Hots (yellows to reds) Bali Snaps to fill out the other colors.

All of the fabrics have been pulled and stored in one small bin ready to go each month.  I need to draw up some paper foundations for the Monkey Wrench block and start stitching!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Before Dawn Binding

FINALLY!!!  I have been sooooo bad about finishing the binding on the Chirp, Chirp quilt.

Not sure what the roadblock was but the deadline to get this done for the charity auction was looming ever closer.  I don't mind hand stitching bindings - it's actually very relaxing, so I guess it was plain old procrastination rearing it's ugly head.  I was up at 4:00 am today since I have a ton of things to do before work, and got the stitching done before I wrote this post. Glad it's done and ready to be on its way.

In the meantime, I've been chewing on the 'Focus Through the Prism' challenge of this month.  

The block is Monkey Wrench and the color I've chosen...... 

(insert drum roll please!) 

is GREEN!  

I am jumping right into the middle of this challenge.

Well, now that that huge decision is behind me, I can figure out what on earth I am going to do with this block for my quilt. Enough with the hemming and hawing - time to get a move on!  This weekend will have me pawing through the green fabric drawers.  I have more than enough fabric on hand for a 100 of these challenge quilts.  

Hope your weekend includes some fabric time!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Coming Apart at the Seams

I have made the decision to un-sew the triangle top.

It is just too busy for me.  It needs to have some quiet areas added to give the eye a place to rest.  I used PowerPoint to mock up the layout that's been rolling around in my mind.  This is not to scale, and no quilt math was employed -  I'll get to that soon enough.

The white areas will not necessary be cream nor whole pieces but they will definitely be calmer.  And I don't have to make any additional blocks, as I had one left over when I sewed the top together! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Triangle Triumph!

This giant pile of 4 patch HSTs 

eventually became 8x8 blocks.  

I had 4 of them made before this weekend.

By the end of the Sunday, using every HST I had, gave me 21 blocks.  Twenty of them sewn together looks like this:

In order to balance this layout into 5x5, I need to make 4 more blocks.  256 more HSTs to go! Once I get them done and added to the top, it will have 1,600 HST units in it.  I may even do some un-sewing and add some sashing. Or I may just leave it as it is right now - in all its busy triangle-ness.

We'll see.

Either way, I'm no longer intimidated by triangles!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Some New Bits of Blue - Studio Additions

A Happy Belated Mother's Day to All!!

I had a perfectly, relaxing quilty day here at home.  DH made me French Toast and bacon for breakfast to start the day.  Even before he got out of bed, I was busy in the studio. 

Sewing oodles and oodles of HSTs into two-sies,

then four-sies.

Those aren't the only bits of blue in the studio.  Drake had his yearly vet check Saturday morning.  He's doing good, with his 10th birthday a week from today.  On the way home from the vet, I ran across a yard sale.  There were some really great antique items there - I passed on a Singer treadle - including these blue mason jars.

Last year Ball did a retro run of blue jars and I purchased one.  Here's the original on the left and the repro jar on the right. I definitely like the old one better.

Tomorrow - an update on the HST project.

Friday, May 8, 2015

On the Line and in the Bin

In the middle of the electronic failures,  I have come down with an upper respiratory infection. 

Sparing all of you the gross details, I hightailed it into the Doctor office and got some serious meds.  I am so NOT playing around with this - I don't have time or patience to be sick.  

Well, that's not how things work. The coughing is so intense, my ribs muscles are sore and sleeping is an interesting adventure. Clearly, I could not go into the office yesterday and today is iffy right now.  Fortunately, I have the ability to work from home.  My studio sewing table makes a roomy desk.

Unfortunately, the electronic gremlins weren't quite done with me - I 'lost' a SharePoint site that I've been working on for over a week now.  

Panic and frustration were running high, to say the least!  Thankfully, the help desk was able to restore a version from earlier today, with minimal rebuilding work that will need to be done. 

During the worst of the afternoon drama, this was the view from the studio yesterday as I worked from home. 

A much more muted color palette than I usually work in. I have to say just looking out the sliding door had a calming effect.

I had enlisted DH to wash and hang out some FQs on the line, as the day was too gorgeous not to take advantage of nature's dryer.  My evening fabric therapy was cutting apart the HST two-sies in this bin. Didn't count them - just kept running them through the machine.  

Let's hope the gremlins are done messing with me.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Epic Electronic Fail

Tuesday was a BAD day!

It started out with me discovering that I had neglected to pack my work laptop into the roller bag on Monday night before I left the office, though I had all my files.  Of course, the discovery was made Tuesday morning, an hour before a meeting at an alternate work site - 45 minutes away from my desk.  Crapith! I immediately bolted out the door, dashed out to the truck to make the trip to recover the laptop.  I figured I would call my colleague, let him know what happened and that we would just push the meeting back a bit. 

This is where things started to head downhill.

Oh, I was aware the round trip would take longer due to rush hour traffic.  I knew there is no fast and easy route to take between the two locations.  What I didn't know was this would be the exact moment my cell phone decided to die.

As in completely dead. 

No, not just out of power and after a few minutes on the charger, would spring back to life.  I mean completely, totally, forever dead. 

I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone to begin with - this was pushing me over the edge.  The last time DH & I replaced our cell phones, upgrading to smart phones, I spent an hour each month, for the next FIVE months, on the phone with AT&T disputing the bill.  

Knowing I was about to face an evening of cell phone shopping was giving me some anxiety.  In the meantime - I was cut off from communicating in a timely fashion.  Add to that, I was definitely going to inconvenience a colleague, who was carving time out of his schedule to help me with my project, outside of his normal duties. And traffic, as expected, was horrendous. 

I eventually retrieved my laptop - it was just sitting there on my desk mocking me.  I was able to conquer the SharePoint project - thanks to my colleague.  And the husband was ready to head out for cell phone shopping the minute I pulled into the driveway.

You would think that would be the end of the electronic drama, wouldn't you?  You'd be wrong.  There was on final dig.  NONE, not a single one of my contacts could be retrieved from the dead phone.  The techs at both Best Buy & AT&T, trying everything, could not recover the phone numbers stored in my old, very dead phone.  

Moral of my Epic Electronic Fail:
Make sure you have a back-up, up-to-date paper copy (yes, old school but effective!) of all your contact phone numbers.  

And while your doing that - make sure you email all your phone photos to yourself, and store them on your personal computer or back up hard drive, almost as soon as you take them.  The techs couldn't recover my pictures either.

Epilogue: I am now the owner of a BLUE Galaxy S5 - we're slowly getting to know each other.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sure Signs of Spring

Since I was gone the two previous weekends, this past weekend was chore time.  You know, the usual - laundry, dusting, vacuuming, mopping but a few of them are a sure sign that spring is finally here.

The winter curtains have come down!!  

Windows washed, sills dusted and brand new, freshly washed curtains went up. 

The backyard grass had the first cut of the year - nothing as sweet as the smell of fresh cut grass. 

And as a special adventure - new closet doors in the downstairs bedroom! 

The old ones were bi-folds that liked to pop off the top track. 

They were stained an icky dull color and one of them had damage from the previous owner's son's fist.  The white ones really brighten up the room. Let the Spring sunshine in!!!