Friday, July 7, 2017

Purple Pickle

A new quilt is in the works and it must be done by the first weekend in August. Therefore I am making it my July OMG.

Pattern and Initial Fabric Pull

Sometimes I pick a pattern and choose fabric accordingly.  And sometimes there is some fabric that I have to use.  In this case, it was the color purple.

Kaffe Fassett Design Roll Strips

Well, the quilt needs to be purple. Purple is a difficult color. I have very limited purple in my stash.

Voluptuous? I can work with that :-D

My best bet was Kaffe Fassett.  I had a couple of design rolls - 6" by WOF strips.
And that became the starting point for the quilt. Now, let's select a pattern, shall we?

Basket Case

If I stitch a 2.5" strip on either sides of the 6" strip and cut into squares, I should have my blocks. Arrange in a rail fence fashion and there is your pattern. Simple and Purple.
But but but there is not much fun in that. I have already made quilts like that.
Remember Basket Case.

Life's Embrace

An elongated 4-patch block with sashing, arranged in rail-fence style.  That is Phoebe's flower box from MSQC. I have already made that pattern - a few times.

Phoebe's Flower Box

As I am considering these patterns, I am aware that they have to be suitable to the pre-cut at hand.

6" Strips - Green, Purple and a touch of Yellow

If you are ever in this mode (trying to decide a pattern) do not , I repeat firmly - DO NOT GO TO PINTEREST.  You will see a thousand other things and forget the original mission.

No that did not happen to me. I did not see this quilt from Kitchen Table Quilting.
Ok, I did and was immediately fixated on it. Time to sketch.

Sketch

Adding Color

In Process

I am in love

At this time, I realized that it would not work with my pre-cuts. Bummer!!!
Time to modify the design.

Final Design

Instead of a 9-patch, I modified it to a 4-patch, while the snowball blocks remain the same.
The pattern will have 63 blocks, arranged 7 by 9.  There will be 32 4-patch blocks and 31 snowball blocks.

First Block :-)
Design - Check.
Fabric - Check.
Let's go to town.

Off to a Good Start!!!

I feel like I am off to a good start. Hope I can maintain the momentum. What do you think?
As usual, I'd love to hear from you.

I want to take this time to thank you for your lovely, kind, sweet, heart-warming and very generous comments on Playing Footsie.  Sending big hugs to you for the love you shower upon me :-)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Playing Footsie

Celebrate a Finish
Once upon a time in India, very long ago a young wife (newly married) went out on a date with her new husband.
(Of course, they did not call it a date - just going to a restaurant for dinner. )

Basted

Additionally basting with pins

She had a twinkle in her eyes and a spring in her step, because these alone moments with her husband were few and far in between.
(They lived with his parents.)

Binding

Done  - Ready to wash

She was playful.
(He was not.)

Sunny Day

She thought this was so romantic.
(He was nonchalant.)

Ooh the texture!

She wanted to make the most of this occasion.
(Alas!)

51" by 68" - Picnic time

After they placed their order and before the food came, the playful young wife, slipped her right foot out of her sandal, to play footsie with her husband.

Ready to cuddle

Gingerly, she extended her foot, her toe touched his ankle.  She closed her eyes. His head shot up.
As she traced a line on his calf with her toe, he pulled back.

What a Hoot!

She had not expected this. Her eyes fluttered open.

June OMG Finished

Don't do that, he admonished. Don't you know that touching your husband with your feet is disrespectful?

Charm Squares Repurposed

She never attempted to play footsie with him again. The year was 1995 and that young wife was me.
The marriage ended in divorce.

Labelled

Fast forward to 2004. I was now a grad student at FSU and dating an older American man. It was complicated.  He was recently separated, emotionally unavailable and we saw each other just a couple of times in a month, when he did not have his kids.

Binding pops!!!

We would sometimes go to a movie. Sometimes we would go out to eat at a restaurant. And although he never really acknowledged me as his girlfriend, this was definitely a date.

Rolled Finish

The best part - I could play footsie from the beginning to the end of the meal!!!

Navy & Aqua work so well!

He was bemused but never pulled away.  I am sure he must have wondered - what is her obsession with footsie?

Showing off my label

Here is a quilt where the Chinese Coins are playing footsie with the Rail Fence Block.

Selfie :-)

I made this quilt top in November of last year to get out of my funk.

Zig Zag Stitch

I had shared my disappointment about the recent election and my fears for the future with Mari.  She was supportive and understanding as she heard me pour my heart out.

Am I naked behind the quilt?

Mari then told me - Go sew something colorful. I followed her advice, dove into my fabric stash and found several charm squares, languishing in boxes and longing to become something. This quilt is the result of that endeavor - Playing Footsie.

Could be?
This marks the achievement of my June OMG.
Nine quilts in 6 months. What do you think?

With my Quilt Model

You look so happy, Mari commented on my Instagram picture.
It is the weekend, the weather is perfect, Paul is home and most importantly - I can play footsie all day long!!!

How was your weekend? Did you complete your OMG? I'd love to hear from you.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Birds and the Bee Blocks

Appearances can be deceptive.

Generally speaking paper piecing is more complicated than regular straight line piecing.
And therein lies the deception.

Tall Tales Block

This paper-pieced block was completed in one afternoon - start to finish.  The Tall Tales Block was quick and I love how it turned out. It looks so adorable.



Economy Block - 1 of 9

This seemingly simple "economy block" block took three days. It was SO MUCH WORK. It has 81 pieces - go ahead count away. Each of the nine units has nine fabric pieces.


Economy Block - 2 of 9


Contrasts

Picking fabric required careful consideration of contrasts and values. I wanted to make sure that each unit had enough contrast between the three fabrics but also had sufficient contrast with the adjacent unit and yet the whole block had to look harmonious.

Economy Block - 3 of 9

Fussy-cutting, trimming, squaring, ironing galore and yet the points may or may not match.  I am exhausted just describing this 12.5" block.  In any case, it is done.

Finally Done

This economy block monster robbed me of my desire to attempt the next Bee Block.  The Urban Woven Block will just have to wait for now.

Completing Bee Blocks goal is incomplete :-(
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Besides, I have a new role to fulfill this year. I am the Block of the Month (BOM) Coordinator for my Quilt Guild.

After the success of My Twitter Feed, several of my guild members asked me to provide the Bird Block as a BOM.

Mirror Image Birds - 9" by 12"

I chose to enlarge the block and also include the changes I made when I was first making the birds.
The new block is 9" by 12".

I completed the enlarged birds block. Also finished writing the tutorial but...now the PDF file is so big that I was unable to email it to my newsletter. Split it into three PDF documents. That should work.
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I am having trouble with my June Tailor basting spray.  It is inconsistent. Sticky in some parts and not in others.  Makes the quilt sandwich unstable, causing it to move, resulting in tucks and puckers. I experienced the same problem when quilting Mayflower.

Basting Pins

For now, I have augmented the basted sandwich with basting pins.  Hope I can finish this quilt this weekend.  But I need to find another basting spray. What do you suggest?

Work in Progress

Just feels like I have been spinning wheels but not getting to my goals.  Ten days to go.
I could really use words of wisdom from you!!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Quilt Show and Bragging Rights

I had such a fabulous weekend that I am still reliving the experience through pictures.

Paper Doll Mini Quilt

Mari drove from Delaware so that we could go the Quilt Show together.  She brought me fabric (scraps I requested) and my own paper doll wall hanging.

Juicy Scraps

We ate lunch. Her generous compliments on my culinary skills made me blush and she ended up with leftovers :-) That is a win-win situation.

My Twitter Feed on display at the 44th Quilters Unlimited Show

At the show, I posed with my quilt and beamed with delight  every time I heard appreciation for my work.

Beaming
There was no dearth of eye candy at the quilt show.
We lingered, took pictures and discussed techniques and patterns. Here are a few of my picks.

Happy Fish by Barbara Delaney
These fish are just the kind of blocks that make me happy.

Farm Girl Vintage by Kelley Davis
These vintage blocks are super adorable. Bet there is never a dull moment in making these blocks.

Hand Pieced by Jeanne Culbert
Jeanne is in my Quilt Guild and I am overawed by her patience to put together this beast of a quilt  -all hand pieced!!!

Blue Ridge Beauty by Jennifer McKinney
And here is Jennifer's scrappy beauty. This is her second Blue Ridge Beauty. She made one as a wedding present for her niece. 

The House that Kaffe Built by Denise Racz
I noticed that most houses have yellow windows depicting that the family is in, and a few have black windows, showing that the occupants are out.  Love such attention to detail.

Daryl's Seascape by Madaline Stutes
Meticulously paper-pieced fish make this quilt a favorite.

The Nana & Kyra Quilt by Nancy Fallone
When Nancy's  18-month old granddaughter Kyra saw her piecing, she was fascinated. Every visit, she would pick two squares and hand them to her nana to sew them together, resulting in this quilt.

Mari joined me in chai and samosas after the show. Our discussion of fabrics, patterns and tutorials nicely rounded out my day. So exhausted but very happy.
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May I brag a little? Or a lot?


On Sunday, Janet Marney of Quilters Unlimited of Northern Virginia called me to ask for my permission to use My Twitter Feed as the group photo of their Facebook page.
I asked her if she could hold the phone for a minute...while I did a happy dance and finished running around in circles around my coffee table.
Then we both laughed.
Here is the link - https://www.facebook.com/groups/304623407466/
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If May was crazy busy, June offers little respite.  As a result I have fallen behind on my Honey Pot Bee blocks. Must finish those in June.

Fabric Squares for the June Block

Me: How is that for June OMG?
Inner Voice: Small but doable.
Me: Well, then let's complicate it a bit.
Inner Voice: No don't
Me: Why not?
Inner Voice: Because you also have to write the BOM tutorial for the Birds block
(I am the Block of the Month Coordinator for my Guild this year and I have been ASKED to provide the Birds block tutorial)
Me: Huh, and I cannot do both?
Inner Voice: You also have to MAKE the Bird blocks for the BOM.


Fabric pick for the Bird Block
Me: YIKES!!!
Inner Voice: Like I said.
Me: No, you will not discourage ME. If I do not achieve my goals that is one thing but to NOT EVEN TRY - that is UNACCEPTABLE!!!

Yes, sometimes Paul is asleep (or out) and the conversation must go on.

For my June OMG, I have a flimsy that is screaming to be quilted and I will get it done. Here is the backing and binding. No, I am not showing the front till it is finished.

Backing & Binding

Three goals for June
1. Finish a quilt
2. Make Bird blocks and write the BOM tutorial.
3. Get up to speed on the Honey Pot Bee blocks.

I will be linking with Elm Street Quilts for the June OMG.

Here is the fabric I ordered from Connecting Threads. At 40% off, I am pretty pleased with it :-)
Joel Dewberry Fabrics 
So, how have you been and what are your June goals.  I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties and as usual I'd love to hear from you.

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