Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's twist again. . .

This is a pattern called "Strip Twist" from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website.  At least, these are the blocks for the pattern - not joined together yet.  I just cut these strips out yesterday morning.  The blocks went together like wildfire.  Joining the rows always takes longer for me.  The colors are dark red, pink/rose, gray, grayed green and tan, with shirtings for the neutrals.  I like the muted look of the palette.  It was inspired by a photo on the Quiltville group of this quilt made using a collection called Azalea Trails.

I'm waiting on a brain burst for border ideas.

Friday, September 23, 2011


......No, not in the garden.  I'm talking about weeding out selections for a scrap quilt.

I found a pattern online that I liked and decided that a rust print in my stash would be perfect for the outer border, and as a jumping off point for selecting fabrics.  Of course, it would be scrappy - but the question is, how scrappy is too scrappy?

At first this was my selection.  The rust focus print is on the top left, and the rust and gold next to it will be used in the pieced sashing and borders.  I didn't photograph the mottled cream background fabric:
But then I got to thinking:  is it TOO MUCH?  I actually never thought I'd say that because scrappy is my "thing".  But the more I looked at the stack of fabric and studied the photograph it seemed that the whole was waaaaay more than the parts, so to speak.  It was screaming, not conversing with the viewer.

So I spread out the stack on the table and started thinning out to those fabrics which most seemed to relate to the outer border print.  And I got it down to this: 
A much more controlled selection which still picks up the rust/gold/olive/brown/tan palette of the print. It had more room to breathe.  It had tonal range and variety in the prints, but none of the prints fought with the focus fabric.  I was much happier with it. 

This is a real admission for a "more is more" kind of gal.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Quilter's Club of America has a new mystery

Quilter's Club of America online has started a new mystery.  It's called "Worms and Jelly Rolls" and the pattern is by Debbie Caffrey.  It might be worth joining the free membership if you like mysteries.  It's intriguing.  The first set of instructions is fabric requirements, and it consists of  2 1/2" strips, background, sashing, border and binding.  So it's very jelly roll friendly.  I spent the morning pawing through the closet and picking out 38 fabrics for the strips, 8 white on whites for the background, a gold tone on tone print for the sashing, and an indigo/red/gold/brown print for the border.  Binding and backing are up in the air right now.  I cut many more strips than required for the 62" x 75" mystery because I want to make it larger.  No more steps until the 30th.  Boo Hoo!
Anyway, I started out with these fabrics:

But ended up with these strips because I couldn't NOT make it very scrappy indeed!
Here's hoping it works out!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In or out?

I have something more to consider about my Quiltmaker's Newsletter mystery quilt assembly.  Since my colors differ from those chosen by the magazine, I have some leeway how I lay out the blocks in the outer border.  Initially, I thought I would do it like this, which is more like the magazine's choice: 
with the darker blue on the inside.  But I tried it the other way round:
and I like that too.  It separates the dark pink and the dark blue and points up the border somehow.  On the other hand, I like how the light blue relates to the blues in the outer border in the first example.  I'll have to assemble the top out to that border and then decide.  In the meantime I can join the strips for all the borders and finish the center medallion, which is growing on me, by the way.  If I had known that the dark blue would be the background for the blocks surrounding the compass medallion I would have chosen a different fabric, because I think it kind of sticks out.  But that's one of those "don't cry over spilt milk" situations because I don't have the inclination to remake those blocks. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh, the terrors of mystery quilts!

The new issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine arrived today.  It contained the final installment of their mystery quilt, so as soon as possible after dinner I scrambled into the sewing room, pushed back the rows of the diamond log cabin and laid out all the pieces.  I was on pins and needles whether it would work in my fabric choices.

There were a couple of surprises.  The yellows aren't as prominent as I thought they would be.  True, there will be an outside border of the yellow print and there's yellow in the center but it doesn't really shine out.  The blues are a lot brighter than I figured and it makes the quilt darker.  I guess it's OK. 

This is a smaller quilt, 74 inches square, and I'm debating whether to try to add another border and enlarge it or just let it be what it is.  I can put it on the foot of the bed or over the back of the couch.      
This quilt was a lot of work and I'm kind of on the fence about it.  What do you think?  I'll post an actual picture when it's completed but I have to box it up and finish that diamond log cabin first.  The primary reason I wanted to take a picture was that with  all the color substitutions I did I had a hard time correlating it with the instructions and figuring out how it went together.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Diamond log cabin

As soon as I finished the last block I threw them down on the sewing room floor for a photo.  Man on man oh man this thing is WORK!  This probably isn't the final arrangement and there are borders to cut yet but this is pretty much how it will look.  It's cool, but mercy, I won't do another one.  Too much stretchy for one soul to take. 

You know how you can assembly line piece log cabin blocks, laying each new block on a long strip as you feed them through the machine?  Not with this one, at least if you expect them to come out the same size in the end.  I had to make wonky trapezoid paper patterns for each piece in the blocks, and even stranger shaped ones for the border half diamonds, and trace them onto strips as I made each block.  I had sort of planned to make the design edge to edge but when it got to 80" square, I said "I'm done!"

The hobo kitty

As you can see, the little stray kitty is still quite at home in my back garden. Throughout the day I will glance outside and see it, either in my garden or across the street at the vacant house.  It likes to sleep on the porch.  Other times, though, we have no idea where it goes.

I think it lounges behind the plants there because of the faint hope that a dumb bird will wander by on the way to the birdbath.  It doesn't spend the whole day with us but comes by several times to eat and get a drink of water.  Sometimes the kitty takes a break during its meal and relaxes in the shade.  We put out a cup of dry kibble a day and it usually cleans the plate.  We are in danger of having the world's only tubby feral cat!  Come to think of it, this cat has quite the life.  Food in regular and ample supply and none of that pesky petting stuff!

I have started to refer to it as Hobo Kitty, or Hobo for short!