Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Excuse me, what was your name again?

This new project needs a little PR help. I've always seen this block called "Devil's Claw", which is truly unappealing as a quilt name. Can someone put a positive spin on it or come up with an alternate name?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quiltville mystery quilt is completed

It's bound, it's labeled, and it's on my bed in about an hour from now.

And you know what? I already have my next project picked out. More later.

Anybody watch "Enough Already!" with Peter Walsh on OWN network last night? He's a professional organizer who tackled a quilter's clutter on last night's show. I don't usually watch it but was alerted to the show on the Quiltville chat group. I'm still conflicted about the resolution. Sure, she got a great quilt studio but it was in the garage, and I didn't see a single quilt displayed in her decluttered living room. It was like "Yeah, you can have your little hobby but don't bother anyone with it." And her daughter seemed a little controlling. She claimed she wanted a better relationship between her children and their grandmother but wouldn't bring them to visit because she said the cluttered house was too dangerous. Admittedly, the living room was a complete fright, but that seemed a little manipulative.

Oh well, one woman's opinion.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Don't make anything bigger than you can photograph

I even got out the stepladder but this was still the best I could do. The room isn't large enough to back up far enough to frame a decent picture. I was standing in the doorway here. But the top is finished: The basket quilt that grew. 95" square. And I like it a lot. To think it was just a whim to expand the Schnibbles quilt at its' heart.

Can anyone tell me what fabric line this is?

I bought charm packs from Keepsake Quilting on sale, and sometimes they rename collections (for no good reason) so I don't know who made it nor its proper identifier. I would like to buy a yard to put a border on the EQ BOM quilt I started but realized I don't have any idea what it's called. I checked Keepsake and they don't seem to have the charm packs anymore. Help? Lakeshore, lakehouse, something like that sticks in my head but I don't know if it's right.

P.S. This was bought last summer, by the way. And now I'm starting to doubt that it came from Keepsake. I also bought a few charm packs from a sale on Quilt in a Day so who knows? Looks like this will be scrappier than I planned! Surely I can find a coordinating print that will work. Ooh, ooh, reason to go shopping!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another BOM

I stumbled upon a BOM on the EQ7 blog yesterday and decided that I had to play along. First because these are 6" blocks and thus different from what I've been doing, and second because I remembered a charm pack that I bought from Keepsake Quilting for another project but didn't use that would be pretty in these small blocks. So, here are the first two months' blocks and the fabrics: The blog gives links to EQ7 files for templates and paper piecing foundations. Since I have EQ6 I couldn't read the files so just drafted them myself. I'm doing these by regular piecing although depending on the design I might use foundation paper piecing later.

And, by the way, I fixed that bad corner in the right hand block. I didn't see it until I photographed it - as usual.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sneak peeks

Here's what"s going on in the old quilt studio:

Quiltville mystery Roll Roll Cotton Boll is back from the longarm quilter and as usual, Sherry Meyer did a bang-up job. This incorporates a pattern I hadn't used before and it's lovely. Now to apply 420 inches of bias binding (really!) and get this on the bed. Here's the front: And here's the back, showing the quilting a little better:
Isn't that pattern darling?
Work is progressing on The Quilt That Grew. I have made the triangle side panels and was assembling the piano key outer border this morning when I simply had to lay the pieces out on the floor to get a peek. It's coming out even better than I hoped:
The only hard thing about this (and it isn't really hard) is that I'll have to tweak the pieced border a little to remove 1/2" from the total length to fit on the inner segment, meaning I'll have to increase several seams a teeny bit. I also had to make the white border just inside the pieced one a tad wider than the others to make everything come out but it won't jump out at you - I think! It has to be that way, so no use brooding on it. This would have been easier if I could have figured out how to do medallion quilts on EQ. I have to work on that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quilt film

If you love quilts, if you love beautiful graphics, if you love music, you must go and watch this short film made for the National Film Board of Canada. Thank you to the member of Quiltville Chat who led me to this link. This little film is charming.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Growing a quilt

I'm cultivating a quilt to see if it grows. It started, you see, as a small wall quilt from a Schnibbles pattern. I was in the mood for some zip-zing no-small-pieces-for-me! sewing so the 6" blocks were enlarged to 8", which perfectly suited my patience level. The rest of the quilt size was jiggered a bit and I ended up with a 48" square completed wall quilt. But, you see, I kept looking at it on the design board and tilting my head at a 45 degree angle saying "Man, that would be a great center medallion on point." And thus it starts.
The problem is, if EQ can do medallion designs I'll be danged if I can figure out how. I really, really need to do the tutorial or take a class, but until I give up and admit defeat - and I haven't yet - I probably won't go there. So I broke out the graph paper and sketched and calculated and tore up sheets and started over. And finally came up with a plan.

Then I had to scurry back to the quilt shop to get more of the fabrics (A Morris Tapestry by Barbara Brackman) before they sold out. The initial quilt was made with eight fat quarters and some white-on-white from the stash. Luckily they also had more of the white-on-white too.

So a plan is in place and cutting can commence, but not soon since I have to clean house. Desperately. The corners are looking decidedly furry. Dust bunnies are starting to accumulate. Blech.

Addendum: The quilts for my nephew's family arrived safely in Germany! I have been in a complete panic since I handed them over with trembling hands at the post office on January 25th. But - hallelujah! - they made the trip and are now gracing their beds. I had a little mental issue with the declared value. I know from experience that without an appraisal it's difficult to claim the actual value of a hand made quilt. I ended up using the cost of materials plus the longarm quilter's fee as the value of each quilt, which was lower than their actual worth, but it still ended up a sizable sum for five of them. My nephew told me that the customs office wanted to assess them 17 percent of the declared value as the import duty (which would have been around $120) but his wife was able to chivvy them down to $40. How, I don't know, but way to go Friederike!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Yahoo quilt groups can be a great source of temptation. I just saw this link to the most gorgeous all neutrals wedding quilt. It's stunning but I can just imagine what my husband would say: "Ugh! Another brown quilt!"

So I got to wondering what it would look like in blue and white, my absolutely favorite color combination (if you threw in a little yellow I would truly be in heaven, but let's keep this monochrome). And this is what it would look like, courtesy of EQ:
I'm going to have to consider this, I truly am.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just because

This is a Carrie Nelson Schnibbles pattern made from a Sandy Gervais charm pack. No particular reason to make it. Just because.

Hopping around the sewing room, and I'm not even the Easter bunny

I'm just a girl who can't say no ... ... another project. Barbara Brackman's Civil War sampler, my Bonnie Hunter Addicted to Scraps column patriotic sampler, my local quilt shop's Saturday Club sampler, my Orange Crush quilt, my Carrie Nelson charm pack project, my ---well, my, my my.

Yep, I'm fragmented. I'm the ADHD quilter who can't stay with one project until it's done. I'm the needle and thread embodiment of the Buddhist description of monkey mind, always charging off into three different directions at once. So I've gotta find a method to keep track of all these little loose blocks. Here's one idea:
Pushpins on the design wall, a ziplock baggie for each project. Bigger stuff gets its own plastic bin, like the 100 block sample that's ready to assemble now that I've picked the sashing and border fabrics.

Orange crush still needs three borders, which are laid out on my cutting table whilst I while away the time on my latest distraction, Carrie Nelson's little OSO charm pack quilt. It's cute and it will only take a minute...but you know, I never finished that Christmas table topper and if I made it now I could surely get it quilted by next holiday season...

See? I'm hopeless.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why did I expect anything different? We ARE talking about software customer support.

I just spent over an hour in a Live Chat session with TurboTax software customer support reps trying to figure out why the software isn't handling my input information correctly. Result? Nothing was accomplished. Zero. Nada. Squat.

(And why can't I have a phone number and TALK to them instead of typing everything? Are they trying to irritate me? If they are, it's working. Live Chat sessions are one of the stupidest things to arise from the internet culture.)

The software has a bug; it's obvious. When you select certain conditions and input your data, and the next screen says the exact opposite of what you input and branches off on a different decision tree based on its' erroneous understanding, that, my friends, is a bug. Did the rep realize it was a bug? Maybe. Would she say so and initiate an action to fix it? You're kidding, right?

The best she could offer was "try it again". After four "try it agains" I was burnt out and late for dinner, and had had enough. Tomorrow I'll throw away the file I created, start completely fresh and see what happens. If TurboTax does the same mistake again, I'll print the forms from the Treasury website, fill them out by hand and admit that I flushed $29.99 down the drain buying buggy software. Sigh.