Friday, March 23, 2012

The cute factor

It's all in the size.  
The block is from Kim Brackett's "Scrap Basket Sensations".  The first rendering is 12", the second is 7".  Small is always cuter!  I challenged myself to find a way to cut these blocks from a set of two identical charm packs, and it worked.  I'm still making the larger one from two jelly rolls of "Blueberry Crumb Cake" but will now do a small version using the Sandy Gervais fabrics.  Probably don't have enough left of the charm packs to make the pieced border so that's up in the air.  

On other fronts, I finally finished my Wild Geese quilt with the plain border.  Much, much better.  I'm finally happy.  I know that some commented they liked the pieced border better, and I could see its' charms, but this pleases me. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Orca Bay almost done!

Teaser picture!
I got my Orca Bay back from the long arm quilter;  now to get the binding finished next week after my trip to see my Mom.  Today I am wrapping the gift quilts for my sisters-in-law.  Hope I have wrapping paper that's big enough!

Another little quilt

Isn't it cool what you can do with a couple of charm packs and a little yardage?

Friday, March 16, 2012

A hairy decision

I batted the decision back and forth in my head.  Should I cut my hair?  I alternate between short hair and just-above-shoulder-length bobs with bangs.  That's been my pattern for, gee, 20 years?  I last grew out my hair after I retired, over 4 years ago, and was getting bored with it.  So I started the search for short hair ideas.  That's when it hit me:  if I was going to cut my hair the short haircut I liked the best was that of Joanna Coles on Project Runway, the editor of Marie Claire magazine.  Here's a picture, courtesy of the Marie Clair website:
See?  Cute.  Unfussy.  Simple.  I like it.

I was already scheduled for a trim today.  Last night after I watched Project Runway and stared at Ms. Coles' haircut, I searched Google images for her picture.  I printed them out and put them in my handbag, but hadn't made up my mind even as I drove to the beauty shop.

Once there, it because clear.  I wanted short hair again because it was easier to take care of.  Summer was coming and my gray mop was getting frizzier and frizzier (gray hair does that).  It was time.

My wiz hairstylist Susan took a look at the pictures and set to work.  And now my hair looks almost exactly like hers.  The differences come from mine being thicker and wirier.  But a little John Frieda serum fixes that. The gray, it just has to stay the way it is.

I'm set for the summer.

And I haven't had a panic attack yet.  So far so good.  No regrets.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Now THAT'S what I meant

My border fabric arrived in the mail today so I ran in after dinner and before dishwashing and slapped it down on the sewing room floor for a mocked-up picture of a modified border design.  I can live with this.  You can see the striped binding works well with the outer border.  It lightens and lifts the entire look of the quilt.  I'll trim the existing border to 1" finished and add a 2 1/2 - 3" outer border depending on what proportion looks right.  I'm relieved.

This is another little goodie I'm working on:
I'm really getting into these small charm pack projects.

On other fronts, I spent the afternoon outside digging up shrubs that died over last year's dreadful summer, and planting one replacement.  Five more to plant tomorrow.  Fertilized shrubs, weeded, started to get the yard back in shape for the year.  I can't wait to plant my tomato patch!  Unfortunately, a rain cut short my work.  It didn't seem to affect my neighbor, though, who was out in the rain mowing the yard.  Okay - if it works for her.....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Where is all this red coming from?

I just finished piecing this little quilt.  Me.  The person who doesn't like red.  What is going on with me?

I never was a big red fan, don't wear it and don't decorate with it (I think a red room would raise my blood pressure and get on my last nerve) but recently I've been making a lot of quilts featuring red.  Not as much as this one, though.  It's red in a big way.

It's a mini version of the quilt I made for my nephew's son two years ago.  That one was more red/white/blue/gold, this one is red/brown/tan/teal/ivory.  That pattern stuck in my head and when confronted with charm packs of "Friendship Collection for a Cause" I knew I had to go for it.  Luckily, I had that red yardage in the closet that blended very well.

Next I want to make a mini version of the one I sent to my nephew's younger daughter.  I loved all the quilts I sent to them, but don't want to make a second one in full size.  These little quilts will do just fine!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wild geese

Look at those colors.  Wild geese indeed.

I did the border the way the pattern specified and now I hate it.  Haven't decided if I will pick it all out and try something else, and not sure how much fabric I have left to make another design.  For now it's folded up in the drawer.  I like the center, just not the border.

I'm tempted to order a yard of the multicolored leaf print on cream that's in one of the setting triangles for an outer border (if I can find it), and trim the existing border down to about 1" finished to keep as an inner border.  Or rip it all off and think some more.  Suggestions?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The great geese migration

Before I start dinner I took a minute to lay out all the blocks in the sewing room floor for this flying geese-intensive design from Carrie Nelson.  Other than a few color swaps and fixing a couple of geese pointing the wrong way (I was in a hurry), this is the layout.  There will be a border but I'm not there yet.

Now the only critical thing is - keep the cat out of the sewing room!  She likes to scramble the blocks.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This 'n that

I mentioned I would post a photo of the quilting on the "Etchings" quilt.
Isn't this a pretty pattern?  Of course, Sherry did a beautiful job as usual.  The thread is pale blue to pick up on the blue in the patches, but unfortunately I think it doesn't show up as well as I had hoped.  But it's still lovely.  

I found two large boxes for the gift quilts.  The binding on the second one is done, so all I have to do is wrap them and drop them off at my sister in law's house the next time I visit my mother, later this month.  She lives about 40 miles from Mom, and pretty much on the way there (only a small detour).  I like that I can deliver the gifts by hand, because I panic and worry every time I have to mail a quilt.

On other fronts, I dug out some scraps and tried a new pattern from Kim Brackett's "Scrap Basket Surprises".  This one is called "Kitchen Sink" but I'm going to call mine "Paddlewheel".
You can see the treadmill deck beside my "design floor" (!) because I have to remind myself to walk this morning.  If the treadmill is in the way I have a harder time ignoring it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Little sis

After I decided to give this quilt to my sister in law for her birthday:
I decided I liked it so much I would miss it and wanted to make something else in that pattern and fabric, but I didn't want to tackle another large quilt.  So I found a couple of charm packs of the "Etchings" fabric and made nine pinwheel blocks for this wall quilt, its' litter sister.  Here it is pinned together on my design board: 
I"ll assemble it after I complete the binding on the gift quilt in the next few days.  The large quilt is set on point but this small version was better in a straight set because it showed the pinwheel blocks better.  Side setting triangles in the gray fabric were too overpowering on the smaller blocks.

Sherry Meyer did a magnificent quilting job on the gift quilt as usual.  I'll post pictures of the pretty design as soon as it's bound.  By the way, Sherry's got my Orca Bay to quilt right now.  I can't wait to see how it looks.