Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Or. . .

Use the dark blues with the second group.

Oh, please, someone stop me!

I'm dithering.   .   .   .

I finally got myself off the teal and nothing but teal kick since I really didn't have enough dark teal fabrics for sufficient variety, and I pulled a nice selection of truer blue fat quarters to use instead.  So I'm done dithering and worrying and second guessing.  I have my fabrics for the mystery.  Relief!

More photos of mystery fabrics

Ok, Paula, I couldn't refuse a "pretty please"!  And for you, Calico Cat.  Here are group photos of the possibilities, with one additional factor.  I have enough yardage of a brown print that I could use it in place of the gray instead of making the brown scrappy too.  I showed it in the second picture.  Alternately, I could use the scrappy browns.

Pink Group:
 Green Group:
I guess I could also use the darker teals in the second group, if you got down to it.  But enough pictures - what should I do???????!!!!!!!

The mystery train is leaving the station!

WHOO- HOO!  Bonnie Hunter has posted the colors and yardage for her fall mystery quilt and I'm excited!  Her quilts are always fabulous and I'm sure this one will not be an exception - plus she said it was easier than the last few, which is a relief because although I love ya, Bonnie, and I love Orca Bay it about killed me.

So without further ado, here are two, count 'em, two possible color schemes, drawn from yardage in my stash that might end up being backing or borders.

The first one:
Pink substituted for her lime green:
Green for her aqua:
Aqua for her violet::
 Various browns for her single gray:
 Perhaps using these additional darker browns:
 And creamy neutral tone on tones for her black and white prints.  These are lighter:
And these are a bit darker and may play too:
All loosely inspired by this print:
Green for her green:

 Blue for her blue:
Gold for her violet:
Same browns:

Same neutrals:

 Inspired by this print:
What to do, what to do?  Let me know your preferences - I'm going to stack the fabrics in my sewing room and mull over them for the next month.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halfway to Chickamauga

All the blocks are joined so now it's time - GULP - to face the mitered border!

Quilting along with the QAL

Here are the latest blocks the Threadhead's QAL:
I'm loving these colors!

On other fronts, I completed all thirty-six of the Chickamauga blocks and pinned them together by row.  Now to put a few hours in this morning joining the rows.  Not looking forward to the striped border because it has to be mitered.  Also not sure why I dread mitered borders so much because they've always turned out fine.  Everybody has a phobia, I guess.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

UFO, you've gotta go!

Now that I have finished the Burgoyne Surrounded quilt top, I need to use the time before the start of the new Bonnie Hunter mystery productively, and how more productive could I be but to finish at least one UFO?  So I dug out my half-pieced version of the Chickamauga pattern (so appropriate because of where I live) and started piecing.  I have eight more blocks and then I can assemble it.  I find that the blocks take about 30 minutes each to sew, so I have probably half a day more and then about three days to complete it.  Here's a photo:
 I can't remember where I saw the pattern online (so I can't credit the following picture source, sorry) but I was taken with it enough to save this image of the quilt using the Marcus Civil War Journals fabric:
I see now with them side by side that I tweaked the pattern a little bit on the red blocks.

I had a collection of red-and-white and blue-and-white prints in my stash and that dark Civil War repro print lying at the left edge of the page which worked well for a border, so I dug out a beige print and some backgrounds from the stash closet and shopped for a stripe.  The one I found wasn't exactly what I had in mind but it was available and on sale, and coordinated well with the border.  I think it will work out very well.  Of course I'm making the darned thing bigger than the original so where it had 20 blocks I'm making 36.  As my mom says, I seem to always make quilts the size of football fields!

After this what?  It's not like I don't have a multitude of UFOs to choose from, we'll have to see.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Grandmother's Choice quilt block

This is the latest in the Grandmother's Choice block of the week.  It's another of those blocks which doesn't parse well into the 8" size.  Cutting at odd sizes is required = 1/16" anyone?  I think some of these might be better foundation pieced, as I have in the past.

Here's an EQ mock-up of the blocks so far with my proposed setting:
I'm liking how it's turning out and I love the green/purple/gold color scheme.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Burgoyne Surrounded - and defeated

Well, it turned out so enormously king-sized (101" square) that I could only display it folded in quarters for a photo because I ran out of floor space.  Here's my version of Burgoyne Surrounded.  I modified the design as given on Lyn Brown's blog in four ways - changed the border, substituted white squares in the center of the blocks, substituted white squares in the center of the sashing cornerstones and modified the sashing to have a nine patch block in the center  I'm very happy with how it turned out - and considering how large it is, happy that it's done!

Oh. . .good. . .grief

I didn't see my mistake when I was piecing the block, nor when I was pressing the block, nor when I was photographing the block.  It only became apparent that I had flubbed this when I was cropping the picture and concentrating on the bottom while aligning the cropping tool.  How in heaven's name can I overlook a screw-up like this?
It's amazing how blind you can be to your own errors.  Anyway, here's the latest "How Far Will You Go?" QAL block for the week.

And yes, I'm a idiot.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dots are done!

Yay!  I just finished replacing the white square in the center of the last block of my Burgoyne Surrounded.  Now time to get back to assembling the quilt top.

I found a Hancock's of Paducah mailer in my inbox today and went to their site to look at a new 3 Sisters collection  called Double Chocolate.  Very pretty especially one of the quilt patterns created to go with the collection.  It's enough triangles to make you nuts, but it's gorgeous (image from Hancock's of Paducah site):
Have mercy!  I might consider it but Bonnie Hunter has a mystery coming up in November and I'm sure that one will keep me busy - a good reason to get my Burgoyne Surrounded quilt finished soon.  Back to sewing I go.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dot, dot, dot

I've spent the morning ripping out and replacing little red squares in the centers of my 15" Burgoyne Surrounded blocks, exchanging a little red dot for a little white one.  But it is necessary even though it's tedious.  Given that these were pieced in strips which were cut apart into sections, the stitch length is shorter than usual, making the ripping out even worse.  However, the design simply works better with a white center.
On other fronts, I made the next blocks in Threadhead's QAL this morning too.  Hmmm, that one with beige background and peach star points isn't as successful as it could be - it looks better in person but the contrast is washed out in the photo.   .   .maybe I'll take a break from Burgoyne Surrounded this afternoon and make another one.
Just love these colors!  Fig Tree Quilts has the most yummy fabrics - I've made several quilts from their collections and they are always soft and beautiful.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Burgoyne beauty, so-so Grandmother's Choice

I'm busily working on the pieced sashing for my Burgoyne Surrounded variation today, as well as completing the five additional blocks to make it king size.  Here's a corner showing a few blocks with the sashing (but without the outer borders) - I love it!  I wish I had had this idea earlier so I could have put a white square in the center of the large red/blue uneven four patches in the middle of the block - that would have made it even better.  I'm even debating picking out those center squares and replacing them, as crazy as that sounds. But even without that, the white dots scattered through the design and the small white circles in between the large circles lighten the look of the whole and give it a lift.

Yesterday I spent a grumpy couple of hours on my Grandmother's Choice block.  I decided to foundation piece it because of the striped cone shapes.  It wasn't fun and the end product doesn't have the greatest inset corners but there it is.  I'm not going to make another one!

See?  I have to replace the center squares with white ones.  25 of them.  Sigh.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Burgoyne variation - or heresy?

I can't leave well enough alone in these QALs and mysteries.  I finished all 20 of the Burgoyne Surrounded quilt and started thinking about the sashing.  Well, I also started thinking about adding another row and increasing it to king size but I have time enough to decide.  Just in case I picked up another yard of the blue background at Joann's

Here's the thing:  I think the sashing and corner square need some pizzazz.  First, the traditional design:

First I added more white:
Then I put piecing in the sashing and added the white centers:
I like the little rings between the big rings.  It adds more movement.  It's definitely not the traditional pattern but does that matter?  I think it also reminds me somehow of those "Mountain Weave" tablecloths that Vermont Country Store sells.  I think I'll go with it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Quiltville mystery coming soon

Bonnie Hunter has been tantalizing us with comments about the upcoming mystery starting the day after Thanksgiving.  She will post the fabric requirements and colors at the end of October.  I can't wait!

No matter how many other projects in the works I HAVE to do the Quiltville mystery.  They're simply the most intricate quilt mysteries published and they are always intriguing and rewarding,  Even when I have made small tweaks to the design (strings?  Not moi!) they work out great and garner lots of compliments.  I'm already thinking about colors for this one, and am hoping it is in the brown/orange/green/red autumn palette.  Or pink and brown because I want one badly;  every time I make a predominantly pink and brown quilt I give it away.  I think pink, brown, cream and a little mossy green for an accent.  If the colors don't work for the mystery there's a pink and brown quilt in "Scrap Basket Surprises" I'm going to have to make.

But please, no black.  And I've used so much blue recently I hope it isn't blue either, although that's my favorite color.  But whatever the color scheme, I'm in!  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ARRGH! Applique!

This week on Barbara Brackman's block of the week commemorating women's suffrage the block was applique.  Not my favorite.  But, I think I did it justice:
My best point-y points, ever, I think.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Progress, but only on some tasks - and a bit of quilty news

Strike two items off my home improvements list, but keep most of the tasks on the list labeled "pending".  We got the turbine vents replaced on the roof.  It didn't cost a fortune and there are no roof leaks because of the work.  I know that for sure because we got a humdinger of a rain last week - over 3.5" in a day.  So that's done.

Monday the plasterer finished fixing the hole in the wall behind the washer that was caused by plumbing troubles.  I also did something I have been wanting to do for a while - I swapped the old flexible dryer vent hose for two rigid metal elbows and a metal duct, so no more air leaks and eventual splits in the dryer vent.  And we unhooked the washer and reconnected it without a leak (hey, it's a big thing to me!).

But the new steps at the front porch are still only a dream.  Last Friday a carpenter came out to give an estimate for the work.  He said he would call me Monday with the numbers.  Monday comes and suddenly he's too busy to take the job.  I would have figured he knew his workload on Friday evening just as well as on Monday morning.  I guess it wasn't a big enough job for him to tackle (i.e., not enough money).  Is it a component of the much-discussed "bad economy" that people are just too lazy to work?

I also talked to a guy who does odd jobs and he was leery about building the steps because they would not be the proportions in the building code - that is, they would have a deeper tread and shorter riser than the building code standard.  He didn't want to do it because he was afraid of liability and non-code compliance issues.  I personally can't imagine building steps that are easier to climb than what the code specifies as being a liability issue but there you are.  We are in a lawsuit-happy age.  So no steps.

My bathroom flooring is still on order (two and a half weeks) but is supposed to be installed next Wednesday.  Here's hoping.  Something still has time to go wrong.

I'm  not even going to think about painting the inside of the garage right now.  The fact that I got two jobs done without lapsing into a disaster is pushing my luck enough.

To rescue this post from complete pessimism, here are photos of my QAL's, BOM's, block of the week's and mysteries as they stand right now:

Grandmother's Choice Block of the Week:

How Far Will You Go? QAL

Benjamin Franklin mystery:
Note:  I fixed that mistake in the upper right block!

Thread Head QAL:

 Burgoyne Surrounded QAL:

Animas mystery:
I have to say, the people at Animas Quilts are good - I have all these blocks made and still can't figure out how they go together.  I even drafted them on EQ and fiddled around - they have me stumped!

Of course, there are a few personal projects in play too, and Bonnie Hunter is starting a new mystery at Quiltville after Thanksgiving!

The Wizard Cat

First, some background:  My husband wears a gold crucifix on a 30" chain.  He's worn it for some time, under his clothing, and he never takes it off.  Since he sleeps in it, it probably gets tangled up as he turns over in bed and that puts stress on the chain, which has broken twice in the past from wear against the bail attached to the crucifix.

Two days ago, he woke up and found the crucifix without its chain lying on the bottom sheet in bed next to his shoulder.  I had gotten up much earlier but since I don't turn on the bedroom light I didn't see anything in the bed.  We thought that the chain had broken during the night and the pendant had slipped off.  He searched through the covers before he got up but didn't see it.  After breakfast he told me about it and I completely stripped the bed looking for the chain, without success.  I moved the nightstands, pulled the storage boxes out from under the bed and searched around and under the furniture in the bedroom.  (I thought that while I was at it I could sweep under and behind the bed so I did that too and checked the dust cup on the sweeper.)  No sign of the chain, and it's a 30" long gold rolo chain so it's hard to overlook.

Since I couldn't find it in the bedroom, I broadened my search to the laundry bin, the bathroom, his chair in the living room and finally all over the house.  No chain.  I groaned because while it only cost $70 when I bought it years ago (the chain was a Christmas gift) it was more like $500 dollars now with the inflated price of gold.  Well, we wouldn't be replacing it any time soon.

Yesterday, while playing with our cat Molly after her dinner my husband asked her to look for his chain.  Molly has a history of finding things - a locking earring back for me, a set of coax wire strippers for a friend, other things.  After our dinner as we sat in the living room watching TV, Molly came in from the dining room, purposefully looking under chairs and poking her paw around the seat cushions.  She went behind them and climbed on the backs, searching everywhere.  After that she went down the hall toward the bedrooms.  After I went to bed he said she did the same search of the couch in his computer room.

Yesterday morning I got up early, fed Molly and left the bedroom - my husband was still asleep.  Later I peeked in and Molly was asleep next to him in her usual fashion.  When my husband woke up he found the broken chain on the bed next to his shoulder, where the crucifix had been the day before.

We can only surmise that Molly found the chain and brought it to him - and probably the crucifix the day before, also.

My wizard cat.  I can only guess how much of what we say she understands.