Saturday, February 27, 2010

A few things

I picked up some irresistible scraps from a big bin at a homewares store the last time I visited DD1 in Berkeley. Small pieces, big prints, no way I could think of to use them. How about fussy cutting a house for Victoria's donation quilt?
I hope to get another house made tomorrow.

Since I mentioned recently that I am into piano key borders, I thought I'd share a photo of a Project Linus quilt we made.
A guild member with an AccuCutter cut zillions of squares and strips from our bugs and critters fabric. Boy, what a time saver that is! Several people sewed the strips to make rail fence blocks and pieced the center of this quilt. The layout had been my idea, but I didn't like it at all when it was made! Eek! So I added the green border to give the eye a place to rest and used most of the rest of the strips as an outer border. I just love piano keys!

Today I got back to work on a quilt I started some time ago. I love the blue strata, but it seems like water to me and it's not a water quilt. I'm going to have to to make a landscape quilt before long! It's so hard to cut these big strata up, but I now have all the strata made and most of the squares cut. The quilt will also have some wonky log cabins, which I just got started on today.
It feels great to be finishing up some old projects -- they were really weighing me down. If you're feeling that way about your UFO's, you might want to read this post on the Happiness Project blog. I subscribe to the blog and belong to their Facebook group because the posts do help keep me focused on positive things.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sruti top done!

Done! Well, except for quilting and binding, but I'm doing very simple quilting because the top is so busy (and because I only know how to do simple quilting). It is loud and bright, but I think a toddler will like it. I hope so.
Remember how I said I always put lots of extra fabric on my letters so I can trim them all to size? Well ... sigh ... I had to redo the T because it was too short. I wish now that I had redone the whole letter to make it jauntier, but I didn't and that's that.

This is the first time I've done the piano keys on a paper foundation. I saw on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site (sorry, I forget exactly where) about sewing strings on a page from the phone book, so I gave it a try and really like it. It's hard to make those little angled pieces form a straight line. This was easy -- everything stayed straight, easy to trim, the paper stood up to ironing and the ink stayed on the paper (whew!), and when everything was done, the paper came right off the back.

Now, back to work on taxes ...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sruti & D9P

Hoorah, I'm shooting down UFO's!
I started this for a friend's baby girl Sruti a long time ago. Today I finished the i (see how the dot is a little heart?) and put borders around all the letters. I've learned to put a LOT more border than I think I need, because otherwise I don't have enough. I'd rather whack off what I don't need than try to add more.
The border/binding fabric has all the right colors, but I'm not sure I like it. It will just be a narrow border (about an inch). If I don't use this, I'll probably do a 1" border with the same solids in 3" to 4" pieces. The closeup below shows it better.
I think as a narrow border, that dotted fabric works. It's hard to tell when I just lay the unstitched blocks on a big piece of the fabric. Thoughts? That's a wonky piano key border, which I am really into these days -- and it uses up all those whacked off pieces!

Last post I promised to show what happens to a Disappearing 9 Patch (D9P) when it disappears.
Cut the 9 patch in half both vertically and horizontally. Measure carefully -- you're going to have to stitch these back together.
Then flip 2 pieces that are diagonally opposite from each other and stitch back together for a whole new block! Since I have lots of different greens and an uneven number of ants and blue and red watermelon squares, I will switch out the quarter-blocks with other cut D9P blocks until I get a pleasing design -- I don't want all the same greens together. I like some unity in the quilt, so all my centers are the same (watermelon seeds) and all the borders are green -- though scrappy greens. But if you keep the border squares the same, and the focus squares the same, then you might want to vary the centers to keep the quilt from being just plain boring!

That's what I did with this one -- all the border squares were the same bear footprint fabric, and most of the focus squares were bears (but don't you love the s'mores fabric? I just had enough for a few squares). So I varied the center squares among several brights and then switched out the small blocks before sewing them back together.

See now? This is why we all took science. This is the Law of Conservation of Matter at work! The Disappearing 9 Patch didn't really disappear, it just got rearranged into something else.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Project Linus. I may have been neglecting my blogging, but I have not been neglecting my quilting. Tomorrow is Project Linus Make A Blanket Day and my car is loaded with 79 quilts/fleece blankets to deliver. And NO, I did NOT make them all myself!! My guild made some of them, and others were dropped off by various community groups.

But I did make lots of kits from my guild's donated fabrics. We had zillions of squares of all sizes, and we cut more. Here I tried to make a quilt for a child who loves pink.
I don't go for just grabbing any square and stitching it to the next, so I tried to lay out this quilt (limited by the squares I had available) to have lighter ones in the center. It's really fun to be forced to use only what's at hand.
And we're always looking for something simple but different so quilters of all skill levels can sew during our worknights, and I thought disappearing 9 patches might be fun. Right now we're making Project Linus quilts for Camp Coco (a camp for children with cancer and blood disorders). We had a few different watermelon fabrics and lots of greens among our donations, so I put together a Disappearing 9 Patch kit with watermelon fabrics as the main focus, the seeds as the constant center square (which gets cut into smaller squares) and a big variety of greens to form the rectangular "border" strips around the melons. And what is eating outdoors without a few ants?!?

If you know what a D9P is, you can imagine what this will look like when it's cut up and resewn. I'm actually working on this one myself at the Make A Blanket Day tomorrow, so I'll post a photo of what appears when a 9-patch disappears. We have several D9P's in transformation at the moment.

My stuff. I'm starting to treat my Project Linus work like a real "job," so that my other quilting time is just for me. Those projects will be in another post. After tomorrow I am putting away the Linus stuff for a few days!

Geometric abstract art. There was a wonderful slideshow of early 20th century geometric abstract art in the New York Times online this morning. The pieces are part of the Newark Museum's collection (not New York,  Newark!). I love this style, and I think many of them would make wonderful quilts. Take a look at the slideshow by clicking here, and check out the accompanying article here. I'd love to make a quilt modeled on the feel of this red and white one, which I pasted in here to encourage you to take a look at the others.

Winter. And finally, we have had snow, snow, and more snow. And even more snow is on the way Sunday and Monday -- another 5 to 7 inches! We weren't hit as hard as the mid-Atlantic, but I'm still sick of it.

This is what snow used to mean in our house 20 years ago! It's easier now, but not quite so much fun.