Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flimsies and fun

How do you recover from knee surgery? Well, the first few days, you keep your knee elevated -- but then you keep your spirits up by quilting!
I can't do anything where I have to crawl around on the floor, or stand up too long while cutting, so I'm finishing up some UFOs. Today I pulled out the strip twist quilt I started a couple years ago. I needed more strips, couldn't find fabrics I was happy with, and put it away. Today I laid it out, thinking I might just use what I have to make a small throw, but then I played around a bit with the layout. The traditional layout is below, but what I'm thinking of now is on top -- setting the blocks differently and putting white sashing between them. I'm a little concerned about some of the dotted whites in the outer edges of the blocks, but I think I like it. Thoughts?
I needed to work on that bright, sunny quilt today because I spent yesterday piecing together blocks I won in a block lotto about 5 years ago. Yuck!! I hate how dull they are, how boring. Not my style at all. The colors are not quite as bad as they appear in this photo, but I didn't enjoy working on it. But it feels good to be DONE! Someone will like it -- I'm donating it and asking that it be quilted with bright thread and butterfly designs (most of the bigger squares have flowers).
I also made some blocks for the Block Lotto that Julie at Floribunda told me about.  They do some wonderful blocks -- February was wonky string hearts. Fun! And more fun when I took the huge bandage off my knee. What's that beneath the wrapping? BATTING?!?! Sure looked like it!

And how cool is this?
It's from a wonderful site called Dornob that has design ideas. It's not a quilting site, but has lots of inspiring stuff. The photo above is from their page where they show vintage furniture rehabed with patchwork -- take a look by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

If you can't make it to a quilt show ...

...the next best thing might just be a computer museum!
This is not a quilt, it's part of an old-fashioned computer. (And isn't it odd to think of computers as being old fashioned?) Many of the computer parts on display were simply beautiful to look at.
And this is not skeins of thread -- it's bundles of wires!
This jacquard was not actually on display, there was just a photo of the textile, but it shows how the history of fabric and the history of computing are interwoven (if you'll pardon the pun). The sign on the poster reads, "A complex pattern woven by the loom needed tens of thousands of individually punched cards. But once made and debugged -- like a software program -- the cards could be used many times to create identical fabric."
I went to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, ten days ago when I was visiting my daughter. It's a fascinating tour through our computer past, with well written (and often funny) descriptions, and staff who wander through the rooms giving little presentations and answering questions.
And check out the interior doors -- their design could definitely could be translated to a quilt!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Colorful Coins

I love scrappy, I love color, and I love using up odds and ends.
At one of our Project Linus worknights a few of us dug through our string bins and started sewing coin stacks by color. We got a few stacks done but then the project just sat waiting for almost a year.
Today I pulled out the stacks and finished them up, then reined in the colors with a dotted white.
It's so easy for coin stacks to get crooked and w-O-b-b-L-y, so I like to sew small chunks, trim to size, and then add the trimmed stacks to each other. My gridded ironing board is one of my favorite sewing tools--it's so easy to see what's straight and what's not! Wonky is wonderful as a design element, but not so great as a construction flaw.
This is just the top, not yet quilted. I think I'll use a rainbow of strings in the binding to give a little line of color around the edge. I like this layout color-wise -- in many rainbow patterns the colors are offset by one in each row, which gives you a color diagonal. I offset these by two, which breaks up the color lines and keeps your eye moving around the quilt more.

Project Linus gets this quilt, and I hope it makes a child happy. It made me happy to make it! And I like it so much, I may make a version for myself.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

James's quilt is ready to be quilted

IMade some wonky stars with the fabrics used in James's name. In the star above, every "square" in the 9-patch is a different size -- whew, that takes awhile!
Made some more wonky stars.
And then pieced the back!