Sunday, September 27, 2009

And thirdly...success!

"Rick Rack Road" has languished since the failure of this fabric below to marry with the many purples and greens in my pieced rows. But I found a replacement at my LQS...

Check this out! It is totally a fabric I would never ordinarily go towards, not being a big florals fan, but it has the right background tone and all the soft purples and greens. What a difference! I saw the fabric first on the bolt but only brought home a fat quarter to test it out.
Summer is over so it will have to be my summer quilt for next year, but I'm glad to have found a light print that blends so well with the scrappy look of my rows. It was worth the search!


Meanwhile, witches on the quilting front...

The two "Any Witch Way" centers are complete except for the eyelashes. My photos are not the best but you can see how bright and fun the colors are. I used a "Fairy Frost" fabric in green and peach for the witches' faces. I love how the sheen shows up, even in these so-so photos!

This one below was the first one I put together. Again, the colors are not true. I'll take another shot of each in daylight once I get the borders/quilting done.

All of the fabrics for the hats and hair I bought at JoAnn's as fat quarters. I love this black and white print that reads gray and has flowers and birds---kind of spooky looking I thought.

And below is a closeup of the black hat fabric with the gray swirls. The black multiprint I had in my stash and also the pink for the lips.

I've had lots of fun with this project though it is definitely not for a beginner--I counted 19 pieces for each witch! My witches seem to have very long chins but most witches do, don't they?

Two weeks update

I couldn't stop thinking about my friend and her son on Friday, and about noon yesterday I talked to her, one day after hospice had come in. She and her son were greatly unburdened by having those wonderful people there offering all kinds of different help--she said they got quite an education. Pat sounded so much more herself and her son was also feeling a lot better with some new meds and the extra care and attention. He is not bedridden but very weak, though he can walk down to the beach a block away as long as he has a companion with him. The hospice people said that "two weeks" is not necessarily the case and they will do what they can to help keep his liver functioning as long as possible. Definitely "a good thing" and I'm so glad they have these angels giving them strength and comfort.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Two weeks

With a heavy heart, I post the news that my dear friend Pat from work is going to lose her son to cancer far sooner than expected. Today when I got to work she was in my office crying along with the back office assistant, after her ex-husband left their son's doctor's appt to come talk to her in person. Their son's liver is shutting down and doctors have given him two weeks at most. He learned of his colorectal cancer diagnosis one year ago on his birthday, of all days, and it was very important to him that he make it to another one. He turned 43 last Thursday. Our hearts break for our dear friend and her only child. Hospice will be coming in today and I hope that those angels ease the way for Kevin.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Summer's ending.....

....and I've been busy. First, I celebrated with Grant on his birthday (with Erica too!). Happy Birthday Sweetie!


Next, I cut out a bazillion pieces for two "Any Witch Way" quilts (Quiltmaker Mag, Sept/Oct 09) combined with tracing and fusing, during which I ran out of fusible paper backed supplies and had to buy more...
Practicing those snail's trail blocks, now becoming witches' hats.


Then I spent $14.83 on thread to match all the applique pieces for the eight witches in the two quilts. Last night there was some applique work done.

I'm really excited about how this is coming together! I like the green face for the witches and the deep pink lips. This is a lot of fun! I'm enjoying my sewing room even more now that it provides an escape from football...why does football have to be so LOUD?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't miss this

My mom and I took Erica to the movies on Sunday. After tolerating 20 minutes of previews, during which we ate all of our popcorn, we thoroughly enjoyed Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep has been a favorite of mine since she first started appearing in movies and she WAS Julia Child. Her voice, mannerisms, etc, were so dead on. It was worth the $9.50 ticket and you can't say that too often! What an adventure the writer, Julie, took on, cooking her way through Mastering French Cooking. Kinda made me wish I liked cooking! Oh, I can cook, I just don't do fancy stuff ....or anything that requires preparation time of more than, say, 15 minutes. Thank god for Bertolli's frozen skillet meals, that's what I say! Grant and I have eaten many of those this crazy work year.

On the quilting front, over the weekend I finished the top of Comfort Zone (the blue, green, and red quilt) and am planning the backing. I did have to make a short stop at the quilt shop tonight to pick up some lights--my stash was completely cleaned out by the Rickrack Road quilt. While there, another lady was showing a customer quilt. Well, it wasn't a quilt yet--it was two long panels of what looked like a heathery-green linen blend fabric, with hand-embroidered emblems of each of the 50 states' flag, bird, and flower, with the outline of the state as well as the name of the flower, state, and bird. These were exquisitely and lushly embroidered in a multitude of colors, not simply an outline stitch but fully filled in with long stitches of different colors. It was truly spectacular. The customer's mother had died and these panels were found in her belongings. The quilter was going to stitch the panels together, add batting and tie the quilt in the corners of each block. What a legacy that customer would have!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Comfort Zone

I've spent some pleasant (though warm!) evenings piecing this quilt I cut out several months ago. It was an experiement in two things: the color combo of red, green, and blue, and secondly trying to make a quilt that is neither feminine nor masculine (even though there are flowered prints!)

I have two more rows of blocks to sew together and then add, but couldn't help myself and got the piano key-type borders together. It is actually kind of hard to sew things randomly--I did "deal out" the colors to make them balance without exactly matching.
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Here's a close up of one block. I love the green viney print and wish I had found more than one fat quarter of it! The check and dot fabrics are green on cream--they're coming out more tan in this pic.

I'm so enjoying my little sewing room and though it is yet to be completely organized (who wants to organize when there are cut pieces to sew?) I can work at the pullout table and have more horizontal surfaces to stack or layout things than before. I plan to spend many happy hours there this fall and winter, working on the list of 25 quilts I drew up that are either UFOs or quilts I want to make!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Yet another giveaway at Jolly Jabber!

Yes, I really want to win this.

Yes, I'm posting for additional entries.

No, I don't want anyone else to sign up, but they're making me do this to win those yummies!!!!

Please go to the FatQuarterShop's Jolly Jabber for the last BOM offering. I love Moda and Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts is a wonderful designer.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Serendipity Zen

Labor Day weekend brought lots of sewing room time and a finish of Elaine's quilt! The last row and a half of quilting got completed on Saturday followed by the binding, which I did completely by machine. I texted Elaine and she immediately came over, being on this side of town already for dinner at BF Chris' parents' house. She waited five months for me to get the quilt together after the top was finished! It had its bath on Sunday morning and I delivered it to her. It was kinda windy when I took the photos but still shows the quilting and finish. I had no internet service yesterday so was unable to post.

Here is the pieced back. I don't think I showed this before, but it came out really well and I enjoyed creating essentially a two-sided quilt. This creativity came out of poor planning, ahem, e.g. not buying enough fabric and squeaking by with a layout that required a lot of math!

I deliberately let this be a raw-edge applique so the bird will get fuzzier--a symbol of my chick who just left the nest.
I also finished all the pieced rows for Rickrack Road and laid them over the fabric I bought for the alternate rows. It is not going to work, even if I tea-dye the fabric, I've decided. I realized what bothered me was that the fabric has no purple in it and that is one of the main colors. So I put the rows on a hanger and will have to search for something appropriate. Other sewing room tasks included washing and ironing a lot of fat quarters for two projects and spending some stitching time on a project already cut out. Boy, it sure is nice to have something all cut out and ready to go under the needle!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Design Door

Since my sewing room is bran' new, I don't have a design wall, so the door had to substitute to display the first row of Rickrack Road. I can see the disadvantage to a white design wall immediately. It washes out all the fabrics! The units are sewn into blocks of four and then the blocks are joined. Very simple construction and I chain pieced a lot of it.


A closeup. Some fabrics are old, some are new. I used a lot of green and purple, a combo I love.


I have another set of blocks ready to sew together and two more to piece, so progress is being made. This weekend I'll try some tea dyeing. I got some very good instructions and hints from Libby, who was kind enough to help. Thanks, Libby!

Elaine's quilt

This is what is keeping me from finishing Elaine's quilt--1 1/2 rows left to do as of Sunday night and I ran out of thread! The local fabric store did not have more of the same thread so I bought another yesterday. However, it is so much lighter that it will be too obvious, and I will have to go to another store tomorrow. I really wish the JoAnn's in my town hadn't closed earlier this year---now I gotta go all the way to Oxnard (probably 20 miles round trip)!


Here's what the quilting looks like so far, below (the quilt is hanging over a chair; my seams are straight!). Since I couldn't quilt last night I got the binding all pressed and ready to apply. I love having the binding ready to just stitch on!

Lastly, Elaine did not like the picture I posted of her on her birthday, so here's another shot. It's hard to tell but she is holding up a sweet little ceramic dish container that has ruffled edges. I bought several of these irresistable dishes for her in fun colors, all different shapes. She and BF Chris are about to celebrate their 4th year as a couple!


First of September

The fall colors of my ornamental pear tree performed a wonder today.


Can you spot the spiderweb? I looked out from my kitchen garden window and saw the orange leaf in mid air, about two feet off the ground. Of course when I opened the door and went out to see what was going on, I had to go back in and get my camera! Even Russell the dog thought it was odd and reached up his nose to sniff the leaf, but luckily did not knock it down. Fall is coming slowly but inexorably closer as the days shorten and the sun is lower in the sky.