Monday, January 16, 2017

Design Wall Monday--1/16/17

My Design Wall this MLK day is cleared of the UFO #3 pick--the Row Robin top is complete!

Here the blocks are laid out as a trial. I needed to trim the far left block a bit and managed to cut off the wrong side so had to add on to the bottom of the block, but that is the joy of Improv, no mistakes, just design opportunities ;)

It is a very bright quilt but I really like everything that is going on.  I added the bottom row of 1/2 log cabin blocks to show what I learned from my fellow Row Robin participants with their color play.  I also wanted the quilt to be a little longer.  It is approximately 50 x 65".

I pressed on yesterday with cutting and assembly of the backing. 

The backing fabric came from JoAnn's, naturally NOT on sale and NOT eligible for use with coupon, grrr.  I hunted all over the store for a Hera marker but despite their website showing my local store carried them, none were found.  Hobby Lobby didn't have them either, nor do any stores in town.  Sadly, we lost the other quilt shop in December, though the owner is still carrying on in her longarm quilting business, so that is a good thing.

For quilting inspiration, I spent some time yesterday with this book.  The author is large in the modern quilting world with her blog, tallgrass prairie studio and on the Board of Directors for the MQG.  A lot of her walking foot techniques involve use of painter's tape and intensive marking, but I'm inspired by her ideas and working out all the details to follow.  I have two weeks to get this sandwiched, quilted and bound.  Wish me luck!

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

UFO 2017 Challenge Progress

Well, here it is, month nearly half gone and while I have pulled out the project chosen for the month (#3 is my Modern Row by Row Robin quilt), I haven't made much progress on this project that needs additional blocks made and attached to the top, backing, quilting, and binding.

Here's half of a half Log Cabin block to add to my unfinished quilt top.  These blocks go fast and with only 5 to do, should work up quickly.  I have looked through my stash and have no suitable backing fabric for this modern quilt.  I'll hunt locally first for a print I like.  It is a lap size quilt and I'll spray baste when the time comes.  Pondering what solid color I'll use for the binding--possibly black. Meanwhile, I did get another top completed for guild philanthropy. 

Not a great quality photo, which I stole from our guild Flickr feed.  The Houndstooth blocks are 9" finished so it is a nice sized lap quilt.  I'm passing it on for quilting and binding along with extra fabric.  This was not on the UFO list but was great to cross off my to-do list. 

In the after-Christmas sales I found this wooden tree kit at Target for $5.  My winter decor is pine cones and bears since there is no snow in our beach town. 

While the actual colors didn't match the package, and I changed the layout of the pieces a little, it is a nice chunky item with copper dots, sides, and back.  I did have an amusing time trying to get the provided twine through the holes in the assembly process.  I ended up using a cuticle stick to shove it along.

I've also been distracted by a new-to-me type of organizing, the bullet journal.  I was struck by the simplicity as well as the customization that only involves a notebook and ink. My mom gave me a blank journal for my birthday and I've dived in to the analog world of bullet journals. Making lists and notes and doodles has ever been my method but unstructured time my downfall.  I am grateful to have that as a problem!  I look forward to spending more time getting things done.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Design Wall Monday--First of 2017

Another Design Wall Monday, and I have been sewing.  My sister Kathy and I belong to the local Modern Quilt Guild, and recently she wanted to sew up the free Block of the Month designs available on the website.

This is two blocks of the December BOM design (Mod Z block).  Kathy had printed up the directions and templates but they turned out not to be correct scale, making the triangle squares undersized.  Fortunately, my Tri-Recs rulers worked perfectly in substitution.  I prefer rulers to templates any day!  Then the Kaufman Kona Color of the Year was announced (Pink Flamingo) and Kathy wanted to make a different colorway of the free blocks.  We met at Superbuzzy Friday night just before closing and purchased some yardage. She came over New Year's Eve and we played with fabric and thread. 

This is 4 blocks of the November BOM, "Robbing Pete".  I cut the templates and guided Kathy in cutting the pieces.  There was a little (well, a lot) of colorful euphemisms while Kathy was cutting and sewing up this fussy block, but I think she did a really good job, for someone who hates piecing.  Isn't that color pretty?  It is really more coral than pink and not pastel at all.

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I've spent a couple more hours putting away all the Christmas decor, including an amusing 15 minutes moving the upright piano to retrieve two brass bells that fell behind.  I had to pick them up with my toes to get them to where I could reach down and grab them.  Luckily we had put nice big sliders under the piano when we had baseboards installed in November. 

Here's a few ornaments that got put away yesterday.  Handmade, Hallmark, childhood creations of the kids, stained glass, guitars, Kangaroo from my trip to Australia, gold disco ball I got in our white elephant exchange at work this year, Polar bear with a fish, and that pickle.  I love variety!

Some very favorite walnut shell ornaments I've had for over 30 years, and the darling twin babies in a wooden wagon.  Love these so much.

Later I'll be stitching down the binding on this tablerunner I'm sending to my oldest friend and her husband, as a housewarming gift for their new townhome.  I'll show the rest once it's arrived at their new address.  

Judy picked for the first number for the 2017 UFO challenge and it is #3, which on my list is the Row Robin Quilt from guild.  
I plan to add another row of the Improv Log Cabin blocks to the opposite end of the top, and will probably do some kind of straight line quilting.  I just bought Jacquie Gehring's book called WALK, all about walking foot quilting in the modern style.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Random Rant on Pinterest

On Pinterest, for fun I like to look at home building plans, in addition to my usual perusal of quilts, embroidery, funny stuff, cat gifs, gardens I will never plant, and recipes I will never make. 

(Not my bathroom)
Half of the plans I dismiss nearly instantly based on a few very personal biases:
 1) My #1 instant dislike of a house plan is if the kitchen sink is visible from the front door.  Kitchens are messy and I wouldn't want my guests--or other visitors--to see mine.  Similarly, I don't want to look into a bathroom from the front door either.  Yuck.

2) Huge foyers with no coat closet.  Another mystery.  I guess that's the reason for all the Pins of entryway storage build-outs.

3) Bathrooms without windows.  I don't care how big the fan is in the ceiling, it never completely dries out, which equals mold. Not to mention odors.  Well, there I did mention odors after all.

4) Dining rooms in the front of the house, completely separated from the kitchen.  I do not get this type of layout at all.  Is it just for show and people don't use it except for holidays?  I think areas like this become dumping grounds and crap collectors.

5) Master bathrooms without any doors.  This became popular 20-25 years ago, but does not make sense to me.  Bathroom stuff is noisy with water running, toilets flushing, hair dryers, shavers,  etc. My own master bedroom has an open vanity area.  How can people not disturb their partner if they have a different schedule?  They can't.  I also hate the requisite giant soaking tub hogging all the natural light from the big window it sits under in every.single.home.plan.  Who really uses one?

6) Those weird long narrow dark bonus rooms over garages. I have never personally been in a house that has one.  It might be a Midwest thing.  We sure get gypped out here on the West Coast because no one has attics or basements.  That's why most people's garages are full of stuff and offsite storage facilities are so prevalent.  But I digress. 

7)  Windowless laundry rooms.  Why is it that so many home plans have laundry rooms stuffed under stairs, in hallways, or crammed into the tiniest space with no windows?   I do not want to trample over dirty laundry on my way inside the house from the garage.  Laundry is a Big Damn Daily Deal that needs space for sorting, folding, hanging, handwashing, soaking, and ironing. It is a cluttered and often damp job.  I looked at a plan today for a 4000+ square foot house with a two story rotunda entry and the laundry room was miles from the bedrooms, literally 6x9 feet in size, and had a door to the outside, making it a pass through. There was no sink and no storage. Sheesh. Another very large home had the washer and dryer in a hallway closet that was visible from the front door. Classy.

I'd categorize most of these fails as "Looks Good On Paper".  And also I'd point the finger at men, because most architects and builders are male. Obviously they are not entirely responsible.  However, my dream house would be a lot different from most of the plans I see. I'll show you--when I win the lottery :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Timber Quilt Finish

Lots of folks are listing their finished quilts for the year--I came up with a minimum of 9 finished quilts for 2016, but in searching my blog to make the list, realized I never showed my finished version of the Timber Quilt.  It was completed in April and hand delivered to the recipients by the parents of the bride, soon afterwards.

Timber is a pattern by designer Alison Glass.  I started it as a wedding gift prior to the couple's wedding in October 2015, but obviously it didn't get done in time.  The pattern, though complex, was dead on with measurements and all of my sections came together easily.  I sneaked in two red geese to symbolize the "heart" of the quilt, something of a trademark for me.

I ended up making the lap sized version of the pattern.  I quilted it with a walking foot, copying the cover quilting which had mirror image spacing of the lines from the center. 

For the backing I found this brownish print.  My daughter asked me why I chose it--and I told her because it was another neutral color--
--and I liked the fool the eye perpendicular wavy stitching line :)

 It crinkled up nicely after its first bath. 
I think they liked it!