Saturday, December 31, 2016

No Pinwheels

This won't be it either. I don't like the regular pinwheels. I want something a bit more scattered and unpredictable.

I've got to bring my sewing machine back to the shop today, so I won't be sewing for a few days. Which is a bummer, but I have a lot of other things to do, so it will be fine.

I've added a new Page to the blog, it's going to show all the quilt tops I have made that are not yet quilted. You can find it here.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Another Option

I like the shapes the black makes, but the big four pointed shapes don't thrill me. With the strong light/dark contrast, there's no way to minimize that.

Of course, I will continue to play.

This basic block sure does have a lot of options.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I Was Just Wondering...

I have a lot of those black and white fabric pieces left over from the two Triangle quilts I made in 2015, Triangle Dance and Triangle Twirl. I was wondering how they'd look in scrap slabs.

I haven't decided yet, but it's an idea that has potential.

By the way, each block finishes out at 6" square.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Oops and Yay!

George Ade said "Life is a series of relapses and recoveries," which is why when this happens...

It's best to deal with it as unemotionally as possible and carry on. I'd like to say it was the only mistake I made, but I'd be lying.

At any rate, the Treasure Trove flimsy is complete. Here is yet another photo.
 Since my pal Julie has proven to me that quilts look best when crumpled, here is the obligatory crumpled shot of the flimsy spread over my charcoal gray couch.

I can't be sure, but I don't think I would ever have bought a charcoal gray couch had this one not been marked down half price. But damn I'm glad I bought it because everything looks good against it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2 by 2

When it comes to sewing these blocks together, I have been taking the easy route. I pick two blocks, take them off the wall and sew them together. Then I pick the next two, and so on and so on and so on. Not very energy efficient, but it doesn't matter. I want each block oriented in a specific way, and doing it this way ensures I get the look I want.

I got home after the Christmas festivities and went right into the sewing studio and got started. After I while I made a sandwich for dinner and then went back to work. Now the top half of the quilt is sewn together, and I will likely finish the rest in the next day or so.

Now I am thinking about which of the several ideas I have for variations on this theme I will work on next.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Treasure Trove

I had Friday off so I was able to choose the fabric for the side triangles.

It's harder than it looks. I don't want areas that are too dark or light and I don't want the same fabric next to each other, and I want to make it all look interesting. After getting all the pieces up on the design wall, I noticed the gold triangles in a diagonal row, and they kinda bugged me.

So I sent a photo to my pal Julie and asked if the placement of the gold diamonds bothered her.

Then I asked my Mom.

Then I asked my son.

Then I thought, well hell, if I have to ask THREE people, then I DEFINITELY have to fix it.

My son replied immediately. "Yes. Only very slightly because they seem to be in a single diagonal line. If you move the middle two off the line it should be ok."

You would not believe how complicated that is, I texted back.

"No, I completely get it," he texted back, "but you have gone so far beyond 'it's a nice quilt' and into the land of 'this is a work of art.' You used to tell me 'good enough isn't.'"

Well. With a hefty dose of my own medicine, there was NO WAY I could leave it alone.

I figured it out, made a couple of changes, and now I will start sewing it together.

This will be the same size as the Fruit Loops flimsy - about 60" x 72". This quilt will be called "Treasure Trove."

Yes, by the way, I did replace the limey green triangles with darker green ones.

And, YES, I will make at least one other version of this, maybe two.

And yes, since Friday night and Saturday I have made several small adjustments.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!!

Little Miss and her Deco Rose quilt on Christmas morning in the City of Angels.
The cute calendar my son and DIL sent me. The round box is the box that contained the onesie that told me I was going to be a grandmother.

My DIL sent me this photo last night. I love everything about it.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Purple Urple

I made the violet and blue violet blocks last night. These are the violet, and they are not quite as blue in real life.

This photo is an accurate representation of the color. The very top right most block in the photo above is cut from this slab, so you can see the difference.

The CAMERA makes this adjustment. It tries to balance light and dark, and as a result, sometimes the color is off. Photos taken of things farther away tend to be the most unreliable for color (especially inside in artificial light.)

I made some blue violet slabs and they hardly looked much different, which was kind of a bummer.

So I removed some blocks from the design wall (mostly the golds and greens) to make room for all the new blocks.

Then I made dinner.

While "watching" the finale of this season's Project Runway (which they made almost unwatchable by the number of commercials and previews of Project Runway Junior), I rearranged the blocks on the design wall. I made some dark green slabs, a few more blue ones and whatever else I needed as I moved them around.

Four hours after I started rearranging the blocks I had this. I'll need to look at it a bit before I commit and start sewing blocks together, (and obviously I need to add the side triangles) but so far this looks good. (Well, it's close. I don't like the placement of the golds, but I can fix those later)

I'll want to review what this looks in daylight,

 but I'll have to wait until later when the sun moves away.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Old Switcheroo!

Sometimes, it's the little things. It's obvious to me that this:

 Is better than this:

(although this isn't necessarily bad...)

But here's the funny thing...


ISN'T better than this:

I know why this is so, design wise, but the more important thing is what I am after. The original idea of the diamonds floating above the black and white backgrounds works best if the diamonds are a single color. (second photo) That was what was in my head when I got started.

When the design is flipped on its side however, there is a lot more visual excitement in the last photo, because the diamonds appear to be moving and twinkling. The horizontal arrangement of the diamonds is stable and relaxing, which is another reason they work best as one color.  The vertical arrangement of the diamonds is more dynamic, and when they are more than one color, the arrangement is more dynamic still.

It's all in what you want. My original concept (the diamonds floating above the background) works best when the diamonds are a single color. I have to say though, that I really like the diamonds running vertically. I really love it when my quilts have energy and zing, and the last photo really encapsulates that.

It's a good thing I have a lot more scraps!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

And Now For Some Turquoise...

Last night I sewed the outer triangles to the turquoise slab triangles. Then I put them up on the design wall with the others. Now, this is by no means a "design." I just threw the colors up on the wall. When it comes time to "arrange" them, it will look a lot better. This is a mishmash, but it's a place to start.

Looking at this tells me I have too much gold, and maybe too much turquoise, but I still haven't made triangles for blue violet and violet, and that will make a big difference. There are two one acid green blocks that have light yellow side triangles and they look out of place. I also have to be careful because I don't want the same side triangle fabrics sitting next to each other.

When I decided to work with this layout I liked the way the shapes formed diamonds that seemed to float above the black and white background as in this red photo directly above.  With all the colors  the diamonds don't read as diamonds. We'll see if the darker values of blue violet and violet fix that, and who knows, maybe I'll take out the gold and the acid green and the turquoise (or maybe I'll make diamonds of one color... like, duh!).

Left like this however, my head keeps turning sideways...

because THIS also has a lot of potential.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Time For Friendship

Sometimes you finish a quilt, and it tells you where it wants to go. The Grand Prismatic wanted to live with Val in Nova Scotia.  I "met" Val about 2-1/2 years ago when she sent me the most incredible letter thanking me for inspiring her to get creative in her quiltmaking.  She has since gone on to make this stunning beauty. I enjoy her risk-taking and her irreverence. She's been having a rough go lately, and I felt she needed a hug, so I stuffed the quilt in a box and sent it on.

It's the Holiday Season, and it's important to cherish and be thankful for the ones we love. Sometimes a quilt is the next best thing if you live faraway.

I've added a page to the blog. It's called Quilts and their Owners, and the link at the top of this blog. Many of my quilts are arty quilts that aren't meant to be used, but this group of quilts is definitely part of the "wrap me up and feel the love" variety.  Enjoy.

Monday, December 19, 2016


I sewed up the turquoise scraps into slabs and then cut them up into triangles.

And I baked three batches of cookies, made three loaves of bread, made a big batch of soup for my lunches, made some pizza dough and later, pizza for dinner, roasted red peppers and then made some spicy roasted red pepper hummus, cleaned a bit of the paper avalanche in my home office, vacuumed the bedroom and the studio, did the groceries, cleaned the litter boxes, paid the bills, photographed the Deco Rose quilt in the snow, did the laundry, changed the sheets, wrapped presents and packaged them to be shipped to my family in California and my brothers in Oregon and Colorado, watched the Patriots beat the Broncos, wrote a few blog posts... blah blah blah. 

You know, the usual stuff that fills our weekends, and all the extra stuff to do with the Holiday season.

I'd much rather be sewing.

Oh well.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Deco Rose Beauty Shots

I'd been waiting for the weekend to take beauty shots of the Deco Rose quilt because I needed to take photos in daylight. Alas, the weather report for the weekend was snow and rain.

Wait a minute... SNOW? That could be very good. Nothing to detract from the colors in the quilt, and nice, even light.

Here it is at the base of the grasses that border my driveway.

 Here it is hanging on the railing next to the shed in the back yard.

Here it is next to the side door. I showed this one to my Mom and she said, "Oh, you have to get rid of the shovel.."  And I said, "Actually, no, you need the yellow." You can see a bit of the pink door too.

It was snowing quite heavily while I was taking these pictures. The snow was fine and dry, but it was amazing how little time it took to make a layer of snow on the quilt and change the color, as in the photo above. I kept having to pick up the quilt and shake it out.

This photo was taken after I shook the snow off the quilt.  How much snow?

Here's a close up.

 At the end of the day, this photo is my favorite. There is snow accumulating in this one, you can compare it to one of the photos above to see how much.

I'm really happy I got to take beauty shots of this quilt in the snow, as it will never see snow in the City of Angels. But there was one last picture I had to take...

 A picture of the quilt in front of my house. Now my granddaughter can look at the quilt and know where it came from!

With snow.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Winter Tent!

Well that didn't take long!  I got home from work, changed clothes, fed Millie and then Face Time'd with my son, DIL and granddaughter for about an hour before I made my dinner and then went into the sewing studio to start sewing the Winter Tent for Millie.  I deliberately chose this rather subdued fabric instead of the riot of red, green and gold that is most common in holiday novelty fabrics. The original tent was already bright, I wanted something a bit softer. I also opted to not have the casings be a contrasting color.  I'm happy with the bottom, if I lift the pillow I see the right side of the decorative fabric, and not the wrong side. The underneath is likewise attractive.

Later, I made the red flannel pillow cover and that really spiced it up a bit. I have to replace the bright colored fabric that holds the tubes together at the top. I'll probably choose some scrap of white fabric and leave it there after the holiday season is over.  I'm happy with it.

Of course, now that I've made it, Millie may decide to sleep in her heated cat cup instead of the tent.

She's a cat. What else is new?

 Of course, Millie is all about surprising me.

 Apparently Millie approves. She's slept in the tent all day!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Starting the Tent

The Holiday fabric I bought online for Millie's tent was supposed to arrive at work a week ago Friday. But Friday was our annual Holiday party, and nobody was at the building to receive it. Then on Monday I had to leave early for an appointment, so I only received my package on Tuesday.

The fabric had to go through the washer and dryer, and then be ironed before I could start cutting out the pieces.

One of the pieces - the casing for the legs of the tent - needed to be cut four times. Working with a tissue paper pattern is frustrating enough, but moving it around four times seemed a bit absurd. On a whim, I measured it - exactly four inches wide, by 29-1/2" long. WELL! I'll tell anybody at work that while I don't mind working hard, I don't like working stupid. I have a plexiglass ruler exactly four inches wide, so I folded over my fabric and used the ruler and my rotary cutter to cut two pieces in less time than it would have taken me with the tissue pattern. Then I did it again to cut the last two pieces.  I did make one other change.

One of the thing that always annoyed me about the tent was the base. The right side of the fabric faced down, and the wrong side of the fabric showed on the inside of the tent.

Even covered with a pillow you can still see the wrong side of the fabric. I decided I wouldn't do that again, so I cut an additional panel for the bottom of the tent. You can see it in the second photo. It's contrasting fabric of tan and gray.  Works for me.

I made the original tent way back in 2007, and it didn't take me very long, so I'm going to take a quick break from the slab triangles to finish this up.  I've got a nice red flannel for the pillow. I hope Millie is pleased.

There is, of course, no guarantee!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Deco Rose Done!

The Deco Rose quilt I made for my granddaughter is finished. I will try to take some beauty shots of it in the snow (since it will never see snow in the City of Angels...), then run it through the washer and dryer and send it off to my little girl.