Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Be Still My Heart!

It's the most wonderful kind of magic when a quilt goes to the RIGHT person.

 My DIL loved this quilt from the moment I started making it, and it was pretty much destined for her right from the start. Looking at this photo I am really, really pleased I laid out the blocks the way I did.

I had asked the kids to take the quilt out for some beauty shots, and these are much better than I ever could have imagined! This one was taken at the Manhattan Beach pier.

This was taken under the pier. Gosh, in this photo my DIL looks like a queen and the quilt is a regal cape. My granddaughter is pretty cute too!

My DIL wrote, "I love it so much. It [the quilt] looked fantastic on the beach but it will probably never hit sand again. It's already been washed and is getting ready to be put on the bed."

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chocolate

As I got off the highway and stopped at the end of the ramp on the way to the longarm quilter, I turned to say something to my Mom, who was sitting beside me. I was distracted, however, by the Lindt Chocolate sign. "There's a Lindt chocolate store right there!"

"We should stop on the way home," my Mom said, I could use a bit of chocolate."

So we did!

What would a day be without chocolate? Boring, that's for sure. I got two pounds of the individually wrapped milk chocolate pieces (above left), because that helps me resist temptation. But the big bars** were, "buy two get one free," and my resistance disappeared. I had never seen the Dark Chocolate Coconut, or the Dark Roasted Almond flavors, so of course I had to try those, and the stuff in the bag on the bottom was also on sale, and I love that little crunch. I had a Lindt points card, so I got that bag for free.

I won't tell you how much money I spent, but I know it was worth it.


** Yes Megan, I can get the big bars at my local grocery store as well, but they don't have all the flavors.

Monday, May 29, 2017

One, Two, Three

It's always fun to get a quilt back from being quilted, but yesterday I got to pick up THREE of them.

Treasure Trove

Snow Day

 Easter Basket

I'm halfway through the binding of Fruit Loops, and I have to get ready for a Barn class at QT on June 10th, so I don't know when I'll get these finished. I have binding fabric chosen for Treasure Trove, but not for the other two.

I left Terrazzo and Jewel Box to be quilted, but I won't pick those up until early July. I have a lot of binding in my future.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To Cherie who asked if I sewed while "listening" to the TV during a sporting event, or just sewed during the "downtimes."

Cherie, it depends who's playing and which match it is. If it's a final that involves my favorite player or team, (Roger Federer, or the New England Patriots), then I watch the game. If it's a regular game, or like all day tennis, I sew nonstop. There are always replays of a very good point, so I don't miss much. Generally I use the commercials to make a pit stop, refresh my water, get a snack or just to stretch.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Blindstitching

I can't imagine the binding for this quilt as anything other than black and white. With the French Open at Roland Garros starting today, I'll have plenty to watch while I hand sew the binding on this quilt.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Binding Fruit Loops

I've chosen this black and white striped fabric to bind the Fruit Loops quilt.

 I like the way this is looking. Regular readers know I sew my binding to the back of my quilts and do the finish hand sewing down on the front.

I already like this a lot.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Another Backing & Other Stuff

It was a spectacular weekend in New Hampshire. It was sunny, dry and 65 - 70 F. I spent much of the weekend in the garden planting herbs and setting out some geraniums.


I also spent time in the kitchen baking angel food cake and using the leftover egg yolks in some homemade bread. Both were delicious.

I also got the fabric for the backing of the Jewel Box quilt of diamonds. I chose a big floral print (top photo).

When I go full tilt on making quilts, the house tends to go to hell. It was inevitable: I had to start cleaning the house. It's been a few weeks since I vacuumed and it really needs it. So I got going. The next few days will be getting caught up with the housework, so pretty boring stuff. I haven't really got an idea for the next quilt, but here's what's up for me this summer:

1. Barns Class at Quilted Threads June 10.
2. A trip to Colorado with my Mom to visit my Cabinetmaker brother & his florist wife.
3. Another Barns class at Quilted Threads on July 22.
4. A Birds class at Quilted Threads on August 12.
5. My usual vacation in early September to watch the US Open.
6. My son, DIL & granddaughter will visit New England in mid-September. (SQUEE!)
7. A talk and workshop with the Concord (MA) Piecemakers Quilting Guild in late September.

And I'll be finishing these quilts: Fruit Loops, Snow Day, Tumblers, Terrazzo, Jewel Box.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Pinwheels Fly Away!

In what was probably the worst kept secret ever, the Digital Pinwheels quilt will be flying to my DIL in the City of Angels in California tomorrow. 

The quilt is really pretty, and I'm happy I stuck with it. It's a perfect traditional, yet not traditional quilt. In fact, showing it off to my colleagues at work, MJ said, "This is very unusual for you Lynne. You actually have several blocks that are exactly the same."

That made me laugh. She was right!


Taking Beauty Shots yesterday, I did what I usually do, find cool places to show off the quilt. The photo above was of my back entry, so no big deal there,

but it wasn't until I scratched myself on the brush surrounding this tree, that I looked down and realized I was in a perfect breeding ground for ticks (dry leaves, out of sunlight.). I gathered up the quilt, and quickly moved to another location. 


As I spread the quilt out, I brushed away a large tick that had attached itself to the quilt. I stopped what I was doing, shook out the quilt thoroughly, inspected it, and went home, where I stripped and put all my clothes in the wash in hot water, then took a shower and inspected myself. I only had that scratch, no bites, but it was a wake up call. (And yes, the next thing in the wash was the quilt.)

Note to self: Stay the hell out of the woods. No beauty shot is worth what I went through two years ago, when I had Lyme Disease.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Digital Pinwheels Finish!

Woo Hoo! The Digital Pinwheels quilt is finished.

The backing is made from some of the leftover blocks and fabrics from my stash.  Can't wait to take this out into the real world for the "beauty shots."

This quilt is spoken for.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Getting There....

After dinner last night I sat down and worked on the binding of the digital pinwheels quilt. I have not completed two sides and 2/3 of the third side. I really like this quilt.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Binding the Digital Pinwheels

I've sewn the binding down on 1-1/2 sides of the digital pinwheels quilt. The quilt is a riff on a twelve tone color wheel***, and each of the twelve tones has its own WOW (white on white) background.


Sometimes the painted whites are very thick and stiff to sew through, like these dots on the Yellow Green block. It can be slow going.  As you can see, I am using another WOW for the binding. With the square shapes on the binding echoing the square blocks on this square quilt, I thought it was an appropriate choice.

The Digital Pinwheel design is from the book "Modern Neutrals" by Amy Ellis.

You can read more about the quilt here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.




***A twelve tone color wheel is comprised of these hues: Red, Red Violet, Violet, Blue Violet, Blue, Blue Green, Green, Yellow Green, Yellow, Yellow Orange, Orange, Red Orange.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Inspiration

This is my colleague, MJ. Last Friday she walked by and I stopped dead in my tracks. "MJ," I called after her, "come back!"

MJ is very quiet and unobtrusive, "Why? What for?" she asked, turning.

"I wanna take your picture! I love those colors you're wearing! "

"Don't show my face."

"Uh, OK."

So she turned, and brought her hands together. I took the photo above.

"So why do you want to take a picture of what I'm wearing? You never wear brown."

"No, but I tell my blog readers that inspiration is all around them, and there's a beautiful quilt in the colors you're wearing."

Like I keep saying, Inspiration is everywhere around you. You just have to pay attention to see it.
 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Whatzit? The Answer!

When I opened the box I found another, smaller box, nestled in a bed of styrofoam peanuts.

Inside was this decidedly underwhelming oddly shaped vase-ish thing.

"MOM!" I heard my son shout from the iPad, "Put some kitchen utensils in it..."

"Now put your iPad in that groove!"

OH!!!!! Now I get it. And while it will be great for using in the kitchen, I'll use it even more to prop up my iPad whenever I FaceTime with my son. It holds the iPad up at just the right angle!

Thanks Kids!


Happy Mother's Day!


The mail in my development is left at the "Mail House" and packages are left in the main office. If I get a package, a note is left in my box alerting me.  Usually I know what's coming, but last week I found a "You have a package at the office" note in my box. I hadn't ordered anything.  What could it be?

Since I wasn't expecting anything, I didn't know what size package to look for. I was surprised to find a large box.

I laughed when I saw the "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL MOTHER'S DAY" written on the top.

Hmmm.

It's from a ceramics studio in Pennsylvania, and had an "Etsy" label. So I brought it in the house and put it in the office.  It wasn't heavy, and I don't think what's inside it is very big, but we'll see.

I told my friend Daniela about it and she exclaimed "And you didn't open it? I would have opened it right away"

Well, I didn't. I've had it here a week now, and I'll open it while FaceTiming my son and DIL later today.

I'll have the full reveal later.

Happy Mother's Day!



Friday, May 12, 2017

Fruit Loops, Quilted

The first scrap slab triangle quilt, Fruit Loops, has been quilted. I love the zig zag quilting! It's so much fun. I'll be finishing this up over the next few days. I know I'll have fun taking this out for beauty shots given the colors are very spring-like.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Digital Pinwheels Again, Again.

The Digital Pinwheels quilt I started in 2013 and assembled the top in 2015 has finally been quilted, now in 2017. It's been my oldest UFO, and now I will be adding the binding. This will have a white binding.

I love how the swirls contrast with the rectilinear shapes of the blocks.

Here's the flimsy. It is a riff on the the twelve-tone color wheel. This quilt is about 72" square.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

One Row At A Time

Sewing blocks to a quilt together is tough enough but when they have lots of bias edges, it's a lot trickier, so when I've got a row sewn I lay it out on the floor, and then add it to the rest. If it's on the floor, it won't stretch the bias edges.

Since the rows of blocks are long diagonals, I need the stepladder to reach the top. I am eager to get this one sewn up, since I have some ideas about how to make the dark version successful, and I can't wait to play with those.

Of course, when I noticed this:


I could do nothing but sigh. It will have to come out, and I will have to fix it.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Baby Birds!

It's always so much fun to get letters from readers who've I've inspired. Last week I received a lovely email from Pam in Ohio who had bought my bird tutorial.

"I bought your pattern a couple months ago, and frankly, was terrified to start. Once I did, it was so well-written that I proceeded to make 12 birds in 2 days! I had an assortment of sizes so I added strips and trimmed them each to 9.5" square. I bordered them with 2" cut sized strips. All my  birds are chubby as this is a baby quilt, and I wanted baby birds. The quilt finished at about 46" x 58". I hope you enjoy seeing what customers create from your pattern."

WOW! What can I say, but thank you Pam for the compliment and the photo. YES! I love hearing from you. 


Pam included a photo of the quilt she made. Fun, fun, fun!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Jewel Box

Once I had the arrangement of the large diamonds worked out, I removed the small four patch diamonds, and reviewed the placement of the medium diamonds. I moved some around, but not that many. Then I put the four patches back. I wanted to put them where they would contrast with the big diamonds. I'm pretty happy with this layout, and I'll start sewing it up.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

It's The Little Things

Actually, in this case, it's the big diamonds. They needed some moving around. You'll have to look carefully, but in these photos, the only things that move are the large diamonds.

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 So what did I do? In the first photo I didn't like the way the darker diamonds were too close together and too much at the bottom, so I shifted them. But I also don't like them in the same row or column so I had to keep them apart from each other. I also wanted them distributed throughout the quilt.

Since I place the medium sized diamonds and the four patch diamonds next to the appropriate large diamonds, I will now go back and play a bit with those. Heh.

OK, I lied. Well, I didn't mean LIE, but when I went into the studio and looked at it again, I moved three big diamonds.


The finish line is in sight.




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Getting There

 
Do you have any idea how long these four patch diamond blocks take to make? They are all I did Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

I really need them to help work out the design.

This is where I was before I went to bed on Friday night. It's getting closer, but it's not quite there yet.

And I think I might have solved the puzzle of the dark ones.