Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Quilt Sampler Shop!

I have patronized this shop, Cotton Patch Quilt Shop, since our first visit to Sarasota/Bradenton in 2004.  The shop opened in 2003.  It is one of the Fall 2014 Top Ten shops in Quilt Sampler magazine.  Woot! Woot!  I wasn't as excited as the gal from Virgina who I met in here last week.  Her words to me were, as she gazed around in obvious delight, "I think I'm having an orgasm, I'm so excited to be here!"  LOL  I felt just like it at the Sisters, Oregon outdoor quilt show I got to attend several years ago.

I had hopes of a picture of me sitting on the quilt you see under my arm, Freddie in my lap.  Freddie WHO in your lap??!!  Relax.  Laura and Tim, the owners, have 3 Basset Hounds, all rescues.  Freddie, their newest, is a DARLING.  Last week, I got to meet him.  He is very thin, a result of his having been a stray, and a stray puppy, not long enough with his mama, awww.  He won't be thin for too long, under the loving attention of both Laura and Tim.  Sadly, the hounds weren't working yesterday.  They had the day off.   The quilt is the second one for which I bought all the fabric at Cotton Patch.  Laura helped me choose both the pattern and the fabric.  It is called "Sunny Days" and is perfect to have in our Florida home.

So this day I was back for the second time in a couple of days to pick up the kit for the quilt they have in the magazine.  I love the pattern Storm at Sea, (think that is the name for this setting), love how straight lines and angles can create the illusion of curves.  I love the colourway.  They were busy cutting kits for their quilt, "Sea Swept", when I went in the first time, so I explained that I was only down until mid-week, and hoped to get a kit before I left...ta-da!


Here it is, undone, so you can drool over those gorgeous batiks in blues and greens with a little purple mixed in. 

The only issue is that it is f-f-f-foundation-pieced.  God, these f-words lately in my quilting world, lol!  I do think, however, that I can use the new ruler I bought last winter to make "Peaky and Spike" triangle units...will keep you posted.

This guy was waiting by our SUV.

He posed beautifully between chowing down on the acorns(?) under the live oak.  He is a sandhill crane, gorgeous, no?  Do they ever make bizarre calls!  A few years ago I was woken early one morning by this bizarre honking/grating/cackling sounds outside of our window...no it wasn't my husband grinding his teeth:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeRKMAw7Q2Q
They are sooo cool.  His mate was nesting in the grass on the other side of the 6-place parking spot we were in.  Saw her as we drove off.  I was able to get fairly close to this one.

I snapped a couple of shots of the interior of Cotton Patch.
It's so bright and cheery.  I love the "Fabric Hounds" banner!  The classroom is open to the rest of the shop, and is to the left of the pink wall.


This display is in the window.  There's the quilt on the poster-sized sign of the magazine.  They have lots of beach-themed fabric and patterns.  Yeah, I bought some.  Okay!  Several.  Over a couple of visits.

Back to f-f-foundation-piecing, I am jumping in...to a snow drift....well, not literally, although with some of the hot flashes I've had lately, I've been tempted.  Joanne is having a quilt snow-along over at Canuck Quilter.  It starts tomorrow with the most sparkling, crisp snowflake patterns that are, yes, paper-pieced, aka foundation-pieced.  So that explains the new button on the sidebar.

And ya ya ya, I know.  I have NO projects on the go, so I NEED something else to occupy my sewing time, right?!

Off to quilt, er, pack...well packing is pretty much done, so I can quilt for a bit! Movers are coming tomorrow.  In other news, we might have found a house...

Linking up with Marelize at Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Mondays.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fleurologie

So I'm writing from my dismantled sewing room/guest bedroom in our Florida condo.  We are down here for about 10 days to pack up, put our stuff in storage and do some house-hunting.  Easy-peasy.  Lemon squeezy.

So far so good; all is going tickety-boo.  And guess what was sitting, waiting for me, smiling in the Florida sunshine at my door when we arrived?!

This!!


I won!  Woot! Woot!  At the beginning of September, Sept. 2-13, to be exact, Moda ran a blog tour,  "The Moda Love Blog Tour" where each day three designers wrote a post about things they love.  They also showed off their newest fabric lines by making the Moda Love quilt.  You can download the quilt if you click on "Stephanie's post" below.  Each designer had a giveaway.  This was during the week Brady and Brianne were visiting, but on a couple of the mornings before I heard his little feet padding along the floor, right after he oh-so-carefully-and-quietly closed the door to the bedroom he and his mommy were sharing, I was able to visit some of the blogs.  I visited Stephanie's blog on the very day they arrived, Sept. 3.

Each designer asked a question about what you love, or what your favourite pre-cut is, etc. Well, on Stephanie's post, that day, I wrote:

And I was chosen!  So Brady brought me good luck. Stephanie wrote me such a nice note inside the pretty card.  Very personal touch.

I just think this is so "wee-ooh, wee-ooh" because my round robin quilt I have been agonizing over all spring and summer got named "fleurs" (small f) and here I've won some fabric named "fleurologie" and it was on the day Brady arrived.  Now... what to make??

And yet another most splendiferous event happened:
I'm being quoted (I wanted to bust a gut laughing that someone would want to do that) in the introduction of my friend Lara's (BuzzinBumble) first and upcoming new book.  Wait for it....sit down....swallow if you are chewing something, or having a drink so you don't spit it out when you read what my comment was about...

AAACK-pliqué!!!

Too hilarious.  I guess she loved what I wrote on August 28:

3.  My friend, Lara, who blogs at BuzzinBumble, has just found out that a book she has been working on is going to be published by the American Quilters' Society!  Congrats, Lara!  It's a new method of "aaaack"-pliqué, so I will have to check it out and turn the way I say it in my head to "ahhh-pliqué", said with a sigh of contentment.  Normally, I don't mind appliqué, but this quilt was pretty intense.  So, I'm interested, as her method is raw-edge appliqué, whereas mine was all edge-turned, except for the "fleurs" word.

and she's incorporating this into her book introduction!  EEEK!

Speaking of loving what a blogger writes, check out this post from The Bitchy Stitcher.  I LOOOVE her made-up review of the book "A Quilt to Remember". Laugh-snorted out loud, and I needed to do that as I'm having a bit of a panic attack with all that's going on in my usually peace-filled condo.  Sniff.  Headed to the pool for some vitamin D, sweat (it's 91 and humid), cool waters and a read.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Life...

...has a way of getting in the way of sewing.  Yet, it's all good.  Talking on the phone or on Skype with my grandson.  Doing and teaching yoga.  Walking Rocco.  FaceTime-ing with dear dear friends (1.5 hours!! Love it.) A memorable trip, 3 days, to Watkins Glen to meet up with more dear friends.  Reading.  House-hunting.  All of the above have hindered my progress with "fleurs".  Would I have traded any one of them for a little more time sewing?  Not on your life.

So here we are:



Not a lot of progress since the last post.  All I've done is added the 1" finished green border.

I have, however, been making some decent progress today on the trellis final border.
Can you spot the one block with the squares as opposed to half-square triangle squares?!
This trellis block, which I mentioned in my previous post, is from the Trellis Quilt from Makower.

It has a Block A and a Block B, but the pattern shows them as identical.  I did figure out what Block B is actually supposed to be, so I will perhaps write to them about the error in their pattern...  Block B is a mirror image of Block A.  Anyhow, I hope this will give the effect I want.  I do like the interplay of colour in the deep green fabric!  It looks like light and shadow, perfect for the garden effect I seem to be creating!

In Watkins Glen, I had the fabulous opportunity to visit O'Susannah's Quilts and Gifts, Top Ten shop in the Fall 2013 issue of Quilt Sampler.

Janette and I spent a great hour in here, and it wasn't hard for us to support this shop!  The guys had their own fun, visiting the famous racetrack.
Love that Paris quilt! Love the ceiling too!

I do believe I found the perfect backing there for "fleurs"...

What a terrific sale section she has!!  This was on sale, $5.50/yard!!!  I had already bought some fabric from Fat Quarter Shop, but only got 4 yards, having no idea back in March how big the quilt might grow.  That fabric is a good backing choice too, pink and ivory.  Maybe I will combine them??  Anyhow, I just love this fabric.  I think 6 yards should do it.  Might have myself some fun pillowcases if I decide to use the original pink/ivory stuff too...

Loved Watkins Glen.  The scenery, Seneca Lake, Seneca Gorge, Seneca Lodge, where we stayed, the vineyards, the mountainous terrain, the picturesque town set at the foot of the lake with hills rising on either side, the farms, which, as one of my friends who was there in August put it, are "Americana views at their best", and she was absolutely spot on.

Seneca Gorge - breath-taking views, falls, pools, rock, and a great workout to hike to the top and back, 3 miles round trip.
And of course, the reunion was great, both for humans and canines:
The Hounds of the Harborage, LOL

Oh, yes.  House-hunting.  We sold our Florida condo about a month ago, and because of one thing and another, need to go down a little earlier than originally intended to pack up etc.  So we leave Tuesday, September 23!

Monday, September 15, 2014

4-patch Round

Here it is:


I really really like the turquoise zinger I added just before the 4-patches.


I was once again reminded of the importance of value and the effect it has in quilt design.  My deep purple chain does not pop like I thought it should because the green triangles are the same value as the deep purple.  Instead, the pale pinks and mauves jump out.  Still, I'm happy with the border.  Ninety-two 4-patch units made up of 8 pieces each made for a lot of piecing.  That's just about 800 pieces, no? Egad.

One more shot:


It's getting quite large, measuring 70" square at this point.  The marks all over the patio are from the very lovely, very old, but very messy black walnut trees behind us.  The leaves drop early, and leave a mark where they lie on the cement (or on freshly washed sheets) as do the beloved-to-the-squirrels walnuts themselves.

I plan to add a 1" piece of the green around it before adding my final (can't believe I actually have got to the final round) border.  I didn't get it on because I spent a couple of hours searching through books, magazines and online for a trellis pattern.  I have it in my head, but don't want to draft it.  There is a ribbon, sort of trellis pattern in Martin & McCloskey's Pieced Borders book, but it isn't quite what I have in mind.

Downton Abbey saved the day!  Downloaded the pattern for the Trellis Quilt made with Lord and Lady fabric by Kathy Hall from Makower.  Gosh, I love the blue words fabric, "Downton Abbey"!!  I made a test trellis block and it went together beautifully.

Believe it or not, this baby will create a trellis effect

So now I 'only' have 52 trellis blocks to make!  As I inserted this photo, I see 3 squares, as opposed to 3 half-square triangles that compose the 3 squares, (a dark green, a light green and a cream)...wonder if I can make this block a little differently...that sounds confusing, but I know what I mean!  I think...

I snapped a couple of pictures of Bella with her new toy from Jennifer at The Cat Ball.



And of course, the classic Bella pose:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Feeling Blue

Very much.

My mood matches the buckets of rain that fell here for a good part of the afternoon.  My darling grandson left today; as I type he is starting his downward descent back to his home in Alberta.  :-(

We had a fabulous 8 days, however.  Those memories will become less painful and more heart-warming once the grief of parting eases.

He LOVED his new Christmas quilt. 

 Never mind 'future fighter'; he's a yogi already!

Now it's a cape, Nana!
I asked his mother, my daughter, Brianne, if she would like a new quilt, and if so, what colours.  She replied that she doesn't really like quilts.  Brady said, "I LOOOVE quilts!  How do you make them, Nana?"  See?  Darling.

I sewed a grand total of 10 minutes while they were here, and those 10 minutes were only when I was spending a little time with poor Bella, who was relegated to the basement the entire time due to his severe allergies to cats.  Don't fret; this is her favourite place, so it wasn't too much of a hardship, really.  Her new toy, the prize she won in the Pets on Quilts contest, arrived, so she had fun.  I'd take a pic of her with it, but I cannot find it!  She's batted it somewhere down there, but find it I will for a picture for sure.  She loved it.

Here is how I am constructing the 4-patch border:
Notes the many pink/mauve squares yet to be unpicked...
Since I am putting the 4-patches on point, I drew myself a little diagram so I can mindlessly (ha, story of my life these days) sew the triangles to the 4-patches with the correct orientation.  I'm alternating a pink with a purple square pointing towards the quilt body.  I want the dark purple to form the chain, so it's important to orient these correctly!

These get offset as you see in the picture above, sewn into pairs, the pairs into fours, and so on, to create a border.  I had one border done before they arrived....which brings me to the other meaning of blue in my post title.

I want a little zing of blue, a nod to the blue sky over a flower garden, as well as a little, well, zing, or punch, to the inside of the 4-patches.  I intend this to be a 1/2" frame much like the one setting off the "fleurs" round.  I did try three different fabrics.  I'm thinking the bottom blue in the photo below:

The first is a strip of dark purple, but I'm thinking it blends into the dark greens too closely.  The next blue is a little green in tone, so it doesn't quite do what I want, although I do like the subtlety.  The bottom one is the one I'm leaning towards.  Sadly I do not have enough of the blue I used for the centre of the purple flower in the appliqué.

I'd love to hear what you think!  There is a soft blue in the mottled border, so this picks it up a little.

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesdays!

Monday, September 1, 2014

More Design Decisions

I wanted a trellis look for one of my last two borders.  I have to "add some 4-patches" for this next round, and while perusing my many books and magazines, as well as googling images of 4-patch borders for inspiration, I decided upon a similar border to that in Judy Martin and Marsha McCloskey's book, Pieced Borders: The Complete Resource.

I want a dark value for this next round, so I found quite a lot of a green batik I used in a 9-patch exchange quilt I made in 2001 or 2002.  Then I had to decide on the colours for the 4-patch.  I photocopied the line drawing from the book, got out my Crayola pencil crayons and coloured a few options.

Decided upon this:


However, I just don't think the chain of light purple pops enough.  I love the 3 colours together, but the green overpowers the mauves and pinks.

Sigh.

So, I thought well, I do have a fair amount of the two dark purples, one of which I used in the piano key border and the other for the purple zinger frame before that border... They were destined for a Karla Anderson Stack a New Deck quilt, but hey, I am making this work from my stash.  I've only bought one fabric, the ivory for the four quadrants of machine appliqué (wow, I barely shivered when I typed that word this time).

So.  Unpick all of these:

Cut a few strips of purple.  Resew the 1.5" squares onto the dark purples:

Gosh, doesn't that look like another f-word I might be saying?!  What were you thinking? I meant FUN!  Yep. Pinkie swear.

Press to the dark purple.  Cut 'em apart, and voilà!


Just look at all the French words oozing out of moi.  Mon dieu!  So, what do you think?  I think this is better, although it still doesn't 'pop' as much as I'd hoped, since the purple and green are the same value.  Yet, all in all, I am happy I am persevering with this PITA quilt.

Those of you more observant types will note that the piano keys wavy border grew a little.  Yep, I incorporated the two borders I had to recut because I'd done the wrong math and extended that border a bit as I plan to quilt feathers, maybe Angela Walters' new paisley feathers design, there.  I used every last bit of that gorgeous mauve, pink, blue, and green mottled fabric.  And it feels good!

Those of you more picky types (like myself) will note that this does not resemble a trellis.  I know.  Still pondering that design decision...

I have precious company arriving on Wednesday (a very à propos phrase from my friend Joanne, of Canuck Quilter) so I am probably not going to be very productive in the sewing or blogging parts of my life over the next week.  However, I will be VERY productive in the Nana department: Brady and Brianne arrive for 8 lovely, love-filled days on Sept. 3.

I am linking up with the lovely Marelize, who has no more dust in her clean, bright sewing room, of Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Mondays.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's Wrong With this Picture

So this Round Robin will be the death of me yet.  Biggest PITA(!!) ever.   It is.

I thought this next round, "put curves on it", wouldn't be too hard.  I had a couple ideas, one of which was incorporating a sunburst (na, too much paper-piecing) and then when I drew it all out, a picture frame, curving of course, kind of came to mind.  And it looked good.   Hunted through, oh, a stack of books and magazines for inspiration as to exactly how I'd do this.



I decided I wanted to make a piano keys border here though too.  Why?  Well, first of all, I played and taught piano most of my life.  Second, I like that style of border.  Third, I don't have a lot of dark green left in the fabrics I've used so far to make it a solid border.  And finally, it echoes both the stripes as well as the flying geese rounds.  Then I remembered Karla Alexander's method for an improv-style border in Stack a New Deck.  So I used it.

Ta da!
It took a little longer than I anticipated.  Life was contributing to the delay as well.  At first I didn't have enough of the piano key segments, so I made some more, digging through my stash and scraps.  All of a sudden I had enough for a 5th border!! Egad.  Oh well, I will put it on the back.

But where are the curves, you ask?  This was the "face your fears" part.  Went online to see if the way I thought I would do it was, in fact, correct. It was.  Here is a good video link from Fons and Porter, and here is an article with good instructions.

I made a paper pattern the length of one side, so I could fold it in quarters to ensure the curves would be even.  I also was happy to see Fons & Porter endorse my Thanksgiving turkey method...they used a dinner plate; I used an oval serving dish!  To get the gentle curve of course!

Sewed the two sides on first.  Man, it was scary to cut into the piano keys border!  This was where I left it last night:

That gorgeous mottled neutral?  Had it in my stash for ... a WHILE.  Wish I'd bought more than a yard!

So this morning I figured no prob, tackle the top and bottom and 'Bob's yer uncle'.  Uh oh, the quilt has now grown by 2" on each side because of those side borders.  No problem; add 4" and you get 59.5".  Uh, so where do I put the paper border template?  On centre and add the 2" at the ends?  That didn't seem right.  I'd have too long of a rectangle at each corner.  Um... Start the paper template at the end and then fudge in the 2" over the curves on each half of the border?  I remember adjusting quilting stencils in this way; the eye doesn't notice a 1/4" - 1/2" extension or shrinkage over a gentle curve.  So this rang a bell.  So that is what I did.  And I did the most brainiac stupid thing ever: I cut both the borders at once, to "save time", "get them both identical in their curves."  Ya, right.  Or maybe not.  Look below:

Houston, we have a problem... Nooooo...*%$#!!!

Cry.  Rant.   Say bad words.  Consider adding in a corner square, and putting a seam on each "hill" curve to save this border, and shrink it accordingly.  I only have 22" left of this fabric, and I need it in the next round, because I have that round planned.  Or did.  Decide to recut 3 more 4" strips and redo this border.  I can use the 2" wide part of the unuseable one in the next round.  Yes I can.  Breathe.  Go do yoga to try to find my chi.

Found my chi.  This looks better doesn't it?  Now that mitred corner is symmetrical.



And here it is FINALLY with the curves round on.


A close-up of the corner, all sewn:


Next round:  "add some 4-patches".  I know where I want to stick some 4-patches...cough, no!  I will play nice.  I will.  :-)  Besides, my mum told me this is her favourite quilt I've done since I started this blog.  Well, that's because of two things:  #1: it has lots of flowers on it, and she loves, loves, loves flowers, and #2:  there's almost no "buh-lue" (said with a pulled face and rolling of eyes) on it!! lol  She hates blue.  HATES.  I, on the other hand, love it.

I also sewed on the actual gears Joe bought to each corner of his Gears quilt and hung it on his wall of fame corner in his garage.


OH!  And I got two fantastic news items today, and one a few days ago:
1.  Bella won a random prize drawing in the Pets on Quilts contest in Cats on Quilts category! Thank you SO MUCH to Jennifer of the Cat Ball!!  You should check out her site, very pretty fabric balls.  For cats to go IN.  And if you have a cat, chances are you know just how much he or she loves to stuff herself into anything.  Think Maru.  If you live under a rock (hello! so do I sometimes) then click here for a video you will loooove.

2.  My LQS in Sarasota, Cotton Patch Quilt Shop, is going to be in the Fall Quilt Sampler (knew that for a while now) but their quilt is on the cover!!  Coolio.

3.  My friend, Lara, who blogs at BuzzinBumble, has just found out that a book she has been working on is going to be published by the American Quilters' Society!  Congrats, Lara!  It's a new method of "aaaack"-pliqué, so I will have to check it out and turn the way I say it in my head to "ahhh-pliqué", said with a sigh of contentment.  Normally, I don't mind appliqué, but this quilt was pretty intense.  So, I'm interested, as her method is raw-edge appliqué, whereas mine was all edge-turned, except for the "fleurs" word.

Until next round!