Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Other side of the Studio, Kaleidoscope Variations, and a Fire

From time to time I add a photo of DH, working on his boats, on the other side of the studio we share.  This is a small room and we each have a corner.  If we roll our chairs back at the same time, we bump.  I have bits of wood  dust in my quilts, he has threads in his boat.  We deal with it.  8-))

He now has his "stash" of left-over wood bits, despite him swearing he'd never stash his wood like I stash my fabric.

Below is progress on my Kaleidoscope.  The beautiful RED that looked so great in the large triangles, previously posted, was overpowering!!!  It was too pretty, too red, and when I put several blocks together, I hated it!  Wow, ya never know!  So I found something softer, that might look more "background" and after sewing away, I discovered that the creamy check was overpowering in its own way.  But I REALLY like how the strings look like squares behind the creamy check.  The camera does funny things to those checks.  Below is the layout I have settled on.  I might need to lightly tea dye it when finished - I am going to call this project, "Que Sera, Sera"  (spelling unknown).or something like "What will it be when it grows up?" 

 If you have never made this version of a Kaleidoscope, the numerous settings and color placements offer many are variations.  I fiddled on Quilt Pro, but still needed to actually DO it with real blocks.  Here are just the brown cornered blocks.   

 Here are the beautiful RED corners. 

And now I have 15 blocks made of needed 35  (5 x 7) , so I have to come up with something clever for the outside rows.  I don't have enough of the creamy check to make the same blocks so will use what I have for half blocks and find another darker choice for the outside wedges.  (Clear as mud?) 

These blocks are coming together so well - each one sews together well, lays flat, etc.  I spun the center seam.  The phone book paper is still on the string wedges. 

New subject ... You know how, when you come home, you always look to see there are no police cars, no blue lights, no trouble happening at your home?  Yesterday, after grocery shopping this is what I saw!!!  My entire street was blocked  by police cars, EMS, and fire trucks!  There were some heart palpitations for a few seconds.  A car fire!  I couldn't get TO my house via the normal route-   This poor guy was just coming home from work, and parking his car between snow piles, as I was leaving for groceries - I noticed how tired he looked, poor guy, and when I came home his car was burnt to a crisp. He was OK.  This yard is next to our garage.  

DH had been watching TV, and noticed what he said were huge blobs of "snow" falling, and peered outside and saw all the lights.  The blobs of snow turned out to be fire suppressant, so he  hobbled carefully outside, with phone and camera, around ice and snow, to take photos but in the process, slipped on the treacherous deck stairs and buggered himself up.  He said, while he was in the middle of the fall, "at least the EMS are already here if I break my neck".  Funny how many thoughts can go thru your mind in the middle of a possible emergency.  He is OK today -- just sore, and is very proud of himself for not breaking the camera.   

Thursday, January 01, 2015

New project, old strings

December 30, 2014

I'm trying to use my strings - have you noticed that over time, the strings left in the bin gets uglier and uglier???
I added a few better looking strips and strings to my recipe and decided to make a version of a Kaleidoscope Quilt.  Because my bits were of various lengths, I sewed them to a phone book paper foundation.  The paper was cut casually, to a triangular size.  I sew on the various bits, press between each new string, the trim clean with a ruler.  These are 45 degrees wedges, and 6.5 inches in height.   One reason I like the paper cut almost to size is that there is no measuring of the strips - this saves a LOT of time.  Just lay them on, sew (smaller stitch) then cut carelessly at the end. and start again until I run out of the string.  I'm trying to stick with foresty, darkish, rich woodsy colors, adding an occasional "sparkle."  
Ok, what background??
I have several yards of this one ... it's a good piece of fabric,  3 yards, but kinda blah.

Below is a pretty piece - those dots add some character, I don't have enough but my LQS usually keeps it in stock.  But, it still doesn't have the "zing" I am wanting.

I think I found just the right one!  I need 2 yards more, but it's a MODA and my LQS should have it in stock.  8-))  

My resolution this year was to be less judgmental, in addition to my last year resolution, "with purpose" which means to concentrate on what I plan.  People who are artistic, if that's what I lean towards, tend to let a lot of things get them off main track. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tumalo Trails/Cowboy Up top is done

Happy New Year 2015 everyone !!!  VERY cold in western Nebraska - we are at zero today, with 10-12 inches of snow on the ground. 

I'm fiddling through an unfamiliar method to add photos - always confusion --I accidently DID IT! 

Above is my finished top, Tumalo Trails, aka Cowboy Up, because those plaid look so ... country and western-like.    This design is from - many thanks, Bonnie!  Not shown is another medium value 2-inch finished blue border around the last edge.  Dimensions now are approx. 86 x 105.  It will take up about 4 to 6 inches each way after quilting.  Binding will be dark blue, same as that narrow dark blue flange in the photo.  That wiggly looking fabric is really a tiny blue and white stripe.   
Here is a corrected corner - I was so engrossed in the border I did 3 of the corners wrong.  LOL

Another subject - a mystery -- below is my favorite cake pan that I love because it has the metal top that snaps into place. and the aluminum is heavier than other cake pans.  I don't do much cooking any more.   However, look at those holes!!!  Where did they come from????  I had just finished baking ribs and poured off the grease, then baked with BQ sauce.  I don't see any puddle of grease in the oven, I didn't smell any grease smoking or burning as I slow-cooked the ribs.  When I went to wash it - OMGOsh and there are even MORE, not seen in the photo!  I tried to stab a hole in the pan with a knife to see if the pan was actually worn thru, nope - I couldn't make a dent, much less a hole.  Dishwater just dribbled thru those holes.  This metal is not thin and wimpy.  Note the holes are not where one would cut bar cookies or a cake.  A mystery!  DRAT! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Uh-ohhhh! Drat!!!!

Drat that border - LOL

... it has to be right to make the corners turn correctly (oops, not shown!).  I didn't plan that spacing for hours to leave it with that error!!!

My solution was to add two more vertical strips (1 1/2 inches each, fin.) which then made the border 3 inches too long, so then I went over every vertical seam, sewing a hair deeper each time until finally, it fits.  This is border #3, and I have half of #4 yet to do ... uhhh ran out of fabric .... off to quilt shop...they had what I needed.  The corners turn beautifully!  8-)) 

BTW - I have used Judy Martin and Marsha McCloskey's wonderful book for almost 15 years, PIECED BORDERS, The Complete Resource - for border ideas.  I've never even copied the plans, just used them for inspiration. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Tumalo Trails (Cowboy Up), and Recycled Pet Food Tote #2

This is my Tumalo Trail, renamed "Cowboy Up" designed by  There are 6 x 8, nine inch blocks, with a 1 inch sashing.  I'm working on a 9-inch pieced border, no photos yet.
Below is my second effort at a pet food bag recycled into a usable, extremely durable tote bag.  I liked the black cotton straps, as opposed to making straps from the bag material. 
Here is the back - I was given this bag with the cute chihua?? chiwa???  uhhh, little dog.  The bag was too small to make a tote, so I used it as a pocket.   
This material is very tough - you cannot pin it - I used tape and strong clips.  I did French Seams - waaay not necessary - perhaps a zig-zag would have been OK as well.  It was difficult to turn the bag inside out, right side out.   I also cut out the lower corners, as opposed to just folding the triangles up to make square corners.  On the bottom, I offset where the black strap crosses - it was getting tough sewing!   This one is NOT lined - not necessary.  Before construction, I washed the bag material in the kitchen sink with a kitchen scrubber and warm water.  
Below is the front.  
Being inquisitive by nature always wondering "what would happen if?"

 I have several more bags and might do this again without French seams, but again, with the black braid. 

If you press this tough material with an iron, between waste fabric, it melts, crinkles up into an unusable glom.  (Someone will probably find a really good use for glom and make a million $$$.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Spiderweb Quilt

Basting issues are DONE!
Camera issues are DONE!
Sewing machine issues are DONE!
Food preps are DONE! 
I quilted the borders differently, just for fun, since the quilt itself is almost humorous, and because it's good to keep practicing.  Two borders are very casual feathers or hearts.  Then I became bored with that design and changed the last two borders  LOL

This one is leafy, viney, curlyques with a red/brown variegated thread.

This quilt back needed rebasting a second time -- not fun but the extra effort ended up positive.  Here is the back - I wanted to make diagonal binding as well as use it for the backing. 
Below is on the deck, where I like to just look at it, knowing I had numerous issues, yet did not give up.  The yard is pretty drab, isn't it?

I'm using a new "system" for this post, on the laptop, and transferring the photos via disk.  That might not sound like much of an accomplishment, but it turned out to be waaaay more than simple!   I'm still working at it!     I thought this photo was cropped. 

Another border - simple paisley teardrops, following an implied, chalked line. Spiderweb quilting design in light areas.