Sunday, December 30, 2007

Landscape Collage

OK, I'm starting off with, "sorry for the poor quality photo" ... that phrase is my particular bugaboo!, but ... this top photo is a tiny framed photo (4" x 6") of a lovely meadow in the Smokey Mountains, called Cades Cove. I used to ride my bicycle in this area, and it was beautiful, both visually, and spiritually. (Plus, I was 15 lbs. smaller, and actually had muscles and a flat stomach -- oh dang, it that's another story.)

I used the small photo as inspiration for the landscape collage, in the next photo. We had a class at our Guild, and each brought a bunch of possibly appropriate fabric, fused it to stabilize the edges, cut it up, fused or sewed it down, put a frame around it, and voila! I just love it. My end product is a more reasonable size. (Hey, putting a frame around ANYTHING makes any project look even better!)

Funny thing - the wall is the same wall behind each photo! Look how the colors have changed. I would LOVE to do this again - and encourage any of you to try it out, although it doesn't use much fabric though .... Also, keep it simple.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Is it Spring yet?

While Loving Care, Light Ash Brown, #75, does it's thing on my flowing tresses, I will return after "hibernation" to take part in more entertaining activities, like posting and blogging. Let's see -- I have 40 minutes to play. I've tried to check into your blogs during my hibernation - hope I haven't missed too much!

Finally, a border solution to my quilt below, which has been named "Checkers Tonight Dearie?" Once the solution was determined, I am wondering why it had become such a problem. Maybe I was just thinking too hard. It's officially a top, and when I purchase 7 yards of ONE fabric for the backing, it will be machine quilted. Thank you all who made sensible suggestions -- I think the successful one was "put it away for awhile."
This was my view very early Christmas morning - how much better can nature be? Such perfect timing. I bundled myself up and went outside early, in the quiet, before the snow-blowers started rumbling, to enjoy the still air. 6-8 inches of much needed snow!
After finishing that "Checkers Tonight Dearie?" project, I just HAD to make a new quilt, after I saw this cute little "Bee" fabric at my LQS. The rest was all stash. This will be a Linus Quilt, and you might recognize the pattern, from our friend Bonnie at This went together in 2-3 days, between other jobs, so if you haven't made one, this is a GREAT little and FAST quilt. I've had the backing fabric (little colorful frogs) for 5 years, bought especially for a particular pattern, but have been using up the coordinated fabrics, so who knows what the original plan was? Looks great here! The inner border and most of the binding is black and white striped which echoes the black and white bee body.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weather Report from Western Nebraska

I've checked out a LOT of you bloggers in the Midwest and find better weather reports from bloggers, than from the Weather Channels. That ICE is a terrible thing. Good luck with the power issues.

NOTHING interesting here - only about 4 inches of snow, slick roads, but thankfully, no ice and no wind.

I'm too wimpy to go outside for a photo -- COLD!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Taking a Break!

Thanks to so many of you who have tried to help with that dang border thing I'm struggling with! Yesterday I spend $32.00 on MORE FABRIC that I was SURE would definitely work -- it didn't. And I only made about 100 HSTs -- oh well, I can use them for another project. I'm giving it a break (as many of you suggested) and am posting something else for today. I have another good direction, from Patti that might work. Her suggestion is similar to something my DH suggested, as well you Bloggers. I think a new effort will be Number 5 or is it 6? How wonderful to hear from others with excellent suggestions. What would we all do without each other?

It never fails, just when I get to thinking "Hey, Elaine, you're getting pretty clever at this quilting design business... " I get smacked with a humbling experience that puts me back in my place. 8-(

We have lovely snow, about 2 inches, with more on the way. Our wood supply is getting LOW so we're not starting up the fireplace -- just in case of emergency, but I tell you, it would feel good today.

This is a scrappy quilt made about 10 years ago. I still like it, and especially liked the borders, with that inset of a small square, giving the appearance of notching inward.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

This Border is NOT Doin' It! 8-(

Every once in a while, I hit a dead-end with my quilting/design process. This current project CENTER is just wonderful, but that border ain't agonna do it! I was determined that the continuation of squares in the border was just the ticket. For my bed, I need at least 12 inches added to each side (like 2 6-inch blocks - same as the inner size blocks?). I tried dark squares -- the result was murky, then I tried sprinkling the dark with light - that resulted in looking hit and miss, then I made them half and half light/dark - result was spotty and distracting, and tonight, in a fit of self-pity and irritation, I picked it up off the floor and put the entire mess in a box! There are bunches of squares in various stages of 4-patches that I can use in another project if necessary. I did NOT put away the center of this quilt -- I like this too much -- but I AM DISCOURAGED!!!!

The beigey/tan tone to the darker border wasn't working since the center has more clear values, especially the lights.

I had hoped to put SOMETHING related but different than the center, a bit darker in value. I could just continue the pattern all the way to the edge, but that seems to be a bit of a cop out. I can also head to the fabric store for a perfect border print, but THAT's a bit of a cop out also and I WAS hoping to keep it as a STASHBUSTER. HELP! Wahhhhh! Large Broken Dishes would repeat the shape?

Monday, December 03, 2007

The answer to "One of these things is not like the other"

Since many of you said you didn't find my unplanned humility block, I'll tell you which one it is.

For this particular setting... Each row is opposite the previous one. The pinwheels go to the right in one row and to the left in the next. The 4-patches (16 patches) also must be set either with the light block in the upper right or the dark block in the upper right. The light square SHOULD set up between the light triangles, and the dark square SHOULD set up between the DARK triangles.

In the lower left of this photo, two blocks from the left and two blocks from the bottom, there is a light square against the dark triangles. I should have rotated it 90 degrees. This really points up the value of looking at your quilt through the camera lens - it sees everything!

Not much of a problem, apparently! LOL Congrats to those of you with EAGLE eyes!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Playing with my toys

Today, I stuck with a self-imposed schedule and studied Paint Shop Pro for ONE hour! See? I learned how to put text over a photo! LOL And unfortunately, I didn't notice the one rebel block until I took the photo. How did that happen? Can you find it?

This is my current project - a combination of ideas from various locations. I am determined to keep the scrappy approach to this, but the border (below) is a bit of a gamble. While the interior of the quilt is all lights/darks, the border is mediums/darks. My original plan to use more darks/lights (upper part of below photo) was just too distracting, so I opted for mediums/darks. I am confident that the machine quilting will blend the border colors, and I'll still move some of them around for more even color distribution -- it needs more greens and tans - less pinks. My machine quilting friend Anita Allen of Prairie Creations has already been contacted.

I am using up more of my stash, although the inner border forest green was purchased. The outer border must be this width to bring it to queen-size, and then I will finally have a new quilt on my bed. Those blog questions about "What's on YOUR bed?" ... made me want something new.

Incidentally, Corel Paint Shop Pro X is an amazing program, and I paid less than $30.00 on the Internet -- it is an older edition. I'm also diddling around with blending photos with fabric. Today, I learned how to collage, enlarge, rotate, all kinds of special effects, colors, media types, print or blend the photo with fabric. This is one of the toys I plan to learn better, starting in January. Hey, I need more time to learn all this new fun stuff!