Sunday, October 29, 2006

Kansas Troubles

I am a pretty decent quilter but NOT a pretty decent photographer. Nevertheless, this is a full size, scrappy, Kansas Troubles quilt, hand quilted. The colors are richer than it appears. I purposefully chose muslin for the lights, to use something similar to what would have been used during that time in history.

While most of us love the speed of machine quilting, there are times when nothing is more delicious than curling up on the couch, with the fireplace glowing, a cold winter wind outside, with a partially finished quilt in your lap, quietly hand quilting something lovely.

The little triangles at the corners are not easy to keep from stretching, so I used Sally Schneider's method of making the block, which makes 2 blocks at once, a method similar to "Mary's Triangles."

This is one of those blocks where there is no end to settings. Instead of making a large dark triangle, it can be left light, giving an airy, delicate flavor to this pattern. Or, the corners where the blocks meet makes a pinwheel, not apparent in this setting, but that's another option.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Change of Seasons

Drat! It must be expected. Last week was warm and balmy, and this morning, we have snow. The moisture is much appreciated, but ...where did fall, uhhh summer go? I wasn’t looking carefully enough, and now, both seasons are gone! It seems I am frequently saying, “I thought I had more time.”

When starting this Blog, I promised I would post something every week, but life kinda got in the way. All my projects seem to be at a standstill, with one pesky problem or another staring me in the face, looking much more difficult than they really are, so I am posting this lovely little quilt I made some time ago. This is a Drunkard’s Path version, made with straight pieces, rather than curves. I keep saying I’m going to do another, only larger ... one of these days. This is from a beautiful book by quilter/author Mary Sue Suit, who just happens to be from our area and in our quilt guild. After looking at her lovely patterns, you can tell she loves geometry.

My label with crooked footprints

You may notice all the ugly underlines that have mysteriously appeared on my blog, and on some others also. I’ve spent too many hours trying to figure how to delete them. From what I can piece together following their unexpected and unwanted appearance, something has changed either in Blogger or Google – I have a feeling it has something to do with CSS – or ‘something Style Sheets.’ Naturally I don’t know what I’m talking about, but that’s as close as I’ve come to solving the mystery. Gosh, I barely learned HTML, and now there’s something else to learn.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wide Open Spaces

Saturday afternoon we took advantage of one of our last fall days and drove outside of town, about 15 miles, into the sandhills. In my profile, I've mentioned the beautiful spaces, and incredibly blue skies -- isn't this amazing? For a gal born in a major city, I consider myself extremely lucky to have been introduced to this part of our country. It is very dry this year, moreso than other years. In the second photo, you can see this County road snaking off into the distance. One of the views I enjoy are the wide vistas, and especially, the late afternoon shadows – there is very little to see other than space – a hawk maybe, an occasional rabbit, and once in a while a coyote, although they are very skittish during the day. There are usually herds of cattle dotting the hills. We drove almost 1 hour, and never came upon another vehicle.

This is not an unusual view - it is an ordinary view in this area. Does it help to keep my little troubles in perspective? You betcha!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


This year the Block of the Month Committee chose blocks with Black/White/Red. Here are two colorations. The smaller of the 3 is because ... uhhh ... I didn’t read the directions I won't be able to turn that one in. But, aren’t they great! One of them, made by a friend, has skeletons in the black. Wish I'd thought of it!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Neon Green as Neutral for Flying Geese

The Geese Quilt was inspired several years ago by Jan Mullens fabric. It was greatly discounted (what crazy lady would buy such LOUD fabric?) so I bought ALL the store had – This is my type of fabric!

The quilt is ALL wonky, and contrary to my original intentions of designing a 'devil-may-care' approach, I had to resist cutting off the tips/points of the flying geese – I just couldn’t do it. In one place in the border, there is ONE goose, with it's tip cut off, and I feel neglectful and guilty each time I see it! For the most part, my points/tips are nice and sharp – but every block is different, and the geese in the border are sewn down, willy-nilly, tipping whichever way. I used the black/white sashing to tone it down somewhat, and give it a somewhat cohesive look. I paper pieced the geese, 2 at a time, simply to keep the units square.

I used an extra block for the label. I made this several years ago, before I was experienced in machine quilting, but it came out just fine. Every time I look at it, I think, “Wow, this in my favorite quilt!”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

On the other side of the studio ...

I must post what my DH does while I am quilting. There are many more hours to his projects than in my quilts. Since we are in Nebraska, we definitely are NOT sailing any large bodies of water-- unfortunately -- and most likely, we will never own a 56 ft. fishing boat (the size of this scaled down boat) -- goodness, the garage isn't that large! However, these boats are replicas of the real thing. If one could shrink my DH, ( I am sure he is IN these boats as he builds them) he could actually walk all over this boat, which is complete with galley, head, engines, bulkheads, etc., all in the right places. With this particular boat, he started with purchased plans from the designer, and scaled everything down to the appropriate size. This is his 21st project. They are marvelous, extremely detailed, even in areas no one else will ever see, they all over the house, just like my quilts. On some, you can open up decks to peer down into various compartments, to see sleeping quarters, storage, sails, and hundreds of details, etc. My favorite part on the lower photo, is the head. You can just see the sink, but out of view is an actual tiny roll of toilet paper! I don't know how he has such patience over such a long period of time -- 6 months or so, and where he gained his incredible boatbuilding knowledge.

Rebuilt Log Cabin DONE, with Bonus Table Runner

My Rebuilt Log Cabin is DONE! Yeah -- I think it turned out just fine, considering it truly was a scap quilt. And I didn't purchase one piece (...uhhh... recently) for the project. I machine quilted it, on a year- old Janome Memory Craft 6500, on which I had never machine quilted, and I am very pleased with the evenness it stitched, (no stitch regulator other than my own hands). I used a regular sewing machine thread (a fine Metrosene) in the bobbin, and randomly chose 2 different heavier threads for the top, that sorta matched. Brown was too obvious so I ended up with a gray. The light you see on the closeup shot of the block is not thread, it's reflection. I used a light on the diagonal light areas, and dark, on the diagonal dark areas. (duhhh!) I had 4 blocks that were trimmed wrong (tilted to the left) so I made them into a bonus table runner. This pattern and colors blend well with wood and antiques in my house.

I must tell a short story about the techie who installed my new DSL Line. Almost always, I have a quilt on my living room floor, in one stage or another. I try to watch who visits, because sometimes it must be invisible - there has been more than one man who walked right over it, so I now watch carefully. This techie came to the door, and walked carefully around the quilt, and turned to me and said, "Hey, that might look good with Prairie Points!" Wow, I loved him! He knew all about quilts, the lingo, etc. When he turned on the computer, this Blog page is my home page, and he even took the time to look at the quilts! I love him. Wish I knew his mom so I could tell her what a good 'boy' she raised. A good day.