Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yes, No, Yes, No, Maybe -- Orca Bay

I am unable to make up my mind about joining in this new mystery Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  (Maybe it's because I am full of Thanksgiving and no longer can think straight! )But, in case my overfed brain gets clunked out of its mental stupor into a forward gear, I'll be partially ready to join in!  8-))  Here are half my string blocks, and 40 of the QSTs.   My other bold/dark color is earth, taupe, browns, etc.   I don't want them too dark, so they are visibly separate from the blacks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Steps," and Analogies

I won this clever notebook a long time ago from one of YOU, and have I ever used it on THIS project!  I am so sorry I don't remember who it was - Can I use the "senior citizen" excuse? 

I'm making a bargello-type border to surround my "Steps" quilt (aka "One Step at a Time." Making this quilt has been an incredible personal journey - yes, we've all heard that term with our quilts but this quilt is following me (or is it leading me?) right along. It represents many analogies such as "One Step at a Time," "If you get lemons, make lemonade," "If you want something different, you have to change something," "Take it Easy," "Use What you Have," "Be Happy," "Attitude Adjustment", and even "If your border (your life!) IS a little too bold, it is still beautiful!" 

Below are some of the strata units, waiting to be unsewn and resewn into bargello strips.  (huh??? )  Each one is unsewn at a different point, in order to get the movement to visually go around the quilt.  I chose the dark blue as my marker -- if you want the design to visually turn the quilt corners, you must choose one fabric and stick with it.  It's easy to get them turned around or dropped or you lose concentration, and then NOTHING works correctly (see? another life lesson!).  They should meet in the middle and at the corners.  Meeting in the middle (there's another one of those life lessons!) occasionally has to be gently re-engineered.     

Here's one corner which is exactly like the other corner to the left.  This is especially where I used the graph paper in my notebook.

 Below is the center of the two ends, where they have to meet in the middle. And they did, with a little bit of narrow seam allowance-fussing.  I inserted 3 more units.  8-))

I've made this border before, being inspired by a Scrappy Bargello block from, and am thrilled with how it goes together, looking a LOT harder than it is.  Using an even number of strips in a strata, pressing the seams in opposite directions and reasonably careful cutting of the strata, is not difficult, but it DOES take some time.  And one has to start at the outside of the border, and work towards the center, leaving the corners 'til the end, if you want the pattern to go around.   It's so orderly and graphic - And yes, I KNOW it is going to be uhhh, bold and beautiful!  8-)))

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pass Alongs, Verify

Warning - RANT!

Reminder to all of us -- Please use disgression, common sense and wisdom before passing along incredible tales, or maybe not-so-incredible tales, photos, videos, etc.  These pass-alongs get bounced back and forth like wildfire before most people check them out.  I usually go to and find good answers. has the reputation for looking closely into the subject matter and digging deep to find the truth.  Hitting that SEND button without even THINKING or verifying, is unwise and at times, cruel and slanderous.

Yes, I've been guilty myself !

And no, I'm not ranting about bloggers - it's personal e-mail that gets clogged up with "ya gotta read this" or "can you believe those numbskulls did that?", etc.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pressing, my Least Favorite Part

This is the back of "Steps" (or maybe "One Step at at Time") , a Rebuilt Log Cabin.  The center portion is finished and this is the dreaded pressing job, on the back.  Do you also hate that job as well?  Yikes!!! -- there is NO WAY all those seams are going to stay where I want them, but I'm not worried either.  The seams are pressed open when I joined the blocks into rows, but joining the rows together - Hey I did the best I could! 

Thanks to trimming blocks to one size, they fit nicely without ooching or stretching - therefore, that part of the process went quickly.  A good press from the top will finish the pressing job, then I'm adding a 2 inch inner border,  and then I'm tackling the outer border.  My goal today (yet) is to make a sample.  I could have saved time by relying on my first instinct instead of spending hours, days, looking and wondering.

It's turning out well and I'm trying hard NOT to show it until I get the border completed.  When I take it to Quilt Guild, Show and Tell, they frequently  KNOW it's mine, even if I didn't tell them.  Perhaps I finally have a "style".   

The name, "Steps", (or "One Step at a Time") has always been a personal and professional lesson for me, as well as excellent advice for a quiltmaker or any person  when tackling a project.  And the quilt is filled with visual "Steps", as is the border-to-be.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

37 Log Cabin Blocks on the Floor, and Goodbye, 2 QOV Quilts

Here are 37 of 48 planned Rebuilt Log Cabin blocks on the floor.  I have scrunched them way out of the way from foot traffic, just in case someone tromps through.   So far, I'm liking it!  I DON'T like the smudge on my camera  that I didn't see 'til AFTER the photos were taken.  I LOVE the zig-zaggy light and dark diagonals.  The blocks are trimmed -- mine are ending up 10 - 10.12 before sewing together.    Today I am packing up these two Quilt of Valor quilts -- sometimes it's hard to part with them but they sit on the shelf, unused, and they need to be used.   Off they go to Alycia in Kersey, Colorado.  The left one is a Rebuilt Log Cabin, and the right one is a Confusion Quilt, designed by Debbie Bowles. 
Regarding the Confusion Quilt -- the blocks are made oversize, and then trimmed - yes apparently I LIKE to make blocks and then cut them up!  Anyway, what is trimmed off goes to the floor, then picked up and sewn back together for the border, in whatever way you choose, producing some amazingly complex-looking piecing.  (Below) The horizontal black with stars is the "regular" border and above that is all the piecing made up of whatever.

Below is the red side of the quilt.  The horizontal white pieced to the red is the other side of the quilt border, and below it is part of the border, all the little bits and pieces picked up off the floor!  8-)))   I had no intention of it turning out something like a flag, with the red/whites together, and then the blue/whites together, but that's what happened.  This design is definitely a surprise in the end, and Confusion in that you don't quite know what it will turn out to be, until the end.  I LIKE surprises like this. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Color Pallettes

On a quilt-related e-mail list, the conversation was about determining a color pallette for a new quilt.  Some of the gals were having problems thinking of combinations. 

I did a search on "Color Pallettes" and came up with a number of sites that start with a photo either of your own or from the Internet, and then the program pulls a bunch of colors from that photo.  My own computer has a "snipping tool" so I can outline anything on the screen and save it as a .jpg.  I'm sure there are other ways, but some images will not let you "save".   The site I tried out was - there were many other sites, but I didn't take time to compare -- This first one was exactly what I wanted.  When you get to that page, search for something like "color pallette" or similar. 

Below is a favorite photo (yes, my banner) and the colors pulled from the photo.  What a great quilt this would make!  I could print out the photo on those fabric sheets, maybe tile it, then outline the center with blocks using the suggested colors.  Yes, just like that lady who does the greeting cards with the picture and the quilt blocks that match!  Too bad she already thought of it a long time ago!  8-))   (Oh brain, ya gotta turn off and finish what you have started!!!)

Hmmmmm wonder how long it will take me to come up with another quilt???   I just am enjoying LOOKING at this pallette!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Design Floor? uhhh, maybe not

(Written a week ago)

I've mentioned my "Design Floor" as I don't have any large walls. My blocks are laid out on the living room floor and we both know how to step around them.  However, occasionally someone will visit unexpectedly and tromp all over them, seemingly, they don't see the project.  My Lady of Shallotte blocks are all positioned correctly and I'm slowly getting them together. 

Last evening, DH was watching TV and got up for something, and CARASHHHHH!!!  He is tall, and there is no way he can land anywhere except by hitting something first before ending up on the floor.  His head hit the counter edge, then we don't know what else, but he lay there, holding his head, partly on the carpet, partly on the kitchen tile floor.   (You probably know we are well into Senior Citizenship!)  I was immediately at his side, slowly checking, but didn't see any bones protruding, no blood.  He could count my fingers and his color was good. As I considered calling 911, and what door the EMTs would enter the house - oh gosh - this is the self-guilt part ... I realized if the EMTs came in the front door they'd tromp all over my quilt!!!  Arghhhh, how could I be thinking of that at this almost-emergency, but I DID!  8-(((  Things have definitely gotten too over-the-top when THAT is among my first thoughts.  

 In truth, one should always have a good Emergency Entrance/Exit and our OTHER door would be better, but I am ashamed of myself for thinking of that quilt layout!
As it turned out, we think he slipped on the -- yes, the dangerous kitchen rug, that has the rug grabber material under it, but that stuff seems to lose it's grab!  I think kitchen rugs are the No. 1 cause for household accidents!

DH says he's OK, he refused to let me call 911, and is moving slowly today.  As for me, I am sewing up those blocks really quickly!!! 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Guild Retreat - 2011

Over the weekend I spent 3 days with 23 other quilters at our not-so-local-to-me- YMCA.  The Y is on a lovely location along the Platte River (which is no longer flooded) with beautiful scenery, occasional wildlife (turkeys), a wonderful space, with excellent facilities. 

I was productive, and egad, didn't take enough photos.  My goal on that retreat was to make 50 Rebuilt Log Cabin blocks (successful) but I wore myself out with exuberance and excitement and had to take TWO naps when I returned Sunday afternoon!

Sharon is always productive and in no time, she had this beauty DONE! 
Jennifer finished up this stunning project - she said it was from one of Miss Rosie's books.  It was even better in person.  She was a sewing "machine" - she worked with speed, concentration and precision! 
Here's a photo of ... my mom??  - oh NO, that's ME!!!  I managed to reach my own goal of 50 blocks that will eventually end up on a Tutorial on this blog.  Watch for it, with lots of photos THERE, if you are interested in making a Rebuilt Log Cabin quilt.   The block is on the table. 
Here is one version of a luscious Rebuilt Log Cabin quilt, made by Ramona.  She used only 2 values, plus the center square and I believe she has 4 rounds on her Rebuilt Log Cabin.  We noticed the design looked like rosettes when we looked through a "peephole" thingy, and interesting zig-zaggy corners where the blocks met.  It reminds me of chocolate mint ice cream.   

My friend Chell, also has a stunning Rebuilt Log Cabin in process, then decided to enlarge it to Queen size.  She'll show it off (hopefully) on her blog.  

Our messy space for 3 quilters.  This is Tina's back! 
Tina also worked like crazy all weekend and went home with several completed projects.