Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wind and Fences

Thursday, the wind was horrific - gusts to 65 mph.  In some cases, it blew trucks over!! I stayed home most of the day, safe and sound.  The skies were brown with field dirt and grit -- when I went outside, that grit was in my teeth in no time.

From my kitchen window, I can see my neighbor's 8 ft. fence swaying back and forth, back and forth. It wasn't too strong BEFORE this wind, so DH ventured out to brace it best he could from our side. If it fell, it would have knocked out our Utility Box.  This is the same fence the little owls used as an occasional perch earlier this year. We notified the neighbor and felt bad she would have to repair the wind-related damage to her fence. 

Later, look what I found on OUR property.  Oh great! 8-((  This fence has nicely hid the dumpster from view over the years.  Now it is US who are feeling bad about wind-related damage.   Groannnnnn.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Strip and Slash

This is a Split 9-Patch project from Jackie Robinson, called Strip and Slash.  This finished block is small, about 3.75 finished.  But it sure uses up ANY fabric, lights and darks.  I would do it again, but with larger strips, even though I know the larger strips would not blend so nicely. All the lights are sewn together into a rectangle and then cut diagonally, then the darks are sewn together into a rectangle and cut diagonally, then the two halves are sewn together, and all the seams match butt up perfectly.

There are 120 blocks in the above (unsewn!) project, with one left over.  8-)  I sure hope I can get some of those seams together nicely!  Despite all the various colors, it turned out a lovely steel gray-blue. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Good Binding Gadget, and "Jody Blue" Finished

  I LIKE these little binding clips.  They are easy to use, if you drop them, you can FIND them, and no more sticking myself with pins.  They hold the binding well.  (My binding is always the same size - a cut strip 2 1/4 inch, folded.  If you use really narrow or really wide binding, I don't know if they would work. )  I remove them as needed and clip or unclip them to my shirt or cuff - no reaching for the pin cushion.  There are 10 in the package - that's enough.

Below I'm getting ready to sandwich Jody Blue, on one of the last days of summer, in the garage.   Jody gave me many of the blue scraps, and it's almost exactly like a recent copy, RED, finished about May.
Here it is, DONE.  I LOVE the tree shadows. and I also LOVE the perky reds and some lavendars from  my stash.  The large dark HSTs that make up into a square? - I had originally planned them to be one/same color, but they ended up looking like BLOBs, so I made them scrappy as well. 

I also used chunks for the border - supposedly I'm using up scraps.  Yeah, right!  The quilting in each of the border chunks are of various designs - some look great, some less desireable, but the quilt is a a good sample item.  My binding is a dull red. 

Below is the back - again, trying to use up what I have - I LIKE it.  Despite carefully measuring, I ended up with narrow bits of fabric on each side of the backing - exactly what I thought I would avoid!  Jeeeeesh, Elaine, focus!  But the squares at the top and bottom ended up straight and half-blocks - no slivers.  I enjoy using 10 inch squares of fabric, but on the back, a person has to be careful to keep it all straight and true - like using stripes, you must keep it straight, or it looks amateurish.
 A little closer shot on the fence.  IMHO, the reds, and creams and brighter blues give it twinkle and depth.

(Below) I am starting to think more about "modern quilts" and really like this kind of straight line quilting.  It's easy and good for filling large areas. 

I quilt on my DSM, a Janome MC6500 - it NEVER fails me.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Retirement Laziness

I have been retired for one month and feel like I've turned into Ms. Lazy Butt.  My inner clock must be "off", I am awake in the middle of the night, remain unfocused, undriven, lazy, impatient, etc.  This new chapter is going to take some getting used to.  If you have suggestions, I would welcome advice on how to "settle in." 

My Retirement Reception was absolutely wonderful, more than I could have imagined, with many well-wishes, expressions of love and respect, many gifts and cards - including a LOT of gift cards to my LQS, two beautiful cakes - one with a quilty design, and a lot of folks saying really lovely things about me.  I was hoping DH was listening closely!  LOL

Above is a Diana Phalen signed painting that used to hang in my office, and which was given to me for keeps.  I don't have the best place for it yet, but it certainly looks good with that quilt, doesn't it?   

Below is a corner of MY quilt that looks a lot like another one I did, called "RED," and a lot like one from a German lady that I've recently shown.  This one is  called "Jody Blue."  My quilting friend Jody visited me weeks ago, and behind her back she hid a giganto bag of blue scraps. She said she was totally TIRED of making blue quilts, and I was gifted what was left (which was considerable!).  So a gal just HAS to make a blue quilt, doesn't she?  There are bits of lavendar and red, from 4-patches I already had.  The border is chunks of parts.  The blocks are 6 inches, and this quilt measures about 67" x 74".  If you haven't seen "RED", they are almost twins. These blocks are Jewel Box, or Buckeye Beauty and are no more than 4 patches and HSTs.  This is an easy quilt, and setting possibilities are plentiful.  

The colors are more lively, in person.
 I made so many errors with this simple quilt, I KNOW I'm not concentrating.  Jeeesh!  Embarrassing!!! 

For the backing I opted to use what I already had from stash , and made a bunch of 10 1/2 inch squares.  This is a stack of about 100.  I will need 80 for the back of "Jody Blue."   I'll show that backing another day.

We have a warm day coming up so I'm hoping to baste it soon, outside in the garage.

100 ten and one half inch squares, more lively in person.

Below is a new book, recently out, by Judy Woodworth.  She is a member of our Guild and an amazing long-arm machine quilter.  Her long list of long-arm machine quilting awards is incredible.  Many of her quilts are made with her friend Mary Sue Suit, also a quilt book author and member of our Guild, and some of Judy's assistance is provided by her talented husband. Judy does complex and intricate machine quilting, and has the most amazing "spirit"!  She's a quiet little woman, with a gigantic talent.  This is her second book and this one is about designing your OWN patterns and motifs.  If you want to expand on your machine quilting (especially long-arm) this is an excellent resource.   (The lack of color on this photo is totally MY fault!)