Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ninth Study Square

Here's the most recent Weekly Study Square Quiltlet, this is the ninth that I've made so far.

That one piece of darker green that has holes in it is one of my hand-dyed fabrics. There were several other that I dyed that day that had the same regularly spaced holes after they went through the dyeing process, almost like they'd been burned or eaten away. Never figured out what that was about, my error or maybe a production error. But I like how it looks as if it's been chewed up. The printed circles are of course from a selvedge edge. Also, I used the embroidery stitch 'X' on a few of the edges.

The words for the week are:
  • university

  • screen

  • violin

  • message

  • plane

  • wisdom

  • mellon

  • cocktail

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

42/100 Blocks Finished

Another week's worth of work on the #100Days100Blocks project, nearing the halfway mark with 42 blocks done!
 I love seeing the blocks up on my design wall as I'm working on making more of them or on other projects.
Here's a nice 6x6 grid of blocks.

 Aren't those snails the cutest?
 I was so pleased to get the fussy cutting right on centering that elephant.

All 42 blocks together!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Wandering Wednesday but on Tuesday: Alden Lane Nursery

I was lucky enough to get the chance to attend a beautiful outdoor quilt show at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore just this last Sunday.

The spreading oak trees were so beautiful, I almost was more interested in them than the quilts.
 The quilts were waving in the slight afternoon breeze, it was about 95F, so it was okay even if it was harder to take pictures.

 There was a nice mix of modern and traditional quilts.
 A lot of the quilts were much too high up to actually see very well though.
 I think this was the first outdoor quilt show I've ever attended and I really liked the combination of being outside and getting to see quilts.

 I went a little gaga over the color-sorted glazed ceramic pot display.
 Seriously, I was glad I wasn't shopping for garden stuff or I would have come home with a car full of these colorful pots even though I don't need them. That and the plant selection which was terrific. Dangerous place for a gardener's wallet!
 The quilting really shows up well on this quilt thanks to the afternoon lighting.

 Some of the quilts were highlighted when the sun shone right through them.
It was a great day to meet up with quilting friends and stroll around together looking at the great display. Definitely worth the drive and I hope they have the show next year.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Do-Over

 I was on a roll the other night listening to a great story podcast (The Bright Sessions) and I wanted to keep sewing but I didn't want to cut out anything, so I scooped up the stack of mini-wave pieces I'd cut out with my Sizzix. Unfortunately, I forgot that the recommended way to sew these together is in columns not rows. And after I'd sewn all of them into rows and tried to assemble the rows, well...let's just say the results were rather frustrating.
Why? indeed... So then I ended up spending an hour un-sewing all of them and I'm now re-sewing them together in rows and the curves are so much easier to handle this way. They're coming out exactly right every time. It was truly worth the time to un-sew!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

More Tools for Block Piecing

Moving off of rectangles and squares onto triangles was a bit of relief in the daily blocks from City Sampler for #100Days100Blocks.
There are a zillion ways to do half-square triangles of course. But I'm sticking with the methods detailed in the book as the cutting instructions are for those size pieces of fabric. This version involves marking on the wrong side and then sewing right on that line. 
I had to dig around in my pen/pencil drawer to find my white  chalk marking pencil for the dark fabrics, hadn't used that in a quite a while. The new mechanical pencil I'm using quite happily is a Sakura SumoGrip. I find it fits my hand very well, the slightly squishy and larger than normal grip area is easy to hold securely.

 I'm using my trusty Add-A-Quarter ruler to cut the triangles apart because I feel much more secure cutting with it. I don't want to cut up the sewn-together triangles I'm counting on to use for my block. It snugs up securely against the height of the line of stitching and is much less likely to slip. Sure it's mostly intended for foundation paper-piecing, but it works for me in this case too.
 Of course I'm ending up with many extra half-square triangles left-over from this method, but I'm sewing them together (like I did with the Hearts quilt) and hopefully they'll end up in the finished quilt somehow.

 For now they're living in the project box with the left-over strips and pieces from this project. Before I begin piecing each block I check to see if there are any pre-cut sizes/shapes that I can use in that block.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tumbler Finished

The tumbler quilt is finally done! I've been working on this since January of 2005. I was wondering how long it would take me to sew on the binding, but this thing was taking up so much room in my sewing room that I had to get it done to move it out!
Thanks to friend Jaye for cutting so many great fabrics for me, I couldn't have made this without you!Clocking in at 116x106, it is officially the largest single quilt I've ever created.

You can see the great curvy swirls that Colleen Granger quilted all over this giant thing, I'm super-pleased with how it came out. 

There are all kinds of crazy fabrics in here, even the Venus of Willendorf, which I stamped that with permanent ink.

It is very bright and cheery and interesting to look at, I'm looking forward to having it on our bed.

It's fun to look at from every angle.

The backing is a mish-mosh of great and terrible fabrics. I think making the backing to the right size was the hardest thing about this quilt.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wandering Wednesday: Lake of Grass

 One of the best things about our trip to Oregon last month was getting to drive on several highways I've never been on before. It's just cool to get off the "usual" route somewhere and take a different approach to getting there.
We were struck by the beauty of these vast tracts of grassland just outside of Weed.  There were signs for Grass Lake which turned out to be an actual lake. But before we saw the water there was this beautiful lake of grass. I was taking these pictures as we were driving in our convertible with the top down, driving along highway 97 aka Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway.

 Reminder to self: I want to make a quilt out of this picture.
 I'd never seen the "other side" of Mt. Shasta.

 I liked how all the contrails looked as if they were coming out of the top of Mt. Shasta. That led to several sci-fi movie plots being created about alien spaceships a'la Stargate.
 We want to come back and explore Lava Beds National Monument on another trip when it isn't over 90F.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

35/100 Blocks

 Well how about this? Here are 35/100 blocks that I've gotten done from the City Sampler. I'm surprised that I've kept up with this, every single day, #100days100blocks. But it's pretty addictive and I love having all these great blocks up on my design wall, plus the fun of seeing everyone else's versions as they post them on instagram.
 That powerfully graphic print on the border is hard to use, but I think it looks good here.

I think this one is my favorite of the week, because double-tiger, of course!
 I wasn't sure about these fabric choices, but I quite like how this turned out.
 I probably should have gone with the dark pink for the smallish border on this one.
 Kind of boring block by itself, but would be cool with a whole quilt made out of them.
This block is really interesting in how it divides up the space.
 Finally got to use the octopus print!