Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sweet 16 QAL Update

After Sarah showed the quilt she made last week using Crazy Mom's tutorial, I was inspired to start another 16-patch. 


I pulled several different red, pink, and aqua fabrics from the stash, plus a couple others.  I put these together the same way as the previous one, sewing 2-1/2 inch WOF strips into sets of four and sub-cutting those into 2-1/2 strips, then selecting four at random (more or less) and sewing those together into a 16-patch.


In one of the tutorial pictures, the 16-patches were shown on the design wall with the outer setting triangles but the middle part was still open, showing the white design wall beneath.  That gave me the idea to use a lighter colored fabric in the center of the quilt.  I used two DS Quilts fabrics (one a 2011 print and another a 2012), and they seemed to work pretty well together.


It is on the design wall now, ready to be sewn together.  I think it has kind of a vintage vibe, no? 


I may add a stop border in one of the red fabrics, and then an outer border in the darker fabric, same as the setting triangles, to make the quilt a little bigger.  If I don't, though, it's a nice lap quilt size as is.  It will be donated as part of the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.


Linking to the Sweet 16 Quilt-Along.

Friday, February 20, 2015

General Silliness

Did I ever mention that the name of this blog was, at least in my own mind, a play on the words the way I SEE it?  (Also SEW, of course, which happens now and again.)

Case in point re the way I see it: 

My little flower bed in winter has two dried up lily branches on one end.  But to me, they could be—dunh-dunh-dunh—two skeletal arms reaching out of the frozen ground! 

Do you see them?  The frazzled arms and gnarly finger bones stretching toward the sky?

Here, maybe this will help:

Reaching for what, though?  Certainly not the warmth of the sun.  It's undoubtedly cozier under the snow blanket than the air temperature of minus whatever it is.

Oh, I bet I know...


[Disclaimer:  The author hereby acknowledges the possibility that she may be suffering from cabin fever, the side effects of which may include hallucinations, delusions of artistic ability, bouts of sewing-related euphoria, inappropriate snorting laughter, and general silliness...]

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Little of This...

Sometimes what seems like the logical order of things is anything but.  Or perhaps the logic is in the eye (brain) of the beholder (thinker).

At any rate, the Tea Towel Challenge flimsy had to come off the design wall for the 16-patch and X-blocks to go up.  It seemed to me that rather than continue with sewing together the 16-patch and X-blocks, I should (at long last) take the next step on the Tea Towel flimsy.  That was to machine stitch around the fused-on feathers (or leaves—again, eye of the beholder).

I used Brother Everett's blanket stitch for the task.  I wanted the thread to be fine with a bit of a sheen, and Isacord worked nicely.  Thing is, the programmed blanket stitch is a little wonky.  There is a little jiggle in the couple of straight stitches between the zigzag stitch into the body of the applique, which I couldn't seem to work out by fiddling with various settings.  So it is what it is, and thankfully that is mostly hidden along the edge of the appliqued pieces.

We did a little antique mall browsing yesterday and I found these Georges Briard trays.

I guess I now have an official collection of Briard trays.  Three's a charm.  Counting patterns, not strictly numbers.

You may recall that the tea towel in the center of the challenge quilt is a vintage Georges Briard.

Music for a Monday morning:  Grammy-nominated Jarle Bernhoft has talent coming out his ears.  I can barely fathom playing guitar and singing at the same time, but to record and build upon all those loops and keep it flowing in time in a funky song to boot?  Prepare to be amazed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

On and Off the Wall

Today I got the 16-patches and X-blocks up on the design wall.  It's all ready to be sewn together.
I was down to the nitty-gritty with the hand-dyed fabrics in the colors I wanted to use in the outer border blocks.  Things seemed to be weighted toward the dark values, so for a little variety, I used a bit of a variegated batik in my stash to round things out.
Boy, I really like this quilt.  It's going to be a little hard to part with it!

In order to make room for it on the design wall, I had to take down the improv quilt flimsy that was in that space.  Since I had the backing and batting ready, I went ahead and pin basted it.

And now for some non-quilt related meandering...

There Can Be Only One
If you ever watched Highlander in the 1990s, you'll recognize that line.  I watched Every.Single.Episode of the TV series.  Not that I'm all that big a sci-fi fan, but I very much enjoyed Adrian Paul. 

Especially in a kilt.  Mercy.

So Norm went to Wizard World Comic Con this past weekend with instructions to get a photo of Adrian Paul, who was appearing there, if he saw him.

Now, he could have stood in line and paid $$ for a photo of or with Adrian Paul, but being the frugal man he is, he just obliged me from afar.

It's a little grainy, because, well, afar—but that's him there on the right!

And then he stood up and looked right toward Norm...almost like he may have sensed another Immortal (cue the slow-mo and sound effect)!  Wait, is he reaching for his katana?


Thankfully, he just needed a stretch (and everyone kept their heads).  Pretty exciting though!

Also, he saw the original Batmobile from the 1960s TV series.  It was bought at auction in 2013 for $4.2 million.  Holy hubcaps, Batman!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Marei's String Geese

Fellow quilter Marei sent me a photo of her String Geese quilt top she finished recently.  Marei doesn't have a blog, but I asked if I could share it here and she agreed.  I think it's fantastic!  That large dot outer border just elevates it a whole other level, doesn't it?   It's like they're flying among the clouds!

Marei's String Geese Quilt Top
She said she was inspired by my recent Plaid Peaks wall hanging, and both of us inspired by Bonnie Hunter's Geese on a String.

Closeup of Marei's String Geese
Her string geese measure 11 x 5.5 each.  She used 2-inch shirt strips left over from another project.  Overall the top measures 48 x 54 inches.

Thanks for letting me share your beautiful quilt top, Marei!

I'm still making X blocks for the 16-patch quilt.  It's going...  I've got all the squares made and over half of them sewn together into blocks.  I'll get the rest finished tomorrow.

I saw these super-cute vintage Melmac cup pincushions over at Three Old Keys the other day (her pictures are so much better, go see) and clicked right on through to Etsy to buy the red one! 

It came wrapped inside the box like this, in a sewing pattern.  Isn't that clever? 

It fits nicely with the current turquoise and red Pyrex display.  

I wasn't even thinking of that when I bought it, but it seems to have found a home there for now!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Get it Right or I'll Bite

Well, it's official*...

 
Winter in Wisconsin bites!

(*Sort of.  Apparently, the mayor of Sunny P. was discombobulated by the nip; he says there will be an early spring, but since it was sunny yesterday, Jimmy should have seen his shadow, hence six more weeks of winter.  There's usually six more weeks of winter here, and then some.)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sweet 16 QAL Progress

I am making headway on the 16-patches for the Sweet 16 Quilt-Along at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
I started cutting the hand-dyed scraps into 2.5-inch strips.

Then I started making strata of four strips, each about 10.5 inches long, and then cut those into four pieces 2.5 inches wide.

Once I had a bunch of them, I started arranging the pieces into groups of four.

These are the 16-patches I have ready to sew together.

I'd like to make this quilt about 60 x 60 inches, and I'm hoping I can squeak it out of the scraps I have.  After the 16-patches are made, I'll still need a couple hundred 2.5 x 2.5 squares in the hand-dyed fabrics for the corners of the X blocks and the border. 

Here's the first X block. 

So we'll see how it goes!

I'm piecing this quilt on Brother Everett.  Things were humming right along until the time I forgot to change the default stitch setting after I first turned the machine on.  It defaults to 00, which is a straight stitch with the needle in the left position (WTH, Brother?), which would be okay—if I didn't have the 1/4-inch foot on.  Unfortunately, I did.

When the needle came down and hit the metal foot, Everett let out a very grumpy sound.

The machine stopped itself and the display read "ERROR."  No kidding, Everett.  No need to rub it in.

On any other of my machines, this would have meant a broken needle for sure.  But once I got the right setting entered, we were good to go.  The needle may have bent very slightly, though, because the next time I tried to use the automatic needle threader, it didn't work.  Hopefully, it'll be okay again once I change the needle, and Everett doesn't hold a grudge.