Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sewing machine may overheat!

As you can tell, I've been busy. First picture is my London Square, which I finally put the outer borders on . . . don't know whyI put it off for so long. It was done in an evening! The outside purple star print border is a perfect complement, and was found in the Eleanor Burns' sale tent in Paducah for only $4 a yard. Not only perfect, but the price was right, also!

Next up is Orange Crush. This is only a portion of it, because it's quite large. I love it! I have sufficient orange left that I will make piping for the binding, and bind it with the floral that I used in the center of the orange blocks. It's so happy, it's delirious!

Finally, the quilt that launched three border projects in one week! This will be a Camp sample (our Retreat is "Hooray for the Red, White & Blue!"), and was made as part of Judy Laquidara's Quilt for an Hour Quiltathon. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will have some sample components to show how to change the look of the star, for a 54-40 or Fight block, for example. I think this will be called Patriot's Stars". Or maybe I should name it for my 6-great grandfather who served in Lafayette's unit in the Revolutionary War. His name was Honyere Doxtator, and he was Oneida Indian. He is depicted in the movie, "Patriots". Or should I call it by his Oneida name . . . Tehewangeraken . . . he who takes up the snowshoes.

I'm going to turn my attention to the Guild Challenge project, making a quilt top from another's scraps. I have a central applique medallion all done . . . chose a Lori Smith design for that, and have pieced borders nearly ready to apply. I don't know where my digit-head brain was when I made the pieced borders which should have been based in a two-inch grid, but I made in a three-inch grid. I'll just have to re-scale when I trim the block, and then I can begin quilting that one.
I've also completed the applique of my sunglasses, so it's on to the "beach umbrella" blocks and borders for that one. Elegant Garden, block two, has also earned my attention as I stitched another corner of it last night. I carefully packed my applique kit to take with me to Guild meeting, and after completing a bud on it, found that the zip-loc of remaining applique pieces wasn't in my kit. Scard me for fear it was lost, but I found it in the container with the other blocks when I got home. Have one more corner to stitch before the center piece, and then a lovely pineapple applique will be the next in that series.
Since I like to work on multiple things at once, one of my well-aged projects is a star block quilt from a class with Sally Schneider. It's going to come upstairs to have blocks added, and hopefully be placed in the finished flimsy column very soon. I think probably two or three additional blocks will push it over onto the completed flimsies list. I just love looking at the list! I can't believe I've moved so many projects to completed quilt tops just since January.
Not neglecting my sock knitting, either, since I am finishing the second sock of a pair of Monkeys, using Schaeffer's Anne mohair, wool and nylon in a pink, orange and brown mix. I've certainly been infected with "bright" this summer!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vote is in . . .

And the winner is . . . . Example A . . . green narrow border. The final count was about 11 to 7, including my quilt group last night. I've started assembling the pieced border, but need to do a bit more cutting for it.

Also, have my Quiltathon candidate, which I'm going to call, "Patriot's Stars" to the point of assembling borders. Hope to finish both before the weekend, or over the weekend. DH is working at an auction on Saturday, so I should have some sewing time. Actually, I have three tops ready for borders. My London Square has been laying around for weeks, just waiting for a good pressing, so I can measure for borders, not to mention move it to my finished flimsies list on the side bar. If I can show some dedication, I might be able to post three to the list in the next week or ten days.

Last night, I finished the twelfth sunglass block for my "Fun in the Sun" Florida 2007 memories quilt, so the applique is half done. The kaleidoscope beach umbrella blocks are starting to call to me. The borders will have lots of words, so a start on that is warranted soon.

Marguerite was kind enough to bring a replacement pattern of the Margarita glass block she drafted for our group three years ago. It's the only one that remained in hiding in my studio, and the plan is to use each of the three blocks for 2005, 2006, and 2007, along with a sunglass block as the spacers to assemble the Florida 2006 Shop Hop Blocks. Have some applique planned for the setting corners, too.

The OC group is hot on the trail of another project . . . or projects . . . to carry us through until a new mystery by Bonnie Hunter, projected to launch about Labor Day, the first Monday in September. Our Guild Retreat launches on September 4, so it might be an extra project to take along to Camp. In the interim, some suggestions have included finishing a UFO for June, launching Bonnie's Boxie Stars (shown on her sidebar in the list of patterns) for July, and some others are choosing to make Chunky Churn Dashes. I promised to make some tops for baby quilts for the Home Hospital Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit, so just a few of both of those patterns will work for that project.

Once again, my job is interfering with my chosen activities . . . which I wouldn't be able to afford at all, if I didn't have the job!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Put it to a vote!

Some of the discussion on the Orange Crush chat has turned to studios, storage and custom furniture pieces. It was my chance, once again, to brag about the fantastic custom piece my husband bought me for my sixtieth birthday. All the drawers, except the large bottom left drawer, were salvaged from vintage sewing machine cabinets, while the top drawer was in a spool cabinet in it's former life. At the back of this drawer, the glass still resides!

What can I say about it? I am delighted to own it, and it was a lovely way to face one of those dreaded decade birthdays!
Bonnie posted the last clue of the Orange Crush mystery, so I went to the basement and spread my blocks out to ready them for assembly. I think my temporary title of "Danger - UV Warning" is right on target. Would you believe these pictures were taken with the basement lights off? Well . . . maybe not . . . but you have to admit this is a bright one! I will follow through, and include the pieced border which she suggests, but I also am trying to decide what the border colors should be.

Example A: This example brings in a narrow green strip before the floral accent fabric. (Ignore the dark red . . . that's the carpeting in the basement!)

Example B: Narrow accent fabric border, with wide green. I think the floral is lost in this example.

Example C: There goes blogger . . . maing it's own editorial comment by placing the image on its side. Narrow orange followed by floral border! Leave a comment with your vote, please!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

With a little help from my friend . . .

We went to St. Charles, Illinois, this weekend for a great-niece's graduation party. It was perfect weather, and there were lots of people there, including Rachel, who is 4. She had been bouncing around playing with the other kids, visiting with people, and she came to sit by me, asking what I was making. Working on my sunglass blocks, I told her it was a story quilt about my vacation, and what I saw. And, I asked if she could guess what some of the things on the blocks. She was really excited to go through them with me, and she grasped the concept quickly. Her favorites were the spaghetti and the fireworks blocks, because the glass frames were orange. She told me her Ga-ga sewed and baked cakes, but she is dead now, and in heaven, and she pointed skyward, as she gave that information. She asked about my thimble, so I put it on her thumb and let her push the needle through for me. She sat with me for probably the better part of two hours, and we basted all the remaining sunglass blocks, readying them for the applique. I had just brought a partial spool of white thread to baste with, and when that ran out, I was pulling the previous basting stitches out (that held the sunglass lenses in place for applique) and re-threading my needle to baste the complete sunglass unit onto the blocks. I asked her what she thought would be fun things to put on a quilt, and she chattered away, noting snowmen, butterflies, lady bugs, balloons, and unicorns. She didn't think frogs would be a very good subject.

My brother-in-law sat down next to us, and was watching, and chatting with Rachel, too. She told us her last name, and it was the same as a popular singer. So, Steve told her that he listened to this singer in the car when he is driving. She said, "oh . . . he's my cousin, but he's dead, you know", and once again, pointed skyward. I think that little gesture is going to become a permanent part of our "lexicon". Steve chatted with her some more, and told her she is really smart, and she must be about 14. At this point, she bounced up to her feet on the bench where we were sitting, and gestured from the top of her head to her feet, and said, "Look how little I am . . . I'm only four!"

I spoke to her parents, and told them how much I enjoyed her company, and they thanked me for entertaining her for so long, and I said she did all the entertaining. Later, her mother came to tell me that Rachel had reported that she really likes sewing, and she's going to make quilts, too. She also said that Rachel misses her Ga-ga terribly, and that they were very close. She said when they were explaining that Ga-ga had gone to heaven, she was worried about who would make her birthday cake, because I understand Ga-ga was an artist when it comes to decorating cakes. I thought I was so lucky to have such a wonderful companion for a few hours at the party. I keep thinking about making a little quilt for her . . . with snowmen, and butterflies, and lady bugs, and a unicorn . . . but no frogs . . . and telling Rachel it has lots of Grandma hugs in it, just for her.