Poetry Slam Quilt 3

December 15, 2010

Next week, we will host our sixth annual Christmas Poetry Slam.  That doesn’t mean everyone has to recite Christmas poetry, but they do have to recite a poem–preferably from memory.  We don’t kick people out for reading off a paper, though.

Seating is limited at my house, so the kids (even the grown up kids) get big floor pillows and sprawl all over the place.  Curling up under quilts has become part of the evening, and  a few years back I set a goal for myself to have a new quilt each year for friends to cuddle up with as we enjoy the evening’s poetry.  This year makes three quilts I have finished “for the party.”  It has proven to be the only way that I make myself new quilts–but I’ve done it!   Now I just need to figure out what selection of poetry I will recite.

Superior, Indeed.

December 10, 2010

I probably shouldn’t be working on this right now.  I should be making quilty gifts for other people, right?

The only quilt I’m making for Christmas this year will be put under the tree with my own name on it.   Sorry, everybody else!

I’ve had this pattern from Bit ‘n Pieces sitting around for quite some time, along with two big FQ packs of Woodstock by Isadora Phoenix for Benartex.

I was about 2/3 of the way through the quilting two days ago when I ran out of the wonderful King Tut “Shekels” (#985) thread I’d been using.   So after finishing up my quick little feeling-sorry-for-myself dance, I got online and ordered some more directly from Superior Threads. My hope of finishing this up before Christmas was nearly lost–I didn’t really think it was worth paying for “Extreme Measures” shipping.  And St. George, Utah is pretty far away from Indiana.

But what to my what to my wondering eyes should appear . . . in my mailbox a little more than 48 hours later?   A Superior package!

With Superior Thread!  I love this stuff–their colors are gorgeous.  Speaking of color–did you notice my purple Christmas tree?  It was a gift from that chromo-indulgent husband of mine.  Border’s have them in their stores this year.  I secretly wanted one, but didn’t think I should spend the money on it.  Mr. Wonderful couldn’t resist when he found them 50% off one day a few weeks ago!

He even let me put Captain Kathryn Janeway at the helm.  I think she just ordered me to get back to work on the quilt.

2730 Pieces

October 30, 2010

Just finished piecing this lovely demon.

It sat in teeny-tiny pieces in a bin for quite a few years, and I was determined that it should not become a casualty of my need to constantly move on to the next big idea.  The finished blocks are 4.25 inches.  I still haven’t decided how to complete it, but it won’t languish any further.

It’s a little traditional.  And a little funky.  And it’s staying at my house.

Embrace Your Inner Piler

October 22, 2010

I don’t mind it when my neatnik hubby calls me a piler.  I happen to be a very organized piler.  It used to drive my mother crazy.  She was also a notorious neatnik who came from a long line of obsessive neatniks–and she could never figure out how I always knew where everything was in all of my piles.

Well, I grew up and became a librarian–specializing in classification theory, no less!  But as far as I’m concerned, that is quite compatible with being a piler.  I could tell you exactly where each of these books go when they are returned to the library.  Right now, however, they are in my house.  My house, my rules!

I wish I could somehow preserve this pile of schnibbles from my recent block-squaring.  It’s so purple and pretty and perfect.  I want to turn it into an objet d’art.  I’m looking into how I might be able to keep it.  I’m not sure I’m ready for resin, but we’ll see.

And here is a sneak peek at the blocks from whence were cut the aforementioned schnibbles.

Being a piler does seem to make my basic addition skills a little mushy at times.  At first I counted 208 of these sweet friendship star blocks, then another assessment (in the middle of the night, in defense of my muddle-headedness) had me convinced that I had 260 of them.  One more count brought the actual total to 211.  I have no idea where that floating 49 came from.

The best pile in my house right now is the pile of finished quilt tops waiting to be quilted!  I cleaned and organized my piecing area.

I did have to get rid of all the piles on the countertop in order to gain workspace.   Compromises!   Next phase is my quilting area.   I can’t show you the pile of fabrics that is currently burying my quilting table.  But I will say that even though it’s not really helping me right now, it’s got some gorgeous stuff in it–and I never complain about a fabricpile.

Oh, EXPLETIVE!

August 20, 2010

Hmmmm . . . that’s interesting.

See how that purple hexagon is a wee bit smaller than the green one?  The picture’s from a bit of an angle, but the margin is the same on all six sides.  When I started piecing The Life Altering Hexie Quilt, I came upon a couple of greens that were just a smidge smaller than the others.  I just assumed I must have pulled them a bit tight and bent the foundation templates (it could happen, I guess!)  I even warped a couple into the piecing after not paying close enough attention when I started setting them in.

And then I started paying close attention and realized that a good number of the purples (um, around 95% of the 150 or so that I had made) were smaller than the greens.

What the bleep happened?  I had used different printers to print the paper templates I used from Cia’s Palette throughout the process, but when I dug through the greens, there weren’t too many of the smaller ones.  The purples were made more recently than the greens–mostly in the past few months, so I know that I used our home printer for the templates.  My husband says that printing remotely on our home network could cause the print-out to scale just enough differently to cause this problem.  $#@%^&*$!!!!!  Now I have to go back to cutting and basting more purples.

On the positive side, I have made progress this week, and I’m going to have enough smaller hexies to make a little quilt.  And all of the 300 or so paper foundations I have already cut are the correct size.  Gotta go wash my mouth out with soap & dig through the pile of purples!

Have a great weekend!

Parade of School, Sewing and Stuff

August 17, 2010

It took me a couple of years, but this is my 100th post.  No time for parades.  Stuff to do.

Today is the first day of the new school year.  That includes my high school senior (who spent part of his summer building himself a fixie):

and my youngest two, whom I still teach at home:

My oldest starts her freshman year at Purdue University next week.  She already works in the IT department of The College of Science, and will be studying fine art.  My geek artist girl!  She designed my blog header.  It’s good to have an in-house graphics department!

On the sewing front, Henry’s Orange Hexie is being quilted (when I can kick Heloise off of it):

And the project I’ve begun to call The Life-Altering Hexie Quilt has moved into the Big Orange Bucket phase:

I have spent the last 18 months making over 1700 little hexies.  Most are shades of lime and chartreuse (representing almost 400 different green fabrics).  I also have grapes and saturated sky-blues.

Here’s the design I’m working from.  The background is all green, the fissure is purple, possibly moving into the blues.  I have no idea how big it will ultimately be, but I have reserved a rather large wall in my living room–whose naked, blank stare is a constant reminder to get my butt piecing so that I can get this thing done.

I spend time each day adding hexies to the design.  I’m working from the bottom of the fissure up and out.  I will ultimately add as many greens along the sides as I think work with the design.  There’s no more plan thus far.

I’ll keep posting updates on my progress.  It’s another way to keep myself motivated–along with the disapproving stare of the blank wall and the giant bucket of hexies I haul around from room to room!  When I get it all done, then I’ll throw myself a danged parade!

More Color, More Happy

August 8, 2010

More color!  More shapes!  More art!  Look what showed up at my house this weekend!

My father-in-law, who is a man of many artistic talents, has begun to make the most incredible mobiles.  I do believe I’m going to have to finagle enough of them to hang all the heck over my house.  They are stunning.  We’re working on getting him set up with a website and an etsy shop.

Oh–and that cabinet?   It’s a mid-century-ish dresser I thrifted.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a decent “before” picture.  I cleaned it up, painted it, and updated it with the perfect hardware from Atlas Homewares.

It now sits unashamedly in my living room, where it makes me extremely happy every time I look at it.

Orange Hex

August 8, 2010

Late-night weekend pinning session!    My Kwik Klip and I like to hang out together on weekend evenings.  We watch movies together, share a little chocolate and red wine.  And we get things done!  My youngest son’s top is officially ready to be quilted.

I have always been a big proponent of machine work.  But when things get hectic, I have found that I actually get a lot more done when I hand piece.

I can fit it into small nooks and crannies of time, it relaxes me like nothing else can, and before I know it, I have a finished top.

Poor Henry hasn’t had a new quilt since he was a baby.  Orange has always been his favorite color, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover how many different fabrics I could pull from the pile.  No hand quilting for this one, though.

I Love Leftovers

August 7, 2010

This Spring’s Liberty of London collection from Target has begun to show up at Goodwill as remainders.

I actually had these two in my cart at Target back in April, but couldn’t really justify spending the money on them.  For $3.99 each, however, I’m more than happy to call them my own.

They also had housewares and stationery items.  My daughter picked up a set of tumblers and some notecards.  We were such good girls–riding our bikes on all our errands today.  Now it looks like I might just have to jump in the car and hit the other two Goodwills in town!

Everything Goes With a Grey T-shirt, Right?

August 6, 2010

My wonderful husband surprised me with a new necklace while we were at Maker Faire.

It’s by the lovely Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio.   At first I thought my tendency toward plain t-shirts and jeans just didn’t do it justice, but in reality it shows off quite nicely.  I’m considering always wearing it with my son’s German welding goggles to vamp up the Steampunk bit.

That ought to shake things up in the produce section at the grocery store!  The corsets, bustles and ruffles thing is just going to have to wait.  Forever.