Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Design Adjustment

I've decided to make an adjustment to the design of Alice's View. The Island Path blocks were so slow and I was getting really discouraged, so I decided to change them out for Shoo Fly blocks, which are also based on 9-patch. The construction is much simpler and I'll be able to move along much faster now. I feel good about the decision, and the overall design looks nice on my EQ sketch.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dancing with the Stars

I don't usually watch shows like Dancing with the Stars, but recently I learned that Mark Dacascos (Chairman of Iron Chef America) was one of the contestants. I'm an avid watcher of Food Network so I decided to tune in to the dance competition just to see him. Mark, a martial arts expert, did very well as I expected. He got good scores last night, and as I see it, his biggest male competitors are Donny Osmond and Aaron Carter.

I'll keep watching as long as Mark is still in the competition--which should be quite a while as far as I can tell.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Slow Progress

Work on the Island Path blocks for Alice's View is very slow. So far I've finished three blocks, and will complete the fourth and fifth tonight--just a small dent in the 17 Island Path blocks for the quilt. I hope the Bird of Paradise blocks are quicker to make.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sewing Alice's View

I started sewing on Alice's View tonight. I'm working on two Island Path blocks at the same time, using paperpiecing. I got through most of one block, and I should have both finished tomorrow night. I've got a long way to go, but the remaining Island Path blocks should go faster now. It was a little disappointing that I worked all evening and didn't finish even one complete block. But the first steps always take a while, ironing fabric, figuring out dimensions for strips, etc. The pace should pick up. I'd like to have all 34 quilt blocks pieced by the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fabrics Chosen for Alice's View

I will probably go into more detail on my process later, but for now here is my collection of fabric for Alice's View. The fabric is mostly stash plus a few new fat quarters. There are five piles, each containing an assortment of dark mediums and accents. Each pile will be used to create several blocks, along with the dark violet-blue in the top right corner which will be in all of the blocks. There were more than a dozen fabrics that didn't make the cut, but they could come into play if I run out of any of the first picks.

Tomorrow I'll assign each pile to a color--pink, orange, yellow, blue or green. Then it's a matter of following my Organized Chaos map (see previous post) to make a scrappy quilt. I should be sewing tomorrow night.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Project

My next project is Alice's View, a play on the name of one of my co-workers. My idea was to begin with a picture window framing her favorite vacation spot. I had spies working to find out where that might be, and although she said she and her family never go anywhere, she reluctantly agreed that Hawaii would be "okay." Are you kidding? (smile)

With that clue in mind, I found the beautiful panel below, approximately 44" x 24". Although you wouldn't actually see the ocean life in the water through a picture window, it ties in to a recent trip that Alice and her family took to Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The panel will form the center of the quilt, surrounded by Island Path and Bird of Paradise quilt blocks. The quilt block color scheme will be rather analogous, creating a neutral sort of background, so as not to take away from the theme panel. I shopped my stash and found blues, turquoise, purple and greens that will work. I found one large piece of violet-blue solid in my stash which I'm hoping will be enough to fill the dark blues in all of the blocks. While I was out picking up some extra fat quarters for the project, I couldn't find more of the exact fabric, but I did find a decent substitute--mottled, not solid. I'll know later if I need it.

Layout for Alice's View (theme panel goes in the center)
Actual quilt will be scrappier.

Once again I'll be applying my Organized Chaos Grid and System to create controlled scrappiness. My plan is to use the same dark blue-violet in each block, adding two varying fabrics per block. Below is my map for the project.
Organized Chaos Map for Alice's View

Here's a funny little story. I found the theme panel on the internet at eQuilter.com. I needed it in a hurry and didn't want to take the time to look around locally to "maybe" find something I liked better. The fabric arrived in a couple of days, which was wonderful. Today I saw a bolt of the same fabric at my local fabric store! I laughed.

Strippie Quilt Top #2 Done

Strippie Quilt Top #2


Two of the fabrics in this strippie quilt are leftovers from my granddaughter's Poodle quilt. The black and white print is also from stash. The finished quilt will be given to a local children's shelter this Christmas.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Keeping Track of Ideas and Project Lineup

A member of Stashbuster asked the group: How do you keep your WHIMMs (Works Hidden in My Mind) in the forefront of your mind? Also, How do you incorporate all the different potential quilt projects into your lineup?

Usually I have a couple dozen WHIMMs floating around in my head, inspired by a myriad of things. I usually come up with my own designs, some of them being pretty well set early on, while others are just a wistful thought--perhaps a title (Alice's View, My Little Monkey), a piece of fabric (Paris Brown) or a color scheme from a piece of clothing (Cathy's Southwest).

Some WHIMMs live in my head for years, waiting their turns to land, like so many planes circling a runway at a busy airport. Others get attention right away, motivated by an absolute deadline such as a birthday or retirement--those need to land now! Usually I can see three or four quilts making their final approaches, all lined up, one after the other. The rest continue to circle the runway, waiting patiently--for now.

I'm in the WIPs and WHIMMs group at Stashbuster and I appreciate being able to keep a list of projects on the group's database. I can review the list and be reminded of my ideas. As I review, a quilt or two will begin to insist on being made soon. Okay, you're on the short list!

How do I keep track of the ideas? Some WHIMMs are sketched on paper and put in a folder for later. The folder is actually labeled Quilts Landing Soon. Eventually I draw nearly every quilt on EQ6, and some are created there long before I'm ready to select or cut any fabric. Northwinds has been in EQ6 for several years now. I have yet to cut any fabric. Perhaps this winter. Some ideas like Parts Only are completely in my head. I know what that quilt looks like in general and that's enough until its time comes.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Quilts in the Movies

A member of Stashbuster recently posted a message wondering if anyone had noticed quilts in the movies. I seemed to remember a quilt from You've Got Mail, where Kathleen (Meg Ryan) was sick in bed and Joe (Tom Hanks) came to visit her.

I did a little websurfing, but couldn't find the exact scene. However I did find a photo of Kathleen lying on her bed, with a quilt draped over the foot of the bed. More than likely it's the same quilt, a scrappy Pinwheel in cozy, comforting neutrals.

Here's the link to the photo, in case you're interested:

Stashbuster Members Meet

Yesterday I got to meet Diannia, a member of Stashbuster, face-to-face at my home. Diannia was selling some books through the Stashbuster Fling-It-All group and I was interested in a couple of the books. We live just a couple of hours apart, and Diannia and her husband happened to be coming to my town to visit family, so they delivered the books in person.

I got to see some of Diannia's beautiful quilt tops, and I showed her my stash,UFOs, PIGs, WIPs and messy studio. It was so nice to be able to see each other face-to-face. The visit was rather short, but we're talking about getting together again in the future. She comes this way now and then, and I go to her town once in a while, too.

So glad I got to meet you, Diannia, and looking forward to seeing you again!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Strippie Quilt Top #1 Done

Focus Fabric
Isn't it cute?

Quilt Top (from stash)

I finished the first Strippie quilt top last night. Originally I was going to add a border to make the quilt bigger, but I think it's an adequate size for a younger child, finishing about 40 x 52.

I've put together several combinations of fabric for more of these quick and colorful quilts. I may sew one more of these tops, then start a quilt due in October.