Saturday, April 30, 2011

Summing up the weekly stats

I wish I had more of these snow drops. But I may be getting more snow according to the weatherman. Rain and then snow!

This week:

1) The straight stitching with invisible thread is done and I've an idea for completing the challenge. I got some fusible for applique during sewing class so that should add some pizazz to the convergence.

2) The mola, page x page quiltlet, is one of those 'been there, done that" kinda projects that I'm glad is done.

3) I'm SO happy with the hemming. I showed leg while I was in the city! lol

4) There is still some trim work to be done in the bathroom but I did manage a quick change of shower curtains.

5) Errands in the city resulted in a spring cleaning for the car, some spring sandals, and some backing for the niece's wedding quilt. Then my sewing class was small and we were treated to tiaras because of a royal wedding and a Canadian bride. I almost forgot to take my tiara off when I nipped into the grocery store for a moment. Lot's of fun as I'm sure the other drivers wonder about all the shine and shimmer.

I feel real good about this week.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Another quiltlet!

Glad I didn't leave this one to the very end as it got rather labour intensive. The challenge for the Common Threads quilt group was to do a layered technique, much like a mola. I couldn't find my folk art embroidery book so I was scratching my head. Then I saw a screen print that reminded me of the 60's mod look. How hard could that be??? :O

I laid frames on top of each other and then transferred it to a whole sheet and cut away everything that wouldn't be black. I used a colourful Bali which wasn't quite big enough so I had to *fill* in one spot with the black satin stitch. White needed to be on the

bottom so there wouldn't be a shadow from a darker fabric. I traced the pattern on the back of the batting, laid out the 3 fabrics on the top side and sewed the first lines from the back. I then cut away the layers and zig zagged the raw edges. I should have paid more attention to how lines lined up but it was kinda confusing to see how it was developing. I also ended up cutting away far more than I had imagined. Nina did well but some of the 'eyelashes' were kinda pesky! I did learn a thing or four and hope to remember them for future projects but I doubt I'll be doing molas!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Shower (curtains)

My only bathroom has to look good, at least that is what I try to drum into my farmer's head. I have given up on light towels but this is the look that I want. This shower curtain is really old but I've found a great creative solution for seasonal stash busting that helped me let this old curtain retire.

But I have discovered the wonderful fun of making serged shower curtains using simple blocks.

The first one I made I used a zig zag stitch to stop ravelling but a serger on simple blocks is the way to go.

This spring shower curtain uses many fabrics in a stack, slash, switch and serge method. I luv the surprises and the opportunity to arrange all the blocks every which way. I add a folded strip at the top on the inside and I made button holes. Then I bind with a double fold binding simply because I like the look and the bit of extra weight helps the curtain hang nicely. A hem all the way around would work well also.

Now the rooster and his ol' biddy are ready for April Showers!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shaking things up

I had a tasty yogurt smoothie this morning that was much smoother than yesterday's sour cream one. lol

Then I tackled the freezer compartment of the fridge which should have been done ages ago.

Then I found 2 more skirts to hem and 1 to mend. Done! yippee skippy!

I had removed the offending row from my convergence yesterday and it is pin basted. I wonder if I should sprinkle a few of those large floral motifs around after I get the straight grid lines done?

What this all means is that I am procrastinating about the MQing that I really must get done, at least the straight line stitching for this week.

But I do actually get a very lot done when I'm doing everything but what I'm supposed to be doing. vbsigh

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In spite of...

Somebody (???) left something open and the hens are after that very last blade of grass I was trying to save on the east side of the coop! oh well, I can seed grass easy enough, I guess.

The grandkids left early enough yesterday for me to work on the small page x page challenge. I'm not sure why I thought it would be a quick project. Most of my 'bright' ideas turn out to be kinda convoluted. But I am now ready for the Friday reveal.

I had a relationship stumble last night (why do people do what they do?) but I'm up and smiling this morning. Then I made my morning fruit and yogurt shake with sour cream! :-P. Drinkable but not recommended. lol But I refuse to miss another step so I just sipped my smoothie down and got going.

The hemming is an endeavour to get my wardrobe up to speed. Apparently legs age slowly so if you have them, and my rooster says I do, then show them! I've been surfing the net periodically looking for where the more mature woman hangs out and I hit the motherload last night. Hence the inspiration to do the hemming! I use invisible thread if I can't find a match and be darned if I didn't do the first job with the invisible thread on the inside. grrr! A little bit of reverse sewing and I will now be showing some leg! No photos yet! I'll be working up to it, so to speak! ;^)

Then I began to make my quilt sandwiches so I can Machine Quilt.

The big piece of batting I need for the larger wall hanging is missing the chunk I cut for the page x page. Not Impressed with myself at all!!! Haste makes more than waste, it takes more time in the end. awk! I'll patch in a piece with a hand overcast stitch. The backing is the wrong side of a fabric (UGLY) that I overdyed. I can use it for both these wall hangings and still have a bit left over.

Hmm, now I see the photo I'm reviewing a previous thought about maybe removing that very last row so I can end with the aqua instead of the orange. What if...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What if... and What not...

It boggles my mind trying to visualize how 4 fabrics will collide in a convergence quilt. So after I had an actual sample in front of me from yesterday, I decided to use next year's challenge fabric in another try. Apparently Bali-type fabrics work best. I also knew high contrast is a good choice. So...

I picked 4 fabrics, with contrasting colour, texture etc.

I did switch the lighter floral to be over the brighter floral. I was also getting a little nervous at this point but I persevered. ;)

Now I absolutely luv this top section!

The bottom section not so much but it does have the actual challenge fabric in it so it has to be okay.

But together? NOT!

So I decided to cut my loses and make a new top part. After some angst I repeated the blue and chose a lighter mauve.

Now this is kinda nice!

I'm not sure what will happen when I combine the two but I will have to do some altering as something isn't lining up. I may have mis-cut something. argghhh My math is another challenge! lol I also need to be working on finishing up the current projects for this year's show and challenge so I'll set these aside while I decide about some of the what if's...!

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Stumble

I am beginning to thing *converging* is NOT my thing!
The first slices weren't too bad. I did want lighter at the top. But the last slicing was not going to work. I lost the light sections.

Should I rip? What if I mixed up my medias?

I used watercolour pencils on the patches because the green matched the green in the flower. I then wet them. I ironed them. They are possibly not too permanent. But by the time this wall hanging needs washing I will have a better, bigger, more whiz bang project to replace it! LOL

This works; well at least better than what I had.

I won't show just now but I thought I'd try another quick combo while I had an idea of how things converged. NOT well! I wasted a lot of time and if I get a chance tomorrow I'll show the also ran and the 'better half". gah!

I was running out of time for the last challenge so I MQed my 4th little house.

Now I have four and will try another colour family.

The down hall has come along nicely. I can't believe how much my $40 mirror has added to the overall look of the entrance.

It didn't fit above the chest, another great find at Canadian Tire. It hides from view and holds all my dearie's STUFF! But it does go very well above my mum's old cedar chest which always has some kind of quilt on it. This adds softness to the hall. Aqua pillows and the little aqua place mat carry the spring colour but also echo the picture. I think if I ask to move those 2 wall sconces one more time my hubby will be chasing this chick! But I do think they may have found their final resting place.

SO, Friday finishes:

The colour class is over and posted in Tutorials.

Eliana survived her first sleepover.

The challenges are challenging. :(

I got the fabric challenge top pieced.

I got a convergence I can live with pieced.

I didn't get the little challenge done but perhaps next week.

I have the weekend to think about how to MQ them.

The hemming is a no go!

The hallway makes me smile!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

two steps forward...

at least one step back!

Four, three, four, three was too predictable so I used the 3 little chunks from the leftover pile to make a half block and that felt better. I had used some of the side border gold fabric to make one more pinwheel as well but I used the back of the fabric.

I now need to think about this top and see if I need a few borders and if it will need a binding or self facing.

Then I picked the 4 fabrics for a convergence wall hanging and two fabrics have collided in a less than graphic way so I am also considering my options for that. The 2 top fabrics do not have enough contrast and it didn't show up until I did the final slicing. Hmmm!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creative options

I have lots of options flying around. I am still plugging away on the wall hanging. I have another in the starting gate that will have 4 fabrics colliding. I am kinda excited about that one even though it is boggling my mind. :) I have one last page sized challenge doodled on paper, hopefully for Friday. Lastly I found a top ready for MQing. I hit the list hard this morning and I'm pleased with the progress for today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Focus Colours

Often a fabric can inspire a colour scheme. Some companies have colour bars along a selvage edge that shows the colours used in a fabric. These are not an indication of the amount or percentage of colour. But they are a place to start. If you want something very similar you must identify the amounts of colour used for the background, the main colours, and the accent.

Viewing the fabric without colour will help identify the values, light, medium and dark. I put the fabric in my printer/scanner and printed out a black and white photocopy. I also cut off the coloured dots printed on the fabric selvage. This fabric has 15 colours in total.

The fabric I chose for my example is an old fabric I got in a sale bin some years ago. It is Regal by Spiegal. It appealed to me but I have never quite figured out what to do with it.

I like to shop in my own closet first. The background was a bit of a challenge to find. Then I decided to add some browns, blues, oranges and yellows with a wee bit of green and one purple as an accent.

I spread out my choices to see if anything sticks out and doesn't work.

I also arrange the colour groups to show proportion.

Often this is as far as I go before I start cutting fabric.

But if you want a more permanent reference, especially if you need to purchase additional fabrics you can make up a visual reference.

I used a sheet of white paper and glued a 4 inch square of the focus fabric in the centre. Then I cut 1 inch squares of my chosen fabric and tried to keep a colour family on each side. Not showing up very well are letters identifying my Light, my Bright, my Dark. I need to remember not to forget the percentage I will use of these fabrics.

In this case the fabric has come first. I hadn't any pattern in mind. I was wondering what I could do as I was picking, choosing and making up my visual. I like the Bird's in the Air block. The large triangle is a nice size to feature my theme fabric. I could use the colours for all the different 'birds'. I made up a quick block, about 9 inches. hmm, I'm not liking my background. I think it is too pink so I shall be taking my colour chart off to the fabric store to see if I can find a better background.

Picking fabric and choosing colour schemes is my favorite quilt activity. It isn't something to angst about. It is very personal and we all see colour differently. What appeals to one will not necessarily appeal to another and it is not surprising that a general consensus is hard to come by when you ask a few people for their opinions. It often helps to sleep on it and then please yourself!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Moves

I felt I did well with last week's list. This week should move along as well, I hope.

My grandkids are here and tonight is Eliana's first sleep over. Not great planning as I also have the colour class tonight but hopefully the Grand Farmer can be an effective stand in. I need to continue with the Common Thread wallhanging challenge. The closet edit yielded some gaps which I hope to fill when I return the kiddies to their home. It also made a pile of "needs hemming'! The spring hallway is awaiting a reveal but just needs tweaking. The challenge needs more than tweaking and is still challenging although it did get a few favourable comments in its present state.

I'm encouraged!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Flurries and fussing

Whoa! I can quit fussing about getting out in the yard.

And now I can fuss about asymmetrical designing. I thought I could add 5 fabrics but it is only three. hmmm

Fuss, fuss and I'm hoping for a flurry of creativity.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Finish

The weekly quiltlet, last week and this week's are done. I'm thinking fun summer place mats.

I did get the blog pages up and the side bar somewhat simplefied. They need a bit more tweaking. I really hope this will be simpler and make my blogging life easier. ;^)

The Common Threads yearly wall hanging challenge is evolving. With serious curves! I went to bed with an arghhh, bad first idea. Why is it after I cut and commit, I find a better what if...?

But while I was working on the next colour class I got some better ideas. Stay tuned for next week. It is all about working with a theme or focus fabric.

I'm trying to work smarter and do the tutorial for the blog along with the actual class prep. But I won't do that post that till after the actual class which is Monday night.

The spring decor for the sitting room isn't too exciting but this room is intentionally calm and soothing. It was sheer serendipity that the 2 prints (thrift shop score) worked so well on 2 of the 4 nail options that I already had in place on that wall. I usually have a set of 4 prints but these are quite pleasing. I need to lose the battenburg valence and fix that door but I'm not sure with what. That wall isn't the original plaster but a plywood wall with a door added for the house's only bathroom. :( Plumbing is nice but the original pantry off the kitchen would have been adorable. I'd have done things different if they'd have asked me! This room is first up for painting. The sofa table and stools is temporary because I got a new chest for the entrance hall. But that is for next week!

I almost forgot the closet edit. I got rid of a bagful. I got to thinking that yellow is my favorite colour but not something I wear well. Aqua is my favorite. Chartreuse has been creeping in very strong. I feel so good in the aqua top and slimming black and aqua skirt.

My favorite jammies combine it all. I threw out most everything that did not support that luv and I'm going to look for aqua, chartreuse, white, black and chocolate. How's that for simplifying!