Feb 25, 2007


Remember that block that had me going yesterday? The "wonky" compass block. Bless those of you who encouraged me with your comments to carry on. I did just that last night. I was home alone and it was quiet enough to give my brain some time to think. As mentioned in my last post, this block was pulled from the back of the fabric closet with high hopes. But I was working with no instructions as to how I was supposed to proceed with the corners- I had already pieced the four large squares and remembered something from the class (way back when) about lining up the round compass, marking, pinning, cutting. The actual steps?? Beats me. So being a smart, competent quilter -I just cut and pinned and hoped for the best. I wasn't getting it- or so I thought. Once I reverse appliqued the background, removed the horrid exam table paper the teacher swore by (never again- everyone else loved it, I had the worse time, it was too thin for my liking) and gave the piece a good pressing- well, goodness gracious! Not as bad as I thought it would be, and it actually laid flat! But alas. The RR center was to be 18" (finished) and I was only at 17". No fear- somewhere in the back of the closet was the baggie of left over fabrics- in no way was I going to make more than 1 of these puppies! My original intent was to border the compass with the darker fabric and bring it up to size. Simple...nice. But there in the bag was a stripe from a past Louis and Clark collection with a lovely border as well. It was creamy, pretty and I bet myself that if I used just the border I could do something spiffy! Rule of thumb...don't get overly excited before measuring how many inches you need and how many you have. I knew right off there wasn't enough to miter the corners. That was fine- I'd just make straight cuts. Attached top and bottom and loved it. Cut the other border off and oops...not enough! I was about 6 " shy. Now what- I had my heart set on doing this. Why of course...when in doubt, use corner stones. Every quilter's best friend in a pinch. With the new border, the dark corner stones to match the large compass points and a huge smile on my face- the RR center block is done! It is of course now 2" bigger than the requirements, but I think all will deal. How does it look?

I also am churning out friendship stars for a swap. We were given a focus fabric and let loose to make scrappy stars! Funny how we all put the focus in the center of our blocks so far....like minds I guess. My block is the gold star- the others are arriving day by day. I think this is going to look awesome when it is all put together.

And last but not least, I have been making my "Sylvia's Bridal Sampler" blocks. It was going to be a personal challenge between a quilting buddy and myself, but her life took on more stress than it should lately. I don't have the heart to add more, so I decided I'd just follow along and do the Block a Week Challenge set up at the sampler site. Those who are doing it are up to week 5. I'm just getting started, but got 4 of the 5 blocks done this afternoon. I've only gotten to take a photo of this week's block- H-8: Pinwheel. There are 140 something 6" blocks in the sampler based on the quilt in the book The Master Quilter. Everything for this one will come from my stash. I had fun opening my shaker cabinet and looking for large cuts of backgrounds- three to be exact. From there it was off to the dresser for Fat Quarters and Half-Yard cuts. I'm using the colorway from the original, but in my own personal taste...repros- what else! The suggested color for the pinwheel is red. Pink is the red family so....

Goodness it has been a productive day. I did have to stop momentarily for the frantic, I've lost a hermit crab long- distance phone call! Yes, Herm (or was it Herb?) one of my youngest DD's latest acquisitions was boldly exploring the large living space in the student house; she "turned her back for just one second" and he was gone! I tried to be very supportive, suppressing the urge to giggle more than I was giggling already. At least she is alone now, so no doctors or technicians to run in the door and stomp on poor Herm (or is it Herb?). He was discovered seconds later in a hole in the room's computer table. So as she ran to get a "utensil" from the kitchen to aide in getting crabby out of the hole I hung up the phone shaking my head and by the return call all was well. Never a dull moment here is there? I shutter to think what might happen when they all - DD, Herm and "brother" crab Herb arrive home from Kentucky the end of April. Mr. Goober Beagle may find himself a tasty treat or two.

Feb 24, 2007

My muse has gone into hiding!

I spent the day trying to make this compass block work. I think it might be getting there, but I'm really not sure. I shouldn't be too harsh until the reverse applique is done, but I had higher hopes for it, I think. Maybe it should just be sent back to "the vault". I hate to waste the hours spent trying to save it. My intent was to save it from a life of darkness in the back of the project closet and use it as the medallion for a round robin I am doing with a small group of quilt friends. The third round instructions tell us to place the block "on point", so I didn't want to make anything that could be construed as a one-way design. Thus the compass block. Decisions, decisions!! If I decide I really do hate this block I have to get my brain and my machine in top form tomorrow and get a new design knocked out! Just when I need all my brain cells, they have decided to take a vacation.
I'll let you all know the final outcome when I know it myself. Tonight will tell, I guess.
Ever have those days where your muse goes into hiding???

Feb 11, 2007

Things That Make Me Happy

Isn't this lovely?? There are days in my life when the goodness of friends just blows me away. I am touched, and feel almost unworthy of the kindness. This lovely collage of old sewing items and quilted piece was a belated Christmas gift from my dear friend Barb Nichols. Barb is a spry 70+ woman that I'd like to grown up to be just like. She has a quick wit, a loving heart and is so full of fun she makes spending the day with her outrageously funny. Yesterday was just such an occasion. Actually, it was guild meeting day. It is the one day each month when several of us get together to catch up on the month's doings. We giggle lots, eat a great lunch and most times there is a Bloody Mary or two involved! Long leisurely lunches...a good thing! I missed last month's get together due to my trip to Kentucky- so this month was particularly fun. Barb was pleased as punch to finally give me (as well as another quilting friend) our "over due" gifts. I was beyond shocked and love it dearly! Originally I thought I'd hang it in my sewing room to admire, but then thought that with the way things are going lately, I'd never see it! Besides, why should every one else in the house be deprived of such a lovely sight? With that in mind, I moved a small old platter I picked up at either an antique mart or a flea market years back and hung my precious collage above the old christening dress from my husband's family. It needs a new nail to bring it up off the peg rack, but I think it is well suited for its new home!

Lucky girl I am! Now all I need to do is find an old ( much better suited) hanger for the dress, and move that pottery basket! It doesn't belong anymore. It will get a new home. Perhaps even though it is whiter and not as old, I should hang my children's christening dress there as well. My own christening dress is in a shadow box in my bedroom- I had to hang it there as my daughter the museum educator said it reminded her of the "dead baby" dresses in historical museums, and it was creepy. Hardly the kind of response I was going for. Wonder how she'll feel about this display!?

On the sewing front, my "big" sewing machine had to go to the "doctor" on Friday, so I pulled out Fiona, my featherweight today. What a joy it is to sew on her. She is such a little work horse. One of the other girls that works with me at the shop came up with a bit of a fun challenge Friday. Feeling in a bit of a silly mood I took the bait! Do I have your curiosity going?? Think pink. Think black. Think palm trees! Now I know you'll all think I've gone off the deep end. Perhaps it is the continuing cold here, maybe we're all looking for a spot of warmth. She set our reveal day for Tuesday. I won't be back home til Friday, so by then I should be able to show you a photo. If I get a chance tomorrow am (before heading off to spend the week at my mom's) I can give you a sneak peek of the batiks...yes, batiks!..involved. I'm out of my comfort zone for a little bit! Should be fun.
Related Posts with Thumbnails