Now, that was fun ... trying to get good pictures of shiny fabric! Enjoy!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Now, that was fun ... trying to get good pictures of shiny fabric! Enjoy!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Another book I would recommend written by Elizabeth Chadwick is the tale of John Marshal father of one of the greatest knights of all time Sir William Marshal A Place Beyond Courage. It took a little bit to get into the story in the beginning, but once it started rolling it is a good read. I think the slow start may have been my trouble in transitioning from the 1500 and all of the Henry VIII drama going back in time to the mid 12th century.
What sparked all this interest in English historical fiction? From way back I've always loved any good book or movie about King Arthur, Robin Hood, King Henry VII, and even Princess Diana and that has continued to the present with a renewal of that interest being sparked by the TV series on showtime The Tudors and the reading of two best sellers by Ken Follett Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. I like the comparitive views presented by reading books from the perspective of the Church and the Kings and their lords.
A simple resource to help me keep track of where I am "in time" as I read has been a chronologial listing of English Monarchs. I appreciate a good story that is historically sound and well-researched.
A GOOD SONG: Being fairly new to the blog scene I find myself spending way too much time exploring different blogs and adding them to my favorites to come back and check out. As time goes on I find myself editing my bookmarks deleting some and adding new ones. And, a few are becoming regular favorites ... enough to maybe even think about starting a blog roll. One of those sites came to light this morning.
Part of our regular morning ritual is reading the paper over breakfast. Mike reads word for word the items of interest to him while I quickly scan the headlines over his shoulder asking an occassional question about an ariticle here and there. I'm interested in only one part of the paper and must anxiously wait until he finishes reading the comics before I can delve into the daily crossword puzzle. Oh how I love the days when I'm incredibally inteligent and rue the days I don't know nuthin' 'bout 'nuthin'.
So, to tie all this together ... crossword puzzles, a good song, and blog rolls? I found a blog that posts all the answers to the Star Tribune crossword each day with comments, links, and general repsonses to the clues, the words, the themes ... you name it. Good quick reading and much easier than hunting up a word in my crossword dictionary.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
- pre-cut fabric hexagons
- card stock foundation papers
- basted hexagons
- scissors, needle, and thread
- the project (at that time it was small enough to fit very nicely into my bag without being wadded into a ball like a rag
But after this kids graduated and went away to college part of my "empty nest" was no more waiting time to be filled and the hexagon quilt was put away for another day, to work on sometime, and soon a forgotten UFO. Until, last summer.
One of the things Eryn asked for last summer was the hexagon quilt. Did I still have it? Could she have it? Could it be her quilt to finish? Absolutely! And, even better, Eryn would be visiting during her in-between homes moving time which happened to coincide with our Scrappy Sister annual quilting retreat.I had been using 30's reproduction prints for the hexagon quilt, and, at the retreat, we just happened to be trading strips of 30's reproduction fabrics. Eryn got to take my place in the strip exchange so she would have a stash for cutting new hexagons. She circulated through the tables during the retreat driving hard bargins with the ladies as she traded strips for different strips she liked better. We got her set up with a rotary cutter, a stacked template like I describe in yesterday's post, and the UFO quilt kit.I would hear off and on about surprise "squishies" arriving in the mail as different Scrappy Sisters mailed 30's scraps to Eryn to help her along the way to finishing her quilt. And what progress she has made!. When I gave the UFO to her it measure about 18" in length and about 12" in width. Check out the length now! I think it must be nearly 4'x6'. It covers the top of her dining room table. The desired finished length is still up in the air. She has decided it will be a large wall hanging rather than a bed quilt. And from the looks of things, I think it might be time to think about ordering the half hexagon card stock from Paper Pieces.
While I was visiting Eryn earlier in June we found some great looking organizing containers for her hexagons. She used the antique sherbet glasses for sorting the unbasted hexagons by color. By the way, if anyone knows the name of the crystal pattern for these glasses, let us know. I know it is hard to see that pattern on them from this picture. I'll ask her to send me a picture of just one so you can get a good look at it and help us identify the pattern. She is looking for more. She has eight right now but would like more since she has more that eight colors. I think she needs about 4 more.
After she bastes the hexagons she sorts them into her Fiestaware tea cups. Her new search now is to find brown Fiestaware. Do they even make it in brown? I think the cinnabar might be her closest bet. She's done a great job working the reds into the quilt. I tended to avoid the reds when I started because they seemed to jump right off the quilt at me. She has also added some of the more bold colors that have joined the palette of 30's prints ... the darker blues, the brighter oranges, browns (which are very hard to find) and, for today's project she has been working in the black prints with grace and style so they look like the belong in the quilt. Not an easy task.
During our antique outings we also found this primitive tool boxs. I thought it would be a good storage piece for my studio or to use for display in the different shows I go to. Wrong! It is perfect for storing the 6" squares of fabric before they are cut into hexagons. Another bin is used for her cutter, scissors, needle case, and template, and she uses an antique aluminum measuring cup for corralling her pre-cut card stock shapes.
How big are the hexagons? Eryn is working with hexagons that measure 3/4" on the side. Just the right size to not make the quilt seam "klunky" and yet big enough to allow centering of fussy cut prints from the conversational prints of the 30's.
Friday, July 4, 2008
While Eryn worked on piecing blocks, I basted fabric hexagons to card stock forms which she will add using the hand-piecing English Paper Piecing technique to her hexagon quilt. She has been working on her hexagon quilt for about a year now but that story is for another post. Stay tuned!
Bottom line ... when I got home I realized how much I like revisiting this hand piecing technique. It's a nice change from sewing like a mad-woman at the longarm or piecing samples for classes and patterns as fast as I can make them on my home machine. So off I went to Paper Pieces to see what kinds of projects they had that might interest me.
To begin with, anything on sale will always catch my eye and they are currently running a special on all star patterns. Two patterns and four charm pack pre-cut shapes later I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the mail. Tuesday was a happy day at our house.
But as I opened the package and looked inside my pattern I groaned. What on earth was I thinking! Yes, read the fine print on the pattern. I think ... no, I know ... when I was ordering I had a hard time visualizing just how small the pieces must be to make a quilt that finishes at ... look again, you read it right the first time ... 14" x 16". Those little pieces are smaller the my thumbnail!
The sides of the hexagons (that's how you measure hexagons) is 1/2" and the little six-pointed star finishes from point to point a total of 3 1/2". The good news is I now have a use for those tiny scraps in baggies at the back of the drawer.
I gathered up my red, white, and blue scraps and decided today was the day to tackle this project. After all, I only need to make 23 stars. I haven't even thought about the diamond shapes yet that are used to connect the stars. We'll just take this one tiny baby step at a time.
First step was to create a cutting template. I found with the hexagon quilt using a template with the 1/4" seam allowance added on makes a big difference when pre-cutting the shapes. I like to use the extra-thick template plastic from EZ Quilting. I trace the small finished-size card stock on the template plastic and then use a ruler to add the quarter inch. After I have one shape cut out from the template plastic, I put a piece of double stick tape on the back, stick it to the template plastic and cut out another layer. I usually end up with about 4 layers stuck together. Then I don't have to worry about trimming away the edges of my template as I cut my fabric shapes with the rotary cutter.
Then next step was to gather my fabrics. I don't need big yardage for this project - I just need a strip about 2" x 10" for the jewel shapes ... 11 different blues and 12 different reds. I can also cut the hexagon star centers from this yardage. Not making much of a dent in the stash but every LITTLE bit helps. I have plenty of patriotic fabrics in my stash. I absolutely love red, white, and blue, and, two years ago our small quilting bee traded fabric strips in country reds and blues at our annual retreat.
After the fabric shapes are cut I'm finally to the basting step and it was just as I remembered. Relaxing! Put in a movie to listen to and look up occasionally in the really good parts, sit back in the rocking recliner, snacks and beverages close at hand and enjoy the afternoon. (Opps, I think I forgot to tell you, I dropped my DH Mike at the airport early this morning to fly to San Diego. He is playing in a three day trombone fest with our son ... 76+ trombones in concert with the San Diego Symphony and Marvin Hamlisch in a big star spangled Fourth of July celebration firewroks and all. What a great sound! If you live in the San Diego area you'll not want to miss this concert. So, it's just me and the dogs for this Fourth of July holiday.)
Of course, after all those little pieces were floating around on the cutting table I had to think of some way to keep things organized. Hooray for me! So far I have two stars completely sewn together and all the pieced basted for two more stars. What better way to celebrate the Fourth!
Have a happy and safe holiday celebration.
OH MY GOSH!!! I never win anything. Thank you, Thank you!!! I’m just so excited, I can hardly sit still!!!!
I have just been drooling over your patterns! I would just love your “1190 Leafy E2E” I can just see it on a quilt. I even think it would look wonderful on a whole cloth quilt.
I’m just having a hard time believing I won!!!
Thank you, and have a GREAT 4th!!!
Glad to be a SS..
And this is what her pattern 1190 Leafy E2 looks like:
She's right about using this pattern to create a wholecloth quilt. Isn't that a wonderful secondary trellised design that is created when rows are simple repeated across the quilt fabric. Again, CONGRATULATIONS to Elaine. Looking forward to seeing pictures when you use the pattern on a quilt.
And now it's time to empty the hat filled with names for the June drawing and start a new drawing for the month of July. All you have to do to get your name in the hat is to post a comment to one of my postings on the blog or make a purchase from Mountaintop Quilting. Easy as pie! For the July drawing I'll be offering a free medallion quilting pattern of your choice OR a free piecing pattern. (That way, everyone who reads gets to participate ... Statler quilters and piecers alike.)
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The winner for the drawing for the free edge-to-edge design for her Statler computerized quilting machine goes to ...