Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blog update

A lovely lady named Melanie visited me the other day and left a comment. She has a blog of her own and designs blogs - If you are looking for a professional to help you out, go check her out! She has a few free designs as well and I updated my blog with it. Isn't it the cutest?!?!

And here are a couple quick pictures....
One is from the block swap I joined - I am going for scrappy civil war and this one is great - thanks Robin!
I have no idea what I am going to do with the blocks. Maybe a table runner (I have a long table). Or maybe as a border in a medallion quilt. You know, one of those giant quilts that you need a bazillion blocks for the border. Oh the possibilities!

And here is a picture out my window - the picture is just beautiful! I am kind of shocked that I took a picture that looks this good!
Hugs to all!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design wall Monday and Monday musings....

It is another dreary, overcast, drizzly day here in the great Northwest. Fortunately it is bright and cheery in my office/craft room!  I still have this quilt up on the design wall, I took a little time to play with my camera and got a much better picture.  The colors are much crisper here.

I had someone ask me what I used for a design wall so drum roll please........ I use a flannel backed tablecloth. Yep, this is one of those fancy, 1.99 red and white patterned picnic table cloths thumbtacked to the wall.  Flannel gets so stretchy hanging up and I just couldn't bring myself to buy insulation boards, secure flannel to them, and then have them leaning on the  wall. I have a child! A monster beast of a dog! and anything leaning is a prime target to come crashing down, blocks everywhere, no, not a good idea. Another thing I have discovered is that a design wall will eventually become covered in thread. Little snippets and bits everywhere, and there is no truly effective way to remove them.  But wait! - with my fancy shmancy tablecloth design wall I just take it down and (wait for it).... throw it away, hit the clearance section, grab another $1.99 table cloth, and tack it up. Wala - fresh clean design wall, no sags, securely fastened. It is easy peasy!

I am also working on a 2010 BOM hosted by a fellow blogger and am on block 6.
This looks a little hazy, but that isn't the camera, it is the pattern overlay. The Piece O Cake design team uses a plastic overlay for their needle turn applique. But there are several problems with this. First, the plastic must be handled carefully, once creased it is permanently creased. After you have transferred your design to the plastic you must be careful to keep the tissue paper on it or it can rub off, sometimes on itself, sometimes on your block (major bummer). And every time you go to position an applique piece you have to reposition the entire overlay.

Instead I use pattern fabric. Available at any fabric store, dressmakers use it for their patterns. Some of it comes with dots, some not, but it is lightweight, see thru, and the ink won't rub off onto your project. Plus, a big-time bonus is that you can baste it right to the project. This means your pattern is always in the same position. You no longer have to reposition it every time you lay it on your block, lining up folds or marks. Just lay the block out flat, smooth out the fabric and everything is right where it should be! When I need to applique, I just scrunch it up out of the way. It is light like tissue paper so there is no bulk and it doesn't crease easily.

Anyway, enough for today. I have studying to do and a great beast of a dog who is having kittens. Over cows. The neighbor has a Christmas tree farm and recently put a few cows out. They walk within about 50 feet of the house, don't make a lot of noise and really aren't a problem. Except that 60 lb puppy has never seen a cow before and is totally freaked. It reminds me of the scene from Twister "I gotta go, we got cows" says the psychiatrist as she hyperventilates in the back seat. The dog is on high alert; pacing, growling, and running to the window, hackles raised, to bark loudly "MOM WE GOT COWS!" Ah yes, life in the country.....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Scrappy civil war in progress

The scrappy civil war is coming along nicely.  I have changed out the cream background blocks for brown and like it a lot better.  The brown is making the "squares" pop out and the stars kind of melt away. It is much more interesting then the cream background.

I am still getting the hang of the new iphone4 with flash, I think I will have to play with photo taking!
Anyway, I like all of the movement in this quilt, the way you see the scrappy square within a square, then the stars, then the sort of lattice background effect.  I have one more row of stars to add at the bottom and may add one on the side as well and make the quilt square, a large lap size. The small scrappy squares are 1 1/4 finished. This pattern is out of American Patchwork and Quilting - my favorite quilt magazine. Maybe when it is done I'll send in a picture - I've never done that before.

I also have 2 applique projects in the works, I just finish block 2 for Floribunda baskets and block 6 of the Floribunda BOM from 2010. These are 2 totally different projects, from 2 different designers - I didn't realized they had the same name when I started them! I will press them and make them my next post. Whoo Hoo! Tally HO - onward to quilt! Oooops, I am from America, The WEST.  I should say YEEEHAW! Get along little quilt doggies! ( I think I have been watching a little too much Masterpiece theater!)