Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here We Go Again

Digging around in my closet the other day, I came up with a bag of triangles I'd cut for a Flying Geese quilt. I must have cut these 10-15 years ago, or more. Once again, as I pulled them out of the bag I was wondering what I was thinking when I cut these? Was I really that math-or-measurement challenged? I'm a reasonably intelligent person, so how did I wind up with this, and why didn't I notice it then?
The bottom block is more or less the correct size - 3"x6". The top block is more like 7"x4". Unfortunately, I have about 2 dozen blocks "finished", but I will have to pick them all apart, and remeasure. I guess I'll do that tonight while watching "the Big Bang Theory".

I work for the next three days, so there will be no quilting, and most likely no blogging either, but once I get back, I have this nifty little item to help me cut these pieces to the correct size:
I took my 50% coupon off to Joann fabrics today, used it on this. Fons and Porter's stuff rarely, if ever goes on sale, but this I think is a good investment!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Oops! Forgot it was Wednesday, so I dragged my unwilling quilt holder (aka Eric) outside to hold up my current WIP so I could take a photo of it. I'm moving right along on it; I have 10 rows done, although I don't think all 10 rows are visible in this picture. I have 12-14 rows left on this - I haven't decided which. I'll see what happens when I get 22 rows done.

Thousand Pyramids, although it will have about 1200 when I'm done. 600 done already. For other WIP bloggers, see button on the right side!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Accidental Stash Enhancement

It's been a few weeks since I've been to my LQS, and I had an itch to go visit the fabrics and pet them for a while. I had planned on picking up a few fq's, if there was anything interesting, and maybe pick up a fq or two of some batiks that might go in the quilt I'm working on. Well, I did find some lovely batiks, all of which can and probably will go into the current WIP:
And, while I was there, I also picked up a few others:
Some really pretty blues and greens. Some of the blues are only blue and white. I have an idea for a quilt of just blue and white fabrics, but I'm surprised at how difficult is is to find fabrics that are just blue and white, without any green, yellow, red, or any other color in them. So, as I find them, I just pick up a fq or two.

And lastly, so reproduction fabrics in browns and maroons. Yes, another idea for another quilt.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. I was using a 70-300mm lens to take some shots of the birds at my feeders when I remembered I needed to post today. Being too lazy to walk into my room and switch lenses, I just placed the fabrics on the dining room table and stood across the room, but it really wasn't far enough to get sharp photos.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25

It's June 25, and that can mean only one thing - six months til Christmas! And of course, what better day for the postman to bring me yet another package! What was in it? This, of course:

Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley collection. I think this is out of print now, and like her other collections, is going for big bucks nearly everywhere. I love her fabrics, too, but I'm not willing to part with $114 for a stack of fat quarters, or pay $18 or more for a half yard of fabric! I have other things to think about, like eating, car payment, mortgage payment, electric, you get the idea.

I found this stack of 24 fat quarters on Etsy for $57, which works out to less than $2.50 each!

Ive noticed that these fabrics have a very "1930" feel to them. Individually, there are some in this collection that I don't really like, but I know from past experience that these fabrics usually blend in well with the whole. I might have to see if I can find a bit more of these, or dig in my stash and find a few other 30's repro fabrics that will work for these for the quilt I have in mind. I'm not sure I have enough here to make a full size quilt, and I rarely make a small quilt, which is probably why it takes me forever to make a quilt. That, and the fact that I do have to work.

While trying to take pictures of these lovely fabrics, my loyal photography supervisor felt that he wasn't getting enough attention, so took matters into his own paws:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mail Call!

I love when the mailman leaves me a package in the mailbox! This came today:

The cat in the box has been here for a few months; the package in front is what arrived today. This was in this package:

Five fat quarters of Japanese Daiwabo elephant fabric! I first saw this fabric in the Tokyo Subway Quilt at Oh, Fransson, and loved it. I managed to score five fat quarters for a reasonable price - slightly more than $3 each! I got these from one of my favorite Etsy stores - PoppySeed Fabrics. I love this store - great fabrics, quick shipping, great customer service.

I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to make with these elephants, but I suspect they might be showing up in several quilts I have planned!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Penny Lane

Riley Blake's collection of fabrics in pink, green, and blue. Once again, not what i usually buy, but I loved the fabrics, and found a good deal on the fat quarter bundle on Etsy, so I went for it. Not entirely sure what I'm going to make with it, but I've seen some quilts made with this fabric, so I do have some ideas! I'm trying to not start another quilt at this point - I already have too many WIPS (living on my sewing table or on the shelves above), and UFO's (residing in the closet). Plus, Halloween is coming up (in 4 months!) so I have to start thinking about whether or not I want to make a Halloween quilt. I already have the fabric!

Monday, June 20, 2011

And The Big Man Joined The Band...

We were in Asbury Park on Saturday evening. The original plan had been to go down a bit early in the afternoon with our cameras, and take some shots along the ocean and the boardwalk, but as usually happens, life got in the way, and we got there just in time to buy tickets and grab decent seats for the Murder Beach Militia vs Right Coast Rollers of the Jersey Shore Roller Girls bout. While there, an announcement was made that Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band had died an hour or two earlier. Wow. Although I don't live on the Jersey Shore now, and have not for more than 30 years, I still live in Jersey, and I grew up at the shore - I spent more than 25 years living there. I'm the same age as Bruce Springsteen, and I remember him playing at the shore. I remember when he was in the Castiles, and they played at a dance at my high school. I think Clarence Clemons was one of those people that you kind of thought would go on forever. I'm more a fan of Springsteen's early stuff than I am of his music lately, but I still wonder how he's going to replace Clemons. I guess Rock and Roll heaven is going to have a pretty good band going.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How To Relax

How To Relax by momcat14c
How To Relax, a photo by momcat14c on Flickr.

Remember to take some time to relax every now and then! Mica shows us how it should be done.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

City Weekend

No, I'm not going away for a weekend. City Weekend is a line of fabrics designed by Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S for Moda fabrics. I posted a picture a few days ago of a WIP using some of the fabrics. I just wanted to post a picture of the fabrics themselves.

The lovely leaf pattern is "Treetops", the clould-like pattern is "River View Bistro", and the dots are "Roundabout". I love the colors in these fabrics. Again, these are colors that I don't usually use, and I think they're lovely. I bought a pre-packaged kit from Pennington quilt Works, and I think there was 1/2 yard of each fabric, with the exception of the blue and white dot at the bottom, which is for the binding,and was 3/4 yard. This fabric has a different "feel" than most of my quilt fabrics. It's silky soft. I love working with the fabric, and I can't wait to get back to working on it. It's just that I have all these other quilts started...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Break Time!

Taking a quick break from quilting to go back to the original intent of this blog - knitting! One of my coworkers is having a baby girl next week, so I'm knitting a baby hat for her. Or trying to, at least. I've knitted this hat several times in the last few months, but this is a variatin with a peapod on top. I started knitting the other night, but messed up while watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Honestly, that show is like watching a train wreck - I can't look away. So anyway, pulled it off the needles, and then restarted on a 16" circular. Ugh. I didn't like the way it knitted on that needle, so pulled it off and restarted on dpns. Knitting merrily away, and Mica comes into the room, sees what I'm doing, crouches down, wiggles that butt, and takes a flying leap into my lap. 15 pounds of pussycat landing in your lap at high velocity hurts, let me tell you. He snatches the yarn in his mouth, jumps off, yanks, and the entire thing comes off the needles. Grrr. Another restart. I'd have had the damn thing done if I didn't have to do restarts. I'll post a shot of it when I'm done. In the meantime, this is the last hat I knitted. It's the Upside Down Daisy Hat from Susan Anderson's Itty-Bitty Baby Hats.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Kitty Cuteness

I'm continuing to work on the Thousand Pyramids quilt, so nothing really new. I'm sure you don't want to see each row as I finish it! Now that I have all the pyramids cut to the same size, it goes together well. It went from being a project I hate, to a project that I love. I was at my LQS yesterday, and bought some new fabrics for it, to replace the ones that I ditched. Heh, my bad - I forgot to take pictures of them. As usual, it took every ounce of self-control to not walk out of that store with another quilt kit - there were quilts hanging on the wall that I loved. One of them was a beautiful batik done in blues. I think it was called rainy day. That's the kind of rainy day I could love. I also tried out a Bernette sewing machine. They have a new line out that runs from about $229 - $499. The lower range are mechanical; the upper two machines, the Bernette 20 and the Bernette 25 are computerized. I liked both of them, and since a Bernina is not in my budget, and probably never will be, one of these seemed like a good replacement. I want to look around a bit though. There's a Viking/Husquvarna dealer near my Joann Fabrics, so I might look at them, too. $500 is a lot of money to plop down, so I want to make sure that I love what I get. Not just like; I want to love it. I don't love the machine I have now. It's a Singer that I got for $149 at Target four or five years ago. It's ok, but it does have some drawbacks to it. I will say that I've been reading reviews about this machine, and many people said theirs stopped working after a few months. Mine has been humming along just fine, but I want a bit more in a machine.

In the meantime, a picture or two of Mica helping me quilt. He's settling in nicely. I think he's happy to have windows to look out of, and space to run and play. My birdfeeders are set up outside my family room windows, so it's cat heaven there. They all enjoy watching.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

What's On My Cutting Board

Pieces for a Thousand Pyramids quilt. I first cut these pieces in 2007, right after my mother died. I don't know what I was thinking, because when I pulled this UFO out of my closet the other day, and started sewing the pieces together, I noticed that they weren't going together right. Grabbed my Tri-Rec tool, and checked the pyramids. Wow. Some were too short, some were too wide, and some were just too much of anything to be useful. I trimmed the too wide or too long ones, lopped off the too short ones to make smaller pyramids for other blocks, and got to work. I also cut some new pyramids from some batiks. I'm hoping to get a kind of "oceany" feeling from this quilt. I'm trying to go with blues, greens, turquoises, things that remind me of the ocean and sea glass. Now that everything is cut to the right size, it's going together really fast.

I was also wondering why I do marathon quilt sessions when there is a death in my family. As Isaid, I started this quilt in 2007 when my mom died. I also started another quilt, which I will eventually post pictures of. For that quilt, I cut out nearly 3,000 pieces in two days, and over 800 pyramids for this quilt in the same amount of time. I quilted for a couple of months, and then just hit a wall, and didn't do any crafts for a while. I eventually went to knitting, which I still do, and didn't quilt much until this January, when I found out my beloved cat, Gremlin, was in the last stages of cancer. He had always spent a lot of time in my room, but used to come out and sleep on the back of the couch in the family room if I was there reading or watching tv or knitting. If I was on the computer, he'd be sleeping on the desk with me. As he got sicker, he rarely left my room at all. My sewing machine is in there, so I restarted quilting to spend time with him. I'd like to think that this burst of activity on my part will continue, especially since I have so many quilt tops in various stages of completion!


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Remnants of Hurricane Noel Passing by Long Branch, NJ, 11-3-07

For the Photo Finish Water theme on Cat Patches.

Taken in November 2007, as the remnants of Hurricane Noel passed by the Jersey Shore. We were on the deck of The Avenue restaurant in Long Branch, NJ. The steps to the beach were leading directly into the ocean!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Hoo. My work schedule has been a bit chopped-up lately, which makes it hard for me to function, much less blog. However, I have been able to get some piecing in this week. True to form, while looking for some batik fabric I knew I had, I came across a couple of quilts I started several years ago when my mother died. One of them is a Thousand Pyramids quilt. It's done in blues, greens, turquoises, anything that gave me a kind of "beachy" feel. I was going for tones of the ocean, sea glass, things like that. I liked the fabrics, but I don't know what the hell I was thinking when I cut the pyramids. Some were just plain wonky, some were too small, some were too big. I recut the too big ones, cut the too-small ones down, and put the wonky ones back in the scrapbag if they couldn't be rescued. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow.

I've also worked on this. It's the "Lucky Star" pattern by Atkinson Designs. I love the floating star effect of this, and I love the batik fabrics, too. This is the first time I've ever used batiks for an entire quilt.