Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kaleidoscope Beginnings, and New Kitchen Floor

I have always loved the Kaleidoscope design, especially the optical illusions that appear when corners are added.  Some friends were at the quilt shop when I  bought fabric to blend with what I had, and they were teasing me, wanting to know if I would have it done by next week.  Well, this is a week later, and this is what I have.  While the blocks look complex, they really are not.   I'm aiming for 35 blocks, 5 x 7.   Kaleidoscopes need an uneven number of blocks for best optical illusion.  These strips are cut 2 inches and blocks are unfinished at about 11.5 inches.  Note, the corners are not added yet - they will likely be a pastel blue, turquoise, lavendar.   

Note in the below photo, the pale block in lower left does NOT work.  For me, the best blocks have the darkest and lightest in the same block.  I used a 45 degree ruler.  If I made it again, I'd reduce the size of block because when cutting the wedges I only could get 14 from each strata.  It would be more efficient to get 16, and not have so many leftovers.  Since I am using bits of many colors, I'm only getting 3 -5 of each color combination, even though they all are "blendy".  I'm aiming for balance. 

Most of the fabric is what I already have, so there is a wide variety in my pallette.  So far, so good!

New subject: - kitchen floor

My kitchen is small - that's OK, there are just the two of us.  What a production, but I'm including the subject so I don't forget what a great improvement this made.  The worst part was thinking about how awful the sides of the stove would be where things dribble down between the stove and cabinets.  Of course, I wanted to clean before the floor guys came, but what a job us two oldsters had pulling it out over a variety of boards, different levels, carpeting (!!!) - dust, debris, greasy "stuff", Cheerios and pieces of mail WERE terrible.  Thankfully, no bugs, or dead mice!  LOL.   We've been here 20 years - it was apparent that job had not been tackled by previous owners either.  Both the stove and the refrigerator without it's door had to be moved out of the kitchen.  The floor under the stove and the frigerator are now new and smooth, allowing appliances to be moved for cleaning.   8-)  (This job, when over, gave me a boost of energy, attitude, etc., I believe this led to my ability to sew for hours on the Kaleidoscope project. )

Thursday, February 02, 2017

"I Spy" quilt, and Oveload of On-Line Classes

(Sideways) .. Current project, an I Spy Quilt.  There is one duplicate that I added.   I didn't care for a few of them (waaaay toooo commercial) and subbed my own.  Half are sorta lights, half sorta darks so I bordered darks in a white polka dot, and lights in grass green.  The layout was still kinda frenetic, until I noticed I could make diagonal "lines" in "sorta" darks and lights.  By the time I got them together, it became less wild.  I had that stripe border, hoping it might calm it all down and  surprisingly ... it did.

Here is the backing.  Not exactly soft and calm, is it?  8-))

Below is another Spider Web type quilt.   I've wanted to improve my repertoire of machine quilting ideas, so I signed up for an on-line Craftsy class by Christine Camelli.  I liked her style, and had never done the on-line thing and was very pleased with the entire procedure.  As soon as I clicked on the class, it was available, any time, they say "forever".  The class was well organized, easy to navigate.  Of course, then I was inundated by ads from Craftsy, and the BOGO for MORE MQ'ing classes was awfully tempting, so .... yes, I clicked on that option!  So, now I had machine quilting ideas from Ms. Camelli, and added MQ from Angela Walter class, and another MQ by Lori Kennedy, each different in their own way.  Wow, what fun! ... so in my MQ'ing frenzy, I used numerous motifs in this one Spiderweb quilt.  While the MQ is NOT cohesive, it IS helpful to review what works and what doesn't - like a sampler.  I was trying to learn to blend a variety of designs, flowing, curvaceous as the motifs changed.  Some was successful, others not so much, but I LIKE the end product. 

 I was thinking about scale, blending them, curves vs. straight lines, with a few "showstoppers" in the corners.  The webs are quilted all the same, but backgrounds are varied.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What is that?

This is "Little Bit" - a garden gnome, who, under all that snow, carries a lantern that lights the deck.  I was awake at 3:00 am,  pooh-poohing the weather people because there was barely a dusting of snow on the trees, but a few hours later, --  oh my !!!  10-12 inches.    We will be staying home and indoors today. 

A BIG "thank you" to neighbors, especially Sean, for his serious snowblowing.     

Monday, January 02, 2017

The LAST of Farm Girl Vintage Blocks, and my Favorites!

I made the L A S T block, and here are some of my favorites!  I didn't want to make them - too tedious and cutesy, so saved them for last.   I am not a "cutsie" kind of gal, but I must admit ...



These are all 6 inch finished blocks.   Remember, there are also the same instructions for 12 in. blocks, plus additional suggestions and instructions for numerous other beautiful and cheerful projects.   Now, on to the sashing, then the 112 flying geese border. 
So ... if I chose just one block and made 12 of the same block  and made them in 12 in. size, they would go much faster..... mmmm  

Saturday, December 31, 2016

More, More Farm Girl Blocks, and Blizzard

Yep, still more blocks for Farm Girl Vintage - I am getting close to the suggested 48!  The whole point to this lovely project was to make a quilt that took "a long time".  I'm trying to appreciate "slow progress". 

In the meantime, here is outside our front door, Christmas Day.  I just HAD to get out of the house.  Blizzard warnings and whiteout conditions kept most folks indoors.  The fresh air felt wonderful, but in a matter of minutes, my cheeks were feeling frostbit -- wind was terrible.  I walked only half a block one way then was sorry and came back inside!  Dh decided I had lost my mind.      
 A big "thank you" to the unknown folks who cleared off the sidewalk , the first time - they are so bundled up that we hadn't a clue!  By morning, the sidewalks needed it again, and "someone else"  cleared them.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

More "Farm Girl Vintage" Blocks

I decided to make "blocks that take some time" - not just speed quilting, because my closets are full of quilts already ! 

These are all 6 inch blocks.  Some are "fiddly", but I still like them. Definitely NOT speed anything!  This is the first time I actually sat and followed all instructions.  Colors are my own choice.   Instructions are also included for 12 inch blocks, as well as various varieties of other quilts, ideas, layouts, designs in this beautiful farm-based quilting book by Lori Holt . Even if you didn't sew or quilt, her book is a visual delight!

28 blocks made - 48 needed.