May 9, 2013 § 14 Comments
Last year during my photography class we had a discussion about whether photos tell the truth or not. Originally, with film one assumed that the photo never lied. But now, with digital, it’s hard tell what is really the truth.
As my hubby is struggling to install bamboo flooring in the living room (we are extending it from the kitchen remodel out into the rest of the house and it’s not going to be perfect!)… I’m in my sewing room trying to keep myself busy, out of the way, and helpful when needed. I’m browsing blogs intermittently while working on my Bee Blocks* from 2011 (above). And you know how some blogs just always look perfect? Perfect photos. Perfect life. Perfect house.
Well, this flooring project is emphasizing how imperfect our house is. And the contrast between the perfect blogs out there that we all drool over & our imperfect house in here, makes me want to rebel and post about all my imperfections for a good dose of reality. But I can’t quite bring myself to completely reveal ALL the ugliness.
The amateur photographer in me still needs the photos to look nice. The pile of my grandmother’s dishes** sitting on the stainless steel work table look pretty if you zoom in close enough. And then I had to move them so I could make bread today.
While the floor is disappearing (we call it Flat Surface Syndrome***) in my sewing room from an overflow of scraps, projects and bags, they look inviting if I crop out the rest of the room. I really should have tried to get a decent photo of the spare bedroom turned storage room for the week!
And the crab apple blossoms live on in a photo (from last week) even though they are all gone and have fallen on the ground, wilted, this week. I guess there needs to be a balance between appreciating the little things (how pretty the dishes look stacked up) amidst the chaos around it all. And… remembering that no matter what the photo says… that may not be the whole story!
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* I’m thinking these Bee Blocks need to become our beach quilt, or picnic quilt. The liberated piecing style seems to want to be spread out on the ground and laid upon while watching the clouds drift by or flying kites on the windy beach. I’m also thinking that maybe it should have a denim backing to increase it’s durability. And I’ve been craving to make a tied quilt. Weird huh? What do you think? Could this one be tied? I’ve only ever tied one quilt before in my life. But I don’t use it. It’s more of a memory quilt.
** We really should use these dishes more often rather than letting them collect dust inside a cabinet.
*** Usually, it’s just the dining room table, or the counter tops, or the coffee table that are prone to this syndrome. But no flat surface is immune! If there is a flat surface available, it tends to collect things!
April 28, 2013 § 9 Comments
I was talking to Letty and we decided that it is probably post traumatic kitchen remodel & lost kitty trauma. I’m sure my mojo will return again one day. In the mean time, I did finish a pair of socks. And then started another pair of the same pattern for my best friend. With different yarn, of course. I made these toe up and used a different kind of heel that I hadn’t tried before. I’ve never been a big fan of toe up… mainly because I don’t enjoy the short row heel. But this one may have changed my mind. It’s super easy.
Pattern – Pyroclastic socks from the Knitty, Winter 2009 issue
Yarn – Colinette Jitterbug, color 180 Salted Caper
Needles – 2.25mm & magic loop
April 23, 2013 § 8 Comments
I’ve been thinking about what to take to the Gwen Marston medallion workshop in June. Maybe this???
I found an old charm pack of Denyse Schmidt’s first Flea Market Fancy collection in my closet. And then I also have a fat quarter tower of the newer reprinted Flea Market Fancy collection. So I pulled a bunch more fat quarters & other pieces to fluff out the group. Pondering the possibilities…..
I really need to dig around in my closet a little more often.
April 18, 2013 § 4 Comments
Here is the next block in the Random Sampler QAL. I couldn’t find any official name, but it is a variation of a whirligig block. And it is a simple one. Seems like we needed something easy, right?? There are a couple of different ways to make this block. The other way is to leave the center block whole rather than pieced… which would be good if you wanted to fussy cut a fabric. But then the seams get a little tricky when assembling and I just didn’t feel like explaining that method at the moment. And the measurements start getting funky. Maybe in a future block???
I put all of the sampler blocks on my design wall along with a few orphan blocks that I’m hoping will work. The snowflake block is an extra from the from my Crazy Snow Days quilt that I made along with my SIL a couple of years ago. The HSTs are from my first attempt at the Tree of Life block that I didn’t like. And the Square-in-a-Square blocks are from my discarded attempt on the backgrounds from the Merry Merry Snowman quilt. I am hoping that I can work in some of my orphan blocks into this quilt plus a few more! I really want to start thinking about how I want to put these blocks together. I’m inclined to
Alright. Let’s get started. This block finishes at 8 inches, 8 1/2″ including the seam allowances. I hope you like it.
1. Choose 4 different fabrics. A light value, a medium value, a dark value and a contrasting color.
- From the light (mine is the cream with polka dots) cut 4 – 2 1/2″ squares.
- From the medium (mine is the green) cut 4 – 2 1/2″ squares.
- From the dark (mine is the blue floral) cut 4 – 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles.
- From the contrasting color (mine is the orange) cut 4 – 2 1/2″ squares.
2. Sew a light square to a medium square pressing the seam towards the medium square. Make 4 units.
3. With a pencil, mark the diagonal on the contrasting square – - or – - use The Angler 2 as I am doing – - to stitch along the diagonal line. (Here’s a video showing how it works.) I like using the angler because it saves me the “marking with a pencil” step and it helps me to sew a straight line. If you are like me, I have found that if I try to guess, my line is often crooked. The lines on The Angler 2 help me to sew a straight line. Make 4 units.
4. Trim away the corner leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seams open.
5. Sew a light/medium square unit to the rectangular unit. Press the seams towards the squares. Make 4 units.
6. Arrange the whirligig units so that the dark blades rotate around the block. Sew the two units together in each row, pressing the seams towards the rectangular unit. Sew the rows together to complete the block.
Here’s the back.
April 12, 2013 § 9 Comments
As much as I didn’t feel like it, I forced myself to knuckle down and get a few things done yesterday. One of those things were these potholders for a friend of mine. They are having a chili cook-off at her church and she wanted to give something to the winner. I agreed to make some potholders for her. I dug into my red & white scrap bucket and now my sewing room is a complete mess. (It wasn’t that clean to begin with!)
They look so awesome hanging next to our stove that I almost want to keep them for myself. But I need full glove potholders. I have been known to burn my arms.
Approximate size = 9 1/2″ square for man-sized hands & unisex. Who knows who might win!
April 11, 2013 § 19 Comments
Our other kitty, Kiska, has been ill for the last 1 1/2 years or so. Earlier this week it appeared she had had a stroke and so we had to say good-bye again to another one of our fur babies. Two good-byes in the last 3 weeks is hard. Even though we were a little more prepared for this one it was still hard to see her go. The house sure is quiet now.
I have been wanting an applique project to work on this year. But I couldn’t decide exactly what. Then I remembered that I had picked up the pattern for the Merry Merry Snowman quilt last year. I had started picking out green fabrics because I wanted something different. There are going to be hundreds of red quilts out there one day! Not that I don’t love the red! I do! But I just wanted the challenge of finding a different color theme.
When I pulled out what I had so far I didn’t really like the green anymore. So I started digging through my stash to see what I had. I think I am going to like this for the backgrounds. I am envisioning brighter colors for the applique pieces. We shall see. I am really jumping around on my projects lately. And frankly, between the kitchen remodel and the loss of our two cats my quilting has been in a weird funk. Knitting has been my therapy of choice lately.
And my hubby is excited about his garden this year. These are his tomato starts sitting near the sliding door… searching for the sun. Come back sun! We miss you!