Sunday, January 31, 2010

To Anonymous Amy

Amy -- you asked me a question on the previous post, but your profile is set to "no reply", so I can't answer you directly. Hopefully, you'll read this here...

For the raw-edge buttonhole stitch, I cut out the fabric exactly to size for the appliqued piece. I did not leave any seam allowance since I did not turn anything under. If you'd like to see my explanation of how I do this method, check this post here. I hope this helps and good luck on your journey!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Yes, I believe so... #169!

This is "F-10, Potholder", an intermediate-level paper-pieced block. It has some set-in seams, but they weren't too bad since the angles were fairly large.

On February 1st, I will be attending the monthly gathering of my DJ support group, the Laurel Janes, and will reveal the completed center to my friends (actually, a few got a sneak peek last week). I'll post a photo on my blog sometime after that...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Target In Sight

This is "F-11, On Target", an advanced-level block that I paper-pieced and then used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method for the quarter-circle shapes. The block name is appropriate since I seem to be on target for getting my center completed by the February 1st meeting of my DJ support group, the Laurel Janes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Getting Down To The Wire

This is "F-12, Starburst", an intermediate-level block that I rotary cut and used the raw-edge machine-buttonhole stitch applique method.

Oops, I just realized that I took the picture before I trimmed a couple of slivers off to make it 5" square.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Movie of the Week

This was a fun movie to watch on a rainy afternoon. Light romantic comedy with gorgeous shots of Greece.

The actress who starred and wrote most of it also starred and wrote another one of my favorites...

Anyone who is the child of immigrants will completely relate to this my case, all I had to do was subsitute the word "Russian" everywhere the actors said "Greek". In my family, everything was invented or discovered by a Russian. It's true...what, you don't believe me? Read this.

Best thing about these movies is that I can watch them for free, thanks to my local library. Go take a look to see what's available in yours...and while you're at it, be sure to support your local library by becoming a member and donating to their fund-raising efforts. They provide a lot of good things for the communities, but often don't get the government funding they desperately need. Instead of going to see a first-run movie for $10, wait a few months and check your local library. Then donate half of your movie-ticket price to the library instead of putting it in the pockets of the over-paid celebrities...That still leaves you with $5. You could buy some fabric with that...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Outside The Norm

I hope my readers are interested in DJ blocks because that's almost all I've been blogging about for the last couple of weeks. I promise that once I get the center completed (only 3 more blocks to go!), you'll see other quilty things as well. I'll still work on the DJ, but not quite as obsessively as I have been since Thanksgiving.

Anyway, this is "D-11, Snow Crystal", an intermediate-level block that I rotary cut (the background) and then used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method for the dark red pieces.

This is one of only three blocks (that I know of) in the center of Jane Stickle's quilt in which she used more than two fabrics. Here's what hers looks like.
It's a very subtle difference, but if you look closely, the outside four small diamonds are cut from a different fabric than the large triangles and center square. I tried to make the look in my block subtle as well.

The other blocks with more than two fabrics can be found here (four fabrics) and here (three fabrics). I haven't even begun to look at the outer triangles, so I'm not sure if any of those use more than two. We shall see...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I've Been Thinking...(Scary Thought, Isn't It?)

I certainly hope I didn't leave anyone with the impression after reading my post from Thursday about the Modern Quilt Guild that I don't like the guild that I belong to. Nothing could be further from the truth -- I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my guild and all that I have received from it in the 11+ years that I've been a member. It has been a wonderful group to be a part of from its very first meeting in the fall of 1998 and I plan to be a member for many years to come (if they'll have me). I just think that trying and learning new things is something that we all should constantly be doing. My guild has certainly given me many opportunities to do that and I think a branch of the Modern Quilt Guild could do so as well, but in a different way.

Can't have a blog post without a photo, so...could a Modern Quilt Guild help me make this?

It started out like this...Isn't it amazing how computers can help us all become artists?...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Here I Go Again

Once more with my favorite applique method...raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch. The background was rotary cut and pieced. The outer dark purple melons were cut out all as one piece rather than twelve before I appliqued them on. The four center melons were done the same way.

This is "J-10, Chieko's Calla Lily", an advanced-level block. Number 165 for me...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wishful Thinking

Man, I wish there was one of these somewhere within 75 miles of me....Why are they all in the big cities?

Those of us who love modern quilts don't just live in the big cities...there must be some other modern-quilt lovers like me out in the sticks...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Sounding Like A Broken Record...

...but this is another easy one...

This is "H-11, Piercing Rays", an intermediate-level block. I didn't want to deal with set-in seams so I chose to applique it using the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch method. On to the next one...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Steamy Love Affair

Got your attention, didn't I? I'm passionately in love with this...

I finally broke down and bought myself a new iron...the first new one in more than 20 years. My other two GE irons had gotten to the point where they just didn't cut it anymore. Both had issues with the heat settings and were not getting hot enough for me anymore. Sometimes the steam worked and sometimes it didn't. I would get frustrated with one and then get out the other one and use it for a few weeks...then get frustrated with it...switch back to the first get the picture.

My friend Madalene had recommended the Black and Decker Digital Advantage iron to me about a year ago. She said that it gets very hot and very steamy. Who could ask for more? So with an Amazon gift card in hand, I finally ordered it. And so far, so good. We'll see what happens down the line -- I've heard so many horror stories about irons only lasting a couple of years nowadays.That's not what I'm used to and not what my mother is used to (click here to see my blog post about her iron).

One reason I had put off getting a new iron is because I did not want one with an auto-off feature. I've used those at retreats and classes and find them annoying. Finding one without the auto-off is nearly impossible (and if you can find one, they're outrageously expensive). I completely understand the need for that safety feature, but I don't need it because my iron is plugged into a power strip along with three other appliances. That power strip gets turned on when I enter my sewing studio and turned off when I leave. So far this one has not been driving me nuts. It heats up quickly after being off for a while and the steam level is out of this world. I can practically give myself a facial every time I iron.

I thought perimenopausal women didn't like heat and steam?...

Monday, January 18, 2010

And Still Another...

This is "J-11, Twin Sister", an intermediate-level block for which I used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method. Maybe 1/2 hour's worth of work.

Friday, January 15, 2010

In a Rut?

This is getting pretty boring....lots of DJ blocks lately and not too much else. I'm afraid you'll be seeing more of them over the next couple of weeks because my goal is to have all 169 of the center blocks finished and put together by the February 1st meeting of my DJ support group, the Laurel Janes.

This is "J-13, Pam's Bells", an intermediate-level block that I paper pieced and then used the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method for the teardrop-shaped pieces.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Come Join Us!

If you're interested in a fun trip to a quilt show in Lancaster, PA...check out this post on my group blog.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How Small Can You Go?

The tiny green triangles in the corners of this block are so small that I managed to cut them from leftover pieces of fabric after I trimmed the paper-pieced sections. Those triangles are 1/2-inch triangles, people! Even smaller than the pieces I blogged about back in May.

This is "L-12, Sally's Pride", an intermediate-level block that I paper pieced and then added the itty-bitty triangles using the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method. The stitching almost covers the entire triangle -- in this case, perhaps monofilament thread would have been a better choice, but frankly, I didn't feel like changing the thread on my machine.

Monday, January 11, 2010

P(ay) I(t) F(orward) Gift Received

Shortly before Christmas, I received a wonderful "Pay It Forward" package from Bree of me and my 2 guys. She sent some Down Under-themed goodies -- four coasters made from an Aboriginal-inspired print (love the cool quilting on them), and two pieces of fabric featuring Australian native flowers and birds. The fabric is too pretty and unique to cut up right away, so I think I'll just admire it for a while.

I did make use of the selvages, however, as you can see by the thank you postcard I made for Bree...

I loved participating in a quilty PIF project -- if you want to see what I made for someone else, check my blog post here. According to the PIF "rules", I still need to make something for two other people, so if you're interested, keep your eyes open for when I have signups...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This Is Getting Way Too Easy

In order to make this look more like Jane's block (see 2nd photo), I decided to piece the background fabric even though it's all the same. Then I used my handy-dandy raw edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method for the rest. Less than an hour's work.

This is "L-13, Harvest Moon", an intermediate-level block.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again

Lucky me! I get to celebrate Christmas twice!

Today is Christmas for some Orthodox Christians. To see some explanation about it, check my blog post from last year.

Merry Christmas to those who are celebrating today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Can See the End of the Tunnel

My DJ support group, the Laurel Janes, met on Monday. Here's my progress...

This month...

Last month...

My goal is to hopefully have the entire center section (all 169 blocks) sewn together by next month...wish me luck!

Monday, January 4, 2010

From Across the Border

Heather, a Canadian blogging friend at Books and Quilts, recently had a giveaway and sent me this luscious fabric that she had used in a fabric challenge on her blog. You can see the wonderful blocks that were made by the participants in this post here.

As a thank you to Heather, I made this selvage postcard for her using the selvages from the fabric she sent. (I'm getting quite predictable with the thank you cards I send nowadays).

If you'd like to make some of these yourself, a PDF version of my postcard tutorial is available on my blog's sidebar.

Thank you, Heather!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Live in the Wrong County

While hand sewing a binding on this very cold Sunday afternoon, I watched "The Egg and I" on TCM. I almost spit out my tea during the scene where Ma Kettle wins first prize for her quilt in the county fair and the prize money is enough to send her oldest son to college! Oh, if only that was true in the real world...then Cornell's tuition wouldn't look so scary...

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year, A New Block

Happy New Year to all my blogosphere friends! I hope that 2010 brings many enjoyable times to you and your loved ones!

This block just screamed for fussy cutting, so I found the perfect fabric for it. After looking through my old blog posts, I realized I did the same thing with this block more than a year ago.

This is "G-12, Gloriae", an intermediate-level block that I chose to paper piece and use the raw-edge machine buttonhole-stitch applique method. This brings my total to 159 center blocks, with only 10 more of them to go! Then come the dreaded outside triangles...It's going to be quite a year.