Friday, August 31, 2012

Eating some Crow

OK, OK, sometime you just got to admit when you are wrong............

I must admit having looked at the Quilts of Valor initiative with some skepticism...

I mean - SOLDIERS... rough, ready, tough, SOLDIERS....

I just wasn't sure a returning soldier really wanted a QUILT...  I mean, wouldn't they rather have something more macho?  More rough - and-tumble..???  I just didn't get it.

But - my guild is doing a QOV drive as part of our next year's quilt show, so I figured, ok, I'll play along and make a disgustingly-patriotic RWB quilt (I know, that cynicism is showing again :)_

So, I have been working on a QOV quilt - here's the 'body'
 and this is one of the borders, in progress... cool border, huh??  This is a pattern from the book "Scrap Therapy" by Joan Ford.  
 So - ARE YOU READY FOR THE KICKER????

This pattern needs lots of HST's, and I asked DH to draw some diagonal lines on squares for me - and he did (he likes to do that - grin)... then he asked me about the quilt, and I explained QOV to him, and I said "I'm not sure a soldier really wants a quilt when he comes home from war" - what do you think?

And, then, my sweet DH, who was drawing diagonal lines on 3 inch squares, reminded me that he was a Vietnam vet, and that when he returned from Vietnam, some people heckled him and spit on him at the Seattle airport... and he said "I would have really loved to have been given a quilt".

............... and I shut up and went into my sewing room and sewed on the Quilt of Valor.

I plan to attach a little note to the quilt to tell the soldier that a Vietnam Vet helped with this quilt!

Kate





Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another Month of Hexagons

Well, my friends - it's a momentous moment in the life of the Great Hexagon adventure!!!!

so - here is the Sept 1 photo....
And you can see I have completed HALF of the quilt completely!!!  In truth, I am much more than half done, but until this point, the outside sections were not done to the halfway point, and now they are!!!!   (excuse that plant part that snuck into the photo )

I am truly exhausted with this thing - it has now become a 'grit your teeth and sew hexagons" moment... 

How many are there, someone asked - WELL I AM GLAD YOU ASKED.

If I stop with this design, and don't put any kind of border on it, it will be approximately FOURTEEN THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED hexagons.  

Will I add some kind of borders?  I truly don't know... I keep waiting for the quilt to tell me what to do to finish it, and it just hasn't spoken yet...

Well, let me go get busy, I figure I have about 4,000 more hexagons to go...

color me nuts..............completely nuts...................

Kate

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oh What a Great Quilty Day !!!

I played HOOOOOOKY today !!!!


Instead of going to work I took a class with quilt-maker extraordinaire Sally Collins...

oh my my...          

we made tiny little basket blocks...  with 3/8 inch HSTs... 

 this block measures 1 7/8 inch !!!
 This one is 3 5/8ths


 and here's mine, in turquoise and purple, a basket within a basket:



 and this is Sally's little quilt, made around the same block...  wowee, isn't this cool???












and dahlia's are blooming in my back yard...............


Overall, a fabulous day - thanks for the great class, Sally!!!

happy quilting,

Kate







Sunday, August 19, 2012

GRAB THE BRASS RING

Well, today I got one HECK of a message... 

You know I have been feeling unsettled about that big 60 birthday yesterday - wondering what comes next, stuff like that... 

Well, DH and I have a special celebration in August, cause his birthday is one day later than mine - great fun!

So today we celebrated by spending the day HERE:

 That's the Santa Cruz, CA waterfront - it's a fabulous, old-style boardwalk, complete with an arcade, fabulous shops, a huge pier, and a wonderful old wooden rollercoaster.
 We ate, walked, people-watched, and then ended up here, at an old, classic Carousel:

 Well, it turns out this Carousel is famous because it's one of only about 25 in the world that has one of these:  Do you see this boy grabbing something from that arm???
 Well, it seems this is where the phrase GRAB THE BRASS RING comes from - at the end of that arm, a little ring slides into place, and the rider grabs it, if they can...  if your horse is down, you can't reach it, if the horse is up, you have a chance...

She got one!!




After you get the brass ring, you are supposed to throw the ring in the clowns mouth...  if you hit
the mouth, lights flash...






OH - OH - IT HIT ME LIKE A BOLT OF LIGHTNING... that's what I am supposed to do next...  GRAB THE BRASS RING...

I so needed to see this and get this message...

hmmm...  I am very excited - and gonna make some plans for what this means... stay tuned!!

What a great birthday this turned out to be..

Kate



Friday, August 17, 2012

CANCELLED

TODAY'S ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED BIRTHDAY IS..........





I'M TOO BUSY DOING FUN THINGS !!!!


KATE

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dreading Friday

OK, somebody kick me in the behind quick... 

I'm having one of those birthdays where the first digit changes... you know, the one from 5 to 6...

Oh Lord, I don't want to have a 6... I truly don't...

I don't want to be a baby,,, but I don't like this............

Is denial a good way to cope? 

Extensive margerita therapy?

Fabric shopping?

Buying a long-arm??

hmmmm........................

Kate

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Last Day of My Quilty Retreat - boo hoo

Wow, four days of staying home and quilting, quilting and more quilting, except for a trip out to - you guessed it - the Quilt Guild meeting!

Tomorrow I really must think about work ... and actually go to it too!!!  And an extra-fun trip to the dentist...

But, for now, let's recep all the fun things I did today...

I cut up some scraps for the Quilt Guild charity project...I'll take them back next month, all nicely trimmed into stacks of 5, 4.5, and 2.5 inch squares, as the little instruction card in the bag told me to do!

 Then, because I felt guilty, I worked in my own "crumb basket", where I throw the 'little bits",  and then gradually stitch them into squares of fabric.....
 From that work came some nice 6.5 inch crumb blocks...


Oh, my... I looked at this basket, full of strings... but I closed my eyes and pretended it wasn't there!
 I now have a plan for the remainder of this piece... a 1.5 inch tan border, which I attached today in oversized fashion - I will trim it down and square it up.  Then it will get one more pieced border and one solid border, and it will be finished.  

 The Quilt of Valor got a third row of the eight required.
 And I popped these blocks together - I won them in a lotto... pastels aren't really my thing, but some little girl will love this - have to put one more yellow border on the whole thing. 
So - now it's soon going to be late afternoon, time to tidy up, put away, fold some laundry... you know, transition back to the reality of the workweek.

It's been a great four days... fun, fun!!!

I'm sad to see the Olympics end - it has been great having something decent on tv every night!

Happy Quilting to Everyone...

Kate

Friday, August 10, 2012

QUILT IMMERSION DAY TWO

oh my my - Day Two of my Four-Day QUILT IMMERSION !!!  What fun...

Yesterday I found a great new class to take with Sally Collins... You'll remember I took a week-long with her at Asilomar - and only learned a small bit of what this incredible quilter has to teach!
This is Sally's quilt "Pieced Baskets"... I wish I had the measurements...

So - she is teaching a class on this itty-bitty basket blocks... you can make them in two sizes - 3 1/4 ... (yes, the whole block)... or 1 7/8 ...........YOWEEE 1 7/8   ............ i can't wait to take this class...  August 23...  hooray!  what fun that will be.
So - in addition to signing up for class, here's what I did today:

 1.  Washed a bunch of quilting fabric and carefully folded piled it in this chair.
 2.  Put together two rows of a quilt of valor quilt... 
 3.  Did a little ripping and resewing to get the corners more square, and added a small raspberry border, and decided not to put the Lemoyne Stars around this... 
and then;
4.  Worked on the quilting of this Shadow Trapunto piece.  I really get bored doing little microstippling on these pieces.   oh well, nearly done on this part. 


And now it's Olympics and time for some handstitching of bindings...  fun, fun!

................a great quilty day...

Tomorrow afternoon is Guild Day, and our speaker is Edyta Sitar - it will be great to meet her and see her wonderful quilts!

Happy weekend to all,

Kate



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day One: Personal Retreat

Hi everyone,  and happy Dog Days of August...

I have proclaimed a four-day retreat - took th/fr off from work, and will quilt from sunup to way past sundown each day - fun fun.  I plan to put on decent clothes only to go to the quilt guild on Saturday - otherwise, it's shorts, barefeet, and a t-shirt...  and send DH out for take-out if we don't want to eat what's in the fridge...

So - what did I work on??  Well, here goes, like a bee flitting from flower to flower
 I made 8 blocks for the sunshine Guild Block Lotto - and , yes, this block is sewn correctly - it's 'modern' !!!!  I can't decide if i like it or not !!!!  But it's getting mailed to the Lotto Lady in Texas!


 I trimmed lots of HSTs for a Quilt of Valor - my Guild is doing a big QOV focus at our Quilt Show next spring...  more on that as this project goes along.

Then some of those HSTs were turned into blocks... 8 down, 40 more to go...
Next I tried out a look for the next part of this wall hanging quilt...  and I really like the LeMoyne Stars in a Square in a Square look, but don't like the green color...  so will rip off the green and replace with the tan background color so the stars float...  and make more stars for the other sides!!! Also have to remove those corner pieces on the last border - they are too large - need to redo them...

Lastly, I finished trimming this Shadow Trapunto piece, on organza, and auditioned some fabrics for its background color... this was the winner... tomorrow I'll sandwich it with batting and get it ready for quilting - I love love this design!  Its from Geta Gramma's book Shadow Trapunto.
Still a bit more time to go - and Olympics to watch - which means working on the Great Hexagon quilt!!!! hooray for Day One of the Quilty Retreat

Happy Quilting to Everyone!

Kate

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Photo Finish !!

Hi everyone and Happy Sunday...

At long last, this quilt is finally completely finished, with hanging sleeve attached.  This morning DH and I put it up for a proper photograph, with no feet below or fingers on the corners!!

 I'm going to enter this in an outdoor quilt show - it has the big, dramatic effect that is good for an outside display where the quilts are seen from a distance...  here's the back, complete with some leftover HST's, .....
 and here's the detail on my EXTREME quilting - I was nutty to decide to do this quilting... 
 In celebration of the finish, I started to 'pop together' some blocks for a Guild quilt of Valor project...

and promptly sewed this up............................................ ERROR!!!  RIPPER, RIPPER, WHERE ARE YOU???  OH well, this was just a sample block anyway... live and learn...
Tomorrow is a good day for ripping!!  I am going to crash on the couch and relax for a bit before sunday afternoon disappears! 

Kate

Saturday, August 4, 2012

FINALLY A PROPER WALL FOR ME

Hello hello, and happy Friday night!!!

Well - today was a big quilty day ... I got a PROPER design wall..!!! hooray hooray hooray!!

I have never had one because we have moved frequently for the past decade, and so I always thought - at the next house... well, hell's bells !!!! 

I've tried all the 'make-do- design walls - sheets, the sticky stuff on the wall, etc.  But what I really wanted was a nice wall where I could stick pins in and hang things up with out them falling back off...

Well, DH came through...  We went to Home Depot, found the sheets of building insulation, and got two big 4 by 8 sheets.  Then we had to rent the little HD truck to get it home, and unload it, but that all went well.

This afternoon I covered it with batting, and DH brought it into the quilt room, where we discovered it wedged perfectly between the floor and the ceiling with nothing to hold it up - MAGIC !!!

This was all together so so easy - I can't believe I waited so long....  

 So - here's my new little corner, with my new little wall... I have a second piece I can put beside it when I need a bigger wall (can't get to the closet then, oh well!)
COLOR ME A VERY HAPPY QUILTER...

Sharon Stroud - do those pieces on the wall look familiar???? 
Sharon taught a class in applique in New York where I made those little 'learning' pieces, and I enjoy seeing them every day!  thanks for the class, Sharon

More sewing TOMORROW !!!!

Kate





Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hexagon Quilt Check-In for August

Well ................... AUGUST - and I have been working on this hexagon quilt for ONE YEAR AND FIVE MONTHS...  almost every day...  and this is the August 1 photo.   sorry it's a little crooked -

I'm entering a new phase where this seems to be going a little bit faster - perhaps because the work it more centered in smaller areas now, so the progress shows more... I'm not a person who can work in one area for a long time, I would rather jump around...  but gradually, there are fewer areas to jump to - hooray!!

 Someone asked recently where I got the pattern, or if I made this up...  well, a little bit of both .  I saw a photo of a hexagon quilt that is hanging in a British Museum from the 1800s... it was made by a SOLDIER - seems they encouraged the soldiers to SEW because it kept them from DRINKING and GAMBLING too much !!!!
So, you tell your DHs how great it is that we quilt!!!

So, that's the pattern story - I just took the pattern, and started graphing it out on graph paper, and then adjusting it cause the original was even bigger than this!!!!

I'm shoorint for a finish of the top by Christmas - - oh will that be a happy day!

I also made this little 4 inch cutie...  I love hand piecing!  Tomorrow night I will take out that center seam and work on that left triangle point ... got to nudge it back to the center!! 
.,... not tonight , though, no patience left.
Night everyone -  happy Tuesday!

Kate
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