Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lost in the Fabric

We have had a very rainy weekend here.I was content to spend the time in my sewing room playing with fabric. First I spent time on EQ7 designing a medallion quilt. I meticulously sized each border around the center so that I would know just how to proceed with the cutting. Then I sorted through my fabric carefully choosing each piece. I knew I wanted some cheddar in the center and so I added it to the star and corner points. Oh yeah, I liked that a lot!
As I began adding the next round I found that I was spending way too much time making these decisions. Just when I thought I had it figured out another fabric jumped in and I had to change my mind. Finally I pulled this star off the design wall and made a new one.  

I didn't plan on the inner border of blue, but as you can see, the blue got its way. After I added the hourglass blocks and another thin border strip I planned another pieced border. But before I knew what was happening, this striped fabric of blue and red jumped into the action. Seriously, this fabric was not in the equation, but I am merely a servant of the cloth, so in it went. The final border was a fabric that I had been wanting to add since the beginning, and in fact, the center of the star is from this fabric. There is just enough blue in this fabric, along with red, green, brown, tan, etc., for it to work--at least I hoped it would still work. Not being certain enough on that point, I ended up cutting borders of two other fabrics which, in the end, I rejected for my original choice. Do you care? Probably not, but I am hammering this our regardless because you have the choice to stop reading at any point.
I kept looking at that border fabric and telling myself that there was not enough fabric. Finally I got something right! There was not enough fabric! But at this point destiny had taken control and we (me and the fabric) decided it was a go, and so we added hourglass corners, because that would conserve several inches of fabric, and we pieced in other dark fabric on two border pieces because that is what Libby would have done. Right? And I do love that look of substitution. (Did you even notice?) 

So much for my idea with the cheddar. I may have to start this exercise all over again with the cheddar block!

Back to the topic of rain, did I ever tell the story of how our bedroom ceiling collapsed during Hurricane Irene? Well, thank heavens the leak that caused all the problem is finally fixed. Our bedroom has a covered deck above it, and somehow the water was so torrential and the wind was so strong that it blew the water sideways under the deck until there was enough water that the ceiling collapsed. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the leak was immediately below where a squirrel had built a nest under the floor of the deck. He/she ate through an inch of blacktop on the roof and then began chewing on the board below it. 
 The black pieces that you see are the blacktop roofing that was chewed up, and the straw looking stuff is shredded wood from the board beneath. There is also something that looks like quilt batting which, I promise you, I did not give him! The wire that is sticking out of the nest was pushed up from the bedroom ceiling where we could actually see daylight! Don't talk to me about cute little squirrels!

It is still raining and we are glad to be dry. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the eye doctor and will be reminded once again that I am not getting any younger. My solution is to follow Martin Short's advice from "The Three Amigos" and "sew old woman, sew like the wind"! Another great quote from this movie, taking place in Mexico, is, "Do you have anything here besides Mexican food"? I believe that one was Steve Martin.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stars of Comfort

Most of us go through our daily lives without being too much affected by what is going on in Iraq or Afghanistan. We may voice support of our troops and wave our flags, but by and large our life goes on as before. I know many of you have given service in the form of making quilts, etc. Quilters seem to be, by nature, comforters. They care when they see those in need, and try to provide comfort by creating a tangible object in the form of a quilt that someone can wrap up in an hopefully feel the comfort that it provides, knowing that it was made with love. It may not solve problems, but it does show that people care. And we do care!
 How long have quilters been stitching stars?

I am mentioning this today because my friend, John'aLee has put a call out for star blocks to make patriotic quilts. Sadly, her daughter Tory lost her fiance in Afghanistan recently. She is grieving and in deep pain. Her mother, a quilter, wants to bring comfort in the form of a quilt for Tory and for the parents of her fiance, as well as his best friend who was there at his side when he died. If you would like to contribute a star block or two please go to The Scrappy Appleyard blog for more information. Block info can be found HERE. We all know that many hands make light work. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How Many Quilters???

I had to call an electrician last week because the light in the bathroom just wouldn't stay on. It would work for a week, then not work for a week, then work for a week, etc. Finally I made the dreaded call to bring in the experts. Surely there was a short in the wiring or something. No, that wasn't it. Turns out the bulb was the wrong wattage and finally burned out. You know where it says inside the lamp, "don't use a bulb with watt higher than...". Well I ignored that advice. The electrician replaced the bulb with a lower watt and went on his way, laughing, no doubt. How many quilters does it take to screw in a light bulb? None, we are busy with other things. My husband said he told everyone at work this story and I told him he should be ashamed of himself, he didn't even TRY to fix it! Talk about burned out!

So what have I been so engrossed in? Well, my friend Pati at Marcus Fabrics sent me a parcel of fabric and asked if I wanted to make a quilt for their booth at Houston Quilt Market.  
 I am not sure if I should be posting this because it isn't even on their website yet, so don't tell anyone, but here are a few pieces of the new Cocheco Mills fabric by Judie Rothermel. They have had four versions of this and I think this is the prettiest one yet! This fabric will be available in October. Watch for it!
And here is what I have done with it. I used the larger brown floral for the borders and the corners in the star block. I brought in creams and shirtings and the tan fabric from other Marcus lines to complete the quilt. It is very old and romantic looking in person. Now I can take a deep breath and get it off to be quilted! I will show more of this when I get a pattern out, hopefully by the end of October.

Hope you are all enjoying nice fall weather!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

September Stitches

September first! How can this be? Hurricane Irene has come and gone. We didn't suffer much damage, thankfully. There are many that did, and to those we offer prayers and good wishes.

My sewing room looks like a hurricane hit it, but that is nothing new! I was hoping to dig into a UFO and finish something substantial, but another project came up and now I am feverishly making 9-patch blocks for a new quilt design in an effort to get it done for quilt market in October. I actually love deadlines. They get me moving! 
 I recently got this project back from the framer. It is by Blackbird Designs. I love the way they encourage you to honor your ancestors or others who have touched your life by including their name in a sampler. This one has the name of my great-grandmother, Kate Spencer North. I love samplers, but being a novice at this, and rather ill informed, I didn't realize the photo on the pattern was done in a variegated type of thread, but I liked the look of it, so I changed thread colors here and there to try to achieve the same effect. Silly me! My own accidental original!

Can you feel the chill in the air? The switch gets flipped on September first. Fall is around the corner.