catlinyemaker: (starquilt)
Holly Berries


I finally finished the binding on the Holly Berries quilt and went over it with a narrowed eye and a lint brush.  It’s done but for a label.  Hurray! 

I designed this quilt in EQ a long time ago, and it feels so good to see it in the fabric, as it were.  If you want to read about the process of making it (starting at the beginning of August) just click on the "holly berries" tag.  This is also the first quilt that I've developed a pattern for, since another quilter asked me where the pattern was available.  It's been quite an experience!  As always, click the photo to go to my Flickr account and see it slightly larger, if you like.

There was a little extra push on getting this quilt done, so that I could enter it in the 2012 Christmas Quilt Show at Quilting Tutorials.  Click on over and take a look at all the gorgeous quilts in the show!

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This past week was mostly a mini-vacation for J and me, so not much quilting went on. I worked on the binding for Holly Berries (2/3 done) and was distressed to find another small spot where the border fabric was pulled badly enough to need patching. I need to take some time this week and go over the whole quilt with a jaundiced eye and see if anything else is wrong. I’m afraid this second spot (not as bad as the first, where the outer border was actually torn) confirms that this happened at the quilter, as I pulled a snarl of quilting thread from the corner of a square in that area. Lesson learned: look the quilt over carefully before accepting delivery.

Anyway, on to more cheerful topics... )
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11/19 Design Wall
(as always, click to embiggen if desired)

This week I pulled fabrics for Grandmother’s Choice, the Block of the Week project running on Barbara Brackman’s blog to commemorate Women’s Suffrage. I struggled with possible colorways for a long time while I was thinking about making this quilt. The colors of the American suffrage movement were white and yellow, but the Brits used purple, green and white. Both appealed to me. Finally, a quilt where sampler blocks alternated with quarter-square triangle blocks caught my imagination. I pictured a quilt where the setting blocks and the backgrounds of the sampler blocks would be yellow and white, and the sampler blocks would be all the colors of African violets. My grandmother loved those flowers and always had a tray of them on a windowsill blooming merrily away, allowing me to honor her, too, with Grandmother’s Choice.

More about process... )

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I hope everyone's doing well and looking forward to happy holidays! We're in the process of changing over from chemo to radiation in J's treatment cycle, and thus moving from Gilroy to Turlock to be closer to the radiation center, since that will mean daily appointments M-F for an estimated seven weeks. Part of the process for us has been getting the rig and the truck ready to roll, which resulted in a number of ups-and-downs last week, no question about it.

Ups and downs, all week... )

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Christmas Village top FINISHED!

This was a week of wrestling with everything. I wrestled with getting a good photo of the Christmas Village quilt, finished last week. After three tries, finally produced a picture I’m happy to share. I’m really pleased with how this quilt turned out, especially since so much of the center panel was done flying by the seat of my pants.
Other quilty wrestling matches... )

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Border Houses

After pondering the border trees for a bit longer and not achieving any clear vision, I decided to set them aside and work on the border houses, where I did have a much better feel for what I wanted to see.  The sewing has been fast and furious, in part because the quilter should be done with my log cabin quilt sometime this coming week, and if I can finish this quilt I can take it along when I go to pick up the other and have all three quilts finished and off to the quilters in good time.

Fruitcake intervened... )
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Border Trees 1

The trees are thwarting me. So far I’ve sewn one with the green fabric wrong side up, and one that was perfect until I realized that I’d made it an inch too wide. The two lightest ones are both wrong. I suspect I’ll still use both of them – they’re not that wrong.

On the “color gets the credit but value does the work” front, I like the medium value trees, but, as you can see, they do a nice job fading into the medium blue background. I’ll probably still use them, too. Theoretically this is supposed to be a “nighttime” scene, and those medium and dark green trees fade like real trees do at night.

And Mister Guy remains convinced that there is no quilt which cannot be improved by the addition of a cat, even if it already has two sewn on there.

Finished Center with decorative cat

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I finished the first nine blocks (three more blocks to go, plus the fancy border) of the Christmas Village quilt, in a happy burst of creativity coinciding with Judy Laquidara’s October Quilt-till-you-drop weekend. (I know she calls it something kinder, but what can I say? I’m not nearly as nice as she is.) Those weekends are a great excuse to push myself to get past barriers and take the time to really make some progress, and that boost helps me all month long.


Quick and dirty applique techniques, for limited values of both "quick" and "dirty"... )

25

Oct. 3rd, 2012 02:23 pm
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We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary today.  With a good old English fry-up, served in the dining room of our RV.  Fried eggs, fried toast, streaky bacon (from Broadbent’s, yum!) baked beans… oh, and a bottle of Roederer Estate’s extra dry champagne from our trip to the Anderson Valley earlier in the year.

With the chemo and all, we’re being low key this year.  Our fancy celebration will come at the 25.5 year mark in the Florida Keys, once we’re past the medical foofaraw.  But I’m still highly amused, thinking that if anyone had told me this is where I’d be after 25 years of marriage, I would never have believed it.

Here’s to 25-plus more years to come.

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J and I are doing well; his treatment is going quite well so far, and I've been quilting like mad and have actually sent a few tops off to the quilters. We've been in one place since the middle of June, which is great for the quilting and the healthcare but not so good for the wanderlust. I think it’s our longest stretch in one venue (including time spent at our house in Pennsylvania) since 2009, when we started to travel seriously with the RV.
October will be patch-up and prep month, November, we roll again! )

I hope everyone is ready for Fall and enjoying some cooler weather wherever you may be!
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Broderie Perse treetop

My first attempt at Broderie Perse… I hope this quilt will look good when finished; I’m pretty much making it up as I go along. The bottom three squares will get cats in the window seat and maybe candles in the window. As always, click to embiggen if desired. Check out what everyone else is trying out at Judy Laquidara's Design Wall Monday!

Christmas Houses - Tree
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Christmas Houses I
Click to embiggen if desired.

The dishes never got more than a lick and a promise all weekend, because I was too busy having fun with quilting during the Quiltathon. We took Saturday and drove to Turlock to check out RV Parks; that’s where we’ll be going in November after Gilroy. But the rest of the time was quilt-full.

Holly berries is done, the binding made and set aside. The Holly Berries pattern I’m working on just needs one more day of writing and then it will be ready to go off for beta-ing. Photos to come, as I kept forgetting to set up for pictures while the light was good.
New quilt: design decisions and how they were made... )

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With the borders all cut and partially pieced, with one of them sewn onto the quilt, I had a crisis of faith about the colors I’d chosen for them. The green was too vivid, too strong combined with the focus fabric. I didn’t like the way it drew the eye. It clashed with the center of the quilt.

Borders three ways... )

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Holly Berries pieced and ready for borders.



Sample borders with helpful catbutt.

Last weekend, I laid the blocks out with the units for the nine ‘leaf’ blocks to make sure that none of the same red squares would be side by side when it was all sewn together. And for once it was easy; I got to the end of the layout without having to swap units around at all! That usually doesn’t happen, but it’s awfully nice when it does.

I spent the first half of this week sewing the leaf squares together and then sewing the top together, both of which went really fast. There were some seams that had to be clipped and re-pressed in the opposite direction when the blocks were ready to piece together, but I think I’ve figured out how to handle those going forward. It’s frustrating, realizing that things aren’t going to mesh (in every single border block – grr...) but that’s life sometimes. (And now I know those border blocks will need to be carefully – and differently – assembled in the pattern.)

Borders, simple and complex... )

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I very much enjoyed Black Blossom as a web serial, and artist-author M. C. Hogarth is doing a Kickstarter to fund publication of it as a book.  It's lovely if you're into language and storytelling and calligraphy and science fiction/fantasy.  The physical book looks beautiful, and the support level for the ebook version is reasonable.  If you’re interested, the Kickstarter has four days to go:  Black Blossom: A Fantasy of Manners Among Aliens.  There's a link to the web serial on the Kickstarter page, too.

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This was not a very quilty week; there was lots of running around but very little sewing. Thank goodness for wanting to show something new for Judy Laquidara’s Design Wall Monday, or nothing would have been done on the quilt front at all.

Holly leaf block units

Progress: All pieces are cut for the 9 remaining blocks on Holly Berries, and the berry units are pieced and mostly pressed.

Process: nesting seams and layouts... )

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Check out what talented quilters all over the country are up to this week on Judy Laquidara’s Design Wall Monday. Here’s my design surface, with a partial mock-up of the design for Holly Berries: four finished blocks surround one test block made up of unsewn units.

Holly Berries mock-up

Progress: 16 of 25 blocks completed, alternate background purchased, washed, and auditioned.

Process: When one has never done a new technique before... )

Next!

Jul. 30th, 2012 07:01 am
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Holly quilt concept

Candy Dish is complete and lint-brushed and folded, ready to go off to the long-arm quilter.  The backing needs to be bought and assembled (I checked my stash and there's nothing that will quite do.)

Next Quilt (Holly Berries) is on the design chair.  That angel fabric (which has been in my stash for years , waiting for the right quilt) will be the focus fabric, and go where the gold is in the EQ pattern, the cream will be background for half the blocks (stash fabric and I have about half of what's needed for the whole thing.)  It'll be fine; a closely matching cream fabric will actually add  interest.  And I'll be able to use the deep red which was background for Candy Dish as "berries" in this quilt.  Which means that most likely if I actually get to do the last of the Christmas quilts, it'll be a point to find a fabric from this quilt which can be used in that one, so they make a series and a set.

Here's the finished top, held by willing helpers on a fairly windy day. 

Check out what everyone else is up to this fine summer day at Judy Laquidara's Design Wall Monday!

candydish top

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