Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New triangle

Here's my latest Dear Jane triangle. I started it a week and half ago, and finished it tonight at my quilt guild's Sit & Stitch night. It's RS-6 Tumbling Blocks. I pieced it by hand since there were so many set-in seams. The point on the bottom diamond is actually *not* cut off, it's just the way the scan came through. I'm a perfectionist about certain things, but scanning these blocks is not one of them. :)

My Dear Jane totals are 55-18-1-1736 (blocks-triangles-corners-pieces). I didn't do last week's block or triangle because I was busy making baby quilt tops. I got two tops done and the binding sewn together for both of them last night. Once I get them quilted and bound, I'll post pictures.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Weird Small Gems

Last February at the NEORQC (http://www.gcornett.com/neorqconline/index.html) Getaway I took Judy Kessler-Smith's "Small Gems" class. The idea was to create small embellished projects using a variety of techniques. We played with paint sticks and textured rubbing pads. We painted on used dryer sheets - they have a very interesting texture. We experimented with Angelina fibers, various trims, tulle and decorative stitches on our machines. Judy is very talented and very artistic, and I learned some good techniques. I can be creative at times, but I just wasn't feeling it that weekend, so not many of the new techniques made it into my finished projects.

I finished this postcard while we were there, which was fun. The background is a piece of blue fabric. I layered on some Anglina fibers, a piece of watercolored satin ribbon, some cotton yarns and trims, then cut out a few roses from a piece of fabric. There's a layer of blue or black tulle on top of that. Then I stitched on top with pink metallic thread. The result was cut down to postcard size, backed with Timtex and muslin and satin stitched along the edges.

My second project is the weird one. I took my scrap boxes with me and had a bunch of "autumn" scraps from a pumpkin table runner I'd made a few years back and a chenille scarf I gave my mom. Also, there was some orange and green baby ric-rac that I got in a grab bag ages ago that was dying to with it. Since the scraps were in odd sizes, a crazy quilt arrangement seemed to fit the bill. This is what I ended up with.

It's okay but a little on the blah side. I'd talked it over with Judy in the class, and she suggested adding a red fabric flower to add some punch. I tried to cut out petals and fuse them to make a flower, but that looked flat, literally and figuratively. I tried making a yo-yo flower using the clover yo-yo maker (http://www.shopatron.com/product/part_number=8707/181.0), and that was better, but the flower was too small. I was going to make a ribbon flower using Nancy Zieman's Easy Ribbon Accents (http://www.nancysnotions.com/NNVia/viaImagePageTacony.jsp?searchText=BK2007&pd=EASY%20RIBBON%20ACCENTS%20BOOK), but I couldn't find ribbon I liked to go with it. I considered doing some kind of dimensional machine embroidery, but decided I didn't want to spend that much time on it, since I'm not crazy about it in the first place. I just wanted it Done.

I had taken a class at a local sewing shop that used silk flowers as embellishments,and thought that might be a good compromise. So I dug through my extensive collection of crafty stuff and found some scrapbooking flowers that blended well:

But it still needed something.... Button jar to the rescue! I found this nice gold button with a red jewel in the center. Perfect!

I actually almost kind of like it now, but I have no place to use it at my house. It's the perfect size for Ami Simms' Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (http://www.alzquilts.org), so I might send it there. The only problem is that all the embellishments are supposed to be sturdy enough to withstand potentially being run over by a mail truck. I'm not sure the button would survive, since it's plastic. I wonder if a small red yo-yo would look okay? Maybe made out of organza or lame'? Something that pops. Hmmm.... If I go with that, I'll post another picture.

Now I'm off to the sewing room. I think I'll work on baby quilts today. The tops will go together quickly, then I can work on DJ tomorrow. More pictures then.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ahead of schedule

Well, it's only Friday, and I've already finished this week's block and triangle challenges. Hooray! Now I can switch gears and work on some other stuff. Tomorrow I'll work on the binding for Big Red and if/when I get that done, I'll work on the weird small gem/crazy quilt thing that has to be done by the 29th. It's almost done -- I just have to put some decorative stitching over a few seam lines and make a ribbon flower as an embellishment. Should be a nice change of pace from these little blocks.

Here are the blocks and triangle I finished this week:

New Dear Jane totals: 55 blocks, 17 triangles, 1 corner 1711 pieces. Nearly 1/3 of the way done! At this rate, I might be done by this time next year. :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

The last set (long)

Okay, I admit, I was very lax over the weekend and didn't post anything new. I was busy socializing on Saturday, then on Sunday I was catching up on all things I didn't get done at home on Saturday.

I didn't even watch the SuperBowl. I know, I'm so un-American. I was in my sewing room trying to get this week's block done. And I did - it's the last block on this page. I got it's companion block (i.e., the other one in the same fabric) mostly done, then realized that I put it together in the wrong order, so I had to rip it out today. I'll finish that one, along with this week's triangle, block and it's "buddy" tomorrow and/or Wednesday night. Thursday is my Dear Jane meeting at the library, so I'll try to work on last week's triangle then. I hate to lug my machine around, so I tend to just take hand work with me there. Someone sent me her paper-piecing chart for last week's block, but it will look a lot better (to me) if it's hand-pieced.

Then I really, really, have to work on Something Else. Finishing the weird little crazy quilt for the NEORQC Getaway at the end of the month is pretty high on the list, since that has a deadline. Oh, and I have finish Big Red by the 12th, since I promised my friend Beth I'd have it done for Show & Tell at the next guild meeting. My cousin gave me a temporary stay on the baby quilt she wanted me to make, but I might do that soon anyway. I have a kit for another one in the same pattern, so maybe I'll work on both of them at the same time. That will get the kit off the HSY (Haven't Started Yet) list and bumped up to a WIP (Work In Progress) or onto the finished in 2008 List. That one doesn't exist, since I haven't finished anything yet.

Sigh.... So many projects, so little time.

Meanwhile, here are the last of my Dear Jane blocks. Current totals: 52 Blocks, 16 Triangles, 1 Corner, 1589 pieces. That leaves 117 blocks, 36 triangles, 3 corners and a whole lot of pieces left to go!

This is my first corner kite:

It looks like a big square because I was too chicken to trim it just yet. :-)

This triangle reminds me of a Breast Cancer Ribbon:

I'd take credit for it, but it was really just dumb luck - that block happened to be pink in my color scheme. I'll go ahead and dedicate it to my Mom, who's a 17+ year survivor, though.

[Edit to add: Somehow my pictures disappeared from this post. I posted the ones I know for sure belong here]