Monday, December 13, 2010

quiet, but still making

for the flickr embroiderbee:

embroider bee 3

embroider bee 2

embroider bee 1

for The Bee's Knees:

bees knees october 1

bees knees october 2

for Bee Liberated:

bee liberated september 2

bee liberated september 1

and for the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap:

mug rug

more to come.

Friday, September 17, 2010

in and out



(from so very long ago) a coordinating! doorstop and a plastic bag dispenser from Corrie for (the first!) Urban Home Goods swap...

urban home goods 1st received--doorstop front

urban home goods 1st round received, doorstop back

urban home goods 1st round received--plastic bag dispenser

my stunning dqs9 quilt from Anita...

dqs 9 received 1

dqs 9 received detail

and lots and lots of bee blocks and swap blocks for the second Mod Bento Block Swap.


spider web blocks for Greta...

asb may 2

asb may 1

sampler blocks for Leanne...

tbk august 2

tbk august 1

and 3x6 mini-bee blocks for the whole hive.

3x6 bee 2nd quarter

on the machine now: Corrinne's giveaway winnings.  More on that next week, fingers crossed. 

Happy weekend!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

the right track

dqs9 front & back

Most times, when I make something, I picture it and then do it. Which is not to say that there aren't changes and mistakes along the way (case in point)--but the finished product is usually pretty similar to what I had in my head to begin with.

This swap was different.

What I ended up with could not be farther from my original plan, which I had deliberated over for quite some time as it was.

I do like the finished product, but there's a part of me that's kind of grieving for my first idea. I'm not sure there will ever be another time to use it.

Maybe, someday, for myself.

Onward. The front is fairly straightforward, though I did get a chance to play around with positive and negative space.

dqs9 front

I had planned to hand quilt the entire thing, but then I discovered that I really know nothing about hand quilting. I kept the bird (since that motif from the back...

dqs9 back closeup

...was the inspiration for this final version), but opted to machine quilt the rest.

dqs9 front detail

Bound, labeled, sent (again!) with hometown-made lemonheads, with half an hour to spare.

Friday, September 10, 2010

alex in wonderland

The amusement park, not the fairy tale.

We visited Amarillo, Texas this past (Labor Day) weekend, where my husband was born and lived until he was four.

We rode horses, saw cars growing out of the ground, "hiked" Palo Duro Canyon, went to a rodeo, toured his family's old stomping grounds, and had tacos and margaritas for (my birthday) dinner...

steer skull and broken glass

stable window

from the canyon floor

walking to the cadillacs

at the rodeo

boot hill cemetery

through the trees

...but the highlight was certainly our trip to Wonderland.

Which Alex loved "this much"--

i love it this much

which was delightful in itself, but not too bad either was the perfectly glorious sky that was the backdrop for the perfectly glorious colors of this place.

snowflake in lights

ferris wheel

coaster 1


See any quilts in there? Thought so.

Also, I somehow managed to photograph a rainbow.

water ride rainbow

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

eggplant and bone

first attempt.


first-and-a-half attempt.


the right track.


strips sewn

finished now, and in the dryer...just needs a label.  photos tomorrow, before I mail it, right on time.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

an owl haikoop

Have you heard about the Embroidereading Contest, hosted by Melissa at Checkout Girl?

owl haikoop

Alex is into owls—like really into owls—and loves to ask me again and again about where and how they live. One day on a forest preserve walk, he asked, “why don’t we see owls?”—even though he knows they’re nocturnal. It’s as if it fascinates him that there are creatures that are allowed to stay up past his bedtime. That question became this (haiku) poem about what an owl is doing while we’re up and living.

The only things I bought for this project were the floss and the hoop—all the appliqué fabrics are scraps or cut from thrifted things…the cloud is batting, the owl’s body is from a wool herringbone blazer. My fabric is less than organized, but I just knew I had this tiny scrap of yellow dots, and I was miraculously able to find it to make the sun.

My one regret (besides the fact that the word "sleep" looks a little bit balloonlike--I was using my own handwriting!) is that the weather here is dreary and so therefore is the photo. He is much perkier looking in real life.

I'll be celebrating my birthday and my blogiversary in Amarillo, Texas...see you next week!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

where my mind wanders,

...when I'm doing most anything, is to quilts.

We pulled out the Perler beads before camp today and Alex started working on a circle (he's a perfectionist, already at almost-four, so this process will take a while), and I saw a mulberry bead next to a baby blue one (or was it the petal pink?), and before I knew it...Quick, grab a photo.  A perfect quilty color scheme.

quilty beads

Alex wanted to add another pink--too peachy--and I asked him to wait until the photo was finished.  Does everyone take pictures while playing with their kids?  I suppose I should compartmentalize things a bit better and unplug from craftiness sometimes, but this is how my mind works.  Maybe I am somehow inspiring him artistically?  Either that or enhancing said perfectionism.  In either case, overthinking, probably. 

Anyway, have you seen this new flickr group?  Fun just to browse, but I like it especially because it lets me know that there are other people out there like me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

a challenge

Like most of its peers, the CMQG is just getting off the ground, but we've already done some really neat things in the few months we've been meeting.

Top of the list for me is the ICE challenge (blanking on the acronym's origin, but I'm pretty sure "inspiration" is in there somewhere...).  It's kind of like DQS with a twist: each person chose four fat quarters and made an inspiration block using parts of them.  Then we brought the block and the leftovers to a meeting, where we sent our blocks home with another person chosen at random who would use it all, plus her own fabrics as needed, to make a mini quilt.

I got to take home a block made by Debbi, one of the more accomplished members of our guild, and was kind of nervous to be adding to her beautiful work (she's very unassuming, though, and seemed genuinely excited to see what I'd come up with).  I neglected to take a photo of the block itself (how?!), but here's the finished quilt:

ice challenge top

The left side is her original block, and I was planning to add some improv sawtoothish shapes Marston-style, but to combat the busy-ness, the swath of blue seemed in order.  Which then seemed too un-busy, hence the white strip.  And then the quilt seemed to lack depth (or something?  Not sure I'm expressing that too well...) and so I took the plunge of cutting the entire thing, Debbi's block included, to insert that last medium blue strip.  Which was stressful (is it ethical to cut someone else's block?  I actually sat there for a while considering this with the rotary cutter in my hand, and then took a literal deep breath before I did it), but the result, I think, makes the quilt.

I discovered that I have a thing or two to learn about dealing with bias edges, and even with some basting (the only thing I knew to even try), the pieces moved enough that the top and bottom don't line up.  I ripped it once and tried again, and of course it was worse the second time, but then really better.  That little bit of movement seems to add some character that was missing before.  Debbi's block had a lot of movement, and I was aiming for moving from complex to simple across the quilt, but it was pretty stagnant until I made that mistake.  I squared it up and was satisfied.

The quilting took a long time to come together in my mind, but then it was quick to do.  I thought about hand quilting, which I think would have been a great fit for this quilt, but was reluctant to try it on someone else's quilt (Do I say that a lot?).  What I ended up with is actually one continuous line, which I love in that it unites the three parts of the design, and I used the gray thread as another unifying element as there was a lot of contrast in Debbi's fabrics.

ice challenge quilting closeup

After auditioning a lot of binding choices, I decided to continue the gray, with just a bit of black to kind of weigh the quilt down.  Not like it's going to float away, but just that I wanted it to seem more solid.

The show and tell at the meeting yesterday was terrific--each quilt more beautiful than the last.  A bunch of them are shown here.  This was a tremendous exercise, and Debbi seemed to like the final product (I hope!).  And wait until you see what I got back from Terri! 

As an aside, here's what happens when I take photos of a project I'm supposed to deliver in half an hour, when the drive there will take 45 minutes.

18 July

It's a miracle I got any shots of the quilt at all.

As another aside, we're talking about a second round of the Mod Bento Block Swap--check out this thread if you're interested.  Full details by the end of the week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


this is the sum total of my black & white fabric.

black & white scraps

Becca sent strips of various colors to each of us for ASB, and asked us to try a new method for spider web blocks from Collaborative Quilting (2?--by Gwen Marston & Freddy Moran--bee overlap!).  She accdientally included just enough black & white for the corners of one block.  Since I'm clearly deficient in this area of fabric accumulation, what's supposed to look like this:

liberated spider web complete

is just this

liberated spider web 2

for the second.

liberated spider web 1

Love this method!

For Bee Liberated, Susan asked for liberated log cabins using fussy-cut owls for the centers.

owl log cabins

I had never made a log cabin block before!  My only issue was that Susan asked us to build the blocks clockwise around the owl, but I ended up a little narrow on one side and had to add one last piece out of order--didn't have enough fabric (or think it would look good) to go around the whole block again.

But I'm sure that everyone who sees this quilt will only have eyes for this guy, anyway:

tiny owl