Thursday, November 13, 2014

Goldilocks and the 3 Quilts

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I finished these three quilts today.  By “finished” I mean “attached the labels.”  Two of them were waiting for the third to catch up.  How about a little story?

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This summer I went on a Shop Hop and bought three charm packs with the intention of making some pinwheel quilts.  The method is super simple . . . place two charms right sides together and stitch on all four edges.  Cut each pair from corner to corner twice – like an X.  Press the HSTs that result and sew them back together.

Quilt #1:

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I paired all the charms from one package, which resulted in 21 blocks.  That’s not enough for a lap quilt, so I dug around in my stash and found this green that worked great with the collections (Moda’s Merriment).  A quarter yard of red and it’s ready to quilt.

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For some reason, I decided to do the border with parallel lines . . . 3/8 of an inch apart.  Do you have any idea how long it takes to stitch all those lines?!?!!  That was just toooo much!

Quilt #2:

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In the meantime, I’ve read an article that says you need two charm packs for a lap size quilt.  So I picked out a Bella Solid or two (or three, they’re inexpensive!) to coordinate with this collection (Moda’s Snowbird).  Not bad, but it needs a border, so back to buy some yardage from the collection.  So much for “just a charm pack!”

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Hoping to save on quilting time, I decided on a meandering ribbon pattern.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done any free motion quilting and I guess I should have done a little practice first.  My ribbons are too far apart and pretty jerky and lumpy.  This time it was toooo little.

Quilt #3:

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At this point I’m thinking I’d like to try something different.  What if I added strips to make bigger blocks?  And how about some sashing, too.  That works pretty well and since I was buying fabric anyway, I got some yardage to match this collection, too.  This is my favorite anyway – Snowman Frolic.  Those snowmen are just too cute!

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I found a fairly easy quilting pattern involving wavy lines and circles.  It went much better, probably because I was already warmed up from the second quilt.  On the borders I did a wide diagonal grid which worked up nice and quick.  This one was juuuuust right!

Now I know how Goldilocks felt!

These three quilts are destined to go to my quilt guild’s charity project.  I enjoyed making the pinwheels, but I think I’ve done enough for now.  Time to get back to something more complex.  Hmmm.  Maybe some paper piecing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

From PHD to FP

So . . . the other day I was thinking about this blog . . . and wondering why I don’t seem to have anything to say lately.  I mean, it’s not like I’m not doing anything “blogworthy.”  I have dozens of project in the works.  Then I realized that while I’m very good at starting interesting projects . . .  I don’t seem to be very good at finishing many of them!

So, you could say I have a lot of PHDs – or Projects Half Done!

Once I realized how bad it has gotten (there really are a lot. of. phds!), I had a stern talk with myself.  (Yes, I do talk to myself quite a bit – doesn’t everyone?)  And we (myself and I) agreed that I must try harder to finish something.  Maybe a lot of somethings!  And I got to work.  And lo, it was good!

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You might recognize the legs from one of my (rare) recent posts.  This project was an online class by Deb Wood on A-for-Artistic.  Such a lot of fun to do.

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I had some learning experiences, of course.  I love the way her nose has extra color – but it isn’t from painting/blushing it.  It’s from burning!  The oven got a little too warm – it does that sometimes – and the nose and top of head got darker than the rest of her.  Hair and the hat took care of the top of her head.  And I could not have done such a good job if I’d painted the nose!

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Here’s the hat waiting to be donned.  Behind it, you can see extra hands.  There were some problems there, as well, but eventually a pair turned out how I wanted.  Anyone need an extra hand?  It’s green, but still useful!

OK.  So that’s one Finished project (FP).  I will be searching through PHDs for something else suitable for finishing.  I think I’ll follow Mary Corbet’s guidelines for deciding.  You can read her thoughts on UFOs on Needle n Thread.

Hopefully, I will be back soon with more FPs!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Clue

One last thing added to my polymer clay project before putting it aside for a couple of days.

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I’ll bet the guesses will be closer this time!

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This is the project that is taking my time for a few days.  Paper piecing with a difference – I am drafting my own pattern.  Oh Boy – is this a lot harder than I thought it would be!!!  I’ve re-drawn the pieces multiple times and this is my second attempt at stitching.  The first one was just sad.  Keeping my fingers crossed, but so far this version is going better.

I have found a whole new respect for people who draft this type of pattern!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Not Sitting on My Thumbs

Just because this blog has been quiet, don’t think I am not doing anything.  Unfortunately, one thing it does mean is that I am not finishing anything!  Until today.

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This is the Ice Queen that I went to class to learn how to make.  There are a few things I still need to practice on – hair and eyelashes come to mind – but I am feeling more comfortable with the clay.  And I’m tickled with how the Queen came out.

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I went a little crazy with her crown.  There were several ice-ish trims available and I think I used pieces of all of them! 

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This is my favorite photo, with the light behind her.  It makes all the sparkly bits – um, sparkly!  A lot of glitter was sacrificed for this gal’s costume!  (And I will be finding glitter in odd places for weeks, I’m sure.)

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The costume was concocted of sheer silk, Tyvek, mulberry paper, angelina fibers, and netting.  Fun stuff to play with and interesting results. 

Now that she is finished, I will pack up all the snowflakes, icicles and blue feathers for now.  Because the next project will be quite different.  I started today so here is a little teaser:

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Friday, September 12, 2014

What Have I Been Up To?

I’ve been a bit quiet here this week (OK, not just this week – but let’s not get involved in details).  I am taking another hands-on workshop, making a polymer clay figure.

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This morning, we baked heads.  And by this evening, arms and torso are ready to go into the oven. . . I hope. 

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She has some issues with her hands, but letting it sit overnight could settle that down a bit.  Polymer clay has less body as it gets warm and the weight of her hands causes the wrist to sag – in places where it should not be able to sag!  In the morning, the clay should be firmer and a bit easier to control.  I can see in this photo that she needs a little more “meat” on that outstretched arm.

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I am soooo happy with that face!  By George, I think I’ve got it!  Tomorrow we start playing with fabric.  Oh boy!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Order from Chaos

There’s a very good reason for this blog being silent for the month of August.  Really!  There’s been a lot of – er, disruption – in my half of the basement.

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This is just the beginning!

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This is what was happening on the other side of that wall.  This and a bit more, in fact.

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Whoa!  That is one heck of a hole!  The purpose of this hole is to provide an egress – a way to get out of the house in an emergency if the stairs are blocked.  After all, I spend a large amount of time hunkered down in this basement, but I want to be able to get OUT!

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This is a badly blurry picture, but I think you can see that not much cutting was getting done on that cutting table! Of course, while everything was topsy-turvey, I decided to see if I could come up with a better layout.

I crawled around with my trusty tape measure and measured EVERYTHING!  Whew, that was a job all by itself!  Then I opened EQ and started drawing furniture/blocks.  Here is what the original layout looked like:

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Cozy, huh?  This phase took even longer than cutting the hole, by the way.  I would draw up some options, and Sarge would tell me why it wouldn’t work!  Then I’d draw up some more options!  By the time I finished, I had every single piece planned to go somewhere else.  Except the TV.  It had to stay attached to its cable, after all.

Last weekend was moving day.  Amazingly enough, we did not kill each other before we were done (close a time or two, though!) and now it looks like this:

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Here’s real life, sort of:

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This shot looks dark because I was shooting into the light from the window.  The lighting is more like the one below.

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And from the outside . . .

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Now everything is put away and work surface are cleared off and I’m ready to get back to making things!

If I can remember where I put my tools, that is!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thread the Needle Day

Today (Friday, July 25) was National Thread the Needle Day.  Who knew?  I didn’t yesterday, but I do now.  The internet is a marvelous thing – just full of useless facts you never needed to know!

But that’s beside the point.  The point is how did I celebrate Thread the Needle Day?  With needle and thread, of course!  Imagine that!

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I stitched some hexies.  This seems to happen just about every day, although not for long periods.  It’s great for sitting in front of the TV but since I don’t watch much TV this project is taking a looooong time!

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I also threaded a beading needle and finished the fringe on this butterfly.  This particular project has been languishing since mid-June.  Today it got finished!

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My doll club took a class on making these boxes to display small dolls – or any art/craft/ephemera, really.  Now that my box is finished I need to decide what to display in it.  My finished dolls are all too large.  I guess I will have to make a new one!