Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Fat Tuesday, Really?

 To begin with, I didn't get any quilting done today. I did look longingly at my pieces all laid out on the sewing machine, but never got a chance to sit down and actually sew.

My fuzzy friend, worn out from all that bird watching, napped on the floor in the sunbeams instead of curled up on the bed.

Though he did make it to the bed in time to be closed up in the bedroom long enough for me to get groceries in.

 This was one of those days when I had a long list of things to do, and actually got them all done. I had a dentist appointment this morning, in Temple City, and one of the requirements (now that I have metal parts) is to take antibiotics an hour before. I was actually able to find the pills this morning, amazingly enough--at least my meds are organized! Not only that, I phoned in a renewal so I could pick it up while I was in TC.

Once I got all that done, I came home for a bite of lunch, then off to Target and Trader Joe's, with a stop off at the bank and gas station. Go me!

I even managed to get all the groceries and stuff in, and put away. Then it was time to head back to Pasadena for quilt class.

Tonight was fun. Anne brought her blocks from a retreat she went to last year, and laid them out so we could play with them and critique the design.

She finally decided that it would look best with a sashing between the blocks--a cream to coordinate with the background, and cornerstones in colors to harmonize. The pattern is just too busy otherwise.
Interestingly enough, when Ethel made the same blocks last year, hers went together without sashing--but she had a different, broader color palette. It's a nice design and I could see it working out in several ways for a 3D effect.

Both Anne and Ethel have been making selvage quilts. Tonight Ethel got the top of hers done, and even found a fabric for the backing that is a print that looks like strips of selvages!

I took pictures from a distance, closer up, and then really close up so you can see the fabrics and how well it all goes together.

The black bubble print is in the center of each block as well as the inner border. It will also be the binding. 
 Please note that these are the quilters who make fun of me for doing all that paper piecing with the little bitty pieces.

I have a feeling that if we did a piece count (which I have no intention of doing!!) this quilt would probably come in pretty close to my star quilt!

Anyway, it's a good way to use up those selvages, which are getting more and more creative. Some  companies are really making an effort to make the selvage complement the design of the fabric.

Instead of just the little dots along the selvage to register the colors, some are using motifs from the design itself. Some of my 30s prints have had little flowers or bubbles or fruits.

Which means that now I cut my selvages off first, and leave a half inch or even an inch of the print with it. Then I pass them along to these "string quilters" who put them togeher in really cute and creative ways!
Rounding out tonight's accomplishments, Louise put a hanging sleeve and binding on her quilt. This was a "mystery" quilt done in a group at last year's Glendale Quilt Show, and she's entered it in this year's show.  I love the vibrant colors!

Now it's time to put this post, and myself, to bed! Another busy day tomorrow, and I'm hoping it will be one that gives me a chance to do some sewing!

Monday, March 03, 2014

A Glimpse of Stars

Laid out the pieces I've been working on just to see how they will look once they're sewn together. Too bad I don't have a design wall to pin them up on--I think this is going to look really good when it's done!

Here are four of the Bag #2 pieces set together to test the shading on the stars.

Because I used fabrics from Deep Stash I didn't have a lot of choices. Well, not as many as if I'd been at the store with a full array of shades in front of me!

Still, there were a lot of good orangey-yellowy-brownish colors, and quite a lot of that reddish brown. So all the "dark" on one of the sections is that color.

This is what the sections looked like when they were done. On the left are the trimmed pieces, and on the right is a messier, untrimmed one.

Ninety-six of these guys.

If you look at the picture at the top of this column, you can see that they will be sewn to the stars I made last week. The dark spikes fill out the background of the stars, and then the yellow/orange pieces will create new stars where the corners meet.
 More process photos.

Testing out color combinations. Because of the aforementioned situation with a limited choice of fabrics, you can see that these two wouldn't give much of a definition to a star. Too close in value.

Guess there will be some laying out once the blocks are sewn together.

Started on the next bag's worth of piecing. There are 32 of these pieces, all in the dark blue/light blue fabrics.

 Fold. Trim. Sew. Press.


I've acquired a new assistant along the way. Shyla is renouncing her Closet Cat ways, big time. She likes to see what I'm doing and "help" me do it.

 Of course, my former assistant is not about to give up his status as Chief Cat.

You may have noticed that she perches daintily on the pressing part of the mat, staying well away from the action going on with the rotary cutter.

He feels as if he can just flop right on top of what I'm trying to do.  Even if I don't especially want his "help."

 When he's not sitting on the work, he's blocking the light. I have 3 Ott lights set around the machine and the cutting/pressing table, one of which is quite elderly and flops closed at the slightest provocation.

A certain boy cat is always ready to provoke it. He's also prone to causing avalanches of various sorts.

This sewing room was going to be organized for optimal efficiency, and that may very well happen. In the meantime, if I want to sew, I need to make a little space and try to locate my tools so they're accessible and not too precariously balanced.

Admire the lovely boycat draped across my cutting table. No, go ahead.I can't do anything else anyway.

Thisr-- is the face of a great little Mother's Helper. Not.

As I type this, he's sitting at the right of the computer, eyeing my plate of buttered raisin toast  over on the left. I'm not sharing. If I was a "good" cat mother--and I am definitely NOT his mother!--you just know I'd let him lick all the butter off and nibble on the toast before I finished off whatever he didn't want. You'd think after being my cat all these years he'd have learned that I'm selfish that way.

Hope springs eternal, and all that good stuff.

Back to the sewing and cutting and pressing and trimming and and and. I'm getting anxious to see how this is all going to look when it's done!