Friday, April 28, 2006

Quilt Show Photos

The winners of the big show in Paducah are online at the American Quilter website. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Get ready, get set, go!

I had nothing to say today... So I decided to read around the ring (After my computer finally started to work at about 9:50) first. Well wouldn't you know, Vicky of LA Quilter blogged about her getting into quilting... & I decided that I could too... Sort of!

Once upon a time ago, I was a cross stitcher. (I started more of those that I finished too & I have cross stitch PIGS & to do patterns still! You never know the earth could spin out of its axis & I'd want to start cross stitching again...) Then one summer around 2000 I decided that I was going to start quilting. No pattern called to me, no LQS begged me to visit, no friends quilted, etc. So went to Michaels & bought a charm quilting book. (I was not going to do a traditional charm quilt, just use the shapes.) So I went to JoAnnes and bought some blue fabrics - CALICO's and a Judaic print - WHO KNEW? In the mean time, I was a cashier at Giant & during the lulls, I would draw on paper towels - quilting patterns. (The paper towels had hexagons quilted into it & my charm template pack had hexagons.) So I drew - are you ready a "Star." I traced my templates onto freezer paper, glued it to my fabric and was off. I had no idea on how to piece them together - but finially figured out something that would "work." (I cut with rotary cutter & only nicked myself a little bit...)

After creating innumerable charms, I searched the internet for a "quilt guild." (No idea how I knew there was such an animal.) & joined right up! I also signed up for the first class that they had - applique with Karen Kay Buckley. Boy was I in over my head. (I bought the WRONG fabric at Joannes, etc.) I learned a lot - the best thing was how to keep my needle on the top of the project. (I had been a cross stitcher - remember & this was my FIRST quilting class.) I bought her sampler book.

Meanwhile at the quilt, one of the gals gave me her old sewing machine. So the hexagons were NEVER touched again! (Someone adopted them when I had to downsize in 2005.)

I went home and bought fabric for a sampler quilt at Joannes - NO CONTRAST and started a few blocks - HATED IT! Turned it into a cat pad, by "birthing" it with fleece. I think if someone "Made" me make a sampler it would be absolute torture for me to this day. (But a beginner's class on it would have been a great foundation - if I knew there were such classes...)

BTW If you were not counting, up to this point, I had 3 UFO's - well the samepler I finished...

I was reading all kinds of library books - but adamant not to do it the "TEMPLATES" way.

I could go on, but it took me several months to "figure it out." I am basically self taught & have never been a perfectionist - so technique has never been aything that I "worried" about... I have some early quilts that can attest to that! (1/4 inch - that is an average right? Something we strive for but never attain...) I'm way better with that, but I still prefer easier stuff - so that if I am not perfect - it doesn't matter so much. :o)

Please do share you beginings - curious minds want to know!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A note...

A note on the quilt show photos... My husband Michael (the saint for going to quilt shows with his wife) & I went to two local shows on Saturday in the rain. The first was my old guild Faithful Circle Quilter's in Columbia, Maryland, it was nice to see so many familiar faces and to catch up with some of the gals, but I did not take any pictures... Not sure why, I had my camera... Plenty of nice quilts & great vendors. (one of my favorite vendors, a hand dyed lady "The Dyers Edge" gave me a free piece of shibori as a wedding gift, now I want to think of a "Stunning" way to use it!) I got a fat quarter/scrap friendly pattern - that I mentioned on Monday - called "October."

Our quild had Norma Campbell teach Trip Around the World & there were plenty of finishes to prove it, but a trip around the world is A Trip Around the World... (I already shared mine here!) The second show (after a shopping excursion to Wal-Mart) was in Gaithersburg, Maryland & there are photos from it below... I also got some great cat fabrics at this show - as if I needed any new cat fabrics! >^..^< href="http://www.jankrentz.com/workshops-supply.php?ID=13">Jan Krentz's Spiral Lone Star idea.

Quilt show photos 3

This is the last post on the Friendship Star Quilt Show in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I am post the one because, DUH it is a cat quilt! (I almost bid on one at their silent auction, but it was already bid about my limit...) The Quilt is called "Karen's Kitten" by Sandy D'Angelo, the pattern is by Carol Armstrong - I own it.... I like the autumnal feel that the border gives it.

The other picture I captured more for the "Similar but Different-ness" of it. The quilts are the product of a guild worshop withPat Sloan. Clockwise starting with the top left "Pat's Garden, My Way" by Coralyn Colladay, "Mine, Mine, Mine" by Elizabeth Plantz, "Ma Ma's Garden" by Sandy D'Angelo & "A Constant Quilter" by Laurie Bay. See you really can take a pattern and make it your own!

Quilt show photos part 2

Sorry I missed getting the maker's name and title on this one, but I took the picture at the Friendship Star Quilter's Guild Show in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I am calling it the Junk Drawer. I think the concept is GREAT. (I used to collect pins & this would be 1 way to display them.) In the super up close up you can see "real" antique hook & eye packs and a 1/2 spool, since the whole spool would be too thick, but you can also see the "Photo Transfer" of a watch, so not everything is 3-D. Do you have pieces of antique lace (I carried an antique crochet edge hankie in my wedding - it was my "Something Old."), old button cards, trinkets from your travels, single earrings, etc. Maybe you can diplay them (Or photo transfers of them) in a junk drawer quilt. I also really like the background, those blocks are "LOW" contrast, but effective and still identifiable. (I honestly do not care for the lady - half young, half old is creepy to me...)

One last thing, I think the "drawer" is either based on "shadow boxes" or printers moveable type drawers. (Or are those the same thing?) I remember my mother had "Shadow Boxes" that she filled with figurines... (I think they were deeper than the printers drawers.)

If I were to do this, I would only do the shadow box... Now what memories would I fill my cubbies with...

FOOD!

Tambo posted her meatloaf recipe - it is AWESOME (and easy to make)! Try it out you won't be sorry. Meatloaf for me is a comfort food & one that I relish as leftovers. Is anything better than a meatloaf sandwich? (My brisket is better as leftovers too, but so much more trouble to make!)

Any comfort foods out there? Any good recipes to share?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

applique

Applique, now isn't that a loaded word? Many people are completely averse to the idea! I am o.k. with it, but I'd usually rather do something quickly (easy piecing) on my machine. But I have completed a year long Baltimore Album class and learned quite a few applique methods. This one is my favorite, back basting: applique. However, I use other methods depending on different circumstances - that change to suit my mood. Specifically, I am going to Australia next mother and have prepared freezer paper under appliques for the trip, so that I do not need to worry about clipping "ins." (What is a "in" this of a heart, at the top there is an in, when appliqueing, you need to clip it, but if you clip it too soon you may creat ravelling.) I used to be a hand applique snob, but those days are over. My most recent appliques have been prepared with the seam allowances turned under but machine attached. & I am going to do some of my patterns with fusible web! (I have too many want to do's on my list!)

I've been tagged :o)

I've been tagged by: Serena (thanks for stopping by!) for the "Wierd MeMe." Now as a bias, I have already read quite a few & asked my hubby for help - to keep me honest....

1. I get bored with quilting projects and start new ones far to easily! I "need" challenges to complete them! If I know how it is going to look whether I am completely satisfied or not, I can far to easily set it aside and move onto something else. For example, my homespun looks similar to this free pattern leaves and courthouse steps so it was almost set aside, I finished it becasue of a challenge on Quilt Chat at Delphi Forums. & I really do like the secondary design...

2. I generally have a plan for fabric scraps from quilt number 1 before I have even cut into said quilt number 1.

3. I like flat soda just fine.

4. I talk to my cats & I understand what they say to me.

5. I don't like to talk on the phone.

6. I don't shave my legs.

If you want to try feel free, I won't tag since so many of you have already been tagged or read them and chose not to steal it. It was harder that I thought & my husband had a long list, but I am not conviced that all of them were wierd... Annoying maybe, reflection of where we live maybe, but not "wierd."

Local Quilt Show Photos

Take a look at this quilt! Is that not the coolest thing even if it is not your Alma Mater - its not mine either. Those are all squares, no 1/2 square triangles and no applique! She fussy cut to get the curves - you can see it best on the foot closeup. I also caught some of the "messages" I love that... Very Subtle! BTW there are about 5000 squares in this quilt! It is called "John's Turtle" by Susan Holman, member for the Friendship Star Quilters in Gaithersburg Maryland. John is the quiter's husband, they both are alumni & their son is a current UMD student.



Now I'f I were talented like DebR, I would write on the picture an arrow shoing you the "real" turtle below to the right of the "D." & You'll notice how she also fussy cut (I loves me some fussy cutting!) Ghost faces for the light smiles... Just out of that frame is the "trademark" logo - you know the "R" in a circle - she pieced that too using about 5 blocks in her grid! (Fussy cutting to get the circle arcs no less.) You can "see" it on the whole quilt picture.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Now that my blog is acting nice....

I started to post at 7:30, it just posted at 1:45! Here is what I saw when I got to work:

PINK SNOW! (it is not as pretty now that people have parked their cars & smushed it up...)








What created that you may ask. This lovely is the creator of the mess!



This is a cherry blossom, but not "the" cherry blossom. "The" cherry blossom is more simple in structure & less messy IMHO.

Quilt Show Pictures tomorrow.

All That History

I got tagged by Tambo for this MEME & boy is it a hard one. (I wish I got tagged for the "wierd" one - that one would have been easy compared to this one.)

20 years ago (1986):
I was 14 - enough said!

10 years ago (1996):
I college & working as a cashier for a grocery store. Major du jour: Nursing, I changed many times, ended up leaving with an Elementary Education degree in 1997. In a long term relationship that did not pan out for one reason or another - maybe because he was (he still is) an only child and an Adult Orphan. I am the oldest of two & while I don't buyin into the birth order concept completely, I can see some of it crystal clear.

5 years ago (2001):
Started to work at Social Security Administration. (Was finally able to quit the "while in college job" which BTW paid better than teaching full time.) In the middle of yet another long term relationship with a middle child - enough said! I started quilting about this time.

I bought & sold a condo in the middle here and was in yet another long term relationship.

1 year ago (2005):
I started my current job at the National Institutes of Health. Was dating my husband (he may have even moved into my studio apartment by then.)

I started blogging somewhere in here.

1 month ago (2006):
I was married for about 1 month - it felt and still feels the same as before because we lived to gether in a tiny studio and we are still in the studio. Work was the same, I got a brand new sewing machine, but was in a "drought" creatively speaking.

Yesterday:
I finished a quilt top and back & made a label for it all with my new machine. It will be a gift. For my BIL if he straightens up!

Today:
Computer on the fritz - haven't been able to get a post to appear on my blog, but they are in the list of messages... Purchased food including stuffing and hamburger so I can try Tambo's meatloaf. I hope to register for a summer class. I hope to sew some more - not the orange flowers yet...

Tomorrow:
Let me get through today!

Tagging: - Since I apparently "want to be tagged" unlike what I say about not caring....
I'll tag Jeanne, Sam, & Mary.

Project Spectrum - Yellow Cats


Hopefully this post will up load....

This is a WIP. I was in a swap & made more from my stash.... I have made enough to cover several beds & still have some waiting to be sewn....

mindless blather, update on the going on & answers to questions

1. I got gas for $2.97 on Saturday & felt like it was a GREAT deal. How sad... (Everyone thought it was a GREAT deal, there were LINES!) We had some miscommunication with another driver, but it all ended up o.k. - Miscommunication, need more: I went around so that I could pull up to the pump with my gas receiver spot on the correct side. Meanwhile a guy ahead of me did not, but I did not know that. Said guy, pulled up (to turn around, but I thought to drive away...) so I pulled all the way through (to the pump where the other guy already paid $15 for gas, oops. He was never able to say, "I already paid." He said stuff like, "I can pay before and be done before you pay, while I would say, but my husband is already paying...) allowing the truck behind me to also pump gas. We got our gas & the guy who already paid got his gas and nothing really bad happened to either of us. Thankfully... If the situation were reversed, I would not have acted so nicely, but I would have been able to say, "I already paid. I was only turning around."

2. New car tail-lights.... Have you noticed that once upon a time ago they were comprised of 1 light bulb and a red piece of plastic? Now they are a lot of tiny lights. Well, I was diving behind an "Infinity" car, and the tail-lights - create the mathematical sign for - wait a minute.... Infinity! I kid you not. I can't find a photo depicting this, but I swear it is true.... Maybe it was one of those "special things" that guys do to cars... Like replacing the red plastic with white and the white light bulb with red on regular tail-light cars.

3. I finished piecing the home spun stars and court-house steps quilt and backing (and lable) this past weekend. I even boxed it up and am sending it off to one of my long-arn quilters! No new photo... I have quite a bit of leftovers, but I have an idea on how to use some of it... (That was an answer.)

4. more answers - yes, I am doing more buying that busting.... BUSTED! Yes, the store (from my dream sequence) is still in business & I got my thread! (I haven't used it yet, instead I am used the white that is already threaded & worked on the homespun project.) No idea about the Project Spectrum problem... I only check to see what the next color is...

5. Project Spectrum... You just read that I did not sew down my flowers, but I did cut out my background squares, they are all "floral, leafy, viney, etc." to go with the flowers... Clever huh? & At a local quilt show, I got a pattern that will help me to use up the scraps from the flower quilt! It is called "October" and is a strippy neutral background with appliqued autumnal leaves... I have already cut the strips and sewed a few "Leader-Ender" style while working on the homespun project. Mine will already be a bit different, call me a REBEL quilter!

Friday, April 21, 2006

What's Going on in Pictures

First, this is my Project Spectrum preview. I need to cut out the neutral background squares (good thing I use cream colored sheets...) and sew them down ala Bull's Eye. Which Is why I "need" orange thread.

Second are Daiwabo Taupes which will become a traditional albeit scrappy card tricks quilt. Read more about the taupes if you like at Pinwheels. I bought most of these at the Lancaster Show after lusting after them at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. But I supplimented my earlier purchase with a couple more cuts in NYC. I also got the gnomes and gold fishies in NYC, I have no idea what I am going to use them in but I "had" to have them.
Finally my masculine homespun plaid project. I have all of my block sewn, now to sew them together. I layed them out so you can see the "design." Can you see how the stars will be in a diamond created by the court house steps blocks? (The red center will be narrow inner border and binding.)

Dreaming

Does anyone out there remember their dreams? I usually don't. But last night/this morning I had a doozey! My dream started with my "to do" list for today. I need to visit the credit union and the quilt shop. I have a coupon that is valid today at the quilt shop and that is the begining of my dream. I arrive at the quilt shop and half of it has been convereted into a "mens" outdoor store. Picture that orangey brown "Carhart" stuff all over & MEN shopping! Where it was still a quilt shop, there were a lot of batik dresses and shirts - MEN were shopping for those shirts too. The sewing machines were gone, the thread selection was paltry (what I am shopping for...) and the bolts of fabric were just a bad mix of this and that...

Luckily, when I woke up it was 4:55 & my alarm clock goes off close to 5:15...

o.k. now I can read my e-mail... I had to get that out onto "paper" while it was still fresh.

BTW I have my camera and my cable today - so look for another post with PHOTOS!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

INSPIRATION


Dawn went to the Chicago Quilt show & uploaded a ton of photos onto her webshots (please use the hyperlink to get to her blog & the webshots if you care to see them!) this was one of them. Sorry I have no idea who made the quilt but I love the setting!

I have a Sharon Malec appliqued cat similar to the one shown here:
appliqed to beautiful skydye fat quarter & no idea what to do with it! I now think that I could replace the center block with my cat and use this general idea to make a quilt with the block. Maybe add a cat quote & some cat named blocks... maybe some pieced cat blocks or mice blocks... Maybe just some cat fabric...

I actually have two Sharom Malec Cats here is the other one:

Distinctive Pieces vase of roses as I have that kit too. You can see it here:

(The cat is prepared, the roses are in a bag... I am not sure if I ever found a bakground - if so I hope it is in the bag too...)

BTW I remembered my camera, but forgot the cable...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A fun "readability test" from juicystudio. How readable is your blog?
The following table contains the readability results for http://thecalicocat.blogspot.com/ .
Reading Level Results
Summary
Value
Total sentences
322
Total words
3722
Average words per Sentence
11.56
Words with 1 Syllable
2712
Words with 2 Syllables
682
Words with 3 Syllables
263
Words with 4 or more Syllables
65
Percentage of word with three or more syllables
8.81%
Average Syllables per Word
1.38
Gunning Fog Index
8.15
Flesch Reading Ease
78.61
Flesch-Kincaid Grade
5.17

I'm back...



Star Happy by Judy Martin. This quilt is one of my UFO's - mine will be an "exact replica" (blue & white/light - blue where you see blue & white/light where you see white/light) I got a crazy idea to cut out all of the pieces first... I also do not want to repeat fabrics with the blocks - that is about 16 different pieces per big block = double for the star in a star blocks!

So I was in New York... (I forgot my camera today to upload a few photos.) I went to what has to be the tiniest quilt shop, but they had quite a bit of fabric - floor too ceiling & it was eerily organized... The "fabric flavor" of the shop was definately retro - back to the sixties and seventies. You can see some of the fabric that they carry here Flea Market Fancy by: Free Spirit. They also had a nice selection of CW repros and Daiwabo Taupes - I got a few of those. :o) I also got a couple pieces of fabric with gnomes and one with gold fishies.

I got all of my flowers and leaves cut out for my April Project Spectrum Orange quilt: "Are Orange Blossoms Orange?"

I also finished piecing my HomeSpun Stars and am half way finished with my CourtHouse Steps blocks.

While in New York I was barely able to get onto the computer so I have a lot of catching up to do!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Project Spectrum Plan


My April Project Spectrum quilt will use these fabrics. I will use the frayed edge technique like the bulls-eye blocks similar to those that Holly just gave away. The actual pattern and inspiration are from McCall's Quilting & called Blooming Rose. I am making them along with Tambo. I was so happy to find the "oranges" fabric in my bright citrus value this past weekend. Previously I had only found lemons, limes and a print that has both oranges and bananas. (I could have used the banana one if it also had apples - and played with an old ditty that I used to sing in school. If you know what I am talking about, chime in!) The rest of the fabrics that are showing and my light backgrounds came from my stash. I will add lime green leaves - also from my stash. That will probably also be my narrow inner border. Since I am in the stash quilt ring, I though it was important to bring that up! The backing is an orange geometric - I have enough for that to be the binding too.

I have more oranges, orangey yellows, and yellows - for a geometric quilt that only uses rectangles. (It will be nice to turn these into rectangles once I get this quilt done. - YAY Amy, get the second quilt planned before finishing the first!)

Mine sure will be different than Jeanne's quilt - terracotta never even came to my mind. (Jokingly, I still think she needs to applique one of those coyotes wearing a bandana. Not unlike this one or these. I still wonder, "what's up with that?" when I see them - I used to see them a lot when I lived in Arizona...)

A MeMe

I love MeMe's - you sometimes get a glimpse inside someone, other times just some fun facts. Here is a fun fact one from DebR. Here's the deal. You go to Wikipedia and enter your birthday in the search box - just the day, not the year. It pops up with all sorts of things that happened on that day in various years. You list three events, three births, and three deaths that have occurred throughout history on your birthday. My day is January 30. (My ramblings if any on why I chose that item are in Green... I think the encyclopedia hyper links are intact, so you can learn more if you want.)
Events
1661 -Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England is formally executed - after having been dead for two years.
1835 - A mentally ill man named Richard Lawrence attempts to assassinate President Andrew Jackson in the United States Capitol -- the first assassination attempt against a President. Both of Lawrence's pistols misfire, and Jackson proceeds to beat his would-be assassin with his cane.
1889 - Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, was found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in Mayerling. How they died remains a mystery.

Births
1941 - Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States (What does this mean about me - if anything)
1962 - Mary Kay Letourneau, American teacher (ditto)
1980 - Wilmer Valderrama, American actor (Is he really that young?)

Deaths
1649 - King Charles I of England (executed) (b. 1600)
1836 - Betsy Ross, American seamstress (b. 1752)
2006 - Coretta Scott King, civil rights activist and wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. (b. 1927)

Since tagging is generally part of the MeMe experience, consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Quilter's Heritage Celebration, Lancaster, PA

Over all, I was so disappointed! & Not just because of the rain... But you do have to go outside to see the entire show... I took so few photos, so many things did not interest me in the least.... I wish I went to the Chicago show instead - just based upon the few photos that I saw on Dawn's blog "Quilts and Pieces." I so agree with what she said about getting up early and driving for hours to inch by hundreds of people carrying heavy bags, etc. (Only we got up earlier & had to deal with rain too.) I did spot a few gems that made it worth while quilt wise & the shopping was fun...

My prize purchase was enough Daiwabo fabric to make a quilt - I lusted after them at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival a few weeks ago, so I was not going to leave them behind again!

I also found a great red for the centers of my courthouse steps blocks, inner border & binding & I got a few more homespuns as it did not look as if I had enough - even though Sharon's comment now has me wondering...

That was about is aside from a few odds & ends...

Another good thing was that I saw my buddy Kathy there & Boy was I happy becasue of it - she has been out of contact due to sickness, quilt classes, new phone that doesn't work, etc. So I was worried about her! She is on the mend and ALIVE!

Lancaster Quilt Show photos 4

"Foul Language" by: Margie Engel of Satellite Beach, FL.

Out of the entire quilt show, this was my favorite quilt! I really like everything about it, the fabrics, the quotes, the cute appliques, the quilting - everything.

Remember a few years ago when chicken quilts were all the rage? I did not do one then, but this one would have tempted me! (May be I can make a cat version?)


Unfortunately this quilt was in one of those 3 sided display areas and on the side, so my photos are less than successful. I would have gathered more close ups, if I were able.

A few of the other quotes were "Pidgeon Toed," "Proud as a Peacock," & "Birds of a Feather."

Lancaster Quilt Show Photos 3

"Wanted" by: Nancy Brown of Oakland, CA. This quilt won a big prize. I love how the blocks are different sizes. I might use this as an idea on how to capture my Australia trip - one animal per block... I included a close up of the cheetah - one of my favorite wild animals. I would have gotten more close-ups, but there were a lot of people close to this quilt! I am happy that I got a people free shot!

Lancaster Quilt Show photos 2


"Fish... It's Whats for Dinner" by: Joann Belling of DesMoines, IA.

Close up of the Fish quilt.


Equal access for the Dog lovers, here is "How much is that Doggie in the Window" by: Linda Ruess Benson in Mequon, WI. It was part of a special exhibit where the quilters used a song title for inspiration.

Lancaster Quilt show photos

"Up from the Depths" by: Sue Turnquist of Kalamazoo, MI. I love the background and the border on this quilt. I also like how the turtle & fish are partially appliqued on top of the border, like they really are coming up from the depths.

"Antelope Canyon" by: Elaine Stone-Arthur of Alexandria, VA. I like these canyons in general as well as the 3-D effects...


Close up of Antelope Canyon.

I photographed both of these, becasue I would like to frame my memories similarly...

Friday, April 07, 2006

blocks!

What you want to see some blocks from that fabric that I cut yesterday? Well here ya go! So, the answer is finally YES! I finally sewed with my new sewing machine. I did have the bobbin in backwards - I did not realize there was a backwards.... so the start was iffy & I was nervous that I already broke it, before breaking it in! But I fixed that & got her going & I sewed up 4 blocks!

I am also sharing my "stash of homespun" - I so hope this quilt uses it all up! This is my Dephi challenge piece. Is is masculine enough?

Does anyone else have a cat who likes to "help?" Yes, my little boy RB will roll all over any blocks that I layout.
I looked at the "pattern" this morning & I need 12 dark stars on light backgrounds and 6 light stars on dark backgrounds. (Good thing I quit cutting to start sewing blocks...) I also need 17 court house steps blocks. BTW the star that I am using is Atkinson Designs "Lucky Star." (without the sashing/borders) The original pattern had a different star...

That is Rhapsody under the bed waiting for the commotion to die down, so that she can have 100% of my attention and not have to share it with a quilt project or that boy cat that she despises so... (He is o.k. to have around when she wants to cuddle, but when he chases her or when he wants to cuddle or share mom's lap - watch out!)

She is next to my neutral stash. :o)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I did something quilty! (With the help of my boy cat!)

Last night I started a new quilt! I "need" to make a masculine quilt. What can be more masculine than plaid? So at a quilter's yard sale, I bought a selection of homespun plaids & stripes. I was even able to get a selection of lights & darks. :o)


I decided to do a stars and court house steps quilt. Some of my stars will be dark on a light background & vice versa and by virtue of the nature of the court house steps block, when they come together there is a really cool secondary design & you know how I love secondary designs!

In the middle of the news, I pulled out my cutting stuff & a bag for the trimmings. My husband was holding RB becasue he ruined the reception on the TV (we don't have cable & the TV is old & tempermental.) when I started. Rhapsody was in hiding, she comes out when we settle down to watch TV or when we are eating something that tempts her! Back to my story, when RB got away from Michael, he snuggled into my trimmings bag! Does anyone else know of a cat who likes to sit in a plastic bag? (I have included a photo of him in the bag and a close up of the trimmings that I added after he got settled.)


So last night I cut 4 stars and 4 backgrounds. From 4 pieces of fabric. So fabric "A" will both be a star and a background. However, I don't want a star out of fabric "A" on a background of fabric "1" and then a star out of fabric "1" and a background out of fabric "A" so I have not pieced any of them yet. (I hope that made sense!)

Since I accepted a UFO challenge at a quilters forum on Delphi & this is my randomly chosen project to work on, I hope to at least cut as much tonight too.

I only wish is were orange, so it could be a Project Spectrum too! For that I am joining Tambo in making bulls-eye flowers.

Oh yeah, and for anoyone who has paid attention to my talking about quilting rather than actually quilting and what I planned to do to rectify the situation, one of my ideas was to bribe myself with a trip to the Lancaster Quilt Show. Well, I told myself that I could only go if I did "something" quilty. I did something quilty, so I will be going to the Lancaster Quilt Show on Saturday. :o)

Would you guys want me to pay more attention to who made what - or are the photos enough inspiration? (Not that I'll remember to catch the names any way, but it is nice to ask.)

The last photo is of my "Mighty Hunter." He has apparently found his prey. If I let him, he would have bitten on that bag until he could get to the cat food. (He did that to a bag of dog food even thought a full dish of cat food was available!) Which in one way is a good thing because it is expensive Rx cat food. Rhapsody likes it too, but she has a different canned Rx cat food. I give her (with my vets permission) a few of his as a treat since she likes it so much. This intrigues my vet, becasue this specific variety of cat food is notorious for not tasting too good to cats - it is apparently bland. (RB is allergic to the proteins - beef, chicken, etc. - that are in "normal" cat foods.) He sneaks bits of hers by cleaning her food bowl, Bad RB, but he has a bad mommy who will give him tid bits of people food, because he takes so nice... I did mention that he is a mighty hunter.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Is that a Panda in your Trip Around the World?

To begin with, this quilt ws made by my friend Beth. I instantly fell in love with the quilt & concept! You see she took a traditional enough pattern, Trip Around the World and made it new by replacing some of the squares with bigger squares of a novelty print. (Close-ups below.)



I like the quilting too - 1/4 from the seam on two sides only, instead of all 4 as you would think using the 1/4 inch from the seam method. Actually, (upon closer inspection of the center close-up, if she continued with her quilting method, the very center would have had quilting 1/4 from all four seams... Even more interesting in my book. (She did not quilt through the Pandas.)

I also like the fabric choices, but I always do like Beth's choices - she has a great eye for which fabrics to use and an awesome stash!



Any how, since I have too many "squares" in one panel that I purchased (I'll use the term "squares" loosely because my panel has a variety of different square and rectangle shapes) for my original plan, this will be another way for me to use the panel.

Hopefully the picture of my panel is here (Fancy Cats Gallery) for a reminder and an explaination of what I meant by "squares." (it is also on the equilter website - where you can see more of the panel.) I also have quite a few of the "go withs" and 1 or 2 of her other cat pieces...

My Trip squares will have to be bigger so I don't lose the effect/proportion. And I may use more than 5 "replacements." - maybe 9 total adding another in each of the corners, but keeping it asymetrical.

There is no border on this quilt - which is good to see, becasue I have in the past chosen not to add a border & wondered about that choice afterwards... This once again goes to show that the quilt will tell you when it is done.

Cherry Blossom's

A few Iconic shots from this years Annual Cherry Blossom Festival. You can read more about them on the National Park Sevice webpage & at the National Cherry Blossom Festival webpage. After being inspired by Deb's spring photo, my goal was to get a close up of a cherry blossom. So here are my Iconic shots of the National Cherry Blossom Festival they include a couple of National Monuments - Jefferson at the top followed by the "Wow, look how full those branches are." shot. With my close-up of a blossom shot finishing the series. (I love of the Washington Monument is out of focus...)



















Closely related to, but not blossoms

These photos are of soem items that you migth not notice on a casual touristy trip to Washington, DC. They are a plaque commemorating the 1912 planting of the first two trees planted, a Japanese Pagoda (left) & and a Japanese Lantern (right).









Saturday, April 01, 2006

School & fabric

Several people asked about my going back to school.

For advancement in my job, I need 24 "business" credits. Those can be under several categories from accounting to law... I am starting with a Project Management class (because it fits the guidelines set forth by my job & the time period that I have available for a summer class. You see, our trip to Australia in May coincides with the first summer session) this July and in the fall I will take 1 or 2 pre-law classes. With the big plan being my going to Law School if I like studying law and if I do well in my pre-law classes.

A bit of Amy's college education History...
Way back in the early 1990's when I first went to college, I thought I would study computers, I got "C's" in my first two classes, so I figured that was not the career path for me. (Similar scenario in Psychology & Nursing - actually for the Nursing, I did not want to take chemistry - the anatomy & physiology on the other hand I loved!) I ended up with a degree in Elementary Education which was a great fit while I was in college, but once I was in a classroom full time by myself it was HORRIBLE.

So eventhough I had more than a few majors, I do not have any business credits... Also I want to know now if Law School is a good fit for me at the undergraduate level rather than while I am knee deep into it! (If I get C's in the pre-law classes, I only "need" 24 business credits - but I "want" an advanced degree.)

I also mentioned fabric... There was a quilter's yard sale in my area this morning $2 per yard. Her style was so not my style, but I did find a non-white light - white with green speckles & some go with greens, so that I can use even more of my novelties to do one of Judy Martin's new patterns - probably the one behind her that you can see on her home page. I really like that shadow effect - you can see it "similar but different" in the star quilt too. (There is yet another shadow pattern that is not shown on the webpage & 1 or 2 other patterns that I like in her new book.) You can see how you really "need" 1 background to help make the pattern work - I think I am "pushing the envelope" by using scrappy greens for the shadows, but then again, I am a REBEL! My backgrounds are mostly under 1 yard, so I "needed" a big background & at $2 per yard this was the way to get it! Besides now I am making a green quilt where as I would have done white with tan....

I also got a selection of plaid & striped homespuns.... I know, I know "buy you HATE homespuns!" I need to make a masculine quilt and nothing says masculine more than plaid! Besides they were only $2 per yard!