Monday, March 31, 2008

I forgot

I cut more scraps for a very old blue & yellow scrap project & realized that I don't have enough "light" blue, yellow, blue & yellow, blue & yellow florals that have a bit of green or some other color but still read as blue & yellow, or any of those with white bits...

& I hand quilted a bit more than 1/4 of my Spring Doll Quilt Swap quilt. :o)

Lancaster (overall thoughts) and the weekend.

Over all the Lancaster Quilt show was "Meh." Sorry no definition there, but on Flickr, I saw pictures of (In my humble opinion) nicer quilts at several local quilt shows.

I try to find the positive in most things - quilt shows & quilting in general. So my positive here is that one of the special exhibits was awesome & I love the miniatures that are shown in Lancaster. (I don't recall seeing any in Mid-Atlantic or Houston.) Oh & I saw some "old favorites" in Lancaster. Like the Cat Quilt by: Nancy Brown & the Clown quilt by: Cathy Wiggins.

I was able to purchase some of the Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric. But I am holding on to my gift certificate to Pinwheels as they are getting new fabrics in in April. (I'll spend that one in Hershey!) I did get some Taupes though... :o) I was also able to get the paper pieces that I wanted. Now to get motivated to work on English Paper Piecing. I got backing fabric for an old project - that still needs its borders attached. I got 1 (one) cat fat quarter!

So what photos do I share?
I will share some from the special exhibit that I especially liked. Milwaukee Art Quilters "Opposing Forces"
Balance by: Lisa Anne Giesfeldt Balance by: Lisa Anne Giesfelt.
Balance (detail) by: Lisa Anne Giesfeldt Detail of the quilting on Balance.

Values - They are not all Black & White by: Mary Ellen Hous Values - They are not all Black & White by: Mary Ellen Hous.

I loved this one because she is so right. There are many mouthpieces on TV & the radio yammering on about "values" but I have serious questions about whose difinition of values they are using. (Tanya blogged about morals being taught in Japanese schools - I had to question that as well. Are Morals & Values the same thing? What makes them different?) Just from my mini-sphere of life & compilation of life experiences, I have seen & heard too much to believe that there is one set of "correct" values. (The people who "show/say" one thing but do another - One past Governor of New York as one recent example.)

The quilter probably was only thinking about the values in colors, but...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Published?

I know that several of you have been published - either books, chapters, magazines, or patterns.

So I went to Barnes & Nobles today during lunch to have a look see at the quilt books & magazines. (I looked at Prairie Children & their quilts - I passed on it.) I then looked at 90% of the other books including on by Lark Books: Pretty Little Patchwork (the website says that the author is Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader, I think that she is the editor, but that is not the point of the post.

As I was flipping - very scientific method of browsing, I know, I saw a quilt that I OWN. I kid you not. Mini Mod Coin Quilt on page 109 by Maitreya Dunham is my quilt. Not a copy mind you, I own that exact quilt. She sent it to me as part of the first Doll Quilt Swap! How cool is that?

BTW It is perfect for you who like to do more that just make quilts.

So I saw a couple scrappy quilt books that tempted me, but alas they all stayed at Barnes & Noble.

I also looked at the magazines. Apparently a lady on my quilting e-mail list had a quilt published in Quilter's Newsletter Monthly - in the May 2008 issue. (Suprisingly, Barnes & Noble only had the April issue...) So I also did not buy any magazines.

B&N does not sell fabric, so I did not get any of that either. :o)

Am I rounding a corner? Sure seems like it - I guess time will tell after I return from Lancaster. :o)

bound to happen

What me finish the binding on no less that 4 quilts? Nah, not that.

I have gotten to the point where there are too many UFO's vying for my time. (I can't decide, am I not in the mood to sew or not in the mood to cut - or maybe not in the mood to pull out something that is in progress.)

My primary excuse AKA excuse du jour... I have a GC to Pinwheels waiting for me to use in Lancaster, on Friday. So I don't want to "work" on the project until the new fabrics are in hand. That's my story & I'm sticking to it. I "need" dark darks. & I "want" yellow, orange & reds.

In the meantime, why am I not working on (I could generate a very long list right about now) ANYTHING else? I could not even be bothered to find a backing for the Spring Doll Quilt Swap quilt, nor could I be bothered to photograph said quilt top.

In the mean time, the cat fabric collector in me wants to know if I want/need "Tom & Jerry" fabric? (I avoided Garfield & The Cat in The Hat - but Tom & Jerry have me wondering...)

Any advice? Can anyone else think of such grand excuses? Go ahead hit me with your best excuse!

& Yes, you can expect to see lots of quilts next week, because I am going to get some blog fodder at a quilt show. :o) Then I won't feel so bad about not showing you, oh, I don't know my quilting?

Monday, March 24, 2008

succumbed

Well a couple people (May Britt & Tracey in CT to name 2 off the top of my head.) have succumbed to the Civil War Love letter & civil War Diary quilt sensations that are running rampant through the blogiverse. Well, I was able to browse through one at Hancocks on Friday - they are right near the dry cleaners that I use, I was in the neighborhood, I had to stop in, right?(Yes, Mr. Calico Cat, the pancakes were good too.) Not unlike Dear Jane, Nearly Insane, Dear Hannah, etc. that is not my thing. So I passed. (I also did not get any fabric - even though I saw new cat fabrics - turning a corner...)

Meanwhile, I do want Prairie Children & Their Quilts.

Oh, & I pieced my Spring Doll Quilt Swap top - yay. This one is big enough.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Calendar

The Jewish Calendar is Lunar & we have a leap month (We are in the leap month right now) Adar II. This keeps Purim & Passover in the Spring. Happy Purim by the way... (We started celebrating Purim last night by reading the Book of Esther, eating Hamantashen, dressing in costumes, etc.)

Meanwhile Christmas is always on December 25. So can anyone tell me why Easter is so early this year? Oh & while we are at it why is the Greek Easter a week later?

Just wondering...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

from so much to not much at all.

This can kind of be labeled as an anti-stashbusting post... The 7.5 yards of taupe fabric that my husband bought to back my Isotaupe quilt arrived yestrerday. :o) It is lovely & perfect - even if it is a bit light. (I kind of want to save it for the background for some appliques... It is not as if I don't have enough Taupes to need another back...) Thanks, Mr. Calico Cat - & thanks in advance for ordering the darker piece too. :o) It goes to a good cause...

In the mean time, my sewing had come to a halt! (I am apparently not in the mood to cut or to do hand work, or to look for my autumn UFO, or my spring round robin, or to sew on 2 more obligation pieces.) Hopefully when I get the next round robin, I will get inspired & that will carry over.

I just saw a round robin that I have not worked on - I am glad that I did not use up my whole (insert holiday here) stash... :o)

What are you up to?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

O.K. I'll try that...

Teacup-a-story on the Gracious Hospitality blog. (I found it through Calamity Kim's blog.)

My mug (I keep it in the office, so it can't be dainty.) is a Chicken Soup for the Soul mug. (Not that I am into the Chicken Soup series...) It's story. When I lived in Baltimore, I was friendly with a group that did a holiday gift exchange. The gifts were supposed to be cheap & preferrable tacky. (The exchange was a game where people could take your gift.) & Then Jean join in & got something "nice." All of a sudden the fun at getting & then having some one take your gift disappeared... (The previous year, a can of beans was the hit gift.) I got a gag gift early in the game - at that pretty much put me out of the fun. My GF later in the game got one of Jean's gifts - the set of mugs with a book. Since we were both single at the time, we split up the mugs, I got one & she got one. I use mine everyday. :o)

Quilt-a-thon - not so much, just folding & storing of already finished quilts.

Monday, March 17, 2008

weekly recap.

Not much to report - except what has already been reported...

But I am going to do my "double X" quilt using my Marti Michell templates instead of thangles. wish me luck... This will be my first time using them... (I own 4 packages of the templates and the log cabin ruler...)

But in the end, all I did was make the decision - I did not cut or sew on the project.

Yesterday was the day that my mini-group meets in the classroom of one of my LQS's. I managed to do one button hole applique block. :o)

I arrived late (I had a dress rehearsal in the morning) & love to look around the shop - not the best use of my time, I know.

But I also managed not to spend any $$. Lancaster is at the end of the month & I think that my husband ordered some backing fabric for me for the Isotaupe quilt.

As for the quilting - I'm going to check with some long armers about doing clam shells.

Here's to getting some more stuff done this week.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

quilt day


Rhapsody on a rag quilt
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

I guess that today is some kind of quilt day...

So what am I going to do? I will go to my goodie box to see if I have any thangles - if not I will run to the quilt shop with my gift certificate.

Then I hope to cut some strips for thangle-ing. (On Thursday, I sorted my taupes into light, medium & dark - light & medium with be thangled.) You may not have known this, but taupes do not have strong contrasts... Oh well, it will work out & I am so glad that fo rseveral shows in a row I purposefully chose to purchase lights. (In Lancaster, I hope to find yellow, orange, red &/or dark darks.)

My big helper, Rhapsody, she was sitting on my rag quilt while I sewed last night.

Isotaupe quilt top


Isotaupe quilt top
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

Well, I completed the top before going to bed last night. I was at the sewing machine a bit too long :o)

This is Amy random. I was fairly picky when sewing the blocks. For the most part, I had a pair of fat rectangles and a pair of skinny rectangles. I did not want t have the same combination repeat. Also I wanted a mix of high & low contrast, light and dark blocks. I had no idea that I had so many lights. Sure makes the darkest darks POP! As I sewed the rows, I found a few places where a design wall would have spread the colors/values around, but not enough.... I am so happy with the setting triangle fabric choice. So many people said, "I would wait until you get your blocks pieced before choosing that."

It feels so good to have this top completed. I am itching to start a new pieced taupe quilt & did not want this languishing - waiting for the setting triangles. Any ideas on how to quilt it?

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Calico Cat needs...


RB resting on a pile of quilts
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

to go to Remedial quilt math school.

I am doing a round robin quilt project (Ring on the side bar) and we are still building the base. So I had to add two pieces one that "finished 6x4" & on that "finished 7x4."
Everyone knows that you have to add .5 to each side to allow for seam allowances... Did I do that? Heck no (not the first time.)

Second example, I am doing the Spring doll quilt swap. The finished top needs to have sides that measures between 18 & 21 inches...

I just finished a Spring quilt that produced a nice spring pile of scraps... So I cut a bunch (60) 2 inch squares and 1 big square for the center. I was thinking 2x8=16 - add a border... (I again failed to think about the seam allowance - my top ended up to be about 12.5 inches square....

So I went back to the pile of scraps and this time cut 3 inch squares - hopefully that works better! :o)

My biggest fan, RB, is resting on a pile of quilts... Meow >^..^<

Thursday, March 13, 2008

On Productivity

So many people ask, "How do you get so much done?" Well I don't have a publishable Bonnie Answer, but here are my secrets...

Motivators - sometimes they work & sometimes they don't - same thing with a deadline (Although a deadline with a pay check might prove to be a better motivator.)

My most recent motivation was the fact that I was using a Library book. (Although in the past I have photocopied the patterns - for personal use only.) & I think the fact that I was making a replica helped here as well because I refered quite a lot to that color photograph in the book.

But I can procrastinate with the best of them - so those motivators only work every once in a while. (It's not like the library book is due today so I "had" to finish yesterday.)

Another big productivity factor for me is that I don't have any kids & my husband does not need my constant attention. (He can/will also fix meals.)

But the biggest in my opinion is that I do easy piecing quilts. I have yet to show you a "New York Beauty" - with or without papers.)

aside: I also do some applique, but that goes rather slowly for me. :o) I have a pile of prepared blocks that have been waiting for YEARS to become a quilt top. (I can actually make that statement about 3 or 4 projects.)

Another thing that makes me look productive is that I send out 99% of my quilts to be professionally finished - including attaching the binding.

Also I have a "Just do it" attitude towards quilting. I know that I am not making "show" quilts. (I honestly can't be bothered with all of that paperwork rigamarole.) I rarely "unsew." I don't use a design wall - fiddling with balance, etc. Nor do I have my blocks arranged so that I am sewing this block to that block, etc. I just sew them together with some very mild controls.

(I don't have a huge social calendar - nor do my non-existant kids - nor does my husband, so I am sewing while others are playing bridge, golf, bowling - or out to dinner with friends, or driving to & fro, etc. With that said, I am going to a lecture with my friend at the National Zoo tonight. I also do not keep an immaculate home & my husband helps with the chores a lot.)

Lots of little things add up.

What are your secrets or stumbling blocks to productivity?

The time has come

For at least 1 thing:
The quilt give away at Old Red Barn. (See the picture on my side bar - I doubt that it will get you there if you click on it, but you can click on the hyperlink.)

& I must admit that while I finished piecing the Kaffe Fasset quilt last night, I failed to photograph it before dropping it off for quilting. :o( Trust me it looks a lot like the one in the book. :o)

Oh & we are getting fairly close to the time when you all will get to see why I was wondering about making quilts twice - or even three times.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

quilt...


DSC_9464
Originally uploaded by Jeanne Holmes

I like it but it disturbs me.

I think that this is what I toss my crumbs. My crumbs would be a whole lot of cat eyes...

on quilting & blogging

On blogging:
Thanks so much Morah. Ditto. I would like to pass this on to all 175 of you bloggers in my bloglines. Even those of you who rarely if ever blog anymore... & this if for all of you who read my humble little blog. :o) & to the commentors - you can have 2! (Aren't those birds great - I love the way this looks like an old calling card. Oh, & I am kind of into birds - the graphic stylized ones more than that the realistic ones... Don't tell the cats.)


On quilting:
Following a pattern to the letter is such an interesting concept.
As with most other things it has its pros & cons (you can feel free to shuffle the columns).
Pro - all of the fabrics are chosen
Pro - out of your box color/fabric combinations
Pro - the block placement has been "proofed" (I hope that this sat on a design wall for a while)
Con - I like my randomness more
i.e. when I am sewing my blocks into units of 2 - I look at the 3 fabrics in this case & make sure that there are no duplicates in that pairing, I do the same thing when sewing pairs to pairs - only now I am looking at 6 fabrics, not so hard, right? It was very hard for me to sew against that plan...
Con - it takes a lot longer to piece whe you are looking for specific blocks 7 then specific block pairings, etc.
Con - I would have preferred fewer cabbage roses & more geramiums (I would have switched the big cabbage rose print for geraiums in the center.)
Con - I am not being 100% true to the pattern; therefore, I feel guilty
(I did not pay attention to the fact that all of Kaffes flowers are standing upright - mine are all over - like I do.)
Pro/con - I got to choose my own back!

At any rate, I have all of my rows pieced together!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Do you flickr? & a quilty question (Please reply)

If you do do you join pools? Do you accept invites to have your photos added to pools?
I do - to both...

Here is the result of one of those flickr moments. I am not sure what it all means, but I am honored.

Next subject: Doing the same quilt pattern more than once. Do many people do this?
I know that many people do do this... But I'd like a better idea of just how many do do this... SO if you you have done the same pattern more than once - let me know & give me a reason.

(I am thinking about a couple of things that fall into this vein - my "next" taupe quilt - will be using the pattern of an old blue & yellow quilt - I am o.k. with that plan. However, I have a different pile of fabrics & have debated what to do with them for a while... I am now thinking of doing "X" quilt again... Without good reason... If I actually need a reason at all. So Please humor me & answer the question.)

Third subject (second quilty subject):

Does anyone follw the pattern EXACTLY? & by that I mean using the same fabric in the same location.

I am about to make my first exact copy. At Mid-Atlantic, I bought a kit for Kaffe Fassett's Pastel Floral Parade. At the time, I did not know that it was the exact same fabrics - I thought that they were a good reperesentation of the fabrics in the original quilt. I had to get a copy of the book from the library - when I did looked more closely at the fabrics I realized that they were the same fabrics. Which I guess is a good thing.

So last night, I pieced these blocks (using the combinations given in the book.)
Pastel Floral Parade Quilt blocks (Kaffe Fassett pattern) I love the geranium print on the bottom. :o) Now to press these blocks & assemble the top. :o)

Thanks for answering my question(s)...

Monday, March 10, 2008

freebies

O.K. So you don't need flying pigs in you stash, head over to a very mary design anyway! Because everyone needs to see what someone did with a bunch of mobile homes!

It's just another quilt by me.

(If you can stand it...)

This quilt is two sided. You are getting the long story since this is my blog. Once upon a time ago, I started quilting - without any instructions. I made tops with abandon... Light & white (I had no idea about value), 1/4 inch seam allowance - completely optional, Mysteries with poor choices in fabrics (see the note about value), etc.

I was in a guild (I joined a guild & simultaneously started to quilt - almost in the same night.) & I am sure that they got a few chuckles out of my "masterpieces." (This sentence should have preceded the "I made tops with abandon." comment above.)

I ruined a stack & whack (good example of poor fabric choices - see the comment above about value.) by quilting it myself of the sewing machine that I had been given buy one of the guild members.

Then I found out about long armers. Judy specifically. I did not know any better to seriously wonder what she thought about my "masterpieces." BUT in quick order, I decided that my less than successful tops could be backs. (With my piecing any puckers could have been viewed as enhancements - but I don't recall any puckers!)

Speed ahead several years, several moves, & several boyfriends (same cats).

To this quilt (link goes back to the post on quilting):
plain spoken
I chatted on piecing it here. (If you read that you would have caught the "I should not have fat quarterd the half yard pieces.") But I did & that created a lot of big left over pieces, so I made this top:
not plain spoken which actually shows the inspiration fabrics that led me to that color pallette. (Those fabrics are on the back of the primary quilt form these fabrics.) & then it sat... I like it o.k., but I prefer the other one & this one is "small."

Oh you wanted to see my "new quilt."
Here it is the front of my quilt:
'The Bleeker Street prints and a Kona cotton in burgundy. I love how the quilting turned out.

& the back:
'the or should that be other front?

The burgundy ties them together. I did not have to buy any more Bleeker Street for the back - or find something for the other top - YAY, that has to be stashbusting, right?

Helper kitty must have been tuckered out by the time I took those photos.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday Stash Report

(On Sunday no less!)

Well, I only purchased 2 fat quarters. Both of which will go into my Doll Quilt Swap = Spring (Oh, I am onto plan B for that, but I still want to piece the tulips that Jeanne is piecing.) & I have been seriously tempted by yet another Jeanne. She sent me a fabric URL & let me just say that 3 of those fabrics will be moving into my stewdio.

You wanna see them too? (click on the link below)

fabric I want 4TC1, 4TC2, & 4TC3.

I got 4 quilts back from a long armer this week - so that has to be busted somehow... I worked on a Kaffe Fassett quilt (using a kit - o.k. I purchased that kit last month - so it is probably cheating to consider that a bust.) & I am working on my Taupe quilt (But I am thinking about buying a backing piece...I just can not bring myself to make a scrappy back - I have secondary, tertiary, and quarternary plans for those taupes!)

All in all no too bad...

Another quilt by me...

Aside: Apparently blogger was not working yesterday. So I tried to blog through flickr - sneaking a post into blogger - that did not work either...

Here is the quilt I wanted to blog about yesterday.
Hop Skip & Jump
When I flipped the corner up to show the back, RB still was not interested in moving...
Hop Skip & Jump - with backing showing (The gray dot must have been dust on my lens.)

The pattern in Hop Skip and Jump by Denyse Schmidt it is in her book Denyse Schmidt Quilts. But it was free in the Free Spirit fabric website forever... (I don't see it there anymore as they are no longer advertising the Flea Market Fancy fabric line.) BTW the free pattern was the "way" to get the pattern, because the patterns in the book need to be enlarged A LOT - & Kinkos won't do it for you... Even though the book states "ENLARGE 400%" (Still an irritant for me, apparently.)

I blogged about piecing this back in September (my link to the free pattern in that post still works.)
Most people orient the blocks the other way & do not add a boarder... (See what I mean at Diary of a Mad Fabriholic, Sam made one of these quilts too.)

In case you are wondering, the patterned fabrics are from Denyse Schmidts Flea Market Fancy line of fabric, the solids are by Kona & there is a Moda Marble. The quilting is a watery stipple - long & skinny.

I am only slightly in want of this: Single Girl. (I love juxtapositions & to be "in" on something... The justaposition here being the very tradidional double wedding ring pattern & the "in" bit: not everyone knows about the double wedding ring verses this Single girl.) But alas, I would then feel tempted to make a double wedding ring to complete the concept... & you all know that I like easy peasy... :o)

& for those of you long time readers, no the blue & white version is not finished...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Quilts by me

I am sure that some of you are convinced that all I do is go to shows & share quilts by other people.


Well, I got a box back from my quilter in Michigan this week.


(Do I share them all now or spread them out? Which one first? Link back to the piecing posts?)

The Halloween Quilt (Caveat, I am not a Halloween person... I am a recovering cat fabric collector & cats naturally find theor way into Halloween prints. OH & I really love that glow in the dark effect that is going on in some of my prints - aka the obnoxious border!)
My Halloween Quilt Since this is a Halloween quilt, did I sew it last October? Apparently not! I am looking for the link... (When all else fails, go to flickr - they know when you uploaded the photo...) The pieced top(s) are located here in the post on guess what... CATS. FYI, I gave the other two to my GF - she is into Halloween & she donated some of those fat quarters to the cause & she donated some cat prints to the cat charm quilt cause.

Yes, that is a YBR quilt - but I split the blocks into two piles - which later split into 3... I added large squares to add to the YBR blocks.

Here is a close up of the quilting:
'The Do you see the word "hat." How fun is that?
Here is the back:
Back of my Halloween quilt Complete with my helper & more of that obnoxious border fabric - I originally bought 6 yards thinking that it would be a great back. I used it for the border because it was the only piece that I had that was big enough.

Life gets in the way, so I will post about the other quilts later...

pin cushions

pin cushions

Patti led me to a new to me blog Blueberry Lane. Based upon her side bar, we have been to a lot of the same blogs... Anyway she is asking to see our pincushions... This is my collection of 4 pincushions - I use the green kitty most.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

More from Mid-Atlantic

Match the Bears by: Cathy Wiggins Best Pictoral Match the Bears by: Cathy Wiggins - Best Pictoral
Find the Difference by: Cathy Wiggins Spot the Differences by: Cathy Wiggins.

Long time readers may recall that I really liked her Clowns on Parade quilt last year... (Scroll down through other quilt pictures...)

The Captree Bridge by: Sherry Prior The Captree Bridge by: Sherry Prior. I love this concept...

Finder's Keepers by: Kathy Mc Neil Finder's Keepers by: Kathy McNeil
Finder's Keepers (detail) by: Kathy Mc Neil Finder's Keepers (detail) by: Kathy McNeil
Geese in the Mountial Garden Barbara Lies Best Use of Embellishment (the edging)Geese in the Mountain Garden by: Barbara Lies Best use of Embellishment
Geese in the Mountial Garden (detail) Barbara Lies Best Use of Embellishment (the edging)Geese in the Mountain Garden (detail) by: Barbara Lies Best use of Embellishment (The edging - not a rhinestone, button, etc. in sight on this quilt.)
That edging just may be the next trend...
Inspiration draws from Natures Art by: Patricia Delaney 2nd traditional Inspiration draws from Natures Art By: Patricia Delaney 2nd place traditional
Inspiration draws from Natures Art  (detail) by: Patricia Delaney 2nd traditional Inspiration Draws from Natures Art (detail) by: Patricia Delaney 2nd traditional - See what I mean...

I could post more from Mid-Atlantic, but this pretty much covers the trends & the cats.

I'll post some of my own work tomorrow! WOO HOO! (Can you guess who got a package from a long armer yesterday?)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

iron

Dot over at Rantala Rags just asked about our irons...

Back when I started to quilt, I found out that you needed an iron - so I went to WM & got one... Without a clue what to look for, what anyone else liked, etc. Oh & I wanted the cheapest one available.

(Did I tell you about my first freezer paper applique experience... The gals at guild told me that they were using freezer paper - you can iron it to you fabric. So I went over to my grandmothers & got a package of waxed paper - still not sure where the screw up happened - & set out to iron hexagons onto my fabirc. Nothing happened! I went to guild and told my tale of woe - gave everyone a good giggle & they told me that I needed freezer paper instead of waxed paper... Or something like that...)

So I got a Proctor Silex (I think that is the brand.) & I have knocked it around a lot! So much so that the switch that allows you to change the setting from cotton to silk is gone... I have always been a dry presser (or I use a separate squeeze bottle) so I don't know how well the water reservoir has held up or not.

As of late, my iron has two settings on & off - on is plugged in, off is not plugged in - I broke that bit too...

Yes, I need a new iron. I conveniently failed to mention the state of the sole plate & I think that it is too hot for fusible webs... I think that it is trying to burn out - it gets really hot.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

All those cats

Back to Mid-Atlantic. This post is going to be all about cat quilts. (Excluding those that I shared earlier.)

In no specific order...

Meadow Meditation (detail) by: Linda Hibbert Meadow Meditation (detail) by: Linda Hibbert. This was part of the Hoffman Challenge.

Meadow Meditation by: Linda Hibbert Meadow Meditation by: Linda Hibbert.

A Quilter's Menagerie by: Ann Fahl A Quilter's Menagerie by: Ann Fahl.

A Quilter's Menagerie (detIail) by: Ann Fahl A Quilter's Menagerie (detail) by: Ann Fahl.

Wistful Willow (detail) by: Linda Roy Best in Show (the cat is threadwork) Wistful Willow (detail) by: Linda Roy. This quilt won Best in show. This cat is threadwork...

Wistful Willow by: Linda Roy Best in Show Wistful Willow by: Linda Roy. Best in Show. I hope to see this quilt again, so that I can study it closer. (I missed those cats on the bottom corners... The willow trees are ruched.)

Cat's in my Garden by: Kathy Pitts Cat's in my Garden by: Kathy Pitts - this one got my vote for viewer's choice - I usually don't bother...

Cat's in my Garden (detail) by: Kathy Pitts Cat's in my Garden (detail) by: Kathy Pitts. I took a lot of detail shots of this quilt... The flowers were done with prisma color pencils.

Van Gogh's Quilt by: Ann Horton Van Gogh's Quilt by: Ann Horton.

Van Gogh's Quilt (detail) by: Ann Horton Van Gogh's Quilt (detail) by: Ann Horton.

Hopeful Return by: Susie Williams Hopeful Return by: Susie Wiliams. (my second favorite - closer to actual favorite after I had more time to thing about it.)

Hopeful Return (detail) by: Susie Williams Hopeful Return (detail) by: Susie Williams. Take a look at the red mug - I really like the scrappiness...
Hopeful Return (detail) by: Susie Williams Hopeful Return (detail) by: Susie Williams. Look how she used the paisley to accentuate the curve... & the plaid! Never would have thought to use a plaid as cat fur!

on quilting

A. I almost forgot - I am not done posting about Mid-Atlantic...
B. I just got some new to me free advice on scrap quilts from the Dorky Homemade Quilter, Lisa Boyer. Stop everything and go read that post.
Are you back?
Had anyone else heard of that 2/3 1/3 concept before? or leaving 1 color out? I am going to have to think about those the next time I make a non-taupe quilt.
Oh & here is a link to my Jewel Box quilt. Have you made a jewel box quilt? I like them...
C. I had a "C" when I started this post...
Well I have a non-quilty "C." I need to learn some instant relaxation techniques... I am going to start my second fertility treatment today - I have a low pain tolerance - needles, etc. freak me out! Well the scientific way to make a baby includes some "pain." So I get all tensed up in anticipation, etc. Apparently none of which helps with making babies... I am going to try the "mind over matter" approach, which is if it is not on your mind, it doesn't matter. In other words, I am going to try not to think about it. I've done it before, I know what to expect... Happy thoughts will be in my mind... (I hope.) Any advice?

Quilt photos? later!

Monday, March 03, 2008

new cat fabric quilt

Remeber the other day how I was talking about cats in hexagons (quilt as you go) as my next cat fabric quilt & there was a website, etc.

Here is the template/link: Garden path (I think I own both sizes & I am pretty sure that I know where they are in the stewdio!)

Ardco Templates even gives you piecing instructions & a chart for this template set. Their inistructions call for muslin (optional) & that would be your third layer - I think a flannel would be a bit warmer... Otherwise this will end up being a coverlet.

Now lets refresh our memory about all of those UFOs, and need-to-dos in the stewdio...

4 seasons doll quilt swap

I got my partner & have scoped out her blog... :o)
I know exactly what I am going to do. if you have been to Spiral lately, you will get a clue. I am so inspired by a picture that Jeanne posted. You know all I want to do is go home & rip through my stash pulling lovely springey fabrics! 5 more hours - minus my lunch hour...

Hey I can cut my setting triangles & I can cut for the doll quilt at the same time. :o) Hey that sounded like a good idea to me. (I can even use some of the fabrics that are on my cutting table.)
Oh yeah baby, this will be a complete stash quilt!

2 things

So I was checking out quilt-a-thon blogs & flickr yesterday - when I saw a magazine cover (Quilts and More Spring 2008) had been posted by Happy Zombie. (Love the fabrics & the built in border.)

Later in the day, my husband & I went to the grocery store to get some more split peas. What was on the rack at the check out line - that magazine! (I bought it without even flipping through... I NEVER do that.) I sepnt 100% more on the magazine than on the split peas...

The next paragraph is pure gossip - go past it to get to the quilty stuff.

Oh & the gals in front of me were trying to pull a fast one... The were only buying gift cards, no magazines, no food - with a check, no ID... Very suspicious... We were stuck be hind them for far too long, but they did not get away with it... (Yes, I think that they were trying to float/pass bad checks. One of them may have gotten away with it - I recall hearing, no, I am not getting cash back & your bank won't let you cash a $300 check without groceries, etc. I was trying not to pay attention, but I think after the "no cash back" comment that he took the check.) It was tense & uncomfortable to be next in line behind that...

Oh back to my second thing...
Isotaupe (part of the quilt laid out) I did get the 1 through 9 time 2 laid out minus the setting triangles. I was in a sewing mood, not a cutting mood. I will press as I go so that I can have one row going one way and the other row going the other way... Not that I really pay attention to pressing, but it sounds good. :o)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

RB on the three of the five 17 block rows


RB on the three of the five 17 block rows
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

So I was able to sew all of the blocks into rows! I however, was not able to lay them all out.... My big helper can not help himself but to help me. Too much temptation, I guess.

cooking skills help needed & recipe questions...

Dear Blogger,

When you are cooking ground meat, how do you get it to be small pieces instead of large clumps of meat?

The Calico Cat

RB & Rhapsody don't care, but chopped meat sandwiches, etc. are better with the smaller pieces.

After I get my answer or tomorrow evening which ever is first, I will be making Bison Chili using the Whole Foods recipe. I will tweak it a bit... I will start by adding onions & I won't be using the bell pepper. I will use Aduki beans instead of kidney beans...

Brown 1 lb. of ground Bison in 2 Tbsp. olive oil with 1 large bell pepper, chopped, 1 large clove of garlic, minced & 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped. Add one 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with their juices, one 8 oz. can tomato sauce, one 15 oz. can of red kidney beans drained & rinsed, 2 Tbsp. chili powder, & 1 tsp. ground cumin. Bring to boil; reduce heat & simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add salt & pepper, as desired. Serves 4. 

Another question... Would adding cinnamon make this a Cincinnati (Ouch, it took me 3 tried to spell that correctly!) Chili? Any one ever add peanut butter to chili? Cocoa powder? (I have seen both - not in the same pot - done on TV.)

How do you serve chili? With corn bread? Over rice? Over Spaghetti (Is that also a Cincinnati thing?)?

Thanks for the cooking advice.

stash busting

I can do that too...
I sent a wad of green out to Mamaspark. Not sure how much - some were roung cut 7 inch squaresd incl. selvedge & others were "what is left" of this piece.

She sent me some kitties in return - That does not count as stash enhancing, right?

But I have a hankering to do another cat charm quilt... She sent me some "new to me" kitties - as hard as it may be for all of you out there to believe! I got a "template" at a quilt show "once upon a time ago" that ends up with hexagons that are quilted as you go - I think... Also once upon a time ago, I could have pulled up their website... sorry. But I have wanted to insert kitties into those hexagons for a while... Maybe this is my impetus?

As if I need any impetus to start a new quilt... :o)

Isotaupe - quilt-a-thon catch-up

Well I did more that I thought & less than I thought...
I got all of my blocks pressed.
I tried to assemble the design wall.
I counted my blocks.

(I also worked on a paper that is due on Wednesday & went in the office to do some needed filing. We sponsored a luncheon "kiddush" at the synogogue for our anniversary, & we went out to IHOP for dinner after watching Tee Vee & chatting with the MIL. Oh & did I mention the cat attention grabbers?)

I thought that I would have sewn some &/or cut out my setting triangles - but as of yet, that has not happened.

What has happened recently is that I counted 213 blocks. I then had to figure out how that worked into a on-point setting. I may be the only on who does it this way, but...
I add, 1+3+5+7+9+11+13+15 & multiply by 2 - I then add in extra fifteens turning the square into a rectangle... That did not work out, so I started over (a couple times)
213 works out this way, 1+3...+17x2, + three more seventeens. And that is about 22 side setting triangles... I got a new ruler to cut these from strips instead of from squares... I got the rule for the last cat charm quilt because its side setting triangles were HUGE - so the squares would have been monsterous! (For these blocks, the squares method would work o.k., but I have the ruler...)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Quilt-a-thon catch up & my ironing board...

A couple days ago, Libby asked to see our ironing boards... Here is mine a day late & a dollar short with stuff on it... It is a June Taylor Press & Cut - & I used the cutting side a lot too - I have a bigger cutting mat & an over the door ironing board, but I use this a lot more - as a matter of fact this is my 3rd & I am about ready for my 4th!
Isotaupe quilt blocks Those are the blocks that I pressed open - don't ask how many there are, I plan to count them tonight. There should be enough for the on-point setting & I know that there are more that were called for in the pattern.

Aside: If I am making blocks & end up with 17 instead of 16, I make 3 more instead of deciding which one to use on the back or as an orphan... (That is not me!)

And in that photo, you can see some yarn dyed taupes, some high contrast blocks, some low contrast blocks, some light blocks & some dark blocks... Nice of me to pull out that assortment for you huh? Oh & those stars were given to me by the only person who likes Taupes more that me, Marisa - Thanks again! Also, I started out by cutting a pair of fat rectangles & a pair of skinny rectangles from each piece of taupe in my stash. Except that I cut 2 pairs of each from the stars & when I found out that I had more than I needed, but not enough for the setting only bigger, I cut a few more - the skinnies from my scraps :o) & the fatties from the yarn dyeds mostly, so that there would be more of them - they were/are under represented - in the begining I did not buy them... (See the aside above.)

Oh, & I was going to pull out that design wall wasn't I? - GRUMBLE! I think I complained about it before - if not here goes... without naming names, I am sure that you have seen this portable design wall in catalogs & at quilt shows... I got one from the catalog with a gift certificate. That one included the wrong size poles... they eventually sent replacements... I ran into the designer or a distributor (don't know which & it doesn't matter) at a show, and expressed my displeasure, they gave me another - this one is that one... I CAN'T get the cross supports to work! As always your milage may vary & if you like it, I am so happy for you! I used mine propped up against my sofa...
quilt blocks on designwall - the design wall is resting on the sofa
Since I am not a "move them around until you get a pleasing mix" quilter, I will sew up the blocks like I have sewn up my other on-point projects... Add the 3 triangles to 1 block - twice, add two triangles to 3 blocks - twice, continue through 5, 7, 9, etc. then sew the rows together. You only have to pay attention with the triangles, and only then after rows 5, 7, 9. So I usually wait to put the triangles onto those rows until I am ready to sew them to the other rows. I found this to be helpful especially if I am making a rectangle shaped quilt instead of a square.

When sewing my rows of 5, 7, 9, etc. I will be fiddly with choosing not to put two star blocks next to each other, etc. but as the go together into rows, I just go with it... That is random for me, just like when you thrown a number generator (sorry that is the teacher in me - everyone else knows them as dice - or die for the singular) you will get a 1 followed by a 1, so if a star lands next to a star - so be it.

& Just so you can see there there is a use for the design wall:
The only thing that the design wall is good for.. He loves it!
Rhapsody checking out the poles She likes the poles.
And so you know that the technical difficulties were not all mine - I had help from him:
RB helping...
Eventually, I may try to tape the design wall up onto a wall - or maybe not... (I think for me that it would only be a way to store blocks.)

RB - my biggest fan


RB - my biggest fan
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

While pressing did not take too long (why did I wait s long to do it?) I ddi have to take a cat break...