Thursday, May 31, 2007


As in Quilters Unlimited of Northern Virginia - is having a quilt show this weekend! I am going on Saturday. Wanna join me? Even though it is a "local" show, it is big & nice.

But the best part, I get to go to a favored grocer - Wegmans after the quilt show. Are they in your area? If so check them out.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's the little things

& don't let anyone tell you differently!

Happy Zombie has been visiting The Calico Cat....

I have been lurking in her blog/flickr for quite a while - Happy Zombie - what's not to love.

Well one thing to love for sure is my new magazine.... Her quilt is on the cover!

And another thing to love - if only I only liked 30's prints...

And the Mimi tales... I almost had to go out & get a toy sewing machine... Come on there is a cat on it!

Go check out Happy Zombie - you'll be glad you did, but grab a cuppa first!

Courtshoue steps - a conceptual plan...

Last night, I drew out my courthouse steps quilt. I have 13 prints, so I drew a grid (9-patch) and placed an "X" in each square. I then placed the numbers in the triangles formed by the "X" in the square...

- this is conceptual - I turned the spreadsheet into a .pdf file, but I have no idea how to upload either of them here...

If that triangle was not on an edge (I ended up with 12 on the edge & 24 on the inside -paired to form the "lanterns.") the triangle next to it got the same number... I shuffled the numbers around & got a pleasing arrangement - most numbers are used 3 times total...

Hopefully I can get cutting & sewing this weekend - then again, since this is a short summer session, I need to write another paper (9-pages this time)... Tonight I am going to dinner with a friend & tomorrow is class again...

The neighbors babies are getting big! But new babies are hatching too... I saw a neat thing on Monday - 2 pairs of parents with 3 sizes of babies - Do they take anyones kids? Do the kids go with any parents? (Yes, I am referring to the geese...)

I forgot to mention that the kid quilts have been donated to the Children's Inn....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I think

I think I will use the rest of my freshcut fabrics to make a court house steps quilt similar to this one: red court house steps. I have always liked the way they make blocks of one fabric by the careful placement of the block. My centers will be kona snow & my log width will be a massive 2.5 inches...

Another picture & pattern for purchase seen here. Another pattern for purchase and teh look that is similar to what I am going for can be seen here.

Courthouse steps variation is what mine will be like - only less obvious since my fabrics are all of a similar value. (I just think that you need to see the high contrast multi-colored version to understand the look that I am going for...) FYI - I never guessed it would be so hard to find a photo on line...

A nice version that shows the traditional light & dark version - not what mine will look like... An arty one - again mot like what mine will look like...

Very interesting article on log cabin quilts - courthouse steps being a variation on that theme.

(Please note "I think" - I may rethink & change my mind often in the mean time...)

the cat is out of the bag...

I use quilting a delaying tactic.

I need to write a critical review essay of a scholarly article.

What did I do instead?

After purchasing, washing & pressing a bolt of Kona Snow on Saturday, I pieced these two quilt tops.

Freshcut & Pink & Brown squares.
frescut top
pink and brown top

I had a lot of help...
Rhapsody on freshcutRhapsody my Tonkinese cat on Freshcut.
RB on pink & Brown RB my Tonkinese cat on Pink & Brown.

What I saw in the stewdio:
RB & Rhapsody in UFO boxwhen I went in to cut some more Kona Snow.

I also worked on a couple doll quilts - one that used that last of my Plain Spoken solids and two that used left-overs from the gift quilt that I won't be showing here any time soon. :o)

Gift that I LOVE from Holly:
Kitty CapersNow I don't "have" to hand embroider and crayon a cat quilt... :o)

I wrote a rough draft of the essay long hand last night - now to type it & send it through the style writer.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Summer

In my neck of the woods, Memorial Day (Only An American Holiday?) is the official start of summer. The pools open, the BBQs get going, schools out, etc.

The best part = Monday SLEEPING IN LATE! (As late as two tiny balls of fur will allow that is.)

With that said, I doubt that I will be on line for more than a quick read of e-mail in the mean time, so Enjoy the holiday if you celebrate it.

Enjoy the weekend at any rate!

Have a safe celebration & I hope you get some quilting done - I plan to!

The Border Blunder

(Not really but the title is catchy, no?)

You may have noticed that the Plain Spoken quilts do not have borders... My last Zipper didn't either...

The current quilt requires a border. Nothing fancy but a border nonetheless. I pieced it up to the "time to add a border" point last night.

Sorry it is a gift, so no photos will be forthcoming.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Man injured when hit by quilt - or maybe the translation is "off?"

Is your hobby dangerous?

the pictures

These are the pictures from this morning - I had to run home to get my wallet - so I grabbed the camera!
rhapsody My other model, Rhapsody a Tonkinese cat.
not plain spoken All sewn up! (I barely paid any attention as to which row went next to which...)

The photo with my cat shows truer colors.

a finish (almost)

I finished piecing "not plain spoken" last night. (& I have a photo - just not the camera - with my other model.) YAY! In my book that is a "finish" because I hire out most of my quilting - this one may be small enough to get some MQ on my domestic sewing machine...

I also got some serious work done on a baby quilt. :o) I hope to get that done this weekend.

Speaking of weekend - any big plans out there for those of you with a 3-day weekend? I am going to visit & drop off some quilty DVDs with a friend who just had knee surgery. & I am going to pick up a bolt of Kona Snow @ 40% off! & I am going to visit another friend who just happens to have a Patrick Lose cats embroidery card - we are going to do a collaborative quilt! & of course the other necessary errand type stuff. - No mini-vacations here...

After I get the Kona Snow & I jumping into Freshcut!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Freshcut - decision made

This quilt was made by Rose(is red), she is on flickr. (Yes, I have permission to share her photo on my blog.) I have been inspired by a couple of her quilts - this one is how I will use roughly 1/3 of my freshcut fabric. (I also have some pink & brown squares that are awaiting this treatment...)

For the othe 2/3's I have been given several ideas...

in progress

You will recall, that I made this top,plain spoken "Plain Spoken" (from the book, "The Modern Quilt Workbook" by Bill Kerr & Weeks Ringle) using this selection DSC02038 of solid cotton fabrics. And you can see my inspiration fabrics as well.

You may also recall, that instead of cutting from full 1/2 yards, I first cut my fabric into fat quarters. That means that when I went to cut the "blocks" I was only able to get 2.9 out of each. What to do with .9 of a block, was my next dilema - that is 90% of a rather big block...

I cut them down to a size that I liked - no real rationale... & then I cut a more narrow slice as well (this idea came from a quilt in American Patchwork & Quilting from a month or two ago, where the magazine interviewed the designers Bill Kerr & Weeks Ringle) - luckily these two cuts were fairly close to the same number...

So I decided to cut some strips from the inspiration prints and mix them in creating an even number, that will also make a nice rectangular shaped quilt...

Here is my result - so far (I have only sewn the big blicks into rows and the small blocks into rows and joined a big row to a small a small row - now I need to make them into 4's, then 8's, etc.)

not plain spoken

rb on not plain spoken As always, RB, my tonkinese cat is ready to help. Rhapsody skirted around the quilt top...

BTW adding in the inspiration print to the original quilt was my first plan for the first "plain spoken" quilt - I am glad that I did not do it - but I am happy that I did do it on the second quilt.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Freshcut (not so new or new-ish fabric line)

If you were given a bundle of fat quarters as part of a challenge, how would you use them? (The bundle has about 10 or the peachy/greeny prints - no brown or purple.)

Immediate idea - YBR or TT (Yellow Brick Road or Turning Twenty) but the shop owner (challenge hostess) has already completed a YBR...

I though about this pattern by Aardvark quilts, but I only have one stripe & what drew me to that pattern was the stripe...

I think simpler is probably going to be better...
Maybe a log cabin that does not have a light & dark (if that makes sense) or a framed charm...

Back story... My mini-group meets in the quilt shop once a month to sew & eat... (That should be eat & sew... ahem...) The shop has an assortment of quite a few different things... But nothing like Freshcut. The shop owner over-rode both of her managers when she purchased this fabric... So she decided to challenge us to make something with it - to help sell it ;o). The winner get a GC...

While blog hopping

I ran into this blog.

I think most of us visit the same blogs... (I could be very wrong, but that is my hunch - based on comments & such.) & who can blame us, there is only so much time & we have other things to do...

So my rationalization is to share the blogs that you find.

Then you can have something to blog about when you leave your camera at home with a WIP photograph... I'm just saying...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Is there anything more pretty?

single iris (Besides a red rose, my cats, etc.)

iris Maybe a whole group of Irises...

Many of you know that I am a student at American University in Washington, D.C. these lovely flowers are on the other side of the road out side of the parking lot. As I go into the building where my class meets (Ward Circle Building) if I look over my back, I see these... I liked them so much that I walked by them on the way to my car after class last night.

I have come to the conclusion that a group of the same flower is so much nicer than one here, one there... (IMHO)

I hope you enjoy them too.

I was going to photograph some fabric - but I was bushed by the time I actually got home...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Do you see the cat?

I am specifically asking about the domestic house cat, not the cheetah, in this Noah's menagerie print? This kind of print ladies and gentlemen is why I have about 900 different cat prints. I know most people would not call that a cat print... & Honestly most of my collection is made up of prints that are more predominently cats - but there are a few of these & I have a hankering for this one... (I like the YAK too - Y is a difficult letter to represent in I Spy quilts...)

Illness I tell ya... (Edited - new revelation!)

My husband was able to get a few Kaffe Fassett quilt books for me through Inter-Library Loan. (THANKS Again!)

I really liked one that was made with his "Shott" cottons. (Very simple gray background with colored appliqued circles. Not sure which book, I asked for him to get them all...)

The edited in part: I just made this comment on Laura's blog... "The Kaffe quilt that I described in my blog today, reminds me of raindrops - maybe that is why I want to make it - or is it the tear drops?"

The tear drops would fit my current mood... Would/Could a $100 worth of fabric cure my mood?

Too bad I did not know that before Lancaster...

WHY? You may ask...

Because Pinwheels has Shott cottons now, too... (I saw them & liked them - but I did not know what I would do with them, & I bought a lot of taupes...)

Now I want them... (Maybe the next time we go to NY, as the shop is not too far from my MIL's house. But we are also needing to go to City Quilter & Purl Fabric...)

But not like I "WANT" these Katie Jump Rope fabrics. Only I just want a charm of each... I love the sample quilt that they made for Quilt Market. (Too bad I can't find the blog/photo - but it was a charm quilt either 1000 pyramids or tumblers - it might have used the fabrics more than once... so it then would be charm style.)

Does anyone else have any deep dark secret wants... (When they already have a full load...)

(These are definately not "needs.")

Not long ago, I found gal in Japan who could find Fairy Tale fabrics - so we traded... (As a cat fabric collector, I could not pass them up...) I have since found an ebayer who has them...
I WANT Puss n Boots in the strongest sense of the term...
Also on ebay, I found a guy with "vintage" cottons - I want those cats too...

You know with either I'd be satisfied with a small charm (of each).


Monday, May 14, 2007

getting busy edited - quilting ideas

plain spoken Here is my Plain Spoken top! I plan to either have it quilted like the one in the book, "Modern Quilt Workshop" Kerr & Ringle. You can actually see that if you go to the Amazon hyperlink & look at the "Search inside" feature - I believe it is page 11. Or hand quilt randomly placed and sized circles... (Idea A has a stronger possibility - but I have big scraps, so I plan to make a similar quilt & that one may get the circles...)
K convergence My friend & I took a class on Saturday at the LQS on Ricky Timms's Convergence quilts. This is my friends...
k converging fabric The is her "focus" fabric.
convergence Here is mine - an Homage to The Great Barrier Reef. I knew that I wanted to do an "arty" quilt for the Great Barrier reef... That got cemented when I found the Hand dyed fabric about a year ago... I have been planning on doing the Convergence quilt for the past year, too - but I never got around to it - you have to clean off a good space literally and time wise... So when I saw a slass was being offered I signed up!

Last night since the table in my stewdio was still cleared and my big mat was out, I decided to cut the background for a quilt in progress... Instead of 3.5 inch strips, I cut the 3 inches... So I trimmed the I Spy's accordingly! It will still work. I guess that proves that I need the TV on to quilt!

FYI - I got a B in my Statistics class (YAY! - Huge sigh of relief!) & my next class starts tomorrow night - something about healthcare administration... That was one bit of good news that I have been needing!

I hope to drop of the Kid Quilts on Friday - work & school have been far too hectic....

Friday, May 11, 2007

quilty post...

I started working on Plain Spoken again.
plain spoken in progress
225 of these blocks are now sewn into rows.

I'd like to share a secret about my method. For this sepcific quilt you see several different greens, peaches, and berries. It may not be as apparent, but there are also two different widths of rectangles. So I cut the two different width in strips for strip piecing. I should not have fat quartered my half yards first - but I did & it is working out fine - I just have scraps that I can not justify tossing... Then I sewed skinny to fat randomly, trying not to duplicate my strip sets or to create opposites. ( did not want light skinny peach with light fat green & then light skinny green with light fat peach - ya know what I mean? Then I sub cut. Then I stacked trying very hard to not have any like colors touching in the stack. If the first block was light peach and light green, the next block could not have either light peach or light green. So that when I got to the part that I did last night - sewing the blocks into rows - I would have the individual fabrics separated. I do have chunks of green, but not chunks of light green.

Now for the "design floor" portion of my method. I will layout 2 rows and try to make sure that the same skinnies or fatties are not next to each other - again greens can touch, I just do want light green to touch light green. I continue with that method until I have all of my rows in pairs of 2, then I try again making groups of four rows, etc.

So far using this method, I have been fairly successful.

I hope my morning ramble was at least entertaining... A peek into the mind of a crazy lady.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Design Wall

Am I ready for this? Someone elses Portable Design Wall challenges... Meanwhile mine is still in 2 boxes - I waited forever to get it in the first place and then 4 to 6 weeks longer to get the replacement stuff... I have been a bit busy (& not completly unsuccessful without it) as of late to deal with anything that needs to be put together...

I took my final & I feel like I did o.k. (I feel better leaving the final than I did the mid-term) but I ran out of time, so I "could" have done better...

I am glad that I reviewed our multiple choice practice quizzes. I saw some of those questions on the final :o) I just hope she did not thow in a "not" where it had previously been left out...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

As Promised

doll on quilt I made the big doll in about 1993. She has porcelain hands, legs, & head with a cloth body. The smaller doll was a gift from my grand mother - she is 100% porcelain & antique. With that said, she is not my grandmother's childhood toy. Rather, my grandmother was working at a "bazaar" and a one of the other ladies was going gaga over a porclain doll part, "I wonder if the rest of the doll is here, etc." Well my grandmother found the rest of the doll, but because the lady had gone on so, my grandmother decided to buy it for herself... I don't know who repaired it & I am not sure if the clothes are "original." I do know that my grandmother did not make the clothes. She did however, crochet the blanket in the late 1990's when she felt that she needed to use up her circa 1970's acrylic yarn - hence the gold. (on the back are 3 circles interlocking circles - her pattern was from 1984 & was supposed to be the olympic rings - the pattern was published before it became a crime to use the circles - one in avocado, one in gold, & one in orange.)

doll quilt Here is the doll quilt without the doll.

doll quilt back And a peek at the back.
Made by Maitreya as part of Doll Quilt Swap 2007.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My better 1/2

I got my doll quilt last night! You can see it here: Craftlog. I will post an "insitu" photo tomorrow. (You may recall my issue with the camera & its batteries & its location & its cable - well it was at the computer while I was at home - so no photos last night.) BUT I have set it up with one of my porcelain dolls & her doll (I need to make a very mini doll quilt...)

In the mean time, take a look at who is visiting my office.
goose on a ledge 2 He left when I tried to lift the blinds.

Monday, May 07, 2007

1/2 (version one was far to "short")

My doll quilt(s) were recieved!
See them here: Mama Urchin.

The weekend:
quilted: none - I did buy a bias tape maker and some thread - so I am ready for the next part of two tops...

ate: a lot, took my husband out for a Greek dinner and pancake breakfast & then we had friends over - I made a lot & they brought a lot. So nice to have friends travel 59 miles each way for a short visit - they have a toddler & my cats could only provide "so much" entertainment...

cleaned: a goodly amount - did you notice the friends over note, ahem.

watched TV: too much (as always) but the cats were so comfy on their mommy's lap.

slept: late - see the note about the cats & add a good dose of "we needed it."

napped: often - I am blaming the cats for that one too.

wandered: hin & yon - too walks and visited 3 local purveyors of fabric - but I only got the bias tape maker & thread...

studied: some... NOT NEARLY ENOUGH!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Doll Quilt swap...

nervous anticipation....

Over at "I knew that" there is a list of participants... Can I admit that I have been staking the blogs to see who got what & eliminating them trying to figure out which lovely will grace my doorstep then office wall! & I have been checking to see if mine has arrived and the response... NERVES - yes, ladies and gentlemen my nerves are shot!

(The fact that I have a final exam in Statistics that I am not prepared for on Tuesday, a project - completed - that is also due on Tuesday, a dentist appointment - in the past, but that works me over like no ones business, work - the stuff I get paid for - out my arse, friends coming over for luncheon on Sunday, etc. is also working on my nerves...)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Purple (again) & the stashbuster topic of the week.

More wisteria can be seen at black berry creek (lovely photo, BTW).

Meanwhile, I drove to American University to work on my statistics group project & took the Macarthur Blvd. along the Potomac River to Loughboro Rd. in Washington, DC route, so I was able to pull over safely for these photos of my mystery purple tree.
purple tree with electrical poles To give you a sense of their height - note the electrical poles in the background.

purple tree blossoms close-up of the blossom - no leaves yet.
Purple tree This one shows how you see the purple/blue against the green leaves of the other trees.

So you can see that it is not wisteria - a vine. & I doubt that it is Jacaranda either... (everything that I have read has the Jacaranda's growing in a different region, i.e. Southern California... & besides these purple mystery trees are not messy.) Does anyone know what this tree is called?

Potomac The Potomac River. In the fall, I answered a meme that asked about something that suprised me... As you can see the river is hidden behind the spring leaves - in the fall after the leaves fall, you can see the river without having to get out of the car and zoom in on it - so it is a suprise in the fall eventhough you know it is there all along.

Stashbuster topic of the week... Your dream quilt... WOW boy is that a loaded question. It kind of makes meed need to admit that I want to be doing more complex piecing or something, huh? So I will answer this one fairly honestly... My dream quilt is the one that uses the last bit of my stash! :o)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


So I was on a mission to find and photograph those purple flower in trees. I am not convinced that they are Jacaranda & I wanted to photograph them so that someone in the know could say yay or nay. I saw them on the highway - not the best place to be taking photographs... I took the long way home - around the mall - nothing. I went for a walk, with my eyes in the sky. While I did not find the elusive tree in a photographable location (I'll try again tonight - I'll be on a less traveled road.) I did see more wildlife in suburbia.
Take a look:
heron A Heron!
heron The same Heron.
bunny A bunny.

When I got back home, I found:
sunbathing cats Sunbathing kitties.