Sunday, January 30, 2011

First quarter of a Ring: new baby quilt

This is the first quarter of the ring for the new baby quilt.  I think it will be really cute.  The "Single Girl" pattern is really one of my favorites.  Using lots of fabrics is something I love and each ring has 32 different ones.  We're off to the theatre this afternoon, but I'll do more piecing tonight before "Downton Abbey" starts.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pin basting the yoga quilt

The work table was cleared so I could pin baste the yoga quilt.  I just have to thread baste the edges and it will be ready to go into a hoop.  Tomorrow I will piece the first ring of the new baby quilt.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Gemini" is pieced and a new "Single Girl" begins

The "Gemini" top that I'm making for my yoga class is now pieced.  It was a bit like working with the bento box pattern when I made the wedding quilt last spring:  lots of colors and many stages of light and dark.  I nearly pulled back and made blocks of the same colors, but then decided to go for it.  I did have a few blocks sprinkled in that are lights and darks of the same color and generally, I think it works even if the colors are "bossier"(Nancy Crow's word) than those in the first bento box quilt I made for my niece.

As you can see from this detail, some of my fabric has been in my stash for a LONG time.  I'm slightly amused when I read the blogs of new, young quilters who are "destashing" fabrics that are maybe six months old.

This is the fabric pull and the pieces for a new "Single Girl" quilt for a baby.  It will have four rings.  This pattern is so wonderfully versatile in its look and size.
Here's the fabric map in progress with three-fourths of the fabrics present.

This is the last quarter of the ring on the background polka dot fabric.  The jungle print will be the back and the stripes (of course) will be the binding.  Looking forward to putting the first ring together.  We have a two-hour delay this morning, so I'm going to get started sandwiching the yoga quilt. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quilt for yoga class

This is the fabric pull for my new projects.  I bought some great Michael Miller fabric called "Yoga Monkey" to make a bag for my mat.

After it came, I decided I needed a quilt, too.  I'm using a pattern by Janine Burke called Gemini. She is one of the designers for a great site called Blue Underground Studios.   Their sample quilts make wonderfully strong color statements and they seem to love scrappy quilts as much as I do.  Their patterns, while based firmly on tradition, have a great modern feel largely due to their fabric choices.

There will be 60 different fabrics in this quilt--all from my stash.

This is a little bonus shot of the safety pin fabric pennants.  All of the photos today were taken with my newish camera.  I decided I'm just going to make myself use it and try to get better.  I'm still not thrilled with the focus, but I'll keep trying.  It also likes natural light better than artificial.  The colors are really off.  Back to the manual....

Friday, January 14, 2011

What I did on my snow day and a half

Finally, after four snow days, the kids are coming back to school today, albeit with a two-hour delay.  With the crazy system down here, teachers have to report on snow days unless you have personal days to use.  I did take off Tuesday and Wednesday morning because of the ice and got another baby quilt started during that time.  More later.  I'm off to Safety Pin Studio for a few more minutes.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Beginning the new year with some little projects

Now that my niece's quilt is finished and on the way to her, I'm starting out the new year with some little projects.  I made two sets of these little pennants using Christmas fabric for my two dear friends here who are sisters.  They have little loops on each end so they can be hung on the tree.  I made a set for our tree, too.

I decided to make a set for Safety Pin Studio using some of the safety pin fabric in my stash.  I made them just like the large pennants but rather than using bias tape to string them, I just zigzag the raw top edges to the ribbon.

Speaking of stash, I've been hoarding all of these gorgeous William Morris reproduction fabrics for years and I finally decided to use one of them to make a cloth shopping bag for Anna.  Here's hoping your new year is happy, healthy, and productive.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Confession: Cat quilt, not quite finished

OK, true confessions, here.  I didn't get my niece's quilt finished in time for Christmas, but I'm nearly there.  Rounding third and headed for home.  This is the back with the binding on the third side being sewn down.

This is the front in a place where the two binding fabrics meet.  (You may remember that I used two animal print fabrics to make the bias binding.  Check out the original post here.)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A mash-up kind of morning

I've been having a really amazing mash-up kind of morning.  First of all, my sketchbook, open to the first page, has been projecting its emptiness at me since yesterday when the first theme for the Sketchbook Challenge went up and I got nothing in the way of ideas.  As I read my email and then opened Google Reader this morning, several great things happened:  the BBC news feed had an interesting article about diarists and as I was reading, I thought about how bloggers are really becoming the diarists of this age--little versions of Pepys, all of us.  At the end of the article was a marvelous quote by Virginia Woolf about what she wanted her diary to be and it really fitted what I want my sketchbook to be, so that first page is no longer empty. At least I now have an inspiration and a sort of framework.

The second thing that entered into this mash-up was a quote by Gardner Cox (American painter, 1906-1988):''

"I do a bale of sketches, one eye, a piece of hair.  A pound of observation, then an ounce of painting."

For me, who is often paralyzed by perfectionism that prevents me from doing anything because I fear it won't be perfect, this was a very important group of words.  I need to remember just to sketch.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  It's an observation, visual note-taking, not a final product.  Words are often inspirational to me and they will definitely be a part of this sketchbook.  And now,  feeling comforted and inspired, here we go.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge

Jamie Fingal who blogs at Twisted Sister is one of my favorite art quilters.  Her work is original, imbued with her talent for drawing, and often displays her delicious sense of humor.  In a recent post, she announced her participation in a brilliant new project called The Sketchbook Challenge.  Each month, a theme will be announced and Jamie and the other organizers will share their sketches, talk about inspirations, and share techniques.  The brilliant part is that they are inviting their readers to join in the challenge and share as well.  I decided it would be a great way to get myself back into the sketching discipline in preparation for a summer class I plan to take that will involve lots of drawing.  If you would like to participate as well, go to the Sketchbook Challenge blog and pick up a badge, then get your drawing  tools ready and start drawing!