Thursday, October 28, 2010

Courthouse Steps is/are out

There is a reason instructions for constucting Courthouse Steps blocks are written the way they are, and all those quilters that conquered this territory before me either learned that lesson the hard way, OR simply followed those instructions and were pleased with their results.

I would be a member of the first category.

Not square...not happy.

I am, in fact, so frustrated with the notion of having to cut an extreme amount of extra strips to make the CHS border happen, that I am rethinking the entire border.

I will still be using the strips I have cut - waste not, want not - but in a completely different way. Most likely I will still have to cut more strips, but at least I will have a faster way of incorporating them into the border....into an insanity-free border, where I will still be smiling at the end of it all.

Lesson #174 - If the block you wish to construct comes with a construction method that seems way wasteful in it's simplicity, there is a reason you should avoid using it unless you have the time and money to see it through to the end.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


That was the word I was looking for the other day, and couldn't remember it to save my life.

Don't you hate when that happens? Cripes.

I was hunting for an appropriate thread to use on the border top stitching (to create texture and depth, and another to decorate in high contrast with), and for the construction, and it needed to look ok with the material I had chosen on a previous trip (as well as for use on a suit I want to make, with gorgeous material I already have).

Couldn't think of the word for the dark blue color. Nothing past 'navy' or 'midnight' could roll off my brain and make it out of my mouth...although I knew it was a word to describe "a color that was a thing; that stuff for know, a writing thing. And, um, pants." Ugh!

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, INDIGO, violet. Hello-o-o-o-o!!! However, despite my mental stutter, I managed to locate the spools of thread to fill in my gaps (including that darned indigo), and I think I am set to hunker down and create the top without any headaches, hiccups or hindrances.

Beyond that, at any rate, it's been a lost few days on the project: not enough progress made on the JAF quilt, but I am making some progress.

Attended a crazy sale to get threads and hopefully make a great find on a clearance material, mostly so I wouldn't spend too much more than I already have trying to stay within the parameters of the rules a-n-d balance on the bubble of a very strict budget.

No such luck, though, so I will have to try again in a month or so, when I am ready to actually sandwich the quilt and begin the quilting.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It took seven JAFs (and two additional small quilt shops) to finally find it, but with perseverance - and a really good friend (who saw that "the mission" was just as important as I did) - we brought it home!

You read that correctly. 7 JAFs.

Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Canton, East Lansing, Bloomfield Hills, and two in Ypsi/Ann Arbor. The last one, a tiny, unkempt, mess of a store in A2, tucked in the worst accessible strip mall, harbored the needed bundle.


But it's mine now. All mine, and as soon as I finish with this post I am happily heading to my glorious quilting hole to begin the material mayhem. Thank you, Jean. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

In pursuit of:

I've tried this tactic once before...and sadly, it got me nowhere. No responses, no assistance...nothing.

Can anybody assist me in finding a source to purchase some of this material?

Please and thank you. :)

PS - would still really like to purchase some of the material featured in the post dated April 25th.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An update on the day

Can't make myself decide which way to go - a single (slightly larger) courthouse steps, flanked by half CHS blocks on point, or a double row of CHS blocks (much smaller), flanked by halvsies on point?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm thinking "courthouse steps" an internal border, but I am still trying to determine the size; and that has been the worst part of starting this particular quilt, too.

Well, ok...that and locating more material. Read on, you'll get it.

The traditional pieced block I am aiming to work into the quilt is a conundrum (again, the size, not which block); trying to formulate the scale of the border has been a pain (because it will have a lot to do with everything else that follows). Do I make it a double wide or single CHS on point?

Too small and the *base material print* will be useless when cut and pieced in. Too large, and the entire scale of the applique portion will be ridiculously huge - not to mention, I won't have enough of the base material to complete even a third of the courthouse steps blocks.

Yes, *it's* another doggone fat quarter, and I can't locate any more! ARGH! I didn't really want to make anything smaller than a twin-sized quilt - in other words, no 'wall hangings' - but it looks as though I am going to have to settle for that option whether I want to or not.

Additionally, since the rules state you have to have JAF receipts for everything used in your contest submission, I can't look elsewhere for the glorious fabric (though, I did look, and I found some...that I cannot use!).

Argh, ARGH!!


Ah well, the challenge is still on, and I have "suited up." Brought my stash of material to pre-wash and begin cutting, but I did not bring my sewing machine. I figured the washing, pressing and cutting would be more than enough activity to fill my time while away from home. Once the week of gram-sitting and Karl's classes is over, I will have more than enough time to hunker down and dig in.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Is anyone else planning on entering the JAF contest?

I am, I'm entering....and I plan on winning! Oh, yes, that's right.

Win, win, win.

It's not that I am a tremendously competitive person (except against myself...and when I am driving), but I could really use the money. The way jobs have been trickling in, I could make as much on this contest (in first place) as I did with the last film gig, so why shouldn't I dream big?

Besides, my quilt idea is a good one, and I could conceivably get it done before (if not by) the deadline.

Here's the color palette, have you got a clue, yet?