Monday, December 31, 2012

Last quilting entry for the year

Fell viciously ill yesterday afternoon, suffering from an intestinal, not much accomplished anywhere on anything for much of the day.  Boo.


Today, I am feeling much improved, but also feel behind the eight ball on so many levels.  I will try to get some (quilty) things done before daylight disappears and needful things get tended to, but I'm not enjoying feeling rushed to experience contentment.

Did anyone understand that?

Anywho - I will post a few last photos of the work completed thus far on Black Widow I, just to finish the year on a high note.  We can mark the progress from there, hey?  I also wanted to remind those of you who may view stashes as an unnecessary evil to reconsider.  Here's why:

The perfect stash item I'd forgotten I had
A couple of months ago, when I got it in my head to create the Black Widow (using scraps), I thought I might also be able to utilize a bunch of material from my stash wall for the backing, too.  Less (-to no) guilt, and a chance to make room in my stash and cull out, using things I probably wouldn't have for any other reason. 

See, I am harboring a good amount of fabric purchased back when the boys were much younger - and when material production for quilters was still rather dreary and calico-y -- not the vibrant lot you can find today (along with the more traditional calicoes and such).

At the time, those material purchases I made were good, current, and a it all made sense. Unfortunately, I never kept up with the influx of my purchases, and tended to buy more as/when I found it, and moved the older (more banal) fabrics to the back of the stacks.

Then manufacturers began to use designers who were artists and quilters themselves, and the shift to more fun and colorful designs became commonplace!  I thank Alexander Henry for that!  Hawaiian quilting helped to increase the use and manufacturing of batiks in everyday quilting circles, and things just improved overall!  Huzzah! 

Today, quilters have so many design houses and textile manufacturers to choose from, making the selection of fabrics for our beloved quilts - whether miniatures or king-sized - an absolute delight.  Unlimited.  Unimaginably rich!

Can I get a 'wahoo' from the choir?

Well, I had a lovely piece of batik that would have been perfect, except for the holes I found in it when I opened it out for the first time.  As I held it up to the interior border I was making for the back, here's what I found.

I know, I can hear you gasping along with me.

I wish I had opened this beauty sooner, and done the pre-wash just after bringing it home, instead of giddily folding it and placing it into the stash for future use.

Lesson learned.

Oh, sorry. Let's get back to the purpose of my blog today.
I knew the only way to complete the colorful Greek eternity chain border was to marry the black and primary blocks on one side with solid black, and a multi-colored something-or-other to the inside.  But what? 

I first attempted to use pieces of the multi-colored scraps I had been using to build a continuous strip for the purpose, but it looked all wrong - and I couldn't put my finger on why exactly.  All I could tell was that the look wasn't there for me.  So then I went to my stash in hopes of digging out bright multi-colored prints that I could use. 

You know....those blenders we buy just because they're too groovy to pass up. 

"What are you going to use that for?" asks your quilting enabler friend.

"I don't know," you answer hesitantly, "but I'll have it when I finally need it!"
And I am!!!  I am using something that tickled my fancy and was purchased just for the stash!  This Ricky Timms "Oodles of Doodles" was just the thing the Black Widow I needed for the border work.  Don't you think it's perfect?

Now, if I could only find something to swap out for that darned batik centerpiece with the holes in it.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Oh, sure.  I know the title is incorrect, but then, after viewing many online photos posted by quilters who blur the lines when categorizing their quilts, I suppose it now no longer matters if I spell things correctly (or, 'inventively').

I was looking into "coin" quilts to discuss ideas with an aunt who would like to make her first quilt (using cherished indigo print material she's collected over time from trips around the globe).  When I 'googled' images for that particular pattern I was met with a brilliant array of "coin" quilts that were anything but "coin" quilts.

So now I suppose you know the crux of this quilting rant - not my aunt, mind you, but the lack of care from others incorrectly calling their quilts something other than the proper pattern name.

I know it shouldn't irk me if somebody decides to call a string quilt - laid out in a spider web pattern (or any other string pattern) - a "coin" quilt....but it does!  Nor should I be bothered by some yahoo thinking they can get double duty out of their quilt by calling a decidedly log cabin style pattern a "coin" quilt, instead of what it really is....but it does!  It really, REALLY does.

There was even some sort of creative layout using triangles - with the tips at one end sheared off - and the pieces laying alternately side-by-side, titled a "coin" quilt - but it MOST clearly was not even close to a "coin" quilt!

C'mon, people!  Do your research and be prepared to correctly (and honestly) label your quilt with the right and proper pattern name!  There are new quilters who will be looking at your images and getting the WRONG idea as to what pattern they are making because some of you think just because you are laying strips of material side-by-side-by-side-by-side that it isn't what the end result becomes, but what YOU want to call it (pattern-wise). [breathe]

I suppose I should just be happy I stopped after several hundred images, and before finding a "rail fence" quilt under the improper "coin" heading, eh?

And while I'm at it - STOP USING THE WORD "WONKY"!

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for looking in from time to time and reading my posts.

Here's wishing you and yours a very wonderful holiday season, and a new year filled with peace, happiness, health....and lots of new quilts!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Oh, dear

I think I've created a monster. :^P

In an effort to use up any (and all) scraps remaining from the Black Widow I, it seems as though I really only managed to create an additional small pile of scraps.  Yikes!  This string quilt was supposed to eradicate my scrappy mess, not add to it. [smacking forehead]

My initial idea to create an interior border (for the back) using the Greek Eternity symbol worked so well in my mind, but I am wondering if anyone else can see the pattern forming?  It will be bounded by a larger black border to the outside, and something narrow (of multi-colors) along the right (or, to the interior/center).

With each new completed link I can see where I need to be careful of cutting the pieces too short or too thin before stitching them together.  Some corrections need to be made, but since this is the back (as well as a learning project for me) I am tempted to be forgiving of the awkwardness of the overall look.

Any thoughts, words of encouragement.......matches? 


It will take roughly 10 of these 'links' per side to complete the interior border, and it's taking approximately forty-five minutes to an hour per link (right now).  Each one builds itself a little faster, and without interruptions, I may be able to get two whole sides assembled by Christmas....however, I am still puzzling over the corners: more precisely, how to turn them using this pattern.

Of course, I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Not for nothing, but....

...I've just reloaded a good number of posts I'd removed earlier in the year, hoping to keep my AQS quilt under wraps until the time came that I could proudly show some of the work that went into it.
If you search you will find them within the anals of the blog.  If not, take heart - the quilt will be shown in it's entirety soon enough!

Spent a small portion of the day piecing together a bit of the original border idea I figured out for "Black Widow I," and it may actually turn out OK after it's all said and done. 

If I manage to get four feet or so completed tomorrow (or Monday) I will post a photo so you can see what it is I have in mind for the backing border.  Until then, have a nice evening and let me know what you're working on.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The deed is done

Or, maybe I should have said: "THE DEED IS DONE!"

[contented sigh]

The entry form (and necessary) bits are on their way to Paducah for the AQS 2013 contest.  Next steps will happen for PQ1 after notification in early March!

In other news: I will be back to work on the string quilt, "Black Widow I," this afternoon. 

Finally figured out how I wanted to back it (weeks ago), but didn't do it as there wasn't enough time to get it done (thought I would be entering it along with PQ1), so I devised a back-up back, but still ran short on time for the quilting portion. S-o-o-o-o.... 

Now that the pressure is off, I can create the backing I wanted to in the first place, and save my secondary creation for another quilt top!  Wait 'til you see it!

I love scraps!

(photos around Christmas - if all goes well)

What are YOU up to?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Who'd-a thunk it?

Found myself short on material yesterday, and wondered if I would have any luck locating anything remotely similar to the deep, inky black, medium-tight weave, 100% cotton (I had already incorporated into  Black Widow I) at a nearby store. 

I figured I wouldn't need much, but then I hadn't calculated what I would want (or need) for the back, either, so I was pleased when today became a good day - and I never even had to leave the house!

I actually had a perfectly matching black in my stash!  Perfectly matching! 

Even more amazing?  It was 3+ yards!!

I have the uneasy feeling, though, that somewhere in this house there is now a quilt top without its backing.

Washed it up; ironed it out, and; cut the four border sides for the back out of it, and three-dozen-plus of the remaining negative space center pieces for the top!


I also paired out and stitched up the last of the black/bright patches needed for the front border before the daylight disappeared.  Still have no idea what I am going to do for the back. Thought I did, but I have been reconsidering it every five minutes - because you know I can never do anything simply.

Since there isn't a whole lot of time remaining before it needs to be photographed and the pictures sent in to meet the AQS deadline, I really am beginning to consider putting together a very simple backing for this one.  Sad but true.

Will keep you apprised.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Guess what I just did

So, I've just renewed my AQS membership for the first time since....u-u-m-m-m....

Huh.  [scratching head]

Since 1997 or '98, I believe.  Once the divorce began and crap hit the fan I let a lot of things fall by the wayside, and this was in that category.

But now I am geared up for entering a few quilts this year into the contests they host.

Bring it! ;)