Books, Fabric & Yarn purchased in 2011

Sunday, October 14, 2012

BlockBase Sew Along

Another project - yep, another one.  I think I'm quickly approaching too many irons in the fire.  Approaching, but not quite there yet.

I decided to participate in the BlockBase Sew Along.  I've had BlockBase for years, and I love it for ideas for blocks for samplers.  It's also great if I'm looking for a block with a name that goes with a particular theme.  This week's block is #1336 and goes by the name of Seesaw.

I didn't actually sew my block until I saw the post that it was time to share.  That is how I decided how to color my block.  I knew it was going to be purple with a white background.  One of my dear friend's favorite color is purple, so I thought that I could get started on a quilt for her by making these blocks purple.  My blocks will be 9".  Here's my first one:

Now where was I . . . . . . .

Last week I attended PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) which is held at the Santa Clara Convention Center near my home each year.  Oh, what a lovely show! Over the next week I'll show some of the pictures that I took at the show.  What a happy (though tiring) day I had.  I viewed all the quilts but didn't make it to all the vendors, oh darn!!  I didn't even spend all that much money (how did that happen)??

I've sewn a bit, so without further ado . . . . .

Jack of Hearts Mystery

I've started the mystery quilt hosted by Heather Spence.

Here are my fabrics:
(Did you notice that old, old Moda designed by Robyn Pandolph?  Now she designs for RJR.)

And, here is Step One:

Aunt Eliza's Star

This block is from the Grandmother's Choice, Votes for Women Block of the Week.  This week's block symbolizes child custody - or the lack there of - or the fight for fair child custody.  Barbara Brackman includes an history lesson each week when presenting the block.  I thought this week's lesson was especially interesting.  I think it MUST have been heart-breaking for women to lose their children if they needed to leave a bad or abusive marriage.

We've come a long way, Baby.  We must not let our hard-won rights be threatened!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Feeling Behind!!

Yeah, I'm feeling behind - behind on this hobby that I love. That's not how I want to think or how I want to feel, and I know from experience if I let myself make rigid goals for quilting that I'll stop.  I'll just become overwhelmed, and I won't sew for weeks or months or maybe even years.  I've done this before, and I'm just not going to let myself fall into that trap again.  I love to sew, so I'm going to be kind to myself and sew when I can, when I feel like it, and when it fits into my schedule.  I was out of town for several days, and I didn't get to sew while I was gone - - - that's all.


I started the Women of the Bible quilt for many reasons.  First, a friend of mine showed me her beautiful black and batik quilt which she made while participating in the study, and secondly, I thought it would be fun to look at the women in the Bible from a different point of view than I had when I first studied these women.  That point of view is decidedly feminist and secular.  I feel a little bit awkward sharing my view within the group, so I will say what I think here.  The things that I say are my own thoughts and are not meant to upset anyone (but they may).  That said, last week we studied Sarah. This story was difficult for me.  It is not as I remembered it. Sarah had a pretty rough life.  The thing that really got to me was that Abraham "gave" Sarah to other men - first to Pharaoh then to Abimelech, the king of Gerar, and he said that Sarah was his sister. He did this to save his own skin. This whole idea is pretty appalling to me especially when I think that Abraham is the father of the the great society that is to become the Jews. So, I decided to make Sarah's block primarily blue. Mostly for her sadness but also because she was finally given a baby boy in her old age.

THQA-2 Week Three

Aren't they cute?  These are the blocks for the THQA-2 for last week.  I just love them, and they were simple easy to make. I love the movement in these blocks. I've introduced a cream/light tan color as a light. I'll need to remember to have at least one "darker" light each week.  

This quilt will be for one of my grandsons.  I think he will like it.  :-)

Monday, October 1, 2012

What I did Saturday - - -

Another block.  New Jersey. This one is for my Sufferage Quilt.

I had such a good time making this block.  OK, I've said I was a slow-poke before, but this will PROVE it.  It took me two hours to pick fabric, cut it, and complete the block.  Due to pain, I usually restrict my sewing to one hour (or one CD length), but I was feeling pretty well and was having so much fun that I pushed on through.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I am enjoying using all the florals.  I'll start putting the blocks together soon.  I'm doing a straight sashed set, so I can start putting the blocks together right away. That way I'll know when I need a color, a bright, a dark or another "thing" that the quilt wants.  Yes, my quilts talk to me; don't yours talk to you?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Churn Dash

 Here are my (slightly blurry) blocks for the second week of the THQA-2012.  Nice and easy and fun!

I may have mentioned that I've not sewn much in several years. These blocks let me really work on my quarter-inch seam as well as all the basics of quilt-making. Although I'm not a beginner, I find it helpful to practice basic skills as I go along.

And here are all the blocks that I've made for this quilt so far.  The blue under the blocks is the fabric that I'll be using for the setting triangles for the zig-zag setting.  I hadn't realized that I'd cut off a "hunk" of this fabric somewhere along the way until I laid it down for this picture.  Silly me!!  I sure hope I don't need this "hunk" when it is time to cut the triangles.

UGH!!!  I also need to learn Blogger!!!  There is no big space between my first picture and the second while I'm writing, but when I preview, it's there, and I don't know how to correct it.  Well, I've got time to learn, and it's all a journey, right?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

4-Kansas Sunflower

It's done!!  Woopee!!!

My sunflower has a daisy center.  Ha!!

It seemed to take forever, and I'm happy with it.  And, I don't want to do it again.  It really wasn't difficult, but like the prepping, it was fiddle-ly.  I guess fiddlely is actually a word, but it looks weird, so I'd rather use my weird spelling.

I do enjoy trying all sorts of blocks and making a sampler is a perfect way to do it.  Doing it with the Flickr Group that goes along with the Grandmother's Choice page is very enjoyable.  It is FUN to get almost immediate feedback when I post a block.  I've watched some of these groups before, but this is the first time I participated.  If I would have known how much fun it is, I would have participated before.  Now, I'm off to complete my next blocks for the THQA-2012.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I have also joined the Women of the Bible group on Yahoo Groups.  And, this is Eve.  The colors are symbolic for me:

Green - the vegetation of the garden
Blue - the water flowing through the garden
Yellow - Sunshine
Pink - God's love for humanity, a mother's love for her children, and the beautiful flowers in the garden.

This study/quilt along is a bit of a stretch for me.  I was  raised as a Christian, and have, at times, been very religious.  However, I've had some very unfortunate experiences in organized religion.  I am also a staunch feminist and liberal. Somewhere in all of that, my faith  and feelings about religion and attending church have suffered.  However, I'm drawn to this study/group/quilt. So, we'll see where this takes me.  I guess I didn't really need to write the above explanation, but it seems more honest for me to write the disclaimer.

I paper-pieced this block.  I purchased the EQ pattern set and printed the "parts" for an 8" block.  I used Carol Doak's paper, which makes tearing it off super easy.  I also used an add-a-quarter ruler to measure and cut the seam allowances.  This is not a necessity but makes the process easier.

I'm happy with Eve and look forward to blocks symbolizing other women of the Bible.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Just Call Me Slowpoke . . . . .

This as far as I got last night on block number 4 for my Suffrage Quilt.  It's called Kansas Sunflower, and I need to hand piece it.  I suppose there are some people who could machine piece it, but I'm not one of those folks.  I base my style of hand piecing from my time on the Dear Jane List.  I printed the pattern from Block Base on to freezer paper.  That makes it very easy to get all of the templates just the right size.  This way of prepping a block for hand piecing is still very fiddle-ly and is not my favorite thing which is probably why my Dear Jane quilt has been stalled at 50 blocks for several years.

However, I had a lot of fun picking the fabrics and prepping JUST ONE block.  :-) Now, on to the sewing.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Three More Blocks

Wow, I'm on a roll.  I've also joined Joanne's QAL-2012 at Thread Head.  She will present a 7" block each week, and the participants will make three of that block.  I've decided that my quilt will be made of blues with white and cream.  Since we are making three of the same block, I decided to do one kind of "normal," one with some kind of color-play if possible, and one where the values are reversed.  It will be fun to play.  This quilt will be completely made from my stash.

WooHoo!!!!  I'm sewing!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Suffrage Quilt

It's been ages since I last posted.  So much has happened, but I think I'll just start with now.

I joined a new Block of the Week at Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice - To Recall The Fight for Women's Rights.  I'll be making my blocks with floral fabrics with white and/or cream backgrounds.  I've collected floral fabrics for just about ever.  The thing is though, they don't always play together nicely.  I think together in a scrappy quilt they should work together just fine.  I'll be adding some tone-on-tones and a fair amount of green.  I'm excited to be sewing again.  I've been battling chronic pain again and just can't sew for very long at a time.  I put on a CD when I go into my office/studio, and when the CD is over, I'm done for the day.  That seems to work pretty well especially if I read a couple of chapters in a book after the sewing time.  :-)

I've made 3 blocks so far:

1 - Grandmother's Choice

2 - Amethyst:  Suffragettes

3 - Union Square - Red for Rebellion

I'm especially interested in the stories and history that Barbara is providing.  I was heavily involved in the Women's Movement in the 70's and even started the first Women's Consciousness Raising Group at my college.  Sounds a bit silly to remember that group name now, but believe me, we were dead serious!!  I think that's why I have been so very troubled with some issues in the political arena today.  I thought we'd decided that women have a right to birth control, and that issues of a woman's health are best decided between a woman and her doctor.  If I keep writing, I'm going to have to crawl up on my soapbox, so I'll stop now.  I am excited about this BOW, and I'm especially excited to be sewing again.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year - - Choices

Yes, another new year begins. WooHoo, I guess.

I guess I don't sound too excited.  After two months of "retirement," I find that my biggest problem is making a decision about what to do. Yes, there are way too many choices!!!  I feel just like the woman in the picture - somewhat crazed.  Hell, maybe a lot crazed.
While I was still working (and not just looking for a job in this impossible market), I thought I didn't have time to do all the things that I wanted to do.  I had lists of quilting and knitting and needlework ideas, more lists of books to read and classes to take, still more lists of projects I wanted to do around the house and places to go.  The list of lists can go on and on.  Now, theoritically, I have more time.  That's not true; I actually do have more time.  I can do a few of the things on my lists.  I cannot do all of them at least not this week, month, year or probably even decade, and I find myself stuck.  Just STUCK.  If I start this then I can't do that.  Sounds like a luxury problem of abundance to me, and it is; but it's driving me frigging crazy.

So, I've decided to post a few goals for each month here. Then I can hold myself accountable - and I will have to make a decision in order to write (yes, another) list.

I have only one actual resolution for this year:  No more surgeries.  I'm tired of getting fixed and healing.

Good luck - Enjoy 2012 - Make it yours - I'm gonna try to make it mine!!