Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday - I'm in it!

What fun!  I have work in progress that I can report.  I've been on such a mission to finish projects.  It was bothering me that I have been signing up for bees and swaps and then receiving my blocks and...putting them in the cabinet.  As I promised myself at the beginning of this year, I want to bring these projects to completion.  The other good news is, as I finish my work , I am motivated to post on the old group sites.  It is so rewarding to see what other swap members have done and also to see the response to my work.  

Also, I have learned that I have to carefully consider the bees and swaps that I am going to join.  I want to be happy with what I receive and I want to know that, if I join a swap or bee, that I will utilize the blocks I receive.  I'm getting better at understanding just how much of a time commitment I am making when signing up.  I have noticed that it's difficult to do my own original work when I have so many deadline commitments.  That has probably been the single most important consideration I have applied in my decision making - I want to have more time to be creative.

Now that I have said all that, here are two of my older projects that are going to be completed:

I expect I'll get these tops done rather quickly.  I'm kicking myself now wondering why I took so long to complete these two projects - sometimes I overthink the projects so much that I lose the momentum of early completion.

It seems like there is a critical time in a project when either completion or avoidance strikes.  Have you noticed that in your quilting? 

Meanwhile, I can report that Boo is recovering from his gastro-intestinal distress after going to the vet and getting rehydrated and pumped full of meds.  Apparently, he has a very tempremental stomach when it comes to processing grass and other strange items that he finds in the pasture grass of my backyard.  I am told that he must be "supervised" in the yard to avoid this in the future.  I am clearly on a learning curve of doodle mama behavior!

Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Where did the days go?

As usual, time has gotten away from me and I missed my mid-week blog.  Don't know why.  Can't explain it.  I can blame it on work, but work is a constant, so no help there!  But, I have been so busy sewing that maybe that's the reason why I have been dark.  Here is what has been going on:

I received my PTS Round 7 pillow top from Eatsleepsew and it is a beauty:

I did not have an 18" pillow form for the photos.  I have it now and the pillow looks even better.  Didn't she do a beautiful job piecing those HSTs?  And chocolate treats for good measure - gotta love a thoughtful partner!

Next, I spent the entire past weekend up at my house in the foothills getting the backs to my Stacked queen size quilt and my Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow Samper quilt completed in time to meet my long-arm quilter buddy, Dee Small on Sunday.  I made some additional blocks for the back of the JD sampler and then had to track down the missing owl fabric for the Stacked quilt back.  Mission accomplished.  Dee now has 3 quilts of mine to work on when they come up in her "wait list".  I may have them all back by the end of April or early May, complete with bindings!  Yahoo!!

And, I have been working on my pillowtop swap for the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild challenge that is due at our April meeting.  Those of us who wanted to participate brought in an assortment of scraps to be given to another participant by the challenge coordinator (actually drawn randomly from a big pile of bags).  I don't know who has my scraps and I don't know whose scraps I have. 

I was kind of stumped for awhile because of the colors I was given and the number of scraps, but eventually I decided to make an X and + block as seen on Amy Badskirt's blog.  It's a wonderful scrap block and I am quite pleased with the look of the pillow.  Quite large a pillow for me - 20" square. 

 I can't show any photos right now or I'll give away the surprise, but after the April 7 meeting, all will be revealed.  If you like hints, think spring.

Finally, I am putting together 2 other quilt tops from swaps that I have been in.  One is a scrappy mod mosaic small quilt and the other is a wonky 9 patch in orange (both Oh Fransson designs) from awhile back.  That will then bring me to the monster project - Tokoyo Subway Map quilt.  I'll leave that topic for my next chat.

Boo is under the weather from munching weird things that he found in the big field that is the backyard of my house in the foothills.  I will spare you the details of the problem.  It is not pretty!

Aaaanway, that's it from the Robertson household. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rain, rain, go away!

I hope your weekend has been relaxing and that you are not experiencing the weather that we are having here in the Bay Area.  Lots and lots of rain, cold weather, lots and lots of a nutshell, winter has arrived in the Bay Area.  We are getting much needed rain and snow in the mountains and foothills.  I'm not complaining, mind you - it was a pleasure to stay home, stay inside and work on my projects. 

I got up early each morning and spent most of each day working on my Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow Sampler quilt.  I had to make a decision about whether to sash or not to sash, and then when I decided not to sash, I had to decide about the binding.  Then I put it all together. 

Initially, I made the inner border much too wide.  Luckily, I was trying out the next 2 borders on my design wall and left it all hanging there Saturday night.  I kept going back and looking at it and trying to figure out why I didn't like what I had done (unfortunately, I put the inner border on the entire quilt and had already constructed 2 of the 4 other borders, but had only pinned them up.

By this morning, I knew that I had to change the innermost border and narrow it.  Now that it is done, I am pleased with the overall look.  Here it is:

This quilt top is one of 3 sampler quilts that I am currently working on - I guess this is my year of samplers! (One is this quilt, one is the ABC Quilt-Along for the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild, and last are the blocks that I am making and receiving in the 4x5 Bee).

These Joel Dewbery blocks came about because of my particpation in the Twice As Nice Bee and when it was my month, I asked the bee members to make traditional blocks of their choice in my fabric., which was Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow.  I then added some non-traditional blocks/wonky blocks that I made to expand the block pool and get up to the 30 blocks that I wanted for this quilt. Now that I like the borders, I think this top is ready to go on to quilting.  That's another problem!

I hope that you have had a productive weekend and are ready for a new week.
Spring is just around the corner!  Maybe summer is right on its tails.

Aaaaanyway, that's all from the Robertson household.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Question

So, I have been staring at this conundrum and wondering what to do.  Should I sash or should I not?

I like these blocks in the photo.  They feel fresh but busy.  I'm trying to decide about separating them.  Should I keep them together, or separate by a controlled sashing?  In person, they are just a bit overwhelming for me. 

I'm leaning towards no sashing - what do you think?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pillow Talk Swap Round 7 and Springing Forward

So, did you spring forward Saturday night and wake up Sunday missing an hour of sleep?  I set all of my clocks before I went to bed Saturday night so I would be prepared for the change in time.  I don't know why springing forward bothers me so much, but I suppose it has to do with waking up an hour earlier this morning and knowing that it's going to get earlier and earlier.  I have drapes on my bedroom sliding glass door, but I don't usually have to shut them because of the shoji screens that surround the deck off of my bedroom which give me privacy without closing the drapes.  But there is nothing I can do about the light.  I suppose I can close the drapes, but that just goes against my grain.  Hmmmm.  I guess I'll have to find a happy compromise with myself at some point!

Now on to a more interesting topic, I have completed my pillow top for the Pillow Top Swap Round 7. This is my first participation in the swap. I am not that confident in my pillow making, so I spent alot of time worrying about this pillow.  I tried to make a pillow that I thought my partner would really enjoy. Here it is:

The color in the photos is not very true - the background fabric in the print is very green and goes nicely with the chartreuse and aqua of the other fabrics in the pillow. For some reason, my camera does not see the colors in the way that they exist in reality.  It's a 16" pillow and I used a traditional pattern called "Spinner".  You can find the pattern in Judy Hopkins 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks book on page 232.  I didn't do anything facy to the back, so I made a point of lining up the print fabric on the back of the pillow to make its own statement.  

I was a little worried about the big button I placed in the center of the pillow.  I thought that it was too retro, to the point of being old fashioned, but it has been well received, so it will stay on the pillow and the pillow will go to its home far, far away. Something to be said for trusting your own instincts, huh?

I have enjoyed being in this swap and have been very impressed by the creativity of the swap members.  I look forward to another round.

Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson househould. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday

Here it is, Wednesday again and I have been making progress!  I have been working on my ABC quilt top, making new blocks and then, for some strange reason, going backwards in the alphabet and re-making blocks.  It's funny, but as the quilt top grows some of the decisions that I made early-on seem inconsistent with the way the top is, well, growing... so I remade "D" and "C" so far. 

We started this quilt block quilt-along at the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild last summer.  Initially, we started out making one letter each month, but come January, we stepped up to two letters each month so that we can finish our quilt tops by October 2012.  March blocks are "K" and "L".  April blocks are "M" and "N".  Those of us who are participating bring our blocks in each meeting and show them off to the guild. 

I'm working a little out of order, so I made "L" and "M" before I made "J" and "K".  Actually, I still haven't made "K" because it has alot of tiny little pieces and I need to take my time - and let's face it, I'm avoiding it right now.  And I made two "L" blocks.  I showed you the Ladies' Aid block last time.

So, here are my new blocks:

 "J" is for Jefferson City.  I really like this block because it reminds me of a Harlequin pattern.
"L" is for Log Cabin.  The second "L" block I made.
"N" is for Nine Patch.  I love this map of Paris Bon Vivant fabric!

And here is the whole kitandkaboodle:

I thought this was a black and white quilt with a little red.  Now it's black and white and red with a little grey.  Who knows what changes will happen in the next section of the alphabet! I love looking at the blocks through a photo - it really changes my perspective.  Blocks that I don't really like in person, I like in the photo. 

Aaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.