Monday, June 25, 2012

Radio Silence Broken

Gosh, where has the time gone?  It seems that the weeks are flying by with outside activities, holidays, gardening, canning and some sewing.  And lots of work to fill out the days.  Are you finding summer has taken over your schedule?

I finished the back for the two Avengers/Spiderman quilts and got them to the long arm quilter along with Screaming Green and an orange and grey Wonky 9 Patch.  Don't know yet when she will be able to turn around the 4 tops that I gave her to work on.  Hope she is more successful at utilizing her time than I am right now!

I've made some wonky star blocks, first to learn the technique and second to do something with them.  Don't know what yet, but I'm sure it will come to me.  Here they are:

I've also added to my improvisational blocks with another 2 blocks.  I have come up with a design concept.  I need a few more blocks and then I can put the top together.  It will be a surprise for you (and possibly for me!)  Soon, very soon, I will have something to show. 

I am enjoying making these improvisational blocks.  It is so much fun to paw through scraps and strips and create lively, happy blocks.  Plus, for the first time, I am able to use small scraps of fabric in creative ways.  Little strips, wedges and chunks are finding their way out of my scrap "throwaways" and becoming part of this lively grouping.

Last but not least, I have been working on my Round Boo Bee center medallion.  A very small group of us are having a "little" bee where we exchange our quilt tops, starting with a center medallion/block and then every 2 months the top will be passed on to the next person, who will add more rounds.    My choice was to use the fabric line Cosmos and a lot of solids:

I decided to use one of Faith's from Summer Sampler paper pieced blocks as my center block.  Her block patterns come together so beautifully, that I have lost all trepidation about paper piecing.  I started out making 1/4 of the center block:

Then I made the next 3 and put them all together:

Next, I'll add some "jewelry" to create my center medallion.  On July 7, I'll hand off my medallion and my fabrics to the first person in this bee to add her rounds.  Mallory, I'm looking forward to seeing what you will do with this start!

Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Blame It On The Sunshine

I've had a slow if not sluggish week of sewing.  I blame it on the sunshine.  I get up hours earlier than during the winter so I ought to have more time to sew.  Instead, I sip coffee and look around my garden and take Boo for walks or to the dog park to play and generally seem to avoid going into my sewing room for any length of time. 

How about you?  Is "almost summer" wreaking havoc with your sewing?

What did I get done this week?  I managed to complete another block for the QuiltCon Challenge:

QuiltCon Block Challenge - 2 blocks complete;

I already completed my block for the BAMQG Block Challenge so I don't guess I can call that this week's work...but I did photograph it outside, in the sun this week! 

I pulled fabric for the round robbin that 4 of us are participating in and starts the beginning of July.  Our little group are all members of the BAMQG and after spending a mini-retreat long weekend at my house in Gold Country, we decided not to let the fun end there.  In July we bring in our central motifs and our fabric.  Then every 2 months we will have completed a round on someone's quilt.  Have to get my central motif selected and made by July 7th.  Here's my fabric pull:

I just love Cosmos!  Of course, I had to order more fabric to round out my options so that took time.  And I had to search the web for medallion quilts to give me some ideas for my central motif - man there are alot of traditional medallion quilts out there!  Since I want this to be a thoroughly modern quilt, I turned to my favorite bloggers to see what they are doing.  I am torn between one of Faith's  Summer Sampler blocks and an idea I found while wasting time, I mean researching this morning.  Sew Katie Did had a great idea that I might just copy, er use as a resource in creating my amazing one of a kind central motif!  More to follow next week on this topic.

Thank goodness for creative, talented women who  post their wonderful ideas on the internet! 

After writing this week's blog, I see I really did make some progress.  Sometimes getting ready to sew or memorializing what you have done has to take over actual sewing.  If only for a little while! 

I hope you are enjoying beautiful weather where ever you are and that you have had a productive week whether sewing or thinking about sewing!

Aaaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household this bright and sun filled day.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Projects, projects, projects!

Happy Thursday.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous here in Los Altos.  Still breezy but lots of sun to make a person smile!

I have been working on improvisational blocks, including some blocks that I may submit to QuiltCon or BAMQG (our modern guild is also running a block challenge in the same QuiltCon colors).  QuiltCon is a modern quilt convention that is scheduled for February in Austin, Tx.  The QuiltCon block challenge is to create blocks from the QuiltCon color palette and one dimension of the block must be 12.5".  The palette is:

So far, I have come up with:

And this:

And this:

I like 1 and 3 more than 2.

Meanwhile, I've been working on smaller improvisational log cabin blocks that will be used in as yet an unknown way.  I haven't done much improvisational work and I haven't worked much in mainly solids or completely solids.  Here is what I've come up with so far:

I am having a little trouble working solely in solids, so every block has some print in it.  I have a pretty good stash of solids now, so it seems to be mostly a matter of my mind shift to solids. 

I have been referring to and learning from Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking II.  So, the blocks are not all the same size which will ultimately add to the "liberated" nature of the finished project.

And just to add a little food to the post, I have started making jam (or sauce depending on the result) again this year.  First up was strawberry jam.  My friend Bonnie, who lives in Visalia, Ca brought me an entire flat of freshly picked unfumigated organic berries when we got together for Memorial Day Weekend.  These berries are so different from the ones that I purchase in the markets here - the berries are red all the way through and (unfortunately) they go bad very, very quickly.  So we all ate berries until we turned pink and I still had a large amount available for jam.  The results are:

I must have been lazy that day, because these are huge jars of jam.  They look small, but they are not - 4 jars of jam from a huge pot of cooked down berries. 

I make refrigerator jam, so these jars are not "canned".  The taste is amazing - the freshness of the berries is not compromised by the canning process. And you can freeze the jars for longer storage, if you wish. 

Now I'm on to blueberries.  Organic blueberries have just become available and I look forward to making my traditional blueberry jam.

And last but not least, Connor and sippy cup with his Angry Birds hat (3xs too big for his head!):

Aaaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.