Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Lone Stars

Like a lot of quilters I collect magazine patterns and instructions into a binder. I have several. Some of the patterns are 'someday' quilts. You know the ones, Mariner's Compass, Russian Sunflower, Broken Star. Will I ever make those? I knew it would take time, effort and energy, just the opposite of my 'no thinkum' sewing. So I decided recently, while I'm between jobs maybe I have the time and energy, maybe today was someday. Here's the first one I came to, I didn't stop to consider whether I 'should' or not. Just DO it!

I went to Electric Quilt 'to begin to start to commence' as we say.

Queen, 94" x 116"

I worked a lot on the color scheme. The colors in the quilt are so soft and beautiful, but I knew I'd never be able to reproduce that, so I chose turn of the last century; indigo and cadet blue, chrome yellow, shirtings, no black or purple, poison green, vintage brown, you get the idea. Drafting blocks in EQ helps.

But EQ drafts can only take you so far, at some point you have to start cutting.

First group

The stars are 22 inches, made from strips cut 1 and 3/8". I decided it would be helpful to stablize the fabric to minimize stretching, so I starched the strips after they were cut.

The first unit is pieced from fabrics 1-5, the second, 2-6, the third, 3-7 and so on. This way you don't have to cut and sew diamonds and worry about the bias edges stretching as you sew.

Trim the strip set at a 45 degree angle.

Then cut eight strips from each strip set.

For each arm of the star you take one strip from each strip set and sew them together. *phew* what a lot of effort!

Once I finished the first arm, I felt like I'd accomplished a whole bunch. But I have to do this how many more times?? I scanned the first arm and 'pieced' the star in Photoshop. I was too impatient to see what it's going to look like.

This is a photo composite, that's why the center is off. Not too bad for two days worth of sewing. Oddly enough, I received a job offer the next day. I begin my new position October 18!

More String X Blocks

I've been piecing a few of these every once in awhile, no plan of action, just enjoying the easy way the blocks come together; but I decided I should figure out how big I wanted to make the quilt. Oh don't bother me with details, I'm just having fun sewing...

I created the block in Electric Quilt and played around with a pieced border.

It's fun, I like it...

... but in the end I decided on a simple, solid black border, it lets the eye rest. This size will also allow the quilt to hang in the kitchen where I rotate wall hangings. My friend Rosy saw the blocks and said it looks like Black Licorice and Jellybeans. I think that's a great name for it!

Shampooing An Eight Week Old Kitten

Spunky had fleas, but all the literature said not to use flea powders or collars on a kitten less than 10-12 weeks old. At the same time, the literature (Googled kitten care) also said fleas can cause anemia in young kittens. Dilemma, do I try to shampoo her? I prepared for the worst, imagining all sorts of yowling, scratching, clinging to everyone and everything within reach in shear terror. I filled the kitchen sink with a few inches of tepid water and braced for battle. This is what happened.

It was a non-event, she was completely docile as I wet her down, rubbed soap into her fur and used a ladle to rinse.

9 weeks

A good rub with a warm towel and a comb through and she was free of fleas and smelling like the dawn. I've had a number of cat owners tell me some cats grow up liking their bath. I had no idea.

Beach Break

A couple of weekends ago the late September weather was over a hundred in our valley. We packed the car and headed to the coast. Once we crest the ridge we can see the fog sitting off the shore and know it's going to be cooler.

It's nearly impossible to quilt at the beach, but I found knitting can be done. We went home refreshed by the sights and sounds.