Saturday, December 25, 2010

The First Noel

Star Over Bethlehem
by Frank Roberts

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I think about you and write to you in my head in odd moments as I dash to the new job, meet with the department head to figure out the next step on the new web page or create a blog entry for the store's Facebook Fan page or develop a full color poster for an upcoming event. I am creating a good part of every day and come home ready to put my feet up. My knitting is progressing, but my quilting? Not so much.

I've been in education for ten years, the public sector. Now I'm in Marketing and Outreach for a grocery store, a Co-op. Not only have I changed jobs, but I've changed careers. It's been eight weeks but I tell myself, it's going to take time, you need to find your niche.

When I was eight years old we moved from Sunny San Diego to north of Boston. Talk about a climate change! That was an adjustment. Also, it seems I was too friendly, didn't know the playground games the girls played and I 'talked funny'. We all spoke English, but we didn't always understand each other. It took a while to learn the way of New Englanders; there's a culture there that's very different from the beaches and Eucalyptus tree lined parks and playgrounds of the west.

It just takes time.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

It's a Block

I found the perfect background during our trip to visit the kids over Thanksgiving. It's P&B Apple Cider, love that little sprig look. The clerk at the fabric store was very complimentary when she saw my piece work. "Wow! Are those paper pieced? Look how even they are, and how flat they lay!" Well I hadn't pieced them into stars, so they hadn't been proven yet.

Y seams - need I say more? I pieced the star and thought I'd reduce bulk by pressing the seams open, but when I went to set in the background square there wasn't any seam allowance to sew to! Return and repeat. I pressed the seams closed, I set the square in again, too low. Ripped it and set it in again, a pucker. After over an hour on the same seam I got it right. They got easier after that. I have 160 Y seams to do, they better get easier!

It was great to 'piece' the block together in PhotoShop to see how it would look, but it's more exciting to actually have the block together.

The Y seams lay flat and there's a quarter inch seam allowance all the way around.

The eight center intersections come together nicely.

And the directional background fabric all goes in the same direction.

However... the pattern says it should measure 22 inches and mine is 21 and three-eighths. We'll see what size the rest turn out. Then I'll know whether to run screaming from the room!

Two Stars From One Color Scheme

I haven't pieced the star diamonds together yet, still piecing a few different color schemes to help me decide what color background to use. Here's the first color scheme laid out. Every star will have the rust orange center, followed by beige, then navy.

I found out the fifth color out of nine creates the largest ring. I don't really like the yellow for the ring, though the red's okay. Wonder what it would look like if I turned the diamonds around?

The yellow is still the fifth color, but I like it better for some reason, maybe I'll piece the fourth star with this in mind. It's interesting to see the different ways the same fabrics can look.