Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tilted Pinwheel(?) Quilt

This is how it starts. The fabric is waiting to be pre-shrunk. I always pre-shrink my fabrics. I don't want to be surprised when something runs (and red is notorious for that), mutilating all my work and I want to be in control of how things shrink up in the end. I don't pre-shrink the backing, I want it to shrink after the quilt is done so that everything puckers nicely and mistakes are hidden.

Now you see the strips all cut and ready to be sewn together. Wait...they are different than those of the first picture. Yeah, well I changed my mind. I didn't like how they were just sort of blah except for the red which shouted at me and wanted out. I didn't want to be stuck doing a blah quilt. The time to change your mind is before you start sewing. Actually, only the black made it. Besides, the bride likes green.

Now all the strips are sewn together.
I tried another ar- rangement first but it didn't sing to me. It made black stars and they were depressing so I tried this makes me happy.

Okay, now the fun part. I have never tried this technique so was kind of unsure of how to go about it. The directions said one thing but I saw that it wasted a third of the panel. Not acceptable. I don't like wasting stuff, I save everything. What for? I don't know. Yes, I do. I might need it some day. And today I did. See the cardboard squares? I needed a template (or four) that was nine inches square. Printer paper is 8 1/2 X 11. No good. I don't want to piece it and it is too flimsy anyway, even card stock. But I always save the cardboard that comes with all those calendars we all get every year. A few cuts and it's just what I need. Yay!

Make a few slices through the panels at an angle. That's at least 20 panels making about eighty funny shaped blocks.

I didn't realize I had to keep where the corners of the template fell on the panel in mind until after I had everything all sewn together. Oh well. I learn as I go.

How can you make anything with this shape you say?

Just square it up and there you go.
Guess what? I saved all the scraps to make another quilt. I just have to design a pattern or something.

Sew all those blocks together and you get stars or pinwheels or something.

I don't have a name for this quilt but I like it. It is more traditional looking without being traditional. Maybe I'll call it "Tilted Pinwheel".

Onyx thinks it makes a good bath tub.

...and this quilt does match her eyes and collar and fur, see?


Monday, March 10, 2008

Ahhhh... I wish you could smell these flowers.

The daffodils are winding down but my hyacinths are blooming like crazy. They have such an intoxicating scent that I had to cut some and bring them inside. Da likes to sit in the sun on the south side of the house and these grow in the north yard. Nobody but me enjoys them there. So I have vases all over the place and the house no longer smells like Chase--one vase in the kitchen, one in the breakfast nook, one in Da's office, one on the key shelf by the front door and this one upstairs by my computer/sewing area. The next vase will go in my bedroom.

In other news--I have quit doing quilts for the time being. After finishing three quilts in two months I am all quilted out and no longer want to see another quilt. Too much of a good thing and all that. I want to crochet now. I even bought some nice blue yarn as if I didn't have enough yarn in my stash already. Come the hot days of summer I'm sure my tune will change, but for now, crochet it is.

Except I have ideas and plans... I did go to a quilt show last month... it made me feel like such an amateur--I need to get more experience... they were so colorful and pretty and nicely done... not like last year's show at all... oh well, maybe next month.

P.S. I will post pictures of the last quilt after it is gifted on Saturday.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Another Spring

I like the end of February and the beginning of March. Even last year after such damaging freezing weather the spring flowers were beautiful. This year, after a very mild winter, the bulbs are coming on strong again. The snow-in-summer is lush and will bloom nicely later. My gophers don't care for my daffodils, probably because they are poisonous, so they come back thicker each year.

I wish I could say the same about my dutch iris. They did not survive the ravages of the hungry gophers and I have given up trapping them. I just do not like emptying the traps. Ewww. Any iris I get in the future will go into pots. They don't seem to perform as well but they do survive and I must have dutch iris. Maybe next year. I'm just glad the daffodils thrive.

The pink jasmine will bloom soon. We missed them last year because they froze to twigs. They are about ready to pop it seems.

I like my mallow. The bush doesn't seem to have a very long life but it valiantly makes any effort worthwhile.

These are a pleasant surprise. White violets are springing up all over my back yard in all kinds of places. Very cute.

You can barely see it in the picture just above the green grass and down an embank- ment at the end of the tracks but you can sure hear it. The river behind our house is dry most of the year and has been dry for several years now even in the winter because of our extended drought. This year it is rushing and gurgling, even roaring to get to the sea. It is so pleasant to leave the windows open and listen to it as one drifts off to sleep. Only once, in an El Nino year, have I seen the entire river bed full to the brim, and then some. This has been just an average rainfall year.

Last year I was perturbed at the rabbits because they destroyed what little was left after the freeze but this year is different. There is plenty for them to eat and so we share the yard. Here is a zoomed in shot taken from inside of one of three baby bunnies that I spied out back. They seem to scatter at the slightest noise. As they get older they will become more bold like their parents but now it is a treat to see them.