Thursday, August 23, 2012

Under the wire...

OK, we are two weeks into the regular school year, preschool starts next week, as does my part time after-school teaching gig and I have already 'dropped the ball' twice. I won't go into details, but let's just say things were missed that shouldn't have been because I was too involved in enjoying my last uncomplicated, less busy week. You would think that wth less to do I would maybe have remembered?!  Blah, not a good way to begin. Anyway, as I stayed up way too late last night (for legitimate reasons) I thought I would try out the idea I had for the Zendalla challenge #19. It did not come out as planned (do they ever?) but here it is.

Anyone recognize that 'hilly' pattern? It sort of looks a little familiar to me, but then I found the pattern on a fabric I have been working with so I am not sure if that feeling comes from that or if I have seen it as a tangle before? Anyone? Here's to a better week next week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Help me name this quilt...

I am sitting here at the computer roughing out a label for this quilt and I realized that I have no idea what to name it! So here I am with no name for this quilt and I need the label done so I can finish piecing the back.. how is it that I have no name? I have worked on it for well over a year and nothing has popped into my mind. What about yours? Got any good ideas?

The body is made from a Kim Brackett pattern called "Feedsacks" from the book Scrap Basket Surprises with a Moda jellyroll and charm pack of  a fabric line called 'Modern Workshop'. The border design is mine. Got any good ideas?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Making Friends

So after looking at my first attempt at this week's Diva Challenge on line (why is it that it looks somehow different there than in my book?) and reading a few other comments about people not always being sure the best way to shade Mooka and picturing Linda Farmer's rendition in Tangle Patterns in my mind's eye I had a thought... just one. I went to my book, drew a string and thought I would try it out. When the first section of Mooka was done I thought, hey, why not try Assunta again... I am not going to let it get the best of me. I had a thought as to how I could make it easier for me. It requires a little 'cheating' in that I just draw a light pencil grid the way I draw grids best and then erase (*gasp* yes erase) it when the pattern is done. It came out MUCH better, much more even and where I wanted it to be. I like this one better and might even use Assunta again if drawn this way, so I guess we are making friends, or at least coming to a sort of peace. It has been a while since I had more than one submission to the challenge, but here it is...

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One old friend, one new adversary...

This week's Diva Challenge was to use Mooka and Assunta together. Mooka is an old friend, I like it and use it often, although I don't always know how to shade it to the best effect. Assunta I had never tried. It had never really appealed to me. As a result of never having done it before it was a little more difficult to execute which makes it less fun to do. I find I either like drawing patterns that have no grid pattern, or a fairly obvious one, it doesn't have to be straight and it doesn't have to show up in the final pattern, it just has to be pretty clear to begin with. Assunta is challenging as it does not fall into these categories. Even when I used the guide marks as the breakdown shows I had a hard time keeping things regular. SO, in all it was a good challenge as it took me away from the ever tempting comfort zone. Here is the result.

Good gracious, I scanned it upside down and forgot to turn it... oh well. The 'beads' clustering inside Mooka make more visual sense when it is rotated 180 degrees - then it looks like they have rolled to the 'bottom'. I did find it interesting that the inside shapes of Assunta (colored black) make a Cadent-like shape.

Not related tot he challenge, but something else I came up with this week...I had an hour long committee meeting the other night for which I was largely an observer. I found an old penciled Jacob's Ladder pattern done with a compass in my sketch book and decided to fill that with tangles while I listened to the proceedings. This was my result. It is not totally symmetrical but I like it - especially the Verve and Betweed parts.

I hope you had a mind expanding week, either through Zentangle or some other experience, and that you have another great one ahead of you.

By the way... The Diva also has a very cool drawing going on right now for a "Blog Friendship Cup". If you want the whole story check it out here. Basically, she received a pretty decorative cup filled with little goodies from another blogger, altered the appearance of the cup a little, refilled it with goodies and is looking for a fellow blogger to send it on to so he or she can repeat the process. If you are interested in being in on this 'share the love' bloggie experience check out Laura's post about it and read the rules and sign yourself up!

No Time Like the Last Minute

I am going to squeak this one in before Friday's post of the new week's Zendalla Dare over at the Bright Owl. I didn't start this until the other night and I really liked the beginning of it. Then last night I had a whole hour during a meeting to work on it but I was afraid of messing it up while dividing my attention between it and the meeting so I did a different one (which I will post later). So I just realized earlier this evening that I only had the rest of tonight to finish and post it before the next one was up!

So here it is Zendalla Dare #18...

It did not come out at all as I expected, but I listened to the shapes and what they were telling me they were 'supposed to be' and this is what came out. I included... Flutter Pie, Betweed, Black Pearlz, Bead Lines, Asunta (sort of), Drupe and Organza.  To quote the ever wise Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that".

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WorkS in progress

Good Wednesday! I thought I might take the WIP Wednesday opportunity to have a little reckoning with myself. See, I have quite a few "works in progress", not even counting the ones that have achieved UFO status (like they are still in little pieces). I also went through and filled out my calendar last evening with all of the meetings, classes (both to be taught by me and ones I have to tote children to), other volunteering obligations and appointments for the coming months and have come to the (not so shocking but disappointing never-the-less) revelation that there will be little time to piece or quilt. There are a few things I would like to submit for consideration in the local quilt show but they have to actually be, you know, QUILTED! The deadline is in March... at least one of them is still in unfinished top form, the others don't have backings yet and I am a notorious procrastinator when it comes to actual quilting. So here we go... my current WIP's that have a shadow of a chance of being worked on and finished inside of 6 months.

This is a sweet little wall hanging using a pattern and a technique by Erin Russek. I actually quilted this one in early summer but just bound it a couple of weeks ago. The hanging sleeve needs to be hand stitched down on one edge and it will be DONE! If there is a wall hanging category I might submit this one.

MODA Modern Workshop jellyroll quilt. This one was started late winter/spring of 2011 with a jellyroll and a charm pack and a little more ambition than time allowed for. I designed the border using the flower motif in the fabric line and spent the first summer hand appliqueing the long borders and this past summer doing the short ones (both of which, ironically, have the same number of repeats in them). This one needs a back (see DWM post from two days ago) and to be quilted and is one that I want to submit to the show.

This New York Beauty top still needs some bordering or something to finish it off. I would love to submit this one to the show but it needs work and to decide if it is a large wall hanging or something else.

This is a watercolor wreath that I did some applique ribbon accents on and bordered using a few rounds of a coordinating border print. I got a might carried away with the trapunto stuffing of the ribbon and the detailed quilting so it is taking forever to finish. I just want this one done by the holidays... it has been embarrassingly long time in the making.

The last one is my crumb quilt that would be such a great addition to the show that I just can't NOT finish it. The show's theme this time is about making do with what you have and all the fabrics in this one were scraps or already in the stash - some of them decades old - a perfect fit for the theme.  It needs a back and to be quilted.

So, clearly I have some work cut out for me. Of course there is lots more as well... most of it looks something like this...

I may take some time to prep another applique bird block so I have something to work on while waiting at kid lessons, but I think the rest of these will languish a while longer, along with the other three or four (dozen) I have stashed away in drawers. So many quilts and only one lifetime!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Its about time I had something on the wall!

Ahh, Design Wall Monday time and I actually have something on the wall! OK, so its been there since last week and I just didn't have time to post it, cut me some slack, the kids just went back to school today. The only time I have had to sew since getting back from out west was the Friday the kids were at my MIL's house for a few days. I finished a wall hanging and sewed the two appliqued borders I finished this summer onto their quilt top and then began piecing the backing for that quilt top with the very last of the left overs. I think I will make the binding next so I can see if there is any left over fabric from that I can throw into this backing. So this is the finished top (can I get a huge hip hip horay since I've spent two summers sewing the borders for this one... the top itself only took me a couple of weeks!)

close up of the borders

The backing for this quilt is what is actually up there on the design wall. The little squares are left overs from the jelly roll I made the quilt with. The brown stripe is not part of the fabric line, but has all the same colors. I plan to bind it in the green dot that the flowers stems are made of and there should be some of that left to work in there too. The rest of the backing will be WOW. The one blue solid square in the middle of this photo is actually the design wall showing through. That will be a piece of plain white with the label information on it. I may get a little crazy and applique a left over flower in there...just because I am not yet completely OVER appliqueing these flowers and especially the four leaves that go with them... really, I'm not! (insert eye roll here). After all there are only 80 of those leaves on each of the 4 borders!
I am also contemplating how to quilt this and if I should wash it gently before quilting. See, I had myself a little (unwise) experiment while marking one of the borders for flower and leaf placement. I used a washable Crayola marker (it is washable right?) and now I am worried sick that the marker is not going to come out, or it will sort of come out but not completely. I am anxious to see if it will come out and not sure I want to wait until it is quilted. What would you do (besides not use markers on your quilt in the first place)?

Have an excellent week. I am off to frost the birthday cupcakes for my newly minted 4 year old 'baby' girl (one day late - we were too busy having fun yesterday with presents and jumpy places to worry about cupcakes!).

Friday, August 3, 2012

A very challenging challenge.

This week's Diva Challenge, guest hosted by Erin from the bright owl was just that for me... very challenging. I guess that is what a challenge is all about right? I like the Zendalla form for tangling since I am a often a slave to symmetry but I struggle to keep them 'simple' as in not too busy. I really struggle with that when they have lots of small sections. This Zendalla template provided for the challenge this week did have lots of small sections. I tried to find patterns that worked together to form a unified larger look and in the end used the ellipse in the circle only as placement guides for the rays (the center point of the middle V is about at one of the foci of the ellipse) and did not 'fill it' with a tangle of its own. I like all the individual elements, I am just not sure if they harmonize all that well together. Anyway, here it is, this weeks challenge entry.

What follows is sort of a collection of some of the things I did this summer mostly while away in the mountains. This was an exploration of Auraknot  (which I initially thought might be constructed from the inside out like a Log Cabin quilt block... how wrong I was!), Knyt and Verve, all of which I love as patterns.

This one I did early this summer before we left but I don't think I posted it before. I didn't like it at first but it has definitely grown on me 

This was done with some watercolors and pen while listening to the radio coverage of the Waldo Canyon wildfire and praying that no one got hurt and that my brother's house didn't go up in smoke and ash. The grays and browns and roiling texture all inspired, of course by the smoke columns rising from the fire.

This one was my unpublished exploration of the Cadent challenge - I love this variation... sort of Cadent meets Paradox.

This one was from earlier this summer and I like the simple string and the demonstration of what careful choice of contrast can lead your eye to see. 

I also played a lot with paint samples this summer. Most of them I have given away as bookmarks, but I still have these two. It is lots of fun to be using rich colors as a background, but Micron pens will smear on all the ones I tried so I used a fine point Sharpie instead.

I made two really nice gift bags with tangling all over the front and did lots of practice doodles and played with watercolor paints some. Other than that I accomplished some sewing which I will be sure to share at some point and did some hiking with the kids, read a lot of books, mostly to the kids, took some great photos, spent time with my mom and generally enjoyed the cooler drier weather in the mountains. Now it is time to get back to civilization and get ready for school.