Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Mail - Siggy from Rian. . .

When I arrived home late yesterday all tired and hungry, I found a gorgeous piece of "Happy Mail" waiting for me. A beautiful siggy from Rian - all the way from The Netherlands. Thank you so much, Rian. It is beautiful and I love the color! The gladiolas, in the center square, are wonderful.
This pic is a bit blurry and I apologize. Hopefully, my picture-taking will improve as I gain more familiarity with this new camera. I'm working on it! lol. Perhaps what I need is a tripod. How do you keep the camera perfectly still while taking snappies?
All for now... more later,
PS: Did you notice the little strip of white tape over Rian's last name in the pic? I learned to do this by visiting Katrin's siggy site. This is a great idea, Katrin; thank you so much. Now I can share all my siggies without exposing people's last names.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

H2H - Blocks #'s 4 & 5

These are the last two hearts I made for our Special Heart2Heart swap. There are six of us that were making the extra hearts in addition to the big swap on the main Yahoo DJAlt list. The first pic below shows the two colorways that I used in making this heart. I apologize for such awful pictures. . . I think I better go take a digital photo class! *g*.

This is a closeup of the one made with a batik. I love batiks. It should have been pressed before sitting in front of the camera. Oh well, next time - perhaps.
I've been asked how I made this heart, so here it is. Fold a piece of FP in half and free-cut the two heart shapes. I am better with scissors than with pencil and paper. Sew two fabric strips together; press seam open; and iron the FP to front side of fabric strip. Be sure to reverse the hearts so you will have a light over dark and vice versa. Also, take care to line up the middle seam with the heart's "innie" and the point.
Cut a scant 1/4inch away. Lay on b/g and hand-applique in place. The FP is a guide for the shape. I applique the little one to the big one and applique both together to the background. This way, the recipient can cut away the background from behind the heart if they need to reduce bulk.
This is the last heart. I had fun choosing all the different reds, pinks, and Burgundies for the little squares. I saw something like it on the Internet, but wanted more and smaller squares, so decided on 16 one inch squares [8 whole sqs + 8 HTs], and added b/g strips around the pieced area to bring to size [6.5"].
All for now. . . back to sewing on the Rd Less Traveled qlt. . . thank you for stopping by,

Friday, April 24, 2009

A New Project: "The Road Less Traveled" . . .

Several of us are getting together at the Temecula Quilt Company on Monday mornings and working on "The Road Less Traveled." A quilt designed by Lori Smith. It is a very scrappy quilt made up of blocks in several different sizes--a good skill builder. Oh gee, I know, I need another project like. . . well, I'm sure you can fill in the blanks. lol.

I am making these blocks in a series of component parts. Today's block is basically a nine-patch after the component parts are sewn.

Notice the huge difference in the two photos above and below, and all that changed was the center square.

Working this way gives me the opportunity to 'audition' the different colors and values and how they work together. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and these are the pics I took while rearranging some of the block elements.

The two component elements I changed were the center squares and the outside half-triangle corner squares.

It made a HUGE difference in a couple of the blocks. . . others, it didn't matter much.

I am happy with the last two units below, so will sew them together into blocks. There are a total of 10 blocks in this row, so I will continue making more component parts, auditioning them, and finally sewing into completed blocks. Also, working this way is faster--in the long run--as there is no 'laboring' over color choices. Following a suggestion by our teacher Linda, I chose to begin with these QSTs units. To begin, only make three choices: b/g, star point, and what I'm calling my 'zinger'. After that, deciding what to put in the center and finally the corners was easy.

I found this exercise very interesting in regard to color and value placement. I will do this again; it was time well spent. My camera has become an important quilting tool! *vbg*
All for now. . . thank you for stopping by,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Special H2H - Blocks 2 & 3. . .

These are blocks #2 and #3 that I made and sent to: Brigitte, Monika, and Rosa. The 'crazy' heart on the left has embroidery across the seams, but is a bit difficult to see in this picture. [please click on image to make larger].
We each made five different block designs to swap with each other.
More heart blocks later. . . thank you for stopping by,

Special H2H: Heart #1

A Special Heart2Heart swap group was formed with six ladies from around the world: 2 in Canada; 2 in Germany; and 2 in the USA.

This is a picture of the first special heart that I made and what I mailed with it. Yes, I know. . . I have a slight warped sense of humor. LOL. I figured--hey-- every quilter can use a tat, ya?! [Click on image to enlarge it]. More heart blocks posted soon.

All for now; thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Heart 2 Heart blocks. . . 5 variations

These are the blocks that I made for a recent H2H block swap [all but the striped one in the middle of the top row]. About 40 of us signed up to make and swap heart blocks. I forgot to attach a little name tag to my blocks for ID, so am posting a picture here. I goofed! lol
My blocks are all the same pattern, but I chose five different fabric combinations in making them.
I received my H2H swap blocks in today's mail. . . yippee skippee! But, I can't share them just yet. Not everyone has received their packages and I don't want to spoil any surprises. I will say, though, that they are all lovely and special.
More later. . . thank you for stopping by,

Cat In The Hat? NO... Cat in the BOX!

My little kitty Missy --all 8 pounds of her--is a hoot to watch when she plays. Lately I've been trying to clean out bookcases, cupboards, and the like. . . Yikes! I think this kind of activity is called: "Housework"! Yuck! But, I digress . . . back to the kitty: Missy just LOVES boxes and seeks them out. If I'm packing something for mailing, I always have to double check to make sure she isn't hiding inside waiting to be mailed off somewhere!
This little kitty is tricky, and quick! LOL. So to keep her occupied --and safe--when I'm packing things up, I usually put an empty box in the living room for her to "conquer"! She was so happy with her box yesterday that she put some of her toys into it. lol. Look at the picture closely and you can see her Red Mouse. [remember: clicking on a posted picture will give a larger image].
What a character Missy is. She is a wonderful companion [errr, when she wants to be!] and loves to be with me when I'm sewing... especially when the iron is on!
More later. . . thank you for stopping by,
Cyn;-) & Missy
PS: I should share kitty's real name: "Miss Diva". "Diva" fits her perfectly because she is one! lol. She allows me to call her Missy, for short. ;-)
Just thought you might like to know. *vbg*

DJSP April Giftie. . .

There was a bonanza of mail yesterday! I love "Happy Mail"... who doesn't, ya?!

My wonderful DearJane Secret Pal sent a lovely gifty for April. It is called a "FlexiLens on Mini Clip" by the DayLight company. Wow is this going to be used and used! The magnifier on the end of the gooseneck will actually allow me to SEE when I'm appliqueing. Hopefully, this will help me improve my applique stitches. I love this!

Thank you, SP... who ever you are. Can't wait until December for the 'reveal' as you have been a ton of fun so far this year... and it's only April!

More later. . . thank you for stopping by,


Siggy from Germany!

WOWzer! Yesterday, Katrin's bee-ooo-ti-ful siggy arrived all the way from Germany! The entire center is embroidered -- amazing. The lettering is so perfect and I love the heart in the middle. Gosh, I love all of it!
Thank you, Katrin!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Little Bitty Basket. . .

This basket block was designed by Elly, a wonderful cyber-pal. Elly drew hers in EQ at 6-inches; mine is not quite 2-inches. Why did I make it so small? I have absolutely no idea . . . I just did! Can't say that I made much of a dent in my stash with this tiny block. LOL. Another friend suggested I put a ruler in the picture to show the block's size. Good idea, Rosa, so here it is. *g*. [Click on picture for larger view].
Not sure if I will put anything IN this basket or not... still thinking about that. I wonder if I could make yo-yo's small enough to fit? Maybe buttons?? We'll see. What do you think?
More later. . . thank you for stopping by,
Note: Basket machine pieced, then basket & handle hand-appliqued to b/g.

Siggy from Belgium. . .

This week's "Happy Mail" brought a bright and cheery Siggy all the way from Belgium. Thank you, Maike, it is wonderful! The dainty little flowers are really pretty. I love it!
All for now. . . thank you for stopping by. . .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tues' Class. . . Mary's Quilt

Isn't this a beautiful quilt? It is made by Mary Tabar. This is considered a 'whole cloth' quilt as there is no piecing. Mary used photo transfer techniques to make this wonderful quilt. This is high-tech quilting: Mary scans items, manipulates them in her computer, and then sends sheets of PFD fabric through a wide carriage printer. The sections are connected and quilted. Wish I had a better picture, as this is a spectacular quilt!
More later. . .

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tues Quilt Class: Apr 7th. . .

Last Tuesday's Quilt class was about color, value and placement, and how these choices effect the overall balance and design-look of our quilts. Mary is a fun teacher and encourages every student to do their own thing and to experiment. This class is offered as a Community Education class through a local junior college.

A nice surprise last week--- a fellow student gave a great demo on hand applique! Wow, Aiko does amazing work. Aiko uses the double FP & starch technique. This is a fun class.

I hope to post a lot of *Heart to Heart* pictures pretty soon. . . these will be a bonanza of pinks and reds! ;-). First, I want to be sure that all swappers have received their blocks before I post any pictures. . . I don't want to spoil any surprises. *vbg*
All for now. . . thank you for stopping by,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday's Thrill. . .

Here I was sitting in my sewing corner minding my own business and working on Heart Blocks, when friends unexpectedly stopped by--SURPRISE!-- and knocked on the door. Of course both my DD and I are dressed like "frump girls" because we've been cleaning house and sewing. . . but I don't care, because this darling friend took me for a R-I-D-E! Wowzer, it was a lot of fun! I haven't been on a Harley in 41 years. . . that's a pretty long 'dry spell'. LOL. I will be grinning from ear to ear for a number of hours yet.... perhaps I should go buy a bike! Oh yeah, let me write that down on the ToDoList! lol
All for now. . .

Sunday Blooms. . .

Last Thursday evening #2DD, and friend, went to a twilight Farmer's Market & Street Faire and brought this lovely orchid home for a "No-Nothing" surprize--isn't it gorgeous?!
We are still waiting for our phalaentopsis to bloom. It has been in bud for a couple of weeks now and has several promising plump buds on it. We are trying to exercise patience waiting for it to bloom. . . here it is living in the front window:

Here is a strange thing: the Christmas Cactus plant is blooming NOW. . . in April--lol--how strange is that? But it's pretty...
Well, it's time to get off the putter and go finish up some special heart blocks that I'm swapping with friends. Pictures will be posted when everyone has received their blocks---don't want to spoil any surprises. *g*
Thank you for stopping by...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuesday Quilt Class: Value Experiments

Mary Tabar teaches quilting and needlecraft classes at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. This semester one of the class projects is making various sampler blocks to explore value and color. The above photo shows some of the blocks from this week's class.
A few more blocks... the blocks are straight and true, but are a bit wanked [a technical term?? lol] on the design wall. *vbg*... we can sew straight, but we hang crooked. lol

Above, Joy is sharing her portable design wall with fussy cut squares. It will be a cute block. The bright pink is her 'design wall'.

Here are four 3" PPd blocks using a simple PPing design. The idea here is to experiment with value and get the value changes to do the "design work." After I finish up my last couple of Special H2H blocks, I will be playing with these shapes--if anything interesting comes out of this play-study, I'll post some more pics.
Mary Tabar offers everything from Artsy/Contemporary to Traditional quilts and everything in between. As well as dying her own fabrics, Mary specializes in photo-transfers and currently has several quilts traveling in Road Shows and has been juried into some prestigous venues. Mary encourages everyone to find their own muse and I have learned a lot from her.
Okey dokel, that's all for now. . . thanks for stopping by,
Cyn;-)PS: classmate's pics posted with permission.