................................We are 8 quilters inspiring and challenging each other while having loads of fun playing in fabric!..........

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Known Around These Parts . . .

For my inability to make a decision very quickly. It infuriates My Cowboy that I can never decide where I want to eat, what I want to cook, if I want to go ride my horse or not, what time I want to go to town, what I should wear, or if I want to go with him when he goes somewhere.

I can't explain it, but so much of the time, it's due to the fact that I have too many choices and I like them all. Such was the case with choosing a palette for this challenge! Whew!

I must have looked at every single one of those palettes 2 and 3 times each. I slaved over the decision, and killed SO much time staring at the computer screen, still never coming to a conclusion. I'd think I had it nailed down, walk away, come back, and nope! Start all over again . . .

But I finally just HAD to decide, even if I could still go on looking for many more hours. Just. Had. To. Decide.

I know Miki said to try to choose colors that you don't normally work with, but I have to admit right from the start that I did not do that. I chose reds. Red is my favorite color, and I work with it a lot. But if I had chosen colors I don't normally use, I'd have had to go fabric shopping, most likely. That's bad for me for two reasons:

1) I'm trying to reduce my stash and use up fabric I already have and not bring any more into my studio . . . for now.

2) The nearest quilt shop to me is over an hour away, and I don't have time to go there as often as I'd like.

So . . . I've picked a palette, and while I still haven't pulled any fabrics for the piece yet, I will soon. I'm going to Houston this week, and after that, I can come home and play in the studio again . . . with a fresh dose of inspiration, no doubt!

Spicing it up

I've been slow getting to my challenges with this group, but yesterday I got started on Miki's challenge.
I totally didn't get to the card trick challenge, so I decided to combine the two by using only solids and building one block from the previous one.
Here are my fabrics in the spice palette, with some curries and greys and browns.
I'm using Jean Wells as my inspiration.

I decided to make a quilt  9 by 12 inches so I could finish quickly
and then donate the end result to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.
I also work best with scraps rather than yardage, so I made some scraps by
putting together this little Amish Bars quilt in the colour palette:

Then I took my leftovers and made a wavy bars with curved strip piecing (above)
They both measure around 9 by 12 inches.

Then I decided to go Gee's Bend and I took all the neutral bits left on my cutting table
(greys, browns, beige, gold)
and sewed them together to make a canvas like this:

I cut 1 inch bias strips of the maroon and started inserting bars in curved cuts
like this

Here's the completed third attempt
And here's all three together:

I've already quilted the first one with freehand feathers and
I'm contemplating quilting designs on the other two.

Thanks Miki for pushing me out of my comfort zone in colours and in process.

Milk shake

My MILK SHAKE  quilt is now about 76'' square... Will fit nicely on the TOP bit of my king size bed... Now to decide on borders.... I want to add more navy and grays to the border... to frame it all...Perhaps will be purchasing those colors in Houston this week... Good to have a buying plan! LOL!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lotta done.

Officially done with the LOTTA quilt... proof. ;-)  I woke up this morning with an idea for the next challenge, what a wonderful way to wake up!  have a lovely day friends!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lotta quilt

I finally got around to quilting my  ''Lotta'' quilt...  I still need to do the white borders, and hopefully will have it done tomorrow.  I'm thinking it will be my first Christmas gift checked off the LIST! Wahoo!

Finally Decided

Urchin Tones
Can't believe how much time I've spent on this!
But since I have never made a quilt to put on my own bed,
I am making this my goal.
It will be soft, calm & muted.
This fits the challenge since my color preference is just the opposite.
Now to assemble fabrics ... i.e., shop!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's a Start

Little bits of poppy colors and some greenery....Gotta get something started today. These Ombre plaids don't match..... And to think I was a Home Ec major before I switched to music!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I found another thrift shop skirt to add to the mix.  It is the red/orange strip fabric.  I also found some pale purple, almost gray, batik I will start adding in.  I need more dark purple, but don't have any in the stash.  I think a trip to the LQS may have to happen.  I have a feeling these colors aren't to everyone's taste, but I am sure liking them.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pushing past intimidation

When I came up with this challenge, it was because I wanted to work within a limited palette, and try something that was sort of like a Gee's Bend style quilt.  Then fear set in.  What made me think I could pull this off?  I found a palette I really liked and wanted to work with.  I pulled some fabrics from my stash.  Look at that fabulous Kaffe shot cotton red/orange.  There are a couple of grey fabrics I won online.  There are a couple of fabrics from thrift store garments, and a couple of pieces of batik.  They sat on the table staring at me for a while, totally intimidating me.
Then, I decided to start tearing strips.  That's right, tearing.  Not cutting.  Not slicing,  Just ripping from a small clip to the end of the fabric.  I am not sure if this will make a difference in the final product, but I thought I would give it a try.  The torn strips sat in a nice pile for a few days while I pondered the next step.
I started out in log cabin fashion, then pieced a strip to add to one side.  Until I saw this up on the wall, I didn't realize how many stripes and dots I had.  I really need new glasses.  The dark is a really nice rich purple.
This start is about 11" x 13" at this point.  I think there will be more blocks like this joined by irregular strips.  I would like it to grow to lap quilt size.  So far, I am very happy with where it is going.  I am very happy I overcame the fear to just dive in. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Choosing palletes is not for sissys

I have been taking a few minutes here and there to look through the palette colors and see what I liked.  I did have definite preferences, I found.  The pastel or pale colors were not grabbing me, nor were the pinks and purples.  I decided I must like the deep rich tones, the jewel tones.  Which is surprising because that is not what my stash looks like! Hmm.

I copied the ones I that grabbed my eye into a file I created about 2 weeks ago.  During that time, the photos just shot themselves into that file without much thought from me.  Which was a bad thing, because when i sat tonight to look at them to narrow them down, I had no idea where the file was located!

Then I realized the pictures were probably not in a simple JPEG format, so by process of elimination and some brilliant detective work, I found them --- converted them -- and was astonished!

I had copied 8 into my folder.  Four were grey palettes with either a deep teal, green or purple added in.  Two were given Oriental names (which may have drawn me) and were similar except for one color.  The  other two were orange and orange red palettes!

How diverse and yet how similar!  I was very surprised to see the commonality of the palettes and the striking differences among them.

I think I have chosen this one.  And I chose it because I love that  dragon picture  yellow gold part and the deep red with the teal.   But I may waffle and go back to the orange and red one. 

No matter what, this will have to wait.  I have one week to pack, I am leaving for Rome next week.  Rome, Greece, Egypt and Turkey.  Anywhere that you see violence and rioting and tear gas last week is on my travel schedule this week.

How did THAT happen?  Aughhh!

glen:  PS.....obviously I can't spell p a l e t t e either!

Pulling fabric

These are some of the fabrics I have pulled for the current challenge.  I am a little intimidated to get started, but I am going to try the tear and sew method of the Gee's Bend group.  At least until it makes me crazy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Picking Poppy

Have been in neutral lately, so I will make this a real challenge and pick poppy and aqua next. Gotta shuffle my stash again....

Friday, October 14, 2011

More Card Trick Derivations

After posting a few days ago,
I decided I wanted this quilt to be square.
So I made a few more blocks
and added a few specks of color.
(Finding the "right" colors was really hard!)
Now the top is done!

Before I get completely lost in that palette site, I am making a commitment to Beaded Hues. 

Part of my decision making process was based on what I might have on the shelves.  The other part is based on the fact that I love this color combination, but haven't really made anything with it yet.  I will look to pull fabrics later today.  I have been reading more about Gee's Bend quilts, and I think I am ready to get started.  I want to make this a bigger lap quilt.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

make mine mILK

Well that was fun!  
Now you all are making me go shopping for Kona ROSE! 
Do they even make that 80s color anymore?  
So, is this a palette I usually use?
Don't think so!
When I saw Milk Shake, well, I was swayed... 
I have an intense sweet tooth right now...

this should come with a WARNING, 

Not sure I have the fabrics all POI-FECT yet, 
but it was fun to pull a few out...
What do you think?

Speaking of fabric.. I just got BACKING for the Lotta Quilt I made back in August...
One more thing to get done!

I made it through the first steps

I've chosen this spiced tone palette to play with. thanks for the fun challenge, Miki!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Card Trick Challenge

These are the blocks I've made.
(Obviously I didn't follow my own directions!)
Does that mean I've failed the challenge?
(Who cares?)
It was fun & I'm ready to think about how to put it together
maybe add another solid color.
Hope I figure it out soon because
I'm dying to start Miki's challenge!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Diamonds are Trump

Diamond-in-the-Square is an old favorite setting of mine, and I go to it often with my favorite blocks. This block has been a delightful surprise---starting with a traditional design, picking a neutral palette, and adding a new element---but I think I will stop now. I need a new bag (yeah, right) to go with my gray outfits this winter. This design has a "city" look, almost architectural, and I will use it to tote my stuff in style.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October Challenge

I know some of us are still working on our October challenge, and it is still early in October, but I thought I would throw this out for anyone who wants another challenge.
This will make more sense if you read it through before you do the first step.

First Step

Second Step
Click on Palette Search

Third Step
Choose a palette from one of the first category groups.  Try and find a palette you don't often work with, but you still like.

This is one example of thousands.
When you have selected a palette, post it here so we can all ooh and aah.

This may become addictive.  Allow enough time for this step.

Fourth Step
Select fabrics in solids, plaids, and/or reads as solids.

Fifth Step
Familiarize yourself, if you are not already familiar, with the styles of the Gees Bend Quilters and with Jean Wells in this book:

Her website is

 Examples of Gees Bend Style Quilts:

Sixth Step
Start building your quilt.  Decisions on size are up to you and your fabric and your process.  Please post photos along the way and write about your process from picking a palette and fabric to design choices.  That is part of this challenge.

Have a creative time with this challenge.  I am looking forward to what all of you create and reading about your process.

I'd love to comment

but this blog isn't letting me do it....the message box just goes blank when I try to post my comment. I wanted to say Wow! to Shelly's great quilt....and to apologize for my absence here .....I haven't done anything on this challenge, although I'm admiring what everyone else made.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Turning Tricks

I was afraid the next challenge would be issued before I'd had time to execute my self-professed brilliant idea for my Card Tricks challenge, so I worked hard on mine, and it's finished! (I'm tired of always being behind!)

I have a really hard time sitting still and idle (which is why I can't watch TV), so I sketched like a maniac while sitting in the hospital with my sister after she had surgery in mid-September. I must have drawn 20 different block ideas, and then started to play with them and how they built on each other from one to the next.

And here's what I came up with:

I'm calling it Turning Tricks. You can see my original block top center. The trick is, if you go either direction from any block, the blocks next to it are derivatives, all the way around the circle. Doesn't matter where you start or end, or which direction you go, they each build on the one next to it -- either side.

I arranged a setting that would make them go sort of circular, and then filled in the boring middle with some plain little squares of my four solid colors. I also thought it needed something to contain it rather than just having it all floating in the white, so I used my solid scraps to make the pieced border.

I quilted it with straight diagonal lines that are fairly random and overlap intermittently. It ended up 47" square.
And . . . I was so thrilled with it that I entered it into the Project Modern: Challenge 4 competition. Not that it'll take a prize, but just for kicks. I'm not usually quite so bold!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Third Strike

I liked the blue-gray in Take Two, but the rest of the block was blah. Chopped off the good points and added them to my original block, and now I am happy again. I think this block would work set on point, too