December 31, 2010

The Promise of the New Year

A new year always holds such promise for me.  I'm always thankful that I've survived the year.  I can't wait for the fresh start.  I'm usually optimistic, even for me, about the year's potential.

My quilting always benefits from this promise.  I'm able to get over the disappointment that I didn't sew as much as I wanted to, finish more quilts, and give as much of myself as I could to the craft.  I can't wait to get back at it....

Have a safe and happy New Year!

December 27, 2010

And the Stockings were Hung by the Chimney with Care: Christmas Loot

Bill Condon's, director of Breaking Dawn, Christmas gift


The above picture is the only Twilight related gift I received this Christmas.  Isn't it the best?!  If Mr. Condon continues to Tweet pictures like this one and the one he released for Thanksgiving, I will be happy.  My imagination is wild about a possible picture and its subject for Valentine's Day.....

My (Santa Claus) husband was very good to us this year.  He wasn't going to since he bought all the kids individual gifts this year and an Xbox, but he bought our family a new T.V. for Christmas yesterday to replace the dinosaur of a T.V. we had.  (The fact that he couldn't see the words for any of the Xbox games on our little T.V. had nothing to do with it, I'm sure....)  We are now the owners of a 42" Vizio HDTV.  ooooo la la

I only mention it here because like-minded Twilight fans will probably guess why I'm excited about the gift.  Yes!  I will now be better able to experience the Twilight Saga movies in all their glory....that is if I can ever wrestle the T.V. away from the rest of the family and their non-stop playing of Xbox, etc.

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  Have a joyous and blessed day!!

The greatest gift I could receive is your continued friendship......



I hope to be back soon quilting and sharing with you soon.....

December 19, 2010

Breaking Dawn Pattern: Step Three....Divide and Conquer


I'm trying to address the issues of needing an on-point block by having the block finish on point from the pattern.  If I can accomplish this, I won't have to chop off parts of the block or add background fabric to get it to do so.

The pattern above would finish on-point.  (Please ignore the black triangles as they mean nothing.)  The colors are actually reversed as is the pattern (for paper piecing).  I used my photo software to make a "negative" because it was easier to trace.

I will make a copy, use a Sharpie to trace the pencil lines, figure out my sections (hopefully the first time around), and then cut the pattern pieces out.  I'll then piece the chess board.  The chess pieces will be appliqued.

I don't know when I'll get to test the pattern, though.......

Christmas Break

I probably won't be on the blog much until after Christmas or even until after the first of the year.

My apologies......

I'll check in when I can.

December 14, 2010

Breaking Dawn Pattern: Step Two....Think Some More, Get out a Ruler, and Go For It!


There is a pattern out there, unavailable as yet for public use, for the Breaking Dawn Chessboard/Book Cover block.  I've seen the block made from it when I was a part of the other group.  I think I critiqued it a little too much and so it wasn't offered to me.  (Go here or here for a picture.)

As mine will be drafted/traced right from the book cover itself, it will be a more accurate version of the book cover.

December 13, 2010

Breaking Dawn Pattern: Step One

I'm going to have to draft my own Breaking Dawn Chessboard block.  I just need to buckle down and do it.  It should be fairly easy as compared to the Twilight Hands block that I did or the New Moon Tulip block or the Eclipse Ribbon block if I should ever try them.  I agree with how the available pattern is drafted:  paper piece the chessboard and applique the chess pieces.

The first step is to print the picture.  This actually might be a good block to make the pattern in EQ.


December 12, 2010

Quiltathon Results are Scant



Stubborn is as stubborn does......

For some reason, I abandoned years of doing something a certain way recently and I'm sorry I did.  The silly thing is that I can't even remember why I did?

Most seasoned quilters and many patterns advise one to sew a scant 1/4" seam.  Alot of shrinkage due to the amount of extra room thread and seams take up in a block will be counterbalanced if one sews with a scant 1/4" seam.  I have found this to be true, especially when sewing a block with a lot of seams (like these Twilight blocks I've been making with the checkered borders.)  For some this means just adjusting a seam guide by a thread to sew under a true 1/4".  For me, I move my needle over one tick or position to the right to achieve the scant seam.  When I did this in the past, I've never had trouble with blocks not finishing to size or finishing with blocks that I've had to stretch to be to size.

When I sewed the checkered border on the Twilight Hands block, I noticed that I had to stretch or ease the border to get it to fit the side of the block.  I knew why, but I didn't make the correction.  I had sewed the red shashing or the checkered border parts with a unadjusted 1/4" seam.  I had the same issues with the New Moon Tulip block and the Eclipse Ribbon block but I didn't stop sewing with a regular 1/4" seam.  I'm mad at myself...

I lost at least 1/8" of the Twilight Hands block and the Eclipse block--i.e. they didn't finish to size.

I switched back to sewing with a scant 1/4" seam for the second time I pieced the checkered border for the New Moon Tulip block.  I didn't have to struggle gettting the border on and the block finished just the right size.

I'm not sure how I'm going to fix things.  I have a lot of tricks that I can call on.  It's really not so bad since I'm not working with a strict setting and can fudge other things as I add more blocks.

The Breaking Dawn Chessboard block is next on the agenda.  There isn't an available pattern.  I should have made nice for a bit when it was made and I was a part of the group.  I'll figure it out from the available example....just not tonight.

I'll be sewing with a scant 1/4" seam when I do piece the block, though!

December 11, 2010

Quiltathon Weekend

I'm going to try to sew this weekend.  We have some things to get done around the house and places to go, but I think I can sneak some sewing in.  (We're getting a new washer and dryer--better to wash fabric in....  My Sarah has a basketball game and is receiving an award for player of the week!)

A note about the forum at Webs...I will be adding more content soon.  I can never wait to do things and annouce things because I get caught up in the moment.  I really want 2011 to be a year of recovery for me and a year of friendship.  I plan on exploring some different forms of quilt artistry, also.  I think many people would be surprised at how capable they would be to make their own quilts.  I have my own style and needs as a quilter, but the hobby is truly wide open to style and technique.

Any issue that I've ever had with people and their quilting has only ever been with construction and not interpretation.  (I don't always get people's work admittedly, but I know people don't always get me.)  Rarely do I think that puckered seams, holes in seams, distorted blocks that don't lay flat, embroidery that's coming unsewn.....fall into the interpretation category.  I usually chalk it up to laziness and not caring.  My dislike of such work is nothing to do with any perfectionism.

I'll update here with any progress I make or don't make with my sewing.

Saturday, 10:15 p.m.

I'm sorry to report that I didn't get that much done today.  My washing machine and dryer didn't get delivered as expected.  My husband went out Christmas shopping with the kids.  My iron bit the dust...I'm trying to talk my husband into buying me another one tomorrow.  I sewed a bit between watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime.  Oh, and I chased a mouse around the kitchen for a little while--no kidding.  (I'll spare the details except to say that I'm totally grossed out because it hid in my stove for a few minutes, I didn't catch it, and I have no idea where it is now after it ran behind or in my dishwasher.  I'm hoping the cat catches it, but if not M will set a trap tomorrow.)

As mentioned in a previous post, I did some un-sewing.  The red sashing strip on the New Moon Tulip block was screwy so I took it and the checked border off this week.  I wasn't happy with the white strip and black/white checked border on the Eclipse Ribbon block so off it came.  I ended up adding more black background fabric to the block so it's even larger, so not as planned, and will finish it like the other blocks in the series.

I can't work anymore because I have to have an iron to press.  darn it!  It's always something.....



Design Wall


Sarah getting her award for player of the week.

Sunday

I remembered I had a mini iron.  I used a bit this morning, but I'm at a standstill because it doesn't work well for major ironing jobs and my fabric needs pressing before I cut the strips.  I'm still trying to talk M into getting me a new cheap iron.


December 9, 2010

www.thetwilightquilterscoven.webs.com

Yes, it's true!

http://www.thetwilightquilterscoven.webs.com/

It had to be a the because the other was taken....but it's not even active.  I didn't even know until I tried to set mine up.  I got the idea from the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild hosted at webs.com, too.

We'll see where it goes......

Fire and Ice: Quilter's Newsletter Dec/Jan 2011

I really am working on some things that I can't update on quite yet so here is another stalling post......  I've been meaning to share this beautiful multiple award-winning quilt, not mine, here for a long time and was reminded to do so when I saw it featured in Quilters Newsletter Dec/Jan 2011.

But first.......

Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost

I enjoyed the way Fire and Ice was shared in Eclipse, the movie.  Who can argue with a meadow scene?

This is the block I made for Fire and Ice.  (One of these days I will get back to the Eclipse Quilt.....)


Isn't this Fire and Ice quilt amazing?!  Designed and Made by Claudia Pfeil and featured in Quilters Newsletter Dec/Jan 2011.



The magazine includes a feature story about the quilt and its designer.  It doesn't include the pattern, but it does give instructions on how to make the flames.  In my wildest dreams could I ever make something like this.......I'm not doubting myself per se.  I'm pretty sure I could do it if I'd ditch my fear, listen to quilting voice, act on my inspiration, and make time!

I can't stop staring at this quilt.  The checkerboard border is something I've always wanted to try and I have the instructions bookmarked in one of my quilting books.  Now I have a tutorial from the magazine for flames.  The Mariner's Compass snowflakes blocks are also something I've always wanted to try.  Do you see the diamond pieced background?!  sigh......


December 8, 2010

(Twilight) Fan Letters: Advice Needed

I have never written a fan letter.  Are most written with an ulterior motive in mind?  Does one hope to get some swag back, like an autographed picture or something?

I'm set to start a letter writing campaign because I do have an ulterior motive in mind.  I would love to get some autographs back.....on fabric.  What are my chances?

Send forth any advice one may have for me...please!  I am off to Google for any tips that may be out there for me to use.

Respectfully,

Shannon

December 7, 2010

Stalling

I had a busy Saturday and a sick day on Sunday.

I didn't sew, but I un-sewed a couple of blocks---sounds ominous!

I joined, attended a meeting, and then unjoined the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild.

I received the Midnight Ball fabric from Spoonflower last week.  I took a picture and was going to write a blog post about it--a kind of review--but I haven't gotten around to it yet.  I can't say enough about Decobot's design.  I only have some other things to say about the fabric itself.

I also have been thinking a lot about this blog and 2011.

Talk at you later.....

December 2, 2010

Eclipse Ribbon Block: Improvise

More often than not, I am forced to improvise because of poor planning.  There is way too much math involved with quilting and my lack of smarts and aversion for thoughtful planning has gotten me into trouble once again.  I will never learn my lesson.....  I'm working with half a quilting brain!



In order for me to get this block to finish on-point the way I wanted it to and not have to lose any of the ribbon, the block pictured is 10" finished.  I made the Twilight Hands and Tulip blocks finish at 8".

I will make it work in this quilt!

The other issue I didn't think about was the sashing strip of red and red/black checkered borders I've been placing on the blocks.  The red will not work with this block because it won't look right next to the red ribbon.  I'm debating with myself about what to do?!  I could frame the block with white....or grey and a white or grey and black checkered border, but it might look funny since the other blocks have the red and black.  There is also the Breaking Dawn Chessboard block to consider and it's color scheme.

I'm going to have to improvise and that's going to drive me batty.  One would think that since I have such trouble improvising that I would be a better planner.  One would think......

I gave up on the planning and just decided to start sewing this quilt, adding blocks as I progressed, but certain that I would end up with a nice quilt top in the end.  Ugh!  I'm doubting that it will turn out fabulously, but I'm going to have to work twice as hard to make sure it does with a lot of improvisation along the way.