May 28, 2011


There is always more than one way of doing things and sometimes finding the way is the most difficult thing of all!

I wasn't totally happy in having to host documents at Scribd or another site separate from blogger.  Scribd could be considered annoying because the site requires those that use the hosted documents to become official users with an ID and everything which isn't too intrusive, I guess, but still a bit of a pain just the same.....

I've found a solution of sorts with some more research on my part.

More soon......

For now, I'm off to a weekend of soccer tournaments for my two daughters.  Sun and drama--I'll be ready to sew after that!

Oh, and my Spoonflower Midnight Ball fabric arrived.  It's lovely!  I like Sidelights, too, but I do like that last quilt.  I might try to make some modifications and see where they lead me.

May 26, 2011

Volturi Midnight Ball Quilt: You Decide

I haven't been able to spend the requisite time sewing for promised projects in order to update them properly so I'm left to write about other ones.....

I received notice that the Spoonflower Midnight Ball fabric shipped.  I was really shocked by the news since there has been such a backlog at Spoonflower.

I can't imagine when I'll even be able to make the quilt, but I've accumulated more than one possible design to feature the fabric.

Or none of the above?!

May 23, 2011

Twilight (Mystery) Quilt: Section with Twilight Hands Preview

You know you are a quilt crazed Twilight fan when......

You are seriously considering taking an ill afforded sick day at work to work on a patiently awaited Twilight quilt and the pattern!

The picture above is a partial rendering of the upper right corner of the quilt featuring the Twilight Hands block set amongst more of the checkerboard blocks.  (Missing are tulips, still figuring them out, and the names of the books on the red ribbon.)

A small change is the red sashing strip around the Twilight Hands block that I added because it just wasn't standing out enough next to the black squares of the checkerboard.  Adding this element adds a new wrinkle to my design that I'll have to figure out how to make work since the finished Twilight Hands block will now have to finish at 11" instead of 12".

I needed to get this all done in order to figure out how to piece this section for sure.  Being the paper piecer aficionado that I am, I would prefer to paper piece these blocks.  I know not everyone is a paper piecing fan, though, so I will provide alternative piecing instructions for this section.

Also, on the design board:

Twilight (Mystery) Quilt 2011: Alternative Block Ideas

I'm going to discuss alternate block ideas for the mystery blocks that are interspersed among the chessboard blocks in the Twilight (Mystery) Quilt 2011 (numbered 1-11 in the drawing below).

(Please note:  Picture above is not the revised quilt with 12 blocks I discussed in a previous post.)

The mystery blocks are still being designed.  I'm actually still trying to decide which blocks I want to make.

A person could really make any blocks they wanted to and insert them into the areas.  One could even print photos onto photo fabric and use them instead!  If this idea appeals to anyone, it's time to start researching printing on photo fabric......

The blocks in the design are 7" finished.  I plan on framing these 7" blocks with a 1/2" strip of fabric on all four sides....probably in red, making the finished blocks 8" in size.  The blocks don't have to be framed necessarily and in that case could be as large as 8" finished if so desired.

I have taken my 8" Twilight Hands pattern that I printed from the Scribd file to Kinkos.  The associate helped me copy the pattern at 150% on one of the large format copiers.  I now have a 12" pattern.  The enlarged pattern cost me $1.50 to print one sheet as I used the pattern that isn't separated into pieces.  More soon.....

May 22, 2011

Project Updates: Schedules, etc.

I'm the worst person there is for keeping to a scheduling and honoring commitments....

I need to set a schedule for projects so that I can at least try to follow it.  I thought a lot about my projects last night and worked on a few plans.

I finally ordered two yards of Jillian Morris's Spoonflower Midnight Garden fabric.  I ordered the design in cotton sateen.  (My reasoning for purchasing this type of fabric are explained here.)  Spoonflower's production is very slow so it will probably take about three weeks for the fabric to arrive.  I'm so excited to be able to make a quilt featuring this fabric!

The Twilight (Mystery) Quilt.  I tweaked the design a bit and was able to add one more mystery block for a total of 12 blocks interspersed among the chessboard blocks.  The added block wasn't my intention when I started editing the quilt for piecability reasons, but it's a nice bonus.

I wouldn't mind some help in deciding on these mystery blocks.  It's certainly very difficult to decide on four blocks per book.  I've come up with these ideas:

  • Lion and Lamb
  • Meadow
  • Baseball
  • Ballet Studio and James
New Moon
  • Birthday and Papercut
  • Jacob and the Pack
  • Cliff Diving
  • Volturi and Clocktower
  • Fire and Ice/Tent Scene
  • Bella's Bracelet
  • Victoria and the Vampire Army
  • ??????**
**Ideas?  Graduation, Proposal, ....  Switzerland!

Breaking Dawn
  • Wedding Dance
  • Isle Esme/Feathers
  • Renesmee
  • ??????**
**Ideas?  Bella's Shield, Volturi, ....

I'm very open to other suggestions in case anyone thinks other blocks might be better.

I received the fabric I ordered to complete the Eclipse Broken Ribbon blocks.  I will be posting the instructions, pattern, and visuals this week.  I will also be making the Twilight Hands block for this quilt and as an exercise of instruction to those that are worried about making the block without visuals (or doubting that the block can be made from the pattern....LOL).

May 19, 2011

Happy Anniversary

I officially started this blog a year ago today with my first post.

My reason for doing so resulted from mixed motives and a lingering tumultuous time in my life, but I feel like it's been a good thing overall and one of the few positive things in my life.  (I'm trying to be positive so I'm not going to talk about the other coven other than to say, Where have they all gone?!)

I take great satisfaction in the fact that the blog is still going strong, that Twilight has helped me be creative, and that I've made some great friends.  I hope the next year to complete more projects, including more patterns.

Thank you to those that visit!  I appreciate you more than you will ever know....

May 18, 2011

Inspiration and Fabric Terror

I had hoped to be more creative this week after the big reveal of the Twilight Hands pattern. Life as usual has gotten in the way this week and so I will have to use that as an excuse once more. Would it were that I was off vacationing on Isle Esme instead.....

When I can't sew myself and even when I am, I haunt my favorite blogs to stay inspired.....and keep tabs on people I used to know. It's a good thing I did because I hopped over from one of these blogs to 2011 Spring Blogger Quilt Festival and found the coolest quilt! (Go here to see the quilt.) I can see so many ways that the technique could be used for a Twilight quilt. I've added it to my list.

As mentioned, I had hoped to be able to report significant progress on the Twilight (Mystery) Quilt. I wanted to start the Eclipse Broken Ribbon part of the quilt and share the instructions and file for the blocks. I was dreading picking the red fabrics. I have a ton of red fabrics, but none that I pulled seemed to suit or go together. I decided to use an old trick I know.

When needing to use two shades of a color for a block or project, I often find a line that has two shades of the same color. I find this often soothes my senses because the shades will be true to each and coordinate because they are from the same line. It's even better when I find a line that has two fabrics of two different shades with the same pattern. I thought this would be an especially good idea for the Ribbon blocks.

I found some recently purchased reds in my stash and started to use them to make blocks before I realized that I wasn't going to have enough. I was in a sewing mood and eager to start the blocks, but I should have waited. I'm still not sure about the fabrics having enough contrast, but I had made half of the blocks and knew I should finish with them. I really thought getting more from my quilt shop wouldn't be that much of a problem since my purchase hadn't been that long ago and, if for some reason the store was out of the fabric, I would be able to find it online. I had no information about the fabrics, though, because it wasn't printed on the selvedges of either shade.

I went to the quilt shop on Friday and found the darker shade, but they were out of the lighter red. I knew I would have issues when I looked at the name of the fabric line on the end of the bolt. It was Christmas fabric! (Holly Holiday by Nortcutt.... 2394.25 and 2394.26) I would never have guessed by looking at the pattern.

**hard to believe that these are the same fabrics as I used...the shade is totally off!

I did find some online at one store and it is on it's way. Foolish I know, but I wanted to finish what I started. I only needed about 1/4 yard more, but I had to order a yard. I even tried to find more fabric to take the bite out of paying $7.00 for shipping, but I couldn't find anything I liked. When all was said and done, I ended spending $15.00--ouch! I'm having a bit of buyer's remorse....

Lesson in all this? I don't think I'll ever get over being uppity about fabric--I use what I use because I have to. I've had to limit and decrease the fabrics amount I buy. I used to buy 1/2 yds, but now I buy 1/4's and even 1/6's at the store that let's me. I guess you could say buy more if you really like it or use it fast in case you need more. Right...........

May 14, 2011

Twilight Hands Paper Piecing Pattern and Instructions

I'm really nervous about making this available.....

I'll be making the block again and sharing some tips.

I can't stress enough that the pattern requires accuracy. Be careful with the pieces so they don't stretch and distort. Batiks are good to use since they're more tightly woven and are typically thinner.

If I think of anything else to share, you know I will.

**Edited 8:45 am 5/14

I've printed all the documents a couple of times without any trouble using the PRINT button on Scribd, OPEN, and then printed from the Adobe Reader Screen.  If anyone continues to have trouble, try DOWNLOAD (as a PDF) or PRINT again and try SAVE instead, remembering the location and then opening it from the saved file and printing from there.

Still having trouble?  Let me know....I will try to put it on another file hoster.

**Edited 2:30

I have revised the Pattern document slightly.  I have always admitted that I don't know programs as well as I could...including Word.  I figured out how to put the Fabric Legend in three columns to save paper.  Thank you for your patience!

**Edited 6:18

Gosh, I hope its totally all good now!

I didn't realize that one would have to create a Scribd account to download and print the patterns. When I was doing all my testing early this morning and off and on today to make sure the patterns printed correctly, etc, I was logged in as a user because of the account I have to have for documents to be stored. I hope this won't be too much of an issue for anyone. I created another user for myself under a different email, opting out of logging in with Facebook, and was able to download and print all the documents without any issues.

Thank you!

May 10, 2011

Test Completed

The test is complete....

I will need to do some renumbering of one section and split up another section into more pieces, but that's not anything to worry about as doing so is very easy in EQ.

I am concerned about fabric placement in a couple of areas.  I can't make up my mind about some areas where I used grey rather than white.  (See "here" on picture)

I keep changing my mind.  It could also be that the grey I used is too dark.  I tried to figure all the fabric placements to achieve the correct shading in EQ, but I had to ultimately try out those ideas in fabric.  (I should have scanned the fabrics and formatted them to be used in EQ and auditioned them that way, but I got lazy.  I will try that when I make the block again for the quilt.)

I'm very pleased that the pattern works and the block finished to size, 10" square, with careful and accurate sewing on my part.  The block isn't an easy one, mind you, particularly the finger sections.  I also like the way the apple turned out.  I am concerned that I didn't leave more space underneath the fingers as there will only be about 1/8" of space between this area and the seam.

Now I need to figure out the best way to share it....

May 9, 2011

The Eclipse Broken Ribbon Y Block: Don't Forget Contrast

I hope to get started making the Eclipse Broken Ribbon part of the Twilight (Mystery) Quilt this week.

I started sorting through my reds yesterday looking for the perfect fabrics.  Is there such a thing?!  I routinely by fabric that catches my eye without necessarily any particular project in mind so I have quite a few to choose from.  I also like to window shop online which gets me into trouble frequently as I usually see other fabrics that will be more perfect than the ones in my stash.

I've also had to remind myself that contrast will be important for these blocks.  There needs to be enough contrast between the reds for there to be enough definition between the different sections of ribbon as it twists or curls.

There are tools available to help quilters distinguish the value of fabrics, but an easy way to do this is to just use a copy machine to make black and white copies of the fabrics in question.  I use my 3-in-1 at home all the time to do this.

I have toyed with using non-cottons, like a satin or velvet, for this part of the quilt.  I'll probably chicken out.

I'm also being tempted by these fabrics:

I wonder how they would look?  The lighter reds are actually two different shades.  I think the one on the left is Red and the one on the right is Cardinal.

I will be sharing the paper piecing file for the Y blocks and will also show how to make the block traditionally in the next couple of days.  Don't wait if you know how.....  The blocks need to finish at 6" (6.5" with seam allowance).

May 8, 2011

Twilight (Mystery) Quilt: Step 1, Preview

The Eclipse ribbon on the left side of the quilt is made of 6" Y blocks and a couple of  6" Half Square Triangle blocks.  The blocks can be pieced using a couple of different methods.  I'm sure there is even a ruler out there that could be used to help with accuracy and easier piecing.

This isn't the first time I've called on this block to make a ribbon border.  Years ago I used it to make a ribbon border for a quilt in an Round Robin exchange I participated in.  I love the effect the block has!  I've called on it again to make an Eclipse Broken Ribbon for this quilt....

I like to paper piece mine using a pattern drafted in Electric Quilt or the pattern from the EQ library called Y Block Border (from  09 Border Blocks: Triangular).

One will have to pay special attention to the placement of the fabrics in the individual blocks.

There are seven of this color combination:

There are six of this color combination:

One of each of these:

And, two Half Square Triangle blocks:

More to follow......

May 6, 2011

Twilight (Mystery) Quilt 2011: Only 11 Blocks?!

There are only 11 blocks to feature all the Twilight goodness from five books.  Definitely not enough--I can think of at least twice as many ideas!  I'm glad there will be other quilts........

Please send your ideas my way so I can compare my list to yours.

The block space is 7" finished or 8" finished if you choose not to add the red border to frame the blocks.  I will be providing patterns and/or instructions for the blocks I'm going to make.  I'd like to challenge anyone to use their own creativity to design their own blocks, though, if you don't like mine.

May 5, 2011

Twilight Mystery Quilt: Not How I Wanted to Do it......

I've given up on getting this quilt done on the computer for now.  I pulled out the graph paper and pencils a couple of days ago instead.  I freely admit to the crushing disappointment that I'm feeling.  I will keep at trying to learn and maybe even take a class at Quilt University to help.


Mystery quilt also isn't the proper term for this project as I'm giving up the whole setting right now.  Mystery quilts are, well, supposed to have mystery--blocks released in steps so the quilt remains a mystery until all the pieces or blocks are sewed together and set into the top.

I don't know what I was thinking.  I hate surprises myself and I don't really like mysteries.  I also don't trust myself to finish quilts.  I'm the queen of the quilting U.F.O.

So, there you go......

The quilt as designed above is 60x78".  It's kind of an odd size.  The number of blocks and the finished size were dictated more by how I wanted the quilt to look finished than any particular need to make the quilt a certain size.  I actually would have preferred that the blocks be bigger, but then the quilt really would have been huge!

The only mystery will be the blocks that are shown as blank in the centers of the checkerboard.  Oh, and maybe how to assemble the quilt.

Fabric required for main blocks (overestimated):

Light to Medium Red, 1/2 yd
Dark Red (or Medium Red if Light Red chosen above), 1/2yd (or 1/4yd or FQ, see #3 Red notes)

#3 Red (for the mystery block frames seen as black in the drawn picture above )--use the same Dark Red as used in the ribbon or pick another red of a complimentary shade

White, 1.5 yards

Black, 1.5 yards

The featured blocks will be relased without any particular schedule.  Fabric amounts and notions needed will be included at that time.

If you don't like this quilt, I have another one in my brain.  Inspiration struck while doodling this one out and watching my youngest daughter's Arts Alive program last night.  Yes, inspiration can strike at any moment.  My husband agrees and added that desperation strikes at the last moment.  He's so funny I forgot to laugh.

If it means anything, the teenager that was sitting next to me at the program was watching what I was doing.  She said she liked my drawing....I told her it was a quilt design, but I don't think she cared.

May 4, 2011

Your Own Rainforest Quilt

Bella and Edward, Breaking Dawn (Entertainment Weekly)

Isle Esme.....ahhhhhhhh!  Hot, jungles, tropical fish and birds, beaches and sand, and Edward!! (Twilight Wiki)

Perhaps you'd like to make a rainforest quilt or include some blocks in a Breaking Dawn quilt?  I've had this pattern in my stash for ages:  Rain Forest by Quiltmaker

Better yet, though, is this Block of the Month offering from Silver Linings Originals:  2011 Treasures of the Rainforest.

Yes, it started in January but there's still time to get started even though past months' patterns would have to be purchased.  You must subscribe to the free newsletter to get future patterns (on the main page below the left side menu bar).  Bonus patterns, including a tiger and jaguar, are or will also be available for purchase.

Intermediate skills are specified, but some tutorials are available and some free blocks to practice (scroll all the way to the bottom of the page), like a ladybug.

May 3, 2011

The Town of Forks

I need some help....  I'm building the town of Forks.

Please help me add to and finish the list of the buildings and businesses of Fork mentioned in the books.

Police Station
High School
Grocery Store (name?)
Church (isn't Angela's dad the minister?)
Newton's Outfitters

Isn't there some souvenir shop mentioned in Breaking Dawn?

Does Forks have a movie theater or is that located in Port Angeles?

Thank you!

Sharing What You Know

I'm so fortunate to have so many friends that visit this blog!

I'd like to give a special shout out this time to Kristen (I hope she doesn't mind?!).

From now on, I will be sharing what I know instead of giving advice.....

I've shared a few of my favorite quilting tools recently:  the Add-a-Quarter rulers, my Hera Marker, Fons and Porter Glue Stick.....

I forgot to share my favorite pins.  Clover Fine Patchwork Pinsextra-fine pins, which smoothyl (sp) pass through fabric. Useful for precise pinning in delicate piecework and applique. Head is made of Iron proof glass. 100 pins/case. Size is 0.40 x 36 mm.  I've always purchased mine at fine quilt stores, but they are available online.

B is for Batiks.  I don't use batiks much in my quilts, but I love to use them in blocks that I paper piece.  I like to use batiks for paper piecing projects because the fabrics are typically thinner than regular quilting cottons which helps cut down on bulk in small sections, are tightly woven so they don't distort as much in projects, and the fabrics can have a lot of interesting color, tone, and pattern variations in one cut of fabric.

May 2, 2011

Size Matters

I can't bear to give up detail(s)....

I've continued to do research.  I've added a couple of books to my library of favorites with Cynthia England's Picture Piecing.  The information contained is enlightening and inspiring.  I strongly recommend Ruth B. McDowell's books, Piecing Workshop and Design Workshop.  I'm not going back at this point, but I'm curious to use her freezer paper technique for some of my future blocks.

One of the reasons why I like the Silver Linings Originals' patterns so much is that they have so much detail, including feathers, fur, color variations, and facial features.  The blocks finish on the medium to large size, though.  I did reduce a couple of patterns for use in the Stephenie Meyer quilt and the New Moon quilt, but the sewing was difficult!

Lesson learned, then, is that you can have a smaller block without much detail or a larger block with more.

Both Cynthia England and Ruth B. McDowell discuss this aspect, too.  I believe both recommend starting with a drawing, simplifying, and figuring out the details one can live without.

The Twilight Hands/Book Cover block I'm working on has a lot of detail.  I'm torn as to whether or not it has too much, but I'm afraid to take too much away because then it will just look like the other available pattern which has next to no detail.  The other consideration is that the detail of my rendering is really in the area of the fingers which I would hate to not have....

The first test pattern I made finished 8x11.  The finger area was difficult to piece, but I made it work.  The one I'm working on now is 10x10.  I think I like the square block.  I'd almost like to sew it 12x12.

I will probably upload the file as an 8x8 block for it to be enlarged (or reduced...gasp!) according to the individual need, letting me off the hook.