Friday, February 29, 2008

Let's ride the color wheel!

On CQ4Newbies, there are two color study round robins going on, neither of which I joined, but I have been doing my own by myself. I'm told that's called a "nesting robin". The first one to begin is for green, and I worked on a block for Carole in AZ (January post "Seein' green") after doing my own, which the last picture in this post. The second one that has not quite begun yet is for the color purple.

While I was searching my stash for purple fabric, I decided to pull all the fancy blues and yellows I had at the same time. By fancy, I mean silks, satins, brocades, velvets, etc. My green block is all fancies, so I've chosen the same for the other colors so exception being the patch in the center of the yellow block, which is a cotton print. I've pictured it here at the point where it is simply pinned. All the fabrics are in place, and I will now hand baste it with a contrasting thread and baste all around the outer edge. If I was to decide at this point that I didn't like one or more of the patches, I could easily replace any of them; a distinct advantage over the "sew and flip" method of piecing.

Here's the all blue block. If I had used all the blues I have, I could have made it twice as big without repeating fabrics, but some of the blues I have are a little too aqua-ish to look good with the true blues. Just my opinion, of course.

And the all purple block. Oddly enough (having omitted the greenish blues from the blue block), it didn't bother me to use the reddish purples with the blueish ones.

The all green block in its finished state. Click on the pic for a larger version to see details. Check out that frog trio in the lower right corner.....

Monday, February 25, 2008

A modern cheater cloth pattern

This is a print I bought a few years ago at Hobby Lobby. It's a surprisingly realistic take on an antique crazy quilt, made by Daisy Kingdom and called, "Allover Crazy Patch." I just learned it also came in a shades-of-blue version that is really beautiful too. You can see pics of it at Charlene's blog.

Part of what feels so realistic about this print is the colors, which have that slightly aged tone to them, and the printed-on embroidery, which is highlighted with metallic gold.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A crazy quilter goes sane.....

Yes, occasionally I do go sane, as I recently did for this quilt which is a wedding present for a nephew and his wife who were married last August. Apparently when I do go sane, I do it very slowly. And I do it in the craziest manner possible. I used no discernible pattern for this quilt; I just got fabrics I thought the bride would like and started cutting and piecing. I'd been told she favored strong black and white prints, and I found one that is a leafy vine print, one that is floral, and one that is small butterflies. I left them in large squares, mixing them around row by row, and sashing them with a bit of very black, almost velvety, mole cloth and red setting squares. Then a border of a fourth black and white print, a border of red, and then a type of border that I may have invented (but probably not). I cut a certain width of strips (in this case, 4" wide) of whatever fabrics I have leftover from the main body of the quilt, and just hack them into different lengths, then start sewing them into long strips to make a border. I've found it a good way to get the quilt to grow to be the size I want it to be. I could have done a border like this, then done another solid black or red border, then another border of the crazy strips, etc., until the top is the size I'm shooting for. I didn't have an exact size in mind when I began this, just thinking of something that could be folded at the foot of the bed or over the back of the couch. It came out to 61"x76", just the right size for newlyweds to snuggle under while watching a movie. Snuggling being a much under-appreciated past time, in my opinion....

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cheater cloth, antique and reproductions...

This is a bit of the cheater cloth I bought on Ebay a few years ago. If I told you how much I paid for it, I'd have to kill you, so let's just say it was the world's most expensive fat quarter. It was sold to me as vintage, but that was called into question a few months ago when I learned there had been reproductions made of it in 1976 and 1997.

So here's the proof. Cindy Brick's new book, titled Crazy Quilts, shows a photo of all three together. Mine is definitely antique.
The really cool thing is that in confirming Cindy's permission to print this photo on my blog, she made this offer: Anyone who orders her book from her at her site, "Brickworks", will get to buy it for $23.95 (which is $6 off the cover price!) if you mention my name. This is a big, lovely book, with information on antique crazies and a how-to section that includes 3 separate piecing techniques. I'm not affiliated with Cindy, just a happy customer!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hearts for swapping

These are some hearts I've made mainly for swapping on Chains of Hearts. I have a few others pieced but not embellished.

Greens and black with lavender accents in beads and silk ribbon embroidery.

This one is done as antique-ish looking as I could make it. I really love antique crazies with their hodge-podge of colors and stitching. The old fashioned lady is a print on fabric that I got from Candi Harris with an order from her Etsy shop. Thanks Candi!

This one is blues and black with gold accents in the beaded bouquet. The flower and leaf shaped "beads" are plastic, but they have a nice look about them.

And finally, some moire taffeta and satin with lace and bead work... and two butterflies doing a little spring dance.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Food Fight! Chocolate mousse?

Here's the naked chocolate block....

....and here it is embellished. If you look closely, there is a moose button on there, so I guess this block will go with a recipe for Chocolate Mousse.

A good day at Sallie's.....

I did a little shopping at Salvation Army yesterday and made quite a good haul....

There's this cute doily, which I can't decide if it is crocheted, tatted, or something else. In spots it looks more woven than anything. If you click on the image, it will enlarge and you can see the detail better. If someone knows how this was made, I'd appreciate knowing; please, leave me a comment.

I bought 8 ties! These 3 aren't silk, but I loved the pattern of the fabrics.

These 3 are silk, and all have a gold tone in them that matches. Made me wonder if they all belonged to the same man who liked gold-toned ties.

This one is silk and made for The Nature Conservancy in honor of the Mexican Grey Wolf (this is the back side). When I first saw it I thought it was German shepherd dogs. I have a tie similar to this that is all frogs.

And the front of the wolf tie next to a bold red and black silk print.

Monday, February 11, 2008

My CYOT blocks are home!

I recently got back all the blocks from the Choose Your Own Theme round robin. We chose a theme fabric, constructed and embellished a sample block, then sent it around to the other players for them to each make a block for us. My theme fabric is a floral print with a black spider-webby looking background, and I asked for spiders or bugs on every block.

This is my sample block.

This is the block Nancy made for me. She added awesome fabrics, a hand dyed butterfly, and a spider.

This is the block Flora made. She not only did a spider, she added bees, a butterfly, a ladybug, and a dragonfly.

This was done by Ann, who made a scene as if the observer is looking out a window. She used some of her mother's vintage hand made lace, as well as the spider and some really glorious stitching.

And here's Lauri's block. Click on the picture to really enjoy the detail. I asked her not to follow my sample block, but to do her block HER way, which is encrusted style. So I've got fairies and bugs galore, lace and stitching, beads and buttons, a fuzzy green inch worm, several frogs, and that big beautiful button and bead spider to watch over it all!
This was a fun round robin. I got to work on blocks representing romance, Japan, palm trees and pineapples, and Elvis! And now I have my buggy garden blocks home to make into a wall hanging....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Two food fight blocks done!

One of the chocolate blocks.

The pumpkin corn bread block.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Food Fight!

I came up with what I think is a new idea for a swap, and I'm ready to host it on CQ for Newbies. It involves piecing and embellishing a block that represents a particular food or recipe. Each player will complete one or more blocks and send them, along with the recipe for the food, to me. I will swap them around and send each player back different blocks and recipes to keep. My ultimate plan is to make color copies of each block and recipe and combine them into a little CQ cookbook for each of the participants to have. Here are the blocks I've come up with so far.

This will accompany a recipe for pumpkin corn bread, which I love and have never seen a recipe for anywhere else. I got it from a distant relative.

This will probably go with a recipe for chocolate cookies of some kind. The center panel is a counted cross stitch design I did about 15 years ago. I used the colors from it to piece the outer ring, so it's not all chocolate brown, but....

...all the fabrics in this block say "chocolate" to me. There are two velvets, some silk, a creamy white chocolate moire taffeta, and that cotton print that *screamed* chocolate chip cookies at me years ago when I bought it (I must have been hungry at the time). I haven't decided what recipe will go with this one. Maybe a chocolate there such a thing as chocolate chip chocolate mousse?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Season to season winter block

Here's a reminder of what my STS winter block looked like before it left home

And here's how it looks now, after Mary in New Orleans worked her magic on it. I'm getting really excited to see all of my season blocks together in a wall hanging. I haven't even pieced summer yet, but it should be fun to work on.