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Scraps for a Friend

What’s the story…

I am typing this post from the KCMQG retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Yeah!  Look at the wonderful design board that have been installed for retreaters.   By tomorrow they will be full of beautiful fiber artwork!

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Every time I retreat, I meet so many wonderful people.  Everyone has a story and their projects are extensions of that story.  I just had to share the smiles of some of my new friends.

I met one such friend at another MSQC retreat a couple of years ago.  Last year we met there and she stayed with me at my home.  Before she came,  my friend said;  “You like, batiks, right?”.  I think this followed making my first quilt from batiks.  I said;  “Yes, I do!  They are easy to work with, and I love the “waxy” smell when I iron them”.   (Are you with me, or am I just nuts!?)

That was just the opening she needed.  Friend told me that she was going to bring me some scraps she had leftover from a quilt, that she just wasn’t really “IN” to batiks.   I said;  great!  I’m sure I could use them.  🙂

What was delivered was a disposable grocery bag full of batiks.  Later when I sorted through them, I discovered that the scraps consisted of half paper pieced blocks from a Judy Neimeyer quilt and small accompanying yardage.  SCRAPS?  What’s the story?

Well,  I’m sure we have all had projects that, part way through, just stopped being fun.  Either something goes terribly wrong, or it just doesn’t encourage us to continue with it.   If that ever happens,  by all means,  give it to a friend!

This quilt is the result of those scraps.  I just couldn’t bear to see all of the beautiful paper piecing go to waste.  Curved piecing is cool with me, so I salvaged all that I could and came out with an alternative layout for the pattern and added a border.

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THEN, from all of those scraps, I pieced a backing too…

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and binding…
and five mug rugs…

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and I still have fabric left!

Those are my kind of scraps.

So my friend,  I will be sending your scraps back to you, with the watery depths of fabric quilted with golden fish.  It is appropriate I think, for the Goldfish in Chinese legend is a symbol of surplus and wealth, and a GIFT of goldfish is a blessing in the hope of good fortune.   Send me your scraps anytime!  I feel rich having a friend like you.

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EnderQuilt – Game On!

Lately I have not posted many completed works.  I have been quilting for others, which, though rewarding seems to slow progress on my own projects.  But, I persevere…  This one took me less than 1 year!

I started this quilt back in November of 2015, on a whim, during a visit to Quilted Memories.    I remember picking up a stack of solids and talking to one of the ladies cutting about my plan to make a Minecraft quilt for my son that I had seen on Pinterest.

Creeper was completed in November of 2015, then in January he was followed by an enderman, cow, and a pig.  Steve, the chicken, lava and diamond ore came later, much later.   If you remember in my previous post, my son declared that he wanted an Enderdragon on his quilt.

Yes, I am glutton for punishment.  I couldn’t resist the challenge.

GAME ON!

An Enderdragon was born out of fabric in my stash.  I designed him in EQ7 as four separate blocks, based on a perler bead image I saw at Kandi Patterns online.  I didn’t want to use all small blocks like a bead pattern does, so created the pattern out of a mixture of large and smaller squares.

Originally he was on a solid background, but I felt that white just wouldn’t work.  I couldn’t use black or grey, as it would blend with his body and wings.

In comes Max (he is 8).  He sees my design.

“Cool!  That’s epic”, he says (or something like that.  I am glad he approved.)

Me:  “Max, what color do you think the Enderdragon should be on?”
Max: “Mooom, Enderdragons live on enderstone.”
Me: “What’s enderstone?”
Max: “Duh, just google it, here I will show you.”

Max proceeded to pull up an image of enderstone on my computer.  There it was in all of it’s stoney glory.  Max helped me pull out scrap squares of tans from my box of brown and tans from his great grandmother’s stash.   Stone is good practice for random.

After finally assembling the four, 24″ squares of the dragon, I assembled him in all of his glory.  As the dragon took up my entire design wall, I realized that I needed to come up with a plan for the rest of the quilt, that would now be a king size!   I used MS Excel to layout my borders and sashing.  What you see was my final pick.  I didn’t keep all of my sashing and borders equal because if I did, it wasn’t going to fit on my longarm!

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The quilt is hanging from my second story bannister below.  It is the largest I have made to date.    I think, in minecraft, the enderdragon prevents players from leaving “The End” until he is defeated.   Once defeated, a player gains lots of “experience”.

A special challenge deserves a special label.  I digitized and embroidered the minecraft diamond sword and font.  This was my final touch to a “just because” gift for my son, and co-designer, Max.

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Sister Susannah

The blocks in the Sister’s Ten Sampler this month are called Susannah.   Now, I cannot imagine having ten sisters, only only had two.  However, having sisters does make me think of the song “Sisters” by Irving Berlin, and that always makes me laugh.   It was made famous by Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas among others.    Here’s a funny tidbit.  Rosemary Clooney, the older sister, is actually 7 years younger than Vera-Ellen who played the younger!

The Susannah block is a windmill style block that uses a diamond in a square, and squares instead of triangles for the blades.

Like last months blocks, Grandmother’s Frame, I used a tool called “Ultimate 3-in-1 COLOR TOOL” by Joen Wolfrom.  It includes two filters or “value finders”, 24 color cards with swatches, and 5 color plans for each color.

Ives color wheel and Ultimate 3-in-1 color tool, by Joen Wolfrom, as seen at quiltinspiration.blogspot.com.png

To select colors for the Susannah blocks I used the following method:

  1.  What colors did I not use in the last two blocks?
    – I selected a yellow for block 1, and tangerine for block 2
  2.  For each color I used the color wheel
    – Complimentary colors directly opposite yellow are blue-violet, so I selected a split complementary on the violet side in the Mormor line- Complimentary colors directly opposite of orange are turquoise blue / cyan, so I selected a fabric in that range.
  3. Checked my values with filters.
    I wanted the centers to have a lighter value than my windmill vanes.
    – My background is white, and is the lightest value.
    Note: I selected colors that had more white space in the background for my complimenting colors, and more solid colors for my focus colors.  This worked very well to tie the new blocks to the previous ones created as turquoise and purple were also used in the last two blocks.IMG_8220     IMG_8223By selecting new focus colors for each set of blocks, and trying to use a focus color from a previous block, I think that it will help blend the blocks during final assembly.

SO…  What exactly is Hue or Value for any given fabric or color?
Value is the relative lightness or darkness of a color.

Contrast of value in your fabric selection helps separate object in space, while graduation of value might suggest a contour of the same surface.

Hue also has value.  But hue is the term used for the pure spectrum of colors, which appears in the color wheel.  Theoretically, all colors can be mixed from the three basic hues or primary colors. This post by Nick Pettit, “Value Texture & Color”  has some good descriptions.
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Did you know there are different definitions of the three primaries?

“Painters Primaries” are the traditional red, blue, yellow colors we learned as children.
However, have you ever paid attention to your ink cartridges on a color printer?

“Printer’s Primaries” are magenta, cyan, and yellow.
But then there is what we see on a computer screen.

“Light Primaries” are red, blue, green.  The best description I have read for the change is the fact that light is mixed in with the colors.

These differences are challenging when doing digital photography.  When I was into photography as a hobby, I calibrated my monitor to the printer profiles so that I could get image prints that were a close match to what I saw on my screen.

 

 

This is the first time I have used any “scientific method” for selecting colors?
How am I doing?  

If anyone is interested, I could go into some details on color perception and how some commercial industry defines their specific colors, tints, shades, and tones.    When I worked in the sunglass industry, different manufacturers would create a color that was “unique” for their product.  We used a Spectrophotometer to identify the spectrum, or energy response, of the color under specific illumination and conditions.  If you ever wondered how calculus would be handy in the fashion industry, then you have discovered one.  The method is not just used for lense colors, but for lots of materials, including fabric!  If you like math, look up the CIE Color space on Wikipedia… 

300px-CIE1931xy_blank.svgCIE 1932 Color Space Chromaticity Diagram

HAPPY QUILTING!

Note:  I am not an affiliate for any products or tools I have talked about here.

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Ringing the School Bell – A winning activity

My mother and I attended the First Annual Schoolhouse Series hosted by Prairie Point Quilt & Fabric Shop in Shawnee, Kansas yesterday (March 5th, 2016).

How did the series live up?
Was it just a sales pitch, or was it really geared to sharing and learning?

Each attendee was greeted upon entry with a bag full of goodies, including a program for the day, fabric sample rolls, batting sample cards, a Presencia thread, a pattern by Annemarie Yohnk / Quilts Remembered, edible treats, water, and materials for note taking in class.

The day began with all of the quilters enjoying breakfast treats by Panera Bread Company and socializing.  I don’t know an official registration count, but would say there were easily over 100 ladies in attendance.  There were also lots of ladies and gentlemen at the school doing nothing but serving and helping route everyone to their classes and answer questions.

The Schoolhouse Series consisted of six sessions.  During each session, we were able to select one out of six classes.   Since part of our attendance was simply for socializing and enjoying each other’s company, my mom and I stuck together.   The classes in blue are what we attended.  Each class was only about 25 minutes long, just enough for a quick introduction.

Schoolhouse Series Classes
Teachers:  Annemarie Yohnk, Jeanne Poore, Kelly Ashton, Lisa Clark, Wendy Dombrowski, Barb Fife, and Susan Thorup.  

Lemony Star the Easy Way ….. No “Y” Seams
Hourglass Blocks with the Tucker Trimmer
Curved Piecing without the Struggle
The Joy of Machine Quilting
Sixty-Degree Savvy
Mitering Corners
Paper Piecing
Wish I’d Known That
Scrap Crazy 8
Strip Smart Quilts
Hunter’s Star with Deb Tucker’s Rapid Fire 
Modern Clutch
Baby Quilts
Notions
Table Runner Fun
Yoyos, a Short History
Prairie Points
Those Fabulous Feedsacks
Wool Applique

The instructors did a great job of staying within the allotted time, were organized, and flexible enough to answer questions.

I really enjoyed the class, “Those Fabulous Feedbacks”, with samples and stories shared by Jeanne Poore. I also thought her miniature cathedral window quilts were amazing and worthy of praise.  Jeanne’s work would be what I would expect to see in the National Museum of Toys / Miniatures in Kansas City!  During the class, my mom told me a story about the feedsacks that her grandmother had saved and given to her mom to make clothes for her when she was a little girl.  I’m sure many ladies involved in quilting today have similar stories.  I wish that modern day packaging was so useful!

My other favorite class was the demonstration of making a Hunter’s Star using the Deb Tucker Rapid Fire ruler.  The class was well organized with samples made at each step and a finished quilt displayed.  If the book had been in stock, I would certainly have come home with a new ruler for my collection and some plans for a future beautiful quilt.  I really liked how the construction was streamlined with the tool.

After being served a Panera sandwich lunch, we were treated to a trunk show by Annemarie Yohnk.  My favorite part was where she shared some of her collection of doll blankets and back stories.

I came out of the series with a smile on my face, ideas in my head, and maybe even some new friends.  It was a perfect Saturday jaunt with my favorite quilting buddy, my mom.  We plan on trying to meet up with some new friends at the local “Modern Quilt Guild” this week to see if we can find a great group to participate in.

I hope that Prairie Point rings the school bells again next year!
If we plan it right, we will bring some other friends too! 

 

 

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Curve It Up – Block 11 – Temperance?

Who knew that some history of traditional quilt blocks could be found at the National Park Services website?  Check out this Quilt Discovery Booklet posted there.

The Drunkard’s Path from the Curve it Up pattern is the most traditional design in the book (my opinion).  “A Drunkards Path” consists of 16 blocks.

According to the Quilt Discovery Booklet, the Drunkard’s Path was popular during the temperance movement.  The Temperance Union colors were white for purity and blue for water, the “purist” beverage available.  I also made my block in Blue and White.  However, if you know the source and how water is processed in many municipalities, I would not call it pure…   If you live in the wrong place, you might even be drinking Lead.   Maybe we would all be safer drinking Gin and Tonic!

My favorite thing about this block is the fact that there are NO POINTS TO MATCH.   If you can match rows with nesting seams, then this block is for you.  It is a very forgiving curvy block. Temperance is not required.     Cheers!
If you are interested in the math of a drunkards path, read on. 

 

A traditional drunkards path uses a smaller radius of curvature, AND the center of the circle or arc is placed at the corner of the block.

The block created with the Quick Curve Ruler uses a flatter arc, or a larger radius of curvature and the radius is placed further away from the corner of the block.  You could create this same effect by creating your own template, but make sure that you have the arc hitting on equal sides of the square.

Here are some example diagrams.

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When you cut traditional Drunkard’s Path blocks, the curve shown above is NOT your cutting line.  The reason for this is that it doesn’t account for your seam allowance.  Since you are stitching a concave piece to a convex piece, if you do not add additional seam allowance, your outside edges would not match.

The beauty of the Curve It Up pattern is that it suggests you start with a larger square than you need, stitch your curve, then trim the block to size. The method is used for all of the blocks in the pattern. I think this could be used for the traditional curved piecing as well, but you would need to increase your original squares of fabric to accommodate trimming to size and would have to be careful to keep curves centered.

If you are a math nerd…
I drew a curve using my Quick Curve Ruler and measured the length of a chord, and the height measured at the midpoint of the arc’s base.  Using those numbers I came up with a rough calculation of my Quick Curve Arc Radius.

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Quick Curve Ruler

Chord Length (W) = 6.5″
Height (H) = .75″

R = (.75/2) + (6.5*6.5)/(8*.75)
R = 7.416″

“To calculate the radius” above is from Math Open Reference Website:  http://www.mathopenref.com/arcradius.html

 

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A little sprinkle

There aren’t very many little girls in the family, so it is exciting for my aunt to have a granddaughter on the way.  This is my way to send good wishes for a healthy baby girl.

My mom wanted to give a quilt for the shower, so we got to work.  I found this fabric during a random stop to a local quilt shop, Harper’s Fabric and Quilt Co..  The backing came from a quilt shop near my mom, call Prairie Point Quilt & Fabric Shop.  It is from the Moda, Basic Grey fabric line, Mon Ami.  This is a little funny, since I found out that in french, “Ami” is the masculine version of friend!   Oh well.

I loved the grey raindrop fabric, and picked up a charm pack to create the tumblers in the center.  My mother and I pieced the top together using our own layout.  I like how the tumbler border gave the little quilt a feminine touch.

The quilting is a pattern called “Rain Drops” by Brandon Smythe of Intelligent Quilting.  I used blue variegated thread to give the pattern more depth.

It is a simple quilt, but I think will work well as “A Little Sprinkle” of good wishes for my cousin and his wife.

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Passing Pinwheels

This September I attended the MSQC fall forum retreat.  There were over 40 ladies and gentlemen in attendance.  We enjoyed socializing and sewing in the beautiful retreat center space and partied at the companies 7th Birthday Bash events.  An extra bonus was the JCPenney’s day festival that coincided with all of the events.

I enjoyed meeting many new people.  Some did demos and most everyone had created special custom favors to share with their new friends.

One of my contributions was a portable design wall for everyone that contained the triangles needed to create traditional pinwheel blocks.  The design wall was inspired by the UFO to GO at the Riley Blake Designs site.  The half square triangles for this block were cut from vintage stash using a Sizzix Bigz die.  Sashing was added as a design element to separate the triangles spinning in opposite directions.

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I named the quilt based on a poem that I found online.  It felt fitting for the event and final destination of the quilt.

This quilt will be gifted to a homeless shelter and I am sure it will be cherished. Thanks for everyone’s participation!   It turned out soft and beautiful.

Passing Pinwheels
By: Kenneth Alan O’Shaughnessy 
Colors burning in the bright summer sun
Kaleidoscoping in the breeze
Friends beside me to share in all the fun
There are no other joys like these

Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace

Sometimes we have to create our own wind
When the breezes cease to blow
We blow and blow with all the breath God gives
To try to make the pinwheel go

Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace

And when the soft breezes blow in the clouds
And the sun hides behind the rain
We pass the pinwheels safe on the porch
Until the fair winds blow again

Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace

All we need is the breath of God
A little paper and a stick
A bunch of friends who’ll stay with us
Through the thin and thick

Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace

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Curve it Up – Block 7 – Log Cabin

UnknownIf you can believe what is on the internet (ever) then you might know that the log cabin quilt dates back further than the pioneer days in the United States.  Supposedly, similar designs were found on an ancient Egyptian mummy and in an English quilt predating 1830!  While that is all fine and good, the design makes me think of the pioneer spirit and workmanship and bravery of those who rebuilt their lives in new territories.

I would like nothing more than to built myself a log cabin home as a retreat (complete with a real floor and AC). I’m afraid I would be left sleeping on top of my sewing tables!

logcabinThis curvy log cabin block starts out the same as a traditional log cabin.  Lore says a red center symbolizes the hearth of the home, and yellow a welcoming light in the window, My pink centers represent something else entirely.  For a long time, I hated the color pink.  Don’t ask me why, I just couldn’t mentally handle it.  One day after college, before I became a mother, I decided it was time to “girl up”  and come to terms with what is now one of my favorite colors, though I lean toward the darker pinks.  My centers are not “just pink”, they are built of peony medallion and navy haystack fabric with a hint of traditional navy.  They represent my “inner girl”  that used to hate pink…

I really liked making this block, and may need to build an entire quilt like it.  The only “trick” to the completion was the tapered 1/4″ curve to finish the curved center.  IMG_7298Start your seam  1 3/4″ down on your curve and taper your seam to the normal 1/4″ seam allowance.  Taper back down on the other side.  It took me a couple of tries to get it right, but mistakes were easily corrected.

 

Update (11/2016):  I recently received a bunch of inquiries regarding the pattern for this block.  It is part of the Sew Kind of Wonderful, Curve it Up, pattern.  It is not free.  I think a link to my site was listed under free patterns somewhere incorrectly.  I hope this clears up some confusion.

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Charting My Happy Place

My children just returned from a 10 day camping trip while we sadly stayed at home… I think that my husband is in denial, but I knew after one day back to motherly bliss that it was time to decorate my “happy place” (even if only for a few minutes at a time).

Part of that space was a plain jane cork board.   I covered it with fabric and trimmed it with 1″ wide grosgrain ribbon, nothing a little glue couldn’t help with.  I also replaced my peg board thread rack (that had warped and sagged due to lack of framing) with a sleek, powder coated, aluminum alternative.  I love it!  I found it at SignaturesbyLGG.  They had great communication and timely delivery.

My creation today was only sewing related.  I created new custom reference charts for body measurements and quilt sizes to hang on my bulletin board.   If you give me any constructive feedback, I might be able to incorporate the changes.

Please feel free to download a copy for your own use!

Pattern Template

PatternTemplate

Quilt Chart

Quilt Chart

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Row By Row – Amazing Map of Participating Quilt Shops!

I was browsing the MSQC blog, and they had a great posting about the “Row by Row” experience.  I saw some of the “plates” at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival this weekend, but didn’t know what the program was all about.

Yes I know, where have I been??

Anyhow, check out this link of participating shops.  It is fun even if only to see all the quilt shop locations across America!

Row By Row Participating Shops