Saturday, July 20, 2019

Comments from "no-reply"

 This is a rant! 
 I have been inundated this week with comments that are no-reply commenters.  Please tell me why you would ask a question and leave no way for the person to reply to you.  It is like leaving a phone message without your return number. 

   I started to copy and paste the comments here in hopes the person would see them, but why cause more distress.  If you are in doubt about your profile, check to see if your email is linked.  Linked does not mean it is openly displayed, but it allows the blogger to reply to you.  Nothing is shown on the blog.

  Instead, I thought about why I began to blog and what I wanted to accomplish here.  It is to promote quilting in general, to share my experience and knowledge, and have a record of the quilts I make. is my list of general replies to some very common questions.   Take your pick  :)

#1.   I do not sell patterns.  Thank you for the interest and kind remarks.  My quilts are made as self-expression.  Many of them have a story behind them.  I suggest you use the search feature on the side bar to look for posts about the quilt you expressed interest in.  Or use the "Labels" feature to look for posts in general.

#2.   I no longer teach classes, instead I share all I know here on my blog.  Like I stated before, use the search feature to look for information on the topic you are interested in.  The Labels feature could also be helpful.  It may take some time, but it is free!

#3.   Each watercolor quilt is unique.  Duplicating them is impossible.  But the technique is learn-able.  I have a page at the top of the blog "Tutorial for designing...." .  Here you will find many links to exact posts full of the details you want.  You are free to print out the full tutorial to use on your own.   Under the Patterns tab at the top of the blog, there are 2 design guides for value for 2 watercolor projects.  I suggest you start there. 

#4.    I have no idea how much yardage is required for this quilt.  Scrap quilts are just that....made from scraps from other projects.   In this one, I added background fabric and border fabric as well as binding.  In general a queen quilt might take about 8 yards of fabric......if the blocks are scraps, who know???? And don't forget the backing.

#5.    A fabric stash is built over years.....not with a single shopping trip.   I bought what I could afford along the way.  For building a floral stash, I bought many fat quarters because you can get a lot of 2'' squares out of a 1/4 yard cut.  But yardage of  at least one to two yards is needed for borders and featured parts. 

#6.  I have no idea.  Buy a book,  or check out Pinterest for information.

  And I will call it a day on this!   Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lattice blocks and link

   I have 2 bins of fabrics to sort thru still, but not yet!    There are about 30 more blocks already cut and ready to sew.
   I wanted to make sure I liked the batik blocks mixed in with the floral fabrics.   I began filling the design wall.
 Yes, I like the combos.   And I have something to gaze upon instead of a blank wall.

Once I have a few more blocks sewn and up on the wall, then I will worry about shifting things and the layout.  I'm not sure if I will let things fall where they may, or lump colors or values.  Time will tell, I guess.

  I had a couple of emails about the pattern.  The original pattern I tore out of McCall's Quilting in 2007, called Trading Patches. 
   Anyway, I did some hunting on line and finally found an archive
  It is not the original article but a resized throw.  The details are the same.

I started  with a 5'' square, slice on the diagonal and add a 1 1/2'' strip to those diagonal cuts.  Block is squared up to 5''. 
I mix up the matching when paining the lattice strip to the square of fabric.  Meaning some dark squares get medium to dark strips added, and others get light ones.  The same for the lighter squares. 

  I also ran across another variation while searching.  But I did not save the link.....the 5'' squares were cut on the diagonal as this pattern.   But, different halves of the square were sewn to either side of the lattice strip.  A little busier variation but the same technique. 

  A new subdivision is going in nearby.  The old golf course was sold and the developers are blasting....blasting with dynamite thru granite.  I don't know why they want  or need to dig so deep, but our nerves are on edge with the vibrations and shaking.  Yesterday, we thought it was an earthquake.   Hate the growth and such out here.  We thought we moved far enough out of town.  Guess not. 
  I'll be found in the sewing room avoiding the heat and noise.....happy stitching. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Right now?

  First the saga of that "snake in the grass" scrappy trips top that needed to be ripped apart.  Finally un-sewn, gently starched and pressed, and re-sewn correctly.....including the outer stay-stitching.   I find I am no longer in love with it, and not really wanting to finish it.  At least  not right now.  At some point in time for someone.....just not  right now.

   I toyed with the idea of Bonnie's new leader and ender block project, the Shoo Fly block.  I think I would enjoy it larger rather than the 4 or 6 inch version.    Since I am not in the mood to figure it out or do the math, I am passing for right now. 
    Are you sensing a theme in my mood....right now?   Maybe it is the heat and humidity, or it could be the summer doldrums that has me unsettled and unfocused.  When I get this way, I tend to return to a favorite pattern that I did enjoy.
   Looking into the stash closet, I saw a couple of partial packages of pre-cut charms squares in the batik basket.   I never buy those pre-cuts, so I am pretty sure, they were won several years back.  Then the floral fabric shelves are overflowing and need to be organized.  That means pulling things out and refolding or stacking.  So if I am going to handle things once, I am going to make it count for something. 

  This is a scrappy quilt made by in 2014, and given away.  I always liked the movement  and variety in the pattern.  So with lots of 5'' squares to use up,  a plan came to mind.    Cutting squares and strips from lots of  floral fabrics, finding some extra batiks for narrow strips, I have been busy in between the ripping. 

   I am only about half way thru the re-organizing  right now.  I have a few blocks to show for it.  And that is enough for right now to get me working on a project that I can enjoy.

   Happy stitching. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Need to rip

I thought I was going to finally get this top together, so I just kept sewing.  Instead, when I quickly pinned it up on the wall without even straightening it................

What????????????    Where did that zig-zag come from?   I added the last column upside down and the design gets lost and that wiggly mess appeared.  LOL, I need to laugh at myself.  So I will be doing some ripping to get this mess figured out.  
  Lesson to learn.....when you are tired, quit sewing.  Instead of rushing, take a break.  Look twice before you sew.  

  We have had some visitors and such, so my routine has been a bit off.   Things will fall back in place by month's end.  Maybe by then I will have this thing fixed or done!  
  LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color sent me an email and photo of her finished small project using the Chandelier blocks she made.  Click here for that post.  
Perfect colors  for the holiday week, it turned out so great.  
Have a safe and fun July 4th.....lots of heat here, so I will be inside intead of outdoors this week.  Happy stitching.  

Monday, June 24, 2019

Blog Banner---From my archives

Rather than fending and answering a couple dozen emails, I thought it would be easier to re-post this from 2017.    I responded to a post by Kerry on the Quiltville Studio Group on FB and she mentioned my blog.  She had been inspired to make a beautiful version of Scrappy Trips in floral fabrics by my banner.  Others had here is a post that could answer many of them.
From July 2017.......

Insight:   Things occur and happen to direct you along the road 
you are suppose to take.  There are signs we can chose to ignore, 
but with advanced age I have learned to be more 
receptive to directions.  At least sometimes. 

   All of this to say......this has been a week for emails and questions....not just requests for patterns.  Questions are a good thing.  Questions ask for help, provide direction, point up details I have forgotten, and they let me know what readers/followers want to know.   So after 3 questions about the quilt shown in the blog banner, I think I needed to provide details.  A hunt thru past posts revealed a big lack of details.  I have no idea what happened about that.

   Trippin'  Thru the Flowers is from 2014.  I began working on this as a Let's Book It project in April/May 2014.  The pattern is from Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.    She calls it Scrappy Trips.   It is a Trip Around the World variation.....many small trips in fact.  My version is based on value rather than one color.   So.....chains of value radiate around the center square creating diamond bands of value.   Doesn't that sound rich?

  Value......not color.  Value is the lightness or darkness of the fabric.   And the secret to a quilt with the changes in value like this is variety.  You can't have enough floral prints to chose from :)   
 Three things I use to work with value in a water color (or a scrap quilt) are
  •  a value viewer (ruby beholder), 
  • a design wall, 
  • and a camera.   
Learn to sort your fabrics into correct value groups.   I use a ruby beholder viewer.  Additional tip....... Visit Exuberant Color for some good lessons... variety of value  ,  a lesson on value .  I learned great lessons from Wanda's blog, and there is no reason to create my version when she is a master at this.  

Design wall.....big, small, permanent or portable, it is so important.  I can stand back from a design layout about 8-10 feet and see how the values are working together.  In this design I wanted to  see distinct lines of dark and light.  I needed areas of medium value fabrics to blend to the dark and to the light fabrics.  

A camera....if all else fails, take a photo.  Look at it on the computer and amazingly, I can see where problems lie that need to be fixed.  Added tip....turn the photo into a black and white version and you will see instant photo based on value!

Back to the quilt............  
This is how the Scrappy Trips is put together.  4 blocks come together to make up the small trip around the world unit that you see.   If you read thru Bonnie's pattern, you will know that it takes 6 strips for each block unit.    So I had to make several variations for the variety in the full quilt.
   I laid out the strips according to value from dark to light before sewing them together.  It was important to be sure the dark and light fabrics were distinct and not too "mushy".   The lowest block on the left is just a little bit too mushy.  Compare it to the upper corner block that is diagonal to it.  Much stronger light in the center creates the radiating diamond.     So yes, I did have to do some planning--not too much--- to be sure I had light center units forming as well as dark center units.  

 And now a little further along.
   I got better as I went along....selecting fabrics to put together to blend and to have contrast.  
  In the pattern instructions, after you make sub-cuts you unpick a seam to join the rows.  The strongest dark or lightest light fabric was needed to run thru the center to get the pattern.  

   So many Scrappy Trips became Trippin' Thru the Flowers.   And  then became my blog it speaks dearly of the floral fabrics I love.   The blended values  remind me of shadows  in the garden in the evenings.  Movement can be strong and still gentle and that is what this quilt says to me.  
Happy stitching.

UPDATE:  After a few more comments and emails I realized there was a beginning section not detailed.   So I am adding a few more details here.    This is one of the stratas I used.    The strata is 6 fabric strips about 13'' by 2''  that are sewn together darkest to lightest in this example.  The blend might run  from very dark to light medium, or  dark to medium to light.  It will depend on your fabric selections.  
  When the strata is sewn into the tube and the sub-cuts are made,  The darkest fabric should be the bottom left corner of your layout.    Again, the technique for sewing is found at Quiltville under the free tab.  It is the fabric choice that makes this version different.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Piper and package

    Piper came for a short visit with our daughter and SIL.  Note the "place quilt" that travels with her.  She has become quite famous with her own Instagram page to promote her travels, and people she meets.   She's a Therapy Service dog for my daughter....yet everyone at her work loves to feed and pet Piper.  I think she serves as an anxiety calmer for a lot of gals there.  I spoiled her by baking an extra sweet potato for dinner.

  We had a great visit and Sir Old Man had some help in the garden for weeding and thinning plants.  That is until he was swarmed by wasps!  That pretty much squashed his day with about 6 stings on his arm.  So he was brought inside, treated with Benedryl, and ice packs.   He is much better this morning.

So I haven't done a lot of sewing.....but a lot of fabric came my way.
   Sir Old Man brought in the mail a couple of days ago.  He came down the hall asked if I had ordered some fabric.  I said, No.  He then asked if I was expecting some fabric.  Again, I replied no.  With a grin he presented me with a fully stuffed, absolutely stuffed to the gills, priority mail envelope.  Well, he told me, I think you got some anyway.    I am sorry I did not take a photo of the envelope.  And right now, I can't get the phone to transmit photos of the fabric.....have no idea what is up with that.  Sometimes I hate technology.
   But let's just say, 5 pounds of fabric is a lot.....probably 10+ yards  easy.  And of course, it is all older floral fabrics....from VIP and Cranston, and early Hoffman....probably from the 90s.  Some one had a clean out/de-stash and I was the gifted one.  Thanks, to Cheryl at  Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting for passing on her  de-stash.  And since it is more than I can use.....I have a couple of people in mind to pass some on to.  :)   Happy stitching.

Update!.......Sir Old Man figured out my technology problem and the photos uploaded.  I hate those phone updates that mess with my settings!  So here's a photo of the fabric received.  I will be cutting and sharing in a few days. 
  I have my cousins coming by to spend the day Friday, so I need to do some food prep tomorrow.    I always enjoy their visit. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Between the rains

  I glanced out the office window as I was answering emails and saw a swath of yellow blooms.  These are large, very large daylilies called Buttered Popcorn.  Isn't that name just the best!     I had Sir Old Man separate them last fall and plant them all alone the front walkway.    They are quite prolific bloomers.

  He had to tie up the gladiolas near the window that are just coming into bloom.    We have had 2 '' of rain in the last 2 days, and more  coming.  So I am afraid the these stems will be beaten down or broken soon. 

  On the design wall......
I unearthed a hidden UFO.  Well, not really a UFO, just a very long term project.  Anyway, I found about 20 of these block units while Sir Old Man was in Alaska.  I sewed most of them into 4 block units to create the small Trips Around the World unit. 
  Once I got them up on the design wall, I started sewing up more of the strata units of 6.   I have shared this many times.....from Bonnie at Quiltville.  It's the Scrappy Trips around the World.
  So this is what I have been sewing when I found a few minutes.   I like the very scrappy nature of this, and it is just fun stitching.  I probably need another 20 or so blocks for a large size.  So I will just keep going on this long term one. 
  Thanks for all the wonderful comments on Sir Old Man's project.  He was floored by the response. 
Happy stitching.
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