Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Project!

Finally a new project is in the works! It's not my project from start to finish, but it's exciting to be pulling out fabric in colors I like, and I'm feeling a big of creative energy. I have these blocks from a block exchange at a guild retreat last fall. They're actually pretty set together like this, but they're a little white for my taste and would only make a lap size quilt.

So I'm using Sharyn Craig's ideas from Setting Solutions, and framing them with fabric strips that I'm coordinating with this multicolored green fabric which will be the border. (At first I hated to use this beautiful fabric on a potluck project like this, but I guess it's better used for something than lying in the stash.)

Here are a couple of blocks framed. By happy coincidence, most of the blocks include at least one color which will coordinate with the framing strips. Where the corners join, I'll put in a piece of the light, bright yellow-green--I think. I have twenty four blocks, so framed this way and with borders, they should make at least a twin size quilt.

In the family news department, my daughter-in-law is still in the hospital on bed rest, but is working by internet. If all goes as it is now, they will test for babies' lung development in about two weeks, and then schedule a c-section. So that situation is under control temporarily at least.

Monday, August 27, 2007

On Hold

I haven't been able to post for quite a while because I've been traveling due to family obligations. I also haven't done any creative work. I did receive the news that my Hoffman Challenge quilt is in the traveling exhibit again, and that is gratifying. However, it's in a group with a very short schedule and isn't going anywhere where I can see it. I'll get to see Debra's at the spring International Quilt Festival in Chicago though, and I am happy about that. In other news, the twin grandsons could arrive at any time although the due date is not till October. So I'm on call, waiting to see if and when I'm needed in Chicago. Life is not dull--just sort of on hold. All you creative people, keep it up. I'm living vicariously!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Marking Quilting Lines

Deb Geyer has posted a video about using Elmer's School Glue as basting glue. This reminded me of another easily available school supply product that I use in quilting: that's Crayola Washable Markers. They make a great mark for quilting designs, easily visible and removable by washing. A warning though: don't use them on something you don't intend to wash, because although the marks come out cleanly, a lot of water is needed and there is a lot of ink. A spritz of water won't do the job. Also, I don't know whether you should use detergent or not, but I would assume so because mothers washing kids clothes do. I usually put my quilts through the rinse and spin cycle after the quilting is done, and the Crayola markers work great for this. Here's the twin quilts, one marked and ready to quilt and the other quilted and rinsed. (It needs fluffing in the dryer to look prettier.) Take my word that the marks that have been washed out were actually much darker than the ones you see in the picture.

Of course you should test the markers on a scrap first, and be sure to get the WASHABLE ones. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Some Accomplishment

Although it's been a while since I blogged about quilting, I have been doing some work. I have both quilt tops for the twins finished and am getting ready to quilt the first one. The quilting will be simple and should go fast. I made both tops the same except for slight rearrangement of the fabrics. I must say it was actually fun to do something that took no brain, and I don't think I could have planned anything better, so I'm not sorry I went the kit route. The pattern is called ABC Fun from Country Quilts.

My second accomplishment was to finish the ugly fabric challenge piece. This project was the total opposite of the baby quilts. It took lots of time, lots of drawing, lots of agonizing over fabric choices, etc., and am I satisfied? No. Depressing. However, it is done.

I also met with my partner in the prize ribbon assignment, and we assembled the ribbons. I must say they look very pretty, thanks to Julie's wonderful choice of rich looking tone-on-tone fabrics for the ruffle and tails. So that is also done. Now that I have (almost) finished my "duty" work, I'm thinking about projects that have been simmering in my mind for a while, something that I will do only to please myself.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

An Amazing Building

Last weekend my husband and I went to Milwaukee to celebrate our anniversary. When people hear this they always say, "Why?" Simple answer, really. We love Milwaukee; it's a small, friendly sort of city, with a mix of beautiful Victorian buildings and new architecture, attractive development along the river, and enough to do and see for a pleasant weekend. Another benefit is that it's inexpensive compared to Chicago, a real bargain. We stay in a glorious Victorian hotel, the Pfitzer, eat at a restaurant called Sanford's, one of the best I've been to anywhere, enjoy the riverside walk and the microbreweries. And we go to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The most outstanding thing about the museum is the building itself. The building, which stands in a beautiful park overlooking Lake Michigan, features a new pavillion designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calitrava. The atrium roof lifts up when the building opens in the morning and lowers at night. It's also raised and lowered at noon so that visitors at that hour can enjoy the experience. The roof controls light into the center of the building, but is actually a giant kinetic sculpture, said to suggestion a bird in flight, a ship under sail, or perhaps the tale of large fish or whale.

Two views of the open position:


Here's an inside view of one corridor. If you think of the whole effect as whale-like, then this resembles the animal's ribs, I think. Can't you see it as the location for a futuristic film?

I'm perfectly happy if people laugh when we say we went to Milwaukee; maybe it will stay an undiscovered pleasure.