Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Winter Blues" part 2.5

Below are pictures of my proposed layout of the pinwheels in "Winter Blues." I will alternate light and dark blues. In the foreground of the first pic are the additional fabrics for the stars, squares, and border (and extra light and dark blue pinwheel fabric). Laying out the cut pieces like this allows me to keep track of which pinwheels touch (and, aids in piecing).

Now, to clean and oil my sewing machine . . . I should start sewing this weekend.

My next post will give a step-by-step tutorial on the foundation piecing method I use.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Winter Blues" part 2

It took me a week, but I managed to cut all the pieces of my new quilt from about 21 yards of fabric (29 fat quarters, 3.5 yds. light blue, 3.5 yds. dark blue, 3.5 yds. black with gold stars, and 3.5 yds. black with gray spots), but who's counting??

Here's where I would have inserted pics of the piles of cut fabric if my !@#$%^&*!!! camera hadn't crapped out on me!! I can see 'em just fine on the display screen; I can see 'em to download to my computer; but, I just can't open any of the files to edit, etc., etc., etc. . . . no doubt, you've seen pics of cut fabrics before (but, I wanted to show you MINE!!). Crap or no, the images uploaded just fine, GRRRRR (and, not in a good way).

These are the dark blues (though some seem more blue-green) . . .

These are most of the fabrics cut . . .

I even have pics of the two fabrics I decided NOT to use in this quilt (they didn't say "winter" to me, and they were most definitely NOT blue). They were among the fabrics of the swap, but why should someone else's fabric choices be reflected in MY quilt?? If it'll make those persons feel better, they can choose to not use my fabric in their quilts (but, my fabric IS most definitely blue, and they'll be hard-pressed to know which one is mine).

These are the two blacks I'm using (believe me they're black, even though they look more navy in this pic) . . .

These are the light blues, prior to cutting . . .

These are stacks of cut dark blues. Each of these stacks were cut from a single fat quarter, except for the group in the upper left corner of the pic . . . that's about 3.5 yrds. of fabric I bought to "fill in." Each fat quarter stack will make 1.5 pinwheels (though I'm only using complete pinwheels in this quilt). I have a total of 28 different fabrics to make 35 pinwheels, so I bought extra dark and light fabric to make up the difference. I may go for a "scrappy" look with whatever's left.

Thank you for reading . . . as always, please leave a comment, and follow this blog!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Winter Blues" part 1.5

I've been busy cutting fabric for the new quilt . . . while cutting, I've been busy thinking, too. I decided to make a change (or two) to the design.

I generally don't add borders to my quilts. Somewhere along the way, I read one should add borders to a quilt "to set it apart from the wall." Well, with my quilts, I think if you can't tell where the quilt ends and the wall begins, why do you need my quilt on your wall anyway?? LOL!!

This time, I decided to add a black border around the quilt for the sole purpose of extending the pinwheel arms into it. I didn't like the "chopped off" quality of the outer pinwheels; I wanted complete pinwheels throughout. This is what I came up with.

I liked the look . . . what do you think of it??

A little later, I thought "if my quilt extends into the border, why can't the border extend into the quilt"?? I tried something else . . . in the drawing below, I used gray for the border to show how it mimics the pinwheel arms, extending into the body of the quilt. It also helps to define the shape of the stars.

Actually, this may be more subtle than the drawing shows: my actual fabric for the stars and squares is a black with gold stars and dots printed on it . . . I bought black fabric with mulberry spots printed on it for the border. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out.

Either way, I DO like the idea of a border that incorporates elements of the overall design in it. I think I'll call this an "integrated" border because of its mimicry as well as outlining shapes in the pattern. Cool idea, huh??

As always, thank you for reading my blog . . . please leave a comment and follow this blog!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Winter Blues" part 1

Below is my initial drawing for my "Winter Blues" quilt. There are two other drawings: one has white for the background instead of black (but, I've already bought the black fabric); the other has orange for the background (but, it looked more Fall than Winter). I've made this quilt several times before: once in shades of purple; and, once in shades of brown (both are on my website under "Gallery."

This is an easy quilt to make . . . it only requires the same same square colored two different ways as shown below. I believe the number of colorways is the key to the level of difficulty for my patterns: many of my patterns require the same square colored four different ways, while my "Mardi Gras Men" quilt required NINE different colorways!!

Now, I have fifteen light blue fat quarters and thirteen dark blue fat quarters for this quilt from the fabric swap. I bought an additional 3.5 yards of light and dark blue fabric and a black fabric with gold stars for the background (pics to come). I know I can get 1.5 pinwheel from each fat quarter (and a lot more from the additional yardage).

I'm thinking about cutting the fabric into strips wide enough to accommodate my templates; then, cut the fabric into my desired shapes; then, shuffle the stacks so I don't use two of the same fabrics in any given square. Then, with muslin foundations at the ready, I'll sew the fabric to the foundations (reshuffling the stacks of pieces as needed). After I've sewn all the squares, I'll sort 'em by colorway. Since the pattern has a light/dark contrast going on, I'm not gonna be too concerned if the pinwheels aren't entirely the same fabric (there will be more pinwheels from the additional yardage, anyway). There are several fabrics that don't match my perception of "blue" but I'm gonna use 'em anyway; I hope to diffuse their lack of "blueness" by spreading 'em out.

Next up: the fabrics.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

National "Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day"

Who woulda thought??

For about 6 months, Ed and I have gone to a local microbrewery for "Peek-a-Brew" on Wednesday evening. There's a small keg of different homebrews from the brewmaster for tasting. It's generally tasty, and sometimes "exotic" but we've been enjoying it.

Today was National "Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day" (but, I'd already told you that) . . . Ed and I got to the brewery around 8:30 a.m. and there were five guys there already: Jerrod, the assistant brewmaster; Scott, who was milling his grain; Grant; and, John and Chris, two brewing brothers. A little later, Kelly showed up, and Mike arrived and set up his equipment. More people showed up as the morning went on. There was even a reporter from a local online neighborhood newsletter, interviewing the brewers (and wannabees, too).

Ed and I learned a lot about the process of homebrewing (and got to sample the various homebrews from the other brewers).

Noon came before we knew it, LOL!! Ed and I went to load the car for a trip to an Episcopal church two hours south of St. Louis tomorrow: mobile bookstore. We had some lunch, then back to the brewery (but the brewing was nearly done). We sampled some more, then home for a nap (but, wouldn't you??).

We may take up a new hobby . . .

Time to make something pretty . . . Winter Blues

I'm a member of the Yahoo! QuiltGuy group . . . recently, I participated in a fabric swap with the theme of "Winter Blues," but with the Chicago '09 tour and writing and all, I haven't had a chance to do any sewing.

That's gonna change . . .

I've decided on an original pattern, with an eye toward self-publishing (I just can't get away from writing, can I??). I've also decided to post the project as a "work-in-progress" here on my blog, from initial drawing to cutting fabric to constructing the foundation squares to assembling the top to quilting to binding.

Keep your eyes peeled . . . better yet, leave your eyes alone and peel me a grape!!

Thank you for reading . . . leave a comment and follow this blog!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Other happenings . . .

Yes, it's been awhile since I've posted . . . sorry. Here's a few other things that have been happening . . .

After work, I shipped three quilts to Paducah for a "photo shoot." They've been selected to accompany the article about me in Joe Cunningham's book about male quilters, due out next spring I think. Here's what they look like:

Last week, I stopped by my photographer's gallery. Ten years ago, I gave a small quilt show around Mardi Gras. I asked if I could do one next year around Mardi Gras. He said, "sure!!" Guess I'd best get to sewing, huh??

I took part in a fabric swap on the Yahoo! QuiltGuy group with the theme "Winter Blues." I got 29 fat quarters in shades of blue. I'll be starting a new quilt with them, with an eye toward making it my first published pattern. Keep your eyes peeled . . .

Thank you for reading my blog, and please leave a comment and follow this blog!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Anniversary to us!!

This evening, over dinner, I realized that it was our anniversary. Ed and I have been together 25 years. The reason it nearly slipped by us is that we don't celebrate a date per se . . . our anniversary is the first Monday in November (like Election Day is the first Tuesday in November).

Giveaway?? . . . no, I'm afraid there'll be no giveaway. I gave away my heart 25 years ago, LOL!! I'll leave you to pick over the parts and pieces that are left (but bear in mind, they're 25 years older, too).

After dinner, we went to bed: Ed promptly fell asleep and I lay listening to classical music on the radio, composing this post in my head, until I fell asleep too. Four hours later, we woke up (it was only 11:00 p.m.). We celebrated with a dish of Edy's Swiss Orange (orange sherbet with dark chocolate chips) and Milano cookies.