Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Blocks of the Month

 I am doing two separate block of the month projects this year.

The first is on Craftsy - which if you haven't checked out Craftsy, you're missing out. Even if you are a seasoned quilter, there's something over there that will come in handy. Anyway, I spend so much time at my machine that I wanted a hand project to do while I watch television, Netflix, whatever - and I'm not exactly in a knitting mood at the moment, so I decided to use this opportunity to hand-stitch my grandmother a quilt. I have to admit that the design they are doing this year is nice, but not to my taste, but I think my grandmother will like it. She loves purple, so this is the start - sorry for the glare on the photo, that was the day the sun was out.

Then I looked around and noticed that I am in the middle of six different projects and not one of them is for me. They are all slated to be sold or given away - so, after a bit of pouting, I went in search of a Block of the Month that I actually would want to keep for myself, and though 11 of the blocks are still a secret, not to be revealed until the beginning of every month, I think the BOM at Quilt Doodle's blog is my best bet. So, here is the January block. If it looks earthy and possibly uninspiring, that's because I've been working with such bright colors lately that I wanted a little earth-tone in my life... and I love the dragonfly material.

Both of these BOM's have detailed instructions, so even if you've never quilted before, it should be easy to follow along. It's not too late to jump in!

I'll post my progress as these projects go along. I hope everyone's well.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rounding the Corner

First of all, today I received my shipment of Tula Pink fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop. Ever since I started making circles out of it for that last quilt, I've been in love with that fabric and want to get my hands on as much as possible. It was hard to stay at work when I just wanted to get home and cut into it. Evil work.

But, the main think I want to write about is my trying something new tonight-

A few days ago I was browsing pictures of quilts online, like ya do, and I ran across someone who rounds off the corners of her quilts. My first thought was, "She just doesn't like doing the corner thing." My second thought, which followed immediately, was, "Well, I don't really care for corners either." So, I decided that the next quilt that could take rounded corners without compromising the design would get sliced into.

So, when I was ready to bind the elephant quilt, I grabbed one of my circle templates and snuck up on the quilt with a rotary cutter, half horrified. I really like the way it turned out, but I have a feeling the dense quilting is going to cause it to buckle. Maybe it'll loosen up after it's washed. But, anyway, I can guarantee more of these non-corners are in my future.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rookie Mistake

I've been knocking myself out lately trying to get a good quantity of sample quilts ready to put onto Etsy. One of the ideas I had was for a tiny elephant surrounded by huge flowers appliquéd onto a simply pieced top. I think it's funny and adorable; so funny and adorable that I wanted the quilting to be cute too, so I started with this....

Dense quilting with tiny little flowers - adorable! Until 12 hours later...

It still looks great; but I am really working for this one. The next time I look at batting that says, "quilt every 2 to 4 inches" and say, "Ha! I'll do even better than that!", I think I'll just go have a cup of coffee while I reconsider my defiance. Well, I think I can squeeze another hour and a half out of tonight, so back to the machine.

I regret nothing!! (for the most part)

Monday, January 21, 2013


The thought of starting a blog is mind-numbingly terrifying. How do you introduce yourself to the world? Actually, before that, why should you? Then it dawned on me that not once have I ever gone back and looked at the first post of any blog I've ever followed. That took some of the pressure off... some. Since I also had to write an "About" page for my website, I decided to use the same text for my first post. So: hello, world.

Me with my great-grandmother (roughly 1973)
Way back when Internet was mainly dial-up and dinosaurs roamed the earth, my friend, Leslie, and I decided to run away. We started our escape by holing up in a friend's cabin in North Waterford, Maine; me to work on writing the Great American Novel and Leslie to re-find her self after a divorce.My mother, in her wisdom, realized that I didn't have enough on my plate and asked that I take all of my great-grandmother's handwritten diaries and type them into an electronic format of some sort. As it turned out, she was correct since you are reading this now rather than watching me being interviewed by Oprah.Since my great-grandmother, Mrs. Irene Driver, died when I was very young, the above picture is exactly how I remember her.
First quilt
We would regularly leave our dusty town in New Mexico to go to the even dustier town of Lubbock, TX to visit her at the nursing home and she always had a quilt over her lap; so In order to get myself psyched up for the daunting task, I decided to make a quilt. It was a mess. The process was long and tedious; so when I finished, I put it in the closet and set to work on the diaries, swearing off sewing.By the time I reached 1915, she was quite prolific, I dragged the quilt out of the closet and reevaluated my work. It was still awful, but I began noticing things I could have done differently - and that was the end of my indifference. By the time Irene cast her vote in the 1920 election, I had made my second quilt and was hooked. That was 13 years ago and while the writing thing is slow moving, I now have four very well used sewing machines and a fabric stash that would make anyone green with envy.I love quilting and hope you enjoy my quilts even half as much as I enjoy making them.