Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vacation Over

Mardi Gras Weekend is over and our visiting family heads back to Texas. We had so many places and sites to see, including several parades, the unique Chauvin Sculpture Gardens, replica's of Columbus' Nina and Pinta, and craft projects. Sadly, still no sewing.

For scale, imagine each of these life forms human size. The light house was amazing. I wonder what the artist was thinking when he created each piece.

The young lady playing the harp was one of my favorites. All of the faces had these expressions that I cannot even describe.

For the crafty projects, the kids were given wooden letters to paint and then decorate with buttons. Above, "A" for 10-year old Austin, painted his like a "quilt". Each of kids were also given a very special button from the military uniforms of their Great-Great Grandfather.

The next one is "A" for 5-year old Alexis. Her pink puppy on the right is playing with her special button. I asked them to sign and date their projects when they finished .... Alexis was so cute, she signed and dated "Today is Tuesday".

With my fingers crossed, the broken part needed to fix my Janome 6500 machine has been identified, ordered and will arrive very soon. All of my projects started for the Janome were put aside for the last 5 weeks so as to not mess with the consistent seam -- and of course, a complete stall on quilting tops. I came very close to buying another Janome (1600) to have as spare -- but regrettably talked myself out of it twice. With only weeks away from buying the mid-arm, it just did not seem reasonable.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Amor" - Desperate Housewife's Quilt

Late last year, Quilt Jane of "Want It, Need It, Quilt" asked me to design a block for her 50 week adventures of "The Desperate Housewife's Quilt". Because my week would fall around Valentine's Day, I knew exactly what block would tickle the fancy of any "Desperate Housewife"!!

So here we go -- the "Amor" Block.

I pulled out several fat quarters from my stash and cut out a couple of samplers. For each block, I used 6 different floral pinks and 1 background color:

From Background:
  • (4) 1 1/2" squares -- draw a light diagonal line on each.
  • (1) 2 1/2" square
From the 6 pink colors:

Color A -
(1) 2 1/2" square
Color B
(1) 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" strip
(1) 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" strip
Color C
(1) 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" strip
(1) 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" strip
Color D
(1) 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" strip
(1) 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" strip
Color E
(1) 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" strip
(1) 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" strip
Color F
(2) 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips

Starting with the 2 1/2" square (Color A), join the strips (Colors B - E) using the pictures as your guide until the unit is 6 1/2" square (unfinished).

Add the 1 1/2" squares to the top right and left of each of the two 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" strips (Color F), sewing on the diagonal line, cut away the excess, flip the corner and press to complete 2 units. Using the picture as your guide, add the 2 units to the top and left side, with the 2 1/2" background square in the corner.

As many of you know (because I have whined a few times), my sewing machine has been in the shop for a few weeks. One of the advantages, my sewing room is very clean, all the fabric is stacked so neatly and I have been playing with EQ -- and actually getting better at it!

Below is the block and 5 different ways to set these simple little blocks. I am sure when my sewing machine comes home, I will make several of these blocks and maybe have something by next Valentine's Day - 2013.

A BIG thanks to Quilt Jane for inviting me to join her special project.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Palette Challenge

January Color Palette Challenge for me was "artsy". I needed something small for an area in my newly remodeled master bath. The quilting of the top came to an abrupt end when I was almost finished, when my sewing machine gave up. She has been in the shop since then and I truly miss her. My handy backup is great for piecing -- but nothing more.

Thanks to Judy, Patchwork Times and Vicki, Field Trips in Fiber who have challenged their readers -- I am looking forward to February -- another "artsy" top(?). We will see.