Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I wanted to share the scary pumpkins that my DD and I carved.
 Before carving, this little white one looked like, um, well, I will leave that to your imagination.  But it made me smile every time I looked at it.  I think it looks like a cat face now.  I'm trying to decide if I should add some whiskers or leave it a little abstract.

DD carved this one.  I like the curly top -- it seems a little incongruous with the scary face.
And I saw this last weekend.  I loved all the perfectly round rolls of hay scattered across the field.  This is the true harbinger of winter for me.  Sigh.

Design Wall Progress

 I have moved all the extraneous stuff off the design wall and begun the task of sashing.  I still need to make one more block -- but I really wanted to play around with the setting.

Those small NY Beauty blocks are going to go in the corners -- but I think they're flipped around.  I'll play around more with those when I get closer to sewing the whole thing together.
Here is a close up of a couple of the sashing blocks.  I reserve the right to rearrange the large blocks.  In fact, I can see right now that at least a couple of them need to be moved around.

To see other design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.

Monday, October 24, 2011

HodgePodge Design Wall

My design wall today has a plethora of past and future projects.  The blocks for my 2011 BOM line the left side, ostriches are on the right, with the leftovers from my bag and the itty bitty "Buck A Block" blocks in the center.
 A closer look at the stuff in the middle.  I really like those leftover dot patches -- maybe I should sew them together for a new Nook bag to match the fall bag.  Then I will be totally sartorially splendid!
And the finished sample ereader pattern bag.  I still have to join the photos with the words, then I'll be ready to send the pattern to my testers.

To take a look at other design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Polka Dots Are "In"!

I read it somewhere, so it must be true!  I made myself a new fall bag with these wonderful fabrics.I used my current favorite pattern, the Margo bag by Lazy Girl Designs.  I made it in a mini version -- it's only nine by twelve inches.  This time I made the straps the same size as the full size bag and I'm really happy with that decision.
I used o-rings instead of d-rings for the straps so they would go with the dot theme and I used the stripe that is part of this fabric line for the piping around the front pockets.

For the inside pockets, I used another fabric from the same line -- my daughter calls it "lightning fabric."  So now I am sartorially au courant (something that really keeps me up nights worrying.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Turkeys and Ostriches, Oh My!

I found this cute turkey made from a leaf block (here).    I didn't have her pattern for the leaf, so I made my own.  I did use the templates for the turkey -- it's sized for a larger block (eight inches instead of the seven incher that I used.)
 Here is the whole table runner -- mine's a little smaller than the pattern because I sliced off a little bit on each end to make it fit the piece of fabric I wanted to use for the back.

I couldn't find the right fabric for the background, so I dyed my own.  First, I dyed a yard with diluted blue and brown.  Then, I stenciled the leaves with thickened purple and greyish-brown dyes.

I quilted it with stylized leaves.
And because Beth will ask, here is the backside.

I finished the ostrich block for the Civil War Bride quilt.

I used all my own hand-dyes for this except for the centers of the flowers.  The ostrich bodies are from a shibori-dye I did a while ago -- it's been marinating on my shelf -- waiting for just the right project!

The flower centers are made from my friend Chris Daly's wonderful hand-dyed silk/rayon velvet.  You can get your own here at her etsy shop.  I'm using the "flora collection."  I think I need to get some of the "brights" now too.  These were really easy to work with -- I cut a template of no-melt template plastic and did a running stitch around the seam allowance of the circle. Then I pulled it up tight and basted it with sizing.  Hit it with a warm (silk setting) iron and it was ready to go.  Easy-peasy!  I'm trying to decide where to use this stuff next!
And here is a shot of the next block.  I have a way to go...

To see other appliqué projects, click here to go to Angie's blog.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October Bounty

My design wall has those BOM2011 blocks on the side, but I've put up the stuff from the "Buck-A-Block"  deal that my one of my LQSs has.  The yellow/white ones are from last month and the orange strip is this month's.
 The blocks are made using "Thangles" and the LQS owner made hers in mini-size.  We are duplicating it in EQ7 and I'm duplicating it for real.  I just couldn't resist those bitty blocks.  They're 2 3/4 inches, so they will finish at 2 1/4.  So cute!  To see other design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.
 This mess on my cutting table is the audition for the next block in my Civil War Bride Quilt.  I've almost finished the ostriches -- there was a lot of football this weekend (Go Badgers!).    I'm thinking I'm going to use the dark green for the background even though there are a lot of leaves and stems in the design;  I'll use the lighter greens for the appliqué.

And these beauties are my haul from the farmer's market this weekend.  I found my all-time favorite squash, some gorgeous cippolini onions, and this lovely Romanesco broccoli.  We sampled the Romanesco Saturday for dinner ( I drizzled it with EVOO and roasted the florets in the oven until they were browned, then a little Kosher salt and lemon juice to finish -- OMGosh! -- delicious!)  We had a couple of the delicata squash for dinner last night.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beautiful Outdoors Today

 It's much too gorgeous outside to be working in my basement studio.  Besides, my design wall hasn't changed since last week.  So I thought I'd share some photos of beautiful Wisconsin.

This is my favorite maple.  It lives in my backyard.  You can just see the top of the kids' play structure in the bottom of the photo.

 This is the neighbor's maple.  I was struck by the juxtaposition of red and light green on the same branch.

And my tomatoes are finally ripening!  This has been a terrible year in my garden.  I got only a handful of cherry tomatoes and the plum tomatoes have lots of green, but very few red tomatoes.  Hopefully, they'll ripen before it gets cold next week.

My neighborhood has lots of locust trees -- they drop their tiny golden leaves over the course of two or three days every year.  The street is resplendent with them.

I did play around with some lutradur --outside, of course.  Click here to read all about it.  

To see design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October BOM

This month the BOM block was the barrister's block.  Above are all the blocks from the group.

On the left is my block at  home with its friends.  I didn't have enough left of the feature fabric to cut four large triangles, so I cut two of each.  The dark blue background looks a little bit purple on my monitor, but it's really dark blue.  The lime green is a hand-dye (my own) and the orange triangles are commercial fabric.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wendy Butler Berns Classes on Craftsy

My friend and colleague, Wendy Butler Berns, contacted me and asked me to review her new machine quilting course on  Wendy (whose website is here) successfully blurs the line between art and traditional quilting with her fabulous quilts.  As a fellow member of Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists, I look forward to her "show and tell" and have personally benefited from her knowledge and teaching skills -- Wendy is wonderfully helpful and full of great advice.  

I viewed the course and found it fun and interesting.  It's full of great tips and tricks and Wendy's personality sparkles throughout.  

For a limited time, this course is available to readers of my blog at a special price.  Click (here) to link to to take Wendy's machine quilting course at a special discount.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cutting Table Action

My design wall is pretty boring today -- all the action is on my cutting table.  There is a layered fat quarter awaiting quilting so that it can become the model for my ereader bag pattern, a pattern for a Thanksgiving table runner, and some Tyvek which is awaiting its turn to be part of my latest evil experiments...bwahahaha!

There is an initial post about the Tyvek here at

And for those who were kind enough to offer advice for last week's post, here are shots of the finished bag.  I took Beth's advice and did a tiny bit of lime green piping on the pocket binding.  And I used the fabric for the pocket that most of you liked. I used my favorite for the lining.  I'm really pleased with the way it turned out -- thanks for such good advice!

Um, yes, I know that the strap is missing.  I left it off because I usually carry it in my bag, not over my shoulder.  But when I took it into my LQS to show it off, they LOVED the strap.  So it will be included in the pattern.

For more design walls, click here to go to Judy's blog.