Friday, February 29, 2008

Princeton Plainsboro

If you understand the title of this post, you know what I'm doing on Tuesday nights. (Thank goodness the writer's strike is over.)

I've named my house quilt "Princeton Plainsboro". It's a play on words that came to me when I was putting the blocks together with the sashing. It might only be a working title, but we'll see.

These blocks were part of the Piecemaker's exchange in 2007. I had just finished the applique borders for Betty's house quilt when I started working on this one. I wanted my quilt to be as large as hers (mine is 12 blocks, hers was 16) so I knew I'd need bigger sashing and borders.

For whatever reason this time I decided to graph out my design rather than using EQ. It was fun to play with different markers.

Ultimately I chose star sashing, which in retrospect might overshadow the houses, what do you think? I still like the quilt, but it's not the effect I thought I would get.

I put plain borders on it, planning to applique the same vine and flowers design I had done on Betty's quilt, but I've decided that won't work for my design. So I'm going to have to take these borders off and do something else. Maybe piano keys? Maybe some kind of block border. I've spent hours on EQ5 trying to find something I'll really like. Nothing that really jumps out at me yet.

I'm like that. Especially with borders. It takes me a long time to solve a problem and then suddenly I'll get an idea and it all goes pretty quickly from there, or the project dies and it goes into the UFO pile. LOL. I like this quilt too much to let the patient die. If I can't find a proper treatment, I guess I'll have to take it to a specialist... paging Dr. House.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Like a Statue, Walking Under Water

That's how I feel, have been feeling these past two weeks. Aargh. I hate it when my body shuts down like this. It's hard to think, much less sew. I haven't written because there is definitely NOTHING going on with me from a quilting perspective. I thought maybe if I did some writing about ANYTHING, (past projects, current projects, UFOs) It's hard to want to quilt (or, you know, make dinner) when you feel like every bit of you has been encased in cement.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Bluebird of Happiness

The Piecemakers has a member whose house burned down this past year. It was a terrible thing and we all wanted to do something special for her. Some of us had already made house block quilts for our 2007 exchange and so we decided to each make more blocks and put together a special quilt for Betty.

We set it all together during a bee meeting and then I got it to put on some applique borders. I knew what I really wanted to do was black borders with bright flowers, but the group sent me white fabric. I struggled with it for weeks before finally going back and saying "I'd like to use black." Asking for what you want is a good thing. The final touch was the bluebird of happiness flying in to bring good tidings to Betty.

I hope that bird makes it's way into all our lives this year.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Your Choice"

This year I organized the Piecemaker's Block Exchange. With some help from some of the group members I was able to take a blob of an idea and come up with something that seems to have been well received. In the past we have made a particular block x number of times, or used a particular fabric. You may have noticed that when you try to get 10 quilters to do the same thing SOMEONE is going to complain. Well, the Piecemakers has become a bigger group in the past few years and I wasn't taking my chances with 20 women! In the end 17 quilters in the group decided to join the exchange.

Everyone got to choose the block she was going to make. She had to register her choice with me, and it's a secret. Then each quilter chose her own focus fabric, cut it into squares and gave a piece to each other quilter. We are each making 17 blocks in 17 different color ways to accomodate the focus fabrics we received.

In July we'll have the big reveal party. Everyone will bring their blocks and I'll sort them out by owner and hand them out for everyone to see.

Last week "finish everything she ever started in record time" Pam (I love her!) was working on her blocks and pointed out that if we did a block a week, it would take 4 months to complete the work. Well, that lit a fire under me! My applique blocks are fairly simple, but still represent a fair amount of work. So I have cut backgrounds for all the blocks I could from my stash (I need to shop for the "right" fabric for 3 of the blocks) and I have cut and prepared the pieces for 4 of the blocks. I'm using Beth Ferrier's method which is easy and makes for very smooth curves and sharp points. I'm so glad I took her class when I did!