Friday, September 30, 2016

A Study in Contrasts

I'm always amazed by the infinite variety of choices we have as modern sewists... how does anyone begin a project when the number of fabrics we can choose from these days goes way beyond the imagination of our fore-mothers who quilted from scraps.

ROY G BIV just doesn't begin to cover it.

I was thinking about this while perusing the Splendid Sampler site this week.

This sampler/group project is being run by Moda's crack team of Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.  Well, I'm not sure they're actually "Moda's", but you get it, I'm sure. 

There will be eighty-some blocks of various types, pieced, appliqued, embroidered, etc.  And there are bonus blocks and projects using the bonus blocks.  If you worked on these free patterns for a year you would not run out of things to make!

There are two blocks revealed each week. Block 66 is designed by Vanessa Goertzen.  It's a variation of pinwheel plus flying geese.  Her fabric choices are so great, a navy, a light blue print and a white fabric for the geese.  The geese show up splendidly (pun intended) against the navy.

If you go to that site you can scroll down and see photos of the various blocks made by some of the participants, with their color choices in all their glory.

I'm not doing the SS -- YET.  I'm accumulating the patterns, and take them out for viewing when I need eye candy.  I want (need) to get some of my UFOs off the list and onto the F list -- that is finished... before I start something new.

Famous last words.

I pulled out my box of Phone Guy's Wife blocks.  I'm embarrassed to say how long ago these were started.  I'm going to try to make this one my October OMG (one month goal)...

This first block illustrates what I saw when I looked at Block 66 of the Sampler, dark, medium and light, all clearly defined and the contrast is evident.

High contrast, good balance.
This bow tie looked OK in person, but in the photo it's a little muddy... I should maybe have used a much lighter color than that light green solid.

In this block, same thing, the in-person differentiation is better than the photo.  Maybe I should have used the same fabric in the four quadrants and put a sunflower in the center??

Ugh, this one is just awful in the photo.  The dots are really white, and the center and corners are cream with green.

When I had them all up on the design wall all those ages ago, you can point directly to the stuff that doesn't work...  row two, block one.  Row three block two is the one above.  All that work of cutting and piecing those little squares and you can't even tell which is which.

The way I'm actually setting these is below, white sashing and dark cornerstones.  It helps a little, I think.  Trouble is, I ran out of the white and dark green and need to find something to match, or at least not clash with, what I already have sewn together.  More on that later.  Hopefully.
This is a twisted bargello that I started also in the year 1... and here's an illustration of why you should step back from your design wall to see what's really going on.  See the strip in the center, where the colors don't line up going across?  I think I had a couple of the strips upside down or something because clearly this was not the pattern as the designer intended...
See where the design went haywire?  Luckily I saw it in time...
I finally got this wall hanging sewn after a long hiatus -- I think it was maybe three years ago now.  But it's been in the UFO box ever since.  Really, there's no excuse except that with the effort it took to put it together, I got a little tired of it.

I think I'm ready to return.

I think it's beautiful... and it's all sewn together, just needs layering and quilting.  I can't decide if I should send this out or attempt it myself.  I'm calling this one my November OMG. 

The kit was assembled for me by one (or more) of the Quilt Angels at Quintessential Quilts in Reedsburg.   I love the gradations and the transition from brown to teal.  Just the right balance of contrast.

Time to get to work...

Sew on!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Yes But What Have You Done For Me Lately?

I'm working on a big intranet project with my company, trying to learn new things like how to post things to an intranet site, and how to organize pages so people can find things easily.

Big job... easier said than done too.

Just like I said about the sewer systems years ago when I started working for Water Engineers, I know way more about the internet now than I ever wanted to know!  (Note to self, it's a lot more pleasant than learning about sludge, wastewater and the like!!)

So that's keeping me hopping, and with family obligations I haven't had much time to spend in my sewing studio lately.

DH and I celebrated 45 years of marriage last Sunday...  and those years seem like they just screamed by me like Secretariat!!  I don't feel a whole lot different than I did back then.  Well except for the aching knees some mornings, or when it rains, or the exhaustion after a late night or several.  OMG when did I get OLD??  LOL!!

This is my latest project, the denim jacket patches for a coworker...very colorful.  There's one patch for every band he's seen live and in concert.

Do you see the cross on the right side of the photo above?  It says Black Sabbath.  It crosses a seam. Before I realized that I was doing it, I stabbed the needle down and it bent.  It didn't break, but it bent further to the right than I thought was possible.

Maybe the band name was an omen!!!   (music from Jaws...)

I put in a new needle, moved over, took another stitch and BROKE that needle.  I pulled everything out, changed the needle, and rolled the flywheel gently to see what was up.  The needle was hitting about a sixteenth or maybe a thirty-second of an inch behind the hole in the sole plate.

I bent my machine!  OH NO!!  (sounds of groaning...)

OK, that cannot be good.

DH took the machine to our local repair guy at the wonderful Frank's Sewing Center the next day.  I worried... what if they tell me they can't fix it?  Because I have done this before on this machine -- I braced for the bad new.

Three days later, they called and said it was fixed.  They left a voicemail, and didn't leave the cost in the message.

OK, bracing for the worst... DH went and picked it up.  When I got home from work I looked at his face, searching for the bad news that he had to take a second mortgage to pay for the damage I'd done...

<pregnant pause for drama>

It was only about $15 more than what it cost to have it cleaned and serviced for its annual checkup!!  Which they also did while it was there -- Brad, I love you man!!

The rest of the patches are below.  Enjoy the tour!

BTW here's a little app I have on my phone that will do a collage of the photos I have in my gallery.  I thought these pics from the Madison Quilt Exp made a cool grouping.

Last but not least, I used my Joann's 60% off coupon to replace my June Taylor Shape Cut last week. Now I can say goodbye to the broken piece...

Sew on...