Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A gold star for the teacher

Actually, they're purple and blue and black stars. Here's another repetition quilt I've been working on -- nine patches made with four-patches, and maverick or wonky stars. I deliberately went for the muted mediums in this project, and I used some some truly ugly light prints from the 80s. I wanted the stars to pop, and I think they do, plus the nine patches make a nice diagonal across the quilt. This is intended as a throw quilt for an amazing elementary school teacher we've had for the past five years, and I'm planning some words to go around the outside, and I'm going to back it with a nice cuddly flannelette so she can have a nice nap under it after a hard day at school.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I put borders on my top. I think the purple side is too dark, or it should trade places with the blue. What do you all think?

Carol E.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Making love!

Don't worry - there will be no details which will make you blush here! I have been busy making LOVE for my repetition quilt and finally decided that I have made enough.

Despite that fact that I now realise it is slightly narrower at the bottom than the top (I may do something about this, or probably not!) I am very pleased with it.

The question now is, do I put another border on it (lighter and wider) or just leave it like it is? Please give me your advice.

Almost done with the b's and bees

We're having a winter/spring storm here, but my summer project is nearly finished. I'm done with the handquilting, and now I'm thinking about binding. I've pinned a strip of a measuring tape print along the bottom, and I think I like the yellow and black stripes it is creating. But I'm open to suggestions. Overall, I'm ambivalent about this quilt -- I like the letters and how they float around the perimeter, and the abundance of b's. I'm not a pink person, so the the centre of the quilt is a stretch for me. I've also had ambivalent reactions to this project, probably because of the asymetry (which I like and I did on purpose) and because people take time to read it and understand it. This is destined as a gift for my husband Bert, so I'm going to call it Bert's Bees.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Finally some sewing!

While I may not have been posting, I have done some little bits and pieces of work in between all the craziness around here. The week before the recital, I did play with some wonky piecing. I managed to (finally) make a house block to send to Bonnie.

Then I was determined to work on some basket blocks. For some reason, I've been avoiding doing them for fear of doing them 'wrong'. LOL. So I decided to just jump in. I made these two blocks. I really like the yellow background, so I'll probably stick more or less with that idea. I actually hand appliqued the handes, which was quite a challenge for me. I'm happy with some aspects of that, not so thrilled with other parts of it...I had a hard time getting them to lay flay, I suppose that is a matter of practice. These blocks are bigger than I had intended, they are mor like 8 or 9" blocks, though I haven't trimmed them yet, and won't until I get a lot more made. I came to a standstill on these because I was having sewing machine troubles. I was at the cabin, and the machine I have there got a thread wrapped around something on the inside and now needs a service. Hopefully I can get that resolved this week, then back to more baskets.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oh pffffffffffffffffffff!

I was pondering the background and border and started piecing together 2 inch wide piano keys for the border. Having done half, I decided I didn't like them after all, so cut them in half and used to them as a border round one of the blues.

Nope - don't like. Sorry Tonya - I unpicked it.

Then I thought about this.

Using the olive tree fabric as the background, with a blue border, then perhaps a thicker white border (got some unbleached Kona somewhere) and then the binding.

I quite like it - sort of throws the letters into a 3D effect.

I'm not going to start cutting until you tell me what you think.

some pics

Hi Tonya, it's Elizabeth - I have to figure out how to have it put my name! thanks for your comment. where can I find the rose tutorial??!

after posting last night, I thought to add some images, so here are a few

this is a piece that has been waiting for years to come to a conclusion - it was a repetition of large, upholstery weight corduroy squares/ rectangles. I'm going to use some of the chenille bedspread to back it. yay!

this is the chenille with some florals...

and this is something that I put together with the idea of trellis/ rose... but it isn't big enough to be a blanket on its own.

but it got me to thinking that I could take another dark print and mix it with another chintz and then cut them into larger squares to piece together for a blanket sized blanket :-) repeat until arriving at desired size.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

not yet started, but happy to be here

Just to say hello to the group. I signed up a few weeks ago and have been checking in for inspiration.  I have a chenille bedspread in a dusty rose that I want to use, with various floral remnants, but have not yet come up with my 'repetition'.  
hmmm, maybe roses! the chenille could be fun texture.
I have made patchwork/piecework blankets over the years, usually two sided, usually geometric, always free form.  I enjoy working without a pattern (though I should probably take that challenge!)  I recently learned to knit, but definitely think more like a sew-er than a loop de loop-er.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sewing Up a Blue Storm

I've been staring at the design wall for ages deciding on how to take things further, but before starting the filling in, thought I had better finish the words first.

So I sewed up a blue storm yesterday and got them done.

I think I'm going to reorganise the blue's, but am pleased with it. My favourite letters are the D in "world", the l in the last "blue" and, drum roll Tonya please, look at that S! I've finally cracked that little beastie!

For the filling in, I wondered about hearts, trees (I think no because they will detract from the words), houses, free pieced flowers, or alternatively putting blue borders round the words with the light background, filling in with white/cream, and putting a really jazzy/scrappy blue border round the whole thing.

I don't really want to make the length any bigger - it is already 38 inches long!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Summer Class?

Is it any wonder my theme is going to be spring? Here is a photo of my place yesterday, and since i took this photo, it hasnt stopped snowing! doh!
I havent checked in since my "discouraged" email, which seems to have disappeared, but i just wanted to let all of you know that i havent given up...just had to finish a few other projects first. All of your words of encouragement have helped me, and im ready to continue :) I have seen some wonderful things from this group and it has inspired me! Anyways, just wanted to check in and say hi and i hope to create some letters this weekend.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Finally, Something to Share...

Geese at Sunset was already partially completed when I signed up for this class... I had purchased the background fabric long ago and the first few geese along with the rest of the yardage had been waiting patiently in the studio closet. Now, the quilt is finished and it is full of repetition! (Chris even managed to carry out the repetition theme with her choice of quilting design, and she didn't even know that repetition was part of my effort!)

There are more photos here showing the different colors used for the inner borders, the different fabrics used for the two outer side borders, and close ups of the upper and lower outer borders created using the waste triangles trimmed off while making the geese. NONE of this was in my original plan and much of the inspiration came from Collaborative Quilting by Gwen Martson and Freddy Moran. The confidence to go forward came from the experience I gained during Tonya's first-ever online class. MANY THANKS, Tonya!!



As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of common purpose can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose flies out of formation, it suddenly feels that drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

It is harder to do something alone than together.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation, and another goose flies point at the head.

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs. Shared leadership and interdependence give us each a chance to lead as well as opportunities to rest.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

What do we say when we honk from behind? We need to make sure our honking is encouraging and not discouraging.

Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick or wounded and falls out of formation, two other geese will fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their flock.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by our colleagues and each other in difficult times as well as in good.

Friday, April 4, 2008


While y'all are waiting for me to get started on my hearts I thought I'd share with you some stars I've been making. Two of them went into a quilt that I was going to swap with another blogger. That quilt turned out so well that my husband wouldn't let me give it away! I haven't shown it yet on my blog because I want to keep the quilt a surprise for the recipient. Even though she's not getting the original one, the two quilts will be similar enough that I don't want to post it yet. In the meantime, here are four liberated/wonky/maverick stars:

Oh. I guess these two aren't sewn together yet!