Archive for July, 2009

I’ve worked some on my Jelly Roll baby quilt and completed all of the blocks.  It turns out there are enough blocks to make two baby quilts.  I sort of thought that would happen.  I spent some time laying them out in what I hope will be a good arrangement, and got one set all pieced together.


I bought peach colored fabric for borders and backing, but I’m not sure how it will look.  It was tough to figure out what would go with the fabrics in the roll until it was undone.  I’ll try the first quilt with the peach, see how I like it and whether I have enough for the second quilt before I decide whether to do that one the same.  I think I’ll be doing simply straight line and diagonal quilting on this, since I want to machine quilt it, but don’t feel confident yet with free motion quilting.  Straight line should work well with this design.

John and I visited the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck, NC today.  Pretty interesting place.  I couldn’t get many good pictures because it was around noon and a lot of the birds/ducks were asleep, or were behind fences or cages.  But we saw some really beautiful birds and ducks, anyway. 

I had a great conversation with a beautiful toucan who tried to lure me into sticking my finger into his cage.  He got upset when I walked away, and when I went back he entertained me by showing me his beautiful beak and eyes up close and demonstrating how he could pick up bits of fruit and toss them down his throat.  Sadly, I couldn’t get a good picture with the cage in the middle.

I did get this picture of a Hawaiian Goose — I really like the coloring and design on this creature’s feathers as you look down on them.


And this guy looked so wise.  I don’t recall what kind of bird he is. I don’t even know if it was a guy, but anyway.


And finally, a couple of plant pics:  Caladium and Bougainvillea, one of my favorite flowers.




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I’ve finally made a start on my JellyRoll quilt.  I’m using a Moda JellyRoll and a pattern from Jelly roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott called “Pandora’s Box.” 


The plan was to make it as a baby quilt for a charity project my quilt guild is doing.  But I’m going to have to wait and see how it looks when finished.  The JellyRoll concept is pretty cool, but the problem is that you can’t really tell what the fabrics look like until you unroll them.


These are not really “baby-looking” prints, but it could still work out OK for a baby quilt.


It’s nice to have the basic strips already cut for sewing together.  


It makes for quick work to put together 4-patch blocks that are then bordered with the remaining strips.  The hardest part is figuring out which border strips to use with which blocks.  They could be done totally randomly, but I want to make sure that I distribute the colors and print sizes well.  


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Chemo Turbans

The quilt guild I belong to keeps the local hospital supplied with turbans for women going through chemotherapy and the supply was getting low, so we’ve been making up a bunch over the past couple of weeks.  I stitched up these four today:


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The final step on the mandala was to go back in over the drawn lines with black ink to give more depth and dimension.


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I fought the urge to do something safe and comfortable with the final spaces on the mandala and went with my gut instinct which was to add the “risky” color:  red.


And I was right.  It has added the complexity and zing that I wanted.  

When viewed from far away it appears as almost dark blue, but the closer you move to it, the depth and complexity becomes apparent.  

The final step will be to add back in the drawing lines with black ink.

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New Header

I’ve been wanting to change my header for some time now and finally figured out how to do it this morning.  The new header is a portion of a table runner I designed and made while in New Mexico in 2008.  It is made of fabric I hand-dyed specifically for this project and is completely hand-pieced, quilted and embroidered.  It was a piece I made for the Take It Further Challenge in 2008.  

The piece is titled “Primrose Path.”

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Yesterday I added a green-blue to the mandala and filled almost all of the rest of the spaces with more yellow, blue, and green-yellow.


 I’m learning how important it is to start with the lightest colors and work towards the darkest, because when a mistake is made with light over dark it really shows up.  Although the same is true with dark over light, so maybe it isn’t necessarily the case that you need to progress that way, but it definitely is not possible to get back all the way to light when you’ve put down dark.  The problem is that I couldn’t be sure where I wanted the colors until I started painting.  

BTW, a good brush makes all the difference.  I tried to paint some of the tiniest areas with a really fine brush of questionable quality and ended up going back to my larger brush of good quality.  Now that I’m learning more about brushes, I’m getting a better idea of what to buy.  I’m sure a class would be helpful, but sometimes I think trial and error on your own is a better teacher.

Tomorrow comes the addition of the “risky” color!

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