Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rippit, Rippit

For those to whom it matters, this is a photo heavy post.

Once I had the 12" Lego blocks arranged to my satisfaction I started auditioning Bow Tie blocks to surround the square flimsy. Setting them straight was just too static.

So then I tried alternating them to create a scallop effect:

That held possibilities! I could have kept to one color family per side but decided to mix 'em up a bit more.

In a burst of energy and enthusiasm I put 6" Churn Dash blocks in the corners and sewed the borders to the flimsy.

The next morning I found I wasn't exactly happy with the way this looked. Those Churn Dash blocks were just too small and wimpy up against the Bow Ties. I dug around in my Parts Drawer and found some 7.5" blocks to try as cornerstones:

Better. But in order to use those I'd have to take off the Bow Ties and add 1.5" all the way around the Lego block flimsy. {sigh} I decided I would do that if I could find an appropriate print. Otherwise I would leave it as is.

First thing the next morning my seam ripper and I were hard at work.

rippit, rippit!

It was worth it in the end:

Now I'm auditioning 12" blocks for the final round to create a full/double bed quilt top.

In spite of all the blocks that size in my Parts Dept. I'm having to make some new ones. Not everything in the Parts Drawer plays nicely together. ;- )

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Quilt From the The Parts Department

Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran changed my life when they introduced the concept of a Parts Department in their collaborative quilt books. My favorite part of quilt making is probably making blocks. Well, that and the challenge of using what's on hand rather than buying fabric specifically for a project.

As a result I now have a drawer chock full of blocks and units in various sizes. I also have strips of varying widths and lengths, most of which are hanging in my studio closet. Not too long ago I spent some time making six inch liberated log cabin blocks out of the shortest of the 2.5" strips.

I put them up on the design wall as I trimmed them to size but wasn't moved to do more with them at the time. They ended up in the Parts Drawer.

Meanwhile, the shortest two inch scrap strips continued to accumulate in their little basket until it was mounded and dripping. So I finally sat down with them to make twelve inch "Lego" blocks using the Jelly Roll Race technique. Now look at the basket!

There might be enough bits left for one more 12" block but I don't need one more right now. FYI, I sewed the two inch strips together end to end until I had a single strip just over 100" long and then folded that strip over and sewed it to itself three times (to make 8 rows per block) to get a square large enough to comfortably trim to 12.5."

These are the blocks as they were finished, also haphazard on the design wall:

This batch of blocks and the wildfires burning homes to the ground in eastern Washington have motivated me to begin a new quilt to donate to someone who now has nothing to call their own. I will be donating the finished product through Jean over at Layers of Hope Quilting 911. I'm shooting for a double/full size top. These blocks will get me halfway there!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Because It's So Hot...

I'm sharing shawls!

My mother and her two sisters were all knitters. I think my mother was the most dedicated and prolific of the three. I did not get the knitting gene but fortunately my sister did. Many years ago she made this shawl for me:

She was a little shocked at how worn it was looking the last time she visited. Since then she has been on a mission to make The Perfect Shawl for me. :- ) Happily she hasn't hit upon it yet! (That means I get several shawls before she's done.)

That first effort has been wonderful but sometimes is too big and gets in the way. The next one was made of a wool and alpaca blend:

I think the pink and aqua yarn is a hand dye. I've had this one for a couple of years now and don't remember the details anymore. I especially like the lacy edging she created.

The most recent addition to my collection just arrived the other day:

This one is made from a variegated sock yarn in a color called bittersweet. The colors range from orange through red to purple. Just yummy. And look at the gorgeous knitting!

It's too bad my birthday is in the summer, otherwise I would be using this beauty daily!

Monday, July 21, 2014


I've had my laptop back for nearly a week now. Unfortunately my body hasn't been co-operating much of late. It's always something isn't it?!

Let's get right back to the chicken quilt I was working on before I dropped my laptop. I had the central feathered star surrounded by an assortment of blocks featuring chicken prints.

I remember commenting that I wasn't sure about the print I'd chosen for the sashing. I thought it might be too busy. Barbara was right; it looks fine to me now. :- )

I had to pleat the flimsy on the design wall in order to build the top out to the width I wanted for the finished quilt.

Here's what the finished flimsy looked like:

You'll notice that the blue print border does not extend all the way across the top and bottom. That's all there was!

Because the top is so busy I asked for a simple meander when my son did the quilting.

It's rare that I will choose a light color to bind a quilt but it was the best option I had in this case.

I haven't been able to get a full shot of the completed quilt yet. In the picture below you can see what I chose for the back. It's not quite the same red as what's in the front but close enough.

I finished another flimsy while the laptop was away. I'll have to show it to you in my next post. ;- )

Monday, July 7, 2014


There's good news and bad news from the Magpie's Nest. The good news is that the chicken blocks have been sewn into a flimsy and are awaiting quilting. The bad news is that I dropped my laptop on its poor head - accidentally of course! The body of the computer seems to function just fine but the connection between the guts and the screen has been compromised. It had to be shipped off to Who-Knows-Where for potential repairs and I have no idea how long it will be gone. My Dear Husband has set me up with his laptop for the time being but my abilities are limited at this point. We will return to what little normal programming there was as soon as possible. :- )  Thank you for your patience.