Thursday, June 26, 2014

Raffle quilt update…..

Last week I spent much of my free time piecing on the Guild raffle quilt, finishing the center section on Tuesday……


I am pleased with the sparkle that all of the fabrics brings!!  Now I needed to start thinking about adding some borders.   Since I had SO many extra half-square triangles, I began planning to use those in the border.  

I headed to my computer and starting playing with EQ, coming up with these three ideas……


I took these to the Charity  Bee on Wednesday morning and a decision was made to use the first design.

We then started thinking about the inner border and what fabrics to use.   We tried lots of different colors and never did really come to a consensus….


We finally decided that I would go ahead and piece the border this week and next Wednesday we would all bring fabrics that we think might work.    There are a few Turquoise fabrics and we have even considered doing something like that.

I think that part of the problem is the narrowness of this border, but it pretty much has to be that way in order for the outside blocks to fit.

My thinking is that I am going to be cursing as I sew together 180 HST’s!!!

More to come…….

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Another project!!….


First of all, piecing has begun on the Guild Raffle quilt…..

photo 3

I have actually pieced 6 blocks, but managed to do one backwards!!!


Secondly, the creative group that I belong to is getting ready to meet again this next week and we are supposed to have made a start on our next project…..

One of our members, Deb, gave each of us this fun little book…..



Our challenge was to pick out one of the quilts shown in the book and use it as a jumping off point to try something new and exciting. 

There were several pieces that caught my eye, but the one that I have decided on is this one…..



If you have been reading this blog for very long, you will know that I am NOT big on handwork, so I think that is why this one has appealed to me.

I used the internet to research different methods of piecing the hexagons, first coming on this blog….


…..and then checking out Bonnie Hunter’s version……


I found a wonderful website where you can print ALL different sizes of hexagon patterns……


I printed some on paper and some on cardstock just so I could see which one was easier to work with……


I pulled out my 2 inch squares and picked out a few to practice  with.   I prepared some of them with the basting stitch on the back of the patch and some with the stitching on the front….


The final flower was finished in about an hour and I am pleased with how it looks……DSC02446

I decided that I really like using paper patterns better as I can sew thru the paper when I am preparing the hexagons and that seems easier to me, even though it means that I have to remove the basting after the fact.   Also, the paper gives a softer edge to use when putting the hexies together.


SO….now I have to decide exactly what I am going to MAKE with my hexies.  I like the idea of it being a bit more artsy and not just another Grandmother’s Flower Garden.   I am thinking about maybe doing blacks and greys, or maybe blues and greens, or how about a rainbow of colors…..AACK…..too many choices!!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Indian night at the Arnold house…..

Michael and I have found a renewed interest in Indian food for two reasons….. firstly I have a friend in the quilt guild named Nupur (who has a wonderful blog) and we have had her family over for dinner a couple of times and have enjoyed sitting at her table as well!!!    Secondly, we have had it confirmed that we will be visiting India for 5 to 6 weeks in 2015…..four weeks in Bangalore (while Michael works)  and 10-14 days traveling around the Northern parts.

Anyway…..Nupur had given us the name of an Indian market in Atlanta and we decided to drive over for a visit on Monday.   The “Patel Market” was a large store and I have just discovered that it is part of a chain of stores.

We enjoyed just walking thru the market, ogling at all of the food that we didn’t know anything about.   Then we decided to start buying stuff, starting with a series of bottled sauces for main courses and rice.  We also found a bag containing 4 HUGE newly cooked pieces of Naan bread…..


Finally, we found a funky vegetable called “Dudhi”……


The name is what caught our eye first and Michael googled it and found out that it was a gourd similar to a Zucchini squash so we decided to buy one and try it.

Tonight was the night to try the first meal…..

We started with chicken and “Patak’s Simmer Sauce” in a Vindaloo flavor….DSC02448

Michael cooked the chicken and added the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes…..


I spent some time looking up how to cook the Dudhi and found that it is mostly used as a filler in meatless “meat balls” so I wasn’t sure exactly how to cook it as a side.  We finally decided to  slice it, slather it with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper and put it into a hot oven to roast for about 15 minutes……


The final step was to heat the Naan in a cast iron skillet…..


It was a wonderful meal…..


The Dudhi had a rind on it so we ended up cutting out the centers to eat.   They were very tasty and were an excellent accompaniment to the spicy Vindaloo sauce.

A GREAT first Indian adventure!!!!   And best yet….there are leftovers!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Next summer project…..

Every two years, our guild makes a quilt which is raffled to raise money for our charity projects and our educational projects.   This year we have decided to make a scrap quilt and asked guild members to provide Four-Patches and Half-Square Triangle blocks to be used.

I… a moment of craziness…..offered to do the piecing for the top.

SO, I now have hundreds of patches, all ready to be put into a quilt…..


We always ask for the pieces to be made a bit too big so the first task is to trim each of the patches down to 4.5 inches.

That task done, I started thinking about different ways that we could set the blocks together and came up with three ideas.

The first was a quilt from one of Bonnie Hunter’s books.  The idea here will be to use the blocks to create an unusual, possibly asymmetrical pattern…..


The second is a Jewel Box design…..DSC02433

And I don’t know the name of this third one, but the idea came out of one of Bonnie Hunter’s books as well…….DSC02432

Personally, I like this third version better, but will take all of these ideas to the Charity Bee tomorrow and let them make the final decision.

Then it will be on to the piecing.… favorite part!!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Challenges Revealed…..

I thought that you might enjoy seeing some of the other 8-point star challenges that were shown on Tuesday night……

Sylvia showed these two…..


She has written up a pattern for her “artichoke” quilt block and it is available on her website…..


Deb used some magical colors for hers…..


Fay made her “Shades of Black” table runner  (sorry about the bad photo)….DSC02355

while Terri worked large and wonderful……

Pat usually makes two quilts and she outdid herself this time.   The first one is reminiscent of forest fires thru a window……


and her second one is called “New Growth”.  It is heavily embroidered and this photo does not do it justice……DSC02359

We all loved the bright colors in Diane’s wonderful quilt……


Denise made a great table runner just in time for the 4th of July!!…..


Barbara, the designer of the challenge, made a symbolic piece using symbols for Islam and Judaism……


I did miss getting a photo of the first quilt, but it was a pieced block with an applique flower in it.


It was a great challenge and was fun to see everyone’s interpretations.

I have found that, if I have time to work on a piece, I LOVE to do challenges and cant wait for the next one to be presented……

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

But for a name…..

….the quilt is finished, including hanging sleeve!!!


Now I just have to find a name for it!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Caution….quilting in progress….

On Friday, I added the borders, made the back and started with the quilting.  

The border fabric that I decided on was a hand-dyed , very dark piece with small amounts of blue and purple in it.


I normally put a very “busy” fabric on the back so that you cant see the quilting, but decided that maybe I WANTED the quilting to show….


Hope I am happy with that decision when it is all over!!!

So I am currently quilting away……


….hopefully I can get it finished tomorrow!!!  Although, I am not sure exactly what it looks like to take a FINISHED project to a Challenge reveal!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Applique finished…..

Today I put the finishing touches (almost) on the quilt top.   I say almost because I have decided to make one more small change to the very bottom of the picture….something just doesn’t look right and I want to play with it a bit more.

The biggest task for today was to add the 8-point star blocks that are required for the guild challenge.   I thought that this was going to be an easy task, but I had a hard time deciding which fabrics to use.   I kept adding different colors and not being happy with any of them……


….then it dawned on me that the blocks could be rotated so that the diagonal set would be on top……DSC02338

Much better!!

In the end, I used a series of different fabrics to create the tiles and the final piece looked like this……


I normally don’t put a border on my “picture” quilts, but I think that this one needs to be reigned in with a border.  I have a piece of hand dyed fabric that is mostly black with some small lines of blue here and there and I think that I will use that for the border.

Hopefully tomorrow I can get the top finished and get it basted and ready to start quilting…..will see if I get that far!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It’s detail time…..

Today, I spent about 4 hours just fixing small problems and adding some details to the piece. 

I decided that I wanted to change one of the window designs so ended up drawing a “floweresque” design instead of the circles in the original photo……


The design doesn’t pop much, but I think that I kind of like the subtleness of it.  And, if I don’t, I will add some more pop with the quilting.

This is where I ended for the day…..


And I have to ask…..does anyone else work in this sort of mess????…..


I mentioned last time that I still needed to piece the 8 pointed star blocks, and one of my fellow guild members (Sylvia) reminded me that I didn’t HAVE to piece it, but could applique it instead…..good thought!!   By the way, click HERE to see Sylvia’s entry in the challenge.  I LOVE her creativity!!

Oh, and one more thing…..have I mentioned that this has to be finished by next Tuesday???   Yikes!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Turning the corner

For the last few days, I have been completely unhappy with the way that the Dome quilt was coming.  I have moved fabrics back and forth, recut pieces two and three times and took copious numbers of photographs, hoping that I would be magically inspired.

At this point, I had just about had it……DSC09153

I was starting to work on the arches and was thinking about using green for the supports, but just felt that it would be too blah.

So, I started looking thru fabrics and came up with this one piece….a hand-dye that was half peachy and half grey-brown.   I then found a few other pieces that complimented that piece…..and I was off again….

The unfortunate part was that I only had a small piece of this inspiration fabric, and I can tell you that it takes courage to cut this piece out, knowing that I don’t have any more


I did some stupid things while cutting this fabric, including cutting a couple of pieces too small and having to piece some together because the color change happened in the wrong place.   But I have finished with it and have a few inches to spare!!

After several hours of cutting, previewing, discarding, and cutting again, I felt like I needed to see where the borders were going to be, so I added some black fabric around the sides to give me an idea of how the finished project would look.  At this point, I actually started to like what I had done!!


There are still a LOT of  details that need to be added or changed in some way, but I think that it will work now!!!

If you remember, the purpose of this quilt was to fit into a guild challenge where we have to use this 8 pointed star…..


….and you might well ask where that block will go.

The plan is to put 8 of those blocks into the one open arch……will see how hard it will be to piece this block in a 3 inch size!!!

At least I can go to bed happy!!!

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