Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Back in Metropolis....

Not much time for blogging now that I am back to work and school. Back home in Metropolis, Supermom saw the blog for the first time yesterday. She liked her new name and it is so fitting! Thanks to Debra O' for recognizing that DJ was "Supermom". Now the secret it out to the whole world!

Blended star block #6 is posted below. This block is of medium contrast. If you are keeping track...yes I skipped #5. Happy Quilting!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today's Blended Block #4

Now to get it put back together!....

This is a piece of the concrete floor! HEAVY

Supermom is gone...& so is ALL the tile & concrete!

This is how it WAS....I am chipping away at the tile....and Supermom (with more gray hair than me) at work taking out the ceiling.

Bye-bye Supermom...see you in a few months!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Supermom leaves Sunday!

We did it! and just in time..."Supermom" leaves Sunday. All tile and concrete and drywall and squirrels nests have been removed from the bathroom. It is completely down to the studs and the roof! The electrical got capped off so we had no limitations to finish the job. It is soooo bare. We will definitely have to add some insulation before re-constructing. It took the whole day yesterday to finish up and I am sore with so much work overhead on getting the ceiling out with crow bars. It was some kind of old sheet rock stuff that was TOUGH! Today is massive clean up of debris. I really must download some photos....maybe later today. is the inspirational blended quilt block photo for today, #3. It is of medium contrast...toward the higher end of medium. If only I was working on these instead of the bathroom. But, soon!

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's Friday...No time to waste!

Today we tackle the rest of the cement floor...chipping piece by piece. Mom leaves Sunday so the time is short and I need her help and moral support on this project! We are not too happy with the stalling that is delaying hauling out of debris and our overall progress. The tile and concrete are SOOOO heavy it is hard for us women to carry it downstairs and out. But we are determined!... and if we have make 100 trips up and down the stairs carrying the stuff in paper bags to get it done, WE WILL DO IT!

Here is the lovely vision I will dwell on today (another in the series of the blended star blocks with low contrast...I just LOVE it!) I put on the grubby clothes, work gloves, mask,goggles and bandanna to protect from the dust and flying concrete debris..... I have to get a picture of that outfit posted sometime!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm showing my face again....& progress continues...

By popular request (by granny lyn), I have added my face back on the front of the blog instead of just in my profile. In the profile is the "big" picture from which I cropped this goofy face!

This week has been full of sledge hammering and prying with crow-bar to break out the tile in the shower above the hole shown in the last post. All the ceramic tile had to come out and the ceramic tile floor. Did you know they CEMENT that stuff in with a couple inches of concrete! YIKES! But we did it. Hubby and son have been hauling away the mounds of debris each night after "Supermom" (my mom in from California for a working vacation) and I tear things up! The floor pan under the tile was completely rotted as were the wood beams. Thankfully none appear load-bearing supports.

Tomorrow the professionals come for electrical and re-construction plans. (No,we DO NOT play with electricity!) I only do deconstruction!...and some re-grouting around the tub in another bathroom. Many improvements are being made! So while we work, "Supermom" listens to books on tape and I fantasize about quilting (and dread going back to work on Monday).

Above is one block in my other blended project. It is one of the blocks with high contrast. I will post another block each day or so and then some photos with many blocks together for the BEAUTIFUL blended look. Can't wait to quilt again soon!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The "In Progress" list

Earlier in the week I began a list of "in progress" quilts...Isn't that a nice euphamism? It is quite a lengthy list. I also gave a short description of where I was in the process and assigned a prioirty number to each project on a scale of 1-10. I even decided which pieces to focus attention on so they will be ready for OKC show later in the summer. How fun!....

but wait....
....Where is the lovely quilt photo to highlight the quilt progress? This photo does not look ANYTHING like a quilt......Well, that's because it's a hole in the CEILING of the beautiful front entry inside our home exposing the OLD leaky pipes that have rotted out. But the bigger thrill is knowing that the leak is from above these nice solid copper pipes and is coming from the ceramic tiled bathroom shower. That called for a 5lb sledge hammer and lots of might to tear through 2" of concrete after cracking through the "tough-as-nails" tile!
"Supermom" (my mom) from California is here to the rescue. More photos to follow...and quilting goes to the bottom of the list.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Blended Spring" Borders

Back to the needed borders for the Blended Spring quilt...It took awhile to figure out just how I would use the fabric to make borders! Just buying 2 yards of fabric left a lot of planning undone! The border still needed a tiny "stopper" (i think I will do it 1'). It took me about 15 fabric auditions until I found something in my stash that I like. I will use the new fabric to make the next border after the tiny stopper... width of the border will be based on the amount of fabric I have to work and what looks right to me. I have also decided to do the corners different than the side and top borders.

In the meantime I have sewn together some of the Teacher's Pet (dark) pieces and I am not altogether happy with the look. I laid out the pieces and arranged and re-arranged and it just looks kind of ugly! Maybe it needs to rest a few days and I will see it differently.

Friday, January 11, 2008

OKC WInter Quilt Show inspiration!

Today my good friends told me that they had an extra ticket to Elsie Campbell's lecture and trunk show on hand quilting at the OKC Winter Quilt Show. So, I jumped in my car and headed out. She was a delightful speaker and had some good tips and beautiful workmanship. At the wonderful vendors I found THE soft sage green toile that was perfect for my Blended Spring borders. YIPEE! I should have known that Piecekeepers would have just what I wanted as Blended quilts is their speciality!

There were many fun and amazing Oklahoma Centennial Quilts on display and many other quilting inspirations!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Next tasks...

Besides quilting, I want to figure out how to set up my personal in Star Trek! I think writing will help me sort out my professional career dilemma. In the meantime...I have sewed and pressed about half of the pieces for the dark quilt and I have auditioned several more fabrics for the spring blended...but to no satisfactory end yet. And, I have exercised about every other day (or more often) since Jan. 1. GO Wanda!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A new dark-colored design

While the pretty "Spring-themed" blended quilt sits awaiting some border inspiration... I have started yet another project! (and it is always so much fun to start something new!)

Perhaps influenced by the dark scenes of the Lord of the Rings movies that our family have been watching over New Year's week break...and from a stash of dark Civil war era type colors, I began cutting out a "Teacher's Pet lap quilt (67"x76") from More Laps from Fats book. This project is unusual for me because I am using a book with a pattern and am following the directions...exactly (so far). I am not sure this has ever happened before in all my years of quilting. ( many years has that been...I will have to figure that out later). Ok, well maybe I haven't done it exactly the way they say...I used some other fabric besides just fat quarters!

Anyway, following the directions made this a workable project while watching the Lord of the Rings movies because there was little brain work or creativity required for either activity. So, both activities could be accomplished at once. Since I had seen all three movies before, I did not have to watch each moment but I still paid enough attention that it took all 3 movies to cut out the whole quilt (and these are long movies). This included ironing pieces so I could cut, and stacking the pieces together so I am ready to sew. I would have begun sewing too, but the noise would have caused too much disagreement from the family...who were already dissatisfied with the one one dim corner light I had on because it "made a glare" on the screen!

Now, forevermore I will associate this movie and this project. This dual approach was a good use of time, free (well at least the movies - checked out from the local library) and for the most part everyone was happy. I was not bored or stir crazy, got to "quilt" and was productive, while they felt I was "participating" with a family activity so we could all share in the stories and discussions about the symbolism, themes and plots and all that meaningful dialog...which we have avidly done. All the high school English teachers would be proud. Next to get sewing...
and listening to the conclusion of C.S. Lewis book "Out of the Silent Planet." I might need earphones to listen in case the sewing machine is too loud! LOL

Friday, January 4, 2008

Blended progress

This is my first attempt with officially "blending" a quilt as inspired by Marsha McCloskey's book "Blended Quilts II" (2004) "Stepping Stones" pattern. Of course I can never make a quilt like any pattern so it was re-figured and re-sized to fit the amount of background fabric that I was working with. Plus, the borders are yet undetermined..many fabric auditions have not made the cut!

Maybe showing this here will help me work on it more...or maybe you have some ideas to help me finish the borders... so I have included a photo with the basic diagram made the old-fashioned way with grid paper and colored pencils. (But, I did custom-make and download the grid paper from the Internet so I could have it the size I wanted and "on point.")

The fabric with the green background above the sketching is one of my fav's for more border. I would like a toile but have not found the right colors to blend. Has anyone seen a nice soft green or white background multi-colored soft pastel toile anywhere?...I guess that is as close as I will come to "cheating" from one who I would call a "vintage blended quilter" --using what I have on hand....not unlike the gals in years past who made beauty out of ordinary and even out of ugly! Plus...I do have a HUGE beautiful stash to work with. There is no excuse!
I just need to be more creative with the vision.
Happy Quilting!

"Sweet Cantaloupe"

Here is the first block I hand appliqued of the Piece O'Cake Design, Inc. pattern "Simply Delicious" (1996). I made it in summer 2006. I am working on my 8th block these days. The patterns have been out of print and before the designers made all the patterns available as downloads, I spent a few weeks tracking down the patterns one or two at a time from quilt shops across the country (online of course!)

Living and breathing quilting it is a real blog that I created and even put my own quilt (and face) out for the world to see. (of course I have just usurped a few hours doing it that I could have been quilting...or more likely SLEEPING! it is 3am)

Quilting really is a journey for me, of creativity and process. Finishing something is not the ultimate goal, yet I really admire those quilters who have made so many quilts. Instead I savor the envisioning of the quilt, the design, auditioning of fabrics and arrangements. The challenge of figuring out what fabric or element or design direction will the quilt go next...

This also means that I get nowhere fast. And it challenges me to find just the right "look" or "feeling" from the item in progress...dig through my stash. This brings me to the love of "blended" quilts. It is all about these elements and pushing outside the box of any designer line of fabric and using "ugly" fabric pieces to make a beautiful whole.

Next, for the blog, I will have to figure out how to make a slide show to "show" off my Simply Delicious applique blocks. They are truly a labor of love. I don't work on them often but when I do it is so addicting and fun, restful and enjoyable.

Too bad I have to go back to real life (and to sleep) and do all the things a person must do in that other uninspired day to day life. Dreaming quilts and scheming what I will do next puts a happy spark in my mind. Ahhh, the quilting that I do in my head!
I am so inspired by quilters who have time and knolwedge how to blog too! I want to catch up with this technology and get connected to the bigger wonderful quilting world. This is will be my New Year's adventure!