Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I had no idea it had been so long since I had posted. I've been working away on my swoon blocks and on my For The Love of Solids 2 swap projects. I've been avoiding my 4x5 bee blocks and last night I made my first Dresden circle. Anyway, I really wanted share my swoon blocks before now, but because I didn't sew them together until the very end, I didn't have much to show. the swoon block is supposed to have 2 fabrics, but I wanted to make mine with 4. However, I didn't want to get confused about what was what or overwhelmed with choices, so I made ever block, just as the directions say, but I didn't sew the sub blocks together. Each Swoon block is made up of 9 sub blocks, which range from a single piece of fabric to many pieces. You'll see what I mean when you look at my blocks.

Here are all 9 blocks finished but not sashed. I have any idea for the sashing and I need to work out the math.
I'm so happy with the these turned out.  I bought the swoon kit from the Fat Quarter shop and then switched out the white background for the grey and a few of the directional prints for some of the larger scale prints.

I'm continually amazed at how different this block looks with different fabrics.  The flickr group has been so inspirational and supportive, that I'm going to keep going and do another quilt along with them.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Quote from Ira Glass on Creativity

A friend posted this on facebook this morning and I had to post it here, so I won't forget it.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
― Ira Glass

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Non-Traditional Materials

This is not anything I did, but my mom sent me this video and it is crazy.  I'm assuming everyone who stumbles across this blog is into textiles, so here is one for the record book.  This is a short video (that takes forever to load) about a pair of designers who made a garment out of gold orb spider silk.  The color is amazing and totally natural.  So open up the video and go make yourself a cup of tea and come back and watch it.  The women who do the embroidery are the really stars.

Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley discuss Golden Spider Silk from Victoria and Albert Museum on Vimeo.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wonky Stars

I'm working on a scrap project for the Scrap Attack Challenge.  I'm making more wonky stars.  They are a great thing to do with little scraps.  So far I have 67 stars worth, which is 335 blocks that are 2.5 on a side.  I can't even really see dent in the scrap bins, which is disheartening.  I have no idea how to know when I'm done.  Should I do one of every fabric in the bins, until I really have done them all?  That's what I've been doing so far.  I'm not cutting yardage for this project, so there are many, many fabrics in the stash that won't be in this quilt and there are some scraps that I don't have enough of to make a star, so they won't be included either.  This is one of those times I wish I had a design wall.  I have no photos to show you because the all the pieces of each star are safety pined together and as much as I love you guys, I'm not spreading them out on the floor for a picture.

I just cut up another half yard of white to use as the background for the stars.  I've finished the neutral bin and the pink bin and am half way through the blue/green/purple bin.  I've done a few from the warm bin, but that will be a big job too.  As I'm sorting through the scraps I'm trying to put the same fabric pieces back together and I'm trying to be realistic about what I will use and what I won't.  If it isn't more than an inch wide I'm putting it in a box to give to Baby Girl's preschool.  If I don't like it, I'm putting in the preschool box.  If there isn't even enough for one wonky star and I know that's the last of that fabric, I'm putting it in the preschool box.  Did I mention I've hardly even made a dent in the scrap bins?

Just so this isn't a picture less post, here is the Christmas scrap wonky star pillow.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Catch me I'm about to swoon!

I got intrigued by the QAL that is happening on Flickr for the Swoon quilt pattern.  My New Years Resolution was to try more complicated piecing.  The Swoon kit on Fat Quarter shop was made up with Ruby.  I had it in my cart for the longest time and then it went on clearance and I debated some more.  I finally decided to get it and they were sold out.  I called and asked if they found anymore kits in the back, I'd like one.  Sure enough, they found me one.

The first change I made was to swap out the background.  The kit came with Kona white and instead I bought 4.5 yards of Bella Steel.  I like the way bright fabrics pop against a dark background and mostly white quilts make me nervous.

Here are my first two blocks.

I found a picture on the flickr group that was done with 4 fabrics instead of two and I liked the way it shows off the piecing better.  After all, if you are going to go to all this trouble, you should really show off your work.  I figured out that I could build all the base components and if I delayed sewing them together I could swap them around to get the look of the block in the flickr group without having to tax my brain trying to keep things straight.

So here are the blocks with the corners swapped.
Now I'm not sure which I like better.  I would mix the components around among the 9 blocks, so there won't be any 2 blocks with the same 4 fabrics.  Thoughts?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bucket list update

I can't believe it's February.  January pretty much sucked, except for the week in Vegas, which was only ok.  The Wee Monsieur was really sick.  We thought he might have appendicitis, but it was only a virus according to the ER.  Then I ended up having semi emergency surgery, I'm almost recovered.  Then Baby Girl and The Hubby got the stomach virus, but at least we knew it wasn't appendicitis.  12 hours after they came down with the stomach bug, Hubby and I flew to Vegas for a conference.  Hubby didn't enjoy the first few days and my mother, certainly didn't enjoy being left with a vomiting lethargic 3 year old.  Everyone survived, however.  Then I was rushing around to get ready for a craft fair.  I made 300 bows in a week, I was somewhat behind schedule do to the surgery.  Thursday night before the craft fair on saturday it got canceled.  One might wonder why it would get canceled.  The reason given was the weather.  Um, we live in Iowa, why bother scheduling anything in February if you would consider canceling for the weather.  For the record it drizzled lightly on and off on Saturday.  I hope they feel dumb.  That brings us right up to the present, as I'm writing this post, I'm waiting to hear from Hubby, who took Wee Monsieur to the ER, again, this time for stitches.  He fell in his room and whacked his chin on a toy treasure chest.  We didn't think it was too bad, until we got the blood cleaned up and saw that he split his chin open.

I've done virtually nothing quilty until yesterday, when I started cutting into my stack of fat quarters for my Swoon quilt, but that's another post.  I've done some more wonky star points as leader enders too.

Here is the bucket list.

Swoon- Started cutting and have 2 blocks partially assembled.

Postage Stamp Quilt-  haven't started, haven't uncovered the fabric from it's hiding place.

HST-  so many options, so little time

Drunkards Path-  not yet

Improv stripes bed spread-  Must finish this soon.

Interlocking wonky stars wall hanging-  30 or so stars, debating one star from each fabric, or more than one

Dutch windmills

Rainbow charm squares

Flying Geese

Perfect the zippered pouch

New Patterns- working on 2 different ideas, have prototypes, but need to work out the kinks.