Thursday, March 31, 2011


Using my lightbox, I inked the label, onto a piece of the lightest hand-dyed fabric, using Prismacolor Pigma pens.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


No this is not about football.

The bottom half is done.

Today I got the left side of the top done.

It gets difficult to handle when it gets this big.  But...the bigger it gets the sooner it's done.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I got a little less than half of the quilt back done.  I pinned that part to the bottom of the work wall.  It's the part from the leftover-block-row down.  
I put the rest of the plain squares up and just moved them around a little to get the basic layout of the colors.  I need to tweak it still, I see.
I reorganized all the leftover pieces so I can find them easier.
Then, I went to work on a different project.

I'll be back.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I redid the fabrics, this time reading the directions first.  Always a good idea.

Just as a reminder - here's a comparison from the first batch:

I cut up the fabrics and started putting them up on the wall:

I came back the next day with the realization that I didn't have enough fabric.  I have a lot of scraps leftover from the top.  So, I started adding them.  I'm stuck in a grid.  That's how my mind works, I guess.  I like grids.  Besides, we've been talking and thinking about maps lately.

I sewed all the extra blocks together in one long row and stuck it up in the middle.  Then I started on the upper left and started sewing things together.  There's a lot of blank spots to fill up yet.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


First time we've ever had lunch at the Five Spot on Queen Anne.  We had to wait about 20 minutes, but it was worth it.  The theme was "Tornado Alley".  There was some great art on the walls, including a great painting of a lonely road with a Spam billboard and the most beautiful clouds.  There was a painting of Dorothy and the Witch, and there were photos of tornadoes all over.   There was even a twirling sculpture of a tornado in the middle of the restaurant.  For dessert you could get "The Flying Monkey" with chocolate, caramel, banana cream and nuts.  We resisted.


This painting has been on my easel since February.  I've been messing with it off and on since.  If you look at the progress pictures you'll see I was not happy with it for a while.

So, I've been puttering.  I added some colored paper, then added some actual petals from the roses.

I had to abandon it for a time while I worked one week, then we went out of town for a week, then it was back to work for a week.  By that time the roses were long dead and Darrell had taken the black board I was using in the composition for it's intended purpose.  Needless to say, I was working without reference.

This week I got out my pastels and used those - then I sealed the pastels in with matte medium - which changed the colors.  But, it added some interesting texture and I found the medium will 'melt' the pastels and you can use them as paint.

So, here it is, finished (or not).  This is this year's Valentine's Day Flower painting, as is.

Ten roses - ten years.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I decided I wanted to dye my own fabric for the back of the busy Denver quilt.

I got out this great new book I got recently - 

Fabric Dyer's Dictionary: 900+ Colors, Specialty Techiniques, The Only Dyeing Book You'll Ever Need!

Great book, but I didn't read all of the important parts before I started so....

I thought I was using an awful lot of dye....

I was!  After I had the fabric in the bags with the dye solution, it looked a little darker than I wanted.  So, I went back and read the directions.  Oops.

The fabrics turned out beautiful, but they are not what I wanted.  

So, today, I actually read the instructions and then started again.   I will post the results tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


 Finished sewing the rows, and sewing the rows together today.  Tomorrow I'll start on the back.

See progress photos at:

Monday, March 14, 2011


I went to a local Stamp Collecting Shop and bought a bunch of old unused stamps and went a little nuts on my Rabbit postcards.  I figured they needed some added value.  

Good luck on your journey Rabbits!

See progress photos here:

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Putting blocks on the wall and moving them around...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


We went to Boston and then Manchester, Connecticut.  Darrell was teaching a class in Manchester (Boston was the vacation part of the trip). While he was busy making money (that paid for the trip) I was on my own for two days.  So, I went fabric shopping with the intent being to make a quilt commemorating the trip.  

As I drove around, from quilt shop to quilt shop, I looked at the scenery and absorbed the colors.  Then while buying fabric, I tried to buy prints and colors that reflected what I saw.

I must say, the GPS machine made my mission so much easier.  I just programmed all of the quilt shop addresses into it, hit the 'optimize' button.  It reorganized them, and then I just drove where it told me to go.  I was on a lot of secondary roads and saw some wonderful scenery.  

When I took these pictures I was trying to capture the colors of the landscape.

First stop, Quilters Dream in Willimantic, CT.  

It was a very nice shop set in an old house on a corner of what appeared to be a main street.  They have a great selection of fabrics, books, lots of patterns and sample quilts on the walls.  This is where I picked my 'focus fabric' - a fabric I would use to take into the other quilt stores and try to pull colors from.  I picked a fabric that was a little vintage looking and I also grabbed a group of 8 fat quarters that are reminiscent of 'Colonial'.  I was thinking I'd try to reflect some of the history of the area also.  Below is the fabric, the large piece across the bottom is the focus fabric.

 Oh, and I'll add that I bought a yard of the focus fabric, everything else will be half yards, except for the set of 'vintage' fabrics, which are fat quarters (on the left).

Next stop was in Glastonbury, Close to Home Sewing Center.

I was a little worried when I saw the outside of this place in a strip mall.  But inside, I was pleasantly surprised.  The front of the store is dedicated to Home Dec and selling blinds.  But, the rear of the store is a wonderful selection of quilting fabrics.  The people working there were very friendly and helpful.  I found a collection of William Morris fabrics that I had a hard time keeping my hands off - but I did find three that fit into the theme.  It is a great store and here is what I bought there:

Next stop didn't fit into the quilt shop category, but when planning this online I took what I found.  I didn't realize until I walked into the store at Rocky Hill.  It is called Affordable Fabrics, and that's probably because everything in the store is only $1.99!  See the sign in the window on the left?

The catch is you have to buy one yard minimum.  They have mostly fashion fabrics, but I did find a few cottons I could live with and one questionable one, but I love the colors, it's the one on the right below.

Next up is Lisa's Clover Hill Quilts in Berlin.  Berlin Connecticut, that is.

Another great quilt store with a very nice selection of fabrics, I had a hard time controlling myself.  She has a great selection of batiks.  I wanted to get more than I did, but I don't know if batiks go with colonial...?  Here's what I limited myself to:

The next stop seemed a little farther off than the rest, it's in Simsbury.  It was a lovely drive out there and there are these fantastic looking huge Sycamore trees lining the street as I got near the shop.  They were so beautiful, silver and white, and majestic. 

The quilt shop, Sew Inspired,  is located inside a small shopping mall which is mostly restaurants.  It's a wonderful store, they have a very fine selection of fabrics.  I think I'm getting farther from 'colonial' and more towards what I like.  

The people were very nice and gave me a shopping bag with the store's name on it.  They said I was the customer that had traveled the farthest that day!  And it's a good thing they did, because there wasn't room in the suitcase for all this fabric and I ended up carrying it all home in the bag!

That was all my travels for Saturday, but Sunday there was one more shop, in Vernon called Quilting By The Yard.

This place was something else.  It has a really fantastic selection of fabrics, but they are all over the place.  They are leaning against the racks, lined up out into the aisle ways, making it hard to maneuver around or see anything for that matter.  They have a huge selection of batiks, but they were all disheveled every which way.  The gal said it was because they were on sale (20% off) and people had been buying them like crazy.  But, all the shelves of the other fabrics were the same way.  While I was there I wanted so badly to start straightening things up!  Old habits, I guess!  I even thought about asking them if I could hang and just put things away, but decided against it - they'd think I was just nuts.  Don't get me wrong - I loved the store and highly recommend it.  It's just quirky.  I think I found more to buy here than anywhere!

Well, that's my fabric frenzied weekend.  Stay tuned for the Connecticut Quilt updates.  Already there are ideas buzzing around my head.