Friday, June 22, 2018

Perception

I made a couple of test four patch diamonds. On the shelf, the not blue fabric looked cream colored. Here, against the silver of my ironing table, it looks decidedly gray.

BIG LESSON ABOUT COLOR: Colors change depending on what colors they are next to.

To wit: I like the blue. The gray / silver next to it.. not so much.  And I'm not thrilled with the cream of the red violet either.

Hmm. Guess I have to go shopping.

Oh gee darn.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wrong!

I find it so amusing - we ALL know when it's WRONG, and OMG, this geometric so totally was! It looked gold when it was next to the others, but up on the wall it was a sick green.

Nope!

And although there are a lot of really beautiful big prints here, the dark ones just didn't fit.

So I cut some more of the lighter blocks, and this is looking OK. I think the tiny four patch diamonds will have to be bright yellows, oranges, maybe a warm red, and some blues and greens. We'll see.

More work ahead!




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Diamond Start

When I haven't got a project (like a quilt) going on I get cranky. Not cranky angry, but I feel lost and untethered, and I don't like that feeling.  So I went into the sewing studio and looked at the fabrics I've been buying for the quilt for the Diamond Tutorial I want to write. I've been adding to them so I have a big selection.

I shuffled them around and realized I had a good selection to make a Diamond quilt that could be viewed as "warm" or "gold" or "orange."  I want to make (and show) a quilt that is user friendly that quilters would see and want to make, so I have to make something that has a lot of appeal. I suppose I could probably re-make my mother's quilt, but I have photos I will use of that one, so I should be fine.

I started cutting the big diamonds and put them up on the design wall. I've made enough of these by now to know I don't need a lot of diamonds of any one fabric, so I cut two or three of some fabrics I thought would work. I have plenty of fabric, and can always cut more. Besides, things happen on the design wall that affect those decisions, and I need to notice those.

So I am getting started.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Dairy Cream with Sprinkles

It's all done, the binding is on and I think it looks terrific!

It's a mostly cream colored quilt with brightly colored small diamonds running up and down.

Here you can get a better look at the striped binding.

I will be writing a formal tutorial about how to make these diamond quilts, but it won't be ready for a few months yet.

In the meantime, you can look at the diamond quilts here and here.


I've also updated several of this blog's "Pages." "Not Yet Quilted," "Diamond Quilts" and "Quilts and Their Owners" have all been updated. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Binding Dairy Cream

I'm  pretty sure Donna at Quilted Threads was shocked when I picked this colorful diagonal stripe for the binding of my Dairy Cream diamonds quilt.

Believe it or not, I don't usually like to use fabric for the binding that is in the quilt already. Reason: because if the binding touches a piece of fabric on the quilt that is the same, it looks like one area is bleeding into the other. I want to keep them separate.

For this quilt, I wanted something mostly white or cream, and a color, but I couldn't find anything that really made my heart sing.  I found this pretty stripe in the kid's section, and I knew it was perfect. The reason? In this case, the binding was selected because it is perfect for who the quilt is FOR. My mother, who's an artist and loves color. And the stripe was happy.

And when I joined the binding strips, I did this DELIBERATELY.  I like the little bit of zing it provides for the viewer who will notice it.

My Mother is so eager for the quilt she told me I could machine sew the binding down on the front, and not to do it by hand, so this will be finished very soon.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day

My DIL took this picture of my son and granddaughter yesterday. It instantly became one of my favorites.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Little Retail Therapy

I finally got the studio cleaned up enough to work in it again.

I added extra fabric all around the gigantic slashed squares block I made for the backing of the pink slashed squares quilt (because long arm quilters need it...)

and then I put the quilt over it so you can see it really is big enough.

Then I did the calculations for the backing of the other two Slashed Squares quilts and determined I needed four yards of fabric for the back of each of them.  Hmm. I don't have four yards of anything that could work.

Think, Lynne, think.

So I looked at the clock, gathered the flimsies and drove myself to Quilted Threads where I chose

this big print for the back of

this Slashed Squares quilt and

this one for the mini Slashed Squares quilt, Jigsaw Puzzle.

Woo Hoo!  That's done!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Oh Say, Can You See?

The other day after I showed off my new glasses, my friend Mary told me I should write a post about how a quilter knows when she needs new glasses. It's a fair point.

Before I developed arthritis in my dominant hand, I used to do finely detailed pencil drawings, specifically portraits. To do that, I needed to SEE and to SEE I needed good glasses, so I had plenty of motivation to ask my optometrist if I could get a custom pair of bifocals so I could see what I was drawing without tilting my head up and down. Ordinary bifocals didn't allow me to do that.

"Of course" he said, "Just measure how far away something is you want to see and we'll go from there."

Now anybody with bifocals knows how expensive they are, but let's face it, if you need to SEE to work, then why would you avoid the expense? It's like any other tool you need to do your job. The best tools are worth the cost.

My new glasses (above) are "average" bifocals. Good for driving and not so close work. They're fine when I am working on my laptop when it is on the table, but not so good when the laptop is in my lap. For that I use my "quilting glasses," below.

these are my "quilting" glasses.
My quilting glasses are designed for middle distance, and close distance. They are good to see anything out to the ends of my arms. They are great for sewing and for teaching. I can't see long distance with them, so I can't drive with them, and they are actually better for reading than my "normal" bifocals. They are great for hand sewing.  And yes, when I got them I figured out just how far I sat from my sewing machine, just how far away my cutting and ironing tables were when I worked, and brought those measurements to my optometrist, and we talked about what I needed. (Essentially that was where the "line" dividing one distance from the other would be on the lenses.) I guess they're more like the bottom two areas of trifocals. Thing is, they are worth every penny I paid for them.

So if you are struggling to SEE with your glasses, it's worth your while to find something that works. A lot of people ask why I don't buy the inexpensive "cheaters" you find at grocery stores. Fact is, they don't work for me. I need more than one prescription, I need two. And besides, I think "cheaters" are (for the most part) ugly as sin.

I'm always amazed at what folks will put up with. Most of us ladies are familiar with how uncomfortable an ill-fitting bra can be, but how many of us just buy them off the shelf instead of going someplace to get properly fitted? (Not me, I found a great bra place and I am a believer.) I'm always surprised that women put up with making quilts on dining room tables in rooms with poor lighting, and cheap sewing machines, and wobbly ironing boards designed for ironing clothes, not quilts, yet their husbands have table saws, snowblowers and riding lawnmowers.

And about lighting...

A couple of years ago I bought a small Ott Lite to use when I hand sew the binding on my quilts. Glasses are one thing, but good lighting is another thing that will make your life a LOT easier. One of the things I adore about Quilted Threads, my all time favorite quilt shop, is that the lighting is bright daylight, not ordinary fluorescent. When I moved into the house I live in now, the first thing I did was bring myself to the hardware store to buy daylight bulbs to replace every single bulb and lamp. What a difference. (Although I do have to install spots in my studio for my design wall. I hope that's a project I can do before the end of this year.)

So, all my quilting pals... Can you see?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Tickled Pink

The Tickled Pink diamond quilt is all finished. I sewed the binding while watching the finals of the tennis at Roland Garros. 

I put the quilt on the table to see what it looks like. When July comes, I'll put an extra leaf in the table so the top will be bigger and more of the quilt will be visible. This looks so pretty and feminine (duh). It will be such a lovely tablescape when the table is set with white dishes and silverware.


I'm also a bowl freak. I found this in the local Home Goods one evening. I had stopped at the grocery store in the same mall for something I needed for a recipe and I thought I'd cruise over to HG to see if they had anything interesting.  As soon as I saw this pink flowered bowl I picked it up and headed toward the cash register. Pink bowls are kinda rare.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Anthony Bourdain



I was shocked on Friday morning, when my phone vibrated with the news that Anthony Bourdain was dead. I think I checked my phone fifty times that day, hoping against hope that I'd find it wasn't true.

You all know I love to cook. Many of you know that I love to read. When people ask what I read I often say that I will read virtually anything that is well written, and dammit, Anthony Bourdain could write!

I first heard of him when I read his book Kitchen Confidential. I was terrified and thrilled in equal measure. I read most of his books after that, and watched him on television whenever I could. He cracked open the food world like no one else. He made me feel better to be "just" a home cook.


this from CNN...
While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached his work.

"We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions," he said. "We tend to get some really astonishing answers."
The world has lost an honest and unique voice. I am bereft. 
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources. Here’s what you can do when a loved one is severely depressed.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Bigs


I'm planning for the next tutorial, which will be the Diamonds quilts, and so I am planning a quilt to make for the how-to pictures.

So I have been shopping for fabrics with BIG prints!

I haven't really got a plan yet, but I'll figure it out.

 I've got a lot of options.


I'm gonna fussy the heck out of those "panels."


Friday, June 8, 2018

Binding

I've been neglecting sewing the binding on the Tickled Pink diamonds quilt, so that's what I'll be working on the next few days. After that, I'll add the binding on the Dairy Cream with Sprinkles quilt.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

New Glasses

After four years, I finally replaced my glasses. The prescription had changed very slightly, but after four years, my current glasses were wearing out, so I finally got new ones. Aren't these spiffy? They aren't for everybody, but they sure are for me!

I love glasses. For some ladies, it's shoes, but for me it's eyeglasses and handbags. If you do a search on my blog for glasses, you can see some of my other, equally different, glasses.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The One Block

Now that I have three Slashed Square flimsies completed, it's time to make the backing for them. Since I had so much pink fabric lying around, I decided to start with that one first. But I didn't have enough of any one fabric, so it meant I had to make a pieced backing. As it happened, I didn't have much more than half yard pieces of anything I felt would work.


But then I got an idea.

 How about if I made the backing one big Slashed Square block, but make it BIG! So I worked out some dimensions in my sketchbook, and then started laying fabric out on the floor.

Since I wasn't quite sure how much of what fabrics I had or where they'd go, I did a quick little mockup...

 I thought it looked pretty good, so I kept going.

It was coming along, but that big middle square was lost. I'd need to replace it.

 The more I worked, the less I liked the littlest square too.

Now, this LOOKS easy, but I gotta tell ya, cutting blocks 16 x 32 inches isn't easy. There are no templates that big, and "constructing" a piece that size using cutting rulers and hoping your pieces comes out with four 90 degree corners is a recipe for a mess.

But when it works, it's a hell of an effect. This big block is almost the same size of the finished flimsy, so I have to add fabric on all four sides for the longarm quilter, but that's not going to be a problem.


(You should click, then double click the last photo to see what I used for the smallest square.)



If you want to make some more normal sized slashed squares blocks for your own quilt, you can get my tutorial here at my Etsy shop. It's an instant download so you can get started right away.