Saturday, September 23, 2017

Embrace Hope

Did you go grocery shopping this morning? I usually do mine on Saturday mornings. Often I've set out my sourdough starter to rise so I can make some bread later in the day, and I'm always planning my menus and lunches for the upcoming week. I always make a pot of beans and cook some brown rice or farro to make dinners easier in the week ahead.

If I didn't have my kitchen, I'd be bereft. Nothing grounds me like cooking. I have so much sympathy for the victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the people of Mexico City.  Penzey's has offered a $50 gift card for only $25.  You can order a gift Card of Hope for $25 Penzey's will match that $25 and give $50 of spices and seasonings of their choice to someone who lost their kitchen through the recent climate disasters. You can click here to order a card or two or three.

You don't think $50 will put much of a dent in the spice cabinet? I didn't spend much more than that last year when I gifted my quilty friend Glen with spices when she lost her kitchen.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

My Little Miss

My Son, DIL and granddaughter came over for dinner last night. The whole family was at my house for dinner on Sunday, but with that many people, my granddaughter was a bit wary of all the new faces. 
Last night, however, was different.







Yeah, it was fun.

Remember my granddaughter lives on the other side of the country, so I only get to see her in person twice a year. When I do see her, it is a very big deal.

Next week I'm talking to the Concord (MA) Piecemakers Quilt Guild, on the 28th and then I'll be giving a workshop the following Saturday. I've got to get ready, so between that and my darling granddaughter visiting, I won't have much quilty stuff going on here. I've been adding the binding the the Snow Day quilt, but that's not much to look at.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Warm And Cool Colors

 


The Atlantic Magazine has an article about "The Real Difference Between Warm and Cool Colors.", and while I am otherwise engaged with my family I thought you might like to read it.

This block is from my quilt, The Grand Prismatic.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Family Dinner

We had a good dinner.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?





So I might not be doing much blogging for a few days. I'm sure you'll understand. :-)


Friday, September 15, 2017

Bird Signature

I've got a lot of stressful things going on. Nothing major, but there are a lot of smaller things that together are making me crazy. The only thing that helps is to get into the studio and work, so I did. This bird will be on the signature panel on the back of the Colorado Quilt.

Here is the bird on the fabric I have chosen for the backing. The bird is low-key because I don't want a jumpy crazy bird on the back. P & J are quiet people, and I don't want it to be too much.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Rest, Read and Regroup

When I've been going whole hog on a quilt and then finish after some marathon sessions, I need to rest and regroup, so that's what I'm doing. Nothing much, really.

I've got a few good books queued up on my Kindle, so I'll be sacked out on the couch for the next few days while I catch up with my life.



I want to make a signature panel for the back of the Colorado Quilt, and I want to tell you what my brother is sending me in trade for it, but I need a break from all this activity. Consider the photo above a sneak peek.

See you soon!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What, Huh?

When it comes time to lay out the elements on one of my quilts, I long ago learned an important lesson.  That is, that quilts are demanding and I should always give a quilt what it wants.

Like all the quilts I make, this quilt wanted a little something special. In the Flight of Fancy quilt, it was the pair of upside down birds.


An upside down bird didn't fit in the Colorado quilt, and believe me, I tried.

 This bird represented a barn, which in turn represented one of the many dozens of ranches in the area where P & J live.


 Each ranch had more than one barn, and they all seemed to be red.

This bird represents Andrew, a farmer from whom P & J buy hay for their animals. I met Andrew at the local Verizon store when he brought his cell phone in for some repairs. Andrew had his son with him.

When I was laying out the birds for the Colorado Quilt, I tried to make them look like they were having conversations in small groups. It seemed to make sense to have Andrew speaking to other ranchers. So Andrew faced the red barn, but it didn't seem to be enough.


 
Remembering Andrew's son, I made a smaller red barn to represent him, but later I realized I had got it wrong.

Except that I had really got it right. Andrew sold hay and did other work for the ranchers, and I had, with the addition of the second smaller bird, quite serendipitously, represented more than one ranch.

AND I had given the quilt just that little something extra, that made you look twice and think... hey, what's that all about?








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Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Colorado Quilt Flimsy is Complete!

I finished sewing the bird blocks together and finished the Colorado Quilt flimsy.

It's about 78" x 87" or so. I'm really happy the way it turned out.  There are 53 birds, one butterfly, seven flowers and one amazing barn.



I needed one final bird for the Colorado quilt. I wanted a darkish bird, so I looked through my photos until I found just the right one.

I took a picture of this older barn on a day the sky was hazy because of the smoke from a forest fire in Utah.


This is the bird I made based on the dark brown barn.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Birds on the Barn

These birds are sewn to the barn block.

I've set the row of birds that go above the barn so I can check it out before I sew it together.

The quilt is wider than my design wall, so I have to lay it out on the floor.

 I take a lot of pictures so I can figure out what I want it to look like. I don't like the placement of the top three on the right. I don't like the way they look like they are directly above the ones on the row below.

I slid the row to the left, and liked the way it looked, so I sewed it down.

 So how do I get them all to look the way they do? I set the blocks next to a long straightedge.

 This helps me to see how much extra fabric I need to add to each block. The blue flower needs extra fabric sewn on all four sides, but the red bird only needs it added to the bottom.

The green bird on the left needs strips added to the top and bottom, the blue one on the end needs it just on the top.


Once I add the strips wherever it has to go, I straighten up the edges, then sew the blocks together. Then I get to check and double check the row is the same height from one end to the other. This is fussy, but definitely worth it. Once that's done, I can sew the row to the rest of the quilt.

And so on and so on and so on. Or maybe I should say, "and sew on, and sew on and sew on."

(you all know how much I love a good pun.)



Friday, September 8, 2017

One, Two, Three Things

I am continuing to work on sewing the Colorado Quilt flimsy together. It's slow going, and I'll show you more tomorrow, but I have some other things to show you first.

I needed another bird.  This was based on the control tower of the Denver Airport. Yeah, I know the bird is green and the tower is more blue-green, but I needed a green bird, so I changed the color.

Yeah, really. The day we left my Mom and I had lunch at a restaurant where we could see the tower. I looked and looked and couldn't decide if I should take a picture or not. Finally I decided that if I couldn't make up my mind, that was a good indication that I should do it. It was only ONE picture, after all, so I took it.  Good advice if you can't decide something is inspirational or not. If you're not sure, take the picture anyway. You can always delete it later if it turns out to be a dud.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now I have a story for you.  You might enjoy it as much as I did.

I woke up this morning and saw this comment on yesterday's post.






I told my brother about it. "Yeah, the president of the Monarch Quilt Guild saw your business cards at Hodgepodge [in Salida CO] and freaked out that you were there. She has been following you for years. Wanted to know why you were in Salida and was hoping she hadn't missed a workshop.... You should hear Sandi tell the story. It's pretty funny."



This is Sandi, owner of the Hodgepodge in Salida CO.
So me being me, I called Sandi. Apparently Sue visited the Hodgepodge the day after I was there in June. She told Sandi she'd been following my blog for years. "Well have you ever commented?" Sandi asked. "Have you ever emailed Lynne?"  No and no. "Well you should! She's very nice and very approachable."

After I posted birds I had made based on the photo of Sandi (above) and staff member Amber last week, Sue visited Hodgepodge again, "You're in the quilt Lynne is making for her brother" she told Sandi. Did you see her blog? You're on it!!!

This is all just too cool for words. So many days I write these posts and I never know how far my words will go and how many people they affect.

Then Sue left her comment on yesterday's post, asking me to present a seminar on birds when I brought the quilt to P & J. Well, I was planning to ship the quilt to Colorado, not present it in person, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to visit again.

So here's the thing. I have family in Colorado. I have family in Los Angeles. I have family in Southern Maryland. I travel to visit my family. In the last 24 months I've been to LA three times, and to Maryland and Colorado once each. I'm likely to visit all three again in the next 24 months. If you want me to teach a seminar to your quilt group and you live in those areas, let me know. I'd be happy to work something out, and combine a workshop with a family trip.

If you live outside those areas and want me to do a workshop for your group or guild and are willing to pay the costs for my travel, meals and lodging, then give me a shout. I love to visit new places too. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Lastly, I visited Quilted Threads to drop off the Fruit Loops quilt and some other class materials for a Scrap Slabs class I'll be teaching there on Saturday November 11. While I was there I looked around for possible backing fabrics for the Colorado Quilt. 

 Nope.

These aren't bad, but they aren't great. "Meh!" 

 This is pretty, but it's boring.

YEAH! Now we're talking! Nine yards of this came home with me.



PS, I added a page to this blog with photos of all the Slashed Squares quilts I ever made, so you can see them all in one place.  Check out the link in the pages section at the top.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

All Lined Up!

I wanted to line up all the chicken birds in a row at the very bottom of the Colorado quilt, underneath the big barn block. I made all the chickens with grey legs and red beaks. I wanted there to be a big boss chicken facing the rest of them. "They don't call it the pecking order for nothing," my brother told me when I asked him if there was one chicken who ruled the roost.


Here you can see the row of chickens at the bottom, and the big chicken to the far right.

 Everybody always asks how big the finished bird blocks are, but since the size of the bird can vary, so can the size of the block. Besides, I usually have to add fabric to make the block fit where I want it to go. The more important thing, however, is that the block is SQUARE and the edges are STRAIGHT. This ensures the flimsy lies flat.

When you have a really big block though, it can be tough to get it right.  

As you can see it takes some really big rulers to do this.


Now you know why I always make things BIGGER. (Please notice the long blue straightedge, the long metal triangle and the two plastic 90 degree triangles that help me get this thing SQUARE.)

 When it comes to sewing a seam this long, I use pins, and lots of them. It's too easy for a long edge to get a bit distorted.

 This is what is sewn together.


This is what will go on that top edge of the barn block.