Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Primary House

Here is the second house based on one of KidBean's colored drawings.

I love KidBean's intuitive sense that the sky doesn't touch the ground. He's moved the horizon line up. This block is 17-3/4" tall and 12-1/2" wide.

The house really is this bright. True blue, purple, bright grass green, red-orange. I made two slight changes in the colors, mostly because I didn't have enough of a cool red "blender" fabric for the house. I used a slightly warmer red-orange. This necessitated a switch to a yellow-orange fabric for the windows instead of KidBean's selection of a true orange. If I had used a true orange, the windows would have almost disappeared.

KidBean's use of these vivid colors reminds me of Matisse's paintings, seen here and here.

I have sewn 15 house blocks so far, but I will probably only use the ones based on the children's colorings in the quilt for their baby brother. The whole point about the quilt is for the siblings to be involved. I might add one or two of my interpretations, but the quilt isn't about me. I do have other elements I want to include, including wonky letters, hearts and stars. You'll see.

Monday, June 29, 2009

True Blue House

"SweetBean" selected a bright blue to color a house. I had made copies of all the house drawings, so I could figure out which house she had colored.

Now, "SweetBean" is 3, so she doesn't have the coordination of an older child, and I knew her drawing would be mostly scribbles. I knew that I would work with whatever colors she had selected. I hadn't expected a monochromatic colored house.

This is just one example of how a challenge can get you out of your "comfort zone" and push your creativity a bit. I would -never- have created a monochromatic house, but it was a great idea.

I went through my stash and scrap bins choosing fabrics. I didn't want to use the crutch of "blue and..." fabrics. I wanted to use blues of different values and of scale of pattern. I worked out how I would assemble the house (the red lines on the drawing) and started sewing.
I am quite happy with it. The block as shown is 21" tall by 18-1/2" wide. I will trim it down later.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not A House

My bathroom window faces south, and I need a small curtain for privacy. My old one was really faded, so I made a new one. This one fits into the window frame using a spring rod. The top of the window looked really crummy by comparison, so I added the valance.

As you all know, I have to make an apron for my Mom. I couldn't decide how to use the playing card fabric, so I decided to use the fabric with the peas. Here's the front.
Here's the "lining."
I just "winged" it. There is no pattern.

I still haven't decided how to use the fabric with the playing cards, but I do know I will modify my apron design somewhat. The "bib" will be shorter, and the pocket will be set a bit higher, and won't go across the whole bottom of the apron.

That's not all I did. I watched the tennis at Wimbledon, washed windows in three rooms, changed the sheets on my bed, and did the laundry.

Which means I can do whatever I want today. Like wonky houses!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

KidBean House #1

Here's the first house based on KidBean's drawing. I am really happy with the way it turned out.

His mom said, "He lit up when he saw the fabric house!"

While I watch the Tennis today at Wimbledon, I shall make another house. I haven't decided which one, so you'll have to check back later.

OK, it's later.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Housing Development Plans

Here are the drawings from my "fairy godkids." They arrived yesterday, and I am very excited.

This first batch was done by "SweetBean" who is 3. Her room is full of pink, and she has a great pink quilt, so I was surprised to see lots of blue here.I think I will have fun doing an all-blue house. I have some wonderful blue fabric with fish, and I think the second blue house will be fish and water themed. The others have enough color ideas to get me going.

These were done by "KidBean" who is six. Lots to work with here. I love his yellow roofs. And what I had drawn as a tree in the house on the lower left, here looks like a birdhouse on a post. What a great idea! I have to figure out what's going on in that house's roof though. (I am wondering if he drew his bed with his quilt on it.) And plaid house... what fun!

Mom did a few too, so lovely and charming.
I love the dog and cat in the one on the lower left, and in the windows on the house on the right are drawings of Mom and Dad, KidBean and SweetBean, and the cat and dog.

(Readers, it looks like I will need small bits of family-themed fabric and some with children and pets. Has anyone got any to spare? For these windows, I wouldn't need more than a 3" square.)

Which one did I decide to do first?

I've put the cat in the window, but I might need a livelier fabric for the door. I can't forget to make a sun for sky. I can just imagine KidBean saying, "Auntie, you forgot to draw the Sun!"

You can click the photos to enlarge.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Great Day

My son got his Third Degree Black Belt yesterday. Here's the group photo. You can see him running "Form Four" on Millie's blog. He's pretty good, if I do say so myself. I gave him an iTunes gift card and a pan of homemade brownies as congratulations gifts.

My sister has a First Black, and is standing behind my son. My nephew also has a Black Belt, but is not in the photo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Part of the deal for getting my mother's sewing machine was that I would make an apron for my aunt. My aunt likes to play bridge. This was My Mom's inspiration.And these are the fabrics my mom selected.Now here's some fabric that I have.You know I'm going to have some fun with this, don't you?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Time-Out Tuesday

Making wonky anything makes my sewing room a mess. I get fabric strewn all over my work and ironing tables, my bins always end up opened and spread out all over the floor and my work space gets smaller and smaller. It makes me crazy.

So I have to clean it up. I don't want to feel stressed when I walk into my sewing studio.

Wimbledon has started at just the right time. I only get the Tennis Channel on the TV in my living room, so I gathered up all my scraps and piles and dumped them on my coffee table so I could fold and organize while I watched Monday's matches.Tonight I will set up my ironing board and deal with the little tiny bits.

Remember last week I said my sister asked for a stack of my house drawings to take home to color? Here they are.
What inspiration! I love them. I -know- I will make the one in the lower left corner. And I love the one in the lower right corner. And first one in the second row...

Monday, June 22, 2009

The O-Tel Wonky

The "O-Tel Wonky" is a very exclusive Hotel in the Wonky Development. It is so named because, well, you can probably work it out. The clues are in the O-Tel building itself.
The first lesson of building a wonky house is to make sure you have enough fabric for the house.

Ask me how I know this.

This house was supposed to be a lot taller. This block is 23" tall and 21-1/2" wide.

My fairy godkids have been having fun coloring the houses, and I should receive some of their colored drawings later this week.

In the meantime, I have to clean the sewing room.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Seaside Villa

This house was inspired by the roof fabric. The color reminded me of the clay roofs on houses in hot climates.
The roof fabric is kinda ugly, actually, salmon and purple. But any color can look great if the right colors are placed next to it.Here's the finished house. It's 19-1/2" tall by 23" wide.I don't know exactly where this house is located, but I know it's on the coast of the Mediterranean. You can see the bright blue sky, and the flowers growing. I thought this was an appropriate house for the longest day of the year.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Little House in the Country

Here's the little house in the jungle. The block is about 16" tall and 15" wide. I really like this house.

Here's another one in the planning stage:This one doesn't have a name yet. Here, the inspiration was the roof fabric. I am not quite sure about the door, but I want a Very Busy Fabric for it.

I also have a "high-rise" planned. No drawing, I just pulled fabrics. It will be black and white with colors. How's that for a tease?

Thanks to everybody who left comments on yesterday's post. I am happy to oblige. Now for the answers to some questions...

First, to the question nobody asked... These are all my ideas. I haven't received any colored drawings from my "fairy godkids" yet. I am also thinking this might be two quilts. One for the forthcoming baby, and a second one. The reason for this is there are other elements I want to add the the baby's quilt, and I don't want the houses to overpower it. You'll all get to see, I promise.

, a fellow New Hampshire girl! Yay. Terrific idea about making houses using themed fabrics. I love Asian fabrics. I will certainly make an Asian-themed house! Mary, you might enjoy my sister's blog. She has two pugs.

, I don't know how big the quilt will be. Big enough for a bed, surely. I rarely have a predetermined size in mind when I start. The quilt will end up being however big (or small) as it needs to be. Usually it tells me.

Callie, I already made my own house in a quilt. It's in the Alphabet Sampler Quilt.

Finally, to Susan R, and Kyra, I have been inspired and instructed by Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking book and the March/April 09 issue of Quiltmaker magazine. Also, check my original post about my housing project. It has links to other house quilts.

by the way, all the houses have been made with fabrics from my stash.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Little House in the Country

It's not the country you were thinking of...

OK, so I made a house with a jungle in it. I was playing with fabrics last night and I came across this striped one and thought... hmm... what can I do with this?

Vertically it reminded me of a straw hut, ergo, a house IN the jungle. And I have the perfect Laurel Burch fabric to use as the background. (Let's just hope I have enough of it!)

So here's a question for my wonderful audience. Do you like to see the fabrics set out first, and then see the finished house; or do you like it better if you see the house all sewn up, without seeing my inspiration first? Leave your answers in the comments.

thank you very much

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Crooked Little House

I love this little house drawing. I decided this one would be a nighttime scene, so I chose a dark blue fabric with stars. Since the background was dark, the house fabric had to be lighter.

I thought, how about making the windows bright, like a party was going on inside? But then the phrase "red-eye" popped into my head. Since my best houses have been those with lots of wild prints, I decided to go full out with this one. I've also added a chimney and a tree.

I like the way the "ground" fabric looks like the light is streaming out of the house onto it.

This block is 19" tall and 17-1/2" wide.

You can click the photos to enlarge.

I'm now toying with the idea of adding hedges... and porches... and attached garages... to some houses.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not So Teeny Houses

OK, it has now been proven that I just can't seem to make teeny houses. These two are smaller than most, but about the same size as last Wednesday's Wonky Plaid House. This panel is 14" high by 22" wide.These two houses are strangely subdued. I like the trees on the outside edges.
I don't think it does anything if I try getting rid of the tree in the middle, so it's staying.

The color is truer in the second photo.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tell-All Tuesday

Here's where I am so far with the "teeny" pink house. It's about five inches across right now.

For those of you who have been asking....

Mimi... No, these are not paper pieced. They are free-pieced. No patterns at all. I have a drawing, and I look at the drawing and just "wing it." I use a rotary cutter and a ruler. I don't measure.

Susan... I had seen several lovely house quilts and wanted to make one for my prospective godchild, due later this year. I decided to draw some houses on copy paper and mail them to my "fairy godkids" and have them color them and send them back to me. The plan was that I would then interpret them in fabric.

Problem is, I couldn't wait, so I started coloring them, then interpreting my own colored ones in fabric.

My sister took a few house drawings on Sunday. Today she called me at work, "Do the trees have to be green?"

You can click the photos to enlarge.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Teeny Prospective Pair

I seem to have no trouble making BIG houses, but I can't make smaller ones, so I decided to do a smaller one. Looking through my house drawings, I found this one with two houses. I had had to work on Saturday, so I was tired, and made the color choices for this one while I "watched" TV.
One house will be blue, one pink. They need to relate to each other, so both will have yellow windows made from the same yellow fabric. I have an ombre pink-purple fabric, and one house will have a purple door (I changed my mind, it will be the pink house) and the blue house will have the pinky purple door.)

I thought it would be fun to give these houses black white roofs. As for the rest, I've selected background fabric, and fabrics for trees, and the ground.

I can't wait.

Alas, a kitchen full of dishes is between me and sewing these. I made a couple of cakes for a birthday party yesterday.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Red House

This red house block is 18" high by 18-1/2" wide. The houses themselves are really easy. The roofs and background are tricky. The backgrounds always take more fabric than I think they will.

I love, love, love making trees.

My nephew is working on some houses for me, and his Mom will mail them out on Monday. I can't wait!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mom's the Bomb!

My Mom is so cool. She bought this Kenmore sewing machine in 1998, but she rarely uses it. She's in her 70's and is "de-accessioning" her things. A few weeks ago she mentioned that I could have her sewing machine.

Thursday night, when mine stopped dead in the middle of a seam while I was making my Jungle House, I called her and asked, "Can I pick up your sewing machine on Friday?"

Mom had all the manuals and everything that came with it. So I got it home, dusted it off, wound a bobbin, replaced the needle and tried it out. I adjusted the tension slightly, but it sews great. It's a lot quieter than mine.

Crisis averted.

Thanks Mom!

Red House Plan

I've got to work today, but here's the house I plan to make later. As you can see, I decided to add a tree. I really like trees. I think this one needs to be a bit taller.

My sister and her son stopped by last night for a short visit. When they left, they each had a house drawing. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Jungle House

I love the Jungle House, even though I had several problems making this block. First and foremost, my sewing machine is giving me trouble, and I think it's the motor. It's 32 years old, so I can't really complain. My mother is giving me her machine, so I won't be without.

I had a limited amount of the "house" fabric and just a fat quarter of the "sky" fabric. I used every square inch of each. The sky fabric looked like a sunset, and the "palm trees" suggested the "beachy" ground. I also wanted the "door" to disappear, and since it's a jungle house, I wanted you to see the foliage inside. (you can click the photo to enlarge.)

Yes, Joyce, there are several Laurel Burch cats and other jungle animals in the house.

The house itself is about 18" wide and about 11" high. The entire block is 16-1/2" tall by 33-1/2" wide.

I really meant to add a bird on the roof, but I forgot.

Sharon, here are the dimensions of the previous houses:

Saturday's house is 16" tall by 11-1/2" wide

Sunday's house is 13" tall by 11-1/2" wide.

Monday's house
is 14-1/2"tall by 9-1/2" wide.

Tuesday's house is12" tall x 13" wide.

Wednesday's house
is 11-1/2" tall by 13" wide.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday's Housing Plan

I decided to use a different technique to plan today's house. I taped two pieces of paper together (because this house has to be BIG), drew out my house plan idea and then cut out the windows, and trees.
Then I added the cast of characters that will populate the house. I really want the "house" itself to have some type of leafy fabric, and I am not at all sure about that door. Either one tree needs to be taller, or there should probably be two trees on one side. Maybe I need a bird on the roof...

Maybe I need a bird flying in the sky...

Decisions, decisions...

As Oscar Wilde said, "The anxiety is unbearable. I only hope it lasts forever."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday's Wonky House

I didn't bother with the colored pencils for this one, I went straight to my fabric stash and started pulling fabrics. White plaid for the house, black confetti for the roof, pink, coral and red for the windows, a bright red door, fun designs on the chimney, green grass, and a tall tree out of swirly greens.
I already have a great idea for the next one, but it's a bit more complicated, so I doubt it will be ready for Thursday.

I hope the kids have as much fun with this as I am.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yet Another House

The house drawings went out in the mail to my nephew and niece yesterday. I really can't wait to start getting those back. Too bad they live so far away!

Here's another one I did on Sunday.I like the way this house is reminiscent of a face. I think this house more closely captures the spirit of the drawing than the others. Clare will probably tell me the tree isn't wonky enough.

Oh well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another Day, Another House

I can see where making these houses can be a bit addictive. I made this one before the tennis match started on Sunday morning.Yes, I know, Clare, the windows still aren't wonky enough for you.
I'm working on it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another House

My son looked at my first house and said, Mom, it's crooked. The windows should line up. I said, "It's supposed to be wonky."

Clare commented, 'Lovely. Can we have a bit more "wonky" in the next one?'

Too funny.

So I asked my son if he would like to design one. He picked a house, and told me what colors should go where. He was quite specific, "Cream, orange, light blue, green..."So I picked out some fabrics, determined to make this house a bit wonkier than the first, and have some fun with the fabrics as well.
I can't wait until he sees this!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wonky House

I got a little bored waiting for the tennis to come on television yesterday, so I picked one of my house drawings and dug out my colored pencils.When the tennis was over, I selected some fabrics
and got "building".
As you can see, I changed the fabric for the house itself, as the original fabric was too orange, and I decided the roof needed a bit of zing.

Overall I am pretty pleased, and now I can't wait to see what my nephew and niece send me.