Monday, April 30, 2012

A Door Change

An architect always thinks she gets it right. She designs and builds a house, and then turns it over to the homeowner.
Sometimes, though, the homeowner doesn't like the designs of the architect, and makes some changes.  This particular homeowner didn't like the front door. 
This homeowner ordered the door removed and replaced.
She is much happier with this new door.

The architect/designer is a bit humbled.  The execution of the original door wasn't quite according to her concept, but she's learned to adapt.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Red House

I love this red house. Love, love, love.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Orange House

I made another house last night. In this one, I was really trying to use fabrics that really pushed the envelope a bit.  None of these fabrics is exactly a shrinking violet, and it can always be tricky to work with several big prints. 

Here I've got three big batiks - the sky, the ground and the house itself along with big prints in the door, the windows and the roof.  The roof print is very traditional, but here it's used rather un-traditionally, as roof tiles. I'll use this house in my class next week, to encourage my students to use fabrics in different ways.

The big sky print (it's the same fabric I used as the outer border of the Four Seasons quilt) makes me think of a very humid, rainy, breezy day. Maybe this house is in Seattle.  Or maybe it's someplace in the Mediterranean.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yellow House

I'm making up a few sample houses for my Houses and Trees class, and taking step-by-step photos so I can show my students exactly how it's done.

Omigosh, is it a PITA to do something, stop, take a picture, etc...

(This house looks like a face to me. The mouth (door) is too big. It looks like it's embarrassed about something.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

House Work

When I plan my houses, I always lay the fabrics on my worktable in the places I will use them. So here, the blue is the sky/background, the yellow is the body of the house, and the rest of the colors are windows, doors, chimney, tree, etc.  After I get to this stage, I try to make sure my fabrics aren't too much the same. I go back and make sure I have fabrics with prints of different sizes (all blender types would be too boring / predictable / bland also).
But then I happened to look over to see that awesome green I bought on Sunday and I thought, well what the hell... let's go for it.  So I started moving fabrics around to see how far I could push this?

The only fabrics that are the same in both designs are the background, the roof and one window.

I am in the process of making step-by-step demo pieces for my class at Quilted Threads next week.  There's one space left.  Will you fill it?

Monday, April 23, 2012


I took a drive up to my favorite quilt shop, Quilted Threads, over the weekend and bought these awesome fabrics.  The ones in the top row are every bit as bright and vivid in real life as they are in this photo.

The Houses and Trees class I'll be teaching on Saturday May 5th is full!  Woo hoo!

It's my son's birthday today.  Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mi Casa, Su Casa!

I'm preparing for my House and Trees class in two weeks.  I've got a slide show for my students, and I've got lists of all the quilts I want to bring to show them.   This is a kitty quilt I made for Rusty.  He's a Ginger boycat who lives in California. His owner is a second grade teacher and they live on Boston street. 

I made the house using ruler fabric in brick red in this traditional New England style house for that reason (rulers = teacher; brick red = brick house; traditional = Boston).  I don't know why I did it, but when I added a cat, instead of adding just one, I added four.

When Deborah received the quilt she was thrilled. Rusty claimed the quilt right away, which was nice to hear, but she went on... "From the first day we had him, we have called him Houdini Kitty.  He can be with you and then poof he is upstairs looking down at you.  To see all the extra Rustys in the windows and the yard is our Houdini Kitty!"

There are so many ways to make a house personal and special.  I hope you've been watching Julie and her barns. She's done a spectacular job.  She made 12 barns, each wonky and free pieced, but that wasn't all. She made the 12 barns to represent a month of the calendar AND she placed them in her part of the US.  I had asked, "What does the sky and ground look like where you live?  How would you use fabric to communicate the information about what time of the year it is?"

Julie took that challenge head on, and really did some thinking about how to convey the change in the seasons. You'll have to go back through her posts to see her thought process, but her results are awesome. This is her May barn, and I just love it.

Notice also that Julie has added some "signage" to each barn.  It's another special touch that makes her barns truly unique.

Your own houses / barns don't have to be complicated to be very special and very interesting. It's the little things. You can do this too!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SLU's (Sheer Love Units)

We all tell ourselves that we make quilts because it keeps us busy, that it gives us a creative outlet.

We like playing with color.

We like to explore repeating designs.

 We like exploring differences in scale and pattern.

Sometimes we like to experiment with a limited color range.

Sometimes we like to create something totally new.

Yeah, that's why we make quilts.

Lies. All lies.
We REALLY make quilts for the Sheer Love Units they generate. You can see SLU's in each of these pictures.  I'm telling you, SLU's make all the difference.  They transform an ordinary combination of fabric, batting and thread into something magical.

Sheer Love Units.  SLU's.  A new quilt term I believe deserves wide acceptance.  Go ahead, steal it!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

WGO - What's Going On

There hasn't been much going on in my studio lately, but that doesn't mean I've been sitting around doing nothing.

I have been sitting around, but I've been busy.  I've been having problems with my computer for some time, so after I got back from my vacation, I ordered a new one, and spent about a week setting it up. Instead of a desktop machine, I bought a laptop.  I also bought a docking station, so I could use it with the big monitor and the standard keyboard and mouse.  My old printer wouldn't connect, so that was replaced too.  You all know how time-consuming it is to set up a new computer and  move the files and programs from one to the other!

I finished the Red Sticks quilt and sent that to Chris for quilting.  Now I've got to clean the studio.  I've promised to make a few small items for family and friends, so I want to make those. I'm going to make a little case for my sister's Kindle, and I want to make another dress for Sweetbean.

The biggest To-Do on my list is preparing the House and Trees Class I'll be teaching at Quilted Threads on May 5th.  I have been sitting on the couch, with the laptop on my lap and Millie curled up nearby working on this. I've got the slideshow of house quilts ready. I've prepared the supply list and the work schedule for the day.  I've created the tree tutorial handout, and now I am working on the one for the houses.

And, um, I went clothes shopping.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Birthday SweetBean

My sweetie, SweetBean, is 6 years old today.  Happy Birthday honey!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pick Up Sticks Flimsy Completed

I've finished the Red Sticks blocks, added the inner and outer borders and sewn it all up together.  I'm really happy with it.  Now I've got to get the backing ready and send it off to Chris for quilting. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Red Sticks with Borders

OK, I made all the Red-on-red blocks. I knew adding an inner border would mean I'd have to add a bit to the outermost blocks to accommodate the width of the inner border. No problem in theory, but in practice....

Well, I forgot.  So I had to do a bit of fussy sewing.  You might be able to see where I had to make up for my brain fog. Since the quilt will be mine, I'm not worried about it. I've only got the borders done on three sides, I hope to finish it today.

I'm pretty excited, because it looks really good so far.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Red On Red Stick Blocks

Last night I started inserting red strips in the red blocks.  My goal is to have the blocks finished later today.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Red on Red Sticks

I have had a lot going on since I got back from my vacation. It's been crazy at work, and I've been tired when I get home, so I haven't been doing a lot of sewing, but I will be getting my groove back real soon.

In the meantime, here are a few of the Red on Red blocks I have made for the Red Sticks quilt.

The black and white is the fabric I will be using as the inner border.  I love the verve and the energy it provides.
Yes, this is Dr Seuss fabric.  I love having lots of little in-jokes in all my quilts.  You have to look closely.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back to the Red Sticks

I sewed the blocks together for the Red Sticks quilt. Millie helps quite a lot.  I've decided to add a thin black and white border around this before I add another row of red blocks. The border blocks will be red with red sticks, and I've already sewn several.