Thursday, July 31, 2008

New EQ Mystery Clue Posted

If you have been reading this blog lately you know that I am doing the new EQ Mystery. A new clue was posted at just recently and here is my results.

I did change some colors from lesson 2 and know that I am looking at a smaller picture of lesson 3 and have had a couple of days since I last looked at the project I will most likely change some colors in lesson 3. The colors are to show seasons, which I think mine does, but I do not like the way some of the fabrics are not blending. This is something that is nice about working with EQ, because you can test the fabrics first without cutting one piece of fabric.

I am happy to know that I am learning something new to me about the program with each lesson. I also learned this time that when I was originally coloring my piece that my "seasons" are not in the same place as instructed. I think this is because I put the heavier colors towards the bottom. This represents winter for me, because we don't have much snow in our area so my lights are limited. If I lived up north when they had a record breaking snow this past winter I would have used more whites, greys and crisp cold blues. I think it is interesting to see the way others color their designs.

Lately I have been going through my collection of things I have copied off the internet and organizing them into catagories. I am making sure all patterns have all their pieces and like things such as applique, mysteries, advice columns are all separated into like folders. I have one notebook nearly full with applique items.

Last night I played a bit with a new idea for a magazine article, but it may actually contain too much information for an article and need to be a book or booklet. This is something some friends have been encouraging me to do, but it is still in my mind and not on paper.

We just had a thunder storm. The weather is really strange here lately. The temperature indicates that it should not be really uncomfortable outside, but the humidity is so high that being outside is not pleasant at all. We have been having some type of rain usually about 4 or 5 in the afternoon, but today it happen between 5 and 6 am. The rains have been hard, but don't last long, so our overall accumulation is little. The house is warm even with the air conditioner.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Pattern at Quilting Treasures

I had lots of left over fabrics when I made my last quilt for Quilting Treasures, so I asked if it would be OK for me to make a tote bag for them. This is the results.

If I were making another one I would add some handles before adding the pockets, but I didn't think of that until after I had it all put together. I didn't want to sew handles over the pocket design, plus my fabric availability was low.

Next week I should be getting pictures of the new fabric line for the fall market design. I will then create several sample designs on EQ and send them in for a review. Once everything is OK then it is the wait for the fabric. Sometimes it is difficult to actually plan a quilt from just a picture of fabrics. The pattern on the fabric may not be the size I thought it was or it could be printed on the fabric lengthwise instead of crosswise which actually changed the design of the last quilt.

Today is kind of a lazy day. We have been so busy all week we just need to rest. A few things have been moved from the bedroom into the former guest bedroom. This is in preparation for the painting and new flooring. Then the bedroom will become the sewing room. The former guest room will become the bedroom after it is painted and a new floor put down. All in all it will be a mess for a while. This afternoon I am going to pack up some of my stash so it can be stored for a while.

The garden is almost finished. I am still canning tomatoes and a little okra comes in about twice a week. This week I used the okra when making Shrimp Creole. Each time I make Creole it taste different, because I will add new things I have on hand. Yesterday's batch was a little pale, (not red) , because I used fresh tomatoes in it instead of sauce. It still tasted fine and that is all that counts.

Tomorrow will be Bill and my 6th anniversary. A lot has happened in those 6 years, health wise mostly, but it has been a wonderful 6 years. Bill is my best friend and the person I hope to spend many future years with him. Happy Anniversary Babe!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Con't thoughts and playing

Last night I wrote about my thoughts and leanings towards creating a folk art block. I went to pull some fabric and a project container caught my eye. It had folk art project in it that I had worked on while taking trips with my parents to FL many years ago. It is a baby quilt with I think 12 applique blocks by Little Quilts. I was turning under the edges of the applique and basted it to the background, then did a buttonhole stitch by hand in black to hold the applique in place I have several block finished, so that project is again my take along work.
I took it with me today and work on it while Bill had his stress test on his heart. I was able to baste 4 stars and was ready to add the circles to the center of each star when I discovered that the circle templates were missing. It didn't matter, because Bill arrived and I had to stop working.
Tonight I started the mystery offer on the Electric Quilt web site. It at this point is just going to be a practice project on the computer to learn more about the program. If I like the results I may someday actually make the quilt, but I don't need to start one right now.
This is how the center block started. This block would be nice set
block to block. The pattern would have curves and diagonals that would keep the eye jumping, but that is not what the mystery writer had in mind.

This is after lesson 2 and I changed colors to reflect seasonal sunsets. The instructions encouraged a scrap look changing the colors slightly on each side. I ended up changing the center colors also.
I also learned how to place blocks in a black and white coloring instead of the using the colors in the block library. This made it easier to visualize ways to change the color in the block and the way blocks work with the block next door.
I did several things on this block I would not normally do. for one thing the coloring is not symmetrical, but I did try to do some balancing. Also I would not have thought to use this type of border without a break from the center block. I really like the look of the lower section. I think if I actually make the quilt I will need to add a little blueish purple to the let hand side outer edge. The next clue may actually take care of that problem, so I will not change anything right now.
If you have EQ be sure to take advantage of all the EQ folks offer in the way of lessons, support and just fun stuff.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Thoughts Today (How I develop new patterns)

I am in the process of thinking of a new project. I need something to carry with me to work on when waiting. It seems like I want to do something folk art that combines stitching, applique and piecing. I figure I can do the applique and stitching while waiting and the piecing at home. I think I am leaning towards folk art, because it is so free. A mistake in placement is never a mistake, but a new way to look at the piece of art.

I also want to use a soft fabric. I may even check out my limited flannel collection. I wish I had a nice selection of wool that I could felt and not have to worry about turning under, just do some interesting stitching around the edge.

I guess I need to really work on the pattern so I can pick the fabric. I do have some homespun plaids that would make nice backgrounds. Then I can add old fashion style of prints for a basket and some flowers.

A nice quote for what is going on in my mind right now....said by an artist I love, but many people I know have not idea I like this artist.

" If you know exactly what you are going to do, then what is the point of doing it?" Pablo Picasso

I find that many times the best laid plans on paper are changed as I actually work with the fabric. Sometimes fabrics just don't give the look I want when combined together. That is not to say the original idea was not a good idea, but maybe just not the right idea at the time.

I will post the progress with this project. Right now I am going to pick out a few fabrics.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quilting Treasures Patterns

I design patterns and make quilts for Quilting Treasures. My latest project was made with the Sunset Safari fabric I had left over from the the quilt in the picture. I made a tote that features the lower panel on the quilt creating pockets on the outside. As you can see Bill is modeling the new tote. The pattern will soon be available at the Quilting Treasures web site Keep looking under projects to see what is new. They have a much nicer picture of the tote, but they don't have the model I have!
The garden is winding down. Bill and I set some "Kosher" dill pickles today. I have never been much of a pickle maker or eater, but we have so many pickles we just hate to see them not be used. I have left over brine, but need to find more hot peppers before making another batch.
Since my last post we have canned pickle relish, spaghetti sauce and froze corn. Notice I said "we". Many of the projects at our house are family projects, so one person doesn't have to work so hard. By sharing the work we can all take pride in what gets done.
We finally had a bit of rain today. So maybe the potatoes will be able to be dug, as the ground where they were growing was like concrete the last time we tried. WOW! I just went to the door and it is pouring rain out there. We won't get into the garden tomorrow, as it will be one big mud hole.
Other home front news. Dad has fallen several times since his stroke. So far he has been lucky to just have bruises and minor cuts. The DR told him to stay out of the garden, because that is where he has fallen the most, but Friday he fell at the edge of the driveway. The part of the drive that "falls off" down a hill. The hill is steep and natural with trees, bushes, tall grasses and most likely some junk. He was fortunate to fall and stay on the drive and not go over the hill. He was lucky that Bill and I had decided to marinade the ribs before we left to check out the holiday happenings in town. We were able to help him get up, wash his wounds and made sure he made it upstairs.
Sometimes I think Dad is doing better, then he decides to do something he should not do like this afternoon picking blackberries. He told me about them yesterday and asked me to keep an eye on them and pick them. It was raining this morning, so Bill and I went to get some dill and vinegar for the pickles. I had planned to check them this evening after dinner hoping it would be cooler. I don't know why he thought they had to be picked immediately, as when Bill and I "caught" him there was less then a cup of berries ready!
Bill also received bad news about his application for disability. He was turned down, but was told he can only do one job. Now tell me with the job situation as it is today and us living in a rather rural area, where is that job? We are now reevaluating and trying to figure out what we need to do so we can keep an eye on Mom and Dad yet one of us work. This involves getting them to DR appointments or to the ER, taking Dad shopping, taking care of the vegetables from a huge garden we did not need, making most of the meals, doing laundry and most of the cleaning, picking Dad up off the ground at least 2 or 3 times a week, finding the things that Mom can't remember where she has it now stored and the most frustrating answering the same question we answered yesterday. I can go on and on, but that only leads to more frustration.
We need to look beyond today and keep our goals and plans for our future in the limelight, not moved to the back burner.