Sunday, June 26, 2011

One Sunday, Two Janes

One Sunday, Two Janes

It was a fabulous day here .. the sun was shining, we got the grass / dust mowed and Axel took a nap (after a 5 hour drive back and forth, plus errands with his parents yesterday *and* babysitting with me for friends until 1am, he deserved it).

And while he napped, I played! 

Cut and sewed these two blocks - the math I did yesterday, but yes, today there were corrections. Both blocks are rotary cut and machine pieced, they are A-1 "Pinwheel Gone Awry" and A-2 "One Two, Buckle My Shoe" from page 17 of the Dear Jane® book by Brenda Papadakis.

I am loving how they turned out! You too? 

Well then you should surely think about joining our Contemporary Jane quilt along featured Under the Willow Tree. A bunch of girlfriends from my previous shop are all doing it together and would welcome anyone who wants to join - the more the merrier. The construction method I used for these blocks will be blogged too .. including lots of tips and hints!

We are making "our" Janes ... we're not using reproductions but sticking to fabrics that reflect us now and allowing the freedom to add, change or leave out blocks that don't fancy us. To get an idea of what we mean, check out our "Contemporary Jane" board on Pinterest. For more useful Jane links, please see this post

My Jane? I'm using primarily Kaffe fabrics, but anything that plays nice goes too! The 2nd block is made using "Peacock" by Amy Butler ... how couldn't I?? Here are just some of the fabrics I'll be adding to my quilt .. and the basket I'll be keeping this project in, of course!

New Fabs

Yes, HOT ... and that is what we are expecting ... 
for 3 days, weather to exceed 90F / 32C.

Axel is already dreading it and drew up the beginning of his defense plan today. I was supposed to sew black out curtains for the living room and he install our air conditioner and a ceiling fan in our bedroom. Um, nothing happened. But tomorrow I will cut the board we need to have the air conditioner ready for tomorrow night. Sorry love, the curtains are just not going to happen until we finish painting that corner and hang the rod. Love you, x
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Contagion Alert!!

I would love to call this a Friday Finish, but alas I must still quilt it ... if you know me, you'll know that can take a while, but I could not wait to share this little piece I whipped up!

Everything was all set for our Patchwork "Garden" Party last Saturday but I was itching to work on something last Friday night. The first section was nearly finished before we clocked off and went to bed.

Something bit me and it was something very contagious.

how does your inspiration grow?

It's probably the fasted start to finish I've ever done. Made especially simple by no pattern or lines to follow. The only pattern I drew carefully was the bird. All the leaves were cut and appliqued free-hand. For the dots, I used the same method as I do for "GOT DOTS."

The story of this quilt started with seeing this quilt. I was in LOVE and even pulled a stack of backgrounds from my stash to make my own. But there was no way I could justify starting another big project or even a swap. I'm happily drowning here as it is ... so many projects including GOT DOTS, Contemporary Jane, various BOMs in the shop, plus ... all.of.these.

But when inspiration and creativity strikes

By the way, Nifty's was inspired by this quilt featured in this book. I don't think I dare even admit to myself that this quilt is now calling my name.  For now I think I've got a handle on this bug .. although that stack of backgrounds is still there and loudly calling my name.  When it calls too loud I tell it to hang on a minute ... this creativity is brewing and plans are starting to take shape ... later, much later.

In the meantime "Set Her Free" is really shaping up too! Tomorrow I can start adding the finishing touches and hopefully quilt her next week so I can tell Mary I mailed it on July 1st! Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Design Process .2.

Choosing Fabrics & letting them influence design

So we left off this new project design with a few ideas ... I had sketched a couple of motifs I wanted to include and decided on a color scheme .. it was off to the stash to see what I could find with Mary's remit of "beachy colors: pale blues, seafoam green, biege"

design process process .2.I was able to narrow it down to this 9 ... or maybe 10 ...

and was planning to keep it a very simple patched background with motifs on each rectangle ... a quick math calculation indicated that finished rectangles of 2" x 2-3/4" should be about right .. and keep me inside our goal of 8" x 10".

With a few snips of various fabrics for each motif and with my sketches in hand, I headed upstairs for the evening  to see where this would lead. Boy oh boy .. never try to watch TV and design at the same time ... my poor husband has the patience of an angel. In the future I'll keep the designing to my office although I can applique quite adeptly while "watching" television.
Design Process .2.
My rectangles were throwing me a few good "problems"
  • the egg was easy to applique
  • the cage - hmmm, not sure I care for the proportion
  • I loved the bird shape but wow, it'd be really small if to 2" x 2-3/4" finished rectangles
  • and that branch ... how was I going to portray that well in a vertical space.  
It looks like this calls for a bit more re-designing to do .. but I'm feeling good about where this is going! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Design Process .1.

Step One - inspiration and idea sketching

I'm working on an idea for my swap with Mary.  It's supposed to be done by July 1st .. hmmm, I think I may be a few days late .. but I think I'm on to something good!

designing for mary

Here's the task:
  • anything with a bird theme or circles
  • beachy colors: pale blues, seafoam green, biege OR reds, yellows, greens
  • includes appliqué or embroidery
  • 8"x10" or smaller
ok .. fabric selection .. I tended immediately towards the "beachy" feel and I'll show that later, but I also knew I'd be embroidering or appliquéing birds and nests .. they are definitely an obsession of mine right now.

embroidery / appliqué ideas

  • nest
  • cage
  • tree / topiary
  • bird - duh!
  • polka dots - not sure why ..
  • leaves .. think spring
  • musical note - for song!
  • .. and something i can't read .. hmm ... what was that
  • maybe a branch with cherry blossoms

... we'll see what happens tonight. Pin It Now!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Patchwork in my "Garden"

It turned out to be a lovely day inside and we welcomed so many warm, smiling faces that it made my day!

Yes it rained, after the driest April, May, June in years ... it's been pouring here for the last few days. But nobody is complaining and our gardens are loving it.

Contingency plans for our "Garden Party" were easy and everything just moved indoors.  Luckily we have experience as 3 out of the last 5 years the weather has not cooperated.

To see details of these and more photos, click here.

My many, many thanks goes to Annie for taking so many photos during the show and tell!  But Annie, next time you're here we have to take pics of your wonderful grandmother's flower garden, it is truly breathtaking.

Thank you so much to everyone who came, it was truly a wonderful and "gezellig" day that I enjoyed very much.  I apologize that we don't have a photo of everyone ... I have more but didn't think you would like if I posted them on-line ... eyes closed, talking mouths, etc etc.  But I have many pictures in my mind and won't forget the fun we had! Pin It Now!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I've been MIA for a while ... in fact it seems the entire month of May has slipped by along with a few missing weeks from April and here we are already more than half way into June.

Time flies even when you're not having fun.

It's hard to know how much to say, how much to "broadcast" and what to just chalk up as history.  But it's not just history, it's my story and my husband's and we're hoping someday all this leads to a family.  It's there that we're struggling, having a family .. of our own.

I began writing this the end of May, just after the 3rd miscarriage in 18 months ... some days are better than others but little things still feel like hurdles.

What helps:
  • light work in the garden - thankfully I'm back to full-blown garden work except starting the lawn mower - dang that made me mad ... when did I become such a wimp!
  • planting vegies and flower boxes full of wholesome food and colorful blossoms
  • friends who are just there but don't judge, who make me laugh and cry and who listen.
  • reading - even if it makes me cry
  • snuggling with Lewis, thankfully I don't think this cat will ever outgrow it, although now that I'm getting back to work he sure wants a snuggle at very inconvenient times.
  • going to bed early even if it means I'm up early

What doesn't help:
  • comments that begin with "if it's meant to be ....
  • "friends" who thinks they have the "answers" to our situation
  • an impatient Whisper who wants nothing but to play ball (which was pretty much a no-no for far too long .. although we're back at it now and have discovered a new bouncier ball that she can't pick up with her mouth and offers a lot more challenge and exercise.)
  • a demanding Clark
  • having to wait ... again ... to heal before we start ... again.  
Yesterday was another doctor check up and to talk about what happens next.  Thankfully he's "humoring" me and doing some blood tests ... yes I know, it's a small chance but why not rule it out.

Due to complications during the last two pregnancies I have been put on bedrest and had to close the shop which I find very frustrating.  We're working on a plan so that won't happen next time.

And yes, if you're wondering, we're not giving up ...

The shop re-opened the 1st of June and I've slowly been getting the momentum back.  It's not easy ... but it's happening.  And the last few weeks have been very productive ... the rest of June and July are looking very promising.

I'll show you updates and pics throughout the summer but we've seen progress on lots of projects including ...

... and a whole lot more ...  Here's a top I managed to dash together in two days just before I was put on bed rest.  Kits will be available (most of the fabrics are from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Reunion line).

Lemoyne Civil War

p.s.  I have turned off comments for this post ... if you'd like to contact me feel free to do so by email.  I am not looking for sympathy or counseling.  I just wanted to let those of you who are wondering what's been going on and why I've been a bit distant and non-responsive .. please don't take it personally.  If you'd like to comment on any of the projects, please do ... all the links are to my Flickr photos so let me know what you think.  Thanks a bunch!!!
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