Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Merlin Magic

I needed a quick project after my trip to Oklahoma to see Autumn's birth and welcome her to the world. Yes, I know my granddaughter has enough burp cloths and they are already being put to good use as you can see.

But my daughter really liked this wizard-print flannel fabric and I'd had a hard time finding a coordinating flannel I liked. Hence this flannel yardage did not make it into the 1st wave (shown here) or 2nd wave (shown here) of burp cloths. Here were the candidates I bought, tucked under and to the right of the featured Merlin wizard fabric.

I really wanted a lavender/lilac to pick up the colors in Merlin's beard.  The two lavenders I bought really did not appeal to me. The upper one was too crisp and geometric and the lower one was cream rather than white and looked dirty against the white-ish milky way pattern of stars. I thought about using maybe a dark blue, like the polka dot, and might have gone with that had it been stars instead of dots, despite the lack of contrast. I tried to branch out with the green multi-dots. The dots were the right color family of blue-violet and I really almost went that route but you know how when you have a certain picture in your mind it is hard to change. In Oklahoma my last visit (to be at the birth of Autumn) I bought a pale lilac flannel that had a starburst-like print on it.  It had the color in Merlin's beard and the star image I wanted. Also the stars are blurred around the edges and not such a sharp image. Here is the front and back of the finished burp cloth.  I made two. In retrospect I wish I had sewn one with the green multi-dot, just to be different but, oh, well, I did not. The lilac appears kind of grey in the photograph but it really is a lovely complement to the wizard's beard.

This is truly an American multi-state burp cloth... wizard print from California, backing lilac stars from Oklahoma, and burp cloth pattern from Kansas.  I bought the pattern to use for my nephew's baby girl while I was in Kansas with my daughter, buying her wedding gown.  Daughter and gown are shown below from May 2011 wedding day. Odd, how the little bits of life come together.  Little did I think (nor did my daughter!) when I bought that pattern that, slightly over a year later, I would be making burp cloths for her baby girl!

I will not do much quilting this weekend and I did nothing special for Halloween.  I am returning to Oklahoma to visit that new granddaughter of mine. After all, I have been away two whole weeks! This will be a quick trip... out on Friday, back on Monday.

Completed projects:  
  1. Wizard burp cloths
  2. Caught up on quilt blogging- even made non-WIP entry this week just before this one
Ongoing projects:  
  1. Doll quilt - still awaiting binding and next up on finishing since it is so close
  2. Grinch quilt - still on design wall for assembly and creative sashing solution
  3. Chicken wall hanging to back, FMQ, and bind
  4. Square pumpkin/iris/red modern wallhanging to back, FMQ, and bind
New projects:  
  1. Wizard burp cloths
  2. Returning to Oklahoma this weekend to visit

This week's stats:
     Completed  projects - 2 burp cloths
     New projects - 2 burp cloths
     Currently in progress - 4 
     Those in closet - many enumerated in earlier posts and not repeated here 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quilt Immersion Weekend

Every fall, near the end of September, Alden Lane, the local nursery in Livermore, hosts an outdoor quilt show called Quilting in the Garden (details here) which runs Thursday through Sunday. Quilts are hung among clothes lines amid the giant oak trees on Saturday and Sunday and a modest number of vendors are there. Classes and lectures and garden tours are offered throughout the four days. I took a class called Fan Dance from Alex Anderson on the Thursday.  Here is a block from my Fan Dance class that included paper piecing (fan blades), curved seams (outer fan radius), and machine applique (smaller inner fan radius) - a little bit of each technique.  The fabric I chose is mostly from a line by Ty Pennington with some turquoise and bright green additions from my stash.  The turquoise and green will get distributed more than they are in these few learning blocks.  I have no real time scale or size plans for this quilt.  I took the class mainly for the instructor and techniques taught.

On Saturday I went to the quilt displays with my husband.  Here are a couple of the quilts that I especially liked.

We also visited some vendor booths on Saturday. I expanded my stash of dots and added a unique broken stripe fabric.

On Thursday through Saturday was also a Quilt and Crafting show in the neighboring town of Pleasanton at the Alameda County Fairgrounds which was mostly vendors and a few displayed quilts.  My husband also went there with me on Friday. I love to use these events to stock up on my reads-like-a-solid basics. For me this "basic" translates to polka dots, checks, and stripes.  (Which reminds me of a song by the Parachute Express you can hear here on a U-Tube video.)

I want to make a quilt using the pennants and numbers prints from the Reunion line of fabrics that I bought in Oklahoma during my visit there during my daughter's second trimester. I was on the lookout to match or at least blend with a particular gold-ish beige in the Reunion line and succeeded in finding these options. I plan to add these to break up the too matchy-matchy look that sometimes comes with sticking to just one fabric line.

This is the Reunion line from Sweetwater.  I especially like the first four pennants prints.

At the show in Pleasanton I picked up this novelty print, too, just because.  After all, with my new granddaughter (see last post) I may be traveling a bit more.

Our family enjoys a good game of Scrabble so I could not pass up this novelty print.  I have no idea of what I will use it for, but you have to admit, it is pretty unique.  Perhaps I can use the letters individually on something or maybe make a carrying case for the game with a matching drawstring bag to hold the tiles.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Autumn Has Arrived

I have not blogged since, egads, September 12!  I had one post in draft form the last weekend in September but then got distracted- and for good cause.  I flew out to my daughter and son-in-law's home in Oklahoma to await and be present at the birth of my first granddaughter.  She arrived 10-11-12 (after a 30+ hour labor) and her proud parents named her Autumn. She is just 2 hours old in the below photo weighing in at 7 lb 4 oz.  Just look at those wide open eyes and that head of hair!

Autumn has been the reason over the last months for my obsession with baby quilts, baby knitted socks, baby crocheted hats and sweater, and flannel baby burpcloths.  Here are finished pix of three quilts I made for her.  Smallest and my first FMQ'd attempt was "Strawberries and Chocolate" shown here in full view and posed on by Autumn for the photo.

Second to be finished and FMQ'd was "Duck and Cover", shown first in full view and then with Autumn and both her grandmas.  Autumn is only a few days old here.

The third quilt to be finished- and just barely the day before I left for the airport- was "Little Witch Girl", shown in full view here, though a bit shadowed, in my backyard.

Here are all three quilts spread over the laps of me and my husband with little Autumn nestled beneath.  She will have to grow into those quilts.  I sure hope they get dragged around and become threadbare!

Oh, and by the way, Autumn's mom, my daughter also made her a quilt called Trick or Treat seen here, a Star Wars quilted wall hanging seen here, and a Winnie the Pooh quilt for the Pooh themed nursery, seen here.  In true quilter fashion, the final stitches of the binding of the Winnie the Pooh were put in the night before my daughter went into labor.  And lest we forget, my daughter's quilt guild also made Autumn an adorable modern/owl quilt shown here.

Here is the Box of Sox I completed- seven pair in all accompanied by suitable reading material, of course! I was bemused that one of my daughter's favorite outfits for Autumn has lady bugs.  This was unbeknownst to me when I packaged the socks.  I guess mother and daughter have similar tastes.  Hmmm... I wonder how Autumn will fit into this picture and what she will think about all this as she gets older.

Be sure to check out my New Project with modified poem excerpt below. But, to meet the rules of linking up to WIP Wednesday, I can still cite two quilts as my "Works In Progress".  My Doll Quilt just needs the binding put on and my Grinch Quilt is just itching to come down off that design wall and be assembled- maybe even in time for Christmas this year. 

Completed projects:  
  1. "Strawberries and Chocolate"
  2. "Duck and Cover"
  3. "Little Witch Girl"
  4. Final of seven pairs of baby socks
Ongoing projects:  
  1. Doll quilt - still awaiting binding after baby projects reach a lull
  2. Grinch quilt - still on design wall for assembly and creative sashing solution
  3. Catching up on my quilt blogging- I have draft entries that will be chronologically out of synch when I do post them but so what
New projects:  
  1. Traveling to Oklahoma to rock my granddaughter
          Cleaning and scrubbing (and quilting) can wait til tomorrow
          For babies grow up we learn to our sorrow
          So quiet down cob webs, unfinished bindings go to sleep
          I'm rocking my grandbaby, and grandbabies don't keep*

*I modified this final verse of a poem. I never knew there was more to it.  The complete poem is here.

This month's stats:
     Completed  projects - FOUR!
     New projects - rocking my new granddaughter, Autumn
     Currently in progress - 3
     Those in closet - many enumerated in earlier posts and not repeated here 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced