Challenges Revealed…..

I thought that you might enjoy seeing some of the other 8-point star challenges that were shown on Tuesday night……

Sylvia showed these two…..


She has written up a pattern for her “artichoke” quilt block and it is available on her website…..


Deb used some magical colors for hers…..


Fay made her “Shades of Black” table runner  (sorry about the bad photo)….DSC02355

while Terri worked large and wonderful……

Pat usually makes two quilts and she outdid herself this time.   The first one is reminiscent of forest fires thru a window……


and her second one is called “New Growth”.  It is heavily embroidered and this photo does not do it justice……DSC02359

We all loved the bright colors in Diane’s wonderful quilt……


Denise made a great table runner just in time for the 4th of July!!…..


Barbara, the designer of the challenge, made a symbolic piece using symbols for Islam and Judaism……


I did miss getting a photo of the first quilt, but it was a pieced block with an applique flower in it.


It was a great challenge and was fun to see everyone’s interpretations.

I have found that, if I have time to work on a piece, I LOVE to do challenges and cant wait for the next one to be presented……


Caution….quilting in progress….

On Friday, I added the borders, made the back and started with the quilting.  

The border fabric that I decided on was a hand-dyed , very dark piece with small amounts of blue and purple in it.


I normally put a very “busy” fabric on the back so that you cant see the quilting, but decided that maybe I WANTED the quilting to show….


Hope I am happy with that decision when it is all over!!!

So I am currently quilting away……


….hopefully I can get it finished tomorrow!!!  Although, I am not sure exactly what it looks like to take a FINISHED project to a Challenge reveal!!!

Applique finished…..

Today I put the finishing touches (almost) on the quilt top.   I say almost because I have decided to make one more small change to the very bottom of the picture….something just doesn’t look right and I want to play with it a bit more.

The biggest task for today was to add the 8-point star blocks that are required for the guild challenge.   I thought that this was going to be an easy task, but I had a hard time deciding which fabrics to use.   I kept adding different colors and not being happy with any of them……


….then it dawned on me that the blocks could be rotated so that the diagonal set would be on top……DSC02338

Much better!!

In the end, I used a series of different fabrics to create the tiles and the final piece looked like this……


I normally don’t put a border on my “picture” quilts, but I think that this one needs to be reigned in with a border.  I have a piece of hand dyed fabric that is mostly black with some small lines of blue here and there and I think that I will use that for the border.

Hopefully tomorrow I can get the top finished and get it basted and ready to start quilting…..will see if I get that far!!

It’s detail time…..

Today, I spent about 4 hours just fixing small problems and adding some details to the piece. 

I decided that I wanted to change one of the window designs so ended up drawing a “floweresque” design instead of the circles in the original photo……


The design doesn’t pop much, but I think that I kind of like the subtleness of it.  And, if I don’t, I will add some more pop with the quilting.

This is where I ended for the day…..


And I have to ask…..does anyone else work in this sort of mess????…..


I mentioned last time that I still needed to piece the 8 pointed star blocks, and one of my fellow guild members (Sylvia) reminded me that I didn’t HAVE to piece it, but could applique it instead…..good thought!!   By the way, click HERE to see Sylvia’s entry in the challenge.  I LOVE her creativity!!

Oh, and one more thing…..have I mentioned that this has to be finished by next Tuesday???   Yikes!!!

Turning the corner

For the last few days, I have been completely unhappy with the way that the Dome quilt was coming.  I have moved fabrics back and forth, recut pieces two and three times and took copious numbers of photographs, hoping that I would be magically inspired.

At this point, I had just about had it……DSC09153

I was starting to work on the arches and was thinking about using green for the supports, but just felt that it would be too blah.

So, I started looking thru fabrics and came up with this one piece….a hand-dye that was half peachy and half grey-brown.   I then found a few other pieces that complimented that piece…..and I was off again….

The unfortunate part was that I only had a small piece of this inspiration fabric, and I can tell you that it takes courage to cut this piece out, knowing that I don’t have any more


I did some stupid things while cutting this fabric, including cutting a couple of pieces too small and having to piece some together because the color change happened in the wrong place.   But I have finished with it and have a few inches to spare!!

After several hours of cutting, previewing, discarding, and cutting again, I felt like I needed to see where the borders were going to be, so I added some black fabric around the sides to give me an idea of how the finished project would look.  At this point, I actually started to like what I had done!!


There are still a LOT of  details that need to be added or changed in some way, but I think that it will work now!!!

If you remember, the purpose of this quilt was to fit into a guild challenge where we have to use this 8 pointed star…..


….and you might well ask where that block will go.

The plan is to put 8 of those blocks into the one open arch……will see how hard it will be to piece this block in a 3 inch size!!!

At least I can go to bed happy!!!

Decision made….well actually, decision put off!!

On Wednesday, I spent the morning visiting with a quilting friend who was getting ready to try machine quilting on her first quilt.   So, I drove to her house and showed her a few tips to get her started.  She has made a very cute purple and yellow baby quilt and I cant wait to see how she quilts it.

This afternoon (Thursday), I decided to continue with the Domes, but just not worry about the support beams for right now.

I had a great three hours playing with fabrics and seeing what I could use in my stash without having to buy anything else.

This is where I stopped……


However, I know that I am going to change the two left hand domes from the purplish color to the mottled blue and pink of those on the right.

The more I look at this, I think that the support beams need to be of a lighter color, but who knows….there are lots of days left to decide that!!!


I started this morning with a fun “BE”… with a quilting friend!!!

The “DO” for the day included a bit of accounting work and vacuuming the ceramic logs in our gas fireplace.

Then I toddled upstairs to work on the Domes and the rot set in!!    I wanted to put some of the support beams in place before I continued with more domes, but I simply cant figure out what fabrics to use.

I have cut, placed and photographed at least 15 different fabrics and I simply am not happy with any of them!!!   I thought that I had decided when I used the navy blues…..


….but now I am not so sure!!

I am wondering if I don’t want to use lighter fabrics rather than darks???  Looking at the photo again, I am thinking about continuing with the green fabrics for the supports. 

But for now I think that I will put that decision off a little longer and start on the other decorative bits for the purple domes.  Besides, it might be better to do the supports last……

As my favorite “Calvin and Hobbes” quote says…..”A day without denial is a day you have to face!!!”


On Saturday, I found this comic strip in our paper……


….and I felt that it was an appropriate mantra for my summer.   I want to…..

DO…..some task from my list


DO…..some task

BE…..with friends and family

DO…..something fun and silly!!


And, when you think of my list, you HAVE to sing it to the tune of “Strangers in the Night”….that is what comes into my mind!!


On Saturday, I started out with a “Do” and scrapped and repainted the metal pole that holds our mail box.   It was rusting and looking pretty bad but 1-1/2 hours of scraping, cleaning and spraying with rust-resistant paint made it look great.   OK…one thing off of my “DO” list.

Next was to head to the studio and work more on the Dome quilt.  For some reason, I am nervous about this quilt and have to motivate myself to work on each new section.   At the end of the day, I had added only a little bit to the composition but had done a lot of thinking about where to go next……


I was VERY unsure about using the green, but I think that it will look good in the long run.  It has some of the same blues and a hint of gold in the pattern.

The arch supports are the next thing to tackle.  I am thinking about introducing some grey and black, but am still not sure.   Guess I need to just cut a few of the support pieces from different fabrics and see what I like!!!

…..more to come…..

Changing boats in mid stream……

Yesterday I didn’t end up spending time in the studio, but did do some creating in my flower garden.   Many of the perennials that I had planted last spring did not make it thru the harsh winter so I set out looking for new ones.   Then I had the thought that, since the bed was so small, I could easily plant annuals each year and increase my flower to foliage ratio!!!   So, I first weeded the bed and trimmed back some dead stems and then I enjoyed planting about 25 new plants….about half perennial and half annual.  


Now I just get to wait for them to grow and bloom!!!

I also had to deal with a pesky set of deer who have been enjoying a few of my leafier plants and pulling up my tulip bulbs by the leaves!!!!  Hopefully the application of a deer repellent will do the trick!!


This morning I met a fellow quilter for coffee and then returned home to get started on my “Blue Mosque” project.

Now, if you cast your mind back to the previous post about this project, I had all of my fabrics picked out, organized  and ready to use.

I started laying those fabrics in roughly the spots they would occupy……


But then I realized that there needed to be a light source and that the fabrics were going to be too dark.   SO…….

The fabric that I found to be the light in the window was blue and not tealDSC02269

….. so all of the other fabrics needed to change as well!!

At this point, I was starting to tense up because I wasn’t sticking with my original plan, but I gave myself a good talkin’ to and told myself to just go with the flow.  Apparently I listened  because I was able to go forward and keep making changes.

I had thought that the windows in each dome would be yellow, but as I tried lots of different fabrics, it became clear that these first ones needed to be bluish…..


I found one piece of hand-dyed fabric that I had bought at some point (I think that it was actually a drop cloth that someone just squeezed together to meld the dyes) and was able to cut the first set of windows from it.

I also made a decision to cut the windows as a unit rather than making each one individually.   This is a bit of a pain to cut, but it sure makes the layout process easier!!!!

At the end of my afternoon, the first dome was formed…..


I am fusing the pieces together and had originally thought that I would lay out the entire top before I started actually fusing.   After this one dome, I think that I will go ahead and fuse sets together as I go.

Tomorrow is free except for a trip to the gym early in the morning and dinner with good friends at their house in the evening, so I cant wait to get back to it!!!!