Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cone Nebula Quilt - Section 11

This is a very quick post - I was going to post yesterday, but there is something about a very hot day and a gossipy silly novel that just militates against work. The closest I came was putting together the second column of the Cone Nebula and sewing together the first and second columns. First, though, here is Section 11 (the bottom section of Column 2):
Please note that there are three pieces of plain pale purple on the right side of this piece. Those are rescued pieces from the end-of-sale culling that we did after the guild's fabric sale last week. They just happened to be the right size and shade. How cool is that?

Here is Column 2. I laid it out on the grass (the air was pretty still) and climbed up on a ladder to get this shot and the next one.
Here are the first two sections next to each other (after taking this picture, I took them inside and sewed them together). The oval and arrow point to an area that needs a little work - I'll be swapping out three pieces of yellow and putting in some dark fabric in the lower part of that area.
I have been working away on the Every Way Wrap as well. Here is a current picture:
and a close-up shot:
Finally, here is the best way to handle hot weather:
At one point yesterday, I looked up, and Hubby was reading in his chair, three of the cats were sprawled in the front hall, one was out on the stoop, and the fifth was up on the dining room table. None of us looked energetic. It was a good afternoon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cone Nebula Quilt - Section 10

Before you read my post, please go to the Yarn Harlot's blog and read her post of May 12. Wow. I almost cried as I read this post because there is so much basic truth in there about setting priorities and getting real. I titled my blog very deliberately because it feels sometimes as though I am juggling so many things. Last evening, after a long afternoon of sewing and pressing, my right wrist was hurting. I sat in the living room with Hubby dearest and watched the cartoon programs on Fox ("The Simpsons," "Bob's Burgers," and "Family Guy" for those who watch emotionally engaging programming on Sunday evenings instead) and did no knitting, no spinning, no reading, and no guilt. Sometimes, you just need to turn off.

However, I did have a very productive weekend with the Cone Nebula Quilt, and here we see Section 10 (the last section in the left hand column) being laid out.
What I did was look at the lowest sections of all three columns, and then I projected down from the section right above Section 10 and drew fabrics from that section down into Section 10. I also looked at the lowest done section in the middle column and projected which fabrics would flow into the lowest section of that column and how they should work with the fabrics in Section 10. I didn't have quite enough of either the blue dotted fabric or the black fabric with pink and orange dots to fill both sections; however, when I flowed them together, I have enough. I think that section sparkles.

As I was working along, I did have a helper:
The Brat Cat looks so proud of herself, doesn't she? Anyway, I got the section all sewn together and then noticed this:
I have been trying very hard to fool the viewer's eye. I don't want people looking at this quilt and saying, "Oh, a kaleidoscope quilt! How interesting!" I want people to see the colors and shapes. So, when I see a corner like this, I need to camouflage it. Here's a test:
See how that softens that "blocky" feeling? Here's how it looks in context:
While I was working along on this, Hubby Dearest stopped in to chat with me about some stuff, and he and the Brat Cat had a conversation of their own:
That bureau on which she's sprawled sits just inside the sewing room door, and a cat sitting on it can see into the bedroom and down the stairs. It also holds fabric yardage, but that's clearly less important.

After I finished Section 10, I sewed it to the other three sections in Column 1. I had to get the step ladder and pin it up in the stairwell. Please try to look past the railing (with its chili pepper lights). Here's the top of the column:
and the bottom of the column:
As we stood in the living room, looking up and admiring this, I saw a pretty glaring error, but the error is hidden by the railings in these pictures. There's a small triangle in one of the green areas that is just plain wrong. I'm going to study it and see if judicious use of Prismacolor pencils or a dab of fabric paint might solve the problem - or else I could spend the half hour it would take to remove the one wrong piece, insert another, etc. - or else I could spend a lifetime being irritated at the mistake.

I hope you have a good week of it. I do try to post more often, but I'd rather post something interesting once a week than something blah more regularly.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cone Nebula Quilt - Section 9

Good morning! We finally got a sunny and warm spring in this neighborhood. Hooray! I have been pulling weeds and grass from the flower garden; and this weekend, I put out the drip hose. What a lovely task to do!

I want to draw your attention to a couple of items, the first one is from, and I think it got posted about a month later than it should have.

The second item is for anyone who is a college student, thinking about becoming one, or is a recent one (or anyone who knows someone in this position). It is from the excellent blog, The Tenured Radical. I may not always agree with her, but this advice about finances is very much on target.

The weekend also included laying out and sewing together Section 9 of the Cone Nebula quilt. We are at this section:
I wanted a particular shade of yellow, so I pulled out all of the yellows I could find:
None of these was quite right - either too pale, too yellow, too orange, too variegated, or too brown. I found the perfect color, but there was a problem with the fabric (which is an unknown fabric I bought at the quilt guild's donated fabric sale last spring) - besides it probably not being all cotton, it is very thin:
I went ahead and cut out the pieces and then thought that I should stabilize them and just add a little body to the fabric. From the depths of my supplies, I pulled out some very thin 20-year-old fusible interfacing:
I didn't want to "thicken" the fabric so much as to give it a little help. I figured that between the heavy steaming and the sewing in, this would be a half-way decent plan. (Okay, to answer your question, all of my fingers were crossed during this process.) Here is the front side of a block using this:
Here's the reverse, showing how seams are our friends!
(see the faint web of the interfacing on those pieces on the lower left? Here is the completed Section 9. We have reached the three-quarters point of this project!
I sort of wondered about whether I should intercut the pale yellow and orange fabric (in the long yellow line), but I think it helps that section to "twinkle."

I hope everyone has a good week.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cone Nebula Quilt - Section 8

NPR is full of news of the death of Osama Bin Laden this morning. I hope this means we can finally get out of both of Stupidhead's dirty little wars. (Sorry, but I have trouble sullying his father's name by referring to 43 by name.)

It's been almost two weeks since I posted. I thought I would post in the middle of last week after the exhaustion of Triduum and Easter. Hubby is the person who coordinates the liturgies for the Triduum, including coaching the priests and lay ministers through the details of these highest of high holy days. He tapped a friend and me to co-coordinate the Easter Vigil, and we arrived home about 1:40a on Easter Sunday. We were back at the church in time for the 8:30a liturgy, and I helped usher the downstairs liturgies at 10 and 12. This is normal for us.

What wasn't normal was that on Thursday morning, Hubby learned that a 12-year-old boy in the parish had died suddenly on Wednesday evening. We have known the boy's father as long as we've known each other (that's 20 years for those keeping track). The funeral was the Tuesday after Easter; it was one of those funerals where people walk in silently, nod to people they know, then sit and stare off vacantly into the distance - each of us knowing that the grief we were experiencing was about a millionth of that being experienced by the parents and older brother. I was so devastated that I was afraid to post anything last week for fear of saying something wrong.

At the end of the week, I got the really fabulous news that my pal, Deb Grifka, won first place in her category at the American Quilting Society show in Paducah!  

Then, because I am a 50-something woman who has a lot of balls in the air, I had to work up the list of volunteers needed for the quilt guild's three-day weekend of classes coming up at the end of July. If you are in southeastern Michigan and are interested in fabric arts, please do consider signing up for classes. You can find more information here. Of course, if you want to volunteer to help, I would be very happy to hear from you.

I also spent several hours on Saturday sorting fabric for the guild's sale of donated fabric that we will hold at the May meeting. We sell donated fabric by the pound and we also have books, magazines, patterns, and some quilting supplies - all at really low prices. Proceeds go to SAFE House.

On Sunday afternoon, I went into the sewing room and sewed up Section 8 of the Cone Nebula quilt. To give it some context, the piece right above it is this piece:

And here is the newest section, which will go right below:
I told Hubby yesterday that I am starting to get bored. It feels as though this is turning into a real slog, but then I look at these pictures, and I get excited all over again. Next weekend, I want to get the next section done - the section immediately below this weekend's section. Then, I'll be able to do the final three sections along the bottom of the quilt. Of course, this is assuming that real life allows some space.... (or that I get more aggressive about creating space for creative work.....)