Jan 30, 2011

And a little bit of applique

I'm adding a couple of flowers to my wall hanging today, in between watching the Figure Skating on TV. I've been hesitating so much on this thing. I have to keep reminding myself that it's only a little bit of fabric. It's not my only project either, as I sewed a few quilt blocks besides. Thanks for all the encouraging comments that have come in! I want to remember to give credit to the inspiration of Tanya Watanabe's quilt with the Japanese lettering that was published in the book Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci.

Jan 26, 2011

I hear music--up on the roof

"Turn off that blasted fiddle music!" my mother used to yell at me, just like moms do now about hip hop. I grew up on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. And Cape Breton had its own brand of country fiddle music. Nowadays, I guess the best recordings of that style are by Natalie MacMaster.
However, this wall hanging I'm attempting to make (with the encouragement of Tonya Ricucci's book Word Play Quilts) is about an altogether different fiddle music. One of the most successful Broadway shows, and a movie (three Academy Awards) was called Fiddler on the Roof --music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. The original story was written by Sholem Aleichem in the book Tevya and His Daughters. And the words to the L'Chaim song are: "Drink l'chaim, to life! God would like us to be joyful. Even though our hearts lie panting on the floor; ..." Actually, the saying "L'Chaim to Life." is a traditional toast. Chai--the word "Life" in English--has a lot of meaning. I could write a book about the word. I wouldn't know where to even begin. Chai is a loaded word, to say the least. I ought to do a series of wall hangings of it.
So anyhow, back to sewing, I looked up the Hebrew spelling for the word L'chaim. In Hebrew the "to" is a prefix. That's an l sound. It's the long letter on the right--Hebrew is from right to left. The letter looks like an English l on the top, see, with a long tail underneath. I have to now sew some fabric to the sides of the words and assemble them. I will then decide how to go from there, maybe some applique.

Jan 21, 2011

Half Log Cabin Quilt

I'm so happy to have completed this quilt. I tried to do something different--I used left over strings from the quilt for the binding. Lots of quilters do this, but it's a first for me. I just joined assorted bits together. I think that this binding goes with such a scrappy quilt. Now, why was I in a bit of a rush? Because ever since I got my hands on Tonya Ricucci's book Word Play Quilts, I've been mulling over in my mind what to make. This book is so inspiring! Anyhow, I decided what to make--a wall hanging. And I even did some research--yes, this wall hanging actually required a little bit of double checking--and then how to arrange the words. But my worst struggle was the colors. I keep telling myself to make beige lettering, but GREEN lettering keeps popping into my mind! Oh the decisions. What a lovely dilemma. And then there's the size--to be continued....

Jan 17, 2011

Half log cabin--Falling Timbers

This is how I decided to assemble those half-log-cabin quilt squares. I believe this arrangement of blocks has a name--Falling Timbers. This title reminds me of the pioneers of America who cleared forests and made farms. Anyhow, what happened is that after I made twenty blocks, I started to run out of the dark 2 1/2 inch wide strips. So I measured, and decided that I had enough blocks to make a throw or lap-sized quilt. And I added a green border. I used to not care much for green, but the last few years, after seeing so many quilters using green to such an advantage on their blogs, I changed my mind about the color. As a matter of fact, I think that I will be using some bright green on my next "creation". Meanwhile, I have a nice piece of green flannel in the wash machine at the moment, and plan to use it for the backing of this quilt. I have an idea in my mind, to make a wall hanging with the help of my new book, "Word Play Quilts," by Tonya Ricucci. Ever since I acquired the book, I've been having a good time planning a free-pieced something.

Jan 11, 2011

Half Log Cabin I Spy Quilt

I completed this quilt in March 2009. I guess that I had forgotten it. But a dear friend just gave birth to a beautiful girl. I was looking in my closet for a baby gift. I confess that my closet is not as organized as it might be. Oh, dear, here come the Quilt Police--anyhow, what a good time to find this baby quilt. It's a Half Log Cabin pattern. The novelty fabrics are cut in 6 1/2 inch squares (includes the seam allowance) and the light and dark fabric strips are 1 3/4 inches wide. The finished size of the quilt is about 35 by 44. The backing is flannel. The quilt is tied by machine. My sewing machine (Viking) has a setting for doing machine quilt tying. I don't think I would necessarily machine tie a very large quilt, but baby size is quite easy.
I'm a bit behind in my sewing lately, but I know that I'll catch up. Meanwhile, I went to the Scrap booking store today. In this town where we live, there is a big scrap booking store, and no other craft store. I pleaded with the management to at least start to stock some fat quarters and knitting yarn. We have to drive miles just to buy a button around here! Scrap booking is a big hobby, this store is stocked like a supermarket with aisles of the supplies. I don't want to even look at it, and to avoid temptation. As it is, I'm wracking my brain on finding a place to stash all my yarn. My yarn stash is getting out of hand around here. I refuse to mention my huge fabric stash, my lips are sealed.

Jan 7, 2011

New Year 2011

Happy 2011! Let's start the new year. I've finished the granny afghan. Actually, what happened is that I have used up all of my black yarn, or I would have added another row to the outside edge. So the afghan is ready to be donated for charity. I made so many afghan squares that I have quite a few left over and I'll be able to crochet another afghan pretty soon. I like this pattern, because the squares are joined as you go, instead of having to be assembled by sewing or crocheting them together--that's not very well explained, I guess, but people who crochet afghans will understand what I mean.
And I have taken a photo of some of the half log cabin blocks that I've finished so far. These things are a little bit tricky, I've learned that there's a right and left way to do these--and I made that mistake already on one of them. I have not made up my mind on how I will arrange the blocks in the final quilt, or even how many of them I'm making. That will just be more fun for me later. No hurry.
Thanks to all my friends who have posted such kind comments on my blog, I appreciate it very much. And a little PS--on that complaint I was making about Medicare--we have ironed it out as best we can and things are OK at the moment.