Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Here Kitty Kitty

Here's the UnRuly Cat I finished yesterday. It's a big block 17" x 19" 

Yes, I know, all cats are unruly. But this one is UnRuly aka free-pieced and liberated. I am so happy with how this block turned out. I think the kitty is lively and happy. Kinda looks like a Japanese anime character.

The different chest "fur" breaks up what would have been a boring body and it was a happy accident. I didn't have enough of the red dotty fabric for the body but I did have two elongated triangles left over from piecing the chin. So I added the triangles to the tail fabric and voila.

I don't think sleepy tucked-up kitty worked as well:

Maybe the lack of contrast between the face and the body? Just too purply. And I definitely prefer a smaller nose.

I'm working on an UnRuly Cat tutorial but it will be a few days. It will include easier versions than these.

Thanks everybody who voted on the topic for the next book. And the winner is: Houses. It will be more than just houses though. More like Home. And I bet you've guessed by now that will include cats. And some dogs and I'm not even sure what else.

The fun part of it is that houses and cats can be Halloween too.

I'm hoping that ya'all will be willing to play along with me. Make blocks for a group quilt(s) again like we did with Cake and Slither Eek Boo? I know, I know, I haven't even put together all the last blocks you've sent me (still have a wonderful pile of names and of random letters and words). But those can't go in the next book, which is not to say I won't be finishing them and doing something fun with them.

So maybe, if you're interested, you could make me an UnRuly Cat? Doesn't have to look like mine, but has to be free-pieced. Let's say, max size of 17" length and 17" width but it doesn't have to be a square. And it doesn't have to be this big!

It can be a Halloween cat, but might just end up in a different quilt (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Meanwhile, work is progress on the UnRuly Quilter website. I've set up a specific spot where I can post the pics of finished quilts from previous classes and challenges. Anyone who's finished a quilt from any of these, please send me pics, would love to include them. I'm slowly adding tutorials - the one on UnRuly Basics is there.

Lots of fun quilts are being made in the current Liberated Amish class. I'm amazed at how many wonderful quilts are already finished and meanwhile I'm still goofing around with my (neglected) blocks. There's still plenty of "room" in the class and the top doesn't have to be finished until June, so please come join us. You have to send an email though if you're a "no-reply" - we've gotten a couple of those lately and have no way to add them to the class blog.

I've got errands to run. Ya'all take care.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pokey Wants Attention NOW

I'd show you what I've been working on, but Pokey says there are much more important things to do

such as give her belly rubs

She's been alone all day, so I must obey.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Big woohoo! Cake is bound and washed and looks fabulous. This is the Live block that Chris Daly of Dye Candy made for the quilt. She wrote a sweet post about me here. Thanks, Chris!

Meanwhile I've been trying to cram as much together time with my husband as possible before he departs tomorrow to travel once again. Unfortunately it's going to be quite awhile before he's back in town. Not that I can complain since at least he's gainfully employed.

Habibi cat has just been jumpy as all get out lately. I think he's convinced all the cats are about to be shoved in crates and shipped off across the ocean again. It's okay, Bibi, we all get to stay in Florida!

I'll be posting more frequently soonish. And giving ya'all links to fun places. And working on that website...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Almost There

I got Cake (aka Hope is a Four Letter Word) back from the longarm machine quilter Natalie Carlton. I am so impressed with her quilting. She doodled in each block with thread the color of the background. There are amazing patterns but the letters and the words are still the star. I asked her to leave the threads hanging for me to pull to the back, knot, and bury.

I actually enjoyed the process of working with the threads. It gave me a chance to carefully look and admire each block.

Another peek:

and the final look:

I'm finishing the binding and should get the quilt into the washer this afternoon. I'm just the teensiest bit worried that one of these fabrics will run, but I'll add two boxes worth of Color Catchers and hope that does the trick.

I'm really happy with this quilt. The quilters who made blocks for it are all amazing - thank you. The next time you see it, fingers crossed, it will be in a book.

I'm thinking of the next book already. I'm slow, it could take me ages to get it done, especially if I do lots of quilts that I want to hand-quilt. The next one needs to be without letters (although a very few wordy quilts could be in the gallery). Without knowing the specifics of what would be in the book, which UnRuly topic immediately grabs your interest? Halloween or Houses (with Gwen's blessing)? I can see fun either way. If neither grabs you, what would? There's a poll over in the sidebar, please vote. I'd love to hear your comments, especially if you pick "other."

I gotta get back to work. Ya'all take care.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I've got a fun quilt to share with you today. Tea for Two by Laura Caudle

Laura really cracks me up. This is how she describes the making of this quilt:

I have been a fan of your quilts for a while, and have longed to make a quilt with your liberated letters but have been intimidated.  (I come from a long line of German, Austrian and uptight British ancestors.  I even plant flowers in rows.  Rows!  Very martial.)  Anyway, I decided to shake off the shackles of genetics and just go for it.  I took a paper piecing class (and as part of my anti-uptightness (not a word, I know, but it fits) therapy I even did wonky teacups.  And then I was struck with a crazy bug and designed my own border of stacked saucers - they are wonky, too.  And THEN I let go and just did some liberated letters.  It was exciting!  It was freeing!  It was scary!  And I didn't do too well!  But darnit - it was fun and I'm going to do it again!
Whew.  I need to go organize my pantry by food type, color and size now or I'm going to have an aneurism. 
Thank you for inspiring a little crazy freedom.  Following is a picture of my nuttiness - not yet complete, because I have to go buy batting - hanging in its future spot.

I have to completely disagree with her on the "didn't do too well" front. She did GREAT. It can be really hard to just wing a quilt and improvise and she did it wonderfully. And Laura has since discovered my free-pieced teacup tutorial (still living in Quiltville but one of these days migrating to my site). 

Laura, thanks for the photo and the laughs.

Still on the subject of free-piecing teacups, take a look at Roz's current improv quilt all about coffee and tea. I happen to love the two different blue background colors under her letters.

I learned how to do Liberated quilting from Gwen Marston and Gwen gives credit to antique quilts inspiring her to go that route. It's not a new thing. As a great example, and still on the topic of teacups, take a look at Deb Rowden's blog at this great Crazy Teacup feedsack quilt. [If you like improvisational, string and utility quilting, Deb's is a great blog to read. She shows some of her own work as well as quilts she's given homes.]

And here is one of my favorite quilts ever. It was made by Lureca Outland of Alabama in 1994:

Credit Line: International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2000.004.0091

Gwen's been out on the road teaching and I'm so envious of her students. Take a look at Sarah's report from class here and here. And Bonnie Hull's pics here.

I've been working like crazy this week at the computer. Making my eyes cross so I think I'm going to give it a rest now. My sweetie gets home tomorrow for an all too brief stay before once again departing. You'd think I'd be cleaning now wouldn't you, but you'd be wrong. I need to do some hand quilting, gosh darnit. Assuming my kitties let me...

Ya'all take care!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Rather Than Playing

Rather than playing with my strings and triangles

(I do like busy, don't I. These are so fun all mushed together)

I've been a good girl working on my website. It's still a looong way from finished, but I'm really happy with how it's coming out. You can go sneak a peek, just keep in mind it's under construction.

I've been good about that, with the diet? Not so much. Mmm pizza. I've gotten hooked on my own combo of Ham, Bacon, Pineapple, Onion, Jalapeno, Banana Pepper, and Green Pepper. yummy.

It's been chillier here than I expect it to be. We've had a number of grey days, which do nothing to help my mood, but today we've been lucky enough to have some sun. Lily is making the most of it:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Florida's Gifts

I went to a local quilt show on Saturday and have all sorts of thoughts comparing the judging in quilt shows to that in ice skating (or, as I just spelled it, ice staking). But my brain is not unscrambled enough to write coherently so instead, some random thoughts.

I enjoyed this quilt Florida's Gift by Barbara Stewart. I love this original design of carefully appliqued fruits and vegetables cut from printed fabrics:

And of course I completely forgot to take a detail shot. Meanwhile, Natalie C. won Best Machine Quilting and 1st Place in her category:

Natalie is a sweetie - she works one day a week at my favorite quilt shop, the JaMPatch, AND she's longarm quilting Cake for me. Woohoo.

I had to piece the backing together - a chore I truly hate. Pokey tried to lay claim to the fabrics:

I've been working on website and other computery stuff this week and have not had nearly enough time for sewing or quilting. My progress can be seen over in the Liberated Amish Get Together blog.

Thank you all for the feedback on the book title. I've picked a favorite, but it will be interesting to see what actually ends up on the book.