Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Diamonds, More Shirts

I haven't sewn many more of my diamonds but I have enough for a blog post, if not a quilt.

I used one fabric with just one other on the tip to see how it would work, taking my inspiration from a string star utility quilt shown in Gwen Marston's Liberated String Quilts. Anyway, don't really love it, but leaving it in at least for now:

I'm including a few hints of the shirt fabrics that Bonnie sent me (ooh, way back when I lived in Paris ages ago) so I have something other than just stripes, plaids and solidish.

I know I need to buy more of the dark shirts, but it's hard to force myself when there are such amazing, gorgeous wonderful light colors. It wasn't an arm twist to get the fabulous dark purple plaid but I don't find enough wondrousness like that. I figure the pink paisley will work as a dark too - that one fits in the ugly category for me, but I know quilts need ugly fabrics to be fun.

One of these days I won't be living in Florida, so I gotta buy Florida shirts while I can. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I couldn't resist the fabulous iridescent purple even at a higher price (I'll just consider that a donation to Hospice) and look hot pink stripes!

It's so hard to find light blue shirts (just like the quilting fabric in that color is so scarce) and I don't understand why. I don't care that they're not "in." Look how great this shirt looks with Pokey's eyes.

Walking around the mall it was pretty obvious what colors are "in" for fall clothing. Lots of grays and purple/magenta. Can I just have a rant now about standardization?

I asked my branch library about donating new quilting books. Gorgeous books they don't already have - I want them on the shelf, not just sold for a dollar. Nope, not possible. They only put books, CDs, DVDs etc into circulation that have been purchased by someone at HQ, in bulk. All purchasing decisions are made at main. There's no head librarian at each branch making selections.

And you can't have something at this branch that the others don't have? what??? Yes it's a branch library system but that should mean a bigger variety of books, not fewer. I'm not going to be jealous that another branch has it - I'm going to request it and read it!

It costs too much money to catalog an individual book??? A FREE high quality book? grr argh. Get a volunteer to do it - can't be that difficult.

I worked at a city library and later a branch library for years in my hometown. The donations were carefully sifted and high quality books were put on the shelves either as new or as replacements for worn copies. The head librarian at the branch got to order new books herself (I know - I did the typing!). Man, I hope it still works that way there and this horribleness hasn't happened at all libraries.

Sigh. At least my hold request for Justin Cronin's The Passage finally came through...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Avoiding the Dreaded Ys

Here's a little string star I made on Monday:

Can I say again how I love the shirts? The block just has a softer look to it than it would with typical fabric. loving it. Anyway, I played with triangles to piece this puppy so that I could avoid the dreaded Y-seams. I made the triangles oversized so that the star floats in what will probably be an 11" finished block. The final verdict: easier to piece but definitely more time consuming. I do like how the plaids look mismatched. I suspect I'll get better at it with practice.

Speaking of Y-seams, check out the quilt on the front of American Jane's Quilts for All Seasons

I think it's a beauty but eek, Y-seams. I'd have to come up with a different way of making it. I love Sandy Klop's use of color and fabric. This (mosaic tile???) quilt is my favorite in the book:

It looks like an antique but a bright and happy one that never faded. I haven't tried making any of the patterns or following the directions, but I love her technique for putting this one together. I'd never have thought of it - I'd have been sewing these things together in looong rows.

And for the Scottie lovers out there, I think this is my favorite quilted version of the dog ever:

See, I don't just blog about cats! Okay, I actually do. Speaking of kitties...

I told you about my allergy ordeal last post. Well, d'oh, I'm an idiot (you'll have to imagine the accompanying slap on the forehead).  I hadn't considered when was the last time I changed the filters in my air purifier. So I ordered new ones and Pokey found the box I'd casually tossed aside:

I love how she managed to get in the box at that angle - and have it stay that way. You'll notice shirt bits waiting for further dismantling in the foreground and Halloween quilts in the background (woohoo!).

Of course Lily had to come over - she's sitting on my cutting table that isn't long for this world (the cats managed to break the screws so the foldy table bit on the other side came off.)

This is just inevitable:

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Hopes

Here are some hints at the currently unnamed quilt I'm sewing right now using my shirt fabric:

The strange looking object on the table next to Pokey is my Keep-Kitties-Off-My-Fabric tool: a hamper lid. I get those strips all nicely ironed and cut and then Pokey and Lily in particular enjoy mashing them down flat.

I finally started sewing again after an allergy break (killer headaches from playing with fabric - really sucks) but I'm feeling a bit better now on a new medication. I did put away all my regular fabric though (is it old and so has more dust accumulated or just different chemicals used in the manufacturing process?) to just play with the shirts, which don't affect me nearly as much.

I don't know what the end point is going to be with this latest Hope quilt. Just trying to focus on the current step.