Sunday, October 17, 2010

Starburst center

Whee, V of Bumble Beans Inc sent back my String Lone Star. Here is Pokey holding it down:

I made all the small stringed diamonds and assembled the big diamonds in 2008 while I was living in Paris. They sat and sat because I just wasn't sure how to put them together. While V was visiting, we got the pieces out and auditioned these orange shades. V, who loves making Y-seams, then made all the background pieces and then joined it all together for me. Huge thank you - she did a smashing job.

I tried to think of a name that had a star connotation as well as brightness. I came up with Starburst after the candy (which I bought just to give you this image):

And to give you a better perspective of the size:

Too bad I don't have fun Halloween pedicured toes like Barb.

I learned a lesson about paper-pieced diamonds - remove the paper before putting them together:

It's much harder to remove because of the angles, as compared to straightforward paper-pieced squares.

I think I'm going to add a border to this, although it's strong enough to stand on its own. I'll do some components assembly and then decide.

For a complete change of topic, I'm so disappointed in this fall tv season. Pretty bleah on the networks. Tried and disliked so many, including:
  • Hawaii Five-0 - so tired of cop shows
  • Undercovers - the leads are pretty, but oh so dull
  • Detroit 1-8-7 - love Michael Imperioli and the soundtrack, but ugh, so predictable. I'm watching it thinking how is it that the newbie who's wife is expecting a baby didn't get shot during the hostage crisis and then blammo. Yep, definitely called it...
  • The Defenders - loved Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell but man, I hate shows that take place in a courtroom. If they could have down more behind the scenes (ala Damages) I'd have been all for it.
  • Law and Order: Los Angeles - that whole ho hum cops and lawyers thing
  • The Event - completely unappealing. trying so hard to be Lost (look, we even have a plane!)
What I am actually watching:
  • Project Runway - of course!!! can I just say what a bleah runway show that was this week? black black black black. there are other colors people!!! I thought the judges chose the right person to go home (that really was the third time we saw the same outfit!)
  • Top Chef: Just Desserts - incredibly watchable. Who knew pastry chefs could be such divas, not to mention you shouldn't cast someone who is actually unhinged. The only bad thing about the show is that it makes me crave sweets.
  • Terriers on FX. Terrible name since it sounds like a show about the Westminster Dog Show, but it has nothing to do with dogs.  Instead the title refers to the two down-and-out unlicensed private investigators getting into all sorts of trouble. It's got lots of heart, pathos, running stories, but you really can just jump in. Donal Logue has been my sweetie ever since the Tao of Steve  - he's wonderful to watch. In some ways the show reminds me of Veronica Mars - highly recommend you try this one out.
  • Castle - I've really surprised at just how much I like this one, it's so grown on me. Fun mystery and it's lighthearted. Doesn't count as a cop show since it has the marvelous Richard Castle mystery writer as one of the leads (Woohoo, Nathan Fillion!)  [note: I'd send you to the official website but it has an ad that starts up automatically and can't be stopped - how obnoxious is that!]
  • Chuck - I've been really disappointed this season. I want a fun, light-hearted show and it's determinded to be more serious. I want more Buy More and less relationship whining! More Jeffster and Casey paired up with Morgan. oh, and fill in Ellie already so that a great character isn't always in the dark whining.
  • Mad Men - truly been some series high points this season. The penultimate episode had too much Betty and Sally (I so don't care) - here's hoping they move really far away!
  • Fringe - the show is never quite as good as I want it to be, but still lots of fun.

So I should really think about getting chores done now. Here's another Pokey pic to hold you over until the next blog post:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This is Halloween


If you were to visit me this month (or last month and a good part of next month), Slither Eek Boo would be the first thing you'd see.  I actually don't have a good place to display a large wall quilt here, not since I put up my design wall instead.

Caution, here be spiders:

I love having most of my Halloween decorations here (more are in storage - sigh)

The buttons from repurposed shirts, plus a few eyeballs and spiders:

Bad to the Bone:

My shelves no longer look this tidy. I need to figure out something creepy to hang from the rod here. I tried a ghost, but it just disappeared into the wall. Blooming Horrors amongst a couple of crusties:

Pokey and Cranky Witch:

And that's not even all the Halloween quilts I've made. Definitely my favorite quilty holiday.

I got incredibly distracted while writing this post. First I wanted to find a video of This is Halloween from Nightmare Before Christmas. I stumbled across this version by Panic! at the disco, which I like much better than the original:

unfortunately you can't buy just the song, it comes as part of an entire album. I don't like it that much. But the search for the song got me looking at Halloween compilations at iTunes. There are all sorts of songs I'd never even heard. Usually it's just Monster Mash... Anyway, now I'm looking for songs to add to my own mix. What's your favorite song(s) that would work for Halloween?

Since this is a Halloweeny post, you need a picture of a black kitty. Howler enjoying the cooler weather we've been having (woohoo!) and the fresh air:

Of course today it's hot and muggy and cloudy again, drat.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Wool Utility Quilt

I love this wool utility quilt, made in New York state around 1900. It is so amazing and dynamic:


The quilt appears in the book Living with Quilts by Phyllis George. The book shows 50 different quilts--running the entire gamut--in household settings. The book never shows the whole quilt except for small wallhangings which makes me nuts but on the other hand: great quilts, fun settings. (you can get the book used really inexpensively - I do recommend it despite the quibble).

Back to the wool utility quilt. I LOVE it. Try and figure out how it was made and keep in mind: no rotary cutters were used. I'm sharing this quilt today because I've been thinking about it when I visit the 15 Minutes Play blog, where a bee is working together to create this wondrousness. V explained how to make the blocks here.

On the subject of utility quilts, ComicBookLady had a great opportunity to meet several of the quilters from Gee's Bend AND see some amazing quilt. Read about it here.
Lily is waiting for me to get back to work so she can jump on the cutting table - although sometimes she does stay in the cat tree that I've airlifted her to.

take care!

Friday, October 01, 2010


Bugly is a term that stands for really ugly or "b--- ugly." Ugly fabric helps a quilt, lifting it out of the expected. I'm all for that, but I think these particular buglies would overwhelm my current quilt:

Smaller pieces than I'm showing here wouldn't be so overwhelming

but would lose their zing! I got these in an exchange with Nifty Quilts, whose blog I absolutely adore. Nifty sent me these buglies:

and in exchange all she got was bright plaid fabrics--positively boring in comparison--and labels. Anyway, I love looking at Nifty's quilts, such as this one, and this one and these ones (Heck, just go read her whole blog.) made with lots of uglies. So I want to do something big scale with the buglies she sent me, and not just use slivers...

Meanwhile, making slow progress on the hope and stars quilt, as you can see in the top pic. I've auditioned backgrounds. I thought this yellow check would work:

but it looks boring, especially in comparison to this:
Speaking of string stars... Years ago I started a string lone star, but bogged down after completing the big pieces. V aka Bumble Beans, who is a crazy woman and loves sewing Y-seams, took it home with her along with some fabric. She's pieced some amazing giant crumb blocks to be the star background. It looks so awesome, go check the star in progress. That link will take you over to 15 Minutes Play, a great blog with lots of fun going on - everyone is welcome to join in.
Sujata posted a pic of her current project there and it's amazing! Sujata, V, and Nifty--as well as several other fun quilters--post pics of their work to the Rebels! blog, which I also recommend. Great stuff out there in blogland.

Complete change of topic. This is such a great season of Project Runway. Without getting into any spoilers, I was sooo happy last week at who went home, but this week I would have gone with the other choice. Meanwhile, love Mondo and the fabric pattern he made this week totally rocks.

Cat photo time. I remember the days when I would put down fabric and instantly attract kitty attention. Now, Habibi would rather sleep:

And just because I'm afraid of rebellion (from you lot - not her) if I don't include Pokey too:

that's all for me today. take care!