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Archive for December, 2010

Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas!

From my house to yours, wishing you the many blessings of the season.

 

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Have you ever had a quilt design go horribly wrong at the end of the process? I imagine it’s happened to someone before, only not to me. I have Electric Quilt, I’m supposed to be able to work out all the kinks on paper (or on screen) before a single fabric is cut. Well, that didn’t work for me this time. And it’s not EQ’s fault, it’s all user error.

You see, I found this oh-so-cute fabric online:

And I decided to make it the focus fabric for my granddaughter’s first quilt. And I used the swatch to design it.

Here is the first version:

And I loved it very much.

But when my fabric order arrived and I took it down to Quilting Adventures to pull the coordinating fabrics, it quickly became apparent that my original color palette was too pastel for the fairies fabric. Also, the EQ version looks very busy and the scale of the fairies is actually quite large, each fairy is about 5 inches wide. I was originally going to put the fairies into the interior blocks too, but even with 9 inch blocks, the fairies wouldn’t show in those small patches. So I scrapped that plan.

I bought small pieces of the coordinating fabrics so that I could change the EQ design accordingly:

I wasn’t crazy about this, but I couldn’t really put my finger on the reason, other than that the border was so much lighter-looking than the interior. Well, I went and bought all the fabric anyway and made the quilt top. I guess at that point I was just hoping it would all work out in the end.

I knew I wasn’t going to get it completely finished by Christmas, but I had to have the top done this week because Erin’s local friends were throwing her a surprise baby shower and I wanted to present it to her then. And I worked on it up until the day before the shower. I spent an entire afternoon putting on the borders and when it was hanging on my design wall, I had a disheartening realization:

I HATED IT.

I’ve never had this happen before. But there was no way I was going to give it to her like this, and I wasn’t going to scrap the whole thing either. I could have, she didn’t know about it. But I’ve put several months into this project and damn it, I’m going to fix it.

I decided that one thing I didn’t like about this is that the pink fabric, which looks so nice with the purple, does not look good with the fairies. It did in the quilt shop, but not at home. So I took the fairies border off. The fairies will only be on the back. The fairies will not touch the front of the quilt. The narrow purple border will stay, and I’ll bind it with the same fabric.

We do have a happy ending. The shower was last night and Erin loves the quilt. That’s all that matters.

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Sensor dust

Ack! There’s a hair on my camera sensor!

I had a half snow day on Thursday, so I played around with my camera in front of the Christmas tree. As this shot so dramatically shows, I have a dirty sensor. This isn’t something I want to mess around with and I also don’t want to put up with it any longer. I noticed it on some shots I took at Halloween, but I thought it was my lens, which I cleaned. I haven’t done a lot of shooting since then but I hadn’t seen this dumb hair again, so I thought I had taken care of it.

Obviously not. I finally figured out that it only shows up with a small aperture and I was doing a lot of shooting wide open.

I learned on the message board at Richmond Photography Meetup Group that our local camera repair shop has recently closed down. The local camera chain doesn’t clean sensors, but they will send your camera to the manufacturer for you. The message board mentioned a repair shop in Charlottesville, ProCamera, so I called them. They clean sensors for $45, do it in-house and can do it in just a couple of days. So we made an unscheduled trip on Saturday, dropped off the camera, and I can pick it up tomorrow.

Whew! Just in time for the grandbaby to arrive and be with us for a couple of days. You know I’m going to be in a photographic frenzy when she gets here.

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Current Project

Since I can’t seem to get to sleep tonight (had caffeine today and I just can’t tolerate it anymore), I decided to get up and do something I’ve been meaning to do for several weeks, and that’s get on here and talk about my current quilting project.

I’ve been hard at work for the last several months on a gift for Christmas, except that it will only be a top by then, will not be quilted. Oh well, such is life.

This is a two-block quilt, designed by Glad Creations and the pattern is called Faceted Jewels. I’d be curious to know if these blocks are “traditional” and the pairing of them is the original design, or if the blocks are also original. Anybody know?

This is the first block I worked on. I made all the 4 patches the normal way, but I made the “Peaky and Spike” units and the “square in a square” unit by paper piecing. I hadn’t done much PPing in the past; on one project that’s still unfinished I designed an impossible border in Electric Quilt and the only way to sew it sanely was by PPing and I tried Judy Mathieson’s freezer paper method, it was ok. This time I decided to try Carol Doak’s method, which is more traditional. I really enjoyed it! I especially like how my little units came out perfect. The Faceted Jewels pattern calls for the Tri-Recs ruler to make “Peaky and Spike” and I bought it, but I would not have been happy making this block that way.

This is the second block. This time, I used Thangles for the half-square triangles and I am in love! I will never make HSTs without them again. I made the flying geese units by PPing. This was a little more challenging for me as I used triangle patches instead of squares and rectangles. Placement of the triangles needs to be a little more precise, but I did a couple of test blocks and by the time I’d done one or two “real” ones, had it down pat. Thanks to Carol Doak’s DVD, she gives an important tip on how to line those up.

So here is a sneak peak of the project, ready for borders:

I fell in love with the secondary design these two blocks create when put together.

After Christmas, I’ll share the border and backing fabric with you, it’s too darn cute!

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