Thursday, May 5, 2016

Throwback Thursday ~ Circa 2011

I've missed the last couple Throwback Thursday's, and thought this was the perfect time to share a blast from the past!  Thank you Jenn for the gentle reminder!

My share:  something subdued, something normal.  This was one of my early attempts at coming up with my own design.  The irresistible pull into the wacky world of Jay McCarroll drew me in with the fabric.  The fabric line is 'Germania', of which I had pieces of every color, but stayed blues for this little baby!  

I couldn't tell you the size of the blocks, accent blocks or even the size of the quilt.  I didn't exactly keep good records back then.  I do know the colors of the solid squares were pulled from the fabric.  I made five blocks in each print and used five different solids.  That's about all I remember!  

Oh, and the fact that I played with the border and added a totally standout yellow for the binding. That was 'crazy train' thinking!  

Pile of doneness.  I do love the funky print with the blue splats and red!  It's called 'Nerggle City' can you not love that?!

Back then, I didn't do much in the way of killer cool quilting.  Dense quilting never crossed my mind, crazy wild quilting was germinating in my brain but hadn't quite developed.  This was as crazy as it got back then.  

I enjoy looking back on my early quilts.  The long and windy road of what works and what doesn't, design decisions, fabric's has been a lot like Mr. Toads Wild Ride!  You never want to get off!  


Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's Best To Rip The Band-Aid Off Quickly

For those who have followed me for a while, you know I seem to be prone to accidents! Getting stung by bees, slicing my thumb with a utility knife, rotary cutter blade slices...the list of little incidents is endless!

One more 'share' of how my days have gone!  And please, don't feel sorry for me...I've always been a walking calamity of mishaps!  

I took some time to prep the yard of it's winter funk.  Flower beds weeded, bushed planted, bark mulch freshly laid.  Oh, bark dust you say?!  Sunday my husband and I went to the Home Depot.  Love me some Home Depot!  We bought 16 bags of mulch (twice actually). In an effort to help and stay out of the way, I leaned over the seat with the headrest in my boob area...pulling on the bags to make a nice stack.  At some point, my hand pulled, slipped and I crashed full force into the headrest.  Resulting in a scream of pain.  It appears I may have cracked a rib!  So there you have it.  Accident prone.  Anyone who has possibly cracked a rib knows the pain involved.  A sharp pain every time you breathe.  It ain't pretty!  I've been taking it easy, but it's so hard to do.  Even the simple movement of using a rotary cutter is painful!

Now I sound like a whiner and I'm a bit embarrassed about this mess I'm in!  I didn't have to 'fess up', but who doesn't like a good story?!  I'm a big suck it up and deal, don't complain...who needs a doctor kinda girl...I did just that by finishing two loads of bark mulch and not complaining or telling on myself until that night!  

After a couple days, it was time to get over it and Improv!  I was asked if I could make a wall hanging using a certain variety of colors.  Sure I can...with a general guide these are the colors that will be used.  These and any thing remotely close.  The plan is to have red as the standout color.  The grey will become the background letting the red shine!

As of this afternoon, I have this much done.  Not a lot, but it's a start.  I always forget how much I love Improv.  With a break now and again, it feels like coming home when I get to start something like this!

Occasionally it takes something akin to 'ripping the band-aid off' to get started with improv.  I need to cut, slice, stitch and press ...just to get started.  After that there is no holding back!   

In the end this wall hanging will be 35" x 40".  Still a lot to go, but I've started and that's half the battle!

Honestly, I wasn't sure how these colors would work together.  It wasn't until I pieced a few blocks that I realized they do and they will!

My carnage!  It isn't bad, and I love having a mess like this.  It makes it so much easier to create for me.

These pieces are the left over pieces from round one.  I'll pick it up again tomorrow and hopefully make more progress.  

My little thread catcher pixie basket isn't the best size for improv scraps!  I don't know about you, but when I see something like this...I know I've been busy!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Comment Email Notification Issue

Thank you everyone who has been patient and supportive with my computer issue the past week.  While the problem isn't fixed to perfection (or my way!), it is much better and I'm able to work around it so much easier. 

I thought I would share what I learned, what I know and how it was eventually fixed.  

The problem:  Not receiving email notification when a comment was left on my blog.  

With no prior issues, I was totally flabbergasted when all of the sudden I wasn't receiving notifications.  What I eventually discovered was the notifications were going straight to the trash in my gmail account.  What threw me off was the fact that I would receive other notifications from my gmail account for Pinterest and Etsy.  Naturally I assumed it had to be a blogger/google issue.  After contacting Blogger and Google, I waited and basically got nothing from either place. Crickets!

I continued to search, look, read and pull my hair out for several days.  This is what I eventually learned:

You should go check your gmail account every once in a while.  Make sure your settings haven't changed on their own!  My primary account was all I used.  I didn't feel there was a need to gmail check!  

If you are unsure what to do, this is what I did:

Go to your gmail account, click on the gear, scroll down to settings.  

Settings will get you to this screen.  From here I clicked on the 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP' tab. (my eyes glaze over at this point!)

The only way I was able to receive comment email on my primary account was: 

Forwarding:  Forward a copy of incoming mail to 'my primary account' and mark gmail's copy as read.


POP Download:  #2 When messages are accessed with POP mark gmail's copy as read.

I didn't touch any other areas, and for the record, after setting up this gmail account I have never changed any settings at all.  Nothing.  I don't know why all of the sudden things went south, but they did.

It still isn't an ideal solution.  I will have to go in my gmail inbox and delete messages often. Plus delete the trash.  But at least I'm getting notice that I received a comment!  Whew!!  I'll take that!  

I don't know if it made a difference or not, but I did disconnect from Google+ as well.  I don't think that was a big deal and frankly, I don't even know what it's all about!

Thanks your for your patience!  If anyone is having issues like what I had, hopefully this will solve your problem!  Sometimes you plain and simple do not know where to start!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Replenishing My Stash ~ Hand Dyed Fabrics

It's been quite a week!  I've been cleaning my deck which involves brute force, I've scraped the moss off the back yard hoping to plant grass seed and make it a yard again, I've prepped the front flower bed for new shrubs, I've had and still have Blogger issues and...I got to hand dye some fabric!

I've used up just about all my dyed scraps in various projects, so it really was time to get the rainbow shining bright again in my stash!

The first go around I somehow neglected to include purple and more orange.  You cannot have a rainbow without those color, now can you?

For about a year now, I have been making Shibori squares from scrap fabric.  Those will be for a future project once my stack grows a little bigger. 

Warm, bold and bright.  

Cool, calm and collected.

Isn't this a trippy photo?!  I haven't a clue how it happened (I used my phone camera), but I rather liked it!  

This is what it really looked like:

Just a boring pot of dye and fabric.  Not nearly as interesting as the previous picture, don't you agree?!

Now I just need to figure out what I'll do with these!  I'm not opposed to looking at them while I make my mind up!


Friday, April 22, 2016

Scrappy ... and a Test.

I am not computer savvy.  I loathe having to figure out issues.  It makes me want to cry! 

Blogger has been very, very good to me since I started my blog.  I've had an easy time of figuring out 'things' I need to know.  However, as of two days ago there has been a problem. With every comment I receive on my blog I get an email notification.  Or I did.  Now I'm getting nothing.  As one who likes to respond to comments, this has caused me one very large headache.  SO.  I will apologize now for not responding in a timely manner.  I appreciate every single comment. The fact that you would take the time to view my blog and then leave a comment means the world to me.       

This is the test part.  While I've tried everything and contacted support on this issue, I thought maybe that one blog post was a fluke.  Maybe I should try another post.  With my fingers crossed and not much hope...I'll give it a try.

After I finished my Phantom Triangle quilt, I still had a good stack of scrap blocks that needed a new life.  Instead of getting my 'creative' mind on, I got my 'simple' mind on!  

28" x 40 1/2"
I grabbed those 2 1/4" hand dyed and shot cotton squares and thought...Granny squares...sort of!  In order to make enough blocks, I also grabbed my grey scraps.  You can tell from the picture there are at least three different grey's, it's actually four.  

I had enough blocks for six squares, if I were to add some sashing.  Which you can see I did!  The blue is Moda Pool.  I bought it for another quilt and decided to use the rest for this quilt.  When I say the rest, I mean I just had enough for the sashing with no left overs!

It still wasn't a usable size at that point, so a border was in order!  The border is Kona Steel, as is the backing.

Keeping with the simple theme, I quilted each square in 1/2" straight lines.  Randomly, of course, as well as the sashing and border.  The binding was all scraps!  I love using scraps! And having the majority of the binding from scraps of bindings is as good as it gets!

I know this is a far cry from my recent Phantom Quilt!  There is something sweet and simple about these kind of quilts.  

I'm praying blogger is working again, I'll receive email notifications and can comment in a normal way to your comments.  I hate being frustrated, especially by a darn computer! 

Has anyone had this problem before?  And if so, how did you get it fixed?  


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Phantom Triangle Quilt

This was one of those quilts where it was just fun to make!  I needed to use some scraps that I had cut in various sizes (3" and 4"), they were bugging me...sitting all stacked neatly, but never being used.  Instead of my usual half square triangles, I thought go organic!

28 1/2" x 38 1/2"
I started with 3 1/2" grey squares.  The colored squares I would cut in half for the most part and eyeball where I wanted them to go.  I intended it to be 'rough', perfection wasn't in my mind at all. After I used the largest color squares, I grabbed the small ones hoping to make the triangles graduate in size from the bottom.  Larger...smaller.  After sewing the colors, I trimmed and squared the squares to 3 1/4".

You may notice that there are two different grey tones.  Totally intentional.  The grey with the triangles is Kona Ash and the opposite side is Kona Shadow.  

I thought about using the same square blocks (3 1/4") for the opposite side in Kona Shadow, but decided it would be much easier and faster to make strips.

The back never ceases to amaze me on a quilt top!  Do you ever get mesmerized by that?

Once the top was pieced, I knew right away that I would free motion quilt it.  First of all it was small, so I knew I could handle it.  When the idea of making phantom triangles came to me, I was both excited and scared to death!  It could go very wrong!

I started by marking random phantom triangles and began the long and rewarding (really) process of FMQ.  I had pebbles and colors in mind!  

I ended up using 25 colors throughout the quilting process.  That meant a lot of thread changes!  Yes, I didn't make perfect pebbles, but I sure had fun trying!  

Because I used the colors for one side, the other side with the triangles (the real triangles, not the phantom ones), I went with just grey thread.  This part went much quicker because there were no color changes!  Boy, what was I thinking?  And why so dense?!

Maybe it was meant to be?!  Because I love it!  I told my husband before I started quilting that I was going big!  And I'm so happy I did!

I'll tell ya, after all the bobbin and thread changes, I was so over it!  Changing colors is just 
not fun.  

But it was so worth it!  When I decided to stay with a neutral grey for the opposite side, everything went faster.  By the time I was done my shoulders were telling me I over did it!  I couldn't stop once I started.  I had to finish it all!!

What would I do differently if I were to make another one?  I think I would make the phantom triangles in colors, but use a neutral for the pebbles.  Maybe.  

I was really feeling this one!  The free motion quilting grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go! I want to do much more...and not just pebbles!