Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Scrappy Circle and Gray

Did I really need a new project to play with?  No.

I was home by myself the other night and had the freezer paper left over from dinner.  I've wanted to try paper piecing, so I drew a couple circles and dug through the scrap bag.  What fun!  These circles are the dinner plate and small bowl from my everyday dishes.  I traced around them onto a 16 inch square.  The next day, I stopped at the fabric store on my way home from work and got two half yards of gray.  They're a little wonky, my seam allowance around the arcs was probably a scunch too big.  Generous 1/4 instead of actual 1/4, like the gray.
Now, I will have to decide if I want to sew more and turn it into a quilt.  Eight more blocks would make a nice size throw or baby blanket.  Four of them could be reverse pieced.  I found the center circle I pieced, didn't go with the arcs at all.  They just blended together.  That's when I chose a solid for the background.
This was really inspired by the Single Girl Quilt.  I like the look, but think I'd rather piece the arcs this way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Binding the quilt

Now that I've completed all the basic outline stitching, it's time to draw the scalloped edge on it and sew on the binding.  I've probably devised the most complicated method, ever know to man, for getting the scallops right.  I'm sure there's a better way, but this is the way I'm going to do it.

I drew a large circle that's centered 12" away from the center square, every 12 inches along the edge and overlaps every 12" along a line that's 18" from the square.  I know, I can't follow me either.  Luckily, I drew it all on paper.  I knew those drafting classes, for an engineering degree I never completed, would someday come in handy.
I want to sew the binding on, but not cut the excess off, yet.  I think it will stabilize the edge and make it easier to put in the hoop to quilt all the way to the edge.  After the binding's on, I think there's enough quilting completed to take the basting threads out.  I get a finger caught on one at least once every time I turn the hoop around.
I made a lot of binding and can barely stand the wait to see it at the edge.

It wasn't as hard to draw the scallop as I feared it would be.  Sewing the binding on was as easy as following my pencil line.  When it's time to cut off the excess and hand sew the binding to the other side, it will be the perfect last step.
Now, I'm considering putting one line of echo quilting around the vines and flowers before I begin the more decorative quilting.  I want feathered fans in the big triangles, a couple spiderwebs, some butterflies, maybe a bird or two, decorate the grandmothers fans and flowers in the white space of the fans.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Break

Last week, I was lucky enough to have the whole week off with my girls for spring break.  This hasn't happened, ever.  My job involves working weekends and having 2 days off in the middle of the week.  This means that I almost never have days to spend with my kids.  We didn't plan any big vacation, just tried to squeeze in a few things we haven't done in awhile.  On Thursday, we drove from Portland to the coast and went to the Newport Bay Aquarium.  Our group was my youngest daughter, Camille, my oldest daughter, Rachel and her two daughters, Sienna and Olivia.  And me. :)
Rachel, Camille, Sienna and Olivia

Don't the Jelly Fish look like some kind of imaginary creature?

After the aquarium, we went down to the beach.  Sienna hadn't been since 1 1/2 years old, so she didn't remember it.  Olivia had never been.  They were both excited, but couldn't be convinced that it wasn't going to be sunny and hot.  Oregon beaches don't get much warmer in the summer, either.

We were lucky to get about an hour break from the rain.  Just about the time the little girls hands were getting too cold, we started back up the path and felt a few little drops of rain.  It poured the rest of the day.
 Aren't my girls beautiful?
Every picture Camille drew, they had to come over and start digging a stick into it.  She was drawing as fast as she could.  :)
After, we went to Mo's restaurant in Lincoln City for dinner.  They've been there for 56 years and are locally famous.  I'm not a big seafood fan, but I decided to try some of  their grilled salmon and I had the clam chowder to start.  The few times I've had clam chowder in my life, it was gross.  Overly salted, too thick and tasting like old dead fish.  Not a big surprise to a non-fish eater.  But, if they're famous for their chowder, I can try it.  It was great!  Why doesn't it all taste like that?  The salmon was great, too.
We got Dairy Queen cones as we headed home.  All in all, it was a very fine day.