Archive for January, 2011

Yes, I Can Count

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Er, as Cathy kindly pointed out, there are fourteen blocks.

More Blocks and A Non-Block

Monday, January 24th, 2011

A few more blocks:

Darting Minnows:

Gentleman’s Fancy:

Beacon Lights:

Westland: This was an interesting block because the corner squares had to be inserted with a Y-seam. I hadn’t done this in quite a while, so I needed the directions. There was a minor disconnect between the directions on the block page and the directions on page 223-224 about how to stitch that Y-seam. However, no ripping was required, and I think the corners match pretty well.

For the next block, ripping was required. It is Review:

This is Not Review:

This is Review:

I chose Review because I needed a block with larger pieces to show the design in the fabric. It was an easy block to make wrong and an easy block to make right. It doesn’t matter how fabulous the diagrams are if a person doesn’t look at them. And I didn’t.

Here are all nine blocks I’ve finished:

I’ll make one more block. I’m leaning toward Eddystone Light, as suggested by Cathy. It has such a cool name. The first Eddystone Lighthouse began functioning in 1698. It is off the coast of England near Devon. I’ve tried several color schemes, but I haven’t found the right one yet.

The target size for this little quilt is 41 inches by 63 inches. I don’t want to piece the backing. I don’t know what color(s) I will use for sashing and borders, but perhaps this weekend another Crackpot and I can arrange for a fabric store session.

A Few More Blocks

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I’m continuing to work on my small quilt. I was going to say lap robe, but that sounds so old ladyish. Anyway, here are the next blocks, in the order I made them.

Goose Tracks (as opposed to Turkey Tracks or Duck Paddle):

Birds In The Air:

Free Trade:

Grandmother’s Favorite (although I have three favorites):

Big T (not Capital T):

Memory Lane:

And here are all but Memory Lane together:

The more discerning viewer will note that there is now a fourth light colored background fabric. It came from our favorite, locally owned fabric store. After a horrible block mishap that had the possibility of causing seizures in vulnerable individuals, it was clear that I needed at least one more quiet fabric. So I got some. You will note also that I have resorted to some fussy cutting, in particular with Grandmother’s Favorite and Big T. I have also strayed off the no smaller than 1/8 inch measurements with Grandmother’s Favorite.

Just a few technical details:
I’m using my 1/4 inch with guide foot. This foot lets me run the fabric right along the guide for a perfect scant 1/4 inch seam. And it works spectacularly well ever since I asked the repair man to move the needle position slightly to the right so the needle goes exactly through the center of the hole (even though he said it wasn’t supposed to be there).
I’m using a #11 quilting needle.
I’ve only broken one needle. To use the 1/4 inch food with guide, the needle needs to be in the center position. When I turn the machine off, the needle defaults to the left position. I forgot that once.
I’m using Gutermann polyester (gasp!) thread. It’s a medium tan.
I’ve been quite determined to use a fabric scrap at the beginning and end of each batch of chain stitching pieces. Fons and Porter emphasize this, and it has worked well. I knew that, but I didn’t always do it.
The only times I’ve pinned pieces together are when I sew the large sections of each block together. So far, not using many pins is working well.

This little project has shown again what a great book Marsha McCloskey’s Block Party is. The directions are clear and complete, and there are several diagrams for each block. Even info about which direction to press the seams is included. I was feeling a little rusty, and I haven’t made any major errors (well, except for the broken needle and the horrible block mishap which didn’t have anything to do with the book or the instructions).

Hat and Mittens

Friday, January 21st, 2011

By Nancy

I think this may be the second Crackpot project made using fabric (the striped one) Lorene gave us at Thanksgiving. I want to make a table covering for the table which is right inside our front door. Currently it still has a fall leaf applique on it, so I’d like to get caught up on the correct season. ūüôā These are the three blocks I’ve made, and now I need to put them together with some setting triangles and a border…

Provisionally Finished Object!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

I started working on this in January, 2003:

I finished the hand quilting during and after All Together Week this summer, so all that was left was the binding, which I sewed on a couple of weekends ago and have been finishing off ever since.¬† I still need to put the hanging sleeve and the label on the back (and wash it, because it is covered in cat hair!) but it’s finished enough to show in public!

And here’s the next one…

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

It’s Weather Vane.

So now you can see the three light pieces of “background” fabric I have. They’re not extremely light, and the value differences among this set of fabrics is fairly narrow. Because of that and because each fabric has either more than one color or a variety of values, the divisions between the pieces in each block don’t stand out. I like it that way. It’s mellow.

The Plan, should there happen to be one,

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

is to make a new lap quilt. The old one is dated 1984, and it’s getting a little grubby.

This is the fabric I’m using:

Most of it is a collection of quarter yards purchased in a bundle at Schoolhouse Fabrics in Floyd, Virginia, in 2002. Yep. This is fabric in its prime.

Since I can’t decide on one block er am flexible in my choices er prefer to be spontaneous er like variety er am a Crackpot er don’t have a plan, it will be a sampler quilt.

I haven’t done any serious piecing in a while so I decided to go back to the old standby–Marsha McCloskey’s Block Party. This means that however many blocks get done will be nine-inch blocks. To make it easy to get started, I decided to group my fabric into sets of three, with varying colors and values. Then I looked for blocks that used just three colors. I eliminated all the blocks that called for measurements of 1/16 inch (indicated in the book as +) because my rulers don’t have that marking.

My first block was Ohio Star, and here it is:

The second block was Perpetual Motion, and here it is:

Now, what shall I make for the next one? Get out your Block Party book (I know you have one) and make some suggestions.

Crochet Christmas Ornament

Friday, January 7th, 2011

by Nancy

Now that Christmas has passed, I can post a picture of the crochet Christmas ornament I made for Ann, Marty, and my German host parents. It was a lot of fun to make!

A Tale of Two Tea Bobs

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

This has been a tea-infuser intensive Christmas for Ann, who loves tea, is something of a tea snob, and makes her tea with a tea infuser, which she prefers to call a tea bob. Therefore she was truly delighted to receive a Rubber Ducky tea bob from Rebecca for Christmas. Totally cute, totally  Crackpotty, totally wonderful! And totally needing photodocumentation.

Here she is ready to  dive in.

And here she is hard at work. She appears to be doing the back stroke. She straightens up once her tea leaves get soggy and heavy.

And here she is hanging out with her friends on the kitchen window sill and celebrating a job well done.

Now imagine Ann’s total amazement and delight when Ducky was upstaged two days later by another avian tea bob! Meet Percy the Penguin.

Here he is at the ready, awaiting the hot water. Note the timer on his right flipper and the slightly baffled look.

And here he is in action:

Note that the tea bob is submerged and the timer is set for 5 min. Also, note that Percy is slightly  cross-eyed.

Finally, here he is at the completion of his task:

Note that he has successfully raised the tea bob, thus preventing over-brewing. What a bird! I regret that I do not have the hardware to provide a video of Percy in action. It’s really pretty funny!

Crackpots will be happy to learn that the problem of Too Many Tea Bobs has been solved by taking Ducky to  the Cute Little House. Cute Little House, Cute Little Tea Bob. Perfect.

Pride of Place

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Once again this year, Marty has created stunning Christmas ornaments as gifts for Crackpots (and possibly others). They are just too lovely to hang on our Christmas tree, where they tend to get lost among all the other ornaments. So this year, I finally got smart and decided to give them pride of place hanging from the dining room chandelier. Here is another photo showing them closer up. Gorgeous!