Saturday, February 1, 2014

Quilts From My Sewing Machine #5, Christine's Summer

It's another glorious Saturday. I came home yesterday with a virus, but I feel better today. I guess it wasn't a sure felt good to sleep most of the day though!

This Saturday is my turn for the sharing of family quilts. I like the story behind this one. It's about a sweet, giving friend of mine.

Name:  Christine's Summer
Life Quilt #13
Begun in April 2008 and finished November 2008
Size: 46" x 53" (lap)
Pieced by myself and Quilted by Ann L

I decided that I would start making quilts and humanitarian items for the guild and the Church. My first project was a pinwheel quilt. I had found some red plaid 5” squares in Marie’s things and decided they would make a cute single bed quilt for the Church. The Church Humanitarian site said they needed twin size bedspreads and quilts. I counted up how many blocks I would need. To make the single size I needed 63 block and I did my math and found I'd have 68 blocks!

 It was after I made all the 68 half square triangles that I realized that it took four half square triangles to make a block. I never have had much luck in quilting math! Obviously now I wouldn't have enough for a single quilt. But, no matter, I could still give it to the community quilts. I now had 17 blocks. I could make a 4x4 block quilt, which amounted to a baby quilt, and have one left over. What I really wanted was to make a 4x5 block quilt to make a rectangular lap quilt. But I lacked 3 blocks to do that layout.

I decided to cut down 3 or 4 of the red pinwheel blocks to make smaller blocks and border them with a plain fabric. (1-31-14: I notice now that only one red block was cut down. And it bothers me! I want one or two more smaller red ones. I found some good blue plaid fabric in my stash and made 3-4 large pinwheel blocks and 3-4 smaller blue plaid blocks with borders. (1-31-14: There are only 2 small ones and 1 large. I guess I changed my mind.)

I was ready to put the top together, when tragedy struck! I fell and broke my right hand and all quilting came to a halt while I had the cast on.

After the cast came off, I still couldn’t get right back into quilting. The first day after my cast was off, I spent a blissful day quilting. Then there was payback: my hand hurt miserably for a week. My PT told me “Bad Girl!” and I had to temper my enthusiasm. The new quilting regime was quilt for an hour and ice hand for 20 minutes, quilt for an hour and ice hand…

The backing is a lovely turtle batik. I was saving it for
something special. Christine chose it for the backing
and it did, indeed, get used for someone special.
When I got the pinwheel quilt top completed, it was very cute. I began having second thoughts about giving it to charity because I liked it so much. Enter Christine. Having a cast on my hand had stopped me from being able to tend to my flower garden, just as the beginning of prime springtime. At church I was bemoaning the fact, when Christine Lopes, a girl just back from her first year at BYU, offered to help me weed and plant! It was a match made in heaven. All summer long Christine came over weekly and we put in a morning in the garden. Even after my cast came off, she continued to come. She was having a blast and I thoroughly enjoyed her company. We capped off the summer by painting my refurbished, redecorated quilting room.
Stupid thread! It was invisible until I
took the picture, honest! Then it
just jumped out as I clicked the shutter.

I showed Christine the quilts I had done and was working on. She liked them all but it was clear she like the little pinwheel quilt a lot. I was happy to find just the right person to give my lovely quilt.

I delayed a little in getting it done, thinking that I would be able to machine quilt it myself. Alas, when I tried machine quilting on a charity quilt my hand was sending painful repercussions to my brain. I shelved the idea and Christine’s quilt went to the quilter.

As I mentioned above, Christine helped me paint my new quilt room. It's good I had help because the part I did made my hand ache. Here is a picture of Christine with our cat, Daytona and shelves from the sewing room. 

 Not to be left out, my dog, Miko, kept us company!

I wish it wasn't so wobbly, but this is the best picture I have of my sewing room. Walls are lovely sage green. Dresser is both cutting and ironing space . Drawers hold notions, fat quarters and plaid cut-down shirts.

And here's another wall. I keep fabric in the stackable Sterilite drawers, plus more containers on top!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Love Words

I'll confess. I'm a thesaurus junkie. Hello, my name is Terri and I'm a ... When I read a book, three
quarters of my brain is following the plot, but the other quarter... Oh my goodness! What are you doing? I'm looking at ways the author puts together a sentence,   describes something, and the interesting words used. Even when I write this blog, my handy online thesaurus is never far away.

Some of my favorites:

plethora: just the way it rolls of the tongue and the meaning also

splendiferous: again a lovely word to just say for pure joy of it sound

eclectic: another choice of mine both for meaning and for the way it sounds. Here's how I use it a lot: I have an eclectic taste in music.
   :selecting or choosing from various sources"

nefarious: great synonym for heinous, odious, horrible, vile...

and my list goes on, and on, and on:

The definitions above are from

And here's some fun from Google and Pictures from and Google Images.

Eleven British Terms That Flummox Americans:

British Saloon
Saloon in US

Pants in US

British pants

British Muppet
(stupid person)
Muppet in US

British Jumper

Jumper in US

Digestive Biscuits
not-so-sweet cookie/cake/cracker

Biscuits in US

Braces in the US
British braces

Bonnet in US
British bonnet (hood)

British boot

Boot in US

British dummy

Dummy in US

British pudding

Pudding in US

British Zebra Crossing
Zebra crossing in US

And now, students, you have had your lesson in Vocabulary. The added bonus is now you can go to England and speak like a native!


(all ways to say Goodbye in British English)

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Rainbow Challenge #1

I'm just finishing up on a great weekend. I spent a good deal of time on Saturday making quilt blocks for RSC 14. RSC is Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I had seen the posts from my blog reader last year and it looked like fun. It was geared in a way that I could take it at my speed.

I love challenges, but I definitely cannot do BOMs. I tried to follow a group doing the Farmer's Wife Quilt in one year. It meant two blocks per week. Argggh! I could barely keep up, well, not quite. I didn't keep up. It was only two little 6" blocks a week, how hard could that be?

Incredible Learning Line
Every try to make a 6" block with 75 pieces in it? Or 12 1-1/2" half square triangles? Along with 3 triangles (which with my math is half of a 1-1/2" half square triangle). Do you see what I have to deal with? Not with 6" blocks, though that was an incredible learning curve that basically didn't curve. No, I mean, trying to be a quilter with a no-math brain.

This is my math brain.

You pity me, don't you?

Actually this is my brain. All pretty colors
and flowers. This actually is about as good
as I can draw too.

If you are really liking my math brain above and you are a geek or mathematician, you can read the scintillating description of how the maze was computer generated below. But I'm thinking only my Talented Geek Son will understand it. Hi honey! Mommy finally wrote a blog that you will love!

The RSC14 is the brain child of this great woman who writes the soscrappy blog. Each month she picks a color and everyone makes blocks using that color. Some people are so amazing in the amount and variety of blocks they make. You can see January's blocks here in all their variety--it's really super to look at. And maybe you'd like to join. You don't have to be in at the beginning. Any takers?

You can use the badge on my sidebar to get to the information about the challenge.

I decided that I would make my blocks all in the same pattern. I chose the Snowball blocks. They are easy and don't take much time. I chose black as the triangles at the corners. I've not made a quilt with black to make colors pop, so this is for me!

Every Saturday there is a linky party for blocks of that month. Saturday was the last one for January. I didn't make my blocks until Saturday because the black fabric I ordered didn't come in until ________. (guess!) Nope! Friday.

Here's my blue blocks. There are fourteen 6" blocks. I decided on 6" because I wanted a smaller block; I usually make quilt blocks around 10-12". Then the number had to be divisible by three, so I was given the choices of 3, 6, and 9. Those numbers were in the running because the answers to x/3 = a number without fractions. 

I love anything that's going to use my stash and I have loads of blue. There's no reason for just 14 blocks, I just went through my stash and picked out fabrics that I really liked that would looked good to me for a snowball. Now that's my kind of math brain! I chose it because I like it. No fancy formulas. 

Thanks for moseying by and checking up on me!

I'm hooking up with the following blogs and I bet you'd love it if you traipsed on over and saw some cute stuff. The badges are on the right sidebar.

Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
Show and Tell Tuesday
Linky Tuesday
WiP Wednesday
It's A Party
We Did It Wednesday
Needle and Thread Thursday
I Quilt

For the geek-minded
The following mazes were computer generated using a path digging algorithm. The generator maintains a list of all of the cells that have been added to the maze. At each step, it chooses one of the previous cells and randomly adds one of its unvisited neighbors to the maze. If a neighboring cell contains a perpendicular hallway followed by an empty cell, then this cell is also a valid choice to be added, replacing the hallway with a crossover cell. 9/10 of the time, the chosen previous cell is the last one that was added to the maze allowing the algorithm to construct longer paths without branching than if the previous cell were chosen completely randomly. Furthermore, the neighboring cell that is in the same direction as the last choosen neighbor is given a higher priority to encourage the creation of straight hallways that allow for crossovers. The direction of the crossover is based on the parity of the cell coordinates.
The mazes are output in Postscript, rendered with anti-aliasing using gv, and then screen captured. More recently, I'm rendering the mazes using POV-Ray.

Eventually, I'd like to find an algorithm that can create the non-tree like mazes that make up my three sheet weave mazes.
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