Friday 31 July 2015

Project: Kona Nerds, Unite! -- Sour Apple

I made a Kona block this morning for Not-So-Little PurpleBoots who wanted to use Sour Apple and Black. He's an Apple junkie...not of the nutritious sort, but of the technological variety. Since I've never jumped on the Apple bandwagon it seemed appropriate for me to incorporate the logo in a way that showed my sour distaste for the super power that both my son and husband covet.

I sketched the apple and the letters on paper, cut the apple out and used spray adhesive to fix it to the black. Then I traced the letters onto fusible Web not once but twice since I forgot to reverse them the first time and then cut them from black and fixed them into place with a hot iron.

I set my machine to a little satin stitch and appliqued around all the bits. It took a bit of time, but slow and steady got me to the finish line soon enough. Voodoo Duck is earning his keep keeping track of stitch combinations...he's a great helper, he still remembers the stitch combination for the Zebra hanging.

I love this block...and Not-So-Little PurpleBoots seemed pleased with it too! Next up Goldfish. That will be a fun one given my excitement with free pieced fishes this past winter.

Oh, and just in case you wondered...all these blog posts and the photos within are powered by Android...I'm a Samsung gal!

**Feel free to send along your blocks along any time in August...I'm going to extend the deadline for blocks to the end of August because in reality I won't have time to put this thing together until September anyway. I'll try to post a list next week of the colours that have been taken if you are concerned with making a duplicate. I am not terribly concerned about duplicates, some colours are simply loved more than others! 

Sunday 26 July 2015

Gravity Project: Eclipse

Ah yes, Block 8: Eclipse. The only block that gave me trouble.
This set was a Bonnie Tyler throw back: It was a total eclipse of the heart brain...
Remember that song?  Loved that when I was much too young to understand it, but she had fabulous hair didn't she with that whizzy, electric blue line coming out of her ears on the cassette cover? Heard it just the other day on the radio, surprising that 25 years later (or maybe even 30?) I can still belt out the words to it but cannot remember what I need to buy to at the grocery store. I have been bumming bandaids for a week having sliced deep into the top off my knuckle in a hair didding mishap on Tuesday. Seven trips to the store later and my memory says nothing about first aid supplies. Go figure....

Yes, block 8 sewed up without a problem. It was the cutting that gave me pause. And not the actual cutting mind was the organization and planning required just before the blade sliced pretty little angles into those precious blue strips where I ran into problems.

Yup, I flipped those little strip sets the wrong way and once they were cut there was no turning back. The colours aren't in the right order, my ABC's got all screwed up. I suppose I could have gone all out and re sewn and cut new pieces but that's just not how I roll. Most people will never know this happened because in the broader picture it hardly matters. First. World. Problem.

So, I let it go with a note-to-self to not make the same mistake when I did the yellow set. But did I remember?  Did I pause and reflect on past errors and exercise caution?

Nope. So, dear reader, I give you not one but TWO screwed up Eclipse blocks.

             Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for the Gravity Quilt-A-Long!

Saturday 25 July 2015

The Return of The Robot

When all else fails the easiest thing to do is start over. Except starting over in this case meant starting in the middle...and that's not exactly the easiest place to begin. The new replacement longarm arrived and with a little help from Mr. PurpleBoots I got it put back up on the frame and running. I messed around with a test piece to make sure everything was stitching properly and everything seemed to be okay. This fella seems to run a fair bit more quietly which is pleasing, but makes me think the original was doomed from the get-go.

When things went bad in June and the robot disappeared, he left me hanging in the middle of a row in the bottom quarter of that that super-special birthday quilt for my super-special buddy's big birthday; I had to take it off the frame without finishing it...which kinda made me wanna throw up. (Oddly enough I had the same feeling from all the whiskey consumed at her party!) In an attempt to make lining things up easier for myself when I eventually put this quilt back on I marked the spot on the quilt where it sat along the edge of the idler rail, snapped a picture of the design and the coordinates for the start point before I unpinned everything and put it aside.

It sat without progress for several weeks which brought me to the conclusion that it simply wasn't going to finish itself. Poop. My magic wand must have lost it's power! With some much appreciated help from Sister PurpleBoots on Thursday I picked out the half stitched row of ponies, figuring that starting at the beginning of the row would be easier than trying to line things up in the middle of a hoof. I imagined that getting that quilt back on the frame in the exact place would be an impossible task.

Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and try to load it up and finish it. Pinned it all on, found the mark where the row was supposed to start, instructed The Robot to "move start point" and with heart-in-throat trepidation hit the start button.

The new stitches didn't exactly land where the tell tale ghost holes of the old stitches said they should have been but given the unloading and reloading situation they ain't bad! They're off about 3/16th's of an inch but that was good enough for me...I was just happy that they lined up at all!

Thankfully this new and improved Robot didn't disappoint...3 rows of flawless stitching got me to the last pony and the end of a very wild and crazy rodeo. I had just enough of the backing fabric after I trimmed things up to use for binding which frames things up nicely on the front. While I'm not exactly basking in the glow of this finish I have never been happier to finish a quilt. I just can't wait to get it washed up and finally given to my pal. It's chilly here on the coast of Nova Scotia right now despite the fact that it is supposed to be warm at the end of July and she might just find herself needing this quilt...old people get cold easily ya know!

If things weren't so soggy outside I'd have taken a better photo
 to celebrate this finish, but it's been raining for a week here!
Hopefully you can't see the dust bunnies that are hopping around.

This pattern is a crazy way to piece up wonky stars. It's from an old Fig Tree Quilts book called Quaint Quilts, printed in 2004. I used 30 fat quarters cut into 16" squares & sliced them up with just 5 cuts stacked in groups of 6 through a drawing on freezer paper. This one measures 71×84". Because of the way you cut the pieces there are no seam allowances so it took a few tries initially to get my brain to figure out how to sew that I've messed around with free piecing and improv it makes sense to me.  I've made this quilt twice...super easy and fun way to use up some of those fat quarters!

Sunday 12 July 2015

Project: Kona Nerds, Unite!

The first fabulous blocks have arrived!

How much fun is this quilt going to be? Seriously...these are awesome!

Friday 10 July 2015

Gravity Project: Cosmic

These Cosmic blocks reminded me of Christmas...just because of the colours, that's it. Red + Green = Christmas in my world. Of course Izzy was under my feet when I was working on them...that little dog is always under my feet... I previously wrote about our afternoon here.

Izzy is no stranger to Kona, because she's always underfoot, she often has chain pieced bits and pieces falling out of the sky and landing on her head. She doesn't seem bothered by it, it's just part of her Velcro Dog job description and it's important that dogs have jobs!

Ever wonder how the naming of colours happens? I used to wonder about it when I worked for Benjamin Moore; paint colours have fun names fun too. I used to imagine a group of folks sitting around (with drinks, of course!) brainstorming and having a good ole time chosing just the right name for a colour. The colours with unpredictable names always please me most although in this Cosmic instance they all kinda made sense. Just the same, looking over the Kona list of colours for these 2 blocks amused me anyway... names like Lipstick, Chinese Red, Holly, Clover, Kelly, Ruby, Pesto are all fun names for these shades and would make great additions to my Kona Nerd Project.

Are you planning to get in on the fun and send along a Kona word block? I can't wait to see some of those words come in! The first one to arrive was Aqua, it came from a gal on Prince Edward Island.

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for the Gravity Quilt-A-Long! 

Wednesday 8 July 2015

The Curious Case of the Disappearing Robot

The Robot Rebellion has grown to disastrous proportions. He'd planted his heels firmly in the sod on the field of skipped stitches and despite all coaxing was not ready to wave the white flag of surrender and return to smooth uninterrupted stitches.

The Doctor came today.

Brain surgery, orthopedic surgery, psychological counseling... nothing worked.

And then he was gone.
When he'll return is any body's guess...