Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Small Changes - Big Difference

When I finished the Birds Quilt, I had a lot of little scraps. What can I do with these itty bitty triangles?

I made HSTs which I made into a mug rug. Small scraps led to a cute mug rug.





Very happy with it but let's admit it - it was just another squirrel distracting me from the projects at hand.





What happens when you set yourself free to chase butterflies and squirrels?
You will end up with a lot of UFOs.

I know this because 2017 was going to be my year of living dangerously - no plans, no goals. Total Freedom. Well, that total freedom of chasing small squirrels and little distractions has resulted in seven flimsies. And this is just March!
YIKES!!!

Let's rein in the freedom and bring some order into this chaotic craziness.
My goal is to finish two quilts. Here is one - basted and ready to go. I even made the binding to match! Linking with March OMG at Elm Street Quilts.


And if I can complete two quilts and file the taxes in March, that will be a cause for celebration - which brings me to St. Patrick's Day.

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St. Patrick's Day is the upcoming party day for a lot of people.
In my first year in the US, when I was a student at FSU, I learned about St. Patrick's Day.
A relatively unknown student came up to me and very gently pinched my arm. I was slightly taken aback - I hardly knew the guy.

I was told - wear green on March 17 (unless you want to be pinched). Every year. Noted.
There are parades. Not interested.
There are parties. Not for me.
Some people drink green beer. I am completely turned off now.

Every year since then I have made it a point to wear green on March 17.
And do nothing else differently.


But if there is a special sale - I am listening.
Are you?

Connecting Threads (affiliate link) has an ongoing sale for all things green. Yes, green thread and green fabric are on sale.
I know it is silly. When does blue go on sale?
Nevertheless, I perused the sale and narrowed down two items - wide backing at an unbelievable price of $8.36/yard.


I have used this wide backing on the Tropic Frolic Quilt and I am pretty pleased with it.



And that wide backing at that price is surely something to toast!

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There is nothing like a dose of reality to end the hangover. While I obsess over sale items, fabric choices, and binding widths, someone is getting killed just for their faith or the color of their skin.

The hate, anger, and prejudice led to the shooting.  The widespread outpouring of support and love that followed the horrific incident has reaffirmed my faith in humanity. Once again - small changes make a big difference. The GoFundme campaign raised over four times the target amount in just a few days. A lot of contributors were of Indian origin. Many were not. Several made anonymous donations.

This is not the first hate crime and it certainly won't be the last. Feelings of helplessness abound.
But there is something I can do.  I can donate towards worthy causes. I can make a quilt block and show my support for kindness, tolerance and inclusivity.

A House full of Love

In Canada, Montreal Modern Quilt Guild is making quilts to send to the families of the victims of the Quebec City Mosque shooting. I chose to participate.

House with Blessings

Please check out posts by Lisa at Sunlight in Winter QuiltsJanine at Quilts from the Little House, and Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon- mmm quilts who also participated in the effort.

My blocks for the MMQG

Just like small scraps gathered together can make a quilt, so also small acts of kindness can make a more loving and kinder world. This is my belief.

As always, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

He Tweeted, She Tweeted...

...and they lived happily ever after.


Welcome to my Twitter Feed.  Some birds tweet, some chirp, and others sing and coo along!

I found the bird pattern at Block Lotto. Here is the link - http://www.blocklotto.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/BirdBlockDirectionsV2.pdf



I made the first pair of birds on January 9.





And I was hooked. If two were fun, eight would be a party.


I played with dots, stripes, prints and more.


After that, I went into an assembly line mode.  Since the colors were so energizing, there was no boredom that is normally associated with assembly line work.

Lots of Color

After the first step of block preparation, I stepped back to admire the colors and my handiwork!.

Throats

Legs


Blue Throated Warbler and Fuchsia Woodpecker

I chose pinks and greens, blues and teals, aqua and fuchsia, spots and stripes, but I also used prints and batiks too.  This is an extremely fun quilt block to make, because you can play with so many combinations.

All colors welcome

As I stepped away from the design wall to admire the birds and take in-process pictures, I noticed that there was not enough contrast in the yellow dotty birds' throats and beaks.

Brown Beaks - MEH!

So I changed the beaks from brown to orange.  What a big difference that made.  An orange beak would make it a Cardinal. Meet my Yellow Dotty Cardinals!

Orange Beaks - WOW!

The birds were made in mirror image pairs.  I made 64 birds and the quilt uses 63 arranged nine across by seven down. I finished the flimsy last week and it was a terrific feeling because it meant that I completed at least one of my goals for the OMG link-up.



Finished Flimsy - Yeah!

Since the block is rectangular, I chose to piece in columns.  I realized that it would be impossible to nest the seams, since all blocks are oriented the same way. Therefore I chose to stagger the columns by just a couple of inches to avoid bulky seams.

Can you spot the Chipotle Chilebird?

Once the flimsy was done, I realized that the binding would cover a portion of the beaks/tails on the birds in the edge columns.

My Twitter Feed - FINISHED!!!
So I added skinny strips of background along the sides. That way the Teal Batik Woodpecker (top left) is not pecking away at the binding :-D

So happy :-)

The wide backing fabric came from Connecting Threads.  For binding I chose a sea-green solid.  Since any color binding would look fine with the quilt front, I chose to match the binding with the backing fabric.

Quilted

Quilted with wavy lines, thanks to my Walking Foot and Jacquie Gering's Craftsy class.

The push to finish this Dreamy Tweety Chirpy quilt comes from the fact that I want to enter it in the Quilt Show. The registration ends on February 28, 2017.  There is nothing like a deadline to set my behind on fire and get it done.

What started as a Dreami moment, ended as a lap size quilt.  Finished Quilt is 53" by 63".
Let's get closer to the birds - admire them and name them, maybe.


There is the Green Breasted Fiesta Bird on top left and the Flashy BlueBird next to it.  Do you see the Noella Songbird on the bottom? We also have a Peachy Dotty Cardinal and the Green Beaked Checkbird.


Can you see the Green Throated Bugcatcher in the picture above? And next to it is the Autumn Songbird.  The Pink Striped Woodpecker is facing the Teal Batik Woodpecker.


You see, making them is fun but naming them is super fun too.

A change of perspective

Lap Size - 53" by 63"


A lovely finish, even if I say so myself.


Getting Close



The Black-Winged Greenbird, the Green Breasted Autumn Warbler, and the Red Breasted Finch in the top row above.  The Yellow-Breasted Fuchsia Bird is so bright and the Pink Breasted Purplebird is so regal in her bearing.

Orange Flamebird, Green Winged Thrush, Blue Beaked Chat and Green Breasted Finch occupy the top row in the picture above.

Oh yes, I labelled it and I will put another label to make sure it is ready for the show.  Do you see the Chipotle Chilebird peeking from the right?

Labelled
All names are made-up.  As much as I would like to, I am not a birder, although I have enjoyed bird-watching with dear friends Annie and Hans when I lived in Florida. They would often invite me to accompany them to St. Marks Wildlife Refuge where we enjoyed many lovely afternoons - watching birds, eating oysters and pointing out alligators.


When I made Angel's Midnight Quilt, I had a favorite block and I even had a favorite house in the Homeful quilt. But I cannot pick one favorite bird in My Twitter Feed Quilt.  And that works perfectly because I would not want any jealous tweets here :-D

But please let me know - which one is your favorite.  And if you want to name a bird or two, I would be so tickled :-)

I will be linking with OMG, Sandra's Dreami Linky Party and all my other favorite linky parties.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love and Lust

It is Valentine's Day.  I am thinking about Love. And Lust.


So many times, I have heard Love and Lust being mentioned together as if they belong together, as if one leads to another, as if they are similar items grouped together like "table and chair" or "pen and pencil" or "bread and butter"


In my opinion Love and Lust belong together but more like Night and Day.
Yes, they are opposites.


Lust has reasons. Love has none.



When my heart is full of love, my thoughts are focused on the other - the person I love. Selfless.
When I am lustful, I am focused on me. Self-gratification.


Since I am a lark (morning person) and Paul is a night owl, we agreed to have separate bedrooms.


Sometimes, when I see him sleeping, I will watch him for a bit, mouth open, covers askew, arms and legs all over the bed.
Sometimes, I will plant a gentle kiss on his forehead and let him sleep in peace.
Sometimes, I will jump into his bed and be all over him (hoping to get lucky). 


Sometimes I am in Love and sometimes I am in Lust. You know which one is which.



Love embodies patience.
Lust is hurried, impetuous and intolerant.


Love is a cool breeze, while Lust is a scorching volcano.


Fortunately for me (and Paul) Love and Lust are inextricably intertwined.  Just like the dark and light colors are twisted together in this quilt.



Although this blogpost is titled Love and Lust, that would be such an inappropriate name for this baby quilt.


I am going to call it Tropic Frolic, because of the bright colors playing with each other.


The finished quilt measures about 40 inches by 45 inches.


And I am very happy with it.


And one more picture...just because.


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This year, instead of buying a Valentine's Day card, I decided to make one. With fabric.
Chose this bright and spicy hot fabric.


Do you see hearts? Well, I see kissing lips!



I chose Lust over Love. Definitely made him laugh :-D

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Whether you love new patterns or lust for gorgeous fabric, Connecting Threads may just be the ticket.



I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties. I'd love to hear from you. How was your Valentine's Day - Loving or Lustful?  Please do not hold back. I did not :-D

This blogpost contains affiliate links.