Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thread-less Thursday

When bad things happen to good people that paper piece, the outcome of obfuscated thought or plain ole not looking at what you're doing, enjoy:

Morse Code Blocks

I sort of stumbled into the 3x6 Bee. I was reading the blog of someone that I like who wrote that the sign-ups would open soon. I don't even remember where I read it now! My fingers flew over to flickr and I hopped in. I always wanted to do a bee and it seemed like I was always too late or you had to have been in an online bee before. I got in though! It is officially called the 3x6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee and I was in quarter 4 hive 5. The solids, "Solid as a Rock!". Solids make my heart pitter patter in happiness. This is what I came up with:

They are blocks that spell out "quilt" in Morse code. I was a bit worried about the design as it is somewhat minimalist and wonky. I did ask the ladies in my hive if they were okay with that, they said yes.  I figured I'd take them on their word so I made them!

I have been sketching designs well forever really and specifically quilt blocks for a few years so I knew I had lots to work from. I kept coming back to the idea of codes or messages in a quilt. I love the idea that there is a message in the design. Like the language of flowers for the people of yore. I remembered thinking when I saw rOssie's Kelp Quilt that it looked a little like Morse code to me. I filed that idea in my brain, with all the other 70 kagillion ideas I have to make things, until the bee. I figured as it was a "modern" bee I might as well make a modern block. Not that these have a mid-century feel to them, which the Kelp Quilt does a little, but maybe they were a little minimal like Mondrian, or pixelated Pollack splatter chunk. By the way, not at all do I even compare my quilt block to the ground breaking art of those two artists, I just liked the feel the blocks gave. I sewed up a couple changing lines, spaces and wonkiness. Then made paper templates, covered with tape, that I attached to fabric to cut in order to keep the blocks mostly uniform. I paid attention to grain line so that it matches on the whole block and shouldn't distort.

I really do like them and now would like to make a rainbow something or other for myself and fell a little in love with the grey/white/blue and grey/white/green colorways. I also set these as my goal for the A Lovely Year of Finishes group or party or finish-a-long? There's also a flickr group for it here.You set yourself a goal for the month. As big or little as you'd like. I wanted a push to help me finish a few projects without it being a big stressful you-are-a-crazy-that-didn't-get-anything-done thing. Goal accomplished, check! Gold star for you. Or dark chocolate dipped cookie, since I like those better. 

The ladies in the Hive 5 were so welcoming and friendly and lovely that most of my trepidation went away quite quickly. If you have a chance to join in I'd recommend it, especially if you have loads of time and plan to have nothing unexpected happen in your life. The blocks that I've received so far I love. They were both exactly and nothing like what I expected in a great way. My thoughts of how the quilt would turn out are now totally different and it's going to be beautiful. Especially since my new digi-friends will be sewn into something that will be close to me every day. In a non-creepy heart warming way (I don't want to sew you ladies into a quilt). They didn't even know what was going on in my life but the blocks will always remind me of the kindness, thought and creativity of strangers at a time that is/was difficult. Thank you ladies! And thanks to rOssie as well for her blog and idea launch and to all the other bloggers who post and share so much and gave me lovely things to distract myself with. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bits, Pieces and Happy Mail

For the great things, I won the Honey Be Good giveaway. They are a store that specializes in organic fabrics. I was so pleasantly surprised with the price of the fabrics! The organics can sometimes be so much more expensive that I find it prohibitive to buy any. I got a $30 certificate and got to select what I wanted to receive. It was hard narrowing it down but I really love what I got. There's a selection of Kaufman organic solids and a 1/2 yard of Geocentric Canvas in navy Trident.

I prewashed them and took some for a spin for a Christmas present. The pure organic by Kaufman held up so beautifully, the color is saturated and it's great to sew with. Before I wash canvas I always Fray Check the edges as it (and most canvas) can ravel badly. It also held up well but I haven't decided what to make with it yet, any ideas? If you're thinking of getting organics I would highly recommend their shop.

I really like the texture's that happened while sewing strips up on my bee practice block. I think it'd be fun to find a way to make a whole quilt out of seamed texture.

There's been radio silence around here because Things have been difficult. It's hard to know how and what to post when life is present in a big way. There's hardly been a moment to myself. I've sewn only a bit. I have been sketching since it's portable and comforting. This is the doodled inside of a card. The front says "Thank You for existing in such close proximity with me" with hand printed starry night sky. Do you know those (*warning* geekery) scenes in Harry Potter where they take their wands and draw the wisps of thoughts out of their brains? That's what sketching is like for me. A lovely small outlet to let my brain go, creativity work and keep my fingers busy. I can sketch with an almost stream of consciousness and let the working part figure out troubles.

So Thank you all as well for existing in such close albeit digital proximity to me :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

3x6 Bee Blocks Solids Group

I sewed together my bee blocks and got these four (out of 6) mailed out.

They spell out "quilt" in mod Morse code. I have to say I'm getting a little rainbow envy seeing all these great rainbow blocks popping up the the flickr group.

It's been an odd and difficult month so far. As soon as I figure out how to talk about it I'll get back to posting more. To go along with that I've been thinking about doing a giveaway for all my new followers. Until next time, I send you good wishes and luck. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

January Lovely Finish Goal: 3 x 6 Bee Blocks

I've been sewing about here and there making practice blocks for the 3x6 Bee being run on Flickr. There were also many many drawings done. I think I've settled on this idea with a few tweaks: Mod-Morse Code Bee Block. It spells out Quilt in Morse code! I think that's so fun. The color bits need to be moved a tad right and the elements shifted up and down a smidge but I think it'll be the one. Unless my hive doesn't care for it. Then I'll do one of these:

My bee blocks also are my Lovely Year of Finishes Goal for January. There's a hard due date of the 15th for these.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Bit of Christmas and Winter

Those are the icicles outside my bedroom window. Love the colors and textures of winter. The bottom right is some of the packages holding the giveaway fabric. Some got doodles and scrapbook paper as that's what I had on hand. I did realize that I have not mailed one out yet (So sorry!) so if yours has not arrived yet, don't worry it will. My nephews and I made gingerbread houses and rice krispy treats/trees.

That sentence seems way too simple to discribe the noise, chaos, talking, colors, mess and running after the littlest who's 1 and a half. She preferred climbing on everything she could, opening everything she could and throwing around anything she could get her hands on. Little Lulu has learned the art of distraction. She'll do something loud and not allowed around the corner so you'll come running so that she can run and do what she wants that is also not allowed and worse. I turned my back for less than a minute and she had moved a stool over to the counter, climbed up on it, climbed up onto the counter, grabbed a plate, scooted it over to her and picked up an entire gingerbread house and was moving it quickly up to her very wide open mouth. Her brother was practically in slow motion running over with arms outstretched, "NNnnnooooooooo!" I saved it, barely.

She's just so stinkin' cute it's hard to be mad. She also knows exactly what she's doing and that it's not allowed. The most mischievous looks that one. New rules: I'll gladly have the boys over to craft again - if their sister is not coming. I was ragged at the end. That picture of her is at Halloween in the adorable Hedwig outfit my sister made, having just turned around from doing something she oughtn't.

Nephew 2, Proximo said about his gingerbread man, "He's in love, can you tell?" I said, "Oh, yes! His eyes are hearts!" Funny funny boys. His gingerbread man also has two faces. I'm not sure why but I do know that Proximo had a very good reason. 

It is also birthday season around here. The top photo is some of my favorite things: dad's homemade egg nog (non-alcoholic), hot water for my cold and Betty Crockers Bavarian Chocolate Torte. My very favorite birthday cake ever. This one had about 10 layers (including icing). It is so light and fluffy. The icing is made with non sweetened whipped cream, cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla. The whole business is a light textured dream of chocolate in my happy happy mouth. 

The white cake is a key lime cake with a whipped cream frosting. The secret ingredient is sour cream. So it is also light and fluffy with a tang that's delicious. 

There has been sewing and crafting going on but as my computer is dying a slow and painful death working with any photographs has been like moving through a river of frozen molasses. Wearing chains. It took me, off and on, hours to get just these few photos edited and up. The ones of sewing things haven't been working. So Happy New Year to you!