Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chickens on the Housetop

The center fabric is the chickens. I'm pretty pleased with this quilt. The bottom border, though, I don't think I'll do again. It is just a sawtooth, with the two inch strips in between- interestingly, though, it no longer has the sawtooth feel and instead has more of the look of an arrow. I am completely happy with the top border. That I will do again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quilted Words

It is the cock that crows, but the hen that lays the egg.

I didn't realize how much I missed pattern fabric until it came time to quilt. Then, flowers appeared. Ironically, I would not have quilted flowers on floral fabric. I think I like solids.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Blame Kay and Ann

of Mason Dixon Knitting, for this new obsession with dishcloth cotton. Above is the towel from their new book, below is the string bag I made up. I have four balls left of this stuff, from stash, and hopefully my fever will have cooled, by the time it is used up.

Otherwise, I am crabby. Not crabby in an enjoyable way, where I have constructed a mental fort underneath the card table or behind the sofa, but crabby in the unfun way, where I am startled at how irritable I am, and how much my children are getting on my nerves.

The dogs have a new toy, and it is excellent: a squeaker toy that they haven't been able to rip up. It is this one, the Kong Wubba.

Otherwise, I am knitting along.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Solid Colors, Again, and some shopping

New Pieces has moved to a new, huge location in Berkeley. They are closing out this thread, which my machine and I agree is nice, for one dollar.
Then there were some solid colors and a sale batik that also followed me home. Funny story: While I was shopping, there was another lady shopping. She was dressed to the nines, talking of trips to Asia and Europe to the sales lady, mentioning expensive retreats and classes she had taken. She bought a fat quarter, after much agonizing. I, on the other hand, in clothes that I had napped in......The owner was very nice. She enthused about the quilt top I had brought along, and about Gwen Marston, and apologized for the small amount of solids she had in stock. She was planning on rebuilding that section. It was a very nice visit. I may take a class there, but I don't know. I worry that the wrong teacher would be dispiriting, and a waste of money. Plus, a lot of quilters a re kind of mean about the free form stuff.
Here is the quilt layed out to baste. I am having trouble getting a decent photograph indoors. I'm not sure what I think of the bottom border- it was an experiment.
Here is the backing, and a view of the top border. I remember Gwen saying that if all the borders are the same, you only have to look at one of them. But if they are different....

Note to the new reader who wondered if I was aware that I spelled "Wierdos" wrong in my header. Well, yes, I noticed it the second or third day. But it is such a typical me kind of thing- the misspelling- and sort of weird, so I left it.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Solid Colors

One of my favorite quilters and authors has put out a new book. You can buy it here. It is a small book, with color photographs on every page. I inhaled it when it arrived, and immediately got to quilting.

Here we see the very formal design process I use, with my faithful assistant:

Now we have the careful studied intermediate phase. Note than I cannot give up on having some prints in my solid colors quilt. Also, I have been feeling blue, and I hear that chicken quilts are good for that.
And here we are at the phase where I have run out of fabric, also known as nearing completion. It is only about fifty by fifty inches. I wanted it to be much bigger, but I don't know whether to keep doing the same thing, or to move on into a new idea on the edges. This portion could serve as a medallion, and I could just start with border after border. Not sure. That's ok, it's almost bedtime. I'll think about it in the morning.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My Little Dog

Here is little Annie, on the porch, with my very first quilt. She was a very odd little dog- already five or so when I got her and distrustful of many things. She was also very endearing, charming, feisty and sweet, but always on her own terms. She died two weeks ago, peacefully, while I held her. As inevitable as it was, I still miss her very much.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I like sugar

Especially sugar that involves bread. Edited to add the recipe:

Pull Apart Bread ( more of a method than a recipe, but it's how I do it.)

One loaf's worth of bread dough, prepared to the point of being ready to shape, or two cans of refrigerator biscuits My favorite is the King Arthur recipe .

One and one half cups brown sugar, mixed with one teaspoon cinnamon

one and one half sticks of butter, melted and cooled but still liquid

Grease a bundt pan and sprinkle the bottom with a tablespoon of the spiced brown sugar. Form the dough into small balls, slightly smaller than a golf ball, or cut each pre-made biscuit into quarters. Roll each dough ball into the melted butter and then the sugar. Continue in this way until the dough is used up. Pour the remaining butter over the balls of dough. Bake at 375 for about forty five minutes. Cool 5 minutes and then hold a plate over the top of the pan and turn the whole thing over so that the bread will un-mold onto the plate.