Monday, January 26, 2009

Quilting Frustration and a New Rotary Cutter

My quilting buddy recently returned after a six month stay in Montana, and we resumed our weekly sewing sessions. But I wasn't sure what I could work on with my bad arm. Even scissors are pretty much beyond me right now. Then I remembered my string pieced stars. I had already traced the diamonds onto paper and I have a drawer full of strips and strings. Perfect! No fabric cutting required! I'll just have to delay trimming the diamonds until I'm completely healed.

Which reminds me, the other purchase I made at Road to California was the Martelli ergonomic rotary cutter. I saw the vendor demo its use, cutting through twenty layers of fabric. I took a couple of tentative cuts, but couldn't really get a feel for it since I didn't dare put much pressure on my hand. However, this cutter was recommended by a couple of people on Quiltvillechat, so I decided to risk $20.00 on it. Of course, I won't really know if it will be compatible with my own particular problems and style of working until my tennis elbow has healed enough for me to try it out. When it does, I'll give a complete review.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fabric Score and Quilting Frustrations

Well, I had pretty much made up my mind to make Double Delight from stash instead of 19th Century Repro prints. But then I went to Road to California, and discovered a vendor (Bonnie Blue Quilts) who was offering a beautiful bundle of six different double pinks in half yard cuts. Exactly the amount I'd need for Double Delight. So how could I resist? Since I already have some indigos and shirtings in my stash, I guess I'm back to following Bonnie's color scheme. Now all I need is some cheddar and some chocolate brown.

Not to mention a healed elbow. Sigh. I've been going to physical therapy sessions twice a week and doing the daily stretches and exercises the therapist recommended. But it looks as though I won't be using a rotary cutter for quite some time. And Double Delight calls for so much cutting and squaring up!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Road to California!

It's that time again!

I'll be attending Road to California on Thursday and Sunday. Last year some of us who were making Bonnie's first mystery quilt, Carolina Crossroads, wore 9-patch blocks with a contrast corner to identify ourselves to each other, and I actually met a few fellow mystery quilters. This year I'm not actually making the quilt yet because of my injury. Otherwise I'd probably suggest wearing a that Square Within a Square block (with contrast corner) which is a major component of the current mystery, Double Delight.

I was thinking of shopping for Double Delight fabric at the show; among all those vendors I'm bound to find some Civil War prints. But now I'm not sure. I should probably be trying to make this quilt from stash.

Friday, January 9, 2009

From Earthquakes to Fabric Stash

We had an earthquake last night. It was a 4.5 and lasted about 5 seconds, but we're about 21 miles away from the epicenter so it felt interesting rather than alarming. Nothing fell off any of our shelves. Of course, I don't have a lot of breakables. My worldly possessions fall into two main categories: fabric and books.

My fabric stash is not as large as some quilters', but it looks impressive because it is stored in stacking plastic basket bins that tower to the ceiling. But if they tumbled over in an earthquake, no harm would be done -- I'd just have the fun of rearranging it again. (Have you noticed how therapeutic it is to fondle fabric?)

I was thinking of reordering my stash anyway because I cannot find my little collection of indigo prints. Someone gave them to me a long time ago, and I've been waiting for the perfect project in which to use them. Well, it's here now. They're perfect for Bonnie's Double Delight mystery quilt, but I cannot find them among my blues. I was able to lay my hands on my collection of shirting prints which I also want to use in this project. But I find I have very little double pink fabric. And of course I have no brown or cheddar. My stash is pretty weak in earth colors in which I include the brown, orange, and yellow families.

It's funny how the emotional aspect of color can be so strong and yet so individual. Yellow has always seemed an unhappy color to me, but I know many people who perceive it as perky and cheerful. (Was I simply traumatised by Harvest Gold appliances in my youth?) But I'm beginning to learn that even colors I'm not keen on can, in the right place and in the right proportions, add an essential spark to a quilt that takes away my breath and sings to my heart. That's kind of why I want to make Double Delight in Bonnie's colors. (If you're making the quilt and don't yet want to see what the finished blocks look like, don't click on this link.)

I have a few free hours today and plan to visit the local quilt store. My sister gave me a gift certificate for Christmas, and I'm hoping to buy some brown, cheddar or double pink with it. But first I need to figure out where all those indigo prints are.