Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mosaic Runner Tutorial~~part 1

It would be too much to try to post everything I did or learned about creating my mosaic floor runner in one post, so this is part one: prep work.  

One thing I did realize is that if you have more floor to cover than leg muscles to move your body, you will feel the burn, pain, and cramps.  Do yourself a huge favor and choose your runner size carefully.

Secondly, you need lots of tile pieces.  I broke and cut pieces till I was tired and Richard said I had enough.  He was wrong.  That simply meant that while I was cutting, the mud on the floor was drying.  Meaning I was forced to hurry--NOT safe.  I have all my limbs and the rug is no worse for wear, but I do not recommend it.

Let's start with breaking tiles. You'll need an old heavy towel or sheet, a hammer, some tile pieces and a hard surface.  I also used an old aluminum bat because it was handily lying nearby.

If using a sheet, fold it in half and spread it on the hard surface.  You'll use it to keep pieces of tile from flying when you break it with the hammer.  To do this, spread the folded sheet on the hard surface, lay tile pieces on half, then drape the other half of the sheet over the tile pieces.  No tying necessary, but you surely can tie it if you want.  I used the aluminum bat more than the hammer because it worked really 
well--just hit the bat on the row of tiles.  Hit hard but use only one whack and keep the length of the bat flat for a neater, straighter line.  If using a hammer, hit each piece of tile once.  It's easy to "see" the tiles if you pat the sheet down first.

Uncover and remove the pieces that are small enough (I found 4x4 inches or smaller worked well), cover the larger pieces and break again. Continue in this way until you have enough broken pieces.  

Some of the pieces may end up in a triangular shape.  I was worried about the sharp points causing some problems when we walked on them barefooted.  

 To fix that, I held the point up and tapped against it with the hammer.  My idea was to break off the points, but mostly I dulled them only a little.  

About the time I got really tired, Richard decided that I could use the saw.  Now understand, I had a whole lesson on safety.  The blade is a diamond blade and can cut through bone.  It can cut glass.  It can cut porcelain. The blade is diamond and can cut your fingers and hand completely off.  It spins extra fast.  It can pull your hand into the saw and will not stop. It's a diamond blade. 

 Diamond.  Diamond! 

Eventually I had a box of cut pieces. And I was tired of the tough love.  Every time he walked outside, my sweet husband checked on me.  All parts intact?  How's it going?  That's a diamond blade.  It's dangerous.  Stand back away from the saw.  That diamond blade will cut through bone.

Those safe hands are Richard's.  I tell you: I got a thorough lesson.

And now, a couple of photos of the rug.  Later in the week I'll explain how I laid out the pieces.  

See you for Moasic Runner Tutorial~~Part 2.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Guild Newsletter Article....Me!

Straight from our guild newsletter!  Written by Mrs. Helen Mire (Thanks Mrs. Helen)

One of our Designers Extraordinaire!! …
Mary Evangeline Bourque Marcotte   

Mary has been quilting since her first child, William, was born 35 years ago. Her other two sons, Adam, 32, and Rory, 30, also enjoy her craft because she has quilted for each of them and also for their wives, Stacy, Jenny, and Meggan. Quilts also adorn the beds of each of her seven grandchildren, Dusty, Alayna, Lane, Jolie, Marley, Catherine, and Sophie and sometimes they even drag those quilts around with them.

Mary was born in Cottonport and raised in Plaucheville. She graduated from Plaucheville High, and now she lives in Evergreen with her husband, Richard, of 36 years.  Richard grows vegetables on about 4 acres and sells these fresh vegetables to the public. Her parents, Riley Bourque from Maurice, LA, and Ellen Lacombe from Moreauville, finally settled in Avoyelles with Mary and her seven sisters after moving several times during Mary’s young life! Mary’s mom always quilted, especially after she retired.  Mary’s grandmother also quilted and she learned many quilting techniques from both of them.

A teacher here in Avoyelles Parish for the last 25 years, Mary was a school librarian at Marksville High for ten years, but is now back in the classroom at Bunkie High. She teaches English to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. When she retires, she wants to quilt and travel. Mary loves to design, because she started out that way. “I didn’t start out with patterns, but just created blocks,” she says. “As I started becoming more and more interested in quilting by  reading, seeing other quilters designs, and visiting quilt shows, I realized I could do that and I would come home and make my own designs.” 

“I found a quilt top my grandmother made in my mom’s house after mom passed away.  I copied her pattern and made a few quilts using that pattern. My niece had a photo of my Dad’s barn and I wanted to create a quilt of the barn to honor him, so I enlarged the photo, made a pattern, and used fabric and thread to add details to create this quilt. I presented it at one of our meetings, and it won a Blue Ribbon in Wall Hangings at our last Quilt Show. I also created a quilt of the Cotton Gin in Cottonport. I use muslin to separate the strips for an interesting pattern in the scrap quilts I demonstrated at our Guild meeting. Use just scraps to create the strips.”

“I have attended the Houston Quilt Show for the last seven or eight years. I have also been to the Gulf South Show several times and a couple of times to the show in Beaumont, Texas, and of course to Krotz Springs and also once to Shreveport. If I hear about a quilt show, I will certainly try to get there,” she says. “Donna Mayeux and I went to classes given by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims,” she says proudly. “Sure learned a lot that weekend!”

“I will miss going to our Quilt Show this year.  I had already decided which quilts to put in the show and certainly hope we continue it next year. Many people visit our show and this is a great opportunity to encourage tourism in Avoyelles Parish, so I know there will be many disappointed people this year.

“There are many opportunities to build your stash and also learn about quilting right here in Avoyelles Parish by attending our Guild meetings. We have many talented quilters who are willing to share their passion for quilting with us, so I feel we are blessed to have this Guild in my community. 

“I have written on quilting in an online magazine, The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  I have a blog named Fleur De Lis Quilts at fleurdelisquilts.blogspot.com. Check out the tutorials on my blog on many different subjects. Over the summer, I created the Louisiana Block for American Made Brand, which is a fabric line by Cloth Works. I will always continue quilting and enjoying the good life here in Avoyelles,” she says as she smiles broadly!

                  From Mary’s Blog Spot:  AMB Louisiana License Plate  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: B U T T O N S

I had an idea a while back: use the colors of my favorite button pictures to inspire the colors of a quilt.  Let me show you what I mean.  Start with a pretty picture of really pretty buttons!

Orange, Green and White

Then find some fabrics in the same color family.
Vintage 70s yellow orange and green floral fabric

Then find a quilt or two in pictures!
orange and green quilt

FairyFace Designs - cute boy quilt

Blue and White
Vintage Buttons  Czech Glass cobalt blue and by pillowtalkswf, $8.75

Ice Fat Quarter Bundle of 10 - "The Quilted Crow Quilt Shop, folk art quilt fabric, quilt patterns, quilt kits, quilt blocks
Gallery in Blue, Blue/White Fat Quarter Bundle (10) - "The Quilted Crow Quilt Shop, folk art quilt fabric, quilt patterns, quilt kits, quilt blocks

Blue & White quilts will never go out of style! They always look fresh, clean and inviting! Always love blue and white!

100g mixed black, white spots and stripes button mix

Black and white fabric... my ♥ ~

black and white quilt...stunningly different!  Have see this in multi color format - too busy - but this is great in black and white! Kudos to the designer!

How about some pillows?  Aren't these pretty?
Black and white

Red and White
Vintage Buttons  Cottage chic mix of fancy red by pillowtalkswf, $8.95

Moda collection of reds #PCCanadaDay

Red and white quilt show at Temecula Quilt Co.

Pink and Peach
Vintage buttons

Orange Paisley

I might as well just pin every quilt that shows up on Modern Day Quilts ...

Ombre modern baby quilt coral peach blush pink by WilderAndBean

Blue and Green
28 blue and green button mix 1221 mm 34 by petrascrafts64 on Etsy, $1.50

Harebell Pattern . postcard William Morris

The French Tangerine

Perfect colors, simple design with a border to pop it

Beautiful stars-within-stars quilt by Stephanie Dunphy, author of Uncommonly Corduroy.

So you get the idea!  Have a color combination you'd like for me to show?  I'm betting we can find any combination in pictures...all we have to do is ask Pinterest!  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Grand science stuff

Earlier in the week the grands came for a "quick" visit so that I could help Dusti (the oldest who is in 10th grade biology) gather up a few items for a science project.  

Note the verb: gather.  In my mind that means, well, gather.  Put together.  Find.  Collect.  Choose.  You get it.  

 In the end, we did gather...all the items.  

She figured out how to assemble them on the styrofoam.

But I glued them down because E6000 is strong, scary glue, and the thought of her gluing herself or inhaling it was just not acceptable.

In the end, I think we did a fairly decent job.  Here's the final product next to the picture guide in her biology book.  I didn't do the work for her (except the gluing).  Nope, this teacher is a bit more demanding than that.  

I made recommendations for the cell parts and let her decide which ones to use and insisted that she place every item.  Then she had to paint in the lines using some fabric paint.  It didn't take very long, especially since we ate supper while the glue set.  She seemed happy with the outcome and I got the fun of working with her one to one.

When was the last time you had the pleasure of helping with a school project?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pin It Weekly #82

Okay, so I've been on a reading binge lately.  I do that.  I start reading and it's as if I'll never get to lay hands on another book. 

Ever.  Never ever.  For the rest of my life.
Books, books, books!  :)

Well, when that happens---nothing else happens.  

I read.

How many have you read?

I read some more.

I read anything, everything.

«Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.»

I read other people's mail.

I read my bank statement!  (but not the numbers)

Dewey Decimal System visuals

I just read.

Cause, you know, I may never get to touch another word.  Or another piece of paper.  
for "the librarian"
Or another book.  How sad that would be.  

Too sad to consider, so I'll share some library/librarian humor (to put me in a happier mood) then go back to my book and just read.

Library Science! ~ via Mayfield Library

Kindle, Nook, Sony reader… I say, Hardwick, this sure is an impressive library. A cartoon by Jeffery Koterba, cartoonist, writer, and musician. ⇢ Credits and more info.

My kids will have such a different library experience than I had...

I'm a sucker for librarian humor.

Literary Selfies.....and the language continues to change. Is there any wonder that learning is sometimes difficult?

I read therefore I am...late for work.

Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself.