Friday, January 19, 2018

Neutrals and reds and math

Oh my heavens, y'all, I do not know a bit of math. Nothing. Nada. Puh. How do I know? Because I needed math all day. Know what I got? Puh!

I've continued working on the neutrals scrap quilt top. Thanks to your encouragement, I decided to keep going with the red scraps because, I wanted to make it work. I'm hard-headed that way. Besides, I had sewn some of the scraps into fabric blocks. 

I have a 15" square ruler and cut the beige pieces into uniform blocks to match the ruler. That was easy and helped me with the math. I'd made about nine of the blocks before beginning with the red. As I added red chunks to the beige blocks, I re-cut the blocks so that they were back to 15". But I have more creativity than good sense, meaning I abandoned the one thing that made the math easy.

I started adding red to the beige blocks and didn't make the extra cuts. Instead, I made bigger blocks and tried to match them up. That didn't work. I rearranged the crazy big blocks. No. 

I rearranged and made strips. Then I rearranged those strips, adding more beige in places, thinking there was now too much red. No! 

Then finally. Finally! I arranged the pieces on point. Yes. That somehow did the trick. I liked the angles of the individual pieces and small strips. 

So what's the problem? Well, math. As long as I had uniform blocks, I could do the multiplication and division. But now things were happening on an angle and in an unsystematic manner. The biggest blocks were all about the same 15 x 20, so I made one strip of those. Sewing them on the 15" edges? No. That would make the strip match the others. 

So I have one strip that is 20" wide; none of the strips are equal in length; and everything is on an angle. Yes, there's a chance that this quilt will unravel me! 

When I decided to phone a friend, I considered calling my sister Lee. She teaches high school math. The hard math. But I figured that I should ask Richard first. I called him and tried to tell him what I needed to know. Turns out I couldn't really explain it to him. Regardless, he was stumped. Okay? So then, I'll call Lee. He laughed at me! How dare he? 

Then he told me why he was laughing. I didn't know what to ask. Honestly, at the time I couldn't even think of the words equation or formula. How do you tell a math teacher what you need if you don't know any of her math words? 

In the end I decided to keep adding pieces and triangles until the 15" strips match the 20" strip. But they have to match on an angle. 
Check out this last picture. I have two sides with straight edges! And know what? That crazy 20" strip is in there! It IS the upper left corner and matches up with the other strips. If you look on the bottom right corner, I have another corner. Whew! Math is stressful!

Link Ups!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Post It Weekly #230

The weather here in Louisiana is unreal. The temps this morning were colder than at my sister's house in Minot, ND. Quite irregular indeed. On Saturday (which is only two days away) we will be back in the 70s.

New Wave 49MTIIn fact the temps plummeted from perfect 70s and a beautiful sunshine afternoon to snow and ice arriving at midnight. We woke up to 14 degrees this morning. The wind was downright mean--cold, wet, hard. 

Luckily, we have a great heater in the camper, so we stay warm and toasty. We also have a TV, wifi, electronics, and the occasional grandchild visitor for entertainment. A good thing, too, because going out is miserable. I run to the studio bundled up in my only hoodie and a pair of gloves.

DORA JUNG, Gate to Saimaa (Saimaan Portti), woven tapestry, Finland 1965. Material woold on linen warp. © Kuvasto 2016, photo © Bank of Finland. / Kansankunnan Omaisuutta
Well, run is an exaggeration, since the snow melted into ice. (However that works?) Everything is crunchy and feels strange underfoot. After dark it's like walking on crumbled glass and not being able to see it. I just know I'll get a sliver of glass in my foot. Shoes? Of course, it's ice.

The works you see here are from my Pinterest "color, inspiration" board. These are a mixed bag of works--watercolor, drawing, fabric, paper, paints, pojagi, just about anything. 

GJB Quilts: November 2009

I was just doing my thing--window shopping for pins I like--and ran across one of these works. Pinterest has this little button on the upper right corner that allows you to find "visually similar results."

I've used that option several times, but it was really useful for this board.

A Pojagi - traditional 'quilt' or textile wrapping from Korea. This is one by Jung Yui Park.

| Othello Radou - Le Jardin d’ÉtéMelody Johnson Impromptu #2

Explore Melody Johnson Quilts' photos on Flickr. Melody Johnson Quilts has uploaded 545 photos to Flickr.

'Abstract Blocks' by Melanie Mikecz Painting Print on Wrapped Canvas

2015 Holiday Gift Ideas and Guide — Home - The New York Times

Dani Humberstone

Susie Gillespie

Something reminded me of the works of Alabama Chanin. So I had to take a look to see what new stuff is going on. I found these beauties!

Hand stitched & repurposed cashmere feathers (shrug). applique skirt....if only i could sew...

Reverse applique...Blue Oak Vintage::  how interesting.... 3 layers of fabric in some places gives this another layer of dimension... great choice of colours

I just did a quick search in Pinterest, but you can go directly to the Alabama Chanin website at Of course, I did that, too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

This Guy

This one right here. He's my guy and I love him more than I can say. But he loves me more. Hands down. No competition. Here's how I know. 

He's helping me make yoyos. Who does that? Who makes yoyos for no reason really, no reason. The answer is this guy. He's the one. 

Did I tell you about the Great Yoyo Race that my guild is having? Everyone makes yoyos and brings them to the meetings and someone (whomever has the most) wins half the yoyos at that meeting. 

I'd like to win. Well, it would be nice to get yoyos, not just give them away. But it turns out I'm a slow yoyo maker. Even with a yoyo maker. It's just the Mary Syndrome. I can't be regular.

So this man right here is my knight with shining needle. He can keep up with me, too. I'm only making about 8-10 in a sitting. He's making about the same. We don't have a whole lot of them, but it's not like I think I'll win the first time. 

I'll have to get more adept and much faster for that to happen. I may also have to find another family member willing to wield a needle. And then I'll need another yoyo maker. 

Chances are none of those will happen. So we'll just go with whatever the two of us can churn out. 

 No matter how many we do get made, we're having fun sewing and laughing about how crazy this whole endeavor is. Because really, isn't it crazy to turn your camper table (what there is of it after drinks, snacks and bills get their share) into a sweat shop for yoyos? 

Richard celebrated his birthday today. We had dinner then cake and ice cream at the house and enjoyed visiting with Will's family. Then came home to the camper to settle in. In no time we were in pajamas, with the TV blaring (Rich can barely hear), puppies piled all around us, and the wind howling just a few feet away. It's warm and cozy and the yoyos are multiplying at the breakneck speed of a garden slug chased by a bird. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

What to do, What to do...

I could have waited until later to write this post, but then I might have missed the entire month of starting over. I've been trying to figure out what I accomplished in 2017 according to the goals I set last January and what I'm going to attempt in 2018. 

There were some great wins and some bad losses, but that's how it goes in life. After thinking about it quite a bit, I've decided that I have way too much stress in my life already. I'll try to do some things, but getting better doesn't seem so important when you're hanging by a thread.

1.     "Minus 100 Yards Challenge." I read a post on SomethingRosemade  in which Rose challenged herself to use 100 yards of fabric above whatever she collected. I'm going to challenge myself to use 100 yards.
 Total Fail! I lost track of yardage way back around June. I’ll just let it go. I rarely buy fabric, except when I buy lots of it, so I’ll just say goodbye to the tally. (I feel much better already.)

2.    Increase content. I really wanted to try to write more posts, but that didn’t work either. In fact, I wrote fewer posts this year than in the last two years.
 Well? Much of it had to do with the kids’ house fire and not being able to write for lack of time while we reorganized our lives. But I also didn’t write very much while we were on vacation. 

However, I did participate in the Write 31 Days event and did well with that. So I’ll call it a draw and keep trying. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate in Write 31 again. I also want to write more while we travel. Wait, I'm hoping to travel this year. 
3.   More finishes.  I had lots of finishes this year, but many were little (very) finishes that I would not normally count. In quilts alone I think there were 15, but some of those were small art quilts. Additionally, I helped a friend with her shirt business, worked on several projects for the kids, and made a basket of pincushions. I’m plenty satisfied.
4.   Use more scraps. When I said AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts is my scrap inspiration, I was saying the right words.Big Win! I used up some scraps. One of the projects was the AmandaJean QAL that I enjoyed very much.
5.   Keep track of fabric usage. Easy peasy: figure out how many yards I use for each project and keep track.  Ha! Fail!
6.   Pinterest. You know I like my boards. Winner! I will try to continue through 2018. Hope y'all come along.
7.    Modern Quilting.  sew more modern, improv quilts.   Winner! Too many to count right now, but I’m happy with my work in this area.
8.   Read.  Read and read and read. Pick up those classics that I've been trying to get toWhat a win that would that be!  Big Win! I’ve enjoyed my books. So many! I’ve even begun listing the books I’ve read as an adult. (More on that later.)
9.   Write.  Write on my blog but also write about other subjects. And write in a deeper way about my quilt journey. We'll see what I can accomplish in this area.
                 Write 31 Days! That was the trick, it appears. I did enjoy 
                 writing in October, the only month in which I actually  
                 wrote 30 posts.

Peacocks, owls, and ants

✮ Peacock---- LOVE peacocksSeveral years ago our son and his wife lived next door to a family who owned peacocks. They were lovely and colorful and fun. Until nightfall. That's when they would make these loud, scary calls. It didn't help that the house was a rental with poor lighting outside. Or that the peacocks had full run of the entire area. They were allowed to stop traffic, visit neighbors, ride on the backs of four-legged animals if they wished.

Oh, and the yard. Not a "yard" so much as a former field that had been converted into a pecan orchard, that had been converted to a place. There were holes from crumbling railroad ties, dips that held ATVs hostage, and mounds of....well, wait for it. Walking to or from the house was an obstacle course that often caused your body to suddenly twist into a convoluted pretzel. 

Eagle Owl Face All I Care About is Owl Shirt At precisely the right time, an owl would hoot in those creepy sounds that big owls make. You know that sound: low and deep and breathy. The ones that echo off the pecan trees. Those ones.

Sometimes you stepped on a soft mound of freshly ground dirt. To which your response had better be high stepping at a fast clip before something below smelled your flesh. 

Red fire ants in Louisiana tromp up your foot at the same time, like a troop of Roman soldiers, they search out their field of attack under socks and pants, so when the officers yell "charge," they take one synchronized chomp. There is no pain like the burning pain of Southern fire ants, but Louisianans are bound to secrecy so as not to discourage tourism. I can say no more.

Inevitably there would be a hole waiting for the step immediately following the drop into the ant hill. It worked in the order of sinking ant hill, high step, high step, hole, drop. "Hoo hoo hoot." And an onslaught of slapping at your ankles until the realization that you're the one flaying around.

Of course, during this attempt to remove the monsters eating you alive, your legs were still working. Once in motion, they just went. Nothing in your brain signaled them to stop because everything in your brain is working at the ants. Once a body is in motion, the body stays in motion, remember? The problem is that your body  forgot the laws of motion while traveling at 3.1415 miles per hour. Something had to give. 

The knees are the first to go, remember? One knee caught your body weight in a thud, while the other foot pawed the grass in an attempt to get ahead of the rest of you. That happens instinctively. But it never works. The only time instinct really did any good was much later. After you'd clawed your ankles, broken your knee (the good one) and had a slight heart attack. The good news is that a slight attack kept your heart pounding. Ah, you could race to the door on one bad knee and no ankles. Any door would do. 

More likely than not the door would be locked, but still, it was a door. It's possible to jerk a locked door open if your heart is pounding hard enough to get adrenaline to your hands. You'd had that attack...there was adrenaline.

Of course, getting to the door required running on air. As in not touching the ground. You see, at night pecan tree roots rise out of the dirt in an interlaced course with the sole purpose of grabbing a toe. The roots were easy to evade: one need only raise the toe of each shoe just ever so much higher than normal. Everyone knows that tree roots are harmless under the foot. Feet are too big for roots. However, tree roots can grab toes; thus, the toes are in danger. But if you run fast enough, you can hover above the roots and get to the safety of any door.

Or you could be a big brave person, puff out your chest, and let your husband go to the car to turn on the lights.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: Y O Y O S

One more look at yoyos. I have to get my act together and need all the inspiration I can get. That craziness that I dreamed up is already chewing on my backside. I have yet to really get started making the darn things. However, I did buy "a yoyo cheater."

Lazy Girl Designs » How To Make A Perfect Yo-Yo Every Time

Clover 8705 Large Heart Shaped YoYo maker

puffs using  plastic disc guide
Really they're not difficult to make either way, but my goal is to be able to make them faster once I get used to the maker. While we were at Joann Fabrics, Richard tossed the only other available size into the buggy. That makes small, no really small, yoyos. There's no way I want to make a project with yoyos the size of a quarter. Imagine how many yoyos it would take!

Yo Yo decor.
How sweet would this be with white yoyos
 for the flower girl in a wedding?
yo-yo bracelet

Google Image Result for
Say small yoyos are too much work, and
immediately find the cutest projects!
Yoyo quilts anyone?

Beginner Quilting - Learn To Design A Yoyo Quilt –


colcha de fuxico de cetim - Pesquisa Google

This piece gives me joy and hope for Spring!!  Such intricate yoyo design

Simple, sweet yoyo quilt.  This would be gorgeous with any of your favorite scrap colors!


This is beautiful.  Yo-yo quilt tutorial- yessss by sondraSquare Yo-yos. My grandma made lots and lots of yo-yos back in the 60's and made all kinds of things from them. She even taught me how to make them. What great memories.

I've always wanted to make a yo-yo quilt.

Must. Make. One.  hmm, recycle old sheets, clothing, fabric leftovers, the possibilities are endless!Vintage Home - Exceptional 1930s Welsh Yo Yo Quilt.

Lovely yo-yo quilt. The site says it was made by an 80-year-old woman and her daughter.

Need more inspiration? Go to my Pinterest board, "yoyo, projects" for lots of fun ideas.