Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Aqua and Brown???

This is another special order quilt that stretched my comfort zone, color-wise. I was told that the baby's nursery was going to be aqua, with brown accents. I liked the color combination well enough, but it didn't say "baby" to me. My era (late Stone Age) favored the standard pink for girls and blue for boys, but it's a new world out there, people!

Fortunately, I was also told that the Mom-To-Be liked polka dots and stripes. I love polka dots, so we shared common ground there. And though I find striped fabric difficult to work with (because the stripes are often at odds with the grain of the fabric) it's easy to create a striped look by choosing the right block pattern. So now I had a plan.

After piecing the top I thought it looked too "boxy," so I quilted freehand spirals in the center of each block. This softened the squares and added a kind of funky look that seemed, to me, to compliment the color scheme. Anyway, I love the final product, and hope the baby will too! I like to think each baby quilt will become a child's beloved "blankee," a tiny scrap of which eventually goes off to college with it's owner.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Orange & Purple???

A few months ago, Customer Brenda sent me fabric she wanted me to use in a Halloween throw for her. Individually, each fabric was cute. But they didn't add up to a color combination pleasing to my eye, and I dragged my feet for several weeks, waiting for a visit from the Quilting Muse. (Yes, we have our own Muse, and she's extremely helpful in cases of quilter's block. Pun intended!)

Eventually I settled on a design, and went fabric shopping in my stash (which you may recall is one of my favorite things to do!) I needed some medium values of orange and purple, to coordinate with the intense colors Brenda had sent. I also needed to just jump in and START the project ----- overthinking ideas is not at all productive. At some point you have pick up the rotary cutter, take a deep breath, and make that first slice. The neat thing about quilting is that there really are no mistakes; there are only design modifications!

The other neat thing: sometimes you get to surprise yourself by stretching your comfort zone. I ended up really liking Brenda's Halloween quilt, despite the fabric choice I would not have made on my own. Happy Halloween, Brenda!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall in Vermont

We just returned from a train trip to New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire, to see the Fall colors. The colors were gorgeous, the weather was sunny and cool, and our sleeper compartment was teeny-tiny-tight! I'd like to meet the person who designed it. I can just imagine him/her getting the assignment: "Into this 6'6"x3'6" space you must install two seats that convert to a bottom berth, a folding table, a suitcase rack, a pull-down upper berth, a toilet and fold-up sink that double as steps to the upper berth, a covered trash bin that doubles as a side table." The entire roomette was dual purpose!

I was able to visit only one quilt exhibit, but I made up for it at numerous Ben & Jerry's! We also visited a castle, the Von Trapp Lodge, and rode a cog train to the top Mt. Washington, where it was snowing. I loved the ride back down; it was so neat being in the snow and seeing the red and orange and yellow trees spread out below.

It was a great vacation, but it's good to get home, too. So, tomorrow I start cutting a new baby quilt, and real life resumes.