Saturday, January 19, 2008

Carolina Crossroads Piece Count

Maybe I shouldn't have done it, but I just tallied up the pieces in my CC quilt. How many pieces do you think there are? Scroll down for the final answer...


Could that be a mathematical error? I don't think so. Now I'll have to add in border pieces, binding, and backing for a truly accurate count. Don't be looking for that answer tomorrow, LOL!

Here's the breakdown. Correct me if I'm wrong...

~160 for sashings and cornerstones
~300 for split rail blocks
~900 for first 9-patches
~720 for second 9-patches
~240 for half 9-patch blocks
~400 for hourglass blocks
~41 for squares
~16 for triangles to make side triangle units
~4 for triangles for corner units


Center of Carolina Crossroads Finished!

First, a clarification. My DH thinks I may have offended Bonnie because I like this layout of HER pattern better than her original. Since I know Bonnie, it never occurred to me that she would be offended. I think if someone took their CC blocks and made a jacket from them or a bed canopy or made 2 separate quilts from the 2 sets of blocks, she would think it was great. The truth is that we all like what WE like. While I like the block units, when they were put edge to edge, I found myself not liking it a whole lot. I needed the definition of the sashing for my greater enjoyment. I think Bonnie would be happy for me. I am quite sure she wouldn't like ALL of my quilts.

That leads me to a question...

I have (miraculously enough) added a poll to my page. What makes a quilt catch your eye? When does a quilt grab your attention? I think color is the primary thing for me. If it doesn't have "my" colors, I don't look much. I have seen some quilts made from the same patterns as mine in non-Joan colors, and I didn't like them much. But make that puppy in dark country colors, and I'll like it a lot more. Such is life.

Secondly it is the overall quilt pattern. I don't like large pieces, but they do have their place. After piecing the inside of the CC quilt, anything over 1-1/2" square constitutes LARGE, LOL!!

Lastly for me is the actual quilting. Don't get me is important and must be done well, whether machine- or hand-quilted. But when I initially spot a quilt or see a photo, the quilting is mostly hidden.

I'm curious as to what you think.

This center measures 71" square. I'm debating about borders now. I'm taking a break from the machine since I've been on here all my free time yesterday and today. I'm thinking of a thin inner border of cream or creams depending on how many scraps I can round up, and a wider border of ONE black.


Friday, January 18, 2008

One of These Halves Is Not Like The Other

Here is a pic of my Carolina Crossroads so far this AM. The top half is my design, adding in the sashing strips of the accent color, black. The bottom right "half" is the original pattern. I like the top left better, so I'm not necessarily asking for advice. Just curious as to the different opinions out there. Do you like the original (bottom right) or the detour (top left)? Let me know!


String Quilt Picture Update

Here is a rather close-up picture showing the sashing stitching. I have started on the row on the left and am working my way to the right. I'm quilting block 12 out of 30. I'm using a ruler and hera marker to mark the X's. If you hand quilt and mark straight lines, that is the way to go. No actual marking on the quilt, just a crease that is so easy to follow!

For the photo shoot, I even took the basting out of the first row of blocks and sashing! I like the way it's coming along, and I LOVE to hand quilt. It lets you see and admire each and every fabric as you go. Having the chatelaine with all my supplies together makes it so enjoyable.

Making great progress on my Carolina Crossroads. Picture later tonight. I'll have to take a few hours off to go pick up my son at the construction site, then the whole bunch to the library and violin lessons.

Back to the CC!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Carolina Crossroads Progress...Not Much to See

All I got sewn on the Carolina Crossroads today was getting the split rail fence blocks sewn together from the rail, 9-patch and cream square units. The quilt is set on point, so you have to use your imagination to see them.

Here are some of my blocks on the design wall. If you find the large cream squares on point, there should be 5 of those across and 5 down. After getting these up on the wall, I wondered if my husband would like it. My suspicion that he would think it's too busy was confirmed when DD2 walked in and said, "Is there a pattern there?" The stars with the black points don't show up as much as I'd like. I have a creative idea that I will show tomorrow.

DS2 took a year-end math test today that included material from his whole book. I told him that if he got a perfect paper, or only missed ONE, I would take him out for supper. Well, the rascal did! We had such a great visit while we ate at one of our favorite restaurants. We shared a steak and fried baby shrimp dinner. That was quite possibly the best meal I've ever eaten out. Everything was cooked to perfection. I'm so proud of him. He started working with a family friend who is a contractor this week. He will be learning all kinds of skills and hopefully saving some money as well.

I watched 3 movies last night. Remember, DH is away! The children and I all watched The Pacifier. They thought that was hilarious. I sent them to bed and watched most of two more. I hand quilted the whole time, so I'm making great progress on my string quilt. I have decided to quilt the sashings as I go so I won't have to go back and do them all last. I'm really liking it. I like the navy I picked for the sashing and border, and I love the blocks themselves.

Better get to sewing this mystery quilt that is no longer a mystery! I've added a bit more sewing with my unchartered changes, so I best get to it. I'll post a picture of my progress later today.


More Double Pinwheels + Carolina Crossroads Finale

You're probably tired of seeing these. Half of my completed double pinwheel blocks. I took this picture because I'm taking these cuties off the design wall. I figure I need 63 blocks of each directional spin to make a quilt about 69" x 83". 38 more sets to go!

Time to finish my Carolina Crossroads quilt! I was so happy to see the finale of clues posted this morning. I plan to sew, sew, sew until my center is finished anyway.

In spite of the snow, I need to drive my son to work and then DD1 to piano lessons. My son usually rides his bike, but see the last post to see why that won't be possible today!


Snowy Update in Pictures

I took the picture below from my sewing room window this AM. I had the flood lights on, but you know snow lights up well. It has been raining since about 4 AM, and I was afraid it would all be gone before my children got up to see it!

Not to worry, I guess. The picture below was taken 3 hours later, and you can's still there!

The picture below is taken from the front door towards the street. Where did the natural areas go? Below!! The lumps that are beside the sidewalk and then go to the right beyond the trees are monkey grass that outlines our natural area on the right. Our house sits partway down a hill from the road. That's our big ole 15-passenger van up top, near the road.

Enjoy your day, no matter the weather...


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's S-n-o-w-i-n-g!!

I know--some of you are thinking, "Big deal!", but we only get snow every few years here in NC. One of my husband's coworkers made the comment, "The French toast crowd is out." I had NO idea what he meant. Those are all the folks that stock up on milk, eggs, and bread at the mention of the "s" word. LOL!! On our way home from church tonight, there were actually people stopped along the road. I know they were saying the same thing I was to their wondering children that I was to mine..."Look! It's Snowing!!

I am hoping that after a good night's sleep, I will awake to the next clue in Bonnie's Carolina Crossroads quilt. I can hardly wait.

Today I did not machine sew a single stitch. Hard to believe. I usually sew several bobbins of thread per day. I spent the greater part of the morning cleaning my bedroom. I jokingly referred to it as the toxic waste dump of the house to Kairle, but I didn't need the haz-mat team after all. Just one very encouraging and helpful daughter in the room with me while the other held down the fort with the "littles". Ah...I will sleep peacefully tonight.

I have made some progress on my string quilt. I have nearly 8 of the 30 blocks completely hand stitched and some of the sashings in between. I am doing all the hand quilting in white thread. Bonnie suggested I do 3 large X's in the sashings. That was a good idea, especially since the blocks are set in a 9-patch setting. I'll post some pictures on that soon. I plan to do lots more work on it in the next couple of days. My DH is scheduled to be out of town from about 2 tomorrow afternoon until 2 Saturday PM. We are going to watch a couple movies while he's gone. Great hand-quilting time!!



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

URL for Double Pinwheel Instructions,1789,HGTV_3314_1374034,00.html

Above is the URL for the instructions from Simply Quilts for the Double Pinwheel Block. If you make some of these, please send me a picture.


MORE Double Pinwheel Blocks

Here are close ups of two of my new blocks, then a picture of all of one set (when you make these, you get two sets, one "spinning" in each direction). I have run out of room to show these with the border of opposite spinning blocks around the outside. My design wall is not that big. So, now I have 40 of these beauties finished. I will soon need to figure out how many more blocks I want to make to have a throw large enough to cover a 1/4" shy of 6 foot 14-year-old son.

Off for Nakata leftovers and a nap (for some reason I got up at 4 this AM--sigh).


Nakata What?

This is not Nakata. This is DD1. She is 17, going on 45, LOL! Yes--the hair is naturally curly. Her driver's ed teacher (last spring) asked her if that was one of those "add-ons". Then he asked her if she was wearing contacts to make her eyes that color. She replied, "I'm all real--nothing artificial!" She has been begging me to show her in my blog, so there she is.

These are not Nakata either. This is my progress as of last night (1-14) on these double pinwheel blocks. They are so stinkin' cute.

Nakata is where my DH took me for supper. It's a Japanese steak house. What a hoot! The whole meal was a show. I don't particularly like Japanese food, but I stuck it out and actually enjoyed it very much.

The meal started with us sitting around a large grill. The tabletop goes right up to the grill edge (the cook can reach each plate). He began his food preparation by doing a watch-me-twirl-throw-catch-and-repeat-my-cooking-utensils act. It was marvelous. Then he methodically cooks and serves various dishes. It was all yummy. First is fried rice. Everything is scooped and slid over the grill, then served around the table. There was a mountain of rice. He occasionally squirts this or that (I have NO idea what this or that was, other than water, soy sauce, and oil) onto the food mountain. Then there's more chopping, flipping, scraping, and serving. You start eating your rice (I even was adventurous and used chopsticks for the first time. I tried reading the directions, but they were in Japanese!). Meanwhile, he is preparing a shrimp and vegetable appetizer. Then he goes around and cooks everyone's meat...ribeye steak, chicken breast, shrimp, etc. Everything is sliced and diced before cooking so it can be easily thrown around--er, I mean eaten. So fun to watch! I took pictures with my phone, so I'll share them later if we miraculously find the cable that will allow me to download them to my 'puter.


Monday, January 14, 2008

New Little Kitchen Quilt

Above is my new little kitchen quilt. There is a skinny wall above my phone (the wall is dark tan--kind of a Wendy's chocolate frosty color). I had an acorn quilt there for fall, then a tree quilt for Christmas, now for Valentine's Day time, a heart quilt. Check my Web Shots album for the others.

This is 7-1/2" x 13". I only quilted around the sashing in the ditch.

Going upstairs to hang it now, then DH is taking me out for supper. He won't tell me where we're going...being very mysterious. Since it's must-go night (you know...this must go, that must go), anywhere but here is sounding great!


A Heart and a Crown

Above is a 7-1/2" square coaster/candle mat I made to give the woman who has had me for a secret sister this past year at church. I have NO idea who she is, but I was possessed with a bit of forethought and made something TODAY to give to her. The revealing of our names is a whole week from today. I don't know what possessed me, but I hope it happens again soon.

Thi$ AM wa$ $pent at my dear denti$t$. I am having a tooth prepared for a crown. Yike$ is all I can $ay.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Double Pinwheel Progress

This AM I sewed two more sets of blocks for this quilt. I hope to make a couple sets a week. I'm in no hurry to finish it. I laid out the blocks to see if I'm overdoing it on a particular color. I think I need more blue. There's hardly any in there...yet. These finish at 7" square. I need many more for a good-sized throw.

My DS2 notified me that our quilts are all getting too small. He was "complaining" that he couldn't cover up with a throw anymore when laying down on the sofa. If his feet were covered, it only came up to his elbows. Could it possibly be that he is nearly six feet tall now??

Pressing on,