Fallen Star Quilt ...

Monday, February 28, 2011

UPDATE:  And the quilt sold at the silent auction last weekend, raising $350 for the cause!!!

Well after a whole lot of drama ... I am happy to report that this quilt will get mailed this week.

For those of you who are new to this quilt saga.  It started as a contribution for a silent auction to raise money to add the names of fallen soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division who are currently serving their 3rd tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom and  Operation New Dawn. 

While it is the Air Force, not the Army, that has the tradition of "the missing man formation", the missing star on the bottom right of this quilt, is meant to represent the soldiers who will not come home.

The inspriation for this quilt came from one of my favorite quilters, Jen at Little Scraps of Happiness, who also made hers for a silent auction to raise money for a Navy charity ... you could say that I pretty much copied her quilt ... [ but she's ok with this total copy cat because she knows it's for a good cause ].

Along the way ... this quilt became fodder for my first blog giveaway ... in exchange for hearing a variety of opinions on what clicks with YOU ... I gave away a few FQs from the LQS.  Kati at from the blue chair was the winner there (Kati ... I PROMISE ... in the mail tomorrow ;-). 

I also learned a ton about bleeding fabric colors yesterday (here and here) ... and my heartfelt thanks to so many friends who reached out (on the blog and in email) with thoughts, concerns and solutions!  All I can say is thank goodness for Kaufman's Kona White ... because every other white in this quilt thought seriously about becoming a pink ... and several did ...  So as I waited to see who had won the Oscar for Best Actor, Actress and Picture ... I also waited to pull this puppy out of the wash and ultimately determine the damage.

General conclusion ... some stars are now pink ... and I can't do much about that ... but it is still worthy of being listed in the auction. 

And Glenn from yarn + needle had some great insights for me last night ... "If you don't want to pre-wash try doing a "crocking" test.  Take a a 5" or bigger square and put it in a warm glass of work with the soap you intend on using.  You'll be able to see if the fabric will bleed in the finally wash."

And Laurel from Lively Stitches also some thoughts on color bleeding.

The quilt by the numbers:
  • Each star block comprised of 9 4.5" blocks.
  • White sashing = Kaufman Kona White
  • Most of the reds and blues a custom scrap bag from Pink Chalk Fabrics
  • Finished size 60" x 72"
  • Quilting = tight meandering
  • Back pieced out of a variety of fabrics
And while I know this is a long post ... I must share some work that my friend and colleague provided for this auction.  When I first told Michelle about what I was doing, she immediately raised her hand to help ... and today she delivered this gorgeous table runner for the auction as well!

This was also Michelle's first attempt at wonky stars and I am SO impressed!  And I love the star quilting!
Thanks Michelle ... for caring and for making such a great auction item!

I am happy to get these off to my sister-in-law and hope that they help, in an earnest way, to support this cause.

All the best

Lesson to be learned

Sunday, February 27, 2011

So here's what happened ... while I used the Color Catcher, the blue and white fabric in the center of the following star was also a magnet for the loose red dye in the wash (kind of its own 'color catcher').  

  In the following photo ... you can see how the material in the center has turned pink ... I have also laid a piece of unwashed fabric below the star, which really reflects what happened.  The background to the star points has also turned somewhat pink.  Though not quite as much as the center.

After the first wash ... there was some pink extending beyond the star and into the white sashing.  That seems to have come out with the 2nd wash.
I am not thrilled with the 'pink' stars, but agree with John, that, "if you didn't know"...

What are your thoughts?

I will try to get some overall photos of the quilt this week to share ... will reserve final judgement for a day or two. 

Crushed ...

Note:   Thanks everyone ... the 2nd wash helped a little ... looks like one of the materials has the same fibers in it as the color catcher ... as it caught the red and turned it pink.  I will post some separate pics of what happened.  John thinks it will be ok ... would value everyone elses thoughts.

 Well ... at least I got a couple of photos taken before I washed it ...
Here's the color catchers ...
The one on the right is unused
Unfortunately ... the color catchers did not catch all the color ... the quilt is now going through another wash ... but based on what I saw a few minutes ago ... I suspect that I won't be able to send it to the silent auction ...

I guess the good news is that I allowed extra time ... the silent auction isn't until April and my plan was to finish before the end of February ...

Painful way to learn a valuable lesson ...

Tickled pink!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I ran 5.35 miles today in 63 minutes!!!  That's the best I have EVER done!  For those of you who've been following ... I started running (for the first time in my life) last spring and then gave it up in late summer.  I tried again in the fall with a "Couch to 10K" program, which is supposed to last 13 weeks ... I've now been at it technically 20 weeks and this evening I completed the 8th week of the program.  I had some fits and starts, and a number of weeks that I repeated as I wasn't sure I was yet ready (physically or mentally) to move on.  But overall ... this program has been transformational!

To say that I am thrilled with my progress would be SUCH an understatement!  I had really struggled over the past month ... I was now running far enough (5 minutes running for each 1 minute of walking over an hour) that just training on the weekends wasn't working any more, I needed some mid-week endurance runs as well.  But with the dark days in Seattle (I won't run in the dark and I can't stand treadmills) I wasn't getting the mid week training that I needed.

So this week I decided enough was enough.  I put a 4PM running appointment on my calendar for Tuesday and Thursday and today I kept my appointment ... it was great.  The Interurban Trail is a biking trail that goes right by the office and I was able to get out and run, come back before dark for a quick meeting with one of my employees and then get home, showered and fed by 6:30 ... it was perfect!

I've also made some progress on my next envelope quilt -- Sarah ... I promise a tutorial on this one!  If you remember, I designed this last summer and gave it to my sister-in-law for her birthday. 

I am not so good in the 'planning' department for quilting and I know that I often waste a great deal of time because I cut, piece, sew, iron then cut, piece, sew, iron then cut, piece, sew, iron (you get the picture). 

So Saturday evening was spent cutting.  Cutting 448 - 5" squares (half solid and half print).  I am making a smaller quilt (50" x 60") for a community outreach program to a senior citizen's home and then a larger one (60" x 70") for my guest room at the cabin.  In the cabin, this will be the brown on top of the bed that ties into the box spring cover I blogged about here.
And Sunday afternoon was spent piecing, sewing and ironing.  I got 25 of the 112 blocks I will need completed.   Tonight I chain stitched an additional 44 squares and will get them cut and ironed later this week. 

I'll share photos soon ... as the dark brown with the Moda Momo fabrics really creats some great contrast!

I hope you are all finding a little time for yourselves as well.

All the best

And the winner is ...

Monday, February 21, 2011

And #28 is Kati who blogs at from the blue chair!

My thanks to ALL of you who played in my first blog giveaway ... it was a brilliant exercise to learn not just what people liked and disliked ... but to see the blocks through others peoples eyes and understand the why!  I learned a lot about patterns, color and composition through this exercise ... so my thanks to all of you!

And now a little of that analytical mind ... there were a total of 78 votes, 41 likes and 37 dislikes.

  • There were a total of 29 blocks
  • Six blocks recieved no votes either way 
  • Nine blocks had at least one person like them (but no dislikes)
  • Four blocks had at least one person dislike them (but no likes)
  • Most interesting to me ... ten blocks had both 'like' and 'dislike' votes!!!
There was a clear winning block ... 7 readers chose block #26 as their favorite.  They like the "dots, colors, mix of fabrics and overall composition".
Block #26
There was also a clear loser ... a total of 9 readers chose Block #23 as their least favorite (and no one claimed it as a favorite).  It was "blah, monochromatic, and just didn't fit as the only single colored, solid block".
Block #23
As I mentioned, there 10 blocks that had votes from readers that were both 'likes' and 'dislikes'.  Most intriguing was block #6 ... 3 readers called it their favorite and 5 readers called it their least favorite block.
Block #6
So it was great fun to see this quilt through multiple sets of eyes.  I will post photos when it's complete ... using the TV room as my quilting room makes it a bit of a challenge when I am actually quilting ...

Oh ... and my favorite?  Block #21 ...
Block #21
All the best

Giveaway ... in exchange for your opinion!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Enter now for a chance to win 3 Fat Quarters cut from any of the fabrics in the photo below ...
    You choose!
Here's the deal ... several weeks ago, when I started on the Patriotic quilt, I asked my husband for his opinion on the 6 blocks I had made.  Asking him which ones he like best?  To be honest, his answer kind of surprised me, as I had automatically assumed that his favorites would be my favorites.  That wasn't the case.  In fact, his least favorite, was my favorite ...

How could that be?

Up until that day, I really had not appreciated how much different people see different things things through different filters ... a real eye opener.

So ... as I seek to evolve as a quilter, I started thinking about how I could ask the quilting community for their opinion.  I took individual photos of all of the blocks for this quilt.
And created a Mosaic on Flicker which can be found HERE.

So in exchange for your opinion ... I am going to giveaway 3 Fat Quarters from fabric in the photo at the top of this posting.  How do you enter?

You can get up to 3 chances to win:
  1. Leave me one message on this blog post
  2. Then head over to my Mosaic on Flickr and tell me which block you like the BEST -- and why
  3. Also on my Mosaic on Flickr and tell me which block  you like LEAST -- and why
To reduce the complexity, you can leave messages for #2 and #3 either here on my blog or on my Flickr Mosaic (either will count).  And make sure you're email is available to me for the blog posts!

I will randomly draw the winner from all entries on Monday, February 21.  I am a relatively low-read blog ... so chances are pretty good you can win on this!

I am really interested in your perspectives and opinions ... no worries about offending me ... I have MOST and LEAST favorite blocks on this one as well!

Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts and good luck in the drawing!  Thanks for playing!

Update:  And I am having SO MUCH FUN reading all the comments ... thank you ... thank you ... thank you!

All the best

Hectic week

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Started with an email at 11AM Monday morning from my dad, letting me and my 3 siblings know that my mother's knee replacement surgery had gone well at 8AM that morning ...

What ........................... knee replacement surgery ... huh ?!?!?!?

So for you parents out there who don't want to worry your kids ... worry them ... because otherwise they are left wondering what other stuff you are keeping from them ;-)

Remember this?
Graduation Confetti
I blogged about it here.  A high school graduation present for my niece last summer.

She's now attending the University of Wyoming on a track scholarship and we had the chance to go see her Friday night here in Seattle at a track invitational for the University of Washington.  She ran the 5000m, came in 2nd in her heat and broke the record at her school for this event ... not bad for a Freshman.

With my mom's knee replacement, my parents were not able to get up here (they live about an hour south of Seattle) to see her in her race last night.  But my angel of a husband went down to Tacoma this morning to sit with my mom and my dad drove up and I took him over to visit with his granddaughter.
Proud Grandpa
I didn't get much else done this week or weekend ... but seeing Christine run and the smile on her grandfather's face today ... well it was definitely a great week ...

So the giveaway ... definitely on for next week.

All the best

Progress on the Patriotic Quilt ...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The hard part is behind me!  The stars are all now pieced!
I hung it on the bottom of the raised murphy bed in the den at the cabin -- and I am now thinking there must be some way to turn that into a design wall (I want one SOOO bad ... but with no real designated room to quilt ...).

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the back of the quilt!

Oh ... and I almost forgot the most important part ... I am going to be having my first giveaway this week!  Stay tuned!

All the best


Friday, February 4, 2011

Our Rais Stove
Love coming out to the cabin ... but must admit the first hour or so can be mighty chilly.  We turn the heat down to to 50F when we're not here ... enough to keep the pipes from freezing ... but a might chilly when we first arrive!

We debated a fireplace or wood burning stove when we were designing this place.  We loved the thought of an open fire, but knew that a wood burning stove would be so much more efficient.  Then I ran across this stove (Rais out of Sweeden) on line ... best of both worlds.  We can see the fire, but it's completely enclosed, which makes it both safer and more efficient. 

It quickly heats up the main room and there is usually a dog lying in front of it ... they are convinced we put the extra throw rug there for them to lie on ... not as added protection for the area rug.

Good thing I am married to the expert fire builder!

Have a great weekend!

Sharing Blog Awards

Thursday, February 3, 2011

If you've got to run ... can you think of a better location ???  I took my camera with me when I ran this weekend and captured a few shots of the fabulous view I have!

And the other cool thing is that there are some blog awards going on out there.  And Kati at the From the Blue Chair and Molly at Bailey Girl 5 have been kind enough to nominate my little, unknown blog for a recognition.  Well ... it's not really recognition ... it's a way to share some relatively unknown blogs that we've taken a liking to.

In addition to regular visits to Kati and Molly's blogs, I've got a few lesser known blogs out there that I really enjoy keeping an eye on ... there's some real talent out there people!!!  A few of my favorites:

 And then ... what comes with the deal is a chance to share a little bit about me ...
  1. I am a little bit of a perfectionist and I am really working to make sure that doesn't get in the way of my quilting 
  2. Per the photos ... at 49 years of age, I am teaching myself to run and will run my first event, an 8K, in Vancouver, BC on May 1st.
  3. My husband is retired ... I continue to work.  He's an angel ... me, not so much.
  4. I am a 9-year ovarian cancer surviver - and I try to live up to that gift every day.
  5. My garden is fabulous, but I can't seem to manage to grow a plant inside the house.
  6. We are blessed to have the cabin escape to - where the world moves to simple things like spending time with friends and family, communing with nature and, of course, quilting!
  7. My house is a bit messy ... with fabric and batting in too many places and an ironing board that is now a permanent fixture in the family room.
Take a chance to look at these blogs ... talent ... pure talent.

All the best

String + Pillow = Housewarming present

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Quilt top and matching pillow top
This is for one of the first friends I met when I moved to Seattle 7 years ago.  She was young and newly married and we worked for a start-up back in the era.  Seven years have brought her much change ... two lovely children and most recently ... a brand new, very modern, house!  She and her husband tore down their home and started from scratch ... I got to watch the evolution on her blog over the past year and John and I got our tour of the new place just before Christmas.

It's a VERY modern place ... and I felt it needed a VERY modern quilt ... which is how this pattern appears to me.  She's in early stages of decorating ... so her color pallet has yet to evolve.  But the kitchen and baths are all grounded in gray and they have gray concrete floors.

My goal was to use gray's as the base color and then build with a variety of warm colors (hence no blues).  So off I headed to the LQS to buy my fabrics ... yup ... buy my fabrics for a string quilt.  I know, they are meant to use of scraps ... but when one doesn't have much of a stash ... and wants to make a special quilt ... it's off to the quilt store (yes, the fabulous women who work at the shop laughed at me too ;-).

How about a 2-sided pillow?
I am not exactly sure which is the front and which is the back ... but love how it came out and Sew Katie Did's invisible zipper tutorial certainly made it a lot easier!

Pertinent facts:
String quilt tutorial by Ashley @ Film in the Fridge
8.5" blocks
Pieced backing
Quilt is 64" x 48"
Binding pieced from gray fabrics 
Invisible zipper tutorial by Katie @ Sew Katie Did

Pillow 18" Home Elegance form from JoAnn's

And I hope it looks as good in her living room as it does on my bed!

All the best
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