Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Open House

The long-awaited other shoe has finally dropped. The job transfer has come through and we finally know where we're headed. There are still some details to work out, but it seems that Kent and I will be moving to Green Bay, Wisconsin sometime this spring.

The time has come to say goodbye to our treasured home. We have lived here nearly twenty years. This wonderful old house is practically a member of the family.

We're hosting an Open House on Sunday, March 1st, from 2 - 4 pm.

Click Here for more information, and a tour of the house.

When the realtor, my mom and I turned the corner into the driveway, all those years ago, it was love at first sight. We hardly got past the back hall and into the kitchen (which was orange and black, for heavens sake!) before I was convinced that this house was the perfect place to raise my four rowdy boys. More than that, though, I felt like the house was choosing us.

We've left our mark on this historic old home, to be sure, a lot of living has gone on here in the past two decades. This house has been filled with love and laughter, even when times were hard. We've celebrated birthdays and graduations. We even had a bride come down the wonderful old staircase, something this mother of boys never expected to see.

It's magic here, it really is. I wonder who the house will choose next.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Fine Romance - Step One, The Sashing Strips

It's all about between, which perfectly sums up my life since the beginning of the year. Personally, we're still waiting for that other shoe to drop. And then there are these sashing strips. Simple shapes, right? Easy Peasy. Well, as it turns out, yes and no.

Electric Quilt is just the best for designing quilts, especially the piecing part. I use it all the time to build the framework for my applique designs. One of the functions I love the most is being able to print out rotary cutting instructions for each block. It's terrific! The default setting is to state the sizes to the nearest eighth of an inch, which is just right most of the time.

It wasn't until I'd stitched out all sixty-eight of my four-patches, and then added the half square triangles that it occurred to me to measure the thing. They were about an sixteenth of an inch shy!

I went back to EQ and selected to have the sizes print out to the nearest sixteenth of an inch. (Something I usually do automatically.) Darned if the squares weren't listed as a sixteenth of an inch larger!

Now I know that I already have some quilters shaking in their shoes because there are no many eighth of an inch measurements. For the life of me, I don't understand the fear. The eighths are as clearly marked as the quarters and halves! I could only imagine how heads would explode is I suggested that anything be cut to a sixteenth of an inch. (Even though it's only halfway between the eights, how hard is that?)

So I fussed around and found that by rounding up on some shapes and rounding down on others, and with some careful attention to seam allowance, the sashing strips come out to pretty close to the right size. So, my dear quilting friends, just stay vigilant about seam allowance and all will be well.

What I thought folks would get their knickers in a twist over was the zillions of four-patches. Strip piecing is not my friend, especially the part where I have to cut each segment individually. So I wrote the pattern for both strip piecing and cutting the individual squares.

Step One is posted here. I'll have two more blog posts on piecing strategies in the coming days.

And just because the cold and gray of winter is finally getting to me, and I can't stand how gray and lifeless this post looks, here is a gratuitous picture of preparing the large flower applique pieces.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Fine Romance

Let's do this thing! Because my life just isn't crazy enough, I think it's high time we get this party started!

I've posted the supply list and (fingers crossed) schedule for the release of the pattern steps over on Craftsy.

Click Here

Since things are still unsettled here I'm using the Craftsy Pattern Store to post the blocks. That may change once everything settles down, but for now it's the best I can do.

The introductory step has been posted for free. The individual steps will be posted initially for $1 each and will remain at that price for one month. After that, the price of each step will become $3. (Gotta keep you coming back, right?)

We're going to start with the boring stuff, the pieced sashing strips. I always start by doing my least favorite step. I was chatting with a friend recently who was working on a charming wool applique pattern. She had done all of the special blocks and had only the plain, boring scallop blocks for the edging left. She mentioned that she hoped she could keep with them, seeing how unappealing they were, long enough to finish the project. She gave me such a look when I explained that I would have started with them.

It's just my way of keeping a WIP from becoming a UFO. How many of us have projects that are nearly done? Often there is just one or two steps left to do, but after the interesting parts were done the project just lost all of its steam. Instead, by conquering the less glamorous steps first, while I'm still excited about the project, I can look forward to how much fun the rest of the work will be.

So, meet me back here on Sunday for the first step. I plan to have a stack of pieced sashing strips ready for show and tell. It could happen!