Saturday, August 19, 2006

Merry Penguins

I got distracted yesterday. Did I finish my Terms quilt? Nooo, putting on the sleeve and binding is boring. So I made a new quilt top. I have this fear of being without my sewing machine and unable to piece new quilts for an extended period of time, so I need a stockpile of tops. Which is just silliness.

I mail-ordered a half yard of this great Christmasy Penguin fabric a while back. It turned out to be incredibly fun in person. It's a busy fabric and a lot of the detail would be lost and fragmented if I cut it up. Decided to use a big chunk of it instead, like I did with the Halloween Faces quilt which was made with fabric from the same designer, Nancy Wolff.

But only having a half yard made it problematic. Couldn't do a big piece like I did with Faces. So why not add a word to it? So that's what I did. There are two different versions of the quilt pictured here, as I first made it and then with a reduced border. See what you think:

I really like the graphic punch of the first version, but have to admit the border is overwhelming. Husband suggested that I cut the border in half. It brings the focus onto the penguins and is better. My sweetie being right about a quilt design? Aiyee. I absolutely hate admitting that he is right.

So that's a fat quarter of fabric and the letters are 3.5" finished. It's a very easy project to do, and would be another good baby steps project. Not that you should use "Merry" and a christmas fabric - you can do anything. Would be fun to do a child's name this way or I can think of loads of other words that would be great to highlight. Stick with a short word or make the letters narrower.

It took me 3 hours to make the top and of course I did all that sewing in one go, without any breaks, which is stupid stupid stupid. Now my back and neck ache. I know better than to do that, but I get carried away and forget to stop. Need to set a timer to ring loudly when it's time for a break.

In a completely different vein: my sweetie and I had dinner at my favorite Lebanese restaurant. I swear if it was closer I'd probably be eating there 4 times a week. The food is excellent and now I have some yummy leftovers.

Speaking of food, and food movies as we were yesterday, yes, I love the movie "Chocolat" too. Wasn't nearly so keen on "Babette's Feast" but maybe I need to give it another try.


Lily Mulholland said...

That's very cute and funny Christmas fabric Tonya. No wonder you were itching to do something with it!

I loved Chocolat too. Ever seen The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover? Now that's a foodie movie!!

Anonymous said...

You're going to be in the DC area, right? My daughter and I found a place called Fettoosh in Georgetown--very good Lebanese food! Happy weekend...

Clare said...

Hi Tonya,

I love the Penguins and agree with your sweetie! Don't you just hate it when they are right about something they know nothing about! You've given me an idea. I have a lovely piece of fabric in my stash with teapots on it. Don't want to cut it up so could do a small wall hanging or similar with it. Thanks again for sharing your ideas with us.

Have your read the book of Chocolat? 80% of the story is the same. The "fly in the ointment" is not the Maire but the priest and the ending is different. Bit like the difference between the film and the book of the The Horse Whisperer (apart from Robert Redford LOL).

Two other Joanne Harris books which I adore are Blackberry Wine which is set in the same village, but later in time, and Five Quarters of the Orange.

Off to a Brocante at Riberac in a mo. Always good furniture there.

Have a good weekend.

YankeeQuilter said...

BEing without a machine is very nerve racking...After all my wondering what to bring my last minute repack totally ruined my plans! I have half-projects...the other have is being mailed!

Nancy said...

I have to admit my first thought was that I liked the wider better. But your DH is correct. with the wider border your eye is drawn out to the black. By cutting in half you do focus on the center now.

I do love that penguin fabric and can see myself doing something similar with several of my novelties. I need to keep reminding myself that not all quilts have to be big enough to wrap up in.

And I also have to LOL! I've been using a timer when I sew lately. It started as a tool to make me sew for my hour a day. It's fast becoming a tool to make me STOP sewing after an hour! My back and neck have been killing me from the 2 to 3 hour sewing sessions I've been doing. So I'm back to 30 mintues, take a break, then do another 30 minutes.

Finn said...

Morning Ton, I'm voting for the second the narrower outer border better. Totally awesome penguins..LOL
I'll have to check out that fabric designer..I'm not familiar with her.

The flag beadie is just marvelous finished!! Love the little white stars in there and the blue heart shaped sequins. Such ALOT of stitching..oh my!! Glad that you can get more of them framed before you go. And finished the Terms? Way to go!!

Judy said...

I'd admit I too like the top one better, but after you look for a while you do realize that with the smaller border you get the biog punch of the center...which is what you reall probably a better choice.

The egg timer is in my computer room tyo stay now. I need it for computer time and sewing time!! Works great if you don't re-set it and give yourself more time!

Love the movie Chocolat! I will add that I have boycotted the Ghost Whisperer and NEVER watched it because they canceled by beloved Joan of Arcadia for that slop! Do not like Jennifer Love Huge Ti*s!

The beady is wonderful and soo intricate! WOW!

quiltpixie said...

I can understand why you'd be concerned at the sewing machine being out of commission for a while -- you'll just have to design if you can't find it :-(

I love the penguins. I'll have to take a look at the fabric designer's line. It's a great & fast way to use a focus fabric. May have to explore that idea for a few Christmas gifts

Juliann in WA said...

your merry quilt is very fun and lively - and I vote two thumbs up for Chocolat - it is on my list of movies I think I need to own!

ForestJane said...

I'd be tempted to embellish the penguins with all kinds of buttons and bells and bows and little mini ornaments. :)

And quilt it using some of that metallic and iridescent thread in red, green, gold, and silver.

Quilts And Pieces said...

Ohhhh!!!!! I love Merry! I love penguins so when I saw this one it is so me! And I love the colors and well just everything. Now I'm tempted to go buy penguin fabric! Wouldn't these be perfect xmas gifts!

Cher said...

there you go Tonya-another fabulous idea -and I hate admitting your sweetie WAS right too-I can see putting this idea to use for a lot of my fun fabrics too. Hurrah for finishing Terms and the Beadie! that beadie is a wowser! you have real talent - glad you have the time to make such beautiful treasures.
I am smiling thinking of the cats and those jungles of boxes and stuff to play in. guess I need to hunt down the penquin fabric designer too...

Tazzie said...

I just love that quilt! The penguins reminded me of those ones from Madagascar - there is a bonus of Xmas penguins on the DVD!
My preference is for the quilt on top, but your hubby is right you know, the top quilt seems to be more pleasing overall, but the special fabric is the focus on the lower quilt.
I know that what ever you choose to do will be the right decision for you!
Take advantage of having your sewing machine while you can, I know you're going to miss it when it's gone. Maybe you can work on some more beadies as well as your quilting??

Susan said...

What a fun quilt! Do you make all these tops so you have something on which to quilt? Quilting is my favorite part, and I hardly ever get to do it these days - but someday I will again.

I kinda liked the top quilt better, even though the border was bigger. It was a balance between border and penguin, I think. You are right, the penguins come out more on the bottom one.

So what is Lebanese food? I don't think I've ever seen a Lebanese restaurant over here.

Passionate Quilter said...

another great idea from Tonya! I love that penguin fabric, and what a great idea to use those fun novelty fabrics that lose all their fun by cutting them up. The new line of Hoffman (I think) Christmas fabrics are SO fun, this might be a good idea. But not until Sept..I'm in a fabric depression you know! LOL The Terms quilt looks great hanging for all to see as they enter--love the colors. And yes, when you KNOW you can't sew on your machine, you panic. Hurry up and make a bunch of tops and then your move will be a little easier knowing you can still do some quilting.

The Calico Cat said...

I have/had (not sure anymore) some of her flamingos.

sophie said...

Sorry, Tonya, but I also agree with your sweetie. I really liked the first version, but the smaller border really gives the penguin print in-your-face prominence.

As for foodie movies, two of my favorites are Like Water for Chocolate and The Big Night.

... and while I have your attention, Terms of Endearment is really spectacular. Great work!