Saturday, November 29, 2008


Nothing like Thanksgiving to make you feel far away from family. My sweetie and I did go out for lunch, but nothing extraordinary and definitely not roast turkey, stuffing, or pumpkin pie.

On Friday we treated ourselves with a visit to Angelina’s on the Rue de Rivoli.

Angelinas 11-28-2008 4-29-19 PM Angelinas 11-28-2008 4-28-51 PM We had the hot chocolate which really is just pure liquid chocolate. Absolutely delicious.

Angelinas 11-28-2008 4-11-25 PMMy husband was mortified that I took pictures. Of course. You can see a much better photo, not to mention watercolors, over here at Paris Breakfasts.

We hoped to see some christmas lights at the grand magasins (department stores), but it wasn’t late enough in the day.

Someone recently asked what camera I use. Well I have two of them, both Canons. I did use the bigger camera for the above pics and this one of Pokey:

Pokey closeup 11-26-2008 12-18-05 PM

But the camera I recommend is my smaller one. I took the Shabby Chic photos in the last post with that one. I carry it around in my purse – the camera is the size of a pack of cards.

It’s a Canon Powershot Digital Elph. Mine is older (and unavailable) and the new ones are even better. They have image stabilization (fewer blurry photos) and better low-light capability. I’d get the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS if I were buying one right now – they have lots of capability, an excellent price and they come in cute colors.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shabby Chic Paris

Some photos of a Shabby Chic building here in Paris. Actually, lots of buildings here would qualify to fit in that  decorating category, but I walk by this building a lot and it intrigues me. Photos from September.

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-09-20 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-09-39 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-09-56 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-10-04 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-10-26 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-10-55 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-11-14 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-11-45 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-11-53 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-12-18 AM

Shabby Chic corner building 9-23-2008 7-12-44 AM

Speaking of Paris, it’s gotten really cold here. Well, that’s cold for Paris, not for those of you who live in Arctic tundras. It was below freezing this morning – that’s more than cold enough for me. The advantage is that the sun is out – woohoo! I’ll happily take this over gray warmer days anytime.

Some day I’d like to make a quilt inspired by this antique quilt that Julie Silber discussed in her Save Our Stories interview. She says: “So, a block might say, 'Made on Wednesday, Fair. Made on Thursday, warm.'” I love that and I love this quilt. I’d do free-pieced letters of course.

Too bad I didn’t get it done here in Paris – would have been much more interesting with the weather than it will be in Florida. Beautiful, warm, sunny…. though I haven’t lived an actual summer there yet so who knows I might end up with “too stinking hot” and “surface of Mercury.”

Thank you for your kind words after my last post – ya’all are good for my self-confidence. Plus you definitely helped me with ideas for the paperwork.

We’re not having a Thanksgiving dinner as such, but my sweetie (who is safely home from his travels) and I will go out for lunch.

I’ve gone and lost my list that had links I want to share. That’s what I get for being disorganized. But I do remember a couple:

Bumble Beans had her daughter draw directly on a quilt and then machine quilted the drawing. Completely marvelous and wonderful.

Lynne at The Patchery Menagerie made the most adorable rubber ducky quilt.  So cute.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Marketing Research

Despite appearances to the contrary, it hasn't all just been sleep, sleep, sleep around here. Brothers Howler and Habibi in their side-by-side box beds:

Bonnie and I have been working bit by bit on Lazy Days in Quiltville. Holy cow, the last time I really talked about this was last June. Have we really been working on it this long? Heck, have to keep in mind that my co-author was incredibly busy with a great book of her own, not to mention her crazy teaching schedule. Furthermore I've wanted to hold off having a deadline until I'm back in the U.S.

Anyway, I am working on the proposal forms and feeling incredibly inadequate. Teaching credentials? nope. Professional references? nope. Classroom experience? nope. And writing ABOUT the book instead of just writing it? Really hard.

As I was slowly painfully plugging along at this, trying to answer questions about who would ever buy this book and why would they when there are so many other titles on the shelves, I thought why not ask you guys. I'm hoping you'd buy it. (Pretty please).

I know it's hard to say for sure when you don't even know what's going to be in the book, but you know it's going to be the Bonnie and Tonya philosophy of quilting. If it's too long, cut it off; too short add to it. Have fun while you quilt and be imprecise - no matching. Use your ugly fabric and all the bitty crumbs. Personalize the quilt - use the letters to say something about who you are or the one you're making the quilt for. No patterns (but maybe a bit of guidance for little starter projects). Like that.

Have you tried the free-pieced letters? How about the crumbs and/or strings (tutorials over on Crumby or wonky hearts? Maverick Stars?

How did it work for you? What was your skill level? Had you done any liberated piecing before?

Why would you buy a book like this when there are so many others to choose from, not to mention all those books you're already got on your shelf. Why would you buy this book when the information has been online for so long?

Okay, you'd buy the book, but who else would this be good for?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cutting Strips

I showed you a blue and turquoise quilt recently that I made for my husband. Well it strikes me that I perhaps have gone a bit overboard buying those two colors. Sigh. Admittedly there is a wee bit of purple and green mixed in here, but I do have a lot.


And there’s more….


Yup, definitely went overboard. I can still here that voice in my head, I have to buy fabric for that blue quilt I want to make someday. Well, when I finally get to it, I’ll have lots of choices.

Right now I’m cutting 2”ish strips and strings to make a bed quilt someday. I know I need fabric in Florida and it’s easier to put strips in the suitcase.

IMG_2556 Julie recently posted this comment:

“I think a helpful thing for new quilters is cloth management during the quilt top process. When free/liberated piecing I think it helps to have a small to mid size piece to work with. It is really hard to sew with 1/2 yard pieces. Sometimes it is hard to cut up a pretty piece of cloth but I think small pieces are easier to handle. If you have a large piece and know you have to cut it up before you sew, but you don't know how you want the shape to look once sewn, what is your advice about cutting? I think this gets into the whole design thing. Even if you are liberated, there is some vision that guides the placement, non? Maybe you could talk about that a little bit. The comfort of cutting out a pattern and sewing it together is real. Getting out of the comfort zone and appearing to just wing it is scary.”

I’ll try to answer this question. First, I agree that it is much easier to use fabric in smaller pieces. I’ve found that if I don’t cut into a piece, it very well might not get used at all.

When I’m starting on a project, I will cut strips for it. My widths of choice are 1”, 1.5”, and 2.5” – there should be an ish on the end of those. I don’t worry about precision or getting the strips as straight as they possibly can be. And I do try to vary it every once in a while, throw in a 1.25” a 1.75” and/or a 2.25”.

If I know that I will be using LOTS of a particular fabric then I may just cut some other widths as well.

If it’s a fabric I have a lot of or am not emotionally attached to, then I’ll probably cut “whole” strips from one selvage to another (so they’ll be about 42” long).

But sometimes I’ll cut out a square and slice it up instead. Or I might cut a 6” strip – that’s the width of one of my favorite rulers so it’s easy to manage. Then I’ll cut that strip in half. One half  (approx 6” by 21”) will be set aside, the other cut in half again (in other words, quartered) and then I’ll start cutting it up into different widths. Some of them will be angled. Sorta like this:


The advantage to the 6” method is that you have some larger chunks (such as sky around houses) when you need them.

But I do like my letters and blocks smalls. Those widths might be too small for you. I know some people probably look at these and see a future in the waste basket. If that’s you, then I’d probably go 1.5”, 2.5” and 3” or something like that.

Just don’t think of it as wasting fabric. You WILL use it in a free-pieced or string or crumb project.

Usually when I start a project I have some kind of vision, yes. But it might not be very extensive. I’ll just know that I want to make houses. So I start making houses. If I’m enjoying it, then I decide does it need more? Does it need something else?

I might have a bit of a drawing to guide me. Not always. I might just have a phrase I want to use. My way of working is to just start something and play. I don’t always use the blocks for anything. They’ll get aside and maybe appear in an orphan quilt or I’ll find the perfect place for them someday.

Take a look at how I worked on my quilt Terms of Endearment. I did a fairly decent job of showing pics along the way and discussing my decision making. Go here, here, here, here, and here and all together here.

I cut out strips for that project just the way I described above.

Does that help???

You know you can take a quilt for a model and start there. My first experience with free-piecing was making houses from Gwen Marston’s Liberated Quiltmaking (sadly out of print but hey, at least the price of a used copy has gone down to “just” $50). I’d pick my favorite houses and try to make something similar.

Iluvmyairman asked the following:

“… my problem is binding a quilt by hand. I've always turned the backing to the front and made that my binding, but this time I am using double bias tape quilt binding. It is hard to stitch up by hand. Or maybe it's cause I don't know what I'm doing. ha ha Any thoughts or words of wisdom to help me out?”

The only way I’ve ever attached binding is by sewing it on with the machine and then hand tacking on the back. I’m out of my depth with the double bias tape. Can anyone out there offer some help?

On a complete change of topic, ohmy, I think the sun is out!!! It has been soooo gray and dreary here I’ve been losing my mind. The only brightness was a wonderful visit with Jen aka Hedgehog. Of course neither one of us thought to take photos because we were talking talking talking.

Time to run errands in the break between rainstorms. Ya’all take care!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Non-Quilt Blog Post

Okay, I've done several quilty posts so now I feel free to write one that's completely off topic.

First off, a close-up of Lily making herself at home right where I don't want her. At least I'd moved a lot of stuff so she didn't knock everything down when she jumped up.

I'm doing well, the cats are doing well, the husband is travelling. I'm taking advantage of the latter and eating things like popcorn and nachos for dinner. Not at the same time.

I've avidly searched for news of the fate of Pushing Daisies. Please, ABC, please don't cancel this show. I wouldn't mind if they didn't make any more for this season - they've already made 13 episodes. That's fine, lots of my favorite shows have short seasons, not the 20-something episodes of the traditional networks. Just renew Pushing Daisies for fall 2009. Please, please, pretty please.

Bryan Fuller, the creator of Pushing Daisies, has stated that he might go back to Heroes if the show is cancelled. Can't say I'm excited about that. I love superheroes, but the first season of Heroes was only good, not great. I figured it was the backstory of how everyone got their powers and that's why it occasionally DRAGGED and after that the show would really click. But from the rather bad things I've heard, not the case... So I might catch more Heroes someday, but not going out of my way to see it.

Finished watching the final season of The Wire. There are shows that I love more, that I enjoy more, but I'd still vote The Wire as THE best overall, consistent tv show ever made. Every episode is fantastic, the writing and acting amazing and the story heartbreaking. Not a single bad episode in the lot and I can't say that about any other show. (Well, unless you count Fawlty Towers which only had 12 episodes.) Shows you how broken the Emmy system is since this show never got the love it deserved.

Interesting blog post here about what Barack Obama could learn from watching The Wire.

Finished watching season 6 of The Shield, another excellent cop show, though more melodramatic than The Wire.

I watched the first few episodes of Chuck, which I'd never intended to try. But I read a review that praised its sheer entertainment value so I gave it a shot. It's about a 20-something guy who isn't living up to his potential, working in the Nerd Herd at Buy More (hmm, wonder what that could be a reference to) who gets government secrets downloaded into his brain. I was afraid he'd all of a sudden be a perfect spy but it doesn't work like that--he gets flashes of insight but is still himself.

So definitely goofy fun. Nothing to take seriously. Kinda Aliasy, but not that kickass. Much better than Jake 2.0 which it vaguely resembles, but with a lot more humor and fun.

Tried Life about the cop who was wrongly sent to jail but is out now etc. It stars Damian Lewis who I loved in Band of Brothers. I hated the show. Didn't expect that at all, but totally hated it and couldn't even watch all the episodes on the disc. Just immediately set my teeth on edge.

I'm officially giving up on Smallville about Clark Kent and how he learns to be Superman. That show just lost it after the kids graduated high school. I kept plugging away with it because I do think Tom Welling does a wonderful job as Clark and I loved the relationship with the Luthors. But watched the first disc of season 7 with Supergirl and I just can't take it anymore.

Tried watching Sweeney Todd with Johnny Depp and hated that one too. It was the singing and music I just couldn't stand. Give me rock opera anytime, but obviously not this stuff. Speaking of rock opera, Repo! the Genetic Opera sounds intriguing. Doesn't look good, just like it might be fun to watch on a double-bill with Rocky Horror Picture Show. And hey, that's Giles (Anthony Steward Head) starring - that's gotta be worth something.

I watched the new Masterpiece Theater version of Northanger Abbey. It was cute and fun but definitely Young Adult section Jane Austen.

Okay, that's all for now. Catch ya later.

What Kind of Fabric?

We've had nothing but gray skies and drizzle here. Pretty much describes my mood too. Please, sunshine, come back!!!

My friend Siobhan has just moved and is pondering how to set up her sewing studio. Hmmm, don't take advice from me, the Queen of Disorganization (and Procrastination)

Okay, here's today's topic for the beginning quilter. And again, this is a liberated, improvisational free-piecing quilter. What fabric to buy?

I know when I started out in the mid 1980's all the books recommended 100% cotton. period, no discussion. But now that I am much easier-going and have seen marvelous quilts such as those made by the Gee's Benders I'm not sure I can just turn around and give that advice myself. I can say it will be EASIER if you stick to all 100% cotton.

100% cotton IS good stuff. And yes that almost describes my entire stash. I admire a wide range of fabrics in others' quilts but I haven't quite worked up to that freedom myself. I would beware of cheap fabric with a really loose weave - it may just come apart way too quickly. Also, I'm a big supporter of the high quality fabrics found at quilting shops - they don't lose their dye as quickly as some of the cheaper stuff. Is this a quilt intended for a short period of time or for many many years? Are you making a dog bed or an heirloom? Depending where you are on that scale, the more you should pay attention to high quality fabric.

Batik fabric is cotton but it has a tighter weave than traditional cotton. If the quilt you are making is going to be made completely by machine (pieced and quilted) this is a great choice because it irons well, doesn't fray much, and is just plain easy to work with. However, because of that tighter weave, it is harder to hand piece and harder to quilt. May not be worth the frustration factor for the beginning quilter.

Flannel and brushed-cotton (looks like flannel on one side and regular cotton on the other) are stretchier. In some ways that can be fun because it will force you to work looser and more care-free. I love using brushed-cotton for applique because it misbehaves and I automatically get something of a primitive look. I've never tried hand-piecing with these materials.

Linen. I've read blog posts by folks who love working with this material, although of course I couldn't find them now when I'm searching for them. Oh, wait, here are some posts on linen by Quilt Words Meg (who I wish was still blogging and if she's reading this: hello!) Linen is a natural fiber, nice and soft.

Silk is absolutely gorgeous but it is slippery and frays like crazy. You're a beginning quilter - it's most likely not worth the heartache.

Polyester. Sorry, I just won't use it and won't use any fabric that has been blended with it. It wears out differently and looks unnatural. I know that for sure: one of my very first quilts was made with poly-cottons and just a few squares of real cotton and the quilt definitely hasn't aged well.

I'm not buying polyester and that goes for spandex and lycra too. I'm sticking with natural fabrics.

I'm out of my depth as far as talking about anything else. But I can sum it up this way. Stick to 100% quilting cottons unless you're adventurous. For quilting fabric it really can be true, you get what you pay for (unless it's a fantastic sale or store like Mary Jo's). That's when you're buying fabric off the bolt, but there are also great opportinities to be found by repurposing old clothing.

Additional reading on fabric can be found here and here.

Now if you want to see a quilter who does an absolutely incredible job of mixing a wide range of fabrics together, see Jude's work over at Spiritcloth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Seam Allowance

In my last post I asked what books are good for the beginning quilter, specifically a quilter who’s interested in free-piecing.

I haven’t seen most of the books you all recommended, but one  caught my attention: Robin Strobel’s The Casual Quilter. Love the attitude. Read a review of the book here.

Anyway, the whole post got me thinking about what really is important to know about quilting. If you’re a quilter who’s not interested in accuracy, are there times when you do need to pay more attention than others?

Here are my thoughts on the Seam Allowance. I was going to say this was what you need to know if you are a liberated quilter, but I’m not sure what Gwen Marston would actually think about this – I wouldn’t want to make her cry. This is my take on the whole thing.

First off, is a quarter inch seam all that important? Yes and no. Fabric frays and if there isn’t enough whole fabric left in that seam allowance, then the seam could split open. Not something you want happening to a finished quilt.

So a quarter inch has been settled upon as an amount that will hold your quilt together. Does it have to be EXACTLY a quarter inch? No. You want it to be closer to that width than not but don’t pull your hair out.

Here I am sewing fabric together. I have a quarter inch presser foot and I aim the edge of my fabrics to the edge of the presser foot.

presser foot 11-12-2008 10-49-36 AM

When I’m finished I hopefully end up with straight line of stitching a quarter inch from the edge of the fabrics:

quarter inch seam 11-12-2008 10-53-07 AM

When I open it up, the fabrics lay fairly flat and the edges are straight:

quarter inch seam open 11-12-2008 10-57-49 AM

This time I bobbled a bit:

bobbly seam 11-12-2008 10-53-24 AM

The seam isn’t straight. When I opened it up and ironed it, I had a bit of puffiness in places, but for the most part it worked fine. In fact, I accidentally deleted the “after” picture because it looked the same as the straight seam. So no big deal.

But this time, got a carried away and really curved the seam:

pocket seam 11-12-2008 10-53-31 AM

And when I opened it up? Eek, wouldn’t lay flat:

pocket seam open 11-12-2008 10-57-39 AM

Now, I could force it flat by ironing in a pleat but it would probably cause fewer problems in the long run to just redo it.

Oops, now this time I didn’t end up with a quarter inch on both pieces of fabric.

eighth inch seam allowance 11-12-2008 11-39-44 AM

The black fabric is decidedly short. What to do? For a baby quilt or something else that is going to get a lot of use and washing, I’d redo the seam. For a wallhanging that will get very little washing? If there was at least an 1/8” in the seam allowance, I'd probably leave it as is add a few drops of Fray Check  if I were worried. In the picture above? That’s too narrow at the bottom even for me, so I’d redo it. sigh.

This time I’ve got the seam straight, but it’s at an angle:

angled seam 11-12-2008 10-55-43 AM

Opened up, it looks like this:

angled seam open 11-12-2008 10-57-24 AM

I’m lazy, but this just isn’t going to work.

Now, if you’re at the stage where you’re first joining pieces together in something like a crumb quilt or free-pieced houses, then you can just straighten up the edges like so:

angle seam trimmed 11-12-2008 10-58-59 AM

See, perfectly useable. [Note: You don’t have to actually cut the edges to make them straight. you could just make sure the next fabric is sewn on straight. If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry about it for now.]

BUT -- and it is a big BUT – trimming straight  doesn’t  work when you are sewing fabric together for a border. And you very well may not want to do it when you’re sewing two finished blocks together because you are going to lose some of the blocks.

To sum up an angled seam: okay when first joining bits together, but bad later on…

So you’re a free-piecer and you have a lot of blocks made and all trimmed to the same size. It helps to have a consistent seam allowance when you put all those blocks together. Using the same presser foot for all those joins will help.

Depending on how casual you are about these things, it still might not be that big of a deal to get everything together consistently. Just add a bit of something to make all the blocks fit together, like I did when putting together my Margarita Quilt center.

I cut all of these blocks to the same size. Truly. At least I think I did. But I ended up with some rows longer than others. I added extra orange fabric to one unit of joined rows to make it long enough to fit together:

Margarita Quilt center 22 April 08

My other option would have been to join the two sections together and then whack off the bits that were too long.

On a side note, no still don’t have a border on this quilt center yet. Can’t decide if I should just add a wide border (my original plan) or add a wordy border.

That sums up my thoughts on the seam allowance. What do you think? Any questions? Anything in there confusing? What did I forget to mention?

By the way, I wrote this post in Windows Live Writer – thanks for the recommend Sassenach. For the most part it’s easier to use than posting straight into Blogger. The big question is, how does it look once it’s posted….

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Blue and Turquoise Zigzag

This is the other lapquilt that I made in Cairo after discovering just how cold it can get there.I kept the color scheme low key since this was a quilt for my husband. You remember him, he's the one who once called a pink, yellow, and orange color scheme I was working on "egregious." His shirts are black, white, gray, navy blue or dark green. So this palette is a stretch for him, but at least it didn't make him cry and refuse to use it. Hee hee hee.

So this is the Blue and Turquoise Zigzag quilt.

Baby Pokey taking a nap:

I continue to have a hard time focusing on a project. I sorted through boxes of old papers and photos and got rid of two garbage bags full. I suspect I'll do it again and be even more brutal.
Here's a question for you all. Can you recommend a quilting book or online tutorial to someone who's going to teach herself or himself to quilt? Since we're starting at the very beginning let's focus on piecing.
What is the best book/tutorial for teaching yourself to hand piece?
What is the best book/tutorial for teaching yourself to machine piece?
What is the best book/tutorial for learning to use a sewing machine?
I'm looking for something basic that doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about things like accuracy - you know how much I hate that. If someone wants to be a liberated quiltmaker what do they actually need to know? I've looked through some things and boy, there's so much information that is uptight and not that necessary... So maybe a book for kids where you just want them to get interested and who cares about perfection. Any thoughts?
By the way, I have to say Blogger is making me very cranky. Just can't get spacing into the part of my blog that comes after photos. ggggggrrrrr.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Île de la Cité

We had a glorious day of Indian Summer on monday. It was 63 but felt a lot warmer to me. I was just wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt but everyone else was bundled up. I took a walk along the Seine to enjoy the sunshine. I don't remember it being cloudy, but obviously it was.

Île de la Cité. I stitched together three photos to get this panorama shot. Theoretically it will enlarge when you click it.

This morning I got out my crumby top that I made with Bonnie way back in January 2007. The quilt she made at the same time is stunning and there's no way I can compete with her border. So I'm just adding a patterned fabric. But first I had to try and straighten up the center. I don't get crazy about it - I don't have to have a perfect square or rectangle, but I do like to add the borders on straight on each side. Well this poor top has definitely stretched out with me holding it up by the corners to show it off. Trying to get straight edges has been... interesting.
I'm trying to get several projects finished up with backing fabrics. Some will be long-armed, and others will go with me so I have stuff to work on in Florida when I get there in January.
I've got a question for ya'all. I need to get a backing pieced for my Jumbo Margarita quilt. It's got white fabric in it. Am I going to get myself into trouble using heavily patterned/dark fabric on the back? I'm worried about it showing through to the top.
You've been very helpful answer the question To Mac or Not to Mac. I'm going for it. Or at the very least I'm going to make an appointment at the Apple Retail Store to really give it a test drive. I didn't realize just how much was available at their store, such as the personal shopper and one-on-one training. Very cool.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Late to the Party

I really enjoyed seeing Calamity Kim's Halloween movies, so I thought I'd show you mine.

One movie is missing. I managed to break Shaun of the Dead yesterday as I wrestled it out of its packaging. boohoo! I don't care about high definition this or that, I just want indestructable DVDs. I broke Terminator earlier this year. Don't know my own strength.

I didn't even watch any of these this year. I've been continuing on the Buffy kick. Buffy's award at the end of The Prom episode made me cry.

I want to show you the fabric I picked out for the Peace and Plenty quilt for my mom and dad. Now if Lily would just get out of the way...

This quilt will be a mix of hand-dyes and commercial prints. Not sure all of these will get used, but it helps to have an assortment to choose from.

Enough contrast?
On a completely different topic, I'm thinking of switching to a Mac computer. I've never actually used one, but lots of things about it appeal to me. I don't have any PC programs that I really use, except for Upwords and I'll still be able to do that easily. Anybody made the switch and hated it? Any words of advice?

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Sorry, I have been really unfocused lately. I keep jumping from one thing to another and not getting anything done. My brain hasn't been on quilting, it's been on moving. At least I've been handquilting lots - that always soothes me, especially when I'm feeling scattered like this.

I started on a quilt that I'm supposed to be making as a gift for my mom and dad. Little bit late for a Thanksgiving quilt this year but maybe I can get it done for 2009. aiyee. Here are a couple of PEACEs that I've made. These units are about 4.5" high.

For me, that's big letters - don't like making them this large. The HOME letters in the last post were my usual size - 3.5" high.

I've been really concerned with the color scheme on this quilt. My mom asked for scarlet, gold, rust and burgundy. I decided it needed more contrast so I've added in a few accents, such as the deep Cherrywood violet in the top pic. I'll show you all the fabrics in another post.

They sell these Ruby Beholder things to quilters so that you can look through it as you work to see if you have enough contrast. Yup, that top peace looks good, the other one not so much.

But that's why you should never just use the red filter. It doesn't work well with colors in the red family. With the green one I get this:

So so far so good. Still think it's a bit dark though so going to keep a close eye on things. Assuming I get back to work on this anytime soon. As I said, problems focusing...
Halloween here was a complete bust. At least I wasn't excited about it so never got my hopes up like I did last year.
My sweetie and I finished Eureka Season 2 last night. I don't love love love it the way I do Pushing Daisies, but I really like it a lot. The character of Sheriff Jack Carter really grew on me - he seems more relaxed and comfortable and goofy. Wish they'd get rid of the whole artifact subplot - boring. And Zane and Lucas? Blecky and boring. Been fun to see Stargate SG-1 actors popping up though. Hope we get more Daniel Jackson. Oops, the sculpture guy.
Really wish my house had a S.A.R.A.H. She cooks and I bet cleans somehow too. My husband just wants the beer that comes on tap in the fridge.
Speaking of Stargate SG-1 actors, has anyone caught Sanctuary with Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter)? It sounds interesting yet horrible all at the same time.
And since I mentioned Pushing Daisies earlier, I'm going to mention that one again. I love this show. It has a knitting detective, great clothes, scenery, eye candy. The actors are amazing. It's original and fun. Please give it a try. And if you have a Nielson box, I'll pay you a dollar to watch it every week. ;-)
If I'm not enough to convince you, then try reading Why Pushing Daisies is the Best TV Show You're Not Watching.

I've got a bonus for quilters who've made it this far in the post. No, not just a pic of Pokey

but a link to gorgeous Amish quilts from the collection of Stephen and Faith Brown. They are so amazing. My favorite, at least for today, is the Crazy Star from Arthur, IL.