Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Christmas Candy Dishes

If I were writing a story, this would begin with a tale of fancy Christmas dishes only used in December, or describe Uncle Jack who believes the only good wedding present is a candy dish and it better be full when he comes to visit.

The truth is I won a layer cake (10" squares) of Riley Blake Christmas Candy fabrics at the Bloggers Meet-up during Quilt Market in Salt Lake City.. Then on Wednesday afternoon last week Marjorie and I went to Stylish Fabrics in Logan, Utah, and I bought some of the Candy Dishes fabric in larger pieces. I didn't have a pattern in mind, so I bought a yard of the polka dot on white and a larger piece of the scattered candy print.  Marjorie was already busy on her Blue Lemonade quilt, but I sincerely believed I wasn't ready to think about planning the Christmas Candy quilt.

So, here I am, a week later, with sixteen Christmas Candy Dishes plates pinned to blocks of white-on-white background fabric.  The center circles are cut, and I'm ready for the next step:  appliqueing the dishes to their backgrounds and finishing them off with the centers.  The camera is still  returning from Turkey, so pictures are limited to the size my scanner can handle. 
The technique for creating these fan/dish wedges is easy.  Yes, it's yet another looks-harder-than-it-is quilt pattern.  I'm about half finished with writing the pattern. Writing the pattern as I construct the quilt is interesting.  I find I have to go back and double check yardages and directions the next morning, because too many times I get involved and don't stop before !:00 AM.  I'm creative late at night, but my math skills aren't as sharp as during the day.  (Here there are people laughing in the background at the idea that my math skills are ever sharp.  Let's just say that quilters need Geometry and basic Algebra, and walk away smiling)

I suspect I'm going to make this pattern again.  The "layer cake" cuts are just right for giving lots of variety but not leaving too much left over.  Did I just imply that it is possible to have too much fabric left from a project?

The plates are 11 inches in diameter, and the scanner bed is 9 by 12.  Hmmmm.  Really need the camera to come home.

What do you think about commercial patterns with photographs ( black and white) instead of diagrams?  Is it confusing to the maker who is using fabrics other than those in the pattern?

Well, I'm off to make circles.  Somewhat more productive than running in circles.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quilt Market Mania and Fish Tales

This is a quilter's dream:  thousands of fabulous fabrics thousands of quilts, thousands of patterns, thousands of people who love the same things we do. Marjorie and I went to Quilt Market in Salt Lake City last weekend with Renae Allen of RGA Designs which was far more fun than work. Marjorie posted photos and a running commentary  at Applique Addict.

One of our favorite events was the Quilt Market Blogger's Meet-up (some days you just have to check the  English degree at the door and enjoy the evolution of the language) held at the Blue Lemon cafe just down the block from the Salt Palace and Quilt Market.  The question of whether Quilting has a Future was answered:  there are plenty of energetic, enthusiastic, and gifted young quilters, and they are telling the world about it.

Many of our market conversations resulted from mentioning quilt blogging, and it is great to find that there are plenty of age enhanced quilters who are diving into the world-wide quilt conversation.
Batik Mimbres Fish
The fish photo is of the center of the "Grandpa Says I'm a Keeper" baby quilt I'm working on.  The applique is the project I had in my bag at market (Never leave home without a portable project) which resulted in finding the perfect  colors in new thread varieties for the needle-turn applique. I have two more threads to test-drive for my experiment.

So, I've a dozen ideas for new quilts swirling in my brain, and I need to get them on paper, and then in fabric.  Along with a bit of cooking and a lot of cleaning to catch up after being in Quilt Mode for a week, I'd better go.  Cheers!