Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mrs. Potato Head Goes Shopping for Accessories

I made my sister a wonky house quilt for Christmas this year. It was so fun to create, and maybe even more fun listening to her open it, over the phone. I was inspired by lots of previous wonky house quilts, and wonky log cabin quilts. At retreat last spring I found 6 squares with iron on backing, shop windows featuring shoes, purses, nail polish, gowns. I framed them in wild large floral prints and finished with black and white newsprint that had quilter crossword puzzles. My pal Sharon gave me some wonderful Potato Head novelty fabric that became the blue sky for each house, and the inspiration for the name.  Framing each house was at first a challenge. I thought large print florals would work, but it made the individual houses blur together like a giant gumbo. I recently read an article by Pam Rocco, who talked about framing blocks so that the eye goes in toward the block, or out  away from the block. She really made me think about setting blocks in a new way. I looked at each block and chose a main color in that block. Then I found fabric in my stash that was similar but of a slightly greyer or yellower tone, or just a different tone. Voila!! The houses each stood in relief and I fell in love. Same thing for the borders. Here are the photos, including the lovely flannel backing. This is my lovely year end finish.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Some of My Best Friends are Flakes

Snow flakes, that is... On a frigid, single digit morning, Mr. Thimblepie and I drove up the road that hugs the Salmon River. Ice bridges span the "River of No Return." Animals must be hunkered down, because we see only a few footprints, and not even raptors overhead. We drove the 26 mile road to the very end, at Vinegar Creek, on an errand to retrieve Heinz and Barbara's rig. I brought my handwork, clipping the fringe on my first ever flannel rag quilt. It is appropriately cammo colors, fitting for our hunting community. It is a raffle quilt for the Salmon River High School, and my December goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. Though this post is only for goal setting, I already finished it, and it turned out great!! It is a nap size quilt, 40" x 72." Tickets for the quilt will be on sale at the High School Basketball games, and proceeds go to the students for activities.  Here is the process, which I learned from this tutorial.

6 1/2 " flannel blocks for the front and back, with 5" batting inside, quilted with an X.

Sewn in strips and then all together, and the seams clipped .

Displayed against the backdrop of the Icy Wilderness.
 The flannel was part of a huge gift of fabric samples from my aunt, Sonja Mann Holbrook who is a fabric rep for Moda Fabrics. The back is scrappy blue and green flannels. The batting was a gift from my generous sister, Pam Cope.