Saturday, August 31, 2013

Poor Witchy Poo!

This side...
and that side
And then there's Witchy Poo.  I started this baby quilt last year, after I had already completed two Halloween playtime blankets for my granddaughters.  Poor Witchy Poo!  Her threads are still dangling, which bespeaks her unfinished condition.  On the other side, I pieced together a simple two-color checkerboard pattern.  See the "Happy Halloween" skeleton fellow in one of those lime-green blocks?  I used a fusible, iron-on printer sheet for this design, and I am not exactly pleased with the result.  Next time I will try stamping directly onto fabric with a rubber stamp.  There must be some kind of fabric-friendly ink available for this kind of project.  I'll have to check it out.

Progress report...

This quilt wall hanging has been pieced and ready to be quilted for some time now.  The design is Edyta Sitar's "Mini Star Quilt," from her Scrappy Fireworks Quilts book.  Definitely, one of my UFOs that I hope to finish before the end of 2013.

L'il Mitts and Potholders

Useful l'il mitts
8" patchwork potholder
Back of patchwork potholder and one in the making
I love making these little mitts and patchwork potholders.  I went through my boxful of fabric scraps and fat quarters, mixing and matching colors and prints; an artist working her pallet, one might say.  I'm thinking the yellow patchwork potholder is a little bit busy?  But it's adorable.  I didn't put hanging loops on any of these and I'm wondering if I should or not.  The loops would definitely give them an official potholder look, but I don't hang my there you go; I'll have to think on that.  Right now, I'm on a roll.  Reasons I love to make mitts and potholders?

1.  Great use of fabric scraps (Always on the lookout for scrappy patterns)
2.  Mixing and matching colors and prints is so much fun
3.  Small-scale machine quilting helps me improve my skills
4.  Great reason to make my own bindings (not so hard to do)
5.  Practice applying binding, especially in the round and at corners
6.  Finished potholders and mitts are useful and they make great gifts

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Colores Quilt - Rough finish; almost done

From this...
to this... this; 20 finished blocks.  Quilt top almost done!
Here they are.  Twenty completed quilt blocks for my Colores quilt top.  I moved blocks around, over and over again, in an attempt to distribute colors evenly; to create a visual palette that would be pleasing to the eye.  I definitely wanted to make a quilt with a Southwestern flavor, in honor of Papa Paz who hails from the enchanted State of New Mexico.  My next step will be to sew the blocks together.  The finished quilt will measure approximately 56"x 70" and I plan to order extra-wide fabric for the quilt back, so that it can be placed all one piece.  As for quilting the layers together, it will be very basic machine quilting, in accordance with my skill level.  I guess the only way to master machine quilting is to forge ahead and just do it.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Colores Quilt Top in the making...

Piecing the blocks, one by one...
Here are some finished blocks are on the design wall
I've been working on this Colores quilt top, but have had it on the backburner for a while.  With summer gardening chores under control, I finally have come back around to quilting.  Time to sort through what I have on hand, what needs to be completed, what I'd like to work on next.  They are often referred to as UFOs, those unfinished projects stashed away in cupboards and boxes.  I'm determined to finish Colores before summer's end.  Each finished block for this quilt measures 13"; there will be four blocks across and five down, for a total of 20.  I have completed nine, almost ten, as of this writing.  Cutting measured pieces from two-inch strips and then piecing them together is very easy to do (it goes quickly with a rotary cutter).  I enjoy the process; mindless pleasure one could say.  After having made a handful of blocks and hanging them on my design wall, I see an overall pattern of color emerging.  With each block, I give thought to color selection so that there will be a good distribution of colors and an overall balance of darks and lights.  Once this quilt top is completed, then the quilting begins. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hawaiian quilting

Hawaiian Quilt Pillow in the making - right side...

...reverse side
I've been working on this Hawaiian pillow quilt for a very long time.  It's been one of those back-burner projects of mine.  I really enjoy Hawaiian quilting; it's all handsewn and not as difficult to do as one might think.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Oi!! Cucumber Kimchi

It was a long week with folks visiting the Casita from Hawai'i and Idaho, and other closer locales, for a special family event.  Everyone has gone back home now and Calico Quilter's Casita has returned to quiet slumber.  So what to do?  Make kimchi pickles, of course!  My only regret is that I didn't get these cucumber kimchi pickles made in time for big brother to have a taste while he was here.  The recipe is as simple, as simple can be, pinched from one published in the Honolulu Star Bulletin.  I have decided not to grow cucumbers in my garden, but rather to purchase them from the market when they are in season; so much less labor intensive.  I was lucky to find these healthy cucumbers in the produce section at Winco while shopping for other things.  Basic ingredients:  pickling cucumbers, coarse Korean red pepper powder, garlic, green onions, ginger, salt.  Other traditional recipes include a kind of Korean fish base/oil, slivered daikon radish, and sometimes sesame seed/oil; however, I keep mine more simple than that, being a 3rd generation, Korean kind of person, with very Hawaii/American taste buds.  Crossing my fingers that this will be a tasty batch.