This blog in 2015

This is the 65th time I’ve posted this year. 30 of those have been this month.

Stats for this site for 2015

I can’t control how many people visit, but I can control my contributions… And I enjoyed myself when I did blog this year. So clearly I need to do more of that again. 

🙂

I’d write more but I’ve had a wicked headache all day and I think I will just go to bed. 

New Outfit

Well, then.

This morning in my TimeHop app, I saw a two-years-old screenshot of a very excited Me writing about the long-awaited new look to this blog.


Um. That’s pretty much what it looked like this morning, except that I took the Flickr widget off the right sidebar because I quit posting stuff to Flickr when their user interface jumped the shark.

Other than that? It’s been unchanged and stagnant since 2 years ago, including “2014 Works in Progress” being one of the global menus. Oops.

So… I downloaded a few free WordPress themes, did live previews of them with some new artwork that I’ve been playing with yesterday and today, and things look a little different around here now. You’re welcome. I hope that the three of you reading this like it… And as my Illustrator skillset improves, I’ll make the graphics better, too. And maybe I’ll even update menus and tags and stuff but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The best part? I did all of this today ALL BY MYSELF without asking my in-house web geek to do it for me. HUZZAH.

 

Sue and Brian’s quilt

I have been friends with Sue for over 15 years, which kinds of makes my head explode. We didn’t actually meet face-to-face for the first 8 years of that, even though I knew her voice and absolutely knew her writing style. We met on an online message board for scrapbookers back in 1999.  We have chatted through that, through emails, AOL IM, Yahoo IM, Google chat, Facebook chat, and through almost daily text messages. She’s one of those people who I know will be there to laugh at the inappropriate things that I find amusing, and she’ll share equally amusing inappropriate things back.

2012 was a tough year for both of us — for me because of the fire and Jerry’s shoulder and some other unpleasantness that I won’t detail, and for Sue because of a painful divorce. I hope that I was there for her as much as she was for me that year, but I do know that I thought about her often and kept her in my prayers as she as working through all of it.

But I know I was there when she met Brian, because I remember the way her entire world view shifted. She went from being sad and angry and broken to being the woman I had known and adored for so long, but even better. This man was a treasure to her, and I couldn’t be happier.

She and Brian decided to get married in July of this year, and I wanted to make a quilt for them to celebrate. Sue is very tasteful and classic in her decorating style, so she sent photos of her living spaces and the colors that she would be decorating with, and my heart sank when they were all cranberry and dark wood.

“Can I add a little… um… jazzy colors? Just to… uh…”

She said to go for it. This is why I love this woman, seriously.

So when Jerry and I went to Spool in early July, we picked out fabrics. Initially I was trying to behave and go for cranberry and brown, but then teals and purples and salmons wandered in, and when I added the acid green (which actually I had picked out for Escapade and not for this at all), the collection suddenly came alive for me.

Sew Kind of Wonderful was having a quilt-along in August for their new Twisted Blossom tutorial, which is a modification of the Metro Twist pattern. Since I loved working with the Quick Cut Ruler making Escapade, I decided to join up and participate. These were the first group of Metro Twist parts that I made, to see if I really liked the concept before I fully committed and used up all of the fabrics.

Yep. I liked it.

So I made up a block, using all of the same background color even though the blossom parts were scrappy.

And then two more.

And then I numbercrunched, and realized that I only had enough background fabrics for 10 blocks if I made them all one color like those shown above…. Or I could do seventeen if I allowed scrappy backgrounds and pulled from more of my stash to complete the backgrounds. So I took apart those three blocks, scrambled them, and went fully scrappy. SO much better and more interesting to look at, and actually easier to lay out the final quilt because I wasn’t as concerned about color-balancing the backgrounds. Because they were all scrappy, they were balanced as long as I did my best to keep the same color from ever being sewn to itself. I didn’t always succeed, but I did pretty well.

The trimmings as I squared up the Metro Twist pieces were really pretty too, and not my usual color palette so I enjoyed the process and the exploration a lot.
  

16 for the front, plus a bonus block for the back. I used up every single bit of these fabrics, and had to go back to Spool (gosh darn) to get backing fabrics and binding that would complement, since I didn’t have anything left in my stash that would work.

Then I decided to do ruler work and really have a good time with the quilting again, since I had enjoyed that so much with Escapade and I think that the Quick Curve Ruler patterns really lend themselves to this quilting style. I quilted the blossoms in a sand color, the large squares in a teal color, and the diamonds and triangles in brown. There was a tremendous amount of marking and thread burying, but I think the finished result was definitely worth it.


Friday and Ella liked it too, since they were on it within 5 seconds of my spreading it out after putting the last stitch in the binding.

It took several days for the weather to cooperate so I could get Fence Photos in natural light, since the scrappy nature of the quilt concealed the stitching when I tried to take photos inside.
  
  

I love how the sand-colored thread looked on the brown. I’ll have to remember that. So crisp.

I’m very proud of how absolutely centered the quilting motif is on the backside block — I’m not sure what deities I bribed to get that to work out, but I’m not complaining.

 

I took the quilt top with me when I went to AQS Grand Rapids in August, so that they could see it before I quilted it (and I could make sure it would be OK in their home — and it really did look nice in that room, at least to my eye)… So the first time I met Brian, I introduced myself and said that I had added acid green to their quilt because I’m an ass and want to be remembered every time they look at it. Poor Brian. I think that he may have been a bit overwhelmed to have me and Sue and Rene all in the same place at the same time because I’m not sure he realized that there were three of us with the same quick wit and questionable humor.

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I held on to the quilt for a while and finally sent it early this past week. It actually arrived in Michigan on Christmas Eve, and once the holiday settles down I hope that they are able to snuggle under it and remember me every time they see my acid green editorial comments.