The Life and Projects of An Avid Hobbyist

Monday, September 19, 2011

Customer for Life

When I bought my JukiTL98Q from in 2009, I received a complimentary gift certificate for $200..gotta love that. I used it to purchase a copy of Electric Quilter6.  I was new to quilting software but as a visual person, I loved the idea of using the computer to sketch and, more importantly, to do the maths...hate the maths...

Long story short, in the fall of 2009, my trusted MacBook crashed and died on me.  Unfortunately, I did not properly back-up my software and I could not find the software CD.  In short, I was in a lurch.

Jump cut to 2011, as part of my Sew Bee Joyful Virtual Bee I wanted to use turquoise and red in a scrappy execution of a traditional-ish block. This presented a design challenge for me because I was going to have to translate my design ideas to others.  Somehow, my sketches and (questionable math) on cocktail napkins were not gonna cut it.

I lamented at the loss of my EQ6 software.  I researched buying EQ7 new at  $ just wasn't in the budget right now. On a lark, I reached out to Electric Quilter.  A few clicks on their computers and $12 later and there was a CD headed my way. Awesome!!  I love any company that stands behind their product and supports their customers.  I got a live person, who was informed about the product and could actually HELP me.  They had me at (live person) hello.

I had already chosen the Lover's Lane block (from the Quilter's Cache site here).  The block is simple, yet with color placement, can look very complex.

So with my new re-acquisition, I got to doodling and came up with this design.

Since it's going to be scrappy, the colors will vary but the color values will remain the same.  For example, reds will be consistent - dark and bright

Using EQ6, I can print out the estimated yardage and the strip piecing instructions for my Bee-mates??hive members?? (What is the proper term?)

Whatd'ya think? ~ksp

Thursday, September 15, 2011

For Vinay and Sabrina

I miss my lovely friends Vinay and Sabrina so much.  I've talked about them before here when I made their sons quilts. They now live across the outside of London too far to provide me with cooking lessons.  When we were relative neighbors in Massachusetts, they taught me the finer points of Indian cuisine including condiment (chutney and raita) preparations.  This is for them...

Using a Shan spice mix I made this chicken biryani.  There is a recipe on the back of the box that I followed loosely.

Biryani is great for slightly past-their-prime veggies.  I cut up some carrots and eggplant and other veggies that I had laying around in the kitchen, plus some tomatoes that I was stewing for later canning.

Veggies Before the Chicken Biryani
Before the chicken and the brown basmati.
After this photo, I added some yogurt, mined mint and cilantro plus the previously sauted chicken and then a layer of par-boiled brown basmati rice.

Chicken Biryani
All done...very tasty.
Hey I've got leftovers. Any takers? ~ksp

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lest We Forget-2011

8:46:26 AM

I remember where I was just like it was yesterday and I am still reminded of it on a regular basis.  I grew up less than fifteen (15) miles from the Twin Towers and met up with many friends there on my jaunts into The City throughout my adolescents and early adulthood.

While I was in Seattle on business at the time, my family and friends were very much in the fray.  I thank God that they were all (physically) well in the aftermath.

In unique ways, there was no one exempt from the impact of that day.  May we continue to pray for those who aim to harm others as well as the targets of their nefarious plans.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The First 500: A Do-over!!

Last summer I served as the primary support for my mentee while he underwent chemotherapy for an aggressive lymphoma. I started a hand-quilting project inspired by Texas Freckles, hosted via a Flickr group, chronicled here on my blog.  It kept me busy while sitting in the hospital waiting room and on regular visits to this hospital's oncology wing.

Well in all of the impending hoopla...I've lost this bin.  It contained over 500 hexies, arranged by color, awaiting being laid out and sewn together.

Hexies (120)
All was lost
Each hexagon is a 2.5" fabric square baste-stitched into a cardstock weight die cut paper.

I miss that ladybug.
Liberty Squares
I will rebuild!
I finally bit the bullet and bought more papers from this ebay vendor. I also bid on and won 100-2.5"square cuts of Liberty of London fabrics from Pen*Jane in the UK. Here we go...again. ~ksp

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Quick Project

As a social worker, I work with awesome young people.  With them, I celebrate their accomplishments including the birth of their children.  As a lover of scraps, I pulled some scraps out to quickly make a diaper changing pad for a gift basket.

I started with a 12" Ohio Star pattern from the Quilter's Cache.  I then got to work on my scraps and, after some simple quilting...voila!


I added it to sundry items from other colleagues designed to give the new mom a little assistance. ~ksp

Special delivery.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Much Needed Rest

Happy Labor Day!!

 Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
~John Lennon

To all who labor, enjoy wasting some time today. ~ksp

I'm Buzzing

I have been jones-ing to join a quilting bee.  In the past, I have joined knitting swaps and a few quilting swaps, but never a 6 or 12 month bee.  So I went through various websites and found this Flickr group that a a virtual meeting place for folks looking to join a bee or those looking for members.

After a few weeks of reading listings and waiting, I joined the Sew Bee Joyful 12-month bee.  The membership is a mix of quilters of various skill levels with different technical interests (e.g. applique and embroidery).

I looked at the scraps that she sent me and pulled together some Kona Solids to (in my quilting-eye) pull the scraps all together.

lime, green tea, periwinkle, purple, turquoise, orange, and red

September is our kick-of month, and the first queen bee asked for two 12.5" wonky long cabin blocks using this tutorial.

The first block will be green/purple and turquoise/orange

the Sew Bee Joyful group icon

Block One: Turquoise/Orange
Block Two: Purple and Green

So far, I'm loving this.  ~ksp

Friday, September 2, 2011

Random Reflections - in Batik

I wanted to make a quilt for a silent auction to benefit a local non-profit.  I grabbed one of my old standbys - Bali Pops from Beverly's Fabric.  This time in the Green Tea colorway.  I matched it with 1 1/2 yards of Kona Solids in the Snow colorway.

I searched the Moda Bake Shop and found the Random Reflections pattern here.

I sized up the pattern to use all of the fabric.  It resulted in a moderate queen size.  To keep it interesting,  I layed it out in an unexpected pattern.

Outdoor camera-phone shot.

An in-depth reflection - via cell phone camera.
I'll need to find a quilting pattern that contrasts the linear nature of the pattern in a nice neutral thread color.  Once I get a decent cache of prepared tops and backs, I will go to Olde City Quilts and spend the day with Ms. Kitty the Gammill longarm.  

Any suggestions on a panto pattern?  Let me know. ~ksp