Squared Up

Thanks to support from several commenters (and a little challenge from Lisa!), I’m working on the Christmas Cactus quilt. I made a lot of progress today – all of the squares are cut out, and strips are cut for the half square triangles.

Christmas Cactus squares

That’s 748 two inch squares, by the way. Now for the 152 half square triangles…


Give Mama some love

Mom finished the Pauline quilt, and I think it’s gorgeous. I need some help convincing her, though – she’s not thrilled with it. Here’s the front:


And the back:

Pauline Back

I love the little bits of brown on the back, with all of that white!

Now, something to understand about my mom. She is a finisher (where I am a starter). She finishes things even if she hates them, because it’s not in her to quit halfway through. So she plugged away on this quilt even though the colors did NOT speak to her. I admit, I had a big part of the fabric picking, BUT she wanted something modern. She said while she was working on it that she didn’t like that yellow-green color, but she decided to enjoy the process even if she wasn’t fond of the product. I’m giving her major props (yes, I’m such a dork that I’ll use that phrase) for stepping outside her comfort zone. It’s something she feels she needs to work on so she’s actively trying new things.

So how about it? Mom reads the blog, so let her know what you think!

By the way, if you’re interested in making this quilt yourself, you can download a PDF of the pattern – it’s also on the Patterns page.

Simple… and NOT

I have a couple of projects in the works. Actually, one is my mom’s project, but I designed it in EQ6 for her and then wrote out the pattern. It’s titled “Pauline” because Mom is making the quilt for an old friend named – you guessed it – Pauline. Mom’s actually making two quilts – one for Pauline and one for her husband, Dan. They’re having a party in October to celebrate an anniversary, birthday and retirement. We haven’t seen them in a few years, which is just pitiful because they’re only about a hundred miles away. Anyway, the Dan quilt is completely pieced, and she just has to quilt it. It’s in browns and blues, solid fabrics, made from half log cabin blocks. She found the pattern in a Marti Michell log cabin book, and it’s just gorgeous. I’ll post photos as soon as it’s finished.

The Pauline quilt top is almost done. She wanted something a little more modern, and she liked the aquas and greens and creams that I pulled for her. The dark brown – what, sashing? frames? – grounded it nicely. Here’s the EQ6 illustration:


Mom just has to put on another border and it will be ready for quilting. The finished top looked almost identical to the illustration.

Now for my project – if I have the courage. A year ago I came up with an idea for a wallhanging or table topper for the holiday season. I named it “Christmas Cactus” and I really loved it, but, well, it’s made of 900 1 1/2″ squares. Actually, that isn’t true. It’s made of 748 1 1/2″ squares and 152 1 1/2″ half square triangles. And they all have to be placed just so. I just couldn’t bring myself to actually make the darn thing, so it languished in my EQ6 folder.

Last weekend I went to the Wisconsin Quilt Expo, and I saw the cutest holiday figures. There were scarecrows and witches and ghosts and Santas. They were made from little squares, just like my Christmas Cactus, and they fitted over PVC pipe or cardboard tubes. How clever! Unfortunately, they were all out of the patterns so I put my name on a mailing list. In another booth, however, they had the smaller version for cardboard tubes, and they demoed how to make them. AND THEY USED GRIDDED FUSIBLE INTERFACING!!! We had gridded interfacing at home! I could use this for my Christmas Cactus! I’m so excited!!!

It’s still 900 squares.

Christmas Cactus

But it’s so pretty…

I love me some EQ

So first, I’ve been without internet for three or four days because my modem died. I can’t believe how much a part of my life the internet has become! I bought a new one (Yikes!) and – woohoo! – I’m back.

Now for the important stuff.

I received an email several days ago from Andrea at Electric Quilt. You know – the makers of EQ6, the fabulous software for designing quilts. I’ve had EQ6 (and previously, EQ5) for several years and like the internet, I don’t think I can live without it. I design all of my quilts in EQ6 first, even the one that I’m basing on patterns I’ve found in books and magazines. It allows me to tweak colors, borders, sizes, etc. Anyway, Andrea asked if she could blog about my Sister’s Choice quilt, the one I did for Nunsense. Of course I said yes, and she wrote a very nice post on the EQ blog. Be sure to check out this blog, because it’s full of fun, interesting stuff.

For those interested in EQ6, you can check out the Electric Quilt website. Even if EQ6 is more than you want to work with, there’s a more basic software called Quilt Design Wizard, and they have great add on software, as well as some that can stand along. Dear Jane quilt, anyone? Oh, I dream of making one of these, but I don’t have the “stick-to-it-iveness.” I have the software, though, just in case. I also have the Blockbase software, which is a computerized version of the book “Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns” by Barbara Brackman, possibly the most complete collection of quilt blocks available.

Sister’s Choice quilt is finished!

Mom helped, of course. She added the borders and then the binding – you know, the stuff that you don’t want to do because it’s boring. She has a much better “finishing” gene than I do.

Not a lot of time to talk, so here are the photos – I’ll let them speak for themselves…

Sister's Choice

Sister's Choice back

Sister's Choice label

I quilted “Armory” in the top border…

Nunsense Armory

… and “Nunsense 2009” in the bottom border.

Nunsense Nunsense

I got an excellent response to the quilt, and I can’t wait to see it on the bed. I also received a nice e-mail from Andrea at Electric Quilt, so you may see mention of my quilt on the Electric Quilt blog. How cool is that?! I love EQ6, and it was very useful in creating this quilt. I went back and tweaked borders, tried different fabrics, and used the illustrations to show what the quilt would eventually look like. Amber (costumer) even commented today how much the finished quilt looked like the “rendering” I showed at the beginning.

For anyone in the area… Nunsense is showing at the Armory in Janesville, Wisconsin from September 18th through October 25. See the website for more info.