Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gift wrapped and Summer Picnic

C5 Gift Wrapped

C8 Summer Picnic
Isn't Carol's choice of fabrics spot on in Gift Wrapped. I always love stripes and these give the definite suggestion of a party with lots of streamers.
In her second block Carol, Summer Picnic, she says she isn't sure where they will have the picnic as everything is overcrowded with flowers. Funny isn't it you lay two fabrics together and there appears a good contrast and then, after you go to all of the effort to actually sew them together, the contrast disappears.  I had it happen too often myself when making Raconteur. Some blocks I remade while others I left. 
We've all been there.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Luca in Spring

C31 Luca

C8 Spring Surprise
Two more blocks from Carol which I accidentally uploaded to my other blog and wrote about them there. Must head off.  If you want to know where the names came from check here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Carol finishes Collection 2

Collection 2
Well Carol couldn't wait any longer. She had to put one of the collections together. Although she has finished 62 blocks she had been so busy making blocks she hadn't stopped to actually join them together but yesterday she sat down determined that now was the time. Didn't it come up well?
Her layout is different from the original but that is the joy of Raconteur, it lets everyone join things as they like it. I do like the wide variety of colours and fabrics and can't wait to see what else she will do.
For anyone who hasn't yet started but who thinks they might enjoy making some miniature hexagonal blocks there is a block of the month series starting April 2nd. Check here for more details.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Lost Dr Seuss Poem

After uploading Carol's latest block yesterday I remembered a poem which I have over my desk at work and thought othrs may enjoy it as much as I do some days.

I Love My Job
I love my job. I love the pay!
I love it more and more each day.
I love my boss, he is the best.
I love his boss and all the rest.

I love my office and its location.
I hate to have to go on vacation.
I love my furniture, drab and grey,
and piles of paper that grow each day.

I think my job is really swell.

There's nothing else I love so well.
I love to work among my peers. 
I love their leers and jeers and sneers (this bit isn't true of my peers0

I love my computer and its software.
I hug it often though it won't care.
I love each program and every file.
I'd love them more if they worked a while.

I'm happy to be here. I am. I am.
I'm the happiest slave of the Firm, I am
I love this work. I love these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.


I love my job. I'll say it again.
I even love those friendly men.
Those friendly men who've come today,
In clean white coats to take me away!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Green Eggs & Ham or Bananas & Custard


C8 Green Eggs & Ham
C6 Short Changed
Well two more blcosk from Carol but there is a dilema. In Raconteur this block was named for one of my favourite deserts...it also loves my hips but that is another story. I called it Bananas and Custard. Now Carol definitely has the bananas but is not too keen on green custard which definitely wouldn't go to my hips! She thought a more appropriate name would be Green Eggs and Ham. Do we have a Dr Seuss fan? 
Well it's a free world and it's Carol's quilt so Green Eggs and Ham it is.

Short Changed developed when I mislaid the pieces which I'd cut after sewing the central section together.  I also had run out of the focus colour and thus the block was short in size and changed in colour:) Wonderful quilt in that it could use anything that was the right size and designs could easily evolve.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crystal Dreams

C6 - Crystal Dreams
Crystal Dreams ... I have always loved the way that colours radiate from crystal vases and when filled with fresh flowers there is nothing more beautiful. This block was designed just after my husband had brought in the most exquisite dahlia's from the garden..he is a great gardner and many people stop to admire their blooms, from early December to late March. Unfortunately this year's scorching summer heat in January burnt them completely, along with many other plants from our garden...but they will rebloom next year.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Collection 6 & Original

Original #2
Two more blocks from Carol. The first is a block she designed herself, which she said looks a bit like looking down a tunnel. You would have to agree, but I would add it looks as though there is a train coming towards you in that tunnel.  Interesting the different effects you can have by varying the colour value in different places. Had she chosen the colours to become lighter as she moved out from the centre it may have looked as though the middle was going away from her, rather than bearing down on you.

C6 Disappearing Hope

The second block, Changing Hope looks delightful with her fussy cut roses, one of my favourite flowers, particularly the old style ones which still have perfume.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fun With Gorillas

C8 - Gorillas in the Mist
C6 Strung Out
 Two more blocks from Carol. Gorillas in the Mist is Carol's version of Rising Mist..quite appropriate naming and top use of a gorgeous fabric. Carol loves both animals and flowers and uses these extensively in her blocks. Plus her patience and/or accuracy with fussy cutting adds a zing to the blocks.

Strung Out uses one of my favourite Japanese florals. I think I used it in several of my own blocks and doesn't the blue contrast well against this colour?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Echoes

C5 - Echoes
Echoes was one of my favourite blocks when making Raconteur.  Carol made it using English Paper Piecing which to me would be tricky considering how skinny each of the strips are. I still prefer regular hand sewing. I suppose with the EPP you wouldn't end up with as much fabric in the seam allowances or even if you did have a lot of seam allowance it may behave better.  I can remember this block was a tricky one for pressing.
The name is quite obvious I tossed up between Echoes and Ripples as both seemed appropriate.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friends or Enemies

C6 Enter With Care
C6 Fake Hands
Two more delightful blocks from Carol. Can you see the cat faces peeking out in the first block, Enter With Care. Definitely a warning to the birds who linger in the area..and are those paw prints in the mustard background fabric.  A lovely mix.
The second block, Fake Hands was made as I watched some children play. The playground can be such a cruel place, while they pretended to play with the first child as I watched I noticed a few children were actually taking toys from this child rather than sharing as the others did... fake friends, fake hands of friendship. The first child appeared too timid to protest 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Curves - oh what fun!

C16 Bull's Eye
Last week Carol ventured onto some of the curved blocks. Now while I pieced these in the original quilt Carol decided to use machine applique and boy is she accurate with it. You need to look closely to see her stitches and they are really well done.
C13 Nature's Force
What do you think of her gorilla in Bull's Eye. It is a shame but there are people who do think a gorilla is a perfect target. When will it end? 
With Nature's Force she has again used the flying birds for background and it appears as though the central fans are definitely wreaking havoc with their flights.
C16 Ravishing Rhonda
Ravishing Rhonda, named after a most wonderful and caring person, was made using EPP for the central star and then the darker frame was appliqued around this. Love the colours.
C13 Norwegian Wind
And in Norwegian Wind we again have the perfect choice of fabrics the dark grey suggesting a tumultuous wind surrounding torrid fires.  I don't think Norway really has much of a problem with fires though as a google didn't bring up many instances, unlike our home of Australia.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Perfect Timing

C9 When Two Are One
Just received another block from Carol and of course being Valentine's Day it had to be a heart. I wonder if she received any roses as it appears as these are definitely her favourites.
This block was named after my darling husband, as with him we are not two but as one. It has been a great life we have had together and I I have been very lucky.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life's Contrasts

C8 City Living

C9 The Clouds of Denali
In these two blocks you see the contrast of our lives. The cramped busy conditions of City Living as opposed to the wide open spaces that surround the majestic mountains of Alaska of which Denali stands so high its peak is often hidden by the clouds.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Angry Bird - Carol Le Maitre

Well it is easy to guess which app Carol likes best on her phone.  That facial expression is perfect.  
Oh I didn't design this Carol did but I love it and it follows totally along with the idea behind Raconteur. It is a collection of stories about the maker.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

English Paper Piecing Trials

C5 Mums Among the Gold
C5 Mums Among The Gold
Carol has always preferred to use English Paper Piecing for her patchwork and so decided to try some of the Raconteur designs with this method. Her first effort while looking great was a bit big and so after a bit of research I discovered that if I scaled the patterns slightly she would be able to cut the paper foundations directly from the patterns and so our adventure began. 
C5 Baby Blue
We have finally worked out that 200gsm paper gives her the best results, since this is strong enough for her to fold the fabric over and glue in place, guaranteeing sharp points and perfect joins.
Carol made two Mums Among the Gold blocks as she was trialling the EPP method and her second block is spot on in both size and pointy points. This bloc and Baby Blue were named from the fabrics that I used in the original quilt, crysanthemums with gold on white background for one and blue on white for the other. 
C5 Pointing The Finger
Isn't Pointing the Finger bright. To me it suggested people turning their back on someone as it to indicate that person was the culprit of something and they wanted nothing to do with them..a cruel world at times.