Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Purple Redux

The purple quilt was shipped (via my mother's luggage) out to San Francisco for my niece J.'s 9th birthday. She called to tell me she really liked it, and that it was going with her to Disneyland (after living in CA for a year, anything under 80 degrees seems cold, apparently). I was really glad to hear she liked it, particularly since she is not a fan of pink, and there was definitely some pink in there. And, y'know, no aunt worth her stripes wants to give a kid a lousy birthday gift! (There were a few other things, just in case...)

Thirty seconds later, I got another phone call from J.'s 7-year old sister:

"Aunt Lori, y'know that quilt thing you made J.? Can you please make me one just like it?"

Is it terrible that I said, "Of course I can, but are you sure you don't want a pink one?"!?

Alas, she insisted on purple, and so purple it is. The trouble is, I wiped out my purple fabric stash on the first quilt, so I had to make a quick run to the quilt store Saturday afternoon after my guitar lesson. Luckily, they still had the same border fabric I used on the first one, so while there's no way I can exactly reproduce the patchwork, at least the borders will be the same.

In the meantime...while ransacking the fabric stash hoping to find more purple, I found some leftover Bali Pop strips. I found this free pattern online, and managed to whip up a couple of blocks:

I so love Bali strips...and I really like this pattern. I do, however, always come up short when using them -- I always wind up with smaller blocks than I'm supposed to, despite the fact that I triple-check all my measurements. The only thing I can guess at is that the 1/4" presser foot that I have is slightly more generous than the "scant" 1/4" seams the patterns call for. These blocks are 8", rather than 8 1/2"...it's ultimately fine, as long as they square up (a couple of the above are not completely sewn yet, so that's why they may look a little off-kilter). At any rate, I'm sewing these for a bit so I can get my gumption up to spend another chunk of time in purple land.

1) Have you seen the BBC show Gavin & Stacey? Honestly, I can't remember life before it and now cannot stop saying "Hiyaaaaa" in a terrible imitation of a Welsh accent. The show is a cheeky adult comedy for grown-ups...and you will never look at your toilet brush in quite the same way. It can be Netflixed, bought via iTunes, or rumor has it it occasionally airs on BBC America. If you have any sense of humor at all, you will fall off your chair laughing!!!
2) I finally caved and got a Blackberry. Shockingly, there are apparently no knitting or quilting apps available. I searched "crafts" and all that turned up was "Canadian Living". I find this odd.
3) My just-out-of-college guitar teacher doesn't know who John Denver was. I'm still speechless.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


1) I wish I had written this book. I mean, really - with my social conscience and my quilting history, it's a tragedy someone else had this excellent idea. But good for her, and I highly recommend it.

2) Have you ever had a project...well, just not come out right? I had all this purple fabric, and I sewed it together, thinking it might make a nice birthday surprise for a certain niece of mine. It's not what I had imagined, although to be fair it still needs an outside border:

For some reason, I have the voice of Tim Gunn in my head saying, "What a hot mess".

The pattern is "Tossed Nine Patch" by Eleanor Burns. I did not construct it using her method, though, because I had a bunch of 2.5" Bali Pop strips that I wanted to use (that were leftover from another project). This was a "use up the fabric stash" project, and so in that respect I'm happy about it. I will also say that I sewed a lot of this while listening to The Weepies, in particular the song "Twilight", and the colors here sort of look like twilight, don' t they?

We will not discuss the clumps of cat hair on certain spots of the quilt where the cat made himself comfortable. Wilbert the Cat came to be because my niece asked Santa to bring her a "real live purple kitty" for Christmas a few years ago, and he used to sleep on her bed. I think in some cat-knowing way he understood who this quilt was for, and felt he needed to contribute. All I'm saying is, thank all that is high and holy for dryers that suck up lint, fuzz, and kitty hair.

Edited to add -- it looks much better in daylight!!