Friday, January 31, 2014

Quilt and color bleed

Don't believe people who say, "I've never had color bleed and I don't prewash my fabrics!"

This was a pre-washed fabric.  I believe RJR is especially notorious for color bleed.  Sigh.  Hopefully my cool dryer didn't heat set....sigh.

RJR!!!  (Shaking fist).

I guess it's not horribly noticeable.  And this is a quilt that I take to the beach....

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Revelations from my quilty hiatus

Some interesting revelations my quilty hiatus brought.

Time brings self-kindness. 
The blocks I made that I hated 10 years ago look cute to me now. It's like someone else did them.  Now, I know that if I hate it, I should save it.  Never throw it out.

Fabric lines and fabric manufacturers won't be around forever. 
 I used to love the the lines Lunn/Mrowka produced 10 years ago.  Now they do batiks...just like everyone else.  Meh.  Apparently, my other favorite, Jennifer Sampou, recently returned from her hiatus. Bottom line, if you like it, buy it.  You may never see it again.

Fabric prices exceed inflation.
If I liked it, I definitely should have bought it.  Now I can hardly afford it.

Fabric wasn't as trendy then as it is now.
"Modern fabrics?" Meh.

The traditional quilt books have seemingly all been done.
I don't see many new ones. 

The internet has exploded with quilters and everyone has a blog now.

One yard of beautiful fabric is worth 10 yards of ugly, but discounted fabric
I used to shop the sales and bought things because "they were cheap".  I have quite a bunch of goto fabrics. Those are the Benartex, Kaufman, Hoffman P&B blenders, etc.  I may have bought them on sale, but I bought few of them on "clearance". The ugly fabrics sit on the shelf.  If only I had that money back for beautiful but fewer fabrics....

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My quilty trip to Planet Bulnurooo


How To Get Creative In One Step!

Step 1 : Vow to finish every quilt you start and then start a quilt that you hate.

That's it!  Fini!  You will be forced into creativity or failure! ;-).

My own creative experience

My journey to "the Planet" began with a huge pile of 2" green squares from another failed quilting experience.  I will spare you that quilt.

In the back of my mind, I've always wanted to make this.

I actually literally had enough green squares to make the whole thing.  However, I hate copying quilts from books.  And I have a penchant for bright colors (think Crayola 10-pack).  So I roughed out the quilt in Photoshop like this.....

Um, I mean, like THIS!

As I started putting blocks together, the result was sort of cute, but not very exciting.  I just didn't have the right fabrics to create what I wanted, besides that fact that it was just boring anyway.  Given that my fabric collection is larger than the GDP of certain small countries, I couldn't buy any fabric.

So, despite a slight, uh, setback in my design process, I proceeded on. The setback was caused by.....

.....Darla, who is my harshest critic and is constantly trying to "redesign" my quilts.  With the quilt above, she may have been right, but still, little missy, some diplomacy is definitely needed!.....

Caught in the act of "critiquing" another quilt.

Yes, with bullheadedness and an "I'm going to finish this, dammit (oops, family friendly) DARN IT" level of determination, I proceeded the sea turtle phase.  Oh my, it really does look like an upside down sea turtle.

Still, I continued sewing and laying out the blocks (why? I don't know)....And it became nice, not so sea turtle-ish, but just so-so-soooooo orderly and unexciting...and oh soooo CENTERED.  Yick.  I was seriously considering letting my canine quilt critic have her way with it again....

....but then I thought, oh my, these fabrics are so pretty together.  I cannot throw this thing into a crumpled pile in the closet delay finishing for another time!  The colors are so gorgeous...

If only....tap, tap, tap.

So, putting on my desperation creativity cap I had a little fun.......

Without further adieu, I would like to introduce....the one, the only, the infamous Tentacle Flower from the planet Bulnurooo (or maybe it's really just a misguided bachelor's button, whatever).

 The quilt is far from perfect.  But it's an interesting conversation piece and will be fun to put together.  If nothing else, it was a creative adventure....I learned something.

Planet Bulnurooo adventure and Step 1 to creativity completed.

I may go back and make some green and off-white blocks with my leftover greens, just for fun.  They are kinda pretty in their own right...albeit a tad ho-hum after the other quilt.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fort Worden and Hurricane Ridge

...wherein I visit the location (Fort Worden) where Officer and a Gentleman was filmed....

We had a little break in the clouds and an ambition to visit Hurricane Ridge, so we got into the car and headed there.  From the million ways to get to the upper Olympic Penninsula, we chose to drive around Puget Sound to get there and to come back using one of the many possible ferries.  Here are a few shots from the day.

I am so very glad that Galloping Gerdie is gone and replaced by a decent bridge....but I still have bridgeophobia after the seemingly minor incident that took out part of the I5 bridge over Skagit River.  I took a break from covering my eyes to snap this photo....and no, I wasn't driving so it was okay to cover my eyes ;-).

Tacoma Narrows Bridge, not quite as scary as its predecessor, Galloping Gerdie

And hello Bremerton. Still have the ships, I see.

Bremerton shipyard.

We were waiting for the weatherman's promised late afternoon clearing over Hurricane Ridge so we took a side trip to Port Townsend.  Hello Port Townsend.  The port that was also a fort.

Port Townsend ex-barracks that are vacation homes now

Gee, I wonder why all the gardens in Port Townsend have high fences.

Ye olde deer by the road shot.

If you ever get a hankering for forts, visit the Upper Olympic Peninsula.  Just about everything there is either a fort or a port.  This is a fort, Fort Worden, outside of PORT Townsend.  I took no pictures of the plentiful canons and other extraneous military paraphernalia there, only the view.   They also have a marine science center which could be fun too. The flowers in the foreground are the extremely fragrant yellow bush lupine.  And they were everywhere.  The air was full of their fragrance, wonderfully mixed with the salt air.    (Sadly I couldn't get my polarizer off my lens, so it semi-ruined the sky in these photos (the light and dark gradations).  Oh well, a reason to go back to Fort Worden, and reason to buy a filter wrench.)

Mmmm, the smell of bush lupines and salt air.

Of course, where does Darla want to go?  So of course we take her.

Darla and the water.  A match made in heaven.

But who could deny those pleading eyes? Seriously, could you say no? In the survival of the cutest spectrum, my Darla is a well-evolved specimen. 

Charming (the verb form of the word)

The lighthouse at Fort Worden.  I think I shot mostly sky because otherwise I would have had a chain link fence in the frame. However, for we on the wet-side, blue sky is such a wonderful thing.  I love the way the lighthouse looks like a miniature.  And see!  More of the fragrant yellow lupines. They were just everywhere.

Point Wilson Lighthouse, built in 1913.  And other stuff.

And then....Hurricane Ridge for ...uh clouds.  Okay, sort of kewl, but sort of sad that we left the gorgeous weather at Fort Worden for this.  Note to self:  Next time, do not believe the weather man over my own lyin' eyes.

Should be Hurricane Ridge, but clouds instead

Even the doe wondered why she believed the weather forecast.

But why, Mr. Clouds!?

Ahhh, family values, ma and baby having a little dinner together.  If you ever get a hankering for deer, a herd of them resides at the Hurricane Ridge visitor's center.  Can't bring your gun tho.  Sorry.

I loved how the fawn looked up occasionally to confirm that it was eating the right thing.

Part of the herd. We saw at least 15-20 and I'm sure there were more.  They're doing a nice job of keeping the lawn mowed.

Who needs Toro, when you have Deero?

The acting park police.

But yes, he does accept bribes.

This ma got a little aggressive with another deer that was trying to poach on her and the baby's lush grass.  Losing their winter coats, but still cute in a pathetic sort of way.

Rocking their grunge chic

Grass.  It's what's for dinner.
Yummers, me likes grass!

Hazy, but still pretty.

Socked in.

And still socked in.

Strait of Juan de Fuca

Drive, drive, drive.  And then on the Winslow ferry, heading home.  I feel like we chased and missed the weather AND the sunset.  Still, it was a peaceful trip.

The blue hour! It was about 9:30pm here!  I love the long days of June.

Seattle skyline

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wildflower "collecting" with my camera at the Columbia Gorge

Unfortunately, I didn't get out my macro lens -- too tired.  Thus, my pictures aren't photographically interesting, just good memories of the amazing number of bloomers from a week ago last Monday.

At Saddle Mountain trailhead

Fringecup -- apparently fairies drink fringecup tea to help with their eyesight

Streamside bluebells

Streamside bluebells -- the zoomed out version

Woodland violets

Salmonberry blossoms

Vanilla leaf

Spent trillium

Smith's Fairybells

Not a flower, just an idea of how amazing the trail is

Native rose

Columbia River Gorge Scenic Hwy
Camas.  The Indians of the area used to eat the tubers of these like potatoes

The larkspur were going nuts

Closeup of Larkspur

Mmmm, dunno

More Fringecup.
 And Dalles Mountain, where the Balsmaroot were finishing

Balsamroot with Lupine.

The lupine were going nuts on the dry hillsides.
And Mt. Hood, still as lovely as ever.