Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mental-Siggy-Road Block Party.

Mental Block

Emma has a birthday party later today for her good friend, Joy.  I promised to make her a present, but I'm stumped.  Is there a quick-- but COOL-- gift tutorial out there for an almost-twelve-year-old girl?  You know, something all the other girls will envy (that won't get Emma laughed out of the party)?  Here's the sum total of what I know about the guest of honor:

- She's a girl.
- Tomboy.
- Likes to read.
- Favorite colors:  black and blue.
- Considers herself to have a "dark side."

At 12.

Oh!  And, she likes cats.


She's a nice kid, and she and Em are pretty good buddies, but, we're T-minus 13 hours and counting now, and I've got nothin'.  SO...  Ideas please???

While you're thinking about THAT, here are a few other blocks I've been working on this week:

Heroes Helping Heroes Quilt - Wonky Circles

My (first?) block for Val's Heroes Helping Heroes Quilt.  Hope it's wonky enough.

Val from HowAbout Pink Please? is working on her second charity quilt for the Heroes Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Indianapolis that serves and supports the local cancer community.  Several of my friends from the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild contributed to last year's offering, a gorgeous string quilt that raised $1000 at the foundation auction.  Val's looking to repeat last year's success with an improv circle quilt inspired by this beauty from Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting.  She's off to a good start, but her numbers are down since last year, and she could use a few more volunteers.  If you have an extra minute this week, hop on over to her blog and check out the wonky circle block tutorial.  It's a fun block to make, and there's plenty of time to squeeze one in before the early-February deadline.   I hope to finish at least one more myself.  The first block is in tribute to my best friend, who has Stage-4 metastatic breast cancer.  The second will be for Jon Stephen Smith, the brother of an online friend, who passed away this week of complications after a long battle with glioblastoma multiforme.  Hope you can join us.

Siggy Blocks

Siggy blocks (edited to remove personal information).
Just sent off my signature blocks for the latest round of the Modern Siggy Swap, generously hosted this time around by Karin of Cascade Quilts.  I'm trying desperately to grow my collection of these fun little guys (tutorial:  p.s. i quilt), but we only had 33 participants this round.  :(   Our numbers were down this time, I think, after a series of delays receiving our blocks back from last round.  Those things never bother me-- I appreciate anyone who takes the time to organize such a thing-- but a few of the ladies were pretty hard on our last swap mama, who seems to have quietly stepped down as a result.  My thanks to Karin for stepping in this round, and to our last swap mama for all of her hard work on our behalf.

(Madrona) Road Block

Madrona Road Challenge fabrics.

Despite loads of planning (and a few fabric purchases), I've hit a definite snag on this one.  My initial thought was to make one giant quilt block (below, unintentionally wonky corners courtesy of PowerPoint).   Although quite the geometric achievement, when I start pairing the actual fabrics together, the overall look is pretty drab.  Definitely not modern.

Road block #1.

Then I thought I'd be brave and finally try my hand at Amy Butler's Weekender Bag.  I recently fell in love with this version by Elizabeth Hartman using her quilt-as-you-go method.  Oh, how I covet this bag!  With most of the interfacing left out, I could finally scrounge up the confidence I needed to take this puppy on.  I even stocked up on Advil for good measure.

Final preparations underway for commencement of the Weekender bag.

But once I sat down with the fabrics and started piecing panels, I realized it wasn't going to work.  If I'm going to put a fortnight's worth of effort into a bag, I want to pick and choose from all of the fabrics in my stash.  If I only get through one in a lifetime (and, let's be honest, the errata alone may kill me), I don't want to be locked into this fabric line.  I like the line, I do.  But, the "ocean" colorway feels a little flat to me.  I think you either need to break it up with loads of white, or combine it with the warmer tones of the "citrus" line (great example here) to really brighten things up.

So, what now?  Apron?  Coasters?  Industrial-sized oven mitts?  Whatever I choose, I've got a deadline looming, a gift to make, and very little in the way of inspiration.

Think Joy would like a box full of fabric?  :)


  1. so far the swap has been a pleasure! Can't wait to sort out all the lovely siggy blocks! :)

  2. Thank you so much for the link, Lynn! I think your idea of making a giant quilt block sounds really interesting, though I agree that the line seems to get a little muddy when the fabrics are recombined in small pieces. I'm sure you'll come up with something great, though--can't wait to see what at the meeting!

  3. I like your wonky circle block. I probably should get myself some Advil too since I'm gonna try to make a Weekender Bag in time for QuiltCon (Oh, Fransson!-style)...we'll see. What did you decide to go with for the gift?

  4. We all must be on the same wavelength. I just bought the last supply I needed to start a Weekender. =)

  5. I like the wonky circle block. I would love to make a weekender bag too but am a little scared with the mixed reviews of the construction. So tell us....Did Joy end up with a box of fabric?

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    2. Nope, a little keychain/zippy pouch. Although it took me until right down to the wire to finish it. I find it isn't the sewing that takes me so long (although, I'm definitely not quick). It's all of the indecision! :)