Sunday, November 29, 2015

Quilty Circles

Hello everyone, welcome back.  I'm sure you are here to see some more pictures of quilt parts, and I am happy to indulge. Here are photos from my camera today.

Here's the circle for Thanksgiving day.  I didn't make something to represent the holiday. I just wanted to make a circle out of triangles, so I did.

This is for Black Friday.  Leave it up to me to commemorate Black Friday and not commemorate Thanksgiving.  I spent way too much.

Here is Saturday's circle. Although we are still eating turkey, I had this bowl in the recycle bin.  It is from a frozen meal, and I always wanted to do something with the design. I used the Shiva Paintstiks again, with a paintbrush this time, even though I had already put away the Paintstiks. I'm sure it would have looked better if I had picked a different background fabric.

I put up a fleece blanket on the wall to make an impromptu design wall, and tried again with the Square Steps layout.  I did better on the layout this time.  I still need to play with looking at the design to see if I prefer the the dark or the light fabric is on the top left or if it matters to me.  In some blocks, all the darks meet in the center, in others they vary.  

Wanda and Julie both thought I should make another red and black block to help balance out the design, and they have convinced me, so I am doing just that, along with some more red blocks to make another row. It will now be 5 x 7.

As a Leader and Ender, I am using the leftover rails to make this little baby. Once I had an idea to do this, I started cutting the rails the opposite way - the 22" side instead of the 18" side so I would be sure to have more leftovers. I'm not planning this piece - whichever piece happens to be the right size, shows up in the space. I am very happy with it so far.

 I started with the log cabin then moved to courthouse steps.   I still have some more rails left, which will have to be pieced together to make more courthouse steps. I like using leftovers as Leaders and Enders because then, I only need one set of fabric out. I also like being able to use the leftovers while I am making the original quilt so I don't have to figure out a way to store them.

In case you were wondering which book I was waiting for, it is this one. It came in the afternoon on Friday - I had just about given up on it when I spotted the mail truck, so I decided to wait until the package was delivered before I went out. I waited for a long time listening for the sound. It took so long, that I looked out the window to see what had happened to our mail carrier, and apparently it had been silently placed on the porch. I didn't get any other mail so there wasn't the familiar thump of the mailbox closing. It's nice to get a package and no bills.

Even though the long anticipation was sure to make the book be a let down, it is a great book.  Red &; White Quilts: Infinite Variety: presented by the American Folk Art Museum are all the quilts that were at the Red & White Quilts show that was held last year.  There are several articles about the quilts, the collection, and the show, and then there are pages and pages of photographs of each of the quilts.  It's a lovely book, and I highly recommend that you add it to your holiday wish list.

The Small Quilt Yahoogroup is making red and white quilts this month and I sure would like to join them if I could get some current projects done. It's going to have to be a very simple and quick one and this book showed several options. There are no patterns in the book, so you can enjoy looking at the pictures without feeling any guilt about the need to make them.

The other pictures on the camera are photos of quilt magazines as my scanning project continues at a relatively quick and steady pace.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Rail Fence Layout Options

Here is the layout that is similar to the cover of Cultural Fusion. All of these are trying to figure out the orientation of the blocks.  Once I decide on the orientation, I will work on block placement - I will decide which blocks go where later.

When I went to test the layout of my rail fence quilt, I realized that I did not have enough blocks.  I had read a couple of blogs where people said they did not have enough contrast in their quilt because it was missing a contrasting color - a blue or a green in my case.  I thought adding a whole block in one of those colors would be glaring, but I found this fabric that is mostly warm colors and has green in it. I wasn't sure it would work, but I made the blocks to see how they would look.

Here's the same layout, pictured from a different angle.  I would prefer my steps to go up instead of down. I don't know why - maybe it is because of my accounting background and I am thinking of graphs, and they are usually better when they go up. Higher profits! higher revenue! higher productivity!

Here's Zeus's suggestion for a layout. On top in the middle are the new blocks. I think they blend in okay.

Here's a random pattern. Just seeing if random is good.

This is the zigzag layout in the book. I'm not sure how helpful this one is to see, since I made several mistakes in orientation in this one. Actually, I'm sure I made mistakes on all of them.  I found it pretty difficult to work out which way the blocks were supposed to be oriented.

This is the square steps layout in the book.  Generally, when I saw other people show their layouts, I liked this one the best, because it looks like the multiple trip around the world quilt that is on my to-do list, but I'm not so sure it works well for these blocks.

I know I need to keep trying different layouts. I'll try again tomorrow.

So what do you think? Do all these blocks work well together? Is the red and black one too dark? What layout do you like?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Hope you are having a great day with family and friends.  I wanted to make a quick post to show you my circles and rails progress. I had been running behind the circles already - making yesterday's circle today for several days, and since I caught up yesterday, I wanted to post today and make sure that I didn't get behind in posting too!

Yesterday, I looked out the window all day long waiting for a package to come.  I have ordered a special quilt book from Amazon and was expecting it to come.  It was hard to work on quilting when my thoughts were distracted with this book. 

Eventually, I figured out that the quilt police must have gotten to the UPS / USPS team, and  told them not to deliver the book to me until my rail fences were done. They didn't want me to get ideas to start new quilts until this one was finished.

Improv rail fence progress by Shasta Matova

This picture shows where I was when I started. I tried to put them in color order, but I don't really know how to do that with different tints, shades and values, etc., but it is a good rough idea. I think my issue before was I was trying to get an even number of fabrics for each color, and I decided that I did not need to do that.  I did add more orange and red, but I also added more pink and purple. The orange and red will be accents to the pink and purple.

I decided to appease the quilt police and worked on the rail fence blocks.  I had chosen the fabrics the day before and made most of the rails, so it was simply a matter of putting the blocks together.

Shasta Matova is running out of thread

I noticed that the thread was running low and that began the race. Which would happen first, the finishing of the rails, the thread running out, or the book delivery? Being the competitive person I am, faster and faster I sewed to get finished before the door bell rang.

Quilting progress by Shasta Matova

The finished pile is getting bigger and bigger. My stomach is complaining of hunger. Just wait tummy, there are only a few more to do. Faster and faster.  Oh no, is that a selvage?  We're going to have to fix that.  This is a controlled improv quilt and quality does matter. This delay is making me late. Hurry faster.

Quilting mistake by Shasta Matova

Oh no, this block is going the wrong way. Should I leave it in? It is an improv quilt.  No, if it was a design choice that would be okay, but this is a mistake, and you have to fix it.  Otherwise, you will have to forever explain that you were racing against the mail carrier, and everyone will say you took a shortcut.

Quilt progress by Shasta Matova

Whew done.  Wait, what is that pile underneath the finished blocks. No wonder the package hasn't come yet. The dog is tired of my stomach growling and wants me to eat too. I wouldn't be too disappointed if the bell rang before I finished.

Orange and purple rail fence blocks by Shasta Matova

Whew done!  When I auditioned the fabrics, I wound up with more colored pieces then I did black and white pieces.  I could have gone back through the black and white pieces, but that would have meant that I would have to reject colored fabrics that made the cut.  I like these together and decided to leave them in the quilt. It is an improv quilt, after all, and this was a planned choice. Maybe it will add more interest to the quilt. I really like these blocks. In truth, I like each and every single block.  Each one makes a difference in how the quilt presents overall.

Curved rail fence by Shasta Matova

It is after 8 and the package has not arrived.  I am going to eat.  Package still  not here. I am going to wash the dishes.  Still  not here. Okay, maybe I have to press the blocks.  Still not here.  There is one more block to make.  This one has quite the curve to it. I check online for the tracking information.  Apparently the quilt police gave up on me and I am not getting the package today after all. I win, but it is not a happy win. I wanted the book.

Days 9 and 10 of Quilty 365 by Shasta Matova

On to the circles.  I decided to use my fabric markers instead of fabric to make the circle on the left. When I got out the markers, I saw that they were not made for fabric so I had to switch my plan. I have these Shiva paintstiks and decided to use those instead.  They look thick crayons and I don't have a sharpener, and it was only my second time using them, so it was a very messy attempt.  I debated whether I should try again, but decided it was ugly enough to stay. It was already being made a day late and I wanted to catch up with my circles.

For the circle on the right, when I was going through old magazines, one of the things I saw was a quilt that looked like a place setting. A circle for the plate with food on it, and the knife, fork and spoon.  Since this is a square, it would be hard to get a utensils in there, and since it is a small square, it would be hard to get food on it.  Then I saw a blog - a recent trunk show, where someone had made an Omas Blues pattern by Esther Aliu.  I have that pattern. I've been smitten by circles for a long time.  I pulled it out, and used her fish. I did have fish sticks today. I am grateful for food.  Since I had to reduce the size, I used freezer paper.  I like how the white on the fish looks silvery in the photo. It is not as neat and tidy as what Esther intended, but I do like how it looks.

This block is made from scraps.  The background is used in other blocks, and also the Life of Plenty. The green fabric was used in the Islamic Tile Quilt and the Daisy quilt.  The blue is an old piece that is used in my dimensional quilts and the scraps have appeared in many other quilts, and the white is used with the red in the rail fence.

By the way, the quilt police didn't win. Even though I didn't get the book. I have lots of ideas for new quilts. One to use up the leftover rails for this quilt, one to use up the rest of the fabric, the Omas Blues quilt, a red and white quilt, a turkey quilt, an art quilt that uses the Shiva Paintstiks correctly, an organic utility quilt, and on and on and on.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Trash Circle and Blender Rails

That's a much better title than just circles and rails, isn't it, even though this is just another post showing another circle and more rail fence blocks.

First, I will show you my trash.  These are selvages and other trash that is made during the quilt making process. Everything is less than an inch.  I just hate throwing it away, but gosh, I won't have any room in my house if I save everything, including the last little snippet.  I have been forcing myself to throw away the snippets, but this time I decided to use these snippets to make my circle, and then I would be able to throw away the leftovers. 

At first, I was going to use the snippets in the shapes that they were, but I decided that I would be allowed to trim them to shapes that I wanted. I secured the pieces with a glue stick and then sewed it all down with straight lines instead of going around each piece individually. I see now I could have used white for the eyes instead of pink and given her some eyeballs. Except for the background square and circle, everything else is from the trash pile.  Instead of making it easier, this just made it more difficult to throw away the trash.

These two blocks are my latest additions to the rail fence quilt.  I really like these because they serve as a bridge between the fabrics that are already in the quilt.  The one on the left helps show that the pink and the purple do go together, and the one on the right show that the pink and the orange do go together.I really didn't want to reject the orange fabric.  It's like having a friend, and then discarding her because your new friends are prettier. And she really is pretty too.

Here they are all together. At this point, I think I have enough blocks, but I really like making these, so I am going to add some more. I will add some more orange, and there is some more purple fabric I would really like to add.  I think I should also add a red so it doesn't look like the odd ball.

I also wanted to tell you about my new project. You probably don't remember my photo scanning project, but it is way back about when I started this blog.  Basically the rule was to scan at least one set of  pictures every day, but more is better.  I managed to get all of them scanned that way.  Well my new project has to do with quilt magazines.  I have a whole bunch of them going way back in time since I haven't ever thrown any away.  My plan is to get rid of all of them. It will make space and reduce clutter in my house, and give the dust mites fewer homes to live in.

The plan is that I will go through the quilt magazines and scan whatever patterns I want and give away the magazine. I am not allowed to keep any paper. This keeps me from taking the lazy out of just ripping out the patterns I want, and still keeping a mess. If you want any, let me know - they aren't in any particular order so it will be hard for me to find a particular issue, but they are all quilt magazines.  Right now my plan is to give them away to a local charity.

Linked to:
AdHoc Improv Quilters 
Let's Bee Social #100 (Yep it is her 100th)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 1 of Project 365

Hello again!  You have been seeing so much of me lately! Mostly because I'm making daily circles and showing them to you keeps me motivated.  Here's my output for Sunday.

A circle to represent the Cultural Fusion rail fence quilt I am making. This was made out of leftover rails.

Here's what my first week's worth of circles looks like. The rail fence looks like a chair with a steering wheel.  Or maybe someone sitting in front of a computer. I do lots of that.

And here's my progress on the rail fence quilt.  The red fabric on the left is from the Islamic Tile Quilt.  This block doesn't have much energy, but the fabric strip was already cut up the right size and it asked nicely. Maybe its calmness will make the other blocks look more energetic.  The one on the right has lots of energy and I really like that pretty pink color.

And here are my blocks all together.  I have started cutting one of my fabrics 1/8" inch bigger and trimming down to avoid having issues with seam allowances. Next up will be more blocks with more white in them.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

More Circles and Rails

Shasta Matova's Quilty 365 Circles

The block on the left is Friday's Quilty 365 project.  I took Zeus in for a bath. I bathe him outside in the summer but in the winter he gets to have spa treatments. He looks so cute  now, all trimmed and clean.  They gave him a yellow bandanna with ladybugs on it, which really brightened up his face. It's just a fabric triangle, which I absolutely love.  Too bad, there wasn't enough to put in the rail fence quilt.  It did make me rethink that the yellows I was planning on using are not bright enough.

The block on the right is Saturday's 365 circle.  It was a day of disappointments. Nothing horribly bad happened, but there were a lot of popped happiness bubbles. 
  • The clouds were very pretty yesterday and the sun was shining bright when we were walking, but then I saw that the flag was flying at half staff and that reminded me of the ugliness in the world.
  • My mother is disappointed in a project we worked on together, and there is nothing I can do to fix it now.  
  • I had a gift card I wanted to use up, because they charge a monthly fee that was reducing my balance. Since I don't really need anything from the store, I decided to put together a care package for my daughter. After taking a long time to choose the things that would come up with at least the balance amount and be light enough to mail, I had to wait in line at the cashier (people paying with cash and checks, the nerve), and it turns out that the gift card I wanted to use was expired. I had even called ahead to find the balance on the card.  I wound up not buying anything there since the whole purpose was to use up the card.
  • I went to another store, but my energy and motivation had petered out, and I couldn't think of anything to put in a gift basket. Why was I thinking of giving a care package for Thanksgiving anyway?
  • It started to rain on the way home.
  • I got too improv with my rail fence quilt, and my strips were not the right size.  I had to rip and resew, which is why there is only one of each of the blocks shown below.
  • That circle fabric was in my black and white box, and I thought that gray would be an interesting thing to use instead of black and white, but when I brought it downstairs it looked more blue than gray.  Looking at it again today, it might still be gray and not blue, but whatever, it's not going in this quilt.  
  • It seems appropriate that I ran out of bobbin thread when I was applying this circle on the background today. Hopefully the disappointments stay in Saturday and don't continue on Sunday.
Shasta Matova's Cultural Fusion Rail Fence blocks

Here's my progress on the Cultural Fusion rail fence quilt. I added two more blocks. It was hard for me to mix that red and that black pattern in one block because I wasn't so sure they go together, but I am trying to mix more patterns, like the Australian quilters (and Sujata) would.  I do like it.  The red fabric (which was used in the elephant circle) is made in Japan, which helps with the Cultural Fusion theme.  I also like the energy in the pattern in the black and white fabric on the bottom right.  All the light fabrics seemed pretty solid in the other blocks, so adding some pattern makes me happy.

June asked about the size of these blocks.  They are less than half size of the pattern in the book, plus my improv sewing means they might need to be trimmed before they are put together, so the block will be 6" square finished. I don't know how many blocks I am going to make, but my minimum is 15 to have enough variety and choice in the layout.

These fat quarters are other fabrics I had considered for the quilt, but right now, I am thinking that I should just stick to the pink/  red/ purple. The strips at the bottom are WIP so that pink and red will go in the quilt. The orange blocks that are already made seem to be outliers that may get to be specially chosen for the orphan quilt, but I will wait until all the blocks are  made before I make that decision. I might make a border in the blue, depending on whether it will work with the quilt. It's been begging to be in the quilt since the very beginning.

This Quilty 365 project brings up the Project 365 I did in the past, which was a photography project. I have been taking my camera with me more often, and the clouds were so pretty yesterday.

American flag flying at half staff photo taken by Shasta Matova

10 Reasons I Love Quilting

Stephanie at IndieQuilter wrote a post about the reasons she loved quilting, and encouraged others to list their own reasons..  I've decided to follow along on my blog.

Here are my reasons, in no particular order.

1.  I love combining different fabrics and see different patterns emerge.  Just like mixing paint and seeing new colors emerge, but better because there is the pattern in the fabric too.

2.  I enjoy the mystery of it.  I choose fabrics and think they will go together, but until the block is actually made or the quilt is actually put together, I'm not really sure what the finished product will look like.

3. I like the creativity of it.  I can choose to add or not add certain fabrics or combinations. I can take a pattern and change up something, or I can design my own. I choose the style I want to make - modern, improv, traditional, art, etc.  Totally up to me.

4.  After all the time I spend doing it, I have something to show for it.  It's not like watching movies or playing video games.  If I did those things, nobody would really know I did that or care years from now, but with quilts, there is a bonus end product that I can use or share or display.

5.  I can customize a quilt that fits the person I am giving it to.  It is truly unique and one of a kind, because no one can make another one just like it, not even me!

6. I like the feel of fabrics and the feel of completed quilts.  And they provide warmth!

7.  It is something that waits patiently for me.  If I don't have time to work on something this week, month, year, it won't spoil or change in the meantime.  It will simply wait until I am ready.

8.  It calls me.  I am constantly drawn to the colors and shapes and designs and want to keep making more and more and more.

9.  The quilting community is awesome.  Everyone you meet is so sweet and generous and creative and helpful.

10. It helps me develop skills at a pace that is comfortable for me.  If I want to master a new skill, I can make a small project.  If I want to take it easy and practice a skill I already have, that is okay too.  I can make casual quilts that don't take much thought but take lots of energy (small pieces) or I can make complex quilts that take a lot of thought or skill to put together.  Totally up to me.

There are so many more reasons  It is difficult to limit myself to 10, but these are the first 10 I thought of, so they must be the most important. :)

You can read Melanie's list at Catbird Studio.  I found about this list from her.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Elephant and Rail Fence

Yesterday's circle was an elephant. I thought I should make sure there is at least one elephant in my quilt.  I like how the background fabric looks like the elephant has a tusk! I also like how the elephant fabric made a design on his forehead and has a circle for the eye.  I attached a separate fabric for the ear; it's subtle but it is there.

And I started yet another project.  I've had Sujata Shah's Cultural Fusion book for a while now and it has been calling and calling me.  I kept making it wait since I wanted to finish something, but I broke down to start it.  This quilt makes me happy.  I'm making two blocks with the same colors, which makes it go even faster, and makes it easier to chain piece and make sure I have something underneath the needle at all times without needing a leader/ender.These blocks (I'm making them half the size as in the book) are so quick to make.  A few seams and I appreciate the way I combined the fabrics, a few more seams and the block is done already.  And then it is time to choose two more fabrics to combine. Most of my brights seem to be tone on tone, but I want to add zippy, energetic fabrics as I go along.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Islamic Tile Quilt Top Finished

Islamic Tile Quilt made by Shasta Matova
As I promised you yesterday, I pressed the Islamic Tile quilt so I could show it to you today.  Pressing is not my strong suit, and I obviously need to press it again, but this quilt is made up of a whole bunch of 2 and a half inch squares.  Even those long lines were made with separate squares so they would look more like tiles, and I managed to keep the design looking like the inspiration tiles I saw at the Islamic Center in Toronto.  Now I have to think about how I want to quilt this. It's a fairly big quilt by my standards - bigger than a lap, smaller than a twin bed.

Next up, I wanted to show you a purchase I made from Spoonflower.  Since the fabric is printed on order, it is expensive, but when I think about it as gifts instead of fabric, and you buy them when they are on sale, it somehow manages to fit into the price range. I bought four fat quarters which will be hemmed to become kitchen towels and if I can bear to part with them, I will give them to my family.  The print quality of all of them was very good, so any issues you see has to do with my taking images in the wintertime when it is always dark, and trying to fix the light quickly with photo editing.

The elephant will likely stay with me since I have a collection of elephants around the house.

I was showing my mother these, and she has asked for this one specifically to be hers.  She likes that the design goes over the calendar. I think if I was designing a calendar like this, I would have thought that people would prefer to have the calendar easy to see, but I was wrong.  How often are you really going to look at a date on a towel anyway?  She did ask me why I only got four, and now I see that maybe getting more to share with others would have been a better idea. 

I'll have to think long and hard about which of my relatives will get these two.  They are going to have to be super nice to me between now and gift giving day!

I haven't made my Quilty Project 365 Circle today, but I wanted to share with you a Pinterest board I created for me to save circle ideas. I do hope that people have realized that Pinterest is a great resource and not a place that steals ideas. When I copy an image and put it in my hard drive, I can't remember where I got the image, but when I pin it, I can click on the link to get back to where I found it, to see other details, to remember where I got it, and maybe even ask for permission to use it. Also, on HubPages, I find that a lot of my readers come directly from Pinterest instead of through a search engine.

I have to go make my circle of the day now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 3 of Quilty Project 365

I won't be posting each block every day, but it helps me to remember to take the picture and the thought behind it.  I saw a row of rings that were broken like spokes, and I wanted to recreate it, but this is easier.  The background fabric is also used in A Life of Plenty and the fall fabrics have been used in several different fall quilts, including Dear Jane.  I like them both so I use them sparingly in many quilts.  Today, I am thinking about the love of family and pets, so the x and o are quite appropriate.  I didn't really mean to sew a spiral, I started securing around the circle and didn't want to stop so I kept going into the center. I thought the center of the spiral wouldn't match the center of the x because I wasn't keeping track, and I would have been okay with that, but it centered by itself!

In other quilting news, I have finished my top of the Islamic tile quilt.  I have to press it and then I will show it to you.  Since this is a tile quilt, I thought I should stitch in the ditch only, but that requires too much precision, so my original plan was to quilt a quarter inch away from all the seams, but I think that also is too much precision (and sewing).  I'm now thinking about doing some organic lines instead. I'm not sure if that makes me lazy, or if that more honors the quilting medium, which gives you more options than tiles would.

Linked up to:
Let's Bee Social #99

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Project 365 Day 2

Today's block represents the feeling I get at the start of almost every quilt project.  I debate about the pros and cons of the many options in my head and go back and forth, around and around, until I finally settle and commit to the plan. Sometimes it takes a while to get to the commitment stage.

Yesterday, almost as soon as I posted my block, I looked at some other blogs and came across Amanda Jean's circle quilt It was nice to see what a circle quilt could look like when more circles had been added, but hers isn't a calendar quilt. It uses fabric from particular fabric lines and is so coordinated and so pretty. I was already wondering if I should just make circles instead of going off on tangents with trees and such, and seeing this beautiful circle quilt just made it louder.

Should I keep it simple and use circles only using a template?
What colors will represent what mood?
Should I focus on continually improving my mastery of skills?
Should I do my best?
Should I keep if casual or formal?
Will the background be pieced or whole?
Will the circles all be a certain size and shape or can they vary?
Will I like it in the end?
Should all the blocks be the same size?
What if I don't like the block later?
Should I keep them in chronological order or arrange them in a pleasing manner when I am done?
Should I attach the blocks as I go along or wait until the end?
Can I cut up fabric yardage for these, or do I only have to use scraps?
Should the applique be hand appliqued, turned under, fusible web or can it be free form?

The problem is that there are so many beautiful ways to make this quilt, and they are all right in their own way.  And until it is too late to turn back, I will keep debating until I finally commit to the plan. And I do tend to break the rules once I make them (like my scrap only rule I made up yesterday and broke both yesterday and today) so my commitment is somewhat fickle!

The background fabric was used in my Christmas trees quilt. The black fabric is a whole fat quarter that I received from a swap. I haven't made any black and white quilts. I say this as I look at my improv quilt which has plenty of black and white fabric I could have used, but I don't know where the scraps are for it. I did fuse the applique.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Project 365: Day 1 11/16/2015

This is day 1, block 1 of project 365, where I make a circle block a day to represent my day.  Today's circle is brought to you by the color green, because I painted a picnic table I recently bought.  I had some leftover paint in the garage, and decided to use it instead of buying new paint, and it happens to be green.  I like the green picnic table. I especially like that the weather is cooperating and it was warm and dry enough to paint outside.  Didn't even need a coat. Last year, we had snow.

 Since picnic tables are not round, I decided to make a tree instead.  I put some french knots in it for apples, and I will eat an apple after I finish this post to make an apple tree more appropriate.

It is raw edge, free form, no freezer paper or fusible used.  When I went searching for brown fabric, I decided to use scraps instead of whole fabric, which apparently is a new rule I may or may not use throughout the project.

The cream and the green fabrics are both leftovers of the Islamic tile quilt.  The brown fabric was in the Lansing Leaves leftover bag, but it appeared to be a full fat quarter (don't tell the quilt police!). Maybe it started its life as a half yard fabric.

Quilty Project 365

Audrey at Quiltyfolk is working on a calendar quilt of sorts.  She will be choosing fabric each day, cutting it out into circles and appliqueing them to a standard size background square.  It will be a record of the fabrics she liked and a record of her year.

Since I missed out on the last calendar project, and since I really like circles, I was thinking of joining her. I know I have no business starting a new project, but really how hard can a circle be? Please don't answer that. That is a rhetorical question to which I know I probably won't like the answer. I will be using raw edge and fusible applique to make it easier for myself. I might skip a day or two and wind up having nonconsecutive 365 days. I may wind up having a different number than 365 depending on how big I want my quilt to be as I get further down the line.

I think that I will make my circles more elaborate - some will be cut into spirals and other circle like shapes.  I might even embellish some with beading or embroidery, or applique other things on top of a circle, or use layers of raw edge circles, etc.  Yes, I can dream big at the beginning. I'm sure in the end, I will use a lot of plain round circles too. I think I am going to make mine smaller than hers - 3 1/2" squares finished, so 4 inch unfinished.   I don't want the quilt to get too big.  I think that a layout of something like 17 X 22 squares so 59 1/2" X 77" would be a manageable size. Since a full size mattress is 54 x 74, I think this size would work. I could add some more time to the quilt if I wanted to have more overhang.

This is just an introduction post. I will be making and posting today's circle later.

Come join us if you want. It will be fun.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pray for Paris

My heart is heavy today because of the terrorism attacks that happened in Paris yesterday. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the people who were involved in these atrocities. I pray that the people who died find peace in the afterlife, the people who got hurt have a swift and painless recovery. I pray for the families and loved ones of the people who were care for the people who got hurt. I pray for the firefighters, doctors, police officers, nurses, volunteers and all of the caretakers that serve to bring calm and order to the chaos.I even pray for the people who committed the atrocities, that they learn the errors in their ways, and for their families who now have to deal with the aftermath and potentially being terrorized themselves. 

It sickens me even more to know that they are the acts of ISIS, a terrorism group that uses the word Islamic in its title. Their acts do not represent the faith of Islam and their beliefs are not the beliefs of most of the people who practice the faith.

If you look at the picture of the Islamic tile quilt I am making, the red is a stylized representation of Arabic. It says Mohammed. In the center, in the cream, is a cross.  At first, it bothered me that there was a cross in my Islamic quilt, but I think that it is there to show that we are one.  We worship the same God. I hope that we don't turn this into a war of religion or country or culture, when really it is some fanatics who are to blame.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Trunk Show

Soma who blogs over at Whims and Fancies is hosting an online quilt truck show called "Trunk Full of Quilts".   It's really a ploy just to see my quilts, and I am happy to indulge her.

Welcome to High Road Quilter, where I, Shasta Matova, make quilts at a slow, incremental pace.  I spend a few minutes almost every day in some sort of quilting activity, and those few minutes add up and then eventually, I have a finished quilt to show on my blog.  To keep the blog (and quilting) from being boring ("Look, I sewed a seam", "Look, I sewed another seam!"), I work on more than one quilt at a time, which slows down the pace to Finished! even more. This trunk show will show that quilts can happen, even a few minutes at a time.

These aren't necessarily my favorite. I just pulled out some pictures of quilts that I may not have shown on my blog for a while.  Here they are, in no particular order:

This is a little quilt I made for my sister.  The center is a panel I found at a quilt store, and I worked around it with ribbons, beads and tassels.  It was a fun quilt to make.  I have since purchased many more beads and ribbons so I can make more without-a-pattern quilts in the future.

This wreath quilt is one of my first applique quilts. It was fun to make.  The cross hatch quilting in the center was recommended by the pattern, but it was difficult to do since I did not want to quilt over the applique.  I've always wanted to make a similar quilt with the cross hatching done before the applique, but haven't done it yet. If you look closely, you will see that I even added embroidery on the leaves.

This quilt was made impulsively following a pattern I found on a blog. It was put together very quickly and was a lot of fun to make.

This is one of my few bed size quilts.  It is one of my favorites.  It is an I-spy quilt inspired by Weeks Ringle.  You are supposed to follow the lines to tell a story.  I changed it up by also making it a maze. You can follow the blank spaces and find your way out. There are two mazes in there - one is shorter than the other one.When I gave it to my niece, she took a toy car along the maze, so it is also a road!  This one was a lot of piecing and organizing, but it was worth it in the end.

This is a fun little quilt I made with my leftovers of my four patch posey quilt.  I used some beads and ribbon on it. This a great quilt concept to cut four identical pieces and switch them around to get mirror images.  I hope to make more of these in the future. I also hope to finish the original quilt that this was a leftover of.  I gave this quilt away.

I gave this denim quilt to my daughter. It is made out of blue jeans - lots and lots of them.  It took a long time to make, but I liked the casual look of the quilt.  It was also stress free because it didn't have to be made perfectly.  Any "mistakes" just went with the mood of the quilt.

This is a little quilt I made as part of the Small Quilts Yahoo group with Kathy Tracey. They have quilt challenges every month, and while I would like to make a quilt a month, my sewing schedule doesn't allow that.

I hope you have enjoyed my little trunk show.  I  hope it gives you a sampling of the kinds of quilts I make.  Most of the quilts pictured are pretty traditional, but I make modern quilts, art quilts, improv quilts, crazy quilts, and any other kind of quilt too.  Please you come back and visit me again. You are welcome anytime!

Here's more details about the Trunk Full of Quilts Show if you want to participate too.  The trunk show link party will start on November 10th and end on November 18th.

All you have to do is write a blog post including photos and a little description of each of your favorite quilted projects (they do not have to be from 2015, but they must be finished projects). Then visit Soma's page and link up.