28 June 2011

Is this weird or what ?

I'm child-free this week (well, teen-ager free, amounts to the same thing, and the quiet is a balm to both soul and body ... even if I'm somewhat unsettled and on edge by not having the brood within shouting distance).

ANYway. Carpe Diem, take the day, take the opportunity : Time to wash the quilts in their rooms.

Two of them went very well, thank you, but the third. Oh, no. Unintentionally pink in places. Back into the washing-machine, this time with 3, rather than just one, dye-magnet. All 3 sheets came out purple-red.
... and so did parts of what used to be whites on the quilt. If you look at the picture top-right, and see the two stars on the left side of that picture; they used to have white fabric, where there is now light purplish-pink.
Or look at the picture below. Bright whites in some places, but muddy, light purplish pink in others.

And in case you wondered : All fabrics have been washed before being pieced together.
The finished quilt has been washed before. In the same machine. Using the same water-tap. And using the same soap. It did not mis-colour last summer or the summer before that. It did so this year.

Now, I don't have access to Retayne or Synthrapol or any of the other fancy stuff that Americans use, I live in Europe, so : any suggestions on how to salvage this ? Other than learn to love light purplish-pink instead of white?

25 June 2011


I do not, as a general rule, do this, but ... DS has now graduated from the local equivalent of High-School, and here are the pictures to prove it.

Getting the cap on Tuesday (when students pass their final test, the teacher who does the exam also gets to put the visible proof of passing on said student's head), after a well-deserved A.

Getting the diploma.

The cap he gets and wears is identical to the cap both his mother and his father ... and 3 out of 4 grandparents' got when they graduated 'Gymnasium' (and his maternal grandmother graduated in 1939, so ...). Not the same cap, mind you, just looks the same.

After the ceremony, all 262 new students (yes, that's how many graduated on Saturday, from this school), started "the drive". Going from home to home, visiting each for 10-20 minutes, and then driving on. By the time they arrived at our place, they had been going for 8 hours, and had already visited 15 different homes, and were - generally speaking - outrageously drunk. But well-behaved and delightful all the same.

So, for 15 minutes on Saturday evening, we had a yard full of students. And since we thought they might be cold after a day spent on an open wagon, we had hot chocolate as one of the things offered. It was recieved gratefully, and enjoyed thoroughly.

Oh, well. A mother is allowed to brag, and to be proud :-D

Consider it done.

21 June 2011

Frescobaldi's Passacaglia

I have been looking for a CD with Girolamo Frescobaldi's 'Cento Partite sopra Passacaglia'.

Diane Boston named Lucy Boston's Passacaglia-quilt for it (full story in Diane Boston's book). So, I have been searching WITHout luck, until my teenage children said 'Have you checked YouTube ?'

Well ... duh, as they would also say.

ANYway I have, now, checked YouTube, AND Vimeo and here it is :
Part 1, and Part 2.

And just so you don't think the quilt doesn't still live, here's a picture of one of my favourite blocks in the big Passacaglia quilt.

Isn't it amazing what fussy-cutting will do ?

14 June 2011

Different strokes for different folks

Before I start : The picture has absolutely nothing to do with the post below. I just think that a picture-less post is boring, boring, boring so ... the picture shows a mock-up of some of my Rectangular Hexagon blocks, laid out on my ironing board. I have at the time of writing, finished 2/3s of the blocks I need.

Another note :
I have absolutely no economical ties with Inklingo (more's the pity). I do not own even the tiniest bit of that company, and I do not, in any way, get paid by Linda Franz or Inklingo ... or, indeed, Accuquilt.

So, get ready for :

Accuquilt vs Inklingo.

On one of my forays around the internet, I stumbled upon a site, that led me to the Accuquilt page, and ... I've heard about it before, and it sounds nifty. It truly does. Slap the fabric on a piece-of-something that comes with the cutting-machine, run everything through with the hand-crank and ... hey presto ! up to 6 identical and precisely cut shapes.

And I noticed the 'Studio Top Selling Die Bundle' which has one Dresden Plate shape, and one size Orange Peel (but only with half-peels), one size Winding Ways and one size Drunkard's Path ... and some leaves, flowers and squares.
Apart from the Leaves and flowers, everything is available in Inklingo. The Orange Peel and the Drunkard's Path collections have squares too.

And I thought, well, Inklingo doesn't cut it out for you. You need to find your scissors or your rotary-cutter.
But if you don't have an ancient blade in your rotary-cutter, you can cut up to 6 identical shapes with that one too. It isn't something the Accuquilt can do that my rotary-cutter can't.

But the price !
I can get just about anything Inklingo, and still have money left over compared to buying the Accuquilt 'Studio Top Selling bundle' of shapes. That particular set of cutting dies costs a whopping 750 $ (and that is with a discount, because it is a bundle); to actually use that particular bundle, I'll have to have the 'Studio Fabric Cutter' as well, and that one alone is 595 $.

Then I thought, how far can I go for 1,345 $ with Inklingo.
Well, the cheapest MacBook (according to apple.com) will set me back 999 $ ... let's call that 1,000 $ (and we all know that Mac is more expensive than generic windows-computers, so I'm not bargain hunting here)
That leaves me 345 $ to get a printer and one or more collections of Inklingo.
An HP deskjet all-in-one, will set me back about 100 $ (remember, I'm not bargain-hunting), and then there will be 245 $ left to get all of the Inklingo collections that are similar to the ones in the 'Top Selling Die Bundle' ... and I will still have money left over !!!
So, the economic bottom-line is, that I can get 4 (comparable) Inklingo-collections, AND a computer, AND a printer (and not the cheapest possible) and still have money in my pocket, compared to buying the Studio Fabric Cutter, and that Top Selling bundle of cutting-dies.

What is more, the cutting-machine will only cut fabric. It doesn't do anything else.

And yes, I also found out, that I could get much cheaper versions if I went with the smaller 'GO!' cutter (which starts at 140 $ for the 'baby' size and costs 350 $ for the 'normal' size), but still ... There is a very limited number of 'dies' for the 'baby' one. If I want the big, top-selling bundle, I need the big, 600 $ machine.

If I then look at what is available for the small, and much less expensive, 'GO!' cutting-machine, and look at the dies for making a Double Wedding Ring quilt ... that set of dies is 90 $, and the prize for the Double Wedding Ring Inklingo collection is only 35 $ ... what is more, the Inklingo version includes a seriously beautiful design e-book.

... it's not even as if one can just slap any fabric in any size or any condition into the cutting-machine either ! It has a limitation on sizes of fabric, just like the printer which prints Inklingo shapes does, and the fabrics used in the cutting-machine needs to lie flat (i.e. be ironed) just as I iron fabric to freezer-paper with Inklingo.

It sort-of boggles my mind how expensive that nifty (and yes, it *is* nifty) piece of equimpment is, particularly seeing that it has one use only. The computer has many other uses, with and without Inklingo, and the Inklingo collections are much, much cheaper than the comparable accuquilt-collections.
I can change a lot of rotary-blades, and buy some seriously good scissors and still come out ahead using Inklingo ... if I am willing to cut under my own steam.

So I think I'll stay with Inklingo, thank you all the same, buy myself some new rotary blades, and continue to cut on my own, rather than invest in a machine to do it for me. It is a nifty and neat idea, but I like the prize of Inklingo better :-)

Oh, and this is not even mentioning, that with Inklingo, you get the match-marks and the cross-hairs which shows you exactly where to match the pieces together :-) That in itself is - in my opinion - worth gold. Particularly when dealing with curved shapes or shapes with lots of bias.

01 June 2011

Field of Flowers

I now have 4 Sunflowers up on the Design Wall together with the Pink-And-Green circles.
And I really think now would be a very good time to call it finished, start sewing it together for real

And I've begun shopping my stash for possible borders. Lots have been looked at, but I actually think that the combination in the mock-up on the picture to the right, is a good option.

The green batik is one that has been living in my stash 'forever', and has been used for multiple projects now. It started its life in my Quilted Diamonds quilt (called 'The Advantages of Natural Folly'), showed itself in at least one block of the Passacagila, is in many of the blocks on this Field of Flowers, and has been interspersed in many small projects also. It is a lovely fabric, and I'm happy I wildly overbought on it, but it is time to begin using the last bits. The fabric will be better loved if living in a quilt than it will living in my stash, so ... yeah ... I think that's the one.

And in case you wondered, here is a picture of the 4 Sunflowers that are going / have gone into the Field of Flowers quilt.

And another picture of the latest Sunflower block. I worried that the orange batik would stand out in a bad way. I genuinely think that it doesn't.

In fact, I think the Sunflower with the brown-and-pink center stands out more than the orange one.