Feb 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope y'all are able to spend it with the ones y'all love.

Today I'm making a heart shaped brownie for my family and I bought some of their favorite chocolates too.

I got my V-day present early, last Thursday. My husband bought me 3 yards of Kona White, the Tri-Recs rulers and a quilt/quilt block a day calendar.

I'm so jazzed about the rulers! They are also known as Peaky & Spike, which I first heard them called on some quilt show. I've really wanted to make a Storm at Sea quilt without paper piecing for a long time. I saw the rulers in the store & I had a great coupon so I added that to my gift. My husband was with me so he technically got it for me. ;o) Since then, I've been researching the possibilities online and it's like a whole new world of quilting has been opened because of this one block unit. There are so many awesome blocks that use this unit that I didn't know where to start at first. The Storm at Sea is beautiful but daunting in the number of pieces needed and all the possibilities for the shading. I started thinking & sketching it but then went to the internet for shading inspiration and I got overwhelmed! Then I stumbled across the Tennessee Waltz quilt

this picture is from http://www.quilt-lovers-guide.com/patter

This is such a gorgeous pattern! I believe it was made popular by Elanor Burns because I've seen a Quilt-in-a-Day book on it and when I see this particular name for the quilt her name is usually associated with it. I don't believe it's an original design though because it uses two traditional blocks, the snowball and the 54-40 or Fight block. This curving pattern without curves is what I'd like to achieve. This setting is also ridiculously easy and something I feel I can start on without being overwhelmed. I still need to sketch it out & I'll probably make it first on a small scale with 2 colors or shades and white or another background color. I'm just at the beginning of figuring this one out.

We were also at the mall & found the calendar store had all the calendars at 75% off and I found this one

I've always wanted one & it's pretty cool. I've flipped through a few months and it looks fun. There are many size variations from wallhangings to bed size. Some with big blocks & others with 12 inch or smaller blocks. The blocks can be traditional piecing, paper piecing or applique'. It has a quilt with the date on the front of the page. On the back of the page it gives a dimension, cutting guide for the borders, sashing & setting blocks, sizes of the blocks and how many to make and a yardage chart. Then the following days will have a block a day to make the quilt. The picture and name of the block is on the front. On the back, for patchwork, it has the size of the block, a line drawing with the pieces labeled "A", "B", "C", etc. and the sizes to cut them with a rotary cutter. It also says how much you have to enlarge it on a copier to make templates for piecing or applique'. If the block is a paper pieced block, the pieces are numbered with a red line indicating where to cut the paper apart if you have to. What it doesn't have is how many of the block to make on the back or very detailed instructions on how to make a quilt. There are no instructions for strip piecing or other time saving techniques. So this is good for the quilter who knows what she's doing rather than the absolute beginner. The color choices could also have more variation, maybe some modern or bright quilts, but they are decent starting points. I think it's going to be useful as inspiration and to drive me to experiment & create more. I wish I could have ones from past years now and I'll definitely buy another next year.

My husband didn't think that fabric, rulers & a calendar were very romantic V-Day gifts but I think they're perfect!

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