December 2010

And the 2011 Color of the Year is…….

Honeysuckle!
Hmmm….every Honeysuckle bloom I have ever seen has been yellow but maybe I am leading a sheltered life.  Pantone, the great Wizard of Color, has named this beautiful, strong pink “?Honeysuckle”.  The 2010 color of the year was turquoise and we certainly saw that color in quilting fabric, home dec and clothing.  So, prepare to see lots of this gorgeous, rich pink flooding the stores this spring.

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

Several times a month I drive into San Francisco to work as a docent, leading tours of the lovely Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. I love this old building. It was the first building constructed in Golden Gate Park, and opened to the public in 1879. The Conservatory is a wonderful place to spend a cold, rainy winter day. The warm, humid atmosphere feels like a trip to the tropics.  So take a minute to enjoy some photos of the flowers on exhibit at the lovely Conservatory….

I hope you have enjoyed this brief glimpse inside. The Conservatory is home to thousands of gorgeous tropical plants. If you have the opportunity, please visit. You won’t be disappointed!

Toolbox Thursday

I love this ruler. It is a tool that helps make perfect half-square and quarter-square triangles. The ruler is marketed by the June Taylor company, and no, I am not being paid for this endorsement. I love simple tools that make a quilter’s job easier. If you have ever tried making dozens of quarter-square triangles from paper templates, you have experienced some serious frustration.

The ruler helps accomplish the three steps required to make the half/quarter-square: cutting an accurate square of fabric, marking an accurate center seam, and cutting accurately to achieve the finished half/quarter square.

Placing two fabrics, right sides together, you use the ruler grid which has guides every half inch for your rotary cutter blade to accurately cut two squares simultaneously. Using the seam guide, you place the ruler
down the center of the blocks (shown in the photo on the top left) and mark a sewing line. Sew along the marked line. Using the cutting guide (shown in the photo on the top right), cut apart the two half-squares.  Place the two half-squares right sides together and repeat this process (which is depicted in the above photos) to create perfect quarter-square triangles. The ruler grid lines can then be used to square up the blocks. Voila! Perfect half and quarter-square triangles every time.

It’s a Hoot!

I am participating in a quiltalong that requires the use of a layer cake. A layer cake is a stack of 10″ x 10″ fabric squares cut from a coordinated line of fabric. I am using “It’s a Hoot!” by MoMo for Moda. I love these fabrics. The line is very diverse and the colors are clear and bright.

This is called “Big Owl” in the “Marshmallow” colorway. Lots going on in this one!
This is “Flower” in the “Pistachio” colorway.
“Perching Owls” in the “Raspberry” colorway.
“Spot” in the “Turquoise” colorway.
“Swallows” in “Pistachio.” 
I think this one is my favorite of the group.  “Trees” in the “Sky” colorway.  Turquoise and grey.  Yum.
Below is “Trees” in the “Banana” colorway.  It has a completely different personality.

This is a very color-diverse line and I will be excited to see what all the blocks look like together when they are ultimately sewn into a quilt top. I am going to use a white background fabric in most of the blocks to help pull all this color together. It’s fun to participate in online quiltalongs because you don’t know what is coming next!

Block Three – Layer Cake Quiltalong

Here is my third block in the Layer Cake Quiltalong hosted by Moose on the Porch Quilts:

This cute (and easy) basket block was designed by Sarah Vanderburgh. You can find her at http://www.sewjoy.blogspot.com/.  Sarah’s pattern included some little half square triangles at the top of the basket handles, but I left the handle solid because I thought my prints were too busy and it would distract from the pattern. It went together very quickly which is a good thing as time is at a premium now that we have entered the craziness called the Holidays!
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