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Interior Design Notes

This syndicated article by Melissa Rayworth of Associated Press appeared in our local paper yesterday.

Here is what Meredith Heron has to say about natural light and colour, especially wall colour:

The natural light in a room impacts how a pastel colour actually appears, says Heron. East-facing windows bring a cool, blue light during the day, while west-facing windows bring in a redder light in the afternoon and at sunset. Heron says south-facing windows tend to offer a yellower light.

“My rule of thumb is to avoid the pastels that correspond to the direction of the light,” she says. “So no pinks in a western-facing room or they will look like something out of an antacid commercial.” Likewise, avoid pastel yellow in a south-facing room and blue in an east-facing one.***

*** My personal opinion is you cannot go wrong with blue, because it is easy to pop in some contrasting pops of warm colours such as orange, brown, tan or coral.

Notice she does not say anything about northern light, which is the best light for art studios — and something I still miss from my last apartment which had wide open northern light not overlooked or overshadowed by other buildings.

I have made many decorating faux pas over the course of a lifetime of moves.  Of course some mistakes are rooted in the time the decorating was done — like trying to coordinate pink roses on a white background with a slightly different pink with silvery white polka dots (my childhood room in the 50s before designers were offering really coordinated collections — I was just ahead of my time!), or setting a trend for orange drapes in the 70s.  We lived in a downtown neighborhood where all the homes were right at the street so you could not help but notice what drapes everyone had.  At first people thought ours were weird but within a few months everyone else had orange drapes too!

Posted in quilting, stash, Uncategorized

Baby Quilt for Bloggers Quilt Festival

Yes, it’s That Time Again!


How awesome that Amy puts in the effort to bring this to the blogging/quilting community twice every year!

Here is my entry to the Baby Quilt category, where I see many, many wonderful creations already.  Although I have entered the festival before, this is my first time to have two entries.  My other quilt is an art quilt and you can see it

Although I have made a couple of other baby slab quilts, this was my first attempt to go low volume and “air out” the block by alternating them with white on white blocks.

Slab blocks are such fun and a great way to use up scraps in a colour controlled way that results in a cohesive piece.  I’ve posted numerous times about slab blocks and Cheryl Arkison’s work which was what got me started on this tack.

Comments are welcome and please visit the other sites that are participating in the various categories.  You’ll be glad you did.

Posted in quilting, Uncategorized

Challenge piece – still trying to find my way



Here is the piece as it is today (written May 14)

I succeeded in doing curved piecing so both shores of the river undulate.

But I`m not satisfied with this as it stands.  It doesn`t convey the impression I want it to and actually conveys an unintended impression of something quite different.

This may mean starting over working in a series!  Working in a series!

and will almost certainly involve more ice dyeing.  A tough job, but someone`s gotta do it, right!

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Challenge Teaser

Here’s a test piece which  I made to experiment with curved piecing to be able to do sharper curves.

This reminds me of an aerial photo of a landscape and can turn into a nice small piece.  It’s all in aid of the Wild, Wild West challenge for our Guild retreat in June although it’s different enough from the design I’m working on for that to not be revealing any big secrets.  All will be revealed in mid-June.

Learned a lot from this and will probably have to do another one to see if I can get a curve going more in a U shape.  This time the blue fabric I used for the second curve wasn’t big enough to be able to do that.  But no worries there’s more of both these fabrics so I can make a third block that continues the river meandering along.


Lessons learned:

  1. don’t go so near the edge of the block with the curved piecing
  2. mark the seam allowance on the back of the “river” and align the blocks with pins
  3. square off the finished blocks

Note to self:

Make sure the next block is wider than the existing pieces so I don’t have to trim any more off the side of the existing block!

It’s amazing that the blue fabric was on sale at a very low price because it has much potential!

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Log Cabin Blocks

Our Quilt Guild retreat is coming up in early June.

Part of the fun is a draw for blocks, either log cabin or bear`s paw in keeping with the Wild, Wild West theme.

These are supposed to be in earth colours with red centres and of course have the light and dark sides.

Hoping mine are sufficiently earth coloured enough to meet with approval.   If time permits (ha-ha!) I may make more.   There`s some slate blue fabric which to me is earthy but others might disagree.

The other unknown when making blocks for a group project is that others may interpret light differently than me.  I stuck with the palest fabrics and rejected others which could be light if all the blocks were being made either by one person or by a close-knit group who could agree they were light.



Posted in quilting, stash, Uncategorized

Be sure your sins will find you out …

there, THAT got your attention, right?

Quilter’s and crafter’s sins I now realize I’m guilty of:

Not cutting across the width of the fabric (WOF).  Silly me, I thought it made sense that if you have half a yard of fabric and you need a strip that’s 8″ by 2″ you would cut parallel to the selvedge, leaving 40″ of fabric wide by 18″ long.

2010 was the year in which I had the light bulb moment and realized it just doesn’t work like that.   I needed WOF for trading at our Guild’s retreat, and I needed WOF in significant quantities to make pillowcases for the million pillowcase challenge.

Several times I pored through my entire stash only to realize what I had been doing all those years, it finally caught up to me!  This led to a change in my evil ways, a gargantuan stash busting project, and (surprise!) fabric shopping for half-metre and bigger cuts.  Although for 2011 one of my watchwords is use what you have.

Have also resolved to be more attentive to thread.  Valdani is my favourite, and I do use what I have!  Actually had to buy a second spool of Gem Symphony when Andrea Hamilton was quilting my Shattered Angles quilt.  I look on Valdani as chocolate minus the calories.

Cindy Scraba is another amazing Island lady.  Her knowledge of threads is astounding.  Trivia:  Egyptian cotton is in the process of being protected legally, just like champagne in France.   It is so superior and they need to protect it.

Cindy sells Superior thread and I’ve started tracking in the catalogue what I have in the different lines.  The catalogue is great because it tells you which thread to use in every situation.

At the Guild retreat, I won a sample set of Wonderfil threads.

And I still have threads from my grandmother’s store that go back to the forties — on wooden spools with names for the colours.  They live in a case designed and built by my grandfather.  I use them for basting and minor embellishments.  After all this time I don’t trust them for anything that has to stay together.  But back then thread colours had names, not numbers, like Apple Green, Mauve, Primrose.


Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

Teaser Tuesday

From East of the Sun by Julia Gregson, 2008, Orion Books

“But now she was feeling all wobbly and chameleonish again, which was annoying, only this time it was Frank, and to nutshell the problem, she had the most hideous crush on him.  When he’d asked her, in the most casual way possible, if Rose and she had any plans for Port Said, she’d been sitting in the bar chatting to Jitu Singh.”

Go to MizB’s Should Be Reading blog for more teasers in every genre!

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Is Two a Series?

This is a 12″ block I made for a swap in Arizona using indigo and hand-dyed fabric and following the theme of the first zigurat I made, which is the lower photo. This was made in a Cynthia Corbin workshop and the square blocks were cut with a rotary cutter but without a ruler. The dotted background and the brown dotted fabric used on the top block were originally gray but I hand-dyed those and the dots stayed white.

The Journal quilt class lesson this week includes several journal quilters talking about making things in series, which is something I find hard to do, maybe because I don’t have enough time/space to devote to quilting. I see a progression in my work but I tend to have pendulum swings or spiral (many pendulum swings really ARE a spiral motion, by the way!) and come back to something I’ve tried earlier but with some other creation in between.

I did sketch a zigzag-arat yesterday, just because the play on words is so irresistible!

FACTOID: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was a zigurat.

Hour last week: 33