Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Current Status

If you have been following along with our home audience, then you will recognize that I have removed the center 4-block square that I had before. It wasn't working for me, altho I did reuse some of those blocks in the center.  I also changed out two blocks that had grey for the background.  They were just stopping my eye.  So now I'm really liking this.  Funny thing is, it's not exactly what I was aiming for originally.  It has evolved, and I just went with it.  

I really like how I can see the whole piece when I post it on the blog, or just take a picture of it, really.  When I'm standing in front of it, I can't tell much about it, but when I look at a picture, I can really see the whole thing at once.  

And looking at it this way,  I can see two blocks I'm going to switch.  Hee hee.

Now comes the scary part:  fusing these parts together and filling in the open spaces.  I have a great idea (I think) for the open parts, but I'll post about that later....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Layered Fusing Tutorial

A couple of days ago, blog reader Ursula posed the following question:

Q: Do you fuse all the circles on top of each? Are there about 5-6 layers on each square?

Isn't that great? Ursula is just the one for asking pertinent questions. So, I took some step-by-step pictures yesterday and have this tutorial:

Here is the first circle in my block.

And here is the fabric I want to fuse it to.

This surprising tool is a small sliver of bar soap that is left over after the bar is almost all used up. You know the stage: you can't use it anymore because it just breaks. That piece of soap, dried out, is an excellent marking tool.

It's a little hard to take a picture of something that usually takes two hands, but I use the soap to trace under the top piece so that I know where to cut out the bottom piece. I don't trace right at the edge, tho. The soap line would show. I trace a little in from the edge.

Now I have my circle traced onto my fabric.

And I cut that part out.

Then I can fuse the two together.

But in all but the overlap, it is essentially just one layer.

Then I continue on, building up the layers, removing the backs, until I get something like this:

But the back looks like this:

The reasons for doing it this way are
1: to save fabric. Those cut out pieces are being immediately recycled into the next block or blocks in this quilt. And,
2: to reduce bulk. The fusing becomes a little less reliable when there are so many layers sandwiched together, the quilt is heavier and harder to quilt.

And here is the current status:

BTW, all of these pictures were taken with my new camera. Woohoo!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Trip Around the Sun

November 20th is my birthday.  Two years ago, I threw myself a party, which I blogged about, and I invited about 12 ladies.

You see, I wanted to have a tea party, and in Singapore, you can't go out and do that without encountering seafood in some form or another.  I'm not interested in seafood in any form, so I had the party at my condo.  I made finger sandwiches and pastries and a good time was had by all.

Last year, my dahlink friend Janis couldn't let the event go by unnoticed, so she hosted a party at her house (also blogged about).  We had chicken kebabs and hummus and salad nicoise (I avoided the tuna) and everything was delicious and wonderful.  And I wondered, "How did I trick my friends into thinking they had to celebrate my birthday every year?"  

Well, it happened again.  Here I was going along, minding my own business, and a call came on Tuesday saying Thursday we were going to have lunch in honor of my birthday.  "It's become a tradition, " I was told.  How did this happen?  What did I do to deserve these repeated kindnesses?  I'm not sure, especially as I have been mostly absent from our gatherings this year.  But sometimes one has to just accept the kindnesses done to them, and be grateful.

Here we are, from left to right:
Mavis McAllister, Janis Douglas (the instigator, I mean our host), me, Marianne Bos (a fellow quilter, a fellow fuser), and Amy Low.
I was treated to a Mexican feast the like of which will live in my memory for at least a month, maybe two. I had a virgin lime margarita, the best mole poblano I've had in years, and a decaf cappuccino. Everything was absolutely delicious and I felt so blessed and honored.

Everything was so delicious, I forgot to photograph it until I was almost done eating!

I have such wonderful friends.

Afterward, I scrambled to meet the DH and we went downtown so we could pick out a new camera for me, as my old one occasionally thinks it's on another planet.
Here's what we got:

The Canon Powershot A1000 IS, in a lovely shade of metallic lavender. I really thought I was going to buy an IXUS, but they cost so much more, and for mostly the same options. This one is much smaller than the old camera, and only uses 2 AA batteries, so it's much lighter.

Every year, I think I don't want to make a fuss about my birthday. Just let the day slide by with maybe a nice dinner or something. But secretly, I'm afraid that if that were to actually happen, I would be very sad. Luckily, no one seems interested in letting me go there. May I be worthy of their love and generosity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Here are some further pictures of the current work.
As you can see, I have rearranged the existing blocks once again.  I think I'm more drawn to the Around The World layout.

When does a few green blocks become enough green blocks?  I would never know if it weren't for my pin up wall.

And here you can see that I started filling in the white spaces with the grey scale fabric I have. Not sure if that will stay or not. Love the blue, don't you?

I made some great progress today, but felt compelled to stop when my mp3 player ran through my podcasts.  I need to reload, but I also need to take a break and do some housework.  Fah!  When I feel overwhelmed, the house is clean.  When I feel on a roll, I need to stop.  Figures.