Half a quilt top and a winner (or two)

/ Monday 20 December 2010 /
Oh lordy, this kaleido quilt will be the death of me.  I spent the weekend finishing off the blocks for this quilt and starting to assemble the quilt top.  My design wall is a vinyl tablecloth that I pin to the living room curtains, and it was only big enough for half the blocks.  Since the pattern is so fiddly, and I have drafted it carefully on a piece of paper with all the colours marked, it didn't really matter that I could only see half the blocks at a time before I started to sew them all together.  Last night I was feeling pretty blue about how it was coming along.  I felt like the primary pattern of these star points weren't emerging the way I hoped they would.  I was starting to feel like it was just going to look like some random scrap quilt.  But in the photos, I see the rings a lot more clearly.  Why is that?  I'm kind of liking it again.
See how the primary pattern of the rings of star points are composed of four different blocks?  This means that things have to be sewn together very carefully.  I like to chain piece the heck out of things when I am assembling a quilt top, but I just couldn't do it on this one. When I tried to, I made so many mistakes, sewing the wrong sides of blocks together, etc., that I finally just limited it to joining up three pairs of blocks at a time.  Who said quilting was a sedentary activity?  I must have walked my 10,000 steps just going from the design wall (living room) to the sewing machine (dining room).
half a kaleido quilt top plus dog
Here it is, being held up by my old man in the kitchen this morning.  Darla seems to be interested in it, doesn't she, but in truth she is interested in the garbage can.  This is not a very classy prop, but I hope for forbearance from you all - my husband's arms were getting tired after me putzing around with the white balance on the camera and reminding him not to let the quilt drag on the floor, so I didn't have time to move the bin out of the way.  (Relatedly, I am excited to report that when I was last at the Workroom transferring my hard-earned money into Karyn's cash box, I found the large size Smart Plate, the ruler that I used for these kaleidos.  The small size makes blocks up to six inches, the size of these blocks in the current project; the large ruler makes blocks up to 12".  I posted about using the Smart Plate here, in case you want to know more.)
probably about 1/3 done
I've also been beetling away on my EPP diamonds, and I'm happy to report that I've gotten that sucker squared up, at last.  Well, perhaps rectangled-up is more accurate.
EPP diamonds coming along
It's great to have a hand-piecing project - this one is about 1/3 done, probably.  As it gets bigger, it's harder to handle, and I worry  a bit about the weight of it pulling on the stitches.
Also, in other news, I am thrilled to have my clock back from the repair shop.
This clock is a fixture of my childhood.  My grandfather worked for the Bureau of Mines in the US government and moved around a fair bit.  I remember where this clock was in all of their homes.  It came from his family home.  He was born in 1906, in Marion, Kentucky.  Every room in the house had a clock, and this clock was in on the mantel in the room where the boys would dress in front of the fire in the winter.  Well, it was with my mother after her parents passed, and now it is with me.  The clockmaker has had it for awhile, cleaning it and getting it up and running again.  When we wound it up and it started ticking, I became all weepy for days gone by - it has a lovely deep chime on the hour and a sweet feminine ding on the half hour.

Because I was so obsessed with the kaleido quilt, I was dilatory in announcing the winner of my Sew Mama Sew giveaway.  I was flabbergasted to receive 416 comments on the giveaway post, where I asked people to name their dream job.  I had a grand old time reading the comments, and there are some humdingers!  I thought you'd like to see what your fellow bloggers consider to be their dream jobs:

Full-time quilter/crafter
Quilt student/appraiser
Quilt/craft store owner
Chocolate taster
Lactation consultant
Baby cuddler
Food taster/food critic
Domestic oceanic observatory consultant (beach bum)
Paint swatch/lipstick/fabric/hair dye colour namer
Museum curator
Toy maker
Personal shopper
Lighthouse watcher
Bunny rescue
Corgi petter
Flight attendant
World traveler
Latin-speaking cephalopod worker (hmmm)
Dog snuggler/puppy cuddler
Caramel eater
Fashion designer
Long arm quilter
Blog surfer
Commercial Pattern Archive worker
Cookie taster
Adoption facilitator
Greeting card designer
Graphic designer
Diet Coke drinker
Textile anthropologist
Furniture maker
Recreational therapist
Sims3/ Bejeweled Blitz player
Bird watcher
Sewing machine repair person
Quilt/sewing teacher
Environmental planner
Whirlpool/spa tester
Ultrasound tech
On-line chatter
Advocacy worker
Hand model
Studio musician
Quality inspector at Four Seasons hotels
Worker against human trafficking
Giveaway follower
Horse trainer
Wine maker (in Italy, natch)
Dog resort owner
Newborn baby rocker
Shark/dolphin biologist
TV watcher
Kitten belly quality control manager
Taste-tester at Jolly Rancher factory
Tour guide at the Pyramids
Luxury beach resort tester
Ice sculptor
Caterer/party planner
Willy Wonka factory worker (not Oompa Loompa)
Cat petter
Boxer rescue (dog, not athlete)
Tea drinker
Alpaca raiser
Dog kisser 
Day dreamer
 The random number generator was pressed into service, and it returned K@ren's name, whose dream job is to have a fabric store.  This was a very common dream job, and I wish it would come true for all of you!  I was also captured by Sherri's dream job, which is to be a professional dog kisser.  The hours for that job match nicely with those required to be a professional napper, so I think I will take that up, as well.  So I'll drop a bonus couple of FQs into the mail for Sherri.  Thanks for playing, everyone, and a warm welcome to you new followers.  I didn't win anything from the giveaways I entered, but never mind - I am slowly making my way through the comments left on my giveaway post; finding new blogs to read and meeting new people is the biggest prize of all!


{ beth } on: 20 December 2010 at 11:24 said...

What a nice post!! I love your quilt projects and the update on your beautiful clock! Keep plugging away on those gorgeous quilts!

{ Stray Stitches (Linda G) } on: 20 December 2010 at 16:18 said...

The quilt tops your are working on are amazing!!

Congratulations to the winners!

{ Sewhappy } on: 20 December 2010 at 18:36 said...

Your Kaleido quilt is really pretty, I love how you did the pattern. I am amazed at the hand piecing, that has such an amazing collection of fabrics, great just to look at. I loved reading your post, have a merry christmas.

Anonymous on: 20 December 2010 at 21:46 said...

Your work is amazingly beautiful. I loved looking for fabrics I've used in your EPP diamonds piece.

Congrats to the winner!

{ elle } on: 21 December 2010 at 08:23 said...

Great job, Lesly. I like to chain piece but like you I often walk and sew and walk and so... Otherwise all sorts of strange things happen. And I also have memories of a clock chiming the hours. The two tops are lovely.

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