Posts Tagged ‘aliens’

The Blue Kangaroo and Other Loose Ends

February 3, 2011

So, in the end, I did use the kangaroo and palm tree fabric for the background of my kangaroo block. That informed my choice of critter fabric.

My friend Skippy

I tried using brown fabric, really I did, but none of my browns were quite right. But there was that blue-gray kangaroo on the background fabric, and I thought – why not? None of these fabrics individually says “fur” or “living creature” or even “large leaping thing” but put them together with a little embroidery floss and you have Skippy.

While looking for my embroidery floss, I first came across some of my silk ribbon embroidery supplies. I had been doing some research on holidays around this time of year (more on that later) and I ran across St. Bridget’s Day. One of the traditions is to set out a silk ribbon for her to bless. Since I have more projects than I can ever hope to finish, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to add St. Bridgit to my list of quilters celebrations.

The reason I was researching holidays is that February 2 is Ground Hog Day. It is my favorite holiday, mainly because you don’t have to do anything for it. There are no traditional foods, no gift obligations, no decorating guidelines. Whatever you do is good.

That’s sort of my quilting motto, too – whatever you do is good. Or can be good, if you’re patient. Which brings me to the alien blocks. I had another idea, which may or may not play nicely with the idea I had last week, but here is what I’ve got so far:

There may be more permutations before the quilt is finished. I suspect there will be many, many more – and that’s fine. Loose ends are my stock in trade.

Decisions, decisions

January 27, 2011

Today is Australia Day. I have no idea how the Australians celebrate, but I decided to draw a kangaroo.

There is more of a reason to draw a kangaroo than Australia Day. The Challenge Group assignment this time is to make an animal block that Gretchen Crozier will put together for a community quilt. I’m certain there are scads of patterns available for kangaroos, but I thought I would try making one myself. I bought the book in the picture – Animal Art – years ago. If you ever find a copy, snap it up. Even if you only do one bit of animal embroidery or applique a decade, it’s worth it.

I’m not certain how I’ll make the block yet, embroidery or applique, or perhaps a combination. I could even transform it into paper-piecing. If I choose not to do paper-piecing, I might use this for the background:

I also have decisions to make about Garden Variety Aliens. I finished the blocks, and realized I don’t have nearly enough tulip fabric to set them. Then I thought, why not arrange them to look like a flying saucer:

Imagine the ring as ribbon embroidery

Alas, there is no more time for quilting decisions today – it’s time to make decisions about dinner.

Alien Week

January 19, 2011

When Jan Steinhoff, Block of the Month coordinator for Amador Valley Quilters, announced that her husband thought the heart pattern she chose for February looked like an alien, was there any doubt I’d be buying a kit?

Find the eyes!

The alien face effect is subtle. If you aren’t looking at the block from just the right angle – or don’t have the proper mindset – you might miss it. So I decided to kick it up a notch.

Since the kit includes a gorgeous red and black tulip print, I looked in my collection for something similar. I found a pink and burgundy print and started looking for background fabric. After a few minutes, I dope-slapped myself. Why use the tulips for the alien face or eyes? Obviously, it should be the background and the quilt needs to be titled Garden Variety Aliens.

Which meant I had to make more than one face. Since the whole idea of using the heart pattern was to piece a simple face, that left the eyes. My first attempt used the same piecing as the original block, just one less:

Surprised alien

I had a good chuckle, but the effect wasn’t quite what I wanted so I made a woeful alien:

Woeful alien

Again, close but no cigar. The contrast for both attempts wasn’t quite strong enough. So, here is plan C:

Evil alien

I have three blocks of each of the three faces, and – yes – I intend to finish the quilt. And display it. Maybe in a show near you. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Oh, and let the UFO jokes begin.