>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A momentary break from the usual crafts for a public service announcement: There is a scam going around in which "grandchildren" call their grandparents asking for money quickly. My grandmother was just duped out of $3600 because someone claiming to be my cousin said she was in a car accident and needed money so that no one would need to know. Obviously there are holes in this story, but these scammers prey on older people who are ready to help their grandchildren. Read an AARP release here.

So please warn your grandparents or older people you know to pause if they get one of these calls. They should call the family member directly to see if that person needs help -- in other words, call the person back at their known phone number. In addition, report the call to the police; if they grab the number from caller ID, all the better. Finally if you or someone you know works at a place that sells money orders or does wire transfers, ask them to warn people. They may be able to stop this scam by asking their customer if they have simply called the grandchild back. If they recommend making the call and waiting for a call back, they could spare many grandparents from being scammed.


Lego Chuppah, Part II

>> Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today pictures are uploading, so I'll try friends Jen and Claire created the above image as their vision for their chuppah and left it to me to translate it into a quilt.

After printing a copy of the design, I first traced it onto graph paper so I could figure out proportions and begin to think through how to cut and sew the fabric.

I took the picture above when I was in the middle of sewing. The writing beneath the image charts the size of each "lego piece" and the blue indicates sections I had already sewn. I broke the lego chain into smaller units in order to figure out how to piece it together. A more experienced quilter would probably have been able to figure out how to strip piece some of the blocks, but I stuck with the tried, true, and longer method of cutting out individual pieces and chain sewing them together.

I purposefully worked on the lego sections, which effectively serve as borders, first because I knew they would be more complicated and take more time than the middle. I made a few errors along the way, sewing pieces together incorrectly, but nothing was unfixable.

I ended up with 4 sections about 50 inches long, which was perfect for a chuppah that I wanted to be around 60 inches by 60 inches. (Again, more experienced folks would be able to ensure that their end quilt was precisely the size they intended it to be. In my case, being within a couple inches on a quilt pattern I've never made before, seems perfectly acceptable to me.)

When Jen, Claire, and I talked, they noted that while their design used an array of colors, they didn't want the chuppah to actually resemble the red, blue, green, and yellow legos of childhood fun. We agree that "cool" colors -- blues, purples, and greens -- would constitute the pieces, and I rummaged through my stash of fabric to find a wide variety of patterns to use. There are some fabrics that I only used once and others that I used multiple times. Given that most pieces were between 1x1.5 and 2.5x2.5, I would have felt I was wasting fabric if I had only cut one piece from most of them.

The middle of the quilt, per the design, is all white. In order to ensure the quilt would hang together and look like more than a white sheet with some fancy borders, I used 2 different white-on-white fabrics for the center snail's trail pattern. The center is one huge snail's trail block, which I like for this chuppah because it conveys the sense of intertwined lives. Here are some close-ups:

I may or may not post full pictures of the chuppah before the wedding -- it will depend on whether Jen and Claire want to see it ahead of time or not. But rest assured, I will post pictures of the chuppah in its entirety as well as it being used.

Edited to add: see pictures of the entire chuppah here and here.


Lego Chuppah, Part I

>> Monday, August 18, 2008

I've (finally) buckled down and made a lot of progress on Jen and Claire's chuppah. They created the design, which they call "the lego chuppah." I would show you a picture of their design if blogspot was working, but for some reason it will not allow me to upload any photos right now. I'll try again in the morning.

Suffice it to say that with three weeks left, I moved from very little progress to almost done (just need to bind the quilt) pretty quickly. As the term "lego chuppah" might suggest, this quilt involved a lot of little pieces of fabric. It's not my usual MO, but it's great to try new designs. I had a moment of massive uncertainty about this working out, but per usual, that feeling subsided and, now that the little pieces are all connected together, I can safely say that I think it's a pretty damn fine piece of work. This chuppah also has a ton of white fabric which is new for me -- nothing really different about the fabric except the more constant concern about markers magically losing their caps and staining it. Knock on wood, the white has been and will remain safe.

Let's hope the insert photos function actually works tomorrow so I can share some pictures.

Go here for part II and here for part III (both of which have pictures).



>> Saturday, August 9, 2008

I know it's been a while since I posted....moving will do that to you. I'm (finally) mostly moved in and started drafting a design for a new chuppah. Hopefully I'll cut the pieces tomorrow and start sewing such that I have something to show for it soon.

Thank you to those who have emailed me, and I hope most of you are figuring out the comments section which I know was a little messed up for a while. I believe its fixed now, so please comment away if you wish.


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