Friday, May 18, 2007


Lucy, my friend from Avon, donated some wonderful yellow fabric! I have cut squares and binding pieces for 50, count 'em, 50 blocks from the yellow! So springy like buttercups, or dandelions.

I will get those sewn up over the weekend to bring to my Minnesota Contemporary Quilter's meeting in Minneapolis Monday evening. This is such a wonderful group of artists! They always inspire me, and are always eager to help make knots. There is always great show and tell and lots of laughter at these meetings, you can't help but leave anxious to get home and try out the technique someone talked about, or the brianstorm of an idea that came up. You can check us out at .

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for helping!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Lost Mo Jo Found

So sorry for the long lapse. I have been under the weather in a pretty big way. Finally have energy to do more than just survive.

Now that I' m out from under the rock, I've got some catching up to do.

Thanks to everyone who has come on board and been working on the project!

Go check out Nellie's blog, Nellie's Needles . She displays her beatiful art quilts and, has been such a support in getting the word out, and getting folks to help. Thanks Nellie! Nellie is a big fan of the grommets, so it looks like at least portions of this project will be going metal!

Here is how I think we can make this work on a bunch of levels all at once. The troops are divided into sqauds, divisions, platoons, battalions, brigades, etc... this project can be divided into similar sections.

Bead chain and grommets are going to be spendy, so, maybe we can work in smaller squads and platoons as money is raised for this particular type of armor. When there isn't yet funding for the grommets, we can hang them from the safety pins.

Timeline - I would love to see this hang somewhere publicly for the anniversary of 9/11. That seems a little ambitious right now, but we could definitely have some sort of platoon, brigade, division amount done. We could even hang the smaller numbers in more than one location at the same time.

As soon as I get 100 or so blocks, and can get some good photographs taken, I can put some more concerted effort into finding venues. If any one has ideas, for places to display this, let me

I've had a couple questons about variations. Along with french knots, black seed beads are a fine alternative, and couching bead chain would be fine too. Someone has made made square spirals, someone else, stars and snowflakes. If we all stick with mostly black or metallic for the color I think some variety here and there is ok.


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Tutorial at Last!

Look! Pictures! This first one shows a 6" square each of backing, batting (any kind will do, I am even piecing my scraps together - butt 2 pieces of batting together and zig zag!), and a solid. Stack these into a sandwich with the solid fabric on top.
The second photo shows that sandwich, and the pieces of binding needed. From the same solid fabric as the 6" square, cut 2 each - 3 1/2 " x 6", and 3 1/2" x 7 1/2". (The samples on the left and bottom.) Fold each piece in half lengthwise, and press. (The samples on the top and right)

Place the raw edges of the 6" pieces on the edge of two sides of the 6" sandwich. Stitch 1/2" from the edge. I press binding away from the top of the sandwich, then I fold the binding onto the back of the sandwich and pin. Turn the sandwich over, and stitch 1/4" from the edge. (I have been using black thread for this. It saves from having to match thread to the solid color fabric and is consistent with the knots.)

It will look like this from the back,

and, like this from the front! If needed, trim the edges.

Center the 7 1/2" binding strips across the 2 remaining sides, and stitch 1/2" from the edge.
If you look closely you can see how the binding is turned in the next picture. So, just like with the other sides, you press the binding so it is away from the top of the square. This time, you will first turn the excess binding in towards the back of the quilt, over the edge of the first binding. This is kinda visible on the left side of the following picture.
Once the excess is folded in, you can fold the rest of it over like the other 2 sides. It takes a little practice, but you can do it! Now, stitch 1/4" from the edge with the black thread on top. Leave extra long tails at both ends of this top stitching. It's too bulky to back- stitch, so I pull the black thread to the back and tie each end off to secure it. I tried to show you that in the 2nd photo.

See the long tails for securing the threads?
I know this seems like a couple of extra steps for the binding, but this will give a little more stability t o the edges. They will be taking on some stress.
Now you are ready to make french knots! Or, some folks have elected to put seed beads on as a variation on the theme. It also occurred to me that if one wanted to count out 212 beads worth of bead chain, that could be couched on. Couching tutorial later if there is interest.
I have been putting my 212 knots on each block in a spiral starting at the center. After every 10 knots, I make a small stitch. This saves on alot of counting. Once I get closer to the outside and feel like I'm getting close to 212 knots, I can count the stitches by 10's. To start the spiral, I make a knot just a little off center, and make the next knot about 1/4" to the left, and again, and again, it's kind of a square at this point, so I make a concerted effort to make the fifth knot abit above and a bit out, and that is where the spiral begins. (I will try to remember a photo of the beginning knots). The spiral pattern is optional, I do it because it's easy for me to keep track of how many knots I've made and I like how it looks. If you figure out something else go for it, and share it withthe rest of us! **

Here are the first 12 blocks pinned together! I think that's enough for one post. Let me know what critical information I've forgotten!

**UPDATE!!! I have received a couple of blocks that have the knots in a peace symbol pattern. While I am ever so thankful for help, but, I do have a caveat. I want this piece to be more abstract, and allow each person viewing it to be free to feel and think whatever they need to feel and think without ideas being put in their heads. Any abstract design is fine for the knots or beads. Just nothing dogmatic. It's the dogma that I believe gets us into these nasty situations to begin with. I live in a big "red" bubble in a "blue" state. I have learned that whispering is sometimes louder than shouting.

I am going to keep the peace symbol blocks on my design board as my inspiration, because that is what this project means for me.

Not A Number One Draft Pick

It was as it should have been that I was always the last chosen for team sports. I am kind of clumsy, and don't like things thrown at my head. In my own defense, I did always try.

Now as an adult, I would be the last one you choose for your IT team. I have, finally, on the fourth attempt, installed my thing-a-ma-bob that willl read the photos from my camera's memory stick. I will perservere and figure this out.

Ok. Maybe I did just have the right brainstorm this time. Wrong again, but Imust be getting closer. I have to go to work. Will wrestle more with my PC tonight.