Monday, May 30, 2016

ATCs: A Face for the Radio

"A Face for the Radio. Don McNeill—The Breakfast Club"
by Bonnie Stevens
You may not know the face, but you definitely recognize the voice! So it goes with radio.

From Jack Benny at Old Time Radio to Jim Ladd of Sirius radio, Don McNeill's The Breakfast Club to music DJs like Casey Kasem and Wolfman Jack, Tom and Ray Magliozzi aka "Click and Clack," the hosts of NPR's Car Talk, to Dr. Demento and John Tesh, as you read the names, the voices are in your head and often spur various memories from both past and present.

The theme for the May FiberAntics ATC [Artist Trading Card] swap was "A Voice for the Radio." As you peruse this month's Artist Trading Cards, I'd like to share snippets from a note that accompanied the cards from one of our talented ATC artists... and take you for a delightful little stroll down Memory Lane.

"Jack Benny" by Dawn Spagna.
Put on your dancing shoes. Here we go:

"... when I was [a very little girl], my Aunt lived with us as both my father and uncle were serving in the Army.

Early in the morning, while my mother was busy in the kitchen, my aunt sat at the dining room table, dunking her toast in her coffee, smoking a cigarette, and listening to The Breakfast Club on the round-topped brown radio.

One regular feature of the show was when Don McNeill had everyone stand up and march around the breakfast table. 
"Radio Personalities: Casey Kasem" The voice of Shaggy, Scooby Doo's best friend.
by Debbie Joyner
My aunt encouraged me to get up and dance around the dining room table also, and we both laughed and sang along with the music. It was a happy way to start the day.
"Wolfman Jack" by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
Our radio sat on the kitchen counter and had hot pot holders lying on the top. Therefore, when anyone asked, "What's on the radio tonight?" the answer was usually "Pot holders!"
"Dr. Demento" by Diane Pineschi
For this month's theme, I had fun looking up radio personalities. Since my youth was spent before we ever got a television set, the radio was the standard form of entertainment in our household. I even remember when we got our first radio with FM—a huge floor model cabinet with doors in the front to reveal the dials and radio bands of AM and FM.
"Car Talk" by Cathy Dillon
I huddled in front of it listening to Jack Benny, and Fibber McGee & Molly, until my mother told me it was bedtime.
"A Face for the Radio: John Tesh" by Karen Downer
Then she could listen to her beloved classical music on FM radio.

Other Chicago radio personalities that I remember are Roy Leonard and Bob Collins. Thanks, Veronica, for this month's [ATC] theme. I have reminisced and enjoyed the memories."
"A Face Born for Radio: Jim Ladd" by Marilyn League
Thank you, Bonnie, for your lovely and heart-warming story! I hope everyone has similar memories that bring a smile to their face.

If my blog readers would like to share a story or memory about the "Faces" or "Voices" from the radio, please leave it in the Comments below. We'd love to *listen* to them!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

57 Glorious Hexagons by Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! The latest count on my EPP [English Paper Piecing] Glorious Hexagons collection is now at 57. Here are the latest block additions using fabrics from Blank Quilting and StudioE.
From the Bugaboo collection, a Peter Max psychedelic style print.
Selective diamond cuts from Cheeky Pumpkins [TD-K Signature] and Essentials by StudioE
surrounded by a lime green Splash blender [Blank Quilting].
Hoot Loves You owls surround this black and white kitty from A Cat's Tale
by Sarah Frederking for StudioE Fabrics.
Black/white bicycles by Blank Quilting run the perimeter of this #13 Judy block.
A Sumatra batik and a Splash blender from Blank Quilting make up this #10 Kelley block.
A bumble bee print from Honey Berries by Jenelle Kent for Blank Quilting
and a coordinating Splash blender.
See what hexagons my friends are working on over at the Blank Quilting Q-bies and StudioE Fabrics Q-bies Facebook groups. I've seen some patriotic blocks to commemorate Memorial Day. I'll be digging through my stash to get out the stars and stripes so I can EPP a R-W-B hexie, too.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

5 tips for organizing your Glorious Hexagons

Numbered tabs make it easy to find the correct page.
We're into month #5 of the Glorious Hexagons Quilt Along from Paper Pieces and there has been loads of hexie inspiration over at the Q-bies and other Facebook groups. Have you caught the hexie wave yet?

With each month comes a new packet of paper template of various shapes and sizes. It can be overwhelming! Here are some tips that help me stay organized.

1. I use Post-It notes to create tabs in my guide book, The New Hexagon book by Katja Marek. Numbers on the Post-Its correspond with the blocks that will be made with the paper pieces for the month. These tabs help me quickly flip to the page with the hexagon pattern. (BTW, when Katja signed my book—with the numbered Post-it tabs protruding from the pages—she remarked that this was a cool idea.)

2. Most quilters have several projects going all the time—each in a different stage. The same situation applies to my hexagons.
      Sometimes I like to fussy cut the fabric.
      Sometimes I am basting the pieces.
      Sometimes, assembling blocks.
To keep the pieces organized, I use clear, plastic zip-lock sandwich baggies.
Plastic sandwich bags keep hexie bits organized.
A baggie might contain a bunch of fussy cut fabric pieces, ready for basting.
A baggie of fussy cut fabric pieces.
Or it can contain all the bits for a single block... like this #47 Janet block made with a fabric line called Cheeky Pumpkins.
Diamond and triangle bits for #47 Janet block.
Here's a baggie with butterflies and kitty hexagons for a #13 Judy block.
Butterflies and a kitty cat for #13 Judy block.
Or a baggie can contain a single shape—like 1" hexagons, or diamonds—that are in the basting stages.
Paper pieces, fussy-cut fabrics and basted hexie bits.
3. I have one larger zip-lock bag with my hexie making tools: a spool of basting thread, my 80 wt. bobbins of Decobob Thread for hand piecing, a pencil, scissors and thread conditioner. See my post, "8 essential tools for English paper piecing" for details.
Tools for making hexagons.
A second large plastic bag holds my completed hexagons.
Completed hexagons.
4. Keep all your Glorious Hexagon acrylic templates in the plastic zippered pouch they came in! In other words, "put your toys back where you found them!" as your mother used to say. Why? Because the acrylic templates are clear and difficult to locate if you toss them in the baggies with your fabric pieces or your works-in-progress. And when you have multiple blocks that require the same template... you think you can easily and quickly lay your hands on the baggie it's in? Not! So don't think you'll save yourself some time. (And don't ask me how I know this.) 

Just put all the acrylics back into the original bag. You get the gist... (And, yes, your mom was right!)
Keep acrylic templates together in their plastic bag.
5. And finally, a canvas tote bag keeps all the large and small plastic baggies together for easy grab-and-go.
You can't have too many tote bags.
Do you have tips for keeping organized on your Glorious Hexagon journey? Leave me a Comment. I'd like to hear your ideas!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cinco de Mayo Hexagons

I'm a fan of the Thursday evening Shonda Rhimes TV line-up. It gives me a chance to work on Glorious Hexagons. Here are 5 of the large, single-fabric 3-inch hexagons. These are quick and easy to work up. Makes ya feel like you've accomplished a lot.
3-inch hexagons for my Glorious Hexagons Quilt Along.
Clockwise from top left: Peppermint Penguins (by StudioE), swirls (by Blank Quilting),
Modern Mixers II, Hugs and Kisses and Happy Camper (all by StudioE).
Five hexies for Cinco de Mayo. Muy Bueno!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

48 Glorious Hexagons and counting

May the Fourth be with You and your Glorious Hexagons!
(Couldn't let this day slip away without a blog post.)
48 completed hexagons in the Glorious Hexagon Quilt Along.
I'm celebrating May the Fourth with 48 completed hexagons from the Glorious Hexagons Quilt Along but I also have several little baggies of bits and pieces of more blocks awaiting assembly.

I and five friends are working through the Quilt Along. I started at the end of January (this year) and work on my blocks from time to time. Here are a few of my favorite blocks so far.
#9 Doris block. 
The blocks with the holiday fabrics are fun and make me smile. Love the Kitty Kats above and Cheeky Pumpkins below.
3" hexagon with Cheeky Pumpkins
 The #13 Judy layout seems to be a favorite. Hedgehogs are from Gentle Forest.
#13 Judy block.
This one reminds me of Jesse the Wonder Cat, the orange kitty mascot at the Cat Clinic of Chattanooga.
#13 Judy block.
And this kitty [from A Cat Tale by Sarah Frederking] likes the butterflies from the Sunshine Day line.
#13 Judy block.
GeoFlow has bold colors and stylized and geometric motifs. I have more bits from this fabric cut for future blocks.
#13 Judy block.
The next two are from the same fabric line, Luminosity.
#13 Judy block.

#35 Sharon block.
 Love the shoes in this one! Fabric is from a fabric line called Lady Claire.
#51 Joyce block.
 And of course, my Yuki dog block. Love that big fuzzy dog.
#36 Elly block.
Do you have a favorite? There are other really good ones posted in different Facebook groups. And I will have more to come on my FiberAntics blog.
48 hexagons... and counting.
May the Force be with you in your hexie making!
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