Sunday 22 December 2013

Show & Tell: Colour Cards and Pixel Quilts

Since the arrival of my daughter and grandson in my home, my crafting and computing life has almost come to a screeching halt. They are staying in the room that was my office, so I'm sitting in the living room with my laptop in my lap. I've had to keep the door to my sewing room closed to prevent Damian's access to pins, needles, rotary cutters and other things dangerous to little people. Today, I will be relocating the sewing room to the basement so that he can have his own room and we can set the crib up. It is currently disassembled in the hallway. Life has been pretty busy with a little one in the house and I want to try and restore some order to the chaos.
The basement is by no means ready to become my sewing/crafting/office area. Living on my own, I have just allowed it to become a catch-all area and I'm going to have to sell/give away/throw away some items so I can have it more organized down there. The unfortunate thing is, while the walls are finished, the floors are still just bare concrete, so not exactly warm and cozy. And since my daughter and I are discussing the possibility of moving, I'm not sure if it's worth investing in any more improvements on the house, like flooring in the basement. We'll see. 
I got a little work done on one more potholder. :-) So I don't have much in the way of projects to share this week. Instead, I will share my colour cards. 
Some of you will remember that I enrolled in Craftsy's free course, Pictures to Pixel Quilts, in which I learned about Pic 2 Pat. This is a site where you can upload a picture and have it transposed into a cross stitch pattern. You can then use this cross stitch pattern to create a pixel quilt. I decided to use a picture of the Bluenose II for a pixel quilt for my youngest sister's 50th birthday in 2014. You can read my ramblings on this subject in my post, Random Quilting Inspiration. At that point, I hadn't yet solidified my decisions on Cindy's birthday quilt and was just toying with the idea. I have since decided to make the Bluenose II picture as big as the bedtop (actually a little bigger), with a double row of 9" squares alternating in these fabrics used for the border:

Of course, the pattern from Pic 2 Pat gives the colours in DMC embroidery floss, so somehow I had to choose what colours to use in fabrics. I had decided on Kona solids and had been trying to choose colours by opening two browser windows - one with the DMC floss colours and one with the Kona colours - to compare and choose. What a hassle that was, especially since the pattern created on Pic 2 Pat had 84 colours! I then decided that I needed to get colour cards for DMC floss and Kona solids. Here they are:
The Kona colour card actually comes with 1" squares of fabric, but the DMC is only images of the colours, which is kind of disappointing. I must admit that it's still challenging trying to compare the colours on the cards. It's not easy to get the colours close enough together to determine if they're the best match. I finally resorted to taking my Kona colour card into a Michael's Store and comparing it to the actual floss. My buddy Phil, who is sign painter and somewhat of a colour comparison expert, was there to assist me. Unfortunately, out of the 84 colours I need, they were out of stock of 25 of them. So I still need to choose matches for those 25. Then I will need to calculate how much I need of each colour. In the Pictures to Pixel Quilts course, the instructor suggests importing the pixelated picture into an Excel document. That might work for a much simpler picture with far fewer colours, but the Bluenose II is far too complicated for that, unless there's a much simpler way of doing it that I don't know about. So I will just have to count symbols in the pattern and calculate a 1-1/2" square (1" finished size) for each space in the pattern. I want to get this all done soon because Cindy's birthday is in March and this quilt is going to be a lot of work. 
Meanwhile, in response to this blog post, Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Thread sent me 6 beautiful spools of thread and these colour cards:
The top one is for the cotton Mako thread and the bottom is for the wool Lana thread. I was thrilled to get these. Since I live in a small rural town, I do a lot of my ordering online, so having colour cards makes my decisions easier. 
Sorry I'm getting my Linky Party up late today. Normally I write it Saturday night and schedule an automatic post for Sunday morning. But life has changed a lot in the last week, and last night, we had a movie and popcorn night, watched "White Christmas." 
Now it's your turn. I know it's countdown to Christmas and I'm sure everybody's busy, so if you have nothing to share, that's understandable.
Here's my button:

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