Sew Day

Saturday was a sewing bee to use up the stash of our friend Kathy Sheldon, making quilts for charity. She would have had so much fun with us, so we enjoyed ourselves as much as possible using her fabric!

There were a number of people sewing, some cutting, some pressing and people came and went so I’m not sure of any totals.

Sue Gilmore, Kathy’s sister, got things set up and rolling.

We acted goofy when Jim tried to take a group picture!

Sue and Kathy’s relatives came in from the west side of the state, too!

Everything was done quilt as you go, with a table in front to show us how to do several strip piecing options.

As a block was finished, we rang the bell and counted the blocks. We finished enough blocks for two quilts and got started on a third!

And of course we had food!

My job became the ‘assembler’ since I know a very easy way to put those blocks together, thanks to Mari at The Quilting Edge. Here’s a link to the tutorial http://www.thequiltingedge.com/p/tutorials.html

Sue hopes to organize another sew day soon, but my calendar is pretty full and I’m not sure I’d make it. However, I’ll fill the gap by taking care of the ‘homework’–pretty appropriate since Kathy was a teacher!

You know how I just said the other day that I’m tired of working with scraps? Somehow it’s different and okay to be working with someone else’s scraps and making quilts for charity!

Friday roundup

Fridays are not usually too productive for me. I’m often prepping for something going on during the weekend. And we pick up the grandson at 3:30, so if I’m going to do anything I’ve got to get right at it. Today I kind of reviewed what this week brought and by the time this is posted, I should be looking forward to a nap!

I’m working on that embroidery piece, adding stitching to make it acceptable looking to me.

It’s getting there.

Yesterday was KEQ and we were doing a ‘fusey thing.’ Trying to explore the idea of working in a series, we made small fused pieces. Since we’re planning on putting these in an exhibit this fall, we decided on a mutual theme, rather than color or shape or common fabric. We aren’t very good at following rules, so we selected a loose theme of Buildings.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Here is my 4 piece series, so far.

I have an idea to put another layer of design over the top of this, with thread sketching. We’ll have to see how that goes.

USArtquest was having a big warehouse sale and even though I need NOTHING, I had to go check it out. I scored, but not in the typical way! Found these vintage linens and fell in love with them.

 

Don’t know how they’ll be used, but when has that ever stopped any of us from building our supply palette!!!

Grandson soccer in the morning then charity sewing in the afternoon. Right now I’m glad that my Sunday class had to be cancelled. I’ll be ready for a rest!

 

Itty bitty steps

Projects sometimes don’t get done very quickly around here. I have a tendency to procrastinate and waste time, looking at stuff on the computer or reading and sometimes napping! All I accomplished all day is putting the binding on that scrappy baby quilt.

It looks cute with the orange binding and a little more quilting.

I put an edging on the small embroidered piece that I showed last time. I took this picture before I glued it to the canvas…just in case I mess it up!

That’s the sum total of my accomplishments for today. Yawn…maybe I’ll get a nap in, too!

Discovering UFO’s

Our Creative Seasons art quilt group celebrated 10 years together this week. We were supposed to bring in any UFO’s that were that old or older. Very interesting to see what everyone brought. And I was very interested to see what I had on my shelves! I hung up the ones that I think I might finish someday!!!

There were more than a few that I will absolutely never finish, and those are going to the charity quilt table at the guild.¬† I will never, ever finish these, but there were not as many as I thought. I feel guilty about putting them on the charity quilt table without finishing them for charity, but I just cannot get motivated to even start on these particular tops! Someone else may really like them…hey! It could happen!

I even found one that I have absolutely NO memory of ever making! I know I made it, because it’s all from fabrics that I had and used, but any conscious thoughts of making it? Nope!

These two were mystery quilts, made at retreats. I had fun making them, but whenever you make a mystery quilt, your fabric choices are not always the best fit for the eventual result.

These next two were a pattern I was teaching at the quilt store. I didn’t like the first one, so I made the second and I like it much better. The first one is large enough for a charity quilt and the second one may make it to a shelf in my closet!

This top was one of the first ones I made when I started doing improv and curved seams. When I got it on the wall, it was quite different than I remembered it! I do still like it, and it may get finished this summer.

I’ve pretty much always been a fan of pink, and this next one is really pink!

I even have the binding made for this one, as well as some others!

To get to the shelf that all these UFO’s were ‘marinating’ on, I had to move the box of unsorted scraps. I have regular scrap bins, sorted by color, but somehow the unsorted box stays just as full as can be! Well, whenever I touch that box, it seems that the elements of another quilt jump out. This time it was bright scraps from many children’s quilts made over the years.

Sigh! Whenever this happens, I feel COMPELLED to get a top made. Hope that box gets emptied someday soon!

Dots and decisions

This what I posted on Facebook earlier today:
I’m thinking of drawing out an idea and actually making templates for the construction…should I go to all that work or stick with my improv and maybe have raw edges and extra texture? I can visualize it both ways. Or maybe I should DO it both ways…so much work!

I couldn’t wait, so I went down, did a quick, rough sketch and started cutting fabric! I picked a background and laid out the design I sketched. I like it!

I didn’t take a picture while I had it on the design wall with the background. It’s pinned together now and I have to decide on my construction method…fusible, glue baste, pin, pin, pin, raw edge, finished with applique or satin stitch…This will sit for a bit while my little brain works through those decisions.

But there were SCRAPS! I do well with scraps because if it’s messed up, so what? It’s only scraps!

Two pieces for the background–

Add the circle cut out from the first project–

And then add a few leftover strips–

Same finishing decisions as the previous project, but this is fun! I’m so happy when I’m using up these little chunks of fabric. Looking forward to some embroidery, I believe, before these are done.

Aaaaah…’making’ again!

Walk away from the cutter…

Started with a blank design wall again today. This is nice! Sooooo…I have a lot of polka dot fabrics and I’ve always thought I wanted to make a polka dot quilt. I started pulling all my dots from the various colorways. FYI–my stash is mostly sorted by color.

Not surprisingly, I have more oranges than any other color.

Aren’t they cute? And they could all live together in one quilt.

But then there are these darker, more conservative reds, and a pile of things that don’t go with anything else.

And these lighter coordinates…

I love all these greens, too.

I purposely eliminated anything that was strictly black and white, but these dots are all in that same family.

Of course there are other things that come to light when you are looking through the stash. I had this stack that was intended to go together into something at some point in the past.

It looks like I even started to put some strips together.

What an eye-gouging mess!!! This may have been when I discovered that if you have a busy print like these are, it needs to be used in big chunks, with some breathing room. I’ll be working on that soon, but it was a bit much for today!

I decided on the softer grays and laid out my pieces and as I was about to make a cut…I just could NOT cut into the fabric.

I laid it all out again and looked and looked and the right combination of ideas simply would not align themselves in my head.

That’s when it’s time to walk away from the cutting table and go think for awhile! That may mean that when I come back to it, I may end up working on something entirely different!

Thinking time….

All the choices!

Yesterday I had a clean slate on the design wall and time to play. I thought I’d start some big new art project¬† or at least transform an old project into some cool new art piece. I looked through piles of stuff that had been sitting on the shelves.

Selected a queen size top to get ready for basting and decided that it could wait until warm weather. Then I can set up several tables in the garage, spread the thing out and make it easy on myself. Went through all the other tops in that stack–nothing spoke to me, but I don’t have as many waiting as I thought–only 8 or 9, not the 17 I thought were there! I guess I have managed to reduce the stack a bit over the years. I have sent a few out to longarmers!

On another shelf, packed neatly away in it’s own little bag, with all the extra fabric, was a quilt I had started in a workshop. I liked the fabric quite a bit, but never quite got back to finish it. By the time I got everything out of the bag and looked it over, I figured I might as well make it a useful size and at least add it to the stack waiting to be quilted!

As I looked over the parts, I remembered part of the reason I packed it away. It was one of those mystery patterns, and you put squares over the end of the rectangle and sewed it and trimmed it to make the triangle at the end…and I did that with the wrong fabrics right at the start. I hate the wastefulness of that, but I did it–and with the right fabrics–and got the thing put together.

I spent most of the afternoon putting together those little cut off triangles because I couldn’t stand to throw them away! They were mostly a little bit different in sizes but I persevered and got them together well enough to use for a little border.

It was frustrating at first, but after a while I slowed down, let go of the frustration and it became a relaxing, repetitive exercise.

And I’m going to use those blue and blue ‘wrong’ rectangles for another border. It will simply read as blue and it will be fine.

And I will be happy because I’m using up that wasted fabric, the top will be a good sized throw and one more project will be out of it’s bag and on it’s way to a useful life!

Not what I thought I’d be doing at all, but simple and relaxing are often the best things for you, in spite of yourself!