Slow sewing period

There has not been much sewing going on around here. I got a panel done for quilt as you go with my friend’s strips. Only 8 or so more for a full quilt…but it’s a project that only gets worked on when I have a bit of extra time…or can’t seem to get started on something new!

I’m taking a class so I had to get ready for that. I’m always so indecisive for that because no matter what I bring, it’s never what I want to work with when I get there!!! And next week I’m teaching in Kokomo, so there is some prep work to be done there.  Normal grandson night tomorrow night and soccer Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I’ll miss the soccer because it’s Quilt Guild Day AND a bridal shower. Doctor appt. rounded out the week and I’m looking forward to the long ride to Kokomo just for the time to do nothing!

Had some carpet inspiration last week. Looking forward to doing some stamping that might look a bit like this.

And TODAY–woo hoo–I had my KEQ group meeting. We brought our pie challenge pieces and it turned out pretty darn good!

Hope my phone camera skills get better–this is just a bit fuzzy. Mary Lee didn’t make it to the last meeting so she brought her weaving piece this time, along with a quilt she did with reverse applique circles.

And big news–both Trish and Julia won ribbons at the Sauder Quilt Show! Lots of ribbons! We are so proud of them…but I forgot about pictures until the quilts were back out in the car.  They do beautiful work.

Next meeting we will be making stamps. I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a while and just have not made the time for it. It’s long past time and I’m so glad the group is helping me out with time dedicated to stamp making! Hooray!

 

All about bead options

Thinking about the next steps on current projects and looking at my bead options…it’s hard to decide!

This turquoise and gray piece is high on my list of “want-to-get-finished” pieces, but I can’t seem to narrow down my options. Maybe that just means I haven’t found the right one yet!

Big circles–fit the theme, but that’s about it.

Two colors, arc and straight line–still lacking.

Big circles and piles of turquoise above the horizontal bar….

Turquoise below the bar…

None of the combinations I’ve tried–and there are combos that I haven’t shown you–strike that ‘just right’ feeling with me. I have to find more or different or a better combination before I start the beading on this one.

So I moved on to the next one. I’ve started beading this one, with tiny beads meant to solidify the design a bit.

You can’t even tell there are beads on it, they are so small!

I think some wilder additions are called for, rather than tiny/same to tame the design!

Can’t say I don’t have plenty from which to choose. It’s the choice making that I need help with. Usually lots of time and concentrating on what I am doing will solve my issues, so I need to listen to my own advice and get concentrating!

Hope some inspiration flies in the window for me, too!

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!

 

Uh-oh…trouble at the corners!

When I mounted the embroidery that I thought was finished, it did not lay nice and flat on the canvas. I was afraid that, even though I spread it out nicely, it would wrinkle up as the glue dried. Guess what? Unfortunately, I was correct. Damn!

I think you can see that, even in this low resolution photo. As you are reading this, the piece has been removed from the canvas—and who knew that that was so easy to do?!–and has had a layer of batting and layer of wool added. I will be doing more stitching on it. I have also decided that it will not be mounted on canvas, but will have a hanger of some kind added and be a flat wall hanging. At least, that’s the plan right now! You know that these things have a fluid decision life!

As I fiddled with this, another unfinished project came to light. My class with Frieda Anderson produced this piece and it needed to be quilted and finished.

I had almost forgotten how to quilt anything but straight lines!

And now I have one finished project for this month, anyway!

Wacky Quilters group is up next this week and we will be exploring working in a series. Who knows what I’ll come home with from this group, but I surely know that I will enjoy whatever we do!

Scrap strip QAYG

After talking to my friend Sue about her plans to sew up her late sister’s stash, I was inspired to put my money where my mouth is and sew up some of my own scraps! (FYI, local people–we will be working on making charity quilts from Sue and her sister Kathy’s fabric on Saturday, April 22. Email me if you would like more info!)

I thought making things Quilt As You Go would be a super fast way to use a lot of fabric and have things quilted and pieced at the same time.

My plan was to make a baby quilt out of the pile of bright scraps that I had culled from my stash. Do I need to tell you that I have more fabric than I thought I did? More about that dilemna later…So, you start with a chunk of backing fabric, which for me was a yard of a stripe. I cut it into three strips, width of fabric, each about 12″ wide. On top of each strip I placed a corresponding strip of batting and then proceeded to sew and flip scrap strips at an angle across the strip. As you can see, the strips don’t have to be the same width at all, either.

 

I started in the middle of each strip and kept adding out from each side until the backing was covered. Here’s what my first two strips looked like.

And you can see that they are quilted when you look at the back.

They don’t always have to be placed on an angle, of course. They can be straight across, which means the strips can be a few inches shorter.

Before and after trimming…just trim along the edge if you started with a nice, straight piece, or trim to a size you want.

I’m not going to give you the QAYG instructions here, but I’ll give you the link to the master of the easy QAYG!

http://www.thequiltingedge.com/p/tutorials.html

Now I have a small quilt, about 34 x 40. I could simply bind it and pass it along to the next person who needs a baby quilt. OR I could continue to use up the pile of bright scraps that never seems to get any smaller! This method allows me to add more sections, or borders, or even insert a section down the middle, as long as I want to continue. You may be able to see that I added some additional quilting down the length of each strip and I may add even a bit more, because I like a lot of quilting. However, it has sufficient stitching in the construction that it really doesn’t need any more.

This took me one afternoon to make, so that you have an idea of how quickly this goes. I hope we can make a huge dent in the fabric that Sue has…I’m sure Kathy would approve of using her stash this way!

What a good day!

I finished the quilting on the orange and white quilt. That was a good thing. And THEN…

I got the binding done on the orange and white AND the triangle quilt!

Of course I do my binding all by machine, but it was still a good feeling to get both quilts finished!

Took a quick look at the pile of scraps I had on the table before the retreat weekend and I think I’ll go ahead and work on a quilt using them up.

Here’s the start—

Not too exciting, is it? There will be lots more next time! Quilt as you go, strippy scraps, bright colors…how much fun can I handle?!!!

What a weekend!

For the first time in several years, I went to a quilt retreat and it was wonderful! All the women are in my Creative Seasons art group and I could not have spent time with a better group of people. Supportive and helpful and complimentary and critical–in the best possible way!

And I got SO much done. I only brought two quilts with me, planning on concentrating on that one simple task. It worked out well, except for my tired shoulders…

This picture doesn’t even show the quilting, but I got it finished.

It’s a fun little quilt, used a lot of scraps and played Sunshine and Shadows as I hoped it would. Here’s a detail.

I will be the first to tell you that the quilting itself is not particularly good in this quilt. I had some thread issues and changed my plan and I decided that done was better than perfect for a little couch throw!

Most of the quilting got done on this even smaller couch quilt, too. I’m taking a bit more time with it and trying to do a better job, because it might not end up on MY couch. Spiral shape fillers in the big X’s and then I wracked my brain trying to figure out how I should quilt the rest. Finally put some big O’s in the blank spaces, filled those with pebble stitching and then I’m filling the rest of the background with free form rows of X’s.

And then I came home to a fantastic change! My son came over and changed the failing flourescent fixtures in my studio. As messy and disorganized as this section is–I can pretend that it got that way when I moved stuff in order for him to work, but we all know better than that!–I am totally thrilled to take this picture with the light on!!!

I haven’t had a light in this section for at least a year, and now I have plenty of light (to see to clean by?). My whole studio is bathed in great light now and I smile HUGELY every time I walk down the stairs. Can’t wait to get down there and get to work!

Thanks, Greg. Great job!