When it snows…

Winter in Michigan usually has a lot of snow. Not so much last year, but we have started out pretty heavy for this year.

And it’s still snowing! How could I resist the opportunity to do a little snow dyeing? Especially since I just got a few new dyes to try out. Now snow usually gives you a softer effect than ice dyeing and the snow today was very soft and fine. Can’t wait to see how these turn out.

So what do you do while you are waiting for the snow to melt? High on the priority list was a nap…not because I needed one, but because I could! Laziness rules on cold, snowy days!

I spotted these circles on the table and thought about trying to do something with them.

They have been out before, but every time I look at them all I can think is ‘cliche’ so they went back into hiding.

So then I took the opportunity to get another quilt off the UFO pile and get it ready to quilt. I had actually forgotten that I made it…and I like it! My hubby needs a new quilt for the recliner—and his naps!–so this one is ready to quilt now.

And now the snow is melted and the fabrics are ready to rinse out–hooray!

Usually I leave them overnight, but not this time! I’m too impatient to wait tonight. Stay tuned for the results.

 

 

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Getting there…

Finished the quilting on the scrap quilt project…simple stitching makes things go so much more quickly!

All I had time for today was to trim it and to make the binding.

Now the binding  is a story in itself. The extra squares that I had and added to this workshop project were all made from years of extra pieces of binding. I’ve made straight grain binding for a lot of years, so it was easy to piece it together and cut those squares. And there is literally every single color there is to be found somewhere in this quilt. I’m not a perfectionist and don’t measure closely when I make the binding. As long as there is plenty enough to go around, it’s good.

As you can see from the picture, that philosophy held true yet again. I have no idea how much binding there is, but it’s a big pile! I grabbed pieces of fabric that I wanted to use up and have gone, mostly green, and it’s ready to use.

However, I will probably be starting another pile of leftover binding strips…sigh! Scraps continue to increase, no matter how hard you try to use them up!

Quick Update

In case you don’t follow me on Instagram (quirksltd) or FB, here’s an update. I quit procrastinating and started the quilt that was actually all ready to go!

I got the entire middle section of it done–the part that would have been the art quilt from Joe Cunningham’s workshop.

 

However, since I decided to use up some other blocks that I had made from scraps, it is now bed quilt size. The blocks were already made, they went with the part from class—what else could I have done?  But I do have a bit more to get quilted now!

Looking forward to Monday, which is the next day that I have available to work on it. If the borders go as quickly as the middle, it could be done. And that is my whole goal right now–finish, finish, finish!

Assessment Time

I’ve been a bit under the weather with a cold, so I haven’t really felt like starting a new project right now. But having finished the purple and red projects, I thought this might be a good time to take a look at my UFO pile–maybe with an eye to elimination of some of them. Very unlikely that I will throw away a quilt top, but I could easily pass it on to my guild for a charity quilt. And, yes, I will feel guilty about not finishing it myself for our charity, but sometimes you simply cannot embrace a project enough to finish it!

I have pics of lots of UFO’s—that are still UFO’s! Most are samples for classes when I was teaching other people’s designs, so they are pretty old. I’ve been doing only my own thing for at least 8 years now, so they are at least that ancient!

This is one of the first improv-originals that I started with.

There are some like the one below that may actually see the inside of a waste basket…or maybe it’s another one that I can pass on to someone who loves purple!

This one is less than a year old and ready to quilt….and sits in the pile, neglected.

And that’s just completed tops!

There are more and this time I am trying to be very realistic in my assessments. If I truly cannot see myself finishing them, I need to unburden myself. There is at least one that I really love and yet…it sits. That is a prime candidate for ‘quilting by check.’

And in the back of my mind, there are two new project ideas swirling around. They are pressing to become priorities, but I’m trying to hold back. Soooooo much UFO guilt that I need to get rid of…………………………………………..sigh!

 

Red houses–essentially done!

When you finish up the quilting with the last spool of thread like this…

…you know that you are having a good day!!!

I’m certainly ready for this project to be finished and all I need is to decide on the binding and get it done. Probably traditional binding, in the dark blue.

What lessons did I learn from this piece and the way in which I constructed it? First, if there is going to be hand stitching involved, don’t build your piece on lightweight interfacing. It’s not strong enough to stand up to all that folding and handling. Better to build on a fabric foundation. Second, if you want to have lots of loose, raw edges, think carefully before you start quilting and quilt in the direction of the edges!

It was a fun project, done in a different way and I like the way it turned out. That’s the absolute best I can expect and now it’s on to something new….or old! I have quite a few quilts that need to be quilted and finished and off my to-do pile. It’s time to turn my attention to those and get them done! I think that pile has 17 bed size quilt tops on it, so we’ll see how far my resolve goes!

Look at the back!

Most of the time when you make a textile piece, you have a top layer, something in the middle like batting or felt and a backing. I’m not a typical maker, but I do that a great deal of the time.

On my red houses, I went in a bit of a different direction, right from the start. My background and houses were ‘made’ fabric, from fabric scrap strips. One was made on fusible and one was made using lightweight interfacing as a base. I added hand stitching to those two layers, through a layer of batting. I always planned on cutting away the batting around the houses to have that extra layer only there.

When I was adding the embroidery, I noticed that my background had split a bit through that light interfacing.

That’s the DISadvantage of working with lightweight products, but when hand stitching is involved, it’s worth it to have fewer layers to sew through. And it’s an easy fix, in this case. Simply line things up again and slap on another piece of the interfacing!

So now it’s trimmed and ready for the next step. I will be adding buttons to this one, on the houses, but my decison area now is whether I want to do that through the layer of felt that I will be quilting on, or do it before the quilting. Sometimes the embellishments can get caught on the quilting foot, or get in the way, but I don’t think that will happen with this one. My inclination is to quilt this one first, but my time for today is up so I’ll keep thinking about it.

I did manage to get some machine stitching done on this piece and it’s ready for beads.

I dumped out most of the tube of beads on the piece and just drew a line with them. I really like how this looks and think I’ll pretty much sewn ’em down along this line.

I never mind having more than one project going on at a time. I can go back and forth between them as I ponder the next steps of each.

Hoping to get some stitching done on these a little bit at a time, whenever there is a break from the hustle and bustle of holiday prep.

New projects, new decisions

Yes, I’m ready to start some new projects, but as I looked at my design wall, I felt that this one may not be quite done.

Seems I didn’t post a picture after I fringed the edges, but now I’m considering adding the extra pieces  along the bottom. Don’t know–have to look at it a few times before I decide, but I always welcome your opinions!

When I went to the store to get more water soluble stabilizer, I couldn’t remember which ‘strength’ I had used on my string projects.

Turns out I got a different one, so the next string project will be another experiment! The Super Solvy was very thick and it will be interesting to see if the ‘plain’ Solvy will stand up to my stitching. I’m betting that it will, and I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, I want to make something with the wider string scraps that I have, and probably I’ll start with the neutrals again.

Unpressed and needing some trimming

Pressed, trimmed and ready to use!

The stack looks so much smaller after pressing, and it is sooooo boring to do that, but it’s also soooooo much easier to use them this way.

I also have dark strips and lots of colorful strips.

The project hasn’t announced itself to my brain yet, so I’m not going to spend my time trimming and pressing all of this just yet. Simply having it out and looking at it will be enough to stimulate some ideas, I think….I hope! I certainly don’t want to repeat the flower idea, though it’s pretty easy and the first one came out nicely.

But moving furniture and new flooring comes first, so there will only be moments snatched for the next week or so. But that also gives lots of cogitation time while we’re working. Moving all the furniture out of the living room makes me want to repaint, even the file cabinet, and re-arrange everything and even get rid of some furniture and get some new, but I’m going to rein myself in this time. I’ll be happy with the new floor for now and think about the other stuff for a bit before I act….not my usual method!

Let’s see…the couch is not calling me for a nap, but to be moved…sigh! Time to get the work done!