Moment in history…

In the history of the world, this is nothing. In the history of my sewing career, this is momentous!!!

A totally clear cutting table, ready for action.

I don’t know yet what that action will be, but I AM READY!!!

Last pics of the cross quilt until it’s completely done, I promise. I used almost all of the blocks I received–143 to be exact. I only counted because I know someone will ask! There were 5 that I didn’t use on the front, so they will be part of a large label on the back.

I have them basted down and they will be quilted as I quilt the whole top, and if I get any more late additions, they will be added the same way.

The top is basted–I use spray basting–and marked.

Are you wondering why you can’t see the marks? It’s because the only ‘marking’ needed are the lines of blue painter’s tape that are crossing the top. Even though I will be washing this quilt because I always wash out spray basted quilts, I don’t like to mark with anything else. So whenever I can start with tape to mark straight lines, that’s what I do. I can continue to space out my lines with the tape, which comes in lots of widths. Or I can space lines with my presser foot, or the quilting guide bar that comes with most machines. I can also use the lines I quilt to mark out areas that will be filled with free motion ‘anything-I-want’ designs. Oh, I suppose I could simply outline the squares of the quilt, but that would be very uneven on this one and kinda boring!

Yep, the quilt is ready, but I am not ready to do the quilting yet! There is time (I think!).

I have ideas to explore that began with a class with Mary Hogan and continued with my Wacky Quilters group–working in a series. I have two sets of blocks that are distinct sets and yet both are exploring the idea of buildings.

In my mind, these really continue my City Grids ideas and I’m eager to work more on them.

I also have to finalize what our Blue Lake project will be this year,  AND make some samples. My class at QU could use some additional examples of what can be done with simple embellishment, too. It’s hard when you have to pick only one picture for a class sample, and there is so much more you can/will be showing!

Lots of projects from which to choose and my UFO pile continues to grow. I’ve always said that I will never run out of things to do, but it’s not a good thing to have so many projects that you never finish anything! I believe that’s a good goal for the rest of the summer—finish, finish, finish!

 

I’m a victim!

Yes, indeed, I’m a victim of my own fabric addiction. I’ve been trying to use up my stash for quite a while now, but it really doesn’t seem any smaller. Today, much to my surprise, I fell victim to fabric lust and bought a bunch of fabric.

I take full responsibility for not being stronger, for not resisting. It was a darling little shop, out in the country–truly out in the middle of nowhere! But one of my Kokomo hostesses is the owner, and it was on our way home…need I say more?

I always say that every shop carries different fabrics, so we have to stop and see them all whenever we can. And I also need a full palette of fabrics and colors from which to work. Good reasons to get fabric, I think! Granted, almost everything in that shop could probably be found in one of my local shops, but I love the grunge line of fabrics and this place had more of them than I have ever seen in one place. I exercised great restraint in NOT buying some of every color, but I sure wanted to!

Here’s my little pile of goodies, with only 7 of the grunge colors! And there is a website, if I find I need something that I can’t find here! It’s The Scarlet Thread and the owner is the gracious Julie Boldry. Thanks for a fun visit, both at your shop and in Kokomo!

Guess what! The hotel had very interesting carpet, too. And you know that I love those carpet designs…

These need to be stamps, I think. And the curvy edge design…I really like it.

The ladies of the Kokomo Piecemaker’s Guild were delightful and the workshop was so much fun. However, I didn’t get one single picture. I’m not used to having my phone be my camera and quite frankly, I forgot to take any photos. I’m sorry because your designs were great!

But the best thing is that I’m home again! Always the nicest part of any trip!

Feeling organized

Next week I’ll be going to Kokomo, Indiana–is there another Kokomo anywhere? [I had to look this up–9 places in the US and 3 places elsewhere!] Anyway, this  weekend needed to be an organization weekend. I’m looking forward to a chunk of time after Memorial Day when I have nothing to do–except for dye day and stamp making day and stamp and dye printing day…and…

Lots of fun coming up AND I took a workshop that was lots of fun, too!

Learned a ton about working with sheers from Meena Schaldenbrand’s workshop. Her teaching style is very unstructured, which takes a while to get used to, but which really allows for great exploration! I had a ton of fun and my head was practically exploding with new ideas!! I got a start on a project, but had to stop working on it so I could learn more techniques!

Used heat tools for the first time and die cutting for the first time. Woooo…when I got home I just dumped my bag out on the table for sorting later.

Often I just move piles like this off to the side and start in on the next thing, but since I have to organize for a class and lecture, I thought I’d better actually clean up! Here is the rare sight of my worktable ready for action. Had to share that since it happens so seldom.

UNpacking from a trip gets the same treatment–stuff pushed aside for the next project, totally ignored until it’s time to go again. I pack the suitcase in a certain order so that I can set up for my lecture quickly. It comes home like this!

While it takes a bit of time to sort and re-pack, I don’t mind. It gives me time to review my lecture, make sure that all my examples are packed and lets me change out things as needed.

Thankfully, that part of my organization weekend is also finished! Hooray! Now all I have left is to make sure I have all my paperwork and addresses and contacts in order. I know that there is a parking permit involved with this one, too!

I really am looking forward to some quiet, relaxing riding time in the car!

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!

 

Quick Start Quilting–Quick Learners!

The Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild invited me to teach Quick Start Quilting. I love to teach this class because the confidence levels of free-motion quilters just soars!

Here is a quick look at the first batch of practice sandwiches–and I think they are pretty impressive for beginners!

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After learning some basic shapes, the students took an odd-shaped printed fabric and used it as the basis for extending a design. They did an amazing job of totally imagining and then producing a design for their little quilt.

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My goal in offering this class is to enable students to gain enough free-motion quilting experience to be confident in attempting to quilt ANYTHING they desire.

These ladies did such a wonderful job that I am confident in their abilities!

Thanks for a great class.

Student work

I love it so much when a student finishes a class project and sends me a picture! This picture is from Janice from Sarasota. She reminded me that she was late to class, but what I remember is the fact that she jumped right in and was fearless in her choices!

I can see all the little elements that she learned from me, but I can also see her originality in how she created and assembled the whole.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Janice!

Student share

I so love it when a student sends me a picture of a finished project. This was from a design class that I taught in Sarasota FL in February.

From drawing

to finished product!

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful galaxy with us, Randy!