Tag Archives: challenges

Tiny bits at a time

Made some decisions and a little progress on my new distraction. I felt that the fabric squares were still too big and that the color was too bright. A little spritz of green took care of the color and it’s always easy to make fabric pieces smaller!

New distraction 4

I wanted to fuse things in place but still have my raw edges, so I went for my fusible scraps. Do you have some type of container that you save all those little bits of fusible you trim off? I keep mine in a plastic jar and it’s perfect for something like this.

New distraction 5

Fusing just a bit in the center leaves me with options for loose thread or scrunched edges later.

AAARGH! For the first time in all the years that I’ve been rotary cutting, I took a little slice off my finger! And for all the years that I had adequate first aid supplies for kids, I did not have any for this. But I’m a woman…there are always panty liners and tape!

New distraction 6

My husband said to be sure and say that he laughed at me, but he didn’t! After a trip across the street to the store, he bandaged it up for me (with a real bandage) and I’m thankful that if I had to slip, it was not a bad accident!

So, a bit slower now, I trimmed up a piece of wool for the background, the commercial tree fabric on top and the bright fabric on the topmost layer.

New distraction 7

I’m happy with the piece so far, with plans for embroidery and beads, probably some machine stitching, too. But right now I can’t quite hold a needle and I didn’t realize how often you use your index finger when you type!

Good thing I have lots of other stuff to do this week…which will NOT include cleaning! I’ll need a few days to heal up. I need to give a beading demo this coming weekend. That could be funny without a needle!!!



Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Life, surface design

And the winner….

Yes, the winner of the “WHAT Was I Thinking Award” is none other than yours truly! Our guild creates an amazing number of charity quilts each year and at the meetings there are finished tops that people take home to finish/quilt.

This came up today.

GFlower 1

No one wanted to take it. I had been holding back, thinking that someone would love it as much as I did, but it remained an orphan. I couldn’t help it. I took it. And now I have to finish it.


The sewing is not perfect, but not really that bad.

GFlower 2

And it’s all hand sewn.

There are some “fluffy” issues on the outside edges.

GFlower 3

Some of the fabrics are so very interesting.

GFlower 4 GFlower 6 GFlower 5

But look at that first picture again. That quilt is pinned to an 8 foot by 8 foot design wall! It is HUGE!

And I said I would finish it. What was I thinking?

Well, it’s a heritage quilt. It’s a such a traditional reminder of where we started as quilters–every attic had an unfinished Grandmother’s Flower quilt! Let’s see…it’s hand sewn, so it probably should be hand quilted. May not happen–it’s 8′ square! And as much as I used to love hand quilting, my hands can’t take it anymore. I’ll be thinking about that for a while, as well as those fluffy edges and how I’ll finish that part.

But this quilt jumped up and SHOUTED that I must take it home with me, so I had to answer that call.

What was I thinking? That I love this quilt!


Filed under Quilting, Fabric, Thinking About Quilting!, Handwork

Complete Chaos!

My studio is in utter and complete chaos. I can only find scissors because they are on top of the piles!

There are many things I would like to accomplish in the next couple of ‘quiet’ weeks. There is nothing that I can accomplish in the current state of confusion!

Everwhere I look…remnants of Blue Lake…

Studio chaos 4

My paint table…yes, there is a table under there!

Studio chaos 1


Studio chaos 2

Cutting? I don’t think so!

Look! Scissors!

Look! Scissors!

And there is another whole section of the room that I’m just going to turn my back on!

Studio chaos 5

I guess my next step is very evident…I’d like to think about a total re-arrangement of the space and deep cleaning, but realistically, I know that I will settle for bringing some order to the chaos! If I can see the tops of all 5 tables AND see the floor, I will consider my mission a success.

And the first step, of course, is to take tomorrow off and go to the AQS show in Grand Rapids.

Sounds like a plan! Wish  me luck!



Filed under Life, Fabric, Thinking About Quilting!

Deadlines help!

For the big-time procrastinator there is nothing like a deadline for finishing things! Even if the deadline is self-imposed, it becomes a real goal.

Our local Annual Art Walk was Friday night and I was one of the artists. It’s mostly a showcase situation, not so much for sales, but it’s fun and I like to talk to people about what I do. It’s not like I have a shortage of things to show, but you always want to have new things. That was my impetus for finishing up my last few Weekly Special pieces. I didn’t rush into it, though. That’s not the Procrastinator’s Way. I waited until the day before the show to mount them!

So, here they are, ready to go…

WS Apr finish 8  WS Apr finish 2 WS Apr finish 3 WS Apr finish 5 WS Apr finish 7

These two found new homes.

WS Apr finish 1

I’m gonna miss my little ladies, but it means I can go searching for some more unique beads to use!

WS Apr finish 4

Obviously, I need some kind of deadline to actually finish things up. As soon as I get a few more in the next set ready to go, I’ll have to look at the calendar and pick a date and reason to get them totally finished. It actually works!!!


Filed under Art Quilts, Life, Thinking About Quilting!, Weekly Special

Thinking of new directions

As I have been reading blogs and Facebook posts, all the resolutions and words of the year have been swirling through my thoughts. I don’t do either because I know that I don’t have enough will power to stick to any one thing that determinedly.

But one person’s studio clean out resonated with me. She no longer makes bed quilts and found a new home for all her fabric that had been designated for that. I’m not quite ready to give away my stash, but I am more than ready to do something drastic to get the volume of it way down. And it’s almost a literal ‘volume’ as it’s screaming at me to be used and overwhelming me with it’s potential.


I have lots of fabric that ‘goes together’ and that was going to become bed quilts. That is separate in my mind from fabric that I intend to incorporate into an art quilt. It doesn’t do me any good sitting on the shelf, waiting for ‘one of these days’ to get used. ‘One of these days’ has suddenly arrived.


My ideas for new art quilt projects seem abundant right now, so I don’t want to slow down anything in that area. What I DO want to have happen is to start cutting and piecing bed quilts to use up that fabric. My family will be one of those that has a pile of unfinished quilt tops when I go. I don’t care. At least the fabric will be made into something that has practical potential, not unwanted and unused fabric that has more potential for the landfill than the quilt top. And some of them will get quilted and used…and that’s the point, isn’t it?


I’m going to take a day every week and just work on piecing quilt tops. I’m going to spend part of that day using up scraps and part of it starting with new fabric—and making more scraps. Does this sound like a New Year’s resolution? Maybe. But if a resolution is acted upon, it becomes a way of life and that’s what I’m aiming towards.

Scrap Explosion

A new direction–to use up my abundant resources in a practical way. Wish me luck!


Filed under Quilting, Fabric, Thinking About Quilting!

Secret Stalker

My local Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild has a great time together. This month we finished up our Secret Stalker projects. Secret Stalker? Does it sound ominous? It’s just lots of fun.

We all put a bit of info on a slip of paper…name, social media sites, favorite color or not so favorite colors or styles…hints and helps for whomever draws your name. Then you ‘stalk’ and make a small quilt and we can’t wait for the big reveal!

Secret Stalker 1

This is what I got this year, from Caroline…a quilt, AND a new mug, AND beads AND a supremely funny story about her stalker journey! I just totally love it, but I feel a bit guilty about all the extra gifts.

But I also got a great idea–I think–to commemorate it all in one package.

I’m going to make a line drawing from the flowers on the mug.

Secret Stalker 3

I can put that on the quilt and thread draw on top of the quilt.

Then I’ll embellish with some of the beads on the flowers.

Secret Stalker 2

I kind of hate to alter what Caroline has done, but I want to always have a rememberance of the entire story–even if I’m clumsy and drop the mug and use up all the beads!

The Secret Stalker is an absolute fun guild activity for us and it really helps in getting to know people you might not have found out about in the normal course of things. I so appreciate the work that goes into the quilt I receive and I have so much fun making something for a new friend.

Stephanie received this quilt from me…


…because usually she’s serious and on the straight and narrow, also bright and bubbly, but sometimes she goes off on a tangent!

I love the Secret Stalker! So much better than a Secret Santa just because you get to know someone a little bit!


Filed under Quilting, Art Quilts, Modern Quilts

Bare bones…

Trying to get ready for this weekend’s Artisan Showcase–and I would be remiss if I did not post the info here!

Show card 2

I’m stripping all my artwork off the walls and clearing the decks for 4 other artists. We all have stuff that hangs on the wall–more of that than table top work. I’m trying to be creative and gain as much wall space as possible. This show is in my home and I want our visitors to envision the artwork in their own homes, not in any type of setting that resembles a gallery. But I also want to display as much as possible, so it will be hung close together…more is better in this situation. I’m even going to hang some pieces in the bathroom!

We are going to extend into the garage, which is a huge space. I have lots of quilt display racks so I’m hoping to make the cavernous garage a bit more intimate and ‘artsy’. Black drapes and bright art–good combination, right?

The hardest part of this whole thing for me is the CLEANING! Dusting and vacuuming and sweeping–not my favorite part of life!

Back to work…the walls are still too crowded!


Filed under Art Quilts, Life, Thinking About Quilting!