Tag Archives: challenges

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 Fabric, Quilting, 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 Art Quilts, Modern Quilts, Quilting

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!

New Giveaway, with a catch

My friend Kat proposed a Pay It Forward challenge and I’m going to play along. Here’s what the deal is…

Pay It Forward 2014

I will send a small artwork, sometime in 2014, to the first 10 people who comment on this, saying they are in. In return you must post this on your FB page or blog, and send an artwork to 10 people. You don’t send to me, unless I comment on your post as you have done on mine.
It may be something quite small, like a postcard or trading card size. Or you may send a piece as large as you like. The only rules are, you must post a Pay it Forward on your own page, you must send an artwork during this year, to the first 10 people who say they are in. And you must send me a link to your post.
Remember, you must tell me you are in! Any other comment doesn’t count. I will need your address, so send by message, so it’s private.

Are you in????

I think I’ve seen a couple of other people I know through the internet working on this type of challenge also. It just sounds like fun to me and I’m really happy to think about giving away some of my art. Fun!

Linking to Off the Wall Friday.


Filed under Art Quilts, Life, Thinking About Quilting!

Snowy Sunday

It’s a wonderful snowy Sunday…only because I don’t have to leave the house until Tuesday morning! I can look out the window at the deepening snow, watch the cars going by at a slower and slower pace and just keep sewing! Love it.

Finished the bag for the pattern test and I’m so proud of myself. There were two swivel hooks and a buckle and I actually sewed them all on correctly! Usually that’s my downfall but I DID it!!! And now all we have to do is get together with the pattern maker and critique the pattern. That’s going to be fun, seeing how different the same pattern looks in all the different fabrics. Can’t wait…and then I can promote the heck out of this.

Purse test final

I am, however, very ready to move on with some projects that have looming deadlines. Maybe not “looming,” but I have things I want done, done, done.

Two quilts for my own bed come first. Hubby and I have split bedding for our king size bed because we love to wrap the blankets around ourselves. He actually called the raggedy scraps we currently have on the bed ‘disgraceful’ in a quilter’s house! And I agree 100%. Just like the shoemaker’s children go barefoot, the quilter’s beds sometimes are bare. That will be remedied before bedtime tonight! (I’ll add pics before I post this.)

Bed quilt 1

Bed quilt 2

Then I have 2 projects for an online group to which I belong. They are both all planned out in my head. I’ve just needed the time to get them sewn and THAT deadline is screaming towards me!!! Snowed in tomorrow will give me a great hunk of time to get started.

I’m going to try some more screen printing and some stenciling, some bobbin work and some couching and maybe just a bead or two here and there! I’m excited about these two pieces, but first………….get the binding on those bed quilts NOW!


Filed under Non-traditional Quilts, Quilting

Working on that bag!

Yes, there definitely is a reason I don’t make lots of bags. The first wrong thing I discovered was that I had carelessly cut one piece too short. And I didn’t have a big enough piece of the screen printed fabric to cut another one, ’cause I went ahead and cut everything out before I started sewing.

What to do…what to do…piece an extra inch on to the small piece? Add a third fabric to the mix? After a frantic search through my fabric stash, I found what I was hoping for…an oddball piece of the black and white print that was big enough for what I wanted. Hooray! I’m so confident of the screen printing now that it took me only minutes to print that fabric and cut a new piece. The hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry! I worked on O rings and cord guides and the pocket while waiting.

And, of course, as soon as I cut out the new part, I remembered that I had cut the inside pockets out of that same fabric and could have used that piece. Duh! Oh, well…it increased my self-confidence that I could so easily create more unique fabric!

I made good progress and I have the pieced parts of the bag body ready to go.

Here's the bag pieced and ready for assembly.

Here’s the bag pieced and ready for assembly.

Whew! My brain is so tired after following all those instructions that I need a break! I think I’ll need a nap before I can get to the actual construction of the bag components!

I’ll get back to you with what I think will be the hardest part of this project!


Filed under Fabric, Quilting, Thinking About Quilting!

Getting postcards!

I’ve received my first postcards from the postcard swap. This was so much fun to do and now it’s even more fun being on the receiving end!

Most of the cards came in envelopes…a couple came as actual postcards…one had no identification of the maker…and each is so different from the other!

Postcard swap 4

It’s interesting to try and figure out how each was made.

Postcard swap 3

I’m hoping the last 3 come in the today’s mail.

I’ll play again!


Filed under Art Quilts, Quilting, surface design