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!

Guild Quilt

I’m so excited! I’m coordinating the volunteer quilt for my guild this year and collecting plus blocks from everyone. There might be a few more coming in, but I have most of them now and it’s so much fun.

A decent size quilt is just exactly the size of my design wall, so I cleared it all off and started putting blocks up at random. I am thrilled with the results!

I really love the way this looks, but I need to try some other configurations before I make a final decision and start assembling. Probably at the very least I will arrange once by color and once by size.

LOOK at these teeny, tiny blocks! Smaller than I expected to get, but perfect for filling in odd spaces!

I may make some of these if I need to fill in any gaps, instead of the plain fabric pieces I was planning on using!

This has been so much fun, every step of the way. Love this so much that I think my stash will be used to make one for ME!

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!

Discovering UFO’s

Our Creative Seasons art quilt group celebrated 10 years together this week. We were supposed to bring in any UFO’s that were that old or older. Very interesting to see what everyone brought. And I was very interested to see what I had on my shelves! I hung up the ones that I think I might finish someday!!!

There were more than a few that I will absolutely never finish, and those are going to the charity quilt table at the guild.  I will never, ever finish these, but there were not as many as I thought. I feel guilty about putting them on the charity quilt table without finishing them for charity, but I just cannot get motivated to even start on these particular tops! Someone else may really like them…hey! It could happen!

I even found one that I have absolutely NO memory of ever making! I know I made it, because it’s all from fabrics that I had and used, but any conscious thoughts of making it? Nope!

These two were mystery quilts, made at retreats. I had fun making them, but whenever you make a mystery quilt, your fabric choices are not always the best fit for the eventual result.

These next two were a pattern I was teaching at the quilt store. I didn’t like the first one, so I made the second and I like it much better. The first one is large enough for a charity quilt and the second one may make it to a shelf in my closet!

This top was one of the first ones I made when I started doing improv and curved seams. When I got it on the wall, it was quite different than I remembered it! I do still like it, and it may get finished this summer.

I’ve pretty much always been a fan of pink, and this next one is really pink!

I even have the binding made for this one, as well as some others!

To get to the shelf that all these UFO’s were ‘marinating’ on, I had to move the box of unsorted scraps. I have regular scrap bins, sorted by color, but somehow the unsorted box stays just as full as can be! Well, whenever I touch that box, it seems that the elements of another quilt jump out. This time it was bright scraps from many children’s quilts made over the years.

Sigh! Whenever this happens, I feel COMPELLED to get a top made. Hope that box gets emptied someday soon!

Always a little bit of progress…

There are very few days that I don’t do a little something on a project. This turquoise and gray one is getting under my skin, though. I work on it for a while, decide I don’t like what I’ve done and rip it out.

I added black cording to the part I ripped and I’m not sure that I like that either. Perhaps I should have found something gray.

So I went on to other areas and added some more stitching.

And took it outside in the daylight to look at the ‘big picture.’

The best I can say for it is that I’m not going to rip any of that stitching out (for now!) and I’m getting more and more sure that I will be adding beads!

Taking a break let me concentrate on other beauty around me, too.

I’m very happy that someone planted this forsythia years ago, and didn’t groom it into submission. I love this hedge, from across the yard AND up close.

NOW spring is here and I think creativity will rise with the rising sap!

 

Picking up scraps

Literally, walking around my studio and all the scraps on the floor were driving me nuts! Not enough to really clean, of course, but I kind of wanted to prove a point to myself. I’ve always maintained that we all work with a palette of colors that appeals to us individually and that you can combine pretty much anything from your shelves and it will look good. So I thought I’d try it with the scraps I found thrown around the studio.

Now you all know that I have many overflowing scrap baskets like this pile, loosely sorted by color.

I just kept picking up pieces and sewing them together until I ended up with these four blocks.

I thought about searching through the baskets for more, but stopped myself from crazy scrap madness! The other part of my color theory is that black and white goes with everything! And it did….all of the dozen or so fabrics that I auditioned looked fine, but I ended up going with the one that had a bit more color.

It will make a nice spot of color on someone’s wall!

And THEN…..I looked over at the shelves and this pile of leftover blocks and scraps jumped out at me!

I felt like I was on a roll and threw the blocks up on the wall, with some fabric that I thought I would use with them.

Then I started re-arranging the blocks and maybe something else will emerge!

That’s as far as the “scrap roll” has taken me, but that’s not too bad! I’m also starting to feel as though I can relatively quickly sort through those baskets of scraps next week and get rid of many of the pieces I’ve been holding on to for ‘someday’. I’m not as attached to them as I thought I was…so that means now is the time to make them gone!!! Even if they end up as dog bed stuffing, it will be nice to have them used and not just cluttering up my space.

Here’s to ‘good garbage’…

Rusty, from start to finish

My intention when I went into the studio today was to use up some of my stash and make a polka-dot quilt. I never even touched the polka-dots! I got sidetracked by rusty fabric and discharged black…a whole pile of it.

I’ve been wanting to make something with this for a long time. There is easily enough fabric for a whole, real bed quilt, but I have not found a pattern or idea that I’m happy with. So, the hell with all this wishy-washy procrastination…pick up the fabric and cut into it…make something!!!!

Four light squares, four dark squares, about 8″ or so.

Four separate stacks and four separate cuts, simply to have them all different. Certainly I could have stacked them all up, but…

Now remember that the pieces and curves fit together perfectly before they are sewn.

But when you are sewing without added seam allowances, the edges SHOULD NOT line up.

Start with 8 squares, end with 8 squares and I decided to make them into split-circle blocks, sort of!

And added random red-orange strips between the quarters. And those uneven edges are simple to sew by laying the straight edge of the strip along that uneven edge and sew.

Trim now or trim later…it doesn’t matter. There’s always a lot of that when you are doing improv. I was deliberately trying to keep seams from matching and all the edges uneven. Sometimes thing match by accident, though!

I made a couple more blocks and then auditioned fabrics for setting the blocks together.

Red–too cliche.

Aha–frame each block, as unevenly as possible with the rust and black fabrics! I like it!

Ready for basting and quilting!

The outside edges will probably get trimmed a bit more after the quilting, to keep them the same size as the inner edges. Now to agonize for a while over what color thread to use for the quilting, and how to quilt it!

It was a good day in the studio today, even though no polka-dots made it off the shelves!