Love to say finished!

This was a busy weekend, but an unexpected cancellation gave me some sewing time…after I recovered from the first lawn mowing of the year!

I finished the Drunkard’s Path quilt top. Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Left the patches all un-matchy-matchy. It’s wild and crazy but the fabrics are great and I love it! I don’t think it needs a border, but I’ll leave it hanging on the design wall for a few days before I decide.

Vacation days coming up–connecting with some cousins and helping out with genealogy research. That will be a first for me, since I’m not into the ancestry stuff. I’m just a girl looking for a good time, and hanging with family is always good!

Life is soooo good!

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Slow going.

Self discipline–I don’t have much of it. I was using up the stash, sticking to the idea that what went up on the design wall stayed there until a quilt was born. That just did not work with this batch of fabric.

It was a set that I picked up at a sample event and the featured fabric was the circle that was supposed to look like sun rays or a mariner’s compass. I have tried to make something of it before, as you can see, but didn’t get too far. I posted about this on FB and IG and someone commented on the “eyeball” fabric. Now that’s all I can see when I look at the group. And now that I think about it, why was I so insistent on keeping the group together, just because it came together in the same line? I’ve never done that much before–why start now? So this pile is folded up and back on the shelf until another time.

Time for FUN! Played a bit more with the new curves ruler. I was afraid that there was so much waste fabric that I couldn’t justify using it rather than a template.

There were instructions for cutting two concave pieces from a single square, along with a video and that helped a lot. This is the amount of waste, with two concave pieces from each square.

And the speed of cutting them quickly and precisely makes it worth while. The waste pieces are going to be headed for a new project, which I am starting to envision already!

So I got a few blocks put together and started throwing them up on the design wall. Very intense colors and not much value contrast, only color contrast. But I LOVE these fabrics and this is just how it’s gonna be!

After hoarding this line of fabric for years and not finding a pattern that I wanted to use, I previously used up a bunch of the blue. Of course now I’m going to be short on the blue to make this the size I’d like. BUT I’m using up the stash and however big it turns out to be is going to be the perfect size! Any extra fabric from this line will be on the back. Then this fabric that I have hoarded for years will be used, off the shelf and it will make me very happy!!

 

New games

As I said before, this week is shaping up to be very busy and sewing time is at a premium. I’m playing when I can and I have a new toy!

I succumbed to the allure of a new specialty ruler, the Classic Curves ruler by Sharon Mc Connell of Color Girl Quilts. I’ve been wanting to play with the Drunkard’s Path pattern again for a while, but wasn’t sure if I wanted traditional or improv. This decided it for me, along with the other possibilities she shows with the ruler. So, here’s my first try using it.

I’m also using some Sherrill Kahn fabrics that I have savored hoarded for years. I didn’t realize how much of that fabric I had until I grabbed it all off the shelf and unfolded it! Sheesh–yardage! I haven’t bought yardage in years…I’m a fat quarter buyer! This may end up as a very large quilt.

Hmmm….lots of waste fabric with the first few blocks. Each concave cut made from a single square leaves enough waste for a smaller convex piece.

That’s fine if you are planning on making two quilts and you want to buy twice as much fabric as needed! I hate waste and know that I will not make an entire quilt this way. On the instruction sheet is an alternate method of cutting the concave parts with less waste and I haven’t had time to try it yet. If I’m not happy with that, I will consider cutting this half of the pattern using a template. We shall see, when I have a bit more play time!

I also put together some basic step-outs for making a hanging sleeve. I have to do a demo for anyone at our next guild meeting who is unsure of how to do it. I thought it was a totally basic skill until I realized that many, many people never hang a quilt on a wall. They make them for beds, believe it or not!

I used a hunk of some of my oldest–should I say vintage?–fabric and every time a bit of that is gone, I smile! Happy to de-stash in any way I can!

First of the series

As promised, here is a picture of the first series in the samples I’m making for camp.

They are not mounted on anything, because I want to keep my options open. I want the kids to see mounting on a single backing, probably in an accordion book format, single entities, and sculpturally, as in a cube or pyramid. So I’ll need to keep making……..

Some of the fun parts of working on this today was looking over the buttons I was considering adding to the pieces.

I had no idea that I had so many of these white sculptural buttons.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

I didn’t use many since these pieces are so small, but now that I know I have them, it could be the basis for another larger piece.

My bead collection is pretty extensive and I thought it would be simple to find a few beads to go with this series. Not so much. That nice pure blue of the fabric apparently is not a bead color I have! So I spent some delightful time looking through my little container of leftover beads.

And I found six beads that matched each other and went with the fabric. And I realized that I have a LOT of beads in that little container of leftovers. I’d better get planning some beading projects to use up the stash as well as using up the fabric stash!

Onward!

Lots of littles…

Working on the little samples for camp, but barely started on them so really nothing new to show.

My day started with an interview for the local paper about my art hanging at the library right now. I was glad to go in and chat because I hadn’t taken any pics of the show after I hung it. The nook they put the art in is very cozy, with armchairs and a fireplace and it makes you feel as though the art could be hanging in your home. I like that a lot.

This is still my current favorite piece!

And space on each side of the fireplace, along with their permanent art pieces.

It’s always fun to have your art on display!

My day included a little jaunt to a quilt shop about an hour away. I knew that I would not get away without some fabric, despite my attempts to destash, but I was very conservative!

Half yards and yards, though, where I usually only buy fat quarters, but aren’t they gorgeous!

And a quick step-by-step of the sample distraction project, because it is DONE!

Another one mounted on wool, with edges fringed and wild, but I’m liking the way these look hanging on the wall. I need to get out of the green/turquoise family, though. I’m feeling like it might be time for some orange on the next one.

And the most joyful part of the day came in the mail. My aunt was on a little trip, went into a store and saw THIS–

She knows I like colorful fabrics but she had no idea that I LOVE sugar skulls and this fabric is totally awesome. Aunt Jean is also super awesome!!! Thank you.

Now I need to get going on stitching up those sample pieces!

Working out the method

Teaching anything involves a lot of planning…at least it does for me. And it’s waaaay different planning for unskilled middle school kids than for adult quilters! I know what I want to teach them and now I’m working on how to get it across to them.

I know from experience that some of them have never even held a needle and some are already garment sewing, so I have to deliver the basics while keeping the others from total boredom. I think the idea of ‘teaching assistants’ may work just fine.

This is how I think we’ll assemble the little pieces–after a bit of design time and the lesson about threading and using that needle!

Actually, the first picture is probably NOT how we’ll do it, but I’ll give them the option.

These pieces are glue basted down. It avoids getting stuck with pins but for kids, the glue can get globby and maybe not so secure. They will have the option but not the recommendation. However, this will also be an example that pieces in a series can be different sizes.

So here’s what I will recommend. A piece of batting (or other support fabric), larger than the finished piece will be. Then trace out the area of the finished piece so they know how much area to cover.

And remember that the marking goes on the back, so they can see it until the end! I thought about just marking the corners on the front, but then remembered that these are inexperienced kids!

After the design is laid out, with those pesky sharp pins, they will be basting. It’s really going to be the best way for them to proceed.

And rather than random stitch meditation type ideas, I am going to have them work in a series mind-set. I think I’m set with my plan!

I know I’m set with quite a few pieces ready to embroider and embellish, but I needed at least this many to work out my planning.

I need a few more in the light blue series and I want to get all of these completely finished off before I do any others. Then anything additional between now and camp will be a bonus.

Feeling good about this!!!!

Slow decisions

It was actually a warm spring day today so I spent some time outdoors enjoying it. Naturally that means that sewing did not get done!

I keep stumbling over a little bundle of coordinating fabric that I once started playing with. I took it off the shelf today and spread the elements over the design wall.

I have no idea what my original intention with this piece was. I also have no idea what direction I want to go in to move it forward. It seems as though black is the only color that will coordinate things, but that seems almost like giving up to a challenge. Much more contemplation is needed, but I think this will be my next stashbusting project.

On the hand-sewing front, I have stalled out a little on the small samples for Blue Lake. I’ve been working on this larger project and I’m at another decision point. I selected some beads, but think that I’ll only use the magenta ones…a little emphasis that will not take over the design.

Maaaaaaaaybe………………………….I found a couple of ceramic buttons that look really good on this piece. If I use them, though, it really changes the feel of the whole thing.

What do you think? I’m leaning toward ‘no buttons’ but that might lead to lots more of the magenta beads finding their way into the piece. You know that I’m always good with more, more, more but I’m not sure the piece needs it! As I look at the pics, I’m also thinking maybe I need a bit more stitching to texturize the background, too.

Not much action, lots of contemplation and I’m okay with it. Thinking is good!