Thursday, February 2, 2012

Design Wall schizophrenia...

Procrastination is a killer.  This scrappy Positive-Negative Chains quilt (ala Bonnie Hunter) has been snoozing on my design wall for months awaiting two borders.  I didn't want to unpin it and take it down until I was actually sewing borders on, then walking out the door with it, taking it to be machine-quilted.  It was such a bear to get pressed nicely with all those little scrappy pieces...
I finally prepared borders and off the wall it came; first a brick red stop border, followed by a dark blue outer border cut from a length of Moda "Renewal" that I had been saving for years.  Does anyone else out there "save" things?  Afraid to actually use fabric because then it will be used up?  Those fabric manufacturers have us right where they want us...LOL.
See all my careful pressing?!?  It is worth the time and effort to press carefully and thoughtfully as I go, trying to "nest" seams when I can so they will lie flat.  That is critical for either hand- or machine-quilting.
I'm glad I pushed myself to use the outer border fabric...it is just what this scrappy, busy quilt needed.  I really like the result.  The quilt has a nice border set AND it is off the design wall.    Why is it so hard to use our stashes sometimes??  We cannot possibly take it with us when we go...what am I saving stuff for?   I should have named this post "stash constipation" instead, huh.
I had gotten "stuck" with many OTHER projects just because I could not use my design wall to study the situations.  I am a visual person, and even though I can imagine things in my head, I still need to stand back and take the whole thing in at various points in the design process...especially when I am making it all up to begin with.  Cluttered head, cluttered design wall...what's a quilt cave troll to do?

I've been wanting to lay out these blocks for a few weeks now.  I just trimmed them down to 8.5 inches this week, and I am considering setting the blocks 8 blocks x 8 rows.  With borders, the quilt would end up about 76-80 inches square.  I made this block up a few weeks ago.  It is a great way to use up scraps and I do it WITHOUT PAPER FOUNDATIONS (because I hate removing those papers).  I think I will call it "X Marks the Block" because the black scraps form very obvious "X" figures (when I lay the blocks out right!).  How did I make the blocks?  Go here to see.
I will take these down, in order, so that I can start sewing them together.
Here are some of my Wonky Stars...it is fun to put them on the design wall to see how they twinkle!  I need to put some of the scrappy pieces for these in my leader/ender basket by my sewing machine.  It's amazing how fast these stars appear when randomly making units while piecing other things.
These pictures seem so dark for some reason.  The fabrics in the stars are very vibrant while the neutrals stay in the background.
I forgot all about this U.F.O.!!  This is my "Poultry in Motion" project...crazy-pieced blocks using chicken fabrics.  I only have 3 more blocks to finish and it will become a flimsy.  I already have the chicken fabric strips cut and in a box labeled "chicken strips" - that box always makes me hungry when my eyes pass over the label...yummmmmm...chicken strips...
Down come the chickens and up go some of my Blackbird baskets from that ongoing project.  I'm getting a little dizzy from my revolving door quilt design wall...it's fun to see how far I've come with these projects.  I still have more red, blue, pink,green, black and purple repro fabrics to make baskets from.  I think I need about 300 in total.
But this is the main reason I wanted to clear the design wall.  It was time to put all the Lori Smith "Folk Art Applique" blocks together to see how they look now that all the hand applique is finished.  Me likey!!  I need to audition some of the swags I've drawn to see which one I end up using for the border.  I am really happy with how these turned out, and I am looking forward to finishing the top so that I can start hand-quilting.


Putting things on the design wall for a while has helped to build a little fire under me to want to work on these projects.  These U.F.O.'s need oxygen and daylight every now and then to continue the creative process.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

36 comments:

  1. I agree we all have trouble using some of those favorite fabrics. I have vowed this the year to use the best fabrics and leave my least favorites for the estate sale.

    I love the Buildings and Boulevards and agree taking off the paper is a pain. I may have to make one of these. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  2. Wow! You have a ton of projects, and they are all really wonderful! Funny about not wanting to use those fabrics - I used to think that was so weird...I mean...isn't that what you bought them for - to use them? Uh-huh...well now I am exactly that same way - I don't want to use up those favs (and I have a LOT of favs!).

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  3. You have so many great project going on. I love all of them!

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  4. WOW! Look at all these fabulous projects. My favorite project is still those wonderful baskets. I can't believe how many you have done so far.

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  5. omg I am tired just reading this post! I love the border you chose and yes I save fabric for that just right quilt! its beautiful, Ok I JUST love these buildings and boulevard blocks and quilt. Wish I had happy brights I would be whipping this one up too! Beautiful quilt.
    I am like you I have a project on the wall now I can't wait to finish sewing together so I can play with another project I started, maybe I Just need a few design walls!
    I am such a visual person too, I totally work off my design wall.
    fun wonky stars too, very fun projects you have going on. maybe I need to get my baskets out too!
    your applique quilt came out wonderful, great fabric choices.
    your post makes me want to sew, sew, sew!
    Kathie

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  6. Wow!! Your post is like eye candy overload! You have so many fantastic projects in the works! I love the name Buildings and boulevards - it's a wonderful scrappy project. Your Lori Smith blocks looked so good individually but all together - they are fabulous. What color thread are you thinking for the handquilting?
    I have fabric that I hate to use up too. I have to remind myself that my next new favorite is probably already on the shelf at the LQS :0)

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  7. Holy cow, Teresa! These are all so beautiful! Love the borders you used on the first one! Perfect! And yeah, I hoarder pieces of fabric.....don't know why I don't want to use them, I just want to 'have' them! lol LOVE the Building and Boulevards quilt.....I saw an antique one on the Quilt Registry, and I've been wanting to do one ever since! It looks amazing in the brights! I have a nice stack of wonky stars too.....one day there'll be enough for something! Love the chickens fabrics, the baskets and that beautiful applique. You are amazing for getting all these out and in sight......I think I'm going to do that; maybe it will prompt me to finish something! Thanks!

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  8. Wow, you are being super productive...are you sleeping??
    Your machine quilter is going to love you for all that careful pressing :)

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  9. Whew! Busy lady. Like the Buildings and Boulevards....great idea.
    Stash constipation! lol

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  10. Wow! I'm exhausted just looking at all this. You are one busy lady! I'm so glad I'm not the only one that works on multiple projects....I just wish I had as much to show for mine as you do. You've also given me more ideas here.....I just love the wonky stars!

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  11. Stash constipation...what an apt phrase!

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  12. Yikes--talk about a quilt-a-thon!! You are so prolific and talented. All your quilts are lovely--and, hey--how do you do that folk art applique so quickly? I have only three animals on the 1st block basted...I have to tell you that I love that basket quilt a lot....Julierose (Breathless)

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  13. love everything on your design walls!
    Karen

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  14. "Stash Constipation!" Love the term! I am going to remember it...Thank you! Love your pictures,, they really inspire me (really, they do). As soon as my son and GD leave, I plan to start in on something equivalent...soon...

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  15. Thanks for sharing, seeing your progress made me want to get back in my sewing room and make something!

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  16. These projects are all wonderful and inspiring! I think your string pieced technique is amazing! Thank you for sharing it. I love seeing your creativity explode on your design wall :-)

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  17. Oh, you cheeky lady! How can you let all those lovelies sit and not share? Just a great post on getting those WIPs out and on the wall. Visual not only aids in thought, but in finishing.

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  18. I love your use of chicken fabrics. My sister and I collected chicken fabric about 10 yrs. ago. I made two quilts and she made one. Then I got all the scraps and like you say, they deliciously sit and wait for me to do something with them.

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  19. Wow. I am amazed at what you are getting done. All the quilts are
    gorgeous. Love the chickens too.
    Janet

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  20. I like your buildings and boulevards blocks. I posted a link to your tutorial on foundation-free piecing over at stringthingalong.blogspot.com. We're playing with strings over there -- come check us out!

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  21. OMG your work is amazing. I love to visit your blog. You inspire me!

    hugs from south Louisiana
    beebee

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  22. Love those wonky stars! And who knew there were so many chicken fabrics? As always, it is so much fun to see your work!

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  23. Wow you have a lot going on! I did a quilt last year using the same positive-negative pattern you just finished and it taught me a lot about color values. Your applique work is gorgeous.

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  24. Good grief, Woman! You have got a lot of pretty projects there. Wow! Each and every one is just gorgeous. And you know I love the chickens!

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  25. You've got some really great scrap quilts in the works. I've pulled out my baskets again and am making a few more. I love your term "stash constipation". I went to a sale yesterday and added more "fiber" to mine, too.

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  26. Great projects! I have so many fabrics I bought thinking borders and backs. I often pull from them, but so many have been there for so long I doubt I will ever use them. I think about offering them up at the quilt guild yard sales and then one just happens to be perfect for something and I can't give them up!

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  27. Wow! You really have been using your design wall well. I like all your scrappy projects, especially the ones with the bright fabrics. And those baskets are too cute!

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  28. I can never figure out what I'm saving certain fabrics for either. I guess I'm just afraid that they won't make anymore, ha, ha.

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  29. WOW!! What a fabulous Show and Tell! I love all the quilts, especially the Buildings and Boulevards! I can't believe you already have the Lori Smith applique blocks done. You just started that project Ms. Speedy Gonzalez :o)

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  30. Wouldn't it be neat if we could invent a truly revolving design wall? We'd need a little elf behind it, who could take projects off the wall for us in proper block order as directed and present us with a blank wall for the next project whenever we pushed the button to turn the wall. Love all your projects and your steady progress. I get winded just looking at your projects stream by!

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  31. Stash constipation had me laughing out loud. Love all your projects.

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  32. OOps....I hit the send button before I was finished. There's an Aussie designer I think you may like. Her site is..... http://www.stargazey.com

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  33. your chicken prints are awesome. And I have 4 of those little appliqued baskets done and like 210 more to go or something like that. Wonderful quilts!

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  34. Oh. My. Your projects - all of them - are just awesome. I am partial to the Buildings and Boulevards and the Wonky Stars. I love your choices of fabrics and colors.

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  35. I love your scrappy, strip projects. You inspire me to pull out my strips and start creating! Thanks.

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  36. It was fun to see all your quilts. I am impressed by the picture of the back of the quilt. Did you trim the threads or don't you get any? Your colour sense is a pleasure to look at.

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