Sunday, May 30, 2010

The "dark and skeery woods"...

Despite too much working in the yard this week spreading mulch, moving rock, trimming tree limbs, and weeding, here is block #5 of "All Around the Town."  It is the bottom right corner of the quilt, so I will show it in two different orientations.

These houses were smaller and quicker (almost look like outhouses or Grandpa's "hut" from "Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang").  Now on with block #5 - the "Good as Gold" house.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whale watching, anyone?

My mojo may have found it's way back home.  It's been hard to focus on a project (or really projects...I have quilt A.D.D.) since finishing the "bride."  I've been going through withdrawal, or something like that.  I have finally finished the first 3 blocks of "All Around the Block," an older BOM by Sue Garmon that I purchased online from Quakertown Quilts.

Block #1 above features a whale weathervaneon the roof, which is a little bizarre, but right up my alley for those who know me...the quirkier the better!  The pattern didn't give the whale an eye, but he looks a little blind and lost to me...may need a French knot.  All the blocks are hand appliqued, and the little green "hills/yards" will overlap the blocks on either side when they are assembled.  Here comes block #2 (it looks a little weird on the left side without the adjacent block's overlapping hill).  I had some pirate fabric, so I had to add a Jolly Roger flag to the "Eulean" - get it?  "You lean?"  Good name for a sailboat!  It's a corner block - it looks a little strange by a big, grassy wave is about to crash over the stern!

Block #3 was just a housing project.  Eventually, there are cars, etc. appliqued after the blocks are joined.  I may add some other things in the front yards as well...lawn art (how about a garden gnome?), quilts airing on a line, a dog, flowers, etc.  It definitely needs a little something.

They would definitely look better not photographed on my cutting mat.  My design wall is full of liberated ladies, my first free-pieced words, and a growing number of liberated pooches (I'll share these later!).

Here's a picture of the original pattern - the three blocks I have finished will make up the top right-hand corner.

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

True confessions of a quilt-a-holic...

"Hi.  My name is Teresa, and I'm a quilt-a-holic." (this is where you would say, "Hi Teresa - welcome!").

If there was a 12-step program for quilters, I would need to be at every meeting - and I would probably take a little hand-sewing with me.  I know people don't take alcohol to AA meetings or Chinese take-out food to Overeaters Anonymous meetings, but I'm so used to taking a little something to keep my fingers engaged when I go to a church, community, school, or other meeting.  (I actually was at an OA meeting once where someone tried to deliver a pizza, as a mistake or a prank...that was WEIRD!)

Maybe there could be a quilter's "Serenity Prayer" - God, grant me the serenity to finish the project I am currently working on, the courage to start a new project, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I love everything about quilting...the fabric, the books, the tools, the patterns, the magazines, the blogs, the bees, the shows, the guilds, the shops, and the quilting friends I've made.  And I love every step of the process of making a quilt.  When I'm not quilting, I'm thinking about a project...when I am quilting, I am thinking about my next project.

When I started many years ago, I learned the process for very unselfish grandmother quilted and I wanted to continue the family tradition.  There are still unselfish reasons for doing it, but now I confess that I do it because I've got to!  It feeds my soul and allows me a place where I feel like I can let my inner child run crazy!

So I know I'm not alone...can I get an "Amen!" or an "I hear ya, sister!!" I have to believe this addiction is OK.  It is so soothing and has gotten me through both good and bad times.  I love the idea of making and giving such a warm, loving, creative, and comforting, yet practical gift.  And I love quilts surrounding my family in my house...on walls, on beds, on ladders, actually everywhere.

There.  I feel better.  Confession is good for the soul.  Now to go do some actual sewing!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Have you seen my mojo?

My mojo has gone missing.  It was here in spades while I was zipping through finishing The Civil War Bride quilt last month, but it is DEFINITELY missing now.   I think I broke my creativity bone (usually found right next to the funny bone, in case you are singing through that "the-(this)-bone's-connected-to-the-(that)-bone" song from my childhood). 

I made the ugliest block EVER last hidiously awful that I am not even going to take a picture of would probably melt my camera.  My buddy Ola and I have been dying to start a Sue Garman quilt called "All Around the Town" that we ordered from Quakertown Quilts some time ago.  I was dying to start it while working on the bride, but was a "good girl" and resisted.  Ola knocked out a couple of blocks, so I knew it was time for me to wade in.

This is the quilt pictured on the pattern...

It is cute, cute, cute, but last night's effort was mucho stinko.  Maybe deep down, I know I want to change it just a little (don't I ALWAYS??)  I am going to start over with different fabrics, a different method, and hopefully a different attitude.

I spent a few days getting some scrap piles tamed and fabrics "re-shelved" in their proper bins.  That usually cures the post-project blues, but not this time.  I perused favorite blogs seeking inspiration (there was LOTS there!) and hung out with some quilting ladies, fondled show-and-tells, petted (and purchased!) some fabrics, and fluffed my pattern files.  Still blue. 

Then, one of my quilting book shelves "exploded,' sending collapsed boards and books flying.  That prompted a trip to IKEA for some better, stronger storage.  The IKEA person said that the weight limit per shelf on my old shelving unit was 29 pounds...heck, that can be only 3 good-sized books (especially if one is Barbara Brackman's block encyclopedia and the others have lots and lots of sticky notes sticking out to mark pages with favorite quilts!).  I'm surprised, shocked, and embarrassed that it lasted this long!  Maybe I need to stop buying quilt books...

So, if you see my mojo hanging out near you...thumbing through your quilt library, lurking near your sewing tool drawer, or stuffing your fabric scraps in its pockets, just give it a shove to send it back this way...I miss it!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Finally, too small to keep...

Finally, these little snippets are ready for the garbage.  My friends laugh at me because I save every teensie-tiny, microscopic scrap of fabric...often picking strips and bits of other peoples' discarded fabric out of the garbage at sewing retreats and gleefully accepting others' baggies of scraps (thanks Jonesy - I LOVE 'em!!).

I made these little snippets today while going through some strippy scraps cutting strips and pieces for several future scrappy projects, all at one time.  Raw, strippy scraps go into containers like this...


...and I then trim them down to 1.25 in strips, 1.5 in strips, strings, and other little bits of on-going projects...

I cut out some more spool pieces...

...and some background squares for my little basket project, from Blackbird Design's "When the Cold Wind Blows" (I'm finally jumping on the little scrappy basket band wagon - better late than never).

And these little cuties are my portion from our Friday morning group's "Liberated Lady" swap.  I've been cooking up a plan for them involving scrappy strips, "The Wizard of Oz," and some of Tonya's (Lazy Gal Quilting) free-pieced letters and words...stay tuned for THIS one!

You are probably thinking, "man...she's out of control!"  And you would be RIGHT!  I am going through a major funk now that my Civil War Bride is finished.  I was so focused on that project for seven months, and now I am like a rock skipping on the water.  There are so many things I want to be doing.  I've always worked on multiple projects, until the bride.  It has always been useful doing a few things in tandem...especially cutting out scrappy stuff.

Sooo, after getting caught up on scrap maintenance, I am going to piece like crazy!!!  My spools will be my "baggie, on the go" project, the "Liberated Ladies" will be my crazy/creative project, and the baskets will be a little applique project until I pick the next BIG applique project.

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baggie project...I'm wading in (better late than never!)...

Well, I'm finally jumping on the spool band wagon...did I spell it right??  I KNOW I pronounced it wrong.  I drafted a pattern tonight and dug right in.  Mine will finish to 3 inches and have a slightly fatter center than the first post I saw about these.  I LOVE to have little pieces in a baggie or little box...since my daughter came off a cranky horse a little over a week ago and badly sprained an ankle, I have been stuck waiting places for her with no tiny project.  I've got a few cut out from scraps so I'm ready for action.  I've got a lot to do to catch up with the rest of you!

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Monday, May 3, 2010

More quilt show eye candy...

The above was paper-pieced and the one below is appliqued and machine-quilted...

This pineapple was made from neckties - really cool!

I've seen this New York Beauty variation before, but always love to see it.

This quilt was made to honor servicemen in one family...

More later!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

More eye candy (quilt show pics)...

OK.  First of all, I'm not a great photographer.  Second, the way they set up the show at Sauder, they make all these U-shaped alcoves to hand the quilts in.  This is great because they can hang a lot of quilts.  It is un-great because it is impossible to get back far enough to take a decent and/or entire picture, straight on.  They hang some little quilts on point, and sometimes I turn my camera so that they line up for a picture.

All those excuses made, I hope you can enjoy the essence of these quilts!

The one above and the next several are all little quilts...part of a challenge using the Bonnie Blue line that came out last year sometime...GORGEOUS small-scale repro prints (I bought a fat quarter bundle last year, signed up, and didn't complete the mission - LOL).  The longest side could be no longer than 36 inches and the block size was to be 5 inches or smaller.

Here are the Best of Shows - first the wall hanging and then the bed quilt:

I really liked the following one...nice balance of pieced, applique and quilting.

This was a nice paper-pieced quilt for a 4-year-old...

I really liked this wall hanging...

The teacher for the week displayed this one...Sharon Schamber of Arizona...

I LOVED this next quilt!!  It was huge!  On our entry form, we were to choose between "to be judged" and "display only" - this person chose neither, which I think was an oversight on her part.  So the judges did not consider it.  Pity...

More later!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)