Thursday, July 26, 2012

Constructing country roses...

OK...I figured out how to build a country rose.  Here are the steps:

1)  Stop the procrastination and being a fraidy cat and just draw, damn it (the worst that can happen is that it will not look like a rose):

2)  Trace the rose onto freezer paper (don't reverse pattern), number petals, mark piece edges that tuck under others with little dash marks, then cut apart carefully with scissors.  (It's just like making a tiny jigsaw puzzle!)

3)  Choose fabrics that go from dark to light (outer petals to center).

4)  Count initial fabric choices.  Now count the actual number of freezer paper petals made in step #2 (don't count leaves...). count your initial fabric choices again. eliminate fabrics until the # of petals = the # of fabrics chosen  (this is the most painful step for me...).

5)  Arrange fabrics roughly in the shape of your rose to see if the color grade works.  If you like it, press the corresponding pattern to the RIGHT side.  Cut out pieces leaving an extra scant 1/8 inch on undashed edges, and an extra scant 1/4 inch on the dashed edges.

6)  Turn under edges using the glue stick applique method (see tutorial on the toolbar, above).

7)  Starting in the center, use tiny dots of Roxanne's Glue Baste ("dot, dot, not a lot") to layer pieces.  Make sure dots of glue are placed so that they won't hinder using a needle later.  I find pattern weights VERY useful during this step and I am handling the tiny pieces with my long tweezers instead of my clumsy fingers.  I am working right over my paper pattern.  If I am using TINY drops of glue, I will NOT be gluing my rose to the paper.   :o)

8)  Add connected leaves.

9)  Wow...that wasn't so bad (pat yourself oh the back...).

10)  When the Roxanne's Glue baste dries, using tweezers, gently peel and remove papers (these can be used again for additional roses).

11)  Do happy dance.


12)  I hand applique as much of this as I can, with silk thread, BEFORE I glue baste the entire rose in place on my background.  That way I am only dealing with the bulky background for stitching the outside edges.  

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Teenie-tiny flowers...

I have managed to do a little glue prepping on my secret project...LOTS of tiny, challenging pieces, but with this applique method, I am up to the challenge!  I now have about twenty large blocks drafted...I like how they look on paper, and I've got 3 fifteen inch blocks glue-basted and ready to stitch.  I think I will be pushing the envelope with my glue method on some of these blocks...the pieces are so TINY!

I hope I can show you more of this project soon, but I have created (drafted) something I have never seen before in the quilting world (just when I thought EVERYTHING had been done...), and I want to copyright the designs after I see if they work in fabric as well as they do on paper

I hate to be a tease...just afraid of the Internet.  Mostly, I just hate to have nothing more than these little snippets to share with you!  I am giddy with excitement about the project!

Since I hate choosing fabric, I am choosing not to choose.  I'm just using every fabric I can lay my hands on.  It's like going to a dinner buffet and having a little bite...of EVERYTHING!  (and NO calories!)


In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My first BIG quilt show...YAHOO!!

As many of you have heard, AQS is hosting their first regional quilt show in Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 22-25.  At the last minute a few weeks ago, I decided to enter "All Around the Town" and "Life of Riley" (my Civil War Bride quilt) in the show.  I had never entered anything in a major, juried show, and was a little daunted by the entry requirements (oh, the perfect photos required...sigh), but thought the process might be good experience and I really needed some good photos of these quilts anyway.

AQS wanted the photos taken outside, and as you Midwestern people know, there is ALWAYS a breeze in Michigan.  It took ALL DAY to photograph 2 quilts (waiting for the rare, windless moments so that the quilts would hang correctly and look square).

Well, I received envelopes in the mail a couple of weeks ago...not the regular-sized, "we're sorry, we don't want your quilt..." type, but the large, "here are some more hoops you need to jump through" acceptance letters...for BOTH of them!!!  You could have knocked me over with a small baggie of fabric snippets!  Those letters came on a day when I REALLY needed a boost!

So, then I needed to figure out how to make and attach the "right kind of hanging sleeve" to the quilts so that they could be hung with their hanging system.  Construction wasn't too hard with their enclosed directions.  

The hard part came when I had to quarantine the kitty and do a SEVERE and THOROUGH job of removing Weasley hair from the quilts with the lint roller.  Of course, that required removing cat hair (ahem...and the cat...) from that area of the quilt cave first, LOL!

It is fun to have the August quilt show to look forward to...road trip!  It will be thrilling to have a couple of quilts hanging at the show...don't you think a quilt show just feels different when you are a participant??  Don't get me wrong, ANY opportunity to go to a show is awesome, but it is fun to be an "anonymous lurker" in the area where your quilt is hanging...

Will I see some of you at the Grand Rapids AQS show? 

In stitches,
Teresa, the "lurker"    :o)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The "no" easy button...

I'm still here...lots of challenges to contend with lately and precious little free time...crap, crap, crap.  I'm sorry that Fabric Therapy has been so quiet.  I've done precious little personal sewing for the past few months, and I have trouble posting about nothing.  There have been some difficult issues to deal with as well no time for personal sewing...all adding up to make me cranky.  I don't know about you, but I don't feel like creating nuttin' when I am cranky.

I started blogging as a little thing I did for myself, and I have surely missed it!  Not that I ever thought I had anything to say that anyone else would want to read, but mostly because blogging is like talking to an imaginary quilting buddy.  I love quilting and I want to do and talk about it all the time.

When I feel icky, whacking up fabric and sewing it back together is the best therapy...when there is no time to do that, I feel ickier.  I've been coming up with a list of  rules...rules I need to follow at keep time in my life for the sport I love...rules to tape everywhere in my house so I will remember to follow them.

#1 -  I can't fix anyone else's problems.
#2 -  Just because I have the ABILITY to do something doesn't mean I HAVE to do it.
#3 -  Put my own oxygen mask on first - make a little time everyday for exercise and stitching.
#4 -  It's OK to say "no." (I now have a partner in this effort...the "no" easy button pictured at the top of this post, from my local Hallmark store...)
#5 -  Be thankful for every day...each day has at least something in it that is a gift.

I know I am totally stressed when all I want to do is sit in the quilt cave and snip fabric scraps even smaller with my KICK-ASS scissors that I got for Christmas (thank you, Ola!!).  I think snipping fabric into tiny shapes is my version of sitting, rocking back and forth, and mumbling nonsensically while drooling. 

I just LOVE these Karen Kay Buckley scissors with the "micro serrated edges."  All those tiny teeth just pull the fabric into the scissor blades instead of push it away (like my smooth, sharp shears do...).  I love the little snips as well...same tiny teeth...chomp, chomp.  And I have not lost the scissor guards...yet...BONUS!

Between the chaos, I've been teaching some classes, some that I scheduled before I knew how nuts life would become and some where I've been subbing for a quilting buddy who just got 2 new knees (keep up the great physical therapy, Mary!!).  I've managed to prep samples for those, but sometimes at the last minute in a huge rush (accompanied by more mumbling and drooling...).  Famous last words (these may be on my tombstone some day): "Oh, THAT won't take long to prepare..."

Dumb ass...I guess I need a Rule #6 -  DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING FOR THE LAST MINUTE!

I'm good in a crisis, but it is EXHAUSTING to live every day in one!

Thank goodness for my magic box...when I can't get down to the quilt cave and can do a little hand work, I have either been gluing edges under on little baskets, getting them ready to place on background squares, hand-stitching some down, or trimming around the ironed-on freezer paper patterns for the next batch (with my KICK-ASS scissors!).

I'm still cranking on this long term project...I've pinned some of the finished blocks on my design wall, along with some of the baskets awaiting being paired with a background square.

Thank you for your emails of support during my unplanned absence from blogging.  I may still be spotty until mid-August...or I may post, but not be in town to respond.  Please be patient...I have missed you!  Life should return to a more normal and manageable level of chaos by then...(grin). 

In stitches (again...finally!),
Teresa  :o)