Saturday, November 18, 2017

The diet (quilt) continues...

I am so glad to have two sets of the nine blocks finished for this latest project.  They are not quite identical, but are very close, but the backgrounds are different.

Now comes the hard part for me...having to pick out more fabrics for finishing...ugh.  Not my favorite thing.  I have been buying more 1/4 and 1/2 yard pieces for applique so sometimes I am more limited on longer yardage needed for borders cut with the straight of grain, which is my preference.  Every time I pick something I love, there just isn't quite enough there.

I auditioned so many fabrics for the sashing, cornerstones, and two of the three borders.

For this block set, I settled on this black with fun spots for the sashing and a favorite fabric that is quickly disappearing for the cornerstones.

I think the cornerstones and at least one of the borders will be different for the second set.

One border on both quilts will feature a couple of, hopefully, humorous phrases.  I've been working on prepping some letters.

I had an embarrassing fall on my bad knee last weekend when we went to Tuscaloosa to take in a show ("Putnam County Spelling Bee").  I misjudged the bottom step in the Allen Bales Theater and down I rolled with my head stopping just short of the low stage.  At least I didn't do it at the top of the steps!  

Miss Graceless, I was, and in a dress, too!  At least we got there early before the sell out crowd completely arrived...I only flashed one third of the audience (unfortunately, there is not a bad seat in this intimate theater).

My daughter was working backstage, so I texted to warn her that I was OK in case any of her friends recognized me out front and told her.

As a result, I have one very swollen, bruised knee and one bruised one.  I have to minimize my sitting time.  I can sit, but have to get up every five minutes and walk around.  What a pain...literally.  I totally cannot stand still either, so sitting down to piece and standing to press does not even work.

Knee surgery is certainly in my future...but hopefully not yet.

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Your inspiration from my inspiration...

I LOVE it when my blog readers share your creations inspired by my patterns and blog!  I often wonder what happens to my patterns when I ship them off into the wide, blue 'yonder (or they are received digitally).  

Do people store them away like I do, like a squirrel putting precious nuts away for later?  Or do they dive right in.

Here are three quilts from quilters who dove right in...

The above picture of "Baltimore Rhapsody - Symphony" was made by Val Ursulak of Nanaimo, B.C., Canada.  She is in an applique group of forty-three ladies who have been meeting together for ten years (I am actually drooling at this point...).  

Her husband is a musician and currently a member of an large ensemble.  Val told me that he took each finished block to rehearsal to show the other musicians as she was working along.

I love her little changes in design and color...just take a gander at the peacock on the tuba!  

She is entering the quilt in the Canadian Quilter's Association Quilt Show in Vancouver, B.C. next May.  I hope she sweeps the ribbons!

The quilt below is called "The Piano Garden" and was made by Kristy Wilkinson of Sunnyvale, CA.  I love how she took the enlarged piano motif as her anchor then just let her imagination fly!

The quilt was made for the piano teacher who had taught her children over fifteen years.

Isn't it cool how she also featured the piano on the label?

She incorporated musical words of expression into her flower vine motifs...largo, moderato, andante, etc.

And the keyboard border is just fabulous.

The next quilt really touched my heart!  You all know I had a favorite kitty, Weasley, that I had to leave with a friend in Michigan because I couldn't move him south.  He has had a very loving home for the past two years, but I miss him every day.

My husband took a picture of Weasley that I have on my blog.  Jacquie Anderton of Melbourne, Australia saw the picture and made an INCREDIBLE quilt inspired by the lumpy, lazy Mr. Weasley.

She did such a good job with the applique!  I wanted to make a block from this picture, but I chickened out...LOL!

She said that the hand quilting was made more complicated by her own cat wanting to crawl up on the quilt as she worked...typical.

Weasley, at his new home...I see that he is still lazy, lumpy and completely adorable.  Sigh.

In stitches, and missing Mr. Weasley,
Teresa   :o)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A puzzle of pieces...

There are times when a burst of creativity happens and I quickly jump in with both feet before it fades.  Usually the burst of creativity only takes me just so far into a project before the "window of otherness" closes.  Sigh.  

I then put these partially started creations aside.  Sometimes it is just a drawing, sometimes I actually get to the freezer paper bit stage.  

If I am lucky, before the window closes, I have actually chosen fabrics and ironed the patterns to the small pieces of fabric (choosing fabrics is the most time-consuming step for me).  Then the outside world closes in again.  I usually try to get to this point before the magic fades because then I can glue prep the pieces as I have time.  No creativity needed for this step.  My OCD kicks into action.

Glue prepping is mindless at this point...I could do it in my sleep.

Sometimes it is months or even years before I get back to things.

About 8 months ago, I put a small box of one of these set-aside projects, with pattern pieces adhered, trimmed and ready to have the edges temporarily glued under, in my packed hoard pile taken to the recent retreat.  I also took a drawing of a center medallion idea I was working on about the same time.

I hoped that the picture and the pieces were for the same project, LOL!  I really did not have time to investigate further before I left the house (because, of course, I procrastinated on what to take...).  

Off I trotted toward Cullman, fabric scraps flying from my car like the leaves that were falling off the trees.

A pile of petals, leaves and bud parts...and thankfully, they DID go together.

Then it was like working a puzzle to try and re-create what was in my head months ago.  I LOVE puzzles!

When working on something, I stupidly assume that when I try to continue with the project, I will automatically remember what I was doing.  Sadly, it does not always work that way for me, LOL!

I have started putting an index card in projects that I set aside.  The card contains as much info as I can write, to remind me what I was thinking when I was "in the zone."  Unfortunately, I did not include a card in this project.

When I remove the freezer paper as I work my puzzle, I label each motif with a tiny scrap of freezer paper, carefully ironed onto the front of the finished motif.  Maybe that will make progress easier when I pick things up again.

The flowers were the easy part of this design.  I challenged myself to design a quilt medallion like I had never seen before.  I succeeded in drawing one pretty good motif...and it has intimidated and paralyzed me ever since.  I will try and get over this hump and share that part of the puzzle soon.

In stitches, 
Teresa  :o)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Becoming an old geezer in my 50's...


I am beginning to want more light when I am sewing.  I'm not equating this with advancing age, mind you.  I just used to be stupid.

It seems like someone was always bugging me about reading and sewing in better light.  Now I need to take that advice.

Sewing machines, old or new, never have enough light.  Either my old Singer Featherweight or the newish Genome, it's still the same.  I like the LED lighting on the new machines, but there is too little of it and it never seems to illuminate what I am doing.

I have started rear lighting my sewing machine to illuminate my whole sewing platform table.  I love the extra work space at throat plate level, but the machine light only shines, barely, on the presser foot.

I usually end up placing my tabletop Ott light near my sewing machine.  I have tried a couple of those little lights that attach to the machine, but they are inadequate as well.

I have also stopped putting up with an inadequate light box.  I use this piece of equipment a lot, and it must be bright and must be flat...and must be larger.

I have found ...and love...the Huion brand, sold on Amazon.  Their price tends to fluctuate for some reason. 

My personal lighting solution is my Beam 'n' Read...a light that hangs around my neck.  Some come with 4 LED lights.  I like the one with 6 LED lights.

It allows me to hand stitch anywhere and not disturb the other people in the room.  I always have something to stitch with me while waiting for car maintenance or other long "public" waits away from home.

I also use it while repairing things or looking for something in a dark area.  Hands free light...just awesome. 

I look like a stupid, bobbing bird when I try to use one of those head lamps that fit like a sweat band.

I ordered my first one through the company (phone number above), but I have also found them on Amazon.  I love Amazon Prime free and fast worth it when you live a long way from retail stores.

It seems like all the places that are convenient for a sewing area in this house are inconvenient for good lighting.  I have a number of table lamp options, and I need them!

Steve has been out of town for a couple of weeks, so naturally I have taken the opportunity to do weird things that I probably wouldn't do if he was here...things like just rinsing the dishes and putting them in the dishwasher without starting it, drinking out of a measuring cup (because all the glasses were rinsed and sitting in the dishwasher), sleeping with a Ginsu knife under the bed (for security, of course), and sometimes wearing my jammies all day (you can get away with that when you work from home).

But my best bit of quirkiness on his recent trip was sitting on the couch stitching, straddling my floor Ott light.  That way the light is totally focused on my work area.  I can easily adjust it to sitting back or sitting on the edge of the couch, whatever feels comfortable at the time..

And Steve was not here to snigger at me.

I can peek around it to watch TV.  Awesome.

I love the bendy neck and the long really allows me to sit in any position and have the best light.  I do have to move it when I get up, but that is not a big deal.

Good lighting is required for hand stitching tiny potato chips.  Darkness is better for eating the larger ones...

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Quilt collector you collect?

Do any of you collect quilt pins?  I love to find them at shows, quilt stores, stash dashes, etc.  I have also been gifted some nice quilt pins and charms.

I want to do something special with them, but something that also allows space for more collecting.

And then, how to support the weight of all of them?  Do I keep those pinch clips on the back?  If I used a corked background I could just stick them in and store the backs somewhere else.

I also have some brass, 6-inch bell pull hardware.  Maybe I could make a long slender quilted or unquilted fabric piece to fit.  The heavy, bottom, second brass piece would keep the 6-inch strip from twisting and warping.

Then I poked around Pinterest for ideas.

Nancy Zieman suggested a bag.

I like the simplicity of the banners.

Doing a covered cork background in an antique mirror or picture frame is also a good idea.

Hey!  Finally a good thing to do with plastic canvas!

Another banner...

Another mirror frame...

A lamp shade is a clever would have to be a really sturdy lamp shade, though.

Hooping some quilted fabric...

And another frame idea...

I know some people pin them on their quilt guild fabric name tags or the straps for their name tags that hang around their necks.  I have tried that when I had fewer pins, but now my collection is too large for that, and it makes my name to hard to see and read.

I have trouble reading other people's names through their pins.

It is funny...most of the pin storage ideas I found involved Disney pin collecting.

Have you done something with your pins, if you collect?  I would love some ideas...

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)