Thursday, March 31, 2011

Giveaway #1

Calling all "Nostalgia" Lovers!!!  These are the leftovers from my own Nostalgia quiltmaking.
These are the quilty items ready for giving away.  I've overpurchased, but there is still plenty for another project--in fact I've even included a "recipe" for the honeybun--it will work into a quilt top.  This is perfect for a donation project or a baby quilting project.

I have this top now nearly done (everything is now cut)

So everything in the first picture is now ready for a GIVEAWAY! 

Here's what you do:
1. Just enter a comment on this entry and make sure it has a way from me to communicate with you.  "No-    reply" bloggers will have to email me their email or they won't be considered. 
2.  Monday is the day I draw a number and mail out the giveaway.
3.  Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Basket: Rules and Life

It's early yet.  It's dark outside and the house and neighborhood are very quiet.  This is my time of the day.  I don't share it with anyone but my thoughts.  I got thinking about this basket that I brought up from the basement last weekend after making a purchase of many Kona fabrics that were on sale.
Now it sits in front of the door to my small sewing room and it is a reminder of where I've been and where I'm now going. 

This basket has a history and in sharing this history, I hope I can make myself understood and not misunderstood.  My husband reminded me that I had originally purchased it for him.  It was downstairs with all the acrylic paints I'd purchased thinking that I would draw, but quilting was a bigger draw for me and so hoping that DH would take up drawing/painting I put the paints there.  But, as DH reminded me: it was the "Bishop's Basket".  Let me explain.  I think it was the year 2000.  My husband had been "called" as they call it in the Mormon faith to be the bishop of our ward, (a territorial description of the boundries that make up the people that a bishop serves.)  Within the week all kinds of mail started coming to  "Bishop _____" so I bought this lovely handmade basket in a local artsy shop and pronounced it the Bishop Basket.  All the incoming mail with his name on it would go into that basket until he could take the time to go through it.  It was hands off for me--it was his.

There are many people who love boundries, rules and codes of behavior.  As the oldest child and one reared in a home of many rules, I was one of them.  But, this was also the time in my life that there were many messages from others, from my body, my well-being that were telling me that I wanted to break free from rules.  I wanted to set my own, and mark my own path.  I left that faith and DH followed and the path we've blazed since then has been one of experimentation and making our own rules.  We try to follow only one set of rules now--the golden rule.  We aren't very successful at times but we are freer, happier, and less bound by convention than we've ever been.

So, this basket is a symbol to me of that journey.  Quilting with its straight lines and order represented to me--someone strangely dyslexic (self proclaimed) and ADHD (again self proclaimed) boundries within which I could find some sense and it paralleled my trying to find my own sense of self.  But, after playing around with blocks, patterns, rules and order my quilting world is fast becoming as my own world was in 2000.  It took me until 2005 when I said, "I've had enough." 

Strangely, that is exactly how I feel now.  The order that quilting has brought to my mind, is about to change.  I'm ready to break free and become my own person.  Not one that is following someone else's set of rules!  I'm not sure as I sit here contemplating of how quilting and religion (or now the lack thereof) are the same.  Are they?  In my mind, in the quiet of this morning, as I reflect I think they are.  As that oldest daughter who tried so hard to follow all the rules: be perfect--I now see that perfect imperfection is what life is all about.  No matter how hard I tried to make a perfect quilt--there was always a flaw.  Now, I laugh.  It's been a journey.  A good one and one that has brought me happiness and contemplation.  But, the journey is taking a new twist.  That basket is my reminder.

As I've been clearing out the partially finished projects and UFO's I've grown weary.  There are some things I've put away and thought that I would return to them.  But, I'm not.  There are some things that I'll take pictures of and give away.

When the sun comes up and the DH arises and I have more freedom to move around the house without waking anyone up, I'll list some things for "giveaway."

It's a new dawn around here.

Wonky Stars made from the triangular cuts from bindings of quilts I've done in the past.  They are 6.5 inches and made from scraps and 2.5 inch pieces.  Now its' time to make them with some bright colors rather than the white--don't you think???

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Was Bored!!!

A couple of years ago at a quilt show I bought 4 fat quarters of  the pale yellow with lavender stars.  I needed some of that combination for the Sunshine Yahoo Monthy Lotto.  (I didn't have any yellow/lavender combo).  I did have this purplish/blue (it doesn't show well on the monitor, but it's not really purple and it's not really a royal blue, but it goes with the stars.

I found some green and made these:

I put them together for a donation quilt top:

Boring???  Well, it was to me.  So I add some pizzazz:

I like it better now.  I'm not going to quilt it just yet, but I'll cut the binding. 

These are some blocks I made for the Sunshine Yahoo Group Lotto for April:
And from the leftovers of a quilt for my sis that I haven't quilted yet.  (Goose Creek from Marcia Hohn's site.)

So, now on to another UFO!  I'm going to get these loose ends tied up soon!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tiny Rosebuds with a Bold Look

I had some fabric from Helen's stash from Wrap Them in Love, and wondered just what I'd do with it.  I also had some 9 patches from another quilt I'd done for Wrap a Smile with Bev's stash and I got the idea when I saw the two get thrown together as I was going through some other fabric.  An idea was born...and this quilt is the product of that idea.
Anyone as old as me, probably remembers lots of fabric that had tiny rosebuds in it.  When I was a teenager, I thought it "old fashioned".  It still brings memories of wallpapered bedrooms that were cold because the heat didn't quite get there.  The lime green adds a bit of a new twist to the fabric--sort of old meets new.  The back was picked from my lime green fabrics.

Last week in my cleaning up of strays, I decided to just sew a border around some fabric.  I'm not sure if it's for a boy or a girl--my daughter had lots of blue and the images in this quaint quilt seem more feminine to me.  But, it is now complete and ready for donation.

The backing completes the fabric I bought for a quilt for a grandson.  It is the third quilt done from this fabric and the tiny bits left from this will probably be used in either string blocks or crumb blocks.  Again, I just didn't spend a lot of time making more blocks from this as it was a ufo because I was weary of the fabric! 

A couple of years ago my sis thought maybe she'd like to quilt.  So I cut lots of squares up for her to begin a quilt.  But, I got them back about a month ago, they are now in a sandwiched quilt and I hope to quilt it soon.  With that and the rosebud quilt, my ufo list grew to 26 items.  I now only have 5 more to go.  So far this year I've used 91.3 yards of stash in UFO's and the total for all my quilting this year is at 117.1 yards.  That's a lot of fabric!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Back to Reality!

After a wonderful retreat and many mind expanding ideas, I returned home to a lot of stray fabrics.  I wish I'd have taken a before photo of all of them in my sewing room--but I didn't.

I decided to comb through my stash and take all the panels and really easy donation stuff and make it into tops--I got a whopping 5 from those, two from my own purchase and 3 from Bev's stash.  They are now flimsies and have gone into "THE BOX" for next year.  I'm putting them in the basement--out of sight out of mind, so that I can concentrate on the Ricky Tim's hand dyed fabric I bought for wallhangings.  (can't wait to attack that!)

The things I took to the retreat, I'll work on a little each day and get those done! This is the quilt I finished upon arriving home:

The next thing I did was look at my scrap drawer--it was stuffed!  So, I decided to just "make fabric" --that's what I call making crumb blocks.  I've already made two flimsies from some of the crumbs--but they are also in "THE BOX" for next year.  But, here is a photo of the remaining crumb blocks I made:

This is the drawer I keep my scraps.  It's organized into partially finished crumb blocks and stacked by color/type for future scraps.

With my mind now off the UFO's I've stashed into "THE BOX" for next year, I can concentrate on the projects I want to work on.  I have 5 UFO's named for this year to complete, (one is at the quilter's) and the rest I'll complete myself.   Three projects I'm currently working on that may become next year's UFO's and a couple of NEW projects I want to complete in 2011.  With a whopping 18 projects taken to the basement in "THE BOX" my mind feels freed of all the clutter and I can enjoy studying Quilting in the Limelight by Philippa Naylor, spending more time planning and cooking more healthy meals, walking and biking and working in the yard.  As spring approaches, I think I'm ready with priorities and desires--ready to take them to reality! to get the house ready for weekend company and NO quilting.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Switching Gears!

During the past three weeks some things have transpired that when contemplating about them, seem like they are pulling me in a direction to switch gears.  I'm growing tired of cranking out quilts--throwing blocks together, free motion quilting them and then machine binding them.  It has seemed like I've turned so many corners in binding, and so quickly, that I'm growing very tired of the process!

This past weekend, I attended a retreat sponsored by Fabric Arts Studio of Grand Junction, CO.  I felt revived and renewed and even though it was as UFO retreat, I learned much from the gracious quilters that attended!

This is the location--even though I snapped this as we left, you get the idea of the gorgeous scenery and setting:

A View from our room as I was arising Saturday morning:


So close to the Colorado River!
...And the weather was gorgeous--70 degrees!

Didn't get many shots of the quilters and I don't want to spoil the workmanship of those working toward presenting in a show.

These are some blocks I got finished.  I was quite bored piecing them--had them precut and forgot how I placed them and made odd numbers of some, so I'll be changing how I use them.  I'm thinking of using the above blocks in a wallhanging, or maybe I'll make more strips and vary the way I assemble them for a quilt.  Not yet sure.

These are from some leftovers of DGD's quilt last summer.  I'm liking playing with these blocks.

and this one:

Now for the contemplative thoughts.  If I venture into making more "art" quilts and I use that term loosely as I'm not sure quite yet what that means exactly for me, I'll be making some space by finishing up the UFO's I've listed and start on some other projects I outlined for 2011 and in the process, continue dyeing fabrics and looking toward what I can do.  I was very impressed with an interview by Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson on the Quilt Show of Philippa Naylor.  She showed a process on a pastel color doing Trapunto Design. I've always admired Trapunto, but then I got her book and it was here when we arrived home.

WOW!  Could I use Trapunto with my hand dyes??!!!  Now my brain is really working and I'm starting to get excited about a new way for me to quilt. do I finish up with all my projects first or do I jump into this process??  Knowing me, I'll probably process for awhile while finishing up the things I started, especially the quilt I was trying to quilt at the retreat, but the thread kept breaking because it was supported enough at the table I was using.  I'm going to spend some time really sinking into the processes explained in this book and keeping notes.  There may be fewer entries in my blog.  Time will tell!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

ABC Quilt Ready

I joined a swap a couple of years ago and had lots of ABC groups.  This is the third ABC quilt I've finished this year and UFO #19.

I found this back and it just seemed to go:

The binding is called Drums of Africa and is  radom off white dots on black.  The sticker said 10 yards and I've only 3 yards left.  It has gone with lots of quilts and designs.  It was a great purchase from Thousands of Bolts for only apprx. $4 a yard.  I have some other fabrics from that line that I still want to make into an African styled quilt.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another Swirl Quilt

Last night was a rerun of NCIS, so I pulled out the bag that held the precut pieces and crumb blocks for this quilt.

I found this fun fabric for the backing:

Another quilt is ready for donation.  I have made a tutorial for this quilt HERE  I had forgotten how I did it, so I had to really rely on the written directions I had made.  Just a couple of ripits, but it really went together quite quickly and it used up some stray 6.5 inch blocks I had!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm Absolutely Loving What I'm Doing!

In the course of my quilting journey, donation quilts has been a huge part.  I've done many already this year and I sort of "speed sew" those.  My departure has been for this project I've not quite known what to do with.  I fell in love with the fabric I saw about 3 years ago in a small fabric store in Salt Lake City.  I purchased the panel, not knowing what to do with it.  I cut into it for a mug rug recently and once that first cut was made, I was freed up to cut into it more and start my very own wall hanging for my studio!  The pinwheels had been made, the fabric selected and stored in a baggie and this has now become UFO #16 finished for this year.
This is the final project, now complete:
I layered this onto Thermore by Hobbs, which is Ultra-Thin by their words.  After using it, I think I still prefer the 80/20 cotton poly blends, but I still have enough of the Thermore for a vest or jacket quilting project that I intend doing later this year.

This quilt was quilted using Sulky invisible thread on the top for the most part.  I did use a polyester thread around the quilters to do the outline stitch.

The pinwheels tended to bulge out a bit, so after outline stitching I added a circular stitch around the pinwheel that helped lay it down better.  I rinsed the quilt and then dried it a bit in the dryer before blocking it out on the counter.  I also sprayed it with starch before going to bed, and this morning I sprayed the back a bit too.

This is a shot of the back.  It is a fine white muslin type fabric that I purchased by the bolt.  This quilting took in the process of three days time.  It was quite intense, so I left it and I also had other things going on too, so this worked into the free moments.

I've named this quilt: "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things."  (flowers and all things associated with quilting)
I'll be hanging it today using this process  Last night it snowed with a really wet spring snow here in Utah, so we didn't venture any farther than the closest Wal-Mart which didn't have this product, so I'm hoping I can find it today at Ace.

This is a shot of another UFO completed.  I purchased this whole fabric hoping to practice quilting on it.  But, my life has taken me to practicing on donation quilts.  So, this piece with borders added is now either a donation quilt or a table cloth, as I had originally intended and while quilting it that's what my DH invisioned, so for now it will go into the closet and I'll decide next fall as it is really a beautiful fall fabric.

Moda Fabric circa 2007

Monday, March 7, 2011

UFO #15 Complete

How to put blocks together that don't seem to fit?!!!  I had these blocks from Bev's stash and I wondered how I would put them together.  What was a "neutral" that I could use without purchasing any fabric.  I combed my stash and found a brown that seemed to work:
I borrowed a setting from someone else--wish I knew and I'd give them credit...

I don't have any calico fabric in my stash so this was a stretch, but I found a paisley for the back that seemed to not detract from the quilt and I had plenty as I love paisley and this was on a great sale:

So a quilt is now finished and ready to send to Wrap Them in Love in Memory of Bev.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Computer's Back!

It's been a week since I took my computer in for some minor repairs.  Mostly it was overheating and turning off.  It seems fine now and is running faster and I'm a happy camper!

I finished this quilt this week:

I was going to take it to the salon where I get my hair done and see if I could sell it to one of the gals there who wanted an autumn quilt--but I changed my mind.  I loved the paisley quilting design that Judy used and it just looked great on the railing in my living room, so it stays.  I'm less inclined to part with those that I hand stitch the binding on. 

I counted yesterday and I have 8 quilts ready for quilting in the closet.  Most are sandwiched and ready to go--just need to be in the right mood to quilt them! 

I also spent some time cutting some kits.  One in particular I'll be taking to Moab next week for a retreat.  I can hardly wait to sew it--it's a batik in mostly purple shades--gorgeous!!!  I made a sample block and it's going to be fun.  I may take some of my sandwiched quilts there too, as it is two days of anything goes working on UFO's.  The ladies attending, I've never met.  I'm getting excited to return to Moab and also meet some new people.  I miss spring in Moab.  It's been rainy and drizzly here and from the weather accounts, it is warmer and more sunny there.  It's been an experience to move after retirement.  There's not work to connect you to people and sometimes I just feel too young to go to the senior's outings.  Many of the people we've met there don't remember us the next time we get together--so I wonder if there is a place for us??? But, we have each other, and our children are closer and DH's mother has an independent living facility that allows her an apartment and some independence and it is only 10 minutes from here.  In Moab, there was nothing like that for her--so we're here!  Quit whining, Pat!  Thank goodness for my sewing machine and computer!  I love checking out the quilting groups I belong to each day and I spend time checking out others' blogs!  The computer has changed life for lots of people.

Didn't get to any dyeing this week--hope to next week.  Itching to try some chartreuse that I purchased and I have a tank top and a blouse I want to try it on!

Puttered around with some scraps of green and made these for Sunshine's Monthly Lotto.
I love doing this lotto.  One of each of a pair of blocks goes to the lotto and the other goes to make quilts for Sunshine which in turn goes to either Wrap A Smile or Wrap Them in Love.  It's a win win for me, because sometimes I have leftovers from other quilts as in the black and white and green and I just don't want to make another quilt--so I find enough to make a few blocks and donate them to Sunshine.  Fun! Fun!

DH cleaned the carpet this week too!  Soon we'll need to figure out what to do--thinking of making a trail through the house with tile--mostly through the hallway and the computer room/office and maybe my sewing room.  I don't like how the carpet wears so unevenly where there is traffic--and goodness there is only two of us!  The thing that really makes me not want to do that is having to change the paint first!!

Enough of my rambling--off to read the paper and have another cup of Java!  Have a great day and enjoy!