Think about this.....

...the only thing scarier then reaching out to the unknown is settling for that with which we are comfortable.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bottled Rainbows

This original design was featured in the Jan/Feb 12 No. 143 issue of Quiltmaker. I was waiting for Christmas presents to arrive before I did one myself. My mom is very good at getting me jelly rolls and charm packs for the holidays and sure enough, I received not one, but two solid colored jelly rolls this year. I LOVE my mom!!!

I have renamed the quilt Mosaic Madness because I'm going to start playing with the overall colors and shapes within the blocks as well as different stitch embellishments between the separate scraps of fabric.  Since I used all the jelly roll pieces on this quilt and the yet-to-be-published-here Wonky Fans quilt (first set of borders on yesterday and then the flange/prairie points after quilting), I am left with just a few scraps and won't have enough to complete the "framing" on each of the blocks, so I'm going to have to play with those also (oh darn).

My guild members have asked me to teach this quilt during our March Quilt University set of classes and I have gladly agreed. I'm so excited that I'm going to be able to teach again! Adults should be much easier then 6-year olds, right?

Here's a close up of a few of the blocks:

Recognize any of these fabrics?

Meanwhile, I'm working on a HUGE Dresden from some 1930's fabric Andrew gifted me with at Christmas (my family knows me so well). I wanted to make the blades large and started with 8" on my Easy Dresden Template. Needless to say, I'm cutting the background blocks at 20" square to fit the monster on. BUT, the four blocks I have completed look amazing!

And on the administrative side of things; I have just inserted my Scrap Squad badge on my blog so now I look more official. I'm loving my fellow scrapers and they all seem so much fun! It's too bad we don't live closer together so we could meet fact to face and share our quilt building stories in person.

Back to the studio!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Laura is sick...

...again. Not my future daughter-in-law Laura, but the machine that keeps my life (in)sane. I do work her pretty hard, but after talking to my fellow ASQ guild members, found that I don't work her any harder then they do their Bernina's, Phaff's, Baby Locks, and Janome machines. I have one member who actually sews a LOT more then even I do on her little Singer and said she's never had any issues.

I think today I need to take her back to the dealer and have her serviced. I understand servicing needs to happen on occasion but it seems mine needs it more then others around me. I am careful to maintenance her here between projects, and I am careful to replace needles regularly, so I'm not sure why this very expensive machine is causing me so many headaches.

Perhaps, with the Christmas money I received it's time to part with it for an additional back up. I did get Husky out last weekend for our Friday sew-in but Husky has issues with seams thicker then two pieces of fabric, and he's not real great at feeding consistently. In other words, that 1/4" seam is tough to maintain with him and in a quilters world, this is an absolute must.

For Laura's final farewell for a while, I completed the quilting on the vegetable quilt mentioned below, and made this cute little Valentines table runner for our round table upstairs. Both quilts, I might add, where done completely out of what I had in the scrap bins.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Once upon a time...

...there was the an issue of Quiltmaker magazine lying around my house. A quilt appeared on its cover and I was determined to make one just like it.

The magazine was dated May/June '00 No. 73. Yep, almost 13 years ago. The quilt pattern was titled Garden Patch and this is what it turned out to look like a few months later.

I didn't understand colors and the differences in color value when I first began my quilting experience. I still struggle at times with getting contrast and values to pop in my quilts. While this quilt looks decent enough, and we receive several comments on it when company visits, I wasn't completely happy with the dull personification it portrayed and wanted to update it a bit. Plus, it was my first ever paper piecing project and I really didn't know what the heck I was doing back then.

Here's the newly completed top. I just finished it last night, and while it's not quilted yet, I had to show the before and after pics of what a few years' experience and an understanding of color can mean, not to mention, more is better when paper piecing!

Just for giggles I pinned the two up side by side on my design wall to show the actual effect of color and value placement. This is the result.

Sometimes you just have to redo a quilt because you love it so much; it is no longer doing what it used to do for you. This was one of those quilts. Because everybody always comments on it when they come over it needed a facelift. Three days out of my life to recreate it was well worth the time investment.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter is here...

...and so it's time to quilt! I have both fire places burning as the temperatures reach below zero. BUT this is good! When it's too cold outside to work I quilt, quilt, quilt and love, love, love every minute of it!

I'm in heaven!

Since the scrap squad quilt is at the quilters, I have been busy working on just a few things. Wonky fans, Al Boreland's ragg quilt, and a table runner with three huge hearts in the center (thank you again Jenny Doan at MSQC).

The Al Boreland quilt is below. I can't show you the other two because they aren't quilted yet. I ran out of batting a few weeks ago and forgot all about it until a few days ago so I'm waiting for my batting to come in the mail.

This will be donated to charity through ASQ guild. 

Today I'll be reviving an old Quiltmaker pattern I've had hanging on the wall for about 13 years. The Quiltmaker magazine is dated March/April, 2000. More to come on that when it's finished. 

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Top Finished

I normally listen to Norah Jones on my Pandora, or sometimes old rock and roll, or when I'm being creative, classical. But today I had to listen to some blues. The quilt top being made for scrap squad wasn't going together very well yesterday. I finally just had to walk away from it because of the frustration level I was achieving.

Today I was prepared. I put the blues on Pandora and a load of wash in the dryer (to warm up the studio--the dryer vents its warm air directly into my sewing space) and rethought how I was going to tackle this seemingly infuriating task.

I trimmed, I pinned, I ironed, I sewed, and yet, each block had its own little personality when joining it with its neighboring block. Luckily, my 10-foot mantra kept replaying in my head to keep me from just throwing the whole thing out and starting fresh.

By lunchtime I had the blocks together. I didn't have enough fabric in the colors I wanted to use for the borders, so off to the quilt store I went. I needed to get away for a little bit anyway since I was so disappointed in how this worked out.

After getting the borders on I was okay with the quilt. I decided after its completion that this would be a nice quilt to donate to the VA hospital in Battle Creek in November. Some lucky (or unlucky) VA will appreciate at least my willingness to try.

Now the quilt has to be taken to Akay Creations for quilting. My new friend, Alicia Campbell, will forever do my quilting since she did such an awesome job on Ben's Bow Tie quilt for Christmas and we share a kindred quilting spirit.

Here's the quilt as it hangs on the design wall right now.

Monday, January 7, 2013

This or That?

Our Quiltmaker Scrap Squad is now in full swing. We have our first pattern already and I'm feverishly building the blocks. 48 are in the original pattern and I'm thinking I'm going to stick to that amount.

I have decided to only use my fat quarter stash and not bust into the yardage stash. We have been directed to remember we are the SCRAP squad, not the make-it-like-the-picture squad. :-)

The colors I have chosen are bright and I have limited brights in yellow, orange, green, and dark purple. We'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, there are a variety of ways the completed blocks can be arranged to make up the quilt top. I've played with a few and have found these two to be the most pleasing.

Which to choose? 

I have 30 blocks done thus far and am totally enjoying making this quilt! While each block is constructed the same way, like all scrappy quilts I've completed, it's a new adventure with each block because of the variety of colors within. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Teeth Be Gone

I've had some loose teeth in the back of my mouth for about a year now. Apparently I'm suffering from some gum disease or such silliness and my molars didn't want to stay put. I love my teeth! I take very, very good care of them, and despite my constant care and caring for them, they needed to be removed. Wednesday was the day.

Needless to say, it's Friday, and here I am. I have the most amazing dentist and she had those three buggers out in less then an hour! Wow! The last tooth I had pulled took 2 hours to do and it was only the first of the four that needed removing. Needless to say, I put off the other three because of the previous experience. BTW...that first tooth was done while living in Arizona.

Now that I've hurdled that very traumatic experience (for me anyway), I'm back to my quilting adventures.

After opening my email this morning I was bombarded with several from Quiltmaker regarding our Scrap Squad commitment and the first scrap pattern we'll need to make. My first deadline is 2/15 and I will be delving into that as soon as I can clean up my studio downstairs from the other quilt I'm working on.

The other quilt is a rainbow-type of dresden that I'm modifying from a picture I saw in a book. So, in other words, I don't have a pattern, and I don't have any measurements. It's all free form. Prior to my little "surgery" I was able to complete the center dresden and figured I'll just build around that for the rest of the quilt.

I need to run to the Marshall House and purchase some background fabric though. I don't think I have enough in my stash to actually handle the 3 or so yards for the dark section. Shopping trip to the quilt store...bummer!!!