Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WIP Wednesday - Dreams Dreams Dreams

Moving into my new studio led to the discovery of many UFOs, WIPs and PIGS. My goal for 2017 is to finish some stuff.



Having a design wall is amazingly helpful for seeing what I'm working on and what the next step is. Even if I only have a few minutes to sew, it's easy to pick a pair of blocks off the wall and stitch them together.


I was also lucky enough to score a free whiteboard that someone was giving away on my neighborhood message board. I've always wanted one, and now can make lists to my heart's content. I'm trying to figure out the best way to organize it, but I love crossing stuff out! (I have no earthly idea what YTF stands for. Any guesses?)


I've taken Jaye's fabulous advice to have some mindless sewing at the ready for those days when I'm just too far gone for math. Or pins. Or anything requiring accuracy. For a while it was some nine patches out of three charm packs of Sweet Hearts by Benartex. Now I've cut them up and reassembled them for a Disappearing Nine Patch.


Side note: I really need to get this quilt done so it will stop haunting me. I had a dream last week that I was frantically trying to finish it so that my son could take it to a friend's baby. Fun fact: this couple is not expecting and has never even mentioned having children in my presence. What is wrong with me? 

While I do that, I've pulled out my scrap bins and am working on the strata for Stripper's Knot, one of The Stitch TV Show's patterns.




I hope to clear my mind and my sewing room this year! What are you working on?


Sunday, January 1, 2017

State of the Stash

Happy New Year!

This seems like as good a time as any to reboot the blog and my quilting habits in general.

In 2016 I was thrilled to get a sewing space all to myself, thanks to a couple of kids moving to their college towns. Don't get me wrong; I'd give it up and take them back in a minute, but it is really nice to have all that room. Just the design wall is a game changer!

While moving into this new space, though, I found lots of UFOs, plenty of fabric that is, well, not to my taste anymore (to put it nicely) and some gadgets I'd completely forgotten about. My goal is to get rid of what I definitely won't use and finish up the rest.


I did manage to finish some projects last year. In addition to the quilt for my father-in-law, I also completed a Turning Twenty for My Middle Child's twentieth birthday. I'm not sure I mentioned it, but he transferred from University of Kentucky to University of Georgia this year, and it was so wonderful to be able to drive over to Athens to celebrate his birthday with him.


I also finished my Twilters in the Air quilt, which was made up of the Birds in the Air blocks that we swapped among the #twilters in honor of the release of Frances Dowell's novel, Birds in the Air. It was so fantastic to have so many of the Twilters attend our guild's quilt show to see Frances do a reading and to have Pam and Lynn from The Stitch TV Show tape two episodes in front of our live quilt show audience. This quilt won third place for group quilts.



Alas, those were the only two quilts I finished this year, other than the mug rug above. I hope 2017 is better. To help achieve that goal, I hope to get back to blogging, which gives me some accountability, and to track my stash usage. I'm going to link up with Patchwork Times each Sunday and post my stats.

Let's wipe the slate clean and see how we do:

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 0 yards
Fabric Added this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: 0 yards used


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Ready for Retreat

It's WIP Wednesday, and this week I am cutting and pressing in the hopes that I can make the most of my retreat time this weekend.

We're in the final countdown to the quilt show (29 days!), and I have some work to do since none of the three quilts I entered are finished. This one was literally just a pile of fat quarters.

I'm using my new Gypsy Quilter Gypsy Gripper, which I bought this summer. I do think it helps with accuracy and safety. I have never had any aches or pains from cutting, so I can't say if it prevents that.



My goal is to bring all the pieces precut and get the top and back finished over the weekend so I can turn it over to Lene to quilt.

Wish me luck! What are you working on?


Monday, August 22, 2016

Big Daddy's Quilt

Remember the quilt I was working on for my father-in-law for Christmas Father's Day his birthday?

I finally finished it, and we gave it to him last night at a birthday dinner. I couldn't come up with a cute name, so I just called it Big Daddy's Quilt.


When I was first pregnant and we were trying to think of nicknames for the grandparents, someone came up with the clever suggestion to call my 6'5" father-in-law Big Daddy. Deuce couldn't quite say all of that, and shortened the nickname to Big. Now pretty much everyone who knows him through us calls him Big. It sure does suit him - not only is he a big guy physically with a big deep voice, but he also has a big heart! He is so generous with his time and advice, especially for those who find themselves in difficult situations.


I am so grateful to have in-laws I love and who are such a huge part of our family. Have a happy birthday, Big!


Special thanks to Lene for quilting it with my favorite all over pattern for men.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Birds in the Air

My Birds in the Air blocks are here!


Recently one of the Twilters suggested a block swap to celebrate the launch of Frances's book, Birds in the Air. For once in my life I didn't wait to start working on my blocks at the last minute. For once I beat the deadline with time to spare. The waiting was excruciating!


But they're here! The blocks are here and I love them. It is such fun to look through and see the familiar names mixed with the new. My Middle Child and I were choosing our favorites last night - how can you pick just one? - and he couldn't believe the ones from so far away. (Whoops! I must have forgotten the pick of OzzyPip's block from Australia!)


I'm working on a layout now, and think I have one I like. I'm keeping it a little bit of a surprise until the top is together. I keep going back to my studio to look and swap blocks around and then leave it for awhile so I can look at it with fresh eyes, but I think I might have landed on my favorite.



I am so grateful to Tina for organizing and to everyone who participated!

What are you working on today?


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Going to Guild - Andi Barney on Modern Quilting


Last Monday was guild night, and our guest speaker was Andi Barney of Red Hen Fabrics and Atlanta North West Sewing Machine Service and Repair (more on both of these coming soon). Andi shared her lecture on Modern Quilting, along with dozens of slides and a stack of quilts.


Of course, she spoke about the use of modern fabrics with traditional blocks, the use of negative space, and the emphasis on the quilting. I wish you could see the detail in the quilting (above). It is just amazing. Andi said she prefers to quilt on a domestic machine, even though Red Hen has a selection of long arm machines that she could use whenever she wants!


Andi also talked about the popularity of text in Modern Quilting, whether printed on the fabric or created with improvisational piecing. This quilt is very special to Andi since she moved to Atlanta without having family in the area.


 In the "Everything Old is New Again" category, can you tell which of these fabrics is an antique feedsack and which is a current fabric? (Apologies to the fabric designer whose name I cannot remember to save my life.)



This was a great program for a fairly diverse audience; some of our guild members are very traditional, others are truly modern, but most of us are all over the map. Andi did a great job of covering the topic in a way that engaged and interested all of us. Thanks, Andi!

We also had a very special Show and Tell quilt made by Lin C for #QuiltsforPulse. Please see the link for more information about how to help. 


Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day


I'm a sentimental fool when it comes to patriotism. I get choked up when they play The Star Spangled Banner, especially at little kids' sporting events. I could watch The West Wing reruns daily.* I have more Americana themed quilts than Christmas quilts - probably more than all of my holiday quilts combined. And I still have more red white and blue fabric in my stash.


 

Two of my favorite post-9/11 fabrics.

So when I saw this viral craft project on Facebook, I had to try it. I cleaned out all of the white bandanas at my local JoAnn's. They were already sold out of all of the red and blues, thanks to a post on their Facebook page and a 10 for $10 sale. Then I went to Dollar Tree after hearing a rumor that they had a red and blue bandana in a set for $1 each, but they only had a few blue ones left.


Finally I dug into my stash to fill in the gaps. It's a little bit addictive, so I made four of them: two matching ones for my mother's double doors, one with the more muslin/repro feel, and one for me. I love how they turned out, probably even more than if I had been able to find all of the bandanas, because of some of the fabrics I was able to mix in. Like this one:


and this one:

But no matter how much I enjoy a three day weekend or a Twilter sew in (#MDSI) or a good barbecue, let's remember what this day is really about.



To all the families and friends of our service men and women who gave their lives, my prayers are with you.

I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing weekend!

*If you are a West Wing fan, you MUST listen to the new-ish podcast The West Wing Weekly! It is a great look back with lots of insider stories and some fantastic guest appearances!


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