Monday, September 19, 2011

Back in the swing of things

 I started to get back into the art mindset finally yesterday.  Saturday it was too nice, and I spent my time and energy on planting tulip bulbs.  But Sunday was sufficiently icky to stay in and sew.   I was having a hard time deciding what to start on, but since the Round Robin art quilt has a deadline - October 3 - I worked on that.  The theme for this one was "The  Flowers Around Me." The large yellow-orange flower and the wire one were there when I got the piece.   I had five or six flowers laid out, but I quit after completing three.  Partly, I got bored with it and partly thought I should save others some space.  I didn't like what I was producing as well as the pictures I showed in the last post.  The pre-cut JoAnn's flowers might save time but they were much harder to put an embroidery needle through that regular felt.  And the regular felt that I bought was obviously of lower quality than the photo examples.  Anyway,  I'm not displeased with it, and might add some leaves or stems if time permits (ha!!)   So here's the result so far:  
I created the three small flowers and added the leaf, which I'd made back last year in the Heidi Lund class.  Not sure the orange one should have been so close to the other orange one, but Oh Well.  They are attached now.

Next project was to work on the apron for Cora's Little Red Riding Hood Halloween costume.  Her mom sent me the dress (jumper) she found on ebay and a yard of yellow fabric to make a little matching apron.  I cut off several strips to make a waist-band - tie and then sewed the rest into a double layer, with the fold at the bottom.  I liked how simply that worked out- but using the double format limits the ability to shorten it and add details without sewing through both layers.  But it will probably be more stable that way, anyway.  I wonder if I should put a bit of interfacing in the hem?  No - probably wouldn't lay nicely if it's too stiff.
It's yellower than the picture shows (too much daylight, not enough flash).  It will be pretty short, but she wants the trim on the bottom of the dress to show, so it needs to be.   I'm thinking I could add a little decorative machine stitching around the hem and maybe the waistband.  Maybe a pocket.

The next thing I decided to pick up was the "Baby Quilt Two."   This has been UFO #1 since the day I started quilting, since it is made up of the left over stack-n-wack hexagons that were my first foray into quilting.  That quilt went to my older granddaughter for her birthday in July, so my goal is to finish this one in time for the younger one's bd in November.  Good to have a deadline.   I'd sort of procrastinated (ok, not sort of - seriously procrastinated) on it, because I designed in on paper before knowing anything about quilting or having any experience.
This was an earlier sketch, the actual piece is not quite the same as this one -
don't go crazy trying to correlate it like I just did!

The woven design requires lots of set-in piecing, or whatever it's called.  And it can't be put together in blocks because all the pieces need to interlock with those above and below.
But when I got started, it didn't seem nearly as bad as I'd remembered.  I had almost completed two of the six rows, and in a few hours Sunday evening I got about halfway through the third row.  So I am optimistic I might actually be able to finish it in time for the birthday, November 3.  

The only problem now is that the DH has dismantled the living room to refinish the floor, and wants to paint before hand.  I have NO ideas on a color scheme for the room,  if we're replacing the area rug and most of the furniture - anything goes, and I just don't have an idea in mind!  So that has to take priority.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mental block or stopped up head -

 -  or both!  I've been having a tough time finding an entry point back to being excited about sewing.  I do have the brown bag quilt on my bed, which is fun to look at every night.
I got my new Round Robin assignment on Monday - the theme is "Flowers."  So far a beaded flower and a thread/fabric one have been added.  I'm thinking of doing something like this:

or this:
By Michelle at Green Kitchen on Flickr

or this
Yvonne Moxon: Boxoftrix

There are a lot more interesting ideas on these folks' pages, as well as my Pinterest Art Quilt page.   I spend so much time looking at other people's art.  I need to DO ART!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finishing Things

Here's a shot that makes me happy.  Finished projects.  Left, top: Celtic Knot; Left bottom: the untitled auction piece by Barbara Bushey and Shanna Robinson that I purchased at QSDS.  I absolutely love this piece, and looking at it inspires me every day.  Center: City Hall.  Right: Cloister.  Bottom:  All my wonderful fabrics, beautifully sorted and folded.  :)  Happy.
Closeup of City Hall:  I finished quilting (gotta call it done at some point) and put the back back on -with a hanging sleeve.  I fastened it too low, and only on the bottom, not the top also, so the top sort of sags... but I got some help and advice on that from the G.T. gang.

Closeup of Celtic Knot: This is actually sideways, but oh well.  It's symmetrical.   This was my first try at the simple flat facing from Blue Moon.  I'm not sure why I get these "poked out" corners when I do this type of facing.  Am I clipping too much?

Anyway, it sure feels good to get things done.  The UFO list is down from 25 to 22!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I find that I really seem to need deadlines and motivation to finish things.  I've resolved not to show or post "in progress" projects to challenges or show and tells.  It seems disrespectful in a way to the people who did put in the effort to finish, and also takes away the motivation for that final push if I've already "revealed" in some way.  With tonight's meeting approaching I was able to do some yard work early in the evening, and still finish the facing on the Celtic Knot last night.   However, I have no concern with posting progress photos on this blog - that's what it's for.  
And here's a look at what I did on Jo's Round Robin quilt.  Now if I can only get in touch with the next person and get the switch made so I have time to work on whatever's coming at me next!

Overall View



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Loose Ends

Hoping to have something to take for show and tell tomorrow,  I finished reattaching the back to "City Hall" but realized that a loose pillowcase back without any quilting is not great for hanging support.  Maybe I'll run a couple of the major lines through it?

I started looking at making a facing for the Celtic Knot,  from a tutorial on Blue Moon River (Susan Brubaker Knapp's Site).   

I'm starting to wonder what to do with the very first early pieces I made, that really don't have any reason to exist, I don't want them on my wall but don't want to throw them in the trash.  Maybe I'll list them on Etsy, not that I'd expect anyone to buy them but just so I can call them "stock" instead of junk.

Forgot to photograph the Round Robin, darn it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to School time

I always feel much more "New Yearsy" in September than January.   Probably because I always loved going back to school and the new clothes and birthday gifts that came just before school started.  It's so much more of a time to take stock, make resolutions, and re-focus after a summer off.   Days are getting shorter, evenings darker, it's okay to stay in and work on projects again.  Here in the far Northwest, we didn't get much of a summer at all.

But I cannot complain about that, our wedding day turned out to be one of the best of the season, and everyone enjoyed the event outdoors.   Pulling the whole thing together while also being crazy-busy at work, without having a major stress attack or disease relapse was a big challenge, and took all of my "spare" time and attention, but I succeeded.  

So as the blog shows, I've done almost nothing quilty or arty since I got back from Ohio at the end of June.  I did work on the Round Robin art quilt project, since I had responsibilities to others to get that done and out the door.  However, I still haven't connected with my partner-in-lateness in order to trade with her.  I will now have to finish the October piece in less than a month... hope to get it soon!

I still have to take some photos of it, as I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  The theme was "Words" (Powerful Words? Words of Power? Something like that) and I chose to use words from languages using scripts or characters completely different than ours... ( I know there's a technical term for this) which included ancient Chinese Seal Script, Hebrew, and Egyptian hieroglyphics.    To incorporate them into the shared piece I photocopied them onto muslin, then fused them to the back of the quilt, cutting away ragged and irregular patches to reveal them, hopefully giving it the sense of an archaeological discovery.  It was fun and for once actually came out the way I'd hoped and envisioned.

Well, Grateful Threads is scheduled for next Wednesday, and I didn't finish anything like I'd hoped.   Three day weekend with minimal commitments ahead, but weather should be good and I'd like to enjoy that rare occasion with my new husband.  Wow.  I have a husband.  :)

Finishing the piles of projects I've started is my goal for this month and beyond.  I need to feel like I'm achieving something.  There are a number that are "almost there" and another number that are not really even started, that I need to decide if they are worth pursuing - since my interests and goals are changing and evolving. 

Although I also resolved to stop taking so many classes that just result in more started projects and ideas - I have followed up on a lead about a Nancy Crow workshop that will be within driving distance in February.  Nancy Crow!  The Godmother of Art Quilting!  How can I pass this up?  I can't.   So I have six months to start collecting fabric for that!

In lieu of quilt pics,  I offer this wedding photo -

Dad, Me, Groom