Monday, February 28, 2011

Scrappy Happy !!

I just finished putting the borders on a new quilt for my son's twin bed. I took this picture with my Blackberry camera so you may not be able to see the colours too clearly. Totally scrappy greens, browns and beiges. Ugly fabrics included. You find them! I challenge you!

Here's the quilt top before the sandwich:

As per my previous post, I have been living in stressville and it feels very good to know that I finished a quilt top. To the left of the quilt is the backing. The batting is hanging over the railing tonight to remove the creases. Maybe more therapy tomorrow night!!

I'd rather quilt than watch TV in the evenings. My son is kinda excited to see the quilt progressing so quickly. It was very satisfying to have a 19 year old guy ask me to make a quilt for him because it's the perfect temperature on his bed. His duvet is too hot and a blanket is too cold...a quilt is just right! He will soon be able to retire his Christmas quilt until next December when they come out of hiding.

Until next time,


Sunday, February 20, 2011

PIGS and UFOs and me on a Quilt Diet...

P.I.G.S. = Projects in Grocery Sacks

UFOs = Unfinished Objects

I have them and I'm quite sure you have them too. I need to make a new acronym for the stacks and stacks of ideas for new quilts in my head and on my worktable (magazines flagged, books marked, printouts from the web). Can you relate?

How about HIPS??
I like it!

I'm feeling quite overwhelmed with life at the moment, including my quilt life. I'm sure I'm not alone with the thought that quilting is therapy. I'm there. I find hand-quilting very therapeutic except for the fingertips afterward (I hate thimbles much like I hate gardening gloves). I spent about 4 hours in front of the TV with my daughter yesterday. She was knitting and I was hand-quilting my Super Bowl quilt. I love to see the fruits of my labour on projects like this. It's measureable; it's satisfying.

So why am I feeling so anxious today? Good question and simple answer...too much on my plate. Too many responsibilities and while I hate to admit it, too many PIGS, UFOS and HIPS.

The remedy? S L O W D O W N !!!! Work on one thing at a time. Don't start any new projects or sign up for any more mystery quilts (my weakness). Enjoy what I'm doing in the moment. Don't make quilting like WORK!! Don't RUSH. Enjoy the process.

I'm a driven personality. I'm not happy sitting still. I need to be doing something. Can't help it; it's the way I'm wired. Hand-quilting lets my body rest but keeps my mind busy. But sometimes it looks like so far to go because I'm thinking about it as a FINISHED project, ready to sell. Sounds like work doesn't it? I'm doing a studio tour in May and because I thought this quilt would be for sale I subconsciously set myself a deadline and put my headspace into RUSH mode. Does that create anxiety? I would say so.

As for the rest of life's responsibilities, it's time to take stock, do one thing at a time, shed what I don't have to do, and reward myself with some playtime in my studio, or in front of the TV again working on my hand-quilting.

But for now...No more new projects!'s committed in writing.

Until next time,


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday Sew-in!

I'm a week late with my post about my sew-in on Super Bowl Sunday.  It started with an email newsletter from Planet Patchwork talking about a Super Bowl Mystery Quilt.  Here's the link:

I invited a quilting friend to join me.  We started at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time.  The first clue was revealed at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time so we had a few clues to catch up on.

I chose deep muted colours (almost Civil War-type colours).  My friend Pam chose bright summery colours.  I had a black background.  She chose a white background.  Our quilts couldn't have been more different from each other.  We had a blast!  I think we finished up the quilt tops at about 10:00 p.m.  I love quick quilt projects.  I'm now hand quilting mine.  Pam is going to machine quilt hers.  It will be interesting to see both quilts side by side, finished.

Anyway, here are some pictures of our progress that day:

Here's the first block ~ Mine above; Pam's below:

Aren't they different??  Here are some other photos as we progressed throughout the L O N G day:

Pam at her machine building blocks.

Me trying to decipher the instructions.  We made a few boo boos along the way, but thankfully they were easy to fix.  Both of us said that we don't ever remember reverse sewing as much as we did on these quilts.  But we got 'er dun!

Gorgeous summer colours don't you think?

At this point in construction we're beginning to put the pattern together and a few more colour placement boo boos are revealed...more reverse sewing...

Pam's top done without borders (total time = 12 hours!)

And my top done without the borders; time = 12 hours!

And finally, my finished top with the borders (Note:  I chose a different border than the mystery).

I'm currently hand quilting mine using Bonnie Hunter's hand-quilted (free hand) baptist fan pattern. I'm using a dark slate blue thread which looks great on all the fabrics in the quilt.  Picture to follow soon.    I'm loving it!  I was wanting to start another hand quilting project.  I love have handwork handy near the TV.  Pam will be machine quilting hers and maybe I can coax her to share a photo on my blog when it's done!

Until next time,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quilting Saturday at Church

The first Saturday of every month, a group of ladies from my church community get together to quilt.  We make quilts for every new baby born in our congregation...and let me tell you there are many.

I wanted to share a few photos of the 'in progress' stage:

My friend Terry deconstructing jeans to make a denim quilt.

My baskets of strips.  I'm making string squares in 6 different colours - yellow, green, purple, pink, turquoise and orange.  

Denim deconstruction!

This is what I want my quilt to look like.

My friend Denise finishing off a tablerunner!  Gorgeous!
So many projects ~ so little time.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Zip, Zip, Done!!

Well, I hadn't planned on it, but this weekend I dove into a partially completed quilt block project that a colleague at work sent my way when she was downsizing.  She was parting with all of her quilting patterns, scraps and partially completed quilts.  What a score!

I was in the mood to sew but wasn't necessarily wanting to work on my Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll so I thought I would get a start on cutting out a new baby quilt.  Then I remembered this partially completed quilt project.

I decided I could do the applique and that would satisfy the sewing urge for the evening.  Got that done and needed more.  I should say that I had the house basically to myself since my daughter and husband were away at a conference all weekend and my son was home but plugged into his own computer with his own projects.  Play time for Mom!

To make a long story short, I finished the quilt top that night, AND got it quilted and bound it the next night.  It was a great weekend.  I can face Mondays so much easier when I've accomplished something on the weekend - especially something fun and charitable.

And here is my latest baby quilt for one of the newest members of our congregation:

I have no idea yet who the recipient will be but I am fairly certain it will be a girl!  :o)

Thank you to my friend Lisa who had the vision to start this project, and for her generosity in finding it a home in my studio where it could be lovingly brought to life, thereby giving me such great joy.

Happy quilting!