Monday, February 24, 2014

Easily amused

Yes, that's me -- Easily Amused.

The combination of this quilt block, the maple leaf, representing a traditionally cold-climate tree, with these tropical Hawaiian fabrics just pleases me.

I unearthed the fabrics recently (yes, yes, my stash is just this side of infinite), a long ago purchase at the Quilt Festival. I got them from a Japanese vendor who had a lot of tropical prints. I got 6 & later found some other fabrics that coordinated. But I hadn't a plan for how to use them, so they all got stowed away.

Re-finding them, they jumped to the top of my Make-Me-NOW! list. I liked the colors when I got them & am really loving them now -- golden yellows, peanut butter tans, avocado-y greens. With large-scale prints, sometimes I like to cut them up, making the print hardly recognizable. But this time I wanted to show off the ukuleles, plumeria & hibiscus, so I wanted a large-scale block. The Modern Maples pattern from Lark Crafts -- the blocks finish at 12 inches, a chunky leaf -- was perfect.  My fabrics were funny cuts, kind of fat half yards, I used nearly every bit to cut out 4 leaves from each print -- nothing left for stems. So my leaf stems are 2 different browns. My background solid was something I found on my shelves, but again, I ran out. And again, no problem: I can substitute in a text-y, texture-y print.

Soon I'll have an Aloha Maple quilt!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jessica's Color Party

Last month, the very darling, Jessica Darling led a color workshop for my guild, HMQG.

I loved it, I learned a LOT. Though my lesson was not so much about color. What I learned was a lesson in improvisational piecing.

Grids, perpendicularity, parallel-ness, -- those things make my heart soar. Does that make me anal, right-brained, a control freak? Maybe, I don't know. I do know I love & admire quilts that aren't like that & I really do want to, at the very least, experiment with that sort of quilt making, but for now this improv quilt is all right angles & straight lines but with a "use what's there" approach. Who knows, maybe this is how *my* improv looks -- not so much about wonky angles & wavy seams but use-it-as-you-find-it scrap combinations.

Anyway, Jessica led a very entertaining & educational workshop. I like the little quilt that I made. And I tried something new to me when it came to quilting -- I quilted it to death! Straight lines, 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart! Unfortunately, I love the look & feel of this quilting. Why unfortunately? Because it takes FOREVER!
Things worth having are worth waiting/working for -- or some such nonsense. Right?

Sunday, February 09, 2014


A while back, I was going through the mountains of stuff in my sewing room -- a Sisyphus-ian task -- and came across a large stack of vintage, printed tablecloths. They are bright & cheery; I have some that belonged to my Mom & Grandmas, some my Mom bought for me, some I bought myself. Back in my denim-skirts-and-vests days (don't judge -- though I'm sure I looked a pretty frumpy), I made clothing with them. I have a shirt & a vest or two & had plans for more, but never got them made.

Last year, HMQG had a garage swap day. We brought in our unwanted fabric, notions, patterns, books & other craft supplies, let our friends pick through our piles & take what they wanted. (I brought home less than I took to the meeting! Yay me!) As I was making my pile to give away, I added several of my old tablecloths.
Then I took them out.
Then I put them back in.
Then I took them out again.

So I *still* have that large stack of tablecloths -- now, what do I do with them? Well, as I was piecing my pine trees, I was wondering what I could use for the back. With all the white, I wanted something light in color, maybe something with green & red. Then a lightbulb come on. I pulled out a cowboy print tablecloth that was a good size, but I didn't like the cowboys with the pine trees; none of the florals nor the plaids quite did it either. Then I found a smallish, square green & white one -- my search was over! I added some bands of leftover Christmas prints, a back was born & a quilt was finished!

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Thrill is back!

First, let me thank you for your very, very kind & supportive comments & emails about my hurt feelings at the hands of the QuiltCon judges. {Very Big Hugs} to all of you!!!
What great friends I've made through my little blog!!!

Secondly, let me share what I've learned from the quilts-for-show process:
  1. You need a thick skin. If you are putting your quilts out There for more than your loved ones to see & evaluate, you really should try to not be hurt by negative comments.
  2. The judge that didn't like your Quilt A, just might love your Quilt B.
  3. If Quilt A did poorly in one juried competition, it might do very well in another juried competition.
  4. Lastly, most importantly, don't take it personally!!! Negative comments -- positive ones, too -- are about the thing you made, not about you. There may be merit in the comments, or maybe not, try to learn from them -- then move on!
But, back to my regained Thrill:

I am very happy to report how Very Happy I am in my sewing room. I am having So! Much! FUN! with my projects! I have 10 (!) going right now! One is nothing more than a stack of pulled fabric, 4 are partially cut out, 3 are cut out & are being pieced, 1 is being quilting & 1 is being bound; HMQG is doing a mug rug swap this month, so I'm playing with mug rug-ish ideas & I'm working on a few small birthday gifts. Oh! And I'm excited about a sketch that I may try to get made to enter for this year's Quilt Festival -- getting back on the horse!
That makes what, 11? 12? 13?
Who cares?!?!
I'm! Having!! FUN!!!

And you know what else? Lucky is proudly on display in our home for the first time in a year!