Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Status Report!

116 3/4 yards to date!! 

I'm a little behind -- about 7 yards.  There are two reasons for the slower output at this point.

There's been quite a bit of hand stitching going on around here and it's hard to "burn" through lots of fabric rapidly in that mode.  This is a sample I stitched last week for a workshop I'll be offering during the 2013 Lake Farmpark Quilt Show.  It's a pattern that has been lurking in my stash for over a decade.  It's part of a beautiful sampler of fruit portraits from the Piece O'Cake gals.  I had long since decided to do a smaller version and am pleased with this first one -- 3 more to go!

I'm traveling quite a bit in August and need some compact road work.  As part of my fall seminar, HEXAGONS & THEIR ALLIES
, I'm putting together an English paper piecing style sample.  I loved a Grandmother's Flower Garden variation I saw on E-bay that used a variety of sweet florals for the outer circle.  One thing I have  is lots of sweet florals.  So I've organized the supplies for my trip to Denver to lecture for a couple quilt guilds next week.  Of course, I had to make one of the flower units just to see if it would work . . . . okay, 3 of the flower units.  If you've never tried this technique, my experience has always been enjoyable to the point of not being able to stop -- just one more, just one more.  I do have to leave it alone this week or I won't meet the deadlines I have!

The second reason for the slow down is that at some point, one does need to quilt some of these fabric- eating quilt tops!!

This is a hand quilting project that I set to work on several days ago.  It will likely keep me occupied during the evenings through the month of September.  I'm starting with the outline quilting around the appliques in the hopes that the consistancy and length of my stitches will improve by the time I get to the planned "chicken wire" background quilting. 

This sample came home with me yesterday from a workshop I taught at The Sew'n Place in Chambersburg, PA.  (Nice shop and lots of new fabric!!)  It's the deadline project this week -- destined for a baby show on Sunday.  The 6" blocks in the center of each "star" are from that charming book, The Farmer's Wife.   I designed the setting to make a few blocks go a long way fast!! 

I'm off to my studio to layer it today! 
Quilt it tomorrow! 
Bind it the day after!! 

Ta-dah!!  Another one finished and on it's way to a happy new home!!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Hooray, hooray, hooray!!!   I hit the 108 yard mark today as I made the backing for the tessalated windmill sample that I showed in the last post!  

As I was cutting that sample of last week, I looked across my cutting table and realized it might be time to clean it off.  

What do you think?

So, I decided that when the sample was set together and the backing made, I would work on clearing off the table.  And even more ambitious than that, I would finish one of the unfinished projects cluttering the opposite end!!  I would not be distracted by the lure of an interesting piece of fabric that might be lurking there!!  I would be focused!! 

By golly, I did it this afternoon -- in under 2 hours!?!  The cutting table is cleared off -- turns out most of the clutter was piles of new fabric or fabric that I used on recent projects and hadn't put away, or teaching samples that I needed to return to their slots.   What a surprise to discover I have TWO big cutting mats on there?!?   (Just kidding -- I knew that.)  Tomorrow I may reorganize it a bit -- put the tool baskets in more convenient positions.  And I probably should clear the clutter on the floor away from the edges of the table so I can walk all the way around it.  If my son was here, he would have some smart remark to make about there being a table there.

And here's the lucky project!!  A stack and whack with a gorgeous fall fabric -- it's a huge hexagon and I've always thought it would make a great tablecover.  Trouble is that I don't have a round table -- I have a long rectanglar table.  So it's never been finished.  It's laying on the table right now as I consider how to reorganize it a bit and make it a rectangle.  First step is to take off the right and left rows and I'll do that this evening while I watch an English mystery -- easier to unstitch while diverted!!  That will give me 6 hexagons I can move to the ends to make it longer and we'll see what else happens.  It will be great to have it ready for the fall this year!!

A good day in the studio!!  I hope you are able to get to your cutting mat today!!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Too hot to think?

You may find this surprising, but I'm not a big fan of hot weather . . . . or maybe it's high humidity.  Regardless of which it is, it has a serious impact on my energy level.  But yesterday found me with a deadline to face and a need to sew in spite of my compromised energy level.  I needed to prep for a workshop with a new tool from Marti Michell -- her Multi-size Tessalated Windmill tool. 

So I got out the tool and made a plan for a small sample with one of the middle size blocks that can become a child's quilt for my charity work -- I had given the booklet that comes with it a (quick) read several days ago.  I needed to chose 25 different prints -- no problem -- I have that!

But I'm so hot and sleepy -- I don't want to make that many decisions.  IDEA!!  I could use one print for every other windmill -- that means I only have to pick 12 fabrics.  Half as much work. 

And since it's going to be a child's quilt, I head for the "novelty" print shelf which is the little overstocked and could use some thinning -- the old "two birds, one stone" approach is in gear!  We never seem to have enough "boy" quilts so I think frogs or bugs -- something crawly or slimy!  The perfect piece is jungle critters, bright colors, and there is more than I need!

Next stop is the "bright" drawer -- all the bright colors are in one place so I won't be tearing through stacks of fabric -- just lay my focus print on the floor and start piling on a dozen prints suggested by the colors in the focus fabric. 

The key to using more of the fabric you already own is definitely to make it as accessible as possible.  Have you ever thought that your stash is the best assortment of fabric in the world?  Well, it is personally selected for you by you and you do have good taste, don't you?  But if's it's hard to find the right stuff, you don't have it organized for easy access.  It might be something to redo about your stash!?!

I also needed a "border" print for the piece but I have no big yardage of bright prints -- so when I don't have what I need in one piece, I try an assortment in that color.  The color that catches my eye the most in the focus print is the turquoise, so I eliminated the turquoise from the contrast windmill prints and pull several small pieces for the border.  This is my final assortment.  What do you think?

Of course, once I got the fabric pulled, I got excited about starting and by the time the fireworks started I had half of it pieced . . . . . and there went another 2 yards of the stuff!!  With the backing and borders I finished during the past week, I'm just 3 yards short of the halfway point!!!  It's interesting that the focus print is looking like a background since the print and color contrast of the other fabrics is so strong.

And the tool and the instructions?  Excellent, as always!! I recommend it!! 

P. S.   I thought you might like to meet one of my "supervisors" -- he makes sure I'm not cheating on my fabric calculations!! 

Back to the machine!!