So time went by like a storm- a new graduate and all that entails. Had a fun time. This also happened:
Since my graduate doesn’t really like to have his picture online, I won’t share those, but here is the story. It was a beautiful graduation. I didn’t cry, but nearly did several times. It was great to see him so grown up. Then we had a lovely party with so many friends and family.
The day everyone left town, a storm came through and this tree went down. For me, it was hugely emotional. In the scheme of things, it was the best that could be, in that no one was hurt and the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been had the wind been blowing in a different direction. But the tree had been there the whole time we lived here: 24 years this June.
Anyway, I cleaned out my sewing room for the party. This meant taking every thing down in the basement that wasn’t pretty. Essentially about 90 per cent of the room. I have several baskets that I left on the shelves some large glass jars that hold various notions/scraps and some metal popcorn tins that are similar in size and shape.
So this morning I got the medium scraps up from the basement. For those that don’t know, my fabric is organized by size and color.
Tiny: too small to fold around a 4.5′ square ruler.
Medium: folds neatly around a 4.5″ square ruler.
Large: folds neatly around a 10 inch ruler.
The tiny scraps are sorted in the old popcorn tins above by color. The medium scraps are on a narrow bookshelf my husband built for me. I had them packed in my two largest suitcases. This morning I arranged them by color on the bookshelf.
<Sigh> Things are starting to feel normal again.
Happy fourth to you all!
When I made the last block, I cut this blue cat away. I saved the cut away part and created a background:
This quilt was made for my family gift exchange. The goal is to bring only handmade gifts. Before Thanksgiving I got out the box of misfit blocks. This is a surprising large box of blocks that didn’t for various reasons meet the cut for the finished quilt. Sometimes it was math, that I wanted the quilt to be a different shape than the number of blocks I had. Other times they didn’t fit. There are some experimental blocks as well, blocks that I made one of and then realized I didn’t have the patience or the will to make more of that block. I sorted them by color and came up with enough blue blocks for a lap quilt (also, yellow and red, but that is for another day) with only a few strips added to size them up. When I had put them together, they just didn’t quite have focal points so I added my theme for the year: birds.
The floral pattern on the back was the only material including batting I bought, and of course, I bought too little so I had to add my own spin.
It is difficult to see but the quilting is also small birds surrounded by wind-like lines. It fits this year’s Roberta theme of birds, but also evokes the Holy Spirit. Since the birds are white it is also my wish for all of you (and me) for 2017: Peace. Happy New Year!
Finally, finished this one. It took a while to photograph because it was so large:
One of my favorite hearts:
There is a little bit more wonkiness in this than I would have liked but still I am happy it is finished. The part I like the best is the pink against the dark purple with the floating frames. Part of me wants to revisit these frames in a different quilt, however, the next three quilts I have in queue wouldn’t work with that strategy, so it will have to go on the back burner.
I have been working on this rug for several years and just finished it yesterday. It is made out of selvages and other strips of fabric that were pretty much unusable:
If you examine it closely it is like the rings on a tree, but of various quilts. The center is selvages from the back of Paul’s quilt which I finished in 2012. Next time I will create “yarn” balls with the different colors to make it more orderly. Also, it is not a flat as I would like, I may reduce as I get out into the outer areas.
In other news, I did my first craft show with some small purses:
They were fun to make- but a little out there for sure, and perhaps suited to girls. We also made quite a few cards:
Half are mine and half are Steve’s:
We didn’t sell anything. For that, I blame Trump. Seriously, though, I likely overpriced my items. Since it was such a small show, I didn’t have much variety in my prices.That being said, I had a good time, and I consider it a success because Steve and I were able to create body of work. If we choose to do it again, we will have a head start on stock.
I realized lately that I like projects when they start, when they are small. The end, when they get big, I like them less. Handling larger yardage is ungainly at best and difficult at worse. This quilt, as all of my quilts, self-identified its size. In other words, I worked on the blocks until I had played out the ideas I had. Then I put it together and it accidentally became square. Most quilts most functional if they are rectangular. For that reason, I added some extra fabric on the top and bottom to make it more rectangular:
When Steve and I went to the fabric store, (yes, my husband will go the fabric store with me with very specific limitations: I cannot be “just looking or shopping”, I must have a very specific list and only get that. Also, there can be no football games of interest playing on TV at the same time.) and he got a good look at the overall proportions, he said the bottom and the top were too large. At most, he felt they should be the same size as the inner blocks, 10 inches (the size of my largest square ruler). I decided to go down to 12 inches. I am not sure if the difference is that great for me, but it gave me some extra fabric to play with and reduced the size of the quilt a little. I will get a picture of the changed proportions soon.
You can see (or maybe you could if I hadn’t cropped out the coffee table sitting on the couch) that this quilt is too big to lay out on my living room floor without moving a several pieces of furniture. I am going back and forth about whether to pin it at my house. I am 47 years old so crawling around on the floor pinning a quilt is starting to be uncomfortable. It generally takes me 45 minutes to pin/baste a quilt. I am thinking about going over to church and using their large tables pushed together. There are also problems with this: most related to the boredom of pinning a quilt. You can see why at this point in the process I procrastinate a little bit. Like writing really long blog posts, watching SNL skits about Donald Trump and prowling Facebook.
In any case, Steve picked out the fabric for the back:
Since the quilt was larger than 45 inches wide, I needed to piece it anyway we decided to get two different fabrics. Although these both are beautiful fabrics that work well with the front they are very different. Yesterday, I decided to add some pieced section and the purple fabric that I cut off the top and bottom of the quilt. This will create a buffer of gradation between the two fabrics. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture so I will leave you a cliff hanger. Not as big of a cliff hanger as the Walking Dead (we just finished Season 6 on Netflix and are in heated discussions as to who, if anyone, got killed in the last episode – I think it was Spence).
This is the third cat block. I took the pattern from pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570972058990043301/. These kinds of blocks are somewhat tedious to put together, but they are so impactful when they are done, that I periodically get sucked into one. I think this one took me about three weeks of fairly feckless sewing.
Finished this purse a few weeks ago:
Lately I have been about quilts as garments and this was a first idea.I have the beginning of a jacket as well. The inside of pockets and the bag lining are bright orange. This was Steve’s idea. I love this idea and am still amused by the little surprise of the the color. I used small bits of it on the strap as well. The strap is intentionally not even, creating a sinewy sensual line. I usually wear it across the body, so it is a nice semi vertical line. I also used several polymer clay objects that I had made a long time ago. By and large, I am happy with it, although it could be slightly bigger inside. Next time I will spend some time thinking about making a flat bottom so more items will fit inside.
It is getting very close to done. I love this quilt. Visually there is a lot going on.
It is fun to look at, with its wonkiness and energy. It is interesting to me, having worked on it and started with so much red, how much the addition of the pink has changed and lightened. It is very improvisational, and that comes through in it. Now, off to the fabric store to get fabric for a frame.