Friday, March 20, 2015
I've been on a fabric diet for...gosh...well, since I ordered a few Far, Far Away reprints last summer? I don't know...it's been a long time. And before that, it was also a long time.
My point is, I realized one day that I have too much fabric. I don't normally believe that too much fabric can be a real thing. But when you're not sewing AT ALL...well...it begins to feel wasteful to keep ordering more. It also made me feel bad to look at all that pretty fabric and not sew with it. Hence the diet.
But, now that I'm back into quilting and have finished up nearly all of my unfinished quilt tops, I feel like one teeny tiny fabric purchase won't hurt anything.
It all started with thread. I'm almost out of the cotton thread I usually buy at JoAnns. And I don't really feel like going to JoAnns right now. And then I remembered everyone was going on about Aurifil thread years ago so I decided to buy some and see how I liked it. And while I was buying thread (at Hawthorne Threads), I remembered that one particular fabric had caught my eye within the last few months and so I bought just a few half yards of Mimosa by Another Point of View.
So, anyway...this will tide me over for quite a while. I won't need anything new until my stash is significantly reduced. It's actually more fun that way, I think. Maybe one day soon I'll even cut into my most treasured fabrics! Maybe...
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
This weekend I finished TWO quilt tops and started two more. The Simple Insanity quilt top was fun to make but I'm also happy it's finished. My sewing table was out of control with scraps for weeks!
The other top I finished was started way back in 2009. I made a bunch of blue and green log cabins and then put them in a box when I couldn't decide on a layout. But when I pulled them out this weekend, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. It took just a couple of hours to finish up and I really like it. It feels "dated", though. Like, remember when everyone was making wonky log cabins on a vast white background? It feels like so long ago, probably because six years is a long time.
After two finishes, I was excited to start my Liberty quilt. A while back I cut most of my Liberty stash into 9" x 4.5" pieces. This weekend I made 50 or so 4-patch blocks until I ran out of white fabric. At that point I did some math and realized I'd cut enough fabric for TWO quilts! So, I guess I'm making two Liberty quilts now.
Since my Liberty plans were on hold until the new fabric arrived, I stared at my shelves until a tiny bin of fabric caught my eye. Inside were 10" strips/strings left over from cutting fabric for another quilt. So, I started sewing them together with no real plan. Maybe I'd just sew them all together into one big row of strings. Or maybe into big squares and then turn them into half square triangles? Some sort of woven effect? And then I remembered I had some Kona Snow that I've been trying to use up.
Let me just interrupt here to talk about Kona Snow. It's like white...so much like white that I have a really hard time telling the two apart, even when they're right next to each other. BUT! If you accidentally use the wrong one, it's totally obvious in a quilt! There are these little dirty patches in your otherwise bright white quilt. What a mess! (Hey, I just saw this post! See what I mean?)
Don't get me wrong, Snow is a great color...it's a warm white and it's been the perfect color for a few of my quilts. But I can't have both in my sewing room anymore. It drives me crazy! I need to pick one and I'm picking white.
So, I'm using up my 10" strips AND all my Kona Snow in one quilt. I just love it when a plan comes together!
Monday, March 16, 2015
There are things in life that are as rare and as special as a unicorn. They are different things for different people...and mine is a bag that I didn't have to make. Oh how I love bags but loathe making them!
I swapped some mini skeins with my friend Sara at KnottyGnome and in addition to the minis and a beautiful handspun rainbow! skein I purchased, she sent along one of her gorgeous project bags. When I pulled this out of the envelope, I immediately ran to the living room where Ian was napping, woke him up and yelled in his face "OMG, she made me a bag and it's perfect and it has a BEE on it!" He was duly impressed.
This bag holds a lot! I'm so looking forward to using this as my project bag for the Follow Your Arrow 2 knit-along that Sara and I are starting this April. It'll make it all that much more fun!
My wrists are feeling awesome after almost two months of no knitting or weaving. It's going to be hard to not immediately overdo it once I start again in April. But if I want to avoid injury again, I'm going to have to take it slow. At least I'm still enjoying quilting so I can switch things up when I need to take a break. More quilting updates later this week...I got a lot done this weekend!
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
There's been a whole lot of sewing going on at my house. I've been finishing up old quilt tops like crazy. I've never felt so inspired to finish things up...it's amazing!
One driver is that I have one pile of stuff that doesn't have a home in the studio. That pile moves from the sewing table to the floor to the chair to the laundry basket back to the sewing table...on and on for two years now. I'm just sick of it! I've been working to reduce the contents of my studio just enough so that everything has a home. And just this morning, I did it! I ironed the last piece of fabric that was waiting for months (in the pile!) to be ironed.
There's more to do, though. Everything may have a home but that home is not necessarily in the best location. But someday! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
One of the quilt tops I came thisclose to finishing this weekend is one I started FOUR years ago. It's a red/orange/pink version of Completely Cauchy's Simple Insanity quilt. What a quilt, right?? Mine doesn't even come close to replicating the beauty and sparkle of the original. But at least mine is almost done and that makes me very happy!
The design for the other quilt top was inspired by scraps left over from another quilt I made a while back. I had a million 4" pieces that I was planning to sew into a coin quilt. But when the time came, I didn't feel like making a coin quilt. So I put the strips on the diagonal and fell in love. Of course, I didn't have enough scraps to finish this design so I had to make more scraps (sigh) just to finish this top...but it was worth it. I totally love how this turned out and I was able to make a much bigger top than I had originally planned.
Next I'll be working on a quilt I started way back in 2009 and a patchwork Liberty quilt. I can't wait for the weekend!!
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Road Trip. This quilt was a labor of love. It started the day I saw the "Happy Campers" print from the Circa60 Beach Mod Collection by Monaluna.
It took a split second for this quilt design to pop into my head. It would be a quilt for my dad. It would represent all the road trips and family vacations we had taken during my childhood. I would embroider the blocks with the names of places we visited. Some blocks would have woodgrain frames and it would be bound with woodgrain fabric. It would have a cozy flannel backing. It would be finished for Father's Day 2012.
And three years later, February 2015, it is finally finished! It looks exactly as I had imagined it and I am so, so happy with how it turned out.
It was a long road but well worth the time and effort. I learned how to make Y-seams. I embroidered almost every block even though I don't actually like to embroider. And best of all, I thought about our trips while I worked. That long trip to the coast, the shorter trips up to the North Shore. Those memories are so precious to me and to my dad. I wanted to give him a reminder of those times and how much they meant to me, how much he means to me.
And so, it was with great pleasure and much love that I gave this quilt to my dad on his 59th birthday, February 22, 2015. Happy three-years-worth of birthdays, father's days and Christmases!
Finished size: 60" x 84"