Sunday, November 18, 2007

She's Alive!!

Greetings from South Texas!

I've been here nearly six weeks and have completely neglected to post. Of course this is in part because I have absolutely no "quilty" content to share, but I thought I could at least let you all know that I'm alive!

Things are going well down here. It's been a HUGE adjustment, and the adjustment period is still ongoing, to be honest. Living and working at an emergency shelter for migrants provides no end of challenges - constant noise, living off of donated food, and constantly being on call, among other thigns. We work with our guests to help them figure out a plan to move on from our shelter - some do so successfully, others have to be asked to leave for one reason or another, others just don't show up at bed check one day. We listen to their stories and do our best to share their journeys with them and help them carry their burdens.

I'm learning a lot about myself and the world around me and constantly have more and more to think about! But that's exactly why I'm here - to truly examine my life and see where it's going to go from here. No one said it would be easy, and it's not, but there is a lot of joy in the work I'm doing, the people I'm serving, and just in the knowledge that I'm growing as a person.

Anyway, I'm sorry I neglected to mention this sooner, but if you care to you can follow the non-quilty aspects of my life here over on my personal blog, Rejoice Always. My readership there has traditionally been a handful of friends and family, and that's who I write for, but I'm happy to invite my fellow quilt bloggers along for the ride.

I have over 2,000 unread feeds on my bloglines!! My internet access is really limited and I only get to the computer every few days, usually. Even when I do get a chance to look at my favorite blogs, I am usually speeding through them and don't slow down long enough to comment :( But please know that I am reading as much as I can.

As for sewing - to be honest I miss my stash terribly! But even if I had it - so far I haven't found a space here that I could really use for sewing without having to completely pack it all away after every session. I haven't given up hope of finding, that, but I remind myself that I may have to change my ideas about what is "workable" sewing space. I keep reminding myself that I want to get back to my quilting "roots" and that our fore-mothers didn't have studios or stashes for the most part. But it's a challenge, I'm not going to lie! Sometimes I think I'm crazy for doing this, but at least I know that after this year I will never take these things for granted again! In the meantime, I'm working on a Grandmother's Flower Garden that I'll try to snap a picture of when I get a chance. Thank goodness for hand work!

Lastly, thanks to all who have expressed their good wishes and encouragement during my transition!! I'm afraid I haven't been able to respond to them all as I should, but they are very much appreciated. I hope to post again soon, at least sooner than six weeks from now. Many thanks to all who are even reading this - this online community means a lot to me!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

So I'm moving - today! The story of the move is really too long for me to give alllll the details now, yet I have been promising and promising details and have so far failed to deliver!! And since I should be packing and cleaning but instead want to enjoy one last quiet morning, I guess I'll write a quick post.

The news is very exciting for me - I've decided to do something that has been a dream of mine for a long time and be a full-time volunteer for a year! Crazy, yes, but not quite as crazy as it sounds. I will be working for an awesome organization in Southern Texas that runs shelters for immigrants and refugees. While I won't have a salary, they will provide close to everything I'll need - room, board, health insurance, and lots of little things like toiletries, stamps, bus tokens, etc. etc. etc. For my part, I will perfect my Spanish, meet tons of interesting people, and have some time to think and reflect about where I'm going from here.

Part of committing to this means committing to a simpler lifestyle. Among other things, this means that my stash is not going with me....! I'm taking a few hand projects for starters, although I have a feeling it may be a couple weeks before I think about sewing again. I've got lots of notions packed in my suit case and will have my machine and some other stuff shipped to me when I'm ready. The shelter I'll be at has a clothing bank, so I'm hoping to continue my experimentation with recycled fabrics and utility quilts. Letting go of my stash has been one of the hardest things about this, but it's only for a year, and I think it will be very good for me in the end...

Here's a couple pictures to share before I go. First, the t-shirt quilt! Yes, I know it looks identical - because I did not add a border. I hope no one will think I'm contrary for that, because after all the majority of comments I received said yes to the border! But weighing out all the factors I decided to go no border, and I'm happy with the result, not the least because I actually got it done!! Super quick finish for me. It's not very closely quilted, which made it go even faster, but it's awfully sturdy, so I think it will last. That's the brother in question holding the quilt, so you can see how it came out size-wise. Maybe he's shorter than I thought??


This is for all intents and purposes a gratuitous cat picture!! I came home one night and found my kitty getting up close and personal with my hand quilting project - guess he wanted to help. This is the trip around the world quilt. I got the border 3/4 of the way quilted but no more! I don't want to take it to Texas just to finish the last tiny bit and then have to store it there, so I'm storing it here and I'll finish it at Christmas. Or something.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Day in Quilting


1. Time to put binding on the t-shirt quilt. Final join, I've done this many times, right????? One line was drawn at the wrong angle or something so....


I call it fubinding.

2. Can't find the seam ripper. OK so the binding issue will have to wait...

3. I have three pieces of flannel that I'm seaming to be the back for a top that I'm going to finish into a simple coverlet. I do the seaming and lay it out on the floor to pin to the top - wouldn't you know that one of the seams is about as unflat as it could be because I bought the wrong amount of flannel (or cut it wrong...still trying to figure that one out.) OK I think I may have a l'il piece of another flannel I can use to make up for the lacking length but...

4. Still can't find the seam ripper. So that'll have to wait, too. I think I've done enough sewing for one day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

20 Cabins



Here are the logs + 20 blocks. I had to lay it out in a different room then usual because it's already so big! When I finish the last 24 or so blocks I'm not even going to be able to lay it out... Anyway, the particular room in question does not have nearly as much light as the room where I usually take my pics, so the colors here are a bit off, but you get the idea. I hope to cut the rest of the blocks in another marathon 1 or 2 day rotary cutting session (woo-hoo!) and after that the sewing goes rather fast.

I know that things have been fairly quiet around here. The reason is that I haven't been getting much done!! I'm facing an impending move that will probably be "finally official" within the next couple of days (and no report here till it's final, remember!!) So I'm spending a lot of time getting organized and cleaning house - you know, literally. And in the quilt department I've been basting some things and hand quilting the Trip Around the World quilt that wouldn't die (or wouldn't get finished), but not doing anything terribly photogenic (except the 20 log cabin blocks, of course). Sad to say that, like most bloggers who move, moving will probably send me into a bit of blog hibernation (both reading and writing, sadly), so thanks in advance to those who stick with me!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007



Well the t-shirt front top is done - at least I want it to be done. Do you think it really needs a border? Like REALLY needs one? I don't want to do a border because A) I want it to be done sooner rather than later and B) I don't like doing borders. Also I think it's fine as is. It is 50x64 at the moment, which is a fine size for a throw, I think. ON THE OTHER HAND, my brother is like 6'3" and given those proportions I guess it might be a little small. Anyway, do the majority of 22 year old bachelors use throw quilts?? Do they have that concept? I don't know. As much as I'd rather not do a border - better to take the time to do a border and have it be something he actually USES rather than leave it as is if he won't use it as is. Actually asking the brother in question was not at all helpful. Mweh.

More layout decisions - having sewn about 1/3 of the log cabin blocks, I decided it was time to actually put some effort into layout planning. So far I've just been choosing colors at random - time to make a plan before sewing the rest. I've been thinking all along that I would do a barn raising layout (think that's what it's called??) or maybe an off-center barn raising:



Hmmm...because the blocks are so graphic, the pattern of the layout becomes very subtle, or that's my take on it. I could probably mediate this a little by making each "row" (diamond?) of the overall pattern a different shade (i.e. light blue, dark blue, blue-green, dark green, light green). THat might be a little static though - I kind of like the mixing of the blues and greens. I guess I'm going to have to keep sewing and see where it gets me. The more I have to work with, the easier it will be to make these decisions (I theorize). Maybe a different overall layout will be better.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Quilter's Lasagna

For my log cabin I wrote about in the post before last, I am making the blocks "four fabric" blocks - a dark and a light brown opposite a dark and a light green or blue. (I may do some blocks that are green and blue opposite each other with no brown - undecided. There is no plan for this quilt). Using the four fabrics creates more of an optical illusion in the coloring, or that's my hope. In order to balance the two sides I am choosing the fabrics for each block individually - so rather than cutting a whole mess of pieces, or speed piecing (goodness no!) I am choosing four fabrics for each block and then cutting each block individually to keep it all straight and organized. Since I sit down and cut a bunch of blocks at a time I need some way of storing each block's strips until sewing. My best solution so far is this - quilter's lasagna. THe longest strip (12.5") almost fits perfectly across the lasagna pan. I can get four blocks in one layer, then a piece of paper to separate the layers, then four more blocks.


Not at all sophisticated, but it works. However there will be no actual lasagna until the quilt top is finished. However that is no big loss since it is WAY too hot to turn on the oven.

I'm realizing something about my quilt making "process" - I don't like to plan. I guess I knew that. I always kind of figured that I just started sewing without a plan because I was too anxious to start sewing and didn't want to wait, but I realize now that "making it up as I go along" is an important part of the process to me. When I have very little or no plan there are always "challenge" moments - like the moment when I have all the blocks done and have to get them to go together somehow - and the challenge moments are important to me. Maybe this just has to do with me being SUCH an attention defecit quilter - like the same reason I only make scrap quilts because using the same fabric over and over bores me to tears. When I DO start with a complete plan/design (an incomplete plan would be something like - okay the blocks will be blue, let's start sewing) I occasionally stick to it, but more often end up completely reworking it, either because I get bored with the plan or because I discovered that the planned design was way too static and boring. Not infrequently I can think of ways that my finished quilts would have benefited from a more complete design plan but - working without a plan keeps me sewing and I guess that's the important thing.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Quilt Museum!!

I visited the quilt museum in Paducah this weekend. It was my first time in Paducah for any reason. One of my best friends from study abroad lives in southern Illinois/southeastern Missouri (she basically lives in either or both, two towns right across the river from each other.) When she was growing up she and her friends went to Paducah on a Saturday for a change of scene (I think a lot of people had some close-by town like that in high school). She, however, had never been to the quilt museum, but was becoming aware that she was missing out on something big. So, since I was planning a visit anyway, we decided that the quilt museum was a must!


The museum was lovely. Of course I could not take pictures to share. I don't know how many pictures I really would have taken, though. Of course it goes without saying that the quilts were AMAZING, but I wouldn't have been taking many pics for the "inspiration" file as too few really had anything about them that I could ever DREAM of emulating. Truly master works - awesome to see, and yet pretty far removed from my quilting experience. Hmmm. But I'm sure I would have found plenty to photograph if given the opportunity - especially some really great uses of 80s fabric. I love 80s fabric.

I'm sure I could have spent plenty of time and money in Paducah but we decided to limit ourselves to just one other stop - Hancock's of Paducah, of course! Slightly funny since I recently got a big package from them - even saw a few of the fabrics on the "bolt ends table"! I am officially DONE buying fabric! But I spent less than thirty dollars so I congratulate myself on that. And it is only the fifth time that I spent less than thirty dollars on fabric in the last month...

Here are my treasures: lots for the log cabin, some for another new project, and couple "treats." I have not photographed all the fabric that has come in the mail...would probably get too depressing.


Me and the big muddy...nice.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend Away

My last day of work was this past Friday. Now I've got some down time. Things for the big "NEXT" are slowly working themselves out, I'm just going to opt not to share details until everything is finally final. But for those who are worried about my financial situation, my resume, or my mental health - fear not; all manner of thing shall be well.

I decided to escape town for the weekend. Seemed like a great way to "celebrate" the end of my job, as well as get some mental down time and physical/mental distance from the rest of my life. Fortunately I have two girlfriends who share a beautiful condo with a guest room in a town about an hour away. It was a blissful weekend with lots of staying up late, sleeping late, sewing, journaling, and a healthy dose of Jane Austen.

Saturday afternoon my best friend Bekki and I (one of the condo girls) went thrifting. I did very well in the clothes department, and also bought this for $8.50:


It's an unfinished top, small twin or large throw sized. I feel a bit off my rocker adding another my top to my already voluminous "tops to finish" pile, but I couldn't help myself. It is just too great. It's wool fabric, most likely made from recycled clothes. There were quite a lot of unfinished tops in this particular store and I got so caught up wondering where they came from - some quilter passed away with no quilty relatives to take on her/his work perhaps. I'm proud of myself for limiting to just ONE top.

Good friends who make their guest rooms available at the drop of a hat deserve quilts. Ergo I have started another project:


8 down, 56 to go - hope she likes it!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Finish


Yea, it's done!

I posted earlier about my "anything goes" attitude towards putting this quilt together. All along I have called this my "Gee's Bend Study". I have been so entranced and inspired by the quilts of Gee's Bend and I was trying to replicated that "free form" feeling. I can't say whether or not my techniques/methods/lack-thereof are very similar to the quilters of Gee's Bend and I can't say whether any of them would even LIKE this, but I tried to replicate the attitude of just "putting them together the way I like" that I've read about. I DO like it. I kind of love it. I made it bed sized and I'm not actually sure if I could handle that much of it, however. But it is very cuddly and will have a useful life.

Anyway, I should get a close up picture of the quilting and post it. It's pretty hilarious.

While I had a few willing quilt holders available, I dragged out the three other quilts I've finished this year but hadn't yet photographed. Yes, that means I have finished four quilts this year. I realize that to most people that is not an impressive number, however to me it is HUGE! I think I finished four quilts total in the previous 4-5 years of quilting. I am a short attention span quilter - I always have zillions of projects going and never finish much. I'm working on it.

Anyway, I really want to share this one, which I posted "bed shots" of earlier but not the whole thing:


If you want to see the rest you should be able to click either of the about photos and then click through my "Quilts!" photo set on flickr.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Show Me Your Uglies!!

I posit that few things are more dangerous than the combination of a debit card and an online fabric store.

Anyway, in light of the impending arrival of yards upon yards of fabric, today I decided that it was time to sort through the "new fabric receiving pile". It has been growing at an alarming rate and hasn't been cleaned out in about six months.

First step: sort fabric into piles according to what box they need to go in...


Second step: drag out the boxes that fabric needs to go into and realize they are full.

Third step: wonder why I covered my bed in fabric BEFORE nap time:


Anyway, I got to thinking about weird/ugly/unusual fabric. I'm told I buy a lot of it. In fact I pretty much started thinking about it when I realized how funny my mother will look at me if/when I show her the fabric I just ordered. She has said, in paraphrase, "You buy the weirdest/strangest/ugliest fabrics that I would NEVER buy...but I like your quilts so I guess you have an eye for it." Thanks, I'll take the compliment and leave the rest!

For example. I bought the following on a shopping trip with Mom & Aunt M who talked for days afterwards about me buying the following fabric, which apparently they thought was extremely weird:


Apparently they haven't caught onto the fact that I will buy ANYTHING with hearts on it. In the grand scheme of things, this has been one of the LESS weird things that I have purchased. I can't quite get over this one, which has these great pink and gold stripes the run the length of the fabric. A quilter sees nothing but potential in that, right? RIGHT??


I also remember the day back when I first started quilting and I came home from fabric shopping thrilled to death to have found this for $0.60 a yard. Naturally I bought a half yard of it for thirty cents.


I mean I could go on and on:




A while ago there was an article in Quilters Newsletter about a woman who apparently has the same problem/gift. I was, of course, tickled that I owned one of the fabrics featured in the article. I don't however see what's so weird about it:


Actually there are a few fabrics that even I find ugly after I buy them, but I will spare you those pictures for now. Anyone else out there have similar "issues" when it comes to fabric buying??

Friday, August 3, 2007

The New Project

So here's a hint about the project I started:


A Star Wars quilt? No, a t-shirt quilt for little brother - God willing it will be his Christmas present. (Technically I should have plenty of time to finish it, but I think we all know how many other things could happen.) My little brother is actually a bit of a clothes horse and had piles and piles of clothes in my parents basement. I'm told he would come over from time to time and look for something - just saw it as extended storage I guess! Finally Mom put it all in trash bags for the Goodwill, and told him to take out anything he wanted to keep. After he'd had his go at it, I went down to see if there was anything I might want - little brother's old clothes are an especially rich source of really great PJs. When I started going through I saw all these t-shirts that represented a lot of things from his past - that have "sentimental value" as a sister would put it. So I asked him if he would like to have them made into a quilt and he said yes.

That's right I volunteered!!

I have made one t-shirt quilt in the past. Actually, not surprisingly, it's still a not quilted top. But basically I knew when I volunteered that it's a tedious process - ironing interfacing onto the back of all those logos and cutting them to a usable size - bleh. It's slow going.

But I actually jumped at the chance to do it because I had an ulterior motive:


Yes that's right, I wanted to play with the scraps! I am making a "parallel" t-shirt quilt out of the non-logo parts of the t-shirts. I'm not using interfacing for this, so I've been experimenting with levels of starch. Heavily starched the jersey actually behaves quite well - although now I have to do some restarching of the bits I went too easy on. I mean you kind of have to be gentle with the jersey, but I'm not having much trouble sewing those nine patch blocks. (Oh yeah, I have no design plan for this. Basically I am cutting plain squares and sewing some nine patches and some sixteen patches. So far everything is 12" but I plan to through in some 16" bits. Then I will find some way to put it all together.)

Anyway, I've been thinking about doing a quilt like this for awhile, I think because I've been thinking a lot about "recycled" quilts and wanting to try to make some. Do not get me wrong, I love my stash, but I also love any opportunity to get back to my quilt making "roots". If you have ever made a t-shirt quilt you know that there is a LOT of waste. Last time I used those extra bits as rags in my old apartment, but it was still way more rags than I even needed. It seems like the quilty thing to do is stitch 'em together....

*Sigh* however I do not know how far I will get on this project. I really need to focus on getting my two big quilting projects quilted. Because if I move - well there is nothing worse than moving two big quilts in the process of being quilted, because WHO KNOWS how long it will be before they actually get finished then!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Diet is Over!

So when I found some sewing time after the Harry Potter Mania, my first project was a set of throw pillow covers for an undisclosed recipient. I tried to make them coordinated without being matchy-matchy. But they really just look pretty random - maybe they can be in different rooms?? I hope the recipient likes them. I thought she said no pink or purple, now I'm realizing that she said no pink or orange!! And that one pillow prominently features orange - bleh. I really hope she doesn't hate it. Making things to other peoples tastes is so hard!


With throw pillows completed I finally put the border on my red work extravaganza. I auditioned tons of different borders and this one just "worked" somehow. The darker burgundy color does give the top kind of a different feel, but I feel like it quiets the top down, while making it "pop" at the same time. And it introduces a bit of an accent color. After making my mom look at a zillion different choices I got her to agree that this one works, so I went with it.


Sorry, I wish I had a different background to photograph it against since it kind of blends into this floor. Actually, here's a slightly better view, along with one of my flip flops and Pip the guinea pig:


Anyway, with the move of this project onto the "finished top" list, I am officially ending my "no new projects" diet. Woo-hoo! Since starting the diet I have finished at least six tops, so it has been fruitful. I think I'm going to start something new today (Christmas present for my little brother) but I'm not starting more than two new projects until something else either becomes a finished top or one of the things I'm quilting becomes a finished quilt!

One last thing - okay so I upload my pictures on a mac and they look TERRIBLE on my PC at work - but I do have a terribly ancient monitor at work. So question to you PC users out there - do you look at my blog and find yourself thinking, "Why does she post such low quality super dark photos?" Or do they look OK to you? I'm hoping the problem is just with the terribly old monitor, but if it's not then I'll have to make an adjustment somewhere.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Spoiler Free Zone

Phew - finished Harry Potter about fifteen minutes past midnight last night.

Of course this blog, and anything else having to do with me, is most certainly a SPOILER FREE zone. As far as I am concerned, that should go without saying. No one should speak about the book publicly at all for at least a month. Don't even take the chance that you could ruin it for someone. Don't discuss it with anyone until after you point your wand (er....finger) at them and say demandingly, "WHAT PAGE ARE YOU ON???" Then you may carefully discuss anything that came before that page, or if they've finished you can speak freely, but make sure that no one is within earshot who might still be reading...

Monday, July 23, 2007


Ok so my official last day at work is in four weeks. I spent an action packed weekend in Chicago visiting my brother and some very good friends, and also trying to decide if I can see myself living there since there's a very good chance I'm headed in that direction. Combine that with the release of Harry Potter and this is just to stay that after these messages I'll be right back. I actually have a small list of sewing that I'm itching to do, but can't quite bring myself to put the book down long enough. Sad but true. And then there's this whole thing where they actually expect me to go to work for eight hours when there's Harry Potter to be read and sewing to be done. Imagine!

Anyway, this weekend in Chicago I dreamed about kayaking under State Street (next trip, maybe...)


I attended the World's Largest Block Party at Old St. Pats


And I met Mr. Freddy Noodles, the cat my brother is staying with. I took this picture to show my mother that cats the world over love her quilts:


Okay, page 590, I should be done any minute now...

Friday, July 20, 2007

More Stars

Three recent receives in the Stars Around the World block exchange. This is partly to test different photo hosting sites as I'm trying to find one that looks just as good on PCs as on my mac. More to come soon......!


Monday, July 16, 2007


Just a quick note to say "hi" to everyone who has been stopping by and commenting! If you have an e-mail address attached to your comment I will always try to reply by e-mail. If you purposely choose not to use your e-mail I respect that. Just know that I read and appreciate your comments.

However - if you use blogger you may be like me and just didn't realize that you have to turn on your e-mail address in your account in order to allow other users to reply to your comments by e-mail. Just log in to blogger, go to the "edit profile" page and click the bit that says "show my e-mail address."

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Hello everyone. Whew still not much sewing going on in my world because my life is minor (very minor) turmoil and I can't seem to get myself to focus on anything much. I've pretty much decided to leave my job. I plan to give notice on Monday, although depending on how they react it will be open-ended notice and I'll probably be there for more than two more weeks. The catch of course is that I don't know where I go from here. I just know I need to be done with this, and I'm taking the prerogative of being 25 and more carefree than I will ever be again to just step out in faith and see what happens.

Anyway, for the most part my sewing time has been spent hand quilting the ginormous Trip Around the World or machine quilting this:


Yes, you read that right, machine quilting - my first attempt. I am using polar fleece as a combined backing/batting meaning that I don't have to worry about batting separating and could probably get away with really minimal quilting, but I want to do some for the sake of strengthening the top. And since my new-to-me (it's 17 years old) machine has a walking foot I decided to give it a go. Since I'm not too familiar with the whole walking foot thing, I'm just making it up as I go along. The stitch length is really erratic, but I think I might just be pulling the quilt to much.

The good news is, I don't care at all how the quilting LOOKS on this, and in fact poor quilting will fit in better with the rest of the quilt than good quilting would. The top was sewn almost entirely from untrimmed scraps pulled fairly randomly from the scrap box. The only bit I cut is the black. When some of the seams were close to pulling out because of fraying fabric I reinforced them by whip stitching in embroidery floss - very visible. When the top didn't lay flat - because it did not come CLOSE to laying flat, I took darts and used more embroidery floss. I basically broke every quilt rule in the book, but it's been super fun and makes me love it even more!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Family Reunion

Not tons of sewing progress, but I did manage to get the border on this:



The gorgeous applique blocks are, alas, not my handy work. My fabulous quilting aunt gave them to me two or three at a time for various special occasions over several years, until I had them all. She did the hard part; the rest is up to me! I was stumped on the border for a long time, but I like what I ended up with. Now I just have to wait until I get around to quilting it one of these years...

We had our family reunion over the weekend, and the hands quilt we were working on at quilt camp is finished and was given to its owner:


I am really happy with the end product. Mom and Aunt M. did the vast majority of the applique and Aunt M. assembled and quilted - my contribution was a measly four applique blocks, and lots of strong design opinions! Since I "won" most of the design "discussions" maybe it's no wonder that I like the end product so much.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

While the Computer was Gone...

I pulled out this UFO - small assortment of random sized embroidered blocks with nature themes. Like so many things I was originally going to do so much more of these. And I like to embroider, so it could still theoretically happen that I would make more, but I just have this feeling that it's never going to and I would rather just do something with these.


But what to do with them?? The fact of the different sizes complicates things, as does the fact that there are really so few blocks.

Fast forward a week, and this is what I came up with:



I feel as though I really should have done one more block for the bottom right hand corner and it would be a lot more balanced, but it is what it is. It's roughly 38" square-ish. I like it. It was fun to mix the colors and see the effects, and four patches are such fun easy sewing.

Now - what to do for a border?? I could do no border, but I feel like it needs something. In fact, I feel like it needs to be calmed down a little. Any thoughts? I thought about a small red inner border with a checkerboard outer border. I thought about a plain red border or a plain write border. I thought a small inner border in a bright green with a red outer border. But I'm up for whatever - I just have to make up my mind.

While I'm thinking about that, I hopefully will get this borer sewn on:


And here's this, officially a finished top:


I'm glad to finally be making some progress on getting tops finished - I'm actually going to let myself start something soon-ish. Also, I've been playing around with my new machine, which has a walking foot if I can ever figure it out, so that might help me get some tops finished into quilts. But I'm still thinking I might need to send some out, which means finding someone to send them out to.

Someday I will not have as much time on my hands as I do now. But for now I do.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Blue Stars

Another quick share:

Blue Stars


I creatively refer to this as the "blue stars" quilt. I made this quilt (or coverlet I guess - it has no batting, for summer use) during a transition in my life and this was my therapy! I approached each block as an individual unit with my only theme being "blue." I had some kind of vision for this, but I can't really put it into words except for "blue". In this case that included greens and purples, but I don't know - it just worked for me! I used a lot of my favorite fabrics and some pieces that have a lot of special meaning for me. I kind of see it as a piece of home I could take with me anywhere. I love the result, I just got impatient and put it together before I really had as many blocks as I would have liked, so it's a bit of weird size. But once again, it works for me.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Vacation - Not Mine, My Computer's...

Well, the laptop that I normally blog from is on a week long vacation and in the meantime I will be blogging from a desktop that is much beloved, but in computer terms downright antique. So I have not yet been able to convince the desktop to load pictures off my camera which means no new pictures to post for a week :(. However I will try to entertain myself by posting some older quilty pictures - such is the advantage of having a new-ish blog!

But before I get to that, thank you all for your comments about the layout of my strippy stripey blocks (It's officially referred to as "Random Stripes" now...) It is being sewn together right now, and I took your advised and tried to make it balanced - not quite symetrical, but not soooo crazy, either. Can't show you for a week though!

Speaking of crazy, this...

The Crazy Quilt my first quilt! In all its crazzzzy insanity!

It's actually upside down in this picture, but only I would know that; obviously the people helping me take pictures didn't, ha ha. When I backpacked around asia and the pacific after graduating high school, I collected fabric, at my mothers request. I think I did succeed in purchasing fabric on every stop of the trip, with I think two exceptions. So when I got back and was bored and missing the adventure of travel, my mom suggested that I make a crazy quilt with them. The "travel" fabrics are the center of each crazy block, the sashing was picked up in Thailand, but most of the rest of the patches are from mom's scrap bag. Each block was embelished while sitting at Denny's in the middle of the night, where I typically hung out every night after getting off work on the second shift (I worked with all my best friends at the time). If you click on it it should take you to flickr where you can see a larger and a huge view, to get a closer look at the fabrics and embelishments.

This is the third quilting project that Mom started me on in my life - but this is the one that "took".

Also can't spell check in blogger on this computer...¡discuplame!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Flamingos and Such

Here is my flamingo quilt that I finished - more than a month or two ago - and for some reason didn't take a picture of till last night. I have a lot of my recent finished items that I don't have really good pictures of and I keep thinking I will take them outside on a sunny day with some helpful people and get some really decent pics. So I think I was waiting for that day, but I decided I at least needed some kind of picture of this in the mean time.


Before you compliment me, those flamingos are NOT appliqued - it's a fabric panel I bought years ago. One day when I was just overflowing with creativity (which in my case rarely happens) I really wanted to start something new and work on it all day, and I decided to take the flamingos as my inspiration - this was the result. So all the fabric I had on hand and I did get it all pieced in a day. That is NOTHING like my usual way of working, but I love the result.

Just because I love to share them, here are my recent "Stars Around the World" blocks - if you'd like to get in on the fun. (Not my favorite site because almost all of the activities are actually not quilt related. Still haven't figured that one out...?)

From Karin in CO:

Going to Mary Lou in TN:

Last but not least...I was about ready to declare this layout the "winner" for the Random Stripes quilt - this was last night.


I would have sewn them up last night but somehow laying the blocks out on the floor so I could audition the border COMPLETELY exhausted me. So I did not sew them up, and now I'm undecided again. Hilarious. I'm going back to the doctor on Friday - this tiredness thing has got to go.

My Favorite Quilt Pics From Flickr Users