Friday, May 30, 2014

Purging, Organizing and Learning

    I hope everyone is enjoying their spring. There seems to be so much happening these days. Weddings, graduations, trying to get the yard cleaned up, and the garden growing. I have been doing some organizing myself. Remember earlier this year when I was trying to get rid of the dressers I was storing my fabric in? My friend Barbara took them, and they look wonderful in her mountain house. I am so glad she was able to use them. She was also kind enough to share some goodies with me, that have proven to be very useful. I already had some of these metal structures that another friend gave me. I tried to get more at Home Depot, but could not find them. Well, Barbara had some that she actually wanted to get rid of Perfect! Look how well organized and visible that fabric is now.

     There is even room to grow! (AKA-buy more fabric) Take a look at the other end of the room. Oops! I should have put my sewing machine back up before I took the photo, so it looks like a real sewing room. Thanks to Barbara for the lovely blinds too. They work great in there.

      Next, I tackled the other upstairs room. That room has not been this neat since I moved to this house, over 4 years ago.

     Look at all of those (mostly) clear surfaces! I should have taken "before pictures", so you could see how far these rooms have come, but I would have been embarrassed to show them to you. 

     I have also been watching a lot of YouTube videos about how to do different technological things. Notice I have what is called an "Etsy Mini" on the right hand side of the blog now. You can click on it and go directly to my Etsy shop. I always had a link to my Etsy shop on the blog, but it was so tiny, I am sure I was the only one who knew it was there. It looks like I have a couple of duplicates in the mini, but I don't. I often have 2 listings with the same quilt photo, but one is the actual quilt, and the other is the pattern for that quilt. Next up-to figure out how to actually USE that Face Book page I have had for the last couple of years. Anything can happen. Honestly, I am so, so pokey when it comes to this technological stuff. I also mean to add a Pintrest Button to the blog since I am on Pintrest now.

   Why yes, I HAVE done some actual sewing. I have been working on this quilt order:

     So far, all of the star bodies are made, and the color combinations are approved. Now, I am working on putting the background together. It is all arranged on the design wall, and I am transferring it to the kitchen on a piece of insulation board covered in flannel. I sew in the kitchen during the summer, because it stays cooler with less air conditioning on the bottom floor of the house, where the kitchen is.

     Note: even though pins are not necessary to keep the pieces in the design wall, I do use pins to keep the pieces in place while maneuvering the insulation board around furniture. It only takes one split second at the wrong angle, for all of those pieces to fall off. It's a physics thing, I guess.  

    I am really feeling some deja vu while making this quilt. Not only have I made this quilt before, But I was blogging when I made the first quilt. It fact it was my VERY FIRST blog post. If you are curious about that, and want to see more about how I put the blocks together, check out HERE

      So, that's what I've been up to. Hope your spring is proving to be productive. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival-Spring 2014  

      This quilt was inspired by doing a jelly roll race at a retreat. I got to thinking that it would be more fun if there was a narrow strip, added to the 2 1/2" strip. I actually made that quilt. Then, I decided to try to work my way out from the center in a giant spiral. My friend's husband saw it and suggested naming it: A Maze Zing. Like nearly all of my quilts, it was also quilted by my good friend, Regina Carter of Jackson GA. It was her husband that suggested the name. I made this quilt in a few evenings, which is really unusual for  me. 

     When I was writing the pattern, I remade the quilt, to check out a few construction ideas. Of course, I had to use totally different colors this time. I couldn't enter this version in the Festival, because it is not bound yet. Notice that the first quilt is bold colors, so I joined my strips bluntly, but with the second, more blended version, I joined the strips on an angle. I have already taught this as a class once, and it was really nice to be able to show the students 2 very different colorways.

     Here is the first of the series with the straight thick and thin strips. It was a graduation gift for a friend's daughter. This quilt was machine quilted by me. I am working on doing that with smaller pieces, and I thought that staying within the strips would give me some guidance.

  There are many more beautiful creations at The Blogger's Quilt Festival. You won't want to miss it! Thanks for stopping by!

Blogger's Quilt Festival-Spring 2014

   Here is my entry for the Large category at The Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.

     This quilt has quite a history. It was inspired by a vintage quilt that I saw in a book somewhere. I wish I could find it, but I think it was a friend's book. I think the original quilt was pieced from solid velvets. Can you imagine? I simplified, and rearranged a good bit to get something that I would actually want to piece. I held on to the design for some time before I got around to starting on it. I collected solid color fabrics in the mean time in preparation...I really love making quilts from solids. I thing all solid quilts have a strong, graphic quality, that you can not achieve any other way.

     When I did finally get to work on it, I submitted a photo of it to McCall's quilting to see if maybe they would want to publish it. Wonder of wonders-they did! It appeared as a mystery quilt in 2009. I didn't come up with a name for it until I got it back from McCall's. I named it Shenanigans.

     I had a great time making this quilt. Recently a friend of mine bought it, and gave it to her son for a wedding gift, so this has been a successful quilt for me!

          This quilt was quilted by my good friend, Regina Carter of Jackson, GA. 

     There are lots of beautiful quilts to see over at The Blogger's Quilt Festival
at Amy's Creative Side. Many thanks to Amy Ellis for giving us this gathering place, and the opportunity to see each others work. 

     Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 12, 2014


    I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day.

     A couple of weeks ago I went on a wonderful retreat with friends I usually only see once a year. We went to our usual spot, Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield Georgia. It is so great to see friends you have not seen in a longtime, and meet new ones. 

     There was lots of fabulous quilty inspiration all around me. Here is some of what my fellow quilters were working on.

     This is a Christmas tree skirt.

     How is that for some fabulous work. It is so nice to see such variety! We even had a mother/daughter team with us where the daughter was 7 yrs old. I was all excited to show you her project, but now I can't find the photo of it. I am so disappointed.


     This is what I worked on for much of the time there. The center is all together, I still have to work out the corners, and I have a couple of borders planned. I can't put it on the design wall just now because my Anastasia quilt is in the way.

     I also spent a good bit of time cutting Dresden Plate blades. So far they are just in a plastic box though. I should have some plates sewn together fairly soon.

     This week, I worked the layout for this quilt order.

     So far, I have all of the star centers made. I long time friend of mine is patiently waiting for this one. I have sent her a sample of each color combination to make sure that she likes all of them. I also gave her a couple of suggestions for things we could do with the background. So far that quilt looks like this:

     For some reason, I couldn't seem to fit the whole thing in one photo.

     I am getting ready to meet with The Nimble Thimbles guild in South Carolina for a trunk show this week. I have been making copies of patterns, and sewing a few handwoven wool, chicken pincushions.

     I have also finally gotten my whole garden planted. 

     So, that is what I have been up to lately. Thanks for stopping by!