Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Post Catch Up Time

As promised in my last post, I'm going to go back in time and post pictures of some of the projects on which I've been working.

Back in January, I did a presentation at the guild about scrap quilting. I used to be afraid of working with scraps and doing so really took me out of my comfort zone. I was afraid that the end product would be "muddy" or look like I simply took a bunch of fabric and sewed it together willy nilly with no cares about how it would look in the end. I was afraid that nothing would really work to blend the pieces and I would hate it. In retrospect, I think I just didn't have much confidence in my color choices and wanted to work in "safe" fabrics - meaning all from the same line so I was sure they'd match, or all in Moda Marbles because I was afraid that a print or design might stick out too much.

I really don't know when it happened, but I finally decided to step outside that warm and comfortable sewing room and try my hand at scrappy. I have to say that I now LOVE to work with scraps, although that's not all I do by any means. It really is fun to search my stash for fabrics that kind of go together and see what happens. I think once I made the decision that I needed to get my stash under control was the same time that I started working with scraps. I guess in the long run it doesn't really matter when or why I made the change, I just did.

Here's a link to the guild blog that has pictures of my presentation. I showed some of the scrap quilts that I've made over the last couple of years and if you scroll down, you'll see projects from various guild members. There are some really talented people in this guild!

Notice the aprons that Kare and I are wearing? I suggested to the guild that if you look at making a scrap quilt the same way you cook or bake you really can't go wrong. The fabrics are the ingredients and sometimes you need more "spices" (brights, splashes of color, etc.) to give the quilt some kick, and sometimes you need to add some more "vanilla" (plain or blender fabrics) to keep the peace and make the other fabrics play nice together.  :-)

See the block on the wall behind me? Everyone that was in attendance at the meeting did a mock up of that block. They were all given a diagram of the blocks and then took a handful of fabrics and had to temporarily glue them in place. I took them home to sew them into a quilt.

Following is a pictoral view of the steps I took in the making the quilt from the mock up blocks by the members. First are the bowls of fabric from which the members grabbed. They were not allowed to pick specific pieces of fabric, just a handful or two.

Here's a sample of the block with fabrics added. Ok, really it's an EQ6 colored version of the block, but you the pictures.

After I sewed all the blocks, I started playing around with possible layouts on the design wall. Here's the first potential layout. All blocks were set side by side with no sashing or alternating blocks. There were a couple of things I didn't like about this layout. First, the quilt would be way too small for my liking and I really didn't want to make a bunch more blocks. Also, I think that there was just too much going on here. My eyes didn't know where to rest and I just didn't feel the love.  :-)

Next I tried adding sashing - white and black. The white was really just spaces left between the blocks, but it didn't matter because I didn't like it anyway. The black was fabric that was left over from a backing fabric from a recent quilt.

But, again, it just didn't too anything for me. To me it looks like I didn't know what else to do, so I added sashing and hoped for the best. BORING! Plus it's still too small. I will say that I like the black better then the white, but something was missing.

I decided to add a narrow black border to all sides of the block, add a plain alternating block and set the the blocks on point. Afterall, what have I got to lose? I'm just putting them on the design wall and can take them down if I don't like them.

BINGO! I like this. In keeping with the scrappy theme, the alternating blocks and side setting triangles are scrappy. Even though it's not the perfect size, it's still decent and can be used for a lap quilt or on top of a twin bed without much, if any overhang.

Here's the completed project. Pieced, quilted and bound - DONE, DONE, and DONE!

Here's what I used for the backing. Again, something from my stash. I think it works well with the front, don't you?

One other really cool thing is that I even pieced together the batting for this quilt. I had some large pieces left over from other projects and when I realized that absolutely everything else in this quilt was from stash, I knew I couldn't just cut off a new piece from the bolt or open a package.

So there you have it. My totally stash and scrappy quilt! I showed the completed project at the February guild meeting. (Again, scroll through the entire post and see some of the wonderful works of various guild members. Outstanding!)

I think I surprised some people. Besides that fact that the quilt was done, I know that many of them thought the finished project would be quite ugly because they just randomly placed fabrics and had no idea of how it could all work together. They may not love it, but I don't think they hate it.

Mission Accomplished!  :-)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Design Wall Monday and More

I'm back from my little hiatus. I've been quite busy the last couple of weeks and something had to give, so it was the blog. During my "away time," I got lots done and practiced my patience skills when things didn't go quite as planned. I also got some quilting done, but not as much as I'd hoped. I'll take some time the next few days and post some pictures of the various projects on which I worked; but since it's Monday and that means it's Design Wall day, I'll post what's up right now.

Even though I haven't quilted the first one, I started a new Voila! quilt last night - in brights! I'll have to double check, but I think all the fabric for this is from the Crush line by Timeless Treasures. I  would never have guessed that I would be making a quilt with bright pink, orange and yellow, but I am, and I'm liking it. Now Jack on the other hands, doesn't really care for this. I told him to wait and see if he changes his mind after I add the border - another stripe.

It sure is different that the other one, isn't it?

As you can see, one of the projects I did NOT get done was to change the fabric on my design wall. I'm going to replace the white batting with brown craft felt. That should help have things like the bright Voila! quilt show up better in pictures as well as give me a better feel for it's overall look just by seeing the contrast. I really think that even when I'm working with black fabric this will be good. I guess I'll let you know or let you be the judge when I finally do get it up and post pictures.

Among some of the other things I did during my "away time" was to go to a quilt show with Jack, Sheryll, Jim and Hannah. We met at Lake Farmpark and spent the afternoon in awe of such talented people. I know the Best of Show Winner - Sue Wilson. Speaking of talented people. She's awesome!

I also had the pleasure of spending a week with Mom while Terri and Danny were out of town, and that was wonderful. It's been a LONG time since I've spent my birthday with Mom and it was fun! I usually send Mom flowers on my birthday because she's the one who did all the work. I just kicked a bit to let her know I was ready to meet the real world; and she and Dad (ok, and all the siblings) had the difficult task of raising me and dealing with whatever drama I deemed to be of the upmost importance on any particular day, so I find that sending flowers is the least I can do.

Anyway, I digress. We spent my birthday afternoon with Nikki, Zach, Quinn, Sadie, Brad, Heather, Aiden and Cameron. We had a "basement picnic" and the kids played while the adults visited. It was fun and Mom was quite tired by the time everyone left so she took a short nap. While she napped, I took the opportunity  to do a bit of mending. Yep, you read that's right. I did some mending! It was for Mom, and that's really the only reason I did it. I really don't like to mend. Can you tell?

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Got o Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I do have something on the wall and I'm loving it! I am really excited about this quilt and I can't wait to finish it.

It's my version of Voila! from Swirly Girls Design. (Have I told you how much I like Swirly Girls?)

The picture doesn't really do this justice (in my humble opinion). Maybe you'll get a better picture when you enlarge it. If you notice there is a streak of light on the right side of the picture. That is the sun! I have another picture that doesn't include it; but hey, it's February in Ohio and it's cold, so I'll take whatever sunshine I can get!

Anyway, back to the quilt. The dark around the red print fabric is actually a black fabric with white dots. I'm going to use the same fabric for the binding. Heck, I already have the backing for this quilt too, which is so unusual for me. The fabric for this quilt was purchased while I was on retreat and the inside was sewn then also. I had previously purchased the pattern and took it with me just in case I found the perfect focus fabric. I think I did!

Anyway, one more border and it's ready to quilt, although I have no idea yet of how to do that. Besides, it will probably be a little bit before that happens so I have some time to think about it. Any suggestions?

I've been busy trying to get things caught up and it seems to be working. It's amazing how many projects really just needed a little bit of work done to them but they just got set aside instead. I'll post pictures later of some of those projects. I just have to be home and take the time to snap pictures!

To check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stash Report - Weeks 5-7

Although I've neglected to report, I have been keeping a record of my ins and outs of fabric. I'm happy to say that all of what I bought when I was on retreat at the end of January was purchased with a specific project in mind and that I've completed the top to one of those projects and am ready to add the borders to the another one. I have backing for both of those quilts as well as the binding.WooHoo!

I've counted all the fabric as purhases, but not all as used yet. When I buy new fabrics for a specific quilt, I count all fabric in at the time of purchase.  But, I don't count them out until the top is complete. And, I don't count the backing and binding out until that is done. That's kind of an incentive to not have tops sitting around waiting to be quilted. I already have a bunch of those from previous years, so I really don't need to be adding more! I am working hard at finishing a UFO between starting a new project, but it really is a challenge for me. There are soooooo many wonderful quilts that I see that I want to make! Maybe I should avoid looking at the Design Wall Monday posts or Pinterst. NOT!!!

Here's the report:

Fabric Added These 3 Weeks: 13.50 yards
Fabric Added to Date: 25.5 yards
Fabric Used These 3 Weeks: 23.75 yards
Fabric Used to Date: 62.25 yards
Net Fabric Used for 2012: 36.75 yard

UFOs Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound): 4
UFOs Still to Do: ??? (I really should make a list, but that would only upset me!)
New Quilts Done, Done, Done (Pieced, Quilted, and Bound): 2
Quilts Ready to be Quilted and Bound: 13
Quilts Quilted and Ready to be Bound: 1

Check out what other quilters are doing with their stash by going to Judy L's
Patchwork Times.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Design Wall Monday

If you are a regular reader, you will have noticed that I haven't blogged in over a week. (If you aren't a regular reader, welcome!) I went on a retreat the last weekend of January and I had a really good time. I was pretty productive, but when I came home I was busy, busy, busy so I took a break from blogging to catch up on things, and I finally feel like I'm getting there. I haven't even done a stash report in two weeks!

On my design wall is a project that I worked on while on retreat. I saw the pattern by Jodie Davis in the latest Fons and Porter's Easy Quilts and decided that I wanted to make this quilt. I've been playing around with the idea of making a quilt out of all solids and a grey background and this was perfect! I'm choosing backing fabrics and planning the quilting, so that's why it's on the wall and not in the machine. :-)

They call the quilt "Strip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", which is a cute name, but my husband likes to come up with names for all my projects and after looking at this for a while decided it should be called "Tears of Joy!" When I asked him how he came up with that name, he said the grey background made him think of a rainy, dreary, or sad day and the strips of color made everything better  - Tears of Joy!. Alrighty then. I kind of like the name, don't you?

I really like the grey background and already have plans to make another quilt or two using similar fabrics. I really like the simplicity of this quilt. My sister Ann, who was on retreat with me said it best when she said she liked the minimalistic look of the quilt. Yep, that's what I like!

Jack would really like to see me add a couple of borders (grey, small columns of color like the inside and then grey again), but I don't have enough of the grey to do that and I don't want to try to match it.
I promised that one of the others I make will have borders for him.  I'm happy he takes in interest in my quilting!  :-)

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.