Monday, February 20, 2012

Planning, Working, Coughing, etc.

I missed a few things on my list of stuff to do. Buy cough medicine, Kleenex, body ache relief, and 2 pet squirrels for the kids, to keep them busy. I am not fully sick yet. My chest hurts from the fluid that is coating my lungs, and my throat feels raw, so I know that I am in store for one hellova sick session. The last time that I felt like this, I ended up with walking pneumonia and a finger shake from my doctor. Some times I throw caution to the wind as far as my health goes...and sometimes I wake up thinking I have every form of sickness and disease know to woman. So I am all over the place on this concern level of health. Maybe if I just ignore it, it will go away. :)

I am going to get this list done if it kills me, and it just might, you never know. I finished the flying geese border on the challenge quilt, but I still need to plan the next border around the geese. Here is how that one is looking so far:
I don't remember if I explained this one yet or not, but this is the short story. It is a challenge quilt (one that I already missed the due date on) where each person picked out an orphan block from an unknown project, yours or elsewhere. You then have to come up with a design using that block to make a small quilt. This is the block that I got, before I started the project:
It is an antique block from somewhere in France. I decided to use my turn-of-the-century fabrics to do this little quilt project. So far, I have yet to use any reproductions, but I may have to, so that I can finish the project. I am thinking of doing an applique border next, so maybe a shirting background.

as far as the other projects on my list, flowers are being appliqued, and I have been working on the needle case (pictures to come on these) and maybe tonight I can work on the borders on Simply Charmed. That is the plan. The plan does involve codeine cough syrup. The borders will look straight tonight, if not tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Simply Charmed

I took a few days 'away' (just down the hall and at 2am-ish) and threw together a quilt top sans borders. The Simply Charmed pattern shown above was an excellent one to use on a layer cake that I had of Moda's Perennials by Kansas Troubles. I had purchased the Layer Cake to make a sample for the quilt shop and was not in love with the fabrics, although by no means ugly. The sample never materialized (ha, ha...materialized) so naturally, I had to come up with a use for it. I found a bunch of yardage in my stash of a maroon on white print that I had purchased from JoAnn Stores years ago, and had no plan for it. This means that I was able to make a stash quilt!

I buy patterns, and sometimes I wonder why. I have to affirm that it is to give the pattern maker financial credit for the design. I almost never follow the directions given, whether I use a different technique, or change size of quilt, or even quilt blocks, I am always changing them up. Have I ever followed a pattern exactly? I would have to think on that. This one was a perfect example of me not following directions. (This can, of course, get you in loads of trouble every now and then, but when you screw things up as often as I do, it is much easier to take in stride.) In the instructions, you take your charm piece, then add your sashing and cornerstone piece to make each individual block. Well, this is what I did....

I started by making an uneven nine-patch putting one charm in each corner, sashing fabric in the 'north, south, east, west' areas, and finally the cornerstone fabric in the center. None of my fabrics were directional other than the sashing, so it was easy. If you had directional charms, you would just have to pay attention when placing those before sewing.

Then I just cut the piece down the exact middle both ways and ended up with four blocks done at once. This made the quilt top go together super fast. I still have not put the borders on, but that is one of my things to cross off the old list for the month. I have been able to plug along on projects at a slow, but regular pace. I think it is near time to step up the game a little and show that darn machine how its done! Here is a little sample of how the quilt top will look, better pictures to come:

Talk to y'all later! Gotta change a diaper...again.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Here's Proof

Well, for the past few months now, I have gotten in the habit of taking pictures of things that I have been working on, whether it has been simply a finished block, or binding, or auditioning fabric for a project. I take a picture. If I don't, I don't really FEEL like I am accomplishing anything. Looking back at all of the pictures makes me realize how much I really do get done. Seeing them again on my computer (Thank you, Flickr; you are awesome!) helps me to stay motivated on the project. I do end up deleting some pictures as I go just out of pure guilt. My kids are going to wonder if I love them or not when they are older and find out that the only pictures I have of them are including a quilt. (Here is a picture of Connor, but you can only see his legs and fingers because he is holding a quilt for me...I think he is 5 here judging by those shoes.) I will really need to step up the game on taking pictures of the kids....right after I finish these flying geese.

The picture that I posted today is a block that I made for B and B quilts in Buda, TX. It is a challenge block for the Bluebonnet Shop Hop in this area. The blocks will be donated to a family advocacy group, an organization that provides counseling to children in military families. If you want to participate, it is only 2 dollars and you can get the information at this participating quilt shop, called Honey Bee:

The block took awhile for me to do, mostly because I had to collect just the right scraps from my scrap bin (took forever) and because it was so difficult for me to purposely make the squares not square. The challenge fabric is the dark brown one that I used as sashing strips...and boy, does that sashing eat up yardage. I didn't need to use any more than what I was provided to make that block, but boy, did I come to within a hair's breadth of the end of that fabric.

If any one is interested in making this block, or a whole quilt like this, I got the tutorial here:

If you have not ever been to, you haven't been on the Internet! :)

Anyway, gotta go change a diaper. good times.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Old Way of Thinking

Talking with a fairly new quilter the other day, I had mentioned that I have a stash of fabric. But before I go into this story, let me first tell you that my stash is by no means 'out of control', in fact, it is much smaller of a stash than many of my friends have (jealous of those lucky shits). I didn't even elude to her that I had an overabundance of fabric. What I said was that I have to really focus on getting projects done, and done fast. Upon hearing that I had (at least) 25-30 UFO's to get done, not counting fabric that I bought for projects not started yet, or kits for that matter, she immediately began to help me with her advice that I should not start a new project until my current one is done. She also kindly mentioned that I could donate my fabric to church groups and maybe even post my fabric on Craig's list for people to come pick up. I about injured myself laughing. I know that I probably offended her, but I couldn't hold it in. lol.

Now, before you think of me as an un-sharing hoarder, let me tell you that I certainly do give A LOT of fabric away, especially if it was given to me by someone who wanted me to find a good home for it. I even buy fabric for people as I am shopping, knowing that they were looking for it, or would simply like it. I am always trading fabric and mailing fabric via Flickr...worse, I am always prowling the Internet for fabric that friends are looking for. The bad part about that is you keep coming across more fabric that you now want (hence another UFO created).

Going back to our new quilter, I remember a time (many, many years ago) thinking that you must do one project at a time; and that you must only buy fabric for that project. It is kind of a cute theory. It would certainly require a hell of a lot of control. But let me be the first to tell you that most quilters are not happy or creative confined to a limited perimeter. Too much structure and you end up with ''boring''. I have become enlightened as a quilter over the years to this new way of thinking that you don't worry too much about all of these unfinished objects, and that it is OK to collect new fabrics that make you happy. It is the journey that we love. Besides, all of my fabric can go to the ladies at church when I die. Hopefully they will love Amy Butler and Heather Bailey as much as I do.