Sunday, March 26, 2006

Home Alone (almost) and Strips and Curves Quilts

We had planned an excursion to Eugene today to shop for a car for our daughter, but unfornately little sister is not feeling up to par. So, I am staying home with the sickie while Perry and Catie go up to look at cars. I am airing out the upstairs since it's not horribly cold today, getting the laundry started, and plan to do some general cleaning. Then I can play a bit!
Hopefully if I can get some of the household chores done today it will free up my week to actually do some sewing. Of course that would mean I cannot spend too much time online fooling around!

I finished cutting out the batik quilt (Jewel of the Prairie) this week, and I have sewn 4 6" star blocks so far - they are so pretty! I wonder if people will think this quilt looks like my "style"? It's actually fairly traditional as far as the actual pattern goes, but this is my first foray into batiks, so I think it will throw people who think they know what kind of work I like to do. There is a ton of sewing in this one - the plan is to have it pieced by the end of May so that I can quilt it in June/July. I want to give myself plenty of time. I am also working on the Basket Row by Row for the shop. I skipped doing this one in Jan. because I was so busy, but I need to get caught up! I have all the pieces cut and the fusing done, so just need to buttonhole the handle and piece the baskets and that will be done.

Strips and Curves
! got a couple of samples back from the shop this month - both were from the book Strips and Curves. I made Walkabout first. We had just gotten in some really interesting Australian fabrics, so I challenged myself to put them together in a quilt. I really went all out with the machine quilting on this one. There are a lot of swirls, outlining of the flowers, wavy lines, you name it! I figured it was an experiment, and if it wasn't absolutely perfect that it really wasn't going to be a big deal. I used a YLI variegated thread called Mango which was the perfect color.

When I was done I had a good amount of left over "strata" from the strips, so picked a couple of different prints and made another quilt from the leftovers. This one I just called Ribbons. The pictures really don't do the fabrics justice, I think. I did a lot free-motion on this one also, outlining the flowers and quilting flowes into the reddish pieces that didn't have any. I still have some pieces of the strips left, and have been thinking of making those into little zippered bags, or even using them as the background for some fabric post cards.

I also got back the first top I made from the book. It is going to be a fabulous quilt. I used a gorgeous purple oriental with butterflies on it. When I was making it, and arranging the fabrics I was thinking of a shady little garden pond with butterflies and flowers, and that's exactly what the top looks like! So, that's another project to be quilted this summer! All I've been doing lately it seems is piecing, so I am anxious to get down to some serious quilting again. Hopefully I can get a lot done this week, so that will be a possibility!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fun sewing, and ideas for a new tv show!

I had a busy day yesterday, didn't get to do any quilting, but I got a lot of my other stuff done! So today I feel a lot less pressured and optomistic that I will eventually be caught up. I did go to an American Girls clothes making class and had fun. We made our girls a little flannel a-line skirt. Great fun! Forgot how much fun it is to make those fussy little things. Got a denim jacket all cut out and it will be hard to set it aside and forget about until next class. Maybe I'll make something else in the meantime and save that for class!

Got a box of sewing in the mail yesterday. Duvet cover and pillows. Fun! I enjoy doing those kinds of jobs - very straightforward, no hang-ups that require creative solutions, just sewing it together! Hopefully I can get it done and out next week. Makes me look good!

Stayed up to watch the Amazing Race last night. Wish I was brave enough to apply - I always think I could definitely win, seems like the teams always are making bad choices and I know I wouldn't (yeah, right!) Can you see it - me, bargaining with various people to give me their shirt, sari, etc. so I could make a memory quilt of my journey? The question is, who would I pick to go with me? Would have to me someone who could deal with heights and drive fearlessly! But I just had a terrible thought. If I were to go I wouldn't be able to do any quilting for several weeks. Maybe I could pack a very lightweight sewing machine and some Dear Jane Blocks and quilt during the pit stops - maybe that's why we haven't seen any quilters on this show. How about an all-quilters version and the participants would all have to do quilting related challenges? Then at the end, the team who finishes their quilt first wins the prize! Ok, I'm getting silly here, time to get busy with the day!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Long time, no blog!

I cannot believe it's been over a month since I've been on here! Life gets busy I suppose, and I've been in over my head lately! I still have a ton of stuff to do, but today is my day off and I intend to catch up on some of the things I want to do before I start on my have to do list. (Actually I hemmed three pair of pants that were have to do already today, so I suppose I am golden!)

What have I been working on this month? Some samples for the quilt shop, of course. One that I didn't get a picture of yet, but I think I'll get it at the shop. It's hanging in the window, looking very pretty. I am working on a sample which will also be a pattern. A very lovely yellow and blue basket quilt. It's been an experience trying to put into words the things I just know how to do without thinking. Trying to explain how to line up a square in a square block in words - plus the figuring out of all the math - setting triangles with sashings, getting it all to come out so it is easily understood by someone with little to no experience. What a challenge! Really gets the old brain cells to wake up.

I have also accumulated the 55 batik fat quarters for a quilt I want to make, so I couldn't wait to start on that! I have spent about 3 hours so far just cutting out the light pieces - still need to do the darks. My goal is to get this one done for the fair this year. For now it will be my Thursday quilting group project, as time gets closer I'm sure I'll have to step it up and work on it more, but at least I'm dedicating 3 hours a week to work on it for now.

I've really been pondering the idea of publishing patterns lately. I'm wondering if all the work involved is really a profitable endeavor. I suppose if you come up with something that's popular and sells well for a long time it could be worth it. I'm just dabbling right now, for my own benefit. I'm not sure where I really want to go in my quilting life. I've done some teaching this year, and enjoy that pretty well, but what I really like best is the creating. Not even necessarily creating something original, but the act of cutting and sewing and actually bringing to life the quilt. I do like the drafting and figuring and deciding on fabric stages also. I think that there is something I can do that will involve all these things that will also challenge me and keep me from the poorhouse! Because in the end, at this point, making some kind of a profit from this is also important to me. To this end I am listing some of my quilts on Etsy. So I hope to realize some profit from that. At least the price is right! And I'll make room in my house for more quilts! When I have time, I'll get some more quilts up, heaven knows I have plenty.

Housework is calling, so I'd better answer - lots to do and little time to do it all!