buriedinscraps

Decide what to be and go be it.

Archive for the tag “new ideas”

One more down!

Last year, my husband and I took a trip to Shipshewanna where I purchased this church window.  I liked the shape of it and I could see an old quilt behind it.

open_window I took it home and put it away for another day.  It was a good idea when we bought it but then I had to actually do something with it.  I’m not one to cut up old quilts…even if I had one.  So, I knew I would have to make something.  There it goes….up on the Later Tater pile!

Then I fell in love with hexies.  So I began to make hexies.  What to do with the hexies I was making?  The church window came to mind so I stitched enough hexies to fit behind the window.  I stitched all the way to Florida and back.  A long as I was stitching with the window in mind, my husband stopped asking me when I was going to do something with it.

hexiesThey were finally pieced.   I knew they needed to be quilted.  This was a perfect opportunity to practice free motion quilting.  It was a nice, big piece, it had a purpose and it would hang above the front door so no one would ever be close enough to see mistakes!  Win-win!

I quilted on this piece for about three hours and when it was done, I thought it looked pretty darn good!

quitingAs soon as the quilting was done, I wanted to staple it to the back of the window.  My sweet husband gave me the staple gun.  I actually thought he would staple it for me.  Ha! Who was I kidding!  He sat in the recliner and offered direction.  I was tempted to use the staple gun on his lips but thought better of it.

windowNow it’s finished…  At least my part is finished.  It’s up to him to figure out how to hang it on the wall.  Let’s see how long it takes him….

 

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Hippie

peaceEvery once in a while you have to step outside of your comfort zone.  Not saying you have to take a giant leap…but every once in a while you have to tip-toe away from what’s comfortable.  So, I walked away from my reproduction prints for a project.

Mickey Depre (of Pieced Hexie fame!) was at our guild meeting.  She shared some of her bright, fun quilts.  I thought…Hey! I could do that.  Yeah…but did I want to.  The next day at work, I kept doodling this little wall hanging idea.  Hmmm….it needed brights.  Civil War prints are anything but bright.  My considerable stash wasn’t going to be very helpful.  So I knew I had to beg, borrow and steal from my sister and MiniQuilter.  I knew if I asked MQ she’d let me shop in her stash.  But if she said no, I guess I’d just steal when  she wasn’t looking. 😉  Even though it wasn’t really my style, I drew up the design and started to cut shapes.  Here’s what I came up with:

hippieCan you tell I channelled my inner hippie with this one?  Definitely not my usual stuff.  Bright colors and applique no less!

Got it all pieced together and started to cut away some of the background and guess what!

hippie2I cut away a little bit too much!!  Enlarge the photo and see what I mean.

I laid the quilt on the floor to take these photos and something just doesn’t look right. Like a bolt out of the blue I see it!  The darn “a” is backwards.  My husband says “Change it.”  I say “Peace out, man.  It’s just doin’ it’s own thing.”

hippie3

I’m thinking about maybe adding some crystals in the upper left.

Now, here’s my question….do you think it needs another small border?  Maybe something a little less busy?

Catching up….

When last we spoke, I was bemoaning the fact that my creative muse up and hit the road!  I believe she has found her way back to me.  Welcome back, little muse!

It’s funny how things can make you think of quilts.  I was driving home from work a few weeks back and heard “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor on the radio.  It made me think of a quilt I made a while back.  It was back in the day when I (and many others) was enamoured by the Jane Stickell quilt.  I was determined that I was going to make one for myself…all 200 plus tiny blocks.  How hard could it be?  Pretty hard actually.   At least pretty time-consuming.  Then I saw where others were making smaller versions….Baby Janes.  I could do that!  And I did.  The song kept going through my head ….. “deep greens and blues are the colors you choose”.  So I chose deep greens and blues and made my own little Baby Jane.  Here’s my Sweet Baby Jane.

baby_jamesLast summer, my sister and I made another quilt for the veteran’s home.   It was my job to quilt it.  I was going to fmq on my Bernina but I was talked into using my Juki on the frame.  I’ve discussed my Juki/frame here before…when it works, it’s wonderful!  When it doesn’t, I make up swear words.  Let me tell you, I made up some doozies!  It began by lulling me into a false sense of security…things went rather smoothly for a while.  I was flying!  Then the thread started to break.  I’m OK with a little thread breakage…not every six inches.  Then the machine started to drag.  It was hanging up on the frame somehow.  Couldn’t figure it out.  The answer soon emerged when the crazy carriage fell off the rails.  Think that was what was dragging? 🙂  It took my husband and I a half an hour to get it back on track.  Started to stitch again and got the mother of all thread nests.  It was a nest for an ostrich!  Walked away from it for a week.  Came back and tried to remove the nest.  I had to cut it from the quilt and then take the  machine apart to remove all of the thread.  Cleaned it, oiled it and guess what!  It stitched really pretty after that.  We have a love/hate relationship!

charityHere’s the quilt.  I’m sure that all of my aggravation will be appreciated.

bookAnd last, but not least, I’ve jumped on the hexie bandwagon.  Given my aversion to hand sewing I was sure this parade would pass me by.  Then Mickey Depre came to our guild meeting.  If you haven’t seen her Pieced Hexie book click here and take a peek!  I stitched these all the way to Fort Lauderdale and back last week.  They really are fun….and addictive.  Begin at your own risk!!

hexiesAny other late-comers want to join me on the hexie bandwagon?

Musings….

My creative muse disappeared.  She skyed up, walked out, took a hike, flew the coop.  Like Elvis, she left the building….and headed for parts unknown leaving me with piles and stacks of projects.  I tried looking for her but I couldn’t find her.  I think she was on that ill-fated cruise ship that had to be towed into Alabama where she had a case of the vapors and took to her bed.  But I think it’s time she came home.

I know I took her for granted–started project after project–finishing few of them.  No wonder she left!  I wore her out.  I picked through my mountain of projects in various stages of completion hoping one would talk to me.  But none appealed to me and I couldn’t start a new one without her.

So I picked up my camera and began to photograph anything and everything.  Everything except quilts. Here are some of those photos.

As much as I love photography–freezing that split second in time forever–I love quilts just as much.

So, I’ve been venturing downstairs once again, looking at the piles of projects and trying to decide in which order to finish them.  Maybe, then, without the distraction of unfinished business, my muse will return.

Wait a minute!  I hear someone at the door!

I feel crummy today…

My sister started it.  She started making crumb blocks.  And, like the lemming I am, I jumped right in after her.  I’ll admit that I was resistant at first.  Why would I want to sew little scraps together all willy-nilly?  I’m a symmetrical person fo cryin’ out loud!  I love need balance.  (my nine-year old grandson asked me Saturday if I knew what symmetry was.  Unfortunately, at times, I know all too well!)  So, the thought of grabbing a couple of scrap pieces out of a basket and making them fit gave me fits.  And what if one of the scraps was, say, a Christmas fabric…in a non-holiday themed quilt.  My quilting OCD wouldn’t let me do that.  Oh dear!  I told myself this would drive me batty(er) and I don’t need the stress.

And my sister kept talking about her crumb blocks.  How much fun they were.  How cool they were. How many quilt tops she made.  I tried to resist.  I really did.  But resistance was futile.  I jumped in.  At first I just sewed them as leaders and enders.  A snippet here….a square there.  A strip along the Flying Geese that didn’t fly right.  Uh oh….this was fun!

So I started to look forward to the crumb blocks more than the project blocks.  And then…(dramatic pause)…I put the project away and made crumb blocks.  Not a million, but quite a few.  I found myself going through my large scrap baskets and cutting smaller pieces and locating all of those orphan half square triangles.

crumb_pileI think this is what we all need at times…some mindless sewing.  The kind that’s very forgiving.  The kind that doesn’t count mistakes.  The kind where mistakes like my wonky Flying Geese can find a home.  We all need crumb blocks.

blocksWant to see how to make them?  Click here to visit Bonnie Hunter’s blog.

The devil made me do it…

I was wandering through Joann Fabrics the other day and I was drawn to the magazine rack.  In the past few months, I’ve put myself on a magazine diet.  I read them, can’t bear to part with them and they stack up.  I’ve probably killed a small forest over the years.  Having said that, you won’t see me on the next episode of “Hoarders”, but it is a habit I’d like to break.  I’ve been very selective in my magazine purchases of late.  So, when I passed by the rack, I tried to just skim over the rack and move on.

But, then….I saw this.  Ooooo….I like that quilt on the cover.  “Don’t pick it up”‘ that little angel on my shoulder said.   “Oh, just a little peek won’t hurt” the little devil said.  A little poke from his pitchfork and there it was…in my hot, little hands.  A closer look at the cover quilt.  I gotta make this!  Oh, yeah…I gotta make this.  The little angel said “You have a huge pile of “gotta makes” in various stages of completion.  Shouldn’t you finish those first?”  Yeah, but…  “No”, she said.  “Maybe another day.”  I sighed.  I returned the magazine to the rack.  I walked to the batting aisle and picked up the one thing I came to purchase.  I turned the corner.

“Pssst….hey, kid, over here!”  I turned.  I looked.  There was that little red devil,  perched on the corner of the magazine rack.  “C’mon….you know you want it.  Think how awesome that would look in reproduction fabrics.  Seriously, it’s only one magazine.  Just a tiny tree…a twig.  The stack isn’t up to the ceiling yet.  It’ll fit.  Besides, you know you love it….”

Darn devil!  Now the magazine is in my hands again and there’s no turning back.  So, here it is, in my house and I discover that the Installment 2 directions are in the next issue…and so it goes.  I only hope I can find it since I found this one by chance.

All joking aside, this is a beautiful publication.  It’s informative, wonderfully photographed and a very nice blend of quilting styles.  I was especially drawn to the article “Beneath the Southern Sky”.  It’s a traveling exhibit that shows the quilter’s interpretation and vision of the theme.  It makes me want to visit Australia.

I’ve always wanted to visit Australia.  Others want to go to Paris or Hawaii.  I want to go to Australia.  It just seems uniquely beautiful in a rugged sort of way.  But since there isn’t enough Xanax in the world to get me on an airplane, it appears to be the impossible dream.   I don’t even think the remote possibility of bumping into Russell Crowe in the corner store could get me on a plane.  And it would be a pretty long drive/swim.  So, I’ll just admire from afar.  And hope that maybe Russ will show up at our local 7/11. 😉

Off on a different tangent…why does Barbara Brackman hate me? 🙂  Another variation of the dreaded Amethyst block in Grandmother’s Choice!  One wasn’t enough.  She had to give us two!  She is one tough task master!  By the end of this quilt, we’ll all be doing Y-seams with our eyes closed!

If we were talking about Maple Leaf quilts, this photo would tie right in.  But we’re not.  And I love this shot, so I’m including it anyway!

Maybe we should all take some time out it think like a kid!  Might make us smile!

I feel vindicated….

I wonder if many of you are like me.  I have a love/hate relationship with quilt shows.  I love to see the quilts.  I hate that I can’t touch them!  I practically have to walk through with my hands tied behind my back.  There’s always the quilt with that little thread on it that begs me to remove it.  I have to walk away fast!

I love the diversity of many of the shows.  People do things with fabric I would never dream of doing.  I always wonder why their minds work differently from mine.  Why didn’t I think of that?

I leave most shows with mixed emotions.  On one hand I am extremely inspired.  I want to go home and lock myself away in my room and sew for days.  And then, on the other hand, I feel woefully inadequate.  Why can’t I make quilts like these?  Why can’t I make a beautiful applique quilt?  Why can’t I make a stunning art quilt?  Why is it I don’t stitch tiny pieces of fabric together in a quilt that looks like a photograph?  Why don’t I put shape and color together to create movement or convey emotion?

I struggle with these questions after every quilt show.  And I have an answer.  I don’t want to.  It’s really pretty simple.  I just don’t want to.  Having said that, I then struggle with these questions….why don’t I want to grow as a quilter?  Why don’t I want to step out of my comfort zone?  Why don’t I push myself?  Same answer…I don’t want to.  I’m happy with my traditional way of doing things.  It makes me happy.  We should do the things that make us happy.  Growth is nice but we don’t always have to grow.  I guess I’m like a little bonsai tree.  A bonsai quilter.

I was thumbing through the latest issue of American Quilter  admiring the winners of the Grand Rapid show and beating myself up because my quilts don’t look like these.   Then I came across and article about Marti Mitchell.  In this article, Marti says “There is  nothing wrong with quilters wanting to buy fabrics and make quilts for their families.”  It occurred to me that was a true statement!  I was vindicated!  I don’t have to step out of my comfort zone unless I want to!  That statement has given me the freedom to admire all of those quilts that I like to look at but have no desire to make and still feel like a quilter.

Hello, my name is Candy and I like to make Nine-Patches.  Wow!  It feels good to say that!

Thinking outside the box

As much as I wanted to sew last weekend, I didn’t.  Not because I didn’t want to…but because I had to catch up.

One of the things I had to catch up on was my photography class.  I realized that I had a class on Monday and nothing to show.  Got out the old camera and fired away with the shutter!  Then I had a plethora of photos to edit.  I’m a slow editor since I’m still not completely comfortable with the process.  I click the Preview button in Photoshop to see what impact my editing has had on the image.  It’s like having an eye test–which looks better…A..click or B..click.  So many decisions!  Here are two images that I played with and was happy with the result.

Since this is a quilting blog, I have a quilt related idea.  Uh oh!  Ideas can be dangerous!  I’m looking to step out of my comfort zone.  I never do pictorial quilts, but I think I  may like to try one.  I feel “drawn” to the tree image.  Here’s where the trouble begins!  I know enough about myself to know a couple of things for certain.

  • I’m no artist, so painting this image on fabric is a joke.  Unless I want a Picasso kind of look!  (Which I don’t )
  • I’m not much of an appliquer–so cutting little leaves is out of the question.

I’m thinking of transferring the image onto fabric through my printer.  I don’t have very much experience with this technique.  I’ve used the letter sized pre-treated fabric pieces.  I don’t like the stiffness of the fabric.  And I would be limited by the size.  I have a wide format printer so I could go larger than letter sized.  Has anyone had any experience with this technique?  I know I can Google it but I’m looking for someone who has actually done this and can hold my hand!  🙂

See…I can see this with fancy threads, maybe some couching, definitely some beading.  OK…I’m scaring myself!!

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