Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sewing through the blues...and reds...and greens...

In Memory of Mildred Louise Schell Yielding
November 7, 1928 - February 20, 2012


I apologize for being out of communication and the "no-show" posting.  I owe many of you replies to your nice comments and emails.  My Mom just passed away after a long decline.  She is at peace now.  Thank you to everyone who sent good vibes and sentiments in my direction.  I am in dire need of some serious fabric therapy now that I am home from Alabama, and I intend to lose myself in the quilt cave.  

There is some mindless fabric manipulation in my immediate future...I think I need to pull out Mom's pale green Singer Featherweight, and put it through a work out...


Thank you,
Teresa


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Design Wall schizophrenia...

Procrastination is a killer.  This scrappy Positive-Negative Chains quilt (ala Bonnie Hunter) has been snoozing on my design wall for months awaiting two borders.  I didn't want to unpin it and take it down until I was actually sewing borders on, then walking out the door with it, taking it to be machine-quilted.  It was such a bear to get pressed nicely with all those little scrappy pieces...
I finally prepared borders and off the wall it came; first a brick red stop border, followed by a dark blue outer border cut from a length of Moda "Renewal" that I had been saving for years.  Does anyone else out there "save" things?  Afraid to actually use fabric because then it will be used up?  Those fabric manufacturers have us right where they want us...LOL.
See all my careful pressing?!?  It is worth the time and effort to press carefully and thoughtfully as I go, trying to "nest" seams when I can so they will lie flat.  That is critical for either hand- or machine-quilting.
I'm glad I pushed myself to use the outer border fabric...it is just what this scrappy, busy quilt needed.  I really like the result.  The quilt has a nice border set AND it is off the design wall.    Why is it so hard to use our stashes sometimes??  We cannot possibly take it with us when we go...what am I saving stuff for?   I should have named this post "stash constipation" instead, huh.
I had gotten "stuck" with many OTHER projects just because I could not use my design wall to study the situations.  I am a visual person, and even though I can imagine things in my head, I still need to stand back and take the whole thing in at various points in the design process...especially when I am making it all up to begin with.  Cluttered head, cluttered design wall...what's a quilt cave troll to do?

I've been wanting to lay out these blocks for a few weeks now.  I just trimmed them down to 8.5 inches this week, and I am considering setting the blocks 8 blocks x 8 rows.  With borders, the quilt would end up about 76-80 inches square.  I made this block up a few weeks ago.  It is a great way to use up scraps and I do it WITHOUT PAPER FOUNDATIONS (because I hate removing those papers).  I think I will call it "X Marks the Block" because the black scraps form very obvious "X" figures (when I lay the blocks out right!).  How did I make the blocks?  Go here to see.
I will take these down, in order, so that I can start sewing them together.
Here are some of my Wonky Stars...it is fun to put them on the design wall to see how they twinkle!  I need to put some of the scrappy pieces for these in my leader/ender basket by my sewing machine.  It's amazing how fast these stars appear when randomly making units while piecing other things.
These pictures seem so dark for some reason.  The fabrics in the stars are very vibrant while the neutrals stay in the background.
I forgot all about this U.F.O.!!  This is my "Poultry in Motion" project...crazy-pieced blocks using chicken fabrics.  I only have 3 more blocks to finish and it will become a flimsy.  I already have the chicken fabric strips cut and in a box labeled "chicken strips" - that box always makes me hungry when my eyes pass over the label...yummmmmm...chicken strips...
Down come the chickens and up go some of my Blackbird baskets from that ongoing project.  I'm getting a little dizzy from my revolving door quilt design wall...it's fun to see how far I've come with these projects.  I still have more red, blue, pink,green, black and purple repro fabrics to make baskets from.  I think I need about 300 in total.
But this is the main reason I wanted to clear the design wall.  It was time to put all the Lori Smith "Folk Art Applique" blocks together to see how they look now that all the hand applique is finished.  Me likey!!  I need to audition some of the swags I've drawn to see which one I end up using for the border.  I am really happy with how these turned out, and I am looking forward to finishing the top so that I can start hand-quilting.


Putting things on the design wall for a while has helped to build a little fire under me to want to work on these projects.  These U.F.O.'s need oxygen and daylight every now and then to continue the creative process.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)