Monday, February 27, 2017

Making 2.5" Unfinished HST from a Jelly Roll

My First Jelly Roll Quilt: Date Unknown

The first jelly roll I purchased many years ago was "Saltwater" from Tula Pink. I fell in love with the "octopuses". (Check here if you use another form for the plural.) There is a seriously cute factor to the faces in her prints. I snapped up a jelly roll in the line, and set to making an easy quilt. I imagine this was among my first 5 so you know it's old!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Positive Aspects of a Slow Design Process

Blocks Are Together

Design Process seems to be my theme this week. I like hearing how other people make design decisions, and it actually helps me to share my process with you. Your feedback is another component to it, and I enjoy listening. The one thing that keeps resonating back and forth is design can't be rushed. I'm glad to know you put things up and take them down, too, waiting for inspiration. 

I think the negative feelings expressed about Works In Progress (WIP's) are far over-rated. I have many, and will bet you do, too! But waiting for an idea to surface is showing patience--not procrastination. It's not rushing forward to get it done just to say you did it. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Slow Sewing for the Soul

A Slow Stitch Saturday Morning

This past Saturday was filled with light. I have a north window in my studio, and the light was perfect to sit and hand stitch these last few pieces. The turkey and deer kept stopping at my window as if to say, "Just passing through to see what you're doing this fine morning." It was soothing to the soul. The few seams I had to complete were with Aurifil's Invisible Monofilament Thread, and unless the light is perfect it is darned difficult to see! I really love this thread.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Joy of a Quilt Room Volunteer

The Quilting Room at the
Connections Thrift Store In Kidron, Ohio

I travel about an hour each way to volunteer at a MCC thrift store and quilt room. It's such a pleasant drive because this is what I'm thinking about. A bright, sunny room full of quilts, comforters, fabric, and the nicest people. Who wouldn't want to be here? I feel so lucky!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Be Mine, Quilted Valentine!

Be Mine!

To be quite honest, I'm not a big fan of sappy Valentine's Day things. We don't exchange anything extravagant--or anything at all most years. A simple, "I love you," suffices. A special dinner at home may be the extent of it for the Mister.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Two New Quilts Progress & Catch Up

New Quilt Underway

Working hard at clearing out the studio of too much stash, I pulled all my wildest fabrics to make a bucket list quilt. Cultural Fusion Quilts is an inspiring book, and often on my side table. It's based on a process of free cutting rather than precision, and is improvisational piecing. This pattern was perfect for the size prints I had on hand. I went after it. It may seem noisy and garish by your standards, but you can't walk by it without smiling. These are 16" blocks, and I may have enough blocks for several quilts by the end.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Simplified Method for Block #37: 150 Canadian Women

 An Alternate Method to HST 
or Paper Piecing for Block #37
In 150 Canadian Women's Quilt Along
from Next Step Quilting

Those of you who know and love me have heard me rant about doing anything in the world to avoid paper piecing. I positively hate picking seams off paper. This block could be done by piecing half square triangles also, but I thought of an easier method that would maintain the straight of grain, and give a better chance of having it all line up nicely and neatly.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Essential Tips for Sanity While Making Multiple Quilts

Sitting Pretty for Tomorrow's Work

Tomorrow when I walk into the studio, my work is already cut out for me. Literally. Instead of debating where to start--we all do that sometimes, I have set the scene for a productive session. The binding is ready, and lying on the quilt. 

Organizing My Finishing Game

January's theme was hammering out quilt tops for charity. It started as a simple way to destash. A frantic phone call for utility quilt dimensions was my first move. Let's say it snowballed--and then it took on a life of its own! What I never expected were all the lessons I learned along the way. Most from the experience of making quilts as fast as possible, but others from simply observing how veterans stay organized, and keep going. I've been filling you in as I've rolled along, but here are some more good tricks on organization, labeling, and batting choices to make your quilting life easier. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Cone Thread Hack & Reality Check On WIP's

Simplest Hack Ever

I sew everywhere. I have little stations for different projects, and sometimes I need quick, mobile fixes. This one popped up when I needed a large cone holder, and had none. I was trying out a new thread, Prescencia, 60/3, for piecing. I'd been reading that a thinner 3-ply thread was stronger and more accurate for piecing than a 50/2 ply thread (my Aurifil). Going from the large spool to a cone meant the thread should be coming off vertically instead of horizontally. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Making One Patch Quilts

Bargello: a needlework stitch in high and low relief that produces a variety of zigzag or flame effects.

If that is true, then naming this "V Bargello" could be justified. It's the first of the V's as the pattern develops. If I were to think in terms of the agrarian community around me, I would call it a plowshare. It might not surprise you to know Amish farms in this area still use such a plow pulled by horses even today.