Monday, August 29, 2016

What I Did Last Summer

Pinned and ready for many glorious 
evenings of hand quilting!

Summer's Accomplishments

I feel like I've spent my summer as a true holiday. Not R&R, but catching up. There are still many things on the long list, but we've powered through some Herculean tasks. Tree removal from the Emerald Ash Bore--6 mature trees, house and property restoration, and so on. Nothing that was neat and tidy, and it all spilled over onto the rest of lives. Piles of things in the house were designated by project, and that was disruptive in itself. I'm happy to report the chaos is about 80% contained now.

Rethinking My Work Space Needs

One thing I took a long look at this summer was how I organized my creative space. As my work was changing, my needs were, too. Big cubbies from IKEA stored my fabric, but visually cut my long, narrow work space in half. We installed castor units on them, and now they can be stored like library stacks at the end of the room. It opened up a large floor space at that end, and smooth concrete is perfect for stretching, taping, and pinning quilts. (Yes, that is a long arm, but not every quilt asks to be machine quilted.) It didn't take long to decide which quilt top (above) I wanted to get started on first.

Class Samples

If you're local, I'll be teaching a class September 13th, 6-8 p.m. at the Tent's of Grace Cafe here in Gnadenhutten. We'll be monoprinting on fabric to make some beautifully layered art cloth. These are perfect for spicing up your fall decor. Contact me by email if you're interested in joining the class.

The (Rip-Roaring) Doxies Quilt Is Done

I have several finishes to show you over the next few weeks. They were done over the summer, but reporting them here was splotchy. This quilt was promised for September so I put it on the frame early Sunday morning. I quilted the WHOLE thing, and everything looked good. I took it off the frame, and scrutinized it like we long armers do, and I was not happy. The tension was good while doing a straighter section, but not so much when I made a curve. There were no 'eyelashes' anywhere, but it didn't go into the fabric nicely like it should have. A few places it looked like the thread was not pulled in at all.

So...I put on some music, and I ripped it all out. I wasn't mad, but I will tell you I did some serious testing and adjusting before I started over. I learned a hard lesson, but perhaps just as tough was dealing with all the previous stitching lines. I had used a very large meandering, and the white space made it difficult to tell which was which.

Me, the Doxie Mama all covered up to mow, and getting ready for those of you who are coming to visit soon. I'm excited!


#BraveQuilter sign up will be open Sept. 1-10. Normally we link up finished projects the first several days of the month, and then sign up our intended projects following that. Since we've had a summer break, it will be open for sign ups the whole period. I hope you all join us in our brave pursuits of trying new things, and learning new skills. Is there something special you've been thinking of trying to conquer?

Until then...
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Cooking Up Quilts
Em's Scrap Bag
Show and Tell with Bambi
Patchwork Times Design Wall


Ruth said...

Isn't it amazing how much space you can find with a little though and re-arranging big pieces of furniture - really like that dachshund fabric!

Karen said...

I like the design of your quilt that is ready for quilting. And the colors. Makes a nice scrappy design.

Lisa J. said...

I'm in awe of your large space and excited that you are pursuing more of your art quilting ventures. It looks like you are following your hear where ever it leads.

Run 'n Stitch said...

I love your kaleidoscope quilt!! Isn't arranging and rearranging the workspace an ongoing project. We had house projects this summer too and I am sorry to say, our stuff is not yet 80% contained. Sigh.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Love your pinwheel quilt, great colours!

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

Well I have conquered a couple of things now as a brave quilter. I think more ambitious fmq will be my next

Angie in SoCal said...

Same problem with tension on curves. I've learned I just have to go slower on them. Love your art pieces, and WOW, that is a big creative space. Lucky you.

evaj said...

Thank you Julie for your linking and inspiration Show and Tell Monday !! Autumn hug from Bambi

em's scrapbag said...

Wish I could attend your class. Looks like tons of fun. Great progress on your creative space.

Kate said...

Sounds like you did have a busy summer. But time spent improving your work area will really pay off. Hope the worst of the reorg is done and that you have time to get back to playing.