Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Something New

In a recent conversation with a friend we had discussed some quilting techniques that we have a desire to try.  I had mentioned that a Whole Cloth Quilt is something I have on my "bucket list".  It is on hers as well. 

The Whole Cloth quilt might look quite plain - almost boring -  because it is simply a plain piece of fabric, all one color, no variation.  The quilt, as a result is a display of skill in quilting.  Many people view the "piecing" process, fitting the variety of fabric colors shapes together in a pattern as quilting.  When in reality, quilting is the process of attaching the three layers (Top- batting - backing) together.

In the collection of fabric I recently received there were several stacks of blocks pinned together and labeled for placement.  It seemed to be a border of sorts as they were marked Top - L-R, Right - Top - Bottom, etc.  After I placed it on my design wall I went back to the bin to see what other fabric there might be to go with it. I decided that "now is no better time to try to create a medallion on a whole cloth."  Much to my amazement (ha,ha) I discovered the ideal fabric for the center.

I was still intimidated by the size and decided that I should machine stitch the center.  It is, afterall, a first time and a sort of "experiment", I reasoned.

I am pleased with the design that came out.  (Back view shown) It was a result of a compilation of various templates that I have on hand and what some would consider pure accident or others would say divine inspiration. I am aware that all of the grid quilting in the background area is not consistently uniform and that it would not win any kind of quilting award.  That's not what I was going for. 

I chose to do a raw edge quilting technique for the border using the abandoned quilt squares.  It seemed a natural choice since Lee (my fabric angel) had commissioned a raw edge quilt a couple years ago for her new guest room that she had created in her home.

It seems to speak to me... saying, "Come... seek comfort and warmth with me.  Do you hear it too?

I would still like to someday make a wholecloth quilt that is hand-stitched.  It will likely be only crib sized as I don't think that I really have the desire or attention span to one much bigger than that.  There are a number of patterns available for purchase.  However, I like the creative process of developing my own.  Be assured, I will spend much more time and attention to detail in making that the background grid quilting is a little closer to perfection.

For now, I am ready to move on and see what other inspired creations I can make. 

Another entry in the on-line bloggers quilt festival... follow the link and vote for me!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Fabric Angel

Several weeks ago I had received a phone call from a friend that is moving soon. She had been cleaning out her closet where she stored various items, but mostly fabric.  "Would you be interested in all of this fabric?  Because I am not moving it."  Immediately, my response was "Of course!"

When she brought by her collection of fabric  I was thrilled, excited and honored that she thought of me. 
As I searched through it all just to get an idea of what I now had, I discovered a couple of quick projects and WIP's (Work in progress)/UFO's (un-finished Objects). 

Last weekend, while working on the big queen-sized quilt, I found myself needing a little bit of a change, so I busted out one on the UFO's and Viola...

The first item to be added to my inventory for the show on April 5th... A table runner from a pre-printed panel. :)

I believe there will be many projects to come from her collection of fabric.  Wine Bags, java jackets, therapeutic rice bags... maybe some purses or aprons... Be sure to watch and see what I come up with.  I welcome ideas and suggestions. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Taking Flight

The 12 cabins, 16 trees, 16 aspen leaves and four bear paws blocks were completed and all I needed were 104 Flying Geese. 

I cut, sewed, pressed and rearranged, then sewed, cut and pressed again. And then finally trimmed 104 flying geese.  These rectangular shaped blocks actually went pretty fast.  I am not sure who came up with the technique to make four blocks at a time, but the assembly time is amazingly fast.  Genius, even!  It is the trimming to size that is somewhat time consuming. 

Not that I am complaining... any time in my sewing room is a good time.  It is where some "magic" happens.  I create, I problem solve, I heal.  A friend suggested that "I pour my art into it".  It is true, I do pour my art, my heart, my soul and my prayers into each project.

As I work on each quilt or project, I find that coming to completion of the project is almost like reaching the end of a good book.  There is a sense of completion, yet a sense of sadness because the characters of the book - the ones that have become a part of your life - are gone.  Done.  No more pages. 

I have only one more border left on this queensized quilt and then I move on to the actual quilting part. And then the binding.  The Bear in the woods quilt will soon be done, blessed and ready to go to its new home and new life.  I'm sure it will be happy and I will find something new to make and create.

I need to build up my inventory for the spring/summer fairs or markets that I may be part of.  The first one is just around the corner on April 5th.  Yikes!  I better get moving :)  

Sunday, March 10, 2013


The past few weeks have been a whirlwind, with life's challenges and rewards.  

I have spent the last two weeks assisting with a fundraising event coordinating and planning with two wonderful ladies.  Creating center pieces, decorating the stage and setting up the silent auction were among some of the tasks that I did. 

I did enjoy the creative side of the event planning/coordinating.  But I missed the "therapy time" in my sewing room.  There is just something about working with the fabric and the sound of the sewing machine that is soothing to my soul. 

Last week was filled with some challenges - like part of the patio roofing coming off in a big gust of wind on Monday...

and the kitchen drain being completely blocked on Friday.  Ugh!  But Saturday - sweet, sweet Saturday brought some much needed time in my sewing room and therapy. :)

I was able to assemble all of the blocks for the Bears in the Woods quilt!  I am now ready for the 104 flying geese border this week. 

The reward, other than the assembled top, was that all of the things on my plate to be addressed kept my mind from wondering whether or not the blocks that were submitted to Quiltmaker will be selected for their publication.  I should be hearing from them by the end of the week.  Accepted or declined - it really was an honor just being invited.