Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lets Consider the Row Quilt

The Row Quilt is essentially a cousin of the Round Robin Quilt. Very popular among quilting friends and guilds, the Round Robin process provides great entertainment and inspiration for the stitcher. I was part of an Embroidery group that did Round Robins regularly and shipped the work all around the planet. Never a major shipping mishap. That sort of surprised me at the time. Sometimes there were delays but the end work was stunning.
The beginnings of our Row Quilt

A few weeks ago the Sew and Sews discussed the possibility of making a row quilt as a service project from our group. This is a shot of the rows to date. Can you see the pink fabric at the top? That is our focus fabric.

I have searched the blogs and Pinterest boards for examples and to study the design. A recent Shop Hop in this area presented an opportunity for the local shops to design a row, offer the pattern and/or kits to complete for a quilt.

Linda Sue expanded her vision by stopping at shops along the way of her travels. This is the result of her efforts so far:

Just look at those little flower pots! Yo-yo flowers! How cute is that?
Please excuse the double photo. I am having a little trouble with Blogger, it won't let me delete one or it deletes the entire post.

To my eye, the Row Quilt passion translates well to many formats but it still has to have some cohesive elements. If not it appears mis-matched and confused.....sort of like running through a jungle with no map!

CCR-Better Run Through the Jungle!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Sewist's Sense of Humor

I saw this on Facebook and just had to share. Ain't it the truth! As far as technology has come to the sewing machine world I would wonder why a larger, I mean much larger bobbin has not been introduced. Our touch screens are bigger and better, the on-board computer is bigger, faster and more user friendly. Our threading systems have virtually eliminated upper tension problems. Just thinking.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lets Start the Week with a Smile, A Flannel Smile!

Monday, the beginning of a new week. Summer is zooming along, kids are getting ready to go back to school and the quilters are lining up their projects for Fall. A Monday is like a fresh slate, I make my to-do list and by Friday I am thrilled if two projects get addressed. That's OK, two is better than none. 

 Do you know what happens when you put flannel, pelon fusible and Sew and Sew member Linda together? You get this wild and crazy Happy Quilt! Something like a happy dance only sewn rather than stepped! This is the top of Linda's quilt from the class we took a couple months ago. I really like the way she put her blocks together. We were provided the pre-fused flannel and told to do what we wanted with all the circles.  Linda used full white circles for her faces and cut others for ears and mouth, each combination created features and expressions. This is very innovative and shows a creative talent that she tries to minimize with her modesty. I love it and I know some dear child will too.
this little dude on the right looks like he is wearing polarized sunglasses and a headband from 1989!

Top left, the smile looks like a kiddo in braces and wearing a ball cap. the lady to his right, with the green zig-zag hair looks like she is hot in the sun! Feel free to come up with your own stories for each of these blocks.
A day of questions:
  • I may have been looking at these too much, am I giving them personalities?
  • I hope I never get the urge for hair extensions, I just saw an ad for "The Real Housewives of New Jersey!" Between that and the fake tans and Ta-Ta's I am not going to be able to sleep. Is that judgmental? (I don't care.)
  • My watch batteries are all dead, again. Really irritating. I really never minded winding a watch, did you? Who decided they all needed batteries anyway?
  • The spiders are in hyper-speed right now. Between the giant webs out on the porches and the little intruders who make little stringy webs while I sleep. What is up with that? Like wire hangers multiplying in the back of the closet, how do they do that?
  • I've decided to wait on a kitchen redo. After looking at a hundred cabinet styles, an equal number of counter top stone, I still don't know what I want to do. I can't stand the mess. How sad is that?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This is a Wordy Wilma Post, Hexagons Old and New, Sewing Expo Thoughts

  • Post Expo thoughts:
  • Garment sewing is nearly dead at this event. One lady with some Great Copy Patterns, I bought a couple because I felt sorry for her and I need a new coat and a new jacket pattern. Right. I became distracted when her fashion show was scheduled and I missed it.
  • A large booth with some nice garment fabric. Advertised good prices. I know this sounds a little tacky but there was an off-odor near the fabric. Musty, not pleasant. Possibly cigarette smoke. I didn't even look.
  • Another lady had samples of clothing made with her stunning batiks. Beautiful. She seemed to be alone, the booth was crowded and everyone in line was fussy. I moved on. While you need samples to make your point you also need someone to help you handle the business end and the cutting. 
  • Only two major local quilt shops were represented and let me tell 'ya tootsie, this is quilt country. Cost of booth prohibitive? Too much work for a three day event? Business is so good that supporting the local quilting community to keep venue's like this coming here is just not that important? 
  • Not one scissor vendor. Heard comments from several people about that one. 
  • Only one major thread seller, really, with absolutely everyone looking to buy quality thread and not a spool to be found. I was not familiar with the brand and therefore abstained. More polyester than my heart could tolerate. The selection of cottons, maybe 20 spools of white, (I kid you not) was fuzzy looking. Picture that mucking up my new machine. No way. 
  • If you wanted to buy a new sewing machine or a long-arm quilter you had lots of opportunity to test drive and learn all the ideas on that front. Most major brands were represented, their booths were well staffed and wanted to talk. I already have what I need. Thank you.
  • Our booth for the Quilt Guild did well, we had lots of traffic in our new space, spoke to some amazing ladies and sold a few tickets as well. It was great for us. And the Fudgie-Wudgie people were on our right and they were giving samples! Chocolate and Fabric, don't get any better than that kids!
  • I spent a significant amount of time in the one wool booth, more on that another time. Another booth, a quilt shop from Florida, had some great ideas. I'll share those later as well.

Like an old quilt, an old computer can be a very comfortable place to be. This quilt is Linda Sue's, from her Grandmother. Hand-made Hexi's. All good things come around, don't they?
Let me just say, I crack myself up. It's a good thing that breathing is automatic. The Autonomic nervous system is a great thing. I have fussed with this new computer since Christmas. Trying to upload pictures from 3 different cameras has been an ordeal. I have been using the old computer, hoping that the old girl didn't delete everything in the process. I would then pin them to the blog and reference that to get my photo's in place. Wilma Flintstone would have figured it out sooner.

Well, this 8.1 edition came with at least 6 different programs and editing apps for photography and film. Uh-huh. I did finally figure it out.  It makes perfect sense now. Better late than never I say. But I did have a good laugh at myself. Will this revelation will make posting so much easier? I sure hope so.  It has been a very tedious process. Quite frankly, I have been ready to throw in the quilt! (Did you catch that clever little...throw in the quilt line?) Like I said, I crack myself up sometimes.

OK, back to our regularly scheduled program, using up the stash, using up the scraps, using what you have on hand.  Susan had a brilliant idea with some left over strips. Just check out these small mats. Perfect for our side tables or as placemats she started with the now perfectly adaptable Hexi. She attached her left over strips around the hexi, building them up much like one would a log cabin block. She used the final attached strip as the binding! Can you stand it? Great idea!

Leave it to me to forget to take a picture of the backing. As you can see, prior to the last 'ring' she quilted the mat, then attached the last row which essentially became the binding. It doesn't get more purposeful than this for using up all those left over strips. Just think how one could have a strip exchange party among your group or quilting friends to add diversity to your collection of strips. A light bulb just went off in my wee head Sew and Sews.
My in-progress Hexi project, currently packed up for a while. I do tire of some
things more quickly than others. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Crochet Mandalla Palooza

A crochet blanket in progress, for years.......the post *have you noticed my penchant for saturated color? compared to the crochet projects shown below? the story of my life!
another stalled project, but it is not white or off-white!

I really like to crochet. I don't take the time often enough to sit down and work on the ongoing project. I will revive it soon. Anyway, do you remember Lucy from Attic 24? I have referenced her blog several times here and most recently she has been collecting Mandalas from all over the world. Well, talk about a color explosion! When presented this way it looks like a Kaffe Fassett fabric, doesn't it? Beautiful work, absolutely amazing that all of this project is now in its final phases. I have included a link to the Pinterest board that catalogs all the work and the inspiration for the project. Yarn Bombing! Who knew? 

 Yarndale Pinterest Board
  • I did branch out with some color on this one last year! the story here. 
  • do you have any plans to crochet a new blanket or two for the upcoming nesting season? I have a scarf planned but Lucy from Attic 24 is going to offer a pattern for her seaside ripple blanket. I am thinking that might be an idea, a portable project. Finding the right yarn is always tricky for me. I want something washable, of course. 
  • I am going to ask a friend for knitting lessons too....I need help! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wool, Weaving. Felting and Acorns

I really like working with wool but I do have to take care because I have sensitivities to the fiber. Felted wools seem to be less irritating due to the scrubbing process I think. With other wools I need to make sure my arms are protected with tube socks. Don't laugh, it works. My current wool penny rug project is waiting quietly in the background waiting for a dark background wool as a base. I have not had much luck finding it. This week is the Sewing Expo, my last venue in the search. If that does not pan out, I will need to rethink this project.

This first item is a felted wool purse with bobbles and buttons designed by Terri, our newest member. In all it's glorious color it stands alone as an art piece, in its practical sense, it is a functional and useable piece. Beautiful.

 In the background you will see rows of quilt blocks worked by members to become a 'Row Quilt' to be donated to one of our charities. Rose is the program coordinator for this project, thank you Rose!

We all have those extra buttons lying around that come with purchased clothing, yes? Well, Terri found a great use for them. 
Now, who does not need a little tray of felted wool acorns? Can you stand it, they are a must make for me this fall. (As soon as Terri can gather up enough acorn caps for us:))
This beautiful piece is just not what the maker wanted, she is Frogging the yarn for another use. I hear you Terri, I do it all the time. Really.

Quietly on the other side of the room Jenny produced this stunning little woven and beaded fringe bag. A re-ignited interest in this craft led her to weave this item on her purse loom, below.

Just look at those sweet little beads on the fringe. I predict a new and expanding passion for Jenny and her looms. The suit of armour may have to go! Long story there. Not mine to tell.
  • I will be in the TRQ booth at the Expo tomorrow. If you are local, please stop in and say hello.
  • What do you do with your scraps? I have some interesting pieces to show you in the next post. Whittle the stash and create useable pieces as well.
  • I have an idea for a felted purse as well, more to come on that soon. 
  • Have a wonderful day, stitch something fun, work on a UFO or go shoe shopping with the MIL, the choice is yours!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday Morning Musings, I was "Musing" on Monday but not Writing

August is full upon us. I for one am rather gobsmacked that we are in the last "official" month of summer. After church on Sunday I heard Mothers discussing the looming date to get the little ones ready to go back to school and teens excited for their Senior year. I could tell them about all the excitement of their Senior years but I think my context (of seniors that is) is somewhat different!

I have been searching my library for a pattern for a simple but pleasing geometric design as a gift for a family member for Christmas. Originally I wanted to do a Holiday themed quilt but saw the error of my ways when I realized that it would only see the light of day around the Holidays and we all know that I like what I make to be used, washed, etc.

My eye ended up back to the Half Square Triangle. My favorite combination of light and dark contrast would suit their decorating style. Fabric choices can stretch the design choice a million ways. Inspired by this quilt I searched the stash. Nothing hit me so a little shopping was required. I had the light I wanted to use but the colors....not really. While this little beauty has predominate red and greens mine needs to have a different color, tone and pattern. But now I had a direction.
Meet Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.

So this is the plan. The fabric is from Moda's Dear Jane charm squares. Photos to follow. The colors are speaking to me. I will use the laser beam on my machine to mark the center of the 5 inch square and sew 1/4 inch on either side of that. It is a shortcut of sorts. I will give it a try. I sewed a few to test the prints with the Bella Solids, again, photo's to follow. Not a lot of contrast, not sure about this.

 There are a few of my favorite on-line quilters who never cease to amaze me.This is the work of Emma, young quilter extraordinaire. What talent.
You must see this amazing quilt and quilting!
  • August is the month that I totally strip clean my kitchen. It is a big job, that is why I break it down into workable segments and it takes a month! The kitchen china closet has been emptied, everything re-washed, furniture moved, wood polished, walls scrubbed. Therefore, the Monday musings turned into Tuesday Musings and the photo's of what I did get done did not get uploaded. A girl can only do so much, you know?