Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spots before my eyes

I recently started a quilt (for myself, no less!) that called for a black and white polka dot fabric.  I have some of that ... yes, indeedy  ... well, I used up my favorite B&W polka dot so I had to replenish that supply.  The problem is, I really really really like that particular polka dot.  Found some on the internet (thank goodness for those informational selvages!) and ordered a bunch.  I was relating this whole scenario to husband and I then decided to show him WHY I had to order that beautiful B&W Polka Dot.  I dragged him to my Black fabric mesh drawer, and pulled out 7 - COUNT THEM - 7!!!! - different B&W Polka Dot fabrics ... and explained to him that 6 of those beauties just wouldn't work for this particular quilt ... he just smiled, patted my head, muttered something about compulsive behavior, and walked away ...

So here's the pile of 7 polka dot fabrics.  The one on the far left is the one I love the most.   Don't ask ... it is compulsive behavior, but then again, you knew that, right?

Notice how nice and neat these fabrics are?  I'm so proud ... I finally organized all my fabrics 2 Christmas's ago.  I took each piece of yardage, measured it, made a little tag, wrapped the yardage around a Comic Book Board (8.5" x 11"), and pinned tag onto the fabric - see that orange thingy on the left.  That's the tag.  Anyway, I can pull a piece of fabric and tell if I have enough for whatever project I'm working on.  I tag leftover batting pieces in the same way (don't wrap them around board, just tag) and this has saved me huge amounts of time trying to figure out if a piece of batting will work on my small projects.  Can you hear me patting myself on the back?

And here's the quilt I used that fabulous fabric for borders ...   friend Tina has been telling me about this "Easy Peasy" quilt pattern called "5 One-Yard Cuts" pattern for at least 4 years.  Whenever she is in town we go fabric store visiting and I'm always finding myself buying 5 1-yard cuts of fabrics (like I couldn't just go to my stash and find it!) and swearing to her that I will do one of these quilts.  So now I have about 4 different "kits" lined up.  I pulled this one out last week and started on it after finishing a customer quilt.  And honestly, it's as easy as my old standby Yellow Brick Road.  Done and done, except for the quilting - which may take a while to get to.  At least the top is now done.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

There are Quilting Goddesses, you know ...

If you know me, you know I love a good story ... 

After this last quilting project, I have come to the conclusion that there are Quilting Goddesses ... more than one, I believe.  And we must pay homage to them at various times.

I have been extremely lucky that the Quilting Goddesses have been friendly to me but recently I was humbled ... and hence the homage to be made to those Quilting Goddesses.

Let's define the Goddesses ... first, there's the Goddess of Wavy Borders.  She absolutely HATES being the friendliest Goddess around.  She will wave and wave till her arm hurts and then she will demand retribution.  She demands that all borders be measured 3 times for accuracy.  Oh, let's just whip those babies on in a flash, you think.  Just throw them down and stitch them up.  Nah, not gonna work.  

Then there's the Goddess of Wonky Middles ... you know what I'm talking about.  You lay that quilt top on the floor and no matter which end you tug and pull, the middle will never lay flat.  Goddess of Wonky Middles demands that you square up each square as you are sewing.  Oh, we all know that a little stretch here and there isn't going to hurt anything.  And that 1/4" seam that everyone seems obsessed about?  Heck, what's a little more or less among friends?  Ha!  The jokes on you and Goddess of Wonky Middles is going to be laughing her wonky self at you!  

And then there's my favorite ...  the Goddess of Actual Quilting.  She a real joker, loves to play tricks on you.  She's the one who stands there next to you as you're quilting and all of a sudden you realize you don't have enough backing left on the roller.  Oh, she just laughs and laughs as you check your measurements (you did write down all those measurements, didn't you?) and then realize that your measurements were correct but you loaded the backing the wrong way ... aaarrrggghhh!!!  Or you come to the end of the batting .... or you are stitching and then discover that you put the wrong color of bobbin in on the last change ... or you are stitching a panto and before you finish the first row it dawns on you that you're using the WRONG PANTO.  Yeah, there she goes, laughing her wicked laugh again ... 

The Goddess of Actual Quilting is really a hard Goddess to appease because she covers so much area!  You just have to be vigilant, calm, and even clever to keep her happy.  

And then we have the Goddess of Frogging and you know what I mean. Three minutes of badly executed machine quilting will result in about an hour of ripping out those horrid horrid stitches.  My back aches just thinking about it.  

You don't need to ask how I came up with ALL those examples ... just know that when things are going extremely well you might want to pause a moment to be sure you're on the right track.  I'm not just whistlin' Dixie here.  

And having said all that, I'm posting pictures of my last quilting job.  There's a BEFORE picture and an AFTER picture.  When I realized just how wonky this beautiful quilt top was, I almost froze.  I called sweet Sue and we talked about it and she said "Just do what you need to do".  I don't think she knew that I had no idea what I needed to do!!  But I used a lot of pins - it's technically called "Pinning the Snot Out of It" - pinning down the area I wasn't quilting on at the moment, then removing pins as I worked across the top.   I then steamed and starch the areas that were bubbling up in front of me ... boy, that worked wonders!!  Anyway,  I worked with each of those blasted Goddesses and looked how beautiful it turned out!  

Before you forget, go to the sidebar and click on the video YOU CAN QUILT IT OUT ,.. that song now has special meaning for me!  

Enjoy!!  And yes, my quilting friends ... YOU CAN QUILT IT OUT!  Love that video!

So dear sweet Sue - your colors and fabrics are fabulous and with a little bit of love and offerings to the Quilting Goddesses you have a most wonderful quilt!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

We've got some catchin' up to do ...

In no particular order, here are some quilts that got away ...

Don't adjust your screen .. this is a black and white with a bit of red.  This was a HUGE quilt made for a returning son from Afganistan.  What a great mom to make this for a very deserving young man!  
I love this quilt!  Anne calls it Fruit Mary's Quilt ... go up close and get a view of the 'ladies' ... just too darn cute!
 This is one I had fun with using a Jelly Roll and then mashing the blocks all together.  This one went to my church group ... we make Comfort Quilts for our congregation families in need.
This is Terri's and since it has that Asian influence I used a panto called Kyoto Fans.  Very nice quilt.
 A cutie-patootie kids quilt.  
 I made this I-Spy and Match Game quilt for my hair stylist's 3rd little boy, born in March!  She has pulled my hair out of the "fire" so many times ... and we've been together for almost 10 years.  Got to love those wonderful hair specialists!
 This is Pam's Saturday Sampler.  What a great job she did and I found the perfect pattern to echo  that wonderful Fleur-de-Lis pattern that is in the border.  I had fun with this one.