Thursday, December 31, 2009

Once in a blue moon!

The true definition of a Blue Moon is the second full moon in a month. Since the lunar cycle takes 29.5 days, this translates into an extra full moon in a month once every two and one half years. But it is really special when it occurs on New Year's Eve. That will happen this year. It is first time that has happened since 1990.

How cool is that! And once in a blue moon something extra ordinary happens.

It is about the time of the last blue moon that I began filing away magazine articles, class notes and teaching samples. Past time to clear the whole lot out.
This has to make a difference!
But it is kinda like buying underwear. Not something you show everybody but it sure does feel good! LOL These two bags have come out of the filing cabinet so it won't make much impact on the over all look. Not a great photo to end the year with but it'll be a good feeling to start the new year with.
Some was easy to part with. Some not. But as the commercial says, "You've come a long way, baby!". The lesson learned is that life moves on. Surely collecting, sorting, evaluating... releasing, is all part of the creative process. I have learned a lot. Again not necessarily visible but I'm believing it is going to make a difference.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All means A L L

I've been kidding myself that I've been making great strides! I've just been skipping on the top layers. I've done some teaching and I've saved everything. It is neatly put away in binders, file cabinets, and pretty baskets. But a lot is so out dated. I think the sheer tonnage is what scares me. We are talking from the mid eighties. Thrifty is NOT my nature! It is a puzzle to me why I hoarded fabrics, magazine articles, rolls and rolls of photographs, and quilt show programs! The 'oh, dear I have a problem' showed up when I saved 1 inch triangles. I have 3 metre chunks of fabric stacked up, why....
Decision Time!
This is a promise! No more lamenting. Shovel it! I've edited some stuff. Now to square up the shoulders, bite the lower lip and push off! Make up the 'to finish ' list for January 2011 and then do the final shove!
If I can keep the wet stuff out of the playroom I think I have a set up that works pretty well.
I have 3 sewing machines. I have a 1260 Bernina that has been acting like a Christmas tree . Needs a new mother board apparently. I luv it. I miss it. It machine quilts well, just no room in the throat space. I need to fix it. I have a 1630 Bernina that was going to be my creative machine. It sews in 360 degrees with a 9 mm satin stitch. I haven't used it as it is meant to be used. I have a little old Bernina Minimatic I drag to workshops. Tired but pieces wonderfully. I covet a big quilting machine like the sit down HQ 16. Hello reality??? I'm going to sell the 1630, fix the 1260, and buy a Juki which is available in my price range and I can get in our big city.
Okay, that feels like a good start. Now where is the shovel....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Out with the old...

in with the new!
I have learned so much these last few months. Thanks BloggerLand!
This huge black binder has the creme de la creme of all the things I wanted to do. That was back in the late nineties. It even has some old fabric swatches for what I had in mind. I still find myself thinking I'd like to do them. But so much has changed; myself, in particular. I don't want to copy these. I can enjoy them in the binder, I suppose. But I am trying to eliminate a lot of these paper packaged promises. I might give them another year; but they should be what ifs... Not replicas. My new fabric choices reflect where I now am.
Blogging is really journaling. There is something powerful in putting my thoughts down on a written page. It clarifies. It also motivates and commits.
This time between the 25th and the 1st is an in between time. I'm going to use it to set the direction for a very productive 2010. I'm a dreamer, not a realist. But I'm also getting tired of that too true statement: "hope deferred maketh the heart sick." I'm a great believer in hope; but my heart needs wellness.
How do you plan for a healthy heart?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peppermint Stars

This is a smaller version of a large bed quilt I made for my mum who wanted a red and white quilt. Making a two colour quilt in one block pattern is boring but this was what my mum wanted. I did mix it up a bit. It has my version of plaid quilting.

This is also a good example of negative space. It is interesting to listen to how people see the two spaces. Which one is the positive space, which one is the negative?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blessings of Blogging

I've noticed as I've blasted off into the blogging world that I'm not always clearing the tree line! So as I've once again bumped down to the ground and have begun to pick the leaves and branches out of my hair, I'm considering how to do things smarter, better, etc.
I had figured that my propensity to go off on tangents was not dealing with the procrastination issue. So I figured a strategy to keep me moving and hopefully finishing. Certain things on certain days. It works but I also have a short attention span so the to do list was growing and the bright ideas were languishing, not to mention the garden weeds. sheesh, I shoulda known better!
The structure is good but one day isn't enough to finish things or at least get them far enough along for a rest/rethink period.
So I'm gonna try a monthly plan. First week - quilting. Second week- gardening or garments. Third week- mixed media. Fourth week - home decorating. Fifth week- fun, fun or ...
I wish I had lists of accomplishments to show for 2009. But how do you list the "aha's, now I see". I've sorted, reorganized and rearranged. It has been physical but it has also very much been mental. To fix a problem, you have to define it. Well, the problem has been ME! So unravelling that particular thread nest, worktable jumble, and hazardous material spill has been very enlightening. There are still incident reports and government forms to be filled out! lol
Although the destination is what matters, the journey is going to need revisions as the terrain changes, the weather happens and the detours crop up.
So I think I'll check the flight plan, weather conditions, fuel gauge AND my parachute and rev up the engine once again! What if I head towards that break in the bushes right over there...

Friday, December 18, 2009


Gee, it does seem like my time hasn't been my own for a while. But I do feel like I've been getting things done. A lull would be nice though. I don't see one anytime soon, unfortunately.
I have cleared the leftover fabrics away. I thought a change of pace might be in order and started the fabric paper workbook. This looks very rough to me but I tore, spread and glued with great abandon. This looks like the pieces are too big but it is the premier layer and there is an element of "I'm not sure that I know what I'm doing". (ha, the truth is- I don't!) But I'm trying not to over think this as much more happens on top of all this. I am also beginning to wonder where my colour sense has gone. I seem to be stuck in black and white. But this needs to dry and then I'll have a better idea of what glues well and what doesn't. Then it'll be very much, What if...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Sheesh! This could become a series. This is the row of blocks that didn't pass for the backing. Then I gathered any left over strips. Now I have a baby quilt top and the backing is a gorgeous, Paisleys on Parade. Very funky tulips and hearts. If the new grandbaby is a girl, it'll be perfect. Then I gathered up the smaller sewn strips and went for a place mat/doll quilt. Quite fun but still some leftovers. How long do leftovers retain there flavour? 4 meals? Time to clean the fridge and restock the shelves.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


oooh! Now he wants to sit on Gram'elle's lap when there is any sewing to be done. He doesn't miss a thing and his hearing is excellent!. (notice the ears) Whoa, that seriously hampers production. Then there is all this fabric to be made to dance and skip! 8^)

I did get the backing done and in my hurrying I skewed one seam that needs fixing. That was a serious design project that has created more leftovers. I shall post pictures next thing.

But I'm starting to hit my stride. I 'really' like the back, not that it couldn't be improved but it is time to move on to the next step on this uphill climb to creative conquests. I'm using fabric, not saving it. I'm waiting while the 'what ifs' percolate and then making changes. I'm actually meeting deadlines. Now I need to whip the leftovers into a quick project for a future prezzie or donation. That gets things cleaned up, old fabric used up, and leaves room for better fabric options in the stash. The leftovers can be a distraction in themselves so while the umph is there I need to press to the conclusion and then with that step completed I can use the warm fuzzies to tackle the next step.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Forget backing

We now have another quilt happening, reversible! vbsigh The yellow was sliding off south and the finger was beckoning for something. Half my stash has been kerfuffulled and it is coming.
Oh, I also have a young assistant who likes to see all the strips waving and dancing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Whadda ya think?

I might have to do something else today while I consider my options! 8^)

What if....

The math doesn't work out??? Well, it is just a wonderful opportunity to be creative!!!

I completed the top of the quilt along. I have no clever tips for sewing all the blocks because I invariably mix something up. I also need the exercise so I pin them all up on the design wall. And bring them 2 at a time to the sewing machine. I bring the next pair and chain sew but the I don't have more than the two sets at the machine at one time. Not sure why I get myself turned around but I am very happy with the rhythm of the process. This works for me.
I wanted a creative happening on the back. I had the idea fabric and left over blocks and strips and this is the plan. I am seriously math challenged and the photo doesn't show the strip of yellow top that sticks out on one side. I rechecked my math and it is supposed to work out. And if it doesn't, well I'm thinking one of those dark strips will be wider or... I have those strips of yellow that Cheryl had us set aside. In fact I'm kinda liking the idea of adding those yellow strips anyway. Stay tuned for how it all turns out. I can't wait, myself! lol

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ticking along the edge

Art Quilt Monday was all about SHAPE. I'm sure I learn more than I teach. I was particularly challenged to learn more about the space around a shape; the negative space. I'll be studying more about that. But we looked at geometric shapes and organic shapes. I also see that the square or rectangle is the shape most quilters work on, the background. It is very overlooked just like the pages we turn are not seen as a shape. Squares and rectangles are the most common shape and are perceived as being familiar, safe, comforting; but their uniformity can also create a conservative or rigid effect. I don't want to be conservative or rigid. I'm somewhat mollified because I actually like the triangle shape which suggests action because of movement from corners pointing the way. They suggest growth or "reaching for the top". Circles suggest infinity,completion,softness, and security. They can focus attention because of the closure of the shape. But I hadn't thought about ellipses which aren't quite as predictable as circles. Heaven forbid I become predictable! LOL
So this little quilt, inspired by Amanda Jean's Ticker Tape Quilt was one of my examples on the shape demo. It also seemed a safe place to try frayed edges. The uniformity of the many squares and the few rectangles calmed me. The woven plaids gave me some control over the fraying. I couldn't believe I spent so much time pulling threads. Then when I saw all the 'good stuff' I was going to throw out I set them aside for... ??? Anyway, frayed edges ruffle my comfort zone edges. lol But this little quilt is very cute and got lots of smiles. I am going to be ruffling my edges some more!
I have also been thinking about the quilt along over at Naptime Quiter. Rail Fence blocks are not my favorite and this is sorta like that. Stacked or Chinese coins- I like. What if... I did some block turning but I think all those seams are not gonna be worth the hassle. So I'll stick with the plan for the front. I do need to get these sewn and off my design wall because I have to start back on the last few rows of my daughter's wedding quilt. Baby number 2 is arriving and I made a vow; no baby stuff til the wedding is done! LOL But she and the grandson#1 are staying over and we'll make those last colour choices so I can get on with my Joy In the New Year challenge.
So I am happily ticking along.

Back of the coop

Monday, December 7, 2009

Line Dancing

The art challenge for this month is all about line. Because we are building on the elements I wanted to stay in black and white and very simple. I luv the treble clef. So I did some googling and came up with the music sign and then some! I cut the fused shapes with an exacto knife. These challenges are letter page size. I did sew the music staff (?) I'm no musician, with two strands of rayon thread thru the batting but I did a few passes especially on the bottom lines. If I'd had some black cording I'd have couched it on. Then I added the backing which is grey music fabric and stitched a single line for the quilting. I fused the music signs. I decided not to do anything with the edges as these won't see much wear. I used an ivory rayon to free motion treble clefs all over the background. I'm very much liking the newer , thinner binding.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quilting along!

I have not been idle. I'm okay with the front but I'm really excited about the back! I have the leftover blocks from the front. I must always remember to make extras because it gives more options. Then I made blocks from the leftover accent strips. yum!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009