Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hate to admit it

I have a little guilt to confess to.

In an attempt to find a few pieces of that transitional blue-into-purple I need so very badly, I have traveled to no fewer than four area stores - and to one in East Lansing - with very little success. Had a chance to hit upon two others in Flint, but I didn't allow myself enough time to peruse. Oh.....so close.I have been able to get my hands on a little bit of a selection, and that I will have to make do with.

Although, I did manage to snag four of the six pieces I need for the binding (so not a complete wash on the search overall)! The final two pieces will materialize when the time is right so I won't sweat over that just yet - since I still have time before the binding is necessary. See me in another month, though, and we'll compare notes and stories.

Mucho thanks to Jean and Barb for playing along with my obsession....and for aiding and abetting this criminal(ly insane) behavior.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not much of an update

I spent a good portion of yesterday morning doing other things before getting down to the business at hand. Layed out two and one half squares the evening before, and finished up (or, tried to) the layout of that third square until I realized I am minus some decent indigo! My transition from blue-to-purple is stymied.

Oh, and I did not get to the store for the binding material during the after Thanksgiving sale because, as I reasoned, the crowds would be too plentiful, the selection would be less so, and I am not at the point where I need it 'right now' - so why rush? Why stand in the mayhem? Why do that to myself when I could happily use the daylight to do what really needed doing................which it turned out I needed to go to the store to find something anyway in order to get it done!

Grrrrr [mumble mumble] Bah, shoot, darn-it-all!!!

Yes, I still believe I will have the top completed by the ninth. Let's see if my prediction can hold water.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Riddle me this

What's red and purple and blue and green and some of the colors that are in between...and some that aren't?That's right - this is!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Time flies

It's just after three o'clock in the afternoon and I have finished laying out Row 5.

The sunlight is on my side, streaming through the large picture window which faces west, and it is illuminating the entire area. It enhances the colors of the quilt, and the pieces piled on 'the palette'.

I'm left with 2.5 blocks to assemble before I can move on to rows 6 and 6.5...but I am SO close, it is thrilling!

Sewing began this morning as soon as daylight crept over the kitchen windowsill and erased many of the shadows of the night. Turning an OTT light on over my shoulder makes it easier to pin the corners to perfection, but I like to use the least amount of manufactured light that I can, so I turned the light off around nine A.M.

Time to take a break and stand back to stare at it before beginning the sewing process. Sometimes I can see little areas in the layout where a tweak here or there can make a difference, but right now - I am very satisfied with how it looks.

Geez! Is it really three-twenty-four already? I've got to get moving. More another time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh no she di-int!

I am certain that this particular woman never fully understood the idea of quilting - whether art quilt or utilitarian - and the great source of pride we quilters have in learning, applying, and practicing to make perfect our techniques and skills.

I hope her curiosity gets the better of her, and that she takes more time to come to understand how broad the world of quilting is, and how all-encompassing we particular fiber artists challenge ourselves to become.


But just for the record, I do agree that painting on a quilt - to achieve something more than can be accomplished by piecing or quilting (i.e; top stitching) - IS CHEATING.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Completely (& utterly) done with red

Today, somewhere around three in the afternoon, I finished with the reds! So I bagged up the remaining piles of color and set the baggy bundles aside, astonished at the amount of work that has gone into this particular project thus far.

It feels good to be clearing the decks and making space where once there were piles of standby material. Progress, progress, progress!

I had time to think back to a few short months ago and remember the selection process. Then I began to recall the rinsing and the ironing... and the calculating and the cutting (multiplied by 5,000) and the recalculating. OMGosh!!

Blissfully, I am now laying out and assembling Row 5, astonished at just how far I have come, and amazed at how well it looks as a whole (despite the things I wish I could do a little differently). Can't wait to share it with you.

What are you working on?

Monday, November 14, 2011


I knew I must be on the right track when Brian said to me that he can't wait for the top to be together. He is hoping to help me stretch it!

Every day I have been able to work on the quilt - for large spans of time (since the last film wrapped) - he has managed to wander in to the area and question me as to how much more there is to go and, when do you think it will be finished?

"Will you be done in time for the first of the contests?" (which is coming up very soon).

It's nerve-wracking enough to bear down with my own sets of pressures, but his constant reminders of how much - or rather how little - time is left before the deadline, "...and you're not even quilting it, yet" is driving me to distraction.

I am now beginning to allow reality firmly in 'the door.'

"No," I reply. "Most likely I will not be done for mid-November."

This is a large change from my last response of "I'm still shooting for it. It could still happen."

In all honesty, there is really still too much to do, and I utilized too much precious time over the last three weekends doing other activities instead of keeping my head down, my eyes on the prize and keeping my nose to the grindstone. Foolish!

But I am very gratified that Brian wants to see this one finished. Even more so that he wants to help me get it to that point!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I chose to participate again this year in a bazaar that I sold children's books at last year. Why, with the project I have at hand, did I decide to take the time to spend an entire day away from the quilting process (which is already tedious and behind enough) to try and sell books as I did last year?

Well, I'll tell you why.

I truly thought the numbers would duplicate themselves, or at least come close, making the day worthwhile. Instead, I spent those hours wishing I were at my sewing table, whirring through seams of 1.5" squares, shaping several blocks and completing a good deal of Row 5.

The longer the day grew on without people visiting the bazaar - and the spartan sales each customer generated (despite attempts to satisfy them) - only served to amplify the dread of having spent the money on the tables (and the fuel to get everything there) and the time and energy to get it all set up and to just be there....left me with a bitter taste. Not to mention, I took two friends hostage to make the day happen (sorry J&B).

Of course, you don't know until you do it (whatever it may be), right? But I had great expectations as last year was so sweet.

All of the vendors said the same thing. Too few shoppers - surprisingly too few - and nobody willing to spend any cash.

So, today, I am poised over the last of Row 4, setting the final colors together, and I will be stitching the pieces together shortly. Row 4 is a done deal, and Row 5 is on the horizon. Tantalizingly close. Teasing me on!

I was struck by how much like a jigsaw puzzle I was going at this final block for Row 4 - almost like I had lost the picture of the final product, but if I keep fitting this piece and that into place, I would eventually find the one right piece, and so I keep maneuvering them so I can be happy with the final configuration.

I have come to realize, over the past several weeks, that I will always regret something about the way I laid out certain areas of the quilt, but overall it will look as it will - despite my finagling and fussing - and I am the only one who will see "imperfections" and have regrets as to why didn't this or that happened 'here' instead of that (colorwise).

It's just all too puzzling. It is what it is - live with it and move on!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Here's something!

Here is a quilt I made back in 2008 for a fellow student at Specs. An aunt of hers had made the Sun Bonnet Sue blocks decades before, and Denise had them stored, just waiting for an opportunity to have them turned into a quilt.
Then I happened along.

The majority of the work was in making them evenly (equally) squared and true, and in figuring how to assemble them - to do the adorable vintage blocks justice.
I think the resulting quilt was appropriate and perfect.

Please ignore the quality of the photos, as I was in a hurry to get them taken that day to get out the door.

The aunt who made the original blocks had appliqued the Sun Bonnet Sues onto muslin, and that was how Denise handed them to me. I added the window pane frames from material I had in my stash, and then selected the lovely green material that was used for the sashing and border.

The backside shows the integration of one SBS block that wouldn't work in to the configuration on the front. The goal with that touch was to make certain to center it with another SBS facing the right direction, so that when I finished the quilting, the stippling worked around the character as well as could be working blind from the top side of the quilt. As you can see, I was pretty darned close when working with the imperfections of the handmade SBS blocks.