Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

Changing Plans, Again

May 27, 2020

I guess 2020 is all about changing plans, shifting gears, finding the work arounds. I made a bunch of blocks that I thought would make a lovely baby quilt. I had used the pattern before, but I didn’t check it before starting to sew. Oh, stop laughing. The blocks are fine, they just don’t go together the way I thought they would. Since I’m making quilts for our guild’s Community Quilts program, I separated the blocks sorta kinda maybe by color and searched my stash for fabric to go with them.

The good news is I’m reducing my stash, which was my goal in 2020. The better news is I’ll get at least three baby quilts out of those blocks. The remaining blocks may not go into one project easily, but I’ll find a used for them eventually.

Luck and wisdom!

Good Luck Charms

May 20, 2020

My friend Margaret Misegades sent me this candle for quilters. I think it makes a wonderful addition to my good luck charms. As any artist or crafter will tell you, there are times when we need all the help we can get. I’ve collected good luck charms of many sorts, because I seem to need help more often than I would like to admit. There was a time when I tried to put my collection in one place, but then I got distracted. This is what my personal altar looks like now.

It occurred to me that some of my good luck charms might prefer to work alone, or in secret, so now I don’t feel bad about having them scattered around the sewing room. Perhaps they will reveal themselves, perhaps they will be happy to lurk in the shadows. As long as they hear my cries for relief, or inspiration, or just a pretty thread that doesn’t break on me at inopportune moments, I’ll be grateful.

Luck and wisdom!

Bandannas – The Next Big Thing In Hostess Gifts

May 13, 2020

Speaking as one who has lots and lots of fabric to use up, I propose making bandannas the next big thing in hostess gifts. They’re easy to sew, and mighty useful. Even after the pandemic is over and we can go outside with bare faces, bandannas can be used as napkins, dresser scarves, gift wrapping, packing material, or a fashionable way to hide an unfortunate hair day. If we are wearing masks for the next two years, as some epidemiologists are hinting, I may just get to the end of my fabric stash.

Luck and wisdom!

The Return of Gloves?

May 6, 2020

Now that I’m wearing a mask and latex gloves whenever I go out, I remembered that I have a small collection of gloves from the days when white glovers at quilt shows brought their own (for those who haven’t been to a quilt show, white glovers are the people who lift the corner of the quilt so you can see the back; they wear white cotton gloves to protect the quilt). This sort of glove isn’t appropriate now, but perhaps later. Not that I really want to add another collection to my life, and heaven only knows where I would put the gloves. This pair lives in my Halloween costume box at the back of the closet in the sewing room. So perhaps I shouldn’t advocate for the return of the glove. After all, if gloves come back, can hats be far behind?

Luck and wisdom!

Beginning A Memory Quilt

April 29, 2020

I decided to save the scraps of batiks I am using to make masks for a project for me. While I have been writing in my journal every day, there’s nothing like a quilt to evoke good memories. The fabrics don’t always agree with each other, so chances are I’ll make either a mosaic or an updated version of a crazy quilt. Luckily, I have stuff for that.

The batiks might not play well with much of my satin and velvet collection, but I’ll certainly have enough of something lovely for a backing.

If I decide hand embroidering batiks isn’t as much fun as it sounds, I can always use ribbon instead. There is plenty to choose from just in the bins I can reach. Heaven only knows what I could find if I really put my mind to it.

Luck and wisdom!

An Outdoor Quilt Show

April 22, 2020

Amador Valley Quilters joined the Hang Your Quilts Outside event. All over the region, sheltered-in-place neighborhoods were treated to quilts on the porches, quilts on the landings, quilts on the driveway. I put up two quilts just as my neighbor was getting ready to leave. We had a nice conversation from across the street, and I told him to look for other quilts while he was out on essential errands.

These quilts had to come down in the afternoon because the wind kicked up and the frames toppled. Luckily, I had a smaller quilt that I could hang on the railing outside our front door.

All three pieces are Progressive Party creations, so thanks to everyone who contributed to the quilts and the outdoor quilt show.

Luck and wisdom!

The Army of Mask Makers

April 15, 2020

I joined the army of mask makers last week. My first two batches went to family and friends, then I started on masks for the community. The prototype pictured above is mine. I worked out most of the kinks making this one, although there are always surprises when one starts a project.

Although filter material is in short supply, my sewing room (aka the scary room) came to the rescue once again. I found some nonwoven washable stabilizer that works just fine. Betty Busby recommended using Evolon, which is readily available. Even better, it comes in 22” x 30” sheets, which means it fits in my budget.

Of course these masks are no substitute for an N95, but they have their benefits. Quilters have always told themselves not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Done is beautiful is our mantra. Useful is also beautiful, and may be my new mantra for the duration.

Luck and wisdom!

The Joy of Someday

April 8, 2020

The Challenge Group was supposed to meet this week, but due to sheltering-in-place for the pandemic we decided to send pictures of our projects via email and get the new assignment. I was gearing up to make an excuse for not doing the assignment as I just joined the army of mask-makers, but instead was given a gift (thank you, Terry!). Our latest assignment is to do one of those someday projects with tools or fabric we have bought in the last five years. Joy!

For reasons I can no longer understand, I bought (or was given) this yo-yo maker at the last Amador Valley Quilters Silent Auction. It managed to find its way to my crazy quilt fabric stash, where I discovered it a couple of weeks ago. “Self,” I said, “someday you will make yo-yos from scraps of silks and satins and see how that works on a crazy quilt.”

Someday is now here. Woo-hoo!

Luck and wisdom!

Safe as Houses

April 1, 2020

The Progressive Party project I worked on this month is appropriate for someone sheltering-in-place, given that it is all houses. The bag came with the fabric cut already (thank you, Rebecca!), which made life a whole lot easier. The scary part for me was half of the houses must be made from striped fabric. Clearly, we are meant to match the stripes. While I did make one plaid skirt where I painstakingly matched the pattern, I’m more of an anything goes quilter. Still, the purpose of the Progressive Party is to learn new skills and stretch ourselves, so I prepared myself to be precise.

Turns out, Rebecca had given us another gift. The pattern has some wiggle room built in. The upper part of the block is 1” wider than the door strip. Matching stripes is easier when you can line up those little critters and trim away the excess! I feel reasonably safe turning in my houses this month, if you don’t look super close.

Luck and wisdom!

Making Do (With Fish)

March 25, 2020

Years ago, I visited an aquarium in Seattle that had an exhibit of baby salmon. I loved the way they moved in the tank, and made an art quilt to capture my feelings. It didn’t work. I had put too much time in the piece to throw it away, but I was too discouraged by my failure to rework it. The top went into a stack until it became the backing for another quilt.

Most of the border had to be trimmed, but I’ve saved those pieces. They may end up in another back, or as part of a scrap quilt.

This is the front of the piece. It was made years ago as well. The two tops were next to each other in a pile, and they worked well together. “Self,” I said, “you can make do with these.” I’ll spend part of my shelter-in-place time during the COVID-19 pandemic beading the quilt. Who knows, by the end of the quarantine period I may actually be happy with it.

Luck and wisdom!