Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quilting A.D.D.

I can never seem to do just one thing at a time. Seriously, I never read just one book at a time.  Currently, I am reading Atlas Shrugged, The Atonement and Lord of Misrule.
Also, I never just watch television.  I always do something else along with it. It might be planning the monthly menu, perusing a magazine or one of my current books, binding a quilt, or any one of a myriad of other tasks. It's so bad, my son Kade once accused me of listening to (as opposed to watching) T.V.  He's right.  I usually miss the important parts of every show because I am focusing on my other project. Then I drive everyone crazy asking, "What happened?!  What happened!?"
I think the kinder, gentler term for this behavior is "multi-tasking" but I tend to label it a.d.d.
I'm always telling people, I have (fill in the blank) a.d.d.  I hope that's not too politically incorrect.

Lately, my "quilting a.d.d." is in overdrive.  So much so, that I haven't had time to blog.
So, buckle up baby, this is going to be a looooooooooong post.
 TA DA! I finally put the final touches on Joe's car quilt.

He loves it so much, we had a hard time keeping him off for the pictures. 
Here he is giving me his version of the high 5 for a job well done.

Because I think it turned out so cool, I wanted to get some shots of the back.  However, getting Joe to clear out was a challenge. 
This is the best I could do. 
I love how this quilt turned out.  However, I did get bored with the seemingly endless pebble quilting. So, right in the middle of that project, I started working on a couple of others.
It all started when I saw this Flickr photo and remembered that I had a bunch of these strips left over from a previous quilt

Pretty soon, I had pieced six, lovely blocks.
I only made one big boo-boo.  I didn't quite have enough of the border fabric and ended up having to piece the last block.  I'm not too upset about it, though.  Once it is quilted no one will even notice.
With the blocks made, I got out my design journal and got to work.  This is what I came up with...
...and, this is how it turned out.  I think it looks like door panels, so that is what I named it.
For months now, I have had this bag of scraps sitting on a shelf waiting. I finally pulled it out and came up with this wonky log cabin block.  I like it, but I'm not crazy about it.  In fact, now that I see it, I'm thinking I want to do wonky stars instead. I think it will make a nice "boy" quilt.

My nephew and his wife are due to have their third child next month, so I began work on a baby quilt for them.  A while back, I found the pattern at the Moda Bake Shop site and I've been dying for an excuse to make it. 
It is a pretty straightforward, easy pattern, except for the applique.  I haven't done much machine applique so it is slow going.  But, if you don't look too awfully close, it's not turning out half bad. 

Using published patterns is something I do regularly.  However, I really want to improve my own design skills. So, while I have been working on all these other projects, I have also been working on a couple of ideas.
My inspiration came via a couple of magazine photos I clipped.
I spotted this pretty, little rug in an old Pottery Barn Kids catalog.
Here's my re-do.  I think it will make a sleek, modern baby girl quilt.
The October 2010 Living magazine had a spread on creative floor tiling.  This one gave me the inspiration for my next Halloween quilt.  I'm thinking of grey, lime green and purple.
Well, that's what I've been up to lately.  Now, I'm off to read one of my books and listen to the television.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Missing Person

I'm sure you've noticed I haven't been around for a while.  I've had a lot going on, just no time to post about it.  First the bad news...
3 weeks ago, my beloved Aunt collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.  We have all had to come to grips with the fact that she will probably never go home again.  At the very least, she will never be able to live on her own again.
You know, there is no more helpless feeling than watching someone make the long, slow descent to death.  There is nothing to do but sit by the bed and act like it really isn't happening.  You talk as if it's all going to work out.  You make small talk, perhaps crack a couple of jokes and maybe even make plans for the future. We humans cling to life and hope, until the bitter end. But, somewhere inside, there is the knowledge that those plans will never come to fruition.

I can't even comprehend what life will be like without her.   

Of course, it is one of God's tender mercies that even in the midst of a dreadful situation, there are always those good things we can focus on.
My Mom made a trip here to offer help and comfort to Aunt Twila.  Afterward, she stayed with me for a few days.  It was wonderful to just hang out together for a while.  I never laugh more than when Mom and I get together.  I don't know what it is, but we seem to always be giggling like a couple of school girls.  Don't ask me why but when we are together, absolutely EVERYTHING is hysterically funny.
Her visit was very therapeutic for me.  And, not just me.  As you can see, The Joe enjoyed her visit as much or more than I did.  She flew home last Friday and he moped around the entire day.  He definitely misses her soft, comforting lap.  Come to think of it, so do I.
 On the quilting front, I am still working on Joe's car quilt.
 I really like the texture the pebble quilting is giving it, but I don't think I will use this technique on another quilt.  It takes too long and uses a ton of thread.  In my opinion, this type of quilting is better suited to a small project like a pillow or wall hanging.  Lesson learned.

If you love Denyse Schmidt fabrics like I do, the big fabric news is that she is offering a line of fabric through JoAnn Fabric stores.  When I heard about the news, I made a bee line for it.  Not surprisingly, the stuff is selling like hotcakes!  I was almost sold out in my local store.  I ended up going to all the stores in my area to find what I did.  It is gorgeous fabric.  I heard someone say their shipments come in on Thursday.  I'll give you three guesses as to who will be making another trip to JoAnne's on Thursday morning??
 Of course, you have to know what you are looking for.  Her full name is no where to found in the store.  The closest you get is the "DS quilts" label on the end of the bolt and this lovely selvage.  I'm sure she wanted to make sure that true collectors would be able to distinguish between the fabric she offers through independent shops and what is offering through the mass retailer.  Hey, I'm not a LQS snob like some shoppers.  I don't care where I buy it from.  If it is beautiful fabric, I'm going to buy it.
And, while I'm on the subject, can I get a shout out for JoAnn's.  They seem to be stepping up their game when it comes to fabric design and quality.  I could hardly believe it when I found these lovely Alexander Henry prints peeking out at me from amongst the other, less appealing bolts.
Now, I have heard that JoAnn's buys his seconds, but I could not see or feel anything wrong with them.  I also found some very modern prints in their "Designed Exclusively for JoAnn" fabrics line.  I'm just sayin'.
Here is my other great find.  I have had wanted one of these Kona cotton color cards for a long time, but they aren't that easy to come by.  When I say that Tammy over at Marmalade Fabrics (one of my new, favorite online shops)had them for sale, I snapped one up.  Pop over and check out what she else she has.  She has a great selection of modern prints.
Here are a couple of projects I have been mulling over.  How cute is the Dandelion baby quilt?!

I'm also mulling over these fabrics.  These colors have been calling to me lately.  I'm thinking something with pinwheels...